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A good friend is considering joining the Jehovah's Witnesses. What should he worry about?
Freerepublic ^ | 1/31/2013 | Me

Posted on 01/31/2013 8:44:30 PM PST by Dallas59

When I come by my friends house they are always there. They are polite to me but act like I'm interfering. Anyone here associated with them or been to their church? Thanks.


TOPICS: General Discusssion; Theology
KEYWORDS: jehovahswitnesses; jws; witnesses
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To: fso301

Sola Scriptura is not Solo Scriptura. The Bible does not exist in a vacuum and nor can it be intrepretted in such a manner but rather must be considered in light of tradition, at least insofar as tradition is not contradictory to scripture. This issue has been settled in tradition already, using arguments which were scriptural in nature, made in light of interpretations handed down from the apostles.

The position of the Jehovah’s Witnesses regarding the Trinity is not novel. It was proposed by Arius quite a while back, who formulated that Christ was homoiousis (of like substance as the Father) instead of homoousis (of the same substance as the Father). That “iota” of difference, so to speak, was considered to make all the difference when it came to theology. Without going into detail (I’m in a car typing this on my phone), people far more qualified than us have already established that the Trinity is the teaching of Scripture. When something has been established as the teaching of Scripture it is not our place to reject it, as such is to call God a liar.

If modern Christians are a bit reluctant to debate this, it is mostly a matter of not wanting to reinvent the wheel regarding arguments that have been made long ago and settled. St. Athanasius in his Discourses Against the Arians makes the case far better than any of us could hope to do — anything we write would mostly be rehashing his arguments. I suggest looking up his Discourses and going through his arguments, as then we might have suitable grounds for debate on the matter.

Again, I find your desire to defend the potential of JWs to be saved admirable, if perhaps misplaced. All the same, I remind you that JWs absolutely do not extend that same courtesy to non-JWs and I hope you are as vocal in defending our salvation when talking to them as you are of theirs when talking to us.

Ultimately, all we can do is trust in the mercy and justice of God in judging men’s hearts regarding whether their faith was sincere or not.


101 posted on 02/01/2013 8:48:15 AM PST by MWS
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To: fso301

It’s been challenged right in the thread already - that JW do not believe in the divinity of Christ. That they believe that there is no hell and the destruction of souls in the afterlife.

All three of these things are contrary to Christianity.


102 posted on 02/01/2013 10:13:55 AM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: MWS
Personally, I believe that Christ will forgive an individual for making an honest mistake if their faith in Him and His death and resurrection are sincere.

I agree. God is so much greater than any of us can ever hope to comprehend that I don't believe the difference between a non-trinitarian versus trinitarian understanding of him is significant when compared against his greatness.

103 posted on 02/01/2013 10:14:41 AM PST by fso301
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To: Dallas59

They changed the words of the Bible. Send them the passages that discuss that.


104 posted on 02/01/2013 10:17:20 AM PST by bmwcyle (People who do not study history are destine to believe really ignorant statements.)
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To: Dallas59

Today your friend could come back into the Catholic Church and receive Communion. With the JWs, your friend never will, because your friend is not now and never will be one of the 144,000.


105 posted on 02/01/2013 10:36:04 AM PST by Excellence (9/11 was an act of faith.)
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To: fso301

Very well said. God knows our hearts better than we do... while I do think there is a correct position on the matter and that the truth really does matter, I also believe that God isn’t going to hold honest errors against those who have otherwise earnestly put their faith in Him.


106 posted on 02/01/2013 10:38:52 AM PST by MWS
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To: MWS
The position of the Jehovah’s Witnesses regarding the Trinity is not novel. It was proposed by Arius quite a while back, who formulated that Christ was homoiousis (of like substance as the Father) instead of homoousis (of the same substance as the Father). That “iota” of difference, so to speak, was considered to make all the difference when it came to theology. Without going into detail (I’m in a car typing this on my phone), people far more qualified than us have already established that the Trinity is the teaching of Scripture. When something has been established as the teaching of Scripture it is not our place to reject it, as such is to call God a liar.

