Sunday, February 23, 2014

What we Christians believe



One thing you do not need to believe, if you are a Christian, that all the other religions are simply wrong all the time.

If you are an atheist, you do need to believe, that all the religions, through all the time, everywhere, have always been wrong.

And that all the faith people profess and have professed through the history has been simple one huge mistake.

In C. S. Lewis’s word “If you are a Christian, you are free to think that all those religions, even the queerest ones, contain at least some hint of the truth”.

But being Christian means thinking that where Christianity differs from other religions, Christianity is right and they are wrong.

We, the Christians, can see how people around the world have always sought the truth.

There is something in people that makes them to look for something higher and bigger than themselves.

Something that cannot be calmed down, that tells us that there is something more, that we are missing an integral part of who we are.
“These, then, are the two points I wanted to make. First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in”.
C. S. Lewis – Mere Christianity
Do you think there is a Natural law that we all can feel in our hearts?

And, as Christians, we believe that the men, and women, were made to be in communion with God.

We were made to need God and seek the truth.

As Christians, we can see that the religions stem from this need to find God.

And we can see that some of them are closer to finding the truth than others.

But at the same time, like in mathematics, there can be only one right answer.

Even though some wrong answers are closer to the truth than others.

Do you believe in a Moral law?
"When you say there's too much evil in this world you assume there's good. When you assume there's good, you assume there's such a thing as a moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil. But if you assume a moral law, you must posit a moral Law Giver, but that's Who you're trying to disprove and not prove. Because if there's no moral Law Giver, there's no moral law. If there's no moral law, there's no good. If there's no good, there's no evil. What is your question?"
—Ravi Zacharias

The first big division


The first big division of humanity comes from believing or not in some kind of deity.

Here Christianity goes with the vast majority of people throughout the history.

Christians stand together with ancient Greeks and Romans, modern savages, Muslims, Hindus, New Age, and every other religion, in the belief that there is some kind of God or gods.
Against all these religions stand the modern Western European materialists who have come to believe that all religion is a myth, a non-true myth, and a lie.

And thus deny the existence of God.

They believe that people have developed enough to grow up and leave religion behind.

But are people really that different from what we were five hundreds, or a thousand, or even two or three thousand years ago?

People were inventing, living, thriving or suffering, and all the time seeking the truth, trying to fill the hole in their being.

Trying to fill the void with religion and gods.

Trying to find out the truth.

Just like we do today.

“When I was an atheist I had to try to persuade myself that most of the human race have always been wrong about the question that mattered to them most”, C. S. Lewis.

“We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back the soonest is the most progressive man”.
C. S. Lewis – Mere Christianity

The second big division


Being a Christian means believing in God, believing in existence of a god.

But it also means thinking that where Christianity differs from other religions, Christianity is right and they are wrong.

Being a Christian means that you believe that you have found the Truth, and that truth is Jesus.

That is what being a Christian is about.

People who believe in a kind of god can be divided according to the sort of god or gods they believe in.

Do you think We needGod?

“It's God that's worrying me. That's the only thing that's worrying me. What if He doesn't exist? What if Rakitin's right -that it's an idea made up by men? Then, if He doesn't exist, man is the king of the earth, of the universe. Magnificent! Only how is he going to be good without God? That's the question. I always come back to that. Who is man going to love then? To whom will he be thankful? To whom will he sing the hymn? Rakitin laughs. Rakitin says that one can love humanity instead of God. Well, only an idiot can maintain that. I can't understand it. Life's easy for Rakitin. 'You'd better think about the extension of civic rights, or of keeping down the price of meat. You will show your love for humanity more simply and directly by that, than by philosophy.' I answered him: 'Well, but you, without a God, are more likely to raise the price of meat if it suits you, and make a rouble on every penny.' He lost his temper. But after all, what is goodness? Answer that, Alyosha. Goodness is one thing with me and another with a Chinaman, so it's relative. Or isn't it? Is it not relative? A treacherous question! You won't laugh if I tell you it's kept me awake for two nights. I only wonder now how people can live and think nothing about it. Vanity!”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
There are people, called Pantheist, like most modern Hindus, that believe that god is beyond good and evil.

They believe that god animates the universe, the universe is, in a way, god, and we are all part of god.

Christianity, Jews and Islam, have a quite different view on things.

The three religions are also called religions of a book.

For Christians this book is the Bible, for Islam the Koran and for the Jews, the Tanakh, where Christian Old Testament stems from.

All these three religions believe that “God invented and made the universe – like a man making a picture or composing a tune. A painter is not a picture, and he does not die if his picture is destroyed. You may say, “He’s put a lot of himself into it”, but you only mean that all its beauty and interest has come out of his head. His skill is not in the picture in the same way that it is in his head, or even in his hand”, C. S. Lewis.

Pantheism believes that everything you find in this world is a part of God.

But if you think that God is really good, that God is goodness, nothing that is evil can be part of Him.

To believe that God is good, to believe in Christian God, you need to believe that God is separate from the world.

