Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Judas: the book tour


So I was reading my international TV new email this morning and learned that the National Geographic Channel is going to be releasing some specials documenting the restoration, history and release of the Gospel of Judas.

Apparently this text was found in 1983 and taken out of Egypt without govt approval. This “hot” and ancient text was shopped about for a number of years because no one wanted to cover the price tag of its restoration not to mention the association of purchasing stolen goods.

One way or another NG decided they would sink a ton of money into their restoration in order to secure publishing rights and a slew of other media type locks on the content, though they obviously can’t claim ownership of the source material, also someone else already did that.

I found a write up about references made to the newly restored Gospel made in the 4th century and 6th centuries from Bishops of the time giving the document some historical authenticity.

Here are a couple of passages from the write up that discuss the stories in the Gospel from http://www.religionnewsblog.com/13067
“Hardly anything is known about the document's contents "other than a few personages" it names, said Robinson, identifying them as the mythological figure Allogenes (literally, "the stranger") known from some Nag Hammadi texts, and Satan, Jesus and Judas.”

“…the last six pages of the Judas document describe a heavenly scene in which Allogenes is being tested and tried by Satan, followed by an earthly scene in which Jesus is being watched closely by scribes. At one point Judas is told, "Although you are evil at this place, you are a disciple of Jesus." The last line of the text says, according to Hedrick: "And he [Judas] took money and delivered him [Jesus] over."

“For Robinson, the significance of the Gospel of Judas has to do not with first-century history but with second-century mythology. Still, he offered these half-serious reflections in his closing remarks last month: "Where would Christianity be, if there had been no Judas, and Jesus—instead of dying for our sins on the cross—had died of old age?" he asked. "So: Thank God for Judas? Even the most broadminded among us would call that heresy!"

The last of these remarks is a bit interesting. Yes Judas did a very bad thing but God being God don’t you think he knew that already.

It seems that we take the whole Judas thing as a surprise and are as betrayed as Christ was when in fact Judas was doing what had been prophesized about since the beginning. Jesus knew he was going to be crucified and wasn’t looking forward to it; he knew who was going to be responsible for it too. The Gospels have several accounts where the Pharisees were discussing and planning a way to get the Messiah but never followed through until Judas.

Very interesting…

62 comments:

bigsip said...

Aye, interesting...

Gospel (good news) of Judas seems like a bit of an oxymoron, though...

Weird...

Jamison said...

that would be very interesting to read...

is this a waste of a comment? It feels like it is...

I feel like I am commenting for the sake of commenting, yet I honestly would like to read it... and I want to communicate that to you, my friends... wierd...

bigsip said...

Word...

Jamison said...

I heard on the radio that this gospel claims that Jesus asked Judas to betray him. So as to get Him out of His earthly body of sorts and give Him releif by sending him to His heavenly body...

Are we ready to accept this? Does it matter? Will it have any bearing on our faith? (All assuming the translation is proper.)

Jamison said...

...and wait a minute... when did Judas have time to sit down and write all this stuff? On his way to hang himself? Or after he hung himself...?

bigsip said...

I'm pretty certain that this "book" will be viewed as "non-canonical".

So, it won't have any bearing to anyone except scholars and people who liked the Da Vinci Code...

bigsip said...

On a similar not, though.

I read a Discovery article that cited a scientist claiming that Jesus walked on ice, not water.

The guy said the lower-than-normal temps in that region during a certain time-frame (which spanned decades) which occurred at diferent times during that time frame (not every year) could have caused freezing and it would have been difficult to spot the ice in the water.

My question then is, "What about Peter?" He walked on water, too.

This is the same guy who said the parting of the Red Sea was caused by landslides and wind...

Faithless.

mullinz8 said...

I don’t think anything like this is going to do much to change people’s faith really. I mean if there were really damaging and questionable information in it, it would have slipped out already. It takes a lot of people to make a TV show and to go through the book publishing process and those two types of folks would have little loyalty, aside from a signed document, to keep anything like that secret.

