Who has affected your understanding of Christianity for better or for worse?

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Has your faith been affected by interactions with others and their teachings?

  • Yes, of course. It is unavoidable.

    Votes: 16 80.0%
  • No, I formed my beliefs solely through independent bible study.

    Votes: 3 15.0%
  • I don't know.

    Votes: 1 5.0%

  • Total voters
    20

UnitedWithChrist

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2019
3,532
1,804
113
#1
I find myself amused by various Christians who claim that God speaks to them, and they hear from him, closer than anyone else.

Often, they deny that any other person has had any effect on their understanding of Christianity. They will claim that they learned everything they know from the Bible alone.

However, I know from past experience that this is often an empty claim. This person doesn't understand all the factors that have affected his understanding of Christianity, for better or for worse.

These guys have a self image of being the valiant defender of the truth. Their prideful, independent attitude becomes apparent as you talk to them. They often accuse others of being biased, or indoctrinated, and claim that they derived their understanding solely from studying Scripture diligently.

The leader of the cult I came from made similar claims. After I broke away from the cult, I became aware that he plagiarized a lot of his materials from others, and his theology was largely derived from reading other cultists and unsound Christians.

When it comes to a lot of normal believers, a large number of prideful Christians attended a church of some type, as a child or an adult. Do they really think that, as a young believer or a child, they didn't absorb information?

Let me give you an example..mine. I was part of a Judaizer organization that taught Saturday observance, festival observance, and clean meat law observance. Their teaching was that they were the elect, who were called out of this world to rule in the Millennial kingdom. They taught that others were attending pagan churches. They got their teachings from guys like Alexander Hislop, the author of Two Babylons, who was focused on criticizing Roman Catholicism by claiming they worship Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz.

Hislop claimed ridiculous things like church steeples were really erect male sex organs and the bells were related to the testicles. Lots of cults have used Hislop's claims to attack Christianity as a whole.

Anyways, my mom told me about a very embarrassing incident I caused between her and my grandma as an 8 year old child.

My grandma was babysitting for me one day, and I asked her, matter-of-factly, why she goes to a pagan church. I apparently heard this at church, because the church's teachings in this regard weren't discussed at home.

My grandma was a Pentecost. When my mom arrived, she told my what I said and that caused some distance between them for quite a while.

What is my point? My point is that even little kids are indoctrinated by their experiences in church congregations. And, so are adult new believers.

Perhaps the new believer is drawn to a particular church by family loyalties, or a friend that is attending, or some aggressive marketing by the group. They start attending the church, and are regenerated by God through the pastor's teaching. Because he is converted at the church, he thinks God's stamp of approval is on the organization and ALL of it's teachings.

Quite often this new believer begins to think they are the infallible, impartial judge of what is true and what is false. They begin to attack others as being "unbiblical". They don't seem to realize that they have absorbed a particular worldview that affects their thinking.

I would say one great demonstration of an immature Christian is if they don't realize they have obtained some of their worldview from others. Unsaved man wants to think that he is dependent, and not interdependent. This quite often carries over in the person's spiritual life.

If someone doesn't realize that their belief system has been affected, at some level, by interactions with others, and society in general, I would say that they are still spiritual babies.

So, here's the questions:

1. Have any of your beliefs been affected by others?
2. Were they affected in good or bad ways?
3. If not, where did you get your beliefs?
4. Do you think church history is valuable to study? Do you think you can learn from Christian brothers from the past?
5. If not, why not?
6. Do you think that you hear God better than others, and that you have a better understanding of Scripture than others?
7. If so, what qualified you for that?
8. Do you realize your personal need for humility?
9. Who were some of the primary influences upon your faith, for good or bad?

Here's my answers:

1. Yes.
2. Both
3. doesn't apply.
4. Absolutely. The fellowship of believers extends beyond my church and friends.
5. doesn't apply.
6. I won't answer that :) There are some groups within recognized Christianity that I strongly disagree with, and others I consider heretical.
7. I won't answer that :)
8. Yes.
9. The Judaizer cult, and Reformed brothers. The Judaizer cult actually affected me for good in some ways, and bad in others.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy discussing this.
 

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
4,419
1,582
113
#2
I find myself amused by various Christians who claim that God speaks to them, and they hear from him, closer than anyone else.

Often, they deny that any other person has had any effect on their understanding of Christianity. They will claim that they learned everything they know from the Bible alone.

However, I know from past experience that this is often an empty claim. This person doesn't understand all the factors that have affected his understanding of Christianity, for better or for worse.

These guys have a self image of being the valiant defender of the truth. Their prideful, independent attitude becomes apparent as you talk to them. They often accuse others of being biased, or indoctrinated, and claim that they derived their understanding solely from studying Scripture diligently.

The leader of the cult I came from made similar claims. After I broke away from the cult, I became aware that he plagiarized a lot of his materials from others, and his theology was largely derived from reading other cultists and unsound Christians.

When it comes to a lot of normal believers, a large number of prideful Christians attended a church of some type, as a child or an adult. Do they really think that, as a young believer or a child, they didn't absorb information?

Let me give you an example..mine. I was part of a Judaizer organization that taught Saturday observance, festival observance, and clean meat law observance. Their teaching was that they were the elect, who were called out of this world to rule in the Millennial kingdom. They taught that others were attending pagan churches. They got their teachings from guys like Alexander Hislop, the author of Two Babylons, who was focused on criticizing Roman Catholicism by claiming they worship Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz.

Hislop claimed ridiculous things like church steeples were really erect male sex organs and the bells were related to the testicles. Lots of cults have used Hislop's claims to attack Christianity as a whole.

Anyways, my mom told me about a very embarrassing incident I caused between her and my grandma as an 8 year old child.

