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megimoo
10-13-2008, 01:46 AM
Hey, man! It was great to spend time with you in Houston last weekend. It was a real honor to be the keynote speaker at the annual fund-raiser for Texas Right to Life. They are a real class act and I thought they put together one spectacular event. It was really something else to be able to speak in front of my parents, my First Grade teacher, and my oldest friend in the universe (I mean oldest friendship as I don’t mean to imply you’re old which would mean I’m old, too).

I must tell you, though, that our conversation after the banquet was the highlight of the whole trip. During the conversation I was most struck by three of your statements; namely, that you were learning to let go of your anger, that you were reading the Book of Luke, and that you’re now taking a Bible study class at the church your dad attended before his unexpected death. In other words, you’re doing what I did just a few years ago: You’re growing up and out of atheism and embarking on an important intellectual journey.

You gave some indication Friday night that you have some remorse about how your past anger has hurt other people and interfered with your relationships. You seemed most concerned about how your unresolved religious issues may have caused you to lash out at others – mostly with the women you’ve dated and even in your relationship with your current girlfriend. I have a few insights that I hope will help you feel a little better about this and will help you focus on doing the NRT. By that, I mean forgetting about the past and simply doing the Next Right Thing.

Any outbursts of anger you may have displayed during your prolonged battle with God probably pale in comparison with the ones I displayed during my days as a hardened and outspoken atheist. It didn’t help that during that time I badly abused alcohol and used drugs that were intended to fill a gap in my life caused by my rejection of God.

Regardless, I am still having to apologize to people I hurt during that period of my life. But I don’t dwell on it because I understand the origins of that anger. It’s all about separation from God. And once we have the courage to step away from atheism - or the intellectually weaker position of agnosticism - the anger just disappears. (Note that the agnostic is literally confessing, as I did for nine years, to be an “ignoramus” regarding the existence of God).

I think anger is one of the reasons people get trapped in atheism or agnosticism. The anger becomes so intense that they lose the ability to discuss religion with more intellectually centered believers. They often become so embittered that they won’t even read anything that challenges their views on theological matters.

I am now encountering that problem with an atheist professor at UNC-Wilmington. He has a pile of books on his desk by Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, and other atheists who think like he thinks. He won’t attend lectures or read books I recommend that provide a different perspective. I have to approach the topic carefully in order to avoid stirring his fiery temper. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the most outspoken atheist I know has less control over his emotions than anyone I know.

But I think most former atheists and former agnostics also find that there is another emotion, which sort of disappears once a solid, intellectually based belief in God takes hold in their lives. That emotion is fear.

The man who used to be my most outspoken atheist colleague (he is now retired) provides a good example of what I’m talking about. His decision to adopt atheism had nothing to do with honest intellectual reflection. He simply had a horrible relationship with his father and he took it out on God. The consequence of this was a level of emotional insecurity that made him simply impossibly to deal with. He was constantly plagued by indecisiveness and anxiety.
snip

http://townhall.com/columnists/MikeSAdams/2008/10/13/growing_out_of_atheism?page=1

wilbur
10-13-2008, 09:12 AM
...

The man who used to be my most outspoken atheist colleague (he is now retired) provides a good example of what I’m talking about. His decision to adopt atheism had nothing to do with honest intellectual reflection. He simply had a horrible relationship with his father and he took it out on God. The consequence of this was a level of emotional insecurity that made him simply impossibly to deal with. He was constantly plagued by indecisiveness and anxiety.
snip

http://townhall.com/columnists/MikeSAdams/2008/10/13/growing_out_of_atheism?page=1[/SIZE]

Atheists like that are not really ever atheist, sort of like CS Lewis. The belief in God is there, but some personal injustice prevents them from acknowledging it. They are primed and ready for some convoluted theological platitude to wash it all away and convince them that there is some greater purpose in the sorrowful moments in their lives. This is why most atheist -> religious testimonies are never very convincing.

