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levi_athan
Jun 13th 2008, 07:25 PM
Since it's Friday the 13th and all, do Christians believe that there is a difference between faith and superstition? If so, what is it?

Here's the definition of superstition from dictionary.com:

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) (http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna.html) - Cite This Source (http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=superstition&ia=luna) - Share This (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/superstition#sharethis)
su·per·sti·tion http://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.png Audio Help (http://dictionary.reference.com/help/audio.html) /ˌsuhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngpərˈstɪʃhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngən/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[soo-per-stish-uhhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –noun 1.a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like. 2.a system or collection of such beliefs. 3.a custom or act based on such a belief. 4.irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, esp. in connection with religion. 5.any blindly accepted belief or notion.

th1bill
Jun 13th 2008, 10:27 PM
... I'll not deal with the Webster's nor any of the others, I'll just flip my side arm out and shoot from the hip. Superstition is founded on no evidence what-so-ever. Faith, whether it be Atheist, Agnostic, Deist or Christian is based on some logical conclusions.

levi_athan
Jun 13th 2008, 10:39 PM
So there's evidence of the resurrection of Christ?

No one is certain of where the resurrection even took place, not to mention there is no archeological evidence whatsoever.

Plus, if any hard evidence existed, wouldn't that dispell the need for faith?

Thaddaeus
Jun 13th 2008, 10:47 PM
the Bible definition is found in hebrews
Heb 11:1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

levi_athan
Jun 13th 2008, 10:51 PM
the Bible definition is found in hebrews
Heb 11:1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

So how does that differ from superstition?

Thaddaeus
Jun 13th 2008, 10:51 PM
So there's evidence of the resurrection of Christ?
yes there were about 500 people that saw Jesus after he was placed in the tomb and the 11 disciples and they have passed the story down to us, for us to use our faith to believe, or our will to reject it as truth
1co 15:6 (http://bibleforums.org/1co+15:6)After that, he was seen of above five HUNDRED brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

calidog
Jun 13th 2008, 10:52 PM
The New Testament Manuscripts

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Bible/Text/Mss/

http://www.carm.org/evidence/textualevidence.htm

Athanasius
Jun 13th 2008, 10:53 PM
Since it's Friday the 13th and all, do Christians believe that there is a difference between faith and superstition? If so, what is it?

Yeah, faith is based on reason and knowledge. Superstition isn't. Faith is rational. Superstition isn't. Faith isn't blind. Superstition is.


So there's evidence of the resurrection of Christ?

No one is certain of where the resurrection even took place, not to mention there is no archeological evidence whatsoever.

There's loads of evidence... Mostly books int he New Testament. But... There are a total of 19 sources referencing Christianity, Christ, his crucifixion, his supposed resurrection.



Plus, if any hard evidence existed, wouldn't that dispell the need for faith?

No, why would it? Faith doesn't exist because of an absence of evidence.

levi_athan
Jun 13th 2008, 10:54 PM
yes there were about 600 people that saw Jesus after he was placed in the tomb the disciple was 11 of these and they have passed the story down to us, for us to use our faith to believe, or our will to reject it as truth

That's not evidence. That's legend as accounted in the Bible.

levi_athan
Jun 13th 2008, 10:58 PM
Yeah, faith is based on reason and knowledge. Superstition isn't. Faith is rational. Superstition isn't. Faith isn't blind. Superstition is.

How is faith rational? It's based on what you can't see. It's based on hope. Same as superstition.




There's loads of evidence... Mostly books int he New Testament. But... There are a total of 19 sources referencing Christianity, Christ, his crucifixion, his supposed resurrection.

So, that's still not evidence. Anybody could have written the books. Their authenticity cannot be verified.

levi_athan
Jun 13th 2008, 11:02 PM
No, why would it? Faith doesn't exist because of an absence of evidence.

Yes it does. There would be no need for faith if evidence existed. If we had Jesus here with us, and some cross, and some DNA, and live witnesses, there would be no need for faith anymore.

levi_athan
Jun 13th 2008, 11:04 PM
The New Testament Manuscripts

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Bible/Text/Mss/

Again, ancient documents may be used to get a general idea for ancient people and places, but in no way does it prove supernatural events.

Thaddaeus
Jun 13th 2008, 11:06 PM
That's not evidence. That's legend as accounted in the Bible.
the Bible is also a history book, accounts and places are actually historical accounts and most things are affirmed by a jewish historian josephus ( not sure the spelling is right on this name ) many people have dug into History, trying to prove the Bible wrong only to give more evidence that it is true, in today's time with all the evidence of the Bible being factually, only a blind person could say that the bible is legend, or one who simply don't won't to see the truth

levi_athan
Jun 13th 2008, 11:11 PM
the Bible is also a history book, accounts and places are actually historical accounts and most things are affirmed by a jewish historian josephus ( not sure the spelling is right on this name ) many people have dug into History, trying to prove the Bible wrong only to give more evidence that it is true, in today's time with all the evidence of the Bible being factaully, only a blind person could say that the bible is legend, or one who simply don't won't to see the truth

I'm not trying to prove the Bible wrong, I'm just saying it's not a sufficient source for proof of a dead man rising from the grave. The Bible is great if you're just looking at it historically, but you can't use it to verify supernatural events. That's where faith comes in, and superstition.

I'm not blind. And I very much want to see the truth. However the Biblical sources cannot be verified, so cannot be used as hard evidence.

th1bill
Jun 13th 2008, 11:19 PM
So there's evidence of the resurrection of Christ?

... Now, this will not cramp your style in the least if your here for answers but let's stick to one issue at a time. We are not in a contest here so there wil be no winner in the end. I'll deal with the first issue and when we resolve that I or someone else will deal with the next one.
... There is so much Historical evidence for the Christ's execution that it impossible for any studied atheist to deny His existence and the educated atheist will not even attempt to deny His existence and His death. If you need the references they are, all of them, listed and bibliographed, in The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. One is the writings of of the Jewish authors of the Talmud and since they executed Him it is difficult to find a reason for them to make up a history that never occurred. There are Roman historians and Greek historians and even a Jewish historian that recorded his being here.
... How's that?

Thaddaeus
Jun 13th 2008, 11:19 PM
I'm not trying to prove the Bible wrong, I'm just saying it's not a sufficient source for proof of a dead man rising from the grave. The Bible is great if you're just looking at it historically, but you can't use it to verify supernatural events. That's where faith comes in, and superstition.

I'm not blind. And I very much want to see the truth. However the Biblical sources cannot be verified, so cannot be used as hard evidence.

look for this jewish historian josephus, he records the supernatural you are looking for. I have not read it all myself, this may be the truth u are seeking or the evidence you need . again faith is not superstition and superstition is not faith

calidog
Jun 13th 2008, 11:32 PM
So how does that differ from superstition?Please re-read this


... I'll not deal with the Webster's nor any of the others, I'll just flip my side arm out and shoot from the hip. Superstition is founded on no evidence what-so-ever. Faith, whether it be Atheist, Agnostic, Deist or Christian is based on some logical conclusions.

levi_athan
Jun 13th 2008, 11:33 PM
... Now, this will not cramp your style in the least if your here for answers but let's stick to one issue at a time. We are not in a contest here so there wil be no winner in the end. I'll deal with the first issue and when we resolve that I or someone else will deal with the next one.
... There is so much Historical evidence for the Christ's execution that it impossible for any studied atheist to deny His existence and the educated atheist will not even attempt to deny His existence and His death. If you need the references they are, all of them, listed and bibliographed, in The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. One is the writings of of the Jewish authors of the Talmud and since they executed Him it is difficult to find a reason for them to make up a history that never occurred. There are Roman historians and Greek historians and even a Jewish historian that recorded his being here.
... How's that?


I would say that's a great cross reference for historical people and historical events for the period in question.

