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May 26, 2005

Comments

Belinconnu

How can you use Acts to say Jesus wasn't believed as God when he dying Stephen prayed Christ at the moment of his death ? (Acts7/59)
-> http://www.mark-shea.com/between.html is a very interesting I think.

D. C.

Thanks for the comment, Belinconnu. I think we have to read that portion of Acts 7:54-60 in context:

The Stoning of Stephen

When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."

At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.

(Emphasis added.) To me, at least, this doesn't suggest that Stephen thought Jesus was God; quite the contrary -- he thought Jesus was the messiah waiting in heaven for the time he would return to earth to rule over God's kingdom.

As I say, others disagree with this view. Perhaps reasonable people can differ. But I don't think we can say this view is per se unreasonable.

I appreciate your having taken the time to leave a comment.

bls

The question, it seems to me, really isn't whether one believes this thing or that. It's whether or not we accept people wherever they are and welcome them to come and be part of the journey we all take together.

The spiritual life isn't a one-shot deal. Everybody's understandings change over time - and of course, today there are many people who don't have any religious background. Are we going to demand that they adhere to beliefs they honestly don't hold - or don't even understand - before we invite them in? To me, this is the biggest issue of all right now.

I agree with your wife that it was wonderful that she felt comfortable enough to call, and to ask these kinds of questions. Good for her, and good for you.

Mike

Who said this:
"Who do people say I am?"

D. C.

Who do people say that I am?

First, I don't know whether anyone said it. Mark has Jesus saying this (8.27), supposedly based on Peter's memories. But in the absence of corroboration, I'm inherently guarded about accounts of conversations written down -- in a different language from the original -- decades after the fact.

Second, even assuming Jesus did say this, that would mean at most that he thought he was the messiah, not God. (And if he had thought he was God, that wouldn't establish the fact.)

Mike

bls, no disrespect intended, but that's a complete and total fallacy. Understanding does change over time, true... but God doesn't, nor does Jesus. The same yesterday, today and tomorrow you can be sure He's the same.
This misnomered pc idea of "tolerance" of beliefs and ideas is going to allow millions of souls through the wide gate; do you wish to be one of them?
You and DC- prove God by His Word.
Praying for you!
Love and Peace!!!

Mike

I have a confession: I lied to my wife... I told her I wasn't going to visit this site anymore- and check me out!! One of my little foxes, I guess. At any rate, this will be my last post, for really real! Thank you for your blessings, folks, and I'll keep you in my prayers!
Love and Peace in Jesus' Name,
M.Anthony

Belinconnu

Me again :)

If Jesus, messiah (we agree), was'nt seen as God himself, why did stephen prayed directly to Jesus and not to the Father? He didn't ask to be received by the Father but by Christ !
"Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
And then had the strengh to add : "Lord, do not hold this sin against them."
Isn't that God's job to receive the deads and forgive sins?
Can someone pray anyone else than God ?

I personnaly don't think that the place Christ have at the right of the Father means he is not God too. Trinity is something we can't grasp. So, that'a way it can reveal it to the poor and limited men we are !

bls

Yes, Mike, I do wish to be one of them, since you ask.

Jane

heeeeey!
its jane

i like your blog.

stephen m bauer

Don't worry about it too much. The people
who witnessed Christ directly had to struggle
with the question, even after his death.
It is one of the themes the synoptic gospels.
But we are a Resurrection people.

Brian Pestotnik

Did Jesus think He was God? He referred to God's angels as His angels, He referred to God's kingdom as His kingdom, he did not tell people to not worship him as Thomas did when he fell to his knees, he referred to Himself as "I am" and the Jews understood what he meant and picked up stones to stone him. (John 8)
Just a couple of passages that specifically refer to Jesus being God are: Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1 There are others if you are interested.

D. C.

Brian, thanks for posting. Some thoughts in response:

-- The Gospel accounts of what Jesus allegedly said on this particular topic are of dubious reliability, for reasons discussed at length in other posts (click on the category "Scripture" in the column at right).

-- The specific NT passages you cite refer to God and Jesus -- that is, they distinguish between the two. That fits with the early church's belief that Jesus was in heaven, "seated at the right hand of the Father," waiting for the time of his return to Earth. It doesn't fit with the notion that Jesus was God.

-- Even if we were to be shown compelling evidence that Jesus thought himself to be God, it would take a lot more than that to establish that he was correct. A lot of thoughtful people are simply not persuaded by the extant evidence. (Don't forget that the overwhelming majority of the human race are not Christians.)