It will be a unique perspective to the more traditional accounts but still Judas will be thought of as a bad dude until the end.

It does raise an interesting question almost on the whole predestined argument. If the crucifixion was meant to happen wouldn’t it have needed a catalyst and wouldn’t Judas have been “set in place” to do this, thus fulfilling a predetermined need?

If this is the case, sort of like the guy said, we should be thankful to Judas for doing what he did.

There are times when it would have made more sense to have an outside deliver Christ to the Jews rather than someone of his inner circle.

I don’t know but I think I’ll pick up the book once it hits the library.

Jamison said...

goodness... they arent faithless because it seems it takes more faith to beleive that enough wind occured in such a way that never did before nor has since at JUST the right time for Moses (And HOARDS or other people) to pass through (Probably took hours). And then the wind stopped at JUST the right time to swallow up the bad guys....

takes less faith to believe God did it, in my opinion...

some scientists are idiots... those Discovery shows are such baloney. I wont watch them now. They didnt bring Peter into the mix because their agenda isnt to bring science to the Bible, it is to make as many people think the Bible is bunk as possible. So they only tell you what they want you to hear...

Jamison said...

Yeah, I have thought about the Judas thing before too. I mean, it was meant to happen thousands of years before it happened. So did God create someone He knew would be going to hell? Or do you think God cuts him some slack in the end for playing the bad guy?

Likewise, there seems to be something about having one of Christ's men do the bad deed. It tells us Christians something that we can apply today in our lives... though I am not very awake right now and cant think of what that lesson might be...

bigsip said...

Well, here's the thing, in my opinion:

Judas had a choice. He could have chosen to stick close to Christ, but gave that up for worldly things.

After he betrayed Christ and realized what he had done, he still had a choice. He could have been given forgiveness, but chose death by his own hand. THAT's what sent him to Hell.

The parallel story of Peter is a good example. Peter denies or rejected Jesus 3 times. So, he betrayed Jesus as well. Yet, Peter chose, even believing that he'd never see Jesus agian, to live and hope for forgiveness, which came later in the form of "feed my shep" x 3.

Yes, I think Judas was there for a reason, but I think after that, he made the final choice that cost his soul.

bigsip said...

Jamison, I agree with you on the faith thing.

The whole macro-evolution thing is crazy, too

Jamison said...

for real... if there is a wind strong enough to split an ocean I really doubt that thousands of men, women, and children would be able to walk against that wind...

It is so funny because those shows admit that these things took place, they admit these stories of the Bible, just come up with insane reasons why the true acts of God were not real acts of God...

bigsip said...

Yeah, it's silly.

People go to great lengths in an attempt to disprove God's existence.

Funny thing is, it's more difficult to disprove His existence than it is to prove He exists.

Silliness...

Brewster said...

I'm pretty certain that this "book" will be viewed as "non-canonical".

Don't you think that even if it were gospel truth at this point it would be viewed as non-canonical. The bible is too much big business now for us to all add a new book.

Unless the Bible publishers had something to do with it, that might make us all buy more bibles.

Does trying to find physical explanations for "miracles" mean we have no faith? I don't know.

Judas always had a choice, he could have changed his heart and said, 'nope, I aint betrying jesus' something else would have happened and jesus would still die.

The weird thing to me is that Jesus knew all along. So here he is for a few years in close proximation with a man he knows is going to turn him in. And yet he has to act like nothing is going to happen.

What if knowing this Jesus was a little more distant to Judas. What is this caused Judas to feel a little left out thus pushing him towards betrayal?

Brewster said...

oh and sorry I've been absent of late

bigsip said...

Good to see you again, Brew.

As far as natural explanations for miracles go, I'd say that removing the miraculous aspect flies in the face of Jesus purpose.

Jesus said himself that the miracles were a sign that he is God's son.

To accept one miracle and deny another is like mixing apples and oranges.

God's power isn't meant for us to understand. God's will is, though. It was His will to use miracles to give creedence to the fac that Jesus and the Apostles were from Him.