My grandma was babysitting for me one day, and I asked her, matter-of-factly, why she goes to a pagan church. I apparently heard this at church, because the church's teachings in this regard weren't discussed at home.

My grandma was a Pentecost. When my mom arrived, she told my what I said and that caused some distance between them for quite a while.

What is my point? My point is that even little kids are indoctrinated by their experiences in church congregations. And, so are adult new believers.

Perhaps the new believer is drawn to a particular church by family loyalties, or a friend that is attending, or some aggressive marketing by the group. They start attending the church, and are regenerated by God through the pastor's teaching. Because he is converted at the church, he thinks God's stamp of approval is on the organization and ALL of it's teachings.

Quite often this new believer begins to think they are the infallible, impartial judge of what is true and what is false. They begin to attack others as being "unbiblical". They don't seem to realize that they have absorbed a particular worldview that affects their thinking.

I would say one great demonstration of an immature Christian is if they don't realize they have obtained some of their worldview from others. Unsaved man wants to think that he is dependent, and not interdependent. This quite often carries over in the person's spiritual life.

If someone doesn't realize that their belief system has been affected, at some level, by interactions with others, and society in general, I would say that they are still spiritual babies.

So, here's the questions:

1. Have any of your beliefs been affected by others?
2. Were they affected in good or bad ways?
3. If not, where did you get your beliefs?
4. Do you think church history is valuable to study? Do you think you can learn from Christian brothers from the past?
5. If not, why not?
6. Do you think that you hear God better than others, and that you have a better understanding of Scripture than others?
7. If so, what qualified you for that?
8. Do you realize your personal need for humility?
9. Who were some of the primary influences upon your faith, for good or bad?

Here's my answers:

1. Yes.
2. Both
3. doesn't apply.
4. Absolutely. The fellowship of believers extends beyond my church and friends.
5. doesn't apply.
6. I won't answer that :) There are some groups within recognized Christianity that I strongly disagree with, and others I consider heretical.
7. I won't answer that :)
8. Yes.
9. The Judaizer cult, and Reformed brothers. The Judaizer cult actually affected me for good in some ways, and bad in others.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy discussing this.
My foundation came from my own original personal study but others have helped me to build up on it. When I first read and studied the Bible, I didn't know anything about doctrines or who believed what. My foundation filters out anything that doesn't add up. People try to place me in theological camps but I never chose them to begin with, it just so happens that I came down the same understanding as some past theologians. Which was strange at first but to me now I just see how the Holy Spirit was guiding me.
 

Bbrdrd

Active member
Apr 2, 2020
375
92
28
#3
1. Have any of your beliefs been affected by others?

Of course

2. Were they affected in good or bad ways?

Both

3. If not, where did you get your beliefs?

4. Do you think church history is valuable to study? Do you think you can learn from Christian brothers from the past?

Yes, and yes.

5. If not, why not?

6. Do you think that you hear God better than others, and that you have a better understanding of Scripture than others?

At times, but most of the time I think the difference is I've read into a bit more of the disputes that have come up in church history than a lot and I've been exposed to various strains of thought rather than being raised up in a single tradition.

7. If so, what qualified you for that?

Being stubborn enough to try to convert the devil.

8. Do you realize your personal need for humility?

Intellectually, absolutely. Emotionally? Not always

9. Who were some of the primary influences upon your faith, for good or bad?

My mom the libertine and my brother the legalist. Both influenced me in what I consider positive and negative ways.
 

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
4,419
1,582
113
#4
I find myself amused by various Christians who claim that God speaks to them, and they hear from him, closer than anyone else.

Often, they deny that any other person has had any effect on their understanding of Christianity. They will claim that they learned everything they know from the Bible alone.

However, I know from past experience that this is often an empty claim. This person doesn't understand all the factors that have affected his understanding of Christianity, for better or for worse.

These guys have a self image of being the valiant defender of the truth. Their prideful, independent attitude becomes apparent as you talk to them. They often accuse others of being biased, or indoctrinated, and claim that they derived their understanding solely from studying Scripture diligently.

The leader of the cult I came from made similar claims. After I broke away from the cult, I became aware that he plagiarized a lot of his materials from others, and his theology was largely derived from reading other cultists and unsound Christians.

When it comes to a lot of normal believers, a large number of prideful Christians attended a church of some type, as a child or an adult. Do they really think that, as a young believer or a child, they didn't absorb information?

Let me give you an example..mine. I was part of a Judaizer organization that taught Saturday observance, festival observance, and clean meat law observance. Their teaching was that they were the elect, who were called out of this world to rule in the Millennial kingdom. They taught that others were attending pagan churches. They got their teachings from guys like Alexander Hislop, the author of Two Babylons, who was focused on criticizing Roman Catholicism by claiming they worship Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz.

Hislop claimed ridiculous things like church steeples were really erect male sex organs and the bells were related to the testicles. Lots of cults have used Hislop's claims to attack Christianity as a whole.

Anyways, my mom told me about a very embarrassing incident I caused between her and my grandma as an 8 year old child.

My grandma was babysitting for me one day, and I asked her, matter-of-factly, why she goes to a pagan church. I apparently heard this at church, because the church's teachings in this regard weren't discussed at home.

My grandma was a Pentecost. When my mom arrived, she told my what I said and that caused some distance between them for quite a while.

What is my point? My point is that even little kids are indoctrinated by their experiences in church congregations. And, so are adult new believers.

Perhaps the new believer is drawn to a particular church by family loyalties, or a friend that is attending, or some aggressive marketing by the group. They start attending the church, and are regenerated by God through the pastor's teaching. Because he is converted at the church, he thinks God's stamp of approval is on the organization and ALL of it's teachings.

Quite often this new believer begins to think they are the infallible, impartial judge of what is true and what is false. They begin to attack others as being "unbiblical". They don't seem to realize that they have absorbed a particular worldview that affects their thinking.

