|11-05-2012 06:51 PM|
|1jeeplvr||Im really enjoying this thread.I know this sounds like a question a a child would ask but how does God know whats in my heart and what Im feeling? I guess his power is just that powerful.I guess we will never understand it.|
|11-05-2012 10:11 AM|
In my church, I happen to know that other than building maintenance, and operating costs, my tithe money goes to several good causes. We send backpacks of food home to kids who wouldn't eat otherwise. We drill wells and buy livestock for our adopted sister church in Mozambique, Africa. Several members go to nursing homes to spend time with residents who would otherwise be alone, just to name a few. Do we have problems? Of course, we're all human. But, we do the best we can...
|11-05-2012 08:06 AM|
The Old Testament cannot be taken word for word.
As far as sin, the general non-Catholic Christian view is that all men sin. Every one. That is what seperates us from Jesus - he is the only "man" with clean hands. The only way to have your sins forgiven is to first ask Jesus into your heart as your true Lord and Savior, through Baptism, usually in early childhood. Then, anything you ask Jesus' forgiveness for you will receive it, so long as you are repentful. There is very little difference in sin with this school of thought.
I once asked my preacher if Kurt Cobain could've made it into Heaven as he began to find Jesus at the end of his life. While most agree that you cannot repent suicide (because you die before you can ask forgiveness), he actually told me if Love for Jesus was in his heart, Jesus will welcome him into the Kingdom.
Problem I have is this:
I found the absolute love of my life. She is beautiful, smart, funny, educated - all the things I ever wanted in a partner. Except she stopped feeling that way about me YEARS ago. At night, she is still in my dreams. In the day, she occupies my thoughts. If all I want is to spend my life wih her, she is obviously the one I want by my side in the Kingdom. But she doesn't want me by hers, so how can I find happiness in eternity without the one I love the most? Who gets to pick? Doesn't sound very Heavenly to me...
|11-04-2012 11:18 PM|
|GoldenSahara00||I think the simple answer to your question is, yes all sin is the same. Not equal in severity, but equally evil. We should abhor all sin, great or small. Thinking that any sin is "more okay" than another is wrong. Just like a single chip of paint or a large dent in the hood of your jeep, any imperfection is just that. So in that way, all sin is the same, because one sin no matter how big or small, keeps us from being perfect. Every single one of us. I don't think the argument was meant to be extended beyond that. There is such a thing as stretching an argument too far.|
|11-04-2012 10:54 PM|
|backwards||The Old Testament says," Ye shall be judged by backwards and shall judgement be made"|
|11-04-2012 09:10 PM|
|11-03-2012 09:24 AM|
OP was asking nothing about the business operations of organized religion, but how God views sin. Lets not derail and ruin a good thread.
|11-03-2012 09:21 AM|
Don't confuse all religion with those you have been exposed to in American culture.
I agree that our journeys with God must be selfguided. (And that nearly all religious institutions in this capatalist society are greatly interested in your contributions)
|11-02-2012 11:36 PM|
|10-28-2012 09:41 PM|
|10-28-2012 04:26 PM|
You brought up some very interesting points about many things... I want to answer but I am not sure if I would do more harm than good. All judgements involve a "fine line." The point we come closer to that line, the cloudier it gets but at some point, the line has been crossed and action must be taken. I understand a lot of what you said, because I held those same beliefs at certain times in my life. Sometimes, with all of what goes on in all the churches, it is hard to figure it out. Sometimes it seems to be a lost cause.
With me, I prayed that God show me the truth. I prayed that if Christ is the Son of God, that He show me. At some point later in life, I came to believe Christ is the Son of God and He is the truth itself. In my search for the truth, the Truth brought me to Him.
I hope you have a fantastic weekend and can pardon my not answering your questions appropriately.
|10-28-2012 04:18 PM|
You are something! White smoke... I hope you have a great weekend!
|10-28-2012 02:47 PM|
Fantastic thread. I hope this is seen as constructive.