Taking the miracles out of Jesus is like taking God out of the Bible...

Brewster said...

Certainly the miracles were used to prove God's power. Jesus healed a blind man and people understood he was from God.

But we weren't there to witness these things. We read that jesus healed a blind man in a book.

Shouldn't we then investigate these things to see if they are true?

We read that God parted the Red Sea. What if we went to the Red Sea and found out that once a year a great wind blew and parted the waters in a certain area? What if then after a time, the wind stopped and the sea sloshed back together?

Then we could say that perhaps it was no miracle but natural phenomenon.

However, if no such thing occurs then it bolsters our faith. We investigate to see if their is any other way for these things to occur. If not, then we can more firmly say that it was an act of God.

bigsip said...

But, if it is a miracle from God and claimed as a miracle from God in the Bible, then asserting that it wasn't a miracle denies the power of God to do things a certain way.

The Biblical account says they walked across the river bed on "dry land". No wind is strong enough to dry out a river bed in a matter of days, much less hours.

As far as Jesus walking on ice goes, I mean, come on! The sea was stormy, there were waves and all kinds of things that scream "there was no ice". Even if Jesus had been on a piece of ice, he must have been one great wind surfer to hang 10 out that far and not wipe out on those Galilean pipes.

It just doesn't make any sense to deny the Bible and God and Jesus the power to do things we can't explain.

Jamison said...

It doesnt hurt my faith, personally. In fact, it helps it. If there is no physical explanation for a miricale then that proves Gods power all the more to me.

Brew, about your comment on Judas and Jesus, I think it is cool how Jesus knew all along and Judas didn't know. Yet ever so often, Jesus (knowing of course) would let is slip, sort of like we may do if we know something about someone and they dont know that we know it... Kind of humanizes Jesus a bit, not in a bad way, just in a way that shows us he felt emotions like we do.

Brewster said...

I'm not saying their explanations are good ones. What I'm saying is that we should investigate the Bibles claims to see if they are true.

One way to do this is to see if the miracles contained in the Bible can be explained through other natural means.

It's all part of healthy skepticism. To take the bible as truth blindly is stupid. But if I examine carefully the things said within the Word, and find them to be true then my faith is strengthened.

bigsip said...

I see what you mean, Brew.

I agree with you. Healthy skepticism is good!

mullinz8 said...

kwI agree that with Brew that we should investigate every claim the Bible makes but I also agree with Jamison and Sipper that these shows are not portraying the material in a manner fitting to the text.

Every one of these shows begins with the assertion that this even did in fact happen through some off act of nature, which is still basically an act of God, and merits no divine intervention on any level.

The Red Sea thing is interesting because there is never an examination of why these people are crossing the sea to begin with, God called them to the exodus. There is a divine reason for the cause and a divine excuse for its success.

If God is calling these folks to hit the road wouldn’t it stand to reason that he would take care of them?

Like Jamison said I think it takes more faith to ignore the acts and wonders of God than to believe them.

Also there is a text says “Blessed are those who have seen these things but even more so are those who hear and believe…” or something to that effect. I think understanding and trying to prove these things happened is what we are supposed to do. I think this should be done but what I don’t like is some PhD making crap up to explain something that if you’re going to believe these people were marching for God for a specific reason then maybe their God might help them once or twice.

I heard once that there was a chance that some sort of super cell descended atop the precisely right shallow water, where the Jews were hanging out for a few minutes and they could cross. Then once they, thousands and thousands of people of various ages and hundreds of carts, just happened to get across what would be a horribly saturated underwater sandbank the super cell dissipated allowing the waters to fall back. What a bunch of crap.

Lets see a 2 millimeter around pinch of mustard seed faith vs. some educated yutz’s doctorate and a few years of research into the ultra rare and never before documented happenings of a super cell removing maybe some minimum 20 feet of water for a couple of hours over at least a miles worth of ocean floor?

Study away and report, don’t make crap up.

Brewster said...

