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The Relative Importance of Theological Doctrines
The Good Book Blog ^ | Nov. 14, 2013 | John McKinley

Posted on 11/21/2013 6:55:00 AM PST by Gamecock

Christians will commonly argue with each other about “secondary” issues of doctrine, while assuring themselves and the rest of us that it’s okay since they agree on the “primary” issues. Obviously, not all topics of biblical teaching are on the same level of importance. On the basis of this sort of distinction between “primary” and “secondary” we can readily join with Christians across denominational lines while continuing to warn Mormons that they have the primary material wrong.

My concern is that the well-intentioned emphasis on the basics of mere Christianity and “primary issues” that we can all agree on also disparages the “secondary issues.” Less clarity in the Bible, less agreement among Christians, and less treatment by the tradition should not add up to counting these matters as unimportant. I suggest that the doctrinal topics that Christians feel free to disagree about are not adiaphora in the sense that we need not take them seriously. I propose a different analogy to help alleviate this concern.

For example, lots of people will line up and howl about disagreements regarding eschatology. People readily roll their eyes, let out heavy sighs, and check their watch (or phone) to see if somehow they can escape a nit-picky and acrimonious discussion. Topics such as the rapture of the church, the tribulation, the meaning of the millennium, and the nature of hell seem to get seconded to the status of “let’s not talk about that now.” Also uncomfortable are discussions about contemporary prophecy, speaking in tongues, the office of apostleship, and the correlation between science and our theology of the Genesis account.

The problem with setting these topics aside from discussion among friends in the local church is that people don’t think about them, as if such topics are a waste of time and harmfully divisive. (On many occasions, discussion has led to division, but maybe the fault in these splits has not been theology but other interpersonal issues are the real cause of division). Without thinking about these doctrines rigorously, I doubt that people are going to understand them well, so people will be limited to the thoughtless sound bites about these topics that come through jokes, or derogatory comments about someone who actually believes some position on the topic. Sometimes, it seems that people just doubt the truth is even knowable for these topics, and judge anyone who forms a conviction about them as just narrow, arrogant, and not to be listened to. In a word, such a person is counted a Fundamentalist Bible-thumper of yesteryear.

The usual model offered to correlate the various levels of doctrines in their importance may contribute to the marginalization of and distaste for the “lesser” topics of theology. Concentric circles display the center as the core of Christian doctrine: Trinity, Jesus, Scripture, and salvation by grace through faith. Outer layers to this core give levels of decreasing importance that account for differing denominations and Christian practices, such as views of the meaning of water baptism, the Lord’s Supper, topics of eschatology, and etc.

This typical model of a hierarchy of doctrines haunted me when someone in a large audience at a debate asked me if hell was an essential doctrine. Hmmm, I wondered. Essential to what? Essential in what way? I think the intended meaning was “primary” and “core” as a doctrine that is central to Christian faith, something that must be affirmed to count as Christian. The concentric circles model was misleading for me to think through how to answer that question. I have another model to suggest in its place.

I offer the model of the human body to understand and explain the relation of doctrinal topics in our belief system. In the body, a dysfunction or sickness for an organ such as the heart is going to bring down the body much faster than a similar problem in another organ, such as the gall bladder, a muscle group, or the skin (the largest organ). A tumor in the brain is harder to ignore and usually more lethal than a tumor in the forearm. By application to theology, a problem with your doctrine of God is going to cause more severe problems that are more immediately apparent than a problem with your doctrine of hell. This does not mean that hell, like your gall bladder or forearm, is unimportant or even less important to the whole doctrinal system. Similarly, people probably don’t think very often about the identity of the church in relation to biblical Israel, but a problem here can show up in subtle ways like having high cholesterol in the bloodstream, and the buildup of plaque in one’s arteries. We only think about this when we get a blood test that shows a problem, or when there is some sort of disruption of blood flow.

The analogy shows that a problem may take longer to show up because that doctrinal part, the theological organ, does not do as much for the overall well-being of the body, as compared to your doctrine of Jesus or salvation by grace (alone, as my affinity for Luther presses me to add).

