T Nation

Another Christianity Debate


#1

First off, I'm going to make a feeble attempt to ask if this discussion can remain respectful. You might have different views than me, or someone else, but thats okay, there's no need to flame. If you want to do that, do it in another thread please.

Here we go: I don't dislike Christianity, not in the least. While it does have it's extremists, just like every other religion, I believe it has brought out the good in millions of people. The basic ideas of morality and goodness that come from the Bible are on the whole, very positive. However, I have issues with some notions many people have about Christianity, one of which I will be addressing.

I grew up Christian, and still occasionally attend my old church. The gist I got about being "Saved" was that you had to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior or something similar. If you're not saved, you are not destined for heaven when you die.

Here is the dilemma: What about those people who have never been exposed to the Jesus and Christianity? Does this mean they are not going to Heaven? I picture God as a very fair and loving being. I do not believe that He would send these people to Hell just because they never had a chance to experience Christianity. This does not fit the image I have of Him from my exposure to the Bible and Church.

Here is my answer to this problem: Every major religion is based on a few major and very similar things. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity are the first ones off the top of my head. Excluding the extremists and bastardizations of each of these religions, the general idea of each is that everything is connected by a central entity or higher power, and that in order to reach heaven/enlightenment/whatever, you have to live your life based on a set of (very similar) moral rules. I think that on the whole, every major religion is similar in its most basic ideas.

Each religion is essentially the same; therefore it does not matter what you call your God, or how you worship him. It is by living a morally sound and just life, and by accepting that there is something greater than you, that you will be "Saved", for lack of a better word, and will go to heaven, also for lack of a better word.

I am not trying to be on a soapbox here, rather I wish to get some input on my ideas, in order to fine tune them. The biggest things I'd like you guys to think about are:

Your answer to the dilemma,

If it really makes a difference whether you call praise Jesus or Allah (providing that you are living a moral life),

and
if I have any misconceptions.

Thanks Guys.


#2

Let me just address this one question. Christianity does not teach that obeying a set of rules will gain you access into heaven. I differentiate between Christianity and religion like this: Religion is any system whereby one must follow a set of rules to the best of their ability and hope that they have done "good enough" to merit acceptance into whatever positive afterlife said religion proposes. Christianity (here defined as an acceptance of God's free gift of salvation achieved through the death of Christ on the cross of Calvary) establishes a relationship with God and causes one to desire to live according to His Word because of an overwhelming gratitude for what He has done.


#3

On another forum I was, they refer to this place as the Christian Bodybuilding forum and they think the Christian threads are started by the people who run moderate the site. Keep up the good work, sure this thread will be as pure as the others. Wait till the Bigot's get out of bed, then all hell will break loose.


#4

This is only slightly related to the post above, but is worth noting;

I'll have to re-check tonight, but I'm pretty sure in the Qu'ran there are some lines concerning entry into heaven for those who have not been fortunate enough to be exposed to Islam - and basically providing they have led good lives then they're good to go...

Surely if there is a God and a heaven then he/she aint gonna quibble over which 'brand' of religion someone has chosen to follow. Imagine the uproar if Allah refused entry to Mother Theresa, or if Jehova sent the Dalai Lama to hell - there'd be a revolution I tell thee.


#5

Well, let's ignore any impressions you might have gotten from your church for the moment, since Christian traditions are numerous, and shbouldn't be considered a legitimate doctrinal authority.

The Bible, however, is clear on several points.

  1. NO ONE is saved but through Jesus.
    "I am the way, the truth and the life. NO MAN comes to the father but by me."

  2. NO ONE comes to Jesus except by the will of God the Father.
    "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out."
    "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day."

  3. God, as the author of salvation, works all things for HIS glory, not for the well-being of humanity, who are in rebellion against his holy edicts.
    "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."
    "What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory."

The possibility that someone can be saved without explicitly being a Christian is not one I care to rule on. I consider it a possiblity, that salvation could be derived through some implicit recognition of Christ. I consider it VERY unlikely, but not being God, I shall not make a definitive statement. Certainly, the Bible indicates that Christians should seek to make Jesus known to all men in an explicit sense.

It should be noted that the specifics of eschatology can only be fully appreciated after achieving salvation. In practice, salvation appears to be a free action undertaken by an individual. In retrospect, one sees God's hand, and realizes that all glory for one's salvation belong to God.

Hope this helps. Further questions should be dealt with by reading the Bible and praying. The Bible is authoritative, I merely quote it.


#6

Anyone trying to win salvation by works encounters the problem of varying standards. What I mean is that a level of 'goodness' that might be awesome by human standards just doesn't cut it by divine standards.

A good comparisons is between batting average and fielding percentage. take a percentage like 35%. If your shortstop is hitting .350, that's awesome. If he's fielding .350 he's out of baseball.

Even the best human being isn't going to win or her way into heaven by good works.

Of course, salvation isn't the only thing going on. Salvation is through the blood of Christ, but God still judges us by our works. The Bible indicates that the punishments inflicted in hell vary according to the degree of one's sin, and that the glory of heaven likewise varies according one's good works.


#7

Of course, when I said eschatology, what I meant was soteriology.


#8

That is fucked up. Send me the link if you could, I'd like to see that.


#9

Well fuck, we haven't had many damned Christianity discussions this spring have we?

