Psycho-Babble Faith Thread 539505

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Re: Couldn't stop reading :-) » Dena

Posted by Dinah on August 11, 2005, at 9:44:04

In reply to Re: Couldn't stop reading :-) » Deneb, posted by Dena on August 10, 2005, at 23:33:18

Of course, it's also difficult to say what Christians believe, since there is not uniformity there.

Not all Christians are Trinitarians. The Council of Nicea (sp?) made the concept of the Trinity orthodoxy, but before that it was definitely not. My pastor says that as long as I accept Jesus as my savior, I can consider myself Christian.

And Ray can correct me if I'm wrong. But while I *think* that Mormons believe that Jesus is God of this world, they don't believe that the Holy Spirit is a separate God.

And since Mormons *are* Christians, might it not be more accurate to compare their beliefs with the beliefs of *other* Christians? Rather than Christians?

 

Re: Couldn't stop reading :-) » Dena

Posted by rayww on August 11, 2005, at 9:53:17

In reply to Re: Couldn't stop reading :-) » Deneb, posted by Dena on August 10, 2005, at 23:33:18

Dena, I mentioned that we have differences, one of them being intelligent design. But we have way more similarities, even though as a religion, we stand independent, Deneb asked for stories from "all" religious texts.
Please be at peace. I am sorry you feel at odds.

Bible references are included throughout all the stories, except the one about Enoch. The Tower of Babal includes Book of Mormon references. The others may contain references to our scriptures and the Bible. They are true.

 

Re: Just read Chapter 2 » Deneb

Posted by rayww on August 11, 2005, at 10:54:38

In reply to Re: Just read Chapter 2, posted by Deneb on August 10, 2005, at 20:54:31

One day in God's time is more like 1000 years to us. So, it may have taken 6000 years to create, and 6000 years to inhabit. The 7th day He rested (Garden of Eden time) and in the 7th day the earth itself will rest, we call that the millenium, and we expect it to happen sometime this century. Jesus created the earth under the direction of God, they act as one, always have. No one is pressuring you to believe, just keep reading.

Btw, the scriptures say "today is the day for men to prepare to meet God" Meaning, the day of our life. When he used the term "day" in creation, it meant however long it took to create. Reason is crutial. We know it couldn't have happened in 24 hours. Evolution fits in with it, but not Darwin's whole theory. That's why the debate between Darwin and Intelligent design, and one that everyone should study. I admire you for wanting to hear both sides. I have too, and I believe in this one. It's important to realize there are two sides, and Darwin's has only ever stated it was a "theory". (I mean the ape thing :-)


> I just read Chapter 2 "Jesus makes the Earth"
>
> I didn't know it was Jesus who made the Earth. I didn't know that Jesus existed before he was born. I thought it was God who made the universe and the Earth?
>
> Did Jesus make "just" the Earth, or did he make our universe as well? If he made the stars and stuff, then that means he made our universe?
>
> How come only Jesus got to make the Earth? Did the other spirits have the power to make the Earth?
>
> So...heaven existed before the universe was made?
>
> I have a LOT of trouble believing any of the things mentioned in this chapter. Do all people who believe in God need to believe the things mentioned in this chapter? Can Christians or Mormons or whatever believe in evolution and still go to heaven?
>
> This Chapter made me feel like there is no way I can be a believer if believing means that I have to believe the Earth was made in 6 days.
>
> Deneb
>

 

doctrine etc... » Dinah

Posted by Tamar on August 11, 2005, at 16:28:38

In reply to Re: Couldn't stop reading :-) » Dena, posted by Dinah on August 11, 2005, at 9:44:04

> Of course, it's also difficult to say what Christians believe, since there is not uniformity there.

Very true! It would be interesting to get lots of different perspectives here!

> Not all Christians are Trinitarians.

Do you mean that not all individual Christians subscribe to the doctrine of the trinity? Or are you thinking of actual institutions? I wasn’t sure…

> The Council of Nicea (sp?) made the concept of the Trinity orthodoxy, but before that it was definitely not. My pastor says that as long as I accept Jesus as my savior, I can consider myself Christian.

Hmm… I find the historical development of doctrine more interesting than is probably healthy. I think historical tradition weighs very heavily on Christians. There is plenty of doctrine I find impossible to accept (I don’t have strong views about the Trinity but I can’t accept the virgin birth). However, I don’t think I’d want to throw away the traditions and risk ending up with an enfeebled theology. I’d rather find myself personally in a slightly heretical position within mainstream Christian theology. But there are exceptions: there are some doctrines I'd like to see given a good hard shake!

