Right to Believe

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonC δοῦλος, Jun 5, 2015.

  1. JonC

    JonC
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    I have complained on other threads that some present a belief and are simply unwilling or unable to defend those beliefs. If unwilling then they should refrain from posting on discussion/debate forums. If unable then they do not have a right to that belief (they hold it, but they don’t “own” it). I think that this is most often the case.

    Part of the issue with me is that this is personal. Several years ago I came under the conviction that I did not really “own” many of my beliefs. I believed, for example, in “once saved always saved.” I did not truly have a right to believe that because it was just something someone in a position of authority told me. I still believe that doctrine today, but it is because I derived it from Scripture and can defend it in Scripture (not merely point to verses, but engage the opposing view as well). I think that this is an area where the church as a whole has failed (equipping the saints). The church gives answers, the people read books....but we need to teach people to fish and not just had them a meal. Too many people don't seem to know how to study (they merely read books, take comments that sound good, and add them to their repertoire. This is not discipleship.

    I found this article interesting.

    http://aeon.co/magazine/philosophy/mark-rowlands-the-right-to-believe/
     
  2. blessedwife318

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    You make some really good points here and I agree. There was time when I was in high school when I wanted to understand why I believed Christianity to be true so I read a lot of apologetic books to get a better understanding of the why. I also wanted to understand what I believed so I read a lot of theology books. Then I went to Bible college for 4 years where our primary text book was the Bible. My Senior year I had to write papers where the only source allowed was the Bible and Greek and Hebrew dictionaries. That was really helpful in learning how to argue my position from the Bible and not commentaries.
    Also it means I'm secure in my beliefs. It doesn't bother me when people question them, because I have questioned them myself. I think if you can't handle questions it shows that you don't think your beliefs can handle them.
     
  3. OldRegular

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    A 15 minute sermonette on Sunday morning and a scattergun approach to Bible study in SS is not going to teach anything. What is needed is for preachers to preach expository sermons and Sunday School, if there is one, to get rid of scattergun literature. But neither one will do the job as long as the Bible is only dusted off on Sunday!

    By scattergun approach I mean a passage from one Book this Sunday and another unrelated passage from a different Book the following Sunday. And on and on!
     
  4. blessedwife318

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    Agreed. My old church in Colorado my Pastor was really good at this. We went through John during church, Revelation during Sunday School, and Exodus during Sunday night Service. We really got to know those books well.
     
  5. salzer mtn

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    There are a world of people in churches that believe what other people tell them to believe. They are in a comfort zone of not studying for themselves. Some people will actually get up and go out of the room if challenged about their doctrine. They have been programed to do this thinking this is God's will. Also they think it is arguing instead of debate.
     
  6. JonC

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    I believe this was evident with my favorite cuniculture practitioner here on the BB. When I was in seminary I realized that they were teaching much of what should have been taught in church. I craved being able to explore theology, Scripture behind my belief, etc. It is a personal responsibility to study Scripture (I failed back then) but it is also the responsibility of the pastors and teachers of a church to “feed” the congregation (this was also absent in my experience).
     
  7. Van

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    Drawing the line between our individual rights and the rights of others is dicey at best. I believe thought for thought translations are worthless as study bibles. But others believe they are just dandy. So what happens, my views are classified as "hate speech" and the views of others are considered as honoring God's Word.

    My beliefs were not taken from me by force, only my ability to express my beliefs in the forum governed by those holding a differing view.

    Thus the moral right of others not to have their space invaded overrode my right of expression in that forum.

    It might seem nice to be able to challenge the views of others, but in the real world, you can only challenge the views allowed by those who govern. That is why Baptists believe in the separation of church and state, with the idea being that those that govern should not dictate doctrine. It is an ideal, but we fall short.
     
  8. JamesL

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    Pot, meet kettle.

    I distinctly remember a thread where I was trying to point out the context of Philippians 1:6 after you abused it out of its context, and the entire thrust of your argument was:

    I've never heard that before...
    John Gill says this....
    James who?....
     
  9. Salty

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    We know what we believe
    we just dont know WHY we believe it.
     
  10. JamesL

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    You're right. Many people think they believe something written in scripture because they read it there

    But in reality, most people are only able to see what they've been told to see.

    Sad, really


    .
     
  11. JonC

    JonC
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    It is sad. If I ask people in my church what “born of water” means in John 3, many will say it refers to a physical birth. If challenged, they will simply say there are different beliefs. If I ask about the eternal security of the believer, they will agree, but they can’t defend that belief.

    If that were all, then I think we would be in OK shape. Ignorance departs with edification. But that’s not it. These people don’t even care that they cannot defend their belief. That’s what bothers me. When I’m stumped, I stay up late studying…often for weeks…until I am either clear on the topic or admit that it is beyond my comprehension. But people say “I don’t know” and just go on as if it were a meaningless riddle that they don’t have interest in solving ....when all along it is the Word of God….and it matters....and it should matter to them. :tear:
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    Uh that is in fact what it is referring too.
     
  13. JamesL

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    Or they get into a scriptueal food fight, slinging out-of-context bible verses to counter someobe else's out-of-context uses.

    It's what I call "fortune cookie" theology. Just go to the Calvinism/Arminianism section, thread titled "Destiny of the un-evangelized"

    By page 2, the food fight is on - everybody's out of context in their quotations, it's a sad mess
     
  14. Salty

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    I also like to use a military example.

    For those of you who were in the Army - remember one question on a promotion or SOM board "How do you read a map" Of course the correct answer is "Right & Up".

    I knew the answer and correctly gave it. However, I had absoutley no ideal what it meant. Until I went to NCO academny and learned how to actually read a map. Then I fully understood.

    Likewise - many of us "know the Bible question answers - but we really do not know what it means.

    As JonC stated
    "I stay up late studying…often for weeks"
    Very sound advice.
     
  15. JonC

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    My point was to illustrate that many asked would say that but wouldn't know why. There are other interpretations. I hold one of the other views (I believe it a reference to Ezekiel 36). But I'm sure if I asked why it means physical birth, you could answer. Many could not.
     
  16. JamesL

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    I'm pretty sure Rev would be completely incapable of defending any view of his from a biblical standpoint. He's demonstrated this over and over.

    If it's not in a blog post that he can copy/paste, you'll get nada
     
  17. go2church

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    Not been my experience. Though I don't agree with Rev on very much, when the discussion has veered toward the bible, he is capable of a fine discussion. Go ahead ask him something, bet he surprises you!
     
  18. go2church

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    In this thread OldRegular mentioned that there should a full out return to expository preaching in church and Sunday school....many others have made a similar point

    A type or style of preaching hardly the sure fire fix churches are looking for. There is no more a guarantee that expository preaching will produce more knowledgeable or more faithful disciples than would topical or Lectionary based preaching. If fact some the best expositors of scripture I have encountered wouldn't consider themselves "expository preachers".
     

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