I would say one great demonstration of an immature Christian is if they don't realize they have obtained some of their worldview from others. Unsaved man wants to think that he is dependent, and not interdependent. This quite often carries over in the person's spiritual life.

If someone doesn't realize that their belief system has been affected, at some level, by interactions with others, and society in general, I would say that they are still spiritual babies.

So, here's the questions:

1. Have any of your beliefs been affected by others?
2. Were they affected in good or bad ways?
3. If not, where did you get your beliefs?
4. Do you think church history is valuable to study? Do you think you can learn from Christian brothers from the past?
5. If not, why not?
6. Do you think that you hear God better than others, and that you have a better understanding of Scripture than others?
7. If so, what qualified you for that?
8. Do you realize your personal need for humility?
9. Who were some of the primary influences upon your faith, for good or bad?

Here's my answers:

1. Yes.
2. Both
3. doesn't apply.
4. Absolutely. The fellowship of believers extends beyond my church and friends.
5. doesn't apply.
6. I won't answer that :) There are some groups within recognized Christianity that I strongly disagree with, and others I consider heretical.
7. I won't answer that :)
8. Yes.
9. The Judaizer cult, and Reformed brothers. The Judaizer cult actually affected me for good in some ways, and bad in others.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy discussing this.
My answers to the questions are.
  1. Yes
  2. Good
  3. --
  4. Of course but nothing is better than the Bible.
  5. --
  6. I would say it comes easy to me and always been good at explaining it. But everyone has their spiritual gifts where they are strong or weak.
  7. No one qualification. Just experience and the fruit of my life makes it evident even if I for a long time tried to doubt the calling. I did have a supernatural answer confirming what the fruit had already been telling me. And the doubt is no longer there thanks to that experience.
  8. Humility has been drilled into me for years as an accident left me in chronic pain. Always in memory of my weakness and need for God. Always being reminded of God's grace and forgiveness. Always trying to keep the peace and focus on bringing the lost to Christ or discipleship among brothers and sisters.
9. Bible ( good)
great grandma ( good)
my pastor (good and bad [good theology but strict military personality] )
my mentor ( new but extremely good)
my accountability brother ( always good)
my community group ( awesome)
church members ( good)
work employee ( good)
People on here ( good only because like I said I from the beginning filter out the bad)
 

MattforJesus

Senior Member
Apr 15, 2017
2,478
479
83
#5
Act 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

1Jn 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

A lot of people have went by what people have said concerning the word of God, but then when they read the Bible for themselves they found out they did not believe it, and their interpretation changed, but hopefully it was for the better and they came to a better understanding.

And some people that took the endeavor to read the Bible for themselves not really going by the input of other people have had an interpretation of what they thought it meant, but changed it later on as they read more.

Someone said that the lion, bear, and leopard were America, Russia, and Germany, which that it what I went by at the time and then believed it was Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece, for it was speaking of kingdoms and the others were not kingdoms but nations, where a kingdom rules over more than their nation but rule over other nations as well.

Although America and Russia are powerful they are not considered kingdoms, but nations.

My pastor believed in pre-tribulation resurrection, but I believed that the saints will not be gathered unto Christ until the beast makes war against the saints.

I believed that 1 Timothy 4:1-5 was speaking of the Catholic Church but then believed it was the new age movement but I believed this on my own and someone did not tell me, but it states they will come out at the latter times which the Roman Catholic Church has been around for a while, but I was thinking that the abstaining from meats and forbidding to marry was the Catholic Church so it pertained to them not really paying attention to it will come out at the latter times.

But the Bible also relates that the time will come they will only want to hear the Bible according to their own lusts, and be turned unto fables which supported that it would be the new age movement which did come out at the latter times.

Also some things I took it as it is but did not come to a full conclusion of it right away until I read more of the Bible and it became clearer what it meant.

Also the book of Job I did not even read it but avoided it altogether, for I thought it meant Job, as in work, so I wanted nothing to do with it for I was living in the basement of my parents house at the time, and living for free without paying for rent, with the luxuries of a swimming pool, internet, and television in the basement, and with a pool table, and my parents did not care if I had people come over to hang out, so I did not want to blow that situation for if I got a job my parents would make me move.

Alright I am kidding about that.

But whether we listen to people and it sounds good so we go by that and it is wrong, or we read the Bible for ourselves and have a wrong interpretation it happens to a lot of people, but some people learn the correct interpretation later on as they read more about the Bible, and listen to what others have to say.

But I think that if everyone read the Bible for themselves and did not listen to anyone else there would be less division among the saints although some might interpret some things wrong but it would not be as bad.

For in the Bible it is plain to read that Jesus is Lord and Savior, and we need salvation and to confess Him, and there is a personal God, and to be led by the Spirit and be Christlike.

How shall they hear unless a preacher is sent to them, but we have the Bible available to us to read and learn.

I went to a Church first before really understanding the Bible so a lot of my information was coming from the preacher, and what they said in the Church, but I also endeavored to read through the Bible and understand it on my own, so that I could find out myself for I would read more than what they covered, and if they were wrong I would side with the Bible and not them.

Which many people will fight for their denomination tooth and nail and not admit they are wrong on a subject, but to them they are not wrong because their mind does not want to hear your interpretation of the Bible.

For once they believe that their denomination is the truth and of God then they will not hear what anybody has to say, and how the preacher presents the Bible if it is wrong it still sounds right to them.

Trinity, not a trinity.

Physical reign of Christ on earth, not physical reign of Christ on earth.

The saints on earth for eternity, the saints in a new earth for eternity.

Baptize Father, Son, Holy Ghost, baptize in Jesus' name.

God created all things outright, God created all things by evolution.

We can speak in tongues, tongues is not for today.

Keep the physical sabbath day, the Holy Spirit is our sabbath, a spiritual rest.

