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Author Topic: BIBLE QUESTIONS  (Read 32015 times)
Joe Sperling
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« on: May 18, 2007, 01:27:49 am »

I have a question regarding something I read in the Bible. Perhaps some of the "scholars" out
there can help me. It is of no earth-shaking importance---I would just like to know the answer.

Perhaps this thread could be used by anyone else that has a Bible question. I have an answer for
my own question and will share it---but there is nothing concrete in my answer to prove it's true.

My question is from Genesis chapter 7 ( I am reading Genesis at present in the evening):

1And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

 2Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

 3Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.

 4For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

 5And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.
 
Question:
The Law had not been given yet. How would Noah know which beasts are considered "clean" and which would be "unclean"? Also, interestingly, God says to take seven of the birds--is he stating "all" birds are considered clean? He doesn't say to take two of unclean birds, and seven of the clean--he just says to take seven of every bird.  But why command Noah to do something he doesn't even know, as the Law hasn't been given yet?

One answer could be that the Law wasn't something God "gave" to Moses on Sinai--the Law was already in existence in God's eyes--God already had determined what was "clean" and what was "unclean"--though the Law hadn't been given yet, because God exists, the Law exists. (to be later fulfilled by Jesus Christ as he is the only one who could perfectly live the Law).  Since it would be impossible for Noah to go and collect all of these animals, God brought them to him---and as he commanded Noah, he then himself brought the animals to Noah, who would "learn" what animals God considered "clean" or "unclean"(by observing if they came in twos or sevens). After the flood man was allowed to eat meat per God's command, so God wanted Noah to know what was acceptable to eat or not eat even if the Law had not yet been given. This could be one plausible answer, but would like to hear if anyone has a scholarly explanation.

I know----strange question--but I find it intriguing.

« Last Edit: May 18, 2007, 05:02:55 am by Joe Sperling » Logged
outdeep
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2007, 05:55:00 pm »

OK, I'll show forth my ignorance with the utmost confidence, but here goes.

Presumably, the five books of Moses (Pentatude) was written by Moses.  However, others had to have their hand in it because the books record Moses' death so perhaps someone like Joshua or someone else was the final compiler/editor.

Nevertheless, it was written after all these things had happened, presumably getting down stories that until that time were passed along through oral tradition or were recorded in incomplete form in writing.

(Again, I'm not a Bible scholar, I'm just making these assumptions).

So, at the time of the writing of Genesis, both the writer and the readers understood what clean and unclean animals were.  The compiler of Genesis just had to make the short hand "clean animals"/"unclean animals" because everyone knew what he was talking about while God could have indeed explained things to Noah his instructions in much more detail than was finally recorded in the book.

In analogy:  You may spend ten minutes explaining to a new citizen how to get to the courthouse and how to apply for a passport and what he would have to do to pick it up, etc.  To your friend who is familiar with the process you say, "I told Jose to get a passport."

Now Tom, who has actually studied this stuff, can come along and blow away my theory.

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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2007, 09:36:45 pm »

Dave----

Thanks---good explanation.

--Joe
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Oscar
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2007, 03:17:02 am »

Joe,

Dave's explanation is quite plausible.  There are a number of places where place names from later centuries are given for places that originally had different names.

One example is Genesis 15:7, where it speaks of "Ur of the Chaldees".  Actually, Abraham was from Ur when it was ruled by the Sumerians three or four centuries before Moses.

Another example is Genesis 28:19.  We are told that the town usually called Bethel in the Bible was once called Luz.

Another explanation of the clean/unclean distinction is that it is not at all difficult to infer that there was a widespread understanding of how to approach Yahweh for centuries before the law was given.  We see Cain and Able offering sacrifices, people building altars, Jacob pouring out an offering on a rock and so on.  It never says in scripture that everything in the law was completely new.

Blessings,
Tom M.
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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2007, 08:57:27 pm »

Here's another question for you Bible scholars out there---I'm sure there is an explanation for this---I came across this as I was reading a week or so back and wondered what the explanation was:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

 2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

 3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

 4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

 5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

 6And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

 7And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

 8And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

 9And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

 10And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

 11And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

 12And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

 13And the evening and the morning were the third day.


 14And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

 15And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

 16And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

 17And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

 18And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

 19And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.


 Question:

In verse 11 God creates the grass and herb yielding seeds and plants, sees that "it is good" and the evening and the morning are the Third day.

Yet, in verse 14 God begins creating the sun and the moon, and "the stars also". Verse 19 says "And the evening and the morning were the fourth day".

