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Thread: Who is "in" the Body?

  1. #11
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah View Post
    Acts 16:30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

    There is a difference between being saved and understanding everything about Christianity. I have been saved for some 40 years and I do not claim to understand it all.
    You and me both. And just about the time I think I have it figured out, I learn how little I understand.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  2. #12
    Professor Cerebrum123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    I think it's pretty important, and I've even adapted the way I ask the question. I used to be pretty binary in "there are only two kinds of people - saved and lost". Then I heard Paul Little ask a more general "... or are you still on the way?"

    I've found that to be much more helpful, as people seem more receptive to that --- kinda of "no, I guess I'm not a Christian, but I'm on the path...." and you can help them find the way.

    It really kinda bothers me that we try to force people into labels - I mean, for what purpose?
    Probably for the same purpose of the "Faith Designation" tags on TWeb.

  3. #13
    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    Ultimately, God choses who is in the Body of Christ and who isn't. In some ways, its a waste of time to try figure out who is in and who is out. The exception, I'll make here is regarding teachers - you have to be very careful not to follow a false teacher.

    Awhile back, I went through an exercise to figure out what I thought were the essentials. For what it's worth, here's my list

    1. I believe in God, eternal and existing outside of time, perfect, holy, and in three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
    2. I believe Christ Jesus is the Son and:
      1. Christ Jesus is God Incarnate as a man.
      2. Christ Jesus was born of a Virgin
      3. Christ Jesus lived a Sinless Life and is the example of how I should live my life
      4. Christ Jesus Worked Miracles
      5. Christ Jesus’ Death Provides the Only means of Atonement for the Sins of Humanity. In other words, Christ Jesus is the only way to God.
      6. Christ Jesus Physically Rose from the Dead and Was Seen Alive by Many
      7. Christ Jesus Ascended Bodily to the Father
      8. Christ Jesus is Coming Again

    3. Salvation is a gift of God and not earned by any action of man.
    4. The Bible is the only reliable revelation of God to man. In the original manuscripts, it is inerrant, inspired, and perfect. Despite all the copies that have been made since it was written, no error that changes a major doctrine has occurred. It contains all the principles I need to live life faithful to God’s will. Other books may contain elements of truth but they are not reliable because of the falsehoods they contain.
    I think this list makes too many things essential. I don't think holding to inerrancy is necessary to be a Christian, for instance. Nor would I say it about the virgin birth, though I don't see any good reason to reject the virgin birth.
    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

    All cruelty springs from weakness. - Seneca the Younger

  4. Amen Adrift amen'd this post.
  5. #14
    tWebber Thoughtful Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    I think this list makes too many things essential. I don't think holding to inerrancy is necessary to be a Christian, for instance. Nor would I say it about the virgin birth, though I don't see any good reason to reject the virgin birth.
    Without inerrancy, how would we have reliable information about God?
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    My time to be on TWeb is unpredictable. It may take a few days for me to see your post and respond.

  6. Amen Jedidiah amen'd this post.
  7. #15
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
    Probably for the same purpose of the "Faith Designation" tags on TWeb.
    I think that's different, though. We have rules that only Christians, for example, can post in "Christian" sections.

    I just think, when we talk about who's "in", it sounds more like we're trying to make it some exclusive club whose membership is in the hands of the members, rather than the hands of the Lord.

    Seriously, I have a number of (don't know what the proper term is these days -- "street people"?) people attending my Church whose "Christianity" I could not declare definitively. But that's not my job. My job is to love them and lead them and be an example to them, and their "Salvation" is between them and Christ.

    I have some people who come from a group home down the street, and though adults, they function more at the 12 year old or below level. We love them and accept them, and some of them claim to be "Christians". They haven't got a clue about inerrancy or the Apostle's Creed (whatever version) or apologetics. A couple Wednesday nights ago, at our fellowship meal, one of them asked if they could say the blessing before the meal. I consented, knowing that if they messed it up too badly, the rest of the people were mature enough to understand "the effort". The lady prayed the most beautiful and sincere "childlike faith" prayer I've heard in a long long time.

    I'm keenly interested in this subject, so I'm not just trying to be a dolt (I do that naturally ) - I just wonder sometimes why this keeps coming up.

    Now, if I were to be offering a "teaching job" or a "discipleship position" to somebody, I'd need to know more about what they believe. But to fellowship with us, to learn with us, to travel the road to being better Christians.... Do I really need to know who's "in"?

