There’s Only Two Types Of “Christian” (And You Should Be Able To Tell The Difference)

There’s Only Two Types Of “Christian” (And You Should Be Able To Tell The Difference) February 14, 2017
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Matt Johnson, Flickr Creative Commons

As one who studies culture for a living– most specifically, religious culture, I will tell you that technically there are over 40,000 Christian sects in the world.

But realistically? There’s only two kinds of Christian– and honestly, I’m tired of pretending there’s not.

It doesn’t matter what kind (denomination) of Christian you are; there are still only two types: one is the member of a Christian religion, and the other is someone who is actively living like Jesus.

I don’t believe the word “Christian” was ever intended to be used the way we use it in America. When it was first used, the term wasn’t in reference to a well-crafted religion with a long list of tenets, but instead was simply used to describe people who actively did what Jesus said to do. Essentially, the word meant “little Christs.”

Christian, as the word was intended, was measurable– or at least observable. You could tell who was and who wasn’t, and that wasn’t a “judgement” about the state of their heart, either. Being able to tell who was Christian, and who wasn’t, was something one could do by simply observing their outward behavior.

Do they follow the teachings of Jesus, or not?

But that’s not what the term has come to mean in Americanized Christianity. For many of us growing up, if you said a simple prayer at the end of a sermon and “asked Jesus into your heart” you were automatically a Christian. Becoming a Christian was something done in secret, in the most quiet place in your heart. You repeat the words given to you and signify your transition into the group by quietly lifting your hand with “every head bowed, every eye closed,” and at the end you’re part of the group. Since becoming a Christian was internal and not external, there was really no way to know who was a Christian and who wasn’t.

(Well, except if they were gay. If they were gay they *definitely* couldn’t be Christian, but that’s beside the point.)

It strikes me that American Evangelicalism invented an entirely new version of the Christian religion with its own concept of “salvation,” and the consequences of this religion are dire. It has taken the message of Jesus and the biblical mandate to pattern our lives after Jesus, and in so many was reduced it to the near-effortless act of “accepting Christ into your heart.” In fact, it’s become a bizarre religion where one can actually refer to themselves as a Christian while simultaneously disagreeing with what Jesus taught. 

That’s not how this thing was originally supposed to work, folks. If one disagrees with Jesus, the word Christian ought not apply.

In Americanized Christianity we use Christian as a noun when originally, Christian was more of an adjective. It wasn’t so much about something you were, but was more about something you were doing. You were actively living out the teachings of Jesus, and this was easily observable– either you agreed with Jesus and did what he taught, or you didn’t.

The confusion of having two types of Christian and a totally different use of the word, creates all sorts of problems. Mainly, it has the ability to lull people into the idea that they’re Christian when often they’re not– at least, not in the original sense. It also complicates things for those of us who want to teach others to be Christian, because we’re no longer able to easily do what was done 2,000 years ago– we’re not able to walk with new disciples and show them, “Here is an example of Christian. Here is an example of not Christian.

Case in point: Franklin Graham. The other day I stated that he was not Christian (in response to his anti-immigrant/anti-refugee beliefs), and of course, I immediately got the expected push-back to such a statement.

How do you really know?” (Implication: how do you know his heart? How do you know he hasn’t “accepted Christ into his heart?”)

Or, of course, some will ask rightly, “is it your job to decide who is or is not a Christian?”

Since Christian has come to mean something different in Americanized Christianity, these objections are totally valid. Since we are operating in a culture where Christian is a noun, and where anyone can secretly be one regardless of what they think about what Jesus said, I don’t know who is that type of Christian and who isn’t. Certainly I don’t know if Franklin Graham has ever asked Jesus into his heart, though I would bank on the fact that he has. Neither is it my place to declare who is part of the Christian religion or not– there’s ultimately 40,000 versions of that and I am not the gate keeper for any of them, let alone all 40,000.

But to me, there are only two types of Christian, and the second one– an adjective instead of a noun, is observable. It doesn’t require the ability to judge the individual heart. It is not something that can only be done by a gate-keeper as if they have any power anyway. It is simply the act of returning Christian to an adjective, and being honest in that it does not apply to people don’t want to do what Jesus said to do.

For all the damage that Americanized Christianity has done, the foundational damage is that it has distorted the word that was first used to describe the disciples of Jesus: Christian.

Instead of describing members of a religion, the word used to mean something so much more. It used to describe what people were doing, and who they were following. It used to be so loaded with meaning that the act of being Christian was totally observable and obvious to anyone around you.

The reality in Americanized Christianity is that you can be “a Christian” without actually being “Christian.” They are two, totally distinct identities.

That’s not how it’s supposed to work.

Christian used to actually mean something, and I don’t think we should be afraid to say it.


unafraid 300Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a public theologian and cultural anthropologist who is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with graduate degrees in the fields of Theology and International Culture, and holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com. 

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  • Wolf

    Thank you for this. I’ve long thought the same thing. Christians (noun) are quick to say “you can’t know someone’s heart,” but only when criticism is being applied to someone on the “inside.” But apparently, Christians (noun) can absolutely judge someone’s heart if that person is outside of that “narrow gate” that they’ve appointed themselves gatekeepers of.

    At the risk of proof-texting, there are so many verses about “salt of the earth,” “light of the world,” etc. – and this is exactly what those verses are talking about. Jesus said this so many times. The two verses that I think hit it home the best are Matthew 5:16: “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” And John 13:35: “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

    The “Christian noun” movement HAS, in many ways, simplified Christianity into an effortless “ask Jesus into your heart” kinda deal. And the thing is, they didn’t need to simplify it because Jesus already made it so simple: he said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.

  • Trevor Stoute

    Absolutely, but of course using the term ‘American Christianity’ raises flags for many.. you’re stepping on people’s patriotism; don’t forget America is a christian nation. Also worth noting that this version has been spread far and wide across the planet, where it’s seen as THE version.

  • Matthew

    I live in a country where the secular realm of government, in its current policies, often looks very Christian, but many in the government would probably never call on Jesus as Lord and Saviour. They seem to “get” the life and teachings part but not the salvific part. It’s the reversal with many conservative evangelicals (mostly American) and that is of great concern to me as well.

    Because of this tendency toward polarization, I will continue with my both/and mantra.

  • See the chapter titled “the two gospels” in “A Conspiracy of Love: Following Jesus in a Postmodern World.”

  • Realist1234

    This is nothing new. Jesus said by their fruits you will know them. James said works and faith go hand in hand. Paul said ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.’

  • The radical internalization, individualization, and spiritualization of what it means to be a Christian has had a staggering amount of effects, not just in personal belief, but as you point out, sociology as well. Missiology and evangelism, too.

    In fact, it’s hard to think of anything in the standard theological edifice of American evangelicalism that has not sliced and diced the Bible through that grid, and it’s equally hard to think of practices that are not impacted by it.

    There is just a world of difference between, “The kingdom of God has come in your midst” and “if you believe the right things, you’ll go to Heaven when you die.”

  • gimpi1

    This is fascinating… so, Dr. Corey, I genuinely admire the moral example of Jesus and do my poor best to emulate it as I can, but at this point, I can’t say I believe Jesus (or anyone) is specifically divine. I simply don’t see good evidence for that interpretation.

    Does my desire to follow Jesus’s ethical teachings make me a Christian in spite of my lack of faith? Am I able to do “Christian” as a verb while not finding enough evidence for becoming a noun “Christian?”

  • jaydweaver

    Paul made a big deal about the fact that one did not have to become “A Jew” to become Christian. Maybe if he were writing to the churches of America today, he would also agree that one did not have to become “A Christian” in order to become Christian.

  • Etranger

    This is a very thought provoking piece! I like your phrase:
    “The reality in Americanized Christianity is that you can be “a Christian” without actually being “Christian.” They are two, totally distinct identities.”

    I think this can be read in several ways. For instance, I believe you are using to describe being nominally Christian without living the Christian way. But I think it can actually be understood as showing that one can even be non-Christian nominally but live in the way of Christ. What this shows me oftentimes is that living like Christ is more just living ethically and obeying the commandment “love one another”. At the end of the day, if we are doing that, there is no need for the formalized structures of the church and the inherent judgment that goes hand in hand with that.

  • jammerjim

    I agree with this article. I think it represents one place where the Protestant emphasis on Grace over Works has gone off the rails (I identify as Lutheran, by the way). True that all the endowed monasteries in the world are not going to save you if you are in fact a black-hearted villian. But neither will just saying the words “I accept Jesus” if you don’t try and do the things he says. (edited for a missing word)

  • apoxbeonyou

    Yes.

  • apoxbeonyou

    Boom. And the ‘ask into your heart’ crowd has created a very political, exclusionary force that now has to be reckoned with. Hence the reason for multiple blogs from multiple writers trying to defend what the faith is actually supposed to be (and do). It’s an uphill battle but, for me, it’s everything.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    While I agree with the general sentiment you are in danger of defining “Christian” as “someone who agrees with me in political and social issues”.
    If to be a Christian means to perfectly follow Christ, there aren’t any and never will be, until Christ returns and the world is made perfect and reconciled to him.
    If people e.g. support the refugee ban through misguided fear, or oppose some social security measure because they have bought into the ” dependency harms the poor” con, they are less than perfect Christians, sure, but unless you are perfect, be cautious of saying they aren’t Christians at all.
    That being said, it’s difficult to see how a “Christian” whose supposed “faith” does nothing to motivate them towards even the most imperfect compassion can really be said to even be making the attempt to follow Jesus.

  • Etranger

    It is amazing how, as a nonbeliever who tries to live a good life, I have been subjected to condemnation by “Christians” because I have not accepted “Jesus Christ as my personal lord and savior.” After 20 years of hearing that and observing who tells me that, I have concluded that someone who has accepted “Jesus Christ as their personal lord and savior” lived a really bad life until they were dunked in water! Like make me blush bad. I will give credit to the nuns who taught me in elementary school – they always said that you should never tell people you are a christian but they should figure it out by how you act. But of course that gets in to the protestant/Catholic divide on the role of good works.

  • Diane Stiles

    I recently received the greatest compliment ever from a young gay man I have known for many years. It was simply that more people, himself included, would be Christian if more people were like me, living the faith rather than telling him why he was wrong. That continues to mean a great deal to me. I agree with this article on so many levels, especially in the current political climate.

  • Al Cruise

    American Evangelicalism/fundamentalism is a form of tribalism , it is not a faith. Adherence requires only minimal thinking/aptitude, which is something that is preferred by the leaders of the tribe.

  • Al Cruise

    I second that.

  • RickFrueh

    I was awakened to this right after the first Gulf War during the Rush Limbaugh craze. But almost all of it finds its source in American nationalism. We have imagined idols as golden calves, but today they are red, white, and blue high places.

  • Al Cruise

    The ethical teachings are the “Kingdom of God” and you can find people from every faith in the world who follow them . There are also people with no “noun” to describe their beliefs, who follow them. To partake in the Kingdom of God does not require any religious “noun/title” to be valid and bring the participant eternal life.

  • menomanmd

    “Christian” is a noun. It’s just that the definition has changed so that we have to find new language – like “Christ follower.” Just as a one time Jimmy Carter was not just a “Christian” but a “born-again Christian.” Just as the beautiful word “Evangelical” has been co-opted. I find that “Christian” makes a lousy adjective as in “Christian nation.” which is oxymoronic when one understand the Kingdom. I use the word “americhristian” to refer to those who have this warped sense of having Jesus’ lordship in one very small sphere of their lives. what I am saying is I agree with you completely in that there is a bunch of folk living in the last vestiges of modernism who believe Christianity is a belief system divorced from behavior (love), but my nomenclature/grammar is shades different than yours. Somebody important said you will know a tree by its fruit.

  • Yes.

  • Brilliant explanatory,… The anabaptist-mennonite historical narrative plays out interestingly in the experience of U.S.President Thomas Jefferson,POTUS-No.3. While in office he read the bible and upon retirement rewrote the bible having studied it in four different languages. In removing the “ignorance-and-roguery-of-men” he published the jefferson-bible,the philosophy and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth,1904,U.S.Government-printing-office. After graduating for the college of william & mary,[second oldest college in america] he wrote the U.S.Declaration of Independence,U.S.Constitution,various other laws and governance of the commonwealth of Virginia, in addition to U.S.President, he held the offices of U.S.Vice President,U.S.Secretary of State,and U.S.Ambassador. He was more than a philosopher, upon which the U.S.Library of Congress,the world’s largest,whose library was built. He found the philosophy and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth to be superior to any of the ancient classical philosophers. The role of ancient philosophers, it seems to me in my view was to reach understanding of truth using argumentation – usually taking the didactic of dichotomy to reach a tertium quid. But not usually used to construct the messy realm of law and governance. Jefferson,was different,he not only understood principles of philosophy but was able to harness his understanding to forge bold declarations for practical thinking and governance – a republic democracy. Upon deeply examining the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth he could easily discern the “diamonds-in-the-dung-hill”.

    When forging the U.S.Constitution he corresponded with the NewEngland Baptist association to understand the concept of separation of church and state. A concept carried over from the first baptist church in america by Roger Williams who was familiar with the mennonite doctrine. Williams made it clear the christian doctrines of the puritans of Boston,Salem, and pilgrims of Plymouth did not accurately reflect biblical understanding. Baptists,as the amish are second generation mennonites.,… just saying.

  • JimBurke

    “As one who studies culture for a living– most specifically, religious culture, I will tell you that technically there is over 40,000 Christian sects in the world.” Loved the article, but shouldn’t it be ” . . . there ARE . . .”?

  • sugarpuddin

    There is no God and no Satan. There are many great teachers, including Jesus. But to me, the buck stops here. I am, as Omar said Heaven and Hell. I do good and show love because it makes me feel fulfilled, not for any expectation of reward or punishment. It seems to me that religion causes most of the problems in the world. Religion is a set of rules regulations that exchange compassion for dogma.

  • Jackm Cm

    Eternity where will you spend eternity? Death is a reality we all must face and the question you need to ask yourself is: Where am I going when I die? The bible says that when we die we either go to HEAVEN OR HELL. To get to heaven on our own merits we must be perfect. However no one is perfect. In fact, we have all sinned against God. We naturally do which is wrong: we lie, steal, lust , hate,… disrespect God, get drunk etc. Because God is good judge he must punish sin and the way he punish sin and the way God will punish us for our sins by sending us to hell for eternity. However God provided the way for you to have your sins forgiven and enter heaven when you die. Jesus Christ came to earth to die on the cross in the place of sinners and 3 days later He rose again, defeating sin and death. To be forgiven of all your sins, you must repent (turn from and forsake your sins) and trust in JESUS death and resurrection as the only means by which all your sins can be forgiven. Please do that today

  • Yes, I’ve seen that Kirk Cameron show, too.