I guess my view is that if the matter was important to God, he would have made it clear in scripture. Instead, a formal triadic coordination of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit is only found in a few verses.

The baptismal commission in Matt 28:19 and the apostolic benediction in 2 Cor 13:14 are the clearest examples of triadic coordination. Other texts formulate the trinity in a looser fashion by asserting that the work of the three is the same work (1 Cor 12:4-6; Jude 20-21; 1 Pet 1:2; Rev 1:4-7) but they do not formalize the trinity.

Pairwise coordination of God and Christ is more common (John 14:1; Rom 1:7; Rev 5:13) with Chirst and the Spirit less common (1 Cor 6:11; Rom 15:30; Heb 10:29).

Then the spirit appears in numerous verses as a seemingly autonomous agent (Acts 1:16; Acts 15:8; Heb 3:7; Rom 5:3-5; Rom 8:4; Rom 8:27; Gal 3:2; Gal 5:16-25; 2 Cor 3:2; 2 Cor 5:5). The spirit is also called the Spirit of God (1 Cor 2:11-12; Rom 8:9-17) and the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9), etc.

If modern Christians are a bit reluctant to debate this, it is mostly a matter of not wanting to reinvent the wheel regarding arguments that have been made long ago and settled. St. Athanasius in his Discourses Against the Arians makes the case far better than any of us could hope to do — anything we write would mostly be rehashing his arguments. I suggest looking up his Discourses and going through his arguments, as then we might have suitable grounds for debate on the matter.

Ok but I can't promise when I'll be able to get to Athansius.

Again, I find your desire to defend the potential of JWs to be saved admirable, if perhaps misplaced.

When it came to standing up to Hitler andhis neo-paganism, JWs did much more admirably than the mainstream Protestants and Catholics. As a group, the JWs by and large didn't bow down to Hitler nor serve him and they suffered mightily for it. If the same could be said of the mainstream Christians in Germany, history would have followed a radically different course.

All the same, I remind you that JWs absolutely do not extend that same courtesy to non-JWs and I hope you are as vocal in defending our salvation when talking to them as you are of theirs when talking to us.

Arguments for and against sola fide constantly rage here on FR. JWs are basically part of that camp rejecting sola fide on grounds that some form of works is also required for salvation.

Ultimately, all we can do is trust in the mercy and justice of God in judging men’s hearts regarding whether their faith was sincere or not.

Agreed.

107 posted on 02/01/2013 11:33:10 AM PST by fso301
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To: rcrngroup
They entrap people with their robotic mind control tactics or violence against those members who wish to leave the cult.

You left out, "cannibals that eat their babies", "they grow horns", "practice human sacrifice", "drown puppies", "kick little old ladies". I read it on the internets so it must be true.
108 posted on 02/01/2013 11:53:56 AM PST by MeOnTheBeach
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To: Dallas59
What should he worry about?

If he's not saved, then he's not going to worry about anything. It doesn't matter what he "becomes" be it JW, Muslim, Hindu, etc. And unless God opens his hearts and mind to the gospel, there's nothing you can do. So if he's not worry, neither should you be.

That being said, we can all pray for this individual that God would grant His mercy and grace to shine in His life. May He use you as a vehicle of His saving grace to light his path to the one and true God. I would also suggest inviting him to church and even give him a bible. God will reward you. Cast your bread upon the waters and it will not return void. That doesn't mean he'll come to Christ nor should you be discouraged. But it does mean God will bless you for your sincere attempts and perhaps snatch someone from the fires of hell.

109 posted on 02/01/2013 12:17:44 PM PST by HarleyD
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To: Salvation
JW are a cult. Not really Christian at all.



Sits on his gold throne with his gold hat and gold trimmed robes. He waits for his followers to come kneel before him and kiss his ring. They even call him "Holy Father" the very name of God the Father..as if he is God.


