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Bronagh
May 26th 2008, 09:40 PM
Today, when I was praying, I asked for the holy spirit to come into me, and I think I really felt it. In my earlier posts, I talked about getting this "feeling" of God being there... well today it was stronger than it ever was, like the faint warmth had turned into a fire. It was really wonderful! (by the way, I hope you can understand what I am talking about, I'm not really sure how to express any of this, I'm sorry if I don't make any sense!)

Still though, I'm getting doubts about my motives, and about how serious I really am about this... I think to myself, of all the non-Christians who come to this messageboard, I just *happen* to be the one who ends up changing their mind? But I guess it's going to happen to someone!

In the meantime, I'd like to buy a Bible. Any advice in doing so? i.e., which translation, where to get it, any particular publisher that's really good?

Also, are there any other changes I should be making in my life? I'm unsure about what's supposed to be different... and I've decided to tell my mother tomorrow when she gets home from work.

watchinginawe
May 26th 2008, 11:47 PM
Bronagh, I believe what you are sensing is the spiritual. The reason you sense warming is because of the Holy Spirit interacting with your spirit. Many testimonies speak of warmth and many of light and still many more of just peace. One of the symbols for the Holy Spirit in scripture is fire. This surely is not coincidence.

Regardless, what I hope that you discern in all of this is trust or perhaps invitation to trust. Said another way, assurance. It is important to know this because this is how we "know" God. Consider:

John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

So Jesus in the above clears up the matter for us. But what does the spiritual "feel" like? How do we "feel" the Holy Spirit? I think the right word is that we "know" the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spiirt is intimate with our spirit. We "know" Him. In Romans, the Apostle Paul tells us:

Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

The above is so true. God touches us and we say, "God, is that you?".

I am going to leave the Bible recommendations to others. I use the King James Version almost exclusively but I am not dogmatic about it. Many would recommend the New American Standard Bible and I couldn't argue too much with that selection. But maybe others will have even better suggestions.

We have had more than a few come here and used the forum as a sounding board and either came to faith or rekindled their faith. Perhaps some will stop in to give you encouragement.

Let us know how it works out with your mom.

God Bless!

calidog
May 27th 2008, 12:18 AM
In the meantime, I'd like to buy a Bible. Any advice in doing so? i.e., which translation, where to get it, any particular publisher that's really good?


You could start now with a free download of several versions at e-sword:
http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html

You can read in parallel if you like till you find a version your comfortable with.

When you decide to do a thorough read, cover to cover, use an easy to read translation. You can always go back later for in-depth study.

calidog
May 27th 2008, 12:24 AM
Also, are there any other changes I should be making in my life? I'm unsure about what's supposed to be different... and I've decided to tell my mother tomorrow when she gets home from work.You can trust God in this area to show you. If you have specifics we can talk about that. It's a great idea that you're going to connect with her and let her know.
When I came to a conversion I could hardly wait to tell mine since I had asked her for so many years "is it really that simple?"

Saved7
Jun 2nd 2008, 02:24 AM
Today, when I was praying, I asked for the holy spirit to come into me, and I think I really felt it. In my earlier posts, I talked about getting this "feeling" of God being there... well today it was stronger than it ever was, like the faint warmth had turned into a fire. It was really wonderful! (by the way, I hope you can understand what I am talking about, I'm not really sure how to express any of this, I'm sorry if I don't make any sense!)

Still though, I'm getting doubts about my motives, and about how serious I really am about this... I think to myself, of all the non-Christians who come to this messageboard, I just *happen* to be the one who ends up changing their mind? But I guess it's going to happen to someone!

In the meantime, I'd like to buy a Bible. Any advice in doing so? i.e., which translation, where to get it, any particular publisher that's really good?

Also, are there any other changes I should be making in my life? I'm unsure about what's supposed to be different... and I've decided to tell my mother tomorrow when she gets home from work.

Woooohoooo!!!:pp Welcome to the family of God.:hug::kiss:

I prefer the New King James version for those who are new, and they typically have a good study bible version of that. Granted, not every footnote is 100% correct, so just take it with a grain of salt, and just trust what the bible says will be revealed to you in the right time. Which is God's time.
A study bible BTW is a bible that has footnotes at the bottom by theologians to help explain some of the tuffer to understand verses.;)

And what you should be doing at this stage is reading a good bible and praying...daily. Take your time finding a church until you have read at least half the OT and the NT, so you know better what you are getting into. Too many wacked out churches out there these days, gotta be careful.
If you are born again, you will know that there is something wrong with a church within the first few visits. There will just be some nagging thing inside of you, it's the gift of the Holy Spirit guiding you.:saint:

And the rest of the changes will take place naturally. er, at least they should, if they don't, then you need to spend some serious prayer time with the Lord. Oh, and these changes take place gradually, over a long period of time, while some of them will just dropped off you like water off a ducks back; right away.

Revinius
Jun 2nd 2008, 03:58 AM
Great to hear your experience something few have the opportunity to!:pp I understand what you mean when you say you cant really describe fully what is happening within you, it sort of goes beyond words. That is God though, He surpasses any expression we can think of and nothing is truly adequate in describing how massive a deal He is.

We have all been praying for you earnestly and God obviously has your life marked for something special in Him. Just remember though, that the life through Christ is something hated by the world. Every person on this board can tell you stories of how the world has tried to put them down. But dont be discouraged, if it was easy anyone could do it, but its not easy to submit, to trust in something greater than yourself. You have been chosen for a reason, for a purpose, God loved you so much His son died so you might live and have relationship with Him.

As far as translation goes, i use the NIV (New International Version) for my general reading of the Bible and i keep some other versions lying around for a comparison if i get stuck. Or you can use an NIV and use the e-sword on the web to compare/contrast.

CDixonDesign
Jun 3rd 2008, 01:01 PM
Great to hear of you recieving the Spirit and the Salvation of the King of Kings! I'll let the others lead you in your points, but I wanted to chime in with praise for you recieving the Lord!

Bronagh
Jun 15th 2008, 07:32 PM
I'm sorry that I haven't replied in a long time, but I had the end of my exams and things got a bit hectic. It's all over now though!
Anyway, I think things are going well, spiritually I mean. I'm continuing to pray mostly, and I think it's starting to feel a bit more natural... actually, I neglected it for a few days earlier this week, and it was so strange, I felt kind of strange, as though I hadn't been eating properly or something. Is that odd?
I still haven't bought a bible though, hopefully I'll do that tomorrow... Also, I haven't gone to church at all yet. I wanted to go back to the church near my house, to which I used to go when I was young, since it's the one I know the best and in which I would feel most welcome. But I haven't plucked up the courage to go just yet... I'm not sure why...
Thanks for all your prayers and kind words!

P.s. do you think I'm ready to switch my status to Christian?

Revinius
Jun 15th 2008, 07:47 PM
If you love Jesus and believe that you are starting a new chapter in life with Him as Lord then change your tag. There is a party in heaven right now mate...:hug:

watchinginawe
Jun 17th 2008, 03:31 AM
P.s. do you think I'm ready to switch my status to Christian? I think you already have! ;) So, in that case it seems only fitting to change the one for the member "Bronagh" here. :)

:hmm: Bibles. I like the King James Version. When you go shopping, try and see if the have something called the King James 21, or 21st Century. Also, here is one that might be interesting. It is a Scofield Study Bible, 1967 edition. The 1967 edition replaced words in the KJV with more mordern words and moved the original words to the margin. Almost any study Bible you get will have some downside. One of these for the Scofield Study Bible is the handling of the Genesis text. However, I don't think it disqualifies this study Bible and may inform you on how some Christians view creation. Others may recommend a Bible with no study helps at all. I am not a fan of that when such otherwise good resources are available. Here is what the 1967 edition looks like: http://www.lifewaystores.com/lwstore/product.asp?isbn=0195277112&mscssid=FFKQ40NHW9FA8G6UBQL8XCWG3QWD0LX6
Also, I haven't gone to church at all yet. I wanted to go back to the church near my house, to which I used to go when I was young, since it's the one I know the best and in which I would feel most welcome. But I haven't plucked up the courage to go just yet... I'm not sure why...That is an interesting thing about going back to your "home" Church. Here is one of my favorite passages of Jacob going back to where God had visited him before. First, where God visited Jacob when he left his father's house and fleeing from Esau:

Genesis 28:10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.