I think this is also why so many religious people have such a hard time addressing atheist arguments properly.. they just do no comprehend that many of us really aren't just 'angry with God' or that we explain away God so that we don't have to be accountable to anyone.

jinxmchue
10-13-2008, 09:45 AM
Atheists like that are not really ever atheist, sort of like CS Lewis. The belief in God is there, but some personal injustice prevents them from acknowledging it. They are primed and ready for some convoluted theological platitude to wash it all away and convince them that there is some greater purpose in the sorrowful moments in their lives. This is why most atheist -> religious testimonies are never very convincing.

I think this is also why so many religious people have such a hard time addressing atheist arguments properly.. they just do no comprehend that many of us really aren't just 'angry with God' or that we explain away God so that we don't have to be accountable to anyone.

Ah, of course! THEY'RE NOT "TRUE ATHEISTS"(TM).

Better not ever hear you dicks complain about "true Christians." Ever.

But I know you will because you're frickin' hypocrites.

Cold Warrior
10-13-2008, 09:56 AM
Atheists like that are not really ever atheist, sort of like CS Lewis. The belief in God is there, but some personal injustice prevents them from acknowledging it. They are primed and ready for some convoluted theological platitude to wash it all away and convince them that there is some greater purpose in the sorrowful moments in their lives. This is why most atheist -> religious testimonies are never very convincing.

I think this is also why so many religious people have such a hard time addressing atheist arguments properly.. they just do no comprehend that many of us really aren't just 'angry with God' or that we explain away God so that we don't have to be accountable to anyone.

It seems that many of those who "convert" (and I think convesion is bi-directional, i.e. both atheists to believers and believers to atheists) often become as zealous in their new position as they were in their old. You cite CS Lewis, but I immediately thought of a much more powerful literary figure who reflected his conversion to Catholicism in his transition from Prufrock to The Wasteland to Journey of the Magi -- Eliot.

wilbur
10-13-2008, 02:10 PM
Ah, of course! THEY'RE NOT "TRUE ATHEISTS"(TM).

Better not ever hear you dicks complain about "true Christians." Ever.


Well here's the thing Jinx... Atheism and Christianity are similar in that there is really only one requirement necessary to fit the label.


True atheism: one simply needs more doubt than confidence in the existence of supernatural gods.
True Christianity: one simply needs to worship Jesus as God.


So, conversely, that means the only way one cannot be a true christian or a true atheist is if they do not possess the sole requirement for each.

The people in the article above really seem to have always lacked the one and only feature required for one to be an atheist. Being angry at God means one is not an atheist, by definition. So yes, they aren't true atheists.... and I can, without being a hypocrite, say there are plenty of child rapists, mass murderers etc etc, who are in fact true Christians while at the same time, say the people described in the article are not true atheists.



But I know you will because you're frickin' hypocrites.

Jinx, an amazing example of the true transformative power of the Lord!

FlaGator
10-13-2008, 04:21 PM
Well here's the thing Jinx... Atheism and Christianity are similar in that there is really only one requirement necessary to fit the label.


True atheism: one simply needs more doubt than confidence in the existence of supernatural gods.
True Christianity: one simply needs to worship Jesus as God.


So, conversely, that means the only way one cannot be a true christian or a true atheist is if they do not possess the sole requirement for each.

The people in the article above really seem to have always lacked the one feature that must be present for one to be an atheist. Being angry at God means one is not an atheist, by definition. So yes, they aren't true atheists.... and I can, without being a hypocrite, say there are plenty of child rapists, mass murderers etc etc, who are in fact true Christians while at the same time, say the people described in the article are not true atheists.



Jinx, an amazing example of the true transformative power of the Lord!


That is incorrect my friend. A true Christian believes that Christ died upon the cross as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. They believe that Jesus then rose from the dead and acended to Heaven. They repent of their sins as an act of obedience and acceptence of Christ's sacrifice. Finally they obey the teachings and directions that Christ put forth in the Gospels. Anything less is a false Christianity.


“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. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Matthew 7:21-23

wilbur
10-13-2008, 04:40 PM
That is incorrect my friend. A true Christian believes that Christ died upon the cross as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. They believe that Jesus then rose from the dead and acended to Heaven. They repent of their sins as an act of obedience and acceptence of Christ's sacrifice. Finally they obey the teachings and directions that Christ put forth in the Gospels. Anything less is a false Christianity.

