Why Do You Believe What You Believe?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Reformed, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. Reformed

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    I am going to assume you hold to a system of belief in regards to your Christian faith. Most of you are Baptists. Beyond that some of you are Dispensationalists, Covenant Theologians, Cessationists, Continualists, semi-Preterists, Preterists, Monergists, Synergists, et. al. Which leads me to a few questions:

    1. How did you come to believe what you believe?

    2. On what authority to you base your belief?

    3. Do you believe you are right in what you believe?

    4. Can there be more than two rights on a single point of doctrine (for instance can a Monergist also be a Synergist? Can a Continualist also be a Cessationist?)?

    5. Did you ever believe different on a doctrine only to change your position?

    6. If so, what lead you to change your position?

    7. Do you believe God the Holy Spirit played any role in your current belief or your change of belief?
     
  2. Greektim

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    Because John Calvin says so...


    or not :D

    Question #3 seems kinda ridiculous. Why would someone believe it if they felt they were wrong in their belief?

    #5 most definitely... I'm the black sheep of my alma mater and theological upbringing.
     
  3. Reformed

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    Tim, there is a reason for #3. It is specific to certain types on this board.
     
  4. Reformed

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    Why is that?
     
  5. PreachTony

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    I have always attended churches that, by and large, hold to the doctrines I believe. As I grew older, I did my best to also grow in spirit and in study. As I studied, I saw the doctrines in scripture that I already believed. Any difference in beliefs between how I was brought up and how I am now are minute at best.

    The Bible is our authority. If we hold to a doctrine that the Bible does not condone, then we are in error. The problem comes in our distinctive interpretations. Some interpret the scripture as condoning Calvinist predestination. Some interpret it as condoning Free Will. Regardless our interpretation, the Bible should remain our authority. If anyone turns to the interpretations of another man (or woman) and consider them as equal to the scripture (*cough*SDAs*cough*), then they are in error.

    Yes, otherwise I would not believe it. Even if our interpretations are seemingly at odds, I don't think there is anyone here who would continue believing a doctrine they did not consider to be correct.

    Personally, I believe that when we stand before God and enter into glory, we will be surprised, if such an emotion is possible in God's presence, at just how far off the mark we were in our interpretations.

    No, though my knowledge of certain aspects of doctrines have changed, as I have learned more about those doctrines.

    See answer to #5.

    I do, though obviously I believe God holds us accountable to study the Word, so there is an impetus on us to discover the mysteries of the scripture. We then pray and meditate on the scripture and see where the Spirit leads us in our study.
     
  6. Reformed

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    Tony, and honest and articulate response. Thank you.
     
  7. convicted1

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    The way we're raised can hinder our growth sometimes....IMO. I was raised to believe in free will, KJVO, women not cutting their hair or wearing pants at anytime, someone divorced/remarried could not preach, only baptisms in creeks, ponds, lakes were the only viable places.

    If I hadn't studied for myself and read others on here and through books and other sites, I'd still be in the KJVO camp, a modalist...the others I had changed my beliefs before BB.

    If people don't have some changes somewhere in their theology from their conversion until now, that shows me no growth. If you know as much 5-10 years later then you're still a new born babe on a bottle..
     
  8. PreachTony

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    To your point, Bro. Willis, I would say that it is possible for someone to still believe quite similarly to how they started out, but so long as they have increased in knowledge from their start then they have grown. Merely changing from one doctrine to another is not always a sign of spiritual growth.

    I have similar experiences to you, though I don't believe my church background is anywhere near as strict as yours seems to have been. My church is certainly KJVP (not KJVO), and most of the women wear dresses, but that's not a requirement. The hair cutting issue has never been one for me, and because of where we live, baptizing in running water/naturally-occurring water is not always possible.
     
  9. PreachTony

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    I try my best. I've never claimed to be the most civil, and you'll see in another thread currently on-going here on the BB, my civility is quite lacking. But I will do my best to provide a detailed, insightful, or researched response whenever possible.
     
  10. Reformed

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    Time for me to answer my own questions:


    1. How did you come to believe what you believe?

    2. On what authority to you base your belief?

    3. Do you believe you are right in what you believe?

    4. Can there be more than two rights on a single point of doctrine (for instance can a Monergist also be a Synergist? Can a Continualist also be a Cessationist?)?

    5. Did you ever believe different on a doctrine only to change your position?

    6. If so, what lead you to change your position?

    7. Do you believe God the Holy Spirit played any role in your current belief or your change of belief?

     
    #10 Reformed, Feb 18, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2015
  11. Reformed

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    :thumbsup: I have had only civil discourse with you.
     
  12. convicted1

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    As sinners, we weren't even a new born babe. At conversion, we were new born babes in Christ. You mean to tell me that even after 5-10 years of study and growth, you're gonna know pretty much the same as you did at your Spiritual birth? I have a hard time swallowing that line. Look, we're not gonna go from one solar system to another in growth, but everything we were fed growing up wasn't biblically sound, imo..
     
  13. convicted1

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    What about me?

