To be a "Christian" do you have to believe what Jesus taught?

Discussion in 'Spiritual Discussions' started by mamajandtheboys, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. annsni

    annsni Amity's Focus Member

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    Matthew 3:13-17

    Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

    Is that not three persons? Jesus didn't speak nor did He descend and rest on Himself. I see three distinct persons - all God.
  2. Sunflower_Momma

    Sunflower_Momma "Christian"

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    Okay, can I respectfully point out that you are trying to show someone who believes God is one at the same time by explain that God is three persons at the same time. :confused:
  3. annsni

    annsni Amity's Focus Member

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    The doctrine of the Trinity is that there is one God who manifests Himself as three distinct, simultaneous persons. From my understanding, Oneness believes that God revealed Himself as the Father in the Old Testament then the Jesus in His incarnation and now the Holy Spirit. In other words, they were one person in three different views. If that is so, I'm asking how could all three be present on earth at the same time? I don't see how that could be.
  4. Maura

    Maura Gene Genie

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    But that still doesn't help me with the people who are not able to hear or read about God/Jesus. (meant respectfully) Do they have to go to hell because of geography? I am asking a serious question. I don't get it.
  5. Robin

    Robin Jesus Follower

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    And I wasn't ignoring you, I was answering a specific questions "What is the Great Commission?". The GC is that the passage in Matthew that I referenced above. When Christians refer to the GC they are referring to Jesus's command to "Go and make disciples...".

    And HuncaMunca answered the second part of your question...God has revealed himself from the beginning of time to mankind.

    I know everyone would simply love it if those of us on this board who believe the Bible to be the source of truth would simply shut up and say, "You are right a loving God would never send anyone to hell." The issue I have with that is that God isn't just loving he is holy and just.

    In Isaiah when the prophet Isaiah sees the throne of God in a vision, the angels surrounding the throne aren't crying out "love, love, love...what a loving God we serve." They are encircling the throne day and night.forever crying out "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY". So I would think this must be an important attribute of God.

    So God in his holiness, cannot and willnot be in the presence of sinfulness. But with God's holiness is his sense of justness and love. He knew that mankind could not ever make atonement for their sinfulness. So in an act of love he made a way for mankind to be reconciled. This very act was to take on the personhood of a man and live a sinless life and in an act of ultimate selflessness give his life as an atonement for our sinfulness.

    In the book "Eternity in Their Hearts" Don Richardson documents tribes of indigenious people who have the same type of metaphors foreshadowing Jesus in their cultures that is woven through out the OT.

    The second issue is that God is not chosing to send anyone to hell. We make that choice all on our own. None of us lives a life that measures up to God's standards of holiness. Again God is holy and just and we are not.

    Ultimately God will make the decision about heaven and hell but in the NT Jesus says he is the way, the truth and the life. He is pretty straightforward about that. I can play around with what he said and how he said it and what he meant but the bottom line for me is that if I believe that Jesus is who he said he is (the divine), then I need to give weight to his words and not take them lightly.

    I don't know about the pastor you spoke with and I can only speak for myself and those I know personally but let me assure you that in no way, shape, form or fashion do we say lightly "tough luck". It is with much weeping and brokenness that we realize that people need to know about Jesus. I think if anyone would really look at even the people on this board who take this stand they would say that even in heated debate we try to be respectful and loving.

    It is the.hardest.thing I do on this board and that is to weigh my words on any hot topic thread before I hit submit. Sometimes when I weigh them I do it with the realization that what I am saying isn't going to be popular. I do it when I realize that I am going to be called closed minded and bigoted. I do it when I realize that women I love and respect are going to "look" at me and see a picture that isn't what I want to present. I do it because I do believe what Jesus said, I believe it because he has made such a change in my life and he continues to transform me on a daily basis into a person much better than I could be on my own.
  6. Sunflower_Momma

    Sunflower_Momma "Christian"

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    My understand is that, according to the Orthodox, yes, they do go to hell. As do infants born before accepting Christ/being baptized and the mentally retarded who do not accept Christ. One has to accept Christ and the reasons why one does not/could not/would not do not matter.

    Obviously, my beliefs differ, but, correct me if I am wrong, but the Orthodox church would take this stance - as uncomfy as that might feel. It is what it is.
  7. Maura

    Maura Gene Genie

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    I was raised Catholic, and I could swear we were taught that babies who were not baptized went to "Limbo". Or is that outdated now?

    Maybe someone knows why God decided this.
  8. Maura

    Maura Gene Genie

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    I'm seriously wondering about people who live so far removed from society and do not worship a Christian God. Are there not people who have never heard of the Bible or Jesus? If Jesus is the way to be saved, then how would that work?
  9. Maura

    Maura Gene Genie

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    How did I miss this response? Sorry!