I'm not questioning history. I'm not questioning that there may have been a historical Jesus. But a death and resurrection story is highly dubious, and cannot be proven by any ancient historian whether he be Greek, Jewish, or Roman. There are many accounts of Constantine's vision in the sky, that he saw a sign of Jesus, and converted to Christianity. No one questions Constantine the man, but the vision, like the resurrection, is dubious.

I'm kind of surprised that no one has stated that they just believe. There is no need for evidence in matters of religion. If there were true evidence, there would be no need for belief. Am I wrong? I thought belief in Christ without proof was encouraged and rewarded.

calidog
Jun 13th 2008, 11:36 PM
Again, ancient documents may be used to get a general idea for ancient people and places, but in no way does it prove supernatural events.
and Again, you were discussing evidence.

So there's evidence of the resurrection of Christ?

levi_athan
Jun 13th 2008, 11:37 PM
look for this jewish historian josephus, he records the supernatural you are looking for. I have not read it all myself, this may be the truth u are seeking or the evidence you need . again faith is not superstition and superstition is not faith

I have read it. In fact I own a copy of Josephus' history. There is only one paragraph where Josephus mentions Christianity. And even Lee Strobel, the author of Case for Christ, admits it's an interpolation. Or a later editing of Josephus' work by Christians. If Christians were capable of editing the work of Josephus, a well known historian, what else do you think might be edited...

levi_athan
Jun 13th 2008, 11:48 PM
and Again, you were discussing evidence.

So there's evidence of the resurrection of Christ?

It seems like the general consensus of our discussion so far is that faith in Christ differs from superstition in that there is evidence for the resurrection of Christ. This evidence rests in the ancient texts of various sources. Some of the Bible, some of ancient historians.

If ancient texts may be used for evidence, then why can't we use the Rigveda, or the Koran? These are ancient texts that discuss historical events. Why can't they be true then?

Are they MORE superstitious than Christian faith?

calidog
Jun 13th 2008, 11:51 PM
Are they MORE superstitious than Christian faith?
You'll have to weigh the evidence yourself and decide.
You can check out the manuscript support (http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Bible/Text/Mss/) (http://www.carm.org/evidence/textualevidence.htm and believe (have faith in) the New Testament, or you can dismiss it as superstition (deny the evidence).
I opt for the resurrection.

levi_athan
Jun 14th 2008, 12:00 AM
You'll have to weigh the evidence yourself and decide.
I opt for the resurrection.

I'm interested in your input. Why is it that you opt for the resurrection over other equally historical religious text? Have you weighed the counter-evidence?

It's okay to just say you believe the resurrection it if you haven't looked at anything else.

calidog
Jun 14th 2008, 12:14 AM
I appreciate the evidence for the bible and have no need to investigate the evidence for false religion because, upon reading the new testament I discover this to be true

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

and I still have the scars to remind me. I'm not trying to be clever but I'm satisfied with the internal evidence of the bible though I appreciate the external evidence for it.

I just don't find that above passage applying to religion (the attempt to reach God by ones own means)

levi_athan
Jun 14th 2008, 12:22 AM
I appreciate the evidence for the bible and have no need to investigate the evidence for false religion because, upon reading the new testament I discover this to be true

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

and I still have the scars to remind me. I'm not trying to be clever but I'm satisfied with the internal evidence of the bible though I appreciate the external evidence for it.

I just don't find that above passage applying to religion (the attempt to reach God by ones own means)

I appreciate your response. That brings up something new, is there any external evidence for the Bible itself? Does the evidence consist of more books, or something else?

calidog
Jun 14th 2008, 12:50 AM
I appreciate your response. That brings up something new, is there any external evidence for the Bible itself? Does the evidence consist of more books, or something else?
I was just looking at some of that, here's some quick info http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/8449/two.html

Athanasius
Jun 14th 2008, 12:54 AM
Yes it does. There would be no need for faith if evidence existed. If we had Jesus here with us, and some cross, and some DNA, and live witnesses, there would be no need for faith anymore.

No it doesn't; faith and evidence aren't mutually exclusive. Within a Christian world view, anyway. Consider the early Apostles who were alive with Jesus. They talked with him every day. They watched his execution and buried him. They saw Him rise from the dead and ascend into Heaven. These people had faith in Christ; that He was who He said He was.

Consider Israel in the desert. They saw God's power displayed many, many times. They had (and lost) faith. My faith is built upon evidences. My faith, in part, is that these evidences point to where I believe they are pointing.

After all, you have faith in gravity, even though you see it at work every day ;)

levi_athan
Jun 14th 2008, 01:47 AM
No it doesn't; faith and evidence aren't mutually exclusive. Within a Christian world view, anyway. Consider the early Apostles who were alive with Jesus. They talked with him every day. They watched his execution and buried him. They saw Him rise from the dead and ascend into Heaven. These people had faith in Christ; that He was who He said He was.

Consider Israel in the desert. They saw God's power displayed many, many times. They had (and lost) faith. My faith is built upon evidences. My faith, in part, is that these evidences point to where I believe they are pointing.

After all, you have faith in gravity, even though you see it at work every day ;)

Xel - at what age did you come to Christ? Be honest now. What were the circumstances surrounding your decision? Where was it, who was it with?

calidog
Jun 14th 2008, 01:49 AM
I'm kind of surprised that no one has stated that they just believe. There is no need for evidence in matters of religion. If there were true evidence, there would be no need for belief. Am I wrong? I thought belief in Christ without proof was encouraged and rewarded.Typically that would be the response. God requires faith but He does'nt require us to be unreasonable.

Isa 1:18 "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:....."

But we see that it is not really us who search for God but it is God Who brings us to Himself.

Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

And many are content in the faith that God gives them

Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

tango
Jun 14th 2008, 02:56 AM
Since it's Friday the 13th and all, do Christians believe that there is a difference between faith and superstition? If so, what is it?

Here's the definition of superstition from dictionary.com:

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) (http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna.html) - Cite This Source (http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=superstition&ia=luna) - Share This (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/superstition#sharethis)
su·per·sti·tion http://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngAudio Help (http://dictionary.reference.com/help/audio.html)/ˌsuhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngpərˈstɪʃhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngən/Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[soo-per-stish-uhhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngn]Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation–noun 1.a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like. 2.a system or collection of such beliefs. 3.a custom or act based on such a belief. 4.irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, esp. in connection with religion. 5.any blindly accepted belief or notion.

Definitions aside, to me God is real and very much alive. Bad luck for breaking a mirror or walking under a ladder is not.

On a more practical note someone already gave you the definition of faith from the Bible - belief in things hoped for. Most superstition seems to be about things that bring bad luck, in other words things we need to be afraid of.

Athanasius
Jun 14th 2008, 03:06 AM
Xel - at what age did you come to Christ? Be honest now. What were the circumstances surrounding your decision? Where was it, who was it with?

Honestly? Couldn't tell you.

Why am I still a Christian (decision)? Because I asked questions and Christianity was the only world view with any sort of approachable answer. Mind you, I didn't like a lot of them at the time. But if you're trying to pull a 'you believe because you're in the west/your parents are Christians' then you might as well stop now.

levi_athan
Jun 14th 2008, 03:13 AM
I was just looking at some of that, here's some quick info http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/8449/two.html

Thanks for the info, Calidog. I've looked it over, and here's my analysis.

The first goal of the piece is External Evidence. It states "External evidence from both archaeology and non-Christian writers confirms that the Bible--both Old and New Testaments--is a trustworthy historical document." Here I agree. I don't doubt that the Bible is a trustworthy historical document. But just because it's trustworthy historically doesn't necessarily mean ALL of it is true. If you're truly concerned with the historicity of a document, you have to acknowledge that it's colored with the understanding, beliefs, and politics of the times. You can tell right away if someone is concerned with the historicity of an ancient text if they're willing to concede that some of it is influenced by erroneous supernatural beliefs. It's the work of the theologian, not the historian, to defend the authenticity of its revelation.

