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  1. Hi William, Thank you for taking the time to share that download of systematic theology with me. I will take a look at it when I get a chance. But one thought I have is, who would be the best person to provide systematic theology? Christ who is the "author and finisher" of the Christian faith or someone else. Surprisingly, according to Jesus theology wasn't very high up on his list. You can see that when he told someone astute in the traditions of his religion (i.e. theology) to go be like a Samaritan, who went out of his way and gave what he had to care for the victim who needed help (Luke 10:25-37). That is the kind of Kingdom I want to work in and the King I want to serve. In peace and Christian love, Trevor
  2. Hi Faber, Just because someone isn't perfect, doesn't mean they are not or were not inspired by God to do something (2 Timothy 3:16). I have had many people help me that were inspired by God's Holy Spirit, but that doesn't mean they are perfect or even gave perfect advice, but they were inspired by the love of God's Spirit to try and help. Jesus is the only one perfect and infallible which is consistent with the Bible. In peace and Christian love, Trevor
  3. Hi William and Origen, It seems like the disunity between our two positions falls on our understandings of the degree or level to which each writer of the Bible was inspired by God’s Holy Spirit at the time of their writings vs the level or degree of the Holy Spirit Jesus had. You guys would say that the Holy Spirit was distributed equally to each individual author of the Bible, therefore we should not hold one part of the Bible or individual in the Bible higher than any other. Whereas, to the best of my understanding, Jesus had the highest level or degree of the Holy Spirit of any person to have ever lived. Would that be a fair assessment of our two positions? For the sake of unity: Would you guys be willing to find some Bible verses to support your position that the Holy Spirit was equally distributed to each person at the time they wrote their part of the Bible? And I will provide some verses in support that Jesus had a higher level of God’s Spirit than any of the other person who has ever existed. Do you think that would be a fair way to approach the matter? If not, I am open to further suggestions to try and find unity. In peace and Christian love, Trevor P.S. to Faber, yes, I believe in the Trinity and I believe Jesus is God.
  4. Hi William, I agree with you and I am not making a case for the contrary. Nothing I shared in the second quote below contradicts that. Could you share your thoughts on what was shared here? If you disagree, could you please explain why you disagree with that assessment? It would be helpful in your explanation if you used Scripture. In peace and Christian love, Trevor
  5. The above quote makes the case for taking the Gods Word at what some call face value. Apparently 'face value' to you is what/when you want it to be. Hi Becky, Could you show me in what I said , where I made a the point that we shouldn't take Jesus' words at face value? In peace and Christian love, Trevor
  6. Hi Origen, Here you are referring to all the words in the Bible. Would you be open if the Bible says that Jesus’ words are more important than any others? In peace and Christian love, Trevor
  7. Hi William, To the best of my understanding, it does seem like your position is that all the words in the Bible are equal. If that is your position, the only question in my mind is what does the Bible say about that? Just because something goes to a deeper meaning, does not mean it is a contradiction on what has previously been said. Take a look at some examples from Jesus and think about the 10 Commandments in relation to what Jesus said in the sermon on the mount. In Matthew 5:27-28, Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery (7th Commandment).’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." See how what Jesus said there goes deeper and attacks 'lust' at the very root of the problem? In Matthew 5, Jesus took a lot of commandments to a deeper meaning (i.e. 'hating being the same as murder', 'not swearing oaths', etc.) Therefore, I don't see how that takes away from my belief that the prophets who wrote the Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Would you agree with that assessment? It is important to remember that Jesus said, "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock." Matthew 7:24 So there is clear emphasis on His words. In peace and Christian love, Trevor
  8. Hi William, I do believe "all Scripture is inspired by God" (2 Timothy 3:16). I hope I am not communicating the opposite and I apologize if I am because that was not my intention. I am just asking Origen in his understanding if I am basically asking if the words of Jesus are equal to Paul, or Moses, or Solomon, etc. Should we hold Jesus words to a higher value? I am sorry if you think I am being selective, I am just trying to the best of my understanding. In peace and Christian love, Trevor
  9. Hi Becky, Wouldn’t it be best to sincerely go to Jesus and ask him if he meant what he said in Matthew 5:29? I would think for personal application we could all ask ourselves, would we be willing to pluck out our eye or even cut off our hand, if that is what God was asking? Is a relationship with God that important to us? I think if we get in that mindset we can see what Jesus was getting at. We need to cut off anything that comes between us and our relationship with him, no matter what it is. In peace and Christian love, Trevor
  10. Hi Origen, To the best of my understanding, it seems like your point is that because the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit that all of the words in the Bible are equal in value? Is that correct? (If not, please correct me and help me understand better.) In peace and Christian love, Trevor
  11. Hi Origen, Well, it is like what Paul said, as long as he was composing his letters according to the doctrine of Christ then no worries 😀 (Ephesians 2:20; Galatians 1:8). The main issue comes when people use their interpretation of the things Paul said, as an excuse to contradict what Christ said. Do you think that would be an issue? What did Paul say in those verses? In peace and Christian love, Trevor P.S. I am new, so I am not sure, but since this is a separate issue from “should Christians take an oath?” should this discussion be on a separate thread?
