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Thread: Church influenced by culture and mysticism

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    Church influenced by culture and mysticism

    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby_Snacks View Post
    You have brought to the forefront words: Gnostic teaching (which is heresy) False Doctrine (which must be proven) and now "The Truth" which is your opinion.

    The "idea" that man needed to be baptized as an infant came along with the Church fathers without ever pinpointing of original sin. How'd they come to that conclusion?
    Not correct. See Cyprian’s Epistle “LVIII 316 To Fidus, on the Baptism of Infants” for an example.

    The “idea” infants needed to be baptized, in part, was because they believed circumcision, the OT shadow of the spiritual baptism, told them to do it. Ritual was a major part of religion at the time. Did the Apostles agree this meant sins remitted and salvation for infants? John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Apostles didn't mention infant baptism, and as far as we know did not practice it. The Apostles fought and spoke against philosophies, Gnosticism, and ‘their rival mystery religions’ of the day in their epistles and said when they departed wolves would bring damnable heresies, not sparing the flock, speaking perverse things, drawing away disciples and overthrowing the faith of some.

    I’m not going to write an essay on Church History, because it speaks for itself on this subject if you take the time to learn it. Christianity didn’t corner the market on baptism or mystery religions. Other religions much older than Christianity baptized and because of similarities Christianity was considered another mystery religion. The world of the early Church was one of paganism, ritual, and the need to 'do something' and contribute to their religion, and religious ‘competition’. The second century Church was different than the first, and the third different than the second, and so on, all getting further away from Scripture because different religions and cultures influence each other when they mingle. Many don’t attempt to understand what this was like, and unfortunately interpret scripture without the historical and cultural lens. That converted believers baptized their infants doesn’t assume Augustinian/Reformed/Calvinist original sin/sin nature, but rather reconciliation to the Creator, law, and ritual. Did some, or even many, baptize their infants because of an Augustinian/Reformed/Calvinist original sin/sin nature view of sorts? Since they were not free of bad influence, what do you think? Does this mean they were right on either account? Of course not. Some did it because of “law” and ritual, or because they believed they had the authority to retain and remit sins, even for an infant that could not believe or not believe for themselves. Are these correct views? No they’re not.

    Since there’s no Scriptural or Apostolic reason they came to that conclusion (baptize infants) and since we know the history and culture, what should we conclude?


    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby_Snacks View Post
    Other Church fathers came along in disagreement of infant baptism seeing original sin through Adam as original corruption rather than original sin (traducian theory) (Tertullian favored this view)
    Which is different than the sin an individual is personally responsible for.
    Depending on how you define Traducianism it may not be a problem. In some ways, I agree with Tertullian. The soul is without a doubt the created result of the body and spirit coming together. I believe that to be true for offspring as well, who have DNA (God’s creation) from both parents, reproducing after its own kind. We are unique souls, so DNA is a factor but sin is not in God’s creation. If it is, Gnosticism and mystery religions were right all along and Judaism and Christianity missed it and needed to conform. Traducianism is indeed different than, "the sin an individual is personally responsible for" but by itself is not Augustinian/Reformed/Calvinist original sin/sin nature. Tertullian believed all men, regardless of how bad a soul they received through generation, had enough 'good seed' in him to hear the gospel and have faith in Christ. However, it would be easy for anyone, like Tertullian did, to make Traducianism similar in one way to Augustinian/Reformed/Calvinist original sin/sin nature, if they injected some crazy notion not found in scripture, like man’s soul changing as he sins and lives his life and the soul retains it, altering the soul, then passing it through generation. If the soul changes as one lives and sins and becomes worse in its condition, and is then transmitted to the new child, and so on and so on, what that would look like is unspeakable. We'd never have a good child from a bad soul and before long, there'd be nothing but little demonic children running around. Each child would be worse than the sibling before, if the parent continued sinning. Absurd! God would have wiped out all humanity in the flood, but he didn’t. I don't know how much you know about Tertullian, but like Origen and his Gnostic tendencies, he was pretty wacked out. In frustration, he ended up giving up and joining the Montanist to have moments of ecstasy with the Spirit, placing their prophecy over Scripture and the Apostles. Yea, there's a guy to follow.