The second goal of the piece is that "internal evidence should show that, in one way or another, the Bible is unique". It seems to suggest the Bible is unique because of its consistency over time. Here I disagree. I think the existence of a "New" and an "Old" testament are the first sign of significant inconsistency in the Bible. Testament literally means "will", as if there could be an "old" will of God and a "new" will of God. That's like saying there could be two covenants. A covenant, like a will, is binding. The existence of the two show a massive split in the identity of God, and how He has been viewed over the centuries by two very different groups of people. Aside from this, there are lots of inconsistancies I could go into, but there is no point in doing this. I say this because even IF the Bible was one cohesive book with NOT ONE inconsistancy, it wouldn't be any more true than it was before. There are many cohesive works of fiction available.

Moving on. The third goal of the piece is to show that Biblical Prophecy strengthens the case for the Bible to be an inspired work of God. I have read nearly all Biblical prophecies over the years, and they are all very vague, and almost always come from a scripture that is either taken completely out of context or not related at all to the fulfilled portion of scripture. For example, take Isaiah 7:14 : "Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son." If you were to take this out of the original context of Isaiah, it sounds very nice. But if you look at the full prophecy in the original context, it's actually fairly disturbing. This particular prophecy is meant specifically for the wicked king of Judah, Ahaz. Israel and Syria had formed and army and were marching toward Jerusalem. Isaiah is prophesying that Ahaz will be victorious over these enemies, and to give Ahaz a sign that he will be victorious, he says that a virgin will conceive a son. So in Isaiah 8:2 it says that 'I went unto the prophetess and she conceived and bare a son'. And that was pretty much it for this story. But get this! Ahaz loses the battle! Isreal and Syria defeat Ahaz, king of Jerusalem. The record of the defeat is recorded in II Chronicles 28. So, the prophecy for the virgin birth is taken from a COMPLETELY unrelated account, and it turns out to be a false prophecy nonetheless. Just one example.

And as for the last part about whether or not the Bible has been altered over the centuries makes no difference to me. Whether it's been altered or not makes it no more or less true in my opinion. In my opinion there have been many alterations, but even if there haven't been, even if every book were a first-account manuscript, it wouldn't make a dead man any more likely to have risen from the grave.

levi_athan
Jun 14th 2008, 03:26 AM
Definitions aside, to me God is real and very much alive. Bad luck for breaking a mirror or walking under a ladder is not.

On a more practical note someone already gave you the definition of faith from the Bible - belief in things hoped for. Most superstition seems to be about things that bring bad luck, in other words things we need to be afraid of.

Hi, Tango. Thanks for you input.

I did read that definition earlier. And "belief in things hoped for" seems kind of like the first definition of superstition, which is "a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge".

calidog
Jun 14th 2008, 03:34 AM
even if every book were a first-account manuscript, it wouldn't make a dead man any more likely to have risen from the grave.Interesting thought. I believe Jesus Himself anticipated it:


Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

He is saying that if one does'nt believe what has been written of Him, one would'nt believe even if one actually saw someone raised from the dead. Consider that in your own time and ask yourself if you agree, if you witnessed some-one come back from the dead would you still believe Christ did not? I'm going to say definately yes.

calidog
Jun 14th 2008, 03:47 AM
I have read nearly all Biblical prophecies over the years, and they are all very vague, and almost always come from a scripture that is either taken completely out of context or not related at all to the fulfilled portion of scripture. For example, take Isaiah 7:14 : "Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son." If you were to take this out of the original context of Isaiah, it sounds very nice. But if you look at the full prophecy in the original context, it's actually fairly disturbing. This particular prophecy is meant specifically for the wicked king of Judah, Ahaz. Israel and Syria had formed and army and were marching toward Jerusalem. Isaiah is prophesying that Ahaz will be victorious over these enemies, and to give Ahaz a sign that he will be victorious, he says that a virgin will conceive a son. So in Isaiah 8:2 it says that 'I went unto the prophetess and she conceived and bare a son'. And that was pretty much it for this story. But get this! Ahaz loses the battle! Isreal and Syria defeat Ahaz, king of Jerusalem. The record of the defeat is recorded in II Chronicles 28. So, the prophecy for the virgin birth is taken from a COMPLETELY unrelated account, and it turns out to be a false prophecy nonetheless. Just one example.

The fullfillment is here:

Mat 1:21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."
Mat 1:22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:
Mat 1:23 "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which is translated, "God with us."
Mat 1:24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,
Mat 1:25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.

calidog
Jun 14th 2008, 03:57 AM
Thanks for the info, Calidog. I've looked it over, and here's my analysis.

The first goal of the piece is External Evidence. It states "External evidence from both archaeology and non-Christian writers confirms that the Bible--both Old and New Testaments--is a trustworthy historical document." Here I agree. I don't doubt that the Bible is a trustworthy historical document. But just because it's trustworthy historically doesn't necessarily mean ALL of it is true. If you're truly concerned with the historicity of a document, you have to acknowledge that it's colored with the understanding, beliefs, and politics of the times. You can tell right away if someone is concerned with the historicity of an ancient text if they're willing to concede that some of it is influenced by erroneous supernatural beliefs. It's the work of the theologian, not the historian, to defend the authenticity of its revelation.


I think you would consider the supernatural to be erroneous, correct me if I'm wrong.

Would this sum it up? "if they're willing to concede that some of it is influenced by supernatural beliefs"

or: if they're willing to concede that some of it is influenced by belief in the supernatural

Christ raised from the dead is no doubt supernatural. God would have to be supernatural or beyond natural.

levi_athan
Jun 14th 2008, 03:57 AM
I have read nearly all Biblical prophecies over the years, and they are all very vague, and almost always come from a scripture that is either taken completely out of context or not related at all to the fulfilled portion of scripture. For example, take Isaiah 7:14 : "Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son." If you were to take this out of the original context of Isaiah, it sounds very nice. But if you look at the full prophecy in the original context, it's actually fairly disturbing. This particular prophecy is meant specifically for the wicked king of Judah, Ahaz. Israel and Syria had formed and army and were marching toward Jerusalem. Isaiah is prophesying that Ahaz will be victorious over these enemies, and to give Ahaz a sign that he will be victorious, he says that a virgin will conceive a son. So in Isaiah 8:2 it says that 'I went unto the prophetess and she conceived and bare a son'. And that was pretty much it for this story. But get this! Ahaz loses the battle! Isreal and Syria defeat Ahaz, king of Jerusalem. The record of the defeat is recorded in II Chronicles 28. So, the prophecy for the virgin birth is taken from a COMPLETELY unrelated account, and it turns out to be a false prophecy nonetheless. Just one example.

[/quote]The fullfillment is here:

Mat 1:21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."
Mat 1:22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:
Mat 1:23 "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which is translated, "God with us."
Mat 1:24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,
Mat 1:25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.[/quote]

What's funny is that Jesus was never called Immanuel like the angel quotes out of Isaiah. He was called Jesus.

So how do you feel about the prophecy's original context? And about the false prophecy to Ahaz for which the 'virgin concieves' originates from? It's only a prophecy if the context was meant for Jesus. It wasn't - it was meant for Ahaz, wicked king of Jerusalem. And it didn't come true.

calidog
Jun 14th 2008, 04:22 AM
I think the existence of a "New" and an "Old" testament are the first sign of significant inconsistency in the Bible. Testament literally means "will", as if there could be an "old" will of God and a "new" will of God. That's like saying there could be two covenants. the old and new convenants are both mentioned in the old testament and also in the new testament, so there are two covenants. Where is the confusion?

renthead188
Jun 14th 2008, 04:23 AM
I appreciate your response. That brings up something new, is there any external evidence for the Bible itself? Does the evidence consist of more books, or something else?

Hey

You raised an issue earlier in this thread, about Christ's resurrection. I don't think that the issue has been discussed fully. I would like to discuss Christ's resurrection with you.

