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Offline lost

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There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« on: May 13, 2012, 08:19:59 AM »
An Outsider’s Impressions of Orthodoxy

I have found it hugely interesting and helpful, as a Baptist working on the home base of a missionary society which operates in Orthodox areas, to read your impressions of us in several threads on this forum. It is seldom we get the chance to see ourselves as we appear to others. So I offer the following in two hopes:

1) It may be of interest or even help to Orthodox to see how you appear to outsiders.
2) I may have formed wrong impressions by not understanding what I have seen in the right way. If so, I should very much like to be corrected, and shall look for your replies.

In November I went to the village of Zervat, southern Albania, as I wished to view the 10th century Byzantine church there. Sadly it was locked, but I very much enjoyed its old beauty from outside. Whilst two friends went off on a fruitless search for the key, I fell into conversation with an elderly man in the road, who is an adherent of that congregation. He spoke warmly and brightly of the need to have Christ as a daily reality in one’s life and heart, and is grieved over the poor relations between the denominations. Having spent much of his life in an atheist society, and now in a church which (in SW Albania at least) has a shortage of clergy, I felt that here was, perhaps, a brother in Christ, touched and made alive by the Holy Ghost but with little knowledge beyond an enthusiasm for Christ himself. I wondered how many Orthodox worshippers there are in this area, whose hearts are like kindling, ready to be ignited by the operation of the Word and the Spirit.

Then we headed for another village with a 10th century church. It is reached by a long, stony track without a signpost, and we stopped to ask the way when we espied a man and woman. We gave them a lift, as they were going that way. The woman is the wife of the priest, who lives in a nearby village, and we let her out whilst we turned right to visit the church, which was unlocked and again of great beauty. We decided to visit the priest’s home, and again came upon his wife in the road, who took us there and introduced us to him. We were at once made welcome in the sunshine on his balcony, where Turkish coffee and home-made raki were promptly brought (and enjoyed).

This priest serves five churches, and said he has been priest here since 1992. (I assume in reality he was among the first intake at the seminary in Durrës in 1992, and returned to his home village as priest after ordination.) He was born in the house he now lives in.

Sadly I could get no spiritual conversation out of him. He told us that a pagan temple had been on the site of the church before Christianity came. I observed that men have always sought to find God and worship him. He replied that God is an invisible power. I answered that he is indeed, but that his character has been made visible in the life and character of his Son, Jesus Christ. His reply was no more than, “I hope so.” Should I see him as the blind leading the blind? Or feel sad that maybe here is a man seeking to do what needs to be done, but with no input from elsewhere to learn what it is and how to do it? I leave that to the Lord.

Back in the city of Gjirokastër, my hotelier, himself an Orthodox, phoned one of the priests in the city, and said I should like to see him. I found his manner of address on the phone to the priest charming, for it began, “O Papa!”

The priest is a delightful man. His attitude to us Evangelicals was expressed by reference to the words of our Lord, who said, “He that is not against us is for us” (Mark 9.40). This seemed to me a token of better relations than in other times or places. He seems to feel frustrated by the fact that he can only preach for seven minutes: after that, people start fidgeting, looking at their watches, and saying that they can’t sit here so long as they have other matters to attend to. There is, he said (as has one of our own missionaries on many occasions), a reduced interest in Albania in reading - not only religious, but all literature. This has implications for the growth in faith of the flock of Christ. He also said that some villages receive only one visit a year from a priest.

In another place I visited I was told that some members of the Orthodox Church see the priests as corrupt, enriching themselves by acquiring people’s money. I had previously heard a similar idea elsewhere. Whether it is justified, I cannot say. Privately some members are reading the scriptures in their homes, and are disgruntled about the priests.

In another city the Orthodox bishop is a convert from Islam. Under him, the Orthodox Church no longer lays a public curse on the Evangelical Church and its workers and helpers as it did under a previous bishop: another heartening sign of improved relations between us.

Such are some first-hand observations and impressions from contact with Orthodox a few days ago. I would be genuinely interested in your comments, corrections or confirmation of them.

But finally, here is a thought for you to mull over. Several posts on this forum accuse us Evangelicals of going to Orthodox countries and stealing your sheep. Personally (and I speak only for myself), if I saw an Orthodox priest, with his black robes and ‘chimney-pot hat’, standing under the village tree in one of these remote mountain villages, with a group of listeners around him, telling them of Christ in such a way as to enable to Holy Spirit to create repentance and faith in Jesus in their hearts, and then gathering them into an Orthodox church in the village, I would not wish to go now to the same village and start an Evangelical church. It is written that when Barnabas saw the grace of God, he was glad: and I think I would be too. There are perhaps 700,000 Orthodox in Albania - maybe ten times as many as there are Evangelicals. Don’t leave it to us to preach Christ to these distant villages where men and women live unreached and untaught, ‘having no hope and without God in the world’: send them your best men to point them to the way of eternal life through Christ, and I for one will wish you the blessing of God.


