COMMENT OF THE WEEK - "CHRISTO LEGALISM v GRACE AND THE TRUTH"

Posted by Phil in our new Discussion Room - 20 June 2013

Editor's note: The views portrayed in this article do not represent the views of this website.

hello everyone,

i joined the old paths christadelphians in england in early 1980, and at the time was euphoric at being part of the only "true god community".




but as time went by i began to feel uneasy. i felt there was something missing, something absolutely vital to a christian, but i could not put my finger on what it was.
it was only in later years, a long time after i had left, that i realised not only what was missing, but in fact delphism was also a chalice of poison from which i eagerly used to drink.

so in the end what did i realise? well put simply 1/ no love and 2/ blatant legalsim

the early things i noticed was the lack of outward shows of emotions and affection, in fact they were frowned upon. they said a formal handshake was the sign of fellowship among them, but to me it was the sign of a worldly business man. if you hugged a woman ( sister) you were viewed as letcherous and driven by sex. if you hugged a man ( brother) your sexuality got questioned. 


 i also noticed that simple clean jokes were frowned upon, so was laughter, informal dress, having worldly friends, having a hobby, mixing with anyone from other christian religions, and in fact even saying you are "christian" yourself was condemned.
and woe betide anyone who married "out of the faith"

 and if anyone had a moment of lapse and had sexual contact with someone outside of marriage to another delph, you were hauled over the coals and made to feel filthy before the whole meeting, regardless of how much remorse you showed.

i soon started to rebel, but not knowing what i was rebelling against. i refused to wear a suit to the meeting saying clothes mean nothing to god and that jesus's clothes must have been grubby due to amount of rough sleeping out he must have done.......well that unleashed some wrath against me i can tell you.

 i was told i was showing disrespect to god by not wearing sunday best and that i was offending all the meeting and causing bad feeling at the lords table ( breaking of bread) and that jesus's clothes were always spotlessy white.

i started missing daily readings and attending bible classes. i felt there was nothing to be gained from reading the same bible pages over and over again and that learning what the book of daniel was prophesising beared little profit when it came down to actual works of faith.

my best and most trusted and beloved friend was a non believer, and i was told i should no longer see him.
and that i was to give up writing and recording music with him as it was "of the world"
this i was simply not willing to do no matter how much guilt they laid on me

in the end i was totally ostresised ( i might have spelt that wrong, sorry)

i left in 1989 a broken man and walked away from not only delphism but god too and went my way in the world

i really went downhill, sleeping with as many women as i could meet, not bothering about my old values of mercy and compassion. doing just what the hell i wanted.
this went on for 13 years.

finally i got the internet and joined msn messenger. and by some chance i friended a woman who had been disfellowshipped by the delphs for complaining about being raped by her delph husband.

what these conversations started in me was a realisation of what i could not put my finger on between 1980-89.

lack of emotional love and blatant legalism.

in the years following 2002 until today, i now friend anyone who is christian.
i have slowly come to realise that legalism is the cancer of mankind and all organised religions are legalism.
the truth which christ preached was not doctrines, but love, mercy, charity, benevolence, forgiveness and patience.

 matthew 25 vrs 31 to 45 clearly show what criteria jesus will apply at judgement to decide who lives and who dies, and none of his criteria are doctrinal issues or matters of rituals or religion.

i could write a 1,000 page thesis on the subject but i wont bore anyone here.
but i will write something i found out that might come as a shock to many.
the last supper, breaking of bread and drinking wine in memory of jesus, was never a religious thing.

 jesus chose a close family and very informal occasion to introduce it.


 the term "breaking of bread" we read about in the acts does not mean what we think it does. 

 it does not mean "hold a formal religious service" but actually was a term used in those days to mean "to share an informal meal" regardless of what type of food was eaten.


 so when we read "they went about from house to house breaking bread" it actually means they frequently went to each others houses to share a meal and enjoy each others company in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

 eating and drinking in memory of christ was just a quiet moment of an otherwise informal occasion. 

 no suits and sunday dresses, no hymns and long winded prayers, no exhortations and lectures etc.

if i break break now it is part of my meal with my wife. informal and relaxed.
legalism decided that it had to be solemn, serious, formal, and in a certain and set order.

legalism and organised religion are poisonous and murderous.
they remove the concept of grace and deceive the doer into a false sense of self righteousness and self holiness that convince the doer that salvation is something that can be earned by one's own merits.

grace, hoever, leaves us in no doubt that immortality at the judgement, is a gift which no one can earn or will be worthy of, except jesus himself

how i loathe legalism.

god bless

phil


68 comments:

  1. I also left the Central Christadelphian body some 37 years ago, due to their re-fellowshipping divorced & remarried sisters, many also becoming "Unequally Yoked together with unbelievers" such unlawful alliances being prohibited by Almighty God Himself.

    "For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
    2 Cor 6:14-18 (KJV)

    Sincerely, Jeff...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Help me understand how this works. You think the Bible prohibits remarriage after divorce (and I acknowledge that there are verses that suggest this), and so presumably you yourself have not divorced and remarried. But the mere presence of other remarried folk within the religion is enough for you to leave the religion? That seems a bit extreme to me, but perhaps I've misunderstood.

      The verses you quoted seem to be asking believers to separate themselves from unbelievers, rather than to separate from believers who happen to be married to unbelievers. Also note that Paul does make allowances for people who are already married to unbelievers in 1 Cor 7:13 ("And if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.")

      I realise that divorce and remarriage has long been considered a major issue for Christadelphian ecclesias, but from my perspective as a secular humanist I don't see the issue at all.

      The bottom line for me is that if you have a book telling you to treat other people poorly (for example, calling people "unclean" simply because they don't believe in something, or asking people to shun other people simply for the "crime" of not wanting to remain lonely or unhappy), then the problem is with the book and not the people. It doesn't even matter who you think wrote the book. Having someone else tell you to treat other people poorly shouldn't make any difference, regardless of who the someone else is. I don't know why people think it's ok to shun people just because a book told them to. Can you help me understand this?

      Delete
    2. Steve stated:
      "I realise that divorce and remarriage has long been considered a major issue for Christadelphian ecclesias, but from my perspective as a secular humanist I don't see the issue at all."

      Well of course it wouldn't be, Steve, as Christianity it is about obeying Christ and being a faithful follower of his Apostle's doctrines & practises Divinely approved for the teaching and training for Almighty God's Elected saints.

      "16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."
      1 Tim 4:16 (KJV)

      Jeff...




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    3. I understand that you believe that is what "obeying Christ" means, including shunning people who for whatever reason have remarried (and their spouses are not dead), but my question to you is, why would YOU behave that way? Why are you so proud of the fact that you think people should be shunned simply because they were unable to heal an unhappy (or even in some cases abusive) marriage?

      To say it another way - yes I can see why you think the Bible says that, and I can see that you think some guy called Jesus told you to treat people poorly simply because they remarried, but so what? Just because a book told you to do something doesn't justify the action. You're still responsible for how you treat people. What I'm after is why YOU think it's ok to treat people this way.

