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Is the gospel of Jesus Christ true?


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Initial post: May 23, 2012 4:32:56 PM PDT
I'm 27. Ever since I was young I've never believed things have just happened by chance, I think everything is just too perfect.

Recently my friend, who's a Christian has been talking to me about the Bible and God and Jesus Christ. I entertained it at first because he was my friend, but I'll admit I wasn't really listening. Recently though, he gave me a gift: an NIV Bible.

I've read through some of it, and a lot of it doesn't make a lot of sense (particularly the creation story in Genesis) but the more I read it's like I "felt" something inside me. I can't describe it really: it's like the feeling you get in the pit of your stomach...but in a good way. Sorry, that's the best description I can think of.

Also, my friend pointed out to me a prophecy in the Bible about Israel being reborn? reformed? Something like that. Anyway. That was prophesied like 2000 years ago...and Israel became a nation again. I'll admit: that impressed me.

Lastly, my friend gave me some Christian music by a group called Newsboys or something...and I don't know what happened but right in the middle of one of the songs about running to Jesus I just began crying for no reason (I was listening to it while cleaning my house).

Someone please help me. I know people say that "emotional experiences" aren't "tangible" proof...but man, this is starting to have an affect on me.

I'm tired of having no meaning. If Jesus is the real deal I want to know.

Sorry for the length of this post, I'm just trying to get all my emotions onto one page.
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Posted on May 23, 2012 4:37:19 PM PDT
"Is the gospel of Jesus Christ true?"

Yes, as is the gospel of all the other Manifestations of God*. It is a relative rather than an absolute truth.

*Manifestation of God: A Divine Messenger sent by God to reveal His teachings to humanity. The Manifestation is the "express image" of the attributes and perfections of God. There are nine historical Manifestations of God: Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Krishna, the Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, the Bab and Baha'u'llah. There were others before them whose names are lost to history or who are known only as mythical figures (such as Adam and Noah), and there will be others at approximately 1,000-year intervals.

http://www.bahai.us/news/bahai-glossary/

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 4:51:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 23, 2012 4:52:33 PM PDT
Tammy says:
Emotional experiences are not tangible proof. That is true. But an emotional experience is also not unheard of when meeting pure love for the first time. It tends to happen after your spirit has been prepared by the Holy Spirit to meet God. When your spirit and His meet for the first time your physical body reacts.

This is not where you will learn. Spend time in prayer. Lots of prayer. Not just talking, but spend time in His presence. As cliche as that sounds, it is real. Just sit with Him. He (and only He) will lead you into all truth. That's a promise. That's HIS promise.

God bless you. Many of us will be praying for you. The rest will try to rob you. Don't spend too much time or put too much faith in what you read here. Even the things that seem right, if they take too much of your time, will rob you of your time with Him. Don't let that happen!

One last thing. You said, "I'm tired of having no meaning. If Jesus is the real deal I want to know."

He is.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 5:36:04 PM PDT
emac says:
what gospel? which one?

Posted on May 23, 2012 5:48:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 23, 2012 5:50:15 PM PDT
My advice to you as a fellow 27 year old and someone who has wrestled with depression is, after reading the statement "I'm tired of having no meaning.", to see a doctor about this. Religion can help you. But before you go out looking for it, you might want to deal with whatever is causing this dissatisfaction. Sit down and talk to someone who isn't an anonymous screenname on an Amazon forum (I'm aware of the irony). People here have a very vested interest in bringing you around to their viewpoint. On this particular forum you're most likely to only find atheistic trolls and christian believers. If you decide on Christianity, go for it, but do yourself a favor and bring yourself to a better place first before making any sort of decision.

Full disclosure, I am an atheist and use buddhism as a method of personal growth, not a religion.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 6:43:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 23, 2012 6:45:52 PM PDT
reply to brh2010's post:

the bible is like a tv set
with a bad external antenna

the picture is noisy
but if you stand back it is clear what the picture is

move in close and you only see a noisy pixel
which is like any single verse

see the thread
how do you handle all the errors omissions contradictions ....

the bible has parables exaggerations allegory simile metaphor and symbolism so you have to read it carefully

VERY LITTLE OF THE BIBLE IS LITERAL

genesis is an allegory
it tracks the big bang of quantum mechanics very closely
amazing considering what they knew about physics back then

relax and be happy
the Holy Spirit is taking you over for Christ

the gospels about Christ are historical and true.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 6:45:06 PM PDT
reply to emac's post:

what gospel what ??

prophecy is all over the bible

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 7:00:15 PM PDT
Eric Pyle says:
brh,

<<the more I read it's like I "felt" something inside me.>>

There are several ways to explain such a feeling without resorting to supernatural ideas.

