Author Topic: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.  (Read 52653 times)

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #650 on: June 29, 2017, 06:16:00 AM »
I'd like a Hindu or Buddhist to prove to me that they achieve inner divinity.  It'd be the same unproveaable discussion we've been having here about Christian precepts.

Agreed, their position would be just as unprovable and unjustified as your own.

Lots of people create stuff they then weave into the Bible, but it is not in the Bible at all.
Yes, sadly, every Christian denomination. 

That's my point in these responses.  Just because someone tells you "I'm Christian and Halloween is bad." does not mean it's a supportable Christian view.  It means that person, who may be a twice a year "Christian" who attend on Easter and Christmas and has never even touched a Bible is spouting off stuff someone made up and they cannot teach you anything about. 

The thing I find interesting is that the first people to say someone else is not a real Christian are usually other Christians (the same goes for Hindus, Muslims, etc etc).

From the outside looking in we have no choice but to take someone at their word.
If someone tells me they are a Christian, I believe them.  Who am I to say what this person sincerely believes?

But you bring up an important point, which is why this entire thread I've tried to stay away from debating the beliefs of entire religions and instead focusing on what you or Jim or Overflow (or any other individual) might believe.  Because the truth is, regardless of how much we may want there to be a unified system of belief for each major religion, there simply is not.  People are individuals, and I'm not certain I've ever met two Christians, Muslims or Jews who shared every belief in their worldview.

The key questions to me have never changed:  What do you believe as an individual, and why do you feel you are justified in believing it to be true?
As always sir, a very well thought out and put set of points.

So this post will cover a few things based on the last twenty four hours that go to these points and others that are a little older in the thread.

Meditation, Halloween, dancing, many others "dangerous" a "Christian" believes

So I thought quietly on this, dare I say "meditated"?!  oh the horror.  Let the Jevovah's Witnesses and those other article inspiring Christians cast the first stone in their perfect righteousness.

This is why I say a "real Christian", which I mean one who is heavily, heavily immersed in Scriptual study and is NOT basing their views on any trappings of a segment of Christianity views the fact that any of these things above and countless other is "dangerous" as ridculous and absurd.  Here is the logic behind that.

  • God tells us that he is the one true God
  • Therefore, I understand that nothing else can be a God any worship of things or thoughts otherwise makes those things my idol, which would be wrong
  • I also therefore know that despite the words of other men who claim meditation will take me to a higher realm of consciouness (maybe) leading to an inner divinity (utterly false because there is one God and I am not him)
  • Therefore the fear of meditation is utterly absurd because I know there is no truth to the claims.  It is all magic and mealy mouthed mumbo jumbo designed to cater to natural mans weak nature
  • Therefore I come on an internet forum and boldly say these people are not properly instructed Christans

As I said earlier, any of these "faith arguments" as misled or patently wrong gleanings from the Word of God (the degree depends on what the arguers intent is, meaning are they just deluding themselves or are they setting out to wrongly lead large groups of people down this flawed path).  None of the activities mentioned in this thread like mediation, Halloween, yoga or dancing are dangerous or sinful.  Other things not mentioned specifically here but regularly by Christian groups like drinking or secular music fall into the same bucket of analysis.  A well taught Christian understands that the danger in these OR ANY activity lies in how we partake or enjoy that activity, not in the activity itself.  What has then happened, perhaps with good intent, but with sinful results because of creates false teachers, is that church groups add these guardrails and say, "no drinking" as Baptists and many other do, or "no meditation, yoga, balloon animals or non-pure bred puppies" as others do.  Let us use drinking as an example.  Many people in the Bible drank.  Jesus actually turned water to wine, with the obvious intention and foreknowledge that what He just made people were going to (don't be too shocked) DRINK!  Where this becomes sinful is in the drunkenness because this leads one to other sinful actions in many cases.  The danger is in enjoying the drink too much, not in the drinking.

To try to drive the point home further of how these ridiculous stances on things like meditation fall apart and use something that I think must Christians would agree is usually a good thing and that is church attendance, and explain why attending church is dangerous, using some personal struggles I (and many men I know) have.  In my natural man I am attracted to women.  In our church are several women I find attractive.  At times, I will look at one of these women and have thoughts that are adulterous and/or covertous, both one of the Ten Biggies.  I my friends am a sinner, and just as Paul, I believe myself chief among sinners, so I struggle and pray for deliverance from these sins daily.  I can see progress over my lifetime in this regard, but I also understand this will likely never be fully conquered until I am with the Lord in paradise.  Therefore I am eternally grateful for the undeserved grace the Lord poured on me where he washes me clean of the sinful thoughts I have of the beautiful brunette in front of me in church that week.  A pastor who taught a marriage session at our church in April explained his same struggles to the men's group about this same thing and how his wife helps him avoid this sin.  Whenever they are walking in public and his wife sees a woman approaching that she knows her husband will find attractive they have agreed she will tell him "eyes right" so that he knows to avert his gaze and therefore avoid the temptation of the covetous or adulterous thought.  Obviously his wife is less able to do this when he is preaching at the pulpit, and if his struggles with these thoughts are like mine, it's pretty likely he does not suddenly not have them pop into his head when he spies someone in the congregation as he is speaking.  So along these arguments in this thread, I think I have clearly shown that by the same standard as mediation is dangerous, church attendance is clearly a pit of danger for a man (maybe women do this too, but I have no personal experience with that).  Should I now go about preaching to other Christians that church attendance is dangerous so that unchurched people see that as the message and not be challenged by "real Christians" on how stupid this is?  Going to church is not dangerous.  The sinful way I participate in that experience when my mind has these thoughts is the issue, but it is an issue with me, not with the act of church attendance.  For this reason, our church encourages (but does not enforce or scream about as "dangerous") appropriate dress for worship.  It is stated as "you should not distract from the purpose for which we are here, to worship our Lord, by drawing attention to yourself because of your dress".  We men understand that an attractive woman in a mini-skirt and tank top would distract us from paying attention to God in that space and instead draw us to other idols and get what that message means, but it is not codified into a stupid code claiming it is part of our faith.  This is why I say there is zero basis for belief systems that take it that far.

And this is why things like TULIP and other add-ons are exactly the same.  They are false man-made misleading interpretations that add extra thoughts into Scripture that are not there.  They take the word "all" and explain how to turn it into a subset of what the word "all" is.  It's now not "all", it is "some", then translated to mean "all of the some".  And it creates needless hostility which leads folks like Jim to state we are not spiritual brothers.  By the way, I absolutely consider myself a spiritual brother with Jim, and therefore I express my view and encouragement to him to step outside the literature and writings of TULIP to study how TULIP adds on man-made confines.

Another example as I was driving was seeing the "STOP TXT" sticker on someone's car.  A car is not dangerous in itself.  It is in how I enjoy or use the car that causes possible danger.  The car does not make me text, but if I text in the car I can hurt myself or others.  This is the logic that a Christian may use, again either wrongly or rightly.  A right interpretation of how we are taught to live is to not be a temptation to other.  So as I mentioned earlier our senior pastor does not drink at all, does not listen to any music on the radio and refrains from any other things.  But he does not wrongly take that to push to teach the congregation that these things are dangerous or wrong.  He understands that 99% of Christians will never study the Bible enough to discern truth for themselves through the Holy Spirit, they will instead rely on their leaders to guide them and do the work and spoon feed them.  He very clearly states that is wrong.  It is every Christians responsibility to be in the Word on a daily basis and constantly growing in understanding.  But because it is also his responsibility to provide godly leadership he refrains from those activities because he does not want someone to think because he does something and then they do it to excess and it leads them to sin, because they have not learned enough to go to God for strength to overcome those issues.  He does not someone to get drunk because thy say the pastor having a drink and thought, "it's OK to drink" which it is, but it's not OK to drink to the point of drunkenness.

Additional thoughts on TULIP/Calvinism

So unexpectedly I found out that a consultant on a project we are working on attends a church that is Calvinist (follows TULIP) in its origins, yet is part of quite a large group in his church that disavows the TULIP adds.  What I insert here is what he shared with me about why he feels that way, and some of his views.  I share just to offer it up as additional viewpoints for people to consider.

Kevin has spent about fifteen years in this church.   He was heatedly against the whole TULIP process as patently absurd when laid against Scripture and we spend about 30 minutes of him explaining each piece and how Calvanists contort themselves into pretzels to get there.  I have not studied it nearly as much as he because I'm not in that environment (and I'd imagine have to discuss with others in my church body regularly) so it is not an area I've spent a lot of time on.  He also has done a lot more study of exactly how Calvin's writing became TULIP and that is the part I wanted to provide brief notes on.  Again, I can't back any of this up, you'd have to go dig for the facts to see if they line up, but this is what was shared.

It began with the fact that if you examine Calvin's life a more truly evil man is hard to find.  The "pretzel" argument begins with the fact that to even take what Calvin created and turn it into a doctrine that is not abhorrent to a Christian you need to discount, ignore or just pretend vast pieces of his writing do not exist.  You cherry pick, but according to Kevin is seemed like your getting about five cherries out of ten tons of excrement.  It was as if you took Mein Kampf and used it find things to build a Christian worldview out of.  Again, no idea, as I've not examined this detailed aspect of the origins of this belief system, but this is what I was told at lunch yesterday.  So once Calvin decided to use his couple cherries to explain things in the Bible his ideas got a following but you'd need to ignore all the other garbage.

Kevin then proceeded down the same points I had made here.  That all of TULIP is based on adding things to constrain interpretation to get things to fit in the flower.  And the TULIPers in his congregation seem to have no other answer than what had been provided here by Jim "that's just the way it is folks", which was the same argument that led me away from other churches, because that's not a defendable position.  I was curious why he attended this church instead of finding one he felt was more Scripturally sound and it was around the personal impacts.  He was saved there, he met his wife there and they enjoy the people there.  And while there are clearly two groups, with the TULIP and non-TULIP people, there it is not a point of division (I guess they consider each other spiritual brothers in that church).

So, now back to my thoughts.


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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #651 on: June 29, 2017, 06:53:18 AM »
But I don't expect people who think they are right and that their (version of the ) Bible is the correct one to admit there is a possibility that's not the case.

I feel as if anyone should be willing to entertain the possibility that they might be wrong about anything.
The illusion of absolute certainty can be dangerous.

This, exactly. The assumption that I could be wrong about anything is the only belief that I adhere to "religiously".
Never. Give up.

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jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #652 on: June 29, 2017, 07:57:02 AM »
But I don't expect people who think they are right and that their (version of the ) Bible is the correct one to admit there is a possibility that's not the case.

I feel as if anyone should be willing to entertain the possibility that they might be wrong about anything.
The illusion of absolute certainty can be dangerous.

This, exactly. The assumption that I could be wrong about anything is the only belief that I adhere to "religiously".
They have a name for that: agnosticism

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #653 on: June 29, 2017, 08:05:34 AM »
But I don't expect people who think they are right and that their (version of the ) Bible is the correct one to admit there is a possibility that's not the case.

I feel as if anyone should be willing to entertain the possibility that they might be wrong about anything.
The illusion of absolute certainty can be dangerous.

