Why Christianity? discussion

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Major topics > Why is "Why Christianity" not about Christ's Teaching?

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message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 303 comments I'm a Christian because I follow Christ. His teachings don't require ANY prerequisite courses in tedious Old Testament Jewish angst. True, the Bible has a central tenet that a curious (that includes me) Believer would explore so he can make sense of the entire Creation to New Jerusalem experience. However, that's not required for Salvation, just to be a so-called "mature" Christian. However, I can't count the times I've been told there are certain OT truisms that every actual Christian must believe. I contend this is total bunk. Believing in the actions of Jesus IS ALL THAT IS REQUIRED to enter through the pearly gates. Conversely, if sanctification is your goal, then you probably need to ingest the whole nine yards of Scriptural rigamarole. My nature condemns me to sin mightily until I die, but I repent and am forgiven EVERY TIME. So, I'll take the gift provided by Jesus and leave the self-righteous OT sniveling to all the rest on this board who are contending for sainthood.


message 2: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
Although Jesus is the fullness and completion of all that was setup in the Old Testament.

But understanding this can come later.

If we simplify Jesus too much: then we may assume Muslims, Mormons, and green peace hippies are our spiritual families. Or worse, that Jesus and Satan are Spirit brothers of equal value.


message 3: by David (new)

David Pulliam | 42 comments Robert, it sounds like you're saying that the OT is unnecessary for the Christian to follow and that all that is required to be a Christian is to believe that Jesus Christ saved you for your sins. Is that right?


message 4: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
Robert, you're not one of them Red-Letter Christians are you? Although Tony Campolo has the same problems with the Old Testament--- it makes no sense to him. He also has no systematic theology.

In order to understand Jesus: you need the entire truth and history of the Old Testament.

Along with Jesus few words. We need the teachings of Paul, Peter, Moses, David, Solomon, and the Holy Spirit.


message 5: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
Luke 14:26 is a good teaching.

26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

This group is here to explore these types of teachings. As well as: mark 4

11 And he said to them, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables,
12 so that
"they may indeed see but not perceive,
and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven."

It takes an entire Bible AND Holy Spirit (and God given faith) to even begin to understand Jesus confusing teachings.
Which is what makes this group fun... and possibly necessary


message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 303 comments Rod, David - as I stated in the original discussion post, I read and study the entire Bible so I CAN arrive at a comprehensive theology. This means keeping a great majority of the tenets in OT and rejecting a few as mortal writers getting effusive and creative with what God vouchsafed to them. IF a Christian wants to swallow the whole enchilada, their literalism is fine by me. But, Christ never, and I posited this challenge to Robert D. in the "other group" indicated one of his followers needed to believe every Bible story, no matter how far-fetched, in order to be saved. If anyone can prove me wrong, I'll stand corrected, but don't offer up vague allusions - I demand specificity. Christ himself offered up the conditions for salvation, so the superfluous additions piled on by inveterate Bible thumpers is the portion that's unbiblical (Chad)..


message 7: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
Which bible stories should I believe? That miraculous one about the Jesus guy? Or the Moses guy? Or John or Paul's miraculous claims?
When they ALL point to Jesus: I believe them all.

Can you imagine getting to heaven and having God say, "What? You believed all those crazy ridiculous stories? Seriously?!?!"
I'll say, "they were in your book."

God might say, "ummmh, oh - I see the problem. I guess I can't blame anyone if they couldn't figure out which ones were true. Well Pooh!"


message 8: by Tyrone (new)

Tyrone Wilson | 75 comments Rod wrote: "Which bible stories should I believe? That miraculous one about the Jesus guy? Or the Moses guy? Or John or Paul's miraculous claims?
When they ALL point to Jesus: I believe them all.

Can you ima..."


Funny, but good points. The Bible is God's Word or it isn't.


message 9: by Chad (new)

Chad (chadjohnson) | 63 comments Robert wrote: "Christ himself offered up the conditions for salvation, so the superfluous additions piled on by inveterate Bible thumpers is the portion that's unbiblical (Chad)."

What an honor to be called an "inveterate Bible thumper!" I'll admit, I had to look up "inveterate."

I agree Robert... you do not need to believe the entire Bible to be saved.

However, if you became a Christian, studied the Bible, and your "nature" still "condemns [you] to sin mightily until [you] die" then that is a problem. Clearly we all sin, even after salvation. We all have a sin nature that we struggle with. God is doing a work in those whom he has saved through sanctification. If we seek truly Him and allow it, He increases in us and we decrease. The amount we sin decreases as He increases. Our thoughts become more like His thoughts, our daily desires line up with His will.