People can live without considering some doctrines (such as eschatology), but I wonder if this is similar to living without a leg. You can do it, but it’s not best, and your overall functioning will be disabled. We may be more aware of certain organs in our bodies (such as our skin, or our lungs and heart), but this does not mean that the organs we pay less attention to on a daily basis are not doing important jobs. Similarly, everything that God revealed as topics of doctrine does important jobs in our belief and practice, whether we are aware of it or not.

A truly whole-Bible theology should embrace all the doctrines, and pursue confidence and understanding of everything God has given us, no matter how much or how little it drifts into the center of our attention. Know your body, and it will help you know your theology. In this way, the ultimate unity of our understanding of biblical teaching may be preserved in a way that the concentric circles model seems to miss (and mislead). You can have your core circles and leave the others behind. You can’t do this with the body: a heart without a stomach, arms, blood vessels, etc. is not going to be alive very long. All the parts contribute to each other in many ways, manifesting the interdependence and unity of the whole. Such is our theology as well, even the weird stuff that seems just foolishness and weakness to us.


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1 Timothy 6:3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness,

Titus 1:9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

1 posted on 11/21/2013 6:55:00 AM PST by Gamecock
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To: Gamecock

This discussion has only been going on for 2000 years.


2 posted on 11/21/2013 7:04:19 AM PST by WILLIALAL
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To: Gamecock
People can live without considering some doctrines (such as eschatology), but I wonder if this is similar to living without a leg. You can do it, but it’s not best, and your overall functioning will be disabled. We may be more aware of certain organs in our bodies (such as our skin, or our lungs and heart), but this does not mean that the organs we pay less attention to on a daily basis are not doing important jobs. Similarly, everything that God revealed as topics of doctrine does important jobs in our belief and practice, whether we are aware of it or not.

A truly whole-Bible theology should embrace all the doctrines, and pursue confidence and understanding of everything God has given us, no matter how much or how little it drifts into the center of our attention. Know your body, and it will help you know your theology. In this way, the ultimate unity of our understanding of biblical teaching may be preserved in a way that the concentric circles model seems to miss (and mislead). You can have your core circles and leave the others behind. You can’t do this with the body: a heart without a stomach, arms, blood vessels, etc. is not going to be alive very long. All the parts contribute to each other in many ways, manifesting the interdependence and unity of the whole. Such is our theology as well, even the weird stuff that seems just foolishness and weakness to us.

Interesting thread topic!

3 posted on 11/21/2013 7:11:02 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: Gamecock

All I want to know is what was the Gospel Jesus preached? Oh, and was it the same Gospel that was preached to Abraham?


4 posted on 11/21/2013 7:25:07 AM PST by ladyL
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To: Alex Murphy

That’s why “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable ... “ !


5 posted on 11/21/2013 7:29:14 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true .. I have no proof .. but they're true.)
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To: ladyL; Alex Murphy
Have you read this?
6 posted on 11/21/2013 7:29:58 AM PST by Gamecock (If you like your constitution, you can keep your constitution. Period. (M.S.))
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To: ladyL

***All I want to know is what was the Gospel Jesus preached?***

Sooo, the Mormons will tell you that they teach the Gospel Jesus taught. Is it the same as yours? Why or why not.


7 posted on 11/21/2013 7:32:34 AM PST by Gamecock (If you like your constitution, you can keep your constitution. Period. (M.S.))
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To: knarf

All Scripture?

Scripture says that there is even more information. Read the last chapter of John.

The Holy Tradition of one to one — face to face — passing on the Scripture.


8 posted on 11/21/2013 7:33:28 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Gamecock

One of the great draw backs to these religious threads is that so little effort is made to fit a particular doctrine in the whole teaching of the Scriptures, the question of how and what salvation is being a good example.

All the teachings of the Scriptures are important but are there some that should carry extra emphasis than others? and so forth.

Looking at some the threads dealing with personal salvation one would be justified in thinking that this is THE concern of God’s servants through out time in and of itself but is that so or is our personal salvation part of and leading to a much more important whole?

What Scriptures can I point to that would suggest an answer? Or is arguing over the details of personal salvation akin to arguing over the size of our slice of pie?