Matthew 7:21-23

Once you start imposing all these other requirements it really then becomes 'they aren't a true protestant, or a true catholic or a true pentecostal' etc..

Constitutionally Speaking
10-13-2008, 04:40 PM
It seems that many of those who "convert" (and I think convesion is bi-directional, i.e. both atheists to believers and believers to atheists) often become as zealous in their new position as they were in their old. You cite CS Lewis, but I immediately thought of a much more powerful literary figure who reflected his conversion to Catholicism in his transition from Prufrock to The Wasteland to Journey of the Magi -- Eliot.

I think people often become more zealous.

FlaGator
10-13-2008, 05:05 PM
Once you start imposing all these other requirements it really then becomes 'they aren't a true protestant, or a true catholic or a true pentecostal' etc..

I didn't impose anything. I'm just quoting Christ. I can produce quite a few more if your interested... all spoken by Christ not me. All I quoted was the basics. These are common to all Christian denominations.

biccat
10-13-2008, 05:21 PM
Once you start imposing all these other requirements it really then becomes 'they aren't a true protestant, or a true catholic or a true pentecostal' etc..
To say "Christians believe Jesus is God" is exhibiting extreme ignorance of the basic principle of Christianity.

So before you start bashing Christians again, please educate yourself on the issue.

Gingersnap
10-13-2008, 05:22 PM
Once you start imposing all these other requirements it really then becomes 'they aren't a true protestant, or a true catholic or a true pentecostal' etc..

No. FlaGator pointed out the standard creedal beliefs required of all Christians. Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Copt, or whatever: these are the terms of salvation. There are a number of mainline Christian bodies that never press self-identified Christians on those points but that doesn't change them. ;)

wilbur
10-13-2008, 05:35 PM
No. FlaGator pointed out the standard creedal beliefs required of all Christians. Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Copt, or whatever: these are the terms of salvation. There are a number of mainline Christian bodies that never press self-identified Christians on those points but that doesn't change them. ;)

What else would you call someone who believes in and worships Christ as God?

The term Christian casts a very big net.... you can't simply exclude people because they don't fit your own, more narrow definition.

The Night Owl
10-13-2008, 05:41 PM
To say "Christians believe Jesus is God" is exhibiting extreme ignorance of the basic principle of Christianity.

So before you start bashing Christians again, please educate yourself on the issue.

LOL! What are you talking about? The Bible contains numerous passages indicating that Jesus Christ and God are one in the same. For crying out loud, the very premise of Christianity is the idea that Christ was God incarnate...

For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:11

LogansPapa
10-13-2008, 05:43 PM
The utter ego of Christianity still floors me. :cool:

One must go from being an atheist directly to being a believer in Christ. There is no other path.:rolleyes:

With this kind of enlightenment there will be a dozen Crusades before it's finished.

biccat
10-13-2008, 05:44 PM
LOL! What are you talking about? The Bible contains numerous passages indicating that Jesus Christ and God are one in the same. For crying out loud, the very premise of Christianity is the idea that Christ was God incarnate...

Christians believe in the divinity of Christ. They do not believe that he is God. I know the Trinity is hard to understand, but you should at least acknowledge when you don't know something.

The Night Owl
10-13-2008, 05:48 PM
Christians believe in the divinity of Christ. They do not believe that he is God. I know the Trinity is hard to understand, but you should at least acknowledge when you don't know something.

I and my Father are one. John 10:30

wilbur
10-13-2008, 05:55 PM
Christians believe in the divinity of Christ. They do not believe that he is God. I know the Trinity is hard to understand, but you should at least acknowledge when you don't know something.

Semantic gymnastics. Last time I checked, Christ was part of the trinity, hence, he is God.

FlaGator
10-13-2008, 07:15 PM
What else would you call someone who believes in and worships Christ as God?

