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Tristen

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Tristen last won the day on January 16

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About Tristen

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  1. The original church was Jesus shepherding His disciples. The true church of God is the body of sincere, Bible-believing Christians. The kingdom of God is where God reigns - i.e. in the hearts of those sincere believers. Human delineations (such as denominations) are for humans (we like to classify things into groups). God judges the heart of each individual - regardless of personal membership to a particular group. If an individual has sincerely and resolutely surrendered ownership of their life to Christ as a faith response to His Gospel, then they have found God's salvation. Those are the important distinctions to God; true believers and non-believers.
  2. “Were was time matter and energy before God made time energy and matter?” Before God makes things, they don't exist (except in His mind). “And if God created time.That's means before time began all time was at 0” It actually means time didn't exist before God made it. That's a difficult (likely impossible) reality for us to comprehend because our whole experience is finite and time-bound. Even our language is inadequate to describe such a reality (e.g. there is no such thing as “before” until time actually comes into existence – so speaking about what existed 'before time' is technically misnomeric (though we know what we mean). It is more accurate to speak if reality without time, or apart from time). God exists in an eternal (and therefore infinite/timeless) reality that supersedes the created time and space reality that governs our lived experience.
  3. Hi Other One, I respect that you “disagree” with my assessment, but I don't think you can assume that my analysis was biased just because we disagree (i.e. assuming that I only considered Christian resources). If you can show me a direct line of evidence tracing any Christian tradition to paganism, I'll happily consider it. The difficulty from my end is that all I can provide are examples of when I did not find such a direct link – which doesn't really mean much. Most of what I did find was people interpreting similarities between Christianity and paganism as evidence of Christianity 'stealing' the ideas from paganism (which is a very weak, logically specious argument). I've also found many claims about what pagans believed to be very poorly evidenced (in some cases – seemingly completely made up). By contrast, I've found that most Christian traditions can be traced to earlier Christian practices stemming from Christian thought. And in a few cases, the origins of the traditions are historically ambiguous. So I don't personally see much potential danger in celebrating common Christian traditions – so long as we do so with a Godly conscience. I'd be more inclined to distrust what “the dark side” tells me about history. But ultimately, our arguments should prioritise the available evidence over what people say. EDIT/ADDENDUM You mentioned Christmas trees in a later post. The earliest records of Christmas trees are from late medieval Germanic Christians - who re-enacted Biblical stories under large decorated trees on Christmas Eve. It was common for pagans to bring cut-offs from evergreens into their homes because they were considered to posses some form of magic - but I could find no direct link between that pagan practice and the Christian tradition of Christmas trees.
  4. I have investigated many of the common claims that Christian traditions are derived from paganism and found the supposed links between Christianity and paganism to be tenuous at-best. Most Christian traditions can be traced to early Christian practices - with no primary evidence of any direct link to paganism, or influence from paganism. Some speculate that any similarity between the two beliefs means that Christianity adopted the pagan tradition. But that is a significant, and somewhat biased assumption; given the nature of the available evidence. And often, when you look into it, records of the Christian practice pre-date records of the similar pagan practice. So if one adopted the practices of the other (which is not necessarily the case), the evidence would suggest it was paganism that adopted Christian traditions. The world likes to attack Christianity by claiming Christianity "stole" our ideas from paganism. But I have found that in most cases, the extant facts contradict that anti-Christian narrative. So we can be confident that most Christian traditions stem from Christian thought. Either way, God considers our heart's intent more than our outward behaviours. Merry Christmas and all God's best for the new year.
  5. As far as I understand, there is nothing specifically called the "moral law" in the Covenant between God and Israel. It is all "The Law". But within The Law, there are moral laws/rules. That is, there are rules that pertain to morality (ultimate right and wrong) - i.e. as opposed to administrative laws and ritual laws. What that means in effect is that, whilst Christians are free from The Law in it's entirety, we remain subject to the standard of ultimate right and wrong. There are rules written within The Law that reflect that moral standard, but that standard existed before The Law. For example, within the Ten Commandments (a part of The Law), there is a rule that we should worship God alone. It was, is, and ever will be morally wrong to worship any other god. That was as true before The Law, as it was under The Law, and as it is today for those free from The Law. There is also a rule about keeping the Sabbath. That is a ritual law pointing to the promised rest from works offered through Christ. Because Christians are free from The Law, we are not obligated to consider any day to be any more important than any other day (though we are free to sanctify certain days to God if we choose - See Romans 14). That's my understanding.