How could there be plants and grass and herbs, etc. if the sun has not been created yet? The sun was not created until the fourth day. How could plants grow without the sunlight? Just so you know--I am not bringing this up to try to question the Bible---I am bringing up questions that genuinely
puzzle me--knowing that there most likely is a plausible explanation. Most "supposed" contradicitons and "problems" of the Bible do have valid explanations.  I have a few more after this too  Grin

--Joe
« Last Edit: May 21, 2007, 09:01:51 pm by Joe Sperling » Logged
outdeep
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2007, 11:55:05 pm »

Another question is how can we have a day as we know it when there was not yet a sun and moon?

But, I’ll go out a little further on the ledge.  I believe Genesis 1 is ultimately teaching Creational Monotheism.  This basically means:

1.   God is one and Universal (unlike territorial Gods, pluralism, etc.)
2.   God is separate and distinct from His Creation (He is not in the wind, fire, earthquake.  This is unlike Pantheism who believes in one god but is the same as creation).
3.   Implies:  God is actively involved in His Creation (unlike the Deists who believe He is so far away it doesn’t really matter).

Having said that, we have been taught in the Evangelical world that Genesis 1 is as scientific as it is theological.  The most conservative of this view is “Young Earth” which insists on seven literal days.  Those who acknowledge this view has serious and real conflicts with science move to an “Old Earth” model.

But here is my question:  Is Genesis 1 really a historical narrative?  Is it really a scientific account?  The sing-songy cadence of the passage makes me think more of poetry – an attempt to communicate an orderly, intelligent Being, but necessarily his lab notes.  It feels to me more like a myth (in the scholarly use of the word, a story that points to a specific truth about origin and pre-history but not with the attention to actual details contained in historical narrative) than “A Brief History of Time”. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I do indeed believe in historical narrative.  I believe there really was a guy named Abraham who did the things the Bible says he did.  I think Jesus really walked on water, not ice cubes or dolphins.  But there are clues to Genesis 1 that make me wonder if it was ever intended to be taken as a historical narrative and scientific account of the process God used to create things.  To me, the style of literature suggests otherwise.

Thoughts?
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Marty
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2007, 03:23:11 am »

Another question is how can we have a day as we know it when there was not yet a sun and moon?

But, I’ll go out a little further on the ledge.  I believe Genesis 1 is ultimately teaching Creational Monotheism.  This basically means:

1.   God is one and Universal (unlike territorial Gods, pluralism, etc.)
2.   God is separate and distinct from His Creation (He is not in the wind, fire, earthquake.  This is unlike Pantheism who believes in one god but is the same as creation).
3.   Implies:  God is actively involved in His Creation (unlike the Deists who believe He is so far away it doesn’t really matter).

Having said that, we have been taught in the Evangelical world that Genesis 1 is as scientific as it is theological.  The most conservative of this view is “Young Earth” which insists on seven literal days.  Those who acknowledge this view has serious and real conflicts with science move to an “Old Earth” model.

But here is my question:  Is Genesis 1 really a historical narrative?  Is it really a scientific account?  The sing-songy cadence of the passage makes me think more of poetry – an attempt to communicate an orderly, intelligent Being, but necessarily his lab notes.  It feels to me more like a myth (in the scholarly use of the word, a story that points to a specific truth about origin and pre-history but not with the attention to actual details contained in historical narrative) than “A Brief History of Time”. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I do indeed believe in historical narrative.  I believe there really was a guy named Abraham who did the things the Bible says he did.  I think Jesus really walked on water, not ice cubes or dolphins.  But there are clues to Genesis 1 that make me wonder if it was ever intended to be taken as a historical narrative and scientific account of the process God used to create things.  To me, the style of literature suggests otherwise.

Thoughts?




Ex 20:8-11 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The six days of creation from this scripture refer to the same six days that that man lives in. We work six days and take the seventh day off the same as God worked six days in creation and rested the seventh.




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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2007, 04:39:36 am »

After doing a bit more investigating I found another plausible explanation, but one must accept the theory that between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 something destructive happened. "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth (1:1), "And the earth was without form and void" (1:2).

There is an interesting passage which seems to show that the earth had been fruitful, but it was laid waste and made "without form and void" :

Jeremiah 4:23-29:

I looked on the earth, and

beheld it formless (laid waste) and void;

and to the heavens, and they had no light.

I looked on the mountains,

and, behold, they quaked.

And all the hills were shaken.

I beheld and lo, there was no man;

and all the cover of the skies had fled.

I looked, and, behold, the fruitful place

was a wilderness; and all its cities

were broken down before the face of Jehovah,

before his glowing anger. For so Jehovah has said.

The whole land shall be a desolation;

yet I will not make a full end.


