UnderGround Forums
 

HolyGround >> Shared Christian Beliefs...


2/20/11 3:54 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Lahi
2 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 02/20/11 5:07 PM
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 7463
 
The Trinity

The central role of Scripture

The Church as the Body of Christ

Communion/The Eucharist (in some form)

Baptism of some kind

The Second Coming

The Ressurection and New Earth

The sacred role of Marriage

The belief that we are saved through Christs life, death, sacrifice and Ressurection

The Virgin Birth

Can anyone think of anything else, or point out where my list is wrong? I'm trying to get a clearer understanding of where exactly we share common ground, and where we don't and why.
2/20/11 3:58 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Lahi
2 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 7464
Maybe caring for the poor should be on there as well?
2/20/11 4:01 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Lahi
2 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 7465
It seems like confession has unfortunately disapeared in any form at all from a lot of traditions.
2/21/11 12:28 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
10 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 22128
 I think the devil is in the details here.  I experienced the Baptist's Lord's Supper for many years and Orthodox Eucharist for many years and they are simply not the same thing even if they use some of the same words to describe them.  The same goes for Baptism.  You can't say Baptism is "merely a symbol" and declaration of your "personal relationship with Jesus" and then compare it to the notion that there is "on Baptism for the remission of sins" or that you are "buried with Christ" or "washed" and call it the same thing.

I would say most American Christians don't believe in a New Earth.  I think they believe in a kind of quazi-Platonic or gnostic view of the afterlife, whereby they die and their spirit ascends to be in heaven or descends down into hell.  I think some people are starting to pay better attention to what the Bible actually teaches about this subject, but it hasn't really penetrated the popular consciousness of the culture.  The Second Coming (which most Americans conceive of as a secret Rapture) is imagined quite differently along these lines as well.

I think all Christians do agree that we are "saved" by Christ's death and resurrection, but, once again, the devil is in the details of what, specifically, salvation means. I think a popular conception of salvation is that it is essentially a ticket into heaven and being spared hell after death.  I know that many Protestant traditions are moving beyond this, but it is still a popular view (which is why the opening line of Baptist witnessing is "do you know where you would go if you died tonight?").  Salvation seen as a radicaly ontological transformation whereby a person dies to himself and is made a new creature who is a "partaker of the divine" is so fundamentally different from the concept of being declared not guilty and getting out of hell free card that they might as well be different religions.

I would love it if we even agreed on the Creed, but the truth is we don't.  The Christianities of the world can be very different and I think those differences actually do matter a great deal.


2/21/11 2:25 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Lahi
2 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 7466
I guess I've been away from American Evangelical Christianity for quite a while now, I'd forgotten how different some of their beliefs are to be honest.

What about say Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic, Conservative Anglican, Conservative Methodist, Presbyterian...do you see more common ground than not with these groups?
2/22/11 1:34 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Lahi
2 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 02/22/11 1:37 AM
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 7467
Guess that's a very broad question. The more I read the more I'm convinced there are a lot important differences between nearly all the traditions. A lot to sort through, but I think its important for a Christian anyway.
2/22/11 3:11 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
CJJScout
49 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 4/20/04
Posts: 6765
Ridge isn't going to like this, but Mark Driscoll's book "Doctrine" covers this exact thing. He makes a distinction between "open handed" and "close handed" issues. Close handed issues are things that you have to believe to be a Christian, open handed issues are where there is room for disagreement.

I grew up Baptist as well, but now I'm a convinced Presbyterian so...
2/22/11 5:39 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
gord96
76 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 3/26/03
Posts: 12467
Lahi - I guess I've been away from American Evangelical Christianity for quite a while now, I'd forgotten how different some of their beliefs are to be honest.

What about say Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic, Conservative Anglican, Conservative Methodist, Presbyterian...do you see more common ground than not with these groups?