I find a few things relating to this conversation interesting:
1. The notion of a waivering God. The old testament is a very obvious early mankind history, that is not for debate. But the codes and values contained within can lead to one conclusion - we were learning how to live together. For example, "eye for an eye" is likely the most common misquote from the Bible. It was never intended to escalate punishment to an equivalent measure, but to limit punishment to an equivalent measure. You can't stab your neighbor for taking your beets, you can only take his. This is the foundation of society. Yet we find a vengeful God, who will blast entire cities from the Earth. Then, all of a sudden, he realises it's lonely in Heaven or the bar is too high, so he sends Christ to make it all a little easier on us - this is after destroying 2 cities and washing the Earth of nearly every man. Every man sinned, and until now you had to be free of sin to walk with God for eternity. Christ made it where any sin you commit can be absolved. Now we can sin and get away with it.
2. Forgiveness as the Christians or Catholics teach. If we are to follow these teachings we must confess our sins to God via man, then ask the forgiveness of Jesus and God for them and have our spirit washed clean. John the Baptist taught this (baptism of sin) before Jesus was old enough to. Jesus' deciples asked him to "teach them to pray, as John had done with his diciples". Jesus then recited the Lords Prayer (there are a couple interpretations of this, whether "as John had done" was meant to be "similar to" or "exactly as"). So JTB was waisting his time? If Jesus hadn't been sent to forgive our sins baptism was just wierd bathing.
3. These questions made me ask my Pastor some deep questions. First, what about native peoples? Are they punished for their ignorance? He told me, as well as my father who attended a religious college, that they should've know better. They should be able to live by the laws of God without specific instruction of Baptism, and if they did they would be rewarded in Heaven. Yet, somehow, I am more succeptable to sin and Damnation. I need to be cleansed of sin at birth or early childhood, in a teaching that predates its teacher, to walk with our Father? So virtuous monks can get to Heaven, except they are blasphemous - and don't ask forgiveness for it. A God that would punish a man who got the moral right but the story wrong is no god I will serve. This is when I decided the semantics of man are not adequate to explain the composure of God.
The Bible is not a book. It is an encyclopedia of books, written by various authors, over a decent span of time. Someone later decided which ones qualified as cannon and which did not. They were again revised by KJ in he 1500s, which did enable the masses to become educated in biblical scripture, but likely changed many details of the Scripture. A good and bad.
In relation to the Catholic/abortion bumper sticker, wih Guantanamo and foreign CIA detention centers, can you pay US taxes and call yourself Christian knowing you willfully fund the torture of man in direct conflict with his teachings?
For the record, I was raised in a Church of Christ every Sunday all day, then "converted" to Southern Baptist as a young teen (big difference, lol). I have walked independently of orginized religion but with the Lord in my own respect, mainly through nature, for the past 10 years.
Take life, for instance. I have a good bit of medical knowledge, and I know how a lot of the pieces attach. I can take soft tissue and hook it all up, start the mechanical functions, hook up the electric impulses, and nothing will ever happen. But if someone in front of me collapses and I do the exact same thing they can live, or even come back to life. An assembly of organs is not life, so what is? Is that lifeforce itself not God? Or is it the ability to grant life, with another, that is God? Something no person can do alone - assemble those organs and soft tissue, but give it life as well...
|10-28-2012 01:25 PM|
|Carlsbad0331||I have to commend all who have participated in this discussion. Its very rare to have a thread concerning religious concepts that lasts past 5 posts before taking a left hand turn. All posts have been respectful, insightful and a great window in to different beliefs. I appreciate the information, especially from those who took the time to really research and give reference material.|
|10-28-2012 12:42 PM|
All I know is this, I am a sinner and I have been forgiven. Thank you, Lord for your son.
|10-28-2012 11:50 AM|
|hfbaker1978||white smoke shows that new pope has been chosen|
|10-28-2012 11:27 AM|
|10-27-2012 11:57 PM|
|10-27-2012 09:07 AM|
The teaching of Israel in the Old Testament, carried on through the Church since Christ walked the Earth is that because of Adam and Eve's sin (Original Sin), the gates of Heaven were closed to all mankind, Eve would have to bare children in agony and be subject to Adam, and Adam would have to work and toil to produce his livelihood. (I recently read this, but I believe the meaning is correct but not the actual words.) The gates of Heaven being closed is far greater than any child birthing experience if the ultimate goal is to get to Heaven.