You acknowledge that The Bible is historically accurate. I would certainly agree. For example, In Acts of the Apostles alone Luke makes reference to 32 countries, 54 cities and 9 islands without error. It is clear that Luke is greatly concerned with accuracy in his writings, as was his intention (Luke 1)

Why then, do you make an exception for Jesus' resurrection? If Luke was painfully careful to express accurate details about minute geographical features and political figures of the time, why would he lie about the resurrection of Jesus Christ? If he did lie, why would he voluntarily go along with the lie, for years, documenting everything accurately in what we compiled (years later) into what we now call The Bible?

The claim should be highly falsifiable.

I Claim "Jesus Christ rose from the dead." You claim that He did not.

I put forth four primary sources that detail the account as well as hundreds of prophecies that pertain to it as evidence to support my claim.

On what basis do you reject the claim?

In all things, seek truth. If you seek truth, you will find it.

I hope to hear from you soon.

your friend

Christopher

levi_athan
Jun 14th 2008, 04:31 AM
the old and new convenants are both mentioned in the old testament and also in the new testament, so there are two covenants. Where is the confusion?

Where is the New Testament mentioned in the Old Testament?

calidog
Jun 14th 2008, 04:31 AM
What's funny is that Jesus was never called Immanuel like the angel quotes out of Isaiah. He was called Jesus.


The bible records many more names for Him. There is one more final name . But we don't know what it is yet.

calidog
Jun 14th 2008, 04:34 AM
Where is the New Testament mentioned in the Old Testament?You mean "new covenant", right?

Jer 31:31 "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—
Jer 31:32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.
Jer 31:33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Jer 31:34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

renthead188
Jun 14th 2008, 04:37 AM
You mean "new covenant", right?

Jer 31:31 "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—
Jer 31:32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.
Jer 31:33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Jer 31:34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

I wanted to mention, I just read this verse earlier today. I thought it was cool that you posted it just a few hours later.

Christopher

calidog
Jun 14th 2008, 04:45 AM
So how do you feel about the prophecy's original context? And about the false prophecy to Ahaz for which the 'virgin concieves' originates from? It's only a prophecy if the context was meant for Jesus. It wasn't - it was meant for Ahaz, wicked king of Jerusalem. And it didn't come true.Of course it did'nt come true for Ahaz. It came true in Christ. As you stated above "It's only a prophecy if the context was meant for Jesus"


Mat 1:22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:
Mat 1:23 "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which is translated, "God with us."

levi_athan
Jun 14th 2008, 04:47 AM
You mean "new covenant", right?

Jer 31:31 "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—


Sounds like this verse is written specifically to the house of Israel and Judah. Don't think it means an entirely new religion of Christianity. This was written from Jews to Jews.

levi_athan
Jun 14th 2008, 04:48 AM
Of course it did'nt come true for Ahaz. It came true in Christ. As you stated above "It's only a prophecy if the context was meant for Jesus"


Mat 1:22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:
Mat 1:23 "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which is translated, "God with us."


This prophecy doens't make any sense for Jesus or Ahaz when read in context. It makes less sense for Jesus.

levi_athan
Jun 14th 2008, 04:57 AM
Hey

You raised an issue earlier in this thread, about Christ's resurrection. I don't think that the issue has been discussed fully. I would like to discuss Christ's resurrection with you.

You acknowledge that The Bible is historically accurate. I would certainly agree. For example, In Acts of the Apostles alone Luke makes reference to 32 countries, 54 cities and 9 islands without error. It is clear that Luke is greatly concerned with accuracy in his writings, as was his intention (Luke 1)

Why then, do you make an exception for Jesus' resurrection?

Because it doesn't have to do with countries, cities, or islands. It has to do with dead men rising from the grave, which is seriously unlikely.




If Luke was painfully careful to express accurate details about minute geographical features and political figures of the time, why would he lie about the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

Wish I knew. But it's more likely he lied than a dead man rose from the grave.



The claim should be highly falsifiable.

That can be said of lots of stuff that people believe from ancient scripture.



I Claim "Jesus Christ rose from the dead." You claim that He did not.

I put forth four primary sources that detail the account as well as hundreds of prophecies that pertain to it as evidence to support my claim.


Just because you have four primary ancient sources, none of them speak for themselves. It doesn't make sense to take these as gospel truth. There are millions of people who claim the supernatural. What makes these four sources so true?

Hundreds of prophecies? More like vague quips taken out of context.

I wish I had more time right now to respond. I'll continue tomorrow.

See ya'll! Thanks for all of your input.

calidog
Jun 14th 2008, 05:02 AM
This prophecy doens't make any sense for Jesus or Ahaz when read in context. It makes less sense for Jesus.
I'm sure Ahaz would agree, or even Issaiah. It only makes sense in Jesus because of the vigin birth and the name Immanuel which means "God with us" since that is who Jesus is, God in the flesh, with us. The clincher is Matthew recorded it for us telling us plainly.

It is old testament prophecy such as this that the new testament writers referred to when they preached the Gospel. In fact Peter considered prophecy a more sure word than his eye witness testimony


2Pe 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
2Pe 1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
2Pe 1:18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

renthead188
Jun 14th 2008, 05:15 AM
Because it doesn't have to do with countries, cities, or islands. It has to do with dead men rising from the grave, which is seriously unlikely.




Wish I knew. But it's more likely he lied than a dead man rose from the grave.



That can be said of lots of stuff that people believe from ancient scripture.



Just because you have four primary ancient sources, none of them speak for themselves. It doesn't make sense to take these as gospel truth. There are millions of people who claim the supernatural. What makes these four sources so true?

Hundreds of prophecies? More like vague quips taken out of context.

I wish I had more time right now to respond. I'll continue tomorrow.

See ya'll! Thanks for all of your input.

So I am going to have to conclude that you are basing your rejection of Christ upon "Well, although everything else in the text is entirely accurate, ____ the Apostle is clearly lying. It's just too wierd to have happened." That doesn't sound very logical. It certainly doesn't fit with the evidence.

The difference between Jesus and mythical gods of imagination is that Jesus has eyewitnesses. The apostles walked with Jesus for three years, watched Him die and then saw His resurrected body. Afterwards, they returned to Jerusalem to preach that He had been resurrected. If this were not the case, why would they do this? Why would they allow themselves to be killed for it?

Muslims martyrs die all the time... for a belief. They die because they claim to believe something. The first Christian martyrs (Apostles) claimed to have literally seen the resurrected Christ. Other martyrs died for something that they believed, The Apostles died for what they saw with their own eyes.

It is late here too, I'm in New York. I will check this page tomorrow evening. I hope to hear back from you as I do believe that this is the only point worth our discussing. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is integral to The Gospel. With it, Christianity is the single most important thing in your life. Without it, Christianity would be useless.

Jesus did rise from the grave. Multiple eyewitness reports confirm it, and when examined, the author's motives and intentions check out. They had everything to lose and (if it was indeed a lie) nothing to gain. They abandoned their lives and devoted themselves to preaching that Jesus had risen from the grave and that they had physically spoken to Him. They took this message to the grave. Thousands of years later we still have their records to refer to. If you do not believe that this occured, please counter at least some of the evidence that supports the fact that He did. Or at least offer a better explanation than "it's just too wierd to have happened..."

It certainly would be wierd to see, but wierd things happen all the time. We just don't always get a front row seat. Just because it's not familiar, doesn't mean that it didn't happen.

Jesus is alive.

I will check back tomorrow evening. I hope to hear back from you.

with love

Christopher

Thaddaeus
Jun 14th 2008, 05:21 AM
It seems like the general consensus of our discussion so far is that faith in Christ differs from superstition in that there is evidence for the resurrection of Christ. This evidence rests in the ancient texts of various sources. Some of the Bible, some of ancient historians.

If ancient texts may be used for evidence, then why can't we use the Rigveda, or the Koran? These are ancient texts that discuss historical events. Why can't they be true then?