I've been attending an Anglican church and find their views very similar to a RCC and Orthodox theology. All 3 hold the Eucharist in high esteem and believe it an essential and central part of Christian life. Anglicans seem to see it the same as Orthodox and RCC as one must 'finish the race' and the salvation is an ongoing journey, not a one time event.
2/22/11 6:26 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Grakman
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 6/21/08
Posts: 3725
 *sigh*

 I don't even know what I believe with certainty anymore (for Ridge), but one thing remains with me and that is that I do not understand the certainty with which Christians of various denominations assert their way and understanding as truth, and limit others from salvation (whether it's salvation from sin, sin-sickness, hell, eternal death, or whatever) based on having understanding and acceptance of theological doctrines. There are four views of the Atonement alone, is it necessary that we pick the right view to be saved, too?

I do appreciate this thread though, and I'd hope that when it comes down to nuts and bolts the bare doctrines that are necessary for salvation are found in all Christendom, whether the devil is in the details or not.

A lot of people will trust Mark Driscoll's interpretation of right doctrine; why not John Calvin or Augustine instead? How does one pick a teacher or expounder of right doctrine?
2/23/11 9:14 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
CJJScout
49 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 4/20/04
Posts: 6766
Grakman -  *sigh*

There are four views of the Atonement alone, is it necessary that we pick the right view to be saved, too?

A lot of people will trust Mark Driscoll's interpretation of right doctrine; why not John Calvin or Augustine instead? How does one pick a teacher or expounder of right doctrine?

In answer to the first question, I would suggest that this is of critical importance. I think it all boils down to this and what do you do w/ Jesus?

Don't have a good answer to this second question other than to search the scriptures and see what the Lord himself has to say about it. Calvin pretty much is Augustinian and Driscoll is pretty much Calvinistic, so...
2/23/11 11:08 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Juijitsuboxer
55 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 8479
CJJScout - 
Grakman -  *sigh*

There are four views of the Atonement alone, is it necessary that we pick the right view to be saved, too?

A lot of people will trust Mark Driscoll's interpretation of right doctrine; why not John Calvin or Augustine instead? How does one pick a teacher or expounder of right doctrine? <br type="_moz" />

In answer to the first question, I would suggest that this is of critical importance. I think it all boils down to this and what do you do w/ Jesus?

Don't have a good answer to this second question other than to search the scriptures and see what the Lord himself has to say about it. Calvin pretty much is Augustinian and Driscoll is pretty much Calvinistic, so...



Lol, sorry bro, Calvin is not Augustinian.

see why here:

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/11/st-augustine-was-catholic-not-proto.html
2/24/11 10:41 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
CJJScout
49 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 4/20/04
Posts: 6767
The catholic church as we currently know it did not start to take shape until the 6th century with Bishop Gregory (of gregorian chant fame). Augustine was way before that and when he spoke of the church and "Catholic" church it had different meanings than what this guy is asserting.

No doubt he had strong ecclesiology, but not in the sense of the Roman Catholic church. His was a more catholic in the original meaning of the word which means "universal" and still spoken of in the apostles creed. A ton of protestants trace their theological lineage to him based on the totality of his work, not a few excerpts.

Both the "Confessions" and "City of God" are incredible manuscripts from which protestant and catholic theologians draw from all the time. Notably Aquinas (who differed a lot from him but respected and drew from him nonetheless), Luther, Calvin, Edwards, Spurgeon, Kreeft, Driscoll, Piper, Keller, et. al.
2/24/11 10:13 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
mmanthebay
11 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 5/12/08
Posts: 234
I'm believing along the lines of being a new creature in Christ. Phone Post
2/24/11 10:17 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
mmanthebay
11 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 5/12/08
Posts: 235
What is the Creed? Is this the Apostle's creed? Explain this? By new earth are you referring to the creation of a new heaven and new earth after the millennium? Phone Post
2/24/11 10:20 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
mmanthebay
11 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 5/12/08
Posts: 236
ridgeback, can you explain the afterlife pre Christ return from an EOC perspective? In that tradition do they teach that Jesus descended into hell? Phone Post
2/25/11 3:13 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Juijitsuboxer
55 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 8480
CJJScout - The catholic church as we currently know it did not start to take shape until the 6th century with Bishop Gregory (of gregorian chant fame). Augustine was way before that and when he spoke of the church and "Catholic" church it had different meanings than what this guy is asserting.

No doubt he had strong ecclesiology, but not in the sense of the Roman Catholic church. His was a more catholic in the original meaning of the word which means "universal" and still spoken of in the apostles creed. A ton of protestants trace their theological lineage to him based on the totality of his work, not a few excerpts.

