The following is a comment post relevant to my early post entitled, "PART 1: TO DEBATE TO GET AT AND TO SHOW TRUTH IS CHRISTIAN."
You may read the whole threaded discussion at [deleted] to place it all within context.
Hello Brother Chris,
Are you saying that I'm substituting God's grace with faith in Jesus? (No harsh tone in that question or anything else in this comment or any of my others on this post) Please clarify. Your wording, "substituted Jesus Christ as your means of salvation for faith" may be clear to other readers, but I do not understand what you are trying to say — Substitute what with what?
You wrote, "...being saved by faith does just that! That is, it substitutes Jesus Christ as the means of salvation for itself." There are two things that would help me here in trying to make sure that I know exactly what you intend. Firstly, when you write that I'm substituting "Jesus Christ as your means of salvation for faith," I'm unclear as to whether or not you intend the reverse. Which am I to hold with in terms of the means to salvation in your view: Jesus Christ or faith? Which is wrong? What becomes the idol to which you refer above, Jesus or faith or what?
I'm not following you at all. I'm drawing a complete blank here. That sort of thing (more that I find Paul confused) happens regularly to a degree with Paul's writings for me but never with Jesus's statements. I have to tell you also that I have never learned one positive thing from Paul's writings that I didn't already know from the Gospels. Also, I have seen clearly things in Paul's writings that do not jibe with Jesus's sayings. I am not alone in this.
Before this upsets you, please bear in mind that Paul rebuked Peter. Paul did not hold Peter to be infallible. I have never come to that conclusion (fallibility) concerning Jesus's expressions. I have not found an error in anything Jesus said or did. I don't hold Paul to have been infallible, just as he embarrassed Peter in his, Paul's, own letter rather than keeping it private between them (he published it to the church, along with many other things to build up Paul in their eyes and yours– it's all there). There's a time and place for private, and there's a time and place for all things coming abroad. Right now, there are many, many wrong secrets and barriers (lies for sake of greed, violence, and other forms of depravity).
For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. (Mark 4:22 KJVR) Yes?
I know you hold that all the Epistles attributed to Paul are canonical and the inspired word of God. Remember though, you also hold with Dan in what he wrote above: "I've often told folk that if our faith is so fragile that we are afraid to have it examined, then it's probably a faith that is not worth having." That is consistent with what I wrote before it: "From my perspective, I figure if my beliefs won't hold up, then I'm wrong and the Holy Spirit isn't giving me what to say." I leave out the "probably."
So, please take everything I've written here in the spirit of "convince me." I'm not closed to learning.
Secondly, rather than use pronouns here, such as "it" and "itself," will you please spell them out with nouns?
To further help clarify, what do Paul and you (or just you if you don't want to speak in Paul's defense) do with the statement that I'm saved by love through grace (which I say that I am)?
Lastly, I look forward to your answers to the direct questions I posed in my earlier comments concerning the Christian Commons.
Thanks, Brother Chris.