Of course, God knows our hearts better than we do... and because of that, we will never truly know whether we are forgiven for our sin or not UNLESS we look at His arrangement He created to "forgive our sins." This arrangement began in the desert of the Old Testament with the Jewish sacrifices to atone for their sin through the priesthood. Leviticus, Numbers, Joshua are all books of the Old Testament that show a priesthood installed by God, their relationship to the people of Israel, their procedures for atoning for the people's sins. (Joshua shows a little of this but more about God not being a "warm and fuzzy" kind of person...) This tradition was alive and well when Christ walked this earth. He gave the apostles the power to forgive sins and this "power" was passed on to their successors, all the way to present day priests.
|10-27-2012 12:24 AM|
|A Jeep Girl||
While I can't quote scriptures, I do still have a very strong faith.
And like klkb I believe God knows what is in your heart. Though as Humans I think forgiveness is a quality we have yet to master even when it's self-forgiveness.
Now, while sin is sin is sin, am I wrong in thinking that I remember Eve had the added punishment of bearing children for her part in the apple eating? So wouldn't that go to show that her "sin" was greater because her punishment was more? Although this punishment should be viewed as a blessing instead because there is a magical moment when you see that little face and all the pain is forgotten.
Anyway, I doubt there is a person among us without sin and in the grand plan it's where you go after the sin that matters. So, overall it's what in heart and how you live your life.
|10-26-2012 05:50 PM|
The Inspiration of the Bible #2
The Holy Spirit, Interpreter of Scripture
109 In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm and to what God wanted to reveal to us by their words.
110 In order to discover the sacred author’s intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking, and narrating then current. “For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression.”
111 But since Sacred Scripture is inspired, there is another and no less important principle of correct interpretation, without which Scripture would remain a dead letter. “Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written.”
The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it.
112 1. Be especially attentive “to the content and unity of the whole Scripture.” Different as the books which comprise it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God’s plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover...
113 2. Read the Scripture within “the living Tradition of the whole Church”...
114 3. Be attentive to the anology of faith. By “analogy of faith” we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.
A side note...
Over the past five hundred years, many have read the Bible and personally interpreted it to mean "start your own religion, interpret scripture anyway you want, all interpretations are equal, etc."
St. Francis of Assisi had a different approach. He was truly inspired by the Holy Spirit to read the Holy Bible and two passages "jumped out at him." They inspired St. Francis to start a new religious order WITHIN the Catholic Church. His order (the Franciscans) came to the Holy Church when it was falling apart at the seams. God used him to remind the Church what was important. He literally (by the grace of Christ) "rebuilt" the Catholic Church from the ground up.
The history of the Church will show it parallels the history of mankind in many ways, with its "ups and downs", its "dark moments and its bright moments." But there is one thing for certain... countries will rise and fall, but the Catholic Church will keep going. Why? Because God protects it. He keeps it one Faith. He keeps it going. He takes our human frailty and the miserable wretches we are and makes it work BECAUSE HE TRULY IS GOD.
|10-26-2012 05:23 PM|
The Inspiration of the Bible #1
These excepts are from the current Catechism of the Catholic Church. It was the first catechism put out by the Church for the entire Church in over 400 years. (There have been smaller catechisms to make the faith simpler to citizens of different countries... such as, in the United States, we had the Baltimore Catechism which was specifically designed for American children during the late 1800s.)
The quotes teach what the Church teaches about Holy Scripture. There are a lot of foolish things that are said to be Catholic Church teachings about Holy Scripture out there, but this is from the "horse's mouth."
I broke this up into two parts to make is easier to read and not so lengthy.
Inspiration and Truth of Sacred Scripture (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture. “The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”
“For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself.”
106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. “To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more.”
