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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.

Atheism: A Religion?


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Hi all :) 

I would like to know your opinions on atheism being defined as a religion. Some questions to discuss:

1) Is atheism a religion?

2) What is the definition of atheism?

3) What is the definition of religion?

4) How did you reach your conclusions?

Thanks :) 

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Atheism is a religion in which the believer attempts to convince, or claims to have convinced,  himself that he is exempt from the eternally punishing  fire of Hell, and has the right to exist outside of the fire of Hell now and as long as he lives.  The fool says,  "there is no God, there is no Hell".  How foolish can you get?

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I like Psalm 2 which says "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh:  the Lord shall have them in derision."  Believers are seated in the heavenlies in Christ.  Atheist are stuck in a position which in reality is a tragic comedy, a sad joke....and what can you do but laugh at them if not cry for them.

 

Psalm 2

"Why do the heathen (atheists) rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords far from us."

This is the true desire of atheists, to get rid of God, and in their hearts they are murderers who believe that if a person believes in God, there is nothing wrong with  murdering that person to send them to meet their maker.  Of course most of them will deny this until a Hitler rises and they help the dictator or turn a cold cheek and look the other way...the same as the Pharisees said Jesus was insane when He told them He knew they were trying to kill Him.  Jesus promised that the world would hate Christians they same as they hated Him, and they would crucify all of us today if they could.

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why don't you answer them first? :)

His answers will be rhetorical self-deceptions designed to steer anything you say into never-ending rabbit trails as he tries to keep himself convinced that he has the right to live outside of the fire of Hell.   He's idolized his school teachers or favorite rock and roll singers or somebody or something, and he wants to be like them rather than be like Jesus.  He wants to be unholy rather than holy...like a lot of Christians today who love pornographic indulgences.

People chose to be atheists because their deeds are evil, they love darkness rather than light and will not come to the light lest their deeds be exposed.

 

I'm hoping that by telling the truth about what he is doing, he will fear God and get saved...but Pharaoh never did, no matter how much God showed Himself to Pharaoh.

How in the world our culture can raise children to believe they are better than smarter than God, or at least as good and as smart as God.....amazing

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why don't you answer them first? :)

Hi Miss Daisy!

I'd be happy to provide my opinions on the questions I've laid out, although my purpose here is mainly to understand what others believe and why.

1) Is atheism a religion?

I would say no. As for why, my answer can be justified by the following two questions.

2) What is the definition of atheism?

Oxford Dictionary defines atheism as the following (I agree with this definition):
"atheism
[ ˈāTHēˌizəm ] 
NOUN
disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.
synonyms: nonbelief · disbelief ·"

3) What is the definition of religion?

The same dictionary defines religion as such (I, too, agree with this definition):
"religion
[ riˈlijən ] 
NOUN
the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods:
"ideas about the relationship between science and religion"
synonyms: faith · belief ·"

4) How did you reach your conclusions?

So I reach my conclusion that atheism is not a religion because nothing in atheism commands that an atheist believe in or worship "a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods" (the latter part is particularly antithetical to atheism as the two are in blatant contradiction). Furthermore, atheism is the single position on a single subject, meaning atheism, by definition, cannot lead one to any religious belief of any kind. Atheists may be religious in some way, but nothing about atheism necessitates that these two be tied together. To clarify, to say that atheism causes atheists to be religious, a cause must, by definition, be necessary and sufficient. Atheism is compatible with certain religious philosophies (some forms of Buddhism for example), but nothing, as said, necessitates an atheist to be religious.

Thanks :) 

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Why bring up another thread of questions when in every other thread you refuse to face the most important point brought up, and that is your rejection of God and your only means of salvation and hope.

Walking towards the edge of the pit of hell while discussing anything other than the only means of safety is not only pointless but extremely dangerous.

Every question you asked in the OP is meaningless to the basic, most pressing need you have.

Deny God, spend eternity in hellfire wishing you had not, or open your heart to accept Christ, receive revelation from the Holy Ghost and thank God for His wonderful grace and mercy.

If you are intent upon talking about anything but salvation in Christ you are wasting your time and ours.

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Hi John81,

I willingly admit I reject belief in God. I'm not sure how I haven't "faced up to this", I've been quite direct in my lack of belief. Furthermore, I don't see the evidence that accepting God would give me any sort of salvation anyway.

If you wish to convince me that I require salvation and that belief in your god is the only way to that salvation, you have to actually provide a case for the existence of said god.