The life of a priest is not easy.. There are many priests who lose faith on the track but still serve churches or people who want to become priests, go to theology and end up atheists.. The thing is the history of christianity and the christian scripture is very controversial... Those involved in scholarship in theological schools and in private in depth studies know this.. There is a big chance Christianity is false and the Biblical religion false and priests know this... Any priest that has been involved in historical studies grows to be critical and more skeptical... I personally have the impression most of the priests from the various churches i attend are skepticals, even the Bishop of my city.I had a collegue at work that said she had a classmate whom she looked up, very intelligent, very bright..The dude went to theology and to theological schools in Europe and became an Orthodox priest in America... She said she met with him a few years after and got into this conversation and the man said something like this : there is something, there is a force, there is a God, but it is not the one we believe into.. The man was so desparated that he dressed up as a muslim and went to Mecca.. My collegue said that marked her somehow... She was an ezoterical the last time i knew from her (over an year).. The problem with Christian history is subjective unsincerity... It is full of lies and half-truths made up to justify a certain Tradition... In our age of reason the Bible is a very controversial book and priests know this...

« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 08:21:34 AM by lost »

Offline David Young

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2012, 03:34:13 PM »
There are many priests who lose faith on the track but still serve churches

Alas, this is true. Should we pity them, or feel anger? If they have a family to support and no other qualifications or likely employment, it must be very difficult for them: yet surely we can never condone hypocrisy - knowingly preaching what one does not believe, or accepting payment for teaching a religion in which one has no faith. Well, I have never experienced that dilemma, and I can only leave that matter between them and God.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline Jetavan

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2012, 03:55:20 PM »
There is a big chance Christianity is false and the Biblical religion false and priests know this....
How does one calculate the probability that Christianity is "false"?
If you will, you can become all flame.
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Offline LBK

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2012, 07:36:23 PM »
It's obvious lost is having a crisis in faith because of the shortcomings of one or more priests, which is unfortunate, but happens. Let's hope and pray that lost will overcome this crisis.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 07:38:15 PM by LBK »
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline David Young

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2012, 03:48:08 AM »
How does one calculate the probability that Christianity is "false"?

"If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain" (1 Corinthians 15). It all hangs on whether or not Jesus rose from the dead.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 03:48:51 AM by David Young »
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline lost

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2012, 10:27:45 AM »
There are many priests who lose faith on the track but still serve churches

Alas, this is true. Should we pity them, or feel anger? If they have a family to support and no other qualifications or likely employment, it must be very difficult for them: yet surely we can never condone hypocrisy - knowingly preaching what one does not believe, or accepting payment for teaching a religion in which one has no faith. Well, I have never experienced that dilemma, and I can only leave that matter between them and God.

It depends.. A priest that has lost faith can regain it.. People have ups and downs.. But if he becomes an evil and corrupt priest/bishop, perhaps it is better for him to stop being a priest/bishop.But... in any way you should pitty them and look upon them with mercifull heart.The life of an Orthodox priest is very tiresome, busy and conflictual.It is a struggle..There are people who respect them and people who disrespect them.. They have a lot of work and preparations to do.. Orthodox services are not short.. And there are many services per day.. Than you have baptisms , healings, marriages , funerals, etc.. A lot of work... You deal with a lot of people and you as a spiritual father and one who hears a lot of confessions are loaded with all their burdens and are responsable for their souls.The saying goes that it is a great responsability to be a priest.. You are responsable for the souls of your parish.. For me this is the biggest responsability of them all.. So what i`m saying it is that the work of an Orthodox priest should be appreciated and not be lookep upon.. It is a continuos sacrifice.. Even for a good priest who had lost faith.. In the end as one priest said God will ask from his hand all the souls that he had given him.

« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 10:29:08 AM by lost »

Offline lost

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2012, 10:33:29 AM »
There is a big chance Christianity is false and the Biblical religion false and priests know this....
How does one calculate the probability that Christianity is "false"?

It is full of controversies, inconsistencies and immoralities.


Offline lost

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2012, 10:36:04 AM »
How does one calculate the probability that Christianity is "false"?

"If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain" (1 Corinthians 15). It all hangs on whether or not Jesus rose from the dead.

And if he was Risen what?What does that mean?How did that make the world a better place?According to the bible he was not the first nor the last to have been resurrected in biblical history.

Offline lost

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2012, 10:41:18 AM »
I remmeber someone making an inquiry from Elder Arsenie Boca , considered by the majority of romanian orthodox as a saint and the greatest romanian saint of the century.He told the father Arsenia Boca that he wants to go to theology.And the father harshly told him "Don`t go".. It is said fr Arsenie did not speak a lot but when he said things he said short deep things... And the one who inquired of him is now a priest and explain this on a TV show.. The Elder said that to see his faith and desire... The one who is now a father said himself that many go into theological schools and get offended and become atheists..