I'm sorry...I was distracted by the spectacle, you were saying what about the JWs?
110 posted on 02/01/2013 12:47:49 PM PST by MeOnTheBeach
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To: Charles Henrickson
His eternal salvation. The JWs are a false religion, teaching wrongly on the person and work of Christ, the doctrine of the Trinity--well, they mess up just about everything.

Charles, I'm curious if I deny infant baptism, do I belong to a false religion?
111 posted on 02/01/2013 12:52:35 PM PST by MeOnTheBeach
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To: MeOnTheBeach; Salvation; Cletus.D.Yokel; bcsco
Charles, I'm curious if I deny infant baptism, do I belong to a false religion?

You would be in error, but you would not necessarily belong to a false religion. If you belong to a church that is Trinitarian and confesses Christ as the Son of God incarnate--i.e., it confesses the Nicene Creed--yet that church is in error on the efficacy of baptism, your church would be considered heterodox rather than heretical. This is not to excuse or condone error, though. However, the JWs and the Mormons do not even get God right, so they are considered outside the scope of Christendom.

112 posted on 02/01/2013 2:15:22 PM PST by Charles Henrickson (Lutheran pastor, LCMS)
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To: Dallas59

‘What should he worry about’?

I would say his big worry should be hell. I’m not trying to be a holy roller here but Jesus said, I am the Way the Truth and the Light, no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.

They reject Jesus’ sacrifice and look to the Father for salvation through works.


113 posted on 02/01/2013 2:21:20 PM PST by thatjoeguy (Every law passed is one person forcing their morals on someone else.)
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To: Dallas59

‘What should he worry about’?

I would say his big worry should be hell. I’m not trying to be a holy roller here but Jesus said, I am the Way the Truth and the Light, no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.

They reject Jesus’ sacrifice and look to the Father for salvation through works.


114 posted on 02/01/2013 2:25:11 PM PST by thatjoeguy (Every law passed is one person forcing their morals on someone else.)
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To: Excellence
"With the JWs, your friend never will, because your friend is not now and never will be one of the 144,000."

That's another thing that always puzzled me about JWs. By now, those coveted 144,000 spots have to be filled. Everyone else simply dies. No afterlife. So WHY all the effort to convert people to JW? I mean, can't you be an athiest and believe in no afterlife?

Then you can have birthday cake, too.

One place that I really get worked up about is the no blood transfusions edict. Even for kids.

This is based on the OLD testament proscription of eating meat that has the "life" in it. I.e. blood.

So in the JW view, when you get a transfusion you are "eating" blood, which is a no-no. To the point where you must die to not "sin".

Again, why the fuss over the OT rules? Jesus created a NEW covenant. Not one where you get into heaven by following arcane rituals.

JWs don't keep Kosher, though. Can't figure that one out either.

115 posted on 02/01/2013 2:27:12 PM PST by boop ("You don't look so bad, here's another")
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To: Charles Henrickson
You would be in error, but you would not necessarily belong to a false religion.

Thank you for your response.

But wouldn't being in error be the same as teaching false doctrine and thus being false in the eyes of God?

Gal 1:9 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

So teaching false doctrine is an offense against God. I can't imagine anyone that has been accursed by God getting into heaven.

Would you agree?
116 posted on 02/01/2013 2:33:38 PM PST by MeOnTheBeach
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To: MeOnTheBeach; Salvation; Cletus.D.Yokel; bcsco
You are pointing out the danger of doctrinal error in a heterodox church. That's why I included the sentence, "This is not to excuse or condone error, though." For a person in such a church may, by God's grace, be saved *in spite of* the errors, not because of them. But those errors are still dangerous.

In dogmatics we call this a "felicitous inconsistency." For example, a person's church may deny the efficacy of infant baptism and turn the Sacrament of Holy Baptism into Law (our obedience) instead of Gospel (God's gift). But in spite of that error, if the Word of God is preached in that church, and people cling to the cross of Christ as their only hope, they will be saved. That still does not excuse their error on baptism, which robs Christians of the comfort God has for them in that sacrament. And if that error would mislead people into thinking they are saved because of their "obedience" or their "giving their heart to Jesus" (decision theology), that could indeed endanger their salvation.

