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1:15 AM
@El'endiaStarman Definitely felt weird. I was surprised to see that orange "1" pop up - had no idea there was a pending edit notification.
 
@ThaddeusB That orange number actually displays the number of items awaiting review in all queues. It's rarely not there for me. That's a big part of why my edit review count was growing so slowly. I sometimes happened to catch a suggested edit. Then you and Nathaniel started editing like crazy, which was awesome... :P
 
2:11 AM
@El'endiaStarman for whatever reason, the only time it appears for me is when there is a suggested edit... close, reopens, low quality, first posts, late answers; none of those are ever counted in the orange number
 
@Nathaniel Weird. I certainly see it as the sum of all those. It may be a rep threshold thing. Like you have access above rep A, then you get notified above rep B, where B > A.
 
@El'endiaStarman Looks like B = 10k, at least according to this: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/19236/…
 
 
14 hours later…
4:41 PM
Do Christians want Jesus to come back? If so, why not stop promoting Christianity? If the prophesy is that there is a one world religion and that religion (presumably) is not Christianity, should we just let it happen?
It seems that if Christianity (as we know it today) is spread around the world, wouldn't that mean that Christianity is the false religion?
I remember asking a similar question when I was a child. My pastors response was, "the Bible tells us what COULD happen, but since we have free will, we can change course." If that were true, the the Bible couldn't be inerrant.
 
4:54 PM
@DanAndrews Not all Christians accept that there will be a one world religion in the future--they don't interpret the relevant passages that way. But regardless, Christians of all types can say that they must evangelize because Jesus commanded it.
There are also other passages that some interpret to mean that Jesus will not come back until people of all tribes and nations have heard the Gospel, so that's incentive to do missions work.
And finally, those who accept your premise, that there will be a one-world religion, would probably argue that Christianity could never become that religion, and that our evangelism efforts will result in some being saved, but not all
 
which denomination holds that belief (as a group)?
For those who do hold that belief, must suspect that Christianity will no longer exist at the end times.
 
@DanAndrews The best bet is probably dispensationalists.
I doubt any Christians would interpret "one-world religion" as including every single person. Rather, it would be something widespread and accepted by a vast majority, but small minorities (like Christianity) could still exist
 
I know we mark question as off topic and too broad if they appear to be listing questions. But wouldn't "What Christian religions believe X?" be on topic via scope of the site. I agree that it doesn't play nice the SE format
I guess the problem is, I don't know where such questions could be asked.
 
@DanAndrews A question formulated like this might work: "What branch of Christianity believes that there will be a future one-world religion?"
Or, you could find the passage that is used to defend this view, and ask for an overview of interpretations of it
(Looks like it is Revelation 17:1–18)
 
idk... since one person may only know of 1 or 2 and someone else may know of another - if that's the case, who would have the right answer. Questions here fit more of, "What basis does X believe..."
Yeah, good ol' Revelation ;)
sorry, I'm typing while in a meeting - please excuse grammar and spelling for a moment
 
5:10 PM
@Nathaniel More likely it's Revelation 13:11-18.
@DanAndrews Skills we learned in school! ;-)
 
@Nathaniel Yeah, I can't keep track of all the wacky ideas fundamentalists and evangelicals get based on a literal interpretation of Revelation . . . .
I hardly even chuckle anymore when their predictions don't come true. I just say to myself, "Another one bites the dust!"
 
@LeeWoofenden Me neither. Thankfully, these guys, particularly the ones making very specific predictions, are a minority in evangelicalism
 
Still, Revelation 13:11-18 sounds much more like a one-world religion than Revelation 17:1-18. And the various beasts and dragons in Revelation do not all represent the same figure anyway.
@Nathaniel But from what I can tell, all fundamentalists and evangelicals think it's going to happen soon. Just as the original followers of Jesus did 2,000 years ago.
 
Maybe a bit offensive to some, but I find Revelation God's version of Fantasia.
 
5:16 PM
@DanAndrews How do you know Fantasia isn't Disney's version of Revelation? :P
 
valid point!
 
@LeeWoofenden Not in the least. Evangelicalism includes a huge number of postmillennialists and amillennialists who don't see this as imminent in the same way as the pretribulation dispensationalists. And there are some, semi-preterists, who think all that happened in the first century, except Christ's return.
 
It's really hard for me to understand Bible literalists when it comes to Revelation
 
@Nathaniel I suppose you're right. Though I'd somewhat question the "huge number." At least, the ones making all the noise seem to think we're now in the end times.
 