      Don't tell me what Jesus thinks, because Jesus isn't here, and all I can see is YOUR claims about how YOU should treat people based on YOUR interpretations of some words in a book. Why do you think that is an acceptable way to treat other human beings?

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    4. I think the editor is being a little harsh to Jeff here. He hasn't "treated" anyone badly at all, He states that he removed himself from the religion a whopping 37 years ago, he does not state that he stayed on a ill treated anybody. How is walking away from a group you don't like the practises of "Ill treating" them?
      I choose not to keep company with drunks, illegal drug takers, Jehovah's witnesses, opticians, and those who commit theft and fraud, but by doing so, I don't treat any of them badly. I fail to understand the problem.

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    5. I have a name. :P

      I thought I was clear in referring to comments Jeff made about how he thought remarried people should be treated. If I accused Jeff of actually treating them badly himself already then either I misspoke or I failed to properly distinguish between words and actions. My understanding was that Jeff himself had not even so much as spoken to these people, so my comments were directed at his views rather than his past actions. I apologise if I made any false accusations.

      Delete
  2. Steve stated:
    "Help me understand how this works. You think the Bible prohibits remarriage after divorce (and I acknowledge that there are verses that suggest this), and so presumably you yourself have not divorced and remarried. But the mere presence of other remarried folk within the religion is enough for you to leave the religion? That seems a bit extreme to me, but perhaps I've misunderstood."

    Answer to first part.
    Christ himself has stated "What God hath joined together let no man put asunder" for it was for their "Hardness of heart" that God allowed the Jews to divorce their wives.

    4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to give his wife a written notice to divorce her.”
    5 Jesus said to them, “He wrote this command for you because you're heartless. 6 But God made them male and female in the beginning, at creation. 7 That's why a man will leave his father and mother and will remain united with his wife, 8 and the two will be one. So they are no longer two but one. 9 Therefore, don't let anyone separate what God has joined together.”

    10 When they were in a house, the disciples asked him about this. 11 He answered them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman is committing adultery. 12 If a wife divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.”
    Mark 10:4-12 (GW)

    Ultimately such divorced & remarried people are living in an adulterous and immoral relationship.

    And as practicing adulterers will be excluded from the kingdom, they should not be tolerated in the congregations of the saints.

    "11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

    12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person."
    1 Cor 5:10-13 (KJV)

    For as St. Paul warned the Corinthian brethren:
    "The wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters *nor adulterers* nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what *some of you* were"
    1 Cor 6:9-11 (ANIV)

    Also the conscientious saint has to remember: "For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds" 2 John 1:11 (KJV)

    Jeff...

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    1. I get the feeling I'm missing some context in these verses, but no matter. I would also add that the verses you quoted, when considered separately, do not actually reach the conclusions you stated.

      For example, Jesus says remarriage is adultery but does not ask anyone to separate from anyone who is remarried. In 1 Cor 5, Paul offers a list of people who he says not to keep company with, but doesn't list adulterers among them. In 1 Cor 6 (slightly different context) Paul says adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God but doesn't say to remain separate from them. In fact in that last quote the very next sentence that you left out goes on to say that these people (including adulterers) had been washed and justified (made right) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 6:11)

      I'm not saying you are deliberately cherry-picking quotes to suit your agenda, but so far the verses you quoted only support your argument if we assume that they are all talking about the same thing. But these are different texts written by and to different people at different times and for different purposes. That's what makes me a little hesitant to accept your interpretations.

      I'm also impressed by how firmly you appear to believe this. This seems to be very important to you, am I right? May I ask why?

      Just so I understand your position more fully, I have some questions...

      1. Will King David from the Old Testament inherit the kingdom of God?

      2. Do you think polygamists or slave owners will inherit the kingdom of God? What about murderers?

      3. Have you ever considered what all of this sounds like to a non-believer? I'm just curious, that is all.

      Delete
  3. Steve stated:
    "I get the feeling I'm missing some context in these verses, but no matter. I would also add that the verses you quoted, when considered separately, do not actually reach the conclusions you stated."

    You will find they will do if one will "Rightly divide the Word of Truth" derived from a thorough understanding of "The WHOLE counsel of God".

    Christ has declared that such divorced & remarried persons are living in a state of adultery, thus it becomes obvious they cannot remain in such a sinful state if they want to obtain his approval on their judgment day.

    Remember when the adulterous women was bought before him, Christ told her to "Go and sin no more" which would mean to stop any further adulterous relationships thereafter.

    Then you stated:
    "Just so I understand your position more fully, I have some questions..."

    1. Will King David from the Old Testament inherit the kingdom of God?

    2. Do you think polygamists or slave owners will inherit the kingdom of God? What about murderers?

    3. Have you ever considered what all of this sounds like to a non-believer? I'm just curious, that is all."

    Answer to question 1.
    Yes, he only committed adultery on one occasion and although he had her husband murdered, God forgave him although he had to suffer much affliction in consequence of his actions.

    2. Not if the laws of the country they live in forbid it. Even then if a man becomes a believer, he would have to be content with the wives he has already.
    St. Paul approved of putting Stephen to death, but as he later repented he was forgiven.

    Thus in such circumstances he was forgiven.
    Although St. John warns:
    "Ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him"
    1 John 3:15 (KJV)

    3. How it sounds to an unbeliever is not something a true preacher of the Truth needs to worry about. For if they cannot accept God's instructions and commands for being acceptable to Him and obtaining His wonderful salvation, then God has not really called that person to become one of his Elected Children.

    Jeff...

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    1. Jeff,

      You said:
      "Christ has declared that such divorced & remarried persons are living in a state of adultery, thus it becomes obvious they cannot remain in such a sinful state if they want to obtain his approval on their judgment day."

      Why does this concern you?

      Then you said:
      "Remember when the adulterous women was bought before him, Christ told her to "Go and sin no more" which would mean to stop any further adulterous relationships thereafter."

      You mean the story that was not in the original gospels and was added possibly centuries later?

      As for your responses to my questions:

      "Answer to question 1.
      Yes, he only committed adultery on one occasion and although he had her husband murdered, God forgave him although he had to suffer much affliction in consequence of his actions."

      Oh, so the part we're missing here is that if the remarried sisters (that seem bother you so much) were to murder their former husbands, God could forgive them and you'd be ok to fellowship with them. I see.

      "2. Not if the laws of the country they live in forbid it. Even then if a man becomes a believer, he would have to be content with the wives he has already.
      St. Paul approved of putting Stephen to death, but as he later repented he was forgiven."

      So you're telling me God takes the local human laws into account when deciding which behaviour is worthy of salvation and which is not? Interesting.

      So polygamists and repentant murderers are ok, but getting married again (without murdering former partner) is not...

      "3. How it sounds to an unbeliever is not something a true preacher of the Truth needs to worry about. For if they cannot accept God's instructions and commands for being acceptable to Him and obtaining His wonderful salvation, then God has not really called that person to become one of his Elected Children."

