For the sake of the gospel, to the atheist I became an atheist...

shnarkle

Active member
While Paul was proclaiming the gospel message, he utilized pagan poets and even pagan gods to emphasize his message. He says that to the weak, he became weak, to those outside the law, he became like one outside the law etc. 1 Corinthians 9. He, just like Jesus was able to relate to people on their level rather than talking down to them, or talking to them in such a way as to leave them either confused, or oblivious to what they were talking about.

Over and over, I have had Christian evangelists waltz up to me and ask, "Are you washed in the blood"? They might as well belong to some esoteric club that doesn't care what you believe or know as long as you just nod your head in agreement.

I would like to provide an example of what I'm talking about when it comes to spreading the gospel message to atheists. The atheist doesn't just need evidence, they need a logical argument that doesn't require much imagination. However, imagination is not an obstacle either. Plenty of old school atheists have used fiction, allegory etc. to drive their point home, e.g. Nietzsche's Madman, etc. One needn't belabor the point except to point out that eternal truths are eternal truths whether the context be history, mythology or fiction. Jesus claimed that the truth would set us free, not history. In other words, the atheist is free to believe the bible is a work of fiction, a collection of myths, etc. as none of this will change the essential truth of the gospel message.

Since we're using the bible, let's begin with God's name in the Old Testament. The name is revealed to Moses on Mt. Sinai, and is commonly translated as "I will be what I will be" The first thing that needs to be pointed out is that name indicates potential, and potential doesn't actually exist. Then we should note that this is not God, but God's name. God's name represents God, but a representation or representative is not who or what they represent. So while the representative exists, what or who they represent doesn't necessarily exist at all. This is especially the case with the biblical God.

The bible provides us with a commandment prohibiting one from worshipping whatever our imaginations can come up with to represent God. The biblical authors point out that our feeble imaginations could never come close to representing God. They also point out that God cannot exist in the objective created world. God is not a created object, and any and all objects that do exist can't be compared to God. Nothing can be compared to God. By definition, nothing doesn't exist. Just a coincidence?

In 1. Corinthians 8:6, Paul elaborates on the Shema (e.g. "Hear O Israel, the Lord your God is One"). He points out that God is the origin or all that is created while Christ is the means by which everything comes into existence. Existence is eternal. This is not just a given, and to object is to invite contradiction, e.g. "existence doesn't exist", "nothing exists". The latter example is not only a contradiction, but it can never be proven.

Christ points out that he is has his origin in the Father, and Paul affirms this in 1 Cor.8:6. The origin of existence logically cannot exist without creating an infinite regression. Conceptually, we can't have something without nothing as a counterweight. This is due to our dualistic thinking. Even so, by definition, nothing doesn't exist. Likewise, the origin of existence or being cannot exist either. There is just the term, or as John says, "The word". John never says, "in the beginning was god" because there is no beginning to existence or non-existence. He never says, "and God was the word" either because God isn't anything. Instead he points out that the word is God, or manifests God, or reveals God. What exactly is he revealing?

Paul continues along this line of reasoning when he refers to Christ as "the image (Greek "eikon") of the invisible god" Paul doesn't use the word "idol" because idols are worshipped as if they were gods. Icons are representations or representatives, and representatives are not who they represent. In this case, he represents an incomprehensible, unimaginable, transcendence.

Omniscience is commonly associated with God, and Paul affirms this when he points out or rather corrects himself, "we know God, or RATHER are known of him...etc." Omniscience, strictly speaking refers exclusively to the faculty without regard for a knower or whatever can be known. It is impossible for omniscience to be known, and it stands to reason that a knower of omniscience cannot be known either.

Like omniscience, omnipotence is also associated with this term. The word comes from omnia + potenze or all + potent, and what is potent is completely full, or all potential, and again potential doesn't actually exist. A synonym would be inexhaustible which some might think of an endless supply, but it can also mean a clogged tailpipe.

Jesus begins his message by pointing out the necessity to "deny yourself", and this is illustrated by the crucifixion. His self denial/self sacrifice is something he sees the father doing. We know this because we are told that he only does what he sees the father doing. The father empties himself into Christ, and Christ empties himself of his divinity (Philippians 2:6,7), his humanity, his dignity to the extent of being crucified on a cross. In the end, there isn't even a body to be found in the tomb. What's inside? Nothing, and nothing doesn't exist.