Those who don't get excited about the latest peace treaty in the Middle East will naturally not get much press.
 
5:20 PM
@Nathaniel And in general, all of them think that Revelation will be fulfilled literally, regardless of what particular wacky literal interpretation they have of exactly how it's going to unfold.
 
People have been thinking that for 2000 years. Ask the Essenes
 
@LeeWoofenden "Literal interpretation" can also be understood to mean interpretation according to the literary type of the work. That's how some Reformed theology guys use it, and thus they see Revelation as very figurative.
 
@Nathaniel But they're not fundamentalists and evangelicals, are they?
@DanAndrews Or just look at Matthew 24:34.
 
IMHO, I believe Islamic extremist have allowed us to critically look at fundamental evangelicals - not that we didn't before.
 
Depends on your definition. Fundamentalism, broadly speaking, is anyone who holds to five fundamentals: inerrancy, literal miracles and creation, virgin birth, bodily resurrection and return of Christ, and substitutionary atonement. B. B. Warfield wrote in The Fundamentals, and he was Reformed to the core.
but these days, fundamentalism is more narrowly dispensational, and "evangelicalism" is the broad term
 
5:25 PM
@Nathaniel Perhaps. But in practice fundamentalists are Protestants who read the Bible as literally as they can.
 
Matthew 24:34 is what Bart Erhman brings up frequently.
Puritans?
 
@LeeWoofenden Yes; that's more common these days. But Reformed people have no issue with the term "evangelical"
 
@Nathaniel As I understand it, "Evangelical" used to mean, more or less, "Lutheran," as compared to "Reformed," which meant "Calvinist." But it's a long way from that meaning now.
 
I love when the discussion turns to mysticism. "I don't believe in that stuff. Magic, etc" If you don't believe in that stuff, how can you believe in a virgin birth and a raising after death?
 
@DanAndrews Puritans preceded the fundamentalist movement, but they would have agreed with those five points. They were Reformed, not dispensational, and had similar theology as modern conservative Presbyterians (though they ran their churches differently)
 
5:29 PM
We're just desensitized from it since we've been familiar with it since childhood
 
@DanAndrews It is possible to take some things in the Bible literally, while also reading everything in the Bible symbolically.
 
unfortunately for me, they only way I can rationalize inerrantcy of the Bible is by taking most of it symbolically. That is, the moral of the story is true.
For example, did Jesus literally walk on water? Or is the point of the story to make the audience understand that God will assist you through dangerous times and to put your faith in him.
For me, if they found out (someway) that he didn't literally walk on water, my faith is just as solid.
 
@DanAndrews The miracle of the virgin birth is seen as particularly necessary because without it, Christ could not have been a mediator between man and God in the same sense
 
With that, if you don't believe in a literal Adam and Eve, there's no original sin for him to clean us from.
 
@DanAndrews Right. That's why "list" questions are generally considered off-topic - there is no right answer, but instead many partially right answers
 
5:37 PM
I'm not going to touch the virgin birth topic. However I can say that I highly doubt that Mary was a perpetual / eternal virgin. But then again, I could be wrong. I'll find out when I die.
 
@LeeWoofenden Compared to 14B years, 2000 is pretty soon :) ... More seriously, I don't thin the expectation of a "near end" is unique to Christianity, but probably common to all people who expect a (religiously-motivated) end. It is part of human nature to think "things were better in the past; my generation is the worst yet - things must be heading to an end"
 
God knows what's in your heart. He gave me a brain to think. He knows that I don't question him, but am just trying to understand him more - which may mean questioning the humans who interacted with the book(s) attributed to him.
@ThaddeusB The future is scary, we don't know it. The past is comfortable, we only remember the good things - ask any mother about giving birth, the dopamine made her forget the pain.
 
@ThaddeusB I would say that in religion, thinking that "the end is near" is characteristic of the fundamentalist wings of the various religions. ISIS has a fairly well-developed end-times scenario. They actually want the U.S. to go to war with them, because they think it will lead to the final battle in Dabiq, which is their version of Armageddon.
 
America has a hard time with enemies who want to be martyrs. Just like WWII
 
@DanAndrews Ditto. I actually have no particular problem believing that Jesus literally walked on water. But whether he did or didn't do so is relatively unimportant. It's the spiritual meaning and message of his walking on water that's important.
 