  • Al Cruise

    According to your definition, salvation is by place and timing of your birth. Being born before the Bible was written would automatically doom a person. Your version of salvation wasn’t propagated until the reformation and even then many people were not exposed to it for centuries and dooming them all according to your understanding . As someone who has worked in street/outreach for over forty years with the least amongst and being with some in their final moments of life, it’s clear to see that your beliefs on happens to someone after death are false. If anything it’s your soul that is danger.

  • Herm

    He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

    Matthew 12:48-50 (NIV2011)

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:26-27 (NIV2011)

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

  • The “ask Jesus into your heart” is doing for American Christianity what Constantine’s Sword did for the early church. There is no cost to discipleship and thus a cheap grace as it has been called.

  • Tim

    “Since becoming a Christian was internal and not external, there was really no way to know who was a Christian and who wasn’t.”

    This was one of the reasons the puritan/ protestant work ethic was introduced. The external method that they used to measure God’s favour on their lives was/is material wealth from hard work. This ideology forms part of the basis of capitalism.

  • Tim

    Another problem with American Christianity is this fiction. This is not what the bible teaches; it is what many of us have been told it teaches.

  • Matthew

    Excellent point(s) Iain Lovejoy.

    I think when we begin to emphasize outward marks over and beyond inward experience we run the risk of trotting down the legalism path. This has happened in groups/sects where life and teachings (e.g. Sermon on the Mount) has a primary place in the life of the community. I tend to think it´s the reason “the ban” which is used by some Anabaptist communities (maybe others?) came into being.

    When I try to get it right, but still don´t, I´m eternally thankful for grace. That said, resting in grace´s provision certainly does cheapen it all. Balance is the key really.

  • Bones

    You’re probably a better Christian than many ‘Christians’.

  • Jennny

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mahatma Gandhi. Thank you Dr Corey for another insightful post.

  • Jennny

    .Your version of salvation wasn’t propagated until the reformation
    and even then many people were not exposed to it for centuries and
    dooming them all according to your understanding.
    Well said, Does Jackm Cm realise that till the reformation and many years after it, society was illiterate? Hence the beautiful stained glass windows in my ancient british church, they were the cartoons of the day, telling bible stories. Services were in Latin and I’m sure I’ve never heard of a priest anywhere bible thumping John 3v16 in Latin and giving altar calls like a former-day Billy Graham. Heaven will be populated only by those who lived after, say 1700, pick a date when the bible was able to be read by the laity and they could fall on their knees and ‘accept Jesus as their personal Saviour?’ I don’t think so.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Now there I fear we disagree. I don’t think being a Christian in a meaningful sense is about “inward experience” at all: it is about following Jesus. Not accurately, not consistently, not reliably or to any particular standard or particularly well, but at the very least honouring it in recognising one ought to be and being willing to keep making the attempt.
    That being said, you can’t, I think, necessarily judge accurately whether someone is doing so without knowing them, listening to them and walking in their shoes (and maybe not even then sometimes).
    (I looked up the “ban” and I would say to ban someone from communion with the church because they are a sinner is a grave error, rather like banning someone from a hospital because they are too sick.)

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much.

  • Matthew

    Do you think the church was not in need of reform? Should reform also continue taking place in the modern church?

  • Uncle Scott

    FACEBOOK FEATURES TWO DISTINCT TYPES OF CHRISTIAN FORA: Fundamentalist-Evangelical, of the sort we see across the media, and Christian Left, less prominent but just as vocal.

    My own take on the Christ figure of the four canonized gospels (I’ve read all the others, as well) is an amalgam of a number of different personalities, some mutually contradictory (Watch the Text); and the emergent result, when evaluating our two distinct Christianities, is identical to what we see when we evaluate our polar politics.

    On the one hand, there is a large cognitive cluster of authoritarians: determined to exalt a great leader, outsource their beliefs and decisions to him, and consider all who do not follow him to be an enemy to be vanquished; outsiders are to be opposed, and loyalty to the group to be prized above all. They look forward to their Christ returning and blasting the earth clean with righteous fire.

    On the other hand, there is a large cognitive cluster of egalitarians: determined to worship an emergent Christ to be found within those around them, committed to lifting up those of low degree; outsiders are not enemies to be vanquished, but of value as great as any in-group member. They look forward to “thy kingdom come…on earth.”

    This reflects, almost note for note, what we see in politics: lines that were blurred to some degree in the past have been polarized into stark clarity in recent years.

    Two points: first, the canonized gospels offer up both Christs, the authoritarian one and the egalitarian one; the two different Christianities are simply gravitating toward the one that makes the most sense to them…

    …which leads me to the second point: both of these points of view are valid, natural, real – they reflect the social reasoning of the ancient human brain. Neither is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – they are built into our differing cognitive configurations, greatly amplified by the clustering.

    The unification of American Christianity, then, depends upon the same concessions we need in politics: a commitment to diversity, a diminishment of cognitive clustering – and the abandonment of that most sacred Christian binky, “I Am Right!”

  • Matthew

    It’s both/and not either/or

  • Herm

    How right was I on the kindergarten playground? How right was the bully’s gang who intimidated their rightness on the rest of us less authoritarians? As long as I know I am, in the spirit of truth, I will realize more and more an eternity yet to go before I have learned to be all right. After 7 decades I am learning more and more how little I know to be right. i am left

  • Jennny

    Matthew it certainly should, I will be grieved in a few days time when the Church of England Synod will most probably vote against allowing SSMs in their churches. i was merely pointing out that those who say we need to read the gospels for ourselves and claim Jesus as our personal saviour – and I think that may be a picture of the odious Mr Graham with his association with altar calls – seem to forget how recently universal literacy and the liturgy in one’s mother tongue are the norm.

  • ashpenaz

    In my comments to this blog, I often use the word “Antichrist.” I don’t think there are two types of Christianity. I think there are people who follow Jesus and people who follow the Antichrist. You can judge them by their fruit. The people who follow Jesus do the sorts of things Jesus would do and are concerned about the issues Jesus is concerned about. Those who follow Antichrist deny that Jesus has come in the flesh by ignoring or twisting His commands.

    Why are progressives afraid to use “Antichrist?” Why can’t we write apocalyptic fiction with a Trump-figure as the Beast? 1984 and It Can’t Happen Here should be the template for the progressive Left Behind.

  • megaforte84

    And you still see echoes of that underlying logic with ‘that person doesn’t really need government aid/therapy/etc, they need to Get Right With God!’ and ‘if you’ve got any problem in your life, just turn to the Lord, repeat the Sinner’s Prayer after me, and he’ll just fix everything for you’.

    (Which is how my childhood church convinced me for a school year that was too worthless for God to listen to for so much as the Sinner’s Prayer, because if he had the bullying at school would have stopped. And the first time I prayed it had been during a semi-mystical experience under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit, so convincing me of that took some work.)

  • Iain Lovejoy

    You are getting some flak for your post which is perhaps unfair. If you read Ben’s blog carefully you will see that his criticism of nominal Christians is of those who think “repent of your sins” doesn’t mean resolving to lead a new life guided by Jesus but signing up to the correct church as a sort of afterlife insurance scheme. Many of the harsh things said about what you have said come from people not actually reading what it says, rather what they assume you mean.
    That being said, it is odd of you to post in response to a Christian writer urging people to follow Jesus in practice their lives with what appears to be an urgent appeal to convert to Christianity. I would be interested in what you think you are saying here?

  • Al Cruise

    Jennny, I agree with everything you say. The irony is for many just accepting Jesus still isn’t enough. They break it down even more, you have to be baptized by immersion to be saved, you have to speak in tongues to be saved, you have to be elect to be saved, you have to worship on Saturday to be saved, you have to read the KJV Bible to be saved, women have to wear a head covering to be saved, these are just a few of the things I have been told over the years. Many of these things come from people with a so called Phd in Divinity, that’s the real embarrassment of it all.

  • Olive

    Ooh, good point!

  • Herm

    On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:20-21 (NIV2011)

    There are children of God on earth today to whom “that day” has come. We have seen the Son of Man come in a cloud with power and great glory. He is in us and we in Him as we are in our Father and He in us.

    All others who blindly exert an authority of intimidation in His name are anti Christ’s perfectly sufficient authority over all of heaven and on earth granted by our Father 1,984 earth years ago.

  • megaforte84

    Many of the same passages warn against those who try to get others to follow religious rules not because the rules are good to live by, but so they themselves may boast of how many they’ve gotten to follow those rules.

    As someone whose salvation timing was lied about so a pastor could boost his Saved By Him number by one in the eyes of man (who was the church going to trust, a teenage girl requesting baptism or the senior pastor who’d been hired years after she Prayed The Prayer?), those passages in my eyes do speak to things happening right now.

    Only about half the Why You Should Bring People To Christ sermons I’ve ever heard were about the other person’s wellbeing. The rest were about earning crowns in heaven and ‘what will you tell the Lord if you didn’t save a bunch of people’ and even up to ‘you can’t be sure you’re a REAL Christian until you’ve led someone to Christ yourself’. Bragging rights, now until the end of eternity. A way to keep score that you can take with you. (And they wondered why I opted out of hard-sell witnessing….)

  • megaforte84

    Part of that is the push towards Having An Impressive Testimony available for witness, even when that involves substantial fudging of the facts. I got marginally shamed for refusing to, even after I pointed out that no, a second grader with a stay-at-home mother did not exactly have the chance to rack up an impressive list of sins.

    So someone who’d smoked a cigarette once will claim they were saved from drugs. Consensual sex with one teenage dating partner becomes being saved from a life of sleeping with ALL the boys. Someone who shoplifted twice will talk about having been a thief before they were saved as if they were committing armed bank robbery. There are even a few ex-gay testimonies I’ve heard that probably boil down to ‘I had a single sexual thought about another boy in gym class at fifteen, talked to the pastor, prayed a lot, and never thought that way about anyone but girls after that’ once you get past the trained testimony inflation.

    (And yes, Ben Carson’s story about nearly stabbing the guy ‘if the knife hadn’t been stopped by his belt buckle’ got the acclaim it did in evangelical circles because it fits EXACTLY the mold of a properly manufactured testimony that didn’t actually involve as extreme an offense in reality as claimed.)

  • Nimblewill

    What about a member of the Christian religion who is actively “seeking” to learn how to follow Jesus? There are many roads on the journey. I would bet my last dollar that that’s where you started.

  • Etranger

    True, there might be some exaggeration. I am often shocked though how awful people were. I always followed the rules – but I was raised a good Catholic boy :) It doesn’t surprise me that some folks needed saving through baptism and being born again – they need whatever crutch they can get because they were not doing too well on their own lol.

  • Noah

    True enough. I imagine a lot of us are seeking Jesus through different lenses (teachings). Most of which is likely distorted or complicated.

    We often seek validation, the kind given to one of the thieves on the cross with Jesus. The noun part; we’re saved.

    The verb bit is tougher. Love God, love our neighbors, carry our cross daily. Easy to fail this part.

  • Noah

    Throw in geographic Israel.

  • Allen

    I dont really care if one calls themselves a Christian or Jesus follower or someone that love Jesus. None of that matters. All that matters is if you are following that book. If you are following that book and respect and love it i don’t care what you call yourself . You are low low person and this is why. Living like Jesus is not just about love it is also about hate. You can go on for hours about how Jesus ate with people who were not liked during his time or say that Jesus healed people. You can even claim to say you don’t hate gay people just disagree with them but what you are leaving out is the rest of the things the bible says that either Jesus supports or is actively telling you. Like that non believers are condemned already and will be punished and burned or that gay people are sick perverts with sick minds who Jesus/God ordered dead at one point but now says should burn after they die. I dont really care what u call yourself you all are still assholes. You follow this Jesus /God in all the horrible things it does. There are so many hateful things in the old testament that this God orders but none of you can bring yourself to say it was wrong in that context. You guys have no real moral backbone !you are just followers of supreme being and care absoultelty nothing about what it does just like the people you are criticizing. That’s what you guys don’t get. You talk about other “Christians” and how mean a low they are without evaluating yourselves. The beliefs you hold are equally terrible. Just because you speak in a nice tone and softer voice don’t make you any better…. What you are trying to do is separate yourself from “Christians” who are very cruel openly while you yourselves hold the same views.. Just because you aren’t openly cruel doesn’t make you a better person. You guys are still terrible too. Call it whatever you want.. Christian, Christ follower, etc but at the end of the day all it is a group of people who think they are better than another as well as believe people who dont follow their way should and will be punished with violence. You can dress it up any way you want but that what it comes down to….

  • I was talking with someone earlier today about the academic discussion surrounding πιστις Χριστου – in brief, the discussion is about whether Paul meant by that (ambiguous) phrase “faith in Christ” or “the faithfulness of Christ.” And the reason this matters, in general and as a continuation of your comment, is that Paul’s talking salvation. So if you’re of the belief that Paul is saying a person is saved by faith in Christ, your evangelism looks just like what you were talking about (and what Ben was talking about in the original post). You want to make sure that as many people as possible have prayed the right prayer and “been led to Christ” (which is never defined all that clearly), and that’s about it. But if you think Paul’s saying were saved by the faithfulness of Christ, then it’s all about sharing the joy of the salvation that you’ve come to know.

  • Allen

    The fact that you aren’t telling him that he is wrong to his face doesn’t change the fact that you think he is wrong . Not only do u think he is wrong you believe he should or will be punished with violence.. I have a hard time understanding why gay people would want to befriend Christians or be Christians given the Christian religion says gays are sick perverts with sick minds who should burn.. At one time the God that all Christians love and worship said that gays should be put to death and Christians can’t bring themselves to disagree that that was wrong in that context.. I dont understand how on one hand it is ok to beielve that violence should come to your gay friend in the form of burning because of your religion yet at the same time stress that you have strong friendships with gays and love them.. . I dont think religious people are idoits or stupid but at some point you must realize this is really alarming .

  • Cheryl Simon

    Spot on, sir!