The term Christian casts a very big net.... you can't simply exclude people because they don't fit your own, more narrow definition.
That is Christ's definition of a believer not mine nor Gingers. By the way. Your definition has changed. You originally stated that

True Christianity: one simply needs to worship Jesus as God.

Now you state

What else would you call someone who believes in and worships Christ as God?

Why did you limit the scope of yor original definition? Are you now excluding those who merely worship and but do not belief?

If I like French culture and French history, I am French because I claim to be French?

Christ defines what a Christian is. He set the standard. One must meet the standard set by Christ to be a Christian. The definition of a Christian is not a broad as you believe.


Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Matthew 7:13-14

FlaGator
10-13-2008, 07:27 PM
Christians believe in the divinity of Christ. They do not believe that he is God. I know the Trinity is hard to understand, but you should at least acknowledge when you don't know something.

What you are describing is a form of Arianism and is considered a Heresy. That Christ is not God is a major tenet of Mormon's and Jehovah’s Witness'. The Nicene Council in 325 A.D. determined that Christ is wholly man and wholly God and ruled that views other than Christ's complete divinity is heresy. I firmly believe that Christ was God incarnate. God became man to suffer as a man for the salvation of man. He was man yet he was still God.

wilbur
10-13-2008, 07:31 PM
That is Christ's definition of a believer not mine nor Gingers. By the way. Your definition has changed. You originally stated that


Now you state


Why did you limit the scope of yor original definition? Are you now excluding those who merely worship and but do not belief?

If I like French culture and French history, I am French because I claim to be French?

Christ defines what a Christian is. He set the standard. One must meet the standard set by Christ to be a Christian. The definition of a Christian is not a broad as you believe.


Matthew 7:13-14

It was a mistake of over verbosity, really. But perhaps we need to extend it to mere 'belief' to accommodate Biccat (and the mormons). But I don't see how one could worship Jesus as God and not believe in him. "And" was used.

FlaGator
10-13-2008, 07:39 PM
It was a mistake of over verbosity, really. But perhaps we need to extend it to mere 'belief' to accommodate Biccat.

I'm not sure of what his denomination is. If Christ is not God then all Christians are guilty of Idolotry because we would be worshipping something other than God. That would be a frightening thought.

But to your original point, just because a person claims to be a Christian doesn't make it so. There is more to being a Christian than just worshipping Christ. One has to put his teaching in to practice or else he is simply paying lip service to faith.

wilbur
10-13-2008, 08:13 PM
I'm not sure of what his denomination is. If Christ is not God then all Christians are guilty of Idolotry because we would be worshipping something other than God. That would be a frightening thought.

But to your original point, just because a person claims to be a Christian doesn't make it so. There is more to being a Christian than just worshipping Christ. One has to put his teaching in to practice or else he is simply paying lip service to faith.

Anyways, this was all in response to Jinx's remarks about me criticizing those who claim to be ex-atheists, yet plainly never really were atheists. I don't ever really try and argue what constitutes 'true Christianity' except when some Christians try and disavow wrong doings by bad people by claiming 'well, they just weren't really Christian'. It usually happens in conversations about the alleged utility of religion. By excluding all major wrong doers, they can point to the good deeds of the virtuous people left over, and claim that its all because of their religion.

The major point of all this was really to say that one cannot be a christian if they don't believe in and/or worship Christ. Just like one cannot be an atheist, if they believe in God(s). In other news... water is wet ;)

MrsSmith
10-13-2008, 08:17 PM
The utter ego of Christianity still floors me. :cool:

One must go from being an atheist directly to being a believer in Christ. There is no other path.:rolleyes:

With this kind of enlightenment there will be a dozen Crusades before it's finished.
There is, by definition, no ego in Christianity. In fact, you must be willing to admit that you cannot earn your way to Heaven and can only be saved by Christ, as a gift. It is something you will never be able to pay back. Ego is the opposite of the one requirement of Christianity.

