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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Opinions On Atheists?


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Hi LindaR!

The Online Etymology Dictionary describes the etymological history of the word universe as:

"universe (n.) 
1580s, "the whole world, cosmos, the totality of existing things," from Old French univers (12c.), from Latin universum "all things, everybody, all people, the whole world," noun use of neuter of adjective universus "all together, all in one, whole, entire, relating to all," literally "turned into one," from unus "one" (see one) + versus, past participle of vertere "to turn" (see versus)."

But regardless of the etymology of the word "universe", this seems to be little more than an unsubstantiated semantic trick. Obviously the term "universe" no longer refers to this "spoken verse" premise and refers to the totality of space, time, matter, energy, etc. However, if me stating I believe in the universe is still an issue, I will amend my earlier statement and say I believe in the cosmos (just a synonym of universe without the apparent baggage).

Thanks :)

 

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Professor_Physika,

That response means that you have to believe in God. The word "universe" is made up of two parts...."uni" meaning ONE and "verse" meaning TO SPEAK.  If there is a universe, it came from ONE SPOKEN WORD.  Only an Intelligent Being can speak...that Intelligent Being is none other than God Himself.

Atheists believe they are smarter and better than God, or at least as good and as smart as God...that is how they put Him below themselves as long as they think they are exempt from the fire of Hell.  They will twist everything around as they flatter themselves in their pride, fooling themselves into thinking they are wise when in reality they are fools drawn to the fire of Hell like moths to the flame.

Modern culture pumps up atheists in their pride the same way Hitler pumped up youths to turn them into the murderous "Hitler youths".   Smarty pants atheist will intellectualize the torture, persecution, and execution of Christians and look coldly on them the same way Hitler youths looked coldly on people who suffered like the Jews under Hitler, or were punished for opposing him.  I believe that once they have made up their mind to reject God, He hardens their hearts the same as He did Pharaoh's, and the best thing you can do for them is what Jesus did with the Pharisees when He said to them, "Woe, to you..." and called them children of Hell.....and say it loud and clear so everybody around can hear it.  It won't do the Hell bound proud person any good, but others who are listening may take heed and get saved....and who knows, maybe the apparently Hell-bound hard hearted atheist we give some Hell fire and brimstone to is not quite as hard hearted as they seem.

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I have already answered all your questions if you want answers.  You want confusion, and you invent enough of that for yourself.  I'm not interested in atheism.  If you want to discuss the answers I have given you, fine.  If not, I won't be toying with you.  An atheist is a fool, plain and simple, with one foot in the grave and the other foot on thin ice melting over the fire of Hell.  That's pretty much all Jesus had to say to the Pharisees who thought they were too good to be left in the Lake of Fire forever, and I don't see why I should say more to you.

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I agree with Saintnow. 

It really doesn't matter what our "opinions" are about atheists and atheism.  God's definition of who they are is what matters.  God defines them as "fools" (Psalms 14:1; 53:1).

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Hi LindaR!

While I'm certainly willing to accept that you believe God describes atheists as fools and that this may even be their defining characteristic, surely you agree that this is not the definition of atheism.

To illustrate, not all fools are atheists (although you would argue that all atheists are fools). Because of these discrepancies in description, logic necessitates that there be some other defining characteristics for what we call atheists and atheism. Unless, of course, you do believe all fools are atheists.

Thanks   

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Atheism: A self deluding belief that keeps a person from accepting the truth that he has taken a wrong turn and headed down the path to perdition. 

From: ThePilgrims dictionary of sad facts about about intentionally blind.

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Hi all,

This post is going out to every forum I have commented on. I have come to the conclusion that my presence is most likely unwanted and unappreciated. I came to this forum under the pretenses that I would be able to enjoy serious discussions concerning theological issues rather than simply being told that my motives are suspect, I am a liar, I am filth, etc etc.

I hold no ill will towards anyone here and understand that these are your sincerely held beliefs. Unfortunately, the negative reception I have received makes me all the more reserved in my thoughts about being honest with those who don't know my beliefs.

I hope my presence has not caused any undue secession amongst your ranks and I now respectively depart from this site. I will attempt to delete my account, although a moderator may be required to do that. If this is the case, I ask that it be done.