Of course, this is conjecture, but if true, could explain how grass was "created" before the sun was. The Spirit of God hovers over the waters on an earth that is already in existence. He then says "Let there be light". If, somehow, the earth had been devastated and plunged into a deep darkness, it's possible that the sun was shining already, but could not reach the earth. When God said "Let there be light" the beams of the sun were then able to break through to the earth, separating the darkness from the light. The Bible says that God "created to make" when referring to creation. If the seeds were already in the ground from before the disaster, the light reaching the earth would cause them to sprout. It may have still been a deep cloud cover, but enough light to generate plant life. Then on the fourth day the sun and the moon were again fully exposed as God "recreated" the original creation.  According to Genesis 1:1 the sun had already been created, but something caused the planet to be laid waste and plunged into total darkness in Genesis 1:2.

When the Spirit of God came upon the face of the waters upon an earth that was already there, the sun itself was already there too. God wasn't creating the sun on the fourth day--he was re-creating what the world had been before the disaster. He was lifting away the darkness and the covering upon the earth which had caused it to be "without form and void". He was taking existing matter and "re-creating" it into a paradise. This again, pure conjecture, could be a reason how grass could grow before a sun was "created". The reason being that the sun was not "created" on the fourth day--it was "unveiled" once again. If you were on earth the sun would appear to have been "created" if you had never seen it before, but in reality had already existed and was being "unveiled" after thousands of years.

I do not know Hebrew, but have read that the verb for "create" when referring to much of the six days is "to take from existing substances--to make".  It is interesting that God does not command the animals or Adam to "fill the earth", but to "replenish" the earth. From the Cambridge Dictionary:

Definition
replenish   Show phonetics
verb [T] FORMAL
to fill something up again:
Food stocks were replenished by/with imports from the USA.
Does your glass need replenishing?

If the earth was brand new there would be no need to "replenish" it.  Something had happened to it, and God was restoring creation to what it was before, or re-making it into something new.

To me, this seems like a very good explanation for why the sun would "appear" to have been "created"  on the fourth day, after grass and plants were already created on the third day (and somehow could miraculously grow without any light).

I believe it may have been Hugh Ross who said that the "Creation" story is from a view from the surface of the earth  looking towards heaven, or how man might have seen the creation happen had he been there. If not,  I did read this before from another scientist who believes in creation. From that view an "unveiling" could appear as a brand new creation, even though the sun and moon had been there for a long time---you would see the sun and the moon first, most likely, if a great cloudy cover was being removed, and then finally the stars.  "He created the stars also"--the writer says this after the sun and moon are "created"--as though the writer is seeing them last (though we know the stars were created millions of years before the sun and the moon scientifically).

Again, all conjecture---but fascinating.




« Last Edit: May 22, 2007, 04:58:06 am by Joe Sperling » Logged
outdeep
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2007, 06:19:10 pm »

Ex 20:8-11 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The six days of creation from this scripture refer to the same six days that that man lives in. We work six days and take the seventh day off the same as God worked six days in creation and rested the seventh.

Marty,

I understand your interpretation.  The exact, engineering way of looking at Genesis 1 as a literal, historical, scientific treatise upon which we base our week in the exact, literal, historical way is very inviting.  It is clean, sharp, and exact.  Of course, in taking that interpretation, you lock yourself into a young Earth and you have to live with the consequences.  You will have to conclude that much observable science such as quantum physics is outright wrong.  When scientific models come forth that imply an older earth, you have to conclude that either the science is completely wrong (scientists are deceived) or that God built into the system an “appearance of age” (God is a deceiver).  Or, you will have to (as one scientist) leave it as a paradox.  As he says “the Bible says the earth was created in seven days but the Earth looks old.  I don’t know why.”

This is why groups like Creation Science Institute make no traction in Universities because they really don’t have anything scientifically plausible to say.  Instead they have to go direct to churches and elementary schools where there is more freedom to indoctrinate into their view and are not constrained by such details as the scientific method or peer review.

This is why I have grown uncomfortable with the literal, engineering interpretation of Genesis 1 and am considering other interpretations (though I can’t say I’ve totally bought into any).

Nothing in Exodus 20 prohibits the Creation Myth interpretation.  Going from the conceptual to the literal is not out of line.  The fact that God spreads His wings to protect His people does not imply that God is a literal chicken.  So just as in the Creation story God created things in seven days so the Israelites were called to order their lives in seven, literal blocks of time.