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  8. #16
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    I think this list makes too many things essential. I don't think holding to inerrancy is necessary to be a Christian, for instance. Nor would I say it about the virgin birth, though I don't see any good reason to reject the virgin birth.
    I started to make a general statement of agreement with you here, then I reread TM's post, and he's specifically referring to "teachers". That's the same caveat I made in my post about 'who's "in"'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    Ultimately, God choses who is in the Body of Christ and who isn't. In some ways, its a waste of time to try figure out who is in and who is out. The exception, I'll make here is regarding teachers - you have to be very careful not to follow a false teacher.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  9. #17
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    Ultimately, God choses who is in the Body of Christ and who isn't. In some ways, its a waste of time to try figure out who is in and who is out. The exception, I'll make here is regarding teachers - you have to be very careful not to follow a false teacher.

    Awhile back, I went through an exercise to figure out what I thought were the essentials. For what it's worth, here's my list

    1. I believe in God, eternal and existing outside of time, perfect, holy, and in three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
    2. I believe Christ Jesus is the Son and:
      1. Christ Jesus is God Incarnate as a man.
      2. Christ Jesus was born of a Virgin
      3. Christ Jesus lived a Sinless Life and is the example of how I should live my life
      4. Christ Jesus Worked Miracles
      5. Christ Jesus’ Death Provides the Only means of Atonement for the Sins of Humanity. In other words, Christ Jesus is the only way to God.
      6. Christ Jesus Physically Rose from the Dead and Was Seen Alive by Many
      7. Christ Jesus Ascended Bodily to the Father
      8. Christ Jesus is Coming Again

    3. Salvation is a gift of God and not earned by any action of man.
    4. The Bible is the only reliable revelation of God to man. In the original manuscripts, it is inerrant, inspired, and perfect. Despite all the copies that have been made since it was written, no error that changes a major doctrine has occurred. It contains all the principles I need to live life faithful to God’s will. Other books may contain elements of truth but they are not reliable because of the falsehoods they contain.
    Interesting. I think this list could get a number of people in trouble. So, for instance, some Christian theologians believe that God created the universe (including time) sans time, and then upon it's creation entered time (this is a view held by people like William Lane Craig). Lots of Christians, even Christians on this forum, would take issue with your view of an inerrant scripture, and/or that it's the only reliable revelation of God. And there are even some Christian scholars (who might otherwise be considered "orthodox") who doubt the virgin birth narrative.

  10. #18
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    I think it's pretty important, and I've even adapted the way I ask the question. I used to be pretty binary in "there are only two kinds of people - saved and lost". Then I heard Paul Little ask a more general "... or are you still on the way?"

    I've found that to be much more helpful, as people seem more receptive to that --- kinda of "no, I guess I'm not a Christian, but I'm on the path...." and you can help them find the way.

    It really kinda bothers me that we try to force people into labels - I mean, for what purpose?
    Plenty of purposes. Mostly so that we can stay on guard to false or improper teaching, and correct those outside the body who think they are in it. Imagine a discussion with a Mormon who believes he's arrived. Clearly he's not in the body, but he may believe he is. Do we allow him to continue along his merry way, and risk that he will never attain salvation for following after false or outright evil doctrines? I don't think so.

  11. #19
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    Plenty of purposes. Mostly so that we can stay on guard to false or improper teaching,
    Yeah, I mentioned that.

    and correct those outside the body who think they are in it. Imagine a discussion with a Mormon who believes he's arrived? Clearly he's not in the body, but he may believe he is. Do we allow him to continue along his merry way, and risk that he will never attain salvation for following after false or outright evil doctrines? I don't think so.
    In the case of a Mormon, it's a totally wrong theology, not an underdeveloped one. So, sure, if we see error, it's our responsibility to call it out.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  12. #20
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    I think that's different, though. We have rules that only Christians, for example, can post in "Christian" sections.

    I just think, when we talk about who's "in", it sounds more like we're trying to make it some exclusive club whose membership is in the hands of the members, rather than the hands of the Lord.
    I don't think it's completely unscriptural to think of it in these terms...that Christianity is an exclusive club and that sometimes it is up to the members. Jesus, Paul, and a number of the epistles discuss either dis-fellowshipping with certain people who will not see correction, and to be aware of those following false doctrines because of ant-Christs who have come into the world, and because people having itching ears to hear what they want to hear. While generally speaking I agree with you that we are to just love people, and to lead by example, there are also going to be times when people won't head correction and correct doctrine, and that needs to be dealt with somehow for the sake of the rest of the body. The fact that some people are simply less mature than others, I think, is a side point. No one is saying anyone needs to memorize the Creeds, and apologetics, or even to have ever heard of a "Creed" or an "Apologetic", but there is valuable information packed within, say, the Apostle's or Nicene Creed that a person calling themselves a Christian should be aware of (the existence of God, and Jesus, the recognition of personal sins, the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, etc.).

  13. Amen Cerebrum123 amen'd this post.

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