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.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)