Brian Pestotnik

D.C. Do you believe Jesus is one we should respect? If so, why should you respect him? If you respect him because of what you know of him through the Bible and then turn around and say that you can't trust the Bible I would say that you are indeed contradictory.

You on one hand claim that the book speaks truth but don't recognize the supernatural intervention in the Bible- yes man can change history into what they want it to be like- but why would they have ever included the detailed accounts of the denials of Jesus and the lack of faith even at the ascension in Matthew 28? ( Many pastors skip the verse that mentions the disciples still doubted) I believe those passages reveal the earthy reality of original faith- it is not nicely packaged it is tough following after a God who shakes everything up from the way we think things should be.

In regards to Titus 2:13 and other passages that say "God and Saviour Jesus Christ" you are mistaken that it is referring to God the Father in heaven and Jesus next to him- go to the Greek. It is speaking of Jesus throughout this passage it is talking about ONE coming, and ONE gave himself there is no plural throughout the passage both GOd and Savior are in the singular genitive nomitive- meaning the same person. They are both titles of Jesus Christ- sometimes the English does not convey that like the Greek does. The exact same thing is true of 2 Peter 1:1. I don't know if you have knowledge of the Greek- I know enough to be dangerous:) but I really do want to be helpful to you in your search. I'd rather you be "questioning" than antichristian, we are all on a journey in spiritual knowledge, but I firmly believe that if you are seeking the Truth- He will guide you into it- He promises that the Counselor would do that very thing.

Concerning the majority of people do not believe in Christ is not suprising, that is due to the nature of man- not the lack of the reality of Truth displayed in the scripture see 2 Corinthians 2:14. Let me know what you think- hopefully you take this in the spirit it is intended. I like helpful dialogue- I am not easily offended, I teach teenagers- I am willfully a glutton for punishment:)

D. C.

Brian Pestonik writes: If you respect him [Jesus] because of what you know of him through the Bible and then turn around and say that you can't trust the Bible I would say that you are indeed contradictory.

Brian, that’s a classic example of the fallacy of the false dilemma. It presupposes that we can properly rule out other alternatives. In this case, it's improper for us to confine ourselves to this kind of black-or-white, all-or-nothing thinking. We can accept the Bible as helpful, while still facing the facts of its (manifest) limitations.

I like to analogize the work of the scriptural authors to that of scientists. All of them try to understand and explain (what theists view as) God's handiwork in history. Consider Isaac Newton's physics: it's correct, but only up to a point; it breaks down when we get into relativistic phenomena, which are better explained by Einstein. In turn, Einstein's physics is being superseded by further work. Our proper attitude toward this process is not one of anger and disappointment that Newton and Einstein turned out to be "wrong." Instead, it is to glorify God that he has enabled us to increase and refine our knowledge of his creation.

I see no reason to treat the work of the scriptural authors any differently than that of Newton and Einstein. We owe our reverence, not to the thoughts and writings of these men, but to the God at whose handiwork they marveled.

Thanks for taking the time to leave the comment.

mespa913

It was very interesting reading this blog- and I know that although I am a year+ late in getting to say anything, better late than never- you never know who may read this.

I believe the Bible is true- not parts, but all. I don't have a biblical degree, just only what I have read up on, so I don't know all the verses that are questionable in other people's opinion. I have looked up some and found arguments going either way for or against the validity of the Bible, and eventually each of us has to choose where we stand. We all like Pilate in John 18:38 ask "What is truth?" Eventually we come to a crossroad where we have to make a decision. And I have. My stance is that if a person does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, he/she is Not a Christian. Simply because of three things.

1. There is only one God. Jehovah, Yahweh, Adoni, Elohim. The names refer to one God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, of David, of Daniel, of me. Is the Messiah God? Yes. Isaiah stated it very clearly in Isaiah 43:10&11. "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior." And he also says in Isaiah 9:6&7 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a child is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." Isaiah also continues in Isaiah 63:16 to say "Thou, O Lord, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting." There is only one God, who claims to be the only savior/redeemer and the father. Yet one of the passages is said and commonly held by religious leaders to portray Jesus Christ- the child born, the king in the line of David that will reign forever (and has been reigning forever in my opinion since I believe He is God) And this passage that refers to Jesus calls Him Father. How can Jesus be the Father and the savior at the same time unless they are the same person/entity? How can God claim that there is only one God, one father, one savior, yet have Jesus do the job unless they are the same person/entity? Jesus must be God according to the Old Testament.