This, exactly. The assumption that I could be wrong about anything is the only belief that I adhere to "religiously".
They have a name for that: agnosticism

Actually, it would be skepticism (in that it is a general approach to knowledge, not specifically focused on the question of theism alone).

Zamboni

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #654 on: June 29, 2017, 08:32:10 AM »
I admire your strong sense of morals and ethics. These things are very important.

With that in mind, it can be helpful to consider the outside perspective: the primary purpose of most major religions is to control the masses. For example, most major religions have some sort of fasting or "giving up" ritual at a certain time of year. These all happen to coincide with historical times of annual food shortage. In other words, tell the peasants that they are not starving, they are pious for giving up certain foods, and then they will be less likely to attack those in power. I do believe all religions started from a place of sincerity . . . ie Jesus trying to help people and do the right thing . . . but then they all got twisted into power plays by those in power.

I know you probably don't want to read what I just wrote, as you are struggling in more detail oriented space than my over-arching view of religion as the primary mechanism for controlling the masses. Any objective person can look at the US right now and see how the extremely wealthy are manipulating the fundamentalists politically. Okay, that is enough for now. Peace be with you.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #655 on: June 29, 2017, 09:18:20 AM »
I admire your strong sense of morals and ethics. These things are very important.

With that in mind, it can be helpful to consider the outside perspective: the primary purpose of most major religions is to control the masses. For example, most major religions have some sort of fasting or "giving up" ritual at a certain time of year. These all happen to coincide with historical times of annual food shortage. In other words, tell the peasants that they are not starving, they are pious for giving up certain foods, and then they will be less likely to attack those in power. I do believe all religions started from a place of sincerity . . . ie Jesus trying to help people and do the right thing . . . but then they all got twisted into power plays by those in power.

I know you probably don't want to read what I just wrote, as you are struggling in more detail oriented space than my over-arching view of religion as the primary mechanism for controlling the masses. Any objective person can look at the US right now and see how the extremely wealthy are manipulating the fundamentalists politically. Okay, that is enough for now. Peace be with you.
+infinity

This is the problem with Christianity or any other belief system (I'm intentionally trying to differentiate here by avoiding "religion" as I want to respond using that term as the man-made trappings added to the belief system) is this perversion by man.

Per some of the other immediate posts, I had and still do always look at the possibility that I am wrong in my understanding, and as I gather new information it can shift.  What I would ask others to consider is that some of us have gotten to where we are in our belief system be heavy examination and study of many things.  Therefore after decades of more and more validation I am very, very unlikely to be swayed in any major way because I have looked at so many facets of religion, and most specifically the Christian belief system which I believe is true.  Obviously my differing point with this particular post is that Jesus is God for me, not just a guy with good intentions and doing cool stuff like Mohammed or Gandhi, and I do not believe he was out to set up some system because God needs no system.  I am not convicted of my faith and confident in my understanding of the Word of God because I was brainwashed into thinking the way I do, I got there with a ton of hard work and skepticism.  If I was brainwashed I'd be more likely to take the route of the other believer here lately and say "I don't have time for that hogwash" when examining mediation or other faiths and reading books like I shared with you from skeptics who test the faith.  I'd have no interest in understanding if Islam is better than Christianity, or if Judaism is better than Islam, etc. but over time I've taken a look at every thing in my journey.  Some are just very easy to dismiss because of the tracing paper they are written on that blows apart with a simple breath, so I did not spend any time on that.  Not all of us are doing this without an intelligent assessment of the alternatives.

Your points you shared are exactly the issue when you wrap a belief system in a religious system.  The belief system of Christianity is not works based at all, while all other systems are.  This is because man feels they need control and can DO something to make a deity happy.  So they invent things to do, and those in power use them to make money, and that gives those who see that process for what it is, and IT IS a way to benefit some group, completely proper ammunition to call the system corrupt.  Because it is.  This is why I get exasperated at time with these types of discussions, because God's message is so simple and pure and the gift freely given, that people being kept away because they can't stomach all the fake trappings just saddens me.  One of my earliest questions to my priest (certainly in grade school) was what gives about eating fish on Fridays during Lent.  No answer that even a six year old could not call stupid.  Show me where God says to do that.  He does not.  But to help the fishing industry this dumb work was inserted into Catholic doctrine.  I get to enjoy getting berated by my parents for several weeks a year about this , and I believe in Christ and it wears on me.  How is someone who is new in the faith, questions it, is told some totally non-supportable Scriptural references that do not say or point to that at all going to deal with it?  They are not, and so people come and go like a revolving door, because they are barred from the message.  It's just like the Hindu belief that bathing in the confluence of the Ganges and another river have powers, so millions flock there, merchants take advantage and you have another stupid work that does nothing but benefit pieces of the population to the detriment of others (controlling the masses). 

I could go on for five hundred pages.  But you are totally right that the primary purpose of any religion is to exercise control with rabbinical nonsense, Catholic claims of grace or other benefits conferred through sacraments that have no saving or other power other than to get you to plunk down a few bucks in the church coffers for your healing mass, or get all fancied up for confirmation because until then, you were only partially there, or buying prayer rugs and other things to perform the ritual five times a day, or bathing in this river or letting your arm atrophy in this pose to show your love for some deity, or to have to make a pilgrimage somewhere to receive some benefit.  I get why skeptics look at all this and cry foul, because it is.  It has virtually nothing to do with belief and everything to do with manipulation. 

I would love for your message to get more widely clarified to the masses that all religious systems need to be avoided because I feel that would clear the pathway for Christianity, simply and directly taught to expand and reach those who are searching and God is calling, versus people getting turned away because they end up in a charismatic church where people claim for be speaking in tongues and have a hard time accepting that as real (because its not, that gift is no longer in effect Biblically) and they go away thinking it is all circus theatrics and never get to know God as their Savior it's really a shame.  It is honestly what I feel is one of the biggest problems of why so people who believe in God is and stays as a fraction of the population because it is all so obscured by the attempts to make it entertaining, control people, swindle people.  Anything I can do to get rid of all of that I will do.  So yes, do I have a deep disdain for denominations, absolutely I do.  They are what is most wrong with Christianity. 
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 09:19:57 AM by caracarn »

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #656 on: June 29, 2017, 09:23:23 AM »
Caracarn, I would like to know your thoughts on this lecture:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVoV3z9ZzXc
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #657 on: June 29, 2017, 09:29:46 AM »
Caracarn, I would like to know your thoughts on this lecture:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVoV3z9ZzXc
I see it's quite long, so I will try to view over the next few weeks, but will certainly give it a look and respond to you.

From the initial comments I see below it seems to be an attack based on some vacuous points (if the first couple comments are accurate, I'm referring to the hang up of Hebrews giving their child a Greek name, as an example).  I'm assuming there is something more there, but I am intrigued by the fact that this man seems to be an ex-priest so he has some theological training, albeit in a Catholic seminary more likely (most other denominations do not use the term priest), however since Catholicism and it's unbackable claims is what drove me to skepticism in the first place I'm not sure whatever he has to say will have a lot of new insight to me, but I'll let you know what I think.  Thanks!

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #658 on: June 29, 2017, 09:33:43 AM »
Caracarn, I would like to know your thoughts on this lecture:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVoV3z9ZzXc
I see it's quite long, so I will try to view over the next few weeks, but will certainly give it a look and respond to you.

From the initial comments I see below it seems to be an attack based on some vacuous points (if the first couple comments are accurate, I'm referring to the hang up of Hebrews giving their child a Greek name, as an example).  I'm assuming there is something more there, but I am intrigued by the fact that this man seems to be an ex-priest so he has some theological training, albeit in a Catholic seminary more likely (most other denominations do not use the term priest), however since Catholicism and it's unbackable claims is what drove me to skepticism in the first place I'm not sure whatever he has to say will have a lot of new insight to me, but I'll let you know what I think.  Thanks!

Yes, he was a priest and studied theology his entire life.
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

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MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #659 on: June 29, 2017, 10:23:08 AM »
Per some of the other immediate posts, I had and still do always look at the possibility that I am wrong in my understanding, and as I gather new information it can shift.  What I would ask others to consider is that some of us have gotten to where we are in our belief system be heavy examination and study of many things.  Therefore after decades of more and more validation I am very, very unlikely to be swayed in any major way because I have looked at so many facets of religion, and most specifically the Christian belief system which I believe is true.

Just to clarify - my comment was intended only as a counterpoint to Kris's comment that she does not expect believers to admit they might be wrong.  I was not trying to indirectly accuse you of being close minded or unwilling to entertain that you might be mistaken (and I'm not saying you were saying that either, just wanted to make sure my intentions were clear on that).

That said, I do have a difficult time when I hear devout believers say that they approached their beliefs with true skepticism. Because after decades of study myself I have yet to find any evidence that would convince me of the divinity of Jesus, much less the existence of a deity.  I do not rule out the possibility of it, but I simply do not see how anyone is rationally justified in holding either belief (which is why they must rely on faith). 

Then again, I know many believers who have a difficult time accepting the idea than any non-believers actually did sincerely believe at one point.  So I suppose we can all be victims of the 'no true Scotsman' approach, regardless from which side we might begin.

I should probably work harder to take believers at their word when they claim to have been skeptics, much like I take them at their word when they tell me they are believers, and much like I would expect them to accept a nonbeliever who claims to have once believed.

However, I can't help but think that if there truly were evidence for such beliefs we would have no need for the term 'faith.'  Claims that hold up to true skepticism do not need faith.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #660 on: June 29, 2017, 10:59:09 AM »
As always sir, a very well thought out and put set of points.

Thank you.

I actually just edited my original post because I realized I had accidentally attributed your words to Zoltani in that first block (which then you and Kris quoted).

Sorry about that.

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #661 on: June 29, 2017, 11:16:51 AM »
caracarn,

You stated in your post "Christianity is not works based at all", and this is true.  But you have stated that man must satisfy a condition (faith) to become saved, correct me if I'm wrong.  This is basically just a new law with easier conditions.   It is a new works scheme.  It also can't be true because scripture will not allow it.  It permits one to boast that they have made better decisions than the next guy.  If the atonement is hypothetically universal, than person's merit becomes the difference between saved and lost.  Synergism is at the core of false religion.  It is a belief that sincere religious efforts merit reward.  For a person to believe this means they have never submitted themselves to the righteousness of the gospel, gospel being the doctrines of salvation.

I am not saying salvation happens without faith.  I am saying faith is the evidence, not the cause of salvation, it is the gift of God.  Part of saving belief is the truth that man brings no merit to the table.  Jesus alone fulfilled the conditions of the law.  Alone meaning without the added merit of sinners.  You can't mix ANY works, no matter how slight, and still have it be grace.  Grace alone is the gospel.  This is not a side issue that can be agreeably disagreed with, it is essential doctrine, meaning without agreement on this point I can't greet a so called Christian as a brother, since they have another gospel.

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #662 on: June 29, 2017, 11:18:26 AM »
Per some of the other immediate posts, I had and still do always look at the possibility that I am wrong in my understanding, and as I gather new information it can shift.  What I would ask others to consider is that some of us have gotten to where we are in our belief system be heavy examination and study of many things.  Therefore after decades of more and more validation I am very, very unlikely to be swayed in any major way because I have looked at so many facets of religion, and most specifically the Christian belief system which I believe is true.

