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(no subject) [Nov. 12th, 2004|09:52 pm]

This community is being disbanded.  Please go check out my new community, rightlydivide.
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New group [Sep. 5th, 2004|10:36 pm]

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Take a look at these two new communities.


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Christianity vs. Judaism [Aug. 1st, 2004|03:56 pm]

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Christianity came out of Judaism, so we will give you some background information to make the answer clearer. The sacred Jewish writings are called the “Tanakh,” an acronym representing the three main divisions of the Hebrew Bible (Torah, Neviim, and K’tuvim). They are a group of 39 books written between about 1450 BC and 430 BC. Although the Tanakh arranges the books in a different order, they are the same books that make up the “Old Testament” section of the Bible. Both the Tanakh and the Bible start with the same 5 books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Tanakh calls these 5 books the “Law” (“Torah” in Hebrew).

Judaism follows the Law. The book of Leviticus most resembles a “law book,” but the most famous laws are the “Ten Commandments” listed in Exodus chapter 20, verses 3-15 (3-17 in the Christian Bible, where the verses are numbered differently). Most of these laws deal with what you are allowed to eat and touch, how you celebrate special days and so forth. On the Sabbath, their weekly holy day (sundown Friday to sundown Saturday) they do not do regular work. They also worship at their church, called a “synagogue.”

Note: Even though Judaism tries to follow the Law, it actually does not follow it very well. For example, Jews no longer perform the numerous animal sacrifices specified in the books of Leviticus and Numbers.
The Tanakh (Old Testament) contains hundreds of predictions about an “anointed one” (“Messiah” in Hebrew) who will arrive in the future. The Messiah will “deliver” or “save” all the Jewish people (bring them to paradise or heaven). The Tanakh also states that the Messiah will save all the other people in the world “through the Jews.” These predictions are referred to as Messianic prophecies, since they are predictions of the future (prophecies) that deal with the Messiah. Jews continue to follow “The Law” and wait for the coming of the Messiah.

About 4 BC, a miraculous event occurred—a boy named Jesus was born to a virgin named Mary. You can read His story in the book of Luke in the Bible’s “New Testament” (toward the back of the Bible). Starting at age 30, Jesus fulfilled more and more of the Messianic prophecies written in the Bible. Fulfilling these prophecies was very spectacular: Jesus gave sight to the blind, made the lame walk, cured those who had leprosy, gave the deaf hearing, and raised people from the dead! These miracles and others were done many times in front of thousands of witnesses for three years. Also, many prophecies (where Jesus was born and so forth) were not in His control—yet He fulfilled them all. Finally, about 30 AD, Jesus was crucified (a prophecy) and died (a prophecy). Three days later He rose from the dead (another prophecy) and was seen by over 500 witnesses. These witnesses, almost all Jews, realized that by coming back to life, Jesus proved beyond any doubt that He was “The Messiah” (in Hebrew) or “The Christ” (in Greek). From that time, Jesus has been called “Jesus, The Christ” or “Jesus Christ.” You can learn more about the Messianic Prophecies by clicking on this sentence.

So now we arrive at the answer to our question. The basic difference between Christianity and Judaism is that Christians believe the Messiah (Jesus) has already come and that we no longer have to follow “The Law” to go to heaven. To Christians, salvation has indeed come “through the Jews” as the prophecies predicted. (By the way, it is impossible to perfectly follow “The Law” all of your life, and we show that using only the Ten Commandments—a small part of the rules listed in The Law. See our discussion regarding the Ten Commandments on our going to heaven page.)

Interestingly, the fact that some Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Christ is also predicted many times in the Tanakh—their own scriptures. The Tanakh states that those “who are first will be last.” Using many similar phrases it becomes clear that the chosen people, the Jews, will be blinded to the truth until everyone on the earth hears about Jesus Christ. This is good news, since everyone gets a chance to accept the Messiah as their Savior and go to heaven.[1] Once that happens, the remaining followers of Judaism will suddenly realize that Jesus was the Messiah [2] and can accept Him. Then Jesus will return to the earth to bring those who accepted Him as their savior with Him to heaven. Those who have not accepted Him as their savior will be cast into a lake of fire (hell). The Bible states that this is fair because evidence was given to everyone.

[1] Romans 11:25-27
[2] Zechariah 12:10-14
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Tolerance [Aug. 1st, 2004|03:55 pm]

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the Bible clearly and repeatedly states that the only way to be saved is through accepting Jesus Christ as your savior. So, when it comes to tolerance of “other teachings” that reveal other ways of getting to heaven, Christianity is not tolerant (and should not be).
That does not (and should not) mean that Christians look down on or hate people who have other beliefs (or who are members of various races and cultures). The apostle Paul made this clear in the opening verses of Romans chapter 9, where he said (our paraphrase) that he would be willing to go to hell if his sacrifice would save his Jewish brothers (who are following a false religion and are therefore doomed).

Knowing the truth (especially if they can prove it) makes many Christians want to inform others who are following the wrong spiritual path. When replying to people who are obviously not Christians, we (at Clarifying Christianity) often use the phrase “I am not trying to convert you” in our response. We still tell people the truth, which is not compatible with cults, other religions, atheism, or agnosticism. They are then free to make their own decision. We believe this can be classified as tolerant.

