1. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    21 Apr '18 23:25
    This is a theory of mine.

    Western people used to relate to "God" as the Bringer of Hell, Fire and Brimstone. This mirrors a time in the USA where success of the country was not a given. People in general were worried about major things going wrong in their lives.

    But then, prosperity gradually became more assured. Meeting of basic needs became taken for granted. The game was now Happiness and Finding Meaning in Life. It wasn't good enough to simply keep a steady job and feed your family until death. You were now a failure if you didn't strive for Happiness and Meaning.

    In parallel, Fire and Brimstone ceased to be a compelling narrative to believers. It was a given that those things no longer happened. Now, there needed to be a positive, affirmative, reason to practice Christianity.

    The new reason incorporated a common end to the dual goals of happiness and meaning: the relationship with Christ.

    At first, Christ was the Savior of all mankind. Which was great, and all, yeah yeah, blah blah blah, but what's in it for the individual believer?

    It isn't good enough that Christ saved mankind. The individual doesn't know them, can't relate to them, etc. Christ must morph into their PERSONAL savior. Not that they're needy or anything. They just know they're that important.
  2. SubscriberSuzianne
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    21 Apr '18 23:29
    Originally posted by @bigdoggproblem
    This is a theory of mine.

    Western people used to relate to "God" as the Bringer of Hell, Fire and Brimstone. This mirrors a time in the USA where success of the country was not a given. People in general were worried about major things going wrong in their lives.

    But then, prosperity gradually became more assured. Meeting of basic needs became ...[text shortened]... heir PERSONAL savior. Not that they're needy or anything. They just know they're that important.
    Actually, this is just the difference between the OT and the NT.
  3. Standard memberRemoved
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    22 Apr '18 03:20
    Originally posted by @bigdoggproblem
    This is a theory of mine.

    Western people used to relate to "God" as the Bringer of Hell, Fire and Brimstone. This mirrors a time in the USA where success of the country was not a given. People in general were worried about major things going wrong in their lives.

    But then, prosperity gradually became more assured. Meeting of basic needs became ...[text shortened]... heir PERSONAL savior. Not that they're needy or anything. They just know they're that important.
    God always sought a relationship with individual people and not humanity writ large. It’s no surprise that the concept of a personal Saviour is believed by Christians.

    “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

    (Isaiah 41:10)
  4. Standard memberSecondSon
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    22 Apr '18 11:48
    Originally posted by @bigdoggproblem
    This is a theory of mine.

    Western people used to relate to "God" as the Bringer of Hell, Fire and Brimstone. This mirrors a time in the USA where success of the country was not a given. People in general were worried about major things going wrong in their lives.

    But then, prosperity gradually became more assured. Meeting of basic needs became ...[text shortened]... heir PERSONAL savior. Not that they're needy or anything. They just know they're that important.
    Your theory is your own perspective. Not that it lacks a degree of merit, and can be debated in its several points, but it is flawed in one major respect.

    God's church, what the Bible calls "the body of Christ", is the domain of God Himself, and is defined by Him. What is confusing to most is the apparent disarray in the church corporate, i.e. the visible institutions labeled Christian. What God sees is a body of believers made up of individual members united under the headship of Christ, which is invisible to the naked eye, and derives its sustenance from God's Word and the Spirit.

    The problem, which your theory is related to, is that the visible church is mixed with tares, as well as the spiritually immature, causing people to be disillusioned about how to have a meaningful perspective.

    The "church" is not defined by man's perception of man, but by God's Word.
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    22 Apr '18 18:37
    Originally posted by @bigdoggproblem
    This is a theory of mine.

    Western people used to relate to "God" as the Bringer of Hell, Fire and Brimstone. This mirrors a time in the USA where success of the country was not a given. People in general were worried about major things going wrong in their lives.

    But then, prosperity gradually became more assured. Meeting of basic needs became ...[text shortened]... heir PERSONAL savior. Not that they're needy or anything. They just know they're that important.
    Good line of thinking.

    Without question, there was a profound shift in emphasis on the application of Christ's work, from the universal to the individual, although it was more likely a conscious shift to address the thought that perhaps God was a bit sloppy... that He didn't really intend to save me, per se, as much as all mankind and plenty of us were simply going to see our boats lifted by the overall rising tide.

    More of an articulation of God's absolute mastery over all aspects of His creation, including His intimate knowledge of little ol' me, so to speak.