The Church replaces Israel, Israel is the Church.

The Roman Catholic Church is the first Church, they are not.

Pre-trib resurrection, mid-trib resurrection, post trib-resurrection.

When a saint dies they are with Jesus, when they die they stay in the ground knowing nothing at the time until the resurrection.

A resurrection, not a resurrection.

The wine and bread turn in to the actual substance of Jesus' body, it is symbolic.

We can abstain from sin, we cannot abstain from sin.

Faith alone, faith with works.

Jesus is God, Jesus is not God.

It is obvious when some people believe their Church is the truth and of God they will not listen to what anybody has to say.

And it is obvious that many people are wrong but they do not come to the right interpretation.

Some people cannot see it for once the foundation is laid down of the Bible in their denomination then it sounds right to them so they go by that and it makes sense to them.

If people would say that maybe this Church does not have every subject right in interpretation and search for themselves it would be better, and it does not mean it is a bad Church for some things have no bearing on our salvation.

But with Joseph Smith having a belief that was not part of the Bible, and it became his foundation for interpreting scriptures, and the new age movement has a belief not part of the Bible, and it became their foundation for interpreting scriptures which both are in left field and way off the mark gives testimony that many people believe their denomination and stick by it.

For how can you read the Bible and actually believe the interpretation of Joseph Smith and the new age movement is the right interpretation.

The same with Christian Science, and Scientology.

If people can believe the Bible according to some way out in left field interpretation you know denominations that are not as bad as them having some errors people will believe it and defend it tooth and nail.
 

Didymous

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2018
5,047
2,059
113
#6
Everyone has affected me in some way, some good, some bad. :cool:
 

UnitedWithChrist

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2019
3,532
1,804
113
#8
My foundation came from my own original personal study but others have helped me to build up on it. When I first read and studied the Bible, I didn't know anything about doctrines or who believed what. My foundation filters out anything that doesn't add up. People try to place me in theological camps but I never chose them to begin with, it just so happens that I came down the same understanding as some past theologians. Which was strange at first but to me now I just see how the Holy Spirit was guiding me.
It's funny how we would be on opposite sides yet I would say the same thing.

I understood predestination from simply reading the Bible as a young person.

My mother was a member of the Judaizer cult I mentioned. My father was never a believer of any type, and didn't talk much about spiritual things. I attended the Judaizer group from age 5 to 12, and then again from age 22 to age 32. After that, free-willer evangelical organizations and in the last 6 years or so, I have been Reformed.

Anyways, when I began attending the Judaizer group at age 22, in a counseling session with the minister, I discussed predestination. Their teaching was an open theology, process theology view of God. According to him, God didn't even know I would exist until the moment I was born.

God chose to regenerate me in my first 4 months of attending this church, and as a result, I took it as his stamp of approval on their theology. I started believing their open theist, process theology views even though Romans 8-9 and other Scriptures say otherwise.

Some might say, you should have just read your bible...well, I totally agree with that, and the cult leader's favorite saying was, "don't believe me...believe your Bible". What many teachers believe when they say that is, believe the Bible with my spiritual spectacles, because I have the best view :)

And, this isn't limited to cults...it is true within the evangelical church. There are plenty of people who want you to wear their interpretative spectacles. KJV Onlyists want you to don their interpretative spectacles. Dispensationalists want you to don their interpretative spectacles. Charismatics want you to don their interpretative spectacles.

Of course, about this time folks are going to challenge my interpretative spectacles. They may think they wear no interpretative spectacles. Those are the blindest ones of all, in my opinion. They cannot see how the traditions they have absorbed and their own projection upon God affects their thinking. I'm full aware that I could be wrong in some areas. However, I make a conscientious effort to reexamine my interpretative assumptions, whereas others will simply continue to insist they have no interpretative spectactles whatsoever. Fallen man really has a hard time with this, as it is a pride issue.

And, it may not be true, but I think men are much more susceptible to certain sins, like anger, lust and pride. Thinking one is the impartial judge of spiritual things is a pride issue, too, I think. However, we are commanded to be responsible in this regard at the same time, seeking out spiritual matters.

Anyways, I was "Reformed" in some sense before I ever heard John Calvin's name. In fact it was my free-willer pastor who told me "That's Calvinism" when I described my position on predestination, after leaving the Judaizer way of thinking. He then proceeded to inform me about Servetus, with all the typical propaganda such as the Servetus affair. He lauded John Wesley to me. After I did some historical research of my own, I found that Wesley had his issues, too, including denying communion to an ex-girlfriend (I believe it was motivated by being jilted by her). In their culture, being denied communion was similar to losing your salvation. Additionally, the Wesley brothers treated George Whitfield in a very disrespectful manner, too.

I don't really have a large amount of respect for the Wesley brothers.
 

UnitedWithChrist

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2019
3,532
1,804
113
#9
By the way, I think our idolatrous hearts are part of the interpretative grid that we form when reading Scripture...this idolatrous heart doesn't need any help, but often it is supported by, and affirmed by, teachers in the Church or cultic teachers.

A typical thought of the idolatrous heart is something like this:

I see this taught in Scripture, but I know God cannot be this way, therefore I will reject this teaching. I don't care if Scripture teaches it or not. I will somehow find a way of denying it because if it is true, this would be disgusting to me, using me or my culture as the conscience of God.

It is true that man is made in the image of God, but this image is fallen and distorted, therefore it does not reason correctly. Man is an idol-maker. He suppresses the knowledge of God, and superimposes his own values and standards upon him.

This is why atheists are able to appeal to events in the Bible that humans find distasteful. For example, the idea that Adam's sin is imputed to all mankind is ultimately repugnant to us, in our culture. We hate the idea that something we cannot control doomed us to eternal punishment. So, we reject this notion of original sin, and fabricate alternate interpretations. I don't know too many Christians who will accept imputation of Adam's sin to mankind.