Just to clarify - my comment was intended only as a counterpoint to Kris's comment that she does not expect believers to admit they might be wrong. I was not trying to indirectly accuse you of being close minded or unwilling to entertain that you might be mistaken (and I'm not saying you were saying that either, just wanted to make sure my intentions were clear on that).

That said, I do have a difficult time when I hear devout believers say that they approached their beliefs with true skepticism. Because after decades of study myself I have yet to find any evidence that would convince me of the divinity of Jesus, much less the existence of a deity.  I do not rule out the possibility of it, but I simply do not see how anyone is rationally justified in holding either belief (which is why they must rely on faith). 

Then again, I know many believers who have a difficult time accepting the idea than any non-believers actually did sincerely believe at one point.  So I suppose we can all be victims of the 'no true Scotsman' approach, regardless from which side we might begin.

I should probably work harder to take believers at their word when they claim to have been skeptics, much like I take them at their word when they tell me they are believers, and much like I would expect them to accept a nonbeliever who claims to have once believed.

However, I can't help but think that if there truly were evidence for such beliefs we would have no need for the term 'faith.'  Claims that hold up to true skepticism do not need faith.

I know this comment wasn't directed toward me, but I wanted to clarify the above. I did not at all say that I don't expect believers to admit they might be wrong. I actually know plenty of believers that admit the possibility. (Though people like Jim555 would probably say that alone shows they aren't actually believers, that is not my position at all.)  I meant my remarks in the context of this conversation: that there are believers here, such as Jim555, who are thoroughly convinced they are right, and who I cannot at all conceive of their being able to admit that they might be wrong.
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jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #663 on: June 29, 2017, 11:24:13 AM »
Per some of the other immediate posts, I had and still do always look at the possibility that I am wrong in my understanding, and as I gather new information it can shift.  What I would ask others to consider is that some of us have gotten to where we are in our belief system be heavy examination and study of many things.  Therefore after decades of more and more validation I am very, very unlikely to be swayed in any major way because I have looked at so many facets of religion, and most specifically the Christian belief system which I believe is true.

Just to clarify - my comment was intended only as a counterpoint to Kris's comment that she does not expect believers to admit they might be wrong. I was not trying to indirectly accuse you of being close minded or unwilling to entertain that you might be mistaken (and I'm not saying you were saying that either, just wanted to make sure my intentions were clear on that).

That said, I do have a difficult time when I hear devout believers say that they approached their beliefs with true skepticism. Because after decades of study myself I have yet to find any evidence that would convince me of the divinity of Jesus, much less the existence of a deity.  I do not rule out the possibility of it, but I simply do not see how anyone is rationally justified in holding either belief (which is why they must rely on faith). 

Then again, I know many believers who have a difficult time accepting the idea than any non-believers actually did sincerely believe at one point.  So I suppose we can all be victims of the 'no true Scotsman' approach, regardless from which side we might begin.

I should probably work harder to take believers at their word when they claim to have been skeptics, much like I take them at their word when they tell me they are believers, and much like I would expect them to accept a nonbeliever who claims to have once believed.

However, I can't help but think that if there truly were evidence for such beliefs we would have no need for the term 'faith.'  Claims that hold up to true skepticism do not need faith.

I know this comment wasn't directed toward me, but I wanted to clarify the above. I did not at all say that I don't expect believers to admit they might be wrong. I actually know plenty of believers that admit the possibility. (Though people like Jim555 would probably say that alone shows they aren't actually believers, that is not my position at all.)  I meant my remarks in the context of this conversation: that there are believers here, such as Jim555, who are thoroughly convinced they are right, and who I cannot at all conceive of their being able to admit that they might be wrong.
How could you believe in something if you didn't think it was true?  You position means you can never trust anything ever.

shenlong55

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #664 on: June 29, 2017, 11:32:09 AM »
You position means you can never trust anything ever.

Or, you could accept that the highest confidence level that we can have is ~99% and start trusting knowledge that you have 99% confidence in while still accepting new information that could change that confidence level...

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #665 on: June 29, 2017, 11:32:40 AM »
Per some of the other immediate posts, I had and still do always look at the possibility that I am wrong in my understanding, and as I gather new information it can shift.  What I would ask others to consider is that some of us have gotten to where we are in our belief system be heavy examination and study of many things.  Therefore after decades of more and more validation I am very, very unlikely to be swayed in any major way because I have looked at so many facets of religion, and most specifically the Christian belief system which I believe is true.

Just to clarify - my comment was intended only as a counterpoint to Kris's comment that she does not expect believers to admit they might be wrong. I was not trying to indirectly accuse you of being close minded or unwilling to entertain that you might be mistaken (and I'm not saying you were saying that either, just wanted to make sure my intentions were clear on that).

That said, I do have a difficult time when I hear devout believers say that they approached their beliefs with true skepticism. Because after decades of study myself I have yet to find any evidence that would convince me of the divinity of Jesus, much less the existence of a deity.  I do not rule out the possibility of it, but I simply do not see how anyone is rationally justified in holding either belief (which is why they must rely on faith). 

Then again, I know many believers who have a difficult time accepting the idea than any non-believers actually did sincerely believe at one point.  So I suppose we can all be victims of the 'no true Scotsman' approach, regardless from which side we might begin.

I should probably work harder to take believers at their word when they claim to have been skeptics, much like I take them at their word when they tell me they are believers, and much like I would expect them to accept a nonbeliever who claims to have once believed.

However, I can't help but think that if there truly were evidence for such beliefs we would have no need for the term 'faith.'  Claims that hold up to true skepticism do not need faith.

I know this comment wasn't directed toward me, but I wanted to clarify the above. I did not at all say that I don't expect believers to admit they might be wrong. I actually know plenty of believers that admit the possibility. (Though people like Jim555 would probably say that alone shows they aren't actually believers, that is not my position at all.)  I meant my remarks in the context of this conversation: that there are believers here, such as Jim555, who are thoroughly convinced they are right, and who I cannot at all conceive of their being able to admit that they might be wrong.
How could you believe in something if you didn't think it was true?  You position means you can never trust anything ever.

Nope.
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wenchsenior

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #666 on: June 29, 2017, 11:43:08 AM »
You position means you can never trust anything ever.

Or, you could accept that the highest confidence level that we can have is ~99% and start trusting knowledge that you have 99% confidence in while still accepting new information that could change that confidence level...

Which is why the philosophy of science is so useful.  We can hypothetically disprove things 100% (allowing progression away from wrong ideas), but we cannot ever prove things 100% true/known, because we must always assume that more info can come to light (which allows progress because we never fully close ourselves off to as yet untested possibilities or new data).  Provisional truth in the sciences means we have repeated and robust statistical support for something, which is usually perfectly fine to get on with our lives.

DoubleDown

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #667 on: June 29, 2017, 12:40:13 PM »
It would be interesting if individuals who are particularly hostile to Christianity substituted "Mustachianism" for "Christianity" in the arguments we have heard here. For example:

- "The members of the community don't even agree! How should we know whom to believe, or why should we believe any of them when they don't even agree about it?!"

- "I'm sick of the members always proselytizing about their beliefs! They think their way is the only right way. I like my big house and Ford F150. Quit trying to push these 'virtues' on me and make me Mustachian!"

- "I constantly see members who do not follow some of the most basic principles (like biking with groceries). They're such hypocrites! So which principles are the 'real' ones and which aren't?!"

- "Why should we believe in MMM vs., say, Financial Samurai or Rich Dad Poor Dad or Get Rich Slowly? Surely they all think they have the superior system."

- "Mustachianism is just a bunch of stories and blog articles written by an unemployed guy. There's nothing special about it."

- MMM is a fraud. This stuff doesn't work. He made it up and got rich off it."

- "Even if any of this stuff was true, it definitely isn't for me. What, I'm going to eat beans and ride a bike and reuse toilet paper forever? No thanks."

Yeah, I get it, MMM isn't a religion, per se, even though it's frequently held up as being cult-like. There are many very close parallels, however. And despite all the arguments as examples above, here we all are believing in the MMM message. How can this be? We must be a bunch of zealous, deluded people seeking fairy tales to make us feel better about our lives!
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caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #668 on: June 29, 2017, 12:48:29 PM »

However, I can't help but think that if there truly were evidence for such beliefs we would have no need for the term 'faith.'  Claims that hold up to true skepticism do not need faith.
Responding to the whole post, but this is the driver.  I have no disagreement that if there were truly evidence than you would logically say you have no need of faith to believe.  If Revelation is true and how everything will end, I do find it interesting that it contains something to show that what you are saying is still resisted by man.  That will be the rub.  Even with Jesus returned and there in reality again coming in such a way as to leave no dispute and visible across the whole globe, Revelation says that most still do not believe.  So even with TRUE evidence, which that most certainly would be, people deny what they see with their own eyes and hear with their ears. 

In regards to the earlier part of your post, I certainly have faith to get me through the final steps, as there is no tangible evidence, it is only circumstantial.  I just made one decision with that information and you made another.  You seem to need certainty to believe and I am fine with "beyond a reasonable doubt" because for me it is that close.  I do not feel as if I am jumping a chasm and a large part of that is probably related to things that have nothing to do with Christianity, but come down to odds, chances, and what a reasonable inference would be.  The response I'm going to post to zoltani's video request will dig into that a bit.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #669 on: June 29, 2017, 12:55:36 PM »
I know this comment wasn't directed toward me, but I wanted to clarify the above. I did not at all say that I don't expect believers to admit they might be wrong. I actually know plenty of believers that admit the possibility. (Though people like Jim555 would probably say that alone shows they aren't actually believers, that is not my position at all.)  I meant my remarks in the context of this conversation: that there are believers here, such as Jim555, who are thoroughly convinced they are right, and who I cannot at all conceive of their being able to admit that they might be wrong.

Sorry if I misunderstood your comment, thanks for clarifying.

Vindicated

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #670 on: June 29, 2017, 12:57:05 PM »
It would be interesting if individuals who are particularly hostile to Christianity substituted "Mustachianism" for "Christianity" in the arguments we have heard here. For example:

- "The members of the community don't even agree! How should we know whom to believe, or why should we believe any of them when they don't even agree about it?!"

- "I'm sick of the members always proselytizing about their beliefs! They think their way is the only right way. I like my big house and Ford F150. Quit trying to push these 'virtues' on me and make me Mustachian!"

- "I constantly see members who do not follow some of the most basic principles (like biking with groceries). They're such hypocrites! So which principles are the 'real' ones and which aren't?!"

- "Why should we believe in MMM vs., say, Financial Samurai or Rich Dad Poor Dad or Get Rich Slowly? Surely they all think they have the superior system."

- "Mustachianism is just a bunch of stories and blog articles written by an unemployed guy. There's nothing special about it."

- MMM is a fraud. This stuff doesn't work. He made it up and got rich off it."

- "Even if any of this stuff was true, it definitely isn't for me. What, I'm going to eat beans and ride a bike and reuse toilet paper forever? No thanks."

