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to clear things up (Hmmmm) from a Disciple of Christ

Reader comment on item: Militant Islam Is Put In Class With Communism, Fascism
in response to reader comment: Hmmmm?!

Submitted by Sozo (United States), Sep 4, 2006 at 13:44

I commend you for being honest with yourself and respectful of others, True Seeker. If more people were as civilized as you, we would be able to get somewhere in this culture contrast that the next generation will have to deal with. I will try to answer your questions with clarity, however, if I fail to communicate a certain point, please ask me.

So to clear things up: How many people actually have memorised the whole text of the bible? Is it a common thing amongst the christians? Christians are wise to memorize scripture so that living out our faith is done with the least amount of stumbles and failures. Christians who study the bible and are devoted to prayer along with it(studying scripture) are more likely to have a strong faith and grow closer to God. Christians who prioritize cares of this world above scripture set themselves up for a weak relationship with Christ(God), and therefore, they stumble and do things against the Word of God(the Bible). However, a Christian is one who has recognized the fact that, because of sin, there is nothing that we can do to earn salvation. A Christian is one who has accepted the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ and who, by faith, tries to live a life submitted to Christ(in accordance with scripture). This is where the term 'born again' comes from: a shedding of your past life to become a new creature that is covered in the blood of the Lamb of God. John 3:7, 1 Peter 1:23, 1 John 4:7 (New International Version).

Why is it that a nun resembles a muslim woman in her dress? I was never a Catholic, so I guess I don't know why except for the purpose guarding against invoking lustful thoughts in others. I will make it clearer in the next question.
Is it against nature to have a desire for the opposite sex?
If not, then why are nuns, monks and priests not allowed to marry?? First of all, About nuns, priests, and monks; In my opinion, there is a differance between Catholics and Christians. Catholics do not devote themselves to the Holy Bible(the collection of 66 books) like Christians do. To Catholics, the bible is one of many resources they use. Catholic leaders and founders obviously ignore(d) many of the passages in the Bible. If you read the book of Hebrews in the New Testament, the only priesthood belongs to Christ and the only way to have an ongoing relationship with God is through Christ. In a Catholic church, the priest offers sacrifices to God on behalf of the people. They rob the privelage of having a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST. Jesus talks about having a solid foundation, and that foundation is TRUTH. The Bible is truth and to a Christian, it is our foundation. The way we live our life should not go against the Holy Scriptures. The Bible is the Base for all things because it is one sure way that God communicates to us. That is what defines a Christian. Everything that God wanted to communicate to His creation is written in those 66 books. To deny any of it or believe something contrary to it is not the will of God. Please keep in mind that I honestly testify to my statements as truth. I do not mean to disrespect anyone who believes otherwise. These questions could be complex, however the Apostle Paul clears this up in 1st Corinthians 7:32-40: 1: Now, as to the things in your letter to me: It is good for a man to have nothing to do with a woman.
2: But because of the desires of the flesh, let every man have his wife, and every woman her husband.
3: Let the husband give to the wife what is right; and let the wife do the same to the husband.
4: The wife has not power over her body, but the husband; and in the same way the husband has not power over his body, but the wife.
5: Do not keep back from one another what is right, but only for a short time, and by agreement, so that you may give yourselves to prayer, and come together again; so that Satan may not get the better of you through your loss of self-control.
6: But this I say as my opinion, and not as an order of the Lord.
7: It is my desire that all men might be even as I am. But every man has the power of his special way of life given him by God, one in this way and one in that.
8: But I say to the unmarried and to the widows, It is good for them to be even as I am.
9: But if they have not self-control let them get married; for married life is better than the burning of desire.
10: But to the married I give orders, though not I but the Lord, that the wife may not go away from her husband
11: (Or if she goes away from him, let her keep unmarried, or be united to her husband again); and that the husband may not go away from his wife.
12: But to the rest I say, and not the Lord; If a brother has a wife who is not a Christian, and it is her desire to go on living with him, let him not go away from her.
13: And if a woman has a husband who is not a Christian, and it is his desire to go on living with her, let her not go away from her husband.
14: For the husband who has not faith is made holy through his Christian wife, and the wife who is not a Christian is made holy through the brother: if not, your children would be unholy, but now are they holy.
15: But if the one who is not a Christian has a desire to go away, let it be so: the brother or the sister in such a position is not forced to do one thing or the other: but it is God's pleasure that we may be at peace with one another.
16: For how may you be certain, O wife, that you will not be the cause of salvation to your husband? or you, O husband, that you may not do the same for your wife?
17: Only, as the Lord has given to a man, and as is the purpose of God for him, so let him go on living. And these are my orders for all the churches.
18: If any man who is a Christian has had circumcision, let him keep so; and if any man who is a Christian has not had circumcision, let him make no change.
19: Circumcision is nothing, and its opposite is nothing, but only doing the orders of God is of value.
20: Let every man keep the position in which he has been placed by God.
21: If you were a servant when you became a Christian, let it not be a grief to you; but if you have a chance to become free, make use of it.
22: For he who was a servant when he became a Christian is the Lord's free man; and he who was free when he became a Christian is the Lord's servant.
23: It is the Lord who has made payment for you: be not servants of men.
24: My brothers, let every man keep in that condition which is the purpose of God for him.
25: Now about virgins I have no orders from the Lord: but I give my opinion as one to whom the Lord has given mercy to be true to him.
26: In my opinion then, because of the present trouble, it is good for a man to keep as he is.
27: If you are married to a wife, make no attempt to get free from her: if you are free from a wife, do not take a wife.
28: If you get married it is not a sin; and if an unmarried woman gets married it is not a sin. But those who do so will have trouble in the flesh. But I will not be hard on you.
29: But I say this, my brothers, the time is short; and from now it will be wise for those who have wives to be as if they had them not;
30: And for those who are in sorrow, to give no signs of it; and for those who are glad, to give no signs of joy; and for those who are getting property, to be as if they had nothing;
31: And for those who make use of the world, not to be using it fully; for this world's way of life will quickly come to an end.
32: But it is my desire for you to be free from cares. The unmarried man gives his mind to the things of the Lord, how he may give pleasure to the Lord:
33: But the married man gives his attention to the things of this world, how he may give pleasure to his wife.
34: And the wife is not the same as the virgin. The virgin gives her mind to the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy in body and in spirit: but the married woman takes thought for the things of the world, how she may give pleasure to her husband.
35: Now I say this for your profit; not to make things hard for you, but because of what is right, and so that you may be able to give all your attention to the things of the Lord.
36: But if, in any man's opinion, he is not doing what is right for his virgin, if she is past her best years, and there is need for it, let him do what seems right to him; it is no sin; let them be married.
37: But the man who is strong in mind and purpose, who is not forced but has control over his desires, does well if he comes to the decision to keep her a virgin.
38: So then, he who gets married to his virgin does well, and he who keeps her unmarried does better.
39: It is right for a wife to be with her husband as long as he is living; but when her husband is dead, she is free to be married to another; but only to a Christian.
40: But it will be better for her to keep as she is, in my opinion: and it seems to me that I have the Spirit of God.