But, if you look at the Bible, similar things are taught. For instance, when Achan sinned, God destroyed his whole family. Same thing with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. When David sinned by counting Israel, God wiped out thousands of Israelites because of HIS sin.

So, God's logic differs from ours and I don't even think most Christians believe that...so they reject it and fabricate awkward substitute teachings. The only problem is that their alternate teachings in one area causes the whole building to be askew.

But, I doubt that 20 percent who read this will agree with me, because they have been taught alternate explanations even though the Bible is clear on this matter (Romans 5).

Anyways, the thread was on people that affect one's theology, but one of those people is us, and our idolatrous heart which cannot conceive that God thinks differently on some issue than us.

Do I think I am any different? If I said yes, then God would likely show me that I am not, on some issue..God has a way of doing that. But, I imagine some smug, self righteous people absolutely will not admit that they harbor an idolatrous view of God that does not properly consider his attributes in light of Scripture.

Idols of the mind tend to fall over time, though, if the person is studying the Bible honestly. Slowly the Scriptures invade his thinking and cause him to realize that he is a little hypocritical idolater who has tried to shape God in his image, if he is a real believer. I don't know how many are real believers, but I believe this is destined to occur to all real believers. The fake believers can be religionists and traditionalists, because God isn't working with them, but I believe that the true believer will be formed by God into the image of Christ over time, with many of their idols being eliminated.
 

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
4,419
1,582
113
#10
It's funny how we would be on opposite sides yet I would say the same thing.

I understood predestination from simply reading the Bible as a young person.

My mother was a member of the Judaizer cult I mentioned. My father was never a believer of any type, and didn't talk much about spiritual things. I attended the Judaizer group from age 5 to 12, and then again from age 22 to age 32. After that, free-willer evangelical organizations and in the last 6 years or so, I have been Reformed.

Anyways, when I began attending the Judaizer group at age 22, in a counseling session with the minister, I discussed predestination. Their teaching was an open theology, process theology view of God. According to him, God didn't even know I would exist until the moment I was born.

God chose to regenerate me in my first 4 months of attending this church, and as a result, I took it as his stamp of approval on their theology. I started believing their open theist, process theology views even though Romans 8-9 and other Scriptures say otherwise.

Some might say, you should have just read your bible...well, I totally agree with that, and the cult leader's favorite saying was, "don't believe me...believe your Bible". What many teachers believe when they say that is, believe the Bible with my spiritual spectacles, because I have the best view :)

And, this isn't limited to cults...it is true within the evangelical church. There are plenty of people who want you to wear their interpretative spectacles. KJV Onlyists want you to don their interpretative spectacles. Dispensationalists want you to don their interpretative spectacles. Charismatics want you to don their interpretative spectacles.

Of course, about this time folks are going to challenge my interpretative spectacles. They may think they wear no interpretative spectacles. Those are the blindest ones of all, in my opinion. They cannot see how the traditions they have absorbed and their own projection upon God affects their thinking. I'm full aware that I could be wrong in some areas. However, I make a conscientious effort to reexamine my interpretative assumptions, whereas others will simply continue to insist they have no interpretative spectactles whatsoever. Fallen man really has a hard time with this, as it is a pride issue.

And, it may not be true, but I think men are much more susceptible to certain sins, like anger, lust and pride. Thinking one is the impartial judge of spiritual things is a pride issue, too, I think. However, we are commanded to be responsible in this regard at the same time, seeking out spiritual matters.

Anyways, I was "Reformed" in some sense before I ever heard John Calvin's name. In fact it was my free-willer pastor who told me "That's Calvinism" when I described my position on predestination, after leaving the Judaizer way of thinking. He then proceeded to inform me about Servetus, with all the typical propaganda such as the Servetus affair. He lauded John Wesley to me. After I did some historical research of my own, I found that Wesley had his issues, too, including denying communion to an ex-girlfriend (I believe it was motivated by being jilted by her). In their culture, being denied communion was similar to losing your salvation. Additionally, the Wesley brothers treated George Whitfield in a very disrespectful manner, too.

I don't really have a large amount of respect for the Wesley brothers.
It's funny how we would be on opposite sides yet I would say the same thing.
I see things differently. I do not see you on the opposite side. But as a brother in Christ who agrees on the core doctrines of Christianity. What we have disagreed on to me is just details.

Additionally, the Wesley brothers treated George Whitfield in a very disrespectful manner, too.

I don't really have a large amount of respect for the Wesley brothers.
I have never studied their lives other than historical religious contributions of all those connected to the first great awakening and how that was related to American history. But it doesn't surprise me as usually people look real human the closer you observe them. History is funny that way. Many people I love what they contributed to history but many had horrible marriages, kids, social lives, etc.

However, I make a conscientious effort to reexamine my interpretative assumptions, whereas others will simply continue to insist they have no interpretative spectactles whatsoever.
It is either bias, ignorance or strong faith to be one who never reexamines their interpretations. But this is why debate is good because it forces us to reexamine our beliefs and we either update them, remove them, or adopt new ones. It helps us weed out the false information and gain what is true. It can help us critique our beliefs and smooth them out so they are well thought out and well informed.

Law on noncontradiction unfortunately means in a debate, two opposing views cannot both be true. Either both are false, one is true, or both are a mixture of the two. Dealing with God who's ways are higher than ours and His understanding is way beyond ours. Some details will fall into this range of the possiblity that interpretations are probably close but not completely accurate. One day we will absolutely know. But for today we must focus on the great commission and bringing salvation to your elect or mine who chooses to believe. Let God's Spirit do all that work and we just do as commanded.
 