First, the Bible is an amazing work of art. It is profoundly moving. Some of the stories in it have been around for thousands of years, getting retold and polished. They are designed to address deep emotional questions, and they do. This doesn't mean that they are true.

Second, our society and our ways of thinking have been under strong Christian influence for a long time. Even non-believers use ideas and "background" beliefs that are derived from religion. A lot of Christian theology was adapted from Plato, too, so some of these ideas have been influential in Western thought since there started to *be* Western thought.

This means that when some particularly well-expressed idea in the Bible or another Christian work strikes you as being really profound, it rings true as a clear statement of something that you have already learned in a more tacit way in your education all along. In other words, the recognition of the idea that you already know, well-said in Christian terms, seems like a revelation. But that doesn't mean it's supernatural.

So your experiences are both emotional and intellectual. It's understandable that Christian works would affect you. They affect me too, all the time. But does that mean you have to believe them as you believe the world is round? No, you don't.

<<I'm tired of having no meaning.>>

Meaning is something that you create for yourself. Even if you choose to become an enthusiastic Christian, it is your choice that brings about this meaning. Lots of us have meaning in our lives without being believers.

<<If Jesus is the real deal I want to know.>>

It's possible that Jesus, as we read about him, is the greatest literary character of all time. In that sense he is the "real deal" and worth studying. But is he God? Is he truly the only way to something called "salvation"? Those are separate questions. You can have a wonderful life without believing in the supernatural.

Posted on May 23, 2012 7:32:08 PM PDT
G. J. Stein says:
brh2010:

TAMMY IS RIGHT!

Pray and read the New Testament, and RELAX. You are in GOOD hands.

Your friend has introduced you to the living God, and a relationship that will grow the same as if you just met a new neighbor and hit it off well. As for the bible, it's a message to us from God and because we live under the New Testament it's a good idea to read it first. After you read the New, the Old will make more sense.
Keep in mind, this is a relationship you can and will have for the rest of your life, it's NOT a religion to join. You will "be" who you will be, in a whole new way, with an inner joy, as you learn just how much God is on your side, and has been on your side, and how privileged you are to have a friend who reached out like this and shared the Truth, (whom is JESUS Himself), that sets us free.

Read the book of Ephesians in the New Testament, it's really great.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 8:31:06 PM PDT
reply to brh2010's post:

read these notes
they will be a big help

http://www.resurrectionism.com/pdfs/PastorScottResurrection.pdf

http://www.resurrectionism.com/pdfs/Resurrection.pdf

The Apostle Paul put it best: "For if Christ be not risen, then our faith is in vain."

Many Christians pay polite lip-service to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, but how many truly believe that this miraculous event actually happened? Pastor Melissa Scott and Dr. Gene Scott have taken up the task of presenting a case with hard-hitting facts that Christ actually rose from the dead.

Far from demanding Christians to "just believe" or suggesting that one can know Jesus is alive simply by "feeling" him inside your heart, this teaching series on the Resurrection asks people of all faiths to simply apply their brains and examine the evidence. Once you look for yourself, you'll never be the same

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 3:05:23 AM PDT
Tammy says:
I agree.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 4:38:45 AM PDT
Isaiah says:
EP A lot of Christian theology was adapted from Plato, too,

S Can you give some examples?

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 5:03:36 AM PDT
Eric Pyle says:
Sarah,

As I understand it, the Bible gives the story of what God has done.

When the philosophers and the theologians started asking hard questions, they wanted to know HOW he had done those things -- through what mechanism. It was natural for them, given the time and the place, to turn to the main authority, who was Plato. Especially the Timaeus.

How much of Greek philosophy was known to the Evangelists or Paul is sort of an open question. What's clear, though, is that the Fathers of the Church were well-educated in Greek thought and consciously adapted and adopted it. The idea that God is the sum of all perfections, an ideal force of pure love radiating out existence, is not in the Bible. It is Augustine's addition of Plato's "One" to Christian theology. (As with any idea about God, you can go back to the Bible and read the idea into what was written, if you try hard.)

In the early part of the Old Testament God appears in a more human-like way, especially to Adam and Eve. Little by little, he gets more distant. In the New Testament, he is "up there," but the exact nature of God and his relationship to the Son is still in development. Even there, though, the beginnings of the theology are Greek. John's adoption of the word Logos is straight out of Platonic cosmology.

Sometimes the influence was indirect. For example, the guy who worked out the orders of angels and other mystic theology, Pseudo-Dionysius the Aeropagite, was a throughly Neoplatonic philosopher along the lines of Plotinus.

Thanks to these two and other Plato-types, the relation of God to the world was worked out in detail. The ONLY big difference I can see between Plato and standard Christian theology is that Plato's One doesn't care about us, his creations, at all. To care, to love, requires desire, and an ideal One can't desire anything. The Christians worked out a way to have him be ideal and also love us back.