Again I am in no way saying the explanations given are in any way reasonable.

Some of the stuff sounds like some grad student rushing a dissertation out to get his doctorate of theology at Harvard or something.

And I agree Jamison when there isn't a physical explanation our faith is strengthened. But unless we look for a physical explanation how will we know if there is one or not?

That was my original point. We can't say our faith is strengthened because there is no natural explanation when, in fact, we've never looked for a natural explanation.

bigsip said...

Yeah, I'm with you, Brew.

I thought you were playing DA in debate mode!

I agree, though...

Jamison said...

I dont think that beleiving and following the Bible blindly is stupid. I agree with Brew that there may be some natural reason certain things happened (That God put into place) but I wont go so far as to call someone stupid for beleiving something just because the Bible says i. That's called faith, and no one who had such blind faith was punished by God for such.

Brewster said...

Ask yourself why you believe in God. Why you believe the Bible is true.

If you can come up with one answer than you don't have blind faith.

Believing in something for absolutely no reason at all is blind, and I will call that stupid.

That's not real faith. God gave us brains of which to reason with. We are to work out our own faith with trembling. Blindly following a code, even if it is the Bible, isn't working anything out and ins't true faith.

Jamison said...

Why do you beleive in God? Because you see trees and sky? Or because you did some mathmatical calculation or did a science experiment that proved it to you...?

Ill take stupidity over the need to do that.

bigsip said...

Well, faith is faith no matter how you slice it.

I do agree with Jamison about the stupidity thing.

If salvation were based on intellect and reason, how many mentally disabled people would be "disqualified" from entering Heaven?

I've spoken before about different types of IQ.

One, in my estimation is spiritual IQ. I sincerely believe that many times, children and mentally disabled people trapped in a perpetual intellectually childlike state have the highest "spiritual IQs" of anyone.

Yet, they operate most times on "blind faith".

We are blessed with intellect and should use it to reason and discover, but don't underestimate simple or lind faith. Sometimes that's the only faith folks have to go on...

Jamison said...

Ill side with Brew in that the more we know about the scientific and mathmatical ways of God, the more non-Christians we can convert... I mena, look at what AP does...

Yet I still have a hard time accepting that if you dont know those fact that you are stupid whenit comes to your faith. Perhaps a different word would sit better with me. But I can't explain how Jesus biologically rose from teh dead and was seen by many others after he died... but I beleive it no matter what, call me crazy (or stupid).

mullinz8 said...

Sipper you crossed a line.

There is a marked difference between ones faith and their salvation even as far as Christians go.

Faith is a bit nondescript; one may have faith in a lot of things. For this topic I know that we’re covering Christian beliefs so I’ll drop that point.

Again I’m going to go back to Lee Strobel’s book Case for Christ. In trying to find out if Jesus even existed Lee talked to some of the worlds leading religious scholars. So of these folks where the be in the business when it came to finding physical proof for Christ’s existence. Many of these folks didn’t fall into the hooky category of making up ideas they went into hard facts and accounts not only into JC but the wake and excuses of his actions which are, obviously, still creating waves today.

My faith, now-a-days settles somewhere into the middle of these guys factual and simple faith. Faith for the sake of having faith is silly to me. If I didn’t have the gut feeling that something is out there I think I would still have a faith but not the one we share. Buddha has a much more pleasant idea of the cosmos and life in general and I sort of like the we’re all animals do what you want hedonistic sort of thing too.

In my study there seems to be much more proof towards the idea that JC walked the earth and did the things we read about. My faith and questions seem to drive my desire to learn about the physical evidence of JC. The more I learn the more my faith is bolstered.

For me it’s two fold my first steps were in my heart, what’s kept me here is the evidence.

For me I don’t have to know all the how’s and why’s because I believe in the larger picture of things. Did Christ do miracles, sure? If I’m going to grant that his dad created the world I think giving sight and making someone to walk is easy.

bigsip said...

1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: your faith.

Mark 16:16 He who has faith and is given baptism will get salvation; but he who has not faith will be judged.