Thanks

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Hi John81,

I willingly admit I reject belief in God. I'm not sure how I haven't "faced up to this", I've been quite direct in my lack of belief. Furthermore, I don't see the evidence that accepting God would give me any sort of salvation anyway.

If you wish to convince me that I require salvation and that belief in your god is the only way to that salvation, you have to actually provide a case for the existence of said god.

Thanks

No, actually I don't. As you know, God already declares clearly in the book of Romans that everyone, EVERYONE, including you, are provided with more than enough evidence all around you to know, KNOW, that God exists. Even so, you refuse to face that reality choosing instead to deny the evidence all about you.

Every time you reject the prodding of the Holy Ghost to reach you your heart grows more callused and your opportunity to get right with God becomes less likely. None of us are assured of tomorrow, not even of another heartbeat. Break free from the herd running for the cliff and be set free by grace through faith in Christ.

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Hi John81,

No, I assure you, the burden of proof is on the one making the claim. To be clear, the Bible is the claim, not the proof of the claim. As a skeptic, I question the value of what the Bible has to say.

But you've here made a positive claim, namely that God provides me with abundant evidence of His existence. I am unaware of said evidence so perhaps it would be more conducive to discussion if you could point me in the right way.

Thanks :) 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Go look outside. Look in the mirror. The mere marvels of the human eye alone could only be done by God. Nobody on here is going to be able to satisfy you and give you the "evidence" you claim you need. 

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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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Then the burden of proof is upon you Professor as it is you declaring there is no God despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Read John chapter 3. That's where you need to be concentrating rather than illogical arguments which lead to hell.

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Hi all :) 

I would like to know your opinions on atheism being defined as a religion. Some questions to discuss:

1) Is atheism a religion?

2) What is the definition of atheism?

3) What is the definition of religion?

 

Irrelevant.  It's not true Christianity, therefore it's satanism.

4) How did you reach your conclusions?

Matthew 12:30

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All of this broken record parrot atheism is so worn out it's pathetic.  It's nothing but pride, and God's against it and atheists hate God.  It's really sad, but it's easy to see why the wrath of God abides on them who believe not on the Son of God.  God loves atheists because He is love, but somehow all they can see of God is hatred, and His wrath abides on them for rejecting His Son while in love He desires that all should repent and be saved.

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Atheism is a fool trying to be his own god while he says there is no God.  It's a self-deluding religious philosophy in which the believe attempts to convince themselves that they have in themselves the right to exist outside of the fire of Hell.  Of course they deny that they are religiously trying to be God to, for, by, and in  themselves because their dogma insists they cannot acknowledge any God.  It's self-negating nonsense, ultimately negating the believer in non-belief  from life......and I imagine that even in the fire of Hell they will never really believe that they can never get out of it.  It's pitiful, sad, intellectualized temper tantrums against God.  The atheist worships his own intellect and his own pride even though neither his intellect nor his pride can get them out of death nor keep them out of Hell.  The believe God is dispelled by their unbelief, and He is replaced by the atheist for the atheist.

I have no interest in atheism, but I do enjoy exposing it's folly and speaking the truth against it.  Every once in a while I hear of an atheist repenting and getting saved, and it's always a wonderful and powerful testimony.   The last one I heard of, other than the member of this site I read earlier today, said she was a third or fourth generation atheist whose father taught atheism as a college course.  One day she realized she was dying and had no way of being sure Hell was not real and she decided to believe on Jesus in His resurrection and she received Him as her Savior and from then on knew Him in reality and was forever changed.  The gospel is so simple a child can understand it, but somehow atheists can invest a lifetime studying their anti-religion belief hoping against hope in something they can never be sure of, in that they really do have the right to exist outside of the fire of Hell.

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You bring out a good point when you speak of atheists hating God. That's a driving factor for many of them, tho few will admit it. When it comes right down to it, those who are the most outspoken against the God they claim doesn't exist, themselves believe God does exist because they hold a hatred, even bitterness towards God which is why they lash out so.

They fight the evidence all around them for the existence of God, they force down that inner conviction which tells them God is real, they fight or run from the Gospel and Holy Ghost conviction. All of this fighting against God, against their own thoughts, against Christians boils over in hatred and bitterness which if left unchecked leaves them with hardened hearts, blinded eyes and deaf ears; lost with no future but that of hellfire and torment.

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A shame if he left, because I believe the greatest evidence of God's existence is clearly the nation of Israel.

As a nation, Israel should not exist. It is a tiny place, which was abandoned due to war almost 2,000 years ago, its inhabitants spread to the four corners of the earth, into all nations.

