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Thursday, June 23. 2022
Via Kling. What do you think?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:47 | Comments (19) | Trackbacks (0)
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that division into Law and Mercy is too simple. Jesus came to take the final punishment of God's Justice. Those that believe this receive God's Mercy (but still may have to make restitution for their sins and to stop sinning) Those that do not believe still have the Wrath of God's justice to deal with.
Christ came for all, not just his followers. He is the Savior of the world. The church teaches that even if non-Christans enter heaven (and there is nothing to suggest that they do not), they do so through the mercy of Christ.
You may want to look a little closer at your New Testament. Jesus is clear several times inthe Gospels that there will come a division between those who believe and those who do not. There's the parable of the sheep and the goats, the Narrow Door, the wise and foolish maidens, just off the top of my head.
First, God lets into heaven whomever he wills. We have no say in that.
The church tells us to use faith AND reason. Reason tells us that there are legitimate reasons why a person may not find The Way. But each of us has the natural law written in our hearts. It's part of being made in the image of God. It's illogical that a person who follows God's natural law would be punished for never being introduced to Christ through no fault of his own.
I'm not making an argument for universalism. All people who are saved are saved through Christ. He is the only way, even if a person is not aware of it. This would apply to non-Christians, aborted children, and even aliens from other galaxies.
Incidentally, becoming a Christian is not a get out of hell free card. Some might say becoming a Christian is the easy part. Being a Christian takes a lot of work.
that division into Law and Mercy is too simple. Jesus came to take the final punishment of God's Justice. Those that believe this receive God's Mercy (but still may have to make restitution for their sins and have to stop sinning) Those that do not Believe still have the Wrath of God's justice to deal with.
I disagree with the premise. i.e. that "To the Christian, everyone is a sinner, and so the differences between me and the death row prisoner are ontologically trivial."
First, not every Christian or every Christian religion thinks everyone is a sinner. Second you would have to look far and wide to find a Christian who thinks "differences between me and the death row prisoner are ontologically trivial."
I don't disagree that 'sometimes' Christians are portrayed like that, mostly in movies and mostly by those who are not particularly religious themselves. I am sure I could find a Southern Baptist minister who would declare that we are all sinners... but I suspect he would trade that belief for a donation. It's just 'preaching' not reality. No one (almost no one) believes that.
CS Lewis thought that grace was the distinguishing characteristic between Christianity and other belief systems. That is similar but not identical to the idea of mercy.
@ OneGuy - I don't know what percentage of Christians believe as you say, but it is not a Christian teaching, not since the very beginning. It is not just the occasional Southern Baptist minister who would declare that we are all sinners. The Episcopal Church uses the term "miserable offenders," and the liturgical churches in general use phrasing similar to "We confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves..." Less-liturgical Protestants adhere to similar doctrines: Methodists, Presbyterians, DOC. I'm not sure about UCC, though they used to be entirely orthodox on such matters when I was in confirmation in 1967.
Agreed. To acknowledge that you are a sinner is fundamental to being a Christian, no exceptions. It's not just Protestants who publicly confess our sinfulness. The first thing we do at Catholic mass is declare ourselves sinners, asking God for mercy. "I confess to Almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned. In my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do...." Sometimes it's condensed to a simple plea, "Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy", but it is always said in every mass every day. From a Catholic perspective, we are asking forgiveness of venial sin, grave sins are handled differently.
Really!! SO you in your heart believe that of the couple hundred million Christians in America that most of them go around everyday saying to themselves "I'm a sinner"???
Please do yourself a favor and look up the word hyperbole. There may be a few nutcases, cat women, who believe that we are all sinners. But mostly this is a statement made by preachers and pseudo-preachers who have to say something and can't think of anything better. There is so much in the bible and in religious history which is inaccurate and was never intended to be taken literally. AND there is so much in religious history that is quoted and was never the predominant belief. Here is an example Noah didn't build a titanic and collect two of every species and just because it is claimed to be true most Christians know it is one of those bible stories and not true. And then there is the apple and serpent...
I am going to bet we know more Christians than you do, by orders of magnitude. It is a standard, central belief and has been for 2,000 years. I am quite content to let subsequent readers choose between our reasoning and yours.
"we" "our"! Do you have a mouse in your pocket?
I am not sure what knowing a hundred or a thousand Christians has to do with the question.
