Questioning A Doctrinal Statement

Here is what I believe (comment put on Mircale Channel Review ‘About Us’):

Do you believe the bible to be the inspired word of God do you believe it is the final authority? Also that the original text is without error?

I believe the bible is authoritative but not without error (Hebrews can attest to this one). Also in many places like John 8 and Mark 16 passages have been ‘added in’ – and they are stated as such (oldest manuscript do not contain the passages). It is also well know that a ‘trinity’ verse in 1 John was removed because it was ‘added in’. So without error – no – that’s not very logical according to the facts.

Do you believe in the virgin bith of Jesus Christ?

I do not – but that does not mean it did not happen (I think it is highly unlikely though). One must note that this idea is based on Isaiah 7:14 and that passage is translated ‘young woman’ – not ‘virgin’. I think the Gentile people of the days took a story they were familiar with from their current society and kind of associated it with Jesus. It s worth noting – the virgin birth only appears 2 times in the gospels (2 out of 4 ain’t bad I guess) – but no letters or even Acts re-call the story. How much weight should someone give a story with little backing within it’s own scriptures?

Do you believe Jesus was God come in the flesh 100% God and 100% man without sin?

I believe Jesus was the Messiah come in the flesh 100% – as for the God part – I doubt that. If Jesus is God (as in actually God) – then it is a walking away from scripture also. Exodus 20 – 1st commandment – is ‘you shall have no other gods beside/before me’. If Jesus is God – then we have 2 gods (beside each other). Also we never see the idea the Messiah is God in the OT – not according to the Jewish faith for more than 2600 years (at the least). Also how can Jesus be God when he is ‘sent from Him, anointed by Him, promoted by Him’ etc?

Do you believe in the concept of the Holy Trinity One God and three co eternal co existent persons God the father, God the son, God the Holy Spirit 1 God three persons?

No – and neither is their proof in scripture for such a claim. Trinity, as a term about God, appears 0 times in the whole bible. When the Jewish faith said ‘God is One’ – they really meant ‘One’.

Do you believe in Salvation by Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ our Lord?

Yes. I believe Jesus was the ‘anointed one’ to bring about the inclusion of the Gentiles into the presence of God – as a mediator for us. Salvation in the senses (a) we as Gentiles can now fully access God and (b) God allows us to deal with our personal lives with Him.

Do you believe in the eternal punishment and Judgement of all who deny and reject Christ?

I believe in a judgment – in the end of it all. As for eternal punishment – I cannot believe a loving God would hold such an extreme measure for sins of maybe 70 years? That’s quite unjust a measure (70 years being punished for eternity).

Do you believe in the bodily ressurrection of Jesus Christ?

Yes.

Do you believe that Jesus will return to judge the quick and the dead?

Yes.

Do you believe in one Big C Catholic church (Universal Christian Church body)?

Yes.

Do you accept the creeds of the church Niceean, Apostalic creeds?

No…evidence has not been presented and it was a rush to judgment by those councils – to help solidify Christianity as a Roman religion. What about the Jewish perspective our faith was supposedly based on – that evidence was not even used in a single council. I wonder if any Jewish person had presented if we would hold to a Trinity at all – or the Messiah as God. Things do not add up – if this religion is based on Judaism? Question – is it?


SocietyVs
‘they paved paradise and put up a parking lot’ (Joni Mitchell)

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14 thoughts on “Questioning A Doctrinal Statement

  1. Left the Joni MItchell comment in – seems quite fitting when I think about a faith that evolved from another faith – only to change it in some pretty major ways.

  2. Do you believe that, if you don’t believe like I believe, then you’ll be banished to an unbelievers hell, where you and all the other unbelievers, who don’t believe like me will end up?

    Do you believe that, since you are on your way to an unbelievers hell anyways, I will make sure every other believer like me knows that you are an unbelieving heretic, thus ensuring that everyone else who believes like me condemns you to unbelievers hell?

    🙂

    I was on the verge of the answering the questions, then I realized that the asker of the questions has one and only one right answer that he (or she) is wanting to hear, which is unfortunate for “Tim the Reviewer”, SVS, and anyone else who dares challenge the belief that has been imposed upon the hearers of these questions.

    The “correct” answer is right in the question.

  3. Good and fair responses, mostly.
    You wrote–Also we never see the idea the Messiah is God in the OT – not according to the Jewish faith for more than 2600 years (at the least)
    You repeat this a lot but I’m not sure where it comes from. First, when you say “not according to the Jewish faith”, what does that mean? The reason why we have the Scriptures is so that “religious faith” doesn’t obscure the original intent of the authors who wrote under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Regarding the Messiah, there is ample claims made in the OT and in extra-biblical writings that clearly anticipate a Messiah, someone who is a man and has God in him.