9 posted on 11/21/2013 7:34:36 AM PST by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: Salvation; knarf; Gamecock
Scripture says that there is even more information. Read the last chapter of John.

More information - but more scripture? Was every single thing that the apostles said, and every single word written about them by later scribes, considered by your church to be Holy-Spirit-inspired, inerrant and infallible?

10 posted on 11/21/2013 7:38:09 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: Gamecock

The teachings of JESUS are well documented and clearly stated in The New Testament. They were written by men who were touched by the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us to ignore any teachings that go against what the Bible states and to not put our faith in man or men but in GOD. Seems pretty clear to me. Whatever teachings go against the word of GOD must be ignored. I cannot speak to certain church doctrines... I had to break with my own church that I was raised in because of the national body embracing things that go against the Word of GOD and of JESUS.


11 posted on 11/21/2013 7:42:17 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS! BETTER DEAD THAN RED!)
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To: count-your-change

Generally speaking if a meaty theological post is made on FR it quickly drops to the bottom. People are more interested in “belly button gazing” than serious discussion. Threads about belly buttons go on forever, or so it seems.


12 posted on 11/21/2013 7:42:20 AM PST by Gamecock (If you like your constitution, you can keep your constitution. Period. (M.S.))
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To: Gamecock

Agreed and sadly so. I do appreciate the attempts at serious discussion as I’ve learned much from them both in the give and take but that seems to be rare lately.

Nonetheless, I’m still interested in the vigorous yet impersonal debate that FR should be famous for. Bring it on!


13 posted on 11/21/2013 8:03:22 AM PST by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: WILLIALAL
This discussion has only been going on for 2000 years.

I only see ten posts on the thread.

14 posted on 11/21/2013 8:04:21 AM PST by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: Gamecock

Christ said that all but the elect would be deceived before His appointed return. I see scant discussion on what preparations are being made... parable of the 10 virgins having enough oil/truth for that impending time. The overwhelming discussion is about some flesh being’s established denomination, where one Scripture is made the theology ignoring that Christ came in the Volume of the Book!


15 posted on 11/21/2013 8:23:12 AM PST by Just mythoughts (Jesus said Luke 17:32 Remember Lot's wife.)
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To: Salvation
Take it up with God ...

2 Timothy 3:16-17

King James Version (KJV)

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

16 posted on 11/21/2013 8:34:54 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true .. I have no proof .. but they're true.)
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To: knarf
CORRECTION


17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

NOT thoroughly

Believe it or not, that was a cut and paste from google claiming KJV, and after I posted and re-read it, I knew it was wrong.

17 posted on 11/21/2013 8:42:10 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true .. I have no proof .. but they're true.)
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To: knarf
And Scripture says there is more that was passed around person to person, face to face.

John 21

 

24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true.

25 But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.


18 posted on 11/21/2013 8:48:10 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Yeah, so ... I saw you wearing that goofy bow tie at the speech you gave, everybody laughed .. but what was important was your message.


19 posted on 11/21/2013 8:56:07 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true .. I have no proof .. but they're true.)
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To: Alex Murphy
There are many “Scriptures” that we do not have. The wisdom of the fathers in the third century decided we did not need them or that they did not conform to the doctrines favored by the council in Nicea. Everything after Nicea was either approved or disapproved depending on whether or not it agreed with what the then “popular” fathers said were the “approved” official doctrines of The Church.

Prior to Nicea there were many differences between the churches, doctrines of different churches were wildly different in some cases. When The Church, or Constantine said “This is not the approved doctrine” many bishops went away facing excommunication because they disagreed. Constantine relented and didn't force the new doctrines on all, but later, only about 50 years later it became Church law and refusal to submit to it meant excommunication and even in many cases death.

So, many previously approved scriptures were burned, they didn't agree with Nicea. Many good bishops were lost. Many doctrines that were considered normal were banned.

Many can say that some sect, like the Mormons, or the Baptists or any group are wrong but there is no leader to make it so except for the Pope. Think about it there is no authority on earth in Christianity except for the Bishop of Rome. Yes I know the Mormons have a Prophet, that too is an authority, but who else claims such authority? Nobody. There are boards, and other groups in nearly every church but who can decide this or that doctrine correct or wrong? The Mormons have somebody and the Catholics have somebody. You may not agree with those somebodies but at least they have somebody willing to say yea or nay!