Offline David Young

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2012, 10:42:00 AM »
if he was Risen what?What does that mean?

It establishes that he alone has conquered death, and he alone can grant us eternal life and a sure and certain hope of our own future resurrection.

Quote
he was not the first nor the last to have been resurrected in biblical history.

Others have been resuscitated to physical life, and have later died again, either by miracle or by medicine. Only Christ is the First Fruits of the resurrection that all his people will enjoy at the Last Day. This is the Easter message, is it not?
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline lost

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2012, 10:55:56 AM »
if he was Risen what?What does that mean?

It establishes that he alone has conquered death, and he alone can grant us eternal life and a sure and certain hope of our own future resurrection.

Quote
he was not the first nor the last to have been resurrected in biblical history.

Others have been resuscitated to physical life, and have later died again, either by miracle or by medicine. Only Christ is the First Fruits of the resurrection that all his people will enjoy at the Last Day. This is the Easter message, is it not?

The Easter message looked upon reasonably does not make much sense.

Offline David Young

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2012, 11:50:23 AM »
The Easter message looked upon reasonably does not make much sense.

People with minds trained in the legal sifting of evidence or in the study of ancient documents have written books arguing cogently that the evidence for the resurrection of Christ is compelling. Nonetheless, it seems to me that God has so arranged matters that it must in the final analysis be believed with faith rather than, as you say, only reason (or logic, or irresistible evidence). "Lo! I tell you a mystery," wrote the Apostle. But "mystery" in the Bible is surely a technical word, meaning something previously hidden that could not be discovered by purely natural means alone, but that God has now revealed.

It does make sense that the Son of God should be able to confront and defeat death; it also makes sense that he should be willing - indeed, should desire - to do so for those whom he created in his own image. But I remain persuaded that - after we have discussed all the intricacies of 'the only true church', or 'sola scriptura', and all the other themes that appear in these threads - the fundamental question for the Christian faith is: Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead? If he did, we need to follow him; if he did not, we are of all men most miserable (as, again, the apostle wrote).
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 11:51:49 AM by David Young »
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline lost

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2012, 01:17:09 PM »
The Easter message looked upon reasonably does not make much sense.

People with minds trained in the legal sifting of evidence or in the study of ancient documents have written books arguing cogently that the evidence for the resurrection of Christ is compelling. Nonetheless, it seems to me that God has so arranged matters that it must in the final analysis be believed with faith rather than, as you say, only reason (or logic, or irresistible evidence). "Lo! I tell you a mystery," wrote the Apostle. But "mystery" in the Bible is surely a technical word, meaning something previously hidden that could not be discovered by purely natural means alone, but that God has now revealed.

It does make sense that the Son of God should be able to confront and defeat death; it also makes sense that he should be willing - indeed, should desire - to do so for those whom he created in his own image. But I remain persuaded that - after we have discussed all the intricacies of 'the only true church', or 'sola scriptura', and all the other themes that appear in these threads - the fundamental question for the Christian faith is: Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead? If he did, we need to follow him; if he did not, we are of all men most miserable (as, again, the apostle wrote).

What is so great of one man resurrecting from the dead?


Offline David Young

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2012, 01:33:52 PM »
What is so great of one man resurrecting from the dead?

1) He was "designated Son of God ... by his resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1) and thus must have our worship.

2) It means he can "deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage" (Hebrews).

I am sure there is much much more!
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline lost

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2012, 02:31:30 PM »
What is so great of one man resurrecting from the dead?

1) He was "designated Son of God ... by his resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1) and thus must have our worship.

2) It means he can "deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage" (Hebrews).

I am sure there is much much more!

Are you kidding me?Christianity brings upon people a whole lot greater fear of death.. A fear of the hereafter eternal torments of hell...

If he was God he could deliver them anyway.. What need to become a man and die?What did that achieve.. How did it make the world a better place? And keeping people outside heaven, even those who were good/justs is a bit harsh to say the least... no one is enterily good/just or entirely bad and things sure haven`t changed since Jesus... you cannot say one has done only evil in his life and said only lie in his entire life as you cannot say one has done only good in his entire life.. even "Christians" converted.. and they sure ain't flawless not even after conversion...
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 02:32:03 PM by lost »

Offline David Young

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2012, 04:57:29 PM »
Christianity brings upon people a whole lot greater fear of death.. A fear of the hereafter eternal torments of hell...

Many unbelievers die in terror of what awaits them beyond death. But Christians should expect to have "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ". "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..."

Quote
If he was God he could deliver them anyway.. What need to become a man and die?

Because "the wages of sin is death": my sin required that death. If I was to be delivered from that death (eternal, spiritual), then another must pay the price. It could not be an animal, despite the symbolism of Old Testament animal sacrifices; it could not be an angel. For man's sin, man must die. As the hymn says, "There was no other good enough / To pay the price of sin." My place must be taken by a perfect man. But if multitudes of sinners were to be saved, then a death of much greater scope, or magnitude, must be given. Only God could do that. So God became man, and "gave his life a ransom for many."