Mullins, all I can say is that there are countless other passages to this effect in the Bible.

Faith is a bedrock principle as our Christian lives relate to salvation.

But, that was never my point. My point was that you can't judge faith based on intellect. To judge faith based on intellect is exclusivistic and, to use Brew's term, "stupid".

But, faith (in God) is a solid prerequisite to salvation. Without faith, how would action be born? James speaks in-depth about using faith to motivate yourself toward good works.

Jamison said...

It is interesting that the Bible is historically correct, yet when "scholars" want proof they go looking at other historically correct books...

If we cant beleive the Bible, I guess we cant beleive much that is in any history book, much less one written by peple who were eye-witnesses...

the fact that it is the Bible makes it hard for scholars to beleive I guess.... such is the life of a Christian.

bigsip said...

BTW, I noticed that one of y'all said that God (the Father) created the Earth.

Read John chapter 1 to get "the rest of the story". It was actually Jesus who created the world and all that's in it! Awesome, huh?

bigsip said...

Here's the link to John 1:1. You can hit the forward and back buttons on the page (not your browser) to read throguh the chapter. Enjoy!

http://bible.cc/john/1-1.htm

mullinz8 said...

I’m not sure if you were implying that I said faith wasn’t important or supporting the fact that one must have faith at some level beyond anything else.

People gain faith in different ways. Some people just know there is a God from day one and some people have to be beaten over the head to see.

Jamison’s point about having to use other texts to prove something the Bible has already talked about it good and shows that God’s gotten it all taken care of. There are more and more examples of clues showing up proving other texts accurate everyday. All that does it reaffirm that the Bible was right the first time.

Let them dig and refute the Bible all they want to because the truth is out there and the more they try and cover it up the more marvelously the truth is revealed.

bigsip said...

You said I had "crossed a line" and that salvation wasn't dependent on faith. I was just pointing out that salvation and faith are irrevocably bound.

I was also trying to point out that the depth, height, and breadth of one's faith shouldn't be measured in terms of intellect.

Studying and understanding are great. I stress that above all else when it comes to knowing the Word, God, the Spirit and what it means to be one of the faithful. But, there is that unknown commodity that rests in the hearts of the simple who love God more than our intellectually clouded minds can comprehend.

bigsip said...

Here's another verse supporting the "faith by the Word" principle:

Romans 10: 17 So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

bigsip said...

Interesting note:

I got curious about what the name "Judas" means.

I thought, "Certainly no one would name their child Judas."

Come to find out "Judas" is simply the Greek spelling of "Judah".

Of course, Judah was the tribe of Jesus' lineage through David.

Just thought that was odd, yet interestingly uninteresting...

mullinz8 said...

My point wasn’t that one was a prerequisite or “dependant” on the other is was to say that they were “different.” You need faith to have salvation but they are not the same things.

All of our faiths and walks are different and they are grown and nurtured by our life experiences and study of the scripture.

Our salvation is an extension of our faith but understanding there is no set sliding scale of how much faith determines ones salvations I’m saying that how ones gains their faith is different and subjective to that person alone.

I believe that I am saved and you believe that you are saved and in that God knows our hearts but there are those folks who have cried out “Lord Lord” who he will not recognize. I would think that those are folks who, while on earth, thought they were saved too.

bigsip said...

I see what you mean...miscom, sorry...

I think so many times in the church, we miss the point that (pardon the old cliche) it's not what you know it's who you know.

We can know the Bible, all the scientific facts to support it, and everything else a Ph. D. could possibly understand and still not know Christ.

Just look at recent events with AP and Winkler...

Something I've been trying to teach my 6th grade class at church is that you need to know Jesus and try to be like Him.

For these kids about to enter Jr. High, everything up until now has been memory work and rote recitation. More than anything they need to understand the concepts of what it is to BE a Christian and KNOW Jesus.

These are very abstract ideas, but also so simple.

I think about very small children and how we teach them to "love God" and "love Jesus". And, they do! They just love God and it's simple and beautiful and amazing.

