Anniversary 1

A little over one year ago, my wife and I were watching a movie where a woman started a blog and was determined to write on it every day for one year. During that movie I determined to see what it would take to start a blog where I could try and share some of the lessons about God that I had learned in my life, and even some of the ones I was trying to learn in my ongoing walk along the paths of righteousness. I am not a pastor of a church or in any type of full time gospel ministry, though in one way I wish I were. I love the study of the scriptures and am concerned at how many seem to only use the Bible to back up doctrines they came up with from somewhere. All would say their doctrines all come from the Bible; but the Bible itself speaks about and warns against the doctrines of men. I have found many who think that anyone who disagrees with them are following doctrines of men; but they are always right on the mark. In that sense I guess I am like some of those. I read and pray and seek knowledge and wisdom and try to acknowledge God in all my ways so that He will direct my paths; and I expect Him to teach me what the truth is. One thing I believe I do is look for the scripture to teach me the truth rather then read the scripture trying to back up what I already believe. I have found that most who grew up in the church have many doctrines they cannot tell how they got. My guess is most would be through tradition. If I have accomplished anything in the last year; I hope it would be to let people know it is ok to question why you believe what you believe. I have firmed up some beliefs over the year; thanks largely to the study I have done because of this blog; and have changed some of what I would have said I believed when I started.

When I began I sent an email to 7 or 8 people telling them what I was doing and where it was found and some of them followed it for a while. One of my questions was would anyone ever read what I wrote. I decided it didn’t matter as I was learning so much from the study that was going into writing it. The numbers started out very slow with 3 or 4 and sometimes as many as 6 or 7 “hits” per day. I remember being so excited when I got into double digits. But today is the end of the first year. I posted my first blog on December 27 of this year. As of this writing, the counter provided by Word Press shows 90,652 hits for the year. I have a few subscribers and they get an email with the blog and those numbers don’t add. If you take everything together it probably adds up to over 91,000 hits. I am amazed as I see that. I know many are repeats who look at the blog semi regularly; but to me it is still a staggering number of people. There have been 109 comments made that I allowed to be posted. The vast majority were complimentary and quite a few had questions and some led to some interesting discussions. I have only had three I think that I did not allow to be posted. I never mind disagreement and as long as comments were in a good spirit I allowed them no matter where there were doctrinally. However; a few did not know how to comment respectfully and were disallowed.

I was unsure when I started how long I would continue; but I know that I have learned more from writing this blog than anyone could have learned from reading it; so I will continue. My hope is still that these lessons may help someone to understand that all of our hope is in God. All that we need is provided by God. God sent His Son to reconcile us back to a right relationship with Him and to provide us a place for all of eternity. I, along with Paul in 1 Corinthians 8:6 believe; “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” He is truly all we need.

Continue to read your Bible and pray and seek Him.

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6 Responses to “Anniversary 1”

  1. methodus Says:

    I’m sorry if this might seem like I’m hounding you but I can’t quite seem to get a grasp on your view of God. If you believe Jesus not to be God (this seems to be what I gather from your theology) then do you pray to him? If you do, how can you do so when prayer should be strictly directed to God? If you do not, then what do you make of:

    “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

    which is Paul’s fleshing out of Yahweh’s statement in Isaiah 45:23 (“By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.”). Notice that Yahweh says that it is before him that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess yet Paul says that it is before Jesus that this worship will be directed to. If the trinity is true (and therefore Christ is himself Yahweh) then everything makes perfect sense, but if the trinity is not true then Paul is a liar and parts of the Bible are wrong. Furthermore, if the Trinity is false then the passage is in direct contradiction to Yahweh’s statement in Isaiah 42:8 where he declares that his glory he will not give to another. Yet Paul says that quite clearly the very act of giving glory to Christ and worshiping him glorifies God? How can that be when the worship of anything else besides God (such as idols, angels, the moon, the stars etc.) does not glorify him in any way? Once more this of course is easily resolved when one understands that the whole Bible teaches that Christ is God instead of a being other than God. Anyway, I simply wanted to know your thoughts on the matter seeing as I didn’t get a response towards my other comment to you (in the Son of God pt. III article).