When it comes to tolerating individuality within the Christian community, Christianity is very tolerant. (1 Corinthians chapter 12, verse 12 through the end of chapter 13 is a good guideline here. Some groups do not follow the Bible very well and bicker with each other—to their shame.) As a very simple example, if the only Christian law was “do not murder,” would that leave Christians free to do almost anything they wanted? Obviously, it would. There is more than one law in the Bible, but reading through the New Testament will reveal that most of them are “built in” values anyway. So, while people follow Christian laws (one of which is following civil laws), they still can pursue the hobbies they like, wear the clothes they wish, eat the food they prefer, and so on. This is also tolerant.
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(no subject) [Jul. 31st, 2004|10:25 pm]

[Current Mood |contemplativecontemplative]

I just joined. Question is this community for God as the only way (king james version?)
Can you say slut here? If not what do you call a person who sleeps around?
And is this community for saving ones self for marriage?
What else do you stand for?
I'm a christan (Independent Baptist) but not perfect I try to do my best in this corrupt and immoral world.
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(no subject) [Mar. 7th, 2004|05:59 pm]

Marriage is a union between a man and a woman.
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(no subject) [Feb. 19th, 2004|09:45 pm]

If you want to go see "The Passion" and haven't already gotten your tickets, GET THEM NOW. Don't wait until tomorrow or the next day, because it will probably be too late. The theater here has sold out of all but two showings. A guy working there said he had never seen anything like it. Thank me later, people. Get your tickets NOW!
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The world gets it? [Feb. 10th, 2004|07:59 pm]

It's very tragic when the world has an apparent understanding of things that Christians don't. In listening to a worldly (secular) song I was reminded that even the world realizes the truth of the lyrics, "I can't separate myself from what I've done" (Linkin Park)

This is in stark contrast to the popular but unbiblical notion of "hate the sin, love the sinner." God doesn't separate the two, and He certainly never told us to. Indeed if God separate sin and sinner, why did He send His Son to die for our sin? Why didn't He just "hate the sin, and love the sinner?" Why would He worry with punishment and sacrifices? Indeed, He doesn't separate them.

Sadly, the world, who understands the connection between sin and sinner, has been disappointed and shunned by the phony "Christianity" that denies it. How can we Christians be salt and light if we don't acknowledge this key point? Our witness is ruined by telling the world that they can easily be separated from their sin. We give them a false sense of security by giving them the idea that God will just forgive them whether they repent or not. Others will simply use the failure of Christians to recognize the sin-sinner connection as an excuse to ignore Christianity. Many will go to hell, and we will be partly responsible.
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The Passion [Feb. 9th, 2004|09:25 pm]

Well one of the big topics of late has been Mel Gibson's new movie The Passion. Today I received an email forward written by somebody who had seen it in advance and wrote a review on it. I was very impressed with the description this person gave so I've decided to share it with you. Excuse the formatting, I just don't have time to edit it.

