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Pilgrimtozion
Mar 15th 2007, 10:32 PM
All my life, I have been raised in a Pentecostal family. My parents were saved during the revival in Holland in the '60's and led my dad's brother to the Lord as well. I have always known my uncle as a Pentecostal believer like my dad.

Until recent years. Lately, I have begun to hear sounds about Jesus not being God, about Jesus being the first creation of God - a perfect one at that. I heard those sounds from my uncle, but also my two cousins, with whom I am quite close. Since they are 24 and 28, they're a bit too old to just be echoing their parents, especially knowing the critical and analytical Dutchies they are.

Now debunking abstract theories is easy. We can all say Jehovah's witnesses are wrong. The point is, we're talking about family here, mainstream Pentecostals who believe in everything from miracles and wonders to speaking in tongues and the gifts of the Spirit. Everything, that is, except the Trinity. So like I said, debunking abstract theories is easy. But what if it comes closer? Are the lines still as black and white?

Hence the reason for this thread. I should split my question up into two parts, though I fear nobody will be able to truly answer the second. First of all, what are the repercussions for the Christian faith in general when one chooses to believe that Christ is perfect, but not God? What are the consequences for our Christianity when we believe everything about Christ - except His Deity? And secondly, will those in the position such as my cousins and my uncle be truly denied by God? They are not like my and their aunts, who are involved in occultism, tarot cards, meditation, and a host of other New Age activities. Still, they miss a crucial aspect of Christianity: the Deity of Christ.

What are first the general and also the personal repercussions?

Jollyrogers
Mar 16th 2007, 04:44 AM
If we are not grounded in who Christ is or we try to Change who Christ is, then we do not have the real Christ, nor God. If we are denying that Christ is one with the father ( God in human Flesh) Then we are calling him a liar and calling the God a liar also.
I think the book of 2 John does a good job explaining this, especially emphasising verse 9
KJV"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son."


NASB: (http://nasb.biblebrowser.com/pbchapters/2_john/1.htm) Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

I would also point out that in Matthew 16 vs 13 th 17 everybody had an idea or opinion of who Christ was but only Peter got it right. If it was not so Important why did Christ stop and ask Peter about it??
This is about the best answer I can give to your second question. :hmm:

pmckelvy
Mar 16th 2007, 12:51 PM
This really doesn't answer your question but it's on-topic at least. I've heard people with that view and it makes me sad to hear. The two questions I've never heard an answer for from someone with that unfortunate view are these.
How do they explain the beginning of the gosple of John? That pretty much lays it all out, in my mind at least. I don't even see how it could be read any other way than saying Jesus is God, and he's always been there.

Secondly is Genesis 18. Abraham meets God. The chapter then alternates back and forth from refering to God and to three men. Sarah even brings three meals. It didn't seem to confuse them.

I dunno, it's clear in my mind anyway. Sorry, that probably didn't help you but who knows. God Bless.

Pat

rmt0005
Mar 16th 2007, 02:25 PM
Does the fact that Jesus was created by the Father make Jesus not God? We are told plainly that Jesus is the first creation of the Father (Rev 3:14) and yet Jesus did not find it robbery to be equal with God (Phl 2:6).

We have to stop thinking of the word God being a personal name for the Father. No one knows the name of the Father, God is not His name, it is more of a title and Jesus is God as He is the visible image of the invisible Father.

karenoka27
Mar 16th 2007, 02:40 PM
Why would one want to say they believe in Jesus Christ but not believe in the deity of Christ? I'm confused. That sounds more to me like a Jehovah witness. Maybe i'm old fashioned...(back to Genesis old fashioned), but I am not getting what this world is coming too!

Pilgrimtozion
Mar 16th 2007, 02:46 PM
Just to clarify: I do not wish to discuss the Deity of Christ. I wish to discuss the implications as described in my OP. If anybody can answer those two questions, that would be great! :)

Benjamin

rmt0005
Mar 16th 2007, 02:49 PM
Anyone that does not understand the relationship between the Father and Jesus will fail to realize just about all other truth and will find themselves in the lake of fire.

aurora77
Mar 17th 2007, 02:17 AM
Simply put, they believe the heresy of Arianism. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianism Honestly, I think that the whole of Christianity rests on Christ being exactly who He said He was. As C.S. Lewis says in Mere Christianity "A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg - or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us." Christ was either a liar, lunatic, or the Lord.

If Jesus is not the Son of God, not God incarnate, then Christianity ceases to be. I just don't see how a person could say they are a Christian yet reject clear Biblical teaching that Christ is God. If He isn't God, we all should be Jewish, waiting for our Messiah.

Is this a new thing for them? Are they attending a new church, associating with new people? The best thing you can do is strengthen yourself to help them see the error of their beliefs and pray, pray, pray for them.

To answer your second question, this may sound harsh, but I do think that their salvation is in question. They have actively rejected the second Person of the Trinity, in effect, they have rejected God and His teachings. I'm sorry that sounds so tough, I say it with love and concern for them (I have JWs in my family and I worry about them, too). But, remember that nothing is impossible with God, and that He loves us and created us to know, love, and serve Him and to spend all eternity with Him. God is still knocking at their door; it's just a matter of them letting Him in.