Quote
How did it make the world a better place?

The world is made a better place when Christ's followers take his moral standards seriously and sincerely attempt to live up to them in their treatment of creation and of other people. I believe you are right in saying we do not become perfect, but I truly hope we become better.

Quote
And keeping people outside heaven, even those who were good

"Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" God asked Abraham. God has every right to require the worship, submission and trust of his creatures. "Without faith it is impossible to please him."

Quote
no one is enterily good/just

Quite: but all may seek and receive forgiveness.

Quote
or entirely bad ...you cannot say one has done only evil in his life and said only lie in his entire life

But Jesus required in the Sermon on the Mount a righteousness exceeding that of the scribes and Pharisees. "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow," prayed the adulterous king - a man after God's own heart. However much good I may have done, or do in the future, it cannot expunge my past shameful sins: I must have the cleansing purchased by the shedding of Christ's blood, or my sins will exclude me from the kingdom of God. But this cleansing is freely given to all who repent and believe: it is not earned.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 04:58:25 PM by David Young »
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline augustin717

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2012, 09:12:23 PM »
Quote
Quote from: lost on Today at 02:31:30 PM
Christianity brings upon people a whole lot greater fear of death.. A fear of the hereafter eternal torments of hell...

Many unbelievers die in terror of what awaits them beyond death. But Christians should expect to have "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ". "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..."
This is one of the weakest arguments . How peacefully you die depends on one hundred other things. Being a "believer" might be one of them.
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Offline David Young

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2012, 03:38:08 AM »
Christians should expect to have "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ". "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..."
Quote
This is one of the weakest arguments . How peacefully you die depends on one hundred other things.

This is why I wrote "should expect". I am not claiming that all believers die in perfect peace, and doubtless there is often anxiety about the process of dying, even when one feels assured, by God's grace, of one's destination post mortem. Most new experiences carry some anxiety. But it remains true that "precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints", as the psalmist has it I believe, and Christ has certainly made it possible for people to die with a strong assurance of a welcome into the eternal kingdom. As Wesley said when dying, "The best of all is, God is with us." Or as his brother wrote at his passing:

Oh, let me catch one smile from Thee,
And drop into eternity.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 03:38:46 AM by David Young »
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2012, 10:32:23 AM »
The Easter message looked upon reasonably does not make much sense.

People with minds trained in the legal sifting of evidence or in the study of ancient documents have written books arguing cogently that the evidence for the resurrection of Christ is compelling. Nonetheless, it seems to me that God has so arranged matters that it must in the final analysis be believed with faith rather than, as you say, only reason (or logic, or irresistible evidence). "Lo! I tell you a mystery," wrote the Apostle. But "mystery" in the Bible is surely a technical word, meaning something previously hidden that could not be discovered by purely natural means alone, but that God has now revealed.

It does make sense that the Son of God should be able to confront and defeat death; it also makes sense that he should be willing - indeed, should desire - to do so for those whom he created in his own image. But I remain persuaded that - after we have discussed all the intricacies of 'the only true church', or 'sola scriptura', and all the other themes that appear in these threads - the fundamental question for the Christian faith is: Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead? If he did, we need to follow him; if he did not, we are of all men most miserable (as, again, the apostle wrote).

What is so great of one man resurrecting from the dead?


That one man wasn't merely a man. As the Gospel reading for Orthodox Pascha reveals, it was very God in human flesh who died and rose again. By so dying and rising from the dead, Christ our God trampled down death by His own death and granted life to those in the tombs.
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Offline lost

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2012, 11:27:39 AM »
Christianity brings upon people a whole lot greater fear of death.. A fear of the hereafter eternal torments of hell...

Many unbelievers die in terror of what awaits them beyond death. But Christians should expect to have "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ". "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..."

Quote
If he was God he could deliver them anyway.. What need to become a man and die?

Because "the wages of sin is death": my sin required that death. If I was to be delivered from that death (eternal, spiritual), then another must pay the price. It could not be an animal, despite the symbolism of Old Testament animal sacrifices; it could not be an angel. For man's sin, man must die. As the hymn says, "There was no other good enough / To pay the price of sin." My place must be taken by a perfect man. But if multitudes of sinners were to be saved, then a death of much greater scope, or magnitude, must be given. Only God could do that. So God became man, and "gave his life a ransom for many."

Quote
How did it make the world a better place?

The world is made a better place when Christ's followers take his moral standards seriously and sincerely attempt to live up to them in their treatment of creation and of other people. I believe you are right in saying we do not become perfect, but I truly hope we become better.

Quote
And keeping people outside heaven, even those who were good

"Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" God asked Abraham. God has every right to require the worship, submission and trust of his creatures. "Without faith it is impossible to please him."

