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In Reference To CyBs Statement of Faith - Christian Forum

Discussion in 'Christian Debate Forum' started by Mungo, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. OzSpen

    OzSpen Well-Known Member

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    Angelina,

    Of course we are going to run into doubters today. They are evident in contemporary teaching by Bultmann, Jesus Seminar scholars such as Funk, Crossan, Borg & Mack.

    See William Lane Craig, 'The bodily resurrection of Jesus'. For a contrary view, see Eric Alexander, 'Why I Don’t Believe in the Physical Resurrection of Jesus (and why I think it actually hinders Christianity)'

    Until Jesus returns, it will be a constant battle to defend the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Many find it nigh impossible to believe because of denial of the supernatural God.

    What makes this issue even more difficult in contemporary Australian churches is that biblical teaching (especially in sound expository preaching) is in such short supply. There are lots of topical preachers in my region in evangelical churches who like to tickle the ears to get hundreds to attend. But substance in the preaching tends to be very shallow. I've visited a couple of such churches in the last 2 months. I will not be returning.

    Blessings,
    Oz
     
  2. Angelina

    Angelina Prayer Warrior Staff Member Admin

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    so sad...It appears to be the same here I think :unsure:
     
  3. lforrest

    lforrest Well-Known Member Staff Member Admin

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    I started reading Eric Alexander's view and alarm bells were figuratively going off. A real Christian must believe in the bodily Resurrection of Jesus. I wouldn't be opposed to modifying the SOF to incorporate that, but it isn't up to me.
     
  4. OzSpen

    OzSpen Well-Known Member

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    Iforrest,

    This is especially so in light of the critical importance of the resurrection (not the apparition of Jesus' resurrection) in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 (ESV). I've recommend a read of Norman Geisler's, The Battle for the Resurrection (1992. Wipf & Stock Publishers). When I was examining Crossan's resurrection presuppositions in my PhD dissertation, I found Geisler's expose very enlightening.

    Oz
     
  5. BjornFree

    BjornFree Member

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    All this stuff about 'man-made' Statements of Faith is 'over my head'.
    Apart from being gladly prepared to be 'nailed to the cross' I am with whitestone's "no creed but Christ".

    I was recently contacted and asked if I had any thoughts on how the forum might be improved and I would say that if there really must be a 'Statement of Faith' then let let it be made clear that is an expression of the faith of 'admin and moderators' and is for 'information only', without any demand for acquiescence.
    (Or has that already been said, and I've missed it?)
     
    Angelina likes this.
  6. OzSpen

    OzSpen Well-Known Member

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    Oneoff,

    The problem with your statement is that it also is a man-made statement of faith - Oneoff's view. It's a self-defeating idea.

    We can have a view of 'no creed but Christ' but which Christ is he? The Christ of the Arians, (JWs), the Mormons, Jesus Only, Pentecostal Oneness, the Jesus Seminar Fellows, or orthodox Christianity. Unless you define who Jesus is, it means there is no control over any heretical groups who come along and want to plow their wares on CyB.

    Do you want CyB to become a forum where anti-Trinitarians, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims are allowed to promote whatever Christ they want? After all, you are saying you want 'no creed but Christ'. Is that the Jesus who was not the Son of God of Islam?

    I find it naive to not want to have a Statement of Faith. We live in a fallen world where any Tom, Dick or Harry will come along to promote his or her idiosyncratic Jesus and you'll have no way to stop him or her if you do not have a solid, biblically-based Statement of Faith. The Nicene Creed is a good, but not perfect, starter.

    Oz
     
  7. Angelina

    Angelina Prayer Warrior Staff Member Admin

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    I agree that as a Christian forum, we need a SoF if only for the sake of managing closed and open-handed issues. However, I did not necessarily agree with everything that was put forward but for the benefit of the moderating team and our members, we have come to a general consensus. The SoF is indeed the opinion of this board and hopefully reflects most of what we would consider "orthodox" Christian views. My only concern in modifying our SoF is that it could grow pages long and become a legalistic standard rather than the opinion of the present moderating team.

    Thanks
    Angel
     
  8. BjornFree

    BjornFree Member

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    Nearly four years on and I'll stick with that.
     