Good luck, this must be so difficult for you!

Pilgrimtozion
Mar 17th 2007, 09:27 AM
Aurora,

Thanks for your reply. The thing is, they do not see Jesus as 'merely human'. They see Jesus as the Son of God, as part of the royal family of God and thus the Son of the King of Kings, God Himself. They realize this produces questions, but they are willing to live with those questions rather than the ones that the Trinity leaves them.

The point is that this is all on a highly theoretical level. When the rubber meets the road, they believe that Christ died and rose again for our sins. They believe He is their perfect Lamb of God and only source of salvation. But they say he is the Son of God, not God Himself.

Does that clarify?

Benjamin

TEITZY
Mar 17th 2007, 11:48 AM
Hence the reason for this thread. I should split my question up into two parts, though I fear nobody will be able to truly answer the second. First of all, what are the repercussions for the Christian faith in general when one chooses to believe that Christ is perfect, but not God? What are the consequences for our Christianity when we believe everything about Christ - except His Deity?

The deity of Christ is inseparable from Biblical Christianity. If one "chooses" to permanently reject the absolute deity of Christ then they are neither saved nor Christians. Is it possible for a perfect created man who isn't God to atone for the sins of all men? I don't know, but Jesus clearly stated that He was God and if He wasn't, then that makes Him a liar and where does that leave "our Christianity"?


And secondly, will those in the position such as my cousins and my uncle be truly denied by God? They are not like my and their aunts, who are involved in occultism, tarot cards, meditation, and a host of other New Age activities. Still, they miss a crucial aspect of Christianity: the Deity of Christ.

What are first the general and also the personal repercussions?

1 John 2:22-23, 4:2-3: Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also....By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

Cheers
Leigh

TEITZY
Mar 17th 2007, 12:04 PM
Does the fact that Jesus was created by the Father make Jesus not God? We are told plainly that Jesus is the first creation of the Father (Rev 3:14) and yet Jesus did not find it robbery to be equal with God (Phl 2:6).


That term in Rev 3:14 (the beginning of the creation of God) does not imply that Jesus was a created being, but rather that He is the source or originator of all creation as John very clearly outlines in his Gospel account. Paul corrected this heresy in his letter to the Colossians which also seems to have infected the sister Church at Laodicea (see Col 4:16). As a man, yes He had a beginning in one sense, but Jesus was and always will be God. He cannot be both God and created, He is either one or the other.

Cheers
Leigh

Pilgrimtozion
Mar 17th 2007, 12:10 PM
The deity of Christ is inseparable from Biblical Christianity. If one "chooses" to permanently reject the absolute deity of Christ then they are neither saved nor Christians. Is it possible for a perfect created man who isn't God to atone for the sins of all men? I don't know, but Jesus clearly stated that He was God and if He wasn't, then that makes Him a liar and where does that leave "our Christianity"?

1 John 2:22-23, 4:2-3: Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also....By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

Cheers
Leigh

The thing is...they don't deny that Jesus is the Christ.

TEITZY
Mar 17th 2007, 12:39 PM
The thing is...they don't deny that Jesus is the Christ.

Yes but the OT clearly states that the Messiah was also God (Ps 45:6-7, 110:1; Isa 9:6) and that is what John means when he says they deny that "Jesus Christ has come in the flesh".

Cheers
Leigh

aurora77
Mar 19th 2007, 12:16 AM
Aurora,

Thanks for your reply. The thing is, they do not see Jesus as 'merely human'. They see Jesus as the Son of God, as part of the royal family of God and thus the Son of the King of Kings, God Himself. They realize this produces questions, but they are willing to live with those questions rather than the ones that the Trinity leaves them.

The point is that this is all on a highly theoretical level. When the rubber meets the road, they believe that Christ died and rose again for our sins. They believe He is their perfect Lamb of God and only source of salvation. But they say he is the Son of God, not God Himself.

Does that clarify?

Benjamin
It sounds like they are really trying to have it both ways. They view Jesus as God's Son, the Lamb of God, but not God himself? Isn't that the whole point? Maybe this is an oversimplification, but I just don't see how anyone other than God makes the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. I think that if they deny His divinity, it really makes everything else moot.

Where was Jesus before He was born? Don't the Jehovah's Witnesses believe something similar? Here's something from their official site http://www.watchtower.org/library/ti/article_06.htm Does this sound like what they are saying?

Do they believe in the Holy Spirit? They don't believe in the Trinity?

I'm not really sure why they would toss out presumably deeply held beliefs for something that raises so many questions. Yes, it's impossible for humans to truly understand the mystery of the Trinity or the idea that God would come and live among us, as one of us, but if that's been Christian teaching for 2000 years, I don't know why anyone would toss it out.

Pilgrimtozion
Mar 19th 2007, 07:39 AM
It sounds like they are really trying to have it both ways. They view Jesus as God's Son, the Lamb of God, but not God himself? Isn't that the whole point? Maybe this is an oversimplification, but I just don't see how anyone other than God makes the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. I think that if they deny His divinity, it really makes everything else moot.