Again, a Creation Myth is not simply fiction.  It means that it points to important theological truths without necessarily giving literal details.  Genesis 1 teaches us 1) God is One  2) God created all things 3) God is separate from His creation.  4) God created things instantly out of nothing 5) God ordered His creation into categories that are not intermingled 6) God was pleased with the result 7) Man was the high point of His creation.  It just may not show the exact history or science of how he did it.  I think it is a contemporary idea that Genesis 1 is really God’s “lab notes” or “historical diary”.

Again, that is a view or interpretation just like yours is a view or interpretation.  One has to chase down the implications of a view to decide which one seems to fit best.

Lord bless,

-Dave
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DavidM
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2007, 07:56:36 pm »

Last Saturday I had lunch with a current member of the Assembly. He mentioned that George taught that man was created on the 7th day. Although my wife didn't say anything she thought to herself, "Big deal!"  Later, I didn't have an answer for her, So what's the big deal?
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Joe Sperling
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2007, 08:22:45 pm »

Dave S.---

I appreciate your explanation. But I do believe that Genesis 1 is more than a allegory or a myth. I do believe also, as you have mentioned, that Genesis allows for millions or billions of years to have passed during this "creation", or, also, from the time earth was first created until God "returned" to restore his work after some cataclysm took place.(Just conjecture--but there is a fairly strong case for this).

One thing I thought of last night was the link there seems to be between "Genesis" and "Revelation". One is the beginning of all things, and the other is the end of all things (but really the beginning of far better things).

It is interesting that in Revelation, God uses John to "tell the story" by what he is seeing. He literally places John on the earth 2000 or so years in the future (or far more, who really knows?) and has John interpret what he is seeing from a first century A.D. mindset.

John mentions scorpions coming out of the ground with stingers on their tails that cause harm, etc., and these very well could be tanks with their turrets turned towards the back, firing. Helicopters may also be described with their sound being as "many waters".  In any case, these are John's descriptions of things he has never seen before---it is an earthly perspective.  God doesn't explain what's going on---he has John explain it in his first century description of a far future event.

Is it possible that Genesis 1 is also "described" this way? Is God describing how he created the earth? Or is Moses describing an event he is seeing as he is placed on the earth back at the beginning of time? (either through actually being there, or through a vision)?

If Moses is describing the creation from an earthly view, knowing very little about astronomy or science in general, he would "report" what he was seeing in his Old Testament mindset. Standing on a canopied earth, completely in darkness he hears God say "let there be light" and suddenly there is light---he cannot see the sun yet, but the darkness and the light have been divided. He begins to see vegetation grow on the "third day" and reports it. On the fourth day the canopy or veil around the earth is completely lifted and he sees the sun. To him it has just been "created". He reports (not knowing how big the sun is compared to the moon) that God has created "two lights", the greater to rule the day, and the smaller to rule the night.  This is the fourth day.  He begins to see the stars and says "He made the stars also".

It is man's view of  past events from an earthly perspective, just as much of Revelation is man's view from an earthly perspective of future events.  Were plants and grass "created" (on the third day) before the sun was (on the fourth day)? From a man's perspective viewing the events it could very well be possible.   
« Last Edit: May 22, 2007, 08:25:11 pm by Joe Sperling » Logged
Mark C.
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2007, 08:31:17 pm »

Hi David!

I can understand why your wife would think GG's creative interpretations of scripture are not a "big deal", but you should be able to figure out why it is a big deal for members------ especially for a "current Assembly member."

The Assembly was founded on GG teaching that allegedly was straight from "the kitchen of heaven"!  We fearfully submitted to GG's control over our lives on the basis of the above authority he claimed.

The discovery that this authority is totally false removes that control---- giving us freedom to throw off the shackles of false guilt, etc.

The questions I would have asked the "present member" you had lunch with:

1.) Do you believe that the bible teaches that man was created on the 7th day?  if he says "yes", then it is a simple matter to turn to Genesis and show him that this is false ("God rested from his works on the 7th day")

 2.) Why are you still involved with a group that was founded by a man who was a false teacher and who used that teaching to abusively control it's members?  

  3.) Have you educated yourself as to what you were really involved with and what the teachings of GG have done in the lives of those under it's power?

            Depending on how the conversation went from there I might have some more questions, but all-in-all, it would provide a good opportunity to see a soul recovered from ship wrecked faith and thus become a very big deal indeed!

                                                                    God Bless,  Mark C.
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DavidM
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2007, 02:16:28 am »

Mark, I guess I wasn't clear. Sorry, the current member is someone who has recently shunned George and his teachings. His mentioning was in the context that he no longer agrees with George because he teaches false doctrines. (like the one mentioned.) I should also mention that this person was very polite and gracious to me and I respect him for that. Out of respect my wife and I didn't question his beliefs. My wife's question is "How does believing man was created on the 7th day make a difference in the life of a believer?" (I know it's impossible to understand what George ment by it but, maybe you could explain why it is such a big deal.)