Are they MORE superstitious than Christian faith?
Now I have never even seen a koran but have been told that the places mentioned in this book are not actual places. maybe you know

th1bill
Jun 14th 2008, 05:45 AM
I'm not questioning history. I'm not questioning that there may have been a historical Jesus. But a death and resurrection story is highly dubious, and cannot be proven by any ancient historian whether he be Greek, Jewish, or Roman.
... With that post you have taken an adversarial position, long before such is acceptable. You have not studied the text because it is a single volume but it is very deep and it is very extensive. I'll just ignore you if your here for a fight and my duty is to report you for taking such a stance. I'm going to be slow to turn you in for the team to examine but you must be reasonable.
... Had you taken the time to study the suggested title you would have known that your statement isv completely false. The evidence for the mid-day night period was recorded throughout the known world. And every report, from every location reported the same three hour period. Now please, let's discuss and not try one another's patience.


I'm kind of surprised that no one has stated that they just believe. There is no need for evidence in matters of religion. If there were true evidence, there would be no need for belief. Am I wrong? I thought belief in Christ without proof was encouraged and rewarded.
And I have already explained to you that we would resolve one issue at a time, unless you are only here to harass, then I'll notify my colleges and bring you up for a coffee break. I have assumed that you are here to seek answers and not to fight, am I incorrect?

calidog
Jun 14th 2008, 10:26 AM
Sounds like this verse is written specifically to the house of Israel and Judah. Don't think it means an entirely new religion of Christianity. This was written from Jews to Jews.
It was. Salvation is of the Jews (salvation came through the Jews)

Joh 4:19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 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. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

Jesus here was speaking to a Samaratin, not a Jew.

In the old testament, speaking of the Messiah:

Isa 49:6 Indeed He says, 'It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.' "
Isa 42:6 "I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles,

levi_athan
Jun 14th 2008, 06:05 PM
... With that post you have taken an adversarial position, long before such is acceptable. You have not studied the text because it is a single volume but it is very deep and it is very extensive. I'll just ignore you if your here for a fight and my duty is to report you for taking such a stance. I'm going to be slow to turn you in for the team to examine but you must be reasonable.
... Had you taken the time to study the suggested title you would have known that your statement isv completely false. The evidence for the mid-day night period was recorded throughout the known world. And every report, from every location reported the same three hour period. Now please, let's discuss and not try one another's patience.


And I have already explained to you that we would resolve one issue at a time, unless you are only here to harass, then I'll notify my colleges and bring you up for a coffee break. I have assumed that you are here to seek answers and not to fight, am I incorrect?

I'm certainly not here to harass anyone. I'm not here to argue either. I'm here for both parties to discuss. If my posts sound curt, I certainly don't mean to sound that way. I'm not angry or annoyed. I just want to make sure to respond to everybody, plus I'm at work, so that adds challenge some times.

So, which text are you referring to? It's not clear from your post. Also, just because I haven't studied an entire volume of history (maybe Josephus?) doesn't mean that I haven't read enough to make my own conclusion. If there's a specific passage you would like me to read, please reference it and I would be happy to look into it.

And by the way, whether there was evidence of an eclipse, or even an earth-quake, is a natural occurence and doesn't support the resurrection of a dead man from the grave. Such an extraordinary claim requires some extraordinary evidence, which simply cannot be found in any history book. Trust me, I appreciate the history, but the supernatural claims cannot be supported any volume of books, however ancient they may be.

levi_athan
Jun 14th 2008, 06:58 PM
So I am going to have to conclude that you are basing your rejection of Christ upon "Well, although everything else in the text is entirely accurate, ____ the Apostle is clearly lying. It's just too wierd to have happened." That doesn't sound very logical. It certainly doesn't fit with the evidence.


I'm sorry, I just can't accept the sources for the story of the resurrection as its evidence as well. That's not how history works. There are other works that back up the place and time of the gospel tradition, but even if I could accept an ancient text as evidence (which I cannot), there are no other sources that specifically support the resurrection of Jesus.



The difference between Jesus and mythical gods of imagination is that Jesus has eyewitnesses. The apostles walked with Jesus for three years, watched Him die and then saw His resurrected body.

Jesus had eyewitnesses at the time that he lived. They are no longer valid if they have been dead for ages and can no longer speak for themselves, especially for matters of resurrections and miracles.



Afterwards, they returned to Jerusalem to preach that He had been resurrected. If this were not the case, why would they do this? Why would they allow themselves to be killed for it? Muslims martyrs die all the time... for a belief. They die because they claim to believe something. The first Christian martyrs (Apostles) claimed to have literally seen the resurrected Christ. Other martyrs died for something that they believed, The Apostles died for what they saw with their own eyes.


Martyrdom simply does not point to the existence of evidence. The early Christian martyrs needed no more evidence than the martys of Rome did in the third century. And those martyrs need no more evidence than the Muslim martyrs, who need no more evidence than any religious martyrs. Martyrdom is only a sign that someone is passionate enough about their faith to die for it. And passionate faith requires no evidence whatsoever.



Jesus did rise from the grave. Multiple eyewitness reports confirm it, and when examined, the author's motives and intentions check out. They had everything to lose and (if it was indeed a lie) nothing to gain.


Just because the earliest fragments of the gospels can be traced back to the first century doesn't make them eyewitness reports. It's not clear why people like to make up religions, but you have to agree that they have, the world over, since the dawn of humanity. Just because this one includes some factual historical markers doesn't make an ancient resurrection account any more likely. The authors claim to be eyewitnesses, and whether you believe them or not depends on a lot of factors. People will believe anything, even with nothing to gain and everything to lose, as long as that belief gave their lives a sense of purpose in the meantime.



If you do not believe that this occured, please counter at least some of the evidence that supports the fact that He did. Or at least offer a better explanation than "it's just too wierd to have happened..."

I'm not saying it's too wierd. I'm saying that it's not rational to believe in a dead man rising from a grave, especially only based on cultural tradition and ancient texts, however historically accurate and cohesive they might otherwise be.

levi_athan
Jun 14th 2008, 07:09 PM
I'm sure Ahaz would agree, or even Issaiah. It only makes sense in Jesus because of the vigin birth and the name Immanuel which means "God with us" since that is who Jesus is, God in the flesh, with us. The clincher is Matthew recorded it for us telling us plainly.

It is old testament prophecy such as this that the new testament writers referred to when they preached the Gospel. In fact Peter considered prophecy a more sure word than his eye witness testimony

But Isaiah was prophesying specifically to Ahaz, not to anybody else. He's not even prophesying about the messiah. If he was, he would have mentioned he was prophesying about the messiah. Don't you think?

calidog
Jun 14th 2008, 07:17 PM
whether or not the resurrection occured is a valid question that every individual has to come to terms with. Keep at it levi_athan, and God bless you when He gives you faith:saint:

levi_athan
Jun 14th 2008, 07:22 PM
whether or not the resurrection occured is a valid question that every individual has to come to terms with. Keep at it levi_athan, and God bless you when He gives you faith:saint:

Thank you. I appreciate that.

calidog
Jun 14th 2008, 07:30 PM
Thank you. I appreciate that.I just want to encourage you to not give up untill you are satisfied in your belief or unbelief. I felt you were getting a little hammered once in a while.;)

levi_athan
Jun 14th 2008, 07:39 PM
I just want to encourage you to not give up untill you are satisfied in your belief or unbelief. I felt you were getting a little hammered once in a while.;)

Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment. :D

calidog
Jun 14th 2008, 07:56 PM
That's how many have come to believe, they endured the punishment:)

RogerW
Jun 15th 2008, 01:27 AM
Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment. :D

Greetings Levi,

This may sound a little cliche, however I know that Jesus resurrected from the dead through faith! Of course you're probably thinking but isn't it faith we are attempting to prove. It's already been said, but if Christ did not resurrect from the grave then I am still "dead" in my sins. But the fact that I have been born again, born of the Spirit, with Christ living in me, proves that my faith is not in vain, and that the Lord is indeed raised from the dead.

What is my evidence? I am my evidence!