UnitedWithChrist

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2019
3,532
1,804
113
#11
I see things differently. I do not see you on the opposite side. But as a brother in Christ who agrees on the core doctrines of Christianity. What we have disagreed on to me is just details.



I have never studied their lives other than historical religious contributions of all those connected to the first great awakening and how that was related to American history. But it doesn't surprise me as usually people look real human the closer you observe them. History is funny that way. Many people I love what they contributed to history but many had horrible marriages, kids, social lives, etc.



It is either bias, ignorance or strong faith to be one who never reexamines their interpretations. But this is why debate is good because it forces us to reexamine our beliefs and we either update them, remove them, or adopt new ones. It helps us weed out the false information and gain what is true. It can help us critique our beliefs and smooth them out so they are well thought out and well informed.

Law on noncontradiction unfortunately means in a debate, two opposing views cannot both be true. Either both are false, one is true, or both are a mixture of the two. Dealing with God who's ways are higher than ours and His understanding is way beyond ours. Some details will fall into this range of the possiblity that interpretations are probably close but not completely accurate. One day we will absolutely know. But for today we must focus on the great commission and bringing salvation to your elect or mine who chooses to believe. Let God's Spirit do all that work and we just do as commanded.
Well, I will totally agree with this post :D

For once.
 

SoulWeaver

Senior Member
Oct 25, 2014
2,922
754
113
#12
With the way the question was put... I kind of wished to vote both yes and no.

Of course I heard other peoples' opinions. But I never adopted a view before I run it through the Bible first, and a lot of that has to do with my background. I started by rejecting Eastern Orthodoxy, and I rejected it based upon the Bible because things weren't adding up, so of course this made me wary of believing anyone because every church claims they are the only ones who have it all figured out and "Biblical", while all others are "heretics". So I had to study things one by one and adopt positions individually. Because of this I realized doctrines don't save, because anyone myself included can be a little wrong, even with purest intent.

That being said I think we all have some kind of a reactionary leaning, depending on what we were exposed to and what effect it had upon our relationship with God. Per example, I am very averse to putting of the middle man between laymen and God, and also rituals and excessive religiousness, because it to me it turns faith into unnatural burden and bondage. That's what kept me away from God and hindered my walk in the beginning. Also, hell preaching never pushed me one inch towards Christ, while grace was very transformative to my life, and so on, which doesn't mean hell shouldn't be spoken about, but I think it's not what transforms. To put it shortly I am very averse to religious bondage.
 

UnitedWithChrist

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2019
3,532
1,804
113
#13
I really wish I could remember every input so that I could speak intelligently on how God led me through my life.

I am positive that many of us don't give proper credit to those in our past who led us to Christ, even through subtle words.

For example, at age 22 or so, I started feeling intense dissatisfaction with life. A coworker told me that my problem was that i didn't party ehough, and I took life too seriously.

So, I engaged in some drunkenness. I can remember incidences of puking on my shoes after these incidences.

My Christian Baptist aunt, who liked guys such as Jimmy Swaggart (who I intensely dislike now), took me aside and said, don't you know that I love you, and hate what you are doing to yourself?

That was a shocking revelation..that someone cared enough about me to correct me over sinful behavior.

I remember that to this day.

Eventually, I sought God as my satisfaction in life, not partying or any other such thing.

However, how many other influences did God place in my life, that I have totally forgotten?

I imagine that I would be amazed at all the people and events that I have forgotten in this regard.

Vain, indeed, is the man who thinks that he figured out life all by himself, or even him with his bible. But, again, this does not surprise me because I know that man is prideful, and he doesn't leave this behind, even if he is born-again.

I call upon you to realize this. Quit being vain and prideful and be humble. Realize that you don't even understand all the guides that the LORD has placed in your path.
 

Micaiah-imla

Well-known member
Feb 29, 2020
778
341
63
#14
They will claim that they learned everything they know from the Bible alone.

However, I know from past experience that this is often an empty claim.
and claim that they derived their understanding solely from studying Scripture diligently.
It seems you are discouraging independent bible study/learning. That's strange when considering these scriptures:

Psalm 1:
[1] Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly...[2] But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Psalm 19:
[7] The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple...[8]...the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes...[9]...the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. [10] More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold...

Psalm 43:
[3] O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.

Psalm 119:
[104] Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. [105] Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path...[127] Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. [128] Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way...[130] The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple...[140] Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.

Matthew 4:
[4]...it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

1 Timothy 4:
[15] Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. [16] Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

2 Timothy 3:
[13] But evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. [14] But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and been assured of...[15] And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. [16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [17] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

They don't seem to realize that they have absorbed a particular worldview that affects their thinking.
Seems like a prideful and assuming statement from someone who is rebuking prideful people. A believer must reject all worldviews and deny the ones he "has absorbed" and NEVER let these worldviews affect his thinking. The holy scriptures should be the SOLE source of a mans thinking.

Romans 12:
[2]...be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind...

1 Peter 1:
[23] Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God...

As for your questions:

1. Have any of your beliefs been affected by others? [NEVER]
2. Were they affected in good or bad ways? [N/A]
3. If not, where did you get your beliefs? [HOLY SCRIPTURES]
4. Do you think church history is valuable to study? [NO] Do you think you can learn from Christian brothers from the past? [YES]
5. If not, why not? [STUDYING ANYTHING OTHER THAN SCRIPTURE IS VANITY]
6. Do you think that you hear God better than others, and that you have a better understanding of Scripture than others? [NO]
7. If so, what qualified you for that? [N/A]
8. Do you realize your personal need for humility? [YES, SCRIPTURE TEACHES THIS]
9. Who were some of the primary influences upon your faith, for good or bad? [MOSES, DAVID, JEREMIAH, ISAIAH, MARK, PAUL, etc.]
 