  • Diane Stiles

    I don’t at all believe he is wrong. I believe he is created in God’s image, loved by God and don’t believe he will be condemned, burned, violated or harmed for being gay. I don’t subscribe to the Levitcal code and believe it is totally taken out of context. It does alarm me that there are those who call themselves Christians and DO subscribe to such hateful views. But there are many of us who do not.

  • TheBlogFodder

    I refer to them as Republican Jesus Christians and Jesus of the Gospel Christians.

  • dmcrane

    I did not know about the correspondence with the New England Baptist Assoc. but I know the first protest I was ever involved in was with my Baptist Church in Washington was protesting putting “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance. The Baptist belief in Separation of Church and State was absolute back then. To this day I refuse to say “under God” while saying the Pledge. A few years later in Florida my Southern Baptist church protested the attempt to mandate prayer in schools. So different from today.

  • Herm

    Interesting that you speak with such hostile authority. I don’t follow the book but I do follow exactly as this is spelled out in the book. This is very real to, with and in me.

    The word of God is not the Bible but comes from the filling of the Spirit of truth within.

    How do you read these short phrases from the book?

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:26-27 (NIV2011)

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31 (NIV2011)

    I am truly sorry you’ve been hurt so! You are loved!!!

  • Brandon Roberts

    not religous myself.

  • Tim

    Aye.

  • Tim

    There are only two types of Christian, and you can tell the difference.

    Fixed that for you.

  • Uncle Scott

    The point is that egalitarian Christians consider their worldview superior to that of authoritarian Christians – and neither worldview is a clear winner in holy text (though both sides try their hardest). Both egalitarianism and authoritarianism, as predispositions of personality, derive from brain features we are born with. The social behaviors that follow are reinforced by our religious in-groups, both of which teach us our view is the correct view from the time we can crawl.

    Condescension toward and derision of the Christian Right by the Christian Left is as empty and pointless in the end, then, as the squabble between political Right and Left: since the divide is between naturally-dispensed cognitive styles, it will never, ever be resolved through condescension, derision, or squabble.

    The Christian Left rises to its claims about itself when it starts viewing the Christian Right as people, not opponents, and by “people” I mean beings with nervous systems that operate according to natural phenomena like genetics and biochemistry, and in anthropological terms. We are, after all, the branch of religion that takes science seriously, right?

    This approach beats self-righteous anger, hands down. It humanizes me, my friend on the Right, and the playground bully.

  • Jeff

    The problem with this is that the real Jesus was a zealous Jew who has been lost in Christian doctrine. So, the question is just how did a zealous Jew live? He was executed by Rome for sedition because he was not the person that Paul invented. To see the real Jesus, you must see through the emendations layered over the gospels’ Jewish source.

  • jbandsma

    And for the first 300 years of ‘christianity’ you couldn’t be a ‘christian’ if you weren’t a Jew.

  • Herm

    Both egalitarianism and authoritarianism, as predispositions of personality, derive from brain features we are born with.

    This, then, is the only solution as is written in, as you call it, “holy text”:

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:26-27 (NIV2011)

    Those of us who are students (disciples) of the Messiah’s lessons, are not left, are not right, but are centered on His instructions that differ more productively and constructively for all of mankind from our destructive exclusive predispositions of birth. There is a notable difference in attitude among disciples of Christ, who are spirit in Christ and Christ in them, from those who are members of the Christian Right and the Christian Left.

    When we are empathetic, compassionate and forgiving (in the example of our Brother, enough so that we each carry our own cross for those who would crucify us left and right in defense of their predisposed traditions of birth) we cannot silently stand to watch people who we love destroying people who we love. We do have to occasionally express our grief (woe) for our siblings of Man even as siblings in God.

    The point is that we do have one Teacher and one Instructor who do center us from the woes of the left and the right who each we love as does our one Father. Is that not the Good News (the Gospel)? Our salvation is from the predisposition of our blood and community DNA (that we hate because it is self-righteously destructive) when we accept to be whelmed by the Holy Spirit today.

    I have never feared, especially before accepting to be filled by the Dove, heaven or hell because I knew there is nothing on earth from which I could possibly understand either. I have grown to where I don’t fear pain and/or death but I do honestly have a healthy respect for each to stay away from both as much as possible in love for my self, my good neighbor, the Lord my God and, yes, for my enemy on the left and on the right.

    I didn’t begin to desire a life beyond this carnal life until I began to project on how much of life I wanted to learn and adventure in. When it became obvious that I couldn’t possibly do all I wanted to do in my allotted 120 years (if lucky) then extending life became more of value to me. I love learning, adventuring and sharing beyond what I can achieve trapped on this earth for such a brief moment. By my calculations today it might be just after the end of eternity that I’ve done and learned all there is.

    There is one united by the Holy Spirit God, bound firmly inside love for the whole, and there is one, that I know of today, fragmented species of mankind graced with the spirit image of God.

    The God in me, and I in Them, has no self-righteous anger. I stand up to my friends on the right, my friends on the left and the playground bullies when they intimidate, manipulate and subjugate others as they would not have others do to them or theirs. I hate the spirit of humanization when individual spirits in the image of God destroy other individual spirits in the name of patriotism for only me and mine first and foremost. I love the Spirit of God that makes it possible for me to mount the cross I carry in love and hope that those who would destroy me have more time to learn to love as my Father loves them, by my example and His forgiveness. I know where my treasure is stored and it isn’t here.

  • gimpi1

    Thank all of you for your affirmations. All we can do is our best, and I’m resolved to try. I’ve always felt that it matters more what you do than in who’s name you do it. It’s nice to find that I’m not alone in that. Thanks again!

  • apoxbeonyou

    I don’t expect any reward or punishment; I do good because it is the right thing to do. But yes, I do agree that religion causes many problems.

    Also, I want to believe there is a God but I don’t preach He exists because I cannot prove it. And the teachings of Jesus weren’t 100% unique; others had sad the same types of things before him. He was just teaching a certain people who were following old laws. That’s why it is important to understand context (external and internal) of any religious texts; who/why/when/where etc.

  • Matthew James Longstaff

    Agreed. Also, that ideology leads to the endorsing of greed, despite Christ’s commands.

  • VisionaryJax

    Bravo Benjamin. Dear Francis of Assisi based his brotherhood (and dear Clare her sisterhood) on DOING rather than knowing, believing or debating. Although they were of course within the Catholic tradition, they were on the “fringe” where what they did (as Christ in this world) defined who they were, without the emphasis on whether they were rightly “believing.” More of us need to get back to such a form of Christianity.

  • Allen

    God ordered the killing of gay people in the OT.. My question to you is do u believe that that was right in that context? Meaning do you beielve it was morally correct for God to order the murder of gay people during that time..

  • Herm

    Where did you get that?

  • Allen

    im being realistic and you are being deceptive. You want to pretend that it is all love and kindness and it isnt.

    Romans 1:26-28

    26Because of this, God gave them
    over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual
    relations for unnatural ones.27In the same way the men also
    abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for
    one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in
    themselves the due penalty for their error.28Furthermore, just as they did
    not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them
    over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

    1 Timothy 1:8-11

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11

    Psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart, “God does not exist.” They are corrupt; they do vile deeds. There is no one who does good.

    Romans 1:28-30 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done. They
    are filled with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness,
    covetousness, malice. They are rife with envy, murder, strife, deceit,
    hostility. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God,
    insolent, arrogant, boastful, contrivers of all sorts of evil,
    disobedient to parents, senseless, covenant-breakers, heartless,
    ruthless. Although they fully know God’s righteous decree that those who
    practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also
    approve of those who practice them.

    I’m not hurt by your hateful ideology im just not going to let you get away with the lies that you are selling…. You can’t claim to “love” a group of people that you believe so much against….

  • Bernard Zaleha, Ph.D.
  • Herm

    This is getting weirder and weirder. Exactly who or what is your source for this revelation?

    I have a reliable source teaching me first hand that you don’t know the Christian Way and certainly not the Messiah.

    Which zealous Jew was Jesus? Certainly not the Zealots that advocated the sword rather than the cross as a solution to their religious strife. He clearly was not a Sadducee, Pharisee, Qumran, or Essene for none of those hailed from Nazareth. Jesus the Christ on earth was by trade a Nazarene carpenter, for over a decade, who is no where witnessed to have wielded a sword.

    What is your authority by which you can make such flat statements expecting to influence any in this forum?

  • Herm

    Have you been on this forum before? If you are speaking to any of us who live here believing “against” LGBTQ you have us all wrong. We are diverse here each on their own unique point within the spectrum of gender and sexuality. Our law is summed up in do to others as we would have others do to us. A lot of us know the difference between the teaching of Paul, Moses, Peter, and James as not being perfectly in the know as the instructions from the Messiah directly. You accuse us of crimes against God’s love that we are not guilty of.

    The christian human compilation and translation of testimony and witness, known as the Christian Bible, is not the word of God. From it, although, we can find to accept to be filled to speak the word of God boldly.

    This bears repeating, always:

    I am truly sorry you’ve been hurt so! We do have empathy, tolerance, and compassion here for all children of Man. In our makeup here there are LBGTQ children of Man who are now children of God filled by the Spirit of truth. You are loved!!!

  • gimpi1

    That phrase caught my eye, too. I had to read it over several times before I caught the difference between “Christian” and “a Christian.” It’s a real thinker of a statement.

  • Allen

    again you are being deceptive…Lets not forget God ordered gay people killed in the OT. Many Christians believe Jesus is God or Jesus is a messenger of God. If you believe Jesus is God then the thing you love and say is all about love asked for gays to be murdered. If you believe Jesus is a messenger then remember Jesus agreed and supported everything God said. You can’t wiggle out of this like u would like 2 .

  • gimpi1

    Your first job here would be to prove that there’s such a thing as eternal life. Your question is meaningless without an answer to that question first… if eternal life is not real, no one spends eternity anywhere.

    Do you have incontrovertible evidence for eternal survival of the human personality?

  • David Hill

    The Apostle Paul might disagree. I 1 Cor he called some believer, babes in Christ or carnal. But then facts don’t matter when opinions are in play.

  • Herm

    This is only a little of what Jesus the Christ was witnessed saying that is counter to the Old Testament:

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

    Matthew 5:38-42 (NIV2011)

    These are those Old Testament scriptures written by the Levite priests who abused authority given them under the covenant of Moses:

    But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

    Exodus 21:23-25 (NIV2011)

    Anyone who injures their neighbor is to be injured in the same manner: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury. Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a human being is to be put to death.

    Leviticus 24:19-21 (NIV2011)

    Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

    Deuteronomy 19:21 (NIV2011)

    This, again, is what Jesus the Christ was witnessed saying that was counter to the Old Testament:

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    Matthew 5:43-48 (NIV2011)

    Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them as long as you live.

    Deuteronomy 23:6 (NIV2011)

    Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.

    Psalm 139:21-22 (NIV2011)

    Allen, do not believe me. You can go directly, right this moment, right to Christ and the heavenly Father and ask them. I am not the judge. I do know what Jesus said in the Bible and says to me right this moment. He does not condemn the gay for being gay, period. I challenge you to find Jesus condemning homosexuality in the Bible; witnessed and chronicled as coming directly from His own mouth.

    Today, to you, I will write a Newer Testament to my witness of my Brother Jesus with all authority over heaven and on earth. It has been 1,984 years now since His ascension into heaven with that over all supreme authority. God is spirit, Jesus is spirit, the image of God made in Man is spirit. The good news that is directly from the word of God is that once filled with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, you become a child of God, a little sibling of Jesus.

    Jesus did say that the entire law of God, not to be confused with the Old Testament law under the covenant of Moses, are these:

    So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

    Matthew 7:12 (NIV2011)

    and

    “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

    Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV2011)

    Of which that last scripture is the entire Decalogue (the Ten Commandments) written by the hand of God in stone summed up. All else is superfluous to the will of our Father in heaven and an invention of mankind, well intentioned or not.

    Like Matthew 22:36-40 here is Jesus telling us all what we must do to live:

    On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

    He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    Luke 10:25-28 (NIV2011)

    Do you read anything in the entire law as summed up by Jesus’ own words that can in anyway be interpreted as God ordering gay people to be killed? Is there any reason you, too, cannot inherit as a child of God eternal life as determined by the words of Jesus alone?

    Let me leave you with a scriptural example that occurred before the New Testament was written and published regarding the true word of God that you can know for certain in you:

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31 (NIV2011)

    I testify to you that I am filled to know to speak the word of God boldly. You are not judged for your sexuality or gender representation. We are all judged according to an attitude of spirit that all who live today will be constructive or destructive if allowed to influence the eternal life of others. The fact is that those who cannot love per the law will cease to influence or be influenced as one the dead spirits who know nothing. Those who do love and will grow in their love without end will live to influence and be influenced eternally.

    It is you who judge me, along with God, of which neither of us do you know enough to make such a judgment. Though I am an imperfect infant child of God, if you actually knew me you would recognize my Father, my divine Brother and all my siblings of our truly loving God of all.

    So, apparently, according to the Bible Jesus did not support nor agree with everything God is purported to have said in the Bible. When you actually know Jesus as a brother you will understand why.

    Love you!

  • Herm

    The movie is playing right now, at the end I will let you know first thing for sure. Meanwhile, I’ll just focus on trying my hardest to do to all others as I would have all others do to me, as you have been an excellent example, thank you!

  • Beverley Davis

    I no longer consider myself a Christian. I still love Jesus and believe in a creator of the Universe, but there is no place within the established Gay or Straight church that respects women. Gay men are in many ways worse because they completely write us out of the narrative. John 3:16 does not say I have to be a man to be saved. We all create god in our own image…..to me God does not look down on women.

  • Beverley Davis

    I refer to them as straight Jesus and Gay Jesus. Since women are not included in the gay narrative, I’m pretty sure they are both crap.

  • Ed Senter

    I disagree with the blogger. Jesus never taught an ethic apart from Himself. He never said- do as I do. He said, “Follow Me. I am the way the truth and the life.” Christianity is not a lifestyle. Christianity is life itself.

    That is why Paul could quote the prophet Habakkuk and give it meaning- “The just shall live by faith.”