MrsSmith
10-13-2008, 08:18 PM
Anyways, this was all in response to Jinx's remarks about me criticizing those who claim to be ex-atheists, yet plainly never really were atheists. I don't ever really try and argue what constitutes 'true Christianity' except when some Christians try and disavow wrong doings by bad people by claiming 'well, they just weren't really Christian'. It usually happens in conversations about the alleged utility of religion. By excluding all major wrong doers, they can point to the good deeds of the virtuous people left over, and claim that its all because of their religion.

The major point of all this was really to say that one cannot be a christian if they don't believe in and/or worship Christ. Just like one cannot be an atheist, if they believe in God(s). In other news... water is wet ;)

Satan believes in Christ, but certainly is not a Christian.

wilbur
10-13-2008, 08:26 PM
There is, by definition, no ego in Christianity. In fact, you must be willing to admit that you cannot earn your way to Heaven and can only be saved by Christ, as a gift. It is something you will never be able to pay back. Ego is the opposite of the one requirement of Christianity.

Megalomaniacal hubris is a requirement in order to believe humanity is the ultimate end product and desired goal of the most powerful being that ever existed... and that he has a special plan just for you.

FlaGator
10-13-2008, 08:41 PM
Megalomaniacal hubris is a requirement in order to believe humanity is the ultimate end product and desired goal of the most powerful being that ever existed... and that he has a special plan just for you.

But if it is the case that the whole universe was created with humanity as the ultimate end then that is not hubris nor megalomania. It would be a simple statement of fact. It only appears to be Megalomaniacal hubris from the point of view that their is no God who is willing to create the universe as the establishment of man being it's ultimate purpose. I could make just as equality strong argument by stating that it is human arrogance and hubris to deny the existence of a creator and giving itself sole credit for the unaided creation of civilization from nothing.

Gingersnap
10-13-2008, 09:14 PM
Megalomaniacal hubris is a requirement in order to believe humanity is the ultimate end product and desired goal of the most powerful being that ever existed... and that he has a special plan just for you.

Why would that be? Do you believe that the most powerful being that ever existed can't multitask? Sure, from a human perspective, what we do and how we live is extremely important but why would you believe that God doesn't have a dozen similar projects in the fire for various reasons?

I can stretch that far and I'm a believer. Why would you hew to such a narrow concept of my God?

The Night Owl
10-13-2008, 09:29 PM
There is, by definition, no ego in Christianity. In fact, you must be willing to admit that you cannot earn your way to Heaven and can only be saved by Christ, as a gift. It is something you will never be able to pay back. Ego is the opposite of the one requirement of Christianity.

So, according to you, what one does in life has any bearing on where one ends up in the afterlife?

FlaGator
10-13-2008, 09:32 PM
So, according to you, what one does in life has any bearing on where one ends up in the afterlife?

That pretty much sums it up! You've got one chance to get it right and this is it. But there is a catch... when one is given the gift of grace, he or she can not help but obey God or seek his forgiveness when one slips. It becomes part of ones nature. A person seeks to do good. I'm sure you understand this since it has been mentioned to you several times in the past. If I commited a murder before I became a Christian then I would be compelled to turn myself in and own up to my societal debt. By debt to God has already been paid through Christ's death on the cross.

The Night Owl
10-13-2008, 10:55 PM
That pretty much sums it up! You've got one chance to get it right and this is it.

Huh? So, if we get things right we earn entry into Heaven? Mrs. Smith wrote that entry into Heaven is a gift which cannot be earned. It seems to me that you and Smith are not in agreement.

FeebMaster
10-13-2008, 10:58 PM
Bad news, guys. God prefers atheists.

http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/5732/rehab477rt7.jpg

wilbur
10-13-2008, 11:19 PM
But if it is the case that the whole universe was created with humanity as the ultimate end then that is not hubris nor megalomania. It would be a simple statement of fact. It only appears to be Megalomaniacal hubris from the point of view that their is no God who is willing to create the universe as the establishment of man being it's ultimate purpose. I could make just as equality strong argument by stating that it is human arrogance and hubris to deny the existence of a creator and giving itself sole credit for the unaided creation of civilization from nothing.