Yeah, I get it, MMM isn't a religion, per se, even though it's frequently held up as being cult-like. There are many very close parallels, however. And despite all the arguments as examples above, here we all are believing in the MMM message. How can this be? We must be a bunch of zealous, deluded people seeking fairy tales to make us feel better about our lives!

Doubledown,

Good points here, but I am trying to make sure I understand the analogy.

The overall goal of MMM, and each of us pursuing our own version of Mustachianism, is that we want to live a happy life through frugality to get to financial independence.  There are many ways to get there, and everyone has different levels of zealousness.

However, in Christianity, the overall goal is what?  To live a Christ-like life to get to Heaven?  So, you're saying there are many ways to get to Heaven, and different levels of Christ-like-ness to get there?
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MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #671 on: June 29, 2017, 12:58:17 PM »
How could you believe in something if you didn't think it was true?  You position means you can never trust anything ever.

This is akin to saying that if we can't know something for certain then we can't know anything at all, as if knowledge were a binary condition (all or none). 

As others have already mentioned, we have levels of confidence about our beliefs.
Absolute certainty is a myth, but it does not follow that knowledge is impossible (unless you define knowledge as absolute certain truth, but I don't know anyone that does that).

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #672 on: June 29, 2017, 01:06:21 PM »
caracarn,

You stated in your post "Christianity is not works based at all", and this is true.  But you have stated that man must satisfy a condition (faith) to become saved, correct me if I'm wrong.  This is basically just a new law with easier conditions.   It is a new works scheme.  It also can't be true because scripture will not allow it.  It permits one to boast that they have made better decisions than the next guy.  If the atonement is hypothetically universal, than person's merit becomes the difference between saved and lost.  Synergism is at the core of false religion.  It is a belief that sincere religious efforts merit reward.  For a person to believe this means they have never submitted themselves to the righteousness of the gospel, gospel being the doctrines of salvation.

I am not saying salvation happens without faith.  I am saying faith is the evidence, not the cause of salvation, it is the gift of God.  Part of saving belief is the truth that man brings no merit to the table.  Jesus alone fulfilled the conditions of the law.  Alone meaning without the added merit of sinners.  You can't mix ANY works, no matter how slight, and still have it be grace.  Grace alone is the gospel.  This is not a side issue that can be agreeably disagreed with, it is essential doctrine, meaning without agreement on this point I can't greet a so called Christian as a brother, since they have another gospel.
The fact that faith is a work is a part of the additive theology of TULIP.  It explains things into the Scriptures to get where it wants to get just it does with all five letters. 

The text that I would point you to is Romans 4:3-5 where Paul very clearly explains why the decision to have faith is NOT a work.  TULIP ignores this and pretzels around it to avoid the truth of what is said and convulse a meaning that is not there.  "Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due.  But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness."

The first sentence says that If you work (use works), yes you would have something to boast about, because as Paul clearly says then the wages are due to you.  You earned them because you worked.  In the next sentence Paul states that the one who does NOT work, who just believes, received the gift of grace from faith as the gift that God intended, not the payment for a work.  It's right there in black and white.  TULIP talks this away, but that is my point.  It needs to stop adding what is not there and ignoring what is by adding a lot of explanation to say it does not say what it says.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #673 on: June 29, 2017, 01:06:54 PM »
It would be interesting if individuals who are particularly hostile to Christianity substituted "Mustachianism" for "Christianity" in the arguments we have heard here. For example:

- "The members of the community don't even agree! How should we know whom to believe, or why should we believe any of them when they don't even agree about it?!"

- "I'm sick of the members always proselytizing about their beliefs! They think their way is the only right way. I like my big house and Ford F150. Quit trying to push these 'virtues' on me and make me Mustachian!"

- "I constantly see members who do not follow some of the most basic principles (like biking with groceries). They're such hypocrites! So which principles are the 'real' ones and which aren't?!"

- "Why should we believe in MMM vs., say, Financial Samurai or Rich Dad Poor Dad or Get Rich Slowly? Surely they all think they have the superior system."

- "Mustachianism is just a bunch of stories and blog articles written by an unemployed guy. There's nothing special about it."

- MMM is a fraud. This stuff doesn't work. He made it up and got rich off it."

- "Even if any of this stuff was true, it definitely isn't for me. What, I'm going to eat beans and ride a bike and reuse toilet paper forever? No thanks."

Yeah, I get it, MMM isn't a religion, per se, even though it's frequently held up as being cult-like. There are many very close parallels, however. And despite all the arguments as examples above, here we all are believing in the MMM message. How can this be? We must be a bunch of zealous, deluded people seeking fairy tales to make us feel better about our lives!

I realize you were being a bit tongue in cheek, but I feel that your analogy falls apart in that Pete is a living person.  You can go meet him, talk to him, and see the results of the way he lives his life.  Pete also does not make any supernatural claims that I'm aware of, which would require a whole other level of evidence.  His claims are not extraordinary, he can be proven to exist and we have all had first hand experience of his communication.

Yet even with all the evidence we DO have of his approach to life, people still debate and discuss the finer points of his yearly expenditures (with many thinking he is not being completely transparent).
Even in this case where there is tons of existing evidence people do not fully believe.

Think of the evidence that some members require to prove that living the MMM way actually works... and then try to imagine the amount of evidence future members in 2000 years might need to believe that Pete died and then rose from the dead after a few days.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 01:18:53 PM by MrDelane »

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #674 on: June 29, 2017, 01:15:02 PM »
If Revelation is true and how everything will end, I do find it interesting that it contains something to show that what you are saying is still resisted by man.  That will be the rub.  Even with Jesus returned and there in reality again coming in such a way as to leave no dispute and visible across the whole globe, Revelation says that most still do not believe.

And I would agree that at that point they would be wrong to not believe.
But as I said long ago in this thread - the time we are rationally justified to believe a claim is when there is sufficient evidence to support it, not before. 

Quote
In regards to the earlier part of your post, I certainly have faith to get me through the final steps, as there is no tangible evidence, it is only circumstantial.  I just made one decision with that information and you made another.

One small quibble on that - I don't see beliefs as a choice.
We become convinced for a variety of reasons, but we do not choose our beliefs (as evidenced by the fact that you can not 'choose' to believe Allah is the one true god, nor can I 'choose' to believe that Jesus rose from the dead).

We have each been convinced of our beliefs for a variety of reasons, and each have our own varying levels of confidence in those beliefs.

And, while I think we covered this same thing earlier in this thread it bears repeating.
Saying that we simply reached different conclusions from the same evidence is an attempt to make both conclusions seem equally reasonable.  But there is a world of difference between accepting a claim and not accepting a claim.

You have accepted a claim without sufficient evidence.  I simply do not accept the claims made because I do not see that Christianity has met its burden of proof. That is not the same as claiming that I know and believe Christianity to be false.

Quote
You seem to need certainty to believe and I am fine with "beyond a reasonable doubt" because for me it is that close.

I do not need certainty at all, and in fact have said the opposite quite a few times.
I simply need enough evidence to rationally justify the belief, and I have not seen any that is in the least bit convincing of any supernatural claims made.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 01:31:19 PM by MrDelane »

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #675 on: June 29, 2017, 01:28:28 PM »
Does one need religion, or to be religious, to have a mystical experience, to feel one with ______?

Fill in the blank with whatever you want, god, universe, brahman, allah, etc
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MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #676 on: June 29, 2017, 02:01:27 PM »
Does one need religion, or to be religious, to have a mystical experience, to feel one with ______?

Fill in the blank with whatever you want, god, universe, brahman, allah, etc

We should probably first establish whether or not ______ exists.

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #677 on: June 29, 2017, 02:05:31 PM »
caracarn,

You stated in your post "Christianity is not works based at all", and this is true.  But you have stated that man must satisfy a condition (faith) to become saved, correct me if I'm wrong.  This is basically just a new law with easier conditions.   It is a new works scheme.  It also can't be true because scripture will not allow it.  It permits one to boast that they have made better decisions than the next guy.  If the atonement is hypothetically universal, than person's merit becomes the difference between saved and lost.  Synergism is at the core of false religion.  It is a belief that sincere religious efforts merit reward.  For a person to believe this means they have never submitted themselves to the righteousness of the gospel, gospel being the doctrines of salvation.

I am not saying salvation happens without faith.  I am saying faith is the evidence, not the cause of salvation, it is the gift of God.  Part of saving belief is the truth that man brings no merit to the table.  Jesus alone fulfilled the conditions of the law.  Alone meaning without the added merit of sinners.  You can't mix ANY works, no matter how slight, and still have it be grace.  Grace alone is the gospel.  This is not a side issue that can be agreeably disagreed with, it is essential doctrine, meaning without agreement on this point I can't greet a so called Christian as a brother, since they have another gospel.
The fact that faith is a work is a part of the additive theology of TULIP.  It explains things into the Scriptures to get where it wants to get just it does with all five letters. 

The text that I would point you to is Romans 4:3-5 where Paul very clearly explains why the decision to have faith is NOT a work.  TULIP ignores this and pretzels around it to avoid the truth of what is said and convulse a meaning that is not there.  "Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due.  But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness."

The first sentence says that If you work (use works), yes you would have something to boast about, because as Paul clearly says then the wages are due to you.  You earned them because you worked.  In the next sentence Paul states that the one who does NOT work, who just believes, received the gift of grace from faith as the gift that God intended, not the payment for a work.  It's right there in black and white.  TULIP talks this away, but that is my point.  It needs to stop adding what is not there and ignoring what is by adding a lot of explanation to say it does not say what it says.
Your version of faith, that faith is the condition to be met, includes a work component.  It is indeed a work.
Biblical faith does not believe that work is a condition, but that faith is gift from God, given freely to the elect in time.  No work is involved, work is excluded by definition.  Only that faith, that looks to the perfect righteousness of Christ ALONE can justify, since only perfect meets the condition for justification.

What makes you to differ?  According to you you made better choices.  You certainly have reason to boast.  You can look down on those around you and see your superior religious efforts have merited your position with God.  Since grace comes equally to all in your view, your efforts are the deciding factor.


caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #678 on: June 29, 2017, 02:06:27 PM »
Caracarn, I would like to know your thoughts on this lecture:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVoV3z9ZzXc
OK, so listened through this on my lunch hour and made some notes.