Good day to all and thank you for the answers I've received.

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'might be' ?

Hopefully his meaning was more akin to "that you might be saved" as an affirmative meaning repenting and accepting Christ is the means of salvation; might in this case carrying the meaning of shall. Not a common usage of "might" today but once was a part of its meaning.

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He or she--hard to tell with these types--will only be Saved if he/she truly believes in the real Jesus.  Mooslims claim to believe in Jesus, but obviously they don't believe in the true Jesus and will not be Saved. 

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The following is a response I made to a brother who sent me a PM.  It sheds a little more light on what and why I believe what I posted earlier.

It is my observation and belief that no one "discovers" later in life that there is a god and is surprised by that revelation because it was so unexpected.  From the youngest days everyone one is aware of a supreme being that is responsible for all that we know and see in this world, it is not until later in life, through "supposed logic and wisdom" that your heart becomes darkened against the truth you have always intrinsically known.  This is why I stated that you have to become educated into being an atheist, usually by godless professors or instructors, or it a is lashing out at god for a traumatic event because you blame god for allowing man to do evil.  Here is the scriptural support with highlights in bold that lead me to this belief beyond my own observations.

Romans 1:18-23 (KJV
18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  

I find more Agnostics, as I described in my second paragraph than I find supposed atheists, and even those atheists can point to a time when they "became" atheist and then give me their rationale to defend why they made this decision.  The fact of the matter is that they became atheists later in life, away from a natural belief in a supreme being responsible for all the perfect creation and balance they see.  

Bro. Garry

In His will.  By His power.  For His glory.

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I recall believing in God at a very young age, but not 'intrinsically', for example by thinking that God must be real because He created the things all around me. Instead, my school (run by the Church of England, like most) told me that God was 'up there' and that good people went to heaven and bad people to hell, and like most children I accepted what I was taught.

I also remember I didn't really care one way or the other, since no-one ever talked about Godneither my parents nor my friends or their parents. At school, God only came up in hymns and the Lord's Prayer, which we had to do in assembly every day. I remember wondering what is this they make us say: something about tresspassing on private property and God having castles that can move (Thy Kingdom come).

so I just got on with school and doing things that boys do (including a lot of birdwatching). By the time I got to about 11, God was just another thing that I'd been reassured wasn't actually real, like Father Christmas and witches and vampires and ghosts. And since I only ever heard about God in songs and the occassional old story, why would I think any different?

I don't recall thinking or hearing about God at all through my teens, except one or twice in English lessons when we did Shakespeare. When I went to university, I was surprised to encounter folk in their late teens and twenties who apparently sincerely believed in God. I even heard that there was a well-attended Christian society on campus: that astonished me.

After I left uni, I went to work and an office colleague witnessed to me. I feel my 'journey' to Christ really started therehand on my heart I don't recall experiencing a tug or a pang of conscience or a bout of 'congnitive dissonance' before that. And believe me it's tempting to rewrite my own history to include such, since so many Christians are adamant that atheists actually believe in God, providing verses that they say very plainly support this idea. Of course, if someone wants to pyschoanalyse and say that one can deceive oneself so thoroughly that they are no longer conscious of their own self-deception, I can't argue with that. But the above is just my 'atheist' history as I actually remember it, in case any are interested.

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"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good."

Now it's not my place to pick apart Bible verses, but I do find it interesting that you quoted the end of this verse (most people only quote "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.). It's interesting because I believe it's demonstrably wrong from a literal perspective: I and others like me do good all of the time. In fact, I donated to Goodwill last month, which I think we can agree is a good work (not to brag of course).
So I guess my question would be how do you reconcile this verse with demonstrable reality?
Thanks :) 

Simply, why the Bible says "They have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good" is because the works of man, outside of being done for God, are of value only in this short life on earth. We can gain the world, do good, give all we have, but if we are not prepared for the life to come, none of these works are ultimately worth a hill of proverbial beans. The good works you do are only good in your mind, not necessarily in the long-run, especially if they only have temporal value, as opposed to eternal.