However, all of this comes at a cost. If there is no cost to following Jesus... you're probably following someone other than Jesus. If you keep on living the way you were living before you accepted Christ into your heart... that's not good.

We are not saved by believing in the inspiration or inerrancy of the Bible. We are saved by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior from sin (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8–9; Romans 10:9–10). At the same time, though, it is only through the Bible that we learn about Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection on our behalf (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 5:8). We do not have to believe everything in the Bible in order to be saved—but we do have to believe in Jesus Christ, who is proclaimed by the Bible. We should definitely hold to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, and we should absolutely believe everything the Bible teaches, but sometimes that comes after salvation, not before.

If we believe and trust in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, as taught in the Bible, we are saved. When we trust in Jesus Christ, though, the Holy Spirit will work on our hearts and minds—and will convince us that the Bible is true and is to be believed.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)

No matter which version you choose... they all start basically the same. ALL scripture is God-breathed or inspired. Paul didn't say some scripture... New Testament scripture, the Gospels, the Psalms & Proverbs, the Torah.... No... It says that ALL scripture comes from God alone and should be used to teach us what is true and used to help us correct our behavior.


message 10: by David (new)

David Pulliam | 42 comments Robert, thank you for the clarification. You seem to be saying 2 things: 1. believing the whole Bible to be true is unnecessary for salvation. 2. You hold to a lot of the OT (I assume NT as well?) and reject some.

Assuming you find my summaries agreeable, correct me if I'm wrong, let's look at each:

In regards to 1. let's define salvation. Salvation is when a person is in right relationship with God. A person gets in right relationship with God by believing that Jesus is the savior and Lord over one's life. How? Because Christ fulfilled the law and took on the penalty for our breaking of the law. Here is where 1. runs into a problem. Notice that in order to be saved you have to recognize that you did not fulfill the law, we're law breaks. How do we know what the law is? In the OT and our hearts. Most of the time the two overlap but often our hearts are so perverted that we fail to see ourselves as sinners until hear the law. So, you need the OT, at least in part, because it provides the law. Disagree, thoughts?

One option you have is to say no, the OT is not necessary and the law written on our hearts is sufficient to tell us that we are in need of a savior who is outside of ourselves. If you go this route, I think you'll need to provide evidence. Looking forward to seeing if you go this route.

In regards to 2. what specific parts of the OT do you reject?

btw, do I get to be included in the Bible thumper category even though I haven't used any Biblical texts.


message 11: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 303 comments Chad, David - Ha! Ha! This is all relative - many call me a Bible thumper! Like all humans, we want our debate partners stuffed into convenient pigeonholes so we can disregard their complexity and avoid any blurring of lines our ideology or theology has artificially drawn for us. Let us see if I can illustrate some points where me might accede rather than differ. In the Christianity I understand the laws of Moses are left behind with the Jews. The Ten Commandments remain, but if you love God and your fellow man you follow these naturally so you don't need a Thou Shalt Not mentality. Still the flesh remains and always will so that's where I sin mightily and contend I and others cannot ever escape. On occasion, I am glutinous, lazy, prideful, envious, angry, and lustful (am I missing one?) Have some of these tendencies ebbed since I found the Lord? Most certainly, but not disappeared. Nor are they likely to as I have found a sweet spot where my relationship to God supersedes any of these competing idols. To be sanctified, I suppose you need to at least attempt to quash any earthly desires. That's beyond me, but I contend salvation is achieved. If others on this board want a gold star on their diploma noting their earnest efforts toward canonization, that's fine by me. I think the Kingdom is big enough for both of us. Perhaps your efforts will land you in the penthouse of his mansion, while I'll be in the basement, but that still beats the nether region!


message 12: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
Good stuff guys. Thanks for starting all this Robert. Well worth discussing.


message 13: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
The big challenge: how do we love The Correct Lord God with all our hearts, minds, souls etc?

The Bible is our source. The entire bible - even the weird nasty bits.