    In my Bible study, we just taught on Exodus 23:20-21.
    20 “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him.

    So what is God’s Name? “I Am”. The Lord is describing a man who will physically lead his people out of the Dessert of Sinai into the Promised Land and God is in Him. What you’re stuck on is a play on words, really. You agree that Jesus was the sent by God and, I assume, that God had complete control over him. Not unlike the angel who would have God’s name “I Am” in him.

    Now if God is omnipresent, and He inhabited a man/created being/angel, as the Torah says, then He would not be in Two places at the same time. How could an omnipresent Being be in two places at the same time? He can’t. He is never in two places at the same time, He is one and He is omnipresent. So where is the conflict between God being in Heaven and also being in a man? Whether He did that or not is beside the point here. He certainly could be in a man just as He was in the pillar of cloud, what we call the Holy Spirit, which is God, too.

    The Trinity is impossible only if God is NOT omnipresent. So if you’re going to discard the Trinity, you might have to go back to the drawing board. Your formula does not disprove it, and I don’t think you want to take away God’s omnipresence. Without that He cannot be omniscient because there’d be places He didn’t go and things He didn’t see.

    I have a feeling this is going to get long, but consider then the three “persons” of the Trinity.
    1) God the Father. He is at the heart of all things (“I Am That I Am”). He is the Creator, the Sustainer, Provider, Almighty, etc. He has a personality that is perfect. He does not err, He does not equivocate (saying one thing yet doing another…like we do).
    2) God the Son. He is the Sent One, the emissary to God’s creation, His representative who is on God’s side, being God, and our side. He is the angel with God’s name in Him, the “angel of the Name” in the Torah and Tanakh. He leads us out of the desert of sin and into the Promised Land, which, in the New Covenant, is Heaven/ eternal life.
    3) God the Holy Spirit. He is the spiritual and physical presence of God. He is sometimes invisible (we feel Him) and other times He’s also visible (we see Him). He is the pillar of cloud in the Exodus, the spirit of God that moves us, convicts us of our sin, and carries us on eagle’s wings into faith. He is God in action and He is far more active than we think.
    Is God three? Yes. Is He one? Yes. We experience Him in three ways, and He is one. Keep in mind these characteristics of the “three persons” of God: They never disagree and they are what they say and do. There is no internal conflict.
    In comparison, we know what is wrong and we often do it anyway. We hold contradictory beliefs. The Right is pro-life and pro-war. The Left is against the death penalty but for the death of unborn children. We look at that missing girl’s Mom in central Florida – the one who can’t tell the same story twice – and we get angry thinking how someone could be that screwed up. We only need to look in the mirror for the answer. But Jesus was the one exception to the rule of the sinful nature….and you appear to agree in your Yes’s about Jesus: God was indeed in Him. What percentage was He in Jesus? 20%? 50%? I think God’s name garners a 100% spiritual hold on that person. And then, it would be no different than saying Jesus was God.
    So there. My take on the Trinity.

  4. Pingback: Jim on the Trinity | The Moral Science Club

  5. Like the Joni Mitchell quote. That about summed it up for me as well when I was standing at the crossroads trying to decide which way to go. I tore up the pavement in my part of the world. Amazing what one finds underneath! All it took was exposure to a little water and some sunlight!

    How about a different quiz where there aren’t any desired answers. Beliefnet

    My results:
    1. Reform Judaism (100%)
    2. Sikhism (90%)
    3. Orthodox Judaism (85%)
    4. Baha’i Faith (80%)
    5. Islam (80%)

    There don’t have Conservative Judaism since I don’t think the authors understand much about Judaism, otherwise they would have known how to split the two apart. The questions were definitely from a Christian POV, but oh well, it’s kind of fun anyway.

  6. great post and i can see where you’re coming from on a lot of these issues… i will have to fill this out on my blog and see how we stack up. i’ll have to do more thinking to see to what extent i’m in agreement with you.. but i’m largely with you!

    RAWK!

  7. you sir are going to rot in hell, or burn in it.. whatever they do in hell, i wouldn’t know cause i’m so focused on where I’m going cause i affirm every belief of the Christian Church!

    as for your sorry view of the bible.. of course it is inerrant in it’s original script… now where did i put those… ummm… i’ll have to get back to you on this one.