  • Allen

    Why are Christians so damn deceptive? You say” I challenge you to find Jesus condemning homosexuality in the Bible” . You are trying to find some wiggle room out of this and im not giving you anything. You wrote a lot of things to say absolutely nothing. You didn’t even answer my questions. Again i will ask. Do you believe God ordered the things in the OT? If so then the thing you worship hated gays to the point of putting them to death. If Jesus is God (which many people believe) then they are the same the entity. Are we suppose to ignore the past OT that Jesus/God order the gays put to death?If you believe Jesus is a messenger of God then Jesus supports everything this God does. Jesus says that he wasnt against God law . This Jesus/God doesn’t have to speak directly about it because he has already nodded and agreed that the law putting gays to death was valid and moral. Jesus supported it even if you claim he redeems it that changes nothing about the fact that he agreed with it morally.That’s not mentioning the fact that in the NT it says gays wont inherit the kingdom . You have no leg to stand on. YOu want to take the good parts that sound good and ignore the bad parts and say well that bad stuff isn’t true or that is out of context. The good things never seem up to debate. The fact of the matter is the Ot says gays should be put to death and God ordered this. This is the same God u worship now. Tell me do u support this God when it said killing gays in the context of the Ot was a good thing? Would you kill gays if God reinstate these laws on returning? just answer a a question instead of going in a direction of deception. And Btw sweetie im an atheist. i dont have an ideology that puts you in a place of torture or say that you are bad wrong or evil That is you. I dont hate Christians. Christians hate and supports hates of others.You are the one who agrees and supports hatred against others outside your religion and then pretends its all about love. You are the ones who supports the hateful things in the Bible and the God without questioning them. You throw stones and claim that im the one who judges you. Find the book or belief that says i judge Christians to the point of saying that they should burn or be punished or are bad. On the flip side i can easily find terrible things u believe and support about me. i gave you Bible verses that you seem to ignore.. You aren’t a fucking victim you are the one making claims against others . Once you accept that reilgion you are making judgements about others whether you say them out loud or not. So don’t pretend that you are somehow innocent and none judgmental. You are making many judgmental statements by accepting that religion… Stop playing the non judgmental victim. Christians are far from that and it isnt something that started in the last 30 years

  • Gary Roth

    Wrong. Christianity was originally called, “The Way.” It described a way of life – life lived in the kingdom, under the reign of God. Jesus’ teachings are largely “for instances” of what that way of life is all about. It is not about “being saved” so that one can get to heaven, but a way of living in the world now. To “die to self and put on Christ,” the meaning of baptism, means being his presence in the world – acting as he would act, because his Spirit is within us. “Living by faith,” according to Paul, meant, for instance, breaking down the walls between people – which he said was the chief evidence of the resurrection. And, perhaps, you ought to read the rest of what the prophets say, including Habakkuk – that living by faith means doing justice and righteousness (which refers to the demands of a relationship upon a person), and loving the other as oneself. It also, according to the prophets, includes social justice.

  • Herm

    Allen you didn’t ask this question in your last reply to me, you posed an accusation instead:

    Do you believe God ordered the things in the OT?

    No, I do not!!!

    Jesus is the only begotten Son of Man/Son of God. All Jesus’ disciples are sisters, brothers and mother of Christ Jesus. All Jesus’ disciples are daughters, sons and mother of God.

    Tell me do u support this God when it said killing gays in the context of the Ot was a good thing?

    Please, get it out of your single minded focus that any disciple of Jesus Christ believes what the Levites wrote in the name of their Lord God.

    I am truly sorry you have this one way focus. I wrote you plainly that Jesus did not say any of those things, none.

    If you are playing a hate game for your enjoyment I will simply not answer the questions you pose. You accuse blindly without taking the time to study what I wrote you, that should be real good news for you if you are gay, so it is you who does not care to learn.

    I am not playing a gotcha’ game with someone who just needs to pour their heart out in mindless and heartless accusations with no proof.

    We have members here who are straight, gay, transgender, male, female, Christian, Agnostic, Atheist and in between. If you took the time and read over some of the discussions we have had regarding gay Christians you would know how wrong you are to accuse us as you are.

    Rant if you will but don’t expect any answers to your questions or responses to your empty accusations. There actually may be some peace and joy found here if you would simply listen. If you wish to see what we’ve discussed about LBGT+ just go here:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/category/lgbt/

    You can stay and participate constructively and productively for all of us if you only would actually do to us what you would have us do to you. We can learn from each other when we all accept that as a law to follow in sharing with one another.

  • Allen

    Why does Jesus agree with it… Jesus says he supported the law. Did u forget that? Jesus constantly supported the law of the OT. If your whole thing is Jesus is so kind and loving then why does he constantly support these laws as divine and moral? Matthew 5:18 is totally support of the the OT law and it isnt the only example….

  • Mike Smathers

    I do not think the writer has gotten the differentiation quite correct. There are people who call themselves Christian because they believe a certain set of dogma’s or doctrines, and there are people who follow the way of Christ, who try to live as Jesus taught and showed us – who may or may not call themselves Christian.

  • billwald

    Living according to the Sermon On The Mount e.g. only owning the clothes on your back?

  • billwald

    The big problem of “following the Bible” is identical to the problem of “following the Constitution: The Devil is in the details.”

  • Herm

    Allen, your style of writing shifted to less of a rant with a more mature delivery. I believe you are just funnin’ me or you’re an investigator for Caiaphas. I have been honest and consistent with you. You actually could have comprehended what I shared with you all along but chose to play oblivious.

    I think you do know that the law and the prophets were summed up in total according to Jesus in Matthew 7:12, a mere two chapters later than Matthew 5:18. If you find any inkling of Jesus condemning consenting adult gay people to burn in hell by Jesus’ words quoted in Matthew 7:12 or 22:37-40 regarding the law and the prophets I leave you to your own judgment. As far as when the covenant of Moses was finished it was when the curtain was torn top to bottom and for three days following Jesus knew nothing, for Him the heaven and the earth disappeared. The Moses seat lost its power from the Most Holy place. The covenant of Jesus is now, for the last 1,984 earth years and for the rest of eternity, where all authority over heaven and on earth is. The real temple was then raised in three days with Jesus as high priest from within which we worship God only in spirit.

    The Advocate told me what to say before your court. We know that you are able to understand. We know that it is you who is being deceptive. Still love you!

  • Tim

    To follow up a bit on this; I found this excellent comment on the Experimental Theology board by someone called danaames:

    “But Jesus isn’t talking about “going to heaven.” In Matthew, the phrase “kingdom of heaven” means kingdom of God; Matthew is a pious Jew who is avoiding using the word “God” in common parlance. D. Willard and N.T. Wright do a good job of describing what Jews meant when they used that set of words, and it had nothing to do with going to a place called “Heaven” after we die. “Heaven” is the term used for all of the one reality that is not seen, as opposed to “earth” – all of reality that is seen. Jesus is saying that God’s kingdom – his reign – is breaking in where people never expected it, and it looks different than what they had been taught. It has nothing to do with moral performance. And not resisting evil is exactly what Christ did on the cross – he let evil do its worst to him. But he came out the other side (death and resurrection) and so will we.

    It’s not so difficult once we factor in the 1st century Jewish understanding of things. But people don’t do that, because so many believe that Matthew was written to us. FOR us, yes, but it was written TO Jewish Christians. It can’t be understood any other way.”

  • Nick

    I think Dr. Corey would say that you can tell believers by their actions.

  • Allen

    You never directly answer the question just dodge them. Probably one reason why people are leaving, not flocking, to Christianity. You sound like a lying politician who diverts instead of directly answering the question. I made it very simple to answer as well. Anyways i’m done. I can get the same response from mindless Christians in my coumminty who never answers a direct question… You are determined to ignore everything that contradicts your”Jesus is all love message”. Of course if you ignore all the bad stuff you can falsely express that Jesus is all love. Omit shit that is uncomfortable gives you the results that you want. What u don’t understand is i dont care if Jesus says love everyone as yourself or lets be kind to one of another if the same thing supports an old law saying killing gays was a moral thing. Or that slavery is a good thing. If Hitler was alive today and said love one another no one would give a damn because Hitler asked for the death of many Jews. I dont give a damn about Jesus who supports and endorses a law that said death to gays was a good thing….

  • Herm

    I would honestly suggest that it is you who deceive yourself. You read nothing with an open mind and heart to comprehend the very direct answers given to you. I am truly sorry, as I’ve said before, that you condemn yourself as if you’ve bought into the ugly story that your sexuality and/or gender representation is reviled by God, it is not. Intimidation, manipulation, subjugation and usurping the authority of God for self above all else is reviled by God.

    Jesus does not support the old law, and never has. Jesus does not support any law that says death to gays, and never has. Jesus does support the Decalogue written by the hand of God but there is no where in those ten commandments where gays are condemned to an eternal living hell.

    If this is not the good news you were looking for why come here to tell us what you don’t care about? You cannot find, even in the christian bible written, compiled and published by Man where Jesus condemns gays to death or supports any form of subjugation of one to another. Why do you insist that He does? Did someone you respect tell you this lie?

    You do not intimidate me and you cannot manipulate me. If you are gay, and not some homophobic pretender trying to trip us up as Satan’s disciples, your sexuality practiced between consenting adults is not an issue with me, or most here.

    You stereotypically place all who claim to know God, Christ and the Holy Spirit into one ethic of morality. You ignore the bible passage that negates your bigotry; Matthew 7:21-23 and 22:14. Do all gay people hate all Christians as you do? There are a few gay brothers active here who will disagree with you.

    I don’t need you. I don’t need to inflate my ego by winning some needless debate that does not help you. I am very happy with exactly where I am at and would feel a winner in this life if there was nothing to follow. I have been saved from being foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of empty passions and pleasures. I have been filled by the Spirit of truth and do want the same equally for you to replace the torment you exhibit here.

    We sin against any other when we can’t relate to them as we do ourselves. We sin against God, from whom we were graced a spirit in Their image, when we cannot relate to Them as we do ourselves. When we do to all others as we would have all others do to us we no longer sin.

    I treat and respect you as I would have you treat and respect me. I love you!

  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    By turning Christianity into a fear-based religion, most Christians appear focused on themselves, not others. I really don’t think Christ intended for this to happen, but it has. “Church Fathers” seeking secular power changed a gentle loving belief system into a religion of fear.
    Treat others the way you would want to be treated, that’s all.

  • Malinda

    Although your title drew me in i’m going to have to disagree with you because interpretation has a lot to do with how people act… How do you follow with your whole heart when you could easily be interpreting the gospel wrong?

  • Barrie Beaumont

    First may I respectfully take issue with Dr Corey with his statement that “Essentially the word (Christian) meant little Christs.” That is not the correct definition and is misleading as well as using ‘essentially’ out of its dictionary definition.

    1. Essentially a derivative of essential, is defined as absolutely necessary and has no application here.

    2. It is impossible to be a “little Christ”
    There is only one Jesus and no one can ever stand as his equal, but we can endeavour to live by the life manual that he set for us in the gospels. We can be followers of Jesus which is one definition of a Christian or;

    3. Ref: Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

    “Christianos, a Latin formation used to define a group in terms of its allegiance.The disciples of Christ were formerly called Christians first in Antioch in Syria (Acts 11: 26). Agrippa recognised that to believe what Paul preached would make him a Christian (26:28) Peter accepted the name as in itself a basis for persecution (1Pet. 4″16).
    The Zondervan Dictionary of Bible and Theology words defines “Christian as one who belongs to Christ and also refers to Antioch.

    4. We are made in the image of God.
    We should be confused over this either because it does not mean that we are made in God’s image as an individual. God is Spirit and we are not. It means that we are made being able to do some of the things that God created us to do. Be followers of Jesus and endeavour to follow in his ways and present to others an ‘image’ of Christian life. That is the hard part.

    5. Christians and Christians.
    I can only call myself an endeavouring Christian because the word Christian encompasses and requires so much. I accept that there are degrees of committment that people are prepared to give and that is “Me Centered Christianity” not “God Centered.” God demands more of some of us than others, nevertheless he does demand our utmost, “God Centred” not our best and that appears to be what Dr Corey is referring to in his reference to “Americanised Christianity.”
    In my last year for my “Dip’ of Theology” I did a book review on “God, Freedom & Human Dignity, enbracing a God-Centered Identity in a Me-Centered Culture” Published by IVP and authored by Ron Highfield the Blanche E.Seaver Professorof Religion at Pepperdine University.

    The first half is academic reading but the second is “essential” reading for all of us.

  • Linnea912

    Why do you say that? In my experience, every mainstream-to-liberal denomination absolutely treats women as equals.

  • Linda

    One becomes a Christian (noun) n will be enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit to be Christian(adjective) through a born-again experience in accordance to John 1:12,13… Both noun n adjective “Christian”
    are reconciled into one by faith in n obedience to The Word of God…

    The blogger’s stand in insisting on d adjective alone is judgmental on a poor child of God still in the process of sanctification… If God is patient with His own children, who r we to judge?… Besides it’s a sin to judge anyone who has accepted Christ genuinely as not a Christian coz he is not very Christianly (yet) based on one’s external n most probably biased judgement … an abomination!

    A Christian (noun) is saved by faith… n if a truely saved, the Christian (adjective) fruits will show at its own pace… ❤

  • Ed Senter

    Wow, you just made all of that up because you will find absolutely no Biblical support. Jesus told His disciples that He must go away and prepare a place for them. That means this world is not our home. The “way” was the way to the Father. God was in Christ reconciling Himself to the world.

    There was a literal resurrection. Paul said if Christ be not risen then our faith is vain.

    Jesus never taught a “social justice”. What He railed against was spiritual one-upmanship. We are all in this boat together. No man is better than another. We are all sinners. And the only way to the Father is by Faith.

  • William

    So, god is patient with his own children. It seems to me that most of his children are the ones who need to learn patience with others. There are many Christians who also rely on The Lord’s patience who are harassed by the other “children”.
    *

  • Matthew

    Although I might not use the same words you used in your comment, I too agree it´s both/and rather than either/or. Noun and adjective together — always striving and saved for eternity.

    I think you probably already understand, though, that many on this blog have abandoned this idea or have never embraced it at all. That said, we might all just have to agree to disagree theologically speaking while we also as iron attempt to sharpen each other in peace and love.

