Soul Liberty?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by GraceSaves, May 21, 2003.

  1. GraceSaves

    GraceSaves
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,631
    Likes Received:
    0
    According to DHK, a Baptist tennet is "Soul Liberty," which he defines as: "the right to believe what one believes the Scripture is teaching to be true."

    If that is the case, why do you call it idolatry that I believe that Jesus Christ is physically present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in the Eucharist, if I deduce this from Scripture? According to you, I am allowed to believe what I believe the Scripture is teaching to be true. This is what I am doing. But you then throw in a double standard and call me an idolator.

    So, either Baptists don't really believe in Soul Liberty, or DHK's definition is wrong, or there is no such thing, since to be a Baptist really means to believe pretty much what all the other faithful Baptists believe.

    In fact, since one has Soul Liberty to interpret Scripture, then he should be free to disregard other tennets of the Baptist faith and still remain Baptist (i.e., to believe there are more than two ordinances that one must observe).

    I await an explanation.

    God bless,

    Grant
     
  2. neal4christ

    neal4christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have not really looked into "soul liberty," but at first glance I would not agree with his definition. If that is a correct definition then I would not hold that as a tenet of my faith. That has nothing but trouble written on it, IMHO.

    Neal
     
  3. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    Before I even listed those Baptist Distinctives, this is what I said:
    The Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation is not an orthodox doctrine of the Bible. It is a heresy. "Other Protestant" do not hold to it, neither do they hold to the heresy of idolatry or bowing down to images as Catholics do.

    You may have the freedom of religion to believe what you want. And we respect that. In that sense it is soul liberty. I cannot force you to believe what I believe, nor would I want to force any one. If it is not out of your own conviction, then don't believe it. But the Catholic Church doesn't believe that.
    The Catholic Church teaches a religion of fear. Believe the Catechism or you will be damned. There is no freedom to believe otherwise. When Godly men and women took a stand against the Catholic Church and said, "I don't believe in infant baptism," they themselves were put to death by drowning by the Catholic Church. There was no freedom to believe under the Catholic Church. Not for the Catholics within the church to believe otherwise; nor for those outside the Catholic Church to believe according to the dictates of their own conscience. Any disagreement? Ask Queen Bloody Mary!
    DHK
     
  4. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    Soul liberty is the one distinctive above all others that have made Baptists more distinctive. They have fought for that principle more then other groups, and have left a trail of blood as a result of it. Just think of John Bunyan, and all the time that he spent in prison. He spent over 12 years in prison because of his belief in soul liberty. He would not be licenced by the state church of England. He refused it. He believed that his liberty to preach the gospel came from God. His liberty to interpret the Bible came from God. He did not need the church's sanction--not in interpretation, or in permission. His authority was from God. His "interpretation" was from God. It was the Holy Spirit of God that illumined him as he studied the Scriptures. 12 years in prison, because every time they let him, he would just preach again without authority from the church or government. He had no soul liberty (freedom of religion).
    DHK
     
  5. neal4christ

    neal4christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am sorry, as much as I hate to sound like my Catholic friends [​IMG] , I was talking to my philosophy professor today about Catholics, and this issued arose. I would have to agree with what his view is on this, that it can lead to nothing but existentialism. This viewpoint leads to total subjectivity. How can anyone know truth? Can I not claim that the Holy Spirit says this to me and you say that the Holy Spirit says that to you? How can we tell who is right?

    Now don't get me wrong, I don't have it figured out, I am just starting to really think on this. Also, I am not backing the Catholic church's interpretations. However, I am saying that this is not a workable solution, to say that everyone has liberty to interpret the Bible how they see fit or how they say that the HS leads them. Yes, I believe we have power of choice when it comes to what we believe and "freedom of religion" in a sense, but I don't think that all the choices made in this freedom are equally valid, as this claim would logically lead to.

    Neal

    [ May 21, 2003, 02:23 AM: Message edited by: neal4christ ]
     
  6. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    We agree on most things Neal. On some things we disagree. So you have a choice. You either can accept the doctrine of soul liberty, which means that we agree to disagree because we both believe that the Bible means something different on a certain passage, or you have another choice:
    Every time there is a disagreement you are a heretic and I am right.
    As for me I would rather choose to believe in soul liberty. (even if the other may be true :D )
    DHK
     
  7. neal4christ

    neal4christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why do I have to be the heretic? Why can't you, at least some of the time? :D [​IMG]

    Neal
     
  8. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Soul liberty is just another name for free will. The right to choose among choices, the right to select one or more from among many or reject many while keeping one or more.
     
  9. Kathryn

    Kathryn
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,252
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yelsew:
    I have to disagree.

    Everyone of course has freewill. Scripture however teaches we are to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” Jude 1:3 One Lord, one faith , one baptism. Eph 4:5 There is nothing in scripture about soul liberty or as you say: “The right to choose among choices, the right to select one or more from among many or reject many while keeping one or more.”