      Then why are you discussing this with an unbeliever? What did you hope to gain through this discussion?

      It seems you are afraid of anything that doesn't conform to your strait jacket interpretation of the Bible, and are willing to disassociate with anyone who doesn't share your views. You're not the first to behave this way and unfortunately probably not the last. When you end up in the world's smallest religion with a population size of 1, perhaps then you might reconsider whether being "right" (in your own eyes) was more important than treating others with decency, understanding, and respect.

      Delete
    2. Steve stated:
      "Then why are you discussing this with an unbeliever?"

      Because you stated : "Help me understand how this works. You think the Bible prohibits remarriage after divorce (and I acknowledge that there are verses that suggest this), and so presumably you yourself have not divorced and remarried. But the mere presence of other remarried folk within the religion is enough for you to leave the religion? That seems a bit extreme to me, but perhaps I've misunderstood."

      So I endeavored to enlighten and show the Scripture teaching on this subject.

      Jeff...

      Delete
    3. Sorry, I meant why did you post here originally? Don't get me wrong, you're welcome to do so. I just wasn't sure what you hoped to gain, that's all. There doesn't seem to be much in this for you.

      Delete
    4. Well, quite simply, being an Ex Christadelphian and on reading Phil's declaration of reasons why he no longer fellowships them, I thought I would give my Scriptural reasons for leaving them.

      Jeff...
      Note:
      Not all leave and loose their faith in Almighty God, for often by leaving them, one's faith is increased especially if leaving such a body for "Righteousness sake".

      "6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which they received of us."
      2 Thess 3:6 (ASV)


      Jeff...

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    5. Fair enough. You're entitled to your views.

      Is there any action you wouldn't do even if you believed God or Jesus had asked you to do it? Is there anything that's off-limits?

      "Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple."
      Luke 14:25-26 NRSV

      Going by what you've said so far, it sounds like you might well be in with a chance.

      Oh, and I thought you might like this one:

      "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector."
      Luke 18:10-11 NRSV

      Will I get a response to my other questions about why you think it's ok to treat people badly just because you think a book told you to?

      Delete
    6. Steve stated:
      "Fair enough. You're entitled to your views."

      I vicariously quote the views of Christ or his Apostles as they are my mentors.

      "Is there any action you wouldn't do even if you believed God or Jesus had asked you to do it? Is there anything that's off-limits?"

      Any action they ask of me, is already written in the NT and can only be pleasing to them if one endeavors to follow them to the end.

      Just as Christ has foretold:
      "22 Everyone will hate you because you are committed to me. But the person who patiently endures to the end will be saved."
      Matt 10:21-22 (GW)


      Steve also stated:
      "Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple."
      Luke 14:25-26 NRSV

      "Going by what you've said so far, it sounds like you might well be in with a chance."

      God Willing.

      Steve also stated:
      "Oh, and I thought you might like this one:"

      "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector."
      Luke 18:10-11 NRSV"

      No I don't like it, Steve, neither can I recall ever stating such an unrighteous prayer, if that was the intention of any intended sarcastic comment.

      Better to practise what is preached in here, Steve.
      [Please be nice when writing comments. Thank you.]

      Jeff...

      Delete
    7. Jeff,

      I wasn't intending to insult you, but rather to show you how your words sound to other people. Perhaps I've interpreted wrongly, but you came across quite harsh against people who have remarried, and also against people who don't believe what you believe. Yes, I'm aware that I probably came across a bit harsh to you and if so I apologise for that.

      In fairness to you, you did personally leave the people you shunned rather than expecting them to leave, but your comments suggested that you thought the leaders of your former ecclesia should have excommunicated those people instead. It is this treatment of others that I took issue with, as well as your willingness to defend it merely because you think a book says so.

      I have repeatedly asked you to tell me why you feel it is ok to treat people this way simply because you read it in a book, but again you have ignored this request.

      You can quote Bible verses all day long but it means nothing to me until you can establish (a) that the words are authentic (b) that the words actually carry some authority and (c) why anyone today should behave that way. Demonstrating a and b is largely impossible in my view and perhaps irrelevant here, which is why I focused on c. In the end it doesn't matter who wrote the book or who said the words. How you behave is up to you, and that's why I asked you for your answer, not the Bible's answer.

      It's always puzzling when people quote the Bible to an unbeliever in order to defend their actions. If I act like a jerk and quote some holy text in defence of my actions, rather than justify my actions it just reflects poorly on both myself and the text. That is exactly what is happening here.

      Delete
  4. God gave the Jews divorce "for the hardness of their hearts"? I can't remember where the Jews asked for it. It just seems to pop up as part of the Law that was given with the rest of it by God, almost as if it was a "normal" {aspro and a lie down if that is too much) procedure.

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  5. Well, as Christ taught it was for "the hardness of their hearts" then I believe it to be so.

    But Christ bought the situation back to the "Beginning" and so his wise and reasoned words: "What God hath joined together let not man put asunder".

    His faithful followers will acknowledge this command and refuse to divorce their spouses while ever they live.

    "39 A wife is bound for so long time as her husband liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is free to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord."
    1 Cor 7:39 (ASV)

    "10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife." 1 Cor 7:10-11 (ESV)

    Jeff...




    Jeff.

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  6. Having read Jeff`s posts I`m struck by the fact of his using many biblical references to support what he is trying to put over. No doubt he does this because he believes that the references he uses are to be taken as"Truth". But he ignores the truth that many of those words can not be said to be certain of being in the original writings. Steve has already pointed out that the story of the woman taken in adultery, for example, is not found in earlier copies of the text - it`s been added later by someone trying to make a point. And there are many other discrepancies, which if Jeff was to admit (or find out about) are there, then he might be more cautious in using his many references as "truth". Many of us have once been in Jeff`s shoes, where at one time we vehemently defended our beliefs (indoctrinated beliefs) as being "truth". Subsequently, either by application of intellect, or a gradual return to rational reasoning, we have found our erstwhile embedded beliefs to have been built on shaky sand and not upon the rock we first thought they were founded. It is unlikely that Jeff will change his views, and we who once saw through a glass darkly, and now see clearly, will be left frustrated by his inability to see as we do.

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  7. Mancott stated:
    "Steve has already pointed out that the story of the woman taken in adultery, for example, is not found in earlier copies of the text - it`s been added later by someone trying to make a point."

    A 'point' mentioned by Jerome around 417.
    Jerome, writing around 417, reports that the pericope adulterae was found in its usual place in "many Greek and Latin manuscripts" in Rome and the Latin West. This is confirmed by some Latin Fathers of the 300s and 400s, including Ambrose of Milan, and Augustine. The latter claimed that *the passage may have been improperly excluded from some manuscripts* in order to avoid the impression that Christ had sanctioned adultery:
    "Certain persons of little faith, or rather enemies of the true faith, fearing, I suppose, lest their wives should be given impunity in sinning, removed from their manuscripts the Lord's act of forgiveness toward the adulteress, as if he who had said, Sin no more, had granted permission to sin." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_and_the_woman_taken_in_adultery

    A fair point indeed then?
    Even so, it alters nothing to the fact that adultery is a sin which is not accepted by God and which He expects His Elected Children to cease forthwith.