Quote
no one is enterily good/just

Quite: but all may seek and receive forgiveness.

Quote
or entirely bad ...you cannot say one has done only evil in his life and said only lie in his entire life

But Jesus required in the Sermon on the Mount a righteousness exceeding that of the scribes and Pharisees. "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow," prayed the adulterous king - a man after God's own heart. However much good I may have done, or do in the future, it cannot expunge my past shameful sins: I must have the cleansing purchased by the shedding of Christ's blood, or my sins will exclude me from the kingdom of God. But this cleansing is freely given to all who repent and believe: it is not earned.

My pov looks at the bible from a critical perspective.. this was kinda the subject of this debate, the veridicity of the Bible..


The point is God being God should know better , that no human being's deeds are all good or all evil and they never will be.. No matter who dies in our place.. Our deeds remain our deeds, our evil deeds remain as our good deeds remain... They cannot be changed they are already done.. Things like forgiveness and healing require God's direct internal contact in ones soul.. They cannot be done another way... No external thing like Jesus dying at the Cross can do that, but God's own internal work in ones soul.. And if Jesus came to die in your place than why do you still die?

If we were all doomed than don`t you think that is God's fault?After all he created us and he knew/knows how we are , and we cannot be all people all good.. If he created us and we are all sinners than it is his fault that he created us like this in a manner that we would all sin eventually, and if he created us with this predisposition , passion, affection don`t you think he is kind of hypocritical and unjust to takes us all accountable for eternal damnation, even those who are more good than bad?And, if we were not (all) doomed than why did Jesus came?

God gave himself a ransom ... ? What to whom would he need to give himself a ransom to?He is the Master of Existence, of all there is , he is sovereign , supreme, who can really ask him a ransom?

Again what is the deal with Jesus?Why all this drama?

How really CONCRETELY did Jesus make the world a better place.. Look at his desciples.. They are all narrow-minded,conflictual and judgemental people.. Than look at non-christians and see how they are better people..


Offline lost

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2012, 11:35:40 AM »
The Easter message looked upon reasonably does not make much sense.

People with minds trained in the legal sifting of evidence or in the study of ancient documents have written books arguing cogently that the evidence for the resurrection of Christ is compelling. Nonetheless, it seems to me that God has so arranged matters that it must in the final analysis be believed with faith rather than, as you say, only reason (or logic, or irresistible evidence). "Lo! I tell you a mystery," wrote the Apostle. But "mystery" in the Bible is surely a technical word, meaning something previously hidden that could not be discovered by purely natural means alone, but that God has now revealed.

It does make sense that the Son of God should be able to confront and defeat death; it also makes sense that he should be willing - indeed, should desire - to do so for those whom he created in his own image. But I remain persuaded that - after we have discussed all the intricacies of 'the only true church', or 'sola scriptura', and all the other themes that appear in these threads - the fundamental question for the Christian faith is: Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead? If he did, we need to follow him; if he did not, we are of all men most miserable (as, again, the apostle wrote).

What is so great of one man resurrecting from the dead?


That one man wasn't merely a man. As the Gospel reading for Orthodox Pascha reveals, it was very God in human flesh who died and rose again. By so dying and rising from the dead, Christ our God trampled down death by His own death and granted life to those in the tombs.

than why do people still die ?

I said man as not to say God, as he died in his human nature according to Orthodoxy... But if you want i will correct it... What is so great on God resurrecting? :)
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 11:37:45 AM by lost »

Offline lost

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2012, 11:46:22 AM »
I forgot Christians are psychologically affected by the  idea of hell, guilt, incestuos plays , dying god , cannibalism , chosen people, genocide..
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 11:57:23 AM by lost »

Offline David Young

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2012, 11:56:24 AM »
God should know better , that no human being's deeds are all good or all evil and they never will be... Our deeds remain our deeds, our evil deeds remain as our good deeds remain... They cannot be changed they are already done.. Things like forgiveness and healing require God's direct internal contact in ones soul.. They cannot be done another way

God does of course "know better" (to use your phrase), and in all of the above you are right.

Quote
No external thing like Jesus dying at the Cross can do that,

But at the Cross, God's love and justice meet: Christ's death removed the obstacle to the internal work you so rightly require.

Quote
And if Jesus came to die in your place than why do you still die?

Eternal life - spiritual life infused into the soul through our union with Christ - begins the moment we repent and believe; but we enter into the full inheritance including bodily life at the resurrection - of which Christ is the first fruits.

Quote
If we were all doomed than don`t you think that is God's fault?

How could it be any other way? If man had not originally had free will to opt between obedience and disobedience, he would have been an auomaton, a Pinocchio, and how could that have been a context for a loving relationship between God and man?

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God gave himself a ransom ... ?  to whom would he need to give himself a ransom to?

This is an ancient question, much debated many centuries ago, but it presses the analogy too far.

Quote
How really CONCRETELY did Jesus make the world a better place.. ... non-christians ... are better people..