    The hope being, of course, that if God has a plan for my life, then it certainly must be worth considering... maybe even living!
  6. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    22 Apr '18 19:45
    Originally posted by @suzianne
    Actually, this is just the difference between the OT and the NT.
    And yet the NT has been around for almost 2000 years, while the term "personal savior" was seemingly not invented until centuries later.

    Can anyone find a use of this term that is more than a hundred years old?
  7. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    22 Apr '18 19:48
    Originally posted by @romans1009
    God always sought a relationship with individual people and not humanity writ large. It’s no surprise that the concept of a personal Saviour is believed by Christians.

    “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

    (Isaiah 41:10)
    In the OT, God only had personal relationships with a select few. For example, Moses met God on Mount Sinai alone while the rest of the people waited.
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    22 Apr '18 19:55
    Originally posted by @bigdoggproblem
    This is a theory of mine.
    ...
    You are looking into your own mind. Kinda amazing.
  9. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    22 Apr '18 19:56
    Originally posted by @secondson
    Your theory is your own perspective. Not that it lacks a degree of merit, and can be debated in its several points, but it is flawed in one major respect.

    God's church, what the Bible calls "the body of Christ", is the domain of God Himself, and is defined by Him. What is confusing to most is the apparent disarray in the church corporate, i.e. the visi ...[text shortened]... ngful perspective.

    The "church" is not defined by man's perception of man, but by God's Word.
    The Parable of the Wheat and Tares states that the tares won't be removed until the harvest. Thus, the church as defined by Jesus has tares in it.
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    22 Apr '18 20:173 edits
    Originally posted by @bigdoggproblem
    The Parable of the Wheat and Tares states that the tares won't be removed until the harvest. Thus, the church as defined by Jesus has tares in it.
    The church as defined by the church has tares.
    The church has cast aside the teachings of Christ
    No longer is good works and righteousness required
    Now its all about a relationship with God
    and proclaiming that Jesus is "my personal saviour"
    Following of commandments have gone through the window.
    Some church members follow Christ and these are the good seed, the children of God
    Others do not and these are described as tares and the children of the devil


    The church as defined by Jesus has no tares.
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    22 Apr '18 20:22
    Originally posted by @bigdoggproblem
    The Parable of the Wheat and Tares states that the tares won't be removed until the harvest. Thus, the church as defined by Jesus has tares in it.
    Some might even characterize those tares as pricks.
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    22 Apr '18 20:261 edit
    Originally posted by @bigdoggproblem
    And yet the NT has been around for almost 2000 years, while the term "personal savior" was seemingly not invented until centuries later.

    Can anyone find a use of this term that is more than a hundred years old?
    Can anyone find a use of this term that is more than a hundred years old?


    The phrase "personal savior" doesn't appear. But I would point to the truth of Paul's confession in Galatians 2:20

    " ... the life which I now I in the flesh I live in faith,

    the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."


    That is very personal.
    And Paul was just a pattern of the normal Christian life.

    Yes, he says elsewhere that Christ died for the church.
    But within that is Christ giving up His life for Paul personally.

    " ... the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." (See Gal. 2:20)
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    23 Apr '18 03:02
    Originally posted by @bigdoggproblem
    The Parable of the Wheat and Tares states that the tares won't be removed until the harvest. Thus, the church as defined by Jesus has tares in it.
    Why do you think the parable refers to the church and not humanity at large?

    “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

    But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

    But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

    So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

    He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

    But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

    Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”

    (Matthew 13:24-30)
  14. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    23 Apr '18 06:29
    Originally posted by @rajk999
    The church as defined by the church has tares.
    The church has cast aside the teachings of Christ
    No longer is good works and righteousness required
    Now its all about a relationship with God
    and proclaiming that Jesus is "my personal saviour"
    Following of commandments have gone through the window.
    Some church members follow Christ and these are the g ...[text shortened]... scribed as tares and the children of the devil


    The church as defined by Jesus has no tares.
    That parable was from Jesus. Clearly, he is permitting the tares to remain in the "Kingdom of Heaven" until harvest.
  15. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    23 Apr '18 06:31
    Originally posted by @romans1009
    Why do you think the parable refers to the church and not humanity at large?

    “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

    But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

    But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fr ...[text shortened]... and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”

    (Matthew 13:24-30)
    "Kingdom of Heaven" does not indicate humanity at large, in my view.
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