11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.

12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;

14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.

17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.

19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,

21 So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:

22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

So this is Jacob leaving from his father's house. Now, several years later, here is Jacob about to return to his father's house, but the peace of such was not guaranteed because of Esau. Anyway, see where Jacob is told to go:

Genesis 35:1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:

3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.


So, when you first can, rise up, be clean, put your Sunday Best on and go and make an altar to God!

God Bless!

Bronagh
Jun 18th 2008, 10:46 AM
I bought a Bible the other day, unfortunately money's a bit tight now so the decision was based on what was cheapest... I found a nice one which I think is alright, it's "New" King James Version, from what I can tell it's quite similar but with some old fashioned words and expressions replaced. Is this ok?

I also had a question about praying... and about the limits of what we can pray for. Is there a limit? What exactly can we ask God for? I know He loves us all, but sometimes I feel like I have no right to ask anything of him, sometimes it feels selfish... And sometimes it feels like concerns of mine may seem rather trivial to Him... And if He has a plan for everyone, how do we know that what we're asking for isn't going against his plan? So basically, my question is: What exactly can we ask from Him?

Frances
Jun 18th 2008, 05:46 PM
I use the NKJV too, it's one of the best translations.

You are right, God loves you - far more than your earthly father does. I assume that when you were little you asked your earthly father for whatever you wanted, you may have been taught, as I was to ask yourself 'Do I want it? Do I need it? Can I do without it?' first if money was tight. Well God has a super-abundance of everything, so there are no limits to what you can ask Him for. . . . however, prayer is also praising God, listening to God, and talking things over with Him, as well as asking for things. . . it is also wise to ask for His Will to be done in preference to yours if you don't know if your request is not for His Best. . . .

Bronagh
Jun 20th 2008, 11:08 AM
Are there any big changes in my life that I should be making now that I've started on the Christian path? I'm still unsure about how exactly should be different. Or should it be different at all?

watchinginawe
Jun 20th 2008, 02:48 PM
Hey Bronagh, have you considered any more about being baptized? When you go to your childhood Church, ask about it. How does that Church view baptism?

What should you be feeling and doing? The biggest thing to realize as a young believer (know, in your spirit) is that you aren't going it alone. Our faith is often referred to as being "born again". That fits for a number of reasons. We are most vulnerable as a human when we are first born. The same is true Spirutally. We can be turned aside or offended and thus not mature. But we will never be turned aside or offended of Jesus as long as we look to Him as our Lord and Saviour and invite God to guide us Spiritually. This is done through prayer, devotions, studies of the scriptures, and fellowshipping with others in the faith.

Some things that should change would be things that we "let go" of. These would be the burdens we lay down as we take upon the yoke of Jesus. Maybe these are resentments or jealousies or guilts or dissapointments or heartbreaks or even sins that we don't want to confront. Each one has to be "laid down".

Equally, it would be important to know what we are "taking up". What we take up as Christians is "the Cross" or the yoke of Jesus. Basically that means our identification with Jesus and our trust in Him as our Lord and Saviour. We aren't "going it alone", we are "yoked" with Him! :) Now, this may ultimately mean some changes in your life because Jesus isn't going to just let you drag Him wherever. :lol: But I think you will get the idea.

God Bless!

ImmenseDisciple
Jun 20th 2008, 03:44 PM
Hey Bron, great to hear your news :)

I'm so excited for you mate, I'm still very fresh in my Christian walk myself, but those first few months in particular are mind-blowing... It's like walking into a different world. As a different person :lol:

You don't need to worry so much about things in your life which you should change - because the Holy Spirit is within you now, and He'll let you know what is and isn't right for you.

On the one hand, I would suggest you try and take a measured and somewhat subdued approach to any guidance you feel you're getting, as one problem which I think is pretty common is that when we're first full of the Spirit it can be a bit much for us to handle, and we can easily misinterpret our emotions or overreact. On the other hand, though - when I was first filled with the Spirit, I was sure that He was compelling me to give away and throw away loads of my stuff - so I did. I'm not so sure now that there wasn't more input from me than from Him in that call, but I really don't regret it in the slightest. So if you really feel like going a bit crazy - go for it :)

Woooooooooooooooooooooooo! Awesome news mate! Keep us updated on how God's working in your life! Wooo!

Saved7
Jun 20th 2008, 09:06 PM
I bought a Bible the other day, unfortunately money's a bit tight now so the decision was based on what was cheapest... I found a nice one which I think is alright, it's "New" King James Version, from what I can tell it's quite similar but with some old fashioned words and expressions replaced. Is this ok?

I also had a question about praying... and about the limits of what we can pray for. Is there a limit? What exactly can we ask God for? I know He loves us all, but sometimes I feel like I have no right to ask anything of him, sometimes it feels selfish... And sometimes it feels like concerns of mine may seem rather trivial to Him... And if He has a plan for everyone, how do we know that what we're asking for isn't going against his plan? So basically, my question is: What exactly can we ask from Him?

If you're going to read a modern translation, I say the NKJV is among the top 3.:)
and yes, it's normal to feel you haven't been eating right (so to speak) when you don't pray as often as you should. That's how we are fed, including reading the bible. We have a spirit man that needs nourishment, and that nourishment comes from God.
As far as asking Him for "stuff" goes, keep in mind His main concern is with your "welfare" and with the "welfare" of others. Not material things.:saint: But that doesn't stop us from asking, and if it is His will, He will grant it.:pp
You're best prayer time right now, would be spent asking to grow closer to Him, to understand His Word and grow stronger in faith. And also pray for others who need God's good will done in their lives, even if they don't know Jesus, like you, we prayed for you, cause the salvation of your soul was the most important thing. Remember, first things first, the rest will follow.;)

RoadWarrior
Jun 20th 2008, 10:30 PM
Welcome to the family, Bronagh! While you are not the only one who has come to Jesus while posting in CA, it is true that most do not. Many come with an agenda and a closed mind. We are very grateful that you had an open heart to let Jesus into your life.

I second the NKJV, that is my main Bible. I know that Bibles can be expensive, but all you need right now is one to read. Keep on reading, because that is how your faith will get built up. The more you know God, His thoughts, His ways, the more you will be in awe of Him, the more you will love Him, the more you will appreciate the family you've joined.

Your second expenditure might be a Strong's concordance. Often you can find one on sale - I think mine cost $10, but I have had it for a while. There are online tools that you can use, but if you are like me, sometimes you just want a book in your hands. If your current Bible has a concordance in the back, start by using that one and get familiar with it.

slynx
Jun 22nd 2008, 06:10 AM
Welcome to the family!

Since you have a computer, and access to the internet, you can get almost all the Bible translations, as well as concordances, dictionaries, and a lot of other study materials -- all FREE to download!

Get e-sword program (http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html)
and Bibles (http://www.e-sword.net/bibles.html)
and dictionaries + concordances (http://www.e-sword.net/dictionaries.html)
Commentaries (http://www.e-sword.net/commentaries.html);
devotions (http://www.e-sword.net/devotions.html);
other extras (http://www.e-sword.net/extras.html)
and STEP libraries (http://www.e-sword.net/step.html)

Bronagh
Jun 23rd 2008, 12:10 PM
Hey Bronagh, have you considered any more about being baptized? When you go to your childhood Church, ask about it. How does that Church view baptism?