Not so fast;). You can't make that argument because it is impossible to make an equally strong argument that proves or even provides credible evidence the existence of an intelligent, benevolent creator, outside an appeal to subjective fuzzy feelings, which are notoriously unreliable.

wilbur
10-13-2008, 11:23 PM
That pretty much sums it up! You've got one chance to get it right and this is it. But there is a catch... when one is given the gift of grace, he or she can not help but obey God or seek his forgiveness when one slips. It becomes part of ones nature. A person seeks to do good. I'm sure you understand this since it has been mentioned to you several times in the past. If I commited a murder before I became a Christian then I would be compelled to turn myself in and own up to my societal debt. By debt to God has already been paid through Christ's death on the cross.

So once you receive God's grace you lose your free will?

wilbur
10-13-2008, 11:30 PM
Why would that be? Do you believe that the most powerful being that ever existed can't multitask? Sure, from a human perspective, what we do and how we live is extremely important but why would you believe that God doesn't have a dozen similar projects in the fire for various reasons?

I can stretch that far and I'm a believer. Why would you hew to such a narrow concept of my God?

Gen 1:26

This isnt something unique to Christianity... the hubris get's worse when you look at other claims, such as the idea that {insert your religion here} is the final and sole arbiter of the pure truth as revealed by God(s).... chosen people destined for paradise while others are condemned for eternity, etc.

It's really amazing that most religions have such magnificent marketing, that this plain as day fact is able to be spun into an illusion of humility. That isnt directed necessarily at all individuals of a particular faith... Ginger is one of the most humble people here (at least thats how it comes across in her posts)... but the hubris is a quality of the belief system itself... sometimes it carries over to it's adherents.. sometimes not.

FlaGator
10-14-2008, 07:34 AM
Huh? So, if we get things right we earn entry into Heaven? Mrs. Smith wrote that entry into Heaven is a gift which cannot be earned. It seems to me that you and Smith are not in agreement.

No, you didn't read my whole post. It's a paradox... but then again you know this because you've used this line of reasoning in the past with the same unsuccessful results. She and I are in complete agreement. It is you who lack understanding.

FlaGator
10-14-2008, 07:40 AM
So once you receive God's grace you lose your free will?

Nope. I didn't say that. I said that a person begins to change and wishes to become obedient to God. His free will is intact. His desires are changed and as before the regeneration he uses his free will in tandem with his desires.

If today you enjoy drinking alcohol but tomorrow you decide that alcohol consumption is bad for you, did you lose you free well to drink because in the future you choose not to drink?

FlaGator
10-14-2008, 07:51 AM
Not so fast;). You can't make that argument because it is impossible to make an equally strong argument that proves or even provides credible evidence the existence of an intelligent, benevolent creator, outside an appeal to subjective fuzzy feelings, which are notoriously unreliable.

You misunderstand. I was pointing out that from your perspective what seems as hubris to you is simply stating a fact from my position. There is no hubris involved if I and saying what I know to be true in my heart. To me it is hubris to think that man did this all on his own.

I have bad several arguments using a lot of "coincidences" in the laws of physics that point to the existence of a creator. You do not accept those arguments and instead lay the cause of these "coincidents" at the feet of chance and randomness even though the odds that all these coincidents coming together is astronomical. I have never made a plea to fuzzy feelings for the existence of God. I have made sound factual arguments that are not based on the Bible. You brush them aside. That is your choice.

However, you have never made a valid argument for the non-existence of God. Make for me a strong argument that God doesn't exist? Show me that your point of view is not just hubris and vain arrogance that denies a creator so that man can take the credit for what is God's work.

biccat
10-14-2008, 08:18 AM
What you are describing is a form of Arianism and is considered a Heresy. That Christ is not God is a major tenet of Mormon's and Jehovah’s Witness'. The Nicene Council in 325 A.D. determined that Christ is wholly man and wholly God and ruled that views other than Christ's complete divinity is heresy. I firmly believe that Christ was God incarnate. God became man to suffer as a man for the salvation of man. He was man yet he was still God.
Saying "Christ is God" ignores the concept of the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost make up the Christian "God."