5:43 PM
@DanAndrews "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matt 22:37) - God wants you to use your brain :)
 
@DanAndrews Everyone has a hard time with enemies who want to be martyrs. It's fiendishly difficult to defeat an enemy that is willing to die for their cause. It's even harder to defeat an enemy that wants to die for their cause.
@ThaddeusB What?!? Heresy!!! ;-)
 
@ThaddeusB That is the verse that I live by. Everything else (ie: communion, baptism [sprinkled or dunked], specific prayers, saints, literal or non-literal readings, etc) is just icing on the cake.
 
@DanAndrews Original sin is not the problem because it's not a reality. Evil desires and tendencies passed down from one generation to the next, however, is a problem, because each generation acts on the failings and proclivities of the previous one.
It says that sin entered the world through Adam, but then says that all have sinned, not just Adam.
@DanAndrews The Virgin Birth is Biblical. The perpetual virginity of Mary is not. It's clear enough from the Biblical narrative that Mary had other children after Jesus, despite some fancy Catholic arguments to try to claim that she didn't.
The Immaculate Conception is also not Biblical (and not the same thing as the Virgin Birth).
 
It's a very Christian attitude to point out the sins of others. It makes them feel like they're doing good. "Oh, you drank a beer. See, I just worked on Sunday one time, you're going to hell for the abundance of sin"
 
@DanAndrews I agree (see my profile :) ) - I Corinthians 7:19 is a favorite of mine ("Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts.")
 
5:51 PM
@Nathaniel For a different view of why God came as Jesus via the Virgin Birth and all that, see my article, The Logic of Love: Why God became Jesus.
@DanAndrews Agreed. I don't know why the two Great Commandments are not considered the central doctrines of all of Christianity.
 
@LeeWoofenden I am famliar with Immaculate Conception, I was raised Catholic. However I do not consider myself Catholic today. It is hard to get rid of some of the beliefs though since I was raised in it. Pretty much we're all going to hell anyway.
 
@DanAndrews It's a very un-Christian attitude (as defined in the Bible), even if it is a common attitude of people who say they are Christians
 
@DanAndrews Oops, I meant to direct the one with the link to you. Not that I mind if @Nathaniel reads it, either. ;-)
 
lol
 
:)
 
5:56 PM
@DanAndrews I thought @TRiG 's question about what's the "good news" about Calvinism, and the response, was telling. The "good news" apparently is that at least a few of us aren't going to hell . . . .
 
Jesus' teaching were about what to do NOW. How to treat people NOW. It wasn't preparing for the afterlife that so many people focus on today. While I understand because it's openly taught that works do not get you salvation - however that's not the point. Do good works because you want to be a good person.
 
@DanAndrews Nothing really gets you salvation. Isn't it supposed to be a free gift? It's not about getting salvation. It's about accepting salvation instead of rejecting it. Just having faith isn't sufficient. If you don't do good works also--meaning love your neighbor--you're still rejecting the free gift, because you're not allowing Christ to enter and remake your life from the inside out.
2
 
@ThaddeusB You're in Columbus? I'm in Medina
 
@DanAndrews In case you have managed to avoid hearing me say it so far (which would be quite a feat!), I believe that salvation by faith alone is an utterly false and anti-Biblical teaching.
 
@LeeWoofenden You make a good point, if salvation was by faith alone, then why would there be judgement?
 
5:59 PM
@DanAndrews Precisely.
 
@LeeWoofenden That few will be saved is Biblical, e.g. Matt 7:13-4. I deplore churches taking that to mean they are the only true believers, but still (for whatever reason) most choose to reject the gift (I agree with your statement on the nature of salvation)
 
@DanAndrews It seems to me that Matthew 25:31-46 is definitive on this point.
 
@LeeWoofenden If judgement is just for the unbelievers... then why judge them because they're going to hell anyway? If my reward is to enter through the gates because of my faith and good works. I would be a little disappointed that I would be standing next to Jeffery Dahmer who had a death bed conversion.
 
@DanAndrews That sounds to me like one of the workers of the vineyard that was hired earlier in the day and yet got paid the same as the workers hired last...
 
@El'endiaStarman Very nice point
 
6:03 PM
@ThaddeusB I read Matthew 7:13-14 as an indicator of the times in which Jesus was living. He came at the lowest ebb of humanity, when few were even interested in finding the narrow gate. And the gate was narrow precisely because so few were entering it. Routes traveled by few people tend to be narrow dirt roads. Routes traveled by many people become multi-lane superhighways.
 