Atheism would, I assume, also include a lack of belief in any sort of afterlife, good or bad. However, again, like so many things, what proof do we have? We might hearken to the many who have experienced after-death/near-death incidents, though I personally take little stock in them as they tend to be very disjointed and contradictory.

Evolution, which has been discussed in another place, is really an unviable choice-while creationism demands, "In the beginning, God", and an atheist would say, Where did God come from, evolution demands, "In the beginning, matter and energy", and I would say, where do the matter and energy come from? We know from scientific law that neither matter nor energy cam be created or destroyed of themselves, so that they merely 'are' is a scientific impossibility, barring, of course, matters we don't yet know or understand.

But God, that's different: I don't have to try and explain where God comes from, because simply, God IS. This is what the Bible declares-it doesn't try to explain God like many myths out there-He didn't come from a cosmic egg,  or from some higher, elder god, rather He is the beginning of all things-to ask what He was doing before 'the beginning' is not possible to ask, because there was no 'before', because this is when time began-before time, there was no time, hence, no 'before'. Scripture doesn't seek to explain God, but to reveal Him. "In the beginning, God..." He just IS. and he is called "I AM",  because He, well, IS. He exists outside of time and laws, being the creator of both, but is subject to none unless He chooses to be so.

The main thing to understand, however, is that science cannot begin to explain how DNA comes about, where the information originated from, being in exactly the order and position it needs to be to work. And we know mutation can only move as far as the DNA allows-it is all precoded into the DNA, which is why a fish can never become an amphibian, not an ape, a human. Its not possible. Even a dog can never become a cat, and they tend to be very close in size and structure. But cats have always been cats, dogs, always dogs, monkeys always monkeys and humans, always humans. Is there variation within species, and within humans? Absolutely, but that is limited by the DNA, barring damage to the DNA through substance abuses and such like, which results in damaged offspring, not positive mutations.

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I recall believing in God at a very young age, but not 'intrinsically', for example by thinking that God must be real because He created the things all around me. Instead, my school (run by the Church of England, like most) told me that God was 'up there' and that good people went to heaven and bad people to hell, and like most children I accepted what I was taught.

I also remember I didn't really care one way or the other, since no-one ever talked about Godneither my parents nor my friends or their parents. At school, God only came up in hymns and the Lord's Prayer, which we had to do in assembly every day. I remember wondering what is this they make us say: something about tresspassing on private property and God having castles that can move (Thy Kingdom come).

so I just got on with school and doing things that boys do (including a lot of birdwatching). By the time I got to about 11, God was just another thing that I'd been reassured wasn't actually real, like Father Christmas and witches and vampires and ghosts. And since I only ever heard about God in songs and the occassional old story, why would I think any different?

I don't recall thinking or hearing about God at all through my teens, except one or twice in English lessons when we did Shakespeare. When I went to university, I was surprised to encounter folk in their late teens and twenties who apparently sincerely believed in God. I even heard that there was a well-attended Christian society on campus: that astonished me.

After I left uni, I went to work and an office colleague witnessed to me. I feel my 'journey' to Christ really started therehand on my heart I don't recall experiencing a tug or a pang of conscience or a bout of 'congnitive dissonance' before that. And believe me it's tempting to rewrite my own history to include such, since so many Christians are adamant that atheists actually believe in God, providing verses that they say very plainly support this idea. Of course, if someone wants to pyschoanalyse and say that one can deceive oneself so thoroughly that they are no longer conscious of their own self-deception, I can't argue with that. But the above is just my 'atheist' history as I actually remember it, in case any are interested.

You don't have to psychoanalyze atheists, just read the Bible and believe it.  It plainly says they are fools, they oppose themselves, and God has revealed Himself to them the same as to every person on the planet with enough power of reasoning to be held accountable for their actions.  They are rejecting God.  Saying "I have no God-belief" is a lie, they are deceiving themselves and trying to deceive others.  No psychoanalysis required, all we need to go by is the Truth, the Word of God.

Also, the Bible says they do deceive themselves so thoroughly that they are no longer conscious of their own self-deception.  It's called having their conscience seared, or God gave them over to a reprobate mind, or because they love delusion, God gave them strong delusion...evil doers will wax worse and worse...these are Bible quotes, I don't have chapter and verse now but it's easy enough to find.