Both the "Confessions" and "City of God" are incredible manuscripts from which protestant and catholic theologians draw from all the time. Notably Aquinas (who differed a lot from him but respected and drew from him nonetheless), Luther, Calvin, Edwards, Spurgeon, Kreeft, Driscoll, Piper, Keller, et. al.



I am not Catholic, but I find Augustine as very Catholic:


Tradition (Oral)?
. . . the custom, which is opposed to Cyprian, may be supposed to have had its origin in apostolic tradition, just as there are many things which are observed by the whole Church, and therefore are fairly held to have been enjoined by the apostles, which yet are not mentioned in their writings. (On Baptism, 5, 23:31; NPNF 1, IV, 475)


Tradition (Infallible and Authoritative)?
I believe that this practice [of not rebaptizing heretics and schismatics] comes from apostolic tradition, just as so many other practices not found in their writings nor in the councils of their successors, but which, because they are kept by the whole Church everywhere, are believed to have been commanded and handed down by the Apostles themselves. (On Baptism, 2, 7, 12; Jurgens, III, 66; cf. NPNF 1, IV, 430)

Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura)?

And thus a man who is resting upon faith, hope, and love, and who keeps a firm hold upon these, does not need the Scriptures except for the purpose of instructing others. Accordingly, many live without copies of the Scriptures, even in solitude, on the strength of these three graces. (On Christian Doctrine, I, 39:43; NPNF 1, Vol. II, 534)

Saints (Veneration of)?

No one officiating at the altar in the saints’ burying-place ever says, We bring an offering to thee, O Peter! or O Paul! or O Cyprian! The offering is made to God, who gave the crown of martyrdom, while it is in memory of those thus crowned. The emotion is increased by the associations of the place, and love is excited both towards those who are our examples, and towards Him by whose help we may follow such examples. We regard the martyrs with the same affectionate intimacy that we feel towards holy men of God in this life, when we know that their hearts are prepared to endure the same suffering for the truth of the gospel. There is more devotion in our feeling towards the martyrs, because we know that their conflict is over; and we can speak with greater confidence in praise of those already victors in heaven, than of those still combating here. What is properly divine worship, which the Greeks call latria, and for which there is no word in Latin, both in doctrine and in practice, we give only to God. To this worship belongs the offering of sacrifices; as we see in the word idolatry, which means the giving of this worship to idols. Accordingly we never offer, or require any one to offer, sacrifice to a martyr, or to a holy soul, or to any angel. (Against Faustus, Book XX, section 21; NPNF 1, Vol. IV)

Relics?

But, nevertheless, we do not build temples, and ordain priests, rites, and sacrifices for these same martyrs; for they are not our gods, but their God is our God. Certainly we honor their reliquaries, as the memorials of holy men of God who strove for the truth even to the death of their bodies, that the true religion might be made known, and false and fictitious religions exposed. (City of God, Book VIII, chapter 27; NPNF 1, Vol. II)

When the bishop Projectus was bringing the relics of the most glorious martyr Stephen to the waters of Tibilis, a great concourse of people came to meet him at the shrine. There a blind woman entreated that she might be led to the bishop who was carrying the relics. He gave her the flowers he was carrying. She took them, applied them to her eyes, and forthwith saw. (City of God, Book XXII, chapter 8; NPNF 1, Vol. II)
2/25/11 3:18 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Juijitsuboxer
55 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 8481
Purgatory?

The man who perhaps has not cultivated the land and has allowed it to be overrun with brambles has in this life the curse of his land on all his works, and after this life he will have either purgatorial fire or eternal punishment. (Genesis Defended Against the Manicheans, 2, 20, 30)

As also, after the resurrection, there will be some of the dead to whom, after they have endured the pains proper to the spirits of the dead, mercy shall be accorded, and acquittal from the punishment of the eternal fire. For were there not some whose sins, though not remitted in this life, shall be remitted in that which is to come, it could not be truly said, “They shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, neither in that which is to come.” (The City of God, XXI, 24, 2; NPNF 1, Vol. II)

Prayers for the Dead?