Many benefits for mankind have flowed from the compassion and love of Christian people.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline lost

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2012, 12:28:11 PM »
God should know better , that no human being's deeds are all good or all evil and they never will be... Our deeds remain our deeds, our evil deeds remain as our good deeds remain... They cannot be changed they are already done.. Things like forgiveness and healing require God's direct internal contact in ones soul.. They cannot be done another way

God does of course "know better" (to use your phrase), and in all of the above you are right.

Than there is no need of Jesus.

Quote
No external thing like Jesus dying at the Cross can do that,

Quote
But at the Cross, God's love and justice meet:


Justice?How?

Quote
Christ's death removed the obstacle to the internal work you so rightly require.

What obstacle?

Quote
And if Jesus came to die in your place than why do you still die?

Quote
Eternal life - spiritual life infused into the soul through our union with Christ - begins the moment we repent and believe; but we enter into the full inheritance including bodily life at the resurrection - of which Christ is the first fruits.

So did Jesus died spiritually in your place than? :)

Quote
If we were all doomed than don`t you think that is God's fault?

Quote
How could it be any other way? If man had not originally had free will to opt between obedience and disobedience, he would have been an auomaton, a Pinocchio, and how could that have been a context for a loving relationship between God and man?

That question is taken out of context.. The thing is God created us and he knows we cannot all be all good, no one's deeds are all good or all bad.. So why damn those who are more good.Isn`t that unjust and hypocrite?


Quote
God gave himself a ransom ... ?  to whom would he need to give himself a ransom to?

Quote
This is an ancient question, much debated many centuries ago, but it presses the analogy too far.


God gave himself a ransom... :)

Quote
How really CONCRETELY did Jesus make the world a better place.. ... non-christians ... are better people..

Quote
Many benefits for mankind have flowed from the compassion and love of Christian people.


Concretely?

Offline David Young

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2012, 05:11:08 PM »
Justice?How?

A penalty is required for sin: "the wages of sin is death." That debt was paid on the Cross.

Quote
Christ's death removed the obstacle to the internal work you so rightly require

What obstacle?

"On him was laid the iniquity of us all": my sin was removed, transferred from me to the Saviour.

Quote
So did Jesus died spiritually in your place than?

Yes: spiritual death is separation from God. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" He died - really, fully; he was separated from the Father, and he died physically.

Quote
why damn those who are more good.Isn`t that unjust and hypocrite?

Good human life is not enough for eternal life, and does not balance out our wrongdoings or our unbelief: "you must be born again." We need the life of God shed into us, union with Christ.

Quote
God gave himself a ransom

If your "himself" is accusative, yes; if dative, you are going beyond the metaphor.

Quote
How really CONCRETELY did Jesus make the world a better place.. ... non-christians ... are better people... Concretely?

Leaving aside the powerful Christian politicians and campaigners who have improved the lot of mankind, the daily acts or kindness and honesty wrought by ordinary Christian people in their families, work and neighbourhoods help to make Christ's church the little leaven that leavens the whole lump.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 05:12:42 PM by David Young »
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline Aindriú

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2012, 05:15:33 PM »
(Psalm 22 ESV)   

[22:1] My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
      Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
   [2] O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
      and by night, but I find no rest.
   [3] Yet you are holy,
      enthroned on the praises of Israel.
   [4] In you our fathers trusted;
      they trusted, and you delivered them.
   [5] To you they cried and were rescued;
      in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
   [6] But I am a worm and not a man,
      scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
   [7] All who see me mock me;
      they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
   [8] “He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him;
      let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
   [9] Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
      you made me trust you at my mother's breasts.
   [10] On you was I cast from my birth,
      and from my mother's womb you have been my God.
   [11] Be not far from me,
      for trouble is near,
      and there is none to help.
   [12] Many bulls encompass me;
      strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
   [13] they open wide their mouths at me,
      like a ravening and roaring lion.
   [14] I am poured out like water,
      and all my bones are out of joint;
   my heart is like wax;
      it is melted within my breast;
   [15] my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
      and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
      you lay me in the dust of death.
   [16] For dogs encompass me;
      a company of evildoers encircles me;
   they have pierced my hands and feet—
   [17] I can count all my bones—
   they stare and gloat over me;
   [18] they divide my garments among them,
      and for my clothing they cast lots.
   [19] But you, O LORD, do not be far off!
      O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
   [20] Deliver my soul from the sword,
      my precious life from the power of the dog!
      [21] Save me from the mouth of the lion!
   You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!
   [22] I will tell of your name to my brothers;
      in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
   [23] You who fear the LORD, praise him!
      All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
      and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
   [24] For he has not despised or abhorred
      the affliction of the afflicted,
   and he has not hidden his face from him,
      but has heard, when he cried to him.
   [25] From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
      my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
   [26] The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
      those who seek him shall praise the LORD!
      May your hearts live forever!
   [27] All the ends of the earth shall remember
      and turn to the LORD,
   and all the families of the nations
      shall worship before you.
   [28] For kingship belongs to the LORD,
      and he rules over the nations.
   [29] All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;
      before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
      even the one who could not keep himself alive.
   [30] Posterity shall serve him;
      it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
   [31] they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
      that he has done it.

