It is okay to debate but more than 90% of your edits should not be talk see 90/10 rule -- 12:30, 8 May 2008 (EDT)
Roman Catholic Church
Why do you believe that Catholics are only pretending to be Christians? I am a Catholic and I certainly consider myself a Christian. I understand that you may interpret the Bible differently from myself, but I consider that belief to be offensive and manifestly untrue. --IlTrovatore 21:37, 16 May 2008 (EDT)
Never said that. Never said that Catholics "pretend" to be Christian. That implies that they knowingly lie about their faith, which I don't believe they do. I bet most Roman Catholics really do believe they are Christians, and I wouldn't doubt that some of them actually are. But that would be despite the Roman Catholic Church, not because of it. What I said is that the Roman Catholic Church is not Christian. Their official church theology is un-Biblical. (Prayer to Mary, Baptism necessary for salvation, being infused with grace so that you can work out your own salvation, etc.) As far as you go, I don’t claim to know whether your saved or not. You would have to explain what your thoughts are on how to be saved for me to be able to offer an opinion. Ultimahero 01:18, 17 May 2008 (EDT)
I am slightly confused about your distinction between someone who believes he is a Christian and someone who actually is. I maintain that Christianity is about an individual's personal beliefs and personal spirituality, not the degree to which he or she is able to absorb the decrees of others regarding Biblical interpretation. I believe that the Bible must be understood in its proper historical, cultural, and literary contexts before it can be understood in terms of its spiritual implications. When faced with the inevitable fact that the Bible is a compilation of a number of different perspectives and that it contains certain internal contradictions, I believe that we must look beyond minutiae and focus on the bigger picture. One of the most salient ideas in the Bible is that of God's ultimate goodness, infinite love, and utterly unknowable nature. Such an omnibenevolent God would never condemn those who have chosen an "incorrect" path in life. A God that punishes and smites the souls of his own children is one that I cannot bring myself to believe in, and one that I believe is a superposition of Man's own primal instincts onto the realm of the spiritual and the unknown. --IlTrovatore 18:47, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
The distinction between a person who thinks that he is saved (or is a Christian) and a person who actually is saved is Jesus. The truly saved person has Christ, the unsaved person doesn’t. There are lots of “spiritual” people. That doesn’t mean that they are saved. Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, etc. would all claim to have a spiritual aspect in their life. Unfortunately, that won’t save them. According to the Bible, Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father but by Him. (John 14:6.) So, from a Christian standpoint and a Christian understanding of God, then anyone who doesn’t accept Christ is going to go to Hell.
The Bible is many different works; 66 books to be exact. But they are all inspired by God and contain no contradictions. Actually, I suppose I should claim this to be more accurate: The original manuscripts were perfect with no errors. As time went on and they were translated, a few copyist errors did creep in, but they were minimal at worst and did not effect the essential doctrines of the text. (Most copyist errors were grammatical, spelling errors, etc.) In fact, the Bible is 99.5% accurate in relation to the original.
I agree that God won’t punish his children. But the Bible says that His children are those who are saved. In fact, the Bible says that the sinful man’s father is the devil (John 8:44) and that the saved are God’s children through adoption (Romans 8:15).
Let me ask you something, though. You consider yourself a Christian, correct? Then how are you saved? Ultimahero 20:35, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
I believe that I am saved because of the ultimate goodness of God, as manifested in the sacrifice of Christ. I disagree with the notion that spiritual people are not saved. As I said earlier, an omnibenevolent God would not play games with those who were brought up from birth into a certain faith, even if that faith is not a specific sect of Christianity. Some would argue that other religions evolved from a sinful turning from God, and that these people are therefore living in sin. But if this is how they have lived all their lives, how would they know that their lifestyle is to be considered sinful? You might contend that this is the case because these people have not accepted the teaching of the Bible. But aside from faith, which is a value that was instilled in you at some point in your life, how do you know that the Bible is superior to any other religious text? Yes, the Bible maintains its own accuracy, but so does the Qu'ran. You believe that a Muslim will not be saved, but a Muslim would likely believe the same of you, because his faith tells him otherwise. Who is right? I believe that I can anticipate the answer.
You are right in saying that copyist errors do not affect the doctrines of the Bible. I was not referring to such phenomena; I was speaking of the fact that different parts of the Bible place emphasis on different ideas. A call to abstain from eating shellfish in Leviticus is not heeded by many Christian sects. The principle of "an eye for an eye" is seen by many to have been superseded by the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes. To follow every part of the Bible literally would be quite difficult.