Is this the end of the story? Not by a long shot because Jesus says that "apart from me you can do nothing". Well his followers continued to do things. He pointed out that whatever you do to others, you do to him. How does that work? It works because when Jesus says that he is "The way, the truth and the life", he isn't saying that the person they are observing is all of those things, he's pointing that when one denies themselves as he has just done, there is nothing left, but Christ. There is nothing left but the way, which is the only true way, which is life (Itself). By conveying that message to his followers, he can then point out that they are the light of the world, and as soon as they begin to die to this world, they begin to see the risen Christ in their midst. They see him in the gardeners at the tomb. They see him in the stranger they have just made their companion on the way to Emmaus. They see him in each other in a room they have all locked themselves into.

He has denied himself, or his persona. He has cast aside his personal identity to reveal the image of God, an image whose origin is incomprehensible, ineffable, and transcends everything including existence itself.

Jesus says he is "the way', "the doorWAY", "the gateWAY", and he does this by making himself transparent. He then invites us to look through him rather than at him. If we look at him, we will assume that he is God, but we're still just looking at his persona which he denies and asks us to deny as well. A persona is defined as "a mask; what is presented to the world". Jesus is presented to the world, but he removes the mask to reveal God's image. Again, an image is not what it represents.


(306) Down by Law - window scene - YouTube
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
Comparing what Paul said we are from that what Jesus said I should be I see a vast difference in what Jesus said we should be like him from that what Paul says we should be like him.
 

shnarkle

Active member
Comparing what Paul said we are from that what Jesus said I should be I see a vast difference in what Jesus said we should be like him from that what Paul says we should be like him.
Not sure what this has to do with what I posted, but I'll bite. What are you talking about, and do you have any examples to back it up?
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
Not sure what this has to do with what I posted, but I'll bite. What are you talking about, and do you have any examples to back it up?
One of these teachers was a sinner and one of the was not. Which one of these one follows determines who he is of.
 

shnarkle

Active member
One of these teachers was a sinner and one of the was not. Which one of these one follows determines who he is of.
They both pointed out that freedom from sin was not only possible, but assured with God, and through the same process of selfless faithful obedience to God.
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
They both pointed out that freedom from sin was not only possible, but assured with God, and through the same process of selfless faithful obedience to God.
One delivers from sin and one leads to man being a sinner. they are not the same teachings.
 

shnarkle

Active member
One delivers from sin and one leads to man being a sinner. they are not the same teachings.
It sounds like you're either reading from a different bible than I'm familiar with, or somewhere along the lines you may have been taught something that simply isn't in the bible to begin with. This is why I asked for some documentation. I'm really not interested in unsupported claims. I just joined this forum, but I'll bow out if no one is willing to use scripture as it is intended, e.g. for instruction, correction, etc. Where does Paul lead anyone to become a sinner?
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
It sounds like you're either reading from a different bible than I'm familiar with, or somewhere along the lines you may have been taught something that simply isn't in the bible to begin with. This is why I asked for some documentation. I'm really not interested in unsupported claims. I just joined this forum, but I'll bow out if no one is willing to use scripture as it is intended, e.g. for instruction, correction, etc. Where does Paul lead anyone to become a sinner?
I understand. When I compare what Paul teaches about us being a dirty ole sinner not worth of the kingdom of God from what Jesus teaches about being the righteousness of God -- and by identification with both of these I cant help but follow Jesus for to me he has the better way. I haven't read where Jesus needed Paul's input to be of God.
 

shnarkle

Active member
I understand. When I compare what Paul teaches about us being a dirty ole sinner not worth of the kingdom of God from what Jesus teaches about being the righteousness of God -- and by identification with both of these I cant help but follow Jesus for to me he has the better way. I haven't read where Jesus needed Paul's input to be of God.
Jesus begins his ministry by calling for repentance, and God's righteousness need not ever repent So you've got an immediate contradiction there. Jesus also points out that you have to "deny yourself", and that if you don't forsake everything in your life, you cannot follow him. Paul on the other hand points out that there is no amount of work that you can do that will ever matter because it is all up to the mercy that God shows to you. Romans 9:16 etc.

Throughout his letters he affirms that it is exclusively the work of Christ who saves, not anything that you will ever do. This is what takes the pressure off of those who feel that their sins are going to overwhelm them. This is what converted Luther.