That some of the things we see in the world, what we perceive as unjust and evil, are contrary to His will.
“We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back the soonest is the most progressive man”.
C. S. Lewis – Mere Christianity

“For Christianity is a fighting religion. It thinks God made the world – that space and time, heat and cold, and all the colours and tastes, and all the animals and vegetables, are things that God “made up out of His head” as a man makes up a story. But it also thinks that a great many things have gone wrong with the world that God made and that God insists, and insists very loudly, on our putting them right again”, C. S. Lewis.

This is part of on-going series that I write every Sunday.

The links in the text are to previous posts.

15 comments:

  1. The thing that gets to me, is when someone tries to make me feel bad for my beliefs (or worse on a larger scale than just me), but they are permitted to share theirs freely. I don't want to have someone try to make me feel bad, or ashamed of what I believe...just as I would not do that to another, whether I agreed or did not.

    You find some really good quotes to accompany your articles!

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    1. I think the only thing a person gains by making other feel bad, is feeling better of themselves. And in a very damaging way. I do believe that my view is the right one but every person is created by God and has to be respected as God's creation. I can tell you my beliefs, I can offer you advice if you want to, and I can pray for you. If I really want you to find the thruth also. If I just want to win and feel good about me, then making other to feel bad is an option but it really isn't the Christian way to do things.

      I love to read and have been reading all my life. That is where I get the quotes. And I have learned to love the quotes for themselves also. I always try to find out the background of a quote I come to apreciate, then it is even more meaningful.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your story and beliefs

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    1. Thank you for reading and giving your time :)

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  3. John 14 says "I am the way, the truth, and the life - no man cometh to the Father EXCEPT by me".... :D

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  4. Everyone has different beliefs, but good for you for being passionate about yours.

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  5. This is a very thought-provoking post! Even within Christianity, there are a lot of divisions and different beliefs. (Also, I love the photos and quotes that you've included with this post!)

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    1. Thank you, Elisebet, I try my best to find the pic and quote that go with the text. It is true that there are division but there is also core truths that all that are Christians believe. Sadly many churches who say they are Christian are more concentrated on other so called core truths or have wandered away from the original faith.

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  6. I love this post. Since I am having a problem of my faith, and i feel that I am a bad guys , stubborn and evil because of my wrong doings. Thank you for this :)

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Kenneth. Just remember that God loves you and wants your best, and try to find Him, not the set of rules.

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  7. I am not a very religious person, I mean I do believe in God and I have faith but that's pretty much it. Yet I never judge other religions, we all have to believe in something.

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  8. I'm a pagan. Which means I believe the earth is my creator and goddess. I follow pagan traditions and holidays that humanity celebrated long before Christianity came along. I'm not a sinner, nor do I believe in the devil or heaven and hell. The earth, the trees were all created, but not by gods hands, but by nature and science. I'm not one to believe that I'm right and everyone else is wrong. I love people no matter what they believe. Our only commandment is Harm None... Whether emotionally or physically and whether human, animal or plant. Thanks for sharing. Interesting read.

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  9. I LOVED this!!! Gonna share your post! Great read!!!

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  10. BIBLE TRANSLATION CRITICS BY STEVE FINNELL

    Did you ever notice that the self appointed arbiters of Biblical translation accuracy spend their time criticizing various translations. Ninety-nine percent of all translations give an accurate, trustworthy account of the gospel of Christ. The problem is not that men cannot find a translation that tells men how to become saved by accessing the blood of Christ. The difficulty occurs because men reject the clear teaching of Scripture.

    God's message in 99.5% of all Bible translations is the same.

    TRANSLATION COMPARISON

    Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. (NKJV)

    Ephesians 1:7 So overflowing is his kindness toward us that he took away all our sins through the blood of his Son, by whom we are saved. (The Living Bible --Paraphrased)

    Ephesians 1:7 By whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his favor, (The Better Version of The New Testament by Chester Estes)

    Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins, in accordance with the riches of his grace (The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible NIV 1983)

    All of these translation say the same thing. All men need to do is believe the message.

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.(NKJV)

    John 14:6 Jesus told him, "I am the Way---yes, and the Truth and the Life. No one can get to the Father except through me.(TLB---P)

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me. (TBVOTNT by Chester Estes)

    John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.(TTC-RB NIV 1983)

    All of these versions of the Bible say the same thing. Why would any one criticize God's translations.

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NKJV)

    Acts 2:38 And Peter replied, "Each one of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; then you also shall receive the gift, the Holy Spirit.(TLB--P)

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Let each one of you repent and be immersed, in the name of Jesus Christ, in order to the remission of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(TBVOTNT by Chester Estes)

    Acts 2:38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (TTC-RB NIV 1983)

    All of these translations say the exact same thing. Repentance and water baptism are essential in order to have sins forgiven, and following that, men receive in indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit Himself.

    There is no problem with the translations. The problem is that men reject the clear teaching of Scripture.

    YES, GOD IS SMART ENOUGH TO GIVE MORE THAN ONE ERROR FREE TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE.

    TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. THE PROBLEM IS, MEN WHO READ THE BIBLE WITHOUT ASKING GOD TO REVEAL HIS TRUTH TO THEM

    you are invited to follow my blog. http//:steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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