2.I love the book of I Timothy. I would encourage anyone to read it from beginning to end, but for now I will look at only a few passages. I Timothy 2:1-6 reads "I exhort therefore (read the previous three verses to find out what 'therefore' is actually there for- you may find it interesting), that, first of all, ...(you pray for everyone)... For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified to in due time." So we understand that there is one God and also one mediator Jesus Christ. Are they one and the same? Let's keep going in I Timothy- to 3:16. "God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." Wait- God manifest in flesh? Yes- this is Jesus. God in flesh- Jesus Christ. And you can read the next 11 verses to gain an even more interesting view of anything different. So, yes, Jesus must be God according to the New Testament.

3. So do we need to prove it to know it is true? Well, let's look at it this way. An email I received a while back portrayed this illustration. It is about a Professor teaching his class, talking about the lack of evidence for God and Christianity.

..."Tell me," he continues onto another student. "Do you believe in Jesus Christ?"

The student's voice betrays him and cracks. "Yes, professor, I do."

The old man stops pacing. "Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?"

"No sir. I've never seen Him"

"Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?"

"No, sir, I have not."

"Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?"

"No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't."

"Yet you still believe in him?"

"Yes."

"According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God does not exist. What do you say to that?"

"Nothing," the student replies. "I only have my faith."

"Yes, faith," the professor repeats. "And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith."

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of his own.

..."Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?" The class breaks out into laughter. "Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?"

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. "I guess you'll have to take them on faith."

Now this is just an illustration of how ridiculous we can get when asking for proof. But I will encourage anyone reading this to decide on their own if the Bible is true, not take other people's word for it. And I would do it by using this simple (yet time consuming) method.

First, find out is the Bible claims it is the truth. (ie. like passages that say, "Thy Word is Truth")

Second, find out what it makes claims or promises about. There are literally hundreds of prophecies made throughout the scripture. Have any of them come true? Look them up. (ie. the savior being born in Bethlehem)

Third, does archaeology agree? Does it show evidence that the Bible and the prophecies it makes are true? (ie. The city of if Tyre being broken down, never to be rebuilt)

Fourth, does science confirm it? (Now I know this is a hot debate, but think about this- Job 38:16 talks about springs in the sea- but it wasn't until 40 years ago or so that deep underwater vents or springs on the sea bottom were discovered. How did they know about them?)

Don't take my word about all this- look it up. Just because I have fancy words or someone has a special degree doesn't mean that we are right. Go to the Bible, read it, and cross reference it- with numerous sources. And to those seeking and asking like Pilate "What is truth?", look up John 14:6 where Jesus says, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me." Because He is the Father. They are One.

Jenny

okay you are a bible study leader and you dont believe in the bible ?telling a young girl that you dont know if Jesus died on the cross and that also you dont think Jesus was the son of God. can i have a version of your bible please?


My bible says that Jesus died on the cross. therfore i believe it. and also in romans it says that you have to believe that jesus is the son of God and that he died for our sins.

Pete S.

If you don't think that Jesus was the Son of God, and you aren't convinced that He rose from death, may I ask four questions of you?
(1) What makes Jesus different from the rest of us, that your faith/religion is founded in Him?
(2) What makes your Christianity different than any other religion (i.e. why are you not a Somethingelse-ist, and why should anyone else root their faith in the Jesus you write about)?
(3) You've postulated that the Bible is unreliable, and suggested that parts can be accepted/rejected.
Is that different than "making up" an idea of God?
(4) If you were wrong about your ideas, would you want to know it?

- pete

I would like to warn you, sir, about what the Bible says about leading others to sin. Luke 17:2 says "It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than to cause one of these little ones to sin." That does not sound like an enjoyable fate, but for you, it would be better than what God has in store for you. Take heart in the fact that the very next verse speaks of forgiveness. All you must do is repent and ask our Father in Heaven for forgiveness, and because Jesus Christ is Lord and because he died for your sins, you will be forgiven.

D. C.

Anonymous poster of a few hours ago, I challenge you to point to even one case in which a specific individual has verifiably gone to "heaven" for having done what you say, or has verifiably gone somewhere else for failing to do so.

