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Abogado [/color said:del Diablo]
It's not a question of "how" one is "saved" - that's another question I have little to no interest in. It's a question of what it means to be "saved" or "what is salvation". How and why is obtaining personal salvation the centerpiece of a supposedly altruistic religion? Wouldn't it be more meaningful to be true to yourself and remain open minded rather than have "faith" out of fear of being or not being "saved?" Isn't that exactly the whole point - freedom?
Well then the answer to your first question is simple being in heaven is the definition of being saved. I think that it is possible to be opening minded and have faith. Being open minded to the fact that you could be wrong doesn't mean you can't believe what you think is right. I'm open minded to what others have to say. However if they can't give good reasons for what they are asking me to have faith in or what they are saying makes little sense then I’m not likely to accept it. I'm convinced that there is a God out there, because I can feel it. so either I’m right or I'm hallucinating, but if the second is true then it doesn't really matter what I believe so I'm going to assume the first. Now I have always been Christian but I've looked into Judaism and Islam and I’m still convinced that Christianity is the truth. Now Christ said that Satan wouldn't prevail against his church. This means that the church Christ founded must have existed since the beginning of Christianity and must not be incorrect. Only three Christian Church claim this so if all of them are false Christianity is false. Thus either I'm right about Paul or Christianity is false either way WolfgangvonUSA is wrong. However he hasn't given any good reason to think Paul false. Most of his reasons are simply lies (or at least obvious falses he hasn't picked up on) and the rest are misconceptions or stretches. As far as the purpose of freedom goes, it is to have the ability to reject God but to still accept him. That is the Purpose of freedom it has no other true purpose that I can think of. Also you aren't supposed to accept him because you are afraid. He'll accept that but you are supposed to accept him because you love him. Just like a father. A good son doesn't obey his father because he fears what his father can do to him. He obeys him because he loves, respects, and wants to please his father. However most fathers will accept that their children behave out of fear as long as they behave but that doesn't mean that's the point or purpose of the father’s goal.
Also Notice I said "is to achieve salvation and bring others to that salvation" Now truthfully the main purpose of a Christian is to do God's will. His will however is that as many people as possible go to heaven. The reason I said that one of the main Goals is to achieve your own salvation is because it is the easiest person to bring to salvation because you can control yourself where you can only convince others to control themselves. Now obviously no one wants to go to Hell but by bringing yourself to Heaven you are still doing God’s will. So in this one instance by doing good for yourself you are still doing good for your God.
Abogado [/color said:del Diablo]
I'll be honest with you, even though I was a rabid evangelical for years, I never really understood Christianity until I walked away from it for a decade and studied the myths of cultures I wasn't brought up in. When I came back to Christianity and studied it, not out of an obligation to tradition but looked at the early writings and examined its history and context for myself, it actually made sense to me - but I found it means something radically different than tradition had led me to believe - in fact, almost the opposite of what tradition teaches.
Well in truth I have never stepped out of Christianity. I’m looking into Christianity a little differently. As I stated before in my opinion if I can prove wrong three sects of Christianity then I prove wrong all of Christianity. So the way I study it is simply to know more about it and to try and find fault in it. But the more I look for fault the more firmly I find myself believing. You say that you where an evangelical. Well I’ll tell you that I agree the traditions of the Evangelicals are radically different from those of Christianity. So, the fact that you concluded this does not surprise me in the least. However I’d like to hear what radical differences you found about Christianity that are contrary to your traditions. I’m interested truly not to say oh ha your wrong but to say ok well maybe that makes sense and I need to think about it or well that does fit into my tradition. So if I may I’d like to ask what these radical differences are.