It is not to be doubted that the dead are aided by prayers of the holy church, and by the salutary sacrifice, and by the alms, which are offered for their spirits . . . For this, which has been handed down by the Fathers, the universal church observes. (Sermon 172, in Joseph Berington and John Kirk, The Faith of Catholics, three volumes, London: Dolman, 1846; I: 439)

Prayer, however, is offered for other dead who are remembered. (Sermons: 159, 1; Jurgens, III, 29)
For some of the dead, indeed, the prayer of the Church or of pious individuals is heard; but it is for those who, having been regenerated in Christ, did not spend their life so wickedly that they can be judged unworthy of such compassion, nor so well that they can be considered to have no need of it. (The City of God, XXI, 24, 2; NPNF 1, Vol. II)

Peter (Primacy and Preeminence)?
The Lord, indeed, had told His disciples to carry a sword; but He did not tell them to use it. But that after this sin Peter should become a pastor of the Church was no more improper than that Moses, after smiting the Egyptian, should become the leader of the congregation. (Reply to Faustus the Manichean, 22:70; NPNF 1, Vol. IV, 299)

Among these [apostles] it was only Peter who almost everywhere was given privilege of representing the whole Church. It was in the person of the whole Church, which he alone represented, that he was privileged to hear, 'To you will I give the keys of the kingdom of heaven' (Mt 16:19)... Quite rightly too did the Lord after his resurrection entrust his sheep to Peter to be fed. It's not, you see, that he alone among the disciples was fit to feed the Lord's sheep; but when Christ speaks to one man, unity is being commended to us. And he first speaks to Peter, because Peter is first among the apostles. (Sermon 295:2-4, in John Rotelle, editor, The Works of St. Augustine - Sermons, 11 volumes, Part 3, New Rochelle: New City Press, 1993, 197-199)

. . . the Apostle Peter, in whom the primacy of the apostles shines with such exceeding grace . . . who can be ignorant that the primacy of his apostleship is to be preferred to any episcopate whatever?" (On Baptism 2:1,1; NPNF 1, Vol. IV, 425-426)

Penance?

After they have been released from your severe sentence we separate from association at the altar those whose crimes are public, so that by repenting and by punishing themselves they may be able to placate Him for whom, by their sinning, they showed their contempt. (Letter to Macedonius, Imperial Vicar of Africa, 153, 3, 6; Jurgens, III, 7)

For those whom you see doing penance have committed crimes, either adultery or some other enormities. That is why they are doing penance. If their sins were light, daily prayer would suffice to blot them out. In the Church, therefore, there are three ways in which sins are forgiven: in baptisms, in prayer, and in the greater humility of penance . . . (Sermon to Catechumens on the Creed 7:15, 8:16; Jurgens, III, 35)
[T]his is why, either to demonstrate the misery he deserves, or for the amendment of his disgraceful life, or for the exercise of needful patience, a man is detained temporally in punishment even when by his guilt he is no longer held liable to eternal damnation. (Homilies on John, 124, 5; Jurgens, III, 123)

Irresistible Grace?

He who made you without your consent does not justify you without your consent. He made you without your knowledge, but He does not justify you without your willing it. (Sermons, 169, 3; Jurgens, III, 29)

[N]either is the law condemned by the apostle nor is free will taken away from man. (On Romans 13-18; commenting on Romans 3:20; Bray, 96; Landes, 5, 7)

Mary (Mother and Spouse of God)?

Mary was that only one who merited to be called the Mother and Spouse of God. (Sermon 208)

Mary (Perpetual Virginity)?

Virgin in conceiving, virgin in giving birth, virgin with child, virgin mother, virgin forever. (Sermo 186, 1 [Christmas homily]; Gambero, 220)
Did not holy Virgin Mary both give birth as a virgin and remain a virgin? (Sermo Guelferbytanus, 1, 8; Miscellanea Agostiniana, 447-448; Gambero, 224)

Thus Christ by being born of a virgin, who, before she knew Who was to be born of her, had determined to continue a virgin, chose rather to approve, than to command, holy virginity. (Of Holy Virginity, section 4; NPNF 1, Vol. III, 418)

Mary (Sinlessness)?