> And Ray can correct me if I'm wrong. But while I *think* that Mormons believe that Jesus is God of this world, they don't believe that the Holy Spirit is a separate God.
>
> And since Mormons *are* Christians, might it not be more accurate to compare their beliefs with the beliefs of *other* Christians? Rather than Christians?

I find this interesting. Is it generally accepted nowadays that Mormons are Christians? The last time I was in a discussion about it, the general feeling seemed to be that Mormons weren’t Christians because of the Mormon doctrine of God (and, by extension, the doctrine of Christ). But perhaps things have changed?


 

Re: Couldn't stop reading :-)

Posted by rayww on August 11, 2005, at 19:18:30

In reply to Re: Couldn't stop reading :-) » Dena, posted by Dinah on August 11, 2005, at 9:44:04

> And Ray can correct me if I'm wrong. But while I *think* that Mormons believe that Jesus is God of this world, they don't believe that the Holy Spirit is a separate God.
>
Perhaps you are confusing the Light of Christ with the Holy Ghost? The Light of Christ is just that. It fills the universe, yet dwells in our heart as well. It's what you can feel in the atmosphere, shedding light and knowledge on all of us. The Light of Christ is a universal free gift to everyone. It's everywhere. And it is real.

Mormons believe the Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead, only he is a personage of spirit.

 

Re: Couldn't stop reading :-)

Posted by Deneb on August 11, 2005, at 19:49:15

In reply to Re: Couldn't stop reading :-), posted by rayww on August 11, 2005, at 19:18:30

I really do want to learn about *all* religions. I will keep in mind the differences between them if that is an important thing to do.

Regarding evolution and intelligent design, I know a lot about the first and very little about the latter. Anyone care to clue me in?

Also, just a note:

Nothing in science can be proven, that is just how science is. There are proofs in mathematics, but math is not science...it is a tool, more akin to philosophy (actually I think math *IS* a type of philosophy).

When the word "theory" is used in science, this does not mean that it is likely to be untrue. This may be how it is used in everyday language, but science has a very specific meaning for the word. Theories have been tested countless times and have never been disproved. They cannot be "proven", but they have never been disproved. When it is useful to assume it to be as good as fact, theory becomes law. It makes it easier to explore other ideas when there are theories and laws behind them. Many people believe that the "theory" of evolution should actually be changed to the "law" of evolution...but because of certain controversies, the word "theory" remains.

Deneb

 

Re: Couldn't stop reading :-)

Posted by Deneb on August 11, 2005, at 20:35:35

In reply to Re: Couldn't stop reading :-), posted by Deneb on August 11, 2005, at 19:49:15

One important thing I forgot to mention about theories...

Theories are NOT simply conjectures that have never been disproved. Theories are based on observations. One cannot think of an idea that cannot be disproved to explain something in nature and call it a theory. Theories arise from countless testing of hypotheses and the observations and results of those tests.

P.S. I'm not comparing intelligent design and evolution because they cannot be compared with each other. One is science and one is not. This does not mean that one is right and one is wrong, it has to do with the definition of science.

Deneb

 

Re: Couldn't stop reading :-)

Posted by Deneb on August 11, 2005, at 20:51:37

In reply to Re: Couldn't stop reading :-), posted by Deneb on August 11, 2005, at 19:49:15

I made an error in my previous post.

>When it is useful to assume it to be as good as fact, theory becomes law. >
>

Theory doesn't really *become* law because laws are not explanations. Laws are *observations* that have always stayed the same test after test after test.

"Sound" theories are comprised of explanations based on observations that have become law.