Those who toss away parts of the bible: now have a god made in their own image. Or a golden calf founded on lies and stupidity.


message 14: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
Why Christianity "the group" is all about Christ's teachings--- from Genesis to Revelation. Nothing more, nothing less (hopefully).


message 15: by David (new)

David Pulliam | 42 comments So I guess you don’t want to work through what I proposed? I apologize, I didn’t mean to pigeonhole what you were saying. Honestly I was simply trying to grasp it and give a tentative response, so where did I slip up?


message 16: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 303 comments David - I thought I did respond to your points. Re: pt.1 - I opined that the law is for Jews thus not applicable to a Christian ambience; re: pt.2 - to Rod, and others, Christ permeates the OT thus all its premises should be concurrent with NT teachings. I say the earthbounding of Jesus ushers in an entirely different era with different priorities that supersede most OT dictates. That doesn't mean the ancients didn't pose some truisms still suitable for modernity, but when OT and NT conflict, as a Gentile I'm obligated to the walking-on-water Jesus side of the ledger.


message 17: by David (new)

David Pulliam | 42 comments Robert, Glad we're getting some clarity. Looking forward to your response. I appreciate your point of view so thank you for your response.

So how do you respond to my objection, that the law is necessary in order to realize we need salvation and this is in the OT which means the law is not just for Jews but applicable to a Christian ambience?


message 18: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 303 comments David - who "needs" salvation for everyday existence? That's an afterlife phenomenon most either disregard or consider, but it has little effect on their lifestyle. I think the majority of Christians feel salvation follows Faith so they don't actively do much to pursue it. If you are suggesting that "The Law" influences individual Christian behavioral choices, I'd say only in the most extreme right wing churches. Centrists generally focus on forgiveness of sins if they repent. However, I think you are referring to the Law as predecessor and major contributor to Christ's teachings. This I would be in agreement with, but that doesn't mean I instantly thumb to the Law in my Bible for inspiration. Thanks for you input.


message 19: by David (new)

David Pulliam | 42 comments Hi Robert, so your answer is that no the law is unnecessary?

According to Christ, everyone needs salvation since sin effects our everyday existence.


message 20: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
The Old and New Testament don't conflict.

The focus does change though slightly. And it mostly explains any changes : hint: Israelites have a promise and position that gentiles don't.


message 21: by Tyrone (last edited Jun 13, 2018 04:51PM) (new)

Tyrone Wilson | 75 comments David wrote: "Robert, Glad we're getting some clarity. Looking forward to your response. I appreciate your point of view so thank you for your response.

So how do you respond to my objection, that the law is ..."


I would also disagree with this position. Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all had salvation before the Law. Salvation is by the grace of God and faith.


message 22: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra | 98 comments Tyrone wrote: "Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all had salvation before the Law. Salvation is by the grace of God and faith."

Agreed. The Law was never saving. Salvation has always been by Grace through Faith.


message 23: by Alexandra (last edited Jun 13, 2018 06:57PM) (new)

Alexandra | 98 comments Robert wrote: "His teachings don't require ANY prerequisite courses in tedious Old Testament Jewish angst. "

Wow. That's quite a derogatory attitude for someone who professes to be a Christian to have regarding Scripture.

The entire Bible, OT included, is about Jesus. As a Christian you should know that, if you don't - and apparently you don't - you need to learn it.

Additionally, Christ affirmed that "Old Testament Jewish angst" as Scripture, and clearly held it in high regard.

"Conversely, if sanctification is your goal, then you probably need to ingest the whole nine yards of Scriptural rigamarole."

Your contempt for Scripture is truly amazing.

"So, I'll take the gift provided by Jesus and leave the self-righteous OT sniveling to all the rest on this board who are contending for sainthood."

It's well past time you took a look in a mirror ;)


message 24: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 303 comments Alexandra - you assume too much! I actually admire those who seek sanctification; I only contend that it's not necessary for salvation and not a realistic pathway for all believers. Why don't you look in the mirror and ask why you are so threatened by analysis? Christ is alluded to but not mentioned specifically in OT and it certainly isn't all about him. This hyperbole is typical of religious fanatics who are not content with God as he is, but want to fudge the facts. That is precisely why I don't take the Bible literally - there hasn't been a person born EVER who doesn't hype their side of a conflict in order to gain debate points over the other side. This is true, of course, of Scriptural authors.


message 25: by Alexandra (last edited Jun 14, 2018 11:48AM) (new)

Alexandra | 98 comments Robert, I didn’t assume anything. I read your words and understanding what they mean. You think the OT is “Jewish angst”. And dismiss Scripture as “rigmarole”.

Then stand on your self righteous soap box denouncing others as self righteous.

It’s no surprise, it’s what we’ve seen many times before from that quarter

And yes the OT is all about Jesus.


message 26: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 303 comments Alexandra - so, Moses is really not about him and his exploits, it's code for Jesus. Really, Alexandra how did you become such a fruitcake? If you yearn to be a Jew, convert, but please quit asking all of us to undergo circumcision, or whatever other hoop you deem necessary to jump through to become Christian.


message 27: by Tyrone (new)

Tyrone Wilson | 75 comments Robert wrote: "Alexandra - so, Moses is really not about him and his exploits, it's code for Jesus. Really, Alexandra how did you become such a fruitcake? If you yearn to be a Jew, convert, but please quit asking..."