What should you be feeling and doing? The biggest thing to realize as a young believer (know, in your spirit) is that you aren't going it alone. Our faith is often referred to as being "born again". That fits for a number of reasons. We are most vulnerable as a human when we are first born. The same is true Spirutally. We can be turned aside or offended and thus not mature. But we will never be turned aside or offended of Jesus as long as we look to Him as our Lord and Saviour and invite God to guide us Spiritually. This is done through prayer, devotions, studies of the scriptures, and fellowshipping with others in the faith.

Some things that should change would be things that we "let go" of. These would be the burdens we lay down as we take upon the yoke of Jesus. Maybe these are resentments or jealousies or guilts or dissapointments or heartbreaks or even sins that we don't want to confront. Each one has to be "laid down".

Equally, it would be important to know what we are "taking up". What we take up as Christians is "the Cross" or the yoke of Jesus. Basically that means our identification with Jesus and our trust in Him as our Lord and Saviour. We aren't "going it alone", we are "yoked" with Him! :) Now, this may ultimately mean some changes in your life because Jesus isn't going to just let you drag Him wherever. :lol: But I think you will get the idea.

God Bless!

I'm still not sure about the baptism. My church would probably not regard it as necessary, since I was already baptised as a baby. Do you realise that my church is Catholic? I know how people on this board view the Catholic faith... do you think I should try to get away from it? I understand the criticisms people have, I really do, but... It's just that it's the church I'm most familiar with, it's in my blood, I'd feel strange about going anywhere else.

Also, I came across a few things in the Bible last night which I wanted to ask about. First, Romans 1:26: "For this reason God gave them up to vile passions." What exactly does "gave them up" mean? First I thought that it might mean he turned his back on them after they completely gave in to their sin, but this doesn't sound right either. Can someone help? Also, I read the first few chapters of Genesis, and got a bit confused: "Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness" (1:26) Who is "Us" referring to?

Also, what exactly is a concordance?

RoadWarrior
Jun 23rd 2008, 03:06 PM
I'm still not sure about the baptism. My church would probably not regard it as necessary, since I was already baptised as a baby. Do you realise that my church is Catholic? I know how people on this board view the Catholic faith... do you think I should try to get away from it? I understand the criticisms people have, I really do, but... It's just that it's the church I'm most familiar with, it's in my blood, I'd feel strange about going anywhere else.

Also, I came across a few things in the Bible last night which I wanted to ask about. First, Romans 1:26: "For this reason God gave them up to vile passions." What exactly does "gave them up" mean? First I thought that it might mean he turned his back on them after they completely gave in to their sin, but this doesn't sound right either. Can someone help? Also, I read the first few chapters of Genesis, and got a bit confused: "Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness" (1:26) Who is "Us" referring to?

Also, what exactly is a concordance?

I'll start with the concordance, it will help you with the other questions. If you have a good Bible with some "helps" in it, there will be a section in the back which is a list of words. With each word is a list of places where it has been used in the Bible, so you can look them up and gain a fuller understanding of that word. The list in your Bible is a short list. The Strong's Concordance is a book which has a complete list of words in the Bible.

For example, I just looked in one of my Bibles and it does not have the word "gave" as in "gave them up" - but the Strong's concordance does have that word. Of course the scriptures for that word consist of a rather long list, since it is a common word. But in Strongs, when I look at the one for Romans 1, it tells me that the word is #3860 in the Greek section of that same book. So I go to that section, look up #3860, and it tells me that the word is is "paradidomi" and it means to surrender, to yield up.

How does that help to understand the verse? Well, if a person is refusing to be obedient to God, then it is a tug-of-war between God and the person. God wants you to obey, you refuse. So God "surrenders", he lets you win the struggle and go do the sin that you want to do. He knows what the consequences will be for you, but He gives you the right to make that choice.

He does not turn His back, but waits for you to experience the consequence. When you suffer, then you will be like the Prodigal son. You realize that God was right and you were wrong. So then you have the opportunity to come back to him as the Prodigal returned to his father. Now it is your turn to surrender the struggle to Him.

You do not have to make any sudden and drastic changes in attending church. If you are gaining spiritual benefits and growing in the Lord, then keep doing what you are doing. There may come a time for you (as it has for many others) that you will choose to leave the RCC. The right thing for you to do at this time is to focus on getting to know God as much as possible. As your relationship with Him deepens, you will learn to recognize His voice. Then when He calls you to make a change it will be quite evident to you that you are following Him and not just doing what someone else told you that you should do. Changing churches and getting baptized may be on your pathway, but you can put your trust in God to lead you in both of those things.

Romans is a pretty tough book for many people to understand. I commend you for tackling it. Please feel free to ask questions as you go along.

diffangle
Jun 23rd 2008, 03:59 PM
I'm still not sure about the baptism. My church would probably not regard it as necessary, since I was already baptised as a baby. Do you realise that my church is Catholic? I know how people on this board view the Catholic faith... do you think I should try to get away from it? I understand the criticisms people have, I really do, but... It's just that it's the church I'm most familiar with, it's in my blood, I'd feel strange about going anywhere else.

Hello Bronagh,

I'm so glad you've made the decision to follow Him and it's really cool that you're diving into the Word too. :pp :hug: You asked if you should get away from the RCC... with all due respect, yes. While I find that most Catholics are very sincere/good intentioned people, I believe they are breaking the first Commandment (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=EXOD%2020:1-6;&version=50;)(which is a biggie with God as He tells us constantly in the Word). I would urge you to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth...

John 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Btw, He can change your blood... just ask Him.:)

Peace

ImmenseDisciple
Jun 23rd 2008, 09:07 PM
I'm still not sure about the baptism. My church would probably not regard it as necessary, since I was already baptised as a baby. Do you realise that my church is Catholic? I know how people on this board view the Catholic faith... do you think I should try to get away from it? I understand the criticisms people have, I really do, but... It's just that it's the church I'm most familiar with, it's in my blood, I'd feel strange about going anywhere else.I can only imagine how difficult that must be for you. I wish that I could say you're just as good staying there as at any church - but honestly, I can't pretend that the teaching you'll receive isn't deeply misguided. As I say, I know that it will be so hard for you, but God will bless you in your reaching out to grow in your faith. I know it will be hard, but you've really got to do it.

You don't need to come right out and say to your parents that you're rejecting their faith or anything - just tell them that you're getting excited about knowing God, but you feel He's calling you to a different church - where you can hear about a victorious life in Christ, with the power of sin destroyed on the cross, once and for all. They might try suggesting some other churches to you (presumably RC) - just tell them you want to find a church on your own. You shouldn't hide from them the fact that it's not an RC church, but once they see how enthusiastic you are about going along I really don't see how they could pressure you. They love you, they would prefer you were excited about going to an RC church, I'm sure - but they've got to respect your decision, and recognise that it means a lot to you.

If you do this, despite how hard it will be for you, God will bless you for it like you wouldn't believe. Please, overcome any (completely understandable) wariness - and take this step out the boat.

watchinginawe
Jun 24th 2008, 05:41 PM
I'm still not sure about the baptism. My church would probably not regard it as necessary, since I was already baptised as a baby.That is why I asked the question. Before I go to the next part, I wanted to mention that this isn't just a Catholic thing. Infant baptism is also practiced in some Protestant denominations.