And by "verifiably," of course, I mean that there's observational evidence, in support of your assertion, that would be accepted by, say, an agnostic scientist, or the oft-cited "man from Mars."

Can't do it, can you?

And you wonder why the more education someone has, the less likely s/he is to be a churchgoing Christian.

V Knutsen

A cultured, respectful Jew of that time (so I am told) would not directly use the name of God...even today, some Jews will write "G-d" as I've seen them blog. So I doubt Jesus would be direct, tho in various accounts, he leads people thru his sayings and stories to conclude that is who He is.

And when He says "I am the REsurrection and the Life..." I don't think he was using an empty metaphor. He will not only use language correctly, he will surpass language. And if no literal Resurrection (i.e. dead heart beating, "cell's dissolution reverse") why get up for Sunday service?

(Tho churches usually have pleasant people, good music, and a nice atmosphere, it would be ***perpetuating a cruel lie***

to go if I really didn't believe the core truths of Christianity.)

V Knutsen

I reread much of the posting in answer to the first post.

I am saddened here...The girl did not get the truth.

It seems the Bible is some nice old relic, but you don't really believe its key doctrines...and the key things about Jesus

The girl asked for FOOD and got none.

Reminds me of a young man I met a long time ago. He had asked a very nice minister of a local Elgin, IL church about God.

The man gave him some kind words (similar to yours--probably delivered kindly, but with no real core beliefs) This man, looking for God, found nothing. No Jesus to firmly but kindly offer him forgiveness, renewal...

He then walked out, and continued his life of stealing cars & getting in trouble. If there's no real Jesus, why not do what he wants???

I believe the Apostles' Creed sums it all up

This is a blog by a nice man who is searching for the loopholes (or...perceived loopholes).

Our last word on the Bible is not in (i.e. how archaeology, the VERY old Bible texts, history, science might offer support). People can hunt for the seeming small errors, etc.

The overall picture is...substantial confirmation on the Bible as a reputable old manuscript. Confirmation also is seen in the lives of people it transforms.

But as our culture takes in more neo paganism, watch. Maybe the horror and "cold cruel night" of the true pagan horrors our ancient ancestors left behind...maybe that's what we will have to experience...in order to see the CONTRAST...between the Bible and...our neo paganism...

Neo paganism as I use it is about any belief (or non belief) where people drift down the stream of "do whatever you want".

Watch for those hanging on to the barest outer shell of Christianity to find reasons "loopholes" do basicaly do and choose what the rest of the neopagans do and choose.

I believe the Apostles Creed defines reality

QUOTE FROM ABOVE:

"Anonymous poster of a few hours ago, I challenge you to point to even one case in which a specific individual has verifiably gone to "heaven" for having done what you say, or has verifiably gone somewhere else for failing to do so.

And by "verifiably," of course, I mean that there's observational evidence, in support of your assertion, that would be accepted by, say, an agnostic scientist, or the oft-cited "man from Mars.""
**********
Is all reality defined by what can be repeated? By what can be noted down in a notebook?

And even in observation, sometimes you have to infer the "cause" since it is unseen (i.e. like wind damage leads us to infer a high wind came through).

Observational evidence is of value, tho not all phenomena of life fits neatly into its parameters.

Note that there is significant observation by witnesses of different types concerning the early age of the New Testament and its incredibly high accuracy to the original texts

(as seen by comparing copies we have only a generation or 2 removed from the originals...to the NT copies we have a thousand or so years later).

D. C.

Hmm... TypePad reports that the comments by "I believe the Apostles Creed defines reality" and "I believe the Apostles Creed sums it all up" are apparently from the same person who signs him/herself "V Knutsen" in prior comments.

What's going on here, V Knutsen? I enjoy your comments (while disagreeing with them), but please use just one screen name.

------------

FYI, I'm not looking for loopholes, but for the truth.

------------

The commenter writes: "Observational evidence is of value, tho not all phenomena of life fits neatly into its parameters."

Suppose that (I think that) I perceive a phenomenon, but it can't be perceived by others.

In that case, I need to be extremely cautious about relying on my perception in governing my conduct, because I have no way of confirming whether the phenomenon is real, or is merely a product of imagination or even of mental illness.

Such caution is especially important if the conduct I have in mind might somehow harm others; throughout history, much evil has resulted from people ignoring this rule of thumb.

