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  1. Sure, but which ones, and why or why not? How do most Christians end up coming to the conclusion that eating shrimp is ok whilst other things are not ok? The only Christians I am aware of who strive to keep all the Old Testament laws are Messianic Jews (Jewish believers in Yeshua as the Messiah) and those caught up in the Hebrew Roots movement. Is this sort of thing the philosophy that you advocate? I will post those verses here. They do not seem to say what you suggest; do you mind clarifying how you derived the meaning of "essential laws" and how you believe those verses instruct us to adhere to those things specifically? Hebrews 6:1-8 - 6 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death,[a] and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites,[b] the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so. 4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen[c] away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. 1 Timothy 4:1 - 4 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
  2. What makes a law essential or non-essential? I've already stated the case both ways (for and against it being "essential")--so why do you believe the argument for it being essential is stronger? What do you believe is the definition of "porneia" (the Greek word translated as "sexual immorality" in both the Acts 15 example I gave and the Corinthians example you provided)? And, since you believe that (otherwise permitted) sex is NOT permitted if the woman is on her monthly, then do you also believe it's unlawful to touch her during that time? (Because that's part of the same sexual purity law, as I showed by including both Lev. 20:18 AND Lev 15:19 in my post above). If it's NOT ok to touch her, do you then adhere to that by never shaking hands with a woman ever? If it IS ok, then why do you follow that sexual purity law insofar as prohibiting the act of intercourse itself but not the "don't even touch her" part? This terminal cancer reference is a bit confusing, and seemingly off topic. Can you explain what you're getting at? I have more questions for you but will leave it at this short list for now
  3. How can we be sure which ones are essential vs. non-essential?  . GALATIANS.5:19-21 (NKJV) = 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Thank you for your reply. However, I do not see how this answers the question. It reiterates that certain acts are sin but does not preclude the possibility that breaking other parts of the law are not sin. We don't have a surefire way to classify "moral" versus "ceremonial" laws, as I've heard many claim. This distinction is man-made. For an example of the lack of clarity in these distinctions, consider the following: Should a husband and wife have relations during the wife's period, (assuming both want to)? Supposedly "clean and unclean" doesn't matter anymore, making it a ceremonial matter. However, it could be argued that it's a moral matter as well: In Acts 15:28-29, the apostles clarify that the gentile believers don't have to follow all the Jewish laws, but they DO give them a small handful to keep: 28"It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond these essential requirements: 29You must abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.” The word translated above as "sexual immorality" is the Greek word "porneia", which was understood to refer to all of the Old Testament ("biblical", at that time,) sexual sins. Having relations with a woman on her period certainly appears to be one of them: Leviticus 20:18 - 18 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a woman during her monthly period, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them are to be cut off from their people. In fact, it was "unclean" to even touch her: Leviticus 15:19 - 19 “‘When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. So, the distinction is not clear. I appreciate your reply but still have this question (of which laws are essential/non-essential, ceremonial vs moral, etc)!
  4. How can we be sure which ones are essential vs. non-essential? Jesus didn't seem to make that distinction in Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. And James seemed to think that the 4 initial prohibitions to the Gentiles were just a "starter kit" and that they'd pick up the rest of the Jewish rules by attending synagogue (Acts 15:20): 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”
  5. No one "does" the will of the father perfectly, so how can we determine who is counted as "doing"? Look at youtube for this video where someone change water into wine: Yif Magic水變酒 [官方HD] Water to Wine If he does it in the name of Jesus it will be like this : Look at youtube : Shocking miracle !!! Water turned into wine, history has been repeated. I'm not sure those examples count...the verse mentions those who PERFORMED MIRACLES, not APPEARED TO do so. Echoing @Pollycy's question. Then how is it possible that many will perform miracles in Jesus' name and still go to hell? We don't know if they did or didn't. What's terrifying to me is that it seems frightfully easy to accidentally believe the wrong thing and accidentally be sent to hell. It's incredibly difficult to figure out the truth...ask 6 different scholars and get 6 different answers And yes, that can be 6 different Christian scholars...I verified this myself by asking a number of different pastors, "Who are the people who, in Matt 7:21-23, get sent to hell even though they did good things in Jesus' name?" Praying for wisdom and discernment on this doesn't seem to help. God is silent on that so far. And those with explanations can never seem to provide sufficient reasons why their interpretation is correct and others are wrong. It's a huge frustration for me that the entire Christian experience is a joyless fear of accidentally going to hell for accidentally being deceived.