  • Oscar Scott Oliver

    In many ways I agree with you but reality is far more complex than that. There are any number of ways that the pie can be sliced. There are any number that can be lifted up for why American Christianity is particularly “American” Christianity.
    Evangelicalism was meant to transcend denominational/theological differences to promote evangelizing the world. One thing that has happened is the combining of Calvinist theology with Wesleyan theology. Calvinist theology of eternal salvation is combined with the Wesleyan theology of assurance of salvation. Hence if we have the experience of salvation, then we are eternally saved.
    That is not what Calvin taught nor is that what Wesley taught. Calvin taught that we are eternally saved but we will only know that WHEN THE BOOK OF LIFE IS OPENED AT THE END OF THE AGES. Contemporary “Calvinism” would be better named as Bezan theology. While Wesley taught that you can experience salvation, HE ALSO TAUGHT THAT YOU COULD LOSE YOUR SALVATION.
    Jesus never told us not to judge. The complete teaching of Jesus is, “Judge not lest you be judged. FOR THE JUDGMENT YOU GIVE IS THE JUDGMENT YOU WILL RECEIVE.” I believe that most people think that they will receive mercy from God, BUT Jesus is telling us that the way we judge others IS THE STANDARD HOW GOD WILL JUDGE US.
    I would agree that Franklin Graham is not taking the whole counsel of God about how to treat the stranger in our midst.

  • Gary Roth

    Luther, who was a pretty good scholar, also said that we are to be “liittle Christs.” That may be where the good doctor got his idea – or from a host of other Christians who said the same.

  • Gary Roth

    Made up? No biblical support? Interesting. I had a friend who had a Razorback – a huge dog, who would stretch by putting his paws on either side of the doorway, and working his way up to the top. When my friend would walk him, sometimes other dogs would come up and yip at him. He never paid much attention to them, because he knew their bark was worse than their bite. I”m afraid you are like that little dog – wanting to bark this or that little bit of scripture, while missing the big picture, thinking you are attacking someone and have accomplished something in the process. I remember when I was in seminary, reading Bultman and Pannenberg and the rest, and taking issue with this or that thing they said – but often missing the larger point. I’ve spent a lifetime now in the scriptures, as well as in my relationship with God. My wife will attest that I used to , especially when preparing for preaching, study well into the wee hours of the morning, preparing, searching the scriptures, looking at the context of the author, etc. so that I might know, when I entered the pulpit, that I was speaking God”s word, and not just my own.

    Now I am retired – and only spend a few hours each day in scripture – I have learned now, rather than searching scripture, to let it search me. You wonder where my proof-texts are. It is like asking for a miracle larger than the miracle of the bread and fishes feeding several thousand – to ask that the sense of scripture be put into a bumper sticker.

    You mention John’s Gospel. His is the highest Christology of the Gospels, written, most scholars now think, at the end of the first century or the beginning of the second. Christ, in his Gospel, speaks from a point of completion – he knows what is to occur, because, in a sense, he speaks to us from the other side of the resurrection, where John’s church lives. He is not talking, in this passage, about heaven, but about the new age – the new age of God’s reign, when it is present in its fullness. It is very much like watching a Shakespearean play when, at the end, after we have been watching the play unfold, thinking ourselves merely bystanders – suddenly one of the actors addresses us, letting us know that he is aware that we have been present all the time – that the play also includes us as well. Just so, Jesus is not telling the disciples that he is going so that he can do turn-down service for them – as if heaven isn’t ready to accomodate them yet. He is talking about the completion of God’s reign – something that is happening in them, and in time as well. All the signs (John calls them signs rather than miracles, just for this reason) have been pointing this way all along, throughout his ministry. This is Jesus’ assurance that God’s reign will come to completion in them, as they also enter into God’s glory (in John, the word, “glory” is always attached to Jesus’ death on the cross), givng themselves in sacrificial love to others and to God, as Jesus did.

    You need to look at the whole story – not just proof text a few passages – to understand the whole of scripture and its message. My advise to you would be, rather than nipping at people’s heals, to sit and listen to what they say. You do us no harm in attacking us, but risk doing harm to yourself – by narrowing your vision, you may harden your heart against the Spirit and what it wishes to teach you.

  • Gary Roth

    An interesting remark, Beverley. Your choice of John 2:16 is interesting, because the work for “all” there is “pantes,””everything.” God so loved all the world, everything in God”s created order.” That certainly includes you. You are correct in that the church has often belittled women or left them out – even, in the case of Augustinian theology, identifying them as the source of sin in the world.

    The other part of what you say is also interesting. I”m not sure who said it off-hand, but the quote is, “God made man in his own image – and man returned the favor.” We can’t help, at least to some extent, to create God in our own image – whoever we are. It is our attempt to get close to God, I think, that we picture God as very much like ourselves. The problem is when we insist that these ideas of a God who is much like us is the only way to view God – and push those ideas onto others, making, for instance, a white, blue eyed, blonde Jesus to be the only way we can envision Jesus.

    The writers of the various Gospels faced the same kind of problem – each writing to a different group of people, trying to express in different terms what this Jesus might appear to be like if they saw him walking down the street. We go from Mark’s man of action, very much involved in the fray, to John’s intellectual Jesus, who is very much above the fray.

    Somewhere in there, perhaps in Mary or Lydia, or some of the other great women of faith, I hope you also find yourself. Mary of Magdala was called “the first apostle” because she was the first to see the risen Christ. Perhaps the testimony of your faith has to do with a resurrected Christ, who gives you a resurrected sense of self among all the nay-sayers of the world (including those in the church). Maybe your identification is with Lydia, who gathered people in her home; whose faith grew one of the most vital churches in the early church. Or perhaps some other woman of faith who has inspired your walk.

    At any rate, you are not alone. God does not look down on women – he picked a young woman to be the vessel through which he brought salvation to to the world. Note how important her place is in the Gospels, especially Luke’s. Joseph is barely mentioned – she and her testimony is so powerrful that it overwhelms him.

    Anyway – I would definitely call you a Christian – the most wonderful kind of one. May God bless your walk!

  • Gary Roth

    Not really, unfortunately. It was not long ago that some of our congregations allowed them to be acolytes. It’s been about forty years since they alllowed them to preach, and still many will not call a woman pastor.

  • Linda

    Yes, Mr Matthew, adding to that, one needs to come into the Kingdom of God as a child of God based on God’s definition n instructions as in John1:12,13… Man is not to claim otherwise as in becoming a child of God purely through baptismal regeneration alone, even as in infant baptism without faith of the individual at all… That wld be creating pseudo Christians who wld in Truth be still outside the Family of God without one being aware of it… due to deception, per se…

    In other words, Mr Matthew, one needs to be initiated or born into the Family of God by faith n through repentance… not merely by baptism as done in roman catholic religion… Do u agree on that?… ❤

  • Linda

    Indeed, this is what was mentioned above as a Christian undergoing d process of sanctification … which is seen as him/her learning patience in the process…

  • Linda

    Yes, Ms Realist1234…. If we claim ourselves to be Christians (noun) ie true Christians in accordance to John 1:12,13… we must indeed be seen to be Christian (adjective) … ie bearing the fruits of the Spirit in our lives… Allowing the Holy Spirit to continue to live n work in us bearing fruits into the fullness of a Christian life… That is what will truly glorify God, it’s not in naming ourselves Christian that glorifies Him… God bless… ❤

  • Linda

    10 minutes ago
    Sorry to hear about your plight in the past. Though I would not say that it was a pleasant experience, I would say that the Christian was doing his/her duty as a Christian a Bible -believing Christian… N he/she spoke the Truth to u… but I believe that at the time u were not ready to accept the Truth as yet… so, I cn understand that u found his/her days intimidating…

    Yes, besides being good or doing moral good n all, the inner true essence of a Christian by being born-again n living the Word of God still has to be there, first n foremost…
    P. S. John 1:12,13….

    People living out a good life, or Christianly life, so to speak, bt without faith n a valid entry into the Kingdom of God, not merely a Church , is still not Christian.

    I am saying this not out of contempt but indeed out of love for the poor soul for whom the Blood of Christ was shed… that d soul may not miss the mark of being saved…. God bless… ❤

  • Linda

    Mr gimpi1… Your comment was:
    “Your first job here would be to prove that there’s such a thing as eternal life. Your question is meaningless without an answer to that question first… if eternal life is not real, no one spends eternity anywhere.”

    Good that u brought up this statement /query… However, may I get this straight first… in case I got u wrong..
    Now, I thought I read in one of ur comments here that u hv bn brought up as a “good catholic boy”…Well, for u to call yourself “catholic” I would think u would hv believed or at least subscribed in ur mindset this statement of faith… that there is eternal life in Christ… Yes, ETERNAL LIFE..

    I would be much obliged if u cld clarify on this to say whether I read ur earlier comment correct or not.. before I continue any further with u here… Thanks… ❤

  • Etranger

    To be clear I never found any born again person’s words ‘intimidating’. And of course the words were farthest from any truth. How you can look at blatantly awful, rude behavior and excuse it through religious rationalization is amazing! Sad and pathetic but amazing nonetheless. Now that is some Truth for you.

  • Matthew

    Jesus’s post resurrection appearances and his own words are proof enough for most Christians.

  • Herm

    I might step in here to clarify something for you. gimpi1 would never have referred to herself as a “good catholic boy“; you see she is an avowed agnostic, an excellent honest student of scientific reality and a much better example of what a student of the Messiah is asked to be than all fundamentalist students of the Bible who find their pride of being in denomination.

  • Realist1234

    Its ‘Mr’ last time I looked lol!

  • Herm

    Eva, why do you rant about someone and something you know nothing about? Were your feelings hurt? Why?

  • Herm

    Eva, you did not. You are obviously complaining regarding gimpi1 but say you do not know her when she has been communicating here longer than you.

    I checked and made certain I placed a comma between “avowed agnostic” and “an excellent honest student of scientific reality“. I have no clue where you see any attempt to make either synonymous with the other. If it helps I am an avowed disciple of Christ and would loved to be considered “an excellent honest student of scientific reality“.

    gimpi1 just happens to convey by choice, in all her communications, the attitude of in everything do to others as she would have others do to her, which sums up all the law and prophets according to the Messiah.

    Eva, if you have judged yourself to be an example of what a student of the Messiah is asked to be, by this your example, I would suggest reevaluating, perhaps even asking the Judge himself.

    There is no fundamentalist student of the Bible looking for eternal life who has come to Christ to learn only from the Teacher.

    You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

    John 5:39-40 (NIV2011)

    No Eva, you did not explain quite clearly. Not if you are judging what I said as, you too, a student of the Messiah.

  • Nixon is Lord

    If the religion of Jesus is all behaviors and no tenets/beliefs, why bother with theology? Why run twice as fast to get to the same place?

  • Ed Senter

    That is just it. I do see the big picture. I see the underlying narrative of the spiritual battle that started in a previous age between God and satan, which affected man in the garden, and finally will be cumulated at the end of time. I take this literally. That is the only way to take it and have it make sense.
    God chose Abraham, and through his descendants, they will be God’s oracle to reveal the truth in Christ. It is through prophecy, both revealed and that which is to come, that gives me any hope at all. The talk of “sacrificial love” is all nonsense outside of Christ.
    Some people are so worried about what they should be “doing” (which is to show off) instead of just “being” and waiting on God. The Bible is not a rule book. The Bible reveals God’s faithfulness to His Word. It shows me that God is in control and that all He asks in return is faith.

  • Bones

    Nope to any of that….

    Johns use of being born again was to show that Christians who stayed in the synagogues stayed in the darkness.

    Nothing at all to do with evangelical nonsense.

  • Bones

    He’d be a better Christian than you.

    So are a lot of atheists who understand more about Christ’s teaching than many of his so called followers who are no different from the pharisees.

  • Bones

    Where did you spend eternity before you were born?

    Probably the same place as when you die.

  • Bones

    “Its to do with you claiming to know the mind of God and who is and isn’t following His example…”

    Hypocrite much.

    Conservatives love pointing out who isn’t following Christ because homosexuality. ..

  • Herm

    Eva, doing a bait and switch routine does not work. I never once used the term within the context of this thread traditional Christian(s). I compared the fruit of gimpi1 with the fruit of all fundamentalist students of the Bible. One cannot serve two masters, the Bible and Jesus. One leads to the Other but only one is the Instructor and only one is the Teacher and neither of Them is the Bible.

    By the Way, to be considered a Christian does not, in and of itself, make anyone a student of the Messiah. I know the mind and heart of God because the Spirit of truth is in me and I in Him, as He is in all of God and all of God is in Him. Cite me your authority to judge me so, please!

    … and, yes, I hate all allegiance to all traditions of mankind that are in defense of the Christian nation or any other nation of this world. Unless you’ve met the Advocate of God you never really know Him.

    Who is your teacher?

  • Herm

    Eva, it is you who are judging here, not God. This is truly hypocritical unless, of course, you can tell me that God gave you the authority to do so. Otherwise you have sinned against me and God.

  • Gary Roth

    Except you just admitted that the Bible is a book made by people, the New Testament being a book (actually a series of writings) by people who did not know Jesus personally, did not actually know what he said, often disagree with one another, etc. That does not fit with a literalist approach, and doesn’t make sense. And, of course, sacrificial love is an idea that is part of many religions, although it is central to our faith.

    I do understand what you aare saying about “doing,” and how it can be a substitute for faith – of course, “waiting” can be the same. Faith is an active thing, not passive – one may think that an airplane may fly, but faith is getting into one and actually flying in it. James says, “faith without works is dead.” I doubt that you would disagree with that – but again, I doubt you’d disagree there either. Paul’s letters are full of instructions and “for instances,” as are Jesus’ teachings regarding the living out of faith. So there are two elements – both faith, an active trust in God – and the living out of that in our daily life. The prophets also point to a social aspect of it as well, that it includes issues of justice and mercy; Jesus also points to this in his teachings, as does Paul. What I was trying to point out originally, was that we are so used to seeing the Gospel as a “you and me, God,” personal relationship, we miss the social aspects – in ancient times, especially, but even today in the east, social relationships are considered more important than personal ones, and the Bible shares that perspective. So, for instance, the idea of punishment in scripture is supposed to not so much punish a person for doing wrong, as it is aimed at restoring community. One of the important questions the Gospels ask are, “who is in the community and who is not.” Jesus is portrayed as being very inclusive in his understanding of community – welcoming sinners, non-Jews, etc. Paul, as I mentioned previously, sees the tearing down of walls between groups of people as evidence of the resurrection (“there is neither Jew nor Greek, etc” and his going off on Peter when he separates himself from the non-Jews as was Jewish custom are two examples).