This is not the point. You may be able to illustrate your claims with specific Bible verses, but I am not contesting your knowledge of the Bible's text. I am contesting your claim that there is one way to read the Bible. Christianity is fundamentally about love and a person's own conception of and relationship to God. This is something that comes from within, not from what another may tell you. --IlTrovatore 20:04, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
It good that you say the sacrifice of Christ. That’s true. But, do you have to work for it or earn it in any way? Or is entirely dependent upon Jesus? Do you have to believe in Christ to be saved? Can you clearly lay it out for me?
A generic “spiritual” person is not saved, at least not according to the Bible. I guess you could argue that the Bible is not superior to other religious texts (which is something I would dispute) but, if that’s the case, then why are you a Christian? I mean, if one isn’t superior to another, then what does it matter?
Why is the Bible better than the Quran? Well, Muslims believe that the Quran is the perfect word of God and if any word of it is false, then the whole thing is false. (That’s the standard they hold.) But look at the contradictions in the Quran. “Now let man but think from what he is created! He is created from a drop emitted-Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs," (Qur'an 86:5-7). That is not accurate because the sperm is not located between the backbone ad ribs. It’s anatomically inaccurate, is therefore false, which means that all of Islam if wrong according to the very standards that Muslims hold. (One might argue that Christianity faces the same problems, but I would point out that we Christians don’t hold the Bible to that same standard.)
I already explained the whole shellfish point on the other page about that you mentioned it on. But, I’ll go ahead and re-make it just to be safe:
The law is split into three sections, civil, moral, and priestly. The priestly laws are no longer in effect because they were fulfilled by Christ. (Ex: In the Old Testament, animal sacrifice was necessary for sins, but in the New Testament, Christ died once for all sins.) The civil laws (eating shellfish, that sort of thing) have to be understood in the context of a theocracy. Obviously, we don’t live in a theocracy now, so they aren’t applicable. The moral laws are based on the character and nature of God. Ex: Lying is wrong because God can’t lie. And because God doesn’t change, the moral laws never do either. They are still in effect. Also, we see that the civil and priestly laws aren’t reestablished in the New Testament, but the moral laws are.
Some Christians might ignore Christ’s teachings in His sermon on the mount, but that doesn’t really mean anything. Just because individuals put them at a low importance doesn’t necessarily make them unimportant. The worth of a Christian doctrine is established from the Bible, not any modern day teacher.
Yes, there are different ways to interpret the Scriptures. But, some things are clear. When Jesus says “I am the way the truth and the life, and no man come to the Father but by Me,” then I think that’s pretty clear. Some parts of the Bible may be on the ambiguous side, but not when it comes to salvation. Ultimahero 20:35, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
I am a Christian because I believe that following Jesus' call to love humanity and do good by everyone, including my enemies, is the right way for me to live. I believe that salvation is union with God, the nature and mechanics of which no living person is able to know. I believe that damnation is the opposite; separation from God. You ask whether the sacrifice of Christ is enough, whether I need to work for my eternal happiness. In the sense that some believe that we are judged by our individual deeds, no, I do not believe that we need works for salvation. But in the sense that we can simply believe that we are among an elite group of elect and not work to truly become united with the spirit of love that is God, yes, I do believe that we need to put forth individual spiritual effort. This is why spiritual people are saved; the sacrifice of Christ was for all humanity. When Christ says that no man may come to the Father but through him, he is referring to the fact that his act of sacrifice is the ultimate embodiment of the love that every person must have for every other person. The Christian author C.S. Lewis wrote in one of his allegorical Narnia books that those who live in the name of Tash (a symbol for Satan) but live righteously truly live in the name of Aslan (a symbol for Christ). Some may implictly reject Christ in name, while unaware that they are living in a way that Christ would want them to live (minus such details as whether or not we pray to Mary), and in fact are accepting His message.
As for the Qu'ran, it would seem that if it were that simple to negate its validity, then no Muslim would still follow its teachings. Of course it is evident that sperm does not originate between the ribs and the backbones, but we are looking at this in a highly literal way. Perhaps the intent was more poetic. What is actually located between the ribs and the backbone? The heart. What if the intent was to show that Man is created from a drop of a substance far more precious than semen - love. What if it intended to show that a human life is born out of the essence of its father, out of his very heart? What beautiful poetry! --IlTrovatore 14:00, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
You say that spiritual people will be saved, regardless of whether they believe in Christ or not. You seem to be presenting Universalism, which states that all people will be saved. This is absolutely un-Biblical. People are going to go to Hell. That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 7:13,14 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” The path to destruction is wide and many people will find it! A lot of people are going to go to Hell, according to Scripture. This is what was meant when Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man come to the Father but by Me.” (John 14:6) The people who will be saved are those who trust in Jesus and what He has done. Anyone outside that camp, no matter how spiritual, will enter the broad path to destruction.