I'm going to need this.

Offline David Young

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2012, 05:21:08 PM »
   [22] I will tell of your name to my brothers;
      in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:

      [27] All the ends of the earth shall remember
      and turn to the LORD,
   and all the families of the nations
      shall worship before you.   

Thank you. Here we see also His resurrection, and the worldwide spread of the Faith.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline Aindriú

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2012, 05:26:14 PM »
   [22] I will tell of your name to my brothers;
      in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:

      [27] All the ends of the earth shall remember
      and turn to the LORD,
   and all the families of the nations
      shall worship before you.   

Thank you. Here we see also His resurrection, and the worldwide spread of the Faith.

I also posted it to challenge the idea God the Son was separated from God the Father.

I'm going to need this.

Offline lost

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2012, 10:52:12 AM »
Justice?How?

A penalty is required for sin: "the wages of sin is death." That debt was paid on the Cross.

Where is the Justice in an innocent man paying the debt of others?

Quote
Christ's death removed the obstacle to the internal work you so rightly require

What obstacle?

Quote
"On him was laid the iniquity of us all": my sin was removed, transferred from me to the Saviour.

Than your Saviour is a sinner :D..  If you mean that sin was the obstacle and that is what was removed than why do people still sin and more why do converted christians still sin?

Quote
So did Jesus died spiritually in your place than?

Quote
Yes: spiritual death is separation from God. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" He died - really, fully; he was separated from the Father, and he died physically.

So that is what redeems us than, no?Christ being separated from God the Father?Wait a second , wasn`t Christ God?How was he separated from himself than?Did he have double personality, personality disorder ?

Quote
why damn those who are more good.Isn`t that unjust and hypocrite?

Quote
Good human life is not enough for eternal life, and does not balance out our wrongdoings or our unbelief: "you must be born again." We need the life of God shed into us, union with Christ.

So good human life does not balance wrongdoings.. but wrong doings balance and overcome a good life.. doesn`t that one say that God is evil.. If he takes account more of evil than of good and balance things towards evil rather than good?People before Jesus' time believed also see Heb 11.. Were they deemed, lost, also? If they were not deemed or lost what need for Jesus?And how does belief and by this I take it to mean in God, really makes us better?Does God really NEED our belief?Does he really need anything from us?

Quote
God gave himself a ransom

Quote
If your "himself" is accusative, yes; if dative, you are going beyond the metaphor.

I see so how we should understand the metaphor?

Quote
How really CONCRETELY did Jesus make the world a better place.. ... non-christians ... are better people... Concretely?

Quote
Leaving aside the powerful Christian politicians and campaigners who have improved the lot of mankind, the daily acts or kindness and honesty wrought by ordinary Christian people in their families, work and neighbourhoods help to make Christ's church the little leaven that leavens the whole lump.

Christianity is stained with the blood of many... See the Crusades, the Inquisitions, etc... The majority of christians are judgemental even if they do not see it, I thought i wasn`t but i was... Someone very rightly said that if you judge someone you don`t have time to love them... Christian love is generally unsincere..

All in all, there was no need of Jesus for anything..

Offline David Young

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2012, 11:52:07 AM »
so how we should understand the metaphor?

A person is not saved by understanding the work of Christ, but by trusting in it. The metaphors or analogies are no doubt given to help us grasp the fact that Christ died for us, but if you do not find one metaphor helpful, there is a range of others. The mystery of the Trinity comes into the matter of how God the Son gave his life for us and thus reconciled us to the Father.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline lost

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2012, 12:06:51 PM »
so how we should understand the metaphor?

A person is not saved by understanding the work of Christ, but by trusting in it. The metaphors or analogies are no doubt given to help us grasp the fact that Christ died for us, but if you do not find one metaphor helpful, there is a range of others. The mystery of the Trinity comes into the matter of how God the Son gave his life for us and thus reconciled us to the Father.

I`m trying to show you there is not much logic (from my pov) to Jesus dying for us... He died in our place?than why do we still die?he died to remove sin?than why do we still sin?he died spiritually for us?than why do we still die spiritually(Christians included).. And why did he die for us?What is the meaning of all that?If it is in our place I already showed how we still deal with the same things he assumingly put an end to even as Christians...

God the Son has a different will than God the Father? Does God the Son will good and the Father wills not good?Did God the Son die to appease the ANGER of God the Father?Is one God mercifull and the other one, angry vengefull?How do they get alone?

What is there to trust?

The point is Jesus' death does absolutely nothing... An outside of a slippery moral idea that binds even the justs outside the kingdom of God and gets into the zone of gnostic paganism, Christ's death makes no sense...