    There is one deposit of faith not a smorgasboard.... a luncheon or supper buffet offering a variety of foods and dishes (as hors d'oeuvres, hot and cold meats, smoked and pickled fish, cheeses, salads, and relishes).


    God Bless

    [ May 21, 2003, 03:31 AM: Message edited by: Kathryn ]
     
  10. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    I disagree. The Bible teaches here that we must earnestly contend for the faith, not the Catholic faith. It is the faith of the Bible, not the faith of the magesterium. That would be most heretical. To earnestly contend for the faith, by its very definition requires soul liberty. Even the early church fathers were not always in agreement as to exactly what that "faith" in all of its totality was or what it meant. We have it all--every word of it. We just don't all agree on its meaning. But we have the soul liberty to disagree. The very fact that we do is evidence that this board exists.
    DHK
     
  11. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    I have to disagree.

    Everyone of course has freewill. Scripture however teaches we are to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” Jude 1:3 One Lord, one faith , one baptism. Eph 4:5 There is nothing in scripture about soul liberty or as you say: “The right to choose among choices, the right to select one or more from among many or reject many while keeping one or more.”

    There is one deposit of faith not a smorgasboard.... a luncheon or supper buffet offering a variety of foods and dishes (as hors d'oeuvres, hot and cold meats, smoked and pickled fish, cheeses, salads, and relishes).


    God Bless
    </font>[/QUOTE]Then why are there Factions among the Catholics, and Factions among the protestants. And Factions among the Jews?

    There may be only one Core Faith, but there seem to be many understandings of that one Core faith from which one can choose, or perhaps reject of his own free will!
     
  12. thessalonian

    thessalonian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,767
    Likes Received:
    0
    "The Catholic Church teaches a religion of fear. Believe the Catechism or you will be damned. There is no freedom to believe otherwise. "

    Try telling God you don't believe in one of the 10 commandments sometime but you will accept the rest of who he is and see how far it gets ya with him. The constraints of the Catholic Church far from leaving you in fear like a beaten dog, actually give me freedom to grow in a deeper understanding of the scriptures. Oral Tradition is to scripture as the 10 commandments are to freedom from the slavery of sin. You will never see it if you don't believe it.

    This soul freedom thing is interesting. I see some interesting verses that quite clearly deny it in scripture. First of all I was reading Acts 15 this morning. It is interesting that Paul took the issue of circumcision to the leaders. After a decision was made on the issue, it was not a good thing to be a member of the circumcision Jews any more. After the decision is made on circumcision, is there freedom to believe whatever you want and still be considered orthodox in your faith?

    Paul says to titus:

    Titus 1:10
    For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,
    WHO MUST BE SILENCED because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.


    Titus 2:15
    These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. LET NO ONE DISREGARD YOU.

    Freedom of the soul? Doesn't sound like it to me.
     
  13. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    That is your interpretation of those Scriptures. And you have the soul liberty to believe that way if you so desire. The decision taken at Jerusalem was to silence the Judaizers that circumcision and the keeping of the law was not necessary for salvation.
    If you choose to believe differently (even though you may be wrong) you have the soul liberty to do so.
    The ironic thing is, your are exercising your own soul liberty by interpreting these verses right here on this board.
    DHK
     
  14. thessalonian

    thessalonian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,767
    Likes Received:
    0
    DHK,

    I find this topic of soul liberty to be very intriguing. Here is a definition I have found. Do you agree with it?


    Every individual, whether a believer or an unbeliever, has the liberty to choose what he believes is right in the religious realm. No one should be forced to assent to any belief against his will. Baptists have always opposed religious persecution. However; this liberty does not exempt one from responsibility to the Word of God or from accountability to God Himself.

    Is it a violation of this liberty to tell someone he is in danger of going to hell for not holding to a certain belief or certain set of beleifs?

    Does the individual with soul liberty have the right to preach whatever belief he has embraced to my children? In the public square?

    Is it a violation of one's soul liberty to oppose with arguementation an individul's beleifs?

    Are governments allowed to restrict sole liberty for the order of society?

    Which scriptures would you use to support soul liberty?

    Just asking. Thanks in advance.
     
  15. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    Good questions. Yes I believe this is an adequate definition of soul liberty, and I would agree with it.

    It is a violation if we force one to believe. It is our obligation to carry out the great commission to evangelize the lost and try to convince the lost that they will go to Hell if they continue to hold to their unbiblical beliefs. It is the Holy Spirit that must convict of sin.

    It depends how old your children are, and how much independence you have granted them. On the whole, yes. Every one needs to know the gospel, and every one needs to be saved. A child that is mature enough to make a decision can choose to refuse what is offered him, or, more properly take the advice of his parents.

    Not at all. Jude earnestly contended for the faith. Paul disputed regularly with the Greeks. Their obligation was to try and convince the individual of the truth of the Gospel. Paul was thrown in prison for this reason.