    [​IMG]
     
  14. PreachTony

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    No, Willis, that was not what I intended to say. What I meant was that, while I might hold tot he same doctrines I held to at first, I should be obviously better versed in them. Example, using myself: I started my journey as an amillennialist, even though I wasn't fully versed on it. As I've gotten older, I'm still amillennial, but I have a much better understanding of the doctrine. I can point out why I believe what I believe. I can compare and contrast my view with those of a premillennialist or even a postmillennialist (if you can find one). I get the sense from your argument that I should've changed from my amillennial view to prove my spiritual growth. I'm probably reading more into your comment than is actually there, though.
     
  15. Reformed

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    Who are you? :)
     
  16. Greektim

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    I'll take your word for it, I guess. Still seems silly to me.
     
  17. Greektim

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    Come from IFB ultra-conservative and married a KJVOer whose way more conservative than me. We both went to a hard core fundie dispie school (not KJVO though). I was fast on my way to be an outspoken voice for dispensationalism and pre-trib eschatology.

    Now I'm reformed and even liberal in some circles.
     
  18. Reformed

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    Similar background. Similar reaction.
     
  19. Baptist Believer

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    My first semester in college, my childhood faith, such that it was, was destroyed by a 10 minute conversation with a person from the same background as me, who had decided to become an atheist a few years before. That persons concerns and questions were mostly legitimate, given the fact that the SBC church I grew up in did not preach/teach the gospel in a biblical way. The message was that people needed to join the church and get baptized or they would burn for eternity in hell. There was no talk of following Jesus, learning to obey His teachings, or what comprises saving faith.

    I became an agnostic, bordering on atheism. However, I was honest and was open to the idea that God may be real, although I had been misled about Him.

    After studying a wide variety of religious beliefs and systems, I noticed that almost all of them were reacting against or referencing the Bible for their authority. I realized that I had never really read the Bible except in small groups of verses, so I decided that I couldn't purport to know anything about religion in the Western Hemisphere unless I had a strong working knowledge of the Bible.

    I simply starting reading the Bible cover-to-cover. Over the course about around 16 months, I believe I read the Bible all the way through two or three times, and some portions (like the entire New Testament) many more times through.

    After I had a good feel for the story it told, I noticed that God was apparent to me, although I wasn't sure how to be "right" with Him. (I can't explain how God was apparent to me, but I sensed His presence with me as I studied, and especially as I prayed for insight and understanding. Those prayers were answered.

    About the same time I became aware of God, I also became aware that much of the teaching I had been given was either completely wrong or severely distorted. Some of it was my fault, because children don't always understand things because they don't have enough life experience, but other things were flat wrong - like the teaching that "walking the aisle" and getting baptized made you right with God. Although, to be fair, we always had contradictory message that baptism doesn't save you, so it was confusing.

    I decided that if I was going to be a disciple of the God I sensed who was with me, I was only going to trust the teachings that I found in the Bible. If I didn't have a contextual teaching or specific passage of doctrine, I simply wasn't going to trust it. At the same time, I kept in mind the teachings I had been raised with and kept my eyes open for references to those areas so I could develop my own understanding of them.

    Of the things that I have studied for myself, I have quite a bit of confidence in them. For the things I have heard other people teach, I am somewhat tentative and skeptical. I have found my faith and understanding growing consistently every year, so I am always open to considering new evidence.

    I think our understanding is always partial and some things are intended to be held in constant tension because the human mind doesn't not have the imagination, knowledge or intelligence to completely understand the ways of God. For instance, exactly how the Divine will and the human will can co-exist without one completely preempting the other.

    Yes. Usually it is on those doctrines that I have inherited from the culture and I have assumed to be correct. My theological biases when reading scripture help me distort my understanding of what is actually written. That's why interpreting the Bible within a community of believers is so important - especially when all of the believers are not from your theological position/heritage.

    Usually a convincing passage of scripture or the understanding of related doctrines and theological tensions that pull things into alignment. I am notoriously conservative about changing theological positions. Some of my brothers and sisters in Christ get impatient with me because I don't follow theological trends, or come to my conclusions and value evidence in the same way they do.

    I wouldn't know God or know anything about God without the aid of the Holy Spirit.
     
    #19 Baptist Believer, Feb 18, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  20. convicted1

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    I agree with what you're saying here, and I pray you didn't take offense to what I stated in that post of mine. That wasn't my intent at all.

    I was raised amil and that's all I knew. As I further studied, that eschatology only got stronger.

    When I was saved, I had a modalist view of God, but instead of 'Jesus only' it was 'God only'. I saw Him as God the Father or as God the Son or as God the Holy Spirit, but I left two-thirds of the Trinity out. A fellow once told me Jesus wasn't God and I thought he was crazy...and he is. I was like, 'pffffft'. Then one day I was reading Revelation 5 and I saw God on the throne with a book in His right hand and Jesus taking it out of it. Then I thought, 'A ha! Jesus isn't God! He is Jesus the Son of God, but not God!' I made a wreck of the Trinity for a while. I even went around telling people Jesus was God's Son but not God. I boasted in knowing what others didn't. Then as I was reading and learning from some of the fine CHRISTians on here, they helped me to finally see the Triune God for Who He is; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.


    That's what I was talking about. If one is truly saved, God will bring them out of the muck they're in. And NO steaver, I am NOT referring to TULIP here either, so don't even go there. When we're saved we have very little knowledge starting out. And in the growing process, we will change our views on some things....
     

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