Stupid asswads.

I'm sure all the other boards censor this shit down so they can focus on areas that don't label them as some kind of fundamentalist freaks.

I'm sure it is good for business...


#10

Honestly, the "Christianity threads" on this board have gotten out of hand. Is there a point to all of this besides just stirring trouble? If someone ever did have something important to say, it would get lost in between retarded rants by self proclaimed "witnesses" and prophets.


#11

Maybe they have a point...guy comes along to check out the site...interested in bodybuilding and eating right, but sees the Politics and World Issues thread. Thinks ok, might get my feet wet here. Fella probably is god respecting and fairly religous, and sees a load of threads by people calling themselves Christians berating gays, gay marriage, people from other countries...what's he going to think ?

I sort of explained this to one of the people on this board and he turned it around and said no, it was not religous homophobia or what have you....it was people like myself who were replying to all the hatred.

What gives ?

Just how many gay people, are bodybuilers or would be bodybuilders ? Interested in buying Biotest stuff ? LOADS ! Not everyone is openly gay. Then someone comes along prepared to call the homophobics and xenophobics cunts, and they get all upset.

I don't care what the people who post here think...but do the mods / owners really want people hating on gays and people from other countries ? How many foreign / homosexual people come here...a lot.


#12

It does make a difference who you call on. Many times in the Old Testament God was referred to as a jealous God. Similar does not equal same. As for those that have not been exposed to Christianity, they will not be held accountable for their lack of knowledge.
Salvation can not be earned; there for works has nothing to do with it.

Check out this thread.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1073917&pageNo=0

This next link has audio files answering questions pertaining to Christianity, Christian life and the bible. Look under search for answers by topic.

http://oneplace.com/real_answer/

Me Solomon Grundy


#13

This is not a universal interpretation or belief.

Jesus himself apparently stated that living well and loving God was enough. Unfortunately, getting rich while watching your neighbors suffer is not living well.

So, are you going to argue with him?

OMG, it's another fucking Christianity thread, I can't believe it.


#14

Are you guys suggesting that they sensor the forums? If they will get offended be religious discussions then maybe they will get offended by political discussions. They may also be offended by half-naked pictures of women or depending on their sexual preference half-naked men. I mean after all this is a website that focuses on weight training right? We don?t really need to discuss differing ideas about anything other than supplements, nutrition or lifting routines do we?

Me Solomon Grundy


#15

Its one thing discussing topics not pertaining to the sport and the lifestyle, and then telling people they are going to hell, homosexuality is evil and supporting redkneck flag waving. Surely you understand this.


#16

It isn't about simply offending them. they took these posts down from the Most Discussed Topics for a reason. They also didn't do this for YEARS until a few lunatics start making daily religious threads and the overall tone and intelligence in this forum dropped several points.


#17

Last time I checked T-Nation was a private business that can conduct itself however it likes within the law.

I don't think it has to be held hostage to topics that damage it's business interests if it doesn't want to be.

In reality, I am amazed at the latitude they show around these parts. While politics is merely annoying to much of the population, devout fundamental religion is simply abhorred.

That makes some with persecution complexes happy though.


#18

Someone explain this.

Poster A : Gays are going to hell, they are filthy disease ridden evil scum.

Poster A : America, GOD BLESS BUSH ! Leader of the free world, how dare anyone speak against him you LIBERALS ! You are probably all gay !

Poster A : If it wasn't for the US, the rest of the World would all be talking GERMAN ! You Liberals are going to HELL !
REPENT..save yourself !

Poster A : What is T-Nation doing about its sin, you are all gay, liberals going to HELL.

Poster B : You are a cunt..please shut up.

Poster A : You are going to get banned, you are bringing down T-Nation, you bigot, you gay, you stalker.


#19

For them any kind of attention, be it negative or otherwise is good.


#20

They say this because that is what the Bible says. Being "Christian" would mean following "Christ," and following Chirst would mean to follow what He says. Period. Jesus said that "I am THE way, THE truth and THE life, no man (i.e. nobody) comes unto the Father (i.e. enteres Heaven) except by me (only through Him." Pretty simple.

Two points on this:

(1) YOU are not that man on a deserted island that never heard about Jesus. You have heard, why don't you accept?

(2) The Bible doesn't say that God sends innocent people to Hell. The Bible says:

a) "For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

b) "There is none that doeth good, no NOT ONE."

c) "There is not a just man upon the earth that doeth good and sinneth not."

All are guilty before God.

The Bible says in Romans 1 that everyone is "without excuse." Then it goes on to explain how 'natural revelation' from the creation speaks of God. In other words, if someone truly seeking God by looking around at the creation -- stars, sky, trees, etc. If that person would truly be seeking in their hearts, God would send someone to them by some means to tell them about Christ. Therefore, everyone is without excuse.

How 'bout you?

"Not by works of righteousness that we have done, but by His mercy he saved us."

All religions are the same -- they are works based. Except one -- the Christianity of the Bible. Biblical Christianity claims exclusitivity. It is bow at Jesus' feet or burn -- bow or burn.

IF you really want answers, then you need to go the God's Word. It has the answers to all of the questions in life. One of my life verses is 2 Pet 1:3 where God says that He has "given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of Him." You get the 'knowledge of Him' by reading His Word.