First, points in the lecture I found interesting enough to note.
1:30 - This was the first point that I hit what I expressed as my worry about his study being Catholic.  Here he states that many believe the Bible descended from heaven in 1611 in the KJV.  I don't.  Any Christian worth 2 cents doesn't.  Only people who are drowning in the Catholic or other kool-aid do.  At any rate, this early in the lecture it appears to set the tone of his stances and he does not fail to disappoint, but I did listen to the rest of the lecture trying to avoid the Catholic distortion (which I found hilarious later when he explained how the speakers in the auditorium could distort what he was saying, while only partially acknowledging his own distortion.  He admitted that the world view he has is being raised in Christian society, but fails to realize or not the Catholicism skewed him even further through the funny house mirror).
4:15 - I find the comment that appears at around this point in his walk down "If I was God, this is what I'd want" where he says God would become bored and want a surprise so he made miracles, almost make me laugh out of my chair.  This is man trying to rationalize God's behavior through the lens that we get bored and must be entertained.  I'm pretty sure God thinks everything is just perfect.  He's not sitting around on the couch with his holey socks saying, "Again, 150,000 channels on cable and nothing on I want to watch.  I'm bored, (queue Grateful Dead riff) 'I need a miracle.'"  This was just a dumb minute of the conversation trying to align why Eastern religions have no issue with miracles and why he's OK with them to, because hey, he can see God would be bored.  Stupid.  Man is created in God's image, not God created in man's.  I think Alan missed that in seminary.
7:50 - Sadly the next Catholic idiocy.  Catholics are responsible for giving us the Bible?  Don't they wish.  They wrote the whole NT?  I did not realize Paul and the gospel writers were Catholics hundreds of years before there were any.  Then 10 seconds later he keeps going with the Catholic claim that they decided what books are in the Bible in 324.  Yes, they decided what was in the Catholic Bible which has a few things not in any Christian Bible.  Flat out the Bible he refers to is not my Bible.  I again just wrote this off to his training and obvious lack of examining broader Scriptural study.  The books of the Bible were being pulled together with documents we have from much earlier in 100 and 200AD.  We did not have to wait for the Catholics to save the Christian world and gift us the biblical texts, they were there and had a 80%+ consistent canon for hundreds of years before that.
11 - This was an excellent point, that everyone is influenced by their upbringing as far as what ideas they grasp to most easily.  I'd have a hard time getting on board with cannibalism because I did not grow up eating my neighbors, so I see this as valid.  I'd be a hard nut for me to crack.  So nothing to argue with, here.  Was eagerly anticipating where this would all go at this point.
14:30 - Humans can distort rant.  Sure this is possible, but it just seems like he's going to make the same excuses every skeptic makes that things were changed.
30 - Huge swath of the lecture where he said nothing noteworthy.  I was unclear as he got to this point in the lecture exactly what he was trying to get me to understand he thought.  Was he telling me that Jesus was delusional and that the disciples fell under his spell like a guru?  After all he made this incredible statement about the power of good gurus.  So to give it a fair shake, because I think at minimum he was saying Jesus never thought he was God just talked a good game in front of the apostles who would not turn him in for  blasphemy because he was what, a con man?  This argument is one I never buy because I get people can be suckered in in small groups and it might go on for a while, but he's implying that people suffered, were tortured and died, the world over because somehow Jesus was the greatest guru ever?  I get his belief, it just if a much higher bar for me to cross than he is who he says he was and that's why people got and STAYED on board.
33 - The argument that we can't follow Christ because we are not immortal and therefore we cannot be as bold as he was was a new one to be sure.  Not one I've heard before, but if your question is do I find it in anyway compelling to change my view?  No, because this is where is Catholic teaching is not mentioned but skews his view and what he thinks a Christian belives is the goal.  It is not my goal to live like Christ in the ways he talks about.  He's talking about works based Christianity because that is what Catholicism is.  It's all about being good (he makes that point later, again as a blanket for all Christians, which is wrong).  I do not have any thought that I cannot strive to be like Christ and I'm not afraid because I know I'm not immortal and cannot be killed.  It was a bizarre explanation he gave here.
35:30 - This I starred as the most important point after hearing the whole lecture.  The person he speaks about in this example is absolutely not a Christian who is showing saving faith, but I will give him that this is the typical Catholic.  This was one of the reasons I left and then did not attend any church for years afterwards, the old "confession on Sunday, raise hell all week" that went with Catholics.  It was the most hypocritical process I ever saw, and one that sickened me even as a child.  A true Christian does not confess their sins (and certainly does not do that to a human intermediary because I go directly to God) as Alan says, "knowing they will just do them again".  Look back at the Macarthur commentary points I posted on Romans 3 and what Paul tells us are the signs that are clear indicators of saving faith with regards to sinning.  This entire example runs 180 degree opposite of what someone who is saved would do.  The example he gives is not one of a Christian at all.
36:30 - He continues explaining how this is the message of Billy Graham.  Well Billy's message is twisted so I'd agree it may be, but it did little to get to the point he seemed to be trying to get to of why we can't follow Jesus.
41:45 - The argument that we struggle in a republic because we are wrestling with the fact that God created a celestial monarchy?  Come on.  And he wants me to be hypnotized and take that as why clearly we are all god?
44 - God revealed himself through Buddha and others?  I guess this was an attempt at the coexist bandwagon to indicate that less radicalism would help make religion more tolerable.  It would do that, but it is still a man made wish list item.  If only we could just ignore the passages in the Bible where God says he is a jealous God then it would all work.
46 - CATHOLIC CATHOLIC CATHOLIC - Man, I so wanted this guy to me more impartial.  No my church's message is not 52 weeks of dear people be good.  My Catholic church's message was that.  And here is where he goes down the rat hole that makes this whole lecture worthless to me.  I am not walking through life with guilt.  That is not my worldview from Christianity.  That is a specific group that he was trained in.  My parents walk around feeling they suck.  I get that.  His whole litany of what a church service is was so not what I have ever attended in twenty years that it just derailed any hope he had to get me to think through what his whole point was that he has already made about John 10.
47:45 - Worshiping the Bible is idolatry.  Yes it is.  Any Christian knows that.  We worship Jesus, not the Bible.  I get the point he was trying to press here, but again, no.
49:30 - Finally a good point.  Yes, you should go to church to be still.  But taking me through a 50 minute lecture to get there and claim it should be clear because of a missing Greek word and him wanting to explain the Jesus never said he was God so I should understand that I am as much god as he and we are all god? 

So overall, without study, this can be a compelling lecture to someone who is totally in the middle.  It hits all the feel good points of we each matter and we can all be our own center of the universe.  This just gets me back to the comment I made in my response up to MrDelane about that a lot of odds, chances and what a reasonable inference would be.  Ancient Greek is a tough language, as is any ancient one.  This entire lecture really hinges on the missing "the" in "the Son of God" in the Greek.  Alan certainly jumps on the religious systems jump on the bandwagon to control the masses (and I'm guessing this is why you wanted me to comment on this video zoltani, for this point alone).  And in this case he is not wrong, but that does not mean I can endorse what is a false message to get my point that religious systems may hide information from people to get them to do what they want.  The problem with this lecture is what is naturally leads to that would cross thresholds that cannot be solved by showing us how a word is not present in the Greek.  Namely, that if what Alan wants to peddle here were true, that Jesus is not God, and maybe even knew he was God, and clearly did not state he was God, that he was just a mystic that had an experience and it changed him to do good things and teach awesome messages but that we are all like him.  But the things that are not explained here are then for this to be accurate he's need to give me a plausible alternative to the resurrection and ascension accounts.  No mystic I know of, not matter how great a guru they were, rose from the dead and then appeared later and ascended into heaven on the clouds.  Those understandings by Christians are not because "the" was missing from the Greek then Scripture said "He rose from the dead".  Even if it was "He rose from dead" is still a pretty powerful statement.  Maybe Alan would explain that it meant they lifted his dead body from the pile of other dead bodies but he was still dead, we just misread the Greek to think it meant he was alive again, when instead he was just a couple feet higher in the air being carried by a couple Roman centurions before they dumped his body into a common grave.  He'd have to also explain away all other non-biblical accounts of Jesus's crucifixion and the aftermath.  And then explain he conspiracy of where his body went if he did not in fact rise.  All things which many others have tried and failed to discuss.  So as always I appreciate hearing another lecture on faith and why Alan believes we have it a little wrong, but this is not the way to get more people to God.  It just might remove some contention and discord.  I am surprised because I really thought the point of the lecture would be a hardcore skeptic pushing against the entire belief system, but instead he seems to me just trying to get Christians to think like Eastern religions about how we can all just zen out and be great people. 

ETA:  I forgot another good point her makes, about a lot of churches just being talking centers.  This is true.  They need to be teaching centers.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 02:45:10 PM by caracarn »

J Boogie

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #679 on: June 29, 2017, 02:16:23 PM »
Caracarn, I would like to know your thoughts on this lecture:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVoV3z9ZzXc
OK, so listened through this on my lunch hour and made some notes.

First, points in the lecture I found interesting enough to note.
1:30 - This was the first point that I hit what I expressed as my worry about his study being Catholic.  Here he states that many believe the Bible descended from heaven in 1611 in the KJV.  I don't.  Any Christian worth 2 cents doesn't.  Only people who are drowning in the Catholic or other kool-aid do.

Catholics neither believe this nor use the KJV.  They use the NAB. 

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #680 on: June 29, 2017, 02:30:22 PM »
caracarn,

You stated in your post "Christianity is not works based at all", and this is true.  But you have stated that man must satisfy a condition (faith) to become saved, correct me if I'm wrong.  This is basically just a new law with easier conditions.   It is a new works scheme.  It also can't be true because scripture will not allow it.  It permits one to boast that they have made better decisions than the next guy.  If the atonement is hypothetically universal, than person's merit becomes the difference between saved and lost.  Synergism is at the core of false religion.  It is a belief that sincere religious efforts merit reward.  For a person to believe this means they have never submitted themselves to the righteousness of the gospel, gospel being the doctrines of salvation.

I am not saying salvation happens without faith.  I am saying faith is the evidence, not the cause of salvation, it is the gift of God.  Part of saving belief is the truth that man brings no merit to the table.  Jesus alone fulfilled the conditions of the law.  Alone meaning without the added merit of sinners.  You can't mix ANY works, no matter how slight, and still have it be grace.  Grace alone is the gospel.  This is not a side issue that can be agreeably disagreed with, it is essential doctrine, meaning without agreement on this point I can't greet a so called Christian as a brother, since they have another gospel.
The fact that faith is a work is a part of the additive theology of TULIP.  It explains things into the Scriptures to get where it wants to get just it does with all five letters. 

The text that I would point you to is Romans 4:3-5 where Paul very clearly explains why the decision to have faith is NOT a work.  TULIP ignores this and pretzels around it to avoid the truth of what is said and convulse a meaning that is not there.  "Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due.  But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness."

The first sentence says that If you work (use works), yes you would have something to boast about, because as Paul clearly says then the wages are due to you.  You earned them because you worked.  In the next sentence Paul states that the one who does NOT work, who just believes, received the gift of grace from faith as the gift that God intended, not the payment for a work.  It's right there in black and white.  TULIP talks this away, but that is my point.  It needs to stop adding what is not there and ignoring what is by adding a lot of explanation to say it does not say what it says.
Your version of faith, that faith is the condition to be met, includes a work component.  It is indeed a work.
Biblical faith does not believe that work is a condition, but that faith is gift from God, given freely to the elect in time.  No work is involved, work is excluded by definition.  Only that faith, that looks to the perfect righteousness of Christ ALONE can justify, since only perfect meets the condition for justification.

What makes you to differ?  According to you you made better choices.  You certainly have reason to boast.  You can look down on those around you and see your superior religious efforts have merited your position with God.  Since grace comes equally to all in your view, your efforts are the deciding factor.
You do understand Romans 4:3-5 is in the Bible right?  Paul plainly tells you right there faith is not a work.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #681 on: June 29, 2017, 02:31:20 PM »
Caracarn, I would like to know your thoughts on this lecture:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVoV3z9ZzXc
OK, so listened through this on my lunch hour and made some notes.

