It is time to finally finish up my response to a Christian Scientist which I started several weeks ago. The point is not to win this CS to the true faith, but to help those who are in the true faith see through the arguments that these people make, be they part of Christian Science, Mormonism, liberal churches, etc. It would be nice to see this man turn from the heresies of his faith, to saving faith in Jesus Christ, but given that this man is a practitioner in his religion and makes his living as such, he has sold his soul to this falsehood. Instead of coming to Christ to be saved, he came to Christ to make his money off of healings and propagating a lie. He has a form of godliness but denies its true power (2 Timothy 3:1-9).
As believers in Christ, we are to shun those who are into idle babblings, as Paul warned Timothy (2 Timothy 2:14-26). If you look at my other posts dealing with this man, you can see that much of their belief system is based upon idle babblings. They are not grounded in the truth of God’s word, but whatever wind of doctrine the blows along. This is what is so sad about those who are stuck in this belief system. Instead of grabbing onto the truth, they heap up their error to their own destruction. It is truly sad and we can hope that some will turn away from it to Christ as was the case for me when I was 29. So it is not impossible that God’s Spirit will move in them. I just do not think it likely because they refused to accept even the smallest bit of light that is given to them (John 3:18-21).
I’m picking up on Don’s argument in midstream. He is trying to claim that the Apocrypha is made up of early Christian writings and that we need to look to these books for a deeper understanding of healing, even though the Apocrypha was written before the time of Christ, and was never regarded as Scripture by those who wrote it or read it. Remember that the entire premise of their faith is based upon the healings of Christ, thinking that He came to teach us how to heal ourselves. No where does Scripture ever say such a thing. We are told to preach and teach the truths of Scripture and Christ, but never go about healing the people of the world.
On to Don’s writings:
Within those books are records of regular healings as a part of practicing one’s religion. Healings abruptly ceased at the time Constantine (Roman emperor) gathered the bishops to “standardize Christianity” and to make his life easier by eliminating the important debates that had been going on–whether Jesus was God, or that God made matter, or that he punishes people for being evil were some of the issues of the time for which differences of opinion from the orthodox view were severely punished.
The healing ceased? Can you give us some proof of this? Even the debates you cite, need documentation. Yes, Constantine order the Council of Nicaea together to help settle the Arian controversy. The issue concerned what the church believed, based on Scripture, about Christ and what Arius was trying to say about Christ. It truly is an important issue, and you would do well not to side with Arius.
The Christian community was accustomed to saying the Jesus Chris was just as much God as the Father was and is. Arian suggested that He was merely a man, created just as we are and with a beginning.
Now, how about a bit of hypocrisy on your part Don. CSers believe that Jesus was just a man, but then point to Christ’s own claims about Himself in John 8:58 “Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was, ‘I Am.’” On the one hand, you claim that Jesus was just a man. Yet, on the other had you claim that Jesus always existed and that this truth is the same for you as it was for Him. Remember, this is why you don’t celebrate your birthdays?
However we are not equal to Christ. He is the only begotten of the Father. This means, from the Greek, He is the unique One of God. He is different than we are. He was born without sin and of a virgin. All this you deny to be true by bringing Christ down to your level, or worse, exalting yourself up to His level. What hubris.
Jesus could claim that before Abraham, “I Am” because He existed before all of creation. He was not created at a point in time as the Arians claim, but existed before creation and was there during creation (see Colossians 1:15-18 and note that the “He” in the text is referring to Christ.) Abraham did not always exist. If all mankind existed before creation than Jesus would not have said, “before Abraham was…” He would have said, “we all existed before time.” But He doesn’t. He is declaring His equality with the Father. This is why the Jews pick up stones to kill Him. If what He says is not true, then they are right in stoning Him for claiming equality with God is blasphemous. The reason they fail in their attempt to bring about justice is that they are wrong in their assumptions concerning Christ. He is equal to the Father and has a right to claim equality with the Father.
Paul goes on to tell us that Jesus was not committing robbery by claiming to be equal with the Father (Philippians 1:6). It is only robbery if what He claimed was not true. Since it is true, then His claim of equality is NOT robbery. He is the fulness of God, revealed to us, without sin and unique in that He was not created, but the Second Person of the Trinity.
This issue is vital for the salvation of mankind. The Lamb of God must be both fully Man and Fully God. Otherwise there is no acceptable sacrifice for our sins. He must be fully Man so that He represents us on the cross and fully God so that He pays the eternal debt we owe for our sin to and eternal God. He is eternal and makes the payment we cannot make.
But since you do not believe in sin, your own sinfulness and a need for a sacrifice, I guess this all moot. This brings up another puzzlement I have with CSers. Why is it that they do not believe in the material world, saying that all matter is evil, yet they spend so much time focusing on the matter of their bodies which are bearing the marks of sin of mankind whenever sickness arise. CSers focus on saying matter is not real, in order to heal their material bodies, which are not real, all the while missing the very spiritual nature of Christ’s healings in the first place. I guess the blindness you suffer from is such that it leads to utter foolishness as well.
Back to your arguments.
What you wrote in your previous email reflects these beliefs.