    Jeff...

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  8. Jeff,
    You don`t have to reply to this if you don`t wish to, but, apart from the bible, do you read other books, and if so which? Fiction, non-fiction, any examples? The reason I ask is that I once knew someone who would read only the bible, and he came over to me just as you do. I hope you consider this as a nice comment, for as such it is intended.

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    1. Hi Mancott.
      I rarely if ever read other books as I do find any fascination in them.
      Although, just lately I have been reading, "The ways of Providence" which is truly intriguing reading.

      I also enjoy fishing from my boat in the River Trent where I live in on a Park Home Complex and have started reading an Angling Mag.

      I also do my Bible Readings each day, which I find absorbing and awesome and spend time on the Religious Newsgroups.

      Jeff...

      Delete
    2. Hi Jeff,
      Thanks for your response. I think you meant to write "as I don`t find" rather than "as I do find", referring to any fascination you you might or might not find in reading books. Sometimes, reading your responses to Steve, I feel you might benefit from "loosening up" a little. Try reading P.G.Wodehouse, the Jeeves or the Blanding novels, but not when on your boat, because you might fall off laughing.
      Anyway, good to learn of some of your interests. No doubt you find fishing an ideal occupation in which to do a lot of thinking.

      Delete
    3. I wonder if Jeff could be persuaded to read Neil Shubin's "Your Inner Fish"?

      Delete
  9. Steve stated:
    "Will I get a response to my other questions about why you think it's ok to treat people badly just because you think a book told you to?"

    Sure thing.
    If I treat wilfully disobedient brethren and sisters as is accorded by Christ or his ordained Apostles, to "Put away from among yourselves that wicked person" I do not consider it as an unbeliever does, who has little or no knowledge of the Holy.

    Here's St. Paul's take on this situation.
    "But the man who isn’t a Christian can’t understand and can’t accept these thoughts from God, which the Holy Spirit teaches us. They sound foolish to him because only those who have the Holy Spirit within them can understand what the Holy Spirit means. Others just can’t take it in. 15 But the spiritual man has insight into everything, and that bothers and baffles the man of the world, who can’t understand him at all."
    1 Cor 2:14-15 (TLB)

    Steve also stated:
    "In fairness to you, you did personally leave the people you shunned rather than expecting them to leave, but your comments suggested that you thought the leaders of your former ecclesia should have excommunicated those people instead."

    Yes indeed, but shamefully it was the wayward daughters of many of the Arranging Brethren that were participating in such wicked conduct.

    Now some of the guilty women were "withdrawn" from the Fellowship, yet hypocritically the A.Brethren and their wives carried on a normal relationship once outside the doors of the assembly hall.

    Yet the instruction to the faithful is:
    "6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which they received of us."
    2 Thess 3:6 (ASV)

    And again:
    "14 And if any man obeyeth not our word by this epistle, note that man, that ye have no company with him, to the end that he may be ashamed."
    2 Thess 3:14 (ASV)

    Yet they, the Arranging Brethren and their wives refused, and so became as guilty as their disobedient daughters:
    For "He who bids Godspeed becomes guilty of their evil deed".

    Thus I had no choice after constantly reminding the brethren that these things are antagonistic to the Truth as was taught and practised in the 1st Century.

    Jeff...
    I hope that explains some Scriptural reasons for my departure from the Christadelphian Fellowship some 37 years ago.

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    1. "I hope that explains some Scriptural reasons for my departure from the Christadelphian Fellowship some 37 years ago."

      Again, I never asked for the "Scriptural reasons" for your departure. If you were seeking some kind of validation from me, you'll be sorely disappointed. It amazes me that you felt the Christadelphians were not strict enough for your liking! For something that apparently happened 37 years ago you still seem quite bitter about it. It seems to really bother you.

      You said:
      "If I treat wilfully disobedient brethren and sisters as is accorded by Christ or his ordained Apostles, to "Put away from among yourselves that wicked person" I do not consider it as an unbeliever does, who has little or no knowledge of the Holy."

      Have you ever gotten to really know someone who was divorced and remarried, and tried to understand the reasons why they did what they did? Have you any idea what they went through? or of the pain (sometimes physical) and anxiety that went into their decision? I can't speak for every person obviously, but I do know some people who have been through divorce and remarriage and I certainly wouldn't label their actions as anything remotely related to "(dis)obedience". Instead I'd use words like trauma, pain, loneliness, distress, stress, depression, etc. And after all that, the same people often describe that process as less painful than the unhappy marriages they left (often after years of trying to make it work, to no avail). Your comments reflect back on you as someone who is cold, and without understanding, compassion or empathy.

      I don't think it's just unbelievers who would consider your treatment of others immoral and leaving much to be desired. Your quoting of Paul is amusing (if not blatantly out-of-context), though you perhaps forget I was once a believer too.

      You mentioned "it was the wayward daughters" and "guilty women" - why just the women? Presumably they got married to men?

      Unfortunately, yet again you didn't actually give any reasons why you think it's ok to treat people this way, other than that you have a book that you think tells you to. I find this disturbing and naive, but you're entitled to your views. If the worst you do is separate yourself from everyone you disagree with, then there's probably not much harm done anyway.

      Delete
    2. Steve stated:
      "Have you ever gotten to really know someone who was divorced and remarried, and tried to understand the reasons why they did what they did?"

      If they are brethren & sisters of Christ they know full well they should remain married together for life, and must not divorce as the rest of the people of this wicked worldl do today, many at the drop of a hat.

      Having now informed you were once a believer then I assume you must be quite familiar with the commands of Christ and his Apostle's doctrines & practices.

      > Have you any idea what they went through?

      We are expected to "Suffer for righteousness sake" if so called upon to do so and so please our Heavenly Father, just as Christ didn't please himself but obeyed without questioning his Father's intents or motives.

      Steve, Christ knows what is ultimately best for his brethren & sisters, and he has stated quite categorically.
      "What God has joined together, let NOT man out asunder"

      Along with "You are my friends if you do what I command you"

      Jeff...

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    3. Steve stated:
      "Have you ever gotten to really know someone who was divorced and remarried, and tried to understand the reasons why they did what they did?"

      If they are brethren & sisters of Christ they know full well they should remain married together for life, and must not divorce as the rest of the people of this wicked worldl do today, many at the drop of a hat.


      I'll take that as a "no". And I'm sure there are some who divorce "at the drop of a hat" but the vast majority divorce as a last resort, for reasons you appear to be wholly unfamiliar with.

      Delete
    4. Steve stated:
      "And I'm sure there are some who divorce "at the drop of a hat" but the vast majority divorce as a last resort, for reasons you appear to be wholly unfamiliar with."