    I agree that the Bible is not a rule book – that would make Christianity legalism. And yet we should be able to tell Christians by the kind of life they live. What does faith mean, if it does not result in a change of perspective, which results in a changed way of life? While both Jesus and Paul are very clear that “the just shall live by faith,” they also indicate a way of living that is faithful to the reign (a better translation than “kingdom”) of God. And while we may live in anticipation of that reign coming in its fullness some day, that is not where we live – we live proleptically, anticipating the kingdom (reign) of God as we live in the present day. God will not, some day in the future, simply change everything, including us, to make us perfect and faithful; he calls upon us now to live under his reign in faith and faithfulness. That was my point.

  • Herm

    No you don’t. He’s the instructor and has no need what so ever for the Bible. The Bible says so!

  • Herm

    You know nothing. Your church has no authority. Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth today.

    There is no purgatory, there is only knowing nothing, having no influence and fading into anonymity after this carnal life has ceased.

    Sexuality between consenting adults reflects in no way as a prerequisite into inheriting eternal life as a child of God, sibling of Jesus. All your talk and blind judgment in the name of the creator God told of in the Bible, who you do not know, is not in you and you are not in Them, is for not.

    Your Bible would have told you so if you were a disciple of the Messiah and not a disciple of your church.

    Eva, it was me who you hypocritically judged that was the sin against me and God.

  • Linda

    I do not see how ur comment applies as a reply to my comment.. Pls clarify… Thanks.

  • Linda

    It’s coz Christianity is not without any tenets/ beliefs…

  • Linda

    Mr gimpi1… you asked…
    “Does my desire to follow Jesus’s ethical teachings make me a Christian in spite of my lack of faith? ” …

    Sorry to day, Mr gimpi1… No, u r still not a Christian… One becomes a Christian by being born-again into God’s Kingdom as a child of God…
    Not through good works nor by being good or by being a good example or kind person, etc to others…

    It is by faith n repentance by which the Grace of God will continue to sanctify His child… This living out of one’s faith n new identity is what makes one truly Christian… It’s not the other way round…

    Sorry, n thank u for reading.. Hope u wl just take one more step ie to take time to consider the Truth…. Find a Bible-believing Church to find out more… God bless…

  • Bones

    You don’t understand the gospel of John.

    It was born out of sectarian conflict between Jews.

  • Bones

    So it’s best to not tell people what a mortal sin is.

    Then they can get to heaven.

    So actually your mob has been sending people to hell for the past 2000 years

    Well done.

  • Bones

    So you’re arguing about someone you don’t know.

    You however we do know.

  • Barrie Beaumont

    1st Reply. Gary thankyou and I respect your comment. Luther may well have used the term as an encouragement and I doubt whether he used it in the same context as I have.

    2nd Reply. I have spent some time since I wrote my first reply Gary in checking what Luther actually said and it is found in “The Redemptive Community” page 79 in my Logos 7 library. Luther did describe Christians as ‘little Christ’s,’ but he continued with “though this must not be taken to mean that we are in any way extensions of Christ.”

    Do you agree that this clears up the Luther matter?

    I did some further research and in Antioch the followers of Jesus were first called Christians by the secular community and they meant “little Christ” or “imitators of Christ” because their lifestyle was so radically infused by the unexplainable. This source which I ommitted to record, but it came from the Logos library, suggested that the Romans may have been behind the names.

    I could check further from my my own book library because I spend a fair bit of study time on church history, but it is 10pm in Sth Australia and approaching my bedtime.

  • Barrie Beaumont

    Ed in the very origins of Christianity it was called “The Way.” On another note I struck a group here in Mannum, South Australia last year who follow “the way”. The ‘two by two’s.’

  • Barrie Beaumont

    Ed, the Canon or standard for books to be accepted into the New Testament was this.

    They had to be apostolic; either written by an apostle or a person who had an association with an apostle.

  • Herm

    No Eva, the only one Teacher knows best. I should not be hard on you for you do the most sincere best you can. If you read the words Jesus is quoted to have said you will see that Jesus turned the Hebrew scripture, which He had to be taught as a child, against the authorities and scholars of His time. An example; God did not change Their mind about an eye for and eye. The only clear verbatim law that God wrote with His own hand was the Decalogue.

    I have shared these scripture from the New Testament with you but you have never responded directly to their import. Do you believe these to be true today for you?

    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Matthew 23:8-12 (NIV2011)

    Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

    Matthew 28:18 (NIV2011)

    “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

    John 14:25-26 (NIV2011)

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15 (NIV2011)

    Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    John 4:23-24 (NIV2011)

    You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

    John 5:39-40 (NIV2011)

    Eva, do you believe Jesus? Do you believe He has all authority in heaven and on earth today? Do you believe He would answer your prayers directly to Him? If you do, and want to be a child of God today, then you must open your heart and mind of spirit in God’s image to allow yourself to be fully immersed in the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Instructor who tells the Teacher, the Spirit of truth (the Advocate), who will teach you all you need to know when you are in Him and He is in you. Until then you are a slave to those who claim authority that only belongs to Jesus. You cannot serve two masters.

    On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.

    When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “ ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one.’ Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:23-31 (NIV2011)

    Eva, there was no New Testament written when those people prayed, were filled with the Holy spirit and then spoke the word of God boldly. They needed no catechism, theology, doctrine, sacrament, ritual or holy book, dictated and administered by any other authority than Jesus, to be taught the word of God. Do you believe the Spirit of truth is available to you?

    If you do not then you are left to continue to quote, as you do, what other people teach you is the word of God but can only point to the word of God. If you do believe the Spirit of truth is really available to you today then go to Jesus, not the Bible which says He is in your midst, to ask for and receive Him as your one Teacher who you will know with and in you for certain, no longer just some fanciful hearsay.

  • Ron McPherson

    Exactly. Amazing how mankind can theologize the loving message of Jesus into a convoluted mess

  • Matt Woodling

    To the author:

    Well, not all the teachings of Christ. Dime off his teachings are pretty good. Some are just bad advice no one should follow.

  • Herm

    See, you’ve done it, again. You didn’t respond to any of the scripture that you tell me you hold so dear. Do you know what continual prayer is?

  • gimpi1

    Thank you for responding. However, to paraphrase Dana Scully from the X-Files, “I’ve seen the ‘truth.’ Now, I’m looking for the facts.”

    The problem I have with Bible-believing, literalist churches is that not only are the facts not on their side (The earth really is 4.5 billion years old, both the fossil record and DNA proves life evolved from common ancestors and the best evidence is that the Exodus never happened), they actively reject real, easily verified facts that don’t jibe with their world-view. I can’t do that. To be honest, I don’t want to. Facts matter to me, deeply.

    Do you have any facts that I’m not aware of?

  • Linguagroover

    Hi Benjamin. You refer to ‘actively living like Jesus’… as a former (Christian) theist, now atheist, I wonder what that precisely means. If, for the moment, I accept there is some accuracy in some of the gospel narratives – and I am writing off all the highly implausible supernatural stuff, eg, incarnation and virgin birth, healing miracles, walking on water, resurrections, levitation etc etc – what am I supposed to aspire to? Beyond what the Skeptics Annotated Bible classifies as the Good Stuff, mainly variants on the Golden Rule, do I go around turning over tables in cathedral and church bookshops? Or maybe I aim a little hatred at relatives because they have to play second fiddle to the Incarnated One? Or perhaps I just tell the ungodly (like me) and those of other faiths that they are going to burn in hell, along with Gandhi and Einstein?

  • Ignatz

    “He said, “Follow Me.”

    He said, “TAKE UP YOUR CROSS and follow me.”

  • Ignatz

    Living by faith means imitating Jesus. If you don’t do what he said, you don’t actually believe in him.

    Both Paul and James quote “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.” But Abraham believing God meant that he went up the mountain with Isaac. It meant the he left everything he knew and went to Canaan.

    Living by faith means ACTING and DOING.

  • Ignatz

    Philippians 2:12
    “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. ”

    Matthew 7:21
    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. ”

    Matthew 25: 31-46
    “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.””

    John 5:29
    “Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”

    1 Corinthians 9:27
    “No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.”

    Rv 22:12
    “Behold, I am coming soon. I bring with me the recompense I will give to each according to his deeds.”

    James 2: 14-26
    “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called “the friend of God.” See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route? For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”

  • Ignatz

    No, that was settled at the Council of Jerusalem in about AD 50. Acts chapter 15.

  • Rick Myres

    It is true there are two types of Christians. One type is lost and without Jesus the other type is born again with Jesus. Jesus said “one must be born again to see the kingdom”. I used to be what I called a Christian and was NOT one and had no idea what Christian was or even what it meant. My point is many call them self a Christian but they are not and without Jesus. I also have trouble using the word Christian. I prefer to ask people if they are born again or not. Simply because it is too easy for a lost person to be what is called a name dropper by using the name of Jesus whom they do not know.

  • Herm

    No, I mean interacting with God and in God without pause and without end; being one with and in God without any separation from God.

  • Ed Senter

    The letter from James can not be reconciled with the teachings of Paul. The pitiful thing is most of the church world is still bound by the legalisms of James. James was a Jew and never stopped being a Jew. Paul revealed the gospel of Christ which sets men free.

  • Ignatz

    Ah. If a book of the Bible doesn’t reinforce your wishes, and your need for Cheap Grace, discard it. Got it.

  • Bones

    I don’t know gimp1 other than by the content of his/her/its posts.

    They are a better human being than you regardless of their belief system.

    That was pretty easy.

  • Matthew

    I´m sorry.

    (Edited)

  • Bones

    I know you by your posts.

  • Bones

    I have a huge heart.

    But I don’t know if it’s up to me to forgive others for what they’ve done to other people.

  • George

    Jesus didn’t sit in a safe space and click out blogs on a laptop.

  • Linda

    [ I have been subjected to condemnation by “Christians” because I have not accepted “Jesus Christ as my personal lord and savior.” ]

    I was referring to this if u happen to hv missed the gist here of what u were saying..

    Now, attesting to the Truth by what The Word of God says, living by it also involves being patient with others… This is not about excusing bad behaviors through religious rationalization.

    Likewise, whether Christian or otherwise, we r to avoid or at least with-hold pointing our finger at others at any dislike without giving them the benefit of d doubt unless we truly know all thr is to know that justifies us to condemn…

  • Paul Froehlich

    The term “Christ follower” is more clear than “Christian.” In the Great Commission, Jesus told his disciples to teach nations “to obey everything I have commanded you.” If obeying Jesus is not the priority for those calling themselves Christians, then they aren’t Christ followers.

  • Paul Froehlich

    What matters most? Whether someone is born again, or whether that person obeys what Jesus said? If a person who claims to be born again also rejects the stranger, is he a Christ follower or not?

  • otrotierra

    Jesus also didn’t sit in a safe space and click out blog comments, so I guess you’ll discontinue posting blog comments.

  • Etranger

    I understand what I wrote. I never said that was “intimidating”. It is rude, of course.

    “Likewise, whether Christian or otherwise, we r to avoid or at least with-hold pointing our finger at others at any dislike without giving them the benefit of d doubt unless we truly know all thr is to know that justifies us to condemn…”

    Very well-said! A lesson for many in that.

  • Matthew

    Sorry I included you in my apology Eva. It’s clear that not everyone in the Body of Christ agrees on what the church as a community should apologize for. Please forgive me.

  • Rick Myres

    What matters most is Jesus and what He said about being born again. In order to obey Jesus one must be born again. For all are physically born once. I was then born again by my own decision through the blood of Jesus after I was convicted I need Jesus.

  • Matthew

    Thanks Eva. If you don’t mind me asking, why do you come to this space if you don’t like the people? I don’t agree with everything said here, but I do like a lot of what I am learning.

  • George

    Did I author the condescending article?

  • George

    Did I write the condescending article?

  • Linda

    Firstly, gimpi1…my apologies for my mistake in confusing u with another commenter who said he “was brought up a good Catholic boy”…

    Rgd ur request for proofs of facts as u mentioned, I admit that I do not hv them at hand even though there are indeed… thanks to research undertaken in that respect by Christian researchers under topics about Creation vs the Darwinism Theory, etc .. of which I attended some talks a few years back.

    Hope to be able to look them up n to share aptly with u later…

    Nevertheless, on the faith aspect, I believe that if u hv read my other comments under this blog, u wld aldy hv an idea if not all of what I believe…

  • Matthew

    It’s my understanding that the jury is still out on the Exodus.

    (Edited)

  • apoxbeonyou

    You should read more Ben’s articles. He covers all of that.

  • Ron McPherson

    Ben’s life has been anything but a ‘safe space.’

  • But what Jesus said about being born again wasn’t individuals making decisions for Christ, it was a conversation about the renewal of Israel. That’s why Jesus is amazed that Nicodemus is a teacher of Israel and does not know these things.

    There’s nothing in John 3 that defines being “born again” as “making a decision for Christ.”

  • Rick Myres

    John 3: 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

  • Herm

    You did not author and/or write the article you so condescendingly criticize without the credentials or the authority to do so constructively.

  • Seabeacon

    Fundamentalism, a uniquely recent American experience, is in no way similar to what Jesus advocated during his ministry.

  • Herm

    Most Christians don’t know Christ to follow. They have only gotten as far as the Pharisaical study of God with a ways to go before they reach the relationship with and in God on earth.

    Many are invited but few are chosen. It is not a grand privilege to be chosen when it hurts so bad to know, in my Christian sect of birth, too many who call out Lord, Lord and the Messiah does not know them without the Spirit of truth in them.

    Today, as was within the Jewish sect of Jesus’ carnal birth, there are disciples following God’s teaching and separate disciples in the same community following their church authorities’ teaching. Disciple means pupil.

    Christian does not always mean, defined from the fruit of each member, Christ like.

    Thank you, Paul!

  • Herm

    So true, especially when it was those advocating fundamentalism who inspired the crucifixion of Jesus in God’s name.

  • ZackBop

    Franklin Graham says and does a lot of things that I don’t care for. But here’s where I take issue with you: You seem to be of the belief that following Jesus unambiguously translates into a particular set public policies on ALL issues. You make it seem as though one CANNOT believe in smaller government and follow Jesus at the same time. In Greg Boyd’s fantastic book, “The Myth of a Christian Nation,” he (rightly) calls out those on the right who do that. But honestly, most of the time it just seems like you’re the left-wing version of the same thing.

    If you’re truly following Jesus, then you have no choice but to care about immigrants and refugees. That’s absolutely true. But does that also mean that you can’t believe that the immigration process shouldn’t be chaotic? Does that mean that you can’t support safe-zones in foreign countries that share the refugees’ culture (instead of insisting that the US take in everyone)?