Where was Jesus before He was born? Don't the Jehovah's Witnesses believe something similar? Here's something from their official site http://www.watchtower.org/library/ti/article_06.htm Does this sound like what they are saying?

Do they believe in the Holy Spirit? They don't believe in the Trinity?

I'm not really sure why they would toss out presumably deeply held beliefs for something that raises so many questions. Yes, it's impossible for humans to truly understand the mystery of the Trinity or the idea that God would come and live among us, as one of us, but if that's been Christian teaching for 2000 years, I don't know why anyone would toss it out.

To be honest, I don't know why they would want to throw it out either. They say it raises less questions for them than the Trinity does (no, they don't believe the Holy Spirit is a separate person), but I say it raises more questions. It does feel quite like what the JW believe, which is why I placed this thread in World Religions.

I also have to admit I am somewhat disappointed at the lack of input on this thread. I had hoped that more people would have answered the questions posted in the OP. But thanks heaps for your answer, aurora!

Benjamin

aurora77
Mar 19th 2007, 01:21 PM
To be honest, I don't know why they would want to throw it out either. They say it raises less questions for them than the Trinity does (no, they don't believe the Holy Spirit is a separate person), but I say it raises more questions. It does feel quite like what the JW believe, which is why I placed this thread in World Religions.

I also have to admit I am somewhat disappointed at the lack of input on this thread. I had hoped that more people would have answered the questions posted in the OP. But thanks heaps for your answer, aurora!

Benjamin
I hope you get more takers; I'm sure you aren't the only person to be in this position. My best advice is to pray about them and for them and just be ready to talk to them about why you believe Christ is God when the chance comes up. Blessings and good luck!

threebigrocks
Mar 19th 2007, 02:02 PM
To be honest, it seems they are looking for something easier to reason, instead of letting something be unable to be reasoned.

If one denies Christ as eternal with no begining or end, then one denies the Father and the Spirit in the same breath. I really don't see any other way to see it.

MikeAD
Mar 19th 2007, 10:10 PM
I used to think that salvation and atonment would still have occured if Jesus had not trully been God incarnate but just had been a man chosen and sent by God (still a virgin birth) to live a life free of sin. I used to believe that all we needed was a perfect sacrafice to conquer death. In other words the fact that a perfect man lived free of sin and then was sacraficed was all that we need to conquer death. But as I began writing the book on primative Christianity I have come to the conclusion that that is entirely wrong, that the sinless sacrafice only fufills some of the requirements neccessary of a Messiah, his trip into hell and his ascention into heaven as well as other aspects are required. Do these aspects mean that Jesus had to be God? Well I would say no, but if you can explain it another way then I'll sure listen.


On a side note, two years ago I came across a document from about the year 300, of course it was not the original, but it was over a debate on how Jesus atoned us for our sins. I don't want to get into it but one of the sides of the debate believed that Jesus "tricked" Satan, that when he came to hell he proposed an idea to Lucifer and said that he (Jesus) would give up himself in exchange for all the souls previously in heaven and future souls in heaven, and Satan was quick to agree. After the transaction Jesus then informed Satan that Satan could only keep captive the souls of sinners, and since Jesus never sinned the authority was not Satan's to hold him.

I'm not kidding at all. The story makes Jesus out to be a trickster, but it's pretty interesting as are the endless debates that came up in the first 4 centuries or so after his death. There were several debates over the diety of Christ and upon my research of them and the research of my collegues, I came to the conclusion that in order for any atonement to occur Jesus had to be God.

MikeAD
Mar 19th 2007, 10:16 PM
I feel I forgot to mention something. It is in my belief, Benjamin, that even if God created Jesus as the very first being, perfect in all ways, he still could be God. I find it odd that one can believe that God can keep a man safe in the belly of a whale(something I trully do believe) for three nights but he cannot create a being that is him. We cannot limit the attributes/powers of God, nor can we say that he did not always have the power to create a son that was him, and just knew that he needed to create it to save the creation that would come to be man.
I also do not believe that it matters when Jesus was created, if he was created at all. The attonment would be the same wether Jesus was created now, 10,000 years ago, always existed, or was created next year, God is not held to time, time is an aspect of us. If we get into that we would have to get into "why was Jesus created?" Was he created with God's knowledge that someday he woudl create man and they would fall and need salvation? Or did God create jesus, knowing that he would create a failure in man? Or did God make man first and then go back and make a son?

Anytime you veiw God in the terms of human time I think it just confuses things.

Pilgrimtozion
Mar 19th 2007, 10:24 PM
I feel I forgot to mention something. It is in my belief, Benjamin, that even if God created Jesus as the very first being, perfect in all ways, he still could be God. I find it odd that one can believe that God can keep a man safe in the belly of a whale(something I trully do believe) for three nights but he cannot create a being that is him.

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis makes a crucial remark concerning the difference between creating and begetting: when you create something, it is by its very nature of a different essence than yourself. Only when you beget does what come forth actually have the same essential substance as you do. Thus, in order for Jesus to be God, He could not have been created any more than you could create something and have it be human. The only way you can produce anything human is by begetting it.

