Why Christianity is the most popular religion
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09-06-2012, 02:17 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
Christians are the most evangical.

When was the last time you has a muslim or a bhudist or a Jew or a Hindu knocking on your door wanting to know if you have heard the Good news.
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10-06-2012, 07:55 AM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(04-06-2012 12:20 AM)ShirubaDangan Wrote:  Do you murder women who

aren't virgins on their wedding night? ["But if this charge is true (that a woman was not a virgin

on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to

the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she

committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father’s house. Thus shall you

purge the evil from your midst." (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)]

We again look at the rigid regulation of a people created to represent God to a world that has departed from Him.

Now let me ask you a question: when Military personnel committ (ed) acts that disgraced the uniforms they wear and the Country they serve...what was your reaction to that? Many people were outraged by the treatment of war prisoners, or videos of soldiers urinating on dead enemies, right? I am one of them. We could seek to justify their actions by looking at the very real possibility that perhaps these enemies had killed their comrades, their friends, in battle. However, it is a matter that people that stand in a position of authority are held to a higher standard than others. We are righteously anger when one of these acts in a manner which betrays that position.

So the question is, do you, or do you not, get angry at those that act in a manner unbecoming of their position? You mention child molesting priests in your response...do they make you angry? I'm with you on that one. Death for these men is too easy. Would I feel bad if they were put to death? Not really. Because these men tout themselves as spokesmen for God and they are committing abominable acts in the commission of their "duty." But I would like an honest answer on this, whether yes or no.

Now for Israel, as a believer, I see the position held by Israel as representatives of God to far exceed the position that a Marine, or a Police Officer, or a politician holds in regards to solemn duty. These examples are very important, and when abuse of power is committed, they must be dealt with. But as a representative of God, you hold the highest position that is available on earth. Such was the case for Israel. They were to raise their children up in the way they should go, and for a female child to "play the harlot" was to be greatly discouraged. This law was meant to show how high God placed the the importance of purity in Israel and her daughters. "Playing the harlot" is a familiar phrase in scripture and refers to idolatry. Impurity, sexual sin, was not to be allowed. I do not exactly expect this to be fully understood, but the importance of sexual purity is seen in scripture as the expectation of God in His people.

So I ask, if people are enraged by a Marine urinating on a corpse, why is it so strange that God would impose regulations to help emphasize the importance of the purity Israel was to exhibit to the world? For the believer, proper duty to America pales in comparison to proper duty to God.

Lastly, being under the First Covenant, there was a disadvantage to Israel: the Promise of the Spirit had not been realized, for He was not given to them at this point (though we know that He did indeed work in the lives of His people) that they may keep the law. Again, the Law (the First Covenant) was given for the purpose of showing man his sin and leading them to Christ, or, in the revelation given at this time, to God, their Savior.

Even though this law is quite rigid, we do not exclude the fact that underlying the Law were the lessons God intended Israel to learn by realizing their inability to perfectly keep the Law. God desired mercy over sacrifice, and in the case of a daughter of Israel playing the harlot, certainly there would have been an element of mercy, which was a lesson God hoped for Israel to learn. For believers to receive mercy of the Lord, it must be a common element and pattern to our lives. The religous rulers of the Lord's day were barren, apparently, of this "fruit." But when we see Jesus, the Author of the Law, deal with another sin which imposed the death sentence, adultery, how do we see Him deal with it?

I believe exactly as He did in early Israel: with two primary components which are implicit to the Law of God...mercy, and the revealing of sin in the lives of those that sought to bring this woman under judgment. His response was "let him that has no sin cast the first stone." And why were no stones cast? Why was this woman not put to death? Because there was not a man among them, as "holy" as they wanted to project themselves...that had no sin, and was himself in need of mercy.

While I know it is the popular opinion of some that we have a "mean God" in the Old Testament and a "nice God" in the New, scripture is consistant on the Nature of God throughout. God showed mercy to sinners in the Old, He still shows mercy to sinners today. And for the Christian, the representative of God today, there is no less of a death penalty for the sinning Christian today than there was for the sinning Israelite back then.

And will have to end there, as the scripture that is presented next is not something I want to rush through.