Deneb

 

Re: doctrine etc... » Tamar

Posted by rayww on August 11, 2005, at 20:51:43

In reply to doctrine etc... » Dinah, posted by Tamar on August 11, 2005, at 16:28:38

> > And Ray can correct me if I'm wrong. But while I *think* that Mormons believe that Jesus is God of this world, they don't believe that the Holy Spirit is a separate God.
> >
> > And since Mormons *are* Christians, might it not be more accurate to compare their beliefs with the beliefs of *other* Christians? Rather than Christians?
>
> I find this interesting. Is it generally accepted nowadays that Mormons are Christians? The last time I was in a discussion about it, the general feeling seemed to be that Mormons weren’t Christians because of the Mormon doctrine of God (and, by extension, the doctrine of Christ). But perhaps things have changed?
>
I could get myself into trouble by answering this, but after what has been said, I think it is expected. We believe that Jesus is, and always has been in charge of this world, that he reports to and pleads our case before his (our) Father in Heaven, the one He prayed to, the one I pray to, the one he referred to as his Father which art in Heaven. We believe the Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead too, only he has a body of Spirit, rather than flesh and bone. His main role is to testify to our spirit that Jesus lives and is the Christ. The three are separate members of the Godhead, with individual and distinct roles, inseparably connected in purpose.

Other Christians think that because we believe this and other things about God, we are not Christian. We also believe we were spiritually created in Heaven before we received our physical body (birth), which makes us literally children of God with divine potential.

We believe in the Jesus Christ of the Bible, you know the one who was resurrected, who ate food after? The one who claimed his own body, and glorified it, then was heaven bound in it. (what else could have happened to it? The tombe was empty) And the one who in the same manner as he went into heaven, has testified he will come back to earth again. I know that is true. Literally. Joseph Smith taught all about it, and he learned it from the Father and the Son face to face. Flesh and bone to flesh and bone, and the only ones to have been resurrected thus far to have bodies of flesh and bone are the righteous, (so it couldn't have been Satan in a resurrected flesh and bone body, it just couldn't have happened).

Mormons are Christian and so are other Christians Christian. No one has to believe the same as I do to be a Christian.

An intelligent God created the universe. Sure, it fell into place all right, but it was directed intelligently. All elements in the universe are obedient to God, except man. Why? Man was created in the image of God, Male "and Female" created he them. Man is capable of creating new thought, and of governing himself, because he is a child of God. We have inherited a divine center with great potential. We can choose to be obedient to God, and choose whatever else goes along with, or we can choose not to be. It is our very own choice, sad to say. And Satan does not want us to understand it. But God does.

The Holy Ghost can reveal the truth of all things to you. It is more powerful than the light of Christ. It is a greater witness than seeing. Many have seen and have not believed. Here are a few scriptures that explain the difference between the light of Christ and the Holy Ghost. http://scriptures.lds.org/gsl/lghtlght . enjoy.

 

Re: doctrine etc... » Tamar

Posted by Dinah on August 11, 2005, at 21:03:53

In reply to doctrine etc... » Dinah, posted by Tamar on August 11, 2005, at 16:28:38

I was raised in the Mormon church, and my family and of course my ancestors were Mormon. My mother's family crossed the plains in handcarts. I can testify that Mormons are Christians, because they consider themselves Christian, and they believe that Jesus is the Christ, and their Savior. I am not one to say that all beliefs need to be orthodox in order to claim Christianity, so I am more than willing to accept that Mormons are indeed Christian, although their beliefs in some areas differ from that of other Christian denominations.

As to the Trinity, I am personally not a Trinitarian, and consider myself a Jamesian Christian rather than a Pauline one. It's been a while since I studied the matter, but since the Council of Nicea was the origin of the rift between Eastern and Western Christianity, is it possible that Eastern Orthodox Christians have a different view of the Trinity?

I'll have to refresh my memory.

No doubt my views of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are influenced by my Mormon upbringing and my Primary School and Sunday School teachings. But I specifically asked my Methodist minister if one had to believe in the Trinity in order to be Methodist, and bless him, the dear man said no. As it turns out there was another non-Trinitarian in my Sunday School class. But she had the sense to keep it quiet until I had been publicly shamed and she came to speak to me privately.

 

Re: Sorry Dr. Bob

Posted by Deneb on August 11, 2005, at 21:08:11

In reply to Re: Couldn't stop reading :-), posted by Deneb on August 11, 2005, at 20:51:37

I don't think my discussion about the definition of "theory" fits on the faith board. You can redirect it to Social if that is more appropriate.

Sorry I got a little excited.

Deneb

 

Re: Couldn't stop reading :-) » rayww

Posted by Dinah on August 11, 2005, at 21:12:40

In reply to Re: Couldn't stop reading :-), posted by rayww on August 11, 2005, at 19:18:30

Probably my understanding of the Godhead is not as complete as it might be since I stopped attending the Mormon church (for purely personal reasons) about the time I would have gone to seminary.