117 posted on 02/01/2013 2:55:18 PM PST by Charles Henrickson (Lutheran pastor, LCMS)
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To: Dallas59

My best friend in high school (and still) was raised JW by his mother. She converted after marriage. Friend left school early every day to go door to door. He worked at the big HQ in NYC for a year for slave wages. He finally left and was shunned. His mother would not speak to him by orders of the head muckety mucks. I would go to his house and she was friendly to me while ignoring him. He said that was because there was always a chance I might convert, in her mind. It took decades for her to begin speaking to him. He was there for her death, surrounded by non-talking relatives. They all still shun him.


118 posted on 02/01/2013 2:55:36 PM PST by eartrumpet
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To: Dallas59

He’ll never get another birthday cake.


119 posted on 02/01/2013 3:02:42 PM PST by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: MeOnTheBeach
We were saying the the JWs belong to a heterodox manmade religion which lies about Scripture (they deliberately mistranslate John 1:1 and John 8:58, for starters).

You seem to be saying that it bothers you that the Catholic church is an ancient monarchy, clearly not something founded in 19th Century America. **Guilty as charged**

The Pope is not God, and "Holy Father" is not God's name. But which is worse, to make the Pope seem a little too close to God, or to make Jesus Christ less than God?

120 posted on 02/01/2013 3:30:37 PM PST by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: Dallas59

One of my childhood friends became one after she became an adult—mid twenties. All I remember is she couldn’t come to my wedding because it was in a church, and when her youngest brother was killed in a car crash, she would not attend the funeral because of the church service.


121 posted on 02/01/2013 3:33:58 PM PST by Mrs.Liberty (Somewhere in Kenya AND Delaware, villages are missing idiots.)
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To: Dallas59
A book your friend needs to read ASAP
122 posted on 02/01/2013 3:34:27 PM PST by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: Truth2012

Fine, then. When did the Catholic church originate?


123 posted on 02/01/2013 3:35:05 PM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: MeOnTheBeach

Would not the teaching that some books are not canon count as ‘preaching any other gospel?’


124 posted on 02/01/2013 3:38:26 PM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: Campion

The Catholic Church is an ancient monarchy? Who then is the monarch, or king? And where is is his throne? I see one in post 110, is that it?


125 posted on 02/01/2013 4:27:03 PM PST by sasportas
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To: sasportas
You seen an earthly monarch who represents a heavenly monarch as his deputy, obviously.

On the other hand, with the JWs, you see men who think they represent God to the extent that they can order a mother and father not to speak to their son for his unspeakable crimes of (a) becoming Catholic; and (b) joining the Marines. (The young gentleman in question is a friend of mine; I'm not just making up a story.)

So who is really claiming to be more than they are ... a man who wears a robe and sits on a fancy chair, or one who destroys a family?

126 posted on 02/01/2013 5:14:34 PM PST by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: MeOnTheBeach

Got hate?


127 posted on 02/01/2013 5:16:55 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: sasportas

Christ the King. King of Kings and Lord of Lords.


128 posted on 02/01/2013 7:51:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Dallas59

Years ago one of my best friends was a Jehovah Witnesses.She got Breast Cancer and refused blood transfusion and died at 35.Left behind Husband and 2 young children.


129 posted on 02/01/2013 8:02:30 PM PST by fatima (Free Hugs Today :))
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To: Dallas59

JWs; the Happy Home for those who cannot think for themselves, and have no desire to learn how. They have association with others most like themselves, and therein find an insulated life of friendship, contentment and satisfaction. It may be the best thing for the feeble minded, to know with certainty and great comfort, that they belong to the One True Religion, no matter what the rest of the world may say. Think of the benefits; never having to throw or attend parties, give or exchange gifts, or give a moment’s thought to the sorrows of Hell. What’s not to like about that? All they need do is go knocking on doors, in hope to find one or several more confused minds like themselves.