    Did Tertullian come up with this on his own through scripture? How come no one else did before him? Are you telling me the Apostles explained and passed on such an important doctrine as this and it was forgotten and ignored until Tertullian and Origen got the wheel of original sin/sin nature rolling again over 100 years later? I’m not buying it! The doctrine is the result of man not understanding scripture and being influenced by other philosophies and religions of their day.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby_Snacks View Post
    but it seems your decision to call what others believe as heretical teachings
    Don't put words in my mouth. I haven't said any such thing. How is original sin/sin nature heretical no matter what? I would say if someone thinks God created man with it, then maybe an argument could be made, but not many believe that. Others can't explain how man managed to become creator and change the creation of the Creator, but being either ignorant or too smart for your own good is not heretical.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby_Snacks View Post
    To me, there is no reason to toss around the heresy and false doctrine mantra unless there is actually something concrete you can base your opinion on that can be agreed upon.
    Augustine (Manichaean) = concrete. History and the influence of religions on the Church = concrete. Augustinian/Reformed/Calvinist original sin/sin nature didn’t exist in Judaism or the first Church. It was only after the Church was influenced after more than a century of Gnosticism, philosophy, and mystery religions, that a belief that original sin was more than separation from God and physical death was accepted.


    Quote Originally Posted by CFJ View Post
    Are there any writings from the church fathers teaching Original Sin before Augustine?
    I said, “Not one ecf (and I do mean early) believed Reformed/Calvinist original sin/sin nature.” I did not say church fathers and I did not say original sin. I said, “and I do mean early” and “Reformed/Calvinist original sin/sin nature”. Irenaeus said, “we have inherited his title [of sin]”. Biblical. The others quoted were late and influenced.

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    Re: Church influenced by culture and mysticism

    I believe "original sin" (not just the "first" sin) in some form or fashion was assumed up until the time people started to make attempts to understand what happened after Adam to the rest of the human race.
    I say it was "assumed" because all people sinned. There was not anyone who did not.

    Pelagius believed humans were not wounded by Adam's sin and were perfectly able to fulfill the law without divine aid.
    Arminius and Calvin both believed man needed divine intervention in order to either "make a choice for Him" or be irristably drawn.

    I do not agree that Augustine formed original sin doctrine from his past Gnostic beliefs.

    If you do believe this, then perhaps you could expound on why.

    I may not have much time the next couple of days to really enter further into discussion.
    Peace to you!

    “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
    (Matthew 5:5)


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    Re: Church influenced by culture and mysticism

    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby_Snacks View Post
    I believe "original sin" (not just the "first" sin) in some form or fashion was assumed up until the time people started to make attempts to understand what happened after Adam to the rest of the human race.
    I say it was "assumed" because all people sinned. There was not anyone who did not.
    "original sin" (not just the "first" sin) in some form or fashion did not need to be assumed. Like I said, "It was only after the Church was influenced after more than a century of Gnosticism, philosophy, and mystery religions, that a belief that original sin was more than separation from God and physical death was accepted." A proper view of it was understood, and it was more than "just the first sin".


    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby_Snacks View Post
    Pelagius believed humans were not wounded by Adam's sin and were perfectly able to fulfill the law without divine aid.
    I thought Admin said Pelagianism was not to be discussed in Bible Chat. Did I imagine that? Because everyone keeps doing it and nothing is being said or done about it. Of course, that means virtually every thread on this subject, which requires the discussion of Augustian/Pelagian doctrine will have to be moved to another section, because you can't allow Augustinian doctrine as if it's in the Bible and not Pelagian as if its not, but this discussion belongs here. Anyway, nothing you said here is true. I suggest you find out what he actually said before assigning him beliefs that were not his own, which is all too common.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby_Snacks View Post
    I do not agree that Augustine formed original sin doctrine from his past Gnostic beliefs.

    If you do believe this, then perhaps you could expound on why.
    If everything I said in the OP doesn't tell you why, nothing will.

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    Re: Church influenced by culture and mysticism

    Quote Originally Posted by Noeb View Post
    "original sin" (not just the "first" sin) in some form or fashion did not need to be assumed. Like I said, "It was only after the Church was influenced after more than a century of Gnosticism, philosophy, and mystery religions, that a belief that original sin was more than separation from God and physical death was accepted." A proper view of it was understood, and it was more than "just the first sin".