But, something happens later. Kids start to love other things and that removes their focus on God. Keeping that love and walk fresh is what it's all about for them, us, and everyone else.

Brewster said...

Boys, I either didn't communicate effectively, or you're missing my point.

I'm not saying you have to get a PhD in christian evidence to have faith. I'm not saying you have to write a 300 page dissertation on the physical implications of the resurection to have faith.

I am saying you have to give it some thought.

To say you believe in God and have no idea why is stupid.

To go to a church and accept all that they teach without question is stupid.

I'll ask again, why do you believe in God? Any reason you give means you have thought about it, which means your faith is not blind.

Sip quoted the scripture that says faith comes from the hearing the word. That's study, that's intellect.

Certainly faith has a mystery to it, it is believe in things unseen or that can't be understood, but if we aren't seeking some understanding, what are we?

Children and people with an intellect of a child don't really count for this discussion.

They are safe, not saved.

Brewster said...

Oh, let me define my term since everybody is offended by "stupid."

We're talking about the meaning of life here. We're talking about what happens after this life.

If we are right, then after we die we spend eternity, forever, in heaven.

But what if we're wrong? Then there is what? nothing, a void? or hell? What if there is an afterlife, but we've got the details wrong and we're going to burn in hell forever because of it.

Aren't these things serious enough to give some thought to? To blindly accept anything when you're talking about eternity is the very epitome of stupid.

If a stranger knocks on your door, holds out a nondescript key and tell you it belongs to a brand new Mercedes. Then tells you that for $100 he'll sell it and the car to you. Now if you gave that man the money straight up having never seen the car, or any papers signifying that man had a legal right to sell it to you there isn't a person here that wouldn't call you stupid.

Why then can I not call someone who takes no more care for his eternal soul anything less than stupid?

bigsip said...

"Children and people with an intellect of a child don't really count for this discussion."

Being like a child is one of those things that gets you into the "Kingdom of God" or the church.

Consider Matt 18:3 and said, "Most certainly I tell you, unless you turn, and become as little children, you will in no way enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

It's ludicrous to say that the innocent are not saved.

On top of that, if one with the intellect of a child becomes a Christian and continues in his juvenile faith, he's still saved.

From what I understood, Brew's original point seemed to be that you can't go on the Bible alone for your faith. However, I used the "faith by hearing the Word" verse to dispute this.

Children hear the word, mentally disabled people hear the Word and both understand what they can and generally accept it as long as they have some motivation to do so.

In any case, my point is still that faith and the depth thereof is NOT dependent on intellect.

Jamison said...

I hate word verification... lost my last post due to it, I'll try again....

"It's ludicrous to say that the innocent are not saved."

I am almost 99% sure neither said this nor implied it (But I may not have been reading close enough).

This is a good discussion, but I am sort of understanding Brew's point. Yet, I dont know ANYONE who beleives in God for NO reason. By your logic, if someone says "I beleive in God because the Bible tells me so." then they aren't 'stupid'.

This just came to me... We live in a christian nation... 80 - 90% of Americans say they beleive in God. When asked if they read the Bible or go to church, most say no... THAT is where faith in God is just plain dumb. They probably beleive in God because their parents did. Now, make no effort to know God more...

Brew, is this what you are trying to say? I seriously doubt there is anyone we know that beleives in God for no reason at all...

bigsip said...

That, I can accept...

I just don't agree with the idea that "simple" faith exhibited by children and simple-minded people, based on their love for God and simple understanding of the Word is invalid.

I got the idea about children and the "child-like" not being saved from Brew's comment

"They are safe, not saved."

I simply don't agree based on Matt 18:3...

But, really, back to the main point. I agree that those who make no effort to know God and walk with Jesus don't really have a true faith.

Again, Romans 10: 17 So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

And still, those little children and mentally disabled people who learn the Word in their own way and develop a faith through their unfettered love for Christ are far from unfaithful.