P.S I spent the last month interviewing a Quaker who doesn't believe in "Water baptism" or the "Traditional Communion" I don't think you would say, "She isn't saved!"   "She isn't a christian!" Would you?
« Last Edit: May 23, 2007, 02:56:14 am by DavidM » Logged
Joe Sperling
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2007, 04:40:25 am »

David M.---

You're wife is right--it doesn't really matter. The only thing about about man being created on the 7th day is that it has no Biblical basis whatsoever. But believing man was created on the 6th or 7th day isn't going to effect anyone's salvation.

It is interesting how the Bible can clear certain "doctrinal" issues up with verses that one could pass up quite
easily though. Not too long ago I read the following passage from Corinthians(the Apostle Paul speaking):

I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;


 1Cr 1:15  Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.


 1Cr 1:16  And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

When you mention the Quakers and baptism it made me remember it. Some groups say one cannot be saved unless one is baptized(Church of Christ), while others go another direction and argue about baptism modes, etc.  I would just point out that if Baptism is "essential" to salvation and one could be lost without it, why would Paul say "And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.  He mentions baptizing two people, and another household, but "can't remember" if he baptized anyone else.  If baptism was "essential to salvation" would Paul forget if he had baptized anyone else besides these people? It's not like he baptized hundreds and can't recall--he is talking about a few people, and says he's "not sure" if he baptized anyone else besides them. Surely, if Paul regarded baptism as tied in with someone's eternal salvation, he would remember those whom he personally baptized.

So, saying someone "isn't saved" because they don't believe in baptism or tradional communion isn't a doctrine found in the Bible. "By Grace are you saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, and not of works, lest any man should boast".

By the way--good to see you posting again David--hadn't heard from you for a while!

--Joe
« Last Edit: May 23, 2007, 04:58:42 am by Joe Sperling » Logged
Mark C.
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« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2007, 05:00:26 am »

Hi David,

  The teaching in and of itself isn't crucial to salvation, or is likely to make a difference in a believer's life, but as I said in the previous post it is important for a former member to know that GG did not represent God.

  You see, there are some former members who believe that GG had good teaching and his Assemblies were representative of proper Christian relationships.  They will go on to say something like, "GG had good teaching, but fell due to some unrelated moral problems."

  Once a former member understands that GG's "moral problems" were completely entwined with his teaching/practices in the group---- and that his deep inner depravity was played out in his control of members via the system he developed--- only then can there start to be a good healthy separation from the past involvement.

  I noticed over on the Reflections site that the Pasadena and Riverside assemblies have suddenly come to the conclusion that GG is "no longer welcome."  I would love to ask these folks how they finally came to that conclusion.
 
  I mean, they have gone out of there way to excuse his behavior, allow him to visit their meetings, invite him to weddings, etc.----- but now they are resisting his moves to "take control"?! Huh  

  GG still lives and breathes through the leadership of these groups via their acceptance of his teaching and their own lust to be in control!

  I'll make an analogy that I think fits pretty well.  Most of us know the story of "The Lord Of The Rings," and the evil power that the Dark Lord's ring gave to the one who wore it.  You could kill Sauron, but if the ring still existed it would continue to control, warp, and eventually make the owner into the new Dark Lord of Mordor.

   GG was like Sauron in the story, and Pasadena, Riverside, etc. are those in the story that have the desire to have that same power that Sauron wielded in the assumed position as owners of the place of power.

 "Mark, how can you say that?  You are being judgmental and suggesting that you know their hearts!"  I can say that, without knowing their hearts, because their behavior reveals it!  If they really cared about honestly doing the right thing they would have from the very start stood strongly with the excommunication of GG---- vs. the ridiculous defense they tried to make for him and then providing a place of escape preventing his facing the music.  Had they been righteous in this they might even have helped GG to repentance (that is, after all, the reason for church discipline).

   This tells me they don't care about what God really wants, GG's recovery, former members hurt in the group, or anything else other than a place of power in these groups that GG started.  The Assembly system that makes Pharisaical religious phonies, who attempt to use their place for their own egos, remains intact in these places and until I see the true fruits of repentance from them I would interpret their finally showing GG the door as simply a power struggle.


  I know little of the above directly pertains to the question Dave, and pardon me for using the occasion  of this post to make this point, but it has been something that has been bothering me.  Also understand, I'm not saying all the members of these former groups are as culpable as the leaders, but they most certainly become supporters of the wrong via their loyalty to their leaders.

                                                                  God Bless,  Mark C.  
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