GTY
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10-06-2012, 08:09 AM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(10-06-2012 07:55 AM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  And for the Christian, the representative of God today, there is no less of a death penalty for the sinning Christian today than there was for the sinning Israelite back then.
If this is the case, then why are sinning Christians not executed for their sins? God clearly expected the Israelites to carry out the sentence, he wasn't gonna wait for the sinners to die before punishing them. What made you guys think changing the law was AOK? Sure God'll handle it, but that's not what he commanded. He said "You guys, the so called righteous guys, you do the executing. I'll just make the laws." Why aren't you guys doing the right thing and stoning your sons and daughters? Isn't it just because these laws are unjust, cruel and make no sense. Why worship a God like that?
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12-06-2012, 04:56 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(10-06-2012 08:09 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(10-06-2012 07:55 AM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  And for the Christian, the representative of God today, there is no less of a death penalty for the sinning Christian today than there was for the sinning Israelite back then.
If this is the case, then why are sinning Christians not executed for their sins?

Good question: "Why don't Christians execute sinning Christians like Israelites executed sinning Israelites?"

The answer is...because we are no longer under the Law. We are not under the First Covenant.

Consider:


Hebrews 7:11-12

King James Version (KJV)

11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.



What this is saying is that the Law, the First Covenant, could not bring about perfection, which here, means...completion. What that means is that despite the religious effort of those who were under the Law, there was never any intention in instituting this Covenant that it should be the means of salvation, particularly eternal salvation. It was meant to show man their need for God and to look to Him for salvation. Paul tells us specifically it was to lead them to Christ. And while Messiah was known to be coming, spiritual salvation was not what they expected, but rather, temporal salvation. And that is the lesson of the law: it was external for most people, and still is today. When Messiah came, what they wanted was the back of Rome broke and their captivity to this Gentile nation ended, as well as the glory of Israel restored.

Okay, before I get to rambling on, back to the question: Christians know that judgment belongs to God, and while we do have commands concerning the behavior in the Church and certain courses of action for those that profess to belong to the Church yet sin, we do not decide who lives or dies.

That is for the world to work out, such as human government tries to do. Nowhere is the Church taught to enforce the death penalty as Israel was, as we know that God is King, and He deals with that.


Read this for a look at the New Covenant in the New Testament and to see this in context.

(10-06-2012 08:09 AM)morondog Wrote:  God clearly expected the Israelites to carry out the sentence, he wasn't gonna wait for the sinners to die before punishing them.

And we believe that God does not "wait for the sinner to die" today, either. I at least believe firmly that God will end the life of a believer who is sinning. Not always, perhaps, but I do believe it happens. However, I would point out that when we try to determine who is truly a follower of Christ and who is not, we have to keep in mind that ultimately only God can make that determination perfectly. We can judge for ourselves who we "think" are saved, and I will be honest, I think there are a lot of people that run under a false sense of security, believing themselves to be saved when they are not. Scripture teaches that we are to examine ourselves, and this is explicit as well as implicit in scripture. Many are the passages that deal with those that say they believe...yet do not. That is a sobering lesson for professing believers, myself included.

(10-06-2012 08:09 AM)morondog Wrote:  What made you guys think changing the law was AOK?

The Law has not changed...it has been abrogated by the New Covenant, but it has not changed. We do not try to "fulfill the law" as it was given to Israel, as it was a system set up for them alone. In the passage above, we see that it could not make perfect, and another was "sought for." Consider the Priesthood. Many people look at the Priesthood of Catholicism and make the mistake of seeing this as a "modern day Levitical Priesthood." THat is just not the case. Two entirely different religions, and I do classify both as religions.

For the Judaizer, who seeks to obey the law apart from receiving Christ, there is still hope that the Law, which is not just the Covenant itself, but the teaching found within it, will do what it has always done: show man his sin and lead him to Christ.

For the Christian, the terms of the Covenant itself are viewed to apply to Israel alone, though proselytes were acceptable. This is why a discussion of the New Covenant is a great place to start concerning the confusion surrounding whether Christians do, do not, should, or shouldn't...obey the commands found in the Torah.

(10-06-2012 08:09 AM)morondog Wrote:  Sure God'll handle it, but that's not what he commanded. He said "You guys, the so called righteous guys, you do the executing. I'll just make the laws."

He did not command this to the Church. Obeying God is to be done according to the command, and His command is to receive Christ, and by doing so, enter into relationship with Him.

There were times when the Lord put to death, personally, those that through their actions showed that they despised God. Such disrespect was not tolerated. However, God desired that His people not just have a religious mentality, as is often the case then as well as now, but to learn from the Law itself a dependance upon God and a clear understanding of one's own inabilities.

(10-06-2012 08:09 AM)morondog Wrote:  Why aren't you guys doing the right thing and stoning your sons and daughters?

