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Hi Benaiah

>>Gday MP Salutations Standing back from all the arguments, I now realise that their is little point in it all since whatever scripture is presented to you you have your own academic answer which may satisfy you but fails completely to satisfy me, and only throws up more and more contrdictions between the way I understand the teaching of scripture and the way you doÖ.. you fail to persuade me by your arguments.<<

Perhaps there seems 'little point' to you, but to be certain about salvation is very important. My aim wasn't academic but to tell you how to become a Christian. Without the 'new birth' life 'fails completely to satisfy'. And scripture 'only throws up more and more contradictions'.

As I said at the start, I couldn't persuade you, only the Holy Spirit can do that. Its seldom those committed to a false system of teaching are delivered from it. They have no desire to be convinced of error "There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end is the way of death" (Pro.14.12).

>>Your understanding is in favour of the Orthodox understanding of fundamental doctrine which I totally reject as apostate and heretical.<<

I never promoted orthodoxy as the answer. The word 'orthodox' has a wide meaning. I point to the bible not orthodoxy. I realize many have made Christianity into religion. But true Christianity is not a religion. Religion attempts to reach up to God, Christianity is God reaching down to man. Religion is manís ultimate search for God; Christianity is Godís search for man. True Christianity is a relationship, a focus on One Person. When I quote the bible, don't think of orthodoxy, think what it says.

>>The way you deal with sripture in your defence reminds me of the Jesuits. If you have ever read Fox's Book of Matyrs it reminds me of their (the church hierarchy) approach to supposed heretics, where nothing was conceded but every thing was skewed to uphold the position of the Church.<<

In Foxes book, the Jesuits defend the Catholic Church, but no where do they use 'scripture'. Yet I'm not promoting a church but Scripture. Interesting, Foxe believed, Christ was God, in a personal devil, an eternal hell (p.15) the person of the Holy Spirit (p.16) the present day possession of the Holy Spirit (p.349) and the importance of the new birth for 'generation' and salvation (p.371, 385).

>>At the end of the day we have to make up our own mind about scripture and what the churches teach. This is an age of democracy and reason where we have this privelege. In former ages this was only possible under pain of betrayal, and loss of liberty and life. You must continue in your persuasion as you desire. I cannot convince you otherwise.<<

You believe strongly in a free choice to reject the truth. "There is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4.12). While 'liberty' sounds good, there is no second chance with God. Thomas has made up your mind. True worshippers must worship God in spirit and truth (Jn.4.23).You must come to God on His terms, not yours. Without the Holy Spirit one cannot 'worship in spirit and truth'. I gave my life and heart to the Lord, why have you given yours to Christadelphianism? Don't "lean on your own understandingÖ..Be not wise in your own eyes" (Pro.3.5-7).

>>To me the Bible is a seamless whole, and the way of salvation was as much open to the patriarchs such as Abraham as it is to those 4000 years later. This is to me what the apostle is saying in his arguments to the Judaizers such as in Romans and Galations. The law was a schoolmaster to bring a person to Christ from the day of its revelation to Moses. So that all the worthies of old listed by the apostle in Heb.11 embraced the identical hope to a true believer today. This is Paul's argument in Heb.11. I can read it for myself and see this as plain as a pike staff.<<

The Bible 'is a seamless whole', but has God spoken differently to different people at different times. Yes, salvation historically has always been by grace through faith. But the hope is not identical, the Patriarchs trusted God to provide the sacrifice for their sin. God looked on the animal sacrifice in the OT and saw the sacrifice of His Son. The law was given to show the sinfulness of sin, man's helpless state and the need of the Saviour. The Patriarchs looked for the promised kingdom. And one day God will restore David's throne for His earthly people Israel.

But Christians look back in faith to the sacrifice God has provided in His Son. They are not bound to the Jewish laws. They look forward to Christ's return and a promised heavenly home.

>Your attempt to put a different slant on it would only convince me all the more of your total aposasy and self delusion.<<

Yes I can't change your mind, but God can. Your yardstick for 'apostasy' are the words of John Thomas. You trust your eternal destiny to a medical doctor known for his own delusion and slant.

>>When I read the NT I do not see the Holy Sprit as the regenerating power as you calim. Quite the opposite.<<

But its what the bible says that matters. And its the opposite to what Thomas said. God saves, "by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Tit.3.5). With out the 'renewal', you are not 'washed' clean from sin. Just to say 'that's your interpretation' doesn't prove anything.

>>In the examples of the first converts e.g. Cornelius, a proselyte at the gate, it was necussary for Peter to viist him and opn his eyes to salvation in Christ. He was therupon baptised, atfter enlightemnet, then received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 9, 10). In the case of Paul he was converted on the road to Damascus when the Lord personally revealed himself to him, and after Ananaias had rstored his sight.<<

The accounts in Acts 9 indicate hearing the message resulted in the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Gentiles were baptized after receiving the Holy Spirit. And Saul/Paul was blind until he received his sight and then received the Holy Spirit. While in Acts 10, it was when they heard the message the Holy Spirit came upon them (Ac.10.44). You overlook this passage. It teaches Gentiles after receiving salvation were baptized (v.47-48), indicating water baptism was not vital for, but followed from salvation. In Acts 19 Paul asked, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" (NIV). This indicates the Holy Spirit came on the converts of the apostles (who received that doctrine).