My childhood understanding was that God was God, Jesus was his son, and the Holy Spirit was the spirit of God that spoke to us as the still small voice. And that the three were not one entity, but three. And that you only prayed to God the Father, but through Jesus Christ his son.

It wasn't until much much later, after college, that I came to understand that Jesus was considered to be the Jehovah (or was it Yahweh?) spoken of in the Old Testament.

And certainly they were united in purpose, but it was a much different view than the Trinitarian view of the Roman Catholic Church that I was also raised in.

Dr. Bob, I am not advocating any particular beliefs here, but merely trying to clarify my childhood understanding of Mormon beliefs. If you think it is inappropriate to clarify the basic tenets of the Mormon church on the Faith board, perhaps Ray would be kind enough to continue it by Babblemail so that I don't misinform people.

 

So much for speculation

Posted by Dinah on August 11, 2005, at 21:34:19

In reply to Re: doctrine etc... » Tamar, posted by Dinah on August 11, 2005, at 21:03:53

The Eastern Orthodox Church does believe in the Trinity. :)

On to more research.

 

Re: doctrine etc...

Posted by Dinah on August 11, 2005, at 21:54:14

In reply to Re: doctrine etc... » Tamar, posted by Dinah on August 11, 2005, at 21:03:53

Whoops. I didn't mean to mention my denomination. I figure they probably wouldn't want to claim me openly. :) And my beliefs certainly aren't their fault.

 

Re: doctrine etc...

Posted by Declan on August 11, 2005, at 22:44:35

In reply to Re: doctrine etc..., posted by Dinah on August 11, 2005, at 21:54:14

Unitarians don't believe in the Trinity, do they?

The development of doctrine over time is absolutely fascinating. I would love to learn about what went on at the Council of Nicea. All the stuff about person and substance. From the tiny bit I do know it always seemed as if the most reasonable (rational) doctrines were deemed heretical (Arianism was one I think). In this respect it seems similar to Marxism. Perhaps it has something to do with what can be most easily defended in a public forum.

Declan

 

no, no leave it here (nm) » Deneb

Posted by rayww on August 12, 2005, at 9:36:20

In reply to Re: Sorry Dr. Bob, posted by Deneb on August 11, 2005, at 21:08:11

 

Re: Couldn't stop reading :-) » Dinah

Posted by rayww on August 12, 2005, at 10:07:30

In reply to Re: Couldn't stop reading :-) » rayww, posted by Dinah on August 11, 2005, at 21:12:40

babblemail is fine Dinah. Dr. Bob must be on holidays :-)

 

Re: doctrine etc... » rayww

Posted by Tamar on August 12, 2005, at 14:09:55

In reply to Re: doctrine etc... » Tamar, posted by rayww on August 11, 2005, at 20:51:43

Thanks for your answer, Ray. I suppose the question of who is a Christian is fundamentally political as well as theological.

I think that on the basis of what you said in your post about your beliefs, many people I know would say that Mormons aren't Christians because there is too much divergence from orthodoxy.

Then, for me, the question becomes: what's the agenda either in claiming to be Christian, or in claiming that others aren't Christians? And I think that question about an agenda works at both a personal level (whether you and I are Christians) and at an institutional level (whether Presbyterians or Catholics or Mormons are Christians).

And I think to answer the question of the agenda, I'd also have to address the question of who gets to decide? Are we Christians if we claim to be Christians? Or do we have to subscribe to certain generally-agreed tenets of faith?

Traditionally I think the answer has been the latter. But maybe these days it's increasingly acceptable to say that Christian identity is a matter of personal conscience - in other words, if I say I'm a Christian, then I am a Christian.

What do you think?

Tamar


 

Re: doctrine etc... » Dinah

Posted by Tamar on August 12, 2005, at 14:17:55

In reply to Re: doctrine etc... » Tamar, posted by Dinah on August 11, 2005, at 21:03:53

Thanks, Dinah. I'd answered Ray's post before I'd read yours. And yes, I tend to agree
that it's no longer appropriate for some people to say that others aren't Christians.

I definitely don't think belief in the Trinity is essential to Christian identity. Mind you, I don't think belief in the Virgin Birth is essential either! (As an aside, I thought the East/West schism was much later than Nicea; more like 11th century. But my memory's a little rusty.)

