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Slaying sacred cows-- the myth of essential Christian beliefs

Runner

 
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I like the Didache too. It's pretty much been determined that the dating is about 90AD.
It was thought in the past that it might go to 120AD.
I'm sorry it doesn't describe more than it does.


FWIW, I just finished this scholarly book, which just came out. He dates virtually every book in the NT to pre-70 AD, including the Gospel of John and Revelation. He dates the Didache to "no earlier than 45 and no later than 125."

 

Dorothy Mae

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I think we can recognize it exists but accept that we can only hold our best-informed convictions as to what it is.

But I don't believe in everything. I've eliminated many, many things in which I don't believe. And I definitely do believe in something - while accepting I could be wrong.

Well, we simply don't know. We have to live according to our convictions. On this issue, I try to err on the side of what the overall thrust of the NT seems to me to be, as well as what the majority of Christians have always believed. If I'm wrong, and the other view is correct, I've lost nothing. If I'm correct, and some of them have lived as though it were irrelevant to their salvation - well, that could be a problem.

You - like me - might be a good candidate for the Orthodox Church. Easy for me to say since there isn't an Orthodox Church within 300 miles of me, but their theology strikes me as the most solid, and I do believe they have the strongest claim to being the One True Apostolic Church. The Reformation had a very legitimate basis insofar as the excesses of the Catholic Church were concerned, but I believe what it launched has been a disaster for Christianity. It's too bad so many people think Christianity is divided into Protestants and Catholics and scarcely realize the Orthodox Church exists.
I have a question for you. Did Jesus merely have convictions or did he know?
 

Dorothy Mae

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You know, Jesus promised that if we keep his teachings we will come to know the truth. Was he not telling the truth?

I see the problem as this. A man has a strong belief inside but not so strong that he would say he knows. Because he cannot say this of his faith, he assumes no one else can either.

But Jesus promised we would know the truth AND obviously know we have the truth. How is this measured? Not by verbal argument alone but by character, the fruit of one’s philosophy. This is where modern man is left without tools.
 

Dorothy Mae

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Then there's the reformed church.
It believes basically what John Calvin taught but they're using a softer compilation of doctrine known as the WCF.
Westminster Confession of Faith.
They believe it's God that does the choosing as to who shall be saved and who shant. (shant?)
Why Jesus wasted His time for over 3 years, I just don't understand.
If you embrace Calvinism, there will be a powerful lot you won’t understand. No Calvinist can explain it either.
 

wondering

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What are essential beliefs?

That term "essential" means very different things to different people and groups of people (denominations). What a Southern Baptist considers to be essential is different from what a Seventh Day Adventist or a Calvinist or a Preterist would insist as being fundamental or foundational belief. Ahhhh... there's the rub. It's the belief part that remains the same for ALL of them.

These individuals or groups might consider something to be essential to believe in order to fellowship with them or to be a member in good standing with them-- but there confidence and convictions remain firmly on things they believe. (tongue in cheek).

So this thread is dedicated to discussing some of the sacred cows that some people insist are these firm foundations upon which they construct their paradigms of faith. I'll propose that where it comes to beliefs that are truly essential- there are few.

Jesus taught-- "Have faith in God" (Mark 11) -and he left it pretty open-ended.

He said- "Believe in God, believe also in me." (John 14:1)

He said- "This is the work of God-- that you believe in him who He sent." (John 6:22)

What that exactly means is otherwise undefined by him. In other words, everything else is up for debate. You might not think so, but he did. In fact much of his time here was spent trying to convince people that most of the things they were so convinced of were completely wrong. Yet most of those people couldn't set aside what they believed in exchange for what he taught.

So bring your sacred cow. Let's kill it.
You ain't killing this one...
The resurrection.
 

Benadam

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Of course not. The point is that the truth is completely unaffected by your beliefs. And it will always remain so.

The truth is the truth and remain so even if you don't believe it at all. The truth remains the truth always.

484830-gatlinburg-pigeonforce.jpg
Truth isn't subject to faulty perceptions of truth. How does that prove anything about our relationship with truth?
 
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wondering

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Truth isn't subject to faulty perceptions of truth. How does that prove anything about our relationship with truth?
It just proves that everyone believes they know the truth...whether or not they really do.
 

Dorothy Mae

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It just proves that everyone believes they know the truth...whether or not they really do.
I think there are some who are genuinely not sure what they on some matters, at least is true. IOW, there are some who know the difference between knowing the truth and merely having formed a rather limited opinion. They would say “they think….” instead of “they know” and the difference is clear to them.
 

Dorothy Mae

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A sacred point to many Christians is the inborn sin nature doctrine. They cannot imagine life without believing everyone is born with a sin nature. That this doctrine was invented by Augustine would be a scattering revelation. But anyone can see why it was embraced by him and others since. At its root, it’s an excuse for sin…you cannot help it.
 
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He said- "This is the work of God-- that you believe in him who He sent." (John 6:22)

What that exactly means is otherwise undefined by him. In other words, everything else is up for debate. You might not think so, but he did. In fact much of his time here was spent trying to convince people that most of the things they were so convinced of were completely wrong. Yet most of those people couldn't set aside what they believed in exchange for what he taught.

So bring your sacred cow. Let's kill it.

The operative word being " sent " .
The reason He was "sent" was clearly specified by Him for our belief .

Unchecked Copy Box
Mar 10:45
For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
 
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