The question about gloves and hats is purely cultural differences. Back when Paul wrote that, Women were not as socially accepted as they are today. It is also respectful to the husband to behave as though you are devoted to your marraige and not trying to draw attention to yourself by the way you dress. Today the equivlent to this passage would be to tell women not to wear high skirts, low cut shirts, short shorts, or excessive jewelry. Paul also instructs men to remeove their head covering when they worship and pray. This is out of respect and reverance to God as we enter into his presence by prayer and worship. They are simply guidelines and disciplines, not commands or a means to salvation.

I am not familiar with the classical book you mentioned, though, it is not uncommon in Christian history to approach male and female relationships in this manner. C.S, Lewis speaks of it in Mere Christianity. Sex inside of a Christian marriage is a holy event because both man and woman are cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ and that makes a pure event. You said in that book that those actions are immoral but today seem lawful. in response to that, I find it a good time to say that the most important purpose of Christianty, or becoming a disciple of Christ, is not to be perfect in your actions but to be perfected by Christ. It is true for a non believer to say that the church is full of hypocrites becuase until you truly know Christ and understand the Gospel, it sounds like to "foolishness to those that are perishing"(1 Corinthians 1:18)

To your questions about the bible: Similar to the Quran, The Gospels were passed on by memory. As I am sure you know, that was very common in that culture. Jesus' language was aramic. However, the most widely used and accepted language was greek in the latter part of the first century. That is why the new testament is written in Greek, because the duty and passion of the early church was to spread the Gospel. The letters in the New Testment are written to fellow believers(except for Philemon, who was a slave owner), regions, social groups and church's. The purpose of different translations are due to the fact that the message of the Gospel is to be communicated to every tongue and culture. For instance, If I read the King James version, I would have a hard time understanding some of it because I don't talk in old english style. If I wanted to tell the police that someone stole my car I would say,"someone stole my car." I would not say,"thou hast thieved my automobile." I am certain that the cop would think that I came from a time machine or something. Certain translations are more effective for certain people. For new believers I would suggest the Message translation or the New Living translation. For intermediate Christians maybe the NIV would be best. For devout Christians or maybe bible students, The NASB may be best because it is closer to the original literary style and for those who are more familiar with the bible and context they will be able to benefit more from it. If someone knows Greek, then they would benefit the most by reading the Greek manuscripts.

One note to say: There are many Gospels of Jesus written. The ones the New Testaments were chosen according to many guidelines. One is that they had to be written around the first century. Another is that they could not contradict eachother.Many of the accounts that fit into both of these categories were rejected because they were too imaginative and irrelevant to the purpose of the message of Christ. I am not sure how far into detail you want me to go, so if you have more questions or want me to expand on some my responses, I would be more than happy to.

One last note: in the book of Revelation Jesus says to john that anyone adds to or takes away from his words will be cursed (22:18). That is to say that there is nothing else to be revealed. God has said evrything he needs to say. Christ is the new covenant. He said himself as he sacrificed his body on the cross for the sins of the people, "It is finished".(John 19:30). My prayers are upon this letter to all who read it.

In Christ,

Sozo9:24 (Luke 9:24)


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