@DanAndrews Yep, and I was raised Catholic too. Small world.
 
@ThaddeusB Pretty sure being raised Catholic is a 'large world' thing. :P
 
Just because the road to salvation was narrow in Jesus' day, that doesn't necessarily mean it's still narrow today. It all depends on how many people are traveling it.
 
@El'endiaStarman I agree - that parable is about equality in salvation - the "death bed convert" is equal to the life-long believer
@LeeWoofenden Why take it as referring only to contemporary times?
 
Saw this on Facebook:
user image
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6:06 PM
@ThaddeusB But most "deathbead conversions" are false conversions because they're "converting" in a state of extreme fear, and not in a state of freedom. Once they find out that they're alive and well on the other side, they'll go right back to their old evil lives.
 
@El'endiaStarman True, true. Leaving Catholicism but retaining (or I would say discovering) Christianity is not so common though
 
@El'endiaStarman Haha! Looks to me like it's how they know their windshield is broken!
@ThaddeusB The church I was pastor of for a decade was in a heavily Catholic area. At least half of our new members were former Catholics. So it was fairly common for our congregation.
 
@LeeWoofenden Well yes - naturally God can judge true intent of the "convert"
 
@ThaddeusB Based on what's in the "convert's" heart. I would be willing to wager that what's in the heart of approximately 99.9% of deathbed converts is "Oh @#$%! I'm about to roast in hell!" IOW, it's a CYA response, aimed at saving his/her skin. Not a real conversion. Still driven by selfishness. Won't work.
 
@LeeWoofenden Not sure about the %, but I agree with the gist - I was not intending to imply such conversion were common :)
 
6:14 PM
@ThaddeusB Even the workers who went to the vineyard at the 11th hour still worked for an hour. They didn't arrive at the 12th hour, having done nothing at all, and get paid.
 
@LeeWoofenden We are in fundamental agreement about the nature of salvation - real salvation always entails good works. As you may recall, I view the question about whether "faith saves but causes good works" or "faith combined with works" to be an academic debate with no practical significance.
 
And though you've probably heard it before, those final hours can be critical for a farmer needing to get the crop in before nightfall/rain, etc. The profit is in the last bit of harvest. If it doesn't get harvested and the crop is ruined by a storm, or not harvested in time to sell to the jobber, the farmer might as well not have bothered. So even from an economic standpoint, the parable is not totally without practical meaning.
@ThaddeusB Right.
 
A more relevant example might be the guy who converts but succumbs to an accident before having much of a chance to put his faith into action - he did not convert based on deathbed fear, but I don't think God will hold his lack of works against him. God will know if the conversion would have resulted in real change (i.e. was a real conversion) or not and judge accordingly.
 
Those 11th hour workers were what put it over the top for the farmer.
@ThaddeusB Yes. And what he then does will seal the deal. If he gets to the other life and goes right back to his old ways, his conversion was not genuine. But if it was genuine, he will stop living the way he did before, and instead actually do good things for others ("the neighbor") out of a genuine desire to love and care for them.
 
@LeeWoofenden I actually had not heard that before, but it makes good sense (enhances the understanding of the parable).
 
6:24 PM
I think that the thief on the cross had a genuine conversion. He recognized that he had done wrong, repented from it, witnessed to the other thief, and then, in effect, asked Jesus for mercy. I believe that when he got to the other side, he continued on that track, because his heart had been changed. Which is why Jesus told him that today he would be with him in Paradise.
@ThaddeusB Yes. Clearly the owner of the vineyard knew that he did not have enough workers to get his crop in, and was desperate for more. That's why he kept going back and hiring anyone and everyone there. When he got his crop in, he was feeling relieved, happy, and generous, and he showed his generosity by paying everyone a full day's wage.
All of them had done their part in getting the full crop harvested so that he could make a good profit from the crop.
Spiritually, we are the crop. As many as God can harvest before it's too late, that's how many there are to take part in God's kingdom. Even if it happens at the 11th hour, we still become a part of the wedding feast (to mix parables!). But the 12th hour is too late.
 
Good stuff (thief interpretation) and more good stuff (vineyard interpretation). :)
 
@ThaddeusB Thanks. Glad you enjoy it!
 
 
2 hours later…
8:36 PM
@ThaddeusB "most choose to reject the gift"--but that's not the way Calvinists see it. In Calvinism, only a few are saved because God only offers salvation to a few.
 

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