  8. “I was on the verge of the answering the questions, then I realized that the asker of the questions has one and only one right answer that he (or she) is wanting to hear…The “correct” answer is right in the question.” (Just1)

    True – but it doesn’t really matter anyways – these beliefs really do nothing anyways. So what if I believe or don’t believe a single one of them – how much does life improve by focusing on them? And these are core doctrinal beliefs in almost every church (Protestant and Catholic)…for what it means to ‘confess to be a Christian’.

    For example, Jesus could very well be the messiah and coming back to judge the ‘quick and the dead’ (whatever ‘quick’ means) – soooooo what? What is he judging us on? I am going to take wild leap here and say ‘the way we treat one another’. So what is really important in that confession – is what we need to ‘do’ – not what we need to ‘believe’.

    The concept of salvation by grace through Jesus the Messiah is also interesting. So what if I confess to believing it – what does it mean to me? The idea is nothing I can add to nor take away from (if it is true) – it’s ‘salvation’ by the ‘grace’ of ‘Jesus’ – that has nothing to do with me or my actions – it is 100% done by another person on my behalf. One could say the idea ‘is finished’. The only thing left is my respone to this ‘grace’.

    What I think is important is direction and guidance – for people of faith – not religion that is about some confessions. I notice many Christian people are very vocal about ‘what they believe’ – but believing Jesus is born of a virgin won’t really get you closer to God – reality doesn’t work that way.

    I know I harp on this point quite a bit – but it is soooooooooooo true.

  9. “First, when you say “not according to the Jewish faith”, what does that mean?” (Jim)

    It means all current strands of Jewish faith do not accept the idea of the messiah being equal to God (or God). Even the strange sect (Lubavitcher rebbe lineage) that believes they met the messiah – figures he is a man and not a God. These Lubavitchers bascially have the same Christian story – with a rabbi as the messiah that will return some day – they see him as a human being. No strand of Judaism (even the stranger ones) see the messiah as God (doesn’t exist).

    Now us Christians do think Jesus (the messiah) is God. Where this idea comes from is quite strange – since there is no backing from Judaism at all for the idea (this belief was never held in Judaic circles). So one has to assume this idea developed outside Jewish circles – amongst Gentiles. Where did they search for proofs? The Tanakh. Now they were onto something there – since some Tanakh passages can be used concerning the Messiah – but none of them can be used to prove the Messiah is God. How do I now this? Judaism is pretty solid on this point.

    “Regarding the Messiah, there is ample claims made in the OT and in extra-biblical writings that clearly anticipate a Messiah, someone who is a man and has God in him.” (Jim)

    There is not a single scripture in the Tanakh that equates the Messiah with God status.

    “The Lord is describing a man who will physically lead his people out of the Dessert of Sinai into the Promised Land and God is in Him” (Jim)

    It would be more fitting to say ‘God is with him’ (God’s name is in him). It’s like a ‘seal’ that this person is chosen of God – and they are to follow his directives. But even with your term ‘has God in him’ – may be accurate – but it doesn’t mean this ‘angel’ is God (but more like a representative of God – sent for this purpose).

    “Now if God is omnipresent, and He inhabited a man/created being/angel, as the Torah says, then He would not be in Two places at the same time” (Jim)

    Here’s where I have to dissect this argument with a very simple question – does being inhabited by God = being God?

    If this is the case, every prophet is God, some kings were, judges also, patriarchs, etc. It is not problematic for God to be in multiple places I never disagree with that assertion) – but I disagree with the assertion that God is a multitude (3 in this case). God may command a multitude – but He is One.

    I also don’t think because God can ‘anoint’ someone they become equal to God (in some small senses they are – they are doing the will of God – so they are in unision – they are a representative) – but God is One (this is not a position God shares – nor can He – this is His existence). If Jesus is a literal ‘son’…my question is ‘how did that happen’? God had to ‘create’ him – correct? How does this make this creation equal to God or God? Or were they co-existence entities the whole time?

    “God the Father. He is at the heart of all things” (Jim)

    I agree – but He is One (the Tamakh qualifier concerning God).

    “God the Son. He is the Sent One, the emissary to God’s creation” (Jim)

    This is like God part 2. This is the part where God splits himself into ½ and then sends part of Himself to earth as an ambassador for all of us. Then creates a whole nother personality of Himself – complete with a human name, identity, and culture. Making God into 2 separate persons at this point – one ruling as the ‘Father’ in heaven – and another ‘the son’ enacting the ‘gospel’ on earth. He pretends to be tempted – since he is God he actually isn’t. Then this one dies – well his human part dies – He is God so he actually does not die (not even possible). He resurrects the flesh of himself and then goes back to see the people He met. That ends and he leaves for heaven again – to return in the near future.