Well, I can say that I agree with the thought process you are on, for it is true that if one seeks to be under the Law and they are not stoning sinners...they themselves are disobedient.

So I understand your question, and I agree with the assessment, however, I would just suggest that the difference between the First Covenant and the New Covenant would cause such reasoning and speculation to cease. This one doctrine will teach why Judaism is no longer a valid relationship for those that have heard the Gospel. What the Nation of Israel looked for, Messiah and salvation, has come. What is sad is that there are still those of Israel that look for Him to come, and even sadder that propbably the larger part...could care less.

(10-06-2012 08:09 AM)morondog Wrote:  Isn't it just because these laws are unjust, cruel and make no sense. Why worship a God like that?

While they may be viewed as such, I would suggest that though severe, they were a necessary part of a NAtion that was to be set apart from the rest of the world. If our own government can impose consequences for crime and these not viewed as unjust, you have to admit that for thsoe that do believe in God, He is the highest authority, and has the right to impose the penalties for disobedience.

As one that is literal in his approach to interpretation of scripture (meaning that a literal view unless indicated by the text is first taken, not that there is not metaphor, symbolism, parables, et cetera) I believe that Christ will return and that just prior to that return there will be a seven year period of tribulation (which I believe is the remainder of a period of judgment upon Israel found in the Book of Daniel) in which half of the world's population will die.

Does that make me happy? No.

Do I view it as just? Yes.

Because I do believe that God gives every man opportunity to not only hear the Gospel but By His Spirit the amount of belief required for man to repent and, just the Jew that looked into the law and saw his inability to keep the law...turn to God for mercy.

Thanks for the response,

GTY
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13-06-2012, 03:44 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
But JC himself didn't say anything about changing the law *at all*? Not sure of this 'cos I don't bother with scripture much these days.

All I can recall is the line "blah blah me no change law, me complete it".

How do you plead? You got all the ammo since I can't really be bothered to go reading for bible verses. Why would JC say something like that if his next words were "and by completing it I mean utterly and completely repeal the nonsensical bits"...

God specifically told you who lives and dies. You don't have to decide that. You just have to decide guilt. I still definitely think you guys should be executing sinners.

Quote:I at least believe firmly that God will end the life of a believer who is sinning.

I mean? what? So if an *unbeliever* sins God doesn't care, won't bother with ending their lives, but a believer gets... hmm... OK let's give him cancer for looking lustfully at that woman... A broken leg for forgetting to give me the glory. What about Job? He got properly shafted just for shits and giggles... seems to run contrary to your hypothesis. Although it is OT not new T, so maybe the rules have changed?

I suppose Bob Mugabe is clearly not a believer, since the bastard just keeps going after so many years? Mind you, Zim is one of the most Christian places *anywhere*, so even if he's an unbeliever, look at all the Christians he's oppressing with his sins. And God's fine and dandy with that. After all, he only really cares about their souls. And tortured souls taste the sweetest.
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13-06-2012, 09:43 PM (This post was last modified: 13-06-2012 09:57 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
There is one reason, and one reason only, why Christianity is the most popular. It's the only one with this guy.



Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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14-06-2012, 07:54 AM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
Hello MD, first let me say that you present a good example of one thing that I constantly point out: you have made a decision concerning scripture, Christianity, and God...even while admitting you are not familiar with the subject matter.

So lets discuss your views.

(13-06-2012 03:44 PM)morondog Wrote:  But JC himself didn't say anything about changing the law *at all*? Not sure of this 'cos I don't bother with scripture much these days.

All I can recall is the line "blah blah me no change law, me complete it".

I will assume you speak of this:



Matthew 5:17-18

King James Version (KJV)

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.


(See here for examples of fulfillment)

If you look at the usage of the word translated "fulfil," it becomes clear that this statement of the Lord was not just a matter of blowing smoke.

A few things fulfilled by Christ that stand out concerning importance would be the role of the Law and what it pictured, which would be relationship with and to God, fulfillment of the propmises of God, and sacrifice for sin.

Another key aspect to keep in mind would be the Kingdom which Israel looked for.

Quote:All I can recall is the line "blah blah me no change law, me complete it".

And this is what He did in many aspects of the Law. This is why Christians are considered citizens not of this world, but of God's Kingdom, awaiting our true "country." This is why we do not offer up sacrifice, for Christ was the One Sacrifice which makes atonement, not to be repeated. This is why we do not put sinners to death, because as the Lord said, "I come to fulfill the Law," He has indeed fulfilled those aspects of the Law pertaining to sin. in v. 18, He speaks, I believe, of those things which are yet to be fulfilled, which would be the temporal Kingdom that will be set up when He returns.