    If the people are already here, then I agree that we should be humane and help them in any way we can. But I think well-meaning followers of Jesus can disagree on what the best public policy should be regarding some of these issues. As long as we understand that many people on both sides of the debate are coming from the right place, we should be able to have rational discussions. But people on the right AND left (including BLC at times) seem to want to attack the person they disagree with’s character. Guess what? Conservatives and libertarians don’t generally hate poor people or immigrants or gay people or trans people or any other people-group that you want to name. It’s just that following Jesus doesn’t always SPECIFICALLY translate into a particular public policy position. There’s nothing wrong with having a debate.

  • Herm

    At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

    Titus 3:3-7 (NIV2011)

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    Jesus is speaking to His disciples who He has already referred to as sisters, brothers and mother. You cannot be born of God as a child of the heavenly Father without the filling of the the Holy Spirit without pause and without end.

    I received that filling whelmed by the Holy Spirit, 38 years after I was sprinkled and 15 years after I was immersed, when I lay prostrate before Jesus and the Father pleading in all humility for the Holy Spirit full time; in all ways for always.

    Prior to Him being with me and in me I had closed and opened the door with Him at my convenience as an elder and minister in the Christian church. Most of the time I closed the door on God because I didn’t want God to see me sin. I found out since the Spirit of truth has been in me without pause, and I in Him, that the true sin was because I had shut God out, of which They would forgive me when I opened the door to my heart and mind to them yet once again. I have erred, as any child learning will, but I have not sinned against God because we are one in heart and mind today on earth.

    There is nothing that Jesus and/or my Father commands me to do that They do not do first. All that the Lord my God has commanded me to do is love. For those hearts and minds open to God I am led to serve them each in the most beneficial love God knows because of the Advocate within.

    Only the children of God who love, as in Luke 10:27, will see the kingdom of God beyond this earth.

  • $209093624

    While I like the gist of the article and its premise, the French coined the term “bigot” about 1000 years ago in reference to overly religious zealots with a need to judge other people and meddle in their lives. Religious bigots caused the Holy Inquisition, caused the English Revolution, sparked the Salem Witch trials, wrote the 1838 Mormon Extermination Order in Missouri, and gave us the post-atomic McCarthy Era. American Evangelicals are simply the latest and longest enduring example of the wrong side of Christianity.

  • $209093624

    Perhaps, but it is very doubtful that Christ had American Evangelicals in mind as the torchbearers of all things Christian. And hypocrisy is not the hallmark of true Christianity.

  • Herm

    ZackBop, I believe in and follow with all my allegiance the smallest and most perfect government of all time, the Lord my God; defined best as a benevolent dictatorship.

    I don’t see any where in your dissertation any thing relative to carrying your own cross while following Jesus.

    You have been misled if you truly believe our immigration process for entry into the USA has been chaotic. Most immigrants from the Muslim nations recently highlighted take over two years to vet. This process could be improved but stopping all immigration from refugees who virtually have no country is not following Christ’s lead. The United States of America is the prime target of terrorism in the world and for the last 18 years we have been relatively safe in a truly unsafe world.

    We cannot have rational discussions when we cannot trust in God to protect us as mankind. The God I know tells me to not ever shut out anyone of Man and to allow myself, according to my Father’s will, to be placed on my cross that my enemy might live who I ask forgiveness for because they know not what they do; even and especially in the name of God who they do not know (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, …).

    The first twelve disciples debated all the time in the presence of Jesus. None sinned against Jesus except the one who gave up on Jesus as his lead. Paul, Peter and James obviously didn’t get it all right because they debated among themselves. None of the children of God on earth get it all right because children can’t by nature. It is not the debate in discussion here but whether we are a member following the authority of a Christian sect or a follower of Christ who has all God’s authority in heaven and on earth.

  • George

    Thanks “Herm.”

  • Right. Where does that say anything about making a decision for Christ?

  • ZackBop

    I never suggested that we should shut off immigration from anywhere. My point, which was larger than the specifics of this blog post, was that well-meaning Christians CAN disagree about which policies would be the best for society. As long as both sides are coming from a place of love, then we shouldn’t be demonizing the other people who happen to disagree with whatever political position we happen to have on any given issue. And that’s something I feel like BLC slides into every now and then. What I’m getting at is that American people who follow Jesus can disagree about what immigration policies make the most sense, while still agreeing to love and serve those who wish to genuinely become a part of American society. Same thing with poverty, or any other issue hot-button issue.

    This was the crux of Greg’s book (and BLC is a big fan of Boyd, so he should know this). But many of Ben’s posts come off as suggesting that someone CAN’T have conservative/libertarian views on ANYTHING if they claim to follow Jesus. And that’s something that I don’t buy.

  • Ed Senter

    There is no such thing as “Cheap Grace”. There is only grace or no grace- earn it or get it free. And the good news about salvation is that you can not earn it.

  • Ed Senter

    Someone deleted my post.
    What I said was I love the metaphor of a plane for faith. There is a lot of talk about faith but no one ever seems to define it. Faith is an action based on belief sustained by confidence that when God says it He does it. The biggest crime in Christendom was equating the term faith with belief.

    Don’t confuse James’ “faith without works is dead” with Paul’s action based on belief sustained by confidence. James never escaped legalism. Paul revealed the gospel of Christ.

  • Herm

    Does that mean that you can’t support safe-zones in foreign countries that share the refugees’ culture (instead of insisting that the US take in everyone)?

    Do you understand we, touting our Christian heritage before the world, take in the least refugees of any 1st world democracy?

    I never suggested that we should shut off immigration from anywhere.

    From my perspective you did.

    The conservative religious authorities during Jesus’ walk on earth were the Pharisees, Sadducee and the teachers of the law which Jesus told directly could not enter into the kingdom of God. Why would a former fundie Christian, especially knowing the agenda from the inside, remain silent when Jesus did not?

  • ZackBop

    Well, if that’s what you thought I said, then you’re just simply mistaken. I’m not suggesting that the US shouldn’t take in any refugees. Again, I’m just saying that Jesus followers can disagree about which political policies would be wisest as long as both sides are approaching the issue from a place of love.

    When you try to portray YOUR specific political position as the ONLY political position that a Christian can have, then you’re not being any different than the conservative Christians that you criticize.

    As long as both sides agree that immigrants and refugees should be loved and cared for, then I don’t see a problem with Jesus followers debating which policies would best to address the issues associated with that.

  • Herm

    ZackBop, if you check it out I said that the original twelve debated all the time. No one has been more supportive in the Christian community of debate than Dr. Benjamin L. Corey. He has always allowed debates, many heated, held in respect and love for each other, with many pushing that line of respect, with as much time and bytes as it took to get it out. He made this forum possible for you to disagree and scream as though he allows only his specific political position be heard.

    This article only brings what we all know is truth to the table. Not all claiming to be Christian authorities follow Christ’s lead. Christ and His followers can take the influence of the frauds defaming the name of Jesus Christ for we know better. Those who are looking for just what our Messiah has to offer cannot tell who is a follower of Jesus and who is not. We care for them too much to let usurpers lead them astray.

    Remember the Israelites who knew not what they were doing when they yelled to crucify the Son of God in God’s name. Why is it they could call themselves God’s chosen people but could not recognize to follow God’s only begotten Son? How many who call themselves Christians know not what they do?

  • Ignatz

    Yes, I know. If you died yesterday, you would be tortured forever. But now, because you prayed a “sinner’s prayer” on the back of a tract, you go to heaven for ever. No need to carry your cross. No need to imitate Christ. No road to travel. Just, yesterday, you were subject to eternal torture. Today, you walked up the aisle in a revival tent.

    Of course, none of that is in the Bible. It’s a heresy from the mid-1800s in the USA, the same period that gave us Mormon’s, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other heresies. And it paints a picture of God as the OPPOSITE of loving Father, but as an utterly capricious and unjust dictator.

    Matthew 25:31-46. God will separate the sheep from the goats. And the only difference between them that Christ mentions is what they did. Because that MATTERS. Or did you remove that from the Bible, too, because it doesn’t conform to 19th Century Decision Theology?

    “An hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” – John 5:29

    “Behold, I am coming soon. I bring with me the recompense I will give to each according to his deeds.” – Rv 22:12

  • ZackBop

    I agree with his general point that not everyone who claims to be Christian actually follows Christ’s lead. I totally agree with that. The issue I take with him is that he specifically targets people who are conservative/libertarian 99.9% of the time AS IF they CAN’T POSSIBLY be genuine Jesus followers. As I stated before, my issue with BLC is larger than the specifics of this particular blog post.

    In an ideal world, progressive Christians and conservative Christians could come together from a place of brotherly love to discuss which policies would be the best for the people that we are supposed to love and serve WITHOUT questioning how genuine the other side’s faith is.

    That’s all.

  • Matthew

    I agree that both sides question one another’s faith rather often.

  • Herm

    ZackBop, let’s be straight up here. Even the weakest of Bible students knows that Franklin Graham, James Dobson, the Vatican and all the many more who have set “their ” church influence of authority regardless of the sufficient authority of Jesus Christ is not following the Messiah. Jesus’ church is in heaven and on earth today. Jesus has all authority in the Spirit in heaven and on earth today. We don’t question the validity of authority of the Pharisees who lead “their” differing churches today who have no Moses seat to sit on. We know they are not following Jesus because they do not point beyond themselves to Jesus to follow (which the Bible does). They point to their lead to follow. The parishioners who follow them are not Jesus’, the high priest’s, parishioners worshiping in the temple raised in three days. I can go on and on but the point is the only followers of Jesus are those who follow no one else but Jesus in the Spirit and in love. Love even for those who know not what they do.

    So, no, that isn’t all until all nations know they have a viable choice. Otherwise plenty of disciples of the Messiah and potential disciples of the Messiah will be crucified by the crowds following those with no covenant to sit on.

  • ZackBop

    Okay, Herm. I’m not disagreeing with what you’re saying about Franklin Graham. I’m talking about something else entirely, which should be pretty clear. It’s like you’re talking past me.

  • Ed Senter

    “The just shall LIVE by faith”. How does one finish the trip?- the same way they started- by faith. Those who would pervert the gospel want to see your works.
    The letter from James simply can not be reconciled with the teachings of Paul. And Christ taught Himself. He did not teach a lifestyle.

  • Herm

    ZackBop, “who are conservative/libertarian 99.9% of the time AS IF they CAN’T POSSIBLY by genuine Jesus followers” that you believe Ben targets? I really don’t understand your criticism if you do not disagree with what I said about Franklin Graham.

  • gimpi1

    You’re right, I know what people believe. I just haven’t found good reasons for why they believe what they believe. It often comes to come down to “this is what I was raised to think” or “this feels right. That doesn’t work for me.

    Perhaps I’m weird, but I don’t feel that I ‘choose’ to believe anything. Instead, I consider myself to be convinced by the preponderance of the evidence that a hypothesis is true or false – and that conclusion is always open to change in the face of new evidence. I don’t flatly ‘believe’ anything.

    I’ve read several books, and not found them convincing. I’ve read “The Reason For God; Belief in an age of Skepticism” by Tim Keller and “Repenting of Religion – turning from Judgment to the Love of God” by Gregory Boyd. I didn’t find either compelling. However, I’m not closed to new info, so other suggestions are welcome.

  • gimpi1

    Yes, that’s why I said “… the best evidence is that the Exodus never happened.” There’s good evidence for Exodus having not happened, but it’s not conclusive. Here’s the situation as I understand it:

    There’s no evidence for a significant Hebrew presence in Egypt. There are also things in Exodus that are contradicted by what we know: The Egyptian temple complexes weren’t built by slaves, but by off-season agricultural labor that was paid for. The Egyptians kept records. There’s also no evidence for the sort of large-scale population drop that the events in Exodus, and that sort of population and labor-force drop should have left clear evidence.

    However, absence of evidence isn’t necessarily evidence of absence. It’s possible some evidence of large-scale Hebrew presence in Egypt could be found, and that would change the equation. That’s why I said “best evidence so far.” I’m going with that “best evidence” until and unless better evidence turns up. Makes sense?

    (Wow, I think that’s a new record for using the word ‘evidence’ in a paragraph:-)

  • Ignatz

    “The letter from James simply can not be reconciled with the teachings of Paul.”

    Christians for 2000 years have done so. YOU cannot. Because you cannot see that faith IS what you do.

    If you don’t do what Jesus said, you don’t believe him.

    Hebrews 11:

    “By faith Abel offered to God a sacrifice greater than Cain’s.”

    That’s an action – a work.

    “By faith Noah, warned about what was not yet seen, with reverence built an ark for the salvation of his household.”

    That’s an action – a work.

    “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go.”

    That’s an action – a work.

    That’s why James points out that if you don’t have works YOUR FAITH IS PHONY. Dead.

    Again – read Matthew 25:31-46. The ONLY difference mentioned by Jesus between the two groups is what they did.

    If you don’t CARRY your cross, you don’t BELIEVE in the Cross.

  • “Testimony Inflation” is my new favorite sociology of religion term.

  • ZackBop

    I’m not sure how I could have made it any more clear.

  • Rick Myres

    You don’t know we were to ask Jesus in? If one does not they cannot be His.He does not make the decision for us. I know because the Holy Spirit convicted me of being lost in sin and without Jesus so I made the decision to ask Jesus for forgiveness of being a sinner without Him and asked Him in.

  • Herm

    Who?

  • Ed Senter

    Maybe the difference is just too subtle for you to understand.
    Abraham was not saved by his work which would have meant actually slaying Isaac. Abraham was saved by his faith because he acted on God’s promise. Even if he had slain Isaac, God would have raised him from the dead.
    And your continued reference to Matt 25 is totally misplaced. Matt 24 describes the end times and Armageddon. What follows in Matt 25 is the separation of the sheep and goat nations. Those nations that supported Israel and those nations that did not. The end times is all about Israel and God implementing justice as He promised through the prophets in the old testament. The Church is not Isreal.

  • Where does the Bible say that being born again means what you just said?

  • jeff y

    While I agree with a lot of the sentiment expressed, what bothers me most is saying the word should go back to being an adjective. That’s backwards. Christian appears in the bible only 3 times and ONLY as a noun, referring to people who follow Christ and his teachings. (Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, and I Peter 4:16)

    The PROBLEM is that WE have made it an adjective: Christian music, movies, businesses, parties, t-shirts, etc.