First, points in the lecture I found interesting enough to note.
1:30 - This was the first point that I hit what I expressed as my worry about his study being Catholic.  Here he states that many believe the Bible descended from heaven in 1611 in the KJV.  I don't.  Any Christian worth 2 cents doesn't.  Only people who are drowning in the Catholic or other kool-aid do.

Catholics neither believe this nor use the KJV.  They use the NAB.
Then I guess this ex-Catholic priest's training was even more flawed than I thought.

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #682 on: June 29, 2017, 02:44:24 PM »
Caracarn, I would like to know your thoughts on this lecture:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVoV3z9ZzXc
OK, so listened through this on my lunch hour and made some notes.

First, points in the lecture I found interesting enough to note.
1:30 - This was the first point that I hit what I expressed as my worry about his study being Catholic.  Here he states that many believe the Bible descended from heaven in 1611 in the KJV.  I don't.  Any Christian worth 2 cents doesn't.  Only people who are drowning in the Catholic or other kool-aid do.

Catholics neither believe this nor use the KJV.  They use the NAB.
Then I guess this ex-Catholic priest's training was even more flawed than I thought.



The cognitive bias is strong with you.
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #683 on: June 29, 2017, 02:46:12 PM »
Caracarn, I would like to know your thoughts on this lecture:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVoV3z9ZzXc
OK, so listened through this on my lunch hour and made some notes.

First, points in the lecture I found interesting enough to note.
1:30 - This was the first point that I hit what I expressed as my worry about his study being Catholic.  Here he states that many believe the Bible descended from heaven in 1611 in the KJV.  I don't.  Any Christian worth 2 cents doesn't.  Only people who are drowning in the Catholic or other kool-aid do.

Catholics neither believe this nor use the KJV.  They use the NAB.
Then I guess this ex-Catholic priest's training was even more flawed than I thought.



The cognitive bias is strong with you.

Did you not see my post?  I listened to 51:12 all the way to the end and had comments all the way through.  I left you a huge response.

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #684 on: June 29, 2017, 02:46:55 PM »
You do understand Romans 4:3-5 is in the Bible right?  Paul plainly tells you right there faith is not a work.
Correct.  But what you believe is a work, it is not Biblical faith.  You wrapped works into what you believe.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.


zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #685 on: June 29, 2017, 02:54:42 PM »
  I my friends am a sinner, and just as Paul, I believe myself chief among sinners, so I struggle and pray for deliverance from these sins daily.  I can see progress over my lifetime in this regard, but I also understand this will likely never be fully conquered until I am with the Lord in paradise.  Therefore I am eternally grateful for the undeserved grace the Lord poured on me where he washes me clean of the sinful thoughts I have of the beautiful brunette in front of me in church that week. 

46 - CATHOLIC CATHOLIC CATHOLIC - Man, I so wanted this guy to me more impartial.  No my church's message is not 52 weeks of dear people be good.  My Catholic church's message was that.  And here is where he goes down the rat hole that makes this whole lecture worthless to me. I am not walking through life with guilt. That is not my worldview from Christianity.  That is a specific group that he was trained in.  My parents walk around feeling they suck.  I get that.  His whole litany of what a church service is was so not what I have ever attended in twenty years that it just derailed any hope he had to get me to think through what his whole point was that he has already made about John 10.

These two quotes of yours are at odds with each other and is exactly what he is talking about here.

Of course it is unlike any church service you have been to in 20 years since this lecture was probably given in the 60s. You do have to frame it in that time period.
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #686 on: June 29, 2017, 03:06:51 PM »
  I my friends am a sinner, and just as Paul, I believe myself chief among sinners, so I struggle and pray for deliverance from these sins daily.  I can see progress over my lifetime in this regard, but I also understand this will likely never be fully conquered until I am with the Lord in paradise.  Therefore I am eternally grateful for the undeserved grace the Lord poured on me where he washes me clean of the sinful thoughts I have of the beautiful brunette in front of me in church that week. 

46 - CATHOLIC CATHOLIC CATHOLIC - Man, I so wanted this guy to me more impartial.  No my church's message is not 52 weeks of dear people be good.  My Catholic church's message was that.  And here is where he goes down the rat hole that makes this whole lecture worthless to me. I am not walking through life with guilt. That is not my worldview from Christianity.  That is a specific group that he was trained in.  My parents walk around feeling they suck.  I get that.  His whole litany of what a church service is was so not what I have ever attended in twenty years that it just derailed any hope he had to get me to think through what his whole point was that he has already made about John 10.

These two quotes of yours are at odds with each other and is exactly what he is talking about here.

Of course it is unlike any church service you have been to in 20 years since this lecture was probably given in the 60s. You do have to frame it in that time period.
Ah.  The lecture showed post in 2017, so no idea it was that old.  My point being that a modern Catholic church service is all about guilt.  It has nothing to do with the 60s, it has to do with the methods of the sect.  I have not attended a service like that in 20 years because Protestant churches and the Bible are not about guilt.  Catholic churches institutionalized guilt, which I would agree IS his point, but expanding that the Christianity is patently false, which was why I raised it.

And no my two quotes are not at odds with each other, because you are attributing my first quote as indicative of feelings of guilt.  I am simply acknowledging that I still sin and I have a burden to improve that as a follower of Christ.  If you are implying that Alan is telling me I should not have any desire to stop doing wrong things, then that's not a very help philosophy for anyone. 

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #687 on: June 29, 2017, 03:11:40 PM »
You do understand Romans 4:3-5 is in the Bible right?  Paul plainly tells you right there faith is not a work.
Correct.  But what you believe is a work, it is not Biblical faith.  You wrapped works into what you believe.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Jim I'll make one more attempt.

I did not wrap anything.  I explained what Paul said in the Bible.  He said it is not a work.  I'm not sure why you are indicating I said something.  I am not saying anything here other than saying Paul very clearly teaches believing is not a work and you keep saying I'm saying something that is.  I pointed you to Romans 4:3-5 as the text that indicates your understanding is wrong.  Tossing other verses out that say man should not be saved by works does nothing to refute that.

Paul disagrees with you.  I'm asking for you to explain why Paul is wrong, but you keep taking the easy route and saying I am wrong.  I am not saying anything.  I'm asking you to tell us why the Bible says one thing but you read another.  Give us the TULIP commentary on 4:3-5 and how Paul was wrong and believing is in fact a work.

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #688 on: June 29, 2017, 03:14:06 PM »
OK, so listened through this on my lunch hour and made some notes.
7:50 - Sadly the next Catholic idiocy.  Catholics are responsible for giving us the Bible?  Don't they wish.  They wrote the whole NT?  I did not realize Paul and the gospel writers were Catholics hundreds of years before there were any.  Then 10 seconds later he keeps going with the Catholic claim that they decided what books are in the Bible in 324.  Yes, they decided what was in the Catholic Bible which has a few things not in any Christian Bible.  Flat out the Bible he refers to is not my Bible.  I again just wrote this off to his training and obvious lack of examining broader Scriptural study.  The books of the Bible were being pulled together with documents we have from much earlier in 100 and 200AD.  We did not have to wait for the Catholics to save the Christian world and gift us the biblical texts, they were there and had a 80%+ consistent canon for hundreds of years before that.

He said that the catholics were responsible for promulgating the bible, the vulgate bible, under Pope Damasus in 382 AD, the most influential text know as the "Bible" for thousands of years.

For over a thousand years (c. AD 400–1530), the Vulgate was the definitive edition of the most influential text in Western European society. Indeed, for most Western Christians, it was the only version of the Bible ever encountered. The Vulgate's influence throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance into the Early Modern Period is even greater than that of the King James Version in English; for Christians during these times the phraseology and wording of the Vulgate permeated all areas of the culture.

Aside from its use in prayer, liturgy and private study, the Vulgate served as inspiration for ecclesiastical art and architecture, hymns, countless paintings, and popular mystery plays.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 03:16:09 PM by zoltani »
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #689 on: June 29, 2017, 03:16:30 PM »
You do understand Romans 4:3-5 is in the Bible right?  Paul plainly tells you right there faith is not a work.
Correct.  But what you believe is a work, it is not Biblical faith.  You wrapped works into what you believe.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Jim I'll make one more attempt.

I did not wrap anything.  I explained what Paul said in the Bible.  He said it is not a work.  I'm not sure why you are indicating I said something.  I am not saying anything here other than saying Paul very clearly teaches believing is not a work and you keep saying I'm saying something that is.  I pointed you to Romans 4:3-5 as the text that indicates your understanding is wrong.  Tossing other verses out that say man should not be saved by works does nothing to refute that.

Paul disagrees with you.  I'm asking for you to explain why Paul is wrong, but you keep taking the easy route and saying I am wrong.  I am not saying anything.  I'm asking you to tell us why the Bible says one thing but you read another.  Give us the TULIP commentary on 4:3-5 and how Paul was wrong and believing is in fact a work.
I don't want to turn the thread into a verse war.  You clearly have a different gospel than I do.

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #690 on: June 29, 2017, 03:29:00 PM »
  I my friends am a sinner, and just as Paul, I believe myself chief among sinners, so I struggle and pray for deliverance from these sins daily.  I can see progress over my lifetime in this regard, but I also understand this will likely never be fully conquered until I am with the Lord in paradise.  Therefore I am eternally grateful for the undeserved grace the Lord poured on me where he washes me clean of the sinful thoughts I have of the beautiful brunette in front of me in church that week. 

46 - CATHOLIC CATHOLIC CATHOLIC - Man, I so wanted this guy to me more impartial.  No my church's message is not 52 weeks of dear people be good.  My Catholic church's message was that.  And here is where he goes down the rat hole that makes this whole lecture worthless to me. I am not walking through life with guilt. That is not my worldview from Christianity.  That is a specific group that he was trained in.  My parents walk around feeling they suck.  I get that.  His whole litany of what a church service is was so not what I have ever attended in twenty years that it just derailed any hope he had to get me to think through what his whole point was that he has already made about John 10.

These two quotes of yours are at odds with each other and is exactly what he is talking about here.

Of course it is unlike any church service you have been to in 20 years since this lecture was probably given in the 60s. You do have to frame it in that time period.
Ah.  The lecture showed post in 2017, so no idea it was that old.  My point being that a modern Catholic church service is all about guilt.  It has nothing to do with the 60s, it has to do with the methods of the sect.  I have not attended a service like that in 20 years because Protestant churches and the Bible are not about guilt.  Catholic churches institutionalized guilt, which I would agree IS his point, but expanding that the Christianity is patently false, which was why I raised it.

And no my two quotes are not at odds with each other, because you are attributing my first quote as indicative of feelings of guilt.  I am simply acknowledging that I still sin and I have a burden to improve that as a follower of Christ.  If you are implying that Alan is telling me I should not have any desire to stop doing wrong things, then that's not a very help philosophy for anyone.

You were talking about feelings of guilt, sin, for looking at an attractive woman. You can conveniently call it sin and not guilt, but that is what it is. To me that makes it about guilt. Your pastor needs his woman to tell him to avert his eyes when another attractive woman is walking towards him? Why would he need that if he doesn't have guilt? Why would he tell you this story except in order to guilt you and the men in your group?