    I thought Admin said Pelagianism was not to be discussed in Bible Chat. Did I imagine that? Because everyone keeps doing it and nothing is being said or done about it. Of course, that means virtually every thread on this subject, which requires the discussion of Augustian/Pelagian doctrine will have to be moved to another section, because you can't allow Augustinian doctrine as if it's in the Bible and not Pelagian as if its not, but this discussion belongs here. Anyway, nothing you said here is true. I suggest you find out what he actually said before assigning him beliefs that were not his own, which is all too common.


    If everything I said in the OP doesn't tell you why, nothing will.
    You haven't proven your point. Saying that you have does not make it so. Much too tired for this.
    Peace to you!

    “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
    (Matthew 5:5)


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    Re: Church influenced by culture and mysticism

    I've said "Not one ecf (and I do mean early) believed Reformed/Calvinist original sin/sin nature. Not one. Historical fact." and you agreed saying, "Original sin doctrine does have it's roots in church fathers, although not in the fullness of the doctrine that is specified today." They didn't teach nature is sinful, others did. They didn't teach this sin nature was naturally passed to descendants, others did. I said it's taught that, "Man cannot save himself from his flesh condition. He must be given secret knowledge. Some are given this knowledge, others are not. Enter Augustine." This is something else the two have in common, not taught by the 'early' fathers. Therefore the argument cannot be made that these things are just similarities or coincidence.

    No one has ever been able to dispute this. The ball, again, is in the court of proponents of original sin. They'll either stand there and watch the ball go by yet again, or they'll swing and miss yet again. To prove something you need facts, and you/they have none. You/they have "interpretation" of scripture, where I have scripture and facts.

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    Re: Church influenced by culture and mysticism

    The ecf did not teach that mans nature after the fall was NOT sinful. That is what I am saying about original sin being "assumed". I am posting this link from the Christian Stack exchange because it cites quotes from ecf that support my view.

    http://christianity.stackexchange.co...in-before-augu

    Gnostics believed they had a part of the divine god within them, even though their material body was evil, their spirit was good, and it was at creation of the material by a lesser, evil God, that their spirits were trapped.
    That divine part of them was intact-- and this part of them sought to be connected with a pure and distant transcended God they were all a part of.

    (If you look it this, it is almost the opposite of original sin) It is saying that there is good within all men that remains good, unchanged, and moral even though all of the material, bodies, and world is evil.

    It is then up to ones own works to connect the divine within oneself, to the divine whole that one already has inside. This is their perfect, moral compass.
    There is no need for a Savior for Gnostics, they already have what is needed to be "enlightened", they merely must tap into the divine, and this comes through "secret" knowledge.
    One must be doing something right in order to obtain it. It is a works based very strange belief system.

    Christianity does not teach the physical body is evil as Gnostics do.

    When Paul talks about the flesh, he is not talking about our physical body.
    The flesh is an inner man issue, not a physical material issue.
    The "flesh" as Paul writes of the flesh is what comes from inside of a man, it is not the flesh and physical body of man that is "evil", as the Gnostics believed.

    Sinful desires, in and of themselves are not material or physical.

    Maybe you can see where I am going with this, maybe not. Just letting you know the first thing that came to mind this morning was Paul's discussion of the flesh warring with the Spirit, which could also be seen as Gnostic if one made that connection in some way themselves, even though Paul's influence was The Holy Spirit, not Gnostic teachers.
    Peace to you!

    “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
    (Matthew 5:5)


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    Re: Church influenced by culture and mysticism

    Quote Originally Posted by Noeb View Post
    To prove something you need facts, and you/they have none. You/they have "interpretation" of scripture, where I have scripture and facts.
    This is maybe your biggest problem Noeb. Your posts constantly focus on the human effort and not conviction by the Spirit of The Lord. You want to proof too much and I've learned, like with JW's or the like, they need to proof to you that they are right, because this is all they've got, their own reasoning. No peace for you said the Lord in such instances.

    I've been solely saved by Jesus in 1987 without doctrine, without a preacher, without any influence from anyone, even without a Bible.