20 posted on 11/21/2013 9:31:37 AM PST by JAKraig (Surely my religion is at least as good as yours)
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To: Salvation; knarf; Gamecock
But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

Who wrote the others? Are they inspired of the Holy Spirit? Does the Catholic Church claim to have them in their possession? Why did the Catholic Church not make them a part of the NT Canon?

21 posted on 11/21/2013 9:31:52 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: Salvation; Alex Murphy
And the Holy Spirit superintended having the writting down of exactly what we need to know!
22 posted on 11/21/2013 9:37:06 AM PST by Gamecock (If you like your constitution, you can keep your constitution. Period. (M.S.))
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To: JAKraig; Gamecock
There are many “Scriptures” that we do not have. The wisdom of the fathers in the third century decided we did not need them or that they did not conform to the doctrines favored by the council in Nicea. Everything after Nicea was either approved or disapproved depending on whether or not it agreed with what the then “popular” fathers said were the “approved” official doctrines of The Church.

Prior to Nicea there were many differences between the churches, doctrines of different churches were wildly different in some cases. When The Church, or Constantine said “This is not the approved doctrine” many bishops went away facing excommunication because they disagreed. Constantine relented and didn't force the new doctrines on all, but later, only about 50 years later it became Church law and refusal to submit to it meant excommunication and even in many cases death.

So, many previously approved scriptures were burned, they didn't agree with Nicea. Many good bishops were lost. Many doctrines that were considered normal were banned.

....aaaand the "Great Apostasy" of Mormonism has entered the thread.

23 posted on 11/21/2013 9:43:03 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: Salvation
25 But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

I am comfortable making the assumption that the Holy Spirit conveyed exactly what the Lord wanted conveyed in the Bible. After all, there isn't much point in writing a book and leaving out the important parts of the story.

To believe that God deliberately only told us part of the story so that we, 2000 years later, would be reliant on the traditions of men--while simultaneously criticing the same in the Pharisees-- is less respectful toward the Spirit than I care to be.

24 posted on 11/21/2013 10:13:20 AM PST by Dianna
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To: Dianna

I am comfortable making the assumption that the Holy Spirit conveyed exactly what the Lord wanted conveyed in the Bible. . . .
_______________________________________________________________

God did not write a Bible.

A bible is not really just a book but a compilation of books.

A committee of men simply compiled books they thought God had written through inspiration to His prophets. Men chose and compiled the Holy Bible from those books they then had and made a Bible.

A book that is a compilation of Holy books is no less holy than the individual books, just pointing out that there is much that could have been lost. The Apocrypha for instance, are they holy? If they are why do Protestants not have them in their Bible? If the same group that compiled the Holy Bible that Protestants use compiled the Apocrypha why is it now not accepted? What committee is it now that is better inspired than the original committee?


25 posted on 11/21/2013 11:23:21 AM PST by JAKraig (Surely my religion is at least as good as yours)
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To: JAKraig; Dianna; Gamecock
A committee of men simply compiled books they thought God had written through inspiration to His prophets. Men chose and compiled the Holy Bible from those books they then had and made a Bible.

And from your earlier post:

There are many “Scriptures” that we do not have....many previously approved scriptures were burned....

So these earlier burned works were nothing more than works of men that a "committee of men... thought God had written through inspiration to His prophets." The committee post-facto confers the retroactive status of "inspired" on the work, and it becomes "scripture"?

26 posted on 11/21/2013 11:30:52 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: JAKraig; Alex Murphy
A committee of men simply compiled books they thought God had written through inspiration to His prophets.

So God inspired prophets to write books, but not inspire what was compiled?

Did He lose intrest or what?

27 posted on 11/21/2013 11:53:06 AM PST by Gamecock (If you like your constitution, you can keep your constitution. Period. (M.S.))
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To: JAKraig
A book that is a compilation of Holy books is no less holy than the individual books, just pointing out that there is much that could have been lost. The Apocrypha for instance, are they holy? If they are why do Protestants not have them in their Bible? If the same group that compiled the Holy Bible that Protestants use compiled the Apocrypha why is it now not accepted? What committee is it now that is better inspired than the original committee?