Thus, the point that God created Christ is heretical, cannot be accepted, and apparently has serious implications for the person believing it. The thing is, you didn't answer that question yet and I am interested to hear what you would have to say about it.

MikeAD
Mar 19th 2007, 10:32 PM
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis makes a crucial remark concerning the difference between creating and begetting: when you create something, it is by its very nature of a different essence than yourself. Only when you beget does what come forth actually have the same essential substance as you do. Thus, in order for Jesus to be God, He could not have been created any more than you could create something and have it be human. The only way you can produce anything human is by begetting it.

Thus, the point that God created Christ is heretical, cannot be accepted, and apparently has serious implications for the person believing it. The thing is, you didn't answer that question yet and I am interested to hear what you would have to say about it.

I have not read Mere Christianity, I was teaching a reveiw session for a class here and that was one of the books so I only read through parts of it becasue only 10% of the test was based off of that book, but none of the topics was this. But from what you tell me I would have to strongly disagree with Lewis. Lewis is willing to give God the ability to procreate, which is how I am interpreting Beget here. If this is the case then God has the power to procreate and produce a son but he does not have the power to simply create a son which is his own essence, that has his own material/spiritual makeup?
Or perhaps Lewis is be defining beget as to 'bring into existence' which I am taking to mean the same thing as create.

Regardless I have to disagree with Lewis, either begetting or creating, God brought Jesus into existence, if we are to assume that Jesus did not always exist, and if either are true, than this either harms doctrine or doctrine has to change to go along with it. I do not think Jesus' creation would damage Christian doctrine, hes still God, hes still the saviour for mankind.

Pilgrimtozion
Mar 19th 2007, 10:50 PM
Regardless I have to disagree with Lewis, either begetting or creating, God brought Jesus into existence, if we are to assume that Jesus did not always exist, and if either are true, than this either harms doctrine or doctrine has to change to go along with it. I do not think Jesus' creation would damage Christian doctrine, hes still God, hes still the saviour for mankind.

And this is exactly the core of my question, and an important one. What are the general and personal implications of a created Messiah?

MikeAD
Mar 19th 2007, 10:55 PM
And this is exactly the core of my question, and an important one. What are the general and personal implications of a created Messiah?

There are none, none whatsoever. It is all in the use of the word created/begat etc. Just because we have believed that Jesus was uncreated does not mean that he to be. For example if you ask someone on the street who the first postmaster General was in America and they said they did not know or that it was George Washington, would either of those answers mean that the actual first Postmaster General was not Benjamin Franklin? And from that, if we were to uncover documents that showed us that Benjamin Franklin were not the first Postmaster, but instead was the second, would this imply that there were no first Postmaster General? I would say no.

The existence of Christ as the messiah is not contingent on him being created or uncreated.

stabalizer
Mar 19th 2007, 11:21 PM
All my life, I have been raised in a Pentecostal family. My parents were saved during the revival in Holland in the '60's and led my dad's brother to the Lord as well. I have always known my uncle as a Pentecostal believer like my dad.

Until recent years. Lately, I have begun to hear sounds about Jesus not being God, about Jesus being the first creation of God - a perfect one at that. I heard those sounds from my uncle, but also my two cousins, with whom I am quite close. Since they are 24 and 28, they're a bit too old to just be echoing their parents, especially knowing the critical and analytical Dutchies they are.

Now debunking abstract theories is easy. We can all say Jehovah's witnesses are wrong. The point is, we're talking about family here, mainstream Pentecostals who believe in everything from miracles and wonders to speaking in tongues and the gifts of the Spirit. Everything, that is, except the Trinity. So like I said, debunking abstract theories is easy. But what if it comes closer? Are the lines still as black and white?

Hence the reason for this thread. I should split my question up into two parts, though I fear nobody will be able to truly answer the second. First of all, what are the repercussions for the Christian faith in general when one chooses to believe that Christ is perfect, but not God? What are the consequences for our Christianity when we believe everything about Christ - except His Deity? And secondly, will those in the position such as my cousins and my uncle be truly denied by God? They are not like my and their aunts, who are involved in occultism, tarot cards, meditation, and a host of other New Age activities. Still, they miss a crucial aspect of Christianity: the Deity of Christ.

What are first the general and also the personal repercussions?

It depends if they are proslytizing a doctrine or not.

Personally, they will be judged according to their works.

generally, Paul said it best; Gal. 1:6-9.

MikeAD
Mar 19th 2007, 11:49 PM
If what I said is confusing, I veiw it like this, the only thing that is Neccessary for Attonement is that Christ is the Messiah. The only thing that can harm this is if Christ did not exist. I do not think atonement is contingent on Jesus being created or uncreated. It is neccessary that Christ be divine, but how he got this divinity does little in refuting that he is divine.