From the lecture:
"Born of a virgin, knowing he is the son of God, having the power of miracles, knowing that basically it’s impossible to kill him, that he’s going to rise again in the end. And we are asked to take up our cross and follow him when we don’t know that about ourselves at all! So what happens is this: we are delivered, therefore, a Gospel which is in fact an impossible religion. It’s impossible to follow the Way of Christ. Alright. Many a Christian has admitted it. “I am a miserable sinner. I fall far short of the example of Christ.” But do you realize the more you say that the better you are? Because what happened was that Christianity institutionalized guilt as a virtue. You see, you can never come up to it. Never. And therefore you will always be aware of your shortcomings, and so the more shortcomings you feel the more – in other words – you are aware of the vast abyss between Christ and yourself.

This is the Christianity of most people. Now there is a much more subtle Christianity of the theologians, the mystics, and the philosophers. But it’s not what gets preached from the pulpit, grant you. But the message of Billy Graham is approximately what I’ve given you, and of all – what I will call – fundamentalist forms of Catholicism and Protestantism."
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 03:38:38 PM by zoltani »
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #691 on: June 29, 2017, 04:15:45 PM »
You do understand Romans 4:3-5 is in the Bible right?  Paul plainly tells you right there faith is not a work.
Correct.  But what you believe is a work, it is not Biblical faith.  You wrapped works into what you believe.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Jim I'll make one more attempt.

I did not wrap anything.  I explained what Paul said in the Bible.  He said it is not a work.  I'm not sure why you are indicating I said something.  I am not saying anything here other than saying Paul very clearly teaches believing is not a work and you keep saying I'm saying something that is.  I pointed you to Romans 4:3-5 as the text that indicates your understanding is wrong.  Tossing other verses out that say man should not be saved by works does nothing to refute that.

Paul disagrees with you.  I'm asking for you to explain why Paul is wrong, but you keep taking the easy route and saying I am wrong.  I am not saying anything.  I'm asking you to tell us why the Bible says one thing but you read another.  Give us the TULIP commentary on 4:3-5 and how Paul was wrong and believing is in fact a work.
I don't want to turn the thread into a verse war.  You clearly have a different gospel than I do.

And Jim loses the argument.  Not with a bang but with a whimper.  Disappointing.
Frugalite in training.

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #692 on: June 29, 2017, 04:24:40 PM »
Caracarn, I would like to know your thoughts on this lecture:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVoV3z9ZzXc
OK, so listened through this on my lunch hour and made some notes.

First, points in the lecture I found interesting enough to note.
1:30 - This was the first point that I hit what I expressed as my worry about his study being Catholic.  Here he states that many believe the Bible descended from heaven in 1611 in the KJV.  I don't.  Any Christian worth 2 cents doesn't.  Only people who are drowning in the Catholic or other kool-aid do.

Catholics neither believe this nor use the KJV.  They use the NAB.
Then I guess this ex-Catholic priest's training was even more flawed than I thought.

I understand you listened to the lecture, but you didn't really pay attention. Nowhere did he state that catholics use the KLV of the bible. So you have dismissed the lecturer and the lecture itself at the beginning based on something that was not said. I do not think you can listen to this with an objective viewpoint. He did not even mention the word catholic until talking about the version of the bible finalized in 382 AD. You obviously have some major bias against catholic, read one of the comments about him being a former catholic priest, and confirmed your bias before even listening. I have read the transcript of the lecture and you misrepresent most of what was said. 

Here is the part about the KJV for you to read:
"Some years ago I had just given a talk on television in Canada when one of the announcers came up to me and said “You know, if one can believe that this universe is in charge of an intelligent and beneficent God, don’t you think he would naturally have provided us with an infallible guide to behavior and to the truth about the universe?” And of course I knew he meant the Bible. I said “No, I think nothing of the kind. Because I think a loving God would not do something to His children that would rot their brains.”

Because if we had an infallible guide we would never think for ourselves, and therefore our minds would become atrophied. It is as if my grandfather left me a million dollars: I’m glad he didn’t.” And we have therefore to begin any discussion of the meaning of the life and teaching of Jesus with a look at this thorny question of “authority.” And especially the authority of Holy Scripture. Because in this country in particular [the USA] there are an enormous number of people who seem to believe that the Bible descended from Heaven with an angel in the year sixteen-hundred and eleven, which was when the so-called King James – or more correctly Authorized – version of the Bible was translated into English.

I had a crazy uncle who believed that every word of the Bible was literally true including the marginal notes. And so whatever date it said in the marginal notes, that the world was created in 4004, B.C., and he believed it as the Word of God. Until one day he was reading – I think – a passage in the book of Proverbs and found a naughty word in the Bible. And from that time on he was through with it. You know, how Protestant can you get?"


Here is the transcript for anyone interested:
https://amp3083.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/alan-watts-jesus-christ-christianity/
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 04:28:07 PM by zoltani »
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #693 on: June 29, 2017, 05:25:47 PM »
  I my friends am a sinner, and just as Paul, I believe myself chief among sinners, so I struggle and pray for deliverance from these sins daily.  I can see progress over my lifetime in this regard, but I also understand this will likely never be fully conquered until I am with the Lord in paradise.  Therefore I am eternally grateful for the undeserved grace the Lord poured on me where he washes me clean of the sinful thoughts I have of the beautiful brunette in front of me in church that week. 

46 - CATHOLIC CATHOLIC CATHOLIC - Man, I so wanted this guy to me more impartial.  No my church's message is not 52 weeks of dear people be good.  My Catholic church's message was that.  And here is where he goes down the rat hole that makes this whole lecture worthless to me. I am not walking through life with guilt. That is not my worldview from Christianity.  That is a specific group that he was trained in.  My parents walk around feeling they suck.  I get that.  His whole litany of what a church service is was so not what I have ever attended in twenty years that it just derailed any hope he had to get me to think through what his whole point was that he has already made about John 10.

These two quotes of yours are at odds with each other and is exactly what he is talking about here.

Of course it is unlike any church service you have been to in 20 years since this lecture was probably given in the 60s. You do have to frame it in that time period.
Ah.  The lecture showed post in 2017, so no idea it was that old.  My point being that a modern Catholic church service is all about guilt.  It has nothing to do with the 60s, it has to do with the methods of the sect.  I have not attended a service like that in 20 years because Protestant churches and the Bible are not about guilt.  Catholic churches institutionalized guilt, which I would agree IS his point, but expanding that the Christianity is patently false, which was why I raised it.

And no my two quotes are not at odds with each other, because you are attributing my first quote as indicative of feelings of guilt.  I am simply acknowledging that I still sin and I have a burden to improve that as a follower of Christ.  If you are implying that Alan is telling me I should not have any desire to stop doing wrong things, then that's not a very help philosophy for anyone.

You were talking about feelings of guilt, sin, for looking at an attractive woman. You can conveniently call it sin and not guilt, but that is what it is. To me that makes it about guilt. Your pastor needs his woman to tell him to avert his eyes when another attractive woman is walking towards him? Why would he need that if he doesn't have guilt? Why would he tell you this story except in order to guilt you and the men in your group?

From the lecture:
"Born of a virgin, knowing he is the son of God, having the power of miracles, knowing that basically it’s impossible to kill him, that he’s going to rise again in the end. And we are asked to take up our cross and follow him when we don’t know that about ourselves at all! So what happens is this: we are delivered, therefore, a Gospel which is in fact an impossible religion. It’s impossible to follow the Way of Christ. Alright. Many a Christian has admitted it. “I am a miserable sinner. I fall far short of the example of Christ.” But do you realize the more you say that the better you are? Because what happened was that Christianity institutionalized guilt as a virtue. You see, you can never come up to it. Never. And therefore you will always be aware of your shortcomings, and so the more shortcomings you feel the more – in other words – you are aware of the vast abyss between Christ and yourself.

This is the Christianity of most people. Now there is a much more subtle Christianity of the theologians, the mystics, and the philosophers. But it’s not what gets preached from the pulpit, grant you. But the message of Billy Graham is approximately what I’ve given you, and of all – what I will call – fundamentalist forms of Catholicism and Protestantism."
I think it is convenient to think sin and guilt are interchangeable.  I do not know your scriptural experience, but I can almost assure you that Alan would completely disagree with you as well on this.  Sin is disobeying God.  It is not guilt at all.  And the church did not institutionalize it as you can only sin against God.  The wording Alan uses clearly shows that he understands to two are not the same because a theologian would clearly understand that stating the church institutionalized sin is so clearly wrong as to render it absurd.  Sin if a transgression against God.  It is an act.  Guilt is the a feeling not an act.  I can sin.  I cannot guilt.

Therefore I still stand by what I said, and I can do so confidently , because I do not feel guilt about these things, because I am not giving up not committing that sin. If I did, it would clearly be an indication of my lack of salvation because I have no desire to not sin.  The other thing that does not equate here, is that my feeling that way is totally driven by my relationship with God not the church.  This is why Alan's argument for a Christian is totally wrong unless from a works based perspective as he was taught in Catholicism.  Saying I am a sinner more and more does not make anything better.  I find his statement totally clueless.  That's as he clearly said in his whole lecture is, his opinion, and I do not agree with it.  The piece of left out in his statement is "This is the Christianity of most people THAT I KNOW".  It is what gets preached from the pulpit at churches that teach wrongly, but as I said that's not Biblical Christianity.

So at this point, what are you trying to encourage me to see here, because I've already said, I get he establishes the case the organized religion has problems as designed. I've already said that denominations are the worst thing that happened to Christianity.  Alan never speaks about independent churches, even in this quote he's fixated on Catholicism and Protestant denominations. 


caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #694 on: June 29, 2017, 05:42:07 PM »
Caracarn, I would like to know your thoughts on this lecture:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVoV3z9ZzXc
OK, so listened through this on my lunch hour and made some notes.

First, points in the lecture I found interesting enough to note.
1:30 - This was the first point that I hit what I expressed as my worry about his study being Catholic.  Here he states that many believe the Bible descended from heaven in 1611 in the KJV.  I don't.  Any Christian worth 2 cents doesn't.  Only people who are drowning in the Catholic or other kool-aid do.

Catholics neither believe this nor use the KJV.  They use the NAB.
Then I guess this ex-Catholic priest's training was even more flawed than I thought.

I understand you listened to the lecture, but you didn't really pay attention. Nowhere did he state that catholics use the KLV of the bible. So you have dismissed the lecturer and the lecture itself at the beginning based on something that was not said. I do not think you can listen to this with an objective viewpoint. He did not even mention the word catholic until talking about the version of the bible finalized in 382 AD. You obviously have some major bias against catholic, read one of the comments about him being a former catholic priest, and confirmed your bias before even listening. I have read the transcript of the lecture and you misrepresent most of what was said. 

Here is the part about the KJV for you to read:
"Some years ago I had just given a talk on television in Canada when one of the announcers came up to me and said “You know, if one can believe that this universe is in charge of an intelligent and beneficent God, don’t you think he would naturally have provided us with an infallible guide to behavior and to the truth about the universe?” And of course I knew he meant the Bible. I said “No, I think nothing of the kind. Because I think a loving God would not do something to His children that would rot their brains.”