I think the Lord who created the universe can get a book put together the way He wishes. That which is truly lost, God let go. We have all the rest available to us with the various arguments for and against. It would seem that the Sovereign Lord is leaving it to us to wrestle with.

28 posted on 11/21/2013 11:59:42 AM PST by Dianna
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To: ladyL

Assuming your question is not simply rhetorical, it was the gospel or good news of Christ’s kingdom, such good news that it was to be preached in all the earth before the end.

Was it the same as that preached to Abraham? Indeed it was!
Abraham was told that by means of his “seed” all the nations of earth would be blessed and that was good news since it revealed more of what that prophecy in Eden meant.

Is that really ‘All you want to know’?


29 posted on 11/21/2013 12:04:50 PM PST by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: Alex Murphy
So these earlier burned works were nothing more than works of men that a “committee of men... thought God had written through inspiration to His prophets.” The committee post-facto confers the retroactive status of “inspired” on the work, and it becomes “scripture”?

_______________________________________________________________

First, that is not what I said. I did not judge the burned books or certainly didn't mean to if I said something that gives you that impression. I did say that the books that were accepted cannon and are accepted cannon today are simply books that man/men has thought were written by inspired men of God. Those books have been accepted as cannon or refused as cannon at different times by different men.

I don't know what your belief is, do you think that God handed someone a Bible and said “This is it”?

I believe that God has left to man, wisdom and The Holy Ghost to decide what cannon is. Man has decided at different times what is cannon and today there are still differences in what people say is cannon. There are books such as the Epistle of Barnabas or books of the Apocrypha that some accept as cannon and others do not, it can't be both. While it can't be both if man or men decide that what one group says is wrong then they are setting themselves above the other group. Who gave them that authority. Who on the earth can be a judge of what is right and wrong. Who is it that has the keys that Peter was given by Christ? Who is it on earth that is so high and mighty that they can condemn a whole church to Hell. Who is it on earth that they can condemn a whole nation of people who have never heard the word of Christ? Who is it that can say Purgatory is a false teaching when the successor to Peter says it is a true doctrine?

Please don't think I am taking sides, I'm only asking the questions.

I hear here over and over again, that the Mormons, the Catholics the Protestants, etc., etc., are wrong. I am simply asking, “says who?” I am told the scriptures say - this and that, says who? I say how is it that the person speaking is authorized to say what the scriptures mean? The Pope has the scriptures and he says they mean something else.

Stop judging, it simply isn't your job or my job.

Whether one group or another is right or not isn't my problem, my problem is finding my own salvation.

I personally don't believe everything the Catholics believe, I can't say I believe everything the Protestants believe but I do believe most of it and certainly I believe what I consider important. Christ was the Son of God. He gave Himself as a payment for my sins if I but want to accept the gift He gave to me. Are there strings attached to the gift? Sure I believe there are but some don't believe there are any strings. I don't think it is important for me do decide you are wrong only that I am right.

Many people believe that they believe in Christ so it doesn't make any difference that they commit adultery, steal lie and every other sin because it has been paid for, after all works don't get anything for you.

My question is rather, who on earth is the judge if not the Pope? I'm not saying Martin Luther was wrong only that he was not an authoritative figure any more than any other person in the world at the time. What day is it that you think the Pope was no longer the earthly Representative of Christ's Church on the earth? Since Martin Luther was a Catholic Priest did he take the dead Catholicism and raise it from the dead and then become the new Pope? I guess if you believe that who am I to say you are wrong, only, I don't believe that.

If God were to send another representative to take the Pope's place don't you think we should know it. Luther never claimed that by the way. Luther never wanted to be an authority simply a means for people to find Christ.

The Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church has a Patriarch, the Mormons have a Prophet and the Roman Catholics have a Pope. They all claim to be the final word. As far as I know there are not others who claim this. I think being able to claim the final word is a good thing. If there is no authority then the doctrines of The Church go to and fro with every wind of mans dreaming. To me many churches do just that, the ministers say what they think a congregation wants to hear so that donations don't dry up, I don't think the Pope does that. The Pope, the Mormon Prophet and the Patriarch all say some very unpopular things in today's world. To me that should be one of the signs of a true representative of Christ. To me if a church preaches queer marriage they can't be right so I won't join with them. There will be others that think I am wrong for that, OK, let them think that, it is their business. I might think they are going to hell for their sinful ways but I do not claim any special authority to send them there. If there is someone on earth who claims he has Peter's keys then to him I will be interested in listening. Just because we choose to ignore something does not make it go away.

30 posted on 11/21/2013 1:37:40 PM PST by JAKraig (Surely my religion is at least as good as yours)
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To: JAKraig
Stop judging, it simply isn't your job or my job....Whether one group or another is right or not isn't my problem, my problem is finding my own salvation....I don't think it is important for me do decide you are wrong only that I am right....My question is rather, who on earth is the judge if not the Pope?...If God were to send another representative to take the Pope's place don't you think we should know it.

IMO you need to make up your mind, whether you want (or need) someone else to make the decisions for you. Do you want someone else to judge, or not?

31 posted on 11/21/2013 1:52:10 PM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: count-your-change
Abraham was told that by means of his “seed” all the nations of earth would be blessed and that was good news since it revealed more of what that prophecy in Eden meant.

____________________________________________________________

The Roman Catholic Church has reached a significant portion of “All the nations of the earth.” There aren't many other churches I know of that have. When I see a church that has a rich congregation and a rich pastor but no missionaries, I know they are, at least in my mind, false.

The Roman Church has spent a lot of gold and and blood proclaiming The Gospel. The Mormons for their small size of about 150th the size of the Roman Church have a remarkable number of missionaries. Who else is proclaiming the Gospel like the Catholics and Mormons. What is the motivation of the Catholics and Mormons? It certainly isn't earthly gain. Catholic pastors and leadership don't get rich from their efforts and Mormons don't get anything, they pay their own way.

32 posted on 11/21/2013 2:01:53 PM PST by JAKraig (Surely my religion is at least as good as yours)
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To: JAKraig

I meant to say one fiftyth above, sorry.


33 posted on 11/21/2013 2:03:18 PM PST by JAKraig (Surely my religion is at least as good as yours)
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To: knarf

The Authorized KJV has “throughly”; the KJV has “thoroughly” as does the NKJV.

Going to another more modern word for word literal translation the LEB has drops the term; where the NASB has the same drop of the word.

BLUF: does not change the meaning of the passage.


34 posted on 11/21/2013 2:11:39 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: Salvation
And Scripture says there is more that was passed around person to person, face to face.

The John 21:24,25 verses speak of volume. As in telescoping (which was a history recording technique of the time). In using telescoping, samples are taken of a greater whole true events/actions. John is not saying there is something important he left out. He is telling us today there were more miracles, sermons, conversations but what is really important is all recorded here. And he tells us that here in John 20:

30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

35 posted on 11/21/2013 2:17:04 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: Dianna
I am comfortable making the assumption that the Holy Spirit conveyed exactly what the Lord wanted conveyed in the Bible. After all, there isn't much point in writing a book and leaving out the important parts of the story.

And you speak wisdom in your words. When people use that John 21 reference, they usually don't include this from John 20:

30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

John is clearly using the same method of recording as did Luke. It is called telescoping. Meaning, the important truth, facts, events were recorded "so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name." If John failed to record one jot or tittle less then we would conclude he left out most imporant information on salvation. He did not and he states so. So John is telling us there were probably more miracles, more sermons, more interaction BUT to record them would be repeating what he already established in his Gospel. Plus we have evidence he is telling us the truth. The synoptic gospels tell of more miracles and sermons and interactions.

36 posted on 11/21/2013 2:28:20 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: JAKraig; Gamecock; Alex Murphy; CynicalBear; Elsie; metmom; daniel1212; GarySpFc
The Mormons have somebody and the Catholics have somebody. You may not agree with those somebodies but at least they have somebody willing to say yea or nay!