If we were to discover today the exact year that Jesus was created/begat it will do nothing to refute that he is/was the Messiah, just as if he could fly, or if he had brown hair and dark skin or blonde hair or light skin, these all are attributes that do not change the important predicate "being the Messiah."

judi<>><
Mar 20th 2007, 01:01 AM
Benjamin~ It seems by your continual return to the OP that we are not really grasping your question, and therefore not really answering it. The core question you have said rests on the concept of a "created messiah"
Until recent years. Lately, I have begun to hear sounds about Jesus not being God, about Jesus being the first creation of God - a perfect one at that. So, it is my understanding, that unlike what Mike has been suggesting, your uncle and cousins do not believe that Christ (whether "begotten" or "created") is GOD....Right? So, in fact, the first consequence of their understanding of a "created Messiah" is that Jesus Christ is not God.




The point is, we're talking about family here, mainstream Pentecostals who believe in everything from miracles and wonders to speaking in tongues and the gifts of the Spirit. Everything, that is, except the Trinity. Are we talking about "Oneness Pentecostals?" That doesn't quite seem right, since although they deny the Trinity, Oneness Pentecostals hold to the Deity of Christ.....:hmm:


First of all, what are the repercussions for the Christian faith in general when one chooses to believe that Christ is perfect, but not God?I suppose the repercussions fall into two groups--First, Biblical statements to the contrary (those that identify Jesus Christ and God as one and the same) would have to be considered falsehoods. If falsehoods exist in the Bible--how can we hold it up as the standard for our faith and living??

Secondly, and more importantly, is it possible for a "created Messiah," however perfect, who is something less that God to be the sufficient atoning sacrifice for all the sin of the World? If Jesus is not God, is He then merely a "perfect Man?" And if so, does He have only the righteousness of a "perfect Man?"

Human sacrifice is something that God clearly declares--repeatedly--that He abhors throughout the Old Testament. Why then would this "human sacrifice" be any different? How could the righteousness of a single human being however perfect pay for more than the redemption of a single sinner? The fact is, Jesus as God incarnate applies the righteousness of an infinitely righteous God to our Sin--and it is blotted out. Without that, would Christ's sacrifice have been enough.

If Christ is not God, but some sort of intermediary being--what claim has He to being called the Son of God, and offering us adoption into His Father's family?? So many things are called into question.... My first question to your family members would be, "What kind of being is this "created Messiah?"


What are the consequences for our Christianity when we believe everything about Christ - except His Deity? And secondly, will those in the position such as my cousins and my uncle be truly denied by God? .... they miss a crucial aspect of Christianity: the Deity of Christ. The Biblical passage that I think speaks most directly to this is found in Romans:
Romans 10:8-10 (New International Version) 8But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,"[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=10&verse=8&end_verse=10&version=31&context=context#fen-NIV-28182a)] that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.The kernel of the problem can be found in the simple confession "Jesus is Lord." To our thoroughly Western ears, this sounds simply like a confession that Christ has the right to direct our lives--we confess Him as "master" over our lives. But to the Jewish believer who first wrote this, it would have had a completely different overtone.

Paul (Saul of Tarsus, a Roman citizen from a Greek city who studied under the great Rabbi Gamaliel--a Pharisee of the Pharisees) would have recognized that this simple word "LORD" (or kurios in the Greek) was used in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Torah) to replace "adona'i" as a gloss for the Tetragrammaton (Name of God), which was never to be spoken. As such, it was never used by Jews in referring to another human. They would rather die (and did by the hundreds) than declare that "Caesar is LORD!" And to make that statement about anyone was to declare Him GOD.

Paul knew that and yet records these simple words:[I]f you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"... you will be saved. He believe that it was tantamount for believers to understand and confess that Jesus was indeed God manifest in the flesh--not merely some "secondary created being" but the God who created the universe.

What are the consequences of not believing this? It would seem clear that if you do not confess Jesus as "LORD"--believing in His deity--it does not follow that you will be saved. At the same time, Romans intimates that there may be other paths to salvation--only God knows. Since these are members of your family, I understand your concern for their eternal security which is not found outside of Christ.

I don't know if any of this helps you find an "answer" anymore than what others have contributed, but I will add my prayers to yours that all will be "right" between your family members and the Lord!

stabalizer
Mar 20th 2007, 04:26 AM
Benjamin~ It seems by your continual return to the OP that we are not really grasping your question, and therefore not really answering it. The core question you have said rests on the concept of a "created messiah" So, it is my understanding, that unlike what Mike has been suggesting, your uncle and cousins do not believe that Christ (whether "begotten" or "created") is GOD....Right? So, in fact, the first consequence of their understanding of a "created Messiah" is that Jesus Christ is not God.



Are we talking about "Oneness Pentecostals?" That doesn't quite seem right, since although they deny the Trinity, Oneness Pentecostals hold to the Deity of Christ.....:hmm:

I suppose the repercussions fall into two groups--First, Biblical statements to the contrary (those that identify Jesus Christ and God as one and the same) would have to be considered falsehoods. If falsehoods exist in the Bible--how can we hold it up as the standard for our faith and living??

Secondly, and more importantly, is it possible for a "created Messiah," however perfect, who is something less that God to be the sufficient atoning sacrifice for all the sin of the World? If Jesus is not God, is He then merely a "perfect Man?" And if so, does He have only the righteousness of a "perfect Man?"

