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Old 04-24-2001, 09:12 AM   #11
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by netcat:
Thanks Nomad, the links you provided will definitely help explain, but honestly, at this point, I must admit, I'm quite confused!! </font>
Hi netcat

I understand your confusion, and there is no denying that there is an incredibly diverse array of denominations within the Christian faith. Add to this the variour strands of Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and other faiths and it can be pretty overwhelming.

When I come to these boards I try to make it clear that my purpose is to defend what is probably most usefully called "orthodox" Christianity. This has been defined for over 1600 years now by three basic creeds, called the Ecumenical Creeds. The Catholic Catechism best sums up what we believe:


172 Through the centuries, in so many languages, cultures, peoples and nations, the Church has constantly confessed this one faith, received from the one Lord, transmitted by one Baptism, and grounded in the conviction that all people have only one God and Father. St. Irenaeus of Lyons, a witness of this faith, declared:

173 "Indeed, the Church, though scattered throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, having received the faith from the apostles and their disciples. . . guards [this preaching and faith] with care, as dwelling in but a single house, and similarly believes as if having but one soul and a single heart, and preaches, teaches and hands on this faith with a unanimous voice, as if possessing only one mouth."

Any Church that can confess the creeds and mean it (even if that particular denomination has never heard them before) is Christian in the broadest and truest sense. This is not to say that other theological differences are not important, but at the end of the day, no one claims that belief or non-belief in these specific doctrines will affect their salvation.

I look at it this way:

If God is perfect (as Christians, Jews and Muslims believe), and human beings are not (self evidentially true), then we humans are going to mess up on many of our understandings of the perfect God. This does not mean that we should just give up, however, and refuse to look for God, to seek out His wisdom, and His perfection, and try as best as we are able to conform ourselves to that perfection. And when we do this, we must look for some kind of standard against which we can measure any claims. For the Jew, it is the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, and various interpretative documents and sayins. For the Muslim, it is the Qu'ran. For Christians, it is the Bible AND the traditions as taught by the Church dating back to antiquity. In the words of Vincent of Lorens, we believe what has been taught at all times, and in all places by everyone. The best summation of those beliefs is found in the Creeds I have listed.

The seeker must then evaluate these truth claims to the best of his or her ability, and decide for him or herself which is closest to the truth. In this, one can only be true to oneself, and to one's God, and trust in Him to know your heart, and judge you with perfect wisdom, justice and mercy. Since all of the major faiths teach that God is truly just and merciful, then I do not worry about getting some of the details wrong. I trust in God more than I trust myself, as I see Him as being perfect, while I am most definitely NOT perfect.

Good luck in your quest. And peace,


[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited April 24, 2001).]
Old 04-24-2001, 12:36 PM   #12
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by netcat:
Thanks Nomad, the links you provided will definitely help explain, but honestly, at this point, I must admit, I'm quite confused!!
Netcat, would it not be wrong to go though life and accept faith to be what we were first told in grade school? Is not life a journey that leeds to the understanding of our faith? Is not the doubting of one's faith the first step in seeking understanding?

With regard to "who has it right"? Religion is a means to an end in which only you can be right and religion will then have served you right. What good is it to you if "a religion is right" but you must accept it as teachings without knowledge and understanding. This was the children of Israel's problem and hence they died nonetheless. Go to Jn.5:39-40 to confirm this.


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