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Thread: The Tendency To Be A Marcionite

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    The Tendency To Be A Marcionite

    Have you been one without realizing it?

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    Do we all have a tendency to go that way? Let's plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    It was within the past couple of weeks that I came to this conclusion. I was going to sleep at night praying myself to sleep as I usually do and I started thinking about my prayers to God. I started thinking about how the Father seems so unapproachable and things of that sort, and many of us I think do think that way.

    Then the realization came to me. If Jesus is the one who showed the Father to us, then if we can approach Jesus, we can approach the Father. The thought hit me then that I had been being a Marcionite and I hadn't even realized it. Was I not implicitly saying God was a God who was ready to judge?

    I thought then of the many passages I have read on prayer. We are told to boldly approach the throne of grace in Hebrews 4. That is quite a serious claim. You don't just come to the throne. You come with courage and confidence. You have all right to be there. God has granted you that privilege because He has adopted you as a son or a daughter.

    And what does that tell us? God is supposed to be one that we approach as Father. The New Testament seems to go to great pains to get us to realize that. Jesus tells us in Luke 12:32 that it is the Father's good pleasure to give us the kingdom. He before this even tells us to fear not. Could it be we are told to fear not because we fear the opposite from God?

    What about Elijah? James tells us that Elijah prayed and it didn't rain for years. He prayed again and the rain came. Before this, he says Elijah was a human being just like us. The prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

    And if this is the case, the other danger of seeing God wrongly is that we don't see Him truly. We miss who He really is. If we see God in this way, how can we present Him as truly a God of love?

    This isn't to say that He's not a judge either. There is some of that judgment in Jesus as well. Just see what Jesus did in the temple or read the book of Revelation. Jesus can be quite tough on those who oppose Him. The Father we are told disciplines us because we are sons and He loves us.

    If we see God as a father, what kind of father is He? Jesus tells us that if we ask our fathers for fish and eggs, will we get snakes and stones instead? What kind of father would do that? Yet sometimes we treat God as someone we have to beg and beg just to get one good thing from and we live in constant fear begging for mercy over and over.

    And maybe you're reading this and realizing you've had the same tendency. I think it shows up in people who come to me and struggle with doubt. They think that if they didn't say or do the exact right thing, God will abandon them and say they're not really Christians. He wants to keep them out of eternity on a technicality. Is that not the same sort of problem? The cross should show us God is willing to do what it takes because He does desire to forgive. Heaven is not for God but for us. God doesn't need Heaven. He needs no place to dwell. We need a place if we are to be with Him.

    So now, I am in the mental process of working on rethinking issues relating to prayer and who God is and thinking more and more about the awesome privileges that come to us who are Christians. I hope some reading this who have the same struggle are starting to rethink. If we are to tell the world about the goodness of God, we need to believe it ourselves.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    I guess it's because it's pretty amazing that the sovereign Creator of the universe cares about us mere creatures. Sure, we are created in the image of God, but we still have shame for not living up to that image. I don't think it helps that many Christians in the Western world don't realize that Jesus took our shame and fear also and not just our guilt.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    What does that have to do with Marcion?
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio

    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Old testament God vs New Testament God? Making a false dichotomy between the Father and the Son? Marcion thought God was bad in the OT?
    Last edited by Christianbookworm; 02-05-2019 at 11:57 AM.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christianbookworm View Post
    Old testament God vs New Testament God? Making a false dichotomy between the Father and the Son? Marcion thought God was bad in the OT?
    Well, yeah. What does the OP have to do with any of that? False dichotomy, sort of, but Marcion was hardly the only one to fall afoul of that.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio

    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Nick?
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio

    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Sorry. It's been rough around here the past few days. There's a lot going on including Allie's family having to put the dog down.

    CBW got it right. I have in mind the idea that God is a God of wrath and anger and judgment which does remind me of Marcion and that Jesus is love and grace and mercy.

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Thanks, Nick. I know you're going through a lot.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio

    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    And more seems to be piling on....

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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    And more seems to be piling on....
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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