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      07-12-2007, 10:37 PM   #53
Alpine
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Thanks for reading all that in my last post. I thought it was way too long- I'll try to keep this one shorter.

The reason we Muslims believe in circumcision is because it has many hygienic benefits
I agree with you that circumcision is much healthier than the alternative, but all I was saying is that it cannot be used in the argument of salvation because it is no longer Biblically 'required.'

Why would God be raised as Jewish?
Good question. I've honestly never looked into this, so thanks for the learning opportunity! The Jews had many specific criteria to be fulfilled by their Messiah. These criteria, once fulfilled, would let the Jews know who their Messiah would be. One specific criterion is that he must be Jewish. (Deuteronomy 17:15) That pretty much explains it, but I'll keep going! Another is that He must also be a member of the tribe of Judah (aka He must be Jewish [again]) (Genesis 49:10). So I guess that basically explains why Jesus was Jewish; to fulfill prophecy- but still continuing... Judaism is defined as "a religion developed among the ancient Hebrews and characterized by belief in one transcendent God who has revealed himself to Abraham, Moses, and the Hebrew prophets and by a religious life in accordance with Scriptures and rabbinic traditions." Jesus most certainly believed in God... His Father! Naturally, Jesus would not have been a Christian, because Christians believe in the resurrection of Jesus, which happened after Jesus began his ministry (obviously). I hope this answers your question. I'll keep researching to find more reasons. I guess I've never questioned it because it didn't really pertain to my salvation! (But interesting nonetheless!)

But Christians tell me that Jesus’ death and resurrection was to obtain the keys to heaven. I also wonder why God wouldn’t already have the keys but anyway

Exactly right. Jesus' death and resurrection provided a 'path' to salvation. I'm not really sure what you mean by why God didn't already have the keys... In the Old Testament, the High Priest was to make animal sacrifices to cover for the Israelites sins. But when Jesus came, the animal sacrifices stopped, and Jesus became the Sacrificial Lamb once and for all (Hebrews 9:11-15).

If Jesus died for our sins, it means he paid for them and we are forgiven and free to do as we please…
Good point, I'm glad you mentioned that. The Bible mentions this quite a bit because many new Christians in the Bible assumed the same! Lets take a closer look...

The Bible teaches that we are naturally all sinners. (Romans 3:23). The Bible describes us as slaves to sin. However, when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our life, we die to that sin, and become slaves to Christ.

"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires." Galatians 5:24

"You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness" Romans 6:18

Now that we've gotten past what you have alrady said, a new Christian should not just sin for the fun of it because he or she is covered by God's grace.

"What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!" Romans 6:15

Of course no follower of Jesus is as perfect as He is, hence the need for a Savior. But we are called to mimic His holiness.

"As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy." 1 Peter 1:14-16

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age" Titus 2:11-12

You see, the reason why followers of Christ should not live wild crazy sinful lives (not to be confused with outgoing and fun.. which I definitely am!) is because we are supposed to be different from the world. As I said earlier, Christians are not perfect- we mess up, obviously. But as you have seen in your own observations, you expect Christians to mimic Jesus. As we should. Doing good works/deeds does not save us, but it is part of our faith. As James says,
"Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." (James 2:18)

Followers of Christ are called to do good deeds to display our faith. If I was telling you all of this face to face, but then I went out and got hammered and got high- would you believe a word I was saying?

As a Servant of Christ, I want to do good deeds, because I want to glorify God with what I do. Of course I sin, but because Christ died for my sins, and I believe and trust in Him that He did, I know my sins have been paid for.

Of course no food can make your heart impure
Exactly!! What really matters in the Bible, the whole purpose, is to show us that there is a way to salvation, and that way is by trusting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Your heart (soul) is what is at stake. What I am trying to say, is that the foods you eat don't have an eternal impact on salvation or anything of the sort. Thus, it should be a null argument to try to say someone is going to hell (or not going to heaven) for eating pork. I do agree with you that certain foods are clearly unhealthy- and believe it or not, many many many foods can contain certain bacteria/viruses/ and worms that can do a considerable amount to harm your body.. not just pork. I'm a microbiology major, I can go into some serious detail on this one... on a lighter note, a common thing such as Trans fats can really harm our body, but yet we continually eat fast food and frozen foods. But does that mean that they were not ever intended to be eaten? Of course not. Yes, we should take care of our bodies, but that argument is irrelevant when it comes to what really matters, Jesus Christ.

Thanks for the links to the website. I actually did read it all. I will agree with you, that on the surface, that website promotes a very persuading argument. However, when taking a much closer look at their 'contradictions' a vast vast majority of them are taken completely out of context of what the passage in the Bible is actually talking about. Many of their 'major' contradictions are completely irrelevant anyway. There are many that scuffle over one person's name in a lineage of 40. How do we know if that person had two names, just like we do now?

Also, an entire page was dedicated to a passage in Mark that may or may not have been included in the original letter. Ok, so lets pretend that it wasn't originally there. That passage refers to some things that Jesus did after He was resurrected. An exact same account of what that passage described is also found in Matthew 28, Luke 24, and John 20. Even if Mark's gospel didn't originally have those verses, the other 3 gospels account for everything in Mark's passages- meaning, that what they are all talking about, actually happened. So where's the argument?

The Bible has withstood criticism for thousands of years. I could give you many quotes from many sources on why the Bible is the True Word of God, but I'll just reference them for you. Since I read all of your links, I hope you will read mine. Thanks! [Sorry I didn't do a very good job at keeping this one short either!]
http://www.be-ready.org/validity.html
http://www.allabouttruth.org/is-the-bible-true-c.htm
http://www.allabouttruth.org/is-the-bible-true-c-2.htm
http://www.gotquestions.org/which-book.html
http://www.gotquestions.org/questions_Bible.html
http://www.thetruthaboutdavinci.com/...ible-true.html
****http://www.the-good-way.com/eng/intro/i01.htm (If you click on any of them, please read this one!)****
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