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[IPr] Re: My thoughts, and coping

>To me, if I had to define "Christian", it would be something along 
>the lines of
>"Someone who seeks a relationship with God through Jesus Christ".

Laura, that is what I believe.  But I don't know how you can have a 
relationship with God through Jesus if you don't believe in the Bible 
as God's word.

>However, I'm not sure exactly how you get from that to the second part of
>your statement -- "if you believe He was the son of God, then you believe
>the Bible".  (by this, you seem to mean believe that every word of the Bible
>is literally true).  Jesus never demanded that we take a literal 
>of any scripture.  He asked us to follow Him.  He gave us two
>commandments, "love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves"  (well, I
>guess that's three commandments if you count loving yourself as a
>separate one!)  He said, "Do this and you will live".

I don't know where you are coming from when you say Jesus never 
demanded that we take a literal interpretation of any scripture.  It 
is through the Bible (and only the Bible) that we know what Jesus' 
wants of us.

The commandments you refer to are from the Bible:  Matthew 22: 
37-40.  My King James version differs a little from your quote, but 
basically is the same.  Again, the BIBLE gave us these commandments 
of Jesus.

>I do believe the Bible.  I believe the testimonies of Paul and the early
>Christians when they tell of what Jesus did in their lives.  I believe Jesus
>was God made flesh, and can't imagine Christianity coming into being the
>way it did, despite so much initial persecution, unless God's hand was
>behind it.  I try to listen for the Word of God in every word of scripture.
>However, to me that doesn't mean I have to believe that everything
>recounted in Scripture actually happened exactly as described at a certain
>point in history.  I agree with what Jim said that something can be true in
>the mythological sense -- true in that it teaches us about God -- without
>being true in the sense of being an actual historical event.

We differ on this...and that's fine.  I believe that the Bible is 
true in every sense.  It is the word of God the way he intended and 

> >I do have a problem with someone calling themselves a Christian but
> >then saying they don't believe the entire Bible is factual, or the Bible
> >needs to be supplemented by other works.
>I have to say that I think the Bible (like anything else that's not 
>God) can be
>made into an idol.  God speaks to us through the Bible, but I don't believe
>He ONLY speaks to us through the Bible.  He didn't stop communicating
>with His children 2000 years ago!  One of my pastors sometimes talks
>about the "Wesleyan Quadrangle" (attributed to John Wesley) of "reason,
>tradition, scripture, and experience".  All four of these are vehicles for
>knowing about God, but any one of them can also become an idol if we
>allow our entire faith to "rise and set" on it.

We totally disagree on this one.  I don't feel the Bible could ever 
be referred to as an idol.  God was vehemently against worshipping 
idols.  He wouldn't give us his Word through one.  The more 
interpretations that come from the Bible, the more chance for error 
and misinterpretations.  That is why I steer away from any books that 
are not the one and only.  I would love to be able to read Greek to 
read the original writings of the Bible!

>Also, to me I don't feel I would EVER have the right to suggest to anyone
>else who professes faith in Jesus that they're not really a Christian.  Who
>am I to judge that?  Christianity to me is about a relationship with Christ
>much more than it's about holding the "right" doctrines.

I don't know what you mean about holding the "right" doctrines. 
Anyone can profess they are a Christian.  I am not judging anyone's 
Christianity.  Everyone is at a different stage in their beliefs and 
faith.  I just feel accepting Jesus as the son of God and living by 
His example and commandments is what makes you a Christian and the 
only way to know that is by reading the Bible.

>Anyway, again, interesting topics.  I hope I haven't offended anyone.  And,
>to the non-Christians on the list, thanks for bearing with us!

I, too, say thanks to the non-Christians for bearing with this topic. 
It must be painfully boring to you!  Maybe it's time to let it drop. 
We all have very passionate opinions and views...which is a good 
thing.  I don't think any of us are going to change our minds.


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