Yet somehow wherever they went, they maintained their national identity, split apart as they were, away from their homeland for so long, even Biblical scholars chose to reinterpret prophecies about Israel at the end to reflect replacement theology-where it came from. After all, there was no actual Israel, so they figured the Bible MUST be talking about the church, having replaced them.

yet somehow, though through great tragedy, Israel was given back to Jacob, and from every corner of the world, the Jewish people began to return to their homeland. An absolute impossibility from any earthly standpoint that the peoples who were cast out of their land millennia before, would not only return, but that the very nations that had rejected those people, would recognize the fact that it was, indeed, Israel. Give me, please, any example like that concerning any other nation.

As well, Israel, though a tiny nation, is again at the center of national news on almost a continual basis-it has the hatred of pretty much all her neighbors, who have all made it clear they intend to destroy her, though she has little to offer. And somehow, such a tiny nation has fought against, and prevailed over, vastly superior odds in battle. Another impossibility.

Everything about Israel defies the odds, and all those things point to only one possibility: that the Bible is true, and God is real and still has a plan for Israel. Otherwise, why do so many spend so much time and effort in hating them? Seriously, all they want to do is be left alone in their land. Many Palestinians already know that they have gotten along fine in Israel, and lived in peace alongside Jews, except for when the countries decide to fight against Israel. But there is such an international hatred against Israel, which can also only be explained by Bible truth.

Israel is the greatest proof of the existence of God there can be found.

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We know Israel proves God and the Bible, but atheists today are systematically taught to doubt the history of Israel and the authorship of the Bible.  Atheists use textual criticism to discredit God being the author of his  word the same as modern version promoters use it to discredit the King James Bible, and they use many questionable,  well compiled, intentionally doubt-casting false histories of the world.   Atheists take the lead in the discussions by getting Christians to talk about anything other than the simple truth of the gospel and the fact that the atheist does not have the right as a sinner to exist outside of the fire of Hell.  They are on thin ice melting over the fire of Hell skating around making a show longer and more dramatic than the Ice Capades, and as long as they are leading the discussion along their own lines of historical doubt-casting and imaginations of scientific proof that God and Hell are unreal,  they feel like they are the stars of their own show validated by their religion of atheism.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I consider "religion" as any life philosophy that guides your thoughts, words and deeds.  So, yes, I consider atheism a religion.  I do not consider my faith a religion, it is a relationship.  I have a personal relationship with God.  It is not like most relationships we are familiar with, because God is spirit the relationship will be spiritual.  But I do experience God's presence and communication from Him through His Word and His Spirit.

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      Over at Glenn Beck's The Blaze website, I have an account (going by the same moniker). Yesterday, another member called TheSword and I got into a little debate pertaining to evolution and the age of the earth and this debate continued on until today. At the end, TheSword was kind enough to invite me to this forum presumedly to become a little more active in religious-based conversations as he/she (rightly) felt this would be a more appropriate venue for that sort of discussion.
      About me: I was raised as a fundamentalist Southern Baptist from birth, seeing as my family has always been quite active in the church. Nothing negative has ever happened to me in church or my family and I love both groups of people for raising me the way they did, but in around February of 2013, after a couple of months of skeptical inquiry, I came to the conclusion that I lacked a belief in any gods. I won't go into the exact detailed reasons I rejected my god belief (I'm sure that'll come later in dedicated threads), but I will say it's something I'm fairly quiet about in my personal life. As far as I know, my family is unaware and only a handful of my friends have I felt comfortable enough to let know. I still live with my parents (I'm pretty young, but I won't give an exact date in the interest of privacy) so I guess you could say I'm waiting until I'm out of their presence to come out and admit I no longer believe in any gods.
      Anyways, that's me! Nothing much special, just a curious guy who likes to have conversations with people so I can understand what they believe and why. I hope to get to know all of you and I hope my presence doesn't serve as a source of discomfort considering I am, in most senses of the word, an outsider.
      Good day all  
    • By Gorship
      Hi guys! first post.. So im active on a board for fitness and in the non-sense board there is a Christian debate going on. I have posted two replies and im wondering if its worth it.

      In person you can talk to a person and see them, and you are not arguing vs who is better at googling answers etc.

      At the same time, just like hearing someing cussing and using Gods name, watching these threads just drive me mental at the ignorance about what "christians believe".


      What do you think?

      Boards like this between christians learning and sharpening theology I love... but the debate vs an atheist.. fruitful?
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