Paul's gospel is all about God's grace saving, sanctifying, and glorifying those God has foreordained to be conformed to the image of Christ. There is literally nothing anyone has to do to be saved, and after one is saved, it is still God who performs all the good works through them. What could be easier?

Jesus, on the other hand, says that if your works don't exceed those of the Pharisees, there's no way you'll ever get into heaven. The Pharisees were notorious for their meticulous observance of ALL of God's laws PLUS all of their own traditions as well. Do you keep the dietary laws? Do you keep the Sabbath? If you break one law, you're damned. He says you must be perfect. Are you perfect? Maybe you might be thinking that a second look at what Paul has to say might not be such a bad idea...
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
Jesus begins his ministry by calling for repentance, and God's righteousness need not ever repent So you've got an immediate contradiction there.
But I have no need to repent, already did that and became like Him to know this difference.
Jesus also points out that you have to "deny yourself", and that if you don't forsake everything in your life, you cannot follow him.
Already did that and became like Him instead of self.
Paul on the other hand points out that there is no amount of work that you can do that will ever matter because it is all up to the mercy that God shows to you. Romans 9:16 etc.
Well at least he got a few things right.

Throughout his letters he affirms that it is exclusively the work of Christ who saves, not anything that you will ever do. This is what takes the pressure off of those who feel that their sins are going to overwhelm them. This is what converted Luther.
Actually you have to give up everything of yourself if you are to be of Christ. God is not going to force it that is your decision to let God be your own disposition as He was Jesus disposition. The work we have to do is obey and receive. Even Jesus had to learn obediance for the same.
Paul's gospel is all about God's grace saving, sanctifying, and glorifying those God has foreordained to be conformed to the image of Christ. There is literally nothing anyone has to do to be saved, and after one is saved, it is still God who performs all the good works through them. What could be easier?
I see so if there if noting any of us has to do to get saved, then people such as Jim Jones, and David Koresh, and people such as Hitler will meet you at the pearly gates?
Jesus, on the other hand, says that if your works don't exceed those of the Pharisees, there's no way you'll ever get into heaven. The Pharisees were notorious for their meticulous observance of ALL of God's laws PLUS all of their own traditions as well.
To the Pharisees and those today, Jesus was very clear the kingdoms of God doesnt come with observation but is withn you, Luke 17:20-21. Most dont exceed those of the Pharisees in fact are just like them looking for another kingdom, and not the one that is within to be the temple fo God themselves. I see this very thing in your rebuttal.
Do you keep the dietary laws?
No, I keep the way of Christ that is not of law but who I Am.
Do you keep the Sabbath?
Not in mans terms for sabbath, most work for God one day a week and take the other six off. As for me it is a 24-7 venture not once a week. The sabbath has been designed by man to look noble toward other men and to support their agendas. God doesnt wat my lil ole 10% man wants that, God wants my 100%. SO yes I do keep the sabbath and it is holy. I tis who I Am.
If you break one law, you're damned.
Bingo, that is why I am of Christ and not the laws for flesh. Those laws are fulfilled in Christ and either one if of Christ or one is not and of the law instead.
He says you must be perfect. Are you perfect?
Cant be of God and not be perfect, Gor He is perfect and He in me and I in Him are one. See John 17
Maybe you might be thinking that a second look at what Paul has to say might not be such a bad idea...
No need God is sufficient to rely His messages to man. Perhaps you should seek Him instead of Paul? Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness instead of that of Paul is good advice for anyone.
 

shnarkle

Active member
But I have no need to repent, already did that and became like Him to know this difference.

Already did that and became like Him instead of self.

Well at least he got a few things right.


Actually you have to give up everything of yourself if you are to be of Christ. God is not going to force it that is your decision to let God be your own disposition as He was Jesus disposition. The work we have to do is obey and receive. Even Jesus had to learn obediance for the same.

I see so if there if noting any of us has to do to get saved, then people such as Jim Jones, and David Koresh, and people such as Hitler will meet you at the pearly gates?

To the Pharisees and those today, Jesus was very clear the kingdoms of God doesnt come with observation but is withn you, Luke 17:20-21. Most dont exceed those of the Pharisees in fact are just like them looking for another kingdom, and not the one that is within to be the temple fo God themselves. I see this very thing in your rebuttal.

No, I keep the way of Christ that is not of law but who I Am.

