Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Answering the DC Crowd On the Nature of Christiainty

Here I go lecturing again. It's really funny to me how these atheists will make arguments that just absolutely turn upon not knowing something because they refuse to read theology. Then they use their lack of knowledge as a means of arguing against Christianity. When you point out to them that they would understand more about the issue if they read some theology, they soud like kids who skipped school and forged a note form mom, "I don't have to do this I have my note." Except in this case "I don't have to read theology because Dawkins (mom) says it's stupid." But if you read theology you would know better.


The issue this time is an argument going around over there that there is no clear cut means of understanding what Christianity is or how to be a Christian, or what it means to be one. Therefore, they conclude, Christianity must be stupid and wrong and this us just a dandy reason not to believe n it.. Here I go again, "If you read some theology you would know how to define Christianity and what it means to be a Christians and so froth. Of course they would rather have their excuse not to know than to actually find out. This is just another excellent illustration of the intellectual bankruptcy of atheism.


Here's one of the posts:


By Harry McCall at 10/20/2008


With respect to some of the comments I’ve read to my posts that as a former Christians John and I are often told we never knew what Christianity was. In light of this claim, would some Christians care to give the posters here at DC a working definition of Christianity? Or is there really no standard definition believers can agree on?


Statements like “It’s a belief in God” or “It’s a belief in Jesus” are so vague that the character Satan could be a Christian too. And again, statements like “It’s trusting Jesus Christ for salvation.” fails too in that hundreds of denominations who believe this attack one another as false religions (some weird oxymoron isn‘t it?).


A case in point:

A so called “Christian” commenter here at DC who goes by the name Jason tells me there are no righteous dead in Heaven be they Enoch, Elijah, or Moses, neither are there any wicked / unsaved dead in Hell, nor is there any Great White Throne Judgment where the lost or cast into a Lake of Fire.


If Jason can deny clear orthodox Biblical teachings and still be a Christian, exactly how much of the Bible can one deny and still be “saved” or salvation just a subjective term that can have over 20,000 sectarian or denominational meanings which make it basically meaningless?


Jason has stressed in comments to my posts that the “saved” or “righteous” dead or just like the “lost” or “unsaved” dead; in their graves. So be you Christian or atheist, your fate at death is the grave.


By rejecting historical orthodox dogma as traditional historical Christianity has always felt the Bible clearly teaches, is Jason a Christian while John and I never were?


In short:


A. What makes one a Christian?


B. How much of the Bible can one deny and still be a Christian?


C. What is the difference between historical orthodox doctrinal denial and Biblical denial?


All comments welcomed.




Let's take this step by step:


With respect to some of the comments I’ve read to my posts that as a former Christians John and I are often told we never knew what Christianity was. In light of this claim, would some Christians care to give the posters here at DC a working definition of Christianity? Or is there really no standard definition believers can agree on?



I would not say John never knew what Christianity is.I can't speak for Harry because he don't know enough of his posting. But anyone who says that about Lofuts probably hasn't bothered to choose his words carefully.


Statements like “It’s a belief in God” or “It’s a belief in Jesus” are so vague that the character Satan could be a Christian too. And again, statements like “It’s trusting Jesus Christ for salvation.” fails too in that hundreds of denominations who believe this attack one another as false religions (some weird oxymoron isn‘t it?).


A case in point:

A so called “Christian” commenter here at DC who goes by the name Jason tells me there are no righteous dead in Heaven be they Enoch, Elijah, or Moses, neither are there any wicked / unsaved dead in Hell, nor is there any Great White Throne Judgment where the lost or cast into a Lake of Fire.



If that is the Jason I think it is he's a universalist so he doesn't' have conventional interpretation. But this Harry person equates Christian identity with acceptance of an inerrant bible and literal interpretation. That would be a good reason to suspect he doesn't' know anything about Christianity. Now that's not to say that a hell of a lot of Christians don't know anything about it either. That's not a bad surmise. Many Christians don't know beans about their own faith tradition and just going to church is no guarantee you will know anything. We are not saved by our own righteousness, the bible does say no one is righteous "no not one." This Harry seems to lack basic instruction in the faith.