We must except the holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin. Well, then, if, with this exception of the Virgin, we could only assemble together all the forementioned holy men and women, and ask them whether they lived without sin whilst they were in this life, what can we suppose would be their answer? (A Treatise on Nature and Grace, chapter 42 [XXXVI]; NPNF 1, Vol. V)
2/25/11 3:19 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Juijitsuboxer
55 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 8482
Eucharist (Salvific)?

Whence, however, was this derived, but from that primitive, as I suppose, and apostolic tradition, by which the Churches of Christ maintain it to be an inherent principle, that without baptism and partaking of the supper of the Lord it is impossible for any man to attain either to the kingdom of God or to salvation and everlasting life? (On Forgiveness of Sins and Baptism, 1:34; NPNF 1, V, 28)

Faith Alone (Sola Fide)?

This must not be understood in such a way as to say that a man who has received faith and continues to live is righteous, even though he leads a wicked life. (Questions 76.1; commenting on Romans 3:28; Bray, 105; Defferari, Vol. 70, 195)

Unintelligent persons, however, with regard to the apostle's statement: "We conclude that a man is justified by faith without the works of the law," have thought him to mean that faith suffices to a man, even if he lead a bad life, and has no good works. (A Treatise on Grace and Free Will; Chapters 18; NPNF 1, Vol. V)

[E]ven those good works of ours, which are recompensed with eternal life, belong to the grace of God, . . . the apostle himself, after saying, "By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast;" saw, of course, the possibility that men would think from this statement that good works are not necessary to those who believe, but that faith alone suffices for them . . . "Not of works" is spoken of the works which you suppose have their origin in yourself alone; but you have to think of works for which God has moulded (that is, has formed and created) you. . . . grace is for grace, as if remuneration for righteousness; in order that it may be true, because it is true, that God "shall reward every man according to his works." (A Treatise on Grace and Free Will; Chapter 20; NPNF 1, Vol. V)
2/26/11 6:50 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
10 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 22167
Grakman -  *sigh*

 I don't even know what I believe with certainty anymore (for Ridge), but one thing remains with me and that is that I do not understand the certainty with which Christians of various denominations assert their way and understanding as truth, and limit others from salvation (whether it's salvation from sin, sin-sickness, hell, eternal death, or whatever) based on having understanding and acceptance of theological doctrines. There are four views of the Atonement alone, is it necessary that we pick the right view to be saved, too?

I do appreciate this thread though, and I'd hope that when it comes down to nuts and bolts the bare doctrines that are necessary for salvation are found in all Christendom, whether the devil is in the details or not.

A lot of people will trust Mark Driscoll's interpretation of right doctrine; why not John Calvin or Augustine instead? How does one pick a teacher or expounder of right doctrine?

 And there are people who would direct the same sighs of frustration at you for insisting on the exclusivity of Christ in any matter of salvation or spirituality so just as you congratulate yourself for your broad-mindedness you may find yourself called a bigot.

I have more respect for a person who embraces a tradition because he believes it is the most loyal to the teachings of Jesus rather than failing to choose anything because he only knows he himself is right compared to them and pretends that Jesus said nothing about a church.  I think a Calvinist who accepts Calvin is far more humble than an independent who only accepts himself.  One is saying he knows, at least, that he alone doesn't hold the truth, while the other will accept no truth but his own.  

Why go for bare bones instead of fullness?  Imagine a husband who wants to get his relationship with his wife down to the bare essentials so he asks her to specify the minimum he must do to retain her as a wife.  Stripping Christianity down to its bones only became an issue when people became nervous about the rapid multiplication of sects.
2/26/11 6:53 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
10 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 22168
gord96 - 
Lahi - I guess I've been away from American Evangelical Christianity for quite a while now, I'd forgotten how different some of their beliefs are to be honest.

What about say Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic, Conservative Anglican, Conservative Methodist, Presbyterian...do you see more common ground than not with these groups?


I've been attending an Anglican church and find their views very similar to a RCC and Orthodox theology. All 3 hold the Eucharist in high esteem and believe it an essential and central part of Christian life. Anglicans seem to see it the same as Orthodox and RCC as one must 'finish the race' and the salvation is an ongoing journey, not a one time event.