I had no interest in God, His Word, or salvation. I saw myself as a basically good person, kind, generous, and I definitely did not view myself as a sinner on my way to hell. Then God drew me, just as Scripture tells me He would (Jo 6:44). Why did I, for no apparent reason, feel the need to "hear" His Word. I had no interest in church. Christianity, as far as I was concerned in my unbelief was for pathetic weaklings. Plus I saw Christians as being major hypocrites.

Then something truly miraculous happened! God, the Holy Spirit gave me Spiritual life (resurrected me from spiritual death), just as Scripture tells me He does (Jo 3:5), and He gave me ears to "hear" His voice, just as Scripture tells me He would (Jo 5:25). And hearing I was enabled to believe through the hearing of His Word, just as Scripture tells me I would (Ro 10:17; Heb 4:2). So, the timing for my re-birth had been fulfilled and I was enabled to repent (recognize my sin, and turn from it) and believe (turn to the Lord in faith), just as Scripture tells me I would (Mk 1:15).

This was all outside of me! God drew me, placed His Spirit in me, and resurrected me to spiritual life. If the Lord has not been resurrected from the grave, then I am of all man most miserable, because I am still in my sin, being spiritually dead, and without hope. If the Lord is not resurrected then my hope, my faith of life everlasting is vain.

But why would I doubt that I too, like the Lord, will one day be bodily resurrected to dwell with Him forever? After knowing the miracle He has already performed in me when He gave me spiritual life, just as He has promised in His Word, why would I ever doubt that He is able to do all He has claimed He can do?

To doubt that He was resurrected to life, is to lack the faith He has planted in me. Since my faith originates from Him, I trust He will complete it to the end just as He has promised in His Word (Ph 1:6).

Hope this helps to answer your question. It is my prayer that the Lord will give you ears to hear, and bring you to resurrected spiritual life in Christ.

Many Blessings,
RW

HisGrace
Jun 15th 2008, 01:37 AM
Since it's Friday the 13th and all, do Christians believe that there is a difference between faith and superstition? If so, what is it? Back to the originally OP. The question is what is the difference between faith and superstition ? I am not here to prove whether or not the Bible is true, but to show you how a believer views the difference between faith and superstition.

Superstiition is based on irrationally and/or fear.

Friday the thirteenth is an unlucky day. If you are superstitious you're afraid to go out the door on the Friday the 13th.

To find a four-leaf clover is to find good luck. Rationallity tells you that a little piece of greenery can’t bring you good luck

Step on a crack, break your mother's back. Irrational reasoning.

It is unlucky to rock an empty rocking chair . Based on fear and total irrationality.

Faith - a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny.

Whether you agree with faith or not, for those who do agree, faith is complete confidence and trust to totally depend on guidance from God, and always believe that he will guide us through both the good times and the times if trial.

Is this irrational? No, because this has been proven to be true and has worked for sincere believers. Plus, there is no room for fear in complete faith.

levi_athan
Jun 15th 2008, 03:29 AM
Greetings Levi,

This may sound a little cliche, however I know that Jesus resurrected from the dead through faith!


Hi, Roger - thank you much for your post. It's an interesting concept to know something for sure, based entirely on faith. If, by the Biblical definition, faith is something hoped for that is not seen, then don't you hope that Jesus resurrected, as opposed to knowing it for sure?



It's already been said, but if Christ did not resurrect from the grave then I am still "dead" in my sins. But the fact that I have been born again, born of the Spirit, with Christ living in me, proves that my faith is not in vain, and that the Lord is indeed raised from the dead.

Assuming that the 'nature' of sin exists, and that the death and resurrection of a God-man could somehow remove that mantle of sin. But sacrificial atonement for sin seems superstitious to me. It's been practiced in different forms all over the world. And it's kind of creepy if you think about it, being 'washed in the blood' for the cleansing of sin.



What is my evidence? I am my evidence! I had no interest in God, His Word, or salvation. I saw myself as a basically good person, kind, generous, and I definitely did not view myself as a sinner on my way to hell. Then God drew me, just as Scripture tells me He would (Jo 6:44). Why did I, for no apparent reason, feel the need to "hear" His Word. I had no interest in church. Christianity, as far as I was concerned in my unbelief was for pathetic weaklings. Plus I saw Christians as being major hypocrites.

Then something truly miraculous happened! God, the Holy Spirit gave me Spiritual life (resurrected me from spiritual death), just as Scripture tells me He does (Jo 3:5), and He gave me ears to "hear" His voice, just as Scripture tells me He would (Jo 5:25). And hearing I was enabled to believe through the hearing of His Word, just as Scripture tells me I would (Ro 10:17; Heb 4:2). So, the timing for my re-birth had been fulfilled and I was enabled to repent (recognize my sin, and turn from it) and believe (turn to the Lord in faith), just as Scripture tells me I would (Mk 1:15).


I was hoping someone would admit this. Thank you, Roger. Besides Jesus, who was the influential person in your life that caused you to turn your life around?

By the way, I don't think Christians are any more hypocritical than anybody else. People just hold Christians to a higher standard based on their claim that they have the highest form of morality through Jesus.



This was all outside of me! God drew me, placed His Spirit in me, and resurrected me to spiritual life. If the Lord has not been resurrected from the grave, then I am of all man most miserable, because I am still in my sin, being spiritually dead, and without hope. If the Lord is not resurrected then my hope, my faith of life everlasting is vain.


Do you think this may contribute to the feeling that you know Christ was resurrected? That if it weren't true, you would be a man without hope, your faith just vanity?



Hope this helps to answer your question. It is my prayer that the Lord will give you ears to hear, and bring you to resurrected spiritual life in Christ.


Thank you Roger for your post. And thanks for the prayer. Talk to you later!

levi_athan
Jun 15th 2008, 03:59 AM
Back to the originally OP. The question is what is the difference between faith and superstition ? I am not here to prove whether or not the Bible is true, but to show you how a believer views the difference between faith and superstition.

Superstiition is based on irrationally and/or fear.


Christianity, or any religion for that matter, could be described that way. It's not rational to talk to someone you cannot see. And God can be loving as well as vengeful. I wouldn't say Christianity is based on fear, but fear is an important component of the faith.



Friday the thirteenth is an unlucky day. If you are superstitious you're afraid to go out the door on the Friday the 13th.

To find a four-leaf clover is to find good luck. Rationallity tells you that a little piece of greenery can’t bring you good luck

Step on a crack, break your mother's back. Irrational reasoning.

It is unlucky to rock an empty rocking chair . Based on fear and total irrationality.


I agree with you that these matters are very trivial. But if you look at the definition of the word superstitious, it could be applied to matters of general Christianity.



Is this irrational? No, because this has been proven to be true and has worked for sincere believers.

Faith 'works' as much as it doesn't work. Even when prayers don't get answered, Christians have the mentality that what they had prayed for wasn't God's will afterall.



Plus, there is no room for fear in complete faith


Fear is still an integral part of faith, even if not for the supremely devout... just ask Satan.

th1bill
Jun 15th 2008, 04:27 AM
I'm certainly not here to harass anyone. I'm not here to argue either. I'm here for both parties to discuss. If my posts sound curt, I certainly don't mean to sound that way. I'm not angry or annoyed. I just want to make sure to respond to everybody, plus I'm at work, so that adds challenge some times.
... First let's reach an understanding. I am a very Fundamental Christian and from the "at work" and "challenge" wording of your statement indicates, to me, that you are stealing from your employer, possibly, every time you post here. Okay, I'm not trying to be better than thou but I did have a very strong work ethic, even before I was saved.
... Now, the text I presented to you in an earlier post was Baker's Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. From the title any educated person will know immediately that it should, and it does, cover every aspect of Christian Apologetics. Since it is a single volume, also noted in the first post to you, and it is, in fact, written in encyclopedia form, it is perfectly logical to assume that the different articles will be arranged in categories that are in alphabetical order, and that assumption will be perfectly correct.
... I did not seek to encumber you with some laborious task that will involve weeks or months of effort. But if you can't spend a hour or so at the public library, why would you ever seek an answer anywhere?
... As for the rest of your issues, I informed you from the onset of our written conversation that I would not engage you in answering shot-gun posts and that will never change. Having been an atheist for the better part of my life I have engaged Christians with the shot-gun tactic and I am completely familiar with the operation but it will never be used on me because I am not going to let you get my goat, anyway. As I instructed you in the beginning, stick to the subject, do not try to run me down any more rabbit trails and I'll be as helpful as I possibly can. One more dart down a rabbit trail and I'll just disappear. And before you post any more you ned to go to the library or the book store.

levi_athan
Jun 15th 2008, 04:40 AM
There is so much Historical evidence for the Christ's execution that it impossible for any studied atheist to deny His existence and the educated atheist will not even attempt to deny His existence and His death. If you need the references they are, all of them, listed and bibliographed, in The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. One is the writings of of the Jewish authors of the Talmud and since they executed Him it is difficult to find a reason for them to make up a history that never occurred.