Because if we had an infallible guide we would never think for ourselves, and therefore our minds would become atrophied. It is as if my grandfather left me a million dollars: I’m glad he didn’t.” And we have therefore to begin any discussion of the meaning of the life and teaching of Jesus with a look at this thorny question of “authority.” And especially the authority of Holy Scripture. Because in this country in particular [the USA] there are an enormous number of people who seem to believe that the Bible descended from Heaven with an angel in the year sixteen-hundred and eleven, which was when the so-called King James – or more correctly Authorized – version of the Bible was translated into English.

I had a crazy uncle who believed that every word of the Bible was literally true including the marginal notes. And so whatever date it said in the marginal notes, that the world was created in 4004, B.C., and he believed it as the Word of God. Until one day he was reading – I think – a passage in the book of Proverbs and found a naughty word in the Bible. And from that time on he was through with it. You know, how Protestant can you get?"


Here is the transcript for anyone interested:
https://amp3083.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/alan-watts-jesus-christ-christianity/

Zoltani, as I said I listened on my lunch hour and yes, I'm not studying this as a scholar and hanging on every word.  A guy I do not know on the internet asked me spend and hour of time listening to something and wanted to know what I think then lectures me that I did not listen well enough for him.  Did I go into it with a bias because he was Catholic?  Certainly.  Before I respond more to that, here is the text (thanks for the link to the transcript, that would have been preferred as it is easier to follow than the recording which is hard to understand) "Because in this country in particular [the USA] there are an enormous number of people who seem to believe that the Bible descended from Heaven with an angel in the year sixteen-hundred and eleven, which was when the so-called King James – or more correctly Authorized – version of the Bible was translated into English."  I simply pointed out that this belief is so easily shown false that it is almost not worth mentioning.  I'm guilty as charged in attesting it to the Catholic church because of the tie later to Pope Damascus somehow being credited with the spread of the Bible.  Until the printing press occured no common man had the Bible so 382 was not the beginning of anything. 

You may not have seen that I was raised Catholic.  I came up in that horrendous system, and I feel it leads many a good Christian astray.  My parents struggle with the teachings all the time and I explain the actual Biblical text.  They have no connection to God because the Catholic church does not encourage that.  They encourage following rituals and sacraments.  The encourage confession to priests.

I have no idea what you wanted me to give you in response, as you feel I did not listen objectively.  How do you come to that basis?  Because I disagree with the details of points he makes?  I would never be so dismissive of you had I asked you to listen as to insult you and say you dismissed the lecturer.  Do you honestly think I would have spent 51 minutes listening to a lecture I had dismissed.  How stupid do you think I am?  I think this lecture is bunk but I'm going to waste my time listening instead of doing something worthwhile.  I'm sorry I was not a meticulous listener, but yes I take offense to your condescending tone about how I did not care about the lecture because you tossed me a totally open question and now do not like my responses.  As I said, he makes several valid points, but his examples are tainted by the warped view of his Catholic teaching.  You can disagree with my opinions but it does not mean I was not listening to what was said.  And I did not have the luxury of checking what I was hearing with a nice transcript until later. 

So if you want to share what you were hoping I'd get from this I can try to respond to that, but I do not getr how not even knowing why you asked the question this is how you choose to respond.  I figured you'd look at where I disagreed and perhaps ask further questions and dialogue, not go through a hearing examination.

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #695 on: June 29, 2017, 05:49:03 PM »
You do understand Romans 4:3-5 is in the Bible right?  Paul plainly tells you right there faith is not a work.
Correct.  But what you believe is a work, it is not Biblical faith.  You wrapped works into what you believe.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Jim I'll make one more attempt.

I did not wrap anything.  I explained what Paul said in the Bible.  He said it is not a work.  I'm not sure why you are indicating I said something.  I am not saying anything here other than saying Paul very clearly teaches believing is not a work and you keep saying I'm saying something that is.  I pointed you to Romans 4:3-5 as the text that indicates your understanding is wrong.  Tossing other verses out that say man should not be saved by works does nothing to refute that.

Paul disagrees with you.  I'm asking for you to explain why Paul is wrong, but you keep taking the easy route and saying I am wrong.  I am not saying anything.  I'm asking you to tell us why the Bible says one thing but you read another.  Give us the TULIP commentary on 4:3-5 and how Paul was wrong and believing is in fact a work.
I don't want to turn the thread into a verse war.  You clearly have a different gospel than I do.

And Jim loses the argument.  Not with a bang but with a whimper.  Disappointing.
I made my points, further back and forth would not be productive.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #696 on: June 29, 2017, 05:59:39 PM »
I made my points, further back and forth would not be productive.

I assume when you say 'not productive' you mean for yourself.
But I think you might discount the potential value this has for people reading it.

I don't think either you nor Caracarn expect to change each others minds, but there are many people reading along that may be interested in learning more about each of your viewpoints (myself among them).

But obviously you're under no obligation to explain your interpretations further if you'd rather not.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #697 on: June 29, 2017, 06:06:37 PM »
OK, so listened through this on my lunch hour and made some notes.
7:50 - Sadly the next Catholic idiocy.  Catholics are responsible for giving us the Bible?  Don't they wish.  They wrote the whole NT?  I did not realize Paul and the gospel writers were Catholics hundreds of years before there were any.  Then 10 seconds later he keeps going with the Catholic claim that they decided what books are in the Bible in 324.  Yes, they decided what was in the Catholic Bible which has a few things not in any Christian Bible.  Flat out the Bible he refers to is not my Bible.  I again just wrote this off to his training and obvious lack of examining broader Scriptural study.  The books of the Bible were being pulled together with documents we have from much earlier in 100 and 200AD.  We did not have to wait for the Catholics to save the Christian world and gift us the biblical texts, they were there and had a 80%+ consistent canon for hundreds of years before that.

He said that the catholics were responsible for promulgating the bible, the vulgate bible, under Pope Damasus in 382 AD, the most influential text know as the "Bible" for thousands of years.

For over a thousand years (c. AD 400–1530), the Vulgate was the definitive edition of the most influential text in Western European society. Indeed, for most Western Christians, it was the only version of the Bible ever encountered. The Vulgate's influence throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance into the Early Modern Period is even greater than that of the King James Version in English; for Christians during these times the phraseology and wording of the Vulgate permeated all areas of the culture.

Aside from its use in prayer, liturgy and private study, the Vulgate served as inspiration for ecclesiastical art and architecture, hymns, countless paintings, and popular mystery plays.

"We Westerners got the Bible thanks to the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church and members of the church wrote the books of the New Testament. "

From the transcript.  So did I mishear that the Catholic Church wrote the New Testament or is his transcript wrong too?

Yes he says they then promulgated it later, but he said they wrote it as well. You do understand the Bible was not available to anyone to read during this thousand years if for no other reason than most people could not read, right?  That was the excitement of the Protestant Reformation, that finally people could actually read the Bible for themselves.  It was only influential because people orally heard whatever the clergy shared of it.

And I still would be curious what is your actual personal experience with the Catholic church, versus talking to others?  Most Catholics do not own a Bible.  My parents some of the most devout Catholics one would probably see, so not and do not know how to look up a verse in it when I hand them mine.  Go into a Catholic church.  You'll see lots of missalettes or reading books but you will not see one Bible in the pews.  Watch Catholics come to church.  Few if any, of them carry a Bible.  And the mass in Latin until Vatican II so most people had no idea what was going on, so how exactly was the Catholic church spreading the Bible?  Alan equates scribes making copies that are sent to churches to sit on the altar as spreading the Bible.  I think that is a fraudulent opinion.  The readings in the Catholic church cannon recycle every three years and they are read from a Lectionary not a Bible and contain inserted phrases for clarification.
 Entire books of the Bible are never used.  The readings are usually no more than 5-10 verses long.  In a Bible that contains 23,145 verses only being exposed to about 1,560 of them at most is promulgating the spread of the Bible how?  By spreading 7% of it?  I'm get that you do not understand my vehemence against all the Catholic church likes to take credit for, but spreading true Christianity is not one of their victories.  The whole reason I got involved in this thread is Boogie clearly is one of the rare Catholics that actually did more than attend mass and hear the little that was read and seemed to take the same interest in learning about God that I had, and instead found nothing but emptiness in the shallow pool that Catholic teaching provides.  That's why I suggested getting involved with a very solid Bible teaching church before he walked away.  I get I might have gotten a poor parish, but talking to thousands of Catholics over my lifetime in hundreds of churches who shared the same experience seemed enough of a sample size to verify the entire system is devoid of properly feeding the congregation the Word.  Homiles are not even about the Scripture, but little talks about whatever interests the priest that week for the 10 minutes he gets to talk because he has to get through 40 minutes of ritual to get everyone out the door in an hour or less. 

Pigeon

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #698 on: June 29, 2017, 06:27:45 PM »
Quote
And I still would be curious what is your actual personal experience with the Catholic church, versus talking to others?  Most Catholics do not own a Bible.  My parents some of the most devout Catholics one would probably see, so not and do not know how to look up a verse in it when I hand them mine.  Go into a Catholic church.  You'll see lots of missalettes or reading books but you will not see one Bible in the pews.

Having been raised Catholic, in a very Catholic part of the country, and still going to a few different Catholic churches in several different states for family occasions, that is simply not my experience at all.  Every Catholic family I know has at least one bible.  They attend bible study groups.  There is a bible right next to the hymn book in every pew.  I flipped through one a few months ago, waiting for my father's funeral to start.  We studied the bible in Catholic school.

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #699 on: June 29, 2017, 06:59:32 PM »
I made my points, further back and forth would not be productive.

I assume when you say 'not productive' you mean for yourself.
But I think you might discount the potential value this has for people reading it.

I don't think either you nor Caracarn expect to change each others minds, but there are many people reading along that may be interested in learning more about each of your viewpoints (myself among them).

But obviously you're under no obligation to explain your interpretations further if you'd rather not.
Very well, I guess I can elaborate further. 

Caracarn is saying I am saying faith is a work.  I am saying HIS faith IS a work, because he has mixed work into what he believes.  If you believe 0.00001% of your salvation is contingent on your acts, then you ARE being justified by works.  No flesh is ever justified by works, period.  Even in the slightest degree.

Biblical faith is not a work as he points out in Romans 4:3-5 and I agree with that totally.  Biblical faith knows faith is the gift of God, it looks to the finished atoning work of Jesus for perfect righteousness, and based on that alone it justifies.  Jesus justified His people apart from their best religious efforts.  They are saved despite who they are, not because of what they do.

This seemingly minor side point is not minor at all, it cuts right to the core of the gospel.  Self-righteous religionists hate the doctrine since it cuts them down, and they will rail against it.  You have NO satisfactory work that can ever be pleasing to God, ever!  They can't see this because the Holy Spirit has never shown that to them.  They refuse to come as the ungodly, in fact they can't even see it at all.  Gospel repentance is refutation that your best works are dung and looks to Christ's righteousness alone and the foundation for justification. 

Works gospels are seemingly plausible to the unregenerate, but impossible to the regenerate.  Very insidious are the variations of the works schemes.