 The conservative Anglican churches hold a lot in common.  The only problem is the liberal one down the road is practically a different religion, with the nature of the eucharist being dependent on the personal opinion of each recipient and the certainty of the resurrection being as fragile as Spong's reputation.  I appreciate the work of NT Wright though, although he is seen as a conversative bigot by many in his own communion.
2/27/11 12:59 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Grakman
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 02/27/11 1:14 AM
Member Since: 6/21/08
Posts: 3737
Ridgeback - 
Grakman -  *sigh*

 I don't even know what I believe with certainty anymore (for Ridge), but one thing remains with me and that is that I do not understand the certainty with which Christians of various denominations assert their way and understanding as truth, and limit others from salvation (whether it's salvation from sin, sin-sickness, hell, eternal death, or whatever) based on having understanding and acceptance of theological doctrines. There are four views of the Atonement alone, is it necessary that we pick the right view to be saved, too?

I do appreciate this thread though, and I'd hope that when it comes down to nuts and bolts the bare doctrines that are necessary for salvation are found in all Christendom, whether the devil is in the details or not.

A lot of people will trust Mark Driscoll's interpretation of right doctrine; why not John Calvin or Augustine instead? How does one pick a teacher or expounder of right doctrine?

 And there are people who would direct the same sighs of frustration at you for insisting on the exclusivity of Christ in any matter of salvation or spirituality so just as you congratulate yourself for your broad-mindedness you may find yourself called a bigot.

I have more respect for a person who embraces a tradition because he believes it is the most loyal to the teachings of Jesus rather than failing to choose anything because he only knows he himself is right compared to them and pretends that Jesus said nothing about a church.  I think a Calvinist who accepts Calvin is far more humble than an independent who only accepts himself.  One is saying he knows, at least, that he alone doesn't hold the truth, while the other will accept no truth but his own.  

Why go for bare bones instead of fullness?  Imagine a husband who wants to get his relationship with his wife down to the bare essentials so he asks her to specify the minimum he must do to retain her as a wife.  Stripping Christianity down to its bones only became an issue when people became nervous about the rapid multiplication of sects.

 We're back to square one. If I say that I believe that salvation is found in Jesus Christ and him alone, but I do not become Orthodox / Presbyterian / Baptist etc etc nor ever fully understand or even think about the Trinity, or partake in the sacraments ( I was converted reading the Bible on a desert island) am I not a Christian? Am I not saved if I place my trust in Christ alone, him crucified and raised from the dead?

If I worship at a non-denominational church, does that leave me out of the fold of Christendom?

It's a good thing that salvation is not determined by who you respect. What's more, you say you respect the Calvinist because at least he chooses a tradition; well your respect will serve him well if he is in hell because he did not partake of the authorized sacraments or receive the proper credentialed baptism, won't it?

And I am not proud of myself and think of myself as broad minded and holier than thou because I have a problem with limting salvation to one tradition. If you haven't ever stopped to consider the ramifications of what happens if one tidbit of belief is necessary for salvation that a Christian is missing will determine where he spends eternity, I encourage you to do so. Seriously, there are sects that believe that if you don't believe in the Trniity, you're hell bound. If you don't receive baptism, speak in tongues, partake in the Eucharist, believe in the Rapture, believe in a fiery roasting hell - you are not a Christian and you are not saved. Yet there are those who well-meaning enough will argue and argue endlessly, not realizing that they are condeming sincere people who BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED FOR THEIR SINS to hell / eternal separation / torment.

The mantra is not 'Repent and baptized and wash away thy sins calling on the name of the Lord - and believe the following list of items *unscrollls 20' long scroll* - Item 1. The Lord our God is one God, except He is One in Three Persons, the Holy Spirit does not proceed from both the Father and the Son but the Father only; *see footnote for eternal pre-existence of the Logos. Item 2. Baptism must be by immersion only; sprinkling or pouring are ineffective and insufficient for bestowing God's grace. *see footnote for infant baptism. Item 3...


  
2/27/11 5:00 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Ridgeback
10 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/3/07
Posts: 22169
 Just a few points:

I don't recall that we left square one.