    We use it as some kind of marketable label for what is supposedly good and acceptable. When in reality it usually just means what appeals to the lowest common denominator of religious group think loosely associated with Jesus.

    I hate the word Christian as an adjective. But I’d like to rescue it as a noun.

  • Rick Myres

    Let me try to explain it to you. First one is born of his/her mother then being born of the Spirit by the blood of Jesus He shed for all is being born again.

  • Bones

    That’s your interpretation of it.

    Being born again was a Jewish teaching – a new creation.

    Nicodemus knew exactly what it meant.

  • Bones

    Because Jesus was all about theology…..

  • Bones

    No Jesus didn’t support the law.

    He condemned parts of it.

    And that goes in line with the fact that he was a liberal Jewish Reformer.

  • Bones

    No, it wasn’t.

  • Bones

    The jury has delivered on Exodus……No…it didn’t happen….

  • Bones

    You’d probably like Spong…..

  • Matthew

    Thanks gimpi1. You might be right — however —

    I found this report by Dr. Hillel Gray somewhat interesting (especially the last paragraph):

    Depending on what is taken as evidence, the archaeological support is quite thin:

    The Hebrew Bible itself is not archaeological evidence,
    as usually understood. Looking at the bible as a historical document,
    its references to Egypt only prove that the authors had some knowledge
    of Egypt. It doesn’t mean that any of the authors’ people were there.
    Plus, scholars typically date the Pentateuch to centuries after the
    exodus.

    No Egyptian records mention slaves known as Hebrews. The first Egyptian reference to Israel (in Canaan) is the Merneptah Stela.
    It is very ancient, though later than would be expected for the exodus,
    but its brief reference does not corroborate Israelite presence in
    Egypt or their enslavement.

    There were some Egyptian slaves from Canaan, as noted by John Morrow. As added in comments by Brian Dunlap, see: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/anc

    The Bible mentions Pithom (Per-Atum/Tell Maskhuta) and Raamses (Pi-Raamses/Qantir), which are attested locations in Egypt. (David Lipovitch) But this only shows IMO that Exodus was written with some knowledge of Egypt.

    To be sure, archaeological records refer to various peoples (Habiru or Hyksos)
    who might be correlated to the Biblical account of the Hebrews.
    However, this correlation only works if the Bible is assumed to be true.
    Our data on these peoples cannot truly be said to independently
    corroborate the Bible, not by today’s standards of evidence. See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shasu

    In addition, there is other tantalizing evidence. For instance, the Egyptians had a period of monotheism with the god Aton.

    In short, if the Biblical account is assumed to be basically true, then a smattering of archaeological evidence can help bolster our understanding
    or explanation of the Hebrews’ enslavement and exodus. However, if you take a neutral or skeptical approach to the bible, the external evidence is not sufficient to prove or corroborate the Biblical claims regarding Hebrew/Israelite life in Egypt.

  • Matthew

    Just ask the creation scientists what they think about this Bones :-) :-) :-) … didn´t they create “Creation Wiki”???

  • Matthew

    From the School of Hillel :-) :-)

  • Matthew

    Jesus turned the law on its collective head I think.

  • Matthew

    It might take too long of a response (and such might not be appropriate for this blog), but I´m very curious what problems you found with Keller´s book — particularly what he writes about science and faith.

  • Rick Myres

    What have I said about Nicodemus? I know what Jesus told him. Lot of people think the water baptism is what saves them and that was what I thought when I was a child before I was convicted by the Holy Spirit that I was not. Being born of water is being born of the mother then being born of the blood of Jesus by faith is being born again.

  • Rick Myres

    Thank you for sharing God’s words.

  • Ok, in John 3, Jesus talks to Nicodemus about people needing to be born of the Spirit to see the kingdom. He does not say anything about his blood. He does not say anything about making a decision for Jesus or inviting him into your heart.

    My question for you is and has been: on what basis do you think being “born again” means inviting Jesus into your heart or making a decision for Jesus? Where does the Bible say being “born again” means doing that? Where does it directly connect those two things?

  • gimpi1

    Actually, I have read “Why Christianity must change or die” by Bishop Spong. I didn’t count it as explaining the beliefs, since his main point is that he thinks those beliefs have been outgrown and need to adapt. Thanks for the suggestion, though.

  • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    I would phrase it a little differently… There are those who have Jesus as Lord and Savior and are following Him to the best of their knowledge and ability, and there are those who have taken the name, “Christian” for other reasons.

  • Allen

    hmmm Jesus didnt support the law yet he says he does .God/Jesus isnt against gays or atheist yet both OT and NT want violence to happen to them either in the form of killing in the present or burning after they die…. I mean do u believe Jesus is God if so he was for the law and changed his mind? or are you saying they are different things and Jesus is good and God is bad?Jesus reformed God’s law? Because you cant say the OT was just “people” because then it wouldn’t make sense . it also doesn’t make sense to say Jesus didnt support it when he says not one letter of the law should change. That is support of the law not against. He also attributes the law to God. So I dont see how u get out of this… Just saying “no it isnt” isnt an argument …

  • Margaret Ann Porter

    God bless you for saying this. Franklin Graham acts like a right-wing Republican. He may have accepted Jesus in his heart, but it does not inform his politics. He has a right as an American citizen to be a right-wing Republican. He has no right to act as an authority of who is Christian or not. I cover my ears when the man prays because it is a travesty to me.

  • Nixon is Lord

    I thought he was all about the ice cream.

  • Linnea912

    It’s true that the equality of women has been fairly recent, but why should that matter? As long as they treat women as equals NOW, why continue to complain about the past? Isn’t that counterproductive? I’m genuinely curious.

    The ELCA Lutherans, the United Methodists, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Episcopalians, the UCC, and others that I’m forgetting all ordain women as full clergy.

  • Linnea912

    A few others by Spong that you might like:

    Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy
    Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism (a classic, and rightly so)
    The Sins of Scripture

  • Gary Roth

    It’s important because we carry the past with us. It does not magically disappear. In order to understand the present – where we are now, it is imperative to understand how we got here, and where we actually are. While all of these ordain clergy, that does not mean that all accept women on an equal basis, or that all congregations accept women pastors. There are still many pastors that also espouse Augustinian theology, or who will not let women have certain spots in the church structure. It takes many generations for these attitudes to pass, and until they do, knowing where they come from is part of the battle in getting rid of them. In addition to that, most theology is still written from a male-dominated viewpoint. For instance, the early church called Mary of Magdala “The First Apostle,” because she was the first one that Jesus appeared to after the resurrection. She was vilified by the church – identified as a prostitute, although the scriptures say nothing of this – and she and the other “Marys” stories were conflated, minimizing her part. Over the centuries, women’s parts throughout both scripture and in the church have continued to be minimized. There is a movement today to recover these stories and restore them to their appropriate place – but there is also still a great deal of push-back in the church – more-so, of course, in conservative churches – but even in main-line churches. So this work is far from done. In the typical church, women are still given second-place status. I know, as a retired pastor, that when, for instance, congregations look for Council members, they usually look to men first. The church is often the last bastion of “unequal rights!”

  • Richard Worden Wilson

    If this either/or binary is valid then there are no Christians.

  • Bones

    The problem being of course that God didn’t say anything in the Old Testament. It’s all ritualistic and nationalistic nonsense.

    There was plenty about the Law which was unjust – the treatment of women, gay people, the poor and sick – were all ostracised by the archaic Law.

    The events in Mark such as the healing of the lepers, the woman who was bleeding for 12 years and Jesus’s comments about divorce and adultery were a big middle finger to the Law.

    And the Law changed – hence why no one follows it – even in Jesus’s time, they weren’t killing gays.

  • Bones

    No….Jesus’s comments to Nicodemus were part of the sectarian divide in the latter first century CE between Christian Jews and Jews who worshipped in the synagogue.

    To the writer of John you could not be a Christian and still worship in the synagogue – you were in the darkness and not ‘born again’.

    John is a completely anti-Jewish document.

    It really has very little to say to us today.

    I know that upsets people who like to use it to condemn non-Christians.

  • Bones

    “creation scientists” is a contradiction in terms.

    Creationists don’t do science.

    They take scientific developments made by real scientists and butcher and misinterpret them on their blogs.

    You won’t ever find a creationist doing scientific experiments.

  • Rick Myres

    God is the Father Son and Holy Spirit so Jesus was not and is not part of any sectarian sect or movement. I am not going to argue about my faith.

  • Matthew

    She blinded me with science – Thomas Dolby -1982

  • Amen, i totally agree with you (and Benjamin). Billy G understood it a lot better i think. I compare it to the difference in libertarian between Ron Paul and Rand Paul, but that’s all i’ll say as it’s off topic. :)

  • To me it would only apply as a noun if someone is “adjectiving” it. :)

  • Matthew

    What does eternal life mean in the context and understanding you support in John?

  • gimpi1

    Thanks, I’ll follow up.

    Dr. Corey also recommended something on the life of Jesus, but I lost the name (and my Kindle wish-list) in a computer crash. Dr. Corey, if you read this, and remember, what was it again?

  • Bones

    I was talking about the writer of the gospel of John.

    He wasn’t Jesus.

    And you refuse to be educated and treat people as the enemy because of your misunderstanding of the scriptures.

  • Bones

    Life and death are major themes in the gospel of John.

    Jesus is the source of life, the Jews are the source of death and darkness.

    Eternal life means just that.

  • Rick Myres

    How about wording it differently? Here are you own words. “Jesus’s comments to Nicodemus were part of the sectarian divide in the latter first century CE between Christian Jews and Jews who worshipped in the synagogue.” What part of that is not about Jesus and His words being not being part of the sectarian divide?

  • Bones

    Because the writer of John wrote the dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus.

    It isn’t hard to understand.

  • Rick Myres

    I know the talk Jesus had with Nicodemus is not hard to understand.

  • Allen

    and yet Jesus himself said he supported the laws and not only that the NT continues with the gay hate. You want me to ignore all that and agree that Jesus was great. Jesus was an asshole and so is your God. Your religion created the hate and now u want me to ignore it. I’m not…..

  • Bones

    It obviously is for you who’s understanding of the Bible is not much past Sunday School level.

    Jesus simply never had that conversation.

  • Matthew

    I would agree that Jesus is the source of life.

  • Bones

    Jesus didn’t support the laws at all.

    You’re using one comment from the Gospel of Matthew which sought to show that Jesus had replaced Judaism.

    As for the gay hate in the New Testament, that has to do with the temple worship and boy prostitutes as outlined by Philo.

    You’re reading the Bible like a fundamentalist.

  • Allen

    see that is the thing all Christians are radical crazed fundamentalist. If I’m to just take what you are saying you are saying that prostitutes deserve to burn. Even if pretend it wasn’t gays ,which for centuries Christians have read it to mean gays and the passage in Romans suggest that, you still think prostitutes should burn… i don’t see you any difference in you or conservative Christians. You all think violence should come to some group of people in the form of burning after they die you just differ on who those people should be.The conservatives say gays are the ones u say prostitutes. You both seem to think atheist should be punished. You are no different than the guys you are criticizing.. you guys are cut from the same cloth you only think u are more “informed” and “kinder” . You aren’t and don’t kid yourself…

  • Bones

    Actually if you bothered reading anything I write, no one is going to ‘burn’.

    Just because Paul wrote something about his culture and the world he lived in is pretty much irrelevant.

    It’s all his opinion anyway.

    If you can’t tell the difference betweend conservative fundamentalist Christians and progressive liberal ones, then that shows how stupid you are.

  • Rick Myres

    Oh really that is only what you think. Here is the scripture that Jesus DID have that conversation with Nicodemus.
    John 3:1-21

  • Bones

    Well no he didn’t.

    That’s a scripture which John wrote condemning Jews which stayed in the synagogue.

    Had nothing to do with Jesus.

    I know this is confusing for you but maybe one day you’ll get over using the bible to think you are better than or more special than others who you think are going to hell.

  • Rick Myres

    Yes it did because Jesus was talking to Nicodemus. Nicodemus was asking Him questions and He (Jesus) was answering them. Jesus even explained to him that he must be born of water and the Spirit. I guess you did not read John 3:1-21

  • Bones

    Read it, studied it far more than you who reads it with no understanding at all..

    Jesus did not write the Gospel of John….it’s a completely fictional account. Nicodemus represents those Christian Jews who remain in the synagogue after John’s community had been excluded.

    This is a sectarian conflicts between Jewish groups. It has nothing to do with anyone else.

    Once again, this is all about trying to inflate yourself over the rest of the human race.

    You ain’t gonna get better treatment when you die over the rest of humanity.

  • Rick Myres

    Are you or are you not a born again Christian? I was not a Christian and thought I was a Christian until the Holy Spirit convicted me of being lost and needing Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. Praise the name of Jesus I was obedient and asked Him in!

  • Bones

    I’m not a Christian Jew worshipping in the synagogue in John’s community in the first century.

    So your question is completely nonsensical.

    Yes, your religious experience is the same as any person who has undergone conversion whether into Islam, Buddhism or even cults.

    Just that you expect everyone else to have that same experience based on a complete misunderstanding of the Bible.

  • Rick Myres

    The Bible is not misunderstanding to me because the Holy Spirit leads and teaches me and shows me His words. I have been washed clean in the blood of Jesus for all eternity. I don’t expect all to because as the Bible says strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.

  • Bones

    In other words, the Holy Spirit leads me into knowing that I am right and everyone else is wrong.

    Funny that…..

    You people are so sad.

    Btw that verse about the gate – another Jewish teaching which the gospel writer has coopted to be not about eternal life, but pointed against the Pharisees and the destruction of joining the Jewish Nationalist Revolt against Rome.

  • Rainer Moeller

    This simplicist to-do-concept of christianity has its weak points. First, the best way “to do” anything whatever, even sowing or mowing, comes from an emotional process (or a change of heart); i.e. we reasonably should emphasize the role of “the inner life” – but then, a change of heart will not always and for everyone manifest itself in the same doings. So we have to accept a certain difference of actions.

    Then Jesus did a lot of different things; he was not mostly occupied with prophetically rebuking powers or warring for social justice causes. For example, he did a lot of miracles, or else he suffered for mankind. So a healing pastor of an Evangelical sect or a sick Catholic nun who offers her pain for mankind are definitely part of the imitatio Christi. Well, you don’t think that we have the authority to do miracles? Then, perhaps we haven’t the authority either to prophetically rebuke any powers …