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Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship
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The Forum - Debate Religion > Do the religious really WANT a Savior and Lord?

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message 1: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle I've been thinking about this all week:

How many religious folk do I come across who DO NOT REALLY WANT a Savior or Lord?

Oh sure, people throw the word around and say BLAH BLAH BLAH Jesus and heal this and liberal humanism that - but do they want to be in an eternal relationship with "The lamb slain for the sins of the world - King of kings and lord of lords"?

I meet people who are heavily involved in Churches, Denominations, Religious law and traditions and general/specific ministry - who really aren't interested in Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Oh, if you mention it to them they will jump up and down and say a few Jesus catch phrases that put them in the same club as the Son of God --- But is that their hearts longing and desire for all eternity? Or just a means to their own self absorbed end?

Now I think I've been guilty of this myself. Too much church and ministry ----- with NO Jesus. I see people doing too much theology with NO Jesus. Too much love and grace with NO Jesus. When's the last time you heard the Pope really chat about his heartfelt relationship with his Savior and Lord? (hopefully last week --- although i've NEVER heard a Pope speak deeply about this.)


message 2: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle Here's my quick (and possibly faulty) observation of select groups and their need for a Savior.

Liberal Christianity:
"Why do we need a savior? There really is no sin - we just need a good example. Did Jesus REALLY die for our sin? Being nice & kind is all that is required. Since there's no literal heaven, there's really no natural relationship with this Jesus myth. Great idea though - humanity will benefit."

Charismatic Christianity:
"Do I NEED a savior? I AM a savior! The Holy Spirit is demanding I do even MORE than Jesus did. All Jesus really did is open the door so I could be HIM and have his same Wizard skills. Jesus died for my sins - but I don't really sin anymore: I'm a SUPER HERO now with the Spirit flowing. Now I'll SAVE others."

Catholic Christianity:
"Do I need a Savior? The savior is kind of hard to talk to - so I'll take all my concerns to HIS Mom. I'll have a relationship with HER. And since the Pope is in charge...the Savior's job is done. But If I keep Him dying on the cross (and molded into some bread and wine) then he'll be useful. Nobody ever told me Heaven would be about a relationship with the Son of God - so what purgatory for then???"

and of course>
Fundamental Christianity:
"I'm right and my SAVIOR is RIGHT! End of story. Let me double check my Systematic Theological think tank of obedience... Hey, how did this bit about LOVE get in my Bible???"

Mormon Christianity: (is that even possible?)
"Jesus was indeed the Savior, and someday I will be a savior of another universe. Will I have to fight a Satan and die on a cross too? No way - I'll be too busy with THE LADIES impregnating eternal souls, Let someone else do it."


Jehovah's Witness Christianity:
"Jesus is indeed the savior, whatever the Bible says. Oh, but Jesus doesn't really exist - actually it was the Arch Angel Michael in a Jesus suit. So when the select few of us get to Heaven - there really won't be a Jesus. But I don't care -- Whatever the Watchtower tells me to think is most likely the truth."

I tried to be somewhat general with all those. We know there are degrees within all of them.


message 3: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle Rod's Christianity:
I need a savior as desperate as the thief on the cross did. And I need a friend who is GOD himself to remember me and escort me into HIS eternal Kingdom. I owe HIM everything. I can't wait to be by HIS side and be in full agreement with everything HE desires.


Luke 23:
39One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him,d saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”


message 4: by Lee (last edited Jan 31, 2015 06:07PM) (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Rod your concept of liberal Christianity is as stereotyped as Roberts. The way you box people into misrepresentative categories is different from Christ I have a hard time understanding why you even bother calling yourself a Christian.

Asking a liberal Christian for their stance on sin is a little like asking a historian whether they are a vegetarian. You'll get an answer, but it won't have anything to do with history or liberal Christianity.


message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Lee - Rod's stereotype of Liberal Christian's is different from mine. Take heart, if you get enough divergent stereotypes, you get a nice rounded view of the breed!


message 6: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle You got it exactly Robert.

Lee feel free to fine-tune my fanaticism. (and please explain YOUR savior Jesus for us.)


message 7: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Rod - How many times do I have to do this? OK - I'll try something different; here is what my Savior isn't! In tune with the culture; in tune with history; in tune with science except through God's natural law; in tune with philosophy; in tune with politics; in tune with world affairs; in tune with cults; in tune with sports; In tune with homosexuals; in tune with pedophiles; in tune with contemporary music; and ESPECIALLY NOT IN TUNE WITH LIBERALS!


message 8: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle You should teach a college course on that Robert.

Some of those need some explaining.


message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Rod - well they ALL take some explaining as does any topic to explore it maximally, but I wished to convey that my Savior, unlike his mortal counterparts, is pretty one-track-minded when it comes to what is to be idolized.


message 10: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle Well said.


message 11: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Rod wrote: "You got it exactly Robert.