Human sacrifice is something that God clearly declares--repeatedly--that He abhors throughout the Old Testament. Why then would this "human sacrifice" be any different? How could the righteousness of a single human being however perfect pay for more than the redemption of a single sinner? The fact is, Jesus as God incarnate applies the righteousness of an infinitely righteous God to our Sin--and it is blotted out. Without that, would Christ's sacrifice have been enough.

If Christ is not God, but some sort of intermediary being--what claim has He to being called the Son of God, and offering us adoption into His Father's family?? So many things are called into question.... My first question to your family members would be, "What kind of being is this "created Messiah?"

The Biblical passage that I think speaks most directly to this is found in Romans:The kernel of the problem can be found in the simple confession "Jesus is Lord." To our thoroughly Western ears, this sounds simply like a confession that Christ has the right to direct our lives--we confess Him as "master" over our lives. But to the Jewish believer who first wrote this, it would have had a completely different overtone.

Paul (Saul of Tarsus, a Roman citizen from a Greek city who studied under the great Rabbi Gamaliel--a Pharisee of the Pharisees) would have recognized that this simple word "LORD" (or kurios in the Greek) was used in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Torah) to replace "adona'i" as a gloss for the Tetragrammaton (Name of God), which was never to be spoken. As such, it was never used by Jews in referring to another human. They would rather die (and did by the hundreds) than declare that "Caesar is LORD!" And to make that statement about anyone was to declare Him GOD.

Paul knew that and yet records these simple words:[i]f you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"... you will be saved. He believe that it was tantamount for believers to understand and confess that Jesus was indeed God manifest in the flesh--not merely some "secondary created being" but the God who created the universe.

What are the consequences of not believing this? It would seem clear that if you do not confess Jesus as "LORD"--believing in His deity--it does not follow that you will be saved. At the same time, Romans intimates that there may be other paths to salvation--only God knows. Since these are members of your family, I understand your concern for their eternal security which is not found outside of Christ.

I don't know if any of this helps you find an "answer" anymore than what others have contributed, but I will add my prayers to yours that all will be "right" between your family members and the Lord!

Sounds like early believers were oneness pentecostal after all!

Pilgrimtozion
Mar 20th 2007, 06:55 AM
Thanks for your replies.

Actually, my cousins believe something quite similar to what MikeDArmi has suggested: a Messiah that was created by God as a Divine Being, being the Son of God in the same way a prince is the son of a king. His statement touch the heart of the issue.

First of all, the idea that God or 'a divine being' could be created does not float with me. God is sovereign, almighty, exists in eternity, and is I AM. This does not work with the concept of being created, for that which is created is per default lesser than that which created it. Consequently, the created could not be God, since something else is greater in power and position than itself.

Of course, saying Jesus is 'a divine being' but not the same as the Father creates a whole new category of beings, essentially resulting in a Divine 'Royal Family'. Still, they say the Father is God and Jesus is not. I'm doing my best to make this as clear as possible.

And again I find myself coming back to this question: Why did Jesus have to be God to do what He did? The argument of sinlessness I understand - no man is without sin; thus no man can offer the sacrifice necessary to atone for the sins of mankind. The argument from Scripture I also understand - the Bible simply says Jesus is God.

The first argument my cousins would have no problem with, since they believe Jesus was 100% man and 100% Divine - just not God. The second argument they have great problems with, no matter how many Scriptures I show them. And so again the questions arise: what are the theological implications of the position they hold? And what are the personal ones that result from that?

Forgive me for thinking while I write. Perhaps it helps in understanding where I'm coming from.

rmt0005
Mar 20th 2007, 03:10 PM
If Jesus was not fully God while in the flesh, He would have sinned. Notice I didn't say Jesus was the Father, as we are told plainly He was created by the Father (Rev 3:14) and even mentions the Father is greater than I (John 14:28). Not knowing how versed in scripture your cousins are, they may stump you when quoting such verses as 1Cor 15:24 when we are told that Jesus will give up the kingdom to the Father ("how can God give up the kingdom to Himself?" they may ask). The fact that Jesus was created by the Father has no implications on Jesus being "God" because the term "God" is a title.

Ask your cousins how many other fleshly beings throughout the ages of the world (just guessing here, there have been billions, upon billions, upon billions?) have gone their entire life having never sinned. This alone should show that Jesus had the spirit of His Father and was in fact the visible image of the invisible Father.

Pilgrimtozion
Mar 20th 2007, 03:20 PM
Revelation 3:14 does not teach that Jesus was created. Rather, it teaches that Jesus was the source or origin of the creation of God. In no way does interpreting arche as meaning the first creation have any Scriptural backup anywhere, nor does it line up with what the rest of Scripture actually does say.

But my goal is not to discuss whether Jesus is God; I am accepting that as a fact. Please do not make that issue the point of this thread. What I want to discuss is the implications of a created Messiah.

Benjamin

rmt0005
Mar 20th 2007, 03:43 PM
I agree too that Jesus is God but I don't see what the problem is with saying that Jesus was a created being. However if you hold to a trinity theory I agree it makes it very difficult to make certain verses line up. I'm not trying to debate that issue either it's just that it seems to me the two issues you have mentioned are intertwined. Jesus is the savior of the world and just because He was created in no way invalidates Him as such.