Most of religion is politics and most of what was written by the religious was to facilitate their control over the masses. Some of that politicking and control had good intent, just as the Patriot act had good intent. But just like the Patriot act was abused by bad people religion has throughout the entirety of human existence been abused by bad people. There is no "hell" in the bowels of the earth and no devil either. Babies are not born sinners but saying we are all sinners and therefore "must seek salvation" is a powerful thing for religious leaders. So religious leaders keep saying it but I tend to think people have more common sense than you give them credit for and they know that all sins are not equal and that we are not all sinners.
If I had to sum up what I think religion is about in as few words as possible I would NOT chose to say "that we are all sinners" or "that we will all go to hell". No! My choice would be that religion teaches us to "do the next right thing".
If I had the option to use a thousand words or unlimited words I'm not sure I could improve on that.
I bet I know more normal people than you do!
1. Many modern ills stem from confusing the two, and trying to use the justice system as an arm of mercy.
The Jewish Bible specifically warns against pitying or excusing "disadvantaged" criminals.
A clean, impartial justice system is as necessary as - and different from - the social safety nets of family and community... And in a certain sense it is a kindness.
2. Hebrew is the language of creation, the language of truth.
The root ZDK in its masculine form means "correct" and "just":
Zedek zedek tirdof = Justice, justice shall ye pursue.
In its feminine form - "Zedakah" - the same root means "charity" - because monotheism implies fundamental brotherhood. So "it's only right" that i help you, outside but alongside strict legal obligation.
Contrast "zedakah" - which literally means "it's only right, we are kin" - with the word "charity/caritas" which means "(you don't deserve it but) I'm moved to pity you".
Incidentally the word for pity/mercy in Hebrew comes from the same root as "womb".
That is very interesting. And it make sense to me. I'm glad you added that to the conversation.
Is there any relation between zedek and Melchizedek or is that just coincidence?
Melchizedek literally means "the just king" or "king of justice".
According to Judaism he is one of the righteous gentiles who inherited an oral tradition of monotheism from Adam, Noah, and Shem. We get glimpses of these proto-monotheists throughout Genesis and Exodus, up to Jethro.
I am of a view that Christianity replaces Judaism although the former is closely linked to the latter. The base law of Judaism, the 10 commandments, does not become obsolete but Christianity addresses the penalty for our inability to reliably keep them. Jesus opens a door through which the repentant are forgiven but it seems today everyone wants forgiveness without repentance.
I would argue, and do in my prayers from the pulpit, that we are all sinners but that confession relates to the big picture of our relationship with God who is intolerant of any sin. We need a perfect intercessor to impute righteousness as in and of ourselves we have insufficient to enter into God's presence when we die.
This is not the same as the criminal actions that the "secular" law in this life punishes where we can easily distinguish between the self controlled and well behaved vs the violent. In spite of this a friend who who ran bible studies in a local prison saw hardened offenders changed with this reflected clearly in behaviour although their past offending was such that the secular system would never release them.
I suspect the religious view that God watches and sees was a subtle self control mechanism in broad Christian society in days past where morals based on Christian ethics were more to the fore but as we become less Christian and God becomes a god that we create for ourselves the perception that we can do what we want with impunity is a reason for some of the societal decay we see in the west.
In the Old Testament, it is made clar that each of the Covenants between God and his people is set before the people as both a blessing and a curse. The Cristian perspective is that Christ's sinless life fulfilled these covenants, thus removing the curse of the law and granting salvation.
So in the Old testament you kind of get the formulation that God is Holy and just, but merciful. The new Testament changes that to God is holy, just, and merciful, that mercy being personnified and perfected in the person Christ. Thus we are called to be holy, just, and merciful, at which we will inevitably fail, but the price of that failure has already been paid.
"I suspect the religious view that God watches and sees was a subtle self control mechanism in broad Christian society in days past where morals based on Christian ethics were more to the fore but as we become less Christian and God becomes a god that we create for ourselves the perception that we can do what we want with impunity is a reason for some of the societal decay we see in the west." I agree with this statement completely. People cannot seem to understand what has happened to this country in particular but if they just opened their eyes to the obvious they would see our decline and decay comes with throwing God out of our lives and culture. Not good.
[/quote] throwing God out of our lives and culture.[/quote]
Spot on. We desperately need God’s help to take back the culture. We are living in very dysfunctional times.