Hi, Bill. I appreciate your opinions. I don't want to create, or follow, rabbit trails. I want to understand exactly what it is you're telling me, and to thoughtfully consider it. And so far, correct me if I'm wrong, you're saying I should consider The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. This is more than an hour's worth of study! So maybe highlight a few sections that you think relate to the topic at hand I and I promise I will read them entirely, and thoughtfully respond.

Thank you sir, and good evening to you.

HisGrace
Jun 15th 2008, 03:30 PM
Fear is still an integral part of faith, even if not for the supremely devout... just ask Satan.
Yes, just ask Satan. That is where all fear comes from. If we aren't trustful, it blocks the flow of blessings and answers to prayer.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Romans 8: 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


To fear God means to show respect and reverance, not to approach him with a trembling fear.

1 Peter 2:17 Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king.

RogerW
Jun 15th 2008, 06:16 PM
Hi, Roger - thank you much for your post. It's an interesting concept to know something for sure, based entirely on faith. If, by the Biblical definition, faith is something hoped for that is not seen, then don't you hope that Jesus resurrected, as opposed to knowing it for sure?

Greetings Levi,

Again, I have complete confidence in "knowing for sure" because the Bible tells me I can know that I have eternal life.

1Jo 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

But if Christ was not resurrected the Bible tells me I am still in my sin, and my faith is vain, stained by the guilt of sin.

1Co 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

Since God has written His law in my heart, I have complete confidence that my sins have been forgiven, because my conscience bears me witness my thoughts either accusing or excusing.

Ro 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

Before I was born again nothing was pure, even my mind and conscience was defiled. But now I am able to discern the purity of the Word, and my conscience no longer convicts me of my guilt before God.

Tit 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.



Assuming that the 'nature' of sin exists, and that the death and resurrection of a God-man could somehow remove that mantle of sin. But sacrificial atonement for sin seems superstitious to me. It's been practiced in different forms all over the world. And it's kind of creepy if you think about it, being 'washed in the blood' for the cleansing of sin.

I can fully understand that. No one could have convinced me that I had a sin nature before I knew the holiness of God. It stands to reason how the atonement would seem superstitious to the unbelieving. That the blood of Christ cleanses us from sin, or purifies us, is one that is common only in the Word of God.

1Jo 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Heb 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

The specific idea of washing, however--representing that blood as washing sin away-- is one which does not occur in other sacrificial offerings. It is used in the sense of cleansing or purifying, as we do this by washing, and, as the blood of Christ accomplishes in respect to our souls, what washing with water does in respect to the body.



I was hoping someone would admit this. Thank you, Roger. Besides Jesus, who was the influential person in your life that caused you to turn your life around?

There have been several influencial people in my life. People who have taught me, prayed for me, and encouraged me to continue to search the Bible diligently. But Christ alone gets all the credit for turning my life around. I did not seek Him, He sought me. God placed people in my path, who made me curious about His Word. I had no interest, and would not have sought Him without His first drawing me.

God could at this moment be drawing you to this community, to bring you into His eternal kingdom. The Bible tells us, "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." My best advise to you, if you are truly curious about His Word, and Christianity...get in the Word, be under the hearing, read, and search, and ask for help in those things you don't understand. If God is drawing you into His kingdom, your life, like mine was, will be changed, and you will know.



By the way, I don't think Christians are any more hypocritical than anybody else. People just hold Christians to a higher standard based on their claim that they have the highest form of morality through Jesus.

Now I understand that Christians are forgiven, but they are not perfect, and they will not be in this life. Christians ought to be held to higher moral standards through Christ.



Do you think this may contribute to the feeling that you know Christ was resurrected? That if it weren't true, you would be a man without hope, your faith just vanity?

Absolutely! If I did not, could not know then my faith would be vain. But God has assured my hope, my faith is not in vain. "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." (2Ti 1:12)



Thank you Roger for your post. And thanks for the prayer. Talk to you later!

You are most welcome! It's a delight to have you here, searching, asking questions....I continue to pray that God is drawing you into His Kingdom.

In Christ's Love,
RW

ImmenseDisciple
Jun 15th 2008, 11:10 PM
Hey Levi.

Save for the fact that the superstitious very frequently recognise the futility of their actions and see it more as a quirk in their character, if there were no validity in any relgion, then I would agree that there's no difference between religion and superstition. Even as it is, there is clearly no difference between religion and superstition in the case of the hundreds of false religions.

As there is a true relgion which can bring us into a relationship with God, however, there's clearly a distinction to be made. Answered prayer is answered prayer. Experiences of God are experiences of God. It's not simply all in our head - there's a validity to such faith which is absent from superstition.

th1bill
Jun 16th 2008, 01:48 AM
Hi, Bill. I appreciate your opinions. I don't want to create, or follow, rabbit trails. I want to understand exactly what it is you're telling me, and to thoughtfully consider it. And so far, correct me if I'm wrong, you're saying I should consider The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. This is more than an hour's worth of study! So maybe highlight a few sections that you think relate to the topic at hand I and I promise I will read them entirely, and thoughtfully respond.

Thank you sir, and good evening to you.
... I appreciate that you are not likely to spend fifty dollars on a copy and I would never expect that but it seems to me that if you went to library and pulled a copy from the shelf that the logical thing to do is to look up the subject you are interested in, Jesus. There are several sub-catagories but just to read them will take about 45 minutes, as long as you do not care to investigate the listed sources. If you wish to truly investigate the information presented there it will require you to take a pen and paper. If you note the references, for future investigation it will take an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the style of your note keeping.
... There is the, honest, chance that like 99.9 per cent of the world, you'll not be willing to investigate the truth found there and in that case, it is likely that I'll be of no help what-so-ever to you. I have found that with my eighth grade education and GED that some BAs are not educated well enough to comprehend the things I have to offer. But being an Old School Gentleman, I do expect some effort on the part of the other party and in today's society I am considered an old fool because I will not spoon feed Generation X and beyond, but I feel like your a cut above the norm. today. I hope so, anyway.

daughter
Jun 16th 2008, 09:40 AM
This is more than an hour's worth of study!

Surely you can spare an hour of your life? If something is important, why not invest your time in it? Do you watch television? Maybe cut an hour from watching football, or something...

Sorry, that was such a startling excuse. Are you sure you're not joking?

levi_athan
Jun 16th 2008, 03:55 PM
Surely you can spare an hour of your life? If something is important, why not invest your time in it? Do you watch television? Maybe cut an hour from watching football, or something...

Sorry, that was such a startling excuse. Are you sure you're not joking?

This was in direct response to Bill's comment earlier that I need to spend an hour in the library, and he recommended that I check out a Baker's Encyclopedia of Christian apologetics. Which of course would take more than an hour to go through. So I was asking if he had any highlighted sections that I should read in relation to this thread. Of course I'm willing to spend an hour, and many hours on this subject. I honestly don't watch a lot of TV. When I do it's usually cartoons (like Aqua Teen Hunger Force which is where my Avatar comes from).

daughter
Jun 16th 2008, 05:18 PM
Oh, okay... you were making a joke? That's reassured me! I thought to myself that you'd spent such a lot of time on this forum, and had obviously spent more than an hour thinking about these issues... hence my surprise at your comment.