Perhaps you should read what Jesus said in John 5:46...


message 28: by Alexandra (last edited Jun 15, 2018 12:10PM) (new)

Alexandra | 98 comments Robert wrote: "Alexandra - so, Moses is really not about him and his exploits, it's code for Jesus. Really, Alexandra how did you become such a fruitcake? If you yearn to be a Jew, convert, but please quit asking..."

Ah, Robert, you show once again you’re incapable of reasonable and rational discussion, not to mention reading comprehension.

Nothing you try to accuse me of has anything to do with what I said, which is par for the course for you.


message 29: by David (new)

David Pulliam | 42 comments Hi Tyrone and Alexandra,

I'm sure we have a small misunderstanding here. My point was not that salvation comes through the law, but by the law we realize our sinfulness and inability to come to salvation of our own means. I hope that helps.


message 30: by Alexandra (last edited Jun 16, 2018 05:45AM) (new)

Alexandra | 98 comments David wrote: "My point was not that salvation comes through the law, but by the law we realize our sinfulness and inability to come to salvation of our own means. "

You've just contradicted yourself.

Yes, by the Law we realize our sinfulness and inability to come to salvation of our own means, which means salvation doesn't come through the Law.

The Law cannot and does not save.


message 31: by Tyrone (new)

Tyrone Wilson | 75 comments David wrote: "Hi Tyrone and Alexandra,

I'm sure we have a small misunderstanding here. My point was not that salvation comes through the law, but by the law we realize our sinfulness and inability to come to s..."


Hi David. I understand your point, and agree the Law does serve a purpose ... it shows us how completely sinful we are. However, there still remains the fact that many people, through faith, served the Lord before the Law came to be. There was a recognition of sin before the Law. The Law just codified it.


message 32: by David (new)

David Pulliam | 42 comments Alexandria how have contradicted myself?


message 33: by David (new)

David Pulliam | 42 comments Tyrone, when did the law come about? I’m having trouble understanding what you’re saying? Are you saying Abraham, Noah etc. did not have the law? I don’t think you’re saying that so if they had the law, I don’t see how there is a problem.


message 34: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
Satan had a law. Otherwise the war in heaven wouldn't have been an issue of judgement.
Adam & Eve had a law: they broke it.

They all knew a savior was coming. They had God given Faith that all will be dealt with. (Or that they could hide from).

O.T. : a savior is coming.


message 35: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra | 98 comments David wrote: "Alexandria how have contradicted myself?"

I apologize, you didn't. I misread your first statement :D


message 36: by Alexandra (last edited Jun 16, 2018 01:49PM) (new)

Alexandra | 98 comments Rod wrote: "Satan had a law. Otherwise the war in heaven wouldn't have been an issue of judgement.
Adam & Eve had a law: they broke it. "


Muddying the waters, we're talking about the Law, which normatively refers to the Mosaic Law.

Obviously that doesn't mean sin did not exist prior to that or was not possible prior. I don't see anyone suggesting that.


message 37: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra | 98 comments Robert wrote: "who "needs" salvation for everyday existence? That's an afterlife phenomenon most either disregard or consider, but it has little effect on their lifestyle."

And you call me a "nutjob". SMH.

But this does show your contempt for Scripture.


message 38: by Tyrone (new)

Tyrone Wilson | 75 comments David wrote: "Tyrone, when did the law come about? I’m having trouble understanding what you’re saying? Are you saying Abraham, Noah etc. did not have the law? I don’t think you’re saying that so if they had the..."

Noah, Abraham and his descendants through Joseph did not have the Law. The Law didn't come about until Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt in the Book of Exodus. Most of it can be found in Leviticus and Deuteronomy (which is a repeat of Leviticus for the benefit of those children who survived the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness).


message 39: by Tyrone (new)

Tyrone Wilson | 75 comments Rod wrote: "Satan had a law. Otherwise the war in heaven wouldn't have been an issue of judgement.
Adam & Eve had a law: they broke it.

They all knew a savior was coming. They had God given Faith that all wi..."


Usually, the Law meant the Mosaic Law which Israel agreed to be bound by.