Again, as I stated before though, how in the world could Jesus have lived His entire life without sinning if He was not God? That alone should show them that Jesus is God.

qbee
Mar 20th 2007, 05:53 PM
But there is a problem in believing this ..

Those that believe in the Creation of Christ also
lean toward the belief that we can also become Gods ..
as he .. such as the morman belief in Christ creation.

It also makes it possible to create other Gods
which we know there is just ONE ..

It could bring in the idea that there will be another crated God to come
there are many dangerous implications in this belief ..

The Bible states Christ was and always was ..
Alpha and omega - his flesh was created -
when he was incarnated _ but not his Godhood
or who he was .. he was always God part of
the Holy Trinity - Most who believe this deny the
doctrine of The Holy Trinity also .. such as mormons
or Jws - but Im sure we have other faiths that are also
going in this direction - It is dangerous in my view and
can bring in the denial of his godhood and bring in that we
can also become Gods in this sense.

One of the clearest passages of all on this subject is John 1:1-3:

John 1:1-3(NASB)
1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being."


Christ was not created. He is one with the Father and the Spirit,
eternal in nature, with Him there is no beginning and no end.

stabalizer
Mar 20th 2007, 06:37 PM
Revelation 3:14 does not teach that Jesus was created. Rather, it teaches that Jesus was the source or origin of the creation of God. In no way does interpreting arche as meaning the first creation have any Scriptural backup anywhere, nor does it line up with what the rest of Scripture actually does say.

But my goal is not to discuss whether Jesus is God; I am accepting that as a fact. Please do not make that issue the point of this thread. What I want to discuss is the implications of a created Messiah.

Benjamin

the problem with the question is the question itself is a distortion of truth?

Something created has a beginning.

God Himself is the messiah.

God had to have a body that bled real blood to be the sacrifice.

A created messiah is another false doctrine of devils period.

Col 1:16-17 clarify this.

If you put the word diety in col 2:9, which is an accurate translation of godhead, the question you're asking is mute.

Jesus will judge/ has judged already.

Pilgrimtozion
Mar 20th 2007, 08:39 PM
Stabalizer,

Apologies for the confusion. My intention is not to discuss the Trinity. Please read my OP: there are people who believe Jesus is Deity, not God, and yet Messiah. My question is what the ramifications are of such a belief for the foundations of the Christian faith in general and the destiny of the souls of those who believe it specifically.

stabalizer
Mar 20th 2007, 10:57 PM
As far as shaking any christian foundation, I say no, truth is truth

God can defend Himself.

My opinion about a personal consequence is to show them John 17:5 in the presense of two or more witnesses and leave it there.

Their destiny will then be in God's hands.

MikeAD
Mar 21st 2007, 01:20 AM
As far as shaking any christian foundation, I say no, truth is truth

God can defend Himself.

My opinion about a personal consequence is to show them John 17:5 in the presense of two or more witnesses and leave it there.

Their destiny will then be in God's hands.

I agree totally. Not only is truth truth, but just becasue we don't understand or got it wrong doesn't mean it's not truth or has any regards to Jesus being or not being the Messiah.

ProjectPeter
Mar 24th 2007, 01:19 AM
Ultimately I think it is just that... a denial of the diety of Christ. I think, as Qbee already said, He is the Alpha and Omega. Sounds like what they have done is listen to some Oneness teaching and mixed that up with some Internet stuff and lo and behold... out pops some goofy doctrine.

As to the foundation damage... hard to say based on what I have so far. It would make for interesting discussion but since they would just toss out the "that part has been corrupted" thing... I don't figure much good would come out of it. Makes it tough since it is family though... but there is a time when you can only show them what you know and trust he Spirit to do what He does best.

David Taylor
Mar 24th 2007, 09:46 PM
"What kind of being is this "created Messiah?"

The Biblical passage that I think speaks most directly to this is found in Romans:The kernel of the problem can be found in the simple confession "Jesus is Lord." To our thoroughly Western ears, this sounds simply like a confession that Christ has the right to direct our lives--we confess Him as "master" over our lives. But to the Jewish believer who first wrote this, it would have had a completely different overtone.

Paul (Saul of Tarsus, a Roman citizen from a Greek city who studied under the great Rabbi Gamaliel--a Pharisee of the Pharisees) would have recognized that this simple word "LORD" (or kurios in the Greek) was used in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Torah) to replace "adona'i" as a gloss for the Tetragrammaton (Name of God), which was never to be spoken. As such, it was never used by Jews in referring to another human. They would rather die (and did by the hundreds) than declare that "Caesar is LORD!" And to make that statement about anyone was to declare Him GOD.

Paul knew that and yet records these simple words:f you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"... you will be saved. He believe that it was tantamount for believers to understand and confess that Jesus was indeed God manifest in the flesh--not merely some "secondary created being" but the God who created the universe.

What are the consequences of not believing this? It would seem clear that if you do not confess Jesus as "LORD"--believing in His deity--it does not follow that you will be saved.
Ben,
I thought Judi gave an excellent explanation as to "why" Jesus had to be, and was understood by His N.T. audience as being the eternal YWYH of the O.T.