Not in mans terms for sabbath, most work for God one day a week and take the other six off. As for me it is a 24-7 venture not once a week. The sabbath has been designed by man to look noble toward other men and to support their agendas. God doesnt wat my lil ole 10% man wants that, God wants my 100%. SO yes I do keep the sabbath and it is holy. I tis who I Am.

Bingo, that is why I am of Christ and not the laws for flesh. Those laws are fulfilled in Christ and either one if of Christ or one is not and of the law instead.

Cant be of God and not be perfect, Gor He is perfect and He in me and I in Him are one. See John 17

No need God is sufficient to rely His messages to man. Perhaps you should seek Him instead of Paul? Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness instead of that of Paul is good advice for anyone.


By admitting that you already repented, you have conceded my point which is that Christ's gospel is no different than Paul's. You claim that Paul begins with you as a "dirty old sinner", and that requires repentance which Paul also presents just like Jesus.

Already did that and became like Him instead of self.

Again, to admit that you already became like him, is to conced the fact that you weren't like him prior to that moment. Paul affirms the exact same thing, e.g. "those who walk after the Spirit, do not fulfill the lust of the flesh"


Actually you have to give up everything of yourself if you are to be of Christ. God is not going to force it that is your decision to let God be your own disposition as He was Jesus disposition. The work we have to do is obey and receive. Even Jesus had to learn obediance for the same.

No. There is nothing to give up but your garbage. It is not your decision as that would refute God's sovereign will. You do not choose Christ, he chooses you. You do not have any work to do. No one is saved by their works.

if there if noting any of us has to do to get saved, then people such as Jim Jones, and David Koresh, and people such as Hitler will meet you at the pearly gates?

If it is God's sovereign will that they be saved, then they are most definitely saved. With regards to an infinitely good God, there is no essential difference between a Peter who has just confessed that Christ is the messiah, and a Jim Jones or David Koresh etc. In fact, Christ almost immediately tells Peter to "Get behind me Satan".

To the Pharisees and those today, Jesus was very clear the kingdoms of God doesnt come with observation...

Very true, but beside the point. No one is denying that one may have works and be just as damned as those who don't.


... but is withn you, Luke 17:20-21.

A most unfortunate translation. Look at the context again. Who is Christ addressing? He's addressing those who have nothing but murder in their hearts. They want nothing other than to kill the king. The kingdom is not in within them, but 'in their midst' because the king is in their midst.

Most dont exceed those of the Pharisees in fact are just like them looking for another kingdom, and not the one that is within to be the temple fo God themselves. I see this very thing in your rebuttal.

You're projecting. That's another Strawman argument. There is nothing in any of my posts that indicates I am looking for another kingdom.

I keep the way of Christ that is not of law but who I Am.

The way of Christ is through self sacrificial obedience to God. Christ kept the dietary laws. He kept the entire Mosaic law perfectly as did Paul, James, John, etc. etc. Moreover, he pointed out that those who do not keep his commandments don't love him at all.

The sabbath has been designed by man to look noble toward other men and to support their agendas.

Again, another Strawman argument. I am not referring to any manmade Sabbaths. I am referring to the Sabbath God created by resting on the seventh day. I am referring to the Sabbath that Christ affirms was created FOR humanity. "And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:" Mark 2:27


God doesnt wat my lil ole 10% man wants that, God wants my 100%.
Your math is wrong. The Sabbath isn't a tenth of the week, but one seventh. More importantly, it is THE seventh day. Yes, God doesn't want you to do anything for the Sabbath. Instead he created the Sabbath for your benefit. So your assumption is false; another strawman argument.

SO yes I do keep the sabbath and it is holy.

Only God can make anything or anyone holy, and you're clearly not keeping God's Sabbath so you're essentialy claiming you're God. I'm not buying into any of those unsubstantiated claims.


Bingo, that is why I am of Christ and not the laws for flesh.

False. That's yet another Non Sequitur. Document or concede the point.

Those laws are fulfilled in Christ

False. The sacrificial system is fulfilled in Christ. The commandments do not reconcile the gentile with the Jew. The sacrificial system does. You're welcome to document your claims if you think you can.

and either one if of Christ or one is not and of the law instead.

False again. They are not mutually exclusive propositions. This is especially true of Christ's own claims that only those who keep his commandments love him.