Satan's sin was his pride (Isaiah 14:12-14). I don't know that it could be called a law? There is no reference to Satan's law in the Bible that I know of. If you have a verse or passage about that, please let me know. Thanks.


message 40: by David (new)

David Pulliam | 42 comments Hi Tyrone, thank you for clarifying what you mean by "law." so according to your position you believe that prior to the mosaic law there was no law.

Does this mean that murder, stealing, adultery, etc. prior to the mosaic law was ok?


message 41: by Tyrone (new)

Tyrone Wilson | 75 comments David wrote: "Hi Tyrone, thank you for clarifying what you mean by "law." so according to your position you believe that prior to the mosaic law there was no law.

Does this mean that murder, stealing, adultery..."


Of course not. Cain was punished for murdering his brother, right?


message 42: by David (new)

David Pulliam | 42 comments Hi Tyrone, thank you for answering my question. So they did have the law but not the mosaic law? What’s the difference between the two?


message 43: by Tyrone (new)

Tyrone Wilson | 75 comments David wrote: "Hi Tyrone, thank you for answering my question. So they did have the law but not the mosaic law? What’s the difference between the two?"

What are you really asking? Was there "a law" before the Mosaic Law? Perhaps, but not codified with the intent of the Mosaic Law directed to the Jews. Regardless, the Law is just one element of the O.T.


message 44: by Alexandra (last edited Jun 17, 2018 02:24PM) (new)

Alexandra | 98 comments Tyrone wrote: "David wrote: "Hi Tyrone, thank you for answering my question. So they did have the law but not the mosaic law? What’s the difference between the two?"

What are you really asking? Was there "a law"..."


Geez, I don't get why people are so confused and being so confusing. When talking about the Law Christians mean the Mosaic Law. (Clearly you get this, just piggybacking on your post :D)

That's what the discussion has been about, the Mosaic Law.

And NO that doesn't mean there was no sin prior to the Law. NO it doesn't mean there was no sin. NO it does not mean it was ok to lie and cheat and steal and murder.


message 45: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle | 469 comments Mod
Satan has a judgement (there's a few verses for that). He's being judged by a standard or expectation... similar to what was given to Adam. That's what the law is.

If there's no law: then you really can't sin or rebel.


message 46: by David (new)

David Pulliam | 42 comments I think my question is fair, you can’t say someone is guilty unless they break a law. As for definitions, do you think the Bible uses the term law exclusively to refer to the mosaic law?


message 47: by Tyrone (new)

Tyrone Wilson | 75 comments David wrote: "I think my question is fair, you can’t say someone is guilty unless they break a law. As for definitions, do you think the Bible uses the term law exclusively to refer to the mosaic law?"

Referring to your first sentence, who said that? You assumed earlier that I believed there was no law prior to the Mosaic Law. I was simply drawing a distinction with the Mosaic Law.

You may want to start a new thread to explore your point. That issue gets off the point of this thread.


message 48: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 303 comments Guys and Gal - yes, you're all way off topic and that's precisely why I started this thread. Christianity, presumably about Jesus' sacrifice for our sins, is largely independent of the Old Testament. You are saved if you believe in him. This shameless flattery about Christ being the whole purpose of the OT shows ingratitude for the New Covenant we gentiles were provided. We ARE NOT God's chosen people so quit being envious of what the Jewish experience comprised and leave the Law to them.


message 49: by Alexandra (last edited Jun 18, 2018 11:46AM) (new)

Alexandra | 98 comments David wrote: "I think my question is fair, you can’t say someone is guilty unless they break a law. As for definitions, do you think the Bible uses the term law exclusively to refer to the mosaic law?"

I didn’t say your question was unfair. I said what we’re discussing here is The Law (as denoted by THE and Law capitalized), which refers to the Mosaic Law.

You’re asking about the time prior to the Mosaic Law, which is a different topic.


message 50: by Alexandra (last edited Jun 18, 2018 12:04PM) (new)

Alexandra | 98 comments Robert wrote: "Christanity, presumably about Jesus' sacrifice for our sins, is largely independent of the Old Testament."

No, it isn’t. But given your contempt for Scripture and your ignorance of it, it’s no surprise you think so.

Jesus taught building on the understanding of Scripture, which at the time was the OT.

Without the OT there would be no reason to listen to Jesus.

“ You are saved if you believe in him.”

The demons believe in Him.

“This shameless flattery about Christ being the whole purpose of the OT shows ingratitude for the New Covenant we gentiles were provided.”

Nope. And what was said is that the OT is about Jesus, which is true.

Has nothing to do with Replacement Theology, that just another thing you’ve pulled out of your rear.


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