If Jesus wasn't eternally God, as I shared with AlleyCat earlier in C2M, then those who follow "that" jesus, don't have a suitable sacrifice for his own sins, much less the sins of all humanity.

I'll leave 2 things with you that Might add to Judi's post above.

1) The N.T. Many times quotes the O.T. scriptures in apply them specifically to Jesus. Yet when they do this, they apply YWYH to Jesus.
If Jesus isn't eternal God, then passages like this from Isaiah render the N.T. invalid.
Isaiah 43:11 I, even I, am Y[I]WYH; and beside me there is no saviour
If Jesus isn't eternally God, he cannot be his own, much less anyone elses Savior.

Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith YWYH the King of Israel, and his redeemer YWYH of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
If Jesus isn't eternally God, he cannot be his own, much less anyone elses Redeemer.

Mark 2:5 "When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?"
If Jesus isn't eternally God, he is as the scribes proclaimed, a Blasphemer, who cannot forgive his own sins, much less the sins of the entire world.




2)
The O.T. introduces the Great IAM!
The N.T. reveal, the Great IAM to be Jesus!

Exodus 3:14 "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."

John 8:56 "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily,verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM. Then took they up stones to cast at him [for blasphemy]: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."

John 3:13 Jesus said, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."

John 5:43 "I AM come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not"

John 6:35 "And Jesus said unto them, I AM the bread of life"

John 6:41 "The Jews then murmured at him, because Jesus said, I AM the bread which came down from heaven."

John 6:51 Jesus said, "I AM the living bread which came down from heaven"

John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I AM the light of the world"

John 8:23 "And Jesus said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I AM from above: ye are of this world; I AM not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I AM he, ye shall die in your sins."

The last verse above, determines the eternal destiny of all men.
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stabalizer
Mar 25th 2007, 12:37 AM
Seems like that is the same exact thing I was trying to say in another thread.

Good job.

watchinginawe
Mar 25th 2007, 05:20 PM
And this is exactly the core of my question, and an important one. What are the general and personal implications of a created Messiah?Very interesting thread and I think some really thought provoking responses.

General:
If Christianity believes that Jesus is divine but was created, then I agree with QBee that this basically becomes polytheism. I don't really see how one could then not say that Adam was also divine, and thus we all are "children" of God, etc., inheriting divinity. However, we know that God is One God, not many, a jealous God, who commands us to worship no other false gods, but rather to worship the one true God, singular in existence. This does not allow the worship of Jesus as divine separate from God. Giving glory to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ must be one and the same as giving glory to God.

Personal:
The personal implications of this belief is error. Consider the following passage:

II Peter 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

A reading of the whole epistle will give a better feel for the implication of error. Now when discussing this, it is easy to identify error. Error is that which we disagree with. :lol: Even you and I disagree on some things. Does that mean one of us has been led away with the error of the wicked?

The problem with the error of the wicked is that the path may seem right at the time. However, error can be countered with diligence. II Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: Diligence gives assurance: II Peter 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Well, that is sort of a back to front reading of the epistle, but I hope my point was made in there somewhere. Error, in the diligent Christian, is self correcting. Why? Because there is correcting feedback from the word of God. When we start to "wrest" with the scriptures, then we are not allowing God's feedback to correct us. Instead, we become unstable and double minded, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.

So where are your cousins and Uncle in this? I don't know. I would say this however. Do they seem unstable in other areas of their life or Christian walk? Are they growing in grace, and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? Some error greatly affects this. Other error corrects us and straightens our path.

God Bless!

Realist1981
Mar 29th 2007, 10:10 PM
Only God can save. Only God can give us salvation. If Jesus is not God than the Pharises and scribes were right
KJV
Mark 2:1-12

1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. 2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. 3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. 6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? 8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? 9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? 10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) 11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

Pilgrimtozion
Mar 29th 2007, 10:14 PM
Thanks you all for your replies to this thread. I appreciate the input!!! :)

CFJ
Apr 2nd 2007, 08:25 AM
First of all, what are the repercussions for the Christian faith in general when one chooses to believe that Christ is perfect, but not God? What are the consequences for our Christianity when we believe everything about Christ - except His Deity? And secondly, will those in the position such as my cousins and my uncle be truly denied by God? They are not like my and their aunts, who are involved in occultism, tarot cards, meditation, and a host of other New Age activities. Still, they miss a crucial aspect of Christianity: the Deity of Christ.

What are first the general and also the personal repercussions?

Pilgrimtozion,

I believe it is a very simple answer...

A Christian is only those who follow Christ for who He is, namely God. JW's and the like are not christians. After finding Saul, Barnabas brought him back to Antioch. Barnabas and Saul met with the church in Antioch for a whole year and taught a large group of people. The disciples were called Christians for the first time in the city of Antioch.
(Act 11:26 GW)

You can only be a Christian, if Christ lives in you... The anointing you received from Christ lives in you. You don't need anyone to teach you something else. Instead, Christ's anointing teaches you about everything. His anointing is true and contains no lie. So live in Christ as he taught you to do.
(1Jo 2:27 GW)