Amalek

Jesus was born a Jew, but taught a different religion called "The Way", which we now call Christianity. Judaism is very complicated, with its 613 laws called the Mitzvot. The Jews have 613 ways to sin, because a sin is a transgression of the Law. Sin is not imputed where there are no laws. Jesus abolished all the laws and gave one commandment, called the Royal Law. Christianity is the most simple religion in the entire world. If you Love your neighbor as yourself, you are a devout Christian.

HL7

Christianity without believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, is like a man with a heart. I pray that you realize that what you are preaching is not Christianity, but spiritualism. You are not a Christian anymore than Satan, although they have one step on you "for even the demons believe and tremble."

I am not sure why I was so bothered by your post, you are only one man of 6.5 billion. But you lead people the wrong way--how many I do not know. If Christ is not the Son of God, then you are still in your sins.


Amalek

If Christ is not the Son of God, then you are still in your sins.
I wonder just how many sins I have committed. Well, to determine how many, first I have to know what is sin.
1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
I know there are 613 Jewish laws, called the Mitzvot, but didn't Jesus abolish all 613?
Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
There is only one sin in Christianity, Love your neighbor as yourself. If you can't keep that one Law, then you might be in trouble.
I suspect that if Christ is not the Son of God, then when people dies, they just sleep for eternity.

absolutely nobody

Jesus differentiates himself from God repeatedly throughout the Bible, as in Luke 18:19 when he says: “Why do you call me good?” ‘Jesus answered.’ “No one is good - except God alone”; and again: “By myself I can do nothing” (John 5:30); also, “For my Father is greater than I” (John 14:28); and, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21)

By the way, these scriptures I have cited are accounts of Jesus' own statements, not those of someone else's interpretations.

The Bible is repleat with contradictions such as these, but when taken more metaphorically, is clearly rich with insight to guide one into a closer relationship with God. Over-analysis and dogmatic adherence to a literal interpretation of the scripture has proven a slippery slope for years, creating an "us and them" mentality which is incongruent with Jesus' most basic teachings: to love God, to love thy neighbor as thyself, and to love those the furthest from God. Instead, the futility of literal interpretation has created a nearly cult-like exclusionary mindset, not unlike other fundamentalist belief systems. I would propose that were Jesus here today, he would find that modern evangelicals have unwittingly strayed from the core of Jesus' message.

IMHO, Jesus' experiential relationship with the divine could only be described through parable, not by intellect. He was calling us into that relationship, not trying to separate us from it. The Bible, when taken literally, holds us back from experiential potential by locking us in a cave of our own cognitive reasoning of faith, God and Jesus. Jesus sought to free us from those chains, to shepherd us into our own Christ potential. Sadly, we remain bound by our own humanness in failing to understand this key aspect of the Way.

Then again, letting go of our need for literal interpretation opens us up to a much more nebulous journey of intangibles - much like what Jesus tried to explain about God to us - utterly UN-interpretable. I have long suspected that most people a far too insecure to consider such a path to divinity and Christness vs. easily satiating their human need for the security of the group mindset in validating each others belief that "we are 'in' and everyone else isn't, right?"

With love...

I accept the opinion that Jesus tried to differentiate himself from God. This is very clear from Jesus' own words.

Hence, Jesus is no God. Hence, he shouldn't be worshipped as God.

Hence, Islam is correct about Jesus, that he was a great prophet and messenger of God.