    Blessings,

    Methodus

    • landsway Says:

      I do not believe that Jesus is God Himself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. That is what the Bible says. I pray to the Father in Jesus name as we are directed in John 16:23-24. I do not mean to be offensive in any way at all; but the trinity is not taught at all in the Bible. In fact. God the Father is found in the Bible but God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is not. If one is so inclined they can find a lot of verses that they can use to make an argument for the Trinity just like those who profess to believe that Jesus is the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost can find verses to use out of context like “I and the Father are One”. I can assure you I have spent much time in studying this and in fact grew up believing in a Trinity; but I see things like Jesus was tempted in all points like as we are and yet without sin. I see another verse in James where it says let no man say when he is tempted that he is tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted of evil. To you your own question; how can both of these verses be true if Jesus is God. The only way I see no conflict is if we believe that the Father is God and Jesus is the Son of God. There is only one God. The Pentecostals believe the name of the one God is Jesus. The trinitarians believe it is three that make one. As a true believer in a trinity you will not be able to understand what I believe; but after years of studying this and with a trinitarian background; I am comfortable with what I believe. I believe along with Paul waht is written in 1 Corinthians 8:6 which reads; “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all thngs, and we by him.” One God the Father—-One Lord Jesus Christ. Not one place in the scripture is Jesus called God. We are told that God is manifest in Jesus but manifest means to be made known and God should be manifest in any of us. Jeus is called the Word of God. Jesus himself says he proceeded from God and he did as his word which according to John 1 became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus definately came form God and is a part of God but is not God himself. We may just have to agree to disagree; but this is what I have come to believe through much prayer and study.

      • methodus Says:

        this is actually my response to somebody else but concerning the same topic and so i thought i’d just copy and paste it. once more my point of view can harmonize every verse you have brought up so far but yours cannot account for the old testament verses which i brought up in which Yahweh consistently calls someone else Yahweh as well. Not only that, but he claims that he was pierced and one day the jews shall look upon him and cry for him as one cries for the loss of an only son. As far as the verse you have cited, is God not the Lord? The Father is called the creator of all things and Jesus is called the creator of all things how can this be if Jesus himself is not uncreated? anyway, we are getting a fair bit off-topic. Now to respond to the quote from the epistle of James:

        Thanks for the comment. while at this time I have not taken a look at your video (I may, or may not) I will give a very brief response to your use of James 1:13 in order to claim that the bible claims that Jesus is not God. Before that though I must say that I find Muslim arguments fairly self-serving (and therefore weak) because they will claim that the Bible is irredeemably corrupted yet when the opportunity presents itself to make use of the bible we are supposed to believe that the portion they are quoting from has not been corrupted. Either the bible is corrupted or it isn’t, take your pick and remember that inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument. Given that you would quote from James, let us at least suppose that the writings of James are authoritative (seeing as you would claim this by your use of a citation from this text and then therefore go on to claim that because of these words by James, Jesus cannot be God…in short, by your argument, we are to suppose that the words of James override everything else in the bible like for example, the words of Paul). It is easy to quote one saying by an author and then claim that this was what he believed yet the proper method would be to examine the entire corpus of an author’s work to understand what in fact it is that he believed. With that in mind, let us turn to the words of James.

        “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.” —James 1:13

        Before I speak concerning the above let us continue reading James and see exactly what his idea of God was:

        “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” —James 1:1

        In the above James calls himself a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘Lord’, which in Greek would be Kyrios was the translation of the word Adonai which is the word that Jews use for God’s proper name, Yahweh. If James, wanted to say that Jesus was not God then from the very first sentence he has already confused his audience by using the very term that he, as a Jew, uses for the God of Israel himself!

        “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” —James 1:5-7

        In the above James speaks concerning petitions to God and yet then claims that it is the Lord who gives and answers prayers. But who did James call the Lord in his opening? Wasn’t it Jesus? I don’t know about you but if James wanted to claim that Jesus was not God then why would he say that it is he that answered prayers and granted them when people prayed to God? Unless of course James meant to teach that Jesus is himself God.

        “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” —James 2:1

        The above is once more confusing in the fact that the faith is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory. But isn’t God the Lord of Glory? And isn’t the faith supposed to be in God? Once more James is being very confusing if he meant to say that Jesus is not God but is actually being very clear if once more he was teaching that Jesus was God.