And I can't imagine how public shaming is useful to anyone, least of all the person shamed. It sounds very much like the practices of previous centuries...

Tamar

 

Re: doctrine etc... » Declan

Posted by Tamar on August 12, 2005, at 14:24:29

In reply to Re: doctrine etc..., posted by Declan on August 11, 2005, at 22:44:35

> Unitarians don't believe in the Trinity, do they?

No, I'm pretty sure they don't. But from what I understand they don't identify as Christians either (at least, I don't think the Unitarian Universalists identify as Christian... there may be other Unitarians who do).

> The development of doctrine over time is absolutely fascinating. I would love to learn about what went on at the Council of Nicea. All the stuff about person and substance. From the tiny bit I do know it always seemed as if the most reasonable (rational) doctrines were deemed heretical (Arianism was one I think). In this respect it seems similar to Marxism. Perhaps it has something to do with what can be most easily defended in a public forum.

My father claims to be an Arian! I know what you mean...

Yeah, I like all that doctrinal development stuff. I remember getting very excited about the filioque clause a while ago. Does the Spirit proceed from the Father and the Son, or from the Father *through* the Son? ... I can imagine people might think I should get a life!

Tamar

 

Argh! (clarification and apology)

Posted by Tamar on August 12, 2005, at 14:40:26

In reply to Re: doctrine etc... » rayww, posted by Tamar on August 12, 2005, at 14:09:55

I re-read my post to Ray, and I'm worried there could be potential for misunderstanding:

> I think that on the basis of what you said in your post about your beliefs, many people I know would say that Mormons aren't Christians because there is too much divergence from orthodoxy.

I just wanted to clarify that I'm NOT saying that Mormons aren't Christians. I'm also NOT saying I think Mormons diverge too much from orthodoxy.

I was really just trying to initiate a theoretical discussion about the theological and political means by which some groups or individuals include or exclude other groups or individuals. It's interesting to me because people have sometimes told me I'm not a Christian.

But, since I'm new to this Board, I'm now unsure whether that's an appropriate topic for discussion.

If it's not, please would someone tell me so I don't do it again!

And of course, if I've annoyed or offended anyone, I apologise.

Tamar

 

Re: doctrine etc... » Tamar

Posted by rayww on August 12, 2005, at 15:44:51

In reply to Re: doctrine etc... » rayww, posted by Tamar on August 12, 2005, at 14:09:55

What do I think?
I think if you believe in Jesus Christ you are a Christian.


 

Re: doctrine etc... » Tamar

Posted by Dinah on August 12, 2005, at 18:07:17

In reply to Re: doctrine etc... » Dinah, posted by Tamar on August 12, 2005, at 14:17:55

Well, the public shaming wasn't formal. :) It was a more impromptu happening. And it could have been worse. Our Sunday School teacher happened to be a minister, and she understood what I was saying without being overly shocked. But my classmates would have been less shocked had I confessed to being a criminal, I think. :)

I used to study the matter quite a bit, because I really wanted to know how what I thought was a perfectly reasonable theological position became heretical. I certainly couldn't see anything in the Bible itself. So I read "When Jesus Became God" and several other books on heresy. Actually I'm a heretic on several topics, not just this one although it's probably the most glaring.

I'm not sure how I lost interest. I guess it was around the time I gave up on ever being able to attend Sunday School.

 

Re: doctrine etc... » Declan

Posted by Dinah on August 13, 2005, at 10:18:43

In reply to Re: doctrine etc..., posted by Declan on August 11, 2005, at 22:44:35

That's my particular area of interest. How things came to be the way they are. I would say I would have loved to be alive in those times, but of course I really wouldn't have liked that at all. :)

 

Re: doctrine etc...

Posted by Declan on August 13, 2005, at 15:23:04

In reply to Re: doctrine etc... » Declan, posted by Dinah on August 13, 2005, at 10:18:43

Hey Dinah, were you the person who said they were a Jamesian Christian rather than a Pauline one? (I'm too lazy to reread the thread). That's James the brother of Jesus and representative of the Jewish Church in Jerusalem, if that's the right way of putting it.
Have you read the Apocrophal Gospels on which those books like Holy Blood and Holy Grail, or whatever it was, are based? I really enjoyed the Gospel according to Thomas. I dunno anything about what was put in and what was left out and why. I would love to study theology, as a matter of history.
Declan


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