First off I want to say that I am a Christian. I believe that Jesus Christ is God and that He was born on earth as a man. He died and was brought back to life. His death payed for my failings and His life makes Eternal Life possible for me. I believe that the bible is the inspired word of God. I recognise that only the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic text are inspired. I believe that the Father, Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit are God and each are sentient. The above statements compromise the core beliefs of my faith. All comments afterwards are secondary beliefs (i.e. there should be no cause for division if there is disagreement).
Concerning religion itself, I feel obliged to say that the word religion itself is a poor english word. It occasionally refers to faith and other times to manner of worship. What many do not realize is that these two things can be very much opposed to each other. I draw some of my theology from Dispensationalism. I consider myself to be a Recreationist. I also have the belief of Conditional Immortality.
|RELIGION - ARTICLES
Articles from Nathan Johnson - Speaking in Tounges, Faithless Eternal Life. Nathan has a webpage of other articles called PreceptsTruth.org.
Articles from myself - Authority, Angel - A Word Study, The Sabbath, Tithing is a Sin
|RELIGION - RESOURCES
| Bible Study
|RELIGION - HISTORY
| My Religious
Those who know me passively may be surprised to find out that I grew up in a cult. Not one of those cults that makes you drink the kool-aid or anything. Their theology was...well..unique. The name of the cult I grew up in was called the Worldwide Church of God. Some of their teachings included the required observance of the Sabbath and 7 of the 8 Holy Days mentioned in Leviticus 23. The observance of these days were 'modified' for today's culture. Other requiremnets included keeping what most people today would call Kosher. You also couldn't keep common holidays such as Christmas, New Years, Easter, Halloween, or even Valentines Day. The Worldwide Church of God believed that it was the 'One True Church' - not a unique position.
So you may ask, "How did I leave this?" Well I didn't initiate it, the human leader of the cult did. He (along with others with him) began to question some of the basic tenants of his own church's doctrine. This was an incredibly brave, and unsafe move on his part. The ramifications of his actions led to a massive split in the church that went three ways. One group accepted the changes he institued (a basic abandonment of the church's doctrine toward that of orthodox christianity). The other group stuck with the old doctrine, and either went to previous split-off churches or they started their own split-off church. The largest split-off church is called the United Church of God. The third group simply vanished, and no one knows where they went. As for myself, I was living with my parents at the time of The Changes as they are now called. They stuck with the old ways and joined the United Church of God at its formation. I stuck with the same church and changed. The changes made more sense than anything I had ever heard up to that time. Everything seemed to make sense as presented in the bible. I always respected what the bible had to say and knew that the bible knew better than any human. My history has given me a healthy dose of skepticism. I can see falsehood in the churches much easier now.
A few years after the changes I found out that my college friend, Nathan, was also a Christian. Over lunch in college we would discuss religion. Nathan is where I learned about Dispensationalism. I don't convert easily, I try to discern everything through the bible. But it seemed almost every argument that Nathan would postulate I could not disprove, as it was clearly stated in the bible. I still try to maintain my own views on things. I don't just hand over my brain to Nathan, eventhough it would be more convienent.
As stated above I believe in Conditional Immortality. Which means that I believe that man and any being of this realm are inherently mortal. When they die they cease to exist. When man or animal die their only trace is as a memory in the mind of God (in the Greek: Hades). When a human becomes saved they obtain eternal life. Eternal in the Greek means flow or continuum. So a person with Eternal Life has life flow. Their body does not degrade. Saved people do die. In death they remain in the memory of God (in the Greek: Hades), waiting to exist, completely unaware. At the apointed time in the future God will raise the dead from Hades. This is when eternal life will be realized. Those who are not saved may at this time be raised to a mortal life. It is not entirely clear from scripture if and how this mortal resurrection will occur.
I do not believe in the
traditional Heaven Hell fate. I do not believe that we go to Heaven
we die. Rather, God will establish His kingdom authority on Earth. God
is not currently establishing any significant authority on this planet
right now. I do not believe that 'bad' people are tormented without end
in Hell. I do believe that those who have experienced God and still
reject Him will be killed and not even exist in the memory of God. This
is partly based on my understanding of the Greek word for eternal,
is aeon. Aeon is a noun and can come to an end and can
Before our conception we were in a state of non-existance. As God made us we are His creation. If found defective and not performing to the Designer's intention, the design is destroyed. It returns to its original state of non-existance.
A good source of material on the controversial topic of hell is at What The Hell Is Hell.com. I have not read everything there so I can not vouch for all of its content.
Dispensationalism is basically
the idea that God works differently with different people at different
times. Dispensationalism comes from the biblical term dispensation,
which basically means government or form of government. In essence
different dispensations are different ways God deals with his people.
According to common Dispensational thought we are currently in the
Dispensation of Grace, where no matter what we do, good or bad, we are
not immediately judged (i.e. no instant karma).
Another major idea in Dispensationalism is that anything pertaining to Israel pertains to Israel exclusively, anything pertaining to believers pertains to believers. The lack of this division has led to what is called covenant theology, where believers are injoined with Israel's promise of a second covenant.
I currently believe that the old covenant in the bible was intended for the nation of Israel and that the new covenant as well is intended for Israel. I am not an Israelite. That said, I still receive grace from Christ. As Acts 28:28 says, I can receive salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
The Gap Theory quite basically is the belief that between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 a large Gap of unmentioned time occured. With this gap the creation account with Adam and Eve becomes the recreation account. So instead of God creating the universe on the first day He terraformed Earth on the first day. Without the Gap Theory you are forced to believe that the Earth is only about 10,000 years old and that dinosaurs lived during human history. Proof that the universe is much older than 10,000 years old is the fact that most of the stars we see at night are known to be millions of light years away. If the universe was made 10,000 years ago, the light from these stars would not have reached us yet, and we wouldn't be able to see them.
To help me find a doctrine based on sound biblical teaching I have constructed the Christian Topics page. Trust me, it isn't done yet. It is still in the demo stage right now. If you would like to contribute to it please let me know.
The translation I prefer is one
called God's Word.
It is not the only good translation, but I feel that this translation
actually makes an excellent attempt to translate meaning without adding
too much Christian drivel. I also find it very easy to find
things in it, due to its straight forward layout.
Another great translation I have
found is the New Testament TransLine translation. It may
only be the New Testament but it gets into the Greek hardcore.
can feel what the translators went through as they translated the
Greek. The notes are extensive - very extensive. The size
the book is about double that of a full bible. I wait in ernest
for an Old Testament TransLine to be produced. Unfortunately this
is currently out of print and used versions are hard to find.
| Religious Links
Therefore I want you to know that God's salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!
[Acts 28:28 (NIV)]
(1) In the beginning God created the heavens and the