Still, "stupid" is an accurate term for people who have the smarts and don't ask, seek, and knock. With that, I'll agree...

bigsip said...

BTW, Jamison, I always do a "Ctrl + C" for my posts before I try to submit on here. Then, if word verification screws you, you have a back up...

Jamison said...

im doing the ctrl c thing now too...

Yeah, id say retarded people are not only safe, but they are saved. So are aborted babies and the like... I mean, if they aren't saved, is there a "special" heaven like the special olympics for them? Mansions with bars down the halls and bars around the toilets and the ovens controls are set lower and the light switches are lower to accomodate people in wheelchairs?

bigsip said...

This does open a new discussion about "levels" of Heaven...

Perhaps a new blog on it would be cool to discuss?

Consider Rev 22:12 Behold, I come quickly. My reward is with me, to repay to each man according to his work.


Also, 1 Cor 3:8 Now he who plants and he who waters are the same, but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

Kind of interesting...

Jamison said...

I have no doubt there are levels... my level will be pretty low, but I am willing to take the lowest level of Heaven than the coldest part of Hell... maybe we can all pool our good deeds and get a nice big place in heaven and live together!

bigsip said...

Great idea!

We should get a prime piece of real estate out in rural Heaven and build some nice houses overlooking our own lake/ocean...

We can fish and talk about how cool it is to fly and breathe underwater...

mullinz8 said...

I believe that many people go to church on inertia rather than faith. They have gone for years and have been taught that’s where they are supposed to be on at least Sunday morning. Not going is somehow wrong. Yeah yeah scripture BCV, BCV. Their faith is inactive and flaccid.

That faith is stupid and pointless. People need to have their faith picked on in order to grow. Too many people are not in a situation, which we enjoy, to have someone call an aspect of faith stupid and then explain why.

I’m very envious of preachers because it’s their job to study and reaffirm their faith to guide others to be in a like place. It’s a difficult job though.

We do have a unique situation, not that we should pat each other on the back, where we can call into question an aspect of someone’s beliefs and make them stand their ground.

For an answer to Brews question, I don’t think it was entirely rhetorical. It’s the facts that underpin my faith. I would rather consider Buddhism because it’s much more peaceful and takes up very little time and the consequences are a bit less harsh at the end of your many spins into nirvana.

As I mentioned I have a feeling that something “bigger” is out there waiting for us, it could be Jamison’s UFO, I don’t know, but “something” is out there and inside of here (me). The display of faith in a small number of folks before I was a member of the church was awesome and powerful. Once I learned a few of the ropes it felt very natural. Now the physical evidence of Christ’s life is what has cemented me into this faith over anything else. I didn’t ride in with an introduction from my parent’s faith, I found it myself and today I nurture that experience with study. When I was at FU I didn’t feel religious, it was an exercise but not a full emersion into why I believe and why I have faith.

As a Christian I feel very young because it’s been in the past five years, two specifically, that I feel I’ve really TRIED to wear the mantel of active student in Gods world rather than character in Gods play.

The leap of faith is what started me on the road and the signs along the way are what have kept me here.

bigsip said...

I have felt the "bigger" something out there, too. But, I feel like it's something less tangible.

I certainly don't think it's extra-terrestrials since I absolutely don't believe they exist.

The "bigger" thing to me is a sort of social change I see coming. I just feel like people are smart and they will, at any moment, have this awakening. They'll realize that their spiritual selves need renewing and they'l be looking for some way to do that.

We have to be ready for that, my friends.

The other "big" thing I thing about is how we're surrounded all the time by God and His Angels.

It's a beautiful thing to never be alone.

While my faith rides on "evidence" and "substance", it also rides on my recognition of God's presence in my life. My walk with Him and Jesus and the Spirit confirms my desire to build up my faith and the faith of others.

Perhaps that's the biggest thing of all!

bigsip said...