    No, there is a sepration between church and state. The government has no business in the affairs of the church. The only exception is when the church outright violates the laws which run contrary to the Word of God (traffic laws, civil laws, etc.).

    Any verse that adomishes us to study the Word of God is admonishing us to exercise our soul liberty. We would not have to study God's Word if it is all studied out for us. We would just have to follow a catechism or creed, or some such thing.

    Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

    2Tim.2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    1Pet.1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
    21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

    (John 5:39 KJV) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

    Isa.8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

    I'm glad you asked. They were good questions.
    DHK
     
  16. MikeS

    MikeS
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    Messages:
    873
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am sorry, as much as I hate to sound like my Catholic friends [​IMG] , I was talking to my philosophy professor today about Catholics, and this issued arose. I would have to agree with what his view is on this, that it can lead to nothing but existentialism. This viewpoint leads to total subjectivity. How can anyone know truth? Can I not claim that the Holy Spirit says this to me and you say that the Holy Spirit says that to you? How can we tell who is right?

    Now don't get me wrong, I don't have it figured out, I am just starting to really think on this. Also, I am not backing the Catholic church's interpretations.
    Neal
    </font>[/QUOTE]Yet... :D

    Seriously, Neal, you are dangerously close to the truth here! Where can one unambiguously find the truth of God's revelation? Not the bible, because a book cannot interpret itself, and a person can never know if their personal interpretation is objectively true. That's why Christ left a visible Church, a supernatural organism with Christ as its head, the Holy Spirit as its "soul," and the faithful as its body, and which guards, transmits and elaborates the truth of the faith. It's really quite beautiful!
     
  17. neal4christ

    neal4christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for your encouragement, Mike! :D

    I do not want to cause debate now, but from the things I have studied so far I could not accept the Catholic Church as it stands now. However, while talking with my professor, we came to the conclusion that Protestants, Baptists specifically (since that is what we are), have left behind tradition to quickly. Now let me clarify, we were talking specifically about the early church fathers and their interpretations of Scripture. That is why I am going to start collecting an the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, to get the commentary of some patristic fathers. And while we do not agree with the Catholic Church as it stands, we do appreciate their claims that there needs to be some authority on interpretation, to an extent. We as Baptists have a bad habit of going to an extreme, as I think we have done in rejecting anything tied to Rome, especially the early church fathers. What I am trying to do is figure all this out and start looking to the Christians of the early church. I am do not think that some of the things taught in the RCC now are valid, but this division thing is becoming a problem among Protestants, as it is nothing now but pure subjectivism. I think it is a knee jerk reaction, and while many point to the Reformation, and there were some good things that came out of it I feel, many don't even know what the Reformers believed. I think it is important for Baptists to really stop and think about it, as well as all Christians.

    Neal
     
  18. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    This is where I believe you are wrong. It is the beauty of the Bible, God's revelation to mankind. It does interpret itself. There is only one interpretation. It is up to man to so study to find God's meaning within the pages of the Book that He has given us. It is there. The Bible interprets itself. When you rely on some man's interpretation, including the early father's you are bound to be led astray. After all, like everyone else they are sinners--fallible and prone to error.
    DHK
     
  19. MikeS

    MikeS
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    Messages:
    873
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is where I believe you are wrong. It is the beauty of the Bible, God's revelation to mankind. It does interpret itself. There is only one interpretation. </font>[/QUOTE]OK, then tell me the church that is in line with this correct interpretation 100%. 100% now, not 90% or 95% or 99%. If you cannot answer this question, then even if I accept your assertion that the bible interprets itself (which I don't), that information is of no use because I cannot find the "correct," error-free church out of the thousands out there.
     
  20. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    You've set up a straw man that obviously never has or never will exist, and is illogical even to suggest. Rather I would suggest that if you ever do find a perfect church don't join it, for then it will not be perfect.

    Every church that Paul wrote to in the New Testament had its problems. Paul wrote to correct those problems. There was no church more carnal than the church at Corinth in which there was contentions, immorality, favoritism, suing one another at court, abuse of the Lord's Table, drunkenness, marriage problems, probelms related to the spiritual gifts, and some that even denied the resurrection. Far from a perfect church!! But Paul wrote them two epistles, now both included in the canon of Scripture, that were instructions for them to solve their problems. The Bible is our guide book. In like manner it gives answers for the problems that we have.

    The people at Thessalonica had questions concerning eschatology, especially the coming of Christ, and what would happen to the dead in Christ. Paul wrote concerning those things, and in turn left us a great deal of eschatology to think about.
    Every book has its purpose. The Bible itself is perfect. It is man that is not. Churches are composed of men, who are fallible. As long as men are not perfect and still make mistakes, churches will not be perfect and will still make mistakes, and that means in doctrine as well. Not everything is spelled out perfectly in the Bible for us.
    That is why the command is given:

    2Tim.2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    The Bible command us to study, and rightly divide the Word of truth. It does not command us to study and rightly divide the catechism.
    DHK
     

Share This Page

Loading...