All churches were classified as “cults” as a part of identifying a religious group during that period of time. There was nothing negative about it, then. “Cult” today is usually a derogatory term as used by orthodoxy meaning that any group who doesn’t follow the general guidelines established by the Nicean Creed is way off base and perhaps even evil.
Absolutely true and I do not shy away from this charge. Let’s play Paschal’s wager. If what you say is true, then what I say really doesn’t matter. However, if what I believe is true, then those who do not believe it spend eternity in hell. Seems like it would be pretty important to make sure one was right. Remember, the One who created hell, told us more about it than any other figure in the Bible, so you cannot dismiss it by saying it’s not real or doesn’t exist. Christ told us of hell and said that the way to destruction was the broad way. Given all your claims to broad appeals here and there, seems like you are on the broad way. After all, you keep appealing to the heretics, liberals and loonies for your support, ignoring God’s word and the One who gave us the guidelines for faith and salvation.
This is being played out today in evaluating Mitt Romney’s religion as well as in your emails to me. But none of these orthodox churches heal as a part of their focus, and that is what Jesus required to show proof of Christianity, accurately practiced. He used this to demonstrate to John (via John’s disciples) that he was the Messiah and told his followers to “go and do likewise”–that headings are demonstrations of true Christianity–the sign that Christians were on the right path.
No, again, this is the wrong assumption made by CSers. Your focus should be on preaching the gospel of Christ, which is the true power unto salvation, not the healings. Yet you do not preach the gospel at all. MBE preached another gospel all together and was unqualified to preach at all. The disciples did as they were directed and people were saved. Yes, there were healings. But the healings were not the focus of faith. Faith in Christ for salvation was and is the focus.
(Read works on early Christianity prior to the 4th century AD and don’t be blinded by theological historians who have recreated religion for their own purposes and established the orthodox paradigm over centuries of time).
That is quite a charge coming from one who follows Mary Baker Patterson Glover Eddy. She was a woman that suffered from illnesses her entire life and did whatever she could to over come them, even following P. Phineas Quimby and plagiarized his writings. She not only ignore those theologians, she ignored scripture as well and look at what you ended up with?
The Current Bible scholars (as found at Harvard, Yale, Chapel Hill) are not wed to particular religions or theologies but operate across a broad spectrum of disciplines. They are showing that primitive Christianity (Jesus’s Christianity) is not what has survived today under the orthodox theory which creates “clouds without rain.”
Again, the way to destruction is broad. These modern-theologians are off base because they are not letting Scripture be their guide.
While we are on this topic, Tim, is healing a regular part of your religion and your preaching. And how is it that there are thousands of recorded heaings in Christian Science–hundreds of them documented by the medical profession before and after the healing? If Christian Science is misguided and perhaps even evil how does it heal? And, I think of Jesus statement to those who hated him, “For which of my good works do ye stone me?”
Do you not think that even Satan has the power to heal? Simply because you have healings does not prove your point. It is the rest of your theology that show you are out of accord with the teachings of the apostles and prophets. See above… see the fact that MBE was not qualified to be a pastor (1 Timothy 2:12). See the fact that you deny sin even though the Scriptures declare it to be so.
As for what Jesus said, you are taking it out of context once again. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
The signs, wonders and works authenticated who He was and is, not you. You are not God. You are not the Second Person of the Trinity. He did that showing that not only did He utter the words, “Let there be light,” but showed that with a word He could change the course of sin as it ravaged the bodies of His children. The gospels are about HIM, not you and your petty experiences. You think because you have healings that you are right in your beliefs. But Jesus warned even against such as yourself:
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
He clearly teaches that even those who do all kinds of wonders have no hope unless they are known by Him and know Him. Since you believe the warp and woof of Christianity is about your own works, then take heed of Christ’s warning.
Paul will also go on to say that it is not by works, as you have pointed out, that show that we are saved, so that no man can boast in them (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our works are not the determining factor of our salvation and acceptance by God. It is by faith alone in Christ alone that we are saved and made acceptable to Him. It is not works that get us into heaven or help us earn favor with Him. Yet, what have you done but boast in all your works?
So, who is to decide what is correct theology.
This is why orthodoxy is orthodoxy. We test what is taught according to Scriptures and if it doesn’t fit with Scripture, then it is not true. This is why we can punt MBE’s Science & Health with Keys to the Scriptures. First, does it correspond to Scriptures? Nope. Not even close. She seems like she is writing from a different planet all together. Secondly, if it does correspond, then is it necessary? Nope, since it doesn’t meet the first qualification, then it has nothing to add to our understanding. And yes, I have read it.
The only way I know is through proof of its utility. Paul said, “Show me your faith by your words, and I will show you my faith through my works.”
Again, you show your ignorance of Scripture once again. It is James who writes as such. We do believe in good works, but not works that is void of faith. We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, but our faith is not alone. Yet, even the good works we do, Christ gets all the credit for we can only do good works by the power of the Holy Spirit.
So, I will continue on my spiritual journey to my highest sense of what is right in serving God and mankind. I wish you well on your journey, Tim.
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” I close with that verse because I am on the narrow way. Don, you have appealed to the broad way of the world. I appeal to you to jump off the broad road that you are on and to enter by the narrow gate, believing Him for salvation, not your own works or testimonies, etc. Count all that as dung, so that you may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8).
You can read my first response here, and my second response here.