We are saved because of what Jesus did on the cross. He died for sins, and we have to put our faith in Him. That’s why Ephesians 2:8,9 says that we are saved by “grace through faith”, and why Romans 5:1 says that we are justified by faith. Faith is only as good as what you put it in. If you put your faith in anything other than Jesus, then your lost. Only those who trust Christ will be saved. That is the clear teaching of Scripture.
I don’t know what context C.S. Lewis was speaking in, but even if he did say that and mean it that way, so what? He doesn’t get to determine how people are saved. The Scriptures do. They tell us how we can be saved. Read God’s word.
And the Muslim quote is in a context of sperm, not a poetical allusion to the heart. But, even if it’s not, there are still plenty of problems with Islam. And Muslims who don’t trust Christ will go to Hell.
I know it’s not pleasant, but that’s the truth. That’s why we are told to go and spread the gospel (the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ) to all people. So that they can hear it and have an opportunity to be saved. You have to put your faith in Christ, or your lost. Ultimahero 15:53, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
Thank you for your views. --IlTrovatore 15:56, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
It's not my view, it's the view from the Bible. You have to trust Christ. Ultimahero 15:57, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
I fully understand the stock you place in Biblical authority. I was attempting to end our discussion on a note of civil disagreement. --IlTrovatore 16:05, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
Fair enough. God bless, my friend. Ultimahero 16:07, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
The problem of hell
Good comments. DanH 05:47, 13 June 2008 (EDT)
Warning of blocking
"Ultimahero", I'm going to block your account if you engage in obsessive criticism of the Mormon Church.--Aschlafly 17:14, 28 November 2008 (EST)
- He has made 4 edits in the past month and they were to point out that a link in the article included inaccurate information and suggesting its removal, he then proceeded to do so after being given permission by an administrator (Ed Poor). I don't see that as evidence of "obsessive criticism of the Mormon Church, and definitely no reason to warn him of blocking. At any rate even his past actions, were only to point out completely accurate facts about the Mormon Church. I thought this project was in favor of presenting facts. --Tim (CPAdmin1)talk Vote in my NEW polls 20:41, 28 November 2008 (EST)
- If so, then "Ultimahero" will have no trouble complying with my warning above.--Aschlafly 21:18, 28 November 2008 (EST)
It's not what he's saying, it's how he says it. At issue is whether Mormons and Protestants are in agreement on certain issues. This has an obvious bearing on whether it is true or false to say, "Mormons are Christians". It is the policy of this encyclopedia, if I understand Mr. Schlafly correctly, not to label any particular religion "non-Christian" if it claims to be Christian. Rather, we simply note that certain parties dispute the claim.
- I'm not sure I agree with this Ed. To the best of my knowledge Andy hasn't given us a blanket direction. I would hate to see Aryan Nations and the KKK show up under Christians and I don't think we should label Hitler as a Catholic either. But by the standard above, we would be obligated to do so. A better standard is acceptance within the traditional community that makes up that religion. Mormonism is an oddity in that it gets support from the liberal Christian denominations while being considered non-Christian by most of the born again and evangelical movements so it has a mixed and controversial status, even though Mormons themselves are quite conservative. Learn together 13:26, 30 November 2008 (EST)
This standpoint is similar to the NPOV policy of Wikipedia, although I daresay we intend to be both more sympathetic and more reliable in our description of disputed points about religion than Wikipedia has. --Ed Poor Talk 09:09, 29 November 2008 (EST)
- Note: I did not give permission to remove the link; I said, "incorporate these ideas into the article" - referring to the detailed comparison he made between LDS and Protestant views of the Trinity et al. --Ed Poor Talk 09:14, 29 November 2008 (EST)
I'm fine if you're monitoring this, Ed. I would like to see "Ultimahero" show some interest here in other topics, however. This is not the place for anyone to harp on a grudge. Ultimahero, given your pattern of editing, it would be welcome if you gave your first name and last initial so that your account can me moved to it.--Aschlafly 09:35, 29 November 2008 (EST)
I explained this on the page in question, but I'll go ahead and clear it up here as well. I made the case that the link in question was faulty and should be removed. When Ed Poor came and seemed to agree, I thought that he was agreeing with my idea for removing the link. I did not know that he intended to leave the link and work some of my thoughts into the article. So it was simply miscommunication.
Andy, I do not have a grudge against Mormons or their church. I'm simply interested in it, which is why I try to contribute to it. As far as I am aware there is no rule against having preferences on the topics an individual focuses upon. In fact, I would think that that makes far more sense. Shouldn't one contribute to that which he is interested in and knowledgeable of, rather than to an issue which he is ignorant of? But it's not something personal, and I'm not sure where you have gotten that idea. Ultimahero 13:02, 30 November 2008 (EST)