or a religion we cant understand...
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For your example of the "chief," there are a number of verses about this:
So here, we are told that the conscience can be a law of God upon every man - if it naturally agrees with the given law. For those without the written "law," and presumably the "word" of Christ as well, their conscience becomes the standard by which God judges them for their sins or righteousness. If anyone defies their conscience, then they sin.Originally Posted by Romans 2:14-16
You could then say "So Christ isn't needed afterall!" to which I would disagree. A law of the conscience is vague and broad compared to the written law, which is even more convoluted (and thus vague in that sense) than the Message of Christ. Anyone seeking to live out their God given purpose in life - serve God to the fullest - would find it very difficult to know what that is by just following their conscience because they would still not know much of God's intent for the world. Furthermore, can it be said that no one has defied their own conscience? If someone has, then they have condemned themselves. Not knowing Christ or of God, they cannot be forgiven.
EDIT: I shall add that although Christ died for all people's sins, you cannot be forgiven if you do not want to be forgiven, or if you do not accept forgiveness. It is a gift, one that to be received must be acknowledged and accepted. So the argument that we are all already forgiven - believers or not - is false. God is perfectly willing to forgive, we're not always willing to be forgiven. Often times, we don't understand how we need to be forgiven.
Your objection hinges upon people being judged by standards that they've never known. This is unBiblical, you are judged by what you know, which is further reiterated here:
And if the words of the Apostles are not convincing to you, then let the Word of God in Christ speak:Originally Posted by James 3:1
Furthermore, you also claim that God casts people to Hell. While the Bible does often use the imagery of God condemning those Hell, it's actually not God that casts judgment - God is the standard by which you speak judgment unto yourself. In a way He does condemn, but it is simply His existence that condemns the sinner, not any actual act of judgment. If anyone does an actual act, it's Christ at the day of judgment. He who died for your sins gets to say who is forgiven of them, and who withheld their sins from mercy. Undeniably, He will judge you by your heart, and not by things that existed long after He did (EX: Apostolic Epistles), unless you know them.Originally Posted by Luke 12:47-48 (A Parable)
By-in-large, the greatest right we have in existence is the ability to Choose or Not Choose God - not even the Angels can deny God's existence, but we can. It is your God given right to pursue an existence without the Creator, or an existence with the Creator. If you truly want an existence with the Creator - God - then you'll pursue His word, seek His heart, and pray to Him. If you don't want to exist with God, then ultimately, you will not believe in Him even if you say you do. To Christians, and Jews - Heaven is an eternal existence with God, Hell is an eternal existence without God. Neither are they technically rewards or punishments, even though Christian literature teaches them as such. Christians, being amongst those who want to be with God, would see Heaven as a reward, and Hell was a punishment, but that's our bias. Ultimately, we are encouraged to not judge others, and respect their decisions they've made with their God Given-right of freewill, because God will do the same. He will not force His creation to be with Him, so He will not force you to be in Heaven if your life does not reflect a desire to be with Him in Heaven. Would not spending eternity with something your reject be Hell?
If you enjoy your God-given life, in this God-created world, without seeking God, then I pray that what your heart truly wants are things unGodly, so that in this way Hell may be your Heaven, because in denying God, you've already made Heaven your Hell. But if your heart truly pursues things unGodly, then I don't think you'd love your God-given existence in this God-created world, because they are of God.
EDIT: I shall add here that the Bible encourages a relationship with God. Even just knowing of God, Christ, and forgiveness will not save. You have to believe it, and want it.
Thus knowledge is not the sole source of salvation, you can still be condemned. It ultimately comes down to your desire to be with God, and the pursuit of that.Originally Posted by Matthew 7:21-24
Last edited by bubah; 07-03-12 at 09:21 PM.
"No one can come to the Father except through me."
Whether he/she knows it or not.
Anyway, C.S. Lewis always seems to be more eloquent than I.
From the last battle:
In this sense, were you an unbeliever right now, I imagine that if you're going to live as a Christian anyway, you can see that it doesn't hurt to hope."Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me that he had truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.
"Wherever we want to go, we'll go. That's what a ship is you know. It's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs, but what a ship is... what the Black Pearl really is... is freedom." - Jack
I believe That Jesus is the Christ, my Savior and Lord. That he died Crucified for the Sins of mankind, and rose on the third day and after speaking for a while with his disciples ascended to Heaven to sit a at the right hand of the Father and will some day Return for the Judgement of sinners and mercy of believers and for the fulfillment of his kingdom.
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If faith is what matters, then works don't. Faith itself might produce works, though it may not produce enough works for the tastes of people around us. In fact, one's works can be utterly terrible on the whole.Does it matter whether faith or works?
The question is: Are works enough? Of course, this depends on how perfect the Judge needs us to be. And if there is no Judge, then the question is irrelevant. Can a person commit genocide upon millions and wash it away by rescuing millions? Which works are good? Which works are good enough? How much?
If nothing is enough, the question approaches futility.
If something is enough, then we have something to work with