I may have already mentioned this, but when I told my mother of my faith in Jesus and that I had become a Christian, she said "Of course you are a Christian, you were baptized as an infant". We were Methodist (at least a couple of times a year anyway ;)). The thing is, I was a Methodist but I wasn't a Christian. I knew that for a fact. But after my conversion, there was no way to "normalize" my testimony as an artifact of infant baptism or of being a member of the Methodist Church. My testimony and assurance was personal between me and my Lord and Saviour and wasn't found in actions taken by my parents or the Church when I was an infant.

I never made this much of an issue with my Mom, but I did go on to be baptized in quick manner according to what I believed was clear in the Gospel and the scriptures.

For me, I never went back to the Methodist Church I was raised in. I never really gave it much consideration because I didn't know anyone from the Church and my mom wasn't attending regularly.
Do you realise that my church is Catholic? I know how people on this board view the Catholic faith... do you think I should try to get away from it? I understand the criticisms people have, I really do, but... It's just that it's the church I'm most familiar with, it's in my blood, I'd feel strange about going anywhere else.I suspected it from something you mentioned a while back about your mother, but wasn't sure. Here is the deal. Your faith is in Jesus Christ and not the Church. Can one associate themselves with the "Catholic faith" and be a Christian? Yes, I believe they can. Can one associate themselves with the "Protestant faith" and not be a Christian? Yes, I believe one could. The only real enduring faith is that which is put in Jesus Christ.

That being said, an old time man of God use to say that our walk with the Lord is a lot like air travel. It is most dangerous at takeoff and landing. I believe you should steer clear of being indoctrinated into the Catholic faith as you "take off".

Baptism is not a "protestant" thing, it is a Christian thing. While we can build reasoning for infant baptism we can not find much scripture to support it. Even moreso we can't find in scripture any reason that would indicate that a new believer shouldn't be baptized.

So I would advise to exercise caution here. I am hoping that the Lord will put a friend or minister in your path that you can trust and share your testimony with.
Also, I came across a few things in the Bible last night which I wanted to ask about. First, Romans 1:26: "For this reason God gave them up to vile passions." What exactly does "gave them up" mean? First I thought that it might mean he turned his back on them after they completely gave in to their sin, but this doesn't sound right either. Can someone help?I think you nearly have the correct sense of it. The reason? 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections:

So, it was because the Gentile nations went whole heartedly into idolatry that God quit bothering their consciences, He gave them up to their own lusts so that they could sink completely into their own depravity. This presumabley would have stood in sharp contrast to the Nation of Israel had Israel followed God whole heartedly. But Israel also transgressed and was in need of a Saviour also. So, the whole world stood in sharp contrast to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Left to our own devices and lusts and outside of the grace of God, we sink into human depravity.
Also, I read the first few chapters of Genesis, and got a bit confused: "Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness" (1:26) Who is "Us" referring to?There are a couple of ways that is interpreted. One way is that the "Us" is the heavenly host. I don't think so though because the word for God there is "'Elohiym", which is plural, which brings us to what I believe is the correct way, which is in view of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, thus "Us". There is no denying that God is portrayed monotheistically in the Old Testament and yet there is the mystery of this "Gods" and meaning a singular "God". There is a lot that could be said on this. Flip over to the first chapter of the Gospel of John and read and compare the first 18 verses.

God Bless!

daughter
Jun 25th 2008, 12:14 PM
Hey Bronagh. :pp I just wanted to say hello, and that I'm so glad that you're growing in faith. The fact that you felt "hungry" when you neglected prayer is a very good sign... and I'm glad you've got a Bible. I'm reading Romans too at the moment... it's a hard book in some respects. When it says "God gave them up to their passions" I understand it to mean that He "let them get on with it." Basically, we spend most of our lives saying, "I don't need You God, I can do what I like..." And He withdraws (fortunately in my case only for a period) and lets you get on with it. So you start seeking after anything to fill that emptiness... I know I did. And anything other than God is a vile passion... I practised witchcraft and was in a lesbian relationship for a time, so I know what I'm talking about. He gave me up, and I was vile. Thank God He drew me back to Him!

Anyway, hope that helps...

Regarding the church... I do know some people who I genuinely believe are born again saved Christians in the Catholic church. I don't know how they are comfortable in that church, but that's between them and God, not me. What I would advise you to do is pray for God to find you a good church to grow in - perhaps you've not been back to that church because God is leading you to find another one? Simply trust Him. "He who began a good work in you will complete it."

:hug:

Bronagh
Jun 27th 2008, 10:22 AM
I've been reading a bit about Catholic traditions, and have seen several websites that attempt to defend them, and I can see why you all find have such misgivings about it. It's hard to see how they could justify things like praying to Mary or the saints. So yeah, I agree it may not be the best place to start out with...
So now I'm a bit confused about all these denominations! They all seem to have such political or social connotations, which is why I originally wanted to return to my Catholic church, it's only one whose group I felt I belonged to.

I've decided to give Romans a rest for the moment, I'm going to finish all the gospels first (Mark and John down, Matthew and Luke to go). But in returning to the issue of that Romans passage... So God withdraws, lets us experience the sin we seem to want so badly. Born-again Christians will return from their sins like the Prodigal Son, but not everyone will realise their error will they? They'll continue to rail against God, and eventually they may die without ever returning to him... Does God turn his back on them? Is it very much a case of "it's your choice, there's nothing more I can do to save you"?

In regards to sin... Maybe it sounds strange to you all, but I don't have any comprehensive idea of what constitutes sin. I have a rough idea of it, acts going against the Word of God, but I'm not sure what exactly that entails. Is it wishful thinking to ask a comprehensive list of every sinful act in the modern world? I'm trying to figure out how to live my life according to God's word, but it's so hard to know what that is... some acts might "feel" alright, they may seem as though they're doing no harm and there's nothing evil about them, but how can I be so sure that this isn't just some human standard that's been deeply ingrained in me by modern society? There's probably no clear cut answer to all of this is there?

diffangle
Jun 27th 2008, 02:40 PM
In regards to sin... Maybe it sounds strange to you all, but I don't have any comprehensive idea of what constitutes sin. I have a rough idea of it, acts going against the Word of God, but I'm not sure what exactly that entails. Is it wishful thinking to ask a comprehensive list of every sinful act in the modern world? I'm trying to figure out how to live my life according to God's word, but it's so hard to know what that is... some acts might "feel" alright, they may seem as though they're doing no harm and there's nothing evil about them, but how can I be so sure that this isn't just some human standard that's been deeply ingrained in me by modern society? There's probably no clear cut answer to all of this is there?
Here's a couple of passages that should help you decifer what sin is, the first one is the ten Commandments...

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2020&version=9;

And here is where Yahushua expounds on them...

http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=Mat&chapter=5&verse=18&version=kjv#18

RoadWarrior
Jun 27th 2008, 03:35 PM
...
I've decided to give Romans a rest for the moment, I'm going to finish all the gospels first (Mark and John down, Matthew and Luke to go). But in returning to the issue of that Romans passage... So God withdraws, lets us experience the sin we seem to want so badly. Born-again Christians will return from their sins like the Prodigal Son, but not everyone will realise their error will they? They'll continue to rail against God, and eventually they may die without ever returning to him... Does God turn his back on them? Is it very much a case of "it's your choice, there's nothing more I can do to save you"?

In regards to sin... Maybe it sounds strange to you all, but I don't have any comprehensive idea of what constitutes sin. I have a rough idea of it, acts going against the Word of God, but I'm not sure what exactly that entails. Is it wishful thinking to ask a comprehensive list of every sinful act in the modern world? I'm trying to figure out how to live my life according to God's word, but it's so hard to know what that is... some acts might "feel" alright, they may seem as though they're doing no harm and there's nothing evil about them, but how can I be so sure that this isn't just some human standard that's been deeply ingrained in me by modern society? There's probably no clear cut answer to all of this is there?

