Dogmatism and Evangelism

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by MattWolf, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. MattWolf

    MattWolf OM

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    I am returning to a more Christian spirituality, personally, after a 10 year hiatus. One of the things that turned me off (and now affects me upon my re-introduction) is dogmatism.

    As I understand it, the Bible is fairly clear on the idea that we are not perfect. And if we are not perfect, we cannot understand things perfectly. And if we do not understand things perfectly, then it would seem that arguing (discouraged in the Bible) grey areas as though we had a certain answer is misguided, at best.

    I do not mean to be accusatory, but systems with an evangelical priority seem to produce the greatest transgressors in this regard. So my question is: does addressing complex questions from neophytes encourage forced answers, or does evangelism depend on a theological system that purports to actually have all the answers?
     
  2. Curios Mike

    Curios Mike Well-Known Member

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    I believe their is only one answer: Jesus, but at times have had theories, and on other times an unctioning of the spirit. As far as dogmatism I agree. Last thing this world needs is more phariseeisms. My answers may not always be right, but the only way to learn is to discuss and study. Hard knox is my favorite school.:D
     
  3. Abogado del Diablo

    Abogado del Diablo Ferally Decent

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    I believe there are as many manifestations of God, or the Absolute, or Allah, or Brahman, or the Tao (or whatever you want to call it), as there are consciousnesses to manifest to.

    Even if there is one right answer that could be expressed in human ideas and words, we would never "understand" it. But everybody is sure they are right. And for them, they are right.
     
  4. Blessed87

    Blessed87 A restored soul

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    Welcome to CR, MattWolf! Great question, by the way. You're absolutely right about how people are imperfect and therefore we can't know it all. Recently I spoke with a man who says he's a christian, but does not want to attend church. I asked why, and he said the reason was that so many people act as if they're superior. That saddened me, because it should not be that way, but, we've got to remember just what you said: people are imperfect. Including ourselves.



    A great biblical example of the topic you're speaking of (doctrine debate, dogmatics, etc.) is in Matthew 23:23-33.

    That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. "Teacher," they said, "Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. Finally, the woman died. Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?"

    Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."

    When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.

    So even those who study the Scriptures cannot know all the answers. Only God knows. That leads to the question, "Should we give up trying to know the answers, if we can't know for sure if we're right?" No. We can't know. But there's One who knows. And He's willing to share the great secrets and the amazing paradoxes of His Word, and He's willing to show Himself to us.



    "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." (Jer. 33:3)



    "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." (John 14:21)



    How do we know these things? The Holy Spirit shows us, mainly through the precious Word of God, the Bible. The Spirit alone knows the "deep things of God" (1 Cor. 2)

    There is more that could be said, but I've said enough for now. It's easy to become critical of people for their pride and hypocritical nature, but hey, we're all hypocrites, so no one can pass judgment on another.
     

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