I have never speculated about the ultimate salvation of other people, nor made any proclamations about what will land a person there.  

As I noted, all of your insistence on the exclusivity of Jesus would be viewed as small minded by others wondering how they are supposed to be saved when they don't want to be Christians.  You aren't going to win the broadminded competition doing that.  You aren't nearly so tolerant as you supposed yourself to be.  My tradition does not conceive of heaven and hell as places you are sent after death.  Rather, it is the light shined on who we really are at bottom that will condemn or glorify us.

I don't conceive of salvation as some kind of assent to a set of propositions in exchange for a ticket to heaven (what a ridiculous concept).  Rather, salvation is either about what we are or no external paradise will do us any good.  Salvation is union with Christ and a radical transformation measured in things like the death of self, the forgiveness of enemies, and acts of agape love for people the world considers without value.  If your tradition gives you the means to transform in this way then you will probably be at home in a place we are all bound for.  If it does not, then you will probably find it unpleasant since you will not be a citizen of that kingdom.   Maybe the fact that you seem to conceive of salvation as an arbitrary assignment to place A or place B is an indication of schizophrenic teachings that lead to bizarre anxieties based on an arbitrary God.

At no point have I claimed that everybody must become Orthodox to be saved or the more ridiculous notion that all Orthodox will be saved themselves.  You seem to grate under the notion that a person chooses his tradition because he believes it to be the right one and mistake that for condemnation of your choices even though nothing of the sort has been said.  

So please stop with the false accusations.


2/28/11 1:26 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Grakman
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 02/28/11 8:35 PM
Member Since: 6/21/08
Posts: 3739
I had a long reply here rebutting Ridge's rebuttal,  but in hindsight that it is not in the spirit of Christ. I've explained my position two posts below.
2/28/11 2:07 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Grakman
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 6/21/08
Posts: 3740
I don't know what it is about the Internet, but it seems almost impossible to have a conversation without it becoming antagonistic. I apologize for any contribution I have made to further such a setting; it is particularly ironic to do so on a thread about common Christian beliefs. I will bow out of the give and take between Ridge and I, and will hopefully expess myself more clearly and less confrontationally here in this thread in the future. Phone Post
2/28/11 8:34 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Grakman
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 6/21/08
Posts: 3741
 Just wanted to add, I have come 'out' as a Christian universalist on the forum before, and engaged in many a conversation with Ridge, rooster, the rev and others about universalist teaching. I don't think I'm broad or openminded in the sense that is sometimes meant, one who looks down on others who are closeminded and thus feel morally superior and holier than thou because of it (that is the politically correct version of 'open-mindedness.) If I remember correctly Ridge, I think you yourself said that you hope for the salvation of all people, which is permitted in Orthodoxy. The rev has also described himself as a universalist. So in that regard I consider myself in good company. :) I am 'openminded' in the sense that I believe the Cross covers the sins of the world, not just those who believe certain doctrines. This is not to say that there is no point in following Christ now;  we love him because he first loved us and there is true spiritual benefit being in relationship with God.

I don't object or look down on anyone who chooses to worship as a Christain in a Christian denomination. I don't think of myself as elite or above the fray because I do not claim to be a member of a particular tradition, as though it is all a waste of time and unnecessary. What I fear is the exclusiviity with which some denominations exclude other Christians from their definition of salvation. I am familiar with the Scriptures which say that faith without works is dead, and that some will be told that they will be cast out despite saying Lord, Lord; but these people are not cast out for failing to believe a doctrine, they are 'cast out' for failing to do unto the least of these. It seems we want to spend more time arguing about the differences than agreeing on what's important; I salute Lahi for attempting to find common ground amongst Christian believers.

Ultimately, I believe all people will be saved, through Christ in whom is the only way to salvation, and that salvation is past, present and future: one is now 'saved' as in the work has been done to save you;  ongoing as in being saved from our sins and sinning as we go through our Christian walk (you're as saved as you are, you're as full of the Spirit as you are, like a gas tank of 'savlation' to use a poor analogy); and in the future when all has been restored you will be 'saved', spared from condemnation in his name.

I hope this explains things a little better and is presented in a less antagonistic way.



Reply Post

You must log in to post a reply. Click here to login.