Lee feel free to fine-tune my fanaticism. (and please explain YOUR savior Jesus for us.)"


OK...well, for starters, liberal Christianity does not address the issue of sin. That is a religious concept, and liberal Christians, as pluralists, transcend any particular religion.

Second, liberal Christians are realists. If the evidence of evolution is so strong, why would we believe something else? Choosing one religion and saying they are smarter than our greatest minds is egotistical and absurd.

Third, a liberal Christian is not necessarily political liberal. They are two different things entirely. It's just that liberal Christianity studies the Bible critically, and a critical study of the historical Jesus tends to highlight how liberal he was, so those that DO want to follow Jesus naturally tend to turn more politically liberal.


message 12: by David (new)

David Lee, I think you're a bit wrong in saying liberal Christianity does not address sin. Maybe you mean they redefine it? My experience is that liberal Christians focus more on corporate sins then on individual ones, things like social injustice and global climate change. But as far as these are things that are wrong or bad or not as they ought, they qualify as sin. Further, I am no expert in liberal Christianity but it didn't take me long in looking at both some books I have and a quick google search to see that liberal Christians such as Schleiermacher and Tillich spoke of sin. I think liberals define it more experientially rather then biblically; in that all humans experience a lack of God consciousness, we feel off.


message 13: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Yes I think it matters how you define it, David. If sin is an act in violation of the command of God--particularly with an eye toward Original Sin--I bet most liberal Christians couldn't care less. If, however, you define sin as a moral failing then there is much discussion about that.


Brent McCulley (brentthewalrus) Great post, David. Yes, Lee, liberal theologians from Von Harnack to Tillich all spoke of sin. What theologians are you reading Lee, bc this is just plain wrong.


message 15: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle So to liberals: a Savior is a social icon? I better get a new Bible. Funny!


message 16: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Brent and David: Tillich was not talking about sin the way Rod and Robert think of it. Not even close. It wasn't a sinful act, but a state of being.


Brent McCulley (brentthewalrus) Sure, Tillich brought out the existential understanding of sin and how it affects us in relation to one another, but it is disingenuous to say that they don't discuss sin, or that it is irrelevant given your analogy.


message 18: by David (new)

David But Lee, sin is still a concept liberal theologians talk of. As a liberal yourself, wouldn't you want to clarify rather then reinforce the stereotype that liberals don't talk about sin. Even if they were not talking of it the way conservatives think of it, doesn't mean they didn't talk of it. Agreeing they didn't talk of it plays right into their polemical hands and does not seem like a good tactic on your part.

Don't assume sin = original sin. Heck, don't let other people set the term for the debate!


message 19: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle Like King David said "I have sinned against you and Only You Lord."

He sure needs a Savior.


message 20: by David (new)

David Hopefully this is not a tangent, but the last time I read that passage (Psalm 51) it really bothered me. It did not bother me what he said, for he surely needed forgiveness (a Savior, as Rod said). It bothered me about the "only you" part. I think Uriah might disagree.

It almost reads like David is saying he has asked God's forgiveness so he does not need to reconcile with Uriah. Obviously Uriah is dead, but do you think this is a problem with Christianity today? We ask forgiveness from God but don't go to the people we've hurt? How do we interpret David's prayer in light of the whole of scripture?


message 21: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments David - if God wants us to go to the people we've hurt, he will put it upon our minds to do so. To do so on our own volition, without God's approbation, is mostly just a recipe for hurting them more.


message 22: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments I stand corrected, guys. Liberals use the same religious language with often-times radically different understandings.


message 23: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle And here's my point proven: we go chatting about everything religious except Jesus.


message 24: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle We don't really sin against people. People have no perfect standard - we are ALL full of sin. Even the man King David killed. To sin against sin is not a big deal... But to sin before a Holy God?


message 25: by Jake (new)

Jake Yaniak | 151 comments David wrote: "How do we interpret David's prayer in light of the whole of scripture? "

I think David's prayer agrees quite nicely with the teachings of I John, where it is made clear that you cannot love God without loving your fellow man (To either love man without loving God, or to love God without loving man is to love what is less than God.)

Did David sin against Uriah? I think he did, and I'd wager he would have said as much if you asked him. But I think he also understood that everything is God's, and everything has its value and substance in God.

To use a poor analogy, to only focus on the crime against Uriah would be like stabbing a man's leg and saying you didn't sin against the man, but against his leg only. In truth the greater crime is not the injuring of the leg, but of the man to whom it belongs. When it comes to our relationship to God, a crime against any part of his creation is a crime against him directly.


message 26: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Gosh Jake - I won't swat any more mosquitos!


message 27: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Woodward | 556 comments Jake is right, even in Proverbs it is written whoever oppresses the poor reproaches his maker.


message 28: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Woodward | 556 comments However the creation is to be brought into line. Paul writes that creation groans, waiting for the revealing of the sons of God so it can be set free from corruption.