      Divorce not even as a 'last resort' should have any consideration for faithful brethren & sisters of the Lord.

      Separation is permitted, but encouragement for reconciliation is also instructed.

      "10 I pass this command along (not really I, but the Lord): A wife shouldn't leave her husband. 11 If she does, she should stay single or make up with her husband. Likewise, a husband should not divorce his wife."
      1 Cor 7:10-11 (GW)

      Thus the act of trying to 'understand' why they want to divorce is of little consequence, or any excuse for disobeying Christ and divorcing their spouses.

      "What God hath joined together let NOT man put ASUNDER"

      Jeff...

      Delete
  10. Steve stated elsewhere.
    "Jeff,
    You said:
    "Christ has declared that such divorced & remarried persons are living in a state of adultery, thus it becomes obvious they cannot remain in such a sinful state if they want to obtain his approval on their judgment day."

    Why does this concern you?"

    Because, Steve, I am very concerned for the brethren & sisters who have put their salvation in such jeopardy merely for a few short years of living in an immoral, adulterous relationship, which is kingdom excluding.

    "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Cor 6:9-10 (ASV)

    For let us not forget, that those who have been baptised into Christ are STILL responsible for their conduct in this life and will have to answer on judgment day for their denial of their Lord having cast him aside and fallen back into deliberate transgressions.

    St. Paul warns about such a mind-set.
    "7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life."
    Gal 6:6-9 (ESV)

    And again:
    "The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
    Heb 10:30-31 (KJV)

    So the truly caring solution is as St. James has defined:
    "19 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins."
    James 5:19-20 (ANIV)

    Jeff...

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    1. This seems like an odd stance.

      If I understand correctly, you have stated that you withdrew from the Central fellowship because they accepted those you believe in need of serious help. But surely you will have less occasion to offer such help if you have withdrawn from fellowship?

      Delete
    2. To Jon:
      They can only be 'helped' if they cease their unlawful and sinful relationships, otherwise they are instructed to be censured by withdrawing one's self from their company, and if they still refuse to comply, with formal excommunication by the Ecclesial body.

      Otherwise the grave warning by St. John.
      "Receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."
      2 John 1:10-11 (KJV)

      Jeff...

      Delete
  11. Steve stated:
    "You mentioned "it was the wayward daughters" and "guilty women" - why just the women? Presumably they got married to men?"

    Sadly it was the sisters in every case I came across, and yes they got married to other men, and what was even more sinful they became "Yoked together" with unbelievers.

    Steve stated:
    "Unfortunately, yet again you didn't actually give any reasons why you think it's ok to treat people this way, other than that you have a book that you think tells you to.

    I have already explained the reasons and showed you the passages from God's Word that command withdrawal and excommunication for such "Wicked persons" I don't really know what more you want me to explain.

    For St. Paul has instructed God's Elect.
    "Don’t you realize that if even one person is allowed to go on sinning, soon all will be affected? 7 Remove this evil cancer—this wicked person—from among you, so that you can stay pure."
    1 Cor 5:6-7 (TLB)

    "Steve stated:
    "I find this disturbing and naive, but you're entitled to your views."

    They aren't merely my *views*, Steve, but the instructions and commands for God's elected Saints.

    Jeff...

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    Replies
    1. "I have already explained the reasons and showed you the passages from God's Word that command withdrawal and excommunication for such "Wicked persons" I don't really know what more you want me to explain."

      I'm sorry if my request caused some confusion. My intention in labouring this point was to highlight the fact that how you act is separate from what the Bible says, even though it appears you see the two as inextricably linked. It is true that the Bible obviously influences you, but only because you allow it to. YOU choose how to interpret it, and YOU choose how to act, based on that interpretation. Many other people interpret it differently, and also act very differently despite believing in the Bible just as sincerely as you do.

      Your repeated references to the Bible when I asked why YOU think it's ok to treat people poorly, sounds very much like the "Nuremburg defence" - attempting to justify what is clearly intolerant behaviour on your part by arguing that this is what some alleged higher power has asked of you.

      My response to you is that this is not sufficient justification and in my opinion you seem extremely heartless, cold-blooded, and cruel!

      You said you were "very concerned for the brethren & sisters who have put their salvation in such jeopardy" yet you admitted (unless I interpreted wrongly) that you haven't even spoken to these people. You never tried to understand why they divorced or remarried, and you never tried to reconcile your differences with them (forgive me if I've misunderstood - and no I'm definitely not suggesting you quote the Bible to them!!).

      Instead you want them excommunicated from a community that is probably their primary support and social network. This kind of behaviour isn't love. It's blackmail and abuse. It's wielding control over them until they surrender to your demands. It's holding their friends and family ransom until they conform to your strict interpretation of some book.

      This is a horrible way to treat people, and frankly I am glad for these people that you decided to withdraw from them.

      You quoted this:
      ""Don’t you realize that if even one person is allowed to go on sinning, soon all will be affected? 7 Remove this evil cancer—this wicked person—from among you, so that you can stay pure.""

      I'm pretty sure it doesn't work like this. Sin is a fictional concept to begin with, but even if you generalise and call it "wrongdoing", the idea that it is contagious is demonstrably false. There are good people everywhere who will stand up for what's right even when others are doing wrong around them. Society simply wouldn't function if this were not the case. Most people are trying to raise happy, healthy families and enjoy their lives.

      I am disgusted that you (by quoting this) are calling people "cancer" simply because they got remarried. Wow.

      And you finished with this:
      "They aren't merely my *views*, Steve, but the instructions and commands for God's elected Saints."

      That you think this, is even more disturbing.

      "Divine permission, given to people who think they have god on their side, enables actions that a morally normal unbeliever would not contemplate."
      --Christopher Hitchens


      Part of me feels some compassion for you, because your black-and-white thinking and rigid worldview reminds me of how I used to be as a Christadelphian, though I was never so intolerant. I really hope you will reconsider how you treat other people, and perhaps try to have some compassion and understanding before you judge people so harshly. One can hope...

      Delete
    2. Steve stated:
      "Your repeated references to the Bible when I asked why YOU think it's ok to treat people poorly, sounds very much like the "Nuremburg defence" - attempting to justify what is clearly intolerant behaviour on your part by arguing that this is what some alleged higher power has asked of you."

      In part you are correct, for the highest power there can ever be has formulated these rules to train his Elected Saints to be ready to rule and govern the world on his Return from heaven.

      Steve again:
      "My response to you is that this is not sufficient justification and in my opinion you seem extremely heartless, cold-blooded, and cruel!"

      Christ issues the infallible Divine decrees, Steve, not faulty human reasoning.

      "Anyone who wants to be my follower must love me far more than he does his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, or sisters—yes, more than his own life—otherwise he cannot be my disciple. 27 And no one can be my disciple who does not carry his own cross and follow me."
      Luke 14:26-27 (TLB)

      I rest my case.

      Jeff...
      Note,
      We must always remember:

      “My thoughts are not your thoughts,
      and my ways are not your ways,” declares the Lord.