  6. Even in the days of Polycarp, there was a discrepancy about the proper date to celebrate Easter. Right now, it's thousands of years later, and there are lots of theories out there supporting a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday crucifixion. Spirit-filled Christians believe all any one of them, depending on the individual. On the other hand, though, I'm not sure that God is concerned with which specific days we honor Him, beyond what he's specifically stipulated (controversially perhaps Sabbaths, biblical feasts, etc...and there's disagreement even among these!) He wants us to honor Him either way: Romans 14:4 "Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5One man regards a certain day above the others, while someone else considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who observes a special day does so to the Lord; he who eats does so to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God"
  7. Is this what you're referring to? Still don't see an issue. The Bible doesn't say what day he was or wasn't crucified, so I see no issue with the Bible. Why are you looking for support of a Friday crucifixion?
  8. I don't see a discrepancy here. Jewish days began in the evening of what we'd call the previous day. Sabbath began on Friday evening and ended on Saturday evening. Practicing Orthodox Jews and Seventh Day Adventists still use this idea. With that same schedule, the first day of the week, Sunday, actually began on a Saturday evening.
  9. This just hasn't been the case for me. They're either confused or they ignore it, because they "live and let live". I find Christianity to be an extremelely lonely walk, so I'm kind of glad my real friends didn't abandon me.
  10. Still no discernment, still no comfort, still only confusion and frustration. I've reached out to people in many forms...and nothing. Everyone has different denominational beliefs to parrot, with no real substance. At this point, I'm becoming more and more convinced by the day that God has abandoned me and I'm a Hebrews 6:4 / Matthew 7:21 victim. I feel like Christianity is one of the worst things that's happened to me...and that's saying a lot for anyone that knows some of the things I've suffered. I don't want to abandon this faith...but if God has abandoned me, it would be futile for me to hold on. I wish I would have accepted God earlier in my life so that he wouldn't have given up on me now.
  11. All letters should be read in proper context. There is a lot of uncertainty about what the context is, on a lot of letters. One only need read a handful of Bible commentaries by different authors to find this out. Usually after doing this myself, I walk away thinking, "Wow, I still don't know. I sure wish God would answer that prayer for discernment." Christianity is unique among religions in that it uses letters and histories as a window into what God wants from us--not some supposedly inspired revelation that some sole person had in a vision one day. Thus, we have the additional complication of needing to understand the context in order to properly understand what is being said. The trouble is that no one quite agrees on what that is. Sure, this was written to the Jews, but they are not the only ones capable of hearing the truth of God, being given reason to believe it, and then rejecting it. I believe this might have happened to me. It sure would explain why God doesn't seem to answer any of my prayers.
  12. I wish I could find this encouraging, but I find it discouraging. As long as this goes unfulfilled in our lives, it's an unfulfilled promise. There is no comfort in that. Furthermore, there are those who are crushed and broken-hearted and even die that way.
  13. Regarding the idea of remarriage after a divorce: It was allowed in Old Testament times, even though it wasn't the ideal. A remarried woman should stay with her new husband. Deuteronomy 24:1 "“When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens [a]that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house, 2 and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man’s wife, 3 and if the latter husband [b]turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife, 4 then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance." Regarding the validity of the second marriage: The biblical definition of marriage, echoed by Jesus in the new testament, is this: Genesis 2:24 "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Note the lack of any specifics regarding ceremonies or licensing. In fact, government registrations of marriages (as an additional requirement BEYOND a regular marriage) didn't even exist until very recently. Even church marriages didn't exist for hundreds of years in the early church.
  14. The question still remains, though: What is the meaning of 'do the will of the Father' in Matt. 7:21 whereby those in verse 23 are, to their surprise, rejected on judgement day? Until we can understand the exclusionary conditions pertaining to salvation, we cannot properly understand if we are saved, if we are walking on the right path, etc. Personally, this is the source of a lot of Christianity-induced anxiety and depression. Beyond that, lack of discernment inhibits one's ability to share about salvation with others. Without discernment, if someone directly asked me about salvation, I'd have to give some sort of wishy-washy answer that includes a bunch of precautions about secret potential exclusionary conditions which might bite even the most sincere believer in the back some day. I know there are Christians who can support their biblical interpretations with logic and reason...but to be honest, I'm not finding a whole lot of that here. I find https://christianity.stackexchange.com/ to be a useful resource, where questions are examined and taken seriously. Currently, I am spending more time there than here, for that exact reason. I would love to continue discussing this topic but probably won't check it much unless someone responds further.
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