  12. Hi Origen, You asked, Yes, I believe he did, as long as he was composing them according to the doctrine of Christ. I think it is important to remember, that one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to bring to our memory the things Jesus said (John 14:26 & John 16:13-14). So as long as Paul had Jesus' teachings in mind when writing his letters then his letters were composed under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. One thing that may be worth mentioning is that a couple of times Paul said himself that certain things in his letters were not under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Here are three examples 1 Corinthians 7:12, 25 & 2 Corinthians 11:17. One thing I would like to mention again, because even Paul himself says that the cornerstone is Christ (Ephesians 2:20; Galatians 1:8). So if we see something that Paul said that appears to contradict what Christ said, then if we are to follow Christ, we should go with Christ...side note: even in that scenario, however, it likely that the flaw is in our own interpretation of Paul's writings and not in him contradicting Christ. Would you agree with that assessment? In peace and Christian love, Trevor
  13. Hi GaoLu, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. What you shared here was particularly helpful. In peace and Christian love, Trevor
  14. Hi Origen, Not necessarily. First, I don’t see Paul teaching others to contradict Christ, but the opposite (i.e. Ephesians 2:20, Galatians 1:8, etc). At the time he took the supposed oaths, Paul may have either: 1) sinned 2) been ignorant of what he was doing or 3) he had made a vow in the past before he knew about Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5 and was still trying his best to stay true to his word. Plus, from the verses quoted, it is possible they already have the assumption of 'Paul taking an oath' placed on them because I don’t see Paul affirming anything more than "yes, this is true" in any of those passages. Also, the people who wrote the Bible were not infallible and there is a lot of sins of the people who wrote it that were recorded in it. Because I think God is the one ultimately behind the Bible, I don’t think we should throw it out just because of the sins of fallible people who He used to write it. I think Paul was a radical red hot warrior for Jesus Christ, who had a lot of excellent teaching consistent with what Jesus taught. But if it comes down to a situation where Jesus says one thing and Paul appears to be saying something else, both Jesus and Paul say, to go back to Jesus (Galatians 1:8; Ephesians 2:20; John 12:48; Mark 8:38). See when all the technicalities are swept away, it all ultimately boils down to are people going to go with the Son of God or are they going to go with something else. Paul himself would say, go with the Son of God (Galatians 1:8). In peace and Christian love, Trevor
  15. Hi Faber, First, I apologize because I entertained the technicality to begin with. It is clear in Mark, Luke, and John's gospels that Jesus just affirmed (reference Mark 14:60-62, Luke 22:66-69, and John 18:19-23) and in Matthew's gospel the Pharisee high priest supposedly put him under oath (reference Matthew 26:63-64). I emphasize supposedly because even in Matthew's account we would have to assume Jesus did "swear an oath" because we can't guarantee Matthew recorded the entire conversation (it is reasonable to conclude he didn't because the other 3 gospels include things Matthew didn't cover (reference verses above). Plus even in Matthew's gospel, we never see Jesus say, something more than "this is the truth" (i.e. just affirming). Also, I would presume none of us have ever seen the original manuscript and none of us know the minor details, but it is clear from the information we do have that the 4 accounts have some variations (reference verses above), so there is no way for us to know for sure exactly what Jesus did in that situation (i.e. if he took an oath or not). Which is why I think we are straining at a "gnat" (i.e. minor technicality) of a difference on your point that Jesus did take an "oath" himself. The main question is who are we going to go with? Are we going to let our interpretation of the word of a Pharisee be our cornerstone or are going to let Jesus speak for himself and let him be our cornerstone? It is clear who Paul says to go with (Ephesians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 3:11) because Jesus says, “His words are the cornerstone” (Matthew 7:24-27) and the "oath" teaching is in the same sermon where Jesus said, "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it." Matthew 7:24-27 No one can force anyone to accept anything and if someone doesn't want to do something, then excuses are easy to find. We are all guilty of finding excuses at times. But God is smart enough to know our true motives, whether we are trying to find loopholes or whether we are sincerely seeking what He wants from us (even if it cost us personally). He has the right to do that because He is God after all. In peace and Christian love, Trevor P.S. I am sorry this response is so long, but I thought it was important to make the issue clear.
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