Hi Bronagh,

When I wanted to find a church, I prayed and asked God to have someone invite me. Over the next several weeks, I received 3 invitations, in "chance" encounters with people. I tried each one, and ended up attending the 3rd one.

Romans can be pretty tough, I'm glad to hear you are doing the gospels first. I hope you'll get back to Romans though, it is a very important book even if it is difficult to understand. It can take a while, and several readings, for the light to dawn..

The way to know the difference between Godly living and sin, is to practice Godly living. This includes reading the Bible, which is the best way we have of getting to know how God thinks and what are His ways. If we know the real, then we will recognize when something is a counterfeit, because there will be something amiss.

There is a very good little book by Kay Arthur, "Lord Teach Me to Study the Bible in 28 Days." If you work through that book, you will soon be able to read and study the Bible for yourself, without having to rely on what other people tell you that it says.

Knowledge of the Word, and the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life, will be a sure guide to avoiding pitfalls of sin. Your conscience will be trained to recognize the dangers.

ImmenseDisciple
Jun 27th 2008, 05:33 PM
Hey Bron. Picking up on the single point - does God ever turn His back on people?

Well, there's some debate. You will find plenty of people in the "once saved, always saved" ("OSAS") camp and likewise a fair few people from the opposed view, "NOSAS" camp on the site. I think I'm right in saying that the majority of doctrines would accept the once you're saved, you're saved for life.

The way I read things, there are many verses which pretty much have to be completely ignored if you're going to join the NOSAS camp. Don't get me wrong, there are verses which can be used to make a NOSAS argument, but to my mind, they are nowhere near as definitive as their OSAS counterparts.

One of the fundamental things you will learn about God is just how faithful He is - you will slip, and the second you do, the worm will attempt to condemn you for it, and will try and have you believing that it was the one fatal step too far, that now you're damned, that God could forgive you before but He could never forgive someone who so brazenly, wantonly jumps back into their old habits... But the thing is - as soon as you accept Christ as your saviour, you're completely and utterly, permanently cleansed. Even as you are sinning, God sees you through the "filter" of the righteousness of Christ. In short - God doesn't see you as a sinner anymore, despite the fact that you will still, inevitably, sin.

Not an excuse to sin, as Paul will make clear to you in Romans :) But anyway - once you've discovered that your car runs best on diesel, why would you keep pumping unleaded in there? :lol:

watchinginawe
Jun 27th 2008, 05:49 PM
Real quick on the Romans thing. Read it back through and get a sense if Paul is talking about past (before Jesus Christ) or continuing even unto this day. Now, I don't mean that God can't withdraw from us, which really is us withdrawing from Him and Him letting us, and that passage gives us how that happens: Lusts and idolatry and not retaining God in our knowledge. But that passage is really about the Gentile (heathen) Nations and their idolatrous gods. To get an idea on this, read Acts 17:14-34. It is an easy read and might help clarify a point for you.

I like your strategy regarding the Gospels. :)

God Bless!

Bronagh
Jun 27th 2008, 11:20 PM
I read this part recently- Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." So does this mean every law God gave to the Jews (in Leviticus or Deuteronomy etc.) applies still to Christians also?

ImmenseDisciple- I read your post about the "once saved always saved" idea, and I was just struck by how unfair it all is, how we don't deserve this treatment from God at all, how much he will actually do for us in spite of how ungrateful we can be...

Revinius
Jun 28th 2008, 03:12 AM
I read this part recently- Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." So does this mean every law God gave to the Jews (in Leviticus or Deuteronomy etc.) applies still to Christians also?

Some Christians would argue the law is still something we must abide by to be right with God. Paul says otherwise though in Romans 6:14: "...because you are not under law, but under grace." Because Christ paid the price for our sins (fulfilled the law) we are no longer governed by the law. The law is still in place but its no longer our master and we live by Grace and the Spirit. The only laws that are applicable now as fruit of salvation are those Jesus commanded us to keep.


ImmenseDisciple- I read your post about the "once saved always saved" idea, and I was just struck by how unfair it all is, how we don't deserve this treatment from God at all, how much he will actually do for us in spite of how ungrateful we can be...

This part wasnt directed at me but i guess i struck a chord and i would like to comment. The above you just mentioned just brings me to reflect on how massive a deal Grace is and how much of a demonstration of Gods love is found on the cross. Its not fair clearly, Jesus didnt deserve any of what he was given, but he willingly did it. Whats more..... he willingly did it for a scum bag like me. Like a dad, he loves us so much he would do anything for us, even to die so that we might live..... continually blows me away....

diffangle
Jun 28th 2008, 12:44 PM
I read this part recently- Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." So does this mean every law God gave to the Jews (in Leviticus or Deuteronomy etc.) applies still to Christians also?

Rev 14:12 (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Rev&c=14&v=12&t=KJV#12)Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Rev 22:14 (http://cf.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Rev&c=22&v=14&t=KJV#14)Blessed [are] they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

tango
Jun 28th 2008, 01:11 PM
I suppose the question is whether that refers to every detail of the laws in Leviticus, or the ten commandments, or the first two commandments as Jesus himself said:

Mar 12:28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, "Which is the first commandment of all?"
Mar 12:29 Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'HEAR, O ISRAEL, THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE.
Mar 12:30 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.' This is the first commandment.
Mar 12:31 And the second, like it, is this: 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

diffangle
Jun 28th 2008, 01:31 PM
When you obey the Ten are you not loving YHWH and/or your neighbor? Yahushua summed up(not replaced) the Commandments... by obeying them you are loving Him and/or your neighbor.

tango
Jun 28th 2008, 01:41 PM
Indeed you are, I wasn't sure from your previous post whether you were referring to the laws described in Leviticus or the ten commandments.

Scruffy Kid
Jun 29th 2008, 02:19 AM
Dear Bronagh,
Nice to see you posting, reading, thinking, studying, and trying to walk with God. I've been out of circulation -- caring for a very sick friend, and then out of the country at a conference without good net access -- so I've not had a chance to reply at all. I'm still out of the country with poor web access, so I can respond just to a little bit of what you asked.
I read this part recently- Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." So does this mean every law God gave to the Jews (in Leviticus or Deuteronomy etc.) applies still to Christians also? It may help to understand that "the Law" here is an expression (in English, but originally in Greek) referring to the Torah -- the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), the books of Moses. When the New Testament says "Moses said" it means "this was written in the Torah". When it says "the Law and the Prophets" it means "the Bible" -- that is, what was for them the Bible, namely what we call the "Old Testament" (since the New Testament had not yet been written). Technically, the Hebrew Bible would consist not only of the Law (Torah) and the Prophets (including not only books we think of as Prophets, like Isaiah and Jeremiah -- which Jews would call "the latter prophets" -- but also what we would call "the historical books" such as Joshua, Judges, Kings, and Samuel -- which Jews would call "the former prophets") but also "the writings", that is Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. The whole "Hebrew Bible" (OT) would be called by Jews (or polite Christians) the "Tanach" which is an acronym for the words in Hebrew for Law, Prophets, and Writings. But when Jesus says "the Law and the Prophets" or "Moses and the Prophets" this is a kind of shorthand for the entire Tanach, and doubtless includes the Writings (e.g. the Psalms) as well.

Jesus taught us that the entire OT, or Tanach, pointed to Himself.

An example (from the Torah, the Law) would be the account of the binding of Isaac, Abraham's son. God told Abraham to take his son, his only son, to Mount Moriah (that is, Mount Zion) and there sacrifice him. Abraham, who valued his son Isaac more than his own life, obeyed. Isaac carried the wood up the hill, and then Abraham bound Isaac, who obeyed willingly, and prepared the wood for a burnt offering, and raised his knife to kill Isaac. God then told Abraham to stop: that this was enough, to show that Abraham put his full trust and obedience in God. (There's more to the story; I can't include everything here, but it's all wonderful). We as Christians know that what God told Abraham was foreshadowing what God did in Christ. God gave his son, his only son, precious and beloved, for the whole world. Jesus willingly carried the wood of the cross on Mt. Zion to his crucifixion, and gave up his life for the redemption of the world. So this part of Genesis, this part of "the Law" is fulfilled by Jesus, but not because Jesus is obeying some "law" or command from the OT.