  9. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

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    Typically, if you enter an online "community forum," especially for the purposes of discussing your beliefs, its a good idea to know where you stand with regard to the beliefs of those who host the forum. As far as I can see, this particular forum has always been held as a ministry by the administrators of it and as ministers of "the faith" they are effectively acting in a Pastoral capacity or as "elders" among those who have chosen to teach and to learn from others the doctrines of Christ and the application of them to our times, on this particular site. Now, those in Pastoral authority also have a responsibility to protect those sovereignly placed under their authority from false teachers who enter in to pervert doctrine and lead the untrained away to fleshly ideas and pursuits. This is reason enough for a sound and comprehensive theological statement that creates boundaries for discussion and rules to maintain a sense of order. People tend to be offended by rules and laws and by anything that prevents them from expressing their own will to its fullest extent, but since God saw fit to create order through rules of law in the physical universe and did so for our good it seems only reasonable that an online forum representing God's people should do the same.
    Sometimes people will play the role of devil's advocate on a Christian forum just to evoke response and make others think about what it is that they really believe, and its been my experience here that the staff gives quite a bit of space to people expressing their current understanding as long as the postings remain constructive and serve the purposes of Christ in building His body, the church. If someone feels the need to express strange doctrine and ideas foreign to the bible, let them go to Babylon and add to its confusion. They don't have to go far because Babylon is all around us and regularly intrudes into the church.
    For the church to mature as a whole, there has to be a single recognized head which is Christ Himself, and there should be a unity of purpose and conviction among the body (because there will never be perfect agreement on doctrine before the millennium, the glorification of the church, and the opening of our minds to the full knowledge of our Lord). The alignment of our beliefs doctrinally strengthens our unity to some extent, though never to the same degree as our love for Christ which manifests in love for the brethren. The biggest problem we face in this time is a waning in our love for Christ caused by a diminishing of the teaching of the doctrine of sin and our own culpability. Understanding our guilt and the enormity of sin's offense before a Holy God is a necessary step in receiving God's grace and growing a love for the One who died for us:
    41. "A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42. "When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?"
    43. Simon answered and said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more."
    And He said to him, "You have judged correctly." 44. Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45. "You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet.
    46. "You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. 47. "For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little." Luke 7:41-47
    When sin is trivialized love is diminished.
     
  10. BjornFree

    BjornFree Member

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    My view is that every denomination, whether Catholic or Protestant, is part of Babylon the Great, out of which believers are called to depart.
    I hope and pray that I have heard the call and obeyed.
     
  11. OzSpen

    OzSpen Well-Known Member

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    Oneoff,

    Does that mean you don't attend any denominational, non-denonimational or house church? With which kind of believers do you gather?
     
  12. BjornFree

    BjornFree Member

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    If I could find an assembly that was totally autonomous and did not tie itself to others by a set of stipulated beliefs, other than to offer full fellowship to all who might conceivably be a part of the Body of Christ by virtue of efficacious faith in Christ's sacrificial and substitutionary atonement for sin, then that is what I would support.
    Unfortunately, at 81, I am not very mobile, and live in an area where no such assembly exists. My choice is either a very 'high' Marian CoE, a Baptist Church with meetings that are so indistinguishable from pop concerts that true worship is impossible, and a 'pentecostal' assembly that practices Benny Hinn/Tod Bentley style 'Slain in the Spirit' stuff.
    It's that age old 'grumpy old man/things ain't what they used to be' problem.
     
  13. OzSpen

    OzSpen Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Oneoff,

    I understand, although I'm not quite your age. I think I also know who you are from my brief stint on a UK Christian forum.

    What about house churches in your region? Do such exist? Perhaps you could start one in your own house. Is there room for that in your residence?

    Oz
     
  14. BjornFree

    BjornFree Member

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    Thanks Oz, I am indeed the one you identify but hopefully ever growing wiser and more mellow in some things, in parallel with growing more grumpy and frustrated in others.
    I've just left one local house group because one of the members is a 'slain in the spirit' addict and regularly grabs members with their various illnesses and lays hands on them and 'demands (in the name of Jesus) that the illness comes out of them, as if they were demon possessed'; mingling his demands with bouts of glossalalia and literally screaming whilst doing so......I just can't stand that sort of thing.
    My wife is not 'sympathetic' and wouldn't agree to me starting a house group at our house, and in any case I am so non-mainstream in my faith that no one would come.
    I guess I'm to be pitied rather than understood.
     
  15. amadeus

    amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I have begun to understand you old friend, Oneoff. Let us not forget the position of Abraham once President of the United States:

    "I have never united myself to any church, because I have found difficulty in giving my assent without mental reservation, to the long complicated statements of Christian doctrine which characterizes their Articles of Belief and Confessions of Faith.

    When any church will inscribe over its altar as its sole qualification for membership the Savior's condensed statement of both Law and Gospel, 'thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself' that church will I join with all my heart and all my soul"

    I copied the above quotation from a book I read several years ago. Unfortunately, I failed to note the name of the book. It is certainly a way of looking at things with which I might be willing to agree... with regard to 'statements of faith'. Abraham Lincoln attended church services but never belonged to any one particular denomination and perhaps the above statement would explain that.

    Of course as you know I speak in "tongues" daily as a part of my prayer life.
     