Faith in God

It is quite possible that those who analyse the beliefs and teachings of others may themselves have unbiblical teachings or perspectives or end up "nitpicking" over non-essentials, going far beyond reason in their critiques. Some even have a very narrow, legalistic, or extreme fundamentalist perspective and seem to have little understanding of unity in the Body of Christ. Nit-picking over the small details is certainly unnecessary and not honouring to God. However, I believe that telling a teenager that one can still be a Christian and not have to believe that Jesus is God is a major doctrinal issue and her soul is at stake as are all people who are hearing your teachings through your bible studies.
Teachings which undermine the deity of Jesus Christ or alter the biblical doctrines regarding the nature and character of Christ, the Holy Spirit, God the Father, or the doctrine of the Trinity are false teachings. Jesus Christ came to this earth as God in the flesh. He is the second person of the Trinity and was not created, but "always was" from the beginning.
John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God."
Jesus was the instigator of creation. The Bible affirms in several places that Jesus Christ is the Creator God. For example, ‘All things were made by him [the Word, in Greek λόγος (logos), = Jesus Christ]’ (John 1:3), and ‘For by him [Jesus Christ] were all things created’ (Colossians 1:16).
If you continue to read in John 1, scripture says the following; starting in verse 2: "the same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men." (Vs. 2-4) Now go to verse 14; "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of Him, and cried, saying, This was He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me." (vs. 14-15.) In this narrative, John tells us in no uncertain terms that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God and He came as a man of flesh and dwelt among men on earth. Now I realize that only those who believe that the Bible is the true Word of God will accept this as proof that Jesus really is the Messiah, the Promised One, the Savior and God. This is where faith comes in and faith comes by hearing and by hearing the Word of God. I have faith that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all Truth. Hebrews 11:1 tells us what faith is: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
And Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Are you seeking God or are you seeking to disprove Him by trying to disprove the diety of Jesus Christ? Are you seeking your own manmade version of what you think your god is "in my own way of thinking" (your own words to the girl quoted above? To produce a God of our own making with what we believe in our mind instead of the God we have faith in, is a very self-centered rebellious refusal to surrender to worshipping the true God as He commands. Many people of this world do not understand how to worship God because they lack surrendering their hearts to His Spirit. Being of this world is being in enmity with God and serving the devil. Without God's help, human nature tries to limit God to the confines of physical objects that he understands. Scientists and those who search for evidence and proof of all existence both natural and in the spiritual realm have much to learn. God is an unseen Spirit; yet people look for physical evidence to try to prove or disprove His existence. God looks at the heart of man and no scholar will ever get to heaven with head knowledge of the bible, or of God. The only way to heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ. "I am the Way the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." Reading the Word of God and having a relationship with Jesus who is God takes giving of your whole heart and mind and soul and surrenduring your entire self to Him. It is not a head knowledge thing at all!!
The bible says in Jeremiah 29:13 "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." and Deuteronomy 4:29 "But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul."
The bible doesn't say search for evidence of my existence, read all you can about what historians have to say about Me and find the proof you need to believe that I AM.
Have you sought God with all your heart and mind and soul? Have you searched the scriptures to know Truth?
Your refusal to believe the bible as God's truth is a blatant act of rebellion as well. Men fabricate images or representations of god that they themselves have concocted. You thus are worshipping a false god and are teaching false teachings.
Timothy, says "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." (2 Timothy 4:2-4 NIV)
I believe it is the responsibility of all of us in the Body of Christ to keep those who are teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ accountable to Scripture and to do our best to ensure that God's sheep are not led astray by unworthy or unbiblical under-shepherds, especially for the sake of future generations! Now more then ever, Satan is spreading false doctrine and false prophecy to lead as many from the kingdom as possible.
I pray that you will come to know Jesus as your Savior and that you will allow the Holy Spirit to be your guide instead of your own mind and your own thinking.
I also pray that you will be man enough to tell the girl that you told these untruths to that you really don't know what the truth is and that you are still searching yourself. As unsure as you are about the bible even being Truth I would hesitate about even teaching bible studies. Telling her the whole truth about how shaky your faith is would be much more honest than telling her that she can still be a Christian if she doesn't believe that Jesus is God and then point her to the scriptures that are clear about Jesus' deity so she can develop her own faith and beliefs base on the Word of God instead of your word.

scharl

I can't help but notice your greater concern is more about what people think or perceive as apposed to what GOD or JESUS said & is the truth. That should settle it. Christianity is not a democracy, and truth is not subjective but objective. May you have a revelation of the love of Christ, that God came in the flesh to set you free to perfect relationship with Him. That he'll open your eyes to the truth. Christianity has ONE focul point. JESUS. Take the CHRIST out of christianity and u have insanity. Otherwise look for a another name for your religion to express your views. Don't twist the truth to comfort the chip or hurt on your shoulder.

D. C. Toedt

Thanks for the comment, @schari. There was enough meat in it that I went ahead and posted my response as a new blog entry. I do appreciate your having taken the time to comment, and wish you all the best.

MSD

I agree with Belinconnu in the first post. "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" -- the apostle Stephen is clearly using Jesus as a god.

Lisa Marie

I am a believer that Jesus Christ (messiah) is the son of God and not God himself.

Theres a wonderful youtube debtae, not rude buttruly insightful.
www.jesusishuman.com

I always recall, Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant and there is one mediator between God and men , the man Christ Jesus.
Romans seems to make this abundantly clear also....

Thank you,
lisa

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