This part of the Torah, "the Law", is about Jesus, who fulfills it; but it is not about "laws" or particular commands that we or anyone (even the Jews in OT times) was supposed to obey

As you grow in knowledge of the faith you will come to see, more and more, how much of the OT was written to point to Jesus. I can give many more examples.

Jesus in the passage in Matthew 5-7 is making what appear to be changes to the Mosaic Law (Law of Moses), mostly be making commandments stricter -- although the real point is not strictness, but understanding the heart of the commandments God gave. Thus where God said to Moses "do not murder" Jesus is saying "do not be angry with your brother". The real heart of the command not to murder, Christ is teaching us, always was that we should be valuing others' lives even when those others are a huge pain, and thus, rather than murdering those who have filled us with rage, or being filled with rage but stopping short of violence, we must learn how to open our hearts even to those who have been a threat, hindrence or harm to us. Similarly, Jesus indicates "do not steal" includes generosity to those in need, and so on. Jesus seems to be making some big "innovations" or "changes", but he is concerned that we understand that that is exactly NOT what he's doing. Rather, he is fulfilling the true meaning of these commandments. This is his main point, or part of his main point, here is saying that he comes not to abolish, but to fulfill, the law.

It is evident that many of the ceremonial laws of the OT do not apply to Christians. Jesus taught this -- as Mark points out in the opening verses of Mark 7 -- and this point was emphasized by Peter, in including Gentile believers, and making clear that they did not have to obey Jewish dietary laws, as is explained in the early chapters of Acts. This opened the way to the spread of the gospel to all nations. The way that spread of the Gospel proceeded is then described in Acts. Paul plays a large part in it. A major council is held on this point -- that gentiles (non-Jews) who are Christians do not have to follow Jewish ceremonial law -- in Jerusalem; this also is described in Acts.

So the answer to your question is "no, you do not have to obey Jewish ceremonial law given in the Torah". That is not actually closely related to what Jesus is saying in Matt 5-7 (the sermon on the mount) except that Jesus is emphasizing that the OT (Tanach) pointed to Him, and that what He gives us fulfills the real inner meaning to which the OT was pointing.

Understanding the unity of the Scriptures, and how they speak throughout of Jesus, is something we learn as we continue to study the Bible. This is so not only of the unity of different parts of the Bible, but also the deep unity of its ethical and theological teaching, and the history of salvation the Bible gives us. And the ethics and theology, and the history, each contain riches, and are closely integrated in God's purposes. But we have to keep learning about these things!! The essential unity is the unity of God, revealed in Jesus Christ. From the beginning and in every way, the Scriptures pointed to Jesus, for He is the eternal God, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and the Savior of the world, our hope, our life, the truth, and our joy.

Blessings,
Scruffy Kid

ImmenseDisciple
Jun 29th 2008, 09:09 AM
I read this part recently- Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." So does this mean every law God gave to the Jews (in Leviticus or Deuteronomy etc.) applies still to Christians also?
Most of the laws were based on making/keeping yourself ritually "clean", whereas now we're cleansed forever - so the vast majority of the laws are irrelevant. And as Christ pointed out, living by the letter of the law wasn't the same as living by the spirit of the law. The spirit of the law is love - loving God & loving each other, which is why Christ made it so clear that those two were above all else, and encapsulated all else.


ImmenseDisciple- I read your post about the "once saved always saved" idea, and I was just struck by how unfair it all is, how we don't deserve this treatment from God at all, how much he will actually do for us in spite of how ungrateful we can be...It's so true mate. What serves to humble us the most in our Christian walk is the endless, amazing love we receive in the face of our frailty & failure. I know most people probably feel this way - but I don't see how I could be less deserving. I speak in no false humility when I say that there must be thousands (if not millions. If not billions...) of people who "deserve" such generousity so much more than me. Several times when I've found myself having fallen again, I've been overwhelmed by how completely He loves me, despite everything I do which is a rejection of Him. Our God really is an awesome God :)

Bronagh
Jun 30th 2008, 11:57 AM
So, how much of the OT do we really need to pay attention to? Is it more important to focus on the New Testament? Also, you said we don't have to obey the Jewish ceremonial laws anymore. But the laws in Leviticus aren't all ceremonial are they? Do we still have to pay attention to them? If so, how do we distinguish ceremonial from otherwise?

Hmmm... all my posts recently are all about rules and what I'm allowed and not allowed to do... should I be focussing more on the relationship with God than what rules are written in the bible? or are the rules part of that?

RoadWarrior
Jun 30th 2008, 03:38 PM
So, how much of the OT do we really need to pay attention to? Is it more important to focus on the New Testament? Also, you said we don't have to obey the Jewish ceremonial laws anymore. But the laws in Leviticus aren't all ceremonial are they? Do we still have to pay attention to them? If so, how do we distinguish ceremonial from otherwise?

Hmmm... all my posts recently are all about rules and what I'm allowed and not allowed to do... should I be focussing more on the relationship with God than what rules are written in the bible? or are the rules part of that?

Yes, focus on the relationship. When you read the OT, I suggest you read it searching for what it tells you about God. Do you see His love and concern for the people? Do you see His character? Notice how He interacts with the people. Look for principles as opposed to rules. Rules apply to a point in time, principles are more eternal. But the rules generally will point to the principles.

In the OT, before you focus on the liturgical books like Leviticus, read the historical ones. Genesis, Exodus, Judges, {Kings, Chronicles} (These two are the same stories by different writers).

Each day read a Psalm and a chapter in Proverbs.

Bronagh
Jul 3rd 2008, 09:11 PM
I've been reading a bit more about Catholicism, and I'm shocked at how many ways there are in which it goes against God's word... I never really thought of the Catholic Mass as "repeating" Jesus' sacrifice, it does seem rather wrong... so I've decided I'm going to find another church instead.

I started reading a few psalms yesterday, I really like them, and I've nearly finished Matthew. I did have a question about a few other bits of the Bible though... I was browsing through a few topics in biblegateway.com, and saw a few passages on women, and I was very surprised by what I saw:

1 Peter 3:7 "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."

Does God truly feel this way? I've grown up being taught that men and women are equal, yet here the Bible seems to be saying something else, that women are actually inferior... and I'm having trouble seeing how it fits with the idea of an all-loving God. I know the Bible is divinely inspired, but is it possible some of the misogyny of the men who wrote it could be seeping through slightly? I'm sorry I don't mean to criticise the Bible, I hope no one takes any offence from this question, it's just something I'm having difficulty in understanding...

RoadWarrior
Jul 3rd 2008, 09:25 PM
I've been reading a bit more about Catholicism, and I'm shocked at how many ways there are in which it goes against God's word... I never really thought of the Catholic Mass as "repeating" Jesus' sacrifice, it does seem rather wrong... so I've decided I'm going to find another church instead.

I started reading a few psalms yesterday, I really like them, and I've nearly finished Matthew. I did have a question about a few other bits of the Bible though... I was browsing through a few topics in biblegateway.com, and saw a few passages on women, and I was very surprised by what I saw:

1 Peter 3:7 "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."

Does God truly feel this way? I've grown up being taught that men and women are equal, yet here the Bible seems to be saying something else, that women are actually inferior... and I'm having trouble seeing how it fits with the idea of an all-loving God. I know the Bible is divinely inspired, but is it possible some of the misogyny of the men who wrote it could be seeping through slightly? I'm sorry I don't mean to criticise the Bible, I hope no one takes any offence from this question, it's just something I'm having difficulty in understanding...