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Hi LindaR!

"Why do atheists try so hard to prove the non-existence of God if they believe God doesn't exist?  Kind of a fruitless endeavor, isn't it?"

I'm going to assume this is a direct question for me so I'll take the liberty of answering it. Most atheists I know don't actively try to prove the nonexistence of God. Rather, they generally object to the evidence presented or point to inconsistencies in belief. At least, this is generally what I'm occupied with doing. For example, my position as an atheist is this: I lack a belief in any gods because of the lack of evidence for said gods. I don't actively believe there are no gods because I'd have to have a definition of every single god and then I'd have to disprove said gods which is practically impossible.

"These verses in Romans 1:18-23 prove that there is no such a person as a true atheist.  God calls those who deny the existence of God, fools."

While, of course, I'd deny that these Bible verses in any way demonstrate there is no such thing as a true atheist, I can at least understand where you'd reach the conclusion. I likewise don't think I'm too big of a fool (hopefully), but I'm always open to the proposition that I'm wrong :) 

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good."

Now it's not my place to pick apart Bible verses, but I do find it interesting that you quoted the end of this verse (most people only quote "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.). It's interesting because I believe it's demonstrably wrong from a literal perspective: I and others like me do good all of the time. In fact, I donated to Goodwill last month, which I think we can agree is a good work (not to brag of course).
So I guess my question would be how do you reconcile this verse with demonstrable reality?
Thanks :) 

You cannot justify your life by doing good works, you cannot earn the right to live by doing good works.  All your good works, your acts of righteousness, are part of your entire record of time you are accountable for.  The things you have done wrong, your sin, makes you a wrong-doer no matter how much you think you have done good. 

For example, as I hand you a glass of pure water, I spit in it.  Are you going to drink it?  Of course not.  You cannot separate the good from the bad, the bad makes it all bad.  It's the same with your life when you stand before God...you are polluted and in God's sight, all of your "good" is polluted, evil, attempting to justify your own existence outside of death in Hell.  Your good works are corrupt and useless in buying any pardon from God.

Claiming to have "demonstrable reality" of doing good is a self-deception.  All the good you do can never remove the pollution of sin from your soul.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

An atheist was canoeing on Loch Ness and the loch ness monster surfaced and capsized him. As he could not swim he sank rather suddenly. On the way down he cried, " Oh God , save me" . A voice came to him saying " I THOUGHT YOU DIDN'T BELIEVE IN ME"   The atheist replied " I didn't believe in the loch ness monster until now.!

 

Truth is you will believe someday. There will come a time when "every knee shall bow " to the Lord Jesus Christ. It follows that every one will face an eternity. Some in heaven , some in the lake of fire.  I have a belief that I can not only live with.... but I can also die with it. Now is the time to decide.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

In my opinion an atheist is one who denies the existence of God and desires to live their life without being answerable to Him.  I also believe that one is an atheist because they have not yet experienced the presence of God in their life or they are running away from His conviction.

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    • Bro. West  »  BrotherTony

      The original question by Brother Tony was about Peter being wrong in Acts two. Peter is responsible only for the light God gave him at that point. Later God gave him more light as in Acts 10. He is not the only one to have this happen Apollos (Acts 19:1-7) He was re baptized, why because he did not reject more light given to him.
      Cornelius was another who went by the light that he had, but when Peter spoke to him he received that light, in fact Peter may have received light himself not only about the gentiles, but that the Holy Spirit was given before baptism. (Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? Act 10:47) This is different than Acts 2:38.
      My main point is that the book of Acts is a book of progressive revelation and to rest your doctrine now on Acts two will produce damnable heresies. I know this first hand as being a member of the “Church of Christ” in good old Tennessee as a youth. I could of died and went to hell. Here in Indiana we have plenty that place the plan of salvation in Acts two. No, I am your Brother and not a MR. West, that is if you believe what Peter said again: For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 1Pe 3:18. This is the ministry of reconciliation spoke by Paul.
      So let me “TROLL” on out of here. Yours Brother West.
       
       
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