Well here is another...The Hidden Mahdi, the 12th Imam. The Shia say he will rule over the other two guys you mentioned and they will see their errant ways and serve him as Allah's rep on earth.

All three have something in common. They all (when the Mahdi allegedly appears he will) say 'they' are the main authority. They also have something in common. They are mere mortals like the rest of us. Complete failure there.

37 posted on 11/21/2013 2:35:18 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: Dianna

Hebrews 13

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace,(NASB)

Says it all right there. Everyone wants to peddle their authority, hidden ‘truths’ ‘prophets’ ‘apostles’ but give second or third authority to what God ACTUALLY SAID or inspired to be WRITTEN.


38 posted on 11/21/2013 2:39:41 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: JAKraig

Have you completely ignored the widespread Evangelical missionaries? It is all in the name.


39 posted on 11/21/2013 2:48:14 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: JAKraig
The Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church has a Patriarch, the Mormons have a Prophet and the Roman Catholics have a Pope. They all claim to be the final word. As far as I know there are not others who claim this.

Well there is Jesus Christ isn't there? Who did He leave us with? Yes, the Comfortor. As to judging? Paul had this for Timothy:

2 Timothy 4:

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:

40 posted on 11/21/2013 2:50:46 PM PST by redleghunter
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To: Salvation
The Holy Tradition of one to one — face to face — passing on the Scripture.

What *Holy Tradition* was passed down one person to another, face to face?

How do we know it was taught by the apostles?

How do we know that it was handed down faithfully without corruption?

What are your sources to verify this teaching and belief and to verify the integrity of the traditions that were handed down supposedly from the apostles? That what is taught today is the same as what was taught by the apostles?

41 posted on 11/21/2013 2:57:46 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith....)
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To: Dianna

That was well put. To think that God would allow the transmission of His will and words to the word of mouth transmission of fallible men is unthinkable.


42 posted on 11/21/2013 3:50:56 PM PST by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: JAKraig; Dianna; boatbums; daniel1212; smvoice; metmom
>> Men chose and compiled the Holy Bible from those books they then had and made a Bible.<<

Peter already considered Paul’s writings to be scripture along with the Old Testament which had been long established by that time.

2 Peter 3:15b. As also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given him, [16] as in all his letters, speaking concerning these matters, in which some things are hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also THE OTHER SCRIPTURES. [17] You then, beloved ones, being forewarned, watch lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being let away with the delusion of the lawless.

The Apocrypha had already been excluded by the time of the apostles.

43 posted on 11/21/2013 3:58:15 PM PST by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: redleghunter; JAKraig; Alex Murphy; CynicalBear; Elsie; metmom; daniel1212; GarySpFc
The Mormons have somebody and the Catholics have somebody. You may not agree with those somebodies but at least they have somebody willing to say yea or nay!

And just last week we remembered someone else who was willing to say yea or nay.


44 posted on 11/21/2013 4:02:17 PM PST by Gamecock (If you like your constitution, you can keep your constitution. Period. (M.S.))
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To: knarf

NOT thoroughly


Ok. i will bite, what is the difference between thoroughly and thoroughly?


45 posted on 11/21/2013 4:25:08 PM PST by ravenwolf
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To: Dianna

You are right, nobody can agree on much of what we do have so it would be a waste of time to have any more.


46 posted on 11/21/2013 4:32:17 PM PST by ravenwolf
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To: JAKraig

“Who else is proclaiming the Gospel like the Catholics and Mormons.”

Below is from the official website jw.org:

Fast Facts—Worldwide

239—Lands where Jehovah’s Witnesses preach

595—Languages in which we publish Bibles and Bible-based literature

111,719—Congregations

7,538,994—Ministers who teach the Bible

19,000,000—People who attend our meetings or conventions

179,000,000—Bibles published by Jehovah’s Witnesses in 116 languages

20,000,000,000—Pieces of Bible-based literature published by Jehovah’s Witnesses over the past ten years


47 posted on 11/21/2013 4:33:15 PM PST by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: count-your-change
239—Lands where Jehovah’s Witnesses preach 595—Languages in which we publish Bibles and Bible-based literature 111,719—Congregations 7,538,994—Ministers who teach the Bible 19,000,000—People who attend our meetings or conventions 179,000,000—Bibles published by Jehovah’s Witnesses in 116 languages

_________________________________________________________________ If the Catholics were to list every land that they preached in it would be every country in the world. If the Catholics were to list every language that they have translated Scripture into it be more than anybody in any other religion. If the Catholics were to list all of their congregations it's liable to be over 1 million.