If Jason can deny clear orthodox Biblical teachings and still be a Christian, exactly how much of the Bible can one deny and still be “saved” or salvation just a subjective term that can have over 20,000 sectarian or denominational meanings which make it basically meaningless?



Another point of ignorance. Belief in judgment and hell is only understood as "sound orthodox teaching" by certain groups, it is not understood as such by major denominations such as Episcopal, Anglican, United Methodist, and is different in Eastern Orthodox terms, (although they do have judgment and hell but they would think most of the fundamentalists will be there). If he knew something about theology he would know this.


By rejecting historical orthodox dogma as traditional historical Christianity has always felt the Bible clearly teaches, is Jason a Christian while John and I never were?




This highlights one of the major weaknesses of his alleged "orthodox" understanding: no creed, no council, not the bible, not any gatekeeper of Christian id anywhere in any ways makes acceptance of hell a prerequisite for salvation. The Catholic church does not say "unless you believe in hell, you are going there." No they do not say that. Many fundies believe that, but no official magisteria of the church ever says that. That is not the nature of of it means to be a Christina. Christian identity is not defined by belief in hell. Nor does the Bible teach that hell is eternal conscious torment for the soul. The only thing it does teach and can be understood as a literal teaching about hell is that it is "destruction of the soul." That is the only literal statement and everything else is metaphor.


The same with the Bible. No magisteria of the church teach that belief in the Bible is the limit on salvation. No one in the Bible ever makes a statement connecting belief in the Bible to salvation. Come to that, there is no mention of a "Bible" in the Bible. There is mention of something called "scripture" but no "Bible."If scripture is synonymous with the canon of the two testaments (ie "The Bible" as we know it) no one ever says. No Creed, no council, no pope, no saint no theologians has eve made any official statement on the theses matters that could be construed as definitive for the church as a whole.


So we can answer Harry's questions like so:


A. What makes one a Christian?



An expressed faith based statement links one's ends and the goals of one's life, the purposes of one's living in connection with a belief in Jesus of Nazareth, his death and his resurrection, as redemptive and soteriological.




B. How much of the Bible can one deny and still be a Christian?



all of it. everything and the binding. Nothing in Christian magisteria connects belief in the bible to salvation. There were Christians before there was a canon of the Bible. Christians lived and died before any books of the New Testament were written, how do you suppose they were saved?


C. What is the difference between historical orthodox doctrinal denial and Biblical denial?



What you are calling "historical Orthodox doctrine" is largely a matter of what community one wishes to belong to. Its' as different for an Anglican as is for a Baptist or an Eastern Orthodox person. No official doctrine of the statements that belief in the bible is the basis of salvation. Luther did not say that. Knox did not say it, no pope every said it. No creed ever said "I believe in the bible."


The fact that you think so shows us how deeply the fundies have let down the Gospel faith they pretend to guard.


The basic doctrines of the church are historically set out in the creeds. That's what the creeds were for. Protestant Churches that have abandoned the creeds have set themselves apart from historical Christianity. Fudnies who think the Bible is the basis of salvation have separated themselves from historical Christianity even twice over; once as abandoning the creeds, again as setting up the Bible as a standard of salvation that it never was in Church history.


Harry, how can you go about try to debunk something you refuse to learn about? You should know this. Every Christian should know this, but unfortunately you have to go to seminary to learn it. Loftus should know it.

1 comment:

a-hermit said...

It's hard to tell which parts of his are you and which are Harry; what happened to formatting and quotation marks?

In any case I don't see where any of this rise to the level of the Awful Hate Speecch!!!!!!!11!11 and Bullying you say you are "sounding the alarm" against, so why is it here?

Are you implying that Loftus and the "DC crowd" are a hate group?