(13-06-2012 03:44 PM)morondog Wrote:  How do you plead? You got all the ammo since I can't really be bothered to go reading for bible verses.

I plead for mercy. lol

Ultimate fulfillment will include redemption from this body. So I am in need of God's leading and guiding while I seek to pass through this world.

(13-06-2012 03:44 PM)morondog Wrote:  Why would JC say something like that if his next words were "and by completing it I mean utterly and completely repeal the nonsensical bits"...

There is no such statement by the Lord in scripture. But you will have to help me out here, MD, and produce the scripture that is the basis of this statement of yours. But I can assure you, God did not declare a previously held position to be nonsensical.

(13-06-2012 03:44 PM)morondog Wrote:  God specifically told you who lives and dies.

Yes, He did, but not in the context you have placed it in. He has said those that reject the moving of His Spirit toward belief and repentance will...die. He has said those that do believe will have eternal life.

But we are not Israelites under the First Covenant, or, the Mosaic Covenant, but they which have received the promise of God which truly began in the Garden, further made known to Abraham, and declared, or made known in even more detail, by Jesus Christ.

(13-06-2012 03:44 PM)morondog Wrote:  You don't have to decide that. You just have to decide guilt.

We do not look to human government for how we live, nor do we participate as the Church in human government. The Church is separate from the world system, even as Israel under the Law was to be separate from the world, having God as their King. Yet they clamored to be like the other nations, and the Lord allowed that. Reading throught the history of the Kings reveals that it did not go well with them for the majority of the time. Ending in judgment.

While as a Christian I do vote, I am not silly enough to think that our government or any other will be a "Christian Government." Christian Government is found in the local fellowship, where we have explicit commands of how we are to conduct ourselves.

And not one of the commands for Church Discipline calls for the execution of a sinning believer. Sadly, Christian Discipline has seemed to fallen through the cracks in many fellowships. If the scriptures were followed, we would see quite a different landscape today concerning those that call themselves Christians and the ridiculously high estimates of who is actually a Christian.

(13-06-2012 03:44 PM)morondog Wrote:  I still definitely think you guys should be executing sinners.

We are not called to do this. As "foreigners," basically, in this world, we understand that it is God that places those who are part of human government where they are. We do not always understand why He would allow someone like Saddam Hussein, for instance, into a place of power, but, we can take comfort in the fact that evil is usually dealt with, and there are among the wicked rulers those He uses for the purpose of dealing with evil.

As far as the death penalty goes, I would be in agreement with you. When someone deliberatlely takes the life of another, it does not cause me sorrow that they are put to death. Of course, I have never been personally involved in a scenario like that, so it is easy to state this view, which might be different if I was personally involved.

(13-06-2012 03:44 PM)morondog Wrote:  
Quote:I at least believe firmly that God will end the life of a believer who is sinning.

I mean? what? So if an *unbeliever* sins God doesn't care, won't bother with ending their lives, but a believer gets... hmm... OK let's give him cancer for looking lustfully at that woman... A broken leg for forgetting to give me the glory.

You seem to hold God in a view that He is causing the miseries of men. Forgotten is the effect of sin in this world and it's consequences. Does God cause one to eat the garbage that is put in food these days? Chemicals that cause cancer?

As far as unbelievers go, though, I would just ask you: who do parents discipline, theirs...or other people's children?

Same principle.

"Why do the wicked prosper" is an age-old question. Why is there the saying "Only the good die young?"

But God is not a genie that grants wishes. He is not a fairy god-mother that watches over the Cinderellas of the world. And He will, like any good Father...chastise His children when they are in need of discipline.

(13-06-2012 03:44 PM)morondog Wrote:  What about Job? He got properly shafted just for shits and giggles... seems to run contrary to your hypothesis.

That God allowed Job to suffer does not make God the One that caused the suffering.

It is not uncommon for believers to go through trials. In fact, Christ taught that while we are in this world we would suffer tribulation. But I do not believe that the believer will go through anything that will not strengthen his faith and that he will come out better in the end. Not just materially, as Job did, but rather spiritually.

(13-06-2012 03:44 PM)morondog Wrote:  Although it is OT not new T, so maybe the rules have changed?

Not really. As in the Hebrews passage I posted we do see that there comes change with fulfillment, such as the matter of sacrifice. Does that make the Levitical Economy now useless or pointless? No, it served for the time it was in place, and that which was instructed to Israel is just as valid today as it was then, though it is no longer a required service. The sacrifice of the Law was meant to teach Israel their nature, which was one of sin and constant dependance on God, rather than simply a religious schedule, which, if kept, would bring them near to God.

