Saturday, September 19, 2009

Doctrines in Christianity

© 2002-2009 by Text by Logos Research Systems, Inc.
For the past week I have been in some heated debates with evangelicals who simply refuse to acknowledge the facts about the Bible as it stands today. From the mindset of examining the correct translations to the use of idioms the baby gets thrown out with the bathwater when it comes to challenging the “Word Of God.” It doesn’t seem to matter that man has translated and attributed meanings to the “Word.” The only thing that seems to matter is what was taught by a religious leader and their interpretation of the “Word.” I have never encountered such closed minds as I have when it comes to evangelical interpretations of God’s word. What amazes me is that most of these evangelicals are among the 256 sects of Protestantism. Protestants are those who follow the doctrines of sola scriptura and sola fide. Sola scriptura maintains that the Bible is the final source of authority for Christians; in other words Literary Authoritarianism. Sola Fide maintains that faith and not works is what is necessary for salvation; in other words the gospel according to Paul. Since Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of the All Saints Catholic Church on October 31, 1517, the Protestant Reformation has re-translated and imposed doctrine much similar to the Roman Catholics. In fact, let’s consider the source of these doctrines from a man that thought that homes of the Jews' should be destroyed, their synagogues should be burned, their money confiscated, and their liberty curtailed. These opinions were revitalized by the Nazis during WWII. Didn’t Jesus say that the Kingdom of Heaven was for both Jews and Gentiles?

Since the Nicene Creed of 325 A.D. the Catholic church has embraced the Gospel of John as the definitive source of their belief. The two major opponents in the Council of Nicaea were the Gospel of Mark which refers to Jesus as the “Son of Man” and the Gospel of John which refers to Jesus as the “Son of God.” The two predominant schools of thought were the Antiochene and the Alexandrian. The adoptions of this council were as follows: We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth]; Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost. Those that didn’t adopt this creed were excommunicated. Martin Luther’s 95 Theses were disputing the authority of the Roman Catholic Church to interpret the Bible; yet the Protestants whip their own game similar to the Catholics. Christianity has gone through many changes since the death of Christ and many have argued, maligned and killed others in the name of Christ and God. Why? Didn’t Jesus teach peace and to love your neighbor as yourself?

Yet, just get the average evangelical to think his way through the Word and come to know the spirit of the law and you are in for a long night. I am not saying this about all evangelicals; just the ones I have recently spoken with about Bible interpretation. The conditioning of many protestant churches has their constituency focused on what they believe and how they interpret the word. Just because we might not interpret the word the same as others doesn’t mean that the baby should be thrown out with the bathwater. Some Christians believe that there is no difference between homosexuality and murder because they are both sins. Depriving someone of their life is much worse than loving another individual; no matter whether that relationship is homosexual or heterosexual. God is a God of love and He loves His most prized creation; us!!! Stop judging others and stop thinking that it is your job to dispense punishment to those whom you perceive as sinners or wicked. Remember, Jesus sat down and ate with sinners and Paul said not to do that. Who are you going to follow?

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