    When Jesus start to teach me 5 years later when I bought my 1st Bible (1992), I still knew nothing about doctrine and what I've learned, no-one influenced me and till this day hold onto every doctrine as Christ learned me. When it is in the Bible, I can, will and must believe it and more so when the Master teaches you. Only much later I've learned about Calvinism, Arminianism and all other 'isms. How is it possible for me to get to this point?

    It is easy, the Holy Ghost should be your Master and lead you in the truth. Your way as posed by you, is a lesser humane way and a dangerous way most of the time. You make far too much of EFC's as just one example...

    There is no way that any of us could be the judge in most instances if you don't know these people first hand and have asked them yourself, instead of mostly own conclusions, except that if Christ learned you and it is not the same, you must do as Paul said in Galathians...
    The Lord is our Shepherd
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    it’s the only method
    glo dit en jy sal sien

    The power of His glory
    is the punch line of this story,
    ek staan verwonderd en tog
    het U alles volmaak besorg


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    Re: Church influenced by culture and mysticism

    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby_Snacks View Post
    The ecf did not teach that mans nature after the fall was NOT sinful. That is what I am saying about original sin being "assumed". I am posting this link from the Christian Stack exchange because it cites quotes from ecf that support my view.

    http://christianity.stackexchange.co...in-before-augu

    Gnostics believed they had a part of the divine god within them, even though their material body was evil, their spirit was good, and it was at creation of the material by a lesser, evil God, that their spirits were trapped.
    That divine part of them was intact-- and this part of them sought to be connected with a pure and distant transcended God they were all a part of.

    (If you look it this, it is almost the opposite of original sin) It is saying that there is good within all men that remains good, unchanged, and moral even though all of the material, bodies, and world is evil.

    It is then up to ones own works to connect the divine within oneself, to the divine whole that one already has inside. This is their perfect, moral compass.
    There is no need for a Savior for Gnostics, they already have what is needed to be "enlightened", they merely must tap into the divine, and this comes through "secret" knowledge.
    One must be doing something right in order to obtain it. It is a works based very strange belief system.

    Christianity does not teach the physical body is evil as Gnostics do.

    When Paul talks about the flesh, he is not talking about our physical body.
    The flesh is an inner man issue, not a physical material issue.
    The "flesh" as Paul writes of the flesh is what comes from inside of a man, it is not the flesh and physical body of man that is "evil", as the Gnostics believed.

    Sinful desires, in and of themselves are not material or physical.

    Maybe you can see where I am going with this, maybe not. Just letting you know the first thing that came to mind this morning was Paul's discussion of the flesh warring with the Spirit, which could also be seen as Gnostic if one made that connection in some way themselves, even though Paul's influence was The Holy Spirit, not Gnostic teachers.
    This a post that gives perspective. What most sometimes ignore, is that all Christian truths can be sidetracked if you just bend it a little. That will lead to major deceptions. This is a good example. In my post I will quote partly from the website of Gotquestions.org.

    To confuse dualism with the struggle between flesh and Spirit, is something that needs to be discerned and for the very reason that they are so near each other, yet so extremely far from each other. Gnosticism was perhaps the most dangerous heresy that threatened the early church during the first three centuries. Influenced by such philosophers as Plato, Gnosticism is based on two false premises. First, it espouses a dualism regarding spirit and matter. Gnostics assert that matter is inherently evil and spirit is good. As a result of this presupposition, Gnostics believe anything done in the body, even the grossest sin, has no meaning because real life exists in the spirit realm only. One cannot confuse the reality of our flesh being weak and how we need to overcome as per Galathians 5.

    Furthermore, Gnosticism teaches that salvation is gained through the acquisition of divine knowledge which frees one from the illusions of darkness. Although they claim to follow Jesus Christ and His original teachings, Gnostics contradict Him at every turn. Jesus said nothing about salvation through knowledge, but by faith in Him as Savior from sin. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast”

    Christianity asserts that there is one source of Truth and that is the Bible, the inspired, inerrant Word of the living God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12). It is God’s written revelation to mankind and is never superseded by man’s thoughts, ideas, writings, or visions. The Gnostics, on the other hand, use a variety of early heretical writings known as the Gnostic gospels, a collection of forgeries claiming to be “lost books of the Bible.” Thankfully, the early church fathers were nearly unanimous in recognizing these Gnostic scrolls as fraudulent forgeries that espouse false doctrines about Jesus Christ, salvation, God, and every other crucial Christian truth. There are countless contradictions between the Gnostic “gospels” and the Bible. Even when the so-called Christian Gnostics quote from the Bible, they rewrite verses and parts of verses to harmonize with their philosophy, a practice that is strictly forbidden and warned against by Scripture (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18-19).