I seem to remember that Judaism went through a Platonic phase, no? Was it Philo?

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 5:53:41 AM PDT
Isaiah says:
EP: As I understand it, the Bible gives the story of what God has done.

When the philosophers and the theologians started asking hard questions, they wanted to know HOW he had done those things -- through what mechanism. It was natural for them, given the time and the place, to turn to the main authority, who was Plato. Especially the Timaeus.

S I thought that the scriptures gave the "how" also, but maybe I'm just reading the "by word" creations of Gen 1 into the other deeds. Certainly other biblical creation stories do not have this method. So what is the Greek style "how" that differs from speaking things into being?

EP How much of Greek philosophy was known to the Evangelists or Paul is sort of an open question. What's clear, though, is that the Fathers of the Church were well-educated in Greek thought and consciously adapted and adopted it. The idea that God is the sum of all perfections, an ideal force of pure love radiating out existence, is not in the Bible.

S No, indeed. I didn't know that was part of Christian theology. I suspect most Christians don't, either. But I know you are referring to early church thinkers.

E It is Augustine's addition of Plato's "One" to Christian theology. (As with any idea about God, you can go back to the Bible and read the idea into what was written, if you try hard.)

In the early part of the Old Testament God appears in a more human-like way, especially to Adam and Eve. Little by little, he gets more distant. In the New Testament, he is "up there," but the exact nature of God and his relationship to the Son is still in development. Even there, though, the beginnings of the theology are Greek. John's adoption of the word Logos is straight out of Platonic cosmology.

S I thought he got it by way of Philo.

E Sometimes the influence was indirect. For example, the guy who worked out the orders of angels and other mystic theology, Pseudo-Dionysius the Aeropagite, was a throughly Neoplatonic philosopher along the lines of Plotinus.

Thanks to these two and other Plato-types, the relation of God to the world was worked out in detail. The ONLY big difference I can see between Plato and standard Christian theology is that Plato's One doesn't care about us, his creations, at all. To care, to love, requires desire, and an ideal One can't desire anything. The Christians worked out a way to have him be ideal and also love us back.

S OK.

E I seem to remember that Judaism went through a Platonic phase, no? Was it Philo?

S Philo is not "Judaism." Philo was a Hellenized Alexandrian Jew (not a member of any community of scholars in what we now think of as the mainstream religious-scholar tradition) who "translated" Jewish tradition into Greek-friendly terms for a Greek-reading audience. If any of his thinking made its way into "mainstream" Jewish religious thinking, I do not know what it would be (but then I am no expert on either topic).

"Mainstream" religious Jewish scholarship as reflected in the Talmud, btw, is replete with Greek words (over a hundred? I'm not sure) although they are very much adapted to Jewish views. Still, I imagine Judaism was more Hellenized than most Jews now realize. I just don't know in what specific ways.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 6:15:40 AM PDT
brh, Peace always on your journey! Like the wise men, we too must seek Him, for as Jesus affirms, He is the Way and the Truth and The Life, and He can be found not only in silence of the seeking and repentant heart, but also in the abused and addicted and poor and lonely. Knock, and the door shall be open He says. Peace always in the Most Precious Blood of Jesus our Great God and Saviour, He Whose mercy has no limits for those who hope in Him

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012 11:17:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2012 11:25:57 PM PDT
brh2010,
While you are at it, are you aware there is another book which testifies of Jesus Christ?
The Book of Mormon and the Bible are complementary witnesses that Jesus IS the Christ. Read it here... scriptures.lds.org

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. http://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/james/1?lang=eng

4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/moro/10?lang=eng

Yours in Christ, Brother Niv

maps.lds.org

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012 11:33:38 PM PDT
brh2010 -- I'm tired of having no meaning. If Jesus is the real deal I want to know.

Jesus IS the "real deal". You are discovering that right now. This is awesome! Yes, Israel became a nation again in 1948 as you seem to be aware. God keeps His promises. Keep reading your Bible and talk to your friend. If you have not been praying, may I suggest that you try it?

This is not a coincidence... I was a hard-core skeptic when it came to Christianity.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012 11:46:10 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2012 11:46:40 PM PDT
tokolosi says:
Egads -- Mormons, Catholics, Evangelicals, Baha'i and atheists all vying for your soul here...

Run for the hills!!!

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012 11:49:21 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 26, 2012 12:43:36 PM PDT
tokolosi says:
P.S. It's true if you want it to be. It might not hold up to any real scrutiny though, but don't let that stop you. Believe and become indoctrinated before you really look at what you believe (i.e, build up your "faith") and it just might stick...
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Discussion in:  Christianity forum
Participants:  13
Total posts:  19
Initial post:  May 23, 2012
Latest post:  May 25, 2012

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