I don’t mean to say JWs are stupid, or are without competence. Rather, they lack capacity for independent thought, or analytical thinking, and are better suited to a smaller closed society. The Amish live without connection to the electrical grid, and they seem to be decent God-fearing folk in their own closed society.

God is not likely to condemn an idiot for doing idiotic things. If your friend believes he is giving honor and worship to God, our Lord may give consideration. You may have to tell your friend “toot-a-loo;” it may be the best thing for him, and you. (Am I being insensitive?)


130 posted on 02/01/2013 9:06:54 PM PST by Daffy
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To: Revolting cat!

Me thinks pointing out the short comings of the JWs doesn’t sit well with a true believer and or fellow cultist. Well what does one expect when they fallow a false idea that steals from a legitimate faith.


131 posted on 02/02/2013 8:58:05 AM PST by ejonesie22 (8/30/10, the day Truth won.)
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To: boop
By now, those coveted 144,000 spots have to be filled. Everyone else simply dies. No afterlife.

Actually, everybody else is resurrected back to life on earth, to live happily ever after on a paradise earth.

132 posted on 02/02/2013 1:04:18 PM PST by Excellence (9/11 was an act of faith.)
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To: Dallas59
Dude, you have to get them away from your friend as soon as possible. Then you have to show him and fundamental differences between the Catholic and Jehovah Witness's religions. There are many places on the Internet that can demonstrate the difference.

Most of all, you have to be able to show him that what you are doing is out love and respect for him, and not out of hate for the JWs.

Please, I implore you, do this as soon as possible. Let me know if you need some help with resources.

133 posted on 02/02/2013 3:42:00 PM PST by ducttape45
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To: JCBreckenridge
Would not the teaching that some books are not canon count as ‘preaching any other gospel?

Only if first you can establish that the canon you are referring to was actually compiled by God and not man.
134 posted on 02/02/2013 10:12:56 PM PST by MeOnTheBeach
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To: Campion
We were saying the the JWs belong to a heterodox manmade religion which lies about Scripture (they deliberately mistranslate John 1:1 and John 8:58, for starters).

Well I'm not going to speculate on their motivations. I don't see any difference with what the JWs have done and what the evangelicals have done in creating all these new Bible translations.

You seem to be saying that it bothers you that the Catholic church is an ancient monarchy, clearly not something founded in 19th Century America. **Guilty as charged**

What bothers me is that the history of the Catholic church doesn't measure up to it's claims of divine authorship.

The Pope is not God, and "Holy Father" is not God's name. But which is worse, to make the Pope seem a little too close to God, or to make Jesus Christ less than God?

Your words don't really make sense. "Holy Father" is most certainly a title of "God the Father".

You're right the Pope is not God, but we read in the Bible of God sitting on His throne. Then we see the Pope sitting on a high gold throne, dressed in fine clothing, and being called "Holy Father". What's wrong with this picture?

There is nothing in that picture that resembles the humble followers that Jesus commanded us to be.

Do you really believe that Jesus would ever instruct any man ever born on this earth, to sit on a high gold throne, dress in gold clothing, have people come up and kneel before him, and call himself "Holy Father"?

Would Jesus give any living man the title of "Holy" anything?

The greatest prophets to ever live; people like Moses, Abraham, Noah, Job, Paul, John the Revelator, never sat on gold thrones, and never were called "Holy" anything.

Just because people go around saying "Lord, Lord" doesn't mean they're acceptable to Jesus. Nor does it mean He has anything to do with them...
135 posted on 02/03/2013 12:36:21 AM PST by MeOnTheBeach
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To: Charles Henrickson; Salvation; Cletus.D.Yokel; bcsco
For example, a person's church may deny the efficacy of infant baptism and turn the Sacrament of Holy Baptism into Law (our obedience) instead of Gospel (God's gift). But in spite of that error, if the Word of God is preached in that church, and people cling to the cross of Christ as their only hope, they will be saved.

This is interesting. When did the Lutheran church take this stance on doctrine?

Because in times past the Lutherans were so intolerable of doctrinal descent, heresy was punishable by death. As I recall from history, tens of thousands of Ana-Baptists were executed by the Lutheran church for simply believing that infant baptism was wrong.