>>Received from Jody Dean, one of our local CBS news anchors.
> >>
> >>All...
> >>
> >>There've been a ton of emails and forwards floating around
> >>recently from those who've had the privilege of seeing Mel Gibson's
> >>Passion Of The Christ" prior to its actual release. I thought I'd give
> >>you my reaction after seeing it last night.
> >>
> >>The screening was on the first night of "Elevate!", a
> >>weekend-long seminar for young people at Prestonwood Baptist Church in
> >>Plano. There were about 2,000 people there, and the movie was shown
> >>after several speakers had taken the podium. It started around 9 and
> >>finished around 11...so I reckon the film is about two hours in
> >>Frankly, I lost complete track of time - so I can't be sure.
> >>
> >>I want you to know that I started in broadcasting when I was
> >>13-years-old. I've been in the business of writing, performing,
> >>production, and broadcasting for a long time. I've been a part of
> >>movies, radio, television, stage and other productions - so I know how
> >>things are done. I know about soundtracks and special effects and
> >>make-up and screenplays. I think I've seen just about every kind of
> >>movie or TV show ever made - from extremely inspirational to extremely
> >>gory. I read a lot, too - and have covered stories and scenes that
> >>make me wince. I also have a vivid imagination, and have the ability
> >>picture things as they must have happened - or to anticipate things as
> >>they will be portrayed. I've also seen an enormous amount of footage
> >>from Gibson's film, so I thought I knew what was coming.
> >>
> >>But there is nothing in my existence - nothing I could have
> >>read, seen, heard, thought, or known - that could have prepared me for
> >>what I saw on screen last night.
> >>
> >>This is not a movie that anyone will "like". I don't think it's
> >>a movie anyone will "love". It certainly doesn't "entertain". There
> >>isn't even the sense that one has just watched a movie. What it is, is
> >>an experience - on a level of primary emotion that is scarcely
> >>comprehensible. Every shred of human preconception or predisposition
> >>utterly stripped away. No one will eat popcorn during this film. Some
> >>may not eat for days after they've seen it. Quite honestly, I wanted
> >>vomit. It hits that hard.
> >>
> >>I can see why some people are worried about how the film
> >>portrays the Jews. They should be worried. No, it's not anti-Semitic.
> >>What it is, is entirely shattering. There are no "winners". No one
> >>off looking "good" - except Jesus. Even His own mother hesitates. As
> >>depicted, the Jewish leaders of Jesus' day merely do what any of us
> >>would have done - and still do. They protected their perceived "place"
> >>their sense of safety and security, and the satisfaction of their own
> >>"rightness". But everyone falters. Caiphus judges. Peter denies. Judas
> >>betrays. Simon the Cyrene balks. Mark runs away. Pilate equivocates.
> >>crowd mocks. The soldiers laugh. Longinus still stabs with his pilus.
> >>The centurion still carries out his orders. And as Jesus fixes them
> >>with a glance, they still turn away. The Jews, the Romans, Jesus'
> >>friends - they all fall. Everyone, except the Principal Figure. Heaven
> >>sheds a single, mighty tear - and as blood and water spew from His
> >>the complacency of all creation is eternally shattered.
> >>
> >>The film grabs you in the first five seconds, and never lets go.
> >>The brutality, humiliation, and gore is almost inconceivable - and
> >>probably doesn't go far enough. The scourging alone seems to never
> >>and you cringe at the sound and splatter of every blow - no matter how
> >>steely your nerves. Even those who have known combat or prison will
> >>trouble, no matter their experience - because this Man was not
> >>conscripted. He went willingly, laying down His entirety for all. It
> >>one thing for a soldier to die for his countrymen. It's something else
> >>entirely to think of even a common man dying for those who hate and
> >>to kill him. But this is no common man. This is the King of the
> >>Universe. The idea that anyone could or would have gone through such
> >>punishment is unthinkable - but this Man was completely innocent,
> >>completely holy - and paying the price for others. He screams as He is
> >>laid upon the cross, "Father, they don't know. They don't know..."
> >>
> >>What Gibson has done is to use all of his considerable skill to
> >>portray the most dramatic moment of the most dramatic events since the
> >>dawn of time. There is no escape. It's a punch to the gut that puts
> >>on the canvas, and you don't get up. You are simply confronted by the
> >>horror of what was done - what had to be done - and why. Throughout
> >>entire film, I found myself apologizing.
> >>
> >>What you've heard about how audiences have reacted is true.
> >>There was no sound after the film's conclusion. No noise at all. No
> >>got up. No one moved. The only sound one could hear was sobbing. In
> >>my years of public life, I have never heard anything like that.
> >>
> >>I told many of you that Gibson had reportedly re-shot the ending
> >>to include more "hope" through the Resurrection? That's not true. The
> >>Resurrection scene is perhaps the shortest in the entire movie - and
> >>it packs a punch that can't be quantified. It is perfect. There is no
> >>way to negotiate the meaning out of it. It simply asks, "Now, what
> >>you do?"
> >>
> >>I'll leave the details to you, in the hope that you will see the
> >>film - but one thing above all stands out, and I have to tell you
> >>it. It comes from the end of Jesus' temptations in the wilderness -
> >>where the Bible says Satan left him "until a more opportune time". I
> >>imagine Satan never quit tempting Christ, but this film captures
> >>words the most opportune time. At every step of the way, Satan is
> >>at Jesus' side - imploring Him to quit, reasoning with Him to give up,
> >>and seducing Him to surrender. For the first time, one gets an
> >>heart-stopping idea of the sense of madness that must have enveloped
> >>Jesus - a sense of the evil that was at His very elbow. The physical
> >>punishment is relentless - but it's the sense of psychological torture
> >>that is most overwhelming. He should have quit. He should have opened
> >>His mouth. He should have called 10,000 angels. No one would have
> >>Him. What we deserve is obvious. But He couldn't do that. He wouldn't
> >>that. He didn't do that. He doesn't do that. It was not and is not His
> >>character. He was obedient, all the way to the cross - and you feel
> >>real meaning of that phrase in a place the human heart usually doesn't
> >>dare to go. You understand that we are called to that same level of
> >>obedience. With Jesus' humanity so irresistibly on display, you
> >>understand that we have no excuse. There is no place to hide.
> >>
> >>The truth is this: Is it just a "movie"? In a way, yes. But it
> >>goes far beyond that, in a fashion I've never felt - in any forum. We
> >>may think we "know". We know nothing. We've gone 2,000 years - used to
> >>the idea of a pleasant story, and a sanitized Christ. We expect the
> >>ending, because we've heard it so many times. God forgive us. This
> >>tears that all away. It's is as close as any of us will ever get to
> >>knowing, until we fully know. Paul understood. "Be urgent, in and out
> >>season."
> >>
> >>Luke wrote that Jesus reveals Himself in the breaking of the
> >>bread. Exactly. "The Passion Of The Christ" shows that Bread being
> >>broken.
> >>
> >>Go see this movie.
> >>
> >>His, and His alone.
> >>jody
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(no subject) [Feb. 7th, 2004|10:12 am]

One more thing, if you would like to join this community, click here.
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