OK, another comment about Judas I found interesting:

John 12: 3-8

Mary, therefore, took a pound of ointment of pure nard, very precious, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. Then Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, one of his disciples, who would betray him, said, "Why wasn't this ointment sold for three hundred denarii, and given to the poor?" Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having the money box, used to steal what was put into it. But Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She has kept this for the day of my burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you don't always have me."

Judas apparently had money motivation long before he accepted silver for Jesus' betrayal. Interesting insight into his character...

Brewster said...

It's ludicrous to say that the innocent are not saved.

What are they saved from? Hell? They are innocent, thus they have nothing to be condemned for.

I have sinned, therefore I am condemned, but the blood of Jesus saves me. A child is innocent and is judged as such so Jesus need not save them. That's why I say they are safe. They are heaven bound, but not in the same manner as us.

From what I understood, Brew's original point seemed to be that you can't go on the Bible alone for your faith.

Nope, not what I'm saying at all. But the begining of faith isn't some finer point of biblical doctrine.

The first question of faith is more like "is there a god?" This progresses to "is the bible true?"

The bible absolutely can be the sole foundation of faith. But first you have to decide if the Bible is the word of God.

They probably beleive in God because their parents did. Now, make no effort to know God more...

This is exactly what I'm talking about. To accept the status quo without every questioning that belief isn't really faith.

Biblical faith isn't going to church because momma said so. God doesn't ask for pew fillers, or mindless automatons who believe in baptism because that's what their family has always believed.

Faith comes from searching. Faith comes from hearing the word of god. That's not hearing it as background noise. That's actively hearing and studying the Word.

That's all I'm talking about. Biblical faith takes some effort.

Jamison said...

Keeping it going with the "bigger something out there" thought...

After 9-11, Dalraida (and most other churches I am assuming) had a HUGE surge in attendance. It wasn't just the old members who decided now would probably be a good time to start going back to church, but strangers. People who may have never been in a church.

about 3 or 4 months after that, our numbers settled back down.

It seems the majority of people fear hell in some way and desire heaven (Whatever their interpretation of each is). They feel in their hearts that this isn't all and that they could, in fact, die one day without notice. Sad it took something like that, but it reaffirms the "something bigger out there" theory that most people have.

bigsip said...

I see what you mean, Brew...

I like your point, too, Jamison. People know there's something "more". They want to know what it is. Sometimes it takes that extra slap upside the head for them to look for it.

Brewster said...

Good. I was begining to think I was retarded and couldn't get a simple point across if it killed me.

And the whole "safe not saved" phrase is something I've heard a million times and assumed everyone else knew what I meant.

The majority of the world does believe in something "bigger." Sadly I think a lot of folks never actually try to figure out what that is.

mullinz8 said...

Choosing faith is like setting up for a hot and heavy debate.

First there are ground rules no name calling and no getting personal so on and so on.

If you’re going to begin a walk of faith that has a defining document you must first decide if that document is true.

There are a lot of folks who have decided that collection of manuscripts is the real deal and have read them as such without asking whether or not it’s true. If think some people don’t because they can’t face the idea that something they have done for so long could not be as secure as they think it is.

What a horrible shame that is!!! If they could spend a bit of time digging they would realize that the book we call the Bible to day is just as sound, if not more so, than it was in the time of the apostles. Not only that but it’s got more supporting information in other texts from that time then ever before and the understanding of Biblical texts is so much more advanced that it was even a century ago.

The core question of ones faith being built on “solid rock” is one that might shake the foundations but will ultimately establish their house of faith on a more secure platform than they started with.

bigsip said...

Just wanted to mention that my Dad asked me to speak where he preaches this Sunday night.

I wrote a sermon titled "The Bad News of Judas". It brings up the news about "The 'Gospel' of Judas" briefly and then shows how Judas fell into sin.

The story of Judas is really a cautionary tale. We can fall into sin and "crucify Christ anew" too.

Anyway, just thought I'd mention it. This discussion fueled a great deal of what went into the sermon.

Jamison said...

Update on this story....

bigsip said...

Very intersting...

Sounds like Miss Tacos (er, whatever her name is) stands to get rich here...

Typical...