107 The inspired books teach the truth. “Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.”
108 Still, the Christian faith is not a “religion of the book.” Christianity is the religion of the “Word” of God, a word which is “not a written and mute word, but the Word which is incarnate and living.” If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, “open (our) minds to understand the Scriptures.”
|10-21-2012 09:10 PM|
|10-21-2012 09:29 AM|
|SeniorJeeper||Terrific discussion! I'm reading with great interest. Its like a great tv show, can't wait for the next episode.|
|10-19-2012 05:44 PM|
Thanks for the clearification.Where i can def see the points & the proof of what is said in the bible I have talked to my Mom about this(born again) and she has valid points also.Where as she sates that as a person,human we should be talking to God directly and when we are born again that gives us a stronger relationship with God,to do this.Im sure Ill get some quotes from the bible from her on that shortly.I think this where a lot of confusion comes from,different religious beliefs.Just trying to learn here.Thanks
|10-19-2012 04:35 PM|
In post #20 above I list more than one "biblical reference" to confessing our sins to a priest. Also, try to remember, the Catholic Church was started by Christ. The Bible was put together by the Catholic Church at the Council of Hippo in 397AD. (The four gospels were written BEFORE the Council of Hippo, but there were 7 gospels all together... three were rejected by the Church as being "not of God.")
If you want to only use the Bible as a source of reference, then you are relying on your own interpretation of God's Words... kind of like you are your own church. If instead, you use the Bible, the tradition of the early Church and the catechism of the Catholic Church, you get a much more consistent belief and interpretation than personal interpretation. Why?
Well, look at how liberals interpret the U.S. Constitution... particularly the Second Amendment. They "personally interpret" the 2nd Amendment to mean the EXACT OPPOSITE of the Founding Fathers intentions and writings. But how do we know that? If you are interpreting the Constitution to mean whatever you want it to mean, than arguing it is useless. (Last time I checked, English was a pretty consistent language with consistent meanings.) But if you look at what the Founding Fathers wrote BESIDES THE CONSTITUTION or if you look at how it was interpreted and acted upon by the early colonists, than you can see if your interpretation is consistent with the originators of that document. It is not difficult to do... it only takes the desire to find out the truth in its fullness and not take a "luke warm" approach to the truth.
"The Federalist Papers" used to be required reading in my Catholic High School but it isn't taught anymore, rarely even in college. This book contains the original arguments three of our Founding Fathers (Hamilton, Jay and Madison) wrote to colonial newspapers to debate why this is in the Constitution and why this isn't. They explained every single part of the Constitution in a very reasonable manner. The essays were used to convince the colonists that we needed this document and it needed to be ratified. So if one were truly looking for the truth (in regards to the Constitution) it is available.
Of course, you don't need to use "The Federalist Papers" to explain the Constitution... all you have to do is to look at the words used throughout the document and see how they were interpreted by the colonists WHO LIVED BY THEM AND DIED BY THEM.
So there is a biblical reference to the Sacrament of Confession (Officially it is called "Reconciliation"), there are historic reasons to believe the early Church used this sacrament to heal many people of their sins and the use of reason alone would show us confession was there at the beginning of Christ's ministry to mankind. There is also proof that at no time in the Church's history did anyone want to give up confession until after Martin Luther broke away from the Church and began his version of the Faith, which was never present in all the years preceding his departure. I am looking at 2,000 years of Church history and teachings while many only look at the past 100 years and pretend that is when Christ started His Church.
One more final point, I only want to help those who have questions. Your questions aren't going to offend me. Attacks will, of course, but if any of you have a question or problem with the Catholic Faith or the Church, just ask. I will do my best to answer them, just please don't be afraid to ask. The Church has done some pretty whacko things over the past 2,000 years, but it has also done pretty amazing things... The House of God, with goats and sheep in it until Christ Himself comes and sorts them out.
|10-18-2012 05:27 PM|
Ive been doing a lot of reading lately and I happened to see this that caught my eye.I know there are a lot of catholics on here and I know the religion teaches that you have to go to a priest and confess your sins,Im pretty sure of that.What your take on this quote.Again,not questioning anyones religion,just trying to learn
Again, the concept of confession of sin to a priest is nowhere taught in Scripture. We are to confess our sins to God (1 John 1:9). As New Covenant believers, we do not need mediators between us and God. We can go to God directly because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. First Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
|10-18-2012 04:49 PM|
Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I'm no biblical scholar by any stretch of the imagination, that's why I asked . I grew up Protestant, so my views are obviously shaped by their teachings. I'm always open to another point of view, whether I agree with all, some, or none of it, and you've definately given me something occupy my studies for awhile...
|10-18-2012 07:40 AM|
I think this is a great question, and I respect all viewpoints and beliefs. I've read most of the posts, and they have made me consider my own faith. I read a bumper sticker the other day stating that you can't believe in abortion and be Catholic at the same time. It made me wonder how many of us really have full, 100% faith in our professed religion. That answer is in your own heart.