Offline David Young

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2012, 12:21:42 PM »
he died to remove sin?than why do we still sin?... why do we still die spiritually(Christians included?

God the Son has a different will than God the Father? ... Did God the Son die to appease the ANGER of God the Father?

He took the guilt of our sin; sadly, we are not likely to be perfect in this life, though we hope to progress in sanctification.

Christians do not die spiritually - they are in union with Christ in life and in physical death, not separated from the Godhead.

No, there is no disunity in the Trinity. God sent his Son; the Son came willingly and laid down his life for us.

Christ's death did indeed absorb the wrath of God against our sin.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline lost

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2012, 12:48:48 PM »
he died to remove sin?than why do we still sin?... why do we still die spiritually(Christians included?

God the Son has a different will than God the Father? ... Did God the Son die to appease the ANGER of God the Father?

He took the guilt of our sin; sadly, we are not likely to be perfect in this life, though we hope to progress in sanctification.

Christians do not die spiritually - they are in union with Christ in life and in physical death, not separated from the Godhead.

No, there is no disunity in the Trinity. God sent his Son; the Son came willingly and laid down his life for us.

Christ's death did indeed absorb the wrath of God against our sin.

Why not adress my questions more dirrectly?

This is the problem... the guilt of our sin... who is the one who takes accountability of our sins and can makes us guilty of it?who is the only one?God!So there are two problems : 1) God taking accountability more of our sin/evil/wrong doings than our good doings and thus God being really more evil than good.. and 2) There is no need of all this drama with Jesus, If God made us guilty and accountable he could as easily directly revoke it... But if he made us guilty and accountable for every little wrong doing and was going to rebuke it at some time, than God is also evil, wicked... And all the Jesus show is just a VAIN , Narcisist spectacle... I`ve already said this.. Don`t make me repeat myself again.. Adress this exact issues and respond to them directly... saying the same "senseless" stuff in a different manner don`t make it different..

Christians do die spiritually... there are Christians who suffer spiritual deceptions and spiritual downfalls, losing of faith and there are christians who end in hell (according to Christianity)..

Does God really intend us to be perfect robots?I saw a signature of someone on this forum that i think it fits like a glove in here "Let me get this straight... you made a bunch of robots, but you didn't want them to act like robots, so you programmed them to not act like robots, but when they didn't act like robots you punished them for not acting like robots?" in case you haven`t noticed i am speaking of sin and wrong doings... Why would God have such a hellish wrath over our small wrongdoings that made us all hell bound?Why did he not destroyed us than, except if he wanted to make a vain show out of it?And Jesus' coming does not change us still having and making wrongdoings.. That kind of wrath is unbalances.. there is a lot of unbalance in christianity...

Again adress my stuff directly... Don`t preach me :) .. this is a debate..

« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 12:49:38 PM by lost »

Offline primuspilus

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2012, 01:07:50 PM »
David, I have a question for you. Do you believe the incarnation would have happened regardless if humanity fell or not?

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Offline lost

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2012, 01:33:42 PM »
he died to remove sin?than why do we still sin?... why do we still die spiritually(Christians included?

God the Son has a different will than God the Father? ... Did God the Son die to appease the ANGER of God the Father?

He took the guilt of our sin; sadly, we are not likely to be perfect in this life, though we hope to progress in sanctification.

Christians do not die spiritually - they are in union with Christ in life and in physical death, not separated from the Godhead.

No, there is no disunity in the Trinity. God sent his Son; the Son came willingly and laid down his life for us.

Christ's death did indeed absorb the wrath of God against our sin.

Why not adress my questions more dirrectly?

This is the problem... the guilt of our sin... who is the one who takes accountability of our sins and can makes us guilty of it?who is the only one?God!So there are two problems : 1) God taking accountability more of our sin/evil/wrong doings than our good doings and thus God being really more evil than good.. and 2) There is no need of all this drama with Jesus, If God made us guilty and accountable he could as easily directly revoke it... But if he made us guilty and accountable for every little wrong doing and was going to rebuke it at some time, than God is also evil, wicked... And all the Jesus show is just a VAIN , Narcisist spectacle... I`ve already said this.. Don`t make me repeat myself again.. Adress this exact issues and respond to them directly... saying the same "senseless" stuff in a different manner don`t make it different..





what i ment in the bolded part is vain, narcisistic..

Offline David Young

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2012, 01:58:32 PM »
David, I have a question for you. Do you believe the incarnation would have happened regardless if humanity fell or not?

As Aslan once said, we are never told what would have been! I have no idea.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline David Young

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Re: There is a big chance Christianity is false.
« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2012, 02:04:41 PM »
Again adress my stuff directly... Don`t preach me .. this is a debate.

I fear I may have said all I am able to in attempting to address your questions, and I sense you would not wish me to repeat myself. I suggest an unhurried, searching session with a godly pastor or priest.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15