Grandpa

Senior Member
Jun 24, 2011
10,181
2,394
113
#15
I was just listening to a radio show with Chuck Swindoll yesterday and he was talking about Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go and when he gets old he will not depart from it.

I always thought this meant indoctrinate them into Christianity and make them pray and go to church... etc. You know, use the whip (Law) force them to be "good". Spare the rod spoil the child...

But Chuck showed from the Hebrew that the words mean something different than this understanding.


The Hebrew means that the child already has God given gifts and the training they should receive should be in the gifting they already have.

Not molding them into something you think they should be. But growing and nurturing their natural strengths (gifts).

Like growing a plant. I suppose you treat the apple tree different than the rose bush. And the rose bush different from the avocado tree.



There are lots of pastors that I find myself agreeing with on certain things but then disagreeing with on certain other things.

I really like it when people show a different way to look at scripture or at God that is maybe off the beaten path. A way that I haven't thought of before and no one has ever discussed openly around me.

An example of some of them;

CS Lewis
John Calvin
John Bunyan
AW Tozer
Joseph Prince
Mark Driscoll
Hannah W Smith
John Piper
RC Sproul
Charles Spurgeon
Martin Luther
 

Absolutely

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2018
4,610
1,098
113
#16
I find myself amused by various Christians who claim that God speaks to them, and they hear from him, closer than anyone else.

Often, they deny that any other person has had any effect on their understanding of Christianity. They will claim that they learned everything they know from the Bible alone.

However, I know from past experience that this is often an empty claim. This person doesn't understand all the factors that have affected his understanding of Christianity, for better or for worse.

These guys have a self image of being the valiant defender of the truth. Their prideful, independent attitude becomes apparent as you talk to them. They often accuse others of being biased, or indoctrinated, and claim that they derived their understanding solely from studying Scripture diligently.

The leader of the cult I came from made similar claims. After I broke away from the cult, I became aware that he plagiarized a lot of his materials from others, and his theology was largely derived from reading other cultists and unsound Christians.

When it comes to a lot of normal believers, a large number of prideful Christians attended a church of some type, as a child or an adult. Do they really think that, as a young believer or a child, they didn't absorb information?

Let me give you an example..mine. I was part of a Judaizer organization that taught Saturday observance, festival observance, and clean meat law observance. Their teaching was that they were the elect, who were called out of this world to rule in the Millennial kingdom. They taught that others were attending pagan churches. They got their teachings from guys like Alexander Hislop, the author of Two Babylons, who was focused on criticizing Roman Catholicism by claiming they worship Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz.

Hislop claimed ridiculous things like church steeples were really erect male sex organs and the bells were related to the testicles. Lots of cults have used Hislop's claims to attack Christianity as a whole.

Anyways, my mom told me about a very embarrassing incident I caused between her and my grandma as an 8 year old child.

My grandma was babysitting for me one day, and I asked her, matter-of-factly, why she goes to a pagan church. I apparently heard this at church, because the church's teachings in this regard weren't discussed at home.

My grandma was a Pentecost. When my mom arrived, she told my what I said and that caused some distance between them for quite a while.

What is my point? My point is that even little kids are indoctrinated by their experiences in church congregations. And, so are adult new believers.

Perhaps the new believer is drawn to a particular church by family loyalties, or a friend that is attending, or some aggressive marketing by the group. They start attending the church, and are regenerated by God through the pastor's teaching. Because he is converted at the church, he thinks God's stamp of approval is on the organization and ALL of it's teachings.

Quite often this new believer begins to think they are the infallible, impartial judge of what is true and what is false. They begin to attack others as being "unbiblical". They don't seem to realize that they have absorbed a particular worldview that affects their thinking.

I would say one great demonstration of an immature Christian is if they don't realize they have obtained some of their worldview from others. Unsaved man wants to think that he is dependent, and not interdependent. This quite often carries over in the person's spiritual life.

If someone doesn't realize that their belief system has been affected, at some level, by interactions with others, and society in general, I would say that they are still spiritual babies.

So, here's the questions:

1. Have any of your beliefs been affected by others?
2. Were they affected in good or bad ways?
3. If not, where did you get your beliefs?
4. Do you think church history is valuable to study? Do you think you can learn from Christian brothers from the past?
5. If not, why not?
6. Do you think that you hear God better than others, and that you have a better understanding of Scripture than others?
7. If so, what qualified you for that?
8. Do you realize your personal need for humility?
9. Who were some of the primary influences upon your faith, for good or bad?

Here's my answers:

1. Yes.
2. Both
3. doesn't apply.
4. Absolutely. The fellowship of believers extends beyond my church and friends.
5. doesn't apply.
6. I won't answer that :) There are some groups within recognized Christianity that I strongly disagree with, and others I consider heretical.
7. I won't answer that :)
8. Yes.
9. The Judaizer cult, and Reformed brothers. The Judaizer cult actually affected me for good in some ways, and bad in others.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy discussing this.
All your chatter is heavily centered in pain and trauma.
No doubt it fuels the fire of that spirit that attacks the body of christ.
You are centered into "what is wrong "

You gender strife and seem to feed off it.
Your "ministry" is backwards.
You accuse the brethren.

When you ran to your grandmother as a tiny tot,you were waving and screaming "heretic, heritic".
Now,for years you are gendering strife as a normal extension of what assailed you as a child.
 

Dave-L

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2020
4,638
709
113
#17
For me, the greatest influence on my understanding of scripture has been the false teachers the Lord exposed me to. The tangles they created in my head I needed to overcome. And spending years studying to disprove all they taught me. My final victory in this came from hearing the doctrine of Universal Atonement preached to the fullest extent. And then compared to a biased rejection of Limited Atonement. The Lord opened my eyes to see the truth of Limited Atonement which led me out of Pentecostalism, Dispensationalism, and Arminianism forever. It's been a strange journey but I know what I believe now.
 