  6. Hi FOE, I cut and pasted this from my answer in the thread "Xmas & Saturnalia" started by @Yeshua153. Figured it was relevant. There are records of Christians celebrating Jesus' birth on December 25th before Constantine was born (e.g. in the Commentary on Daniel by Hippolytus of Rome - 202AD). 1 - We should be cautious against falling for the common anti-Christian strategy of claiming our traditions are derived from paganism, and 2 - God looks at the heart. So what is important about Christmas is what it means to the conscience of each Christian. Romans 14:4-6 - Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. Merry Christmas.
  7. I used the relevant words from both verses to make my statement. You are assuming it means that the tree withered before their eyes as Jesus spoke the words, but the actual words used in the text don't demand that interpretation. The Matthew verse doesn't specify a time period. It only says "so soon". "They were amazed" because the tree was withered up less than a day after being cursed. Given the information from both passages, that is a perfectly valid interpretation. There is no necessary contradiction - unless you have an agenda to insist on one.
  8. So Jesus cursed the fig tree and it immediately (or "presently") died. Then, "when the disciples saw it" (i.e. "in the morning, as they passed by"), they found it "dried up from the roots" and "marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away".
  9. You have adopted a persecution fantasy by confusing disagreement with hatred.
  10. There are records of Christians celebrating Jesus' birth on December 25th before Constantine was born (e.g. in the Commentary on Daniel by Hippolytus of Rome - 202AD). 1 - We should be cautious against falling for the common anti-Christian strategy of claiming our traditions are derived from paganism, and 2 - God looks at the heart. So what is important about Christmas is what it means to the conscience of each Christian. Romans 14:4-6 - Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. Merry Christmas.
  11. So people are behaving like corrupted humans - just as the Bible says we are. That is why we needed a Saviour. People are prone to letting us down (as we are prone to letting others down). There is only One who can be trusted, and it's on Him alone we rest our hope. I for one, am glad He has chosen to reserve His perfect judgement until after we have had an opportunity to receive His pardon. Whatever is going on in your life, by His grace, you will overcome.
  12. I fully understand the anti-socialist messaging, but if wealthy people really see the world this way, they are delusional. I hope the book is more nuanced than the films. I arrived at the end of the third movie and felt like I'd wasted my time on a cheap propaganda piece. Maybe didn't help that they changed actors every movie, but I found the whole premise ridiculous.
  13. Try not to see prayer as a ritual. Prayer is simply conversing with God. There is no preferred format. Just honest conversation. God hears our heart in prayer, not our form.
  14. I think we are better off asking for too much and getting everything Jesus died to give us, than asking too little and getting everything we ask for. God is a generous parent. He loves us. Like any loving parent, He wants to give us everything - but He knows what is too much for our good. I personally think it makes God happy when we are confident in His love for us - such that we are like children when asking Him for favours. Even with regards to "frivolous" things - what harm is there in asking? God can always tell us "No - that's not for you". So don't waste time on guilt. That's a trap of the enemy. Ask for what you want and need, and let your loving Father decide what is best for you.
  15. Hey lftc, I'd say “close”, but I'd make a few alterations. “- the 10 Commandments are separate from the rest of the commandments” I don't see any reason to separate the first Ten from the remaining rules contained in the Law. God initially gave Israel Ten Commandments, Israel rebelled, then God added another 603 to the initial Ten. They are all obligations of the same covenant between God and Israel. “- morality is still important and the 9 of the 10 Commandments are moral rules - the one ritual rule in the 10 commandments is no longer applicable because Christians have entered into Gods rest by being Christians” None of the rules in the Law are “applicable” to Christians. The written moral rules contained in the Law simply reflect some aspects of God's eternal moral standard. That moral standard supersedes the written Law. Therefore, that moral standard doesn't change, even though the covenant containing some of the rules in writing is now “obsolete” to Christians (Hebrews 8). It was just as morally wrong for Cain to murder Abel thousands of years before the Law, as it was for Jews to commit murder under the Law, and as it is for Christians to commit murder today.
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