      9 “Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
      so my ways are higher than your ways,
      and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.”
      Isaiah 55:8-9 (GW)


      Delete
    3. "Divine permission, given to people who think they have god on their side, enables actions that a morally normal unbeliever would not contemplate."
      --Christopher Hitchens.

      Well, Christopher, now lies asleep waiting for the resurrection of both the just and unjust.

      "27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment"
      Heb 9:27-28 (ANIV)

      Sadly he like all Atheists failed to 'hedge his bets' not like his brother who took on the Christian faith.

      Jeff...

      Delete
    4. "Hedge his bets"?

      So you think life is some kind of game or lottery, where those who just happen to guess correctly get rewarded while everyone else is punished?

      Is there no end to the cruelty in your views?

      Delete
    5. Jeff said:
      "Christ issues the infallible Divine decrees, Steve, not faulty human reasoning."

      Hey Jeff, how did you reach this conclusion? Hopefully you weren't using that faulty human reasoning...

      Your quotes from many different translations have amused me. It has been fun looking up more accurate translations to see the wording you were hoping to avoid.

      You quoted The Living Bible (not exactly a good translation):
      "Anyone who wants to be my follower must love me far more than"

      The word in the greek doesn't mean "love me far more than" - it is the word for "hate". It means the same in english. I quoted this verse to you earlier, so it's weird to see you quote it back to me.

      Anyway, this isn't getting anywhere.

      I think Mancott is right - time to move on.

      Delete
    6. Jeff, I agree with Steve's distaste of the idea of "hedging bets". To the best of my knowledge, Peter Hitchens returned to the Anglican faith because he believed it to be true and its moral teachings of value to society, not because he was "hedging his bets" (and I have read his The Rage Against God).

      But your comment does raise two other issues:
      1. Do you believe that your God would accept someone who would profess belief in God solely to hedge their bets?

      2. Do you believe Anglicans like Peter Hitchens will be considered part of "the just"? The standard Christadelphian position is that most non-Christadelphian teachings are wrong and will lead to condemnation.

      Nothing in the fairly exclusive stance you have taken in this thread suggests you would accept either of these - which makes it rather hard for the average atheist to effectively hedge bets.

      Delete
    7. Steve stated:
      ["Hedge his bets"?
      So you think life is some kind of game or lottery, where those who just happen to guess correctly get rewarded while everyone else is punished?]

      Well I certainly believe that Atheists are quite short-sighted in not “hedging their lives” by refusing point blank to accept the only known way of ever achieving immortality in their so short life span.

      A mere 70-90 years or so, when eternity is on offer for few restrictions on their lives.

      What Atheists seem to fail to understand, is that even if there is no God and a dedicated Christian has no more reward for his dedication and faithfulness then them, then he has actual lost nothing more then they, but has lived in a joyful trusting hope of what Almighty God has promised to them that love Him will surely come to pass.

      ”16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

      17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. 18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” Mal 3:15-18 (KJV)

      Thus if it is true, and the reward for obedience to God is rewarded by everlasting life, then the poor old Atheist has totally missed out and caused his own ruin and utter downfall for EVER & EVER.

      Thus my pedantic but wise suggestion to have “Hedged his bets”.....{;o;}

      Jeff...

      Delete
    8. I'm aware of Pascal's Wager, and I do not find it compelling.

      You are wrong to assert that Christians have lost nothing. Rather, if there is no god, Christians would have given up the only life they were guaranteed to have, hoping for another. The bible tells you to sacrifice this life, does it not?

      On the other hand, your claim that there is a "known" way of achieving immortality, or that "eternity is on offer", is simply overstated. No one "knows" any such thing. They merely believe it because their holy book tells them it's true, and all holy books claim something different.

      The problem with pascals wager is that it assumes there could only be one god. This assumption has no logical or empirical basis. If the Muslim god is real, then you will join us atheists in hell.

      All pascals wager suggests is that you should worship whatever hypothetical god threatens the worst punishment for unbelief. You would be far better to hedge your bets by believing in a god that will send unbelievers to a fiery eternal torment in hell.

      Moreover, as Jon has already mentioned, which god is going to be persuaded by someone merely "hedging their bets", rather than believing with full conviction as the bible demands? Surely any god worth the title would see right through such a disguise.

      I don't believe in any gods because there is no evidence, and I find the concept incoherent. I'm also not convinced that eternal life would be as desirable as you seem to think. It could just as well be torture, but we're not given any assurances about what it might involve.

      So no, there is no "known" eternity on offer. Only delusional people who make the claim, with no evidence to back it up. The choice we make is how we live the only life we know we have. This one.

      Delete
  12. As you say, Steve, "One can hope". But I don`t think that we shall read about any change from Jeff. It`s not very pleasant to read his constantly trotted out repeated, heartless and misguided beliefs. Love? Caring for one`s fellow human being? I don`t detect any. Is it not time to move on from Jeff? Or do we give up after 490 of our replies?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try not to take Jeff's comments personally. I think there is value in allowing people like Jeff to comment, because it shows the effects of fundamentalist, rigid thinking. Some of us have been there too, and if I'm honest I probably still show signs of it sometimes.

      I'm very reluctant to ban people unless they're obviously wasting our time or intending to cause trouble. I think Jeff is sincere, though misguided. No doubt he feels the same about me.

      Delete
    2. Steve,
      I don`t take Jeff`s comments personally, I just feel he is taking up too much of your time and effort to reply to him, because he is clearly so stuck within his bubble that it would take a very large and sharp axe-argument to free him. I don`t believe he should be banned, I just think that your thoughtful, polite and lengthy responses are wasted on him. I can`t imagine what anyone reading these comments from him, who hasn`t had the background benefit of understanding about where he has come from and gotten into, can think of him. I do in fact feel sorry for him, for his mind is surely in such an indoctrinated state, that he`ll probably be there in ignorance of anything other, for the rest of his life. In any case, freeing someone such as Jeff might be dangerous for his mental state. Any freeing must come from himself.

      Delete
    3. Mancott stated:
      "I do in fact feel sorry for him, for his mind is surely in such an indoctrinated state, that he`ll probably be there in ignorance of anything other, for the rest of his life. In any case, freeing someone such as Jeff might be dangerous for his mental state. Any freeing must come from himself."

      I'm free already Mancott, free of the Christadelphian's hypocrisy over forbidden Marital wickednesses, and free from the sting of death, if I continue in the Truth as Christ has informed me, and anyone else who is prepared not to act treacherously against him.

      Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
      John 8:31-32 (ANIV)

      I hope all Christadelphians [past & present] will finally see their "Errors of judgment" over these issues.

      Jeff...

      Delete
    4. Jeff,
      You write "...I`m...free from the sting of death...as Christ has informed me...."

      The problem I find with that Jeff, is that Christ did not inform you. Christ did not write that. Someone else wrote that, and we don`t who it was, and we don`t know from whom or where the writer obtained that hearsay,(or whether it was an idea of his own), and we don`t know when, and we do not know why. And whoever wrote it would appear to have had an agenda of their own.