He is perfect and He in me and I in Him are one. See John 17

I see it, and you're not perfect yet. Perfect people don't commit one logical fallacy after another. The supreme irony is in the fact that Paul's gospel is quite frequently referred to as the gospel of Grace; a grace that conforms one into the image of Christ himself.
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
By admitting that you already repented, you have conceded my point which is that Christ's gospel is no different than Paul's. You claim that Paul begins with you as a "dirty old sinner", and that requires repentance which Paul also presents just like Jesus.
Paul presented that I am a sinner not worth of the kingdom of God. Jesus presents that I am the righteousness of God in Christ and without sin.
Again, to admit that you already became like him, is to conced the fact that you weren't like him prior to that moment. Paul affirms the exact same thing, e.g. "those who walk after the Spirit, do not fulfill the lust of the flesh"

Jesus want like Him either until Mstt 3;16.


No. There is nothing to give up but your garbage.
As for me I gave up my life to be like Him.
It is not your decision as that would refute God's sovereign will.
His will is to be like Him.
You do not choose Christ, he chooses you.
He chose me to be like Him.
You do not have any work to do. No one is saved by their works.
The works of God is the same ones Jesus did in the Father. If these same works is not your own life then you are not of Him at all.
If it is God's sovereign will that they be saved, then they are most definitely saved.
And His salvation is to be as He is.
With regards to an infinitely good God, there is no essential difference between a Peter who has just confessed that Christ is the messiah, and a Jim Jones or David Koresh etc. In fact, Christ almost immediately tells Peter to "Get behind me Satan".
He is telling you the same thing.
Very true, but beside the point. No one is denying that one may have works and be just as damned as those who don't.
A most unfortunate translation. Look at the context again. Who is Christ addressing?

You
He's addressing those who have nothing but murder in their hearts. They want nothing other than to kill the king. The kingdom is not in within them, but 'in their midst' because the king is in their midst
Are you like Him or did you kill Him to be ;like Him?
You're projecting. That's another Strawman argument. There is nothing in any of my posts that indicates I am looking for another kingdom.
Sure you do. You do not seek the kingdom of God that is within, you seek a different one that you may go to because you said Jesus is the way.
The way of Christ is through self sacrificial obedience to God. Christ kept the dietary laws. He kept the entire Mosaic law perfectly as did Paul, James, John, etc. etc. Moreover, he pointed out that those who do not keep his commandments don't love him at all.

Actually Christ means to be anointed of GOD< Christ in you is the same anointing of God Jesus had in Him.
Again, another Strawman argument. I am not referring to any manmade Sabbaths.
sure you are.
I am referring to the Sabbath God created by resting on the seventh day.
On my day off I go fishing or play golf. the other six days I work for Him, But in my day off I keep it holy for He in me and I In Him are one.
I am referring to the Sabbath that Christ affirms was created FOR humanity. "And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:" Mark 2:27
Me to.
Your math is wrong. The Sabbath isn't a tenth of the week, but one seventh. More importantly, it is THE seventh day. Yes, God doesn't want you to do anything for the Sabbath. Instead he created the Sabbath for your benefit. So your assumption is false; another strawman argument.

Sabbaths vary as there is religions to regulate it. Which one is your Sabbath, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday? Is not all of thes the sabbaths of religious beliefs?

Only God can make anything or anyone holy, and you're clearly not keeping God's Sabbath so you're essentialy claiming you're God. I'm not buying into any of those unsubstantiated claims.
i do keep Hs sabbath, every day is His sabbath I rest in Him.

I do not claim I am God., you only falsely accuse me of being God. Jesus had that same false accusation and we have the same Father who is God.
False. That's yet another Non Sequitur. Document or concede the point.
I see
False. The sacrificial system is fulfilled in Christ. The commandments do not reconcile the gentile with the Jew. The sacrificial system does. You're welcome to document your claims if you think you can.
Sufficiency in Christ is that you are actually anointed of God which is Christ in you.
False again. They are not mutually exclusive propositions. This is especially true of Christ's own claims that only those who keep his commandments love him.
Actually it is that we have the same Spirit of Love that was in Him. You need to explore Him instead of self.
I see it, and you're not perfect yet.
Not to your in your religious beliefs but in the Father I Am.
Perfect people don't commit one logical fallacy after another.
Amen we are like Him.
The supreme irony is in the fact that Paul's gospel is quite frequently referred to as the gospel of Grace; a grace that conforms one into the image of Christ himself.
Jesus gospel is the better way for me. Paul had faults-- Jesus didnt.
 
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