  16. HammerStone

    HammerStone Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    As the original author/guy who assembled the SoF, I must say that the bodily resurrection would be an oversight due to my own limited mind. (And that's generally why it's not a good idea for a single person to write a statement, though in fairness to myself I sought input and review.)

    I largely thought the resurrection would be covered in the statement: "After three days, Jesus arose from the dead to demonstrate his power over death." To me, the danger with any language is that it will never be specific enough, which is a simple guess at why I probably did not use the word "bodily" to specify. Otherwise it may not have occurred to my simple little brain.

    I'm highly skeptical of the no creed camp. Everyone has a "creed" in praxis whether you are a single believer or in a group. It just may or may not be written down. I file that in the same camp as the relativists who assure us that everything is relative...with the exception of the absolute of relativism, of course! Please don't take me as condescending towards the position, as I respect the ideal for all of us to narrow the crap (Philippians 3:8) down to the Holy-Spirit-distilled pure Truth, but while I think the intent is noble, the outworking is just another creed that happens to be unwritten or undocumented.

    I feel as though the SOF is rather wordy already, but I think we do need a core of Christian understanding. Many of ya'll have not seen what I saw in my years of participation here. I remember beginning this forum and being surprised at the nutty interpretations that showed up.
     
  17. OzSpen

    OzSpen Well-Known Member

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    HammerStone,

    That is well stated.

    Your view that 'I largely thought the resurrection would be covered in the statement: "After three days, Jesus arose from the dead to demonstrate his power over death."' That makes sense to those of us who are raised in evangelical Christianity. However, the church is being infiltrated by other people these days who are against the miraculous, so resurrection does not mean resuscitation but is a metaphorical resurrection, interpreted through postmodern eyes. That makes resurrection as broad and deep and as nebulous as one wants it to be.

    The amount of explanation that is needed today to defend the faith is beyond imagination. Only yesterday I was watching online Ravi Zacharias defend the faith in Q&A on university campuses. See, 'Yes, your question' and the number of links at the bottom of the screen. Ravi is one of the world's most outstanding apologists but he is dealing with issues that all of us need to discuss at some level when interacting with non-believers. When these people come into the church, they bring some of their postmodern, multicultural, metaphorical, metaphysical worldview and baggage with them. That's why a SoF needs to be specific to the issues of the era.

    Why does the Nicene Creed have certain content? It grew out of the issues with the Arians who were non-Trinitarians.

    I, like you, am not only sceptical about the no-Creed camp but I understand they have an unwritten creed that needs to be exposed as we investigate what causes them to have an overt belief in no-creed. What is the covert theology that drives that no-creed external statement? What are their views concerning the church (its theology and function), the nature of the cross of Christ, the person of Jesus, his actions, the resurrection of Jesus and of people at the end of time, etc. When JWs knock on the door and they engage them in conversation, do they have a framework (orthodox teaching/creed) that guides them in discussion?

    Sometimes the SoF has to be wordy to cover the challenges that will come on a forum like this. It is needed at times for moderators to say, 'See the SoF for the parameters of theology accepted on this forum'.

    Blessings in Christ,
    Oz
     
  18. StanJ

    StanJ Lifelong student of God's Word.

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    I have to agree in that aspect. Everyone has a personal Creed and it may not be something that has been vocalized but it still exists in their psyche. I do prefer however to have a modern-day statement of faith and not lean back on Old creeds that were not representative, even in there day, of the majority of believers. I think it would be great to have a modern 21st century Creed or statement of faith that could and would represent the majority of Christian belief. The fact that so many denominations exist today makes me very pessimistic that this can be accomplished, but it doesn't hurt for CB to try.
     
  19. BjornFree

    BjornFree Member

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    What a tragedy to witness those who regard believers whose faith does not accord with their own as being heretics, and infiltrators, who "come into the church, bringing their postmodern, multicultural, metaphorical, metaphysical worldview and baggage with them", and often demand that they should be banned from forums.
    Insular bigotry barely describes such an attitude.
    The Nicene creed was at Constantine's instigation, centuries after Christ, and was introduced because of the fear of uncontrollable insurgence if the growth of Christianity were allowed to continue without 'definition'. Issues with the Arians who were non-Trinitarians was but a small representative example of the Christian divergence that Constantine needed to minimise.
    The spirit of Constantine lives on.
     
  20. OzSpen

    OzSpen Well-Known Member

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    Oneoff,

    Why must you distort what I wrote? I mentioned not a word about 'heretics'. That is your imposition on what I wrote. This is the paragraph of what I wrote at #84:
    You are up to your same old tricks (from the other forum) of distorting what I write.

    Remember that you are the one who believes in 'no creed but Christ' but you demonstrate here that you are prepared to call me for identification of what you call 'heretics'. This shows you do have a creed and you don't like what I stated and then distorted it.

    Oz
     
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