      And how could it have been a looking forward to that which included you (or me) some 2000 years or so in the future? It`s a really nice and comforting thought that death is not the end for us, but should it be used as the basis for a future hope during this life, on such flimsy unsubstantiated information? Is it morally right that it ever be used as a stick with which to beat those who don`t accept it?

      Could you bring yourself to read Bart Ehrman`s book "Forged"? You almost certainly won`t agree with his findings, but you might actually find it one of the books that you...(do)...find a fascinating read.

      May the fish of truth swim to your rod of understanding.

      Delete
    5. >the sting of death

      It was St. Paul, Christ's emissary to the Gentiles who stated:

      "55 O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the power of sin is the law: 57 but thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
      1 Cor 15:55-57 (ASV)

      Dedicated and conscientious brethren & sisters who love God don't need beating with a stick to accept it.

      They have what Scripture describes as great "FAITH" without which "It is IMPOSSIBLE to please God".

      God displeasing 'Doubting Thomas's" do not have such a faith, which is why they fall away in the first place.

      Delete
  13. Hi Jeff,

    While you're here, I have a question that I'd like to hear your perspective on. It's related to this topic in the following way - suppose those who divorced and remarried, as well as those who allowed them to remain in fellowship, held a different view of scripture, such that they did not believe they were in violation of any divine law. I know you think they are wrong and I know you have chapter and verse to "prove" it, but suppose they also happen to believe you are wrong - leaving you both in some kind of stalemate. I consider this very likely to be the actual scenario, though I obviously don't know for certain.

    So my question is actually a bit broader in scope, in relation to the fact that your interpretation of the Bible is quite obviously not shared by the majority of Christians today (or throughout history for that matter). Whether we narrow it down to your beliefs regarding Jesus's views on marriage and divorce, or whether we speak more generally about how you interpret the Bible, there are very clear and obvious differences between yourself and most others who profess a belief in and commitment to the very same book.

    Basically, I want to know how you account for this plurality of views and interpretations. Looking at the big picture, how did an all-knowing, all-powerful god manage to write (or inspire others to write) a book that came to be interpreted so many different ways by those who read it (whom you likely believe he also created)?

    It's not just Christadelphians who differ from your view (and from each other in many cases), but all/most other Christians too. How do you explain this?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Steve stated:
    "Basically, I want to know how you account for this plurality of views and interpretations. Looking at the big picture, how did an all-knowing, all-powerful god manage to write (or inspire others to write) a book that came to be interpreted so many different ways by those who read it (whom you likely believe he also created)?"

    Christ has already warned the faithful what to expect:

    "34 "Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! No, rather, a sword. 35 I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— 36 a man’s worst enemies will be right in his own home!"
    Matt 10:34-36 (TLB)

    St. Peter sums it up very well;
    This is what our dear brother Paul wrote to you about, using the wisdom God gave him. 16 He talks about this subject in all his letters. Some things in his letters are hard to understand.

    Ignorant people and people who aren't sure of what they believe distort what Paul says in his letters the same way they distort the rest of the Scriptures. These people will be destroyed."
    2 Peter 3:15-16 (GW)

    Jeff...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Steve again:
    "It's not just Christadelphians who differ from your view (and from each other in many cases), but all/most other Christians too. How do you explain this?"

    Easy, I follow and endorse the teachings of Christ and his ordained Apostles, 'set in stone' while others follow the latest PC Incorrectness of this wicked and decadent world and it's flesh-pleasing, humanist and feminist foolishness.

    Thus "22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools"
    Romans 1:21-22 (ASV)

    And finally:
    "18 For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God.

    19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the discernment of the discerning will I bring to nought. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

    21 For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom knew not God, it was God's good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save them that believe"
    1 Cor 1:17-21 (ASV)
    Amen!

    Jeff...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jeff. Much appreciated.

      That is more or less the same answer I have received from every religious person I have asked, despite them all disagreeing with one another.

      Every believer seems to think they have discovered the truth while all those who disagree with them are in error.

      If I may ask some follow up questions, do you think God knew in advance that so few would understand his book correctly, and could he have written it in such a way that more people would have understood it?

      Also, do you think everyone who interprets it differently to you actually knows they have interpreted it incorrectly?

      Delete
    2. Steve stated:
      "If I may ask some follow up questions, do you think God knew in advance that so few would understand his book correctly, and could he have written it in such a way that more people would have understood it?


      Yes!
      As Christ duly warned:
      "It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

      13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive"
      Matt 13:11-14 (KJV)

      "and could he have written it in such a way that more people would have understood it?"

      If it had pleased Almighty God, yes! but it appears it didn't do so.
      “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it."
      Matt 7:13-14 (NLT)

      So as Christ has plainly taught, even though Almighty God 'calls' many, [and I suppose those who first accepted Christ as their saviour and have now abandoned him are included] ONLY a persistent faithful FEW, are eventually found worthy of eternal life.

      "Also, do you think everyone who interprets it differently to you actually knows they have interpreted it incorrectly?"

      Everyone who interprets it differently to what Christ and his Apostles plainly taught in their instructions to God's selected Elect, in their heart of hearts, [and I have proven this by asking if what I show as proof from the Apostle teaching is what they actually meant in the first century, and they did agree, but found it too hard to implement] for the Scripture duly warns and ultimately shows, that they are just as what the Apostles taught they had sadly now become.

      "10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself."
      Titus 3:10-11 (KJV)

      For how can it be any other way?

      Jeff...
      St. Peter also explains their ultimate folly:
      "Even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

      17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. "
      2 Peter 3:15-17 (KJV)
      AMEN!






      Delete
    3. Why would a loving god intentionally obfuscate the message so that less people would understand it?

      Are you also claiming that all who read (and have read) the Bible actually do secretly agree with your interpretation, but merely choose not to follow it?

      These two positions do appear to be in conflict, but I'd be grateful if you could elaborate for me. Thanks.

      Delete
    4. Steve,
      This is becoming the Jeff Hickling show. Each performance follows the same pattern. Jeff`s seemingly blind unswerving, deaf to reason adherence to what is written in the bible as being the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If a different audience came to each performance they might find it worth being there. But for the same audience to come to the same tunnel-visioned performance night after night after night . . . zzzzzzzzzz
      At the music hall shows of yesteryear, when the audience got restless they threw rotten fruit at the performer. Don`t let this show get to the words-version of that. Also, when the performer was perceived to be boring their audience, the management produced a long pole with a hook on the end and yanked them off the stage.
      Alternatively, the audience could depart this show and focus on a more instructive and interesting topic.

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    5. Oh I'm not trying to argue with Jeff here. I just wanted to know his views. Sorry if you find this tedious. I've found it quite interesting from a curiosity point of view. I like to see how different believers respond to these sorts of questions. Rather than the wide variety of responses you might expect, it seems that most believers answer in very similar ways, and moreover this similarity rarely seems to bother them. I think it should, but that's just my opinion.