I would still suggest though that you do your own research. You know us born again fundies... we have an agenda! If you read it yourself, then you'll be in a better position to make up your own mind.

levi_athan
Jun 17th 2008, 12:44 AM
Oh, okay... you were making a joke? That's reassured me! I thought to myself that you'd spent such a lot of time on this forum, and had obviously spent more than an hour thinking about these issues... hence my surprise at your comment.

I would still suggest though that you do your own research. You know us born again fundies... we have an agenda! If you read it yourself, then you'll be in a better position to make up your own mind.

I've done my own research, and I would be interested in the thoughts of others, especially former atheists. I created a new post for book recommendations, coz I'd like to hear them.

By Faith
Jun 17th 2008, 01:16 AM
Are you looking for guidance on a spritual journey?or are you looking for a debate? you are speaking on the level of the sadducies and pharasies when questioning Christ. Those folks knew He was coming and were expecting Him but when He was standing right there in front of their faces they did not see it. These folks have given you a wealth of knowledge but in the end we can't do anything to Save you or throw you into Hell. The choice is yours have Faith (Heb 11:1 or the whole book of Faith Hebrews) or have belief in a superstition (which has pagan background totally not of God so I would caution combining the two) which is very much different than Faith. I hate to sound stern but from what I see you are not trying to recieve any of the Great Excellent Gospel. If you believe in the devil or that the devil is active than you ought to believe in the one greater than he...GOD. We don't have to take up for God in a debate...He is the Great I AM, He is Alpha and Omega...He needs no justification from man because He is all by Himself. Also I would just like to throw this in there...Jesus said to get to the Father you must go through Him, so not having a faith based belief in the entire trinity is not having faith at all. God is real Jesus is real and the Holy Spirit is real...you know the scriptures now the rest is up to you. Pray my friend in the spirit of truth for a better understanding.

levi_athan
Jun 17th 2008, 04:09 AM
Are you looking for guidance on a spritual journey?or are you looking for a debate?


I'm here to discuss faith and non-faith with the Christian community.



you are speaking on the level of the sadducies and pharasies when questioning Christ. Those folks knew He was coming and were expecting Him but when He was standing right there in front of their faces they did not see it.


That's because I'm sad-u-see.



If you believe in the devil or that the devil is active than you ought to believe in the one greater than he...GOD. We don't have to take up for God in a debate...He is the Great I AM, He is Alpha and Omega...He needs no justification from man because He is all by Himself.


I don't believe in the devil. It took me a while to get over the fear of him, but I was finally able to let that go.



Also I would just like to throw this in there...Jesus said to get to the Father you must go through Him, so not having a faith based belief in the entire trinity is not having faith at all. God is real Jesus is real and the Holy Spirit is real...you know the scriptures now the rest is up to you. Pray my friend in the spirit of truth for a better understanding.

Thank you, By Faith.

theleast
Jun 17th 2008, 04:41 AM
If you want to know the difference between superstition and faith, read your bible and pray...then you'll see.

watchinginawe
Jun 17th 2008, 05:05 AM
Going back to the very original post, I believe that a better definition (from dictionary.com) for superstition in the context of this discussion (Friday the 13th) would be:
An irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome.
Now, that would be like Friday the 13th, the day of the week and the day of the month are not logically related yet it is suggested superstitiously that they are.

The same could be said of possessing lucky charms in your pocket, or rubbing a rabbit's foot, or not laundering a lucky winning-streak jersey, or not cleaning a batting helmet. No possible explanation can be given for believing why there is a connection between these actions and the actual outcome of events. That is the whole point really of "lucky" and "unlucky" things. It can't be explained why they are lucky or unlucky, that is all part of the superstition.

But when it comes to faith, and specifically Christianity, all of the terms are interelated and therefore logically related. We know exactly how faith in Jesus influences our outcome. Jesus is not a "lucky charm". If the Christian didn't know why they should believe on Jesus then it would be a superstitious faith.

Now to the unbeliever, belief in the afterlife or even belief in the supernatural might be viewed as superstition. This is because they do not see any relation between reality and the afterlife.

Indeed, we see a good example of this in the English language (from the Greek) in the following passages from the Bible. Consider the King James Version and the New American Standard on Acts 25:19

KJV 19 But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.

NASB 19 but they simply had some points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a dead man, Jesus, whom Paul asserted to be alive.

So we see from the point of view of the unbeliever that the Jew's faith was translated interchangeably in the above as superstition and religion. Furthermore, to the unbeliever, there was no basis in reality about a dead man being alive.

If fact, I believe you have given the same example in this thread, that it just isn't logical for a dead man to be resurrected. Indeed.

God Bless!

renthead188
Jun 17th 2008, 06:04 AM
I'm sorry, I just can't accept the sources for the story of the resurrection as its evidence as well. That's not how history works. There are other works that back up the place and time of the gospel tradition, but even if I could accept an ancient text as evidence (which I cannot), there are no other sources that specifically support the resurrection of Jesus.



Jesus had eyewitnesses at the time that he lived. They are no longer valid if they have been dead for ages and can no longer speak for themselves, especially for matters of resurrections and miracles.



Martyrdom simply does not point to the existence of evidence. The early Christian martyrs needed no more evidence than the martys of Rome did in the third century. And those martyrs need no more evidence than the Muslim martyrs, who need no more evidence than any religious martyrs. Martyrdom is only a sign that someone is passionate enough about their faith to die for it. And passionate faith requires no evidence whatsoever.



Just because the earliest fragments of the gospels can be traced back to the first century doesn't make them eyewitness reports. It's not clear why people like to make up religions, but you have to agree that they have, the world over, since the dawn of humanity. Just because this one includes some factual historical markers doesn't make an ancient resurrection account any more likely. The authors claim to be eyewitnesses, and whether you believe them or not depends on a lot of factors. People will believe anything, even with nothing to gain and everything to lose, as long as that belief gave their lives a sense of purpose in the meantime.



I'm not saying it's too wierd. I'm saying that it's not rational to believe in a dead man rising from a grave, especially only based on cultural tradition and ancient texts, however historically accurate and cohesive they might otherwise be.

I do apologize for the delay in response, but I did not want to force the thread to splinter into different directions at once.

I do agree that martyrdom does not mean that the martyr's beliefs were correct. I believe that I said as much in my original post. The issue that I raise to you is this: If the Apostles knew that Jesus had not risen from the dead, why would they allow themselves to be tortured and killed for insisting that it happened? Certainly we can say that Christians, one hundred years later, could have had what you call "passionate faith". This certainly could have been enough to convince someone to die. These martyrs died for what they believed. It is not martyrs that did not witness what they believe in, that I question.

Why would a group of men claim to be eyewitnesses to an event such as the resurrection and allow themselves to be killed for it, when they KNEW that they had not seen Him risen? They had no forseeable motive and no incentive to lie about it.

If you reject firsthand testiomony, interviews with witnesses, verifiable historical accounts, testimony from non-sympathetic sources (Roman and Jewish Historians of the time) and hundreds of fulfilled prophecies, I need to ask you a question.

If you reject all of this as even being CAPABLE of being accepted as evidence... in all honesty... what are you looking for?

If you're looking for truth... there is a huge amount of evidence to back up the truth. Jesus is the Christ. He was crucified for the remission of our sins. He rose from the grave, defeating satan's grip upon us.

I do believe that I've demonstrated why it is logical to devote oneself to Jesus Christ. He is the truth.

If you reject firsthand testiomony, interviews with witnesses, verifiable historical accounts, support from non-sympathetic sources (Roman and Jewish Historians of the time) and hundreds of fulfilled prophecies...

What WILL you accept as evidence? What more could you want to support a claim made about an event that occured 2000 years ago?

Christopher