You say that you have 7 1/2 million ministers who teach the Bible but you only have 111,000 congregations.

It is pretty amazing that out of 7 1/2 million members of the church you are able to get 12 million to attend your convention and 19 million to attend your memorial services. It is also very impressive that you can get so many members of your church to go door-to-door to leave tracks for people to read.

But again to further explain the problem in hand the Jehovah's Witnesses have their own translation of the holy Bible which does not conform to anyone else’s.

The Jehovah's Witnesses do not have a person on earth who can make yes or no decisions instead they have a council of elders that meets and decides questions of doctrine.

For you to say that you have 7 1/2 million ministers who teach the Bible would compare to Catholics having 800 million ministers who preach or teach the Bible. In my humble opinion which is only that and belongs only to me; passing out watchtowers door-to-door a few hours each month is not the same thing as sending missionaries into a foreign country. Missionaries who do nothing except preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am not speaking ill of Jehovah's Witnesses but, comparing your 7 1/2 million ministers who teach the Bible when you only have 7 1/2 million members of your entire church to me is disingenuous. When you're 7 1/2 million ministers of the Bible start working full-time at being ministers of the Bible, of taking care of fledgling congregations, of teaching the gospel to people who have never heard it before, then perhaps we will have something to talk about. While you have 7 1/2 million missionaries preaching your gospel, the Mormons have only 80,000. Those 80,000 are however full-time they leave their homes and families for two years and do nothing except work for The Lord. they are not even allowed to work outside to earn income to eat with, they have to earn their income before going on their missions. While Catholic priests do have a stipend or salary it is nothing to write home about, and it is for their entire life, not just a few hours a month. Their salaries allow them to have a few personal effects and not much more. I do not recall ever having said ill of any church certainly not the Jehovah's Witnesses. But bragging about 7 1/2 million ministers in this particular context is at least disingenuous.

48 posted on 11/21/2013 5:31:45 PM PST by JAKraig (Surely my religion is at least as good as yours)
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To: redleghunter
They are mere mortals like the rest of us. Complete failure there.

__________________________________________________________________

Of course they are mere mortals, just like Peter was a mere morsel, just like James was a mere mortal, just like John was a mere mortal. All the apostles, all the early fathers, and all those who wrote the Holy Scriptures were simply mere mortals.

Why is it that people are willing to give more importance to dead prophets who were mortals and not listen to people living in our own day and time when they say they speak for God.

I didn't know the Hidden Mahdi had revealed himself.I didn't realize the 12th Imam had revealed himself.

Whoever it is that comes from God to rule over me I hope I have the wisdom to accept.

49 posted on 11/21/2013 5:41:09 PM PST by JAKraig (Surely my religion is at least as good as yours)
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To: Gamecock
Christians will commonly argue with each other about “secondary” issues of doctrine, while assuring themselves and the rest of us that it’s okay since they agree on the “primary” issues.


I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said, "Stop! Don't do it!"
"Why shouldn't I?" he said.
 
I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!"
He said, "Like what?"
 
I said, "Well...are you religious or atheist?"
He said, "Religious."
 
I said, "Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?"
He said, "Christian."
 
I said, "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?"
He said, "Protestant."
 
I said, "Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?"
He said, "Baptist!"
 
I said,"Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of GOD or Baptist Church of the Lord?"
He said, "Baptist Church of GOD!"
 
I said, "Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of GOD, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of GOD?"
He said,"Reformed Baptist Church of GOD!"
 
I said, "Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of GOD, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of GOD, reformation of 1915?"
He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of GOD, reformation of 1915!"
 
I said, "Die, heretic scum", and pushed him off.
-- Emo Phillips

50 posted on 11/21/2013 6:07:57 PM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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