Mosquito's are clearly a corruption to be smote.


message 29: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Well, I'm retired and don't make near the money I used to so could be considered poor - give me all your money, fellas and be quick about it as I'm not getting any younger!


message 30: by David (new)

David We don't really sin against people

Yes we do. If someone rapes a woman, he sinned and she was the victim.

I am not saying David said anything wrong, I am saying that in isolation that passage could be used to justify some sort of idea that as long as we confess to God we do not need to seek reconciliation with others. But there are dozens of verses about reconciling with others. Just one, from Matthew 5:24 - First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift


message 31: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments I think Jake nailed it.


message 32: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle Of course we do horrible atrocities to each other. No argument there - except from some people who actually think the world is getting better and humanity is evolving to spiritual bliss.

But to SIN is to go against the absolute standard of justice and righteousness.
The Cosmic system of justice is set by God himself. Do you sin against someone in a boxing ring (beating the stuffing out of them for entertainment?) NO, so it's not necessarily the physical act but the spiritual element behind it that is sin.


message 33: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Let's return to the idea of corporate sin. According to our liberal brethren, it is a collective "sin" to cut down trees, hunt species that have become overly numerous, grill in our backyard, or fly commercially.
But, according to God, it is an individual sin to participate in the worship of idols like these substitutes for carrying out Jesus' dictates. Personally, I wouldn't take much comfort in the knowledge that "all like thinking groupies" have determined God shares their enthusiasm for environmental issues. I believe I'll join Rod and stick to expressed Biblical truths rather than risk my salvation upon guessing right about the alledged mindset of our Father.


message 34: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments Unfortunately, the Bible isn't going to help us much on environmental issues. We're forced to think for ourselves.


message 35: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle The Bible says much about our environment and eco-behavior.

The problem is we live in a world of non-biblical-christians. So the 1% is not really gonna save the planet. If we truly loved our neighbors (and they loved US!) we could easily clean up this mess and live like God-fearing hippies. But this hasn't happened since the first day in the garden.

This thread is supposed to be about OUR SAVIOR JESUS! So far i'm not surprised by our focus. Very much proves my point.


message 36: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Illuminating competing idols isn't about OUR SAVIOR JESUS? Last I checked Rod, Christ was part of the Godhead. I don't imagine He wants "Love Thy Border Collie" to have the same gravitas as "Love Thy Neighbor"


message 37: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle Many church goers would disagree with you Robert (old news there buddy!)

I just listened to a babbling sermon by Tony Campolo about animal salvation Jesus' loving Collies and poddles. Yes, He is the liberal prophet of the last 2 decades. I feel your pain robert.


message 38: by Lee (new)

Lee Harmon (DubiousDisciple) | 2112 comments "Outside [of the New Jerusalem] are the dogs" -Revelation 22:15


message 39: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle That's the spirit Lee. Funny! I guess Tony didn't read that verse. Bahaha!


message 40: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Rod - I'm well aware that the secular crowd has been airheaded about cute and fuzzy critters for some time, but I somehow thought Christians were a little more sensible about throwing competing idols before God. Oh well, another element of alleged human intelligence dashed.


message 41: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle Robert its amazing how many church goers are more interested in cute & fluffy, and friends (also people they have never met) than Jesus.

WE live in a generation of people who love their pets more than their children. Although love is the wrong word...


message 42: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Rod - your insights, though valued, depress me. I'm going to have to lower my estimate of the number of churchgoers who are actually true Christians from 10% to 9%. The trend IS NOT your friend!


message 43: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle YES Robert, my ministry is a bit like that of Moses coming down the mountain to a Golden Calf orgy.


message 44: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Ha! Ha! Well Rod, at least you know where you're going; my ministry takes quite a few unexpected twists and turns, but I'm not sure it's resulted in many saved souls!


message 45: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle Robert the only people I hear of that are saving mass souls is Benny Hinn and his charismatic buddies. Apparently 99% of Africa is now Christian (that's if you don't mind a little Voodoo/spiritism/and general religious insanity mixed in with your Evangelism). I just assume they are now liberals - where anything goes, and everybody gets a vote but GOD.


message 46: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Again, Ha!Ha! - as you might expect, Rod, the brand of Christianity I peddle is far from liberal.


message 47: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Horncastle I'm still trying to get liberals to point to what exactly makes them a Christian -- but it seems they are too busy crying and pouting about the Historical Jesus and His biography to reflect on any established doctrine they might embrace.

Except, of course, that they deeply hate anyone who doesn't embrace the homosexual agenda, humanism, and a church with no serious Biblical theology. But i'm just being nice...


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