My view won't be popular, and according to some I am probably on the fast track to Hell. I was raised Catholic but I am no longer. I stopped having faith in that a long time ago. I believe fully in the Ten Commandments but only some of the Holy Sacraments. That knocks out being Catholic. I don't believe I need to be taught what I should believe. My relationship with God and Christ is just that - mine.
I'm not a huge reader of the Bible, but I feel it teaches me how I should live my life. The Koran has similar stories, as does the Old Testament, which is the same as the Torah, in my understanding. Like I said, I'm not a student of the Bible, but I know that the New Testament is what distinguishes us as Christians. The interpretations of the New Testament is what distinguishes us as different religions, right?
I won't tell someone what to believe, nor will I fault them for it. I think that, in general, we all want to be close to our God and want to live the way He has taught us to live. How we get there is our personal choice. I respect the fellowship of faith and worshipping together, but organized religion is not for me. Like I said, some may see me going straight to Hell, and I'm ok with that.
Now that I've taken the Family Circus route to the original question, what's up with sin? If I have sinned, I have broken my promise to God. Period. I believe He will forgive me if I am truly remorseful and change my ways. Will I forgive myself? That's debatable. Some things yes, others...not so much. Being able to justify a sin doesn't lessen the sin itself. If I take a life in self defense, I have still taken a life. How I reconcile that with God is what matters to me. Unfortunately, I don't think that's taught in the Bible. I can't live my life by what others have told me I should believe if that isn't what is truly in my heart. To me, that's living a lie, and I promised not to do that. I strive to keep my promises to God, and I feel I'm truly remorseful when I sin, but only God will know if I'm as remorseful as I think I am. He knows my heart better than I do. I don't know where that falls on the religion scale, but it's what I believe.
|10-18-2012 03:07 AM|
Defense of the Sacrament of Confession #4
Some of you guys have suggested that "all sin is equal." Well, it isn't and I have found some examples in the Bible and use simple reason to show it. Why is this so important? An awareness of venial sins (explained later) makes you fight mortal sin all the more. If all sin is equal, than you can justify murdering a child AS EQUAL TO a child stealing a stick of gum. If you understand that all sin is bad, but some are worse than others, you have an "ongoing awareness" of your actions. How did you do today? Did you do your best to love your fellow man or did you slack off and put yourself first?
I have already gone over Adam and Eve, Caine and Abel, so I will not do it again. In the New Testament, it is said in more than one place that "all sins are to be forgiven" but Christ said something else. He said, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven either in this world nor the next. (Matt 12:31-32) so even though His Sacrifice on the cross atoned for every sin, that sin will not be forgiven. A simple implied degree of severity to that sin compared to all others by the "end results of committing that particular sin." We know that if Christ doesn't forgive us, then we go to hell. We lose salvation.
St. John the Evangelist wrote, "All wrongdoing is sin, but there is a sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that." (1John 5:16) St. John was talking about praying for sinners to take away the sin BUT HE CHANGED HIS SPEECH REGARDING CERTAIN DEADLY SINS. He is saying praying for the sinner will not take away that sin. Therefore the sinner must do something else. The history of the Catholic Church shows confession to a priest has the power to forgive the sin BECAUSE THAT AUTHORITY CAME FROM CHRIST HIMSELF.
The Catholic Church has taught that "venial sin" is the small sins and "mortal sins" are the deadly ones. I would rather know I am forgiven by going to confession and partaking of the beautiful sacrament that Christ Himself instituted through His Church, rather than not. We are all answerable to Christ in the end. He instituted a Church. He instituted the sacraments. He never said His Church would be perfect, as matter of fact, He said just the opposite. Christ said that when He returns, He will have to seperate the goats from the sheep in His own house. He also said that when He returns, that His bride (the Church) will be dazzling white... implying that it isn't pure before it is made dazzling white. The Catholic Church isn't perfect... it isn't, but it will be, one day.
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