The opposite was a result, in which with their lips they expressed devotion to God, but their very natures, their hearts, were far from Him. It was an external practice that is common among those that are religious.

And I will admit that as Christians grow, it will be found in them too. But that is what growing in the Lord involves, even as a newborn babe will grow.

(13-06-2012 03:44 PM)morondog Wrote:  I suppose Bob Mugabe is clearly not a believer, since the bastard just keeps going after so many years?

Well, while I will not judge this man's spiritual state, I will say that nowhere are Christians called to revolt against the institution of government. It may be that he is saved, but judging by your description he has not impressed you very much. You know the basics, I assume. Does he seem to be a man that is obedient to that which Christ taught?

If he is not, would you then conclude that he belongs to Christ? Or his country?

(13-06-2012 03:44 PM)morondog Wrote:  Mind you, Zim is one of the most Christian places *anywhere*,

According to who? At one time, it was said per capita that South Korea was the "most Christian Nation" in the world. But how reliable is information like this? And what has that to do with Mugabe?

(13-06-2012 03:44 PM)morondog Wrote:  so even if he's an unbeliever, look at all the Christians he's oppressing with his sins.

So you feel the Lord should strike him down? Have you considered that this is allowed for the express purpose of strengthening the faith of the people of this country? Not saying this is the reason, but faith is tested in the fire, not on the lounge chair on the beach.

The judgment that fell on divided Israel resulted in a return to the Lord in many lives.

(13-06-2012 03:44 PM)morondog Wrote:  And God's fine and dandy with that.

No, I don't think He is happy about the state of creation and the works of men, but, let's keep responsibility for sin in it's proper place.

Mugabe will answer for his actions one day, just as we all will. And you don't have to believe in the coming judgment scripture speaks of, you can place that in a context of your own life. If you do good, usually there are no ill consequences, but if you do evil, be sure the government in place will certainly step in.

But try not to lay everything at the feet of the Lord, mankind is perfectly capable of creating misery for himself and others with no help from anyone.

(13-06-2012 03:44 PM)morondog Wrote:  After all, he only really cares about their souls. And tortured souls taste the sweetest.

I believe God does care about every soul, but, I also believe that God will in every man and woman's life give them the opportunity for belief. If He did not, then you would be correct in your view of God as unjust.

Thanks for the response.

GTY
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14-06-2012, 07:55 AM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(13-06-2012 09:43 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  There is one reason, and one reason only, why Christianity is the most popular. It's the only one with this guy.



Did you share this with the Abbot?
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14-06-2012, 08:46 AM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(14-06-2012 07:54 AM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  
(13-06-2012 03:44 PM)morondog Wrote:  Mind you, Zim is one of the most Christian places *anywhere*,
According to who?

Me. Grew up there. Wasn't even aware there was an option to dodge the crazies for a long time. You want good bible thumping Christians, go to Zim. And after the shit hit the fan people became even more Christian.

Quote:
(13-06-2012 03:44 PM)morondog Wrote:  so even if he's an unbeliever, look at all the Christians he's oppressing with his sins.

So you feel the Lord should strike him down? Have you considered that this is allowed for the express purpose of strengthening the faith of the people of this country? Not saying this is the reason, but faith is tested in the fire, not on the lounge chair on the beach.

I am aware of this. I was drawing attention to the fact that your statement "God will end the life of a naughty believer" seems pretty bullshit, since subsequently you tell me that God will e.g. in the case of Job allow Satan to play hokey with the guy's life no problem, and furthermore, if God indeed does follow such interventionist policies then surely he would go after unbelievers too?

Also God testing people's faith by starving them seems ultra loving doesn't it. Sure I'll sign right up for worshiping a God like that.

Of course, our primary purpose in life is not anything great, we must just be abjectly thankful to this tyrant for giving us our lives in the first place, and use them to stroke the said tyrant's own ego by praising him and recruiting others for the same purpose, even when we live in misery.
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14-06-2012, 08:59 AM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(14-06-2012 07:54 AM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  I believe God does care about every soul, but, I also believe that God will in every man and woman's life give them the opportunity for belief. If He did not, then you would be correct in your view of God as unjust.
Your "belief" that every man and women has a chance to get to know about God can easily be refuted. How do, for example, the very few native tribes in the jungles around the globe get to know about God's word when they live far away from any kind of civilization?

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