I do not worship Christ as God, I worship him as a part of God. Yes, Christ is Divine, but he is not separate from God as Wilbur's original statement suggests.

To worship Christ as God without the context of the Trinity is to violate the First Commandment.

megimoo
10-14-2008, 09:05 AM
Saying "Christ is God" ignores the concept of the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost make up the Christian "God."

I do not worship Christ as God, I worship him as a part of God. Yes, Christ is Divine, but he is not separate from God as Wilbur's original statement suggests.

To worship Christ as God without the context of the Trinity is to violate the First Commandment.

The Trinity has no parallel in human experience.The oneness of GOD,the uniqueness of each member of the Holy Trinity is beyound our frail minds to comprehend.Each is GOD individually and totally .

St Augustine on the Holy Trinity

The Father Is God.The Son Is God.The Spirit Is God.
Eph. 1:17;
Heb. 1:8;
Acts 5:3-4

God Is One.God Is Three.
Deut. 6:4;
Matt. 28:19
The Bible reveals emphatically and repeatedly that God is one. First Corinthians 8:4 proclaims that “there is no God but one.”

God Himself declares in Isaiah 45:5, “I am Jehovah, and there is no one else; Besides Me there is no God.” Yet throughout Scripture this unique, singular God also attests to His own plurality.

He said in Genesis 1:26, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (italics added). Isaiah 6:8 testifies to the same plurality: “Whom shall I send?

Who will go for Us?” Though this plural aspect is alluded to in the Old Testament, not until the New Testament is God explicitly revealed in His Trinity. The clearest proclamation appears in Matthew 28:19, where the Lord Jesus charged the eleven apostles to disciple and baptize the nations “into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

On one hand, the use of the singular noun “name” in this verse, rather than the plural “names,” denotes that the Three are the one unique God into whom the discipled nations are baptized.

On the other hand, the specific enumeration of all three–the Father, the Son, and the Spirit–underscores Their mutual distinction.

What mystery, the Father, Son, and Spirit,In person three, in substance all are one.
How glorious, this God our being enters,To be our all, thru Spirit in the Son!

The Triune God has now become our all! How wonderful! How glorious!
This Gift divine we never can exhaust!How excellent! How marvelous!


In the Retractations (ii. 15) Augustine speaks of this work in the following terms:—

I spent some years in writing fifteen books concerning the Trinity, which is God.
Chapter 4.— What the Doctrine of the Catholic Faith is Concerning the Trinity.

7. All those Catholic expounders of the divine Scriptures, both Old and New, whom I have been able to read, who have written before me concerning the Trinity, Who is God, have purposed to teach, according to the Scriptures, this doctrine, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit intimate a divine unity of one and the same substance in an indivisible equality;

and therefore that they are not three Gods, but one God: although the Father has begotten the Son, and so He who is the Father is not the Son; and the Son is begotten by the Father, and so He who is the Son is not the Father; and the Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son, but only the Spirit of the Father and of the Son, Himself also co-equal with the Father and the Son, and pertaining to the unity of the Trinity.

Yet not that this Trinity was born of the Virgin Mary, and crucified under Pontius Pilate, and buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven, but only the Son. Nor, again, that this Trinity descended in the form of a dove upon Jesus when He was baptized;

nor that, on the day of Pentecost, after the ascension of the Lord, when there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, the same Trinity sat upon each of them with cloven tongues like as of fire, but only the Holy Spirit.

Nor yet that this Trinity said from heaven, You are my Son, whether when He was baptized by John, or when the three disciples were with Him in the mount, or when the voice sounded, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again;

but that it was a word of the Father only, spoken to the Son; although the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as they are indivisible, so work indivisibly. This is also my faith, since it is the Catholic faith.