        Now let us turn to the passage which you had cited in your post. You had warned me not to twist the word “tempted” yet is there only one way to use the word tempted? Be that as it may, if we are to believe what you said in that there is absolutely only one way to use the word tempted then what are we to make with the ending of that verse where James says that God does not ‘tempt’ anyone yet later on he says:

        “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?” —James 2:21

        The above verse is actually referring to: “After these things, God tempted Abraham, and said to him: Abraham, Abraham. And he answered: Here I am.He said to him: Take thy only begotten son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and go into the land of vision: and there thou shalt offer him for a holocaust [sacrifice] upon one of the mountains which I will show thee.” (Genesis 22:1-2). If we are to believe what you said then we have ourselves a problem where James contradicts himself and simultaneously believes that God is God and God is not God. Clearly your logic does not make sense and is in fact insulting to the intellect of both the author and your audience. If you had cared to look into the matter you would have seen that the word translated as tempted is the word nissa whose two primary meanings mean “to test”. Therefore, while the word can mean “to tempt” it more often means “to test” and the meaning is found depending on the context. Now you would have us disregard all of this and simply believe that James was simply trying to contradict himself or ignorant of his own language…or both! From the above, it’s clear that when one actually examines the matter, they find that your logic cannot hold up to scrutiny and is only convincing if one is ignorant of the matter entirely.

        “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”—James 4:13-15

        Once more who is this Lord that James speaks of? From the context we can gather that this Lord is the one who holds our lives in his hands but everyone knows that only God has this power, right? Yet this Lord, James identified with Jesus in his opening! So unlike what you would want us to believe, James is quite emphatic in that Jesus is God.

        What I would like you to take note of is the consistency within my argument. While mine explains everything without positing contradictions or insulting the intelligence of my audience or the author, your argument does not. If I were a betting man, I certainly would not place my hopes with the argument that you have put forth for it fails to account for all the evidence and only works if we ignore it altogether. Now remember that your argument rested on us taking the words of James as authoritative and we have now seen that James declares Christ to be God. So what will you do? Will you believe the author on whom your argument rested on (and whom you had wanted me to believe in) or will you suddenly disregard his words and display to all of us that you are in fact not interested in a consistent argument? Remember, inconsistency is a sign of a failed argument and when you must repeatedly be inconsistent (as I’ve shown Joshua Evans and the Muslim position to have been) then I would say that your theological viewpoint is a failing one.

      • landsway Says:

        Let me make a personal note here that I do not mean to be ignoring you or shying away from debate though in one sense I fail to see any purpose in debate sometimes. I have been working 15 hour days and that sort of limits computer time. I simply do not see the things you see. The idea of a trinity is not found in the Bible in my view. The quote from Isaiah is quoted by Paul in Romans 14:11 so I see no controversy there. In Philippians 2:11 it says that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Again; I see that a showing a Father and a Son. I do not know where you get your definition fo Kyriios. Strongs’s define it is an expression of respect and reverence which would certainly be given to Jesus. This is the word usually associate with the word Lord in the New Testament. In the old Testament we usually find the word LORD with all capital letters and that word means JEHOVAH which is defined ass the proper name of the one true God. Again; I am not trying to be argumentative; and for the next few weeks simply do not have much time for debate. I have said nothing personally derogative of you and I am sure you are a well meaning person who is trying to learn and do the right things and in a month or so we might well have time for a good debate; but I have heard every argument you have presented so far and I see no controversy of conflict in my belief. I see nothing in the Bible that calls Jesus God. I certainly see nothing that says the Holy Spirit is anything other than the Spirit of the Living God. I think the scripture where you say others say that Jesus is God are taken in a way different than what the writers meant. We just see it differently. You have to read things into the scripture that is not there. I do not do that. I am comfortable with what I believe and would suggest that you be the same way and not feel that you are responsible for what others believe.

  2. methodus Says:

    I’m not entirely sure if you are at all interested but I thought that I should mention that I’ve written a post concerning this subject and particularly your use of 1 Corinthians 8:6.

    http://godomnipotent.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/on-christian-unitarianism-and-1-corinthians-86/

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