    I know the pastor and probably no one else would ever use the expression "tough luck". I am not as eloquent as most on this board, and I sometimes choose the wrong words.

    I guess I will never understand this, and maybe I just need to let it go.
  10. Robin

    Robin Jesus Follower

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    I didn't mean to imply that you chose the wrong words. I was simply trying to convey the actual depth of emotion behind the belief.

    There are many who struggle with this belief, not just you and I wouldn't in any way say that you just need to let it go.
  11. Robin

    Robin Jesus Follower

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    I should have quoted you all at one time but the answer to this is God knows how it works out. I don't know or claim to understand it all. One of the reason that I like Richardson's book is that he shows that mankind even far removed from "Christian" influence still has/had an awareness of Christian belief (need for a person/mediator, concept of "peace child" and some suprising understanding of a very "Jewish/Christian" God).

    And don't for any minute think that some of us who hold these beliefs haven't struggled with them and don't still struggle with them, we have and do.
  12. Robin

    Robin Jesus Follower

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    That is why the Orthodox church performs infant baptism (admittedly, this is my understanding and I am not Orthodox so I may be wrong).

    And Maura you are correct I believe that unbaptized infants would go to "limbo" by Catholic belief.
  13. hana

    hana Active Member

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    To the first part--this certainly isn't true of everyone. I'm glad to hear people express their beliefs, no matter how much I might disagree.

    But, in the second part of what I have quoted, people on this thread are saying that unbaptized infants, the unbaptized mentally disabled, and people who have never heard of the Bible are going to hell. They did not make that choice.

    And hence began my split from the Baptist Church when I was six years old (well, the split took twelve years--I tried to reconcile it).
  14. Robin

    Robin Jesus Follower

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    I am Baptist and do not believe that " unbaptized infants, the unbaptized mentally disabled" will go to hell.

    There is more but many times the belief is summerized in the conept of "age of accountability". I can explain more later.
  15. Claire Berry

    Claire Berry New Member

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    I just really think Scripture is great, but its people who make these rules. They may study the Bible more, but they also may have another agenda. God is inside of us and I wish more people would put a little more stock in what they experience, what they feel God is telling them rather than what some atristocratic "holy man" might have decided was PC hundreds of years ago.

    That is why I am always having to defend myself because Christians have long just given up their personal relationship with God in place of following a human. Spiritual power is some of the most easily attainable and most detrimental power. We are so quick to hand our lives and souls over to people we have no clue about!

    There are a lot of people who believe that the answer lies in reincarnation and that the powers that be took it out of the Bible long ago in order to try to help Christians be more active in their faith. I guess the thought was that if people thought they had more lives to try and get it right they would put it off til the next life.

    That's just what I hear, but it makes me wonder about the usage of the words that we latch onto. (Ie. - death, limbo, hell, life, etc.) Perhaps hell could be on Earth and life/death etc. could also be metaphors for our spiritual lives and not just our physical ones. In fact, with the way the Bible uses parables and metaphors, it actually makes a lot of sense...
  16. amyorama

    amyorama Amity's Focus Member

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  17. Sunflower_Momma

    Sunflower_Momma "Christian"

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    Hana, not all Christian faiths believe those things. For instance, the LDS church does not believe that at all. They don't even perform baptisms until age 8.

    Disciples of Christ does not believe that as well. Neither does Unity.

    And, those are the only three of which I can speak with knowledge.

    I cannot believe in a church where unbaptized infants, the unbaptized intellectually disabled, or the people who have never heard of the church are going to be destined to hell. I do not believe in a God who would do that.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  18. mamajandtheboys

    mamajandtheboys Amity's Focus Member

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    I don't at all believe they are going to hell. Either Robin or Ann can address my belief of age and accountability -- I'm whipped and have to get up in 6 hours to work.
  19. Tiffany

    Tiffany Amity's Focus Member

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    I, as a Roman Catholic, do not believe that those who do not know of Jesus, unbaptized infants or the mentally handicapped will go to hell. And I honestly do not care if that jives with the RCC or not. For me, my children's christenings (infant baptisms) were a welcoming into the Church and profession of my (and their father's) dedication to raise them as a Christian. I am a christian before I am a catholic.
  20. hana

    hana Active Member

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    These are the quotes to which I was referring earlier. I now that not all Christian religions believe that way. It's just the primary part of what led me to leave the Baptist church in which I grew up. Then, when I started looking around, I ended up UU.

    I do know about the belief in an age of accountability--can anyone give me Bible verses for that. My pastor at the time said that it was un-Biblical (meaning outside of the Bible).

    ETA: Oops, it didn't include Maura's quote.

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