ForestGreenCook

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2018
3,773
444
83
#18
I find myself amused by various Christians who claim that God speaks to them, and they hear from him, closer than anyone else.

Often, they deny that any other person has had any effect on their understanding of Christianity. They will claim that they learned everything they know from the Bible alone.

However, I know from past experience that this is often an empty claim. This person doesn't understand all the factors that have affected his understanding of Christianity, for better or for worse.

These guys have a self image of being the valiant defender of the truth. Their prideful, independent attitude becomes apparent as you talk to them. They often accuse others of being biased, or indoctrinated, and claim that they derived their understanding solely from studying Scripture diligently.

The leader of the cult I came from made similar claims. After I broke away from the cult, I became aware that he plagiarized a lot of his materials from others, and his theology was largely derived from reading other cultists and unsound Christians.

When it comes to a lot of normal believers, a large number of prideful Christians attended a church of some type, as a child or an adult. Do they really think that, as a young believer or a child, they didn't absorb information?

Let me give you an example..mine. I was part of a Judaizer organization that taught Saturday observance, festival observance, and clean meat law observance. Their teaching was that they were the elect, who were called out of this world to rule in the Millennial kingdom. They taught that others were attending pagan churches. They got their teachings from guys like Alexander Hislop, the author of Two Babylons, who was focused on criticizing Roman Catholicism by claiming they worship Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz.

Hislop claimed ridiculous things like church steeples were really erect male sex organs and the bells were related to the testicles. Lots of cults have used Hislop's claims to attack Christianity as a whole.

Anyways, my mom told me about a very embarrassing incident I caused between her and my grandma as an 8 year old child.

My grandma was babysitting for me one day, and I asked her, matter-of-factly, why she goes to a pagan church. I apparently heard this at church, because the church's teachings in this regard weren't discussed at home.

My grandma was a Pentecost. When my mom arrived, she told my what I said and that caused some distance between them for quite a while.

What is my point? My point is that even little kids are indoctrinated by their experiences in church congregations. And, so are adult new believers.

Perhaps the new believer is drawn to a particular church by family loyalties, or a friend that is attending, or some aggressive marketing by the group. They start attending the church, and are regenerated by God through the pastor's teaching. Because he is converted at the church, he thinks God's stamp of approval is on the organization and ALL of it's teachings.

Quite often this new believer begins to think they are the infallible, impartial judge of what is true and what is false. They begin to attack others as being "unbiblical". They don't seem to realize that they have absorbed a particular worldview that affects their thinking.

I would say one great demonstration of an immature Christian is if they don't realize they have obtained some of their worldview from others. Unsaved man wants to think that he is dependent, and not interdependent. This quite often carries over in the person's spiritual life.

If someone doesn't realize that their belief system has been affected, at some level, by interactions with others, and society in general, I would say that they are still spiritual babies.

So, here's the questions:

1. Have any of your beliefs been affected by others?
2. Were they affected in good or bad ways?
3. If not, where did you get your beliefs?
4. Do you think church history is valuable to study? Do you think you can learn from Christian brothers from the past?
5. If not, why not?
6. Do you think that you hear God better than others, and that you have a better understanding of Scripture than others?
7. If so, what qualified you for that?
8. Do you realize your personal need for humility?
9. Who were some of the primary influences upon your faith, for good or bad?

Here's my answers:

1. Yes.
2. Both
3. doesn't apply.
4. Absolutely. The fellowship of believers extends beyond my church and friends.
5. doesn't apply.
6. I won't answer that :) There are some groups within recognized Christianity that I strongly disagree with, and others I consider heretical.
7. I won't answer that :)
8. Yes.
9. The Judaizer cult, and Reformed brothers. The Judaizer cult actually affected me for good in some ways, and bad in others.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy discussing this.
Sense you like to answer questions, 1. - Do you think that the Holy Spirit reveals the the truths contained in the scriptures? 2. - Do you think that the Holy Spirit will reveal any truths to a student of the scriptures that is depending upon his own entelect to understand them?

3. - Do you think that a student of the scriptures, who has given up on depending upon his intelligence to understand the truths of the scriptures, and has prayerfully ask God to help him understand them, can the Holy Spirit give him a revelation of the truths contained within the scriptures, without the help of other men's interpretations, using only the scriptures and Greek concordances? If your answer to question 1 is "no", and to question 2. is "yes", and to question 3. is "no", Can you explain why?
 

Blain

Senior Member
Aug 28, 2012
15,728
1,064
113
#19
I couldn't answer the poll because the choices don't really match for me. It is true that my faith and beliefs have been influenced by others but it's not unavoidable you can choose not to learn from others. and from independant bible study yes but that is not the only thing and as for I don't know the thing is I do know so it is kind of a trap in itself.

Honestly I hope everyone has the wisdom to learn and grow from God in all things. His voice is everywhere and in everything from what a person posted to something as simple and humble as a flower in the grass he is constantly speaking to us we just have to know how to listen
 

biker

Well-known member
Apr 5, 2020
1,526
263
83
#20
No person could ever influence my views unless I allowed them to. When something bothers me doctrine wise, I go to that person and have them clarify it, I just don't take what happened/what was said/what was done as a final picture of the situation. And in most cases, they were dealing with someone else and I only saw a portion of what took place. But even had the person been trying to do something wrong, it would not influence my beliefs, it would influence my standing relationship with said individual. I would go to God and forgive them and mosey on my own way and never look back. Thankfully, it's been where I came in at the wrong moment and did not catch the entire viewpoint.

My answer is a most definitely "NO" to no one has made me lose focus on Christ. I totally expect Satan to send deceivers my way. I total expect Satan to use Believers to hurt me. But I do not hold people accountable (even though they allowed themselves to be manipulated). I always hold Satan accountable for it!