    I find that all kind of strange – just my opinion. Nothing about the life of Jesus makes me so much as think he was not human – a human messiah ‘sent’ by God. The fact he was ‘sent’ says it all (or can do nothing on his power). He gets tempted – which is a very human thing (God cannot be tempted)…he dies (which is also something we all readily admit God cannot do).

    What is awesome – is most Christians think of this in terms of – his human nature died and not his God side. There is this duality to Jesus which no other human has – a God side and a human side – thusly making him not 100% human. You cannot be 100% human and have a God side to you – sorry – unless you’re a Mormon (they believe this).

    “God the Holy Spirit” (Jim)

    God – part 3. This one is very, very, very easy to answer. Where in the NT is the Holy Spirit called a 3rd person of God? How often is the Holy Spirit called God? It seems to me the Holy Spirit is God – I agree – just it’s the outworking of the One God – not another separate entity. One has to remember this term goes back to the Tanakh also – and Judaism does not see the Holy Spirit as another aspect of God (or they would be at least saying God is 2 persons – doesn’t happen). It seems this was the way God worked – simple as that. We may not understand the Holy Spirit – but that does not mean I get to label it a 3rd person of God.

    “God was indeed in Him. What percentage was He in Jesus? 20%? 50%? I think God’s name garners a 100% spiritual hold on that person. And then, it would be no different than saying Jesus was God” (Jim)

    I really don’t care what % of God was in Jesus – that’s irrelevant. But even if Jesus was 100% filled by God – this still does not make him God. Jesus still needs the authority of God to make it all possible – this is not something he does on his own. Plus – Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit – which is the outworking of God…Jesus needed this anointing to complete his mission (again – did not do this on his own). How can one ascribe some limited God status to Jesus based on the obvious writing abouts him?

    Yael brought up a point a while back about Gentiles being converted in Galilee – to Judaism – a sort of forced conversion. It does seem plausible that this early mix of Judaism with Gentile cultures could very well produce some of these ideas in Christianity – it’s not like gentiles would see any problem with Jesus being God (we know this – because this belief took off in gentile communities and still does til this day).

  10. I really don’t care what % of God was in Jesus – that’s irrelevant. But even if Jesus was 100% filled by God – this still does not make him God.

    This makes me wonder if you truly have ever encountered God. I believe that you seek to know Him but at the same time you desperately want to please others.

    You of all people should know of the corruption that can exist in “religious traditions”. Jesus Christ didn’t recognize the human interpretations that evolved erroneously from the Word of God and neither should we. I’ll respond to more of your points when I have time. Don’t be offended. We have always disagreed on the Trinity while we agree on a lot of other things. Take care.

  11. “This makes me wonder if you truly have ever encountered God.” (Jim)

    I can tell you this – I have truly encountered God – and it changed me forever.

    “I believe that you seek to know Him but at the same time you desperately want to please others.” (Jim)

    That there might be the history of Christianity in a nutshell. A faith that moved from Galilee – to Jerusalem – to partnership with Pharisee’s – to opposition with Judaism (after the 1st revolt against Rome) – to going out on it’s own – to persecution from Rome – eventually become thee Roman religion. One has to wonder how a faith goes from opposition with Rome to partners with it – how’s about through trying to ‘please others’.

    “You of all people should know of the corruption that can exist in “religious traditions”.” (Jim)

    What about the corruption in our ‘religion’? Do you really think Christianity is all that pure a religion – undefiled from corrupting influences? From what I can tell from early Christian history – it’s one change after another – corruption upon corruption. Christianity has as much, or more, than most religion when it comes to corruption and what it allows in (since Jesus’ death until now). I think we need to start pointing fingers at ourself and not ‘other traditions’ – other tradition can govern their sphere – we have more than enough problems in ours.

    I can’t believe I am questioned as to my ‘faith integrity’ when I doubt the trinity – the proof for it is very scant (and written in) – and the faith we base ours on (Judaism) mde no such claims concering the messiah. I think Christianity got it ‘wrong’ – yes ‘wrong’. But that’s what happens when this faith moved from Jewish roots to Gentile ones.

  12. The beliefs so presented are identical with those of Islam on Jesus. That he was a man, sent of God, as a saviour for humanity. With the exception of the miraculous birth of Jesus that is a basic requirement of Islam. You did not mention anything of Original sin and the crcifixion

  13. Sherif, when it comes to original sin I think it is a ‘read in’ doctrine – and not something totally believable. However, I can see how everyone is a sinner – since the decision making skills we are given allow us the choice of ‘right and wrong’.

    The crucifixion – well I think it happened (diverges from Islam on that point). Even if Jesus were a prophet, as Islam contends, he could of died – many prophets died.

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