      Meanwhile, there is some more interesting content already in the main feed and even more on the way very soon. Feel free to start some discussion on those new posts.

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    6. Oops I meant to say that believers give similar responses despite holding wildly different views that often contradict each other. They can't all be right (though they could all be wrong), but each seems to think they alone are right but all the others are wrong. It's amusing, to say the least.

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    7. Steve,
      What I find tedious is the seemingly inability of Jeff (Hi Jeff) to display a glimmer of any possibility that he could be mistaken in any of his beliefs.
      What does interest me, however, is how the human mind can be taken over. Person A is convinced without any doubt about XYZ. Person B is also convinced about XYZ. Their convictions, though, differ in their understanding of XYZ. As you have said, they might both be wrong, as could be persons C, D, E and so on. The interesting aspect to me, is that Christadelphians differ amongst themselves over many points of interpretation of "the Word". I think if God had been responsible for placing a message of salvation into humans` lives, then it would have been clearly able to be understood. As it is, is it not surprising that the writings of men cause such disagreement?

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    8. "This is becoming the Jeff Hickling show.

      More the Steve and Jeff show.....{;o;}

      " Each performance follows the same pattern."

      Yes!
      Steve asks me questions and I attempt to try and answer them according to the conclusions I have come to after 72 years of living on this planet and being an Ex Christadelphian for the past 37 years.

      Sorry if this bores and offends you Mancott but surely one is not forced to read what one does not want to.

      So why not start a new discussion of your own which sways your own interests and just leave us to it, for I also have found it quite interesting from a curiosity point of view.

      Jeff...
      Ex Christadelphian.

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    9. Steve stated:
      "Why would a loving god intentionally obfuscate the message so that less people would understand it?"

      Because only a certain "Few chosen" out of the "Many called" are destined to rule the nations of the world with Christ.

      "Are you also claiming that all who read (and have read) the Bible actually do secretly agree with your interpretation, but merely choose not to follow it?"

      Yes!
      The arranging brethren and others stated what I quoted was true that Christ forbids Divorce and remarriages but they then stated there is such a thing as compassion and forgiveness.

      Quoting David was an adulterer and a murderer but will still be in the kingdom.

      Also the women taken in adultery was not condemned by Christ either.

      They also agreed that marrying out of the faith was wrong and sinful, but once it was done nothing could be done to dissolve the marriage.

      "These two positions do appear to be in conflict, but I'd be grateful if you could elaborate for me. Thanks."

      I hope I have elaborated in someway for you.

      Jeff...

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    10. I find your views bizarre, but thanks again for sharing.

      o_O

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    11. Jeff,
      I am in no way offended by your posts. I do find the way your mind seems to work (a) curious (b) fascinating and (c) frustrating. I have been reading what is posted here since the early days of Almon`s posts, so it is not surprising that I like to read all what is posted. May I ask you a question? Take the latest earthquake in Mexico. How do you explain (Almighty and in control) God`s decision to stand on one side and let children die in such a horrible way? It would be good if your reply was in your own words and not by a string of bible quotes.

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    12. "May I ask you a question? Take the latest earthquake in Mexico.
      How do you explain (Almighty and in control) God`s decision to stand on one side and let children die in such a horrible way? It would be good if your reply was in your own words and not by a string of bible quotes."

      Sorry, but the Bible quotes, give appropriated cred to the words that I state.

      These 'natural' events are showing the awesome power of the Almighty God that created the heavens and the earth, and are warning the populations of what they are to endure for rejecting His Son's offer of immortality.
      For Christ warned such occurrences would happen in the world, in fact things will only get worse and worse.

      "25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken."
      Luke 21:24-25 (KJV)

      " 27 Then the peoples of the earth shall see me, the Messiah, coming in a cloud with power and great glory."
      Luke 21:25-27 (TLB)

      As for children suffering as well as their parents, etc.
      Well, all the populations of the earth are still under the curse of Adam's sin and so all stand guilty before God, fit only for destruction. Yet for the sake of God's Elect the days will be cut short on the earth.

      "21 for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."
      Matt 24:21-22 (ASV)

      Thus all the world stands guilty before God [except His saints] So when you have an infestation of nasty rats in a home causing only havoc and trouble [as human beings are doing on the earth today]
      such, will, sooner or later have to be restrained and many destroyed, for the wise man would not save the baby rats just because they are smaller and cuter then their parents.

      Jeff...
      "31 A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD. 32 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.

      33 And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground"
      Jer 25:31-33 (KJV)

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    13. Wow. Such a charming guy. /sarcasm!

      Jeff said:
      "Sorry, but the Bible quotes, give appropriated cred to the words that I state."

      Is that what you think? Actually, the constant quotes make you appear like a mindless drone, unable to think for yourself.

      They convey no such "cred" here.

      Your latest comments have reached a new low for you. I think they are best described as verbal diarrhoea and full of hatred towards your fellow humans. The world doesn't need more hate. It needs more love, compassion and understanding.

      You've made your point. Now it's time for you to take a break. I will leave this thread open for a day or two if Mancott has anything more to say, and then it will be closed.

      Goodbye Jeff. It's been fun, but your comments disgust me.

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    14. Steve,
      Jeff`s comments disgust me too. I have no desire to communicate with Jeff further. It`s time to move on.

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  16. You are welcome.

    I also thought their ridiculous excuses for deliberately excusing and thus tolerating wickedness and disobedience to St. Paul's' instructions to put away wicked persons from the body of believers most bizarre, unscriptural, and disrespectful to the Truth, so I finally left them to their "Damnable Heresies".

    The most astonishing part about it was that the people engaged in these heretical and forbidden activities were the Arranging Brethren's OWN daughters...{;o;}

    Jeff...

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  17. Mancott stated:
    "What I find tedious is the seemingly inability of Jeff (Hi Jeff) to display a glimmer of any possibility that he could be mistaken in any of his beliefs."

    One only keeps on doubting their beliefs if they consider them not 'water tight' and 'Bulletproof'. Well, after 42 years I know I have the truth as was taught and practiced by the 1st Century Apostles.

    "15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."
    1 Tim 4:15-16 (KJV)

    Sadly atheists and those who have rejected Christ can only ever look forward to condemnation on their coming judgment when they will find out just how hopelessly wrong they have been to reject Almighty God's offer of life eternal.

    Very sad indeed.

    Jeff...

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jeff,
      Hope the fishing is good on the Trent (in the Radcliffe area?).
      The problem of thinking that your beliefs are 'water tight' and 'bulletproof' is that you almost certainly will do so if the bubble of indoctrination you are in, has become 'water tight' and 'bulletproof'. This will mean you are in an impervious place. All your thinking, your ideas, are the reflection of your indoctrination. Your brain can in no way receive new approaches to what might be different to what you have absorbed as "truth". These will simply bounce off the outside of your impervious 'water tight' and 'bulletproof' bubble in which you reside.
      It`s a comfortable place to be in. But, it may not reflect what is true, or at least different.

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