Without a doubt, the divine Father is God. In Ephesians 1:17 Paul prays to “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,” who is the “one God and Father of all” (Eph. 4:6). The Bible also reveals that the Son is God. Addressing the Son, Hebrews 1:8 states, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.” Initially, the Word, who was God, became flesh in the man Jesus (John 1:1,14). Throughout His human living, the man Jesus was the very God manifested in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:15-16). After Christ’s death and resurrection, Thomas worshipped Him confessing, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Now, as the ascended Christ who is over all, He is “God blessed forever” (Rom. 9:5). Furthermore, the Spirit is God, as indicated in Acts 5:3-4, where Ananias was told that in deceiving the Holy Spirit, he was lying to God. Yet the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, though distinct, are not three separate Gods. In the words of the Athanasian Creed, “The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God.”

FlaGator
10-14-2008, 09:07 AM
Saying "Christ is God" ignores the concept of the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost make up the Christian "God."

I do not worship Christ as God, I worship him as a part of God. Yes, Christ is Divine, but he is not separate from God as Wilbur's original statement suggests.

To worship Christ as God without the context of the Trinity is to violate the First Commandment.

I'm curious, what denomination are you? I have been studying theology for quite some time now and I don't think that I've encountered this definition before. Since the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all one in the same either or all can be worshiped as God. It is impossible to honor Christ without automatically assuming the Father and the Holy Spirit. Same with worshippoing God. Christ is God. God is Christ.

"I am in the Father and the Father is in me."

There is no way to worship Christ outside the context of the Trinity. That would be like saying the the you at work is not the same as the you at home. Wilbur simply addressed one aspect of the Trinity without diminishing the whole.

megimoo
10-14-2008, 09:13 AM
I'm curious, what denomination are you? I have been studying theology for quite some time now and I don't think that I've encountered this definition before. Since the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all one in the same either or all can be worshiped as God. It is impossible to honor Christ without automatically assuming the Father and the Holy Spirit. Same with worshippoing God. Christ is God. God is Christ.

"I am in the Father and the Father is in me."

There is no way to worship Christ outside the context of the Trinity. That would be like saying the the you at work is not the same as the you at home. Wilbur simply addressed one aspect of the Trinity without diminishing the whole.Wilber works very hard at being an atheist/unbeliever !

biccat
10-14-2008, 09:37 AM
I'm curious, what denomination are you? I have been studying theology for quite some time now and I don't think that I've encountered this definition before. Since the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all one in the same either or all can be worshiped as God. It is impossible to honor Christ without automatically assuming the Father and the Holy Spirit. Same with worshippoing God. Christ is God. God is Christ.

"I am in the Father and the Father is in me."

There is no way to worship Christ outside the context of the Trinity. That would be like saying the the you at work is not the same as the you at home. Wilbur simply addressed one aspect of the Trinity without diminishing the whole.
I am an Episcopal, I am also a reformed atheist. I understand the argument that Wilbur is trying to advance, because I've seen it made by many other atheists. They refuse to understand the Trinity, so they attempt to diminish it.

Three in One, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together are God. There cannot be one without the others. Yes, Christ is God, but God is more than Christ.

Wilbur was attempting to diminish Christian belief: "True Christianity: one simply needs to worship Jesus as God."

Just like he was trying to expand atheism to include agnostics and anyone who has doubt about God or gods: "True atheism: one simply needs more doubt than confidence in the existence of supernatural gods."

LogansPapa
10-14-2008, 10:05 AM
There is, by definition, no ego in Christianity.

There is a massive and crushing ego in thinking that one can only come ‘from out of the darkness of atheism’ to Christ, and no other deity. That is the definition of the ID.

wilbur
10-14-2008, 10:59 AM
Saying "Christ is God" ignores the concept of the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost make up the Christian "God."


As I said, semantic gymnastics.



I do not worship Christ as God, I worship him as a part of God. Yes, Christ is Divine, but he is not separate from God as Wilbur's original statement suggests.

To worship Christ as God without the context of the Trinity is to violate the First Commandment.


I was saying that Christ is the only necessary component needed to be a Christian. If you want to say he is simply one divine component of a deity, you are now saying 'people who believe X are not true Episcopalians'. In the end you are still worshiping Jesus as God or one with God or whatever... even if its incomplete to explain your more nuanced Christian belief system. The only thing that can prevent one from being a true Christian, in the very most basic and broad version of the term, is a denial of Christ as God.