You are doing some excellent work, Bronagh, keep it up.

No offense taken on the subject of women. It is not that women are inferior, but that women are different from men, and that we have different roles to play. Women are told to respect their husbands, men are told to love their wives. Why this difference? Because of the difference in how we are - we women thrive on knowing we are loved. Men thrive on knowing they are respected. God created us to be different, and to become one in marriage. Not two equals, but two that fit together.

tango
Jul 3rd 2008, 09:42 PM
Hi Bronagh, that's a good question about men and women. I think where modern society has got things so badly wrong is that we confuse the term "equal" with "identical", and get so caught up with everything being the same that we forget that there are differences, and that being different doesn't automatically mean one is "better" or "worse" than the other.

Aside from the obvious physical differences men and women usually think in different ways. RoadWarrior summed that up pretty well so I won't repeat what she said, I'll just agree with it.

watchinginawe
Jul 4th 2008, 07:17 AM
I was browsing through a few topics in biblegateway.com, and saw a few passages on women, and I was very surprised by what I saw:

1 Peter 3:7 "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."

Does God truly feel this way? I've grown up being taught that men and women are equal, yet here the Bible seems to be saying something else, that women are actually inferior... and I'm having trouble seeing how it fits with the idea of an all-loving God. I know the Bible is divinely inspired, but is it possible some of the misogyny of the men who wrote it could be seeping through slightly? I'm sorry I don't mean to criticise the Bible, I hope no one takes any offence from this question, it's just something I'm having difficulty in understanding...The Bible portrays many strong women within it's pages. I don't believe God made women "inferior".

My KJV uses the term "weaker vessel". Consider how one would treat a "weaker vessel" with respect. I think the proper context is found there. Now I am sure that there are women who would suggest that they are not a weaker vessel and might even be offended at the scriptures, but generally I have found almost universally that women acknowledge that they are to be protected from harm preferentially or that their role in childbearing is of great difference to that of the man. On the Titanic, it was the "women and children first" who loaded up into the life boats. Men didn't (shouldn't have) pushed to the front demanding an equal number of men to go with the women. Respect is shown to the weaker vessel.

God Bless!

Revinius
Jul 4th 2008, 05:36 PM
For the purposes of salvation women are completely equal to men, in terms of functionality men are the leaders responsible for being the head of the household. Women were created as 'helpers', a title of much honour and respect (i would never disrespect a medic or doctor who is involved by profession in 'helping'). Its the same with the trinity of God. Father, Son and Spirit are all equally 100% God but within that framework of spiritual equality there is a functional heirachy: Spirit submits to Son and Son to Father. With us it all boils down to the roles you were created for and we should all embrace such roles as ultimately thats what we were made for (and give us most purpose). Feminism is probably one of the most destructive forces in society since its conception as its taken the good thing of sufferage too far, dismantling the framework of relationships that bound society together.

I will stop now as its 3:30am and time to pass out. Bed is such a lovely place.... ZZZZZzzzzz...

Bronagh
Jul 4th 2008, 08:02 PM
So the Bible prescribes different roles for the two genders? Can you give me some references please? Does this mean that any woman who wants a career and not just to stay at home minding the children is going against God's will? Sometimes I find it very difficult to see how the word is adapted to modern society... so I'm sorry if these seem like stupid questions... these kinda topics can sometimes be contentious issues...

RoadWarrior
Jul 4th 2008, 08:08 PM
So the Bible prescribes different roles for the two genders? Can you give me some references please? Does this mean that any woman who wants a career and not just to stay at home minding the children is going against God's will? Sometimes I find it very difficult to see how the word is adapted to modern society... so I'm sorry if these seem like stupid questions... these kinda topics can sometimes be contentious issues...

Hi Bronagh,

Go read Proverbs 31, it pretty much shows that a woman can work in all sorts of fields. The role models are about family structure, not about what you do to earn a living or to support the family.

The imagery of the husband/wife relationship (Ephesians 5) is a "picture" of the relationship between Christ and the church. So it is very important as a Christian family to realize that how you relate with each other should be a reflection, and a witness to the world, that Christ loves the Church (husband love your wife) and that the Church honors Christ (wife respect/honor your husband). The wife should never exalt herself above her husband or put him down in any way, as the Church should never think it is more important than Christ.

Hope that helps.

cnw
Jul 4th 2008, 08:28 PM
God did not want us to adapt to modern society, If we were to do that we would be lavishing in rated R movies, living in lust, doing anything we wanted. The Bible says not only are we to be different, but we will be persecuted if we are doing it right. I am a woman and personally from verses in Genesis did not use birth control, stayed home to raise my children and be the keeper of my home, and let my husband be the authority of the household...sound like a typical leave it to Beaver sitcom...I will tell you it is a great sacrifice and God has heard me cry many times. I also believe the Proverbs 31 woman teaches me that I can have a home business, so I have two and my children help in one.
You asked about sin, what is it, how do you know if you are doing it. Well sin is the same type of things you would have gone to the priest about, but sin in a Christians life is something that when you realize you are doing it, you repent(word here meaning turn from it and don't do it again) to Christ by asking for forgiveness. He says he remembers it no more. Praise God!!!
The Old Testament is good to read because it gives you a foundation of who God is and Why Jesus came and the History of Christianity. There are 634 commandments in the Bible...that is alot, and we are to obey each one as God reveals them to us-such as do not grumble and complain, or obey your parents, or be ye Holy, fast and pray. it can get overwhelming
One step at a time, just get to know this wonderful savior you have met and pray to him like talking to your best friend. He knows your thots, he knows your feelings and he knows your future. and he cares about all of it, it still blows my mind.
churches are difficult now adays....they don't all preach the word of God, what area do you live in? some of us here could probably help you with a church in your area.
Your sister in Christ,
Cynth

watchinginawe
Jul 4th 2008, 09:00 PM
So the Bible prescribes different roles for the two genders? Can you give me some references please? Does this mean that any woman who wants a career and not just to stay at home minding the children is going against God's will? Sometimes I find it very difficult to see how the word is adapted to modern society... so I'm sorry if these seem like stupid questions... these kinda topics can sometimes be contentious issues...I was going to expand on it some, but it was just too late (early) for me. Does the Bible prescribe different roles for the two genders? Ipso facto this is true. Else why two genders? We have different purposes (roles). It does not mean that women who work (I can give a reference here in a minute) are going against God. OK, for example:

Acts 18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;

2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome: ) and came unto them.

3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

Who were the tentmakers? And again:

Acts 16:11 Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;

12 And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.

13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.

14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

In verse 14, we have Lydia who is a seller of purple.

Now to roles, I say give this some time. There are situations where the woman has to be the stronger but that doesn't mean that God intends it that way. He may bless it just the same though.

There just ins't any need to make this contentious.

God Bless!

Bronagh
Jul 7th 2008, 01:29 PM
Great, thanks for explaining that. So... how far exactly is modern society straying from the word of God? It seems like a lot of modern, liberal attitudes go against what God wants, like feminism, acceptance of homosexuality, acceptance of abortion, acceptance of premarital sex etc etc. How do you all manage to live a good righteous life with all of this around?

Revinius
Jul 7th 2008, 01:38 PM
Great, thanks for explaining that. So... how far exactly is modern society straying from the word of God? It seems like a lot of modern, liberal attitudes go against what God wants, like feminism, acceptance of homosexuality, acceptance of abortion, acceptance of premarital sex etc etc. How do you all manage to live a good righteous life with all of this around?