>>In the case of the Ethiopian eunuch, reading from the prophet Isaiah (Is.53), it was necessary for Philip to go down to the desert and explain it to him. Then when he understood, the eunuch sais what doth hinder me to be baptised. So they went down into the water. (Acts 8.27-40). On the day of Pentecost when Peter preached the gospel of the risen Christ whom they (the Jews in his audience) had crucified, they said "What shall we do to be saved". Peter replied " Repent and be baptised everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission (forgiveness) of sins, and ye shall recieve the gift of the holy spirit. Here the order is 1. repentance (Gk. metanaio =complete change of direction (mentally, morally), 2. Baptism 3. then the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is a complete reversal of the order you subscribe to.<<

The 'order' in Acts is unimportant, they all refute your point. For Peter says, "ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit". A contradiction to what Christadelphian's teach, they refuse 'the gift'. All "the converts" received the Holy Spirit but Christadelphian's insist no one should receive 'the gift'. So all your 'examples', contradict what you say.

Note Peter said, "Repent and be baptized" Christadelphian's don't first 'repent'. Thomas said 'repentance' is a gift after baptism. He said you must first study his doctrine and agree to that before baptism. So where is the order you subscribe to.

Peter is not referring to many steps to salvation but the one event. The Jews asked Peter "What shall we do to be saved?". Christadelphian can never claim to be "saved" even after baptism. Some even demand rebaptism when changing from one Christadelphian group to another.


>>All these scriptures show that the instruction and understanding of the Word is the transforming/regenerating power. This is compeletely consistant with the teaching in Paul's pastoral letters which you can consult for your self.<<

Each occurrence in Acts 2, 8, 10, 19 were historical and unique. They tell how the Holy Spirit came to the Jews, Samaritans, Gentiles, and Johnís disciples (and so all men). With each group, the details were different. Today the pattern with all, is always the same as the Gentiles.

Historically Christians draw their doctrine not from Acts but Bible passages expressly to teach the church. Acts is an historic record of the early apostolic period. But not every event in Acts is normal for the entire church age, as
'Paul's pastoral letters'.

>>The Lord's words concerning the Comforter (Jh.14-17) are specifically directed to the disciples. If you can't see this you are blind. In fact you are blind. This I am sorry to say is my conclusion. If you try to neutralise any of the above points it will only confirm me in this conclusion<<

Amazing, you insist your mind is totally shut, a blind allegiance to Thomas regardless. He tells you what to believe, what is true or false. Blindness belongs to those who refuse to see or understand. Don't play a game with God. Jesus is the way the truth and the life, not Thomas. Jesus said, "no man comes to the father but by me". Forget Thomas, he can't save.

The Holy Spirit was specifically for His disciples, and only those with the Holy Spirit can be His disciples (Rom.8.9). But the disciples clearly indicated their converts received the Holy Spirit (Jas.4.5 1 Pe.1.2,22 2.5 4.14 etc). If John 14-17 was only to the disciples how could John say to his converts "And hereby we know that he abides in US, by the Spirit which HE has given US" (1 Jn.3.24). He says, "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit" (1 Jn. 4:13). So if the Holy Spirit was only for some, why did he come on all the 120 at Pentecost (Ac.1.15 2.3-4)? And God promised the Holy Spirit would be "poured out on all flesh" (Ac.2.17). And "even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Ac.2.38).

>So here we are. I really think now the debate has reached its conclsion. And that it is pointless me engaging in further point by point rebuttal of your arguments. I trust you will agree although I am aware you have an appetite for defneding your position and rubbishing Dr Thomas.<<

My appetite and aim was to tell you how to become a Christian. The most important decision you must make. It's good to tell you about salvation. I know Thomas was in error but winning a debate proves nothing. Pray about what I have said. Think and study these issues. Salvation of your soul is extremely important.

>>A final point on lexicon's and concordances. A distinction has to be made between the meaning of a word (Hebrew or Greek) and the compiler's theological opinion. As a rule they were members of orthodoxy, so that when thet express theological opinioin it conforms with Orthodoxy. As a student yourself, you must be able to perceive this distinction. Or are you blind here as well.<<

Yet you were happy to hoodwink me to believe error by half-quoting lexicon and concordance. Why follow the opinions of a medical doctor rather than scholars of bible languages?

And you try to fool me that bible dictionaries lie about word meanings. Dictionaries are not written for '
opinions' but for word meanings. They are not something of a private or personal nature. A faulty dictionary is never accepted as authoritative. Yet consensus of scholarly 'opinion' is contrary without exception to Christadelphianism. To this you reply,

>>All this vast array of scholarship you refer to, must be cited in specific instance as to the meaning of the words and text of scripture, and again the same argument applies. i.e. distinction has to be drawn beween the meaning of the word and theological opinion. The bulk of these academics are Orthodox or sceptics so that their theological opinion has to be accordingly evaluated rather than be received as The Truth. Benaiah<<

So you believe 'the bulk' of scholarly opinion is deceptive? And scholars are either lying or covering-up the real meaning of words? Why do you selectively quote them? I can assure you the original languages add no support for Christadelphian doctrines. It's the words themselves, not the 'opinion' that revealthe error of John Thomas.

Regarding "
The Truth". Jesus said. "I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me". The Truth is not a collection of doctrines, its a Person. When you have Christ as Saviour, you have The Truth. You may not be perfect and know everything, but have The Truth.

Regards
Mark


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