As I recall the Augsburg confession of 1530 condemns the Ana-Baptist to hell. So why the shift? I mean, wouldn't it take an actual revelation from God to change the church's doctrine so radically?

Oh, btw, forgive me for changing the subject, but I enjoy reading your DUmmie FUnnies. :-)
136 posted on 02/03/2013 1:01:20 AM PST by MeOnTheBeach
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To: MeOnTheBeach

List for me which books you believe are authoritative, and the first published bible with these books, and only these books. :)


137 posted on 02/03/2013 9:57:39 AM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: JCBreckenridge
List for me which books you believe are authoritative, and the first published bible with these books, and only these books. :)

There was never supposed to be an actual Bible. This was a creation of the Catholic church. Scripture was never supposed to be limited to a few books. They should have kept and maintained all the writings which had been passed down until an actual prophet of God told them which writings God wanted us to keep.

There are a couple books in the current KJV that are not scripture. Solomon Song was Solomon's love sonnets to his concubines. Proverbs was written by a king and not a prophet. That sort of thing.
138 posted on 02/03/2013 2:44:31 PM PST by MeOnTheBeach
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To: MeOnTheBeach

“There was never supposed to be an actual Bible.”

Then you don’t consider any Canon to be authoritative?

“Scripture was never supposed to be limited to a few books.”

So, then, which books do you consider authoritative?

“There are a couple books in the current KJV that are not scripture.”

Ok, then you accept the apocrypha because the KJV was originally printed with it. ;)

You also can’t argue, “there never was intended to be a canon”, and then accept a canon that never existed prior to the 16th century, a millenium and a half after they were written.

It seems pretty clear to me that your standard is whatever you want to accept. :) Are you a prophet?


139 posted on 02/03/2013 4:39:49 PM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: JCBreckenridge
Then you don’t consider any Canon to be authoritative?

I consider individual writings to be authoritative.

Numbers 21:14
14 Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord, What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon,


If the Book of the Wars of the Lord were found and if it was found to be legit, I'd consider it scripture.

There are actually 3 letters Paul wrote to Corinth. Who knows, maybe more.

So, then, which books do you consider authoritative?

err well.. there's the Bible (or what we have of it). Minus Solomon Song.

You also can’t argue, “there never was intended to be a canon”, and then accept a canon that never existed prior to the 16th century, a millenium and a half after they were written.

You're creating a false dilemma. All or nothing isn't the only choice here. The total number of the writings doesn't some how make what's contained in them false. Therefore, I can accept the canon that's available and still hold the belief there should be more with out a contradiction.

Unless someone can prove to me that the "Book of wars of the Lord" which the book Numbers refers to is not scripture, I'm going to hold out for it.

It seems pretty clear to me that your standard is whatever you want to accept. :) Are you a prophet?

So, you acknowledge that I'm free to make up my own mind, cool, you are not wrong. Not sure that simply exercising free will constitutes being a prophet though.
140 posted on 02/04/2013 1:23:44 PM PST by MeOnTheBeach
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To: MeOnTheBeach

“So, you acknowledge that I’m free to make up my own mind, cool, you are not wrong. Not sure that simply exercising free will constitutes being a prophet though.”

Oh, absolutely. You’re free to accept whatever books you want as scripture. But you aren’t a Christian. :)


141 posted on 02/04/2013 2:44:10 PM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: JCBreckenridge
But you aren’t a Christian.

Yes Lord. Should I march myself off to hell now or should I wait till later when you're in a more condemning mood?
142 posted on 02/04/2013 3:29:34 PM PST by MeOnTheBeach
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To: MeOnTheBeach

Marcion said the exact same thing as you.


143 posted on 02/04/2013 3:42:35 PM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: Dallas59

Can’t we all just be kind, considerate, charitable, law abiding people and get along?


144 posted on 02/04/2013 4:14:05 PM PST by Alaska Wolf (Carry a Gun, It's a Lighter Burden Than Regret)
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