We cant live a rightious life mate, its by the Grace of God that we can be rightious. Certainly Jesus changes our hearts to Him, but its a battle we constantly lose, to stop the flesh from sinning. Our life is a life lived out of faith and what truly distinguishes us in our relationship with Christ, is that we know the true extent of what it means when we do sin, so how could we want to do so again?

watchinginawe
Jul 7th 2008, 02:45 PM
Great, thanks for explaining that. So... how far exactly is modern society straying from the word of God? It seems like a lot of modern, liberal attitudes go against what God wants, like feminism, acceptance of homosexuality, acceptance of abortion, acceptance of premarital sex etc etc. How do you all manage to live a good righteous life with all of this around?Wow, great questions.

Taking the word "modern" out of it for a moment, our great societies have always strayed from the word of God. Not just because of secularism, but because they are of "the world". But immersion in the "world" has always gone against what God wants because God wants us to be a separated people. On the large part, what this means is that we put our hope not in this temporal world but rather in the hope of eternal life. That is where we get the phrase "passing through". As Christians, we understand that we are just passing through this temporal world and therefore we don't place our trust and comfort in riches, power, lusts, etc. of this world. Each generation seems to come up with some new way to express the "lusts of the world" and it seems that each new generation could not possibly get worse.

So, how should we view all of this and live our life accordingly? Read II Peter 1:1-11 for a good start.

God Bless!

RoadWarrior
Jul 7th 2008, 03:38 PM
Great, thanks for explaining that. So... how far exactly is modern society straying from the word of God? It seems like a lot of modern, liberal attitudes go against what God wants, like feminism, acceptance of homosexuality, acceptance of abortion, acceptance of premarital sex etc etc. How do you all manage to live a good righteous life with all of this around?

Two things help me in my daily walk. 1. Study of the Word, continually seeking the face of God in His communications to us. 2. Prayer, talking with Him regularly, both in set-aside times of prayer, and it silent "arrow" prayers during the day.

Is it easy? Not always. Do I fail sometimes? Yes. But my life is dramatically different today from what it was before I started to walk with Jesus.

slynx
Jul 8th 2008, 10:29 AM
Great, thanks for explaining that. So... how far exactly is modern society straying from the word of God? It seems like a lot of modern, liberal attitudes go against what God wants, like feminism, acceptance of homosexuality, acceptance of abortion, acceptance of premarital sex etc etc. How do you all manage to live a good righteous life with all of this around?

God will help you and guide you. As you read and study the Bible - particularly the New Testament and especially Paul's letters - God will cause certain verses to pop out at you. He wants you to pay attention at that particular time to what those verses are telling you and how they apply to your life at that time.

For instance, several years ago, the following verses popped out at me, and kept coming to mind:



2Co 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership does righteousness have with lawlessness? And what fellowship does light have with darkness?
2Co 6:15 And what agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever?
2Co 6:16 And what agreement does a temple of God have with idols? For you are a temple of the living God, even as God said, "I will" dwell in them and "walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." Lev. 26:12; Ezek. 37:27
2Co 6:17 Because of this, "come out from among them" "and be separated," says the Lord, "and do not touch the unclean thing," and I will receive you. Isa. 52:11
2Co 6:18 "And I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons" and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty. 2 Sam. 7:8, 14; Isa. 43:6

Php 4:8 For the rest, brothers, whatever is true, whatever honorable, whatever is right, whatever pure, whatever lovely, whatever of good report, if of any virtue, and if of any praise, think on these things.


If one takes a critical look at the programs on TV, one finds that there is not a single program that is not anti-God in some way. They glorify homosexuality, and sex outside of marriage. They portray abortion as perfectly OK. Etc., etc. Even supposedly educational shows teach evolution as if it is undisputed FACT. And I thought, "I certainly don't agree with the stuff on TV. Do I really need to have that stuff polluting God's temple?" Also I thought, "One can't help but think about what one watches on TV - and it is not "true", "honorable", "right", "pure", "lovely", "of good report", "virtuous", or "praiseworthy", so should I be watching that stuff?"

I answered, "NO", to both questions, so I quit watching television.

Now, that is not to say that I think all Christian have to give up TV! If God wants them to do so, He will let them know!

And it's not that I CAN'T watch TV. I did go out and buy one so I could watch the news coverage of 9/11, when I turned on my old one & it no longer worked. But, I don't usually even have any desire to watch it.

If you are open to God's leading, He will teach you what He wants you to know, and He will lead you where He wants you to go. And when it is an issue that He is ready for you to deal with, He will give you the strength and the power to deal with it so that it is not HARD to do it. That's why Jesus said:


Mat 11:28 Come to Me, all those laboring and being burdened, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, because I am meek and lowly in heart, "and you will find rest to your souls." Jer. 6:16
Mat 11:30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

Bronagh
Jul 13th 2008, 11:53 AM
I did something last night which I now regret, as I think it went against God's will. I was at a friend's house, and she produced a pack of Tarot cards, and we started "playing" with them, asking questions about the future. I had a great interest in them when I was younger, so at first I thought "oh cool", I didn't think about it all until I got home later that night. Was what I was doing sinful?

ImmenseDisciple
Jul 13th 2008, 01:47 PM
Yeah, it was. Bring it to Christ for forgiveness, and don't do it again. It's easy enough to casually glance at a horoscope - but that's very much in the same camp. The occult, however harmless it may seem, is out of line with God's will.

You will, all too frequently, realise that you've unintentionally sinned. Once you've recognised your mistake and asked Christ for His forgiveness, though - you're forgiven. You'll need to learn to overrule those "nagging thoughts" which will try and persecute you for your actions, long after you're well and truly forgiven. It's not God's will that you should live hung up on the sin which has been (and will, to a continually lessening extent, continue to be...) a part of your life. Your sin is seperated from you, as far as the east is from the west :)

tango
Jul 13th 2008, 03:03 PM
I did something last night which I now regret, as I think it went against God's will. I was at a friend's house, and she produced a pack of Tarot cards, and we started "playing" with them, asking questions about the future. I had a great interest in them when I was younger, so at first I thought "oh cool", I didn't think about it all until I got home later that night. Was what I was doing sinful?

Seriously, don't touch these things with a barge pole. God is pretty clear about this kind of thing:

Deu 18:10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,
Deu 18:11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.
Deu 18:12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.

Tarot cards look harmless enough on the face of it, and are the kind of thing that it's easy to investigate out of curiosity. But they really aren't a Godly thing - divination with tarot cards is occultic, plain and simple.

The danger with things like the tarot is that they give the devil a foothold. Definitely repent of playing with them, and renounce them completely, and don't go near them any more!

watchinginawe
Jul 13th 2008, 06:21 PM
I did something last night which I now regret, as I think it went against God's will.The description of the actual incident isn't really needed after the above. What matters is our conscience. When we give consideration to God's will in our lives then we are actively letting the Holy Spirit guide our actions. This is not always done in walking without error, but probably most importantly in correction of our walk and keeping us going forward. Consider:

Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

So praise is also in order for the Lord showing you His will and you responding with regret on your part. Perhaps next time the correction of your walk will come before actually participating in something contrary to the will of God in your life.

God Bless!

Saved7
Jul 14th 2008, 12:47 AM
I did something last night which I now regret, as I think it went against God's will. I was at a friend's house, and she produced a pack of Tarot cards, and we started "playing" with them, asking questions about the future. I had a great interest in them when I was younger, so at first I thought "oh cool", I didn't think about it all until I got home later that night. Was what I was doing sinful?


Well would you look at that, you've just experienced the conviction of the Holy Spirit, without even knowing what you did was a sin!:pp That let's you know that you are listening to God, now you just need to listen BEFORE you do things like that.:saint:
I won't add anything to what the rest have said...they've answered you well enough.:)