    The Person of Jesus Christ is another area where Christianity and Gnosticism drastically differ. The Gnostics believe that Jesus’ physical body was not real, but only “seemed” to be physical, and that His spirit descended upon Him at His baptism, but left Him just before His crucifixion. Such views destroy not only the true humanity of Jesus, but also the atonement, for Jesus must not only have been truly God, but also the truly human (and physically real) man who actually suffered and died upon the cross in order to be the acceptable substitutionary sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 2:14-17). The biblical view of Jesus affirms His complete humanity as well as His full deity.

    Gnosticism is based on a mystical, intuitive, subjective, inward, emotional approach to truth which is not new at all. It is very old, going back in some form to the Garden of Eden, where Satan questioned God and the words He spoke and convinced Adam and Eve to reject them and accept a lie.

    He still calls God and the Bible into question and catches in his web those who are either naïve and scripturally uninformed or who are seeking some personal revelation to make them feel special, unique, and superior to others. Let us follow the Apostle Paul who said to “test everything. Hold on to the good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21), and this we do by comparing everything to the Word of God, the only Truth.
    The Lord is our Shepherd
    die Here sal voorsien
    it’s the only method
    glo dit en jy sal sien

    The power of His glory
    is the punch line of this story,
    ek staan verwonderd en tog
    het U alles volmaak besorg


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    Re: Church influenced by culture and mysticism

    So just wondering ... was there an "ontological change" of Adam when he sinned ... you actually got me thinking about this Noeb in the other thread about the "old man" ...
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    Re: Church influenced by culture and mysticism

    It doesn't say there was.

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    Re: Church influenced by culture and mysticism

    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby_Snacks View Post
    The ecf did not teach that mans nature after the fall was NOT sinful. That is what I am saying about original sin being "assumed". I am posting this link from the Christian Stack exchange because it cites quotes from ecf that support my view.

    http://christianity.stackexchange.co...in-before-augu
    I addressed this already in the OP.

    "I said, “Not one ecf (and I do mean early) believed Reformed/Calvinist original sin/sin nature.” I did not say church fathers and I did not say original sin. I said, “and I do mean early” and “Reformed/Calvinist original sin/sin nature”. Irenaeus said, “we have inherited his title [of sin]”. Biblical. The others quoted were late and influenced."

    I can't do a lot in the way of posting. Taking care of my mother and don't have a desktop. Phone only, which is annoying.

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    Re: Church influenced by culture and mysticism

    Quote Originally Posted by Noeb View Post
    It doesn't say there was.
    Well weren't they now identified as sinners.
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    Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
    For You are the God of my salvation;
    On You I wait all the day.

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    Re: Church influenced by culture and mysticism

    Quote Originally Posted by Christinme View Post
    Well weren't they now identified as sinners.
    Because they had sinned, but where do we read in the whole of Scripture that humanity underwent a fundamental, ontological change as a result of the first sin / fall?

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    Re: Church influenced by culture and mysticism

    Let me say first and Noeb knows this that I do not believe in "original sin" as it has been put forth in western Christianity ... I see the fall to be more a loss of "innocence" and the introduction of the concept of good and evil into the "mind" of man. I sure don't believe in any "hereditary" sin.

    However since we've been talking in another thread about "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" ... and there is an "ontological change" when we believe "Christ crucified (us with him - buried, raised)" ... that it's possible an "ontological change" happens when innocence is lost and the concept of good and evil enters into the "mind" of man.
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    Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
    For You are the God of my salvation;
    On You I wait all the day.

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    Re: Church influenced by culture and mysticism

    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby_Snacks View Post
    The ecf did not teach that mans nature after the fall was NOT sinful.
    They did indeed. Today, they would be labeled pelagian heretics, and taught man is able/no sin nature.

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