Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stirring the proverbial pot

So I'm really stirring the proverbial pot with these questions, but what the heck, we've got to begin the conversation somewhere, right?! Here are a few questions that I've been pondering lately. What do you think?

  • Is it possible to develop an authentic relationship with God without having heard about or being connected to Jesus first?

  • Are we saved by cognitive acceptance of certain dogmas and the recitation of a rote prayer? Are we saved by the direction of our lives? Are we saved by both these things or neither one of them?

Don't all answer at once now ya hear! I have to admit that these questions (with a little tweaking from me) come from my new, dear friend, Alex McManus of the International Mentoring Network. They are definetely worth pondering so don't look for the easy way out and ask for the answers in advance (Thea take note :))

9 comments:

Hope said...

An "authentic" relationship with God without Christ?? I always believed in God, but no one ever told me about Christ until I was 43 years old. I know that I loved God. I know He loved me. I know I His mercy covered me but because I didn't know His son, His grace was not with me. You can know "of" God without Christ but you only "KNOW" God through Christ.

Sorry 'bout question 2. I really don't think I understand the question. :)

Joseph said...

Hope, read Acts 10 then let's visit again on this issue.You might be significantly surprised by what you discover. Question 2 is simply asking if, once you believe the doctrine of a certain church and recite a certain prayer, does that save you? If you are doing all the right things and living a 'good' life, does that save you? Or do neither one of these things save you?

Ash said...

no, a prayer does not nec. save you...the ritual that a church provides may be a guide but it's not salvation. the bible says, "confess w/ your mouth, believe in your heart"- but that does not nec. you have to go through a "church ritual" to do that. i could do that standing at starbucks waiting for my coffee. i think the point is genuineness of heart and recognition of the cross' saving grace.

but can you have a relationship w/ God w/o Christ? mm, ok, so i'm going to dabble in a little theory...i believe that jews and even shall i say, "true muslims"...believe in THE one God. they do not however acknowledge Christ. does that mean they will not go to heaven and cannot know God? i don't think it means that at all and we'd be bold to judge that completely.

richie is sitting here w/ me and i asked him as well. his example? helen keller who do was not able to identify "that someone" in her life until much later when she learned and shared w/ a bishop friend that she'd always know about God even before she had words to describe..or anything to call "Him"

again...just some of my initial thoughts on the matter...

Hope said...

Alrighty then. I stand corrected. Yes, according to Acts 10 this is possible. I guess I was confused by the question. Acts 4:12 speaks about salvation coming only through Christ. I guess the difficult question would be: if you have an authentic relationship with God and don't know Christ, will you be saved? According to 4:12, I think the answer is no. But why would God turn someone away with whom He's been in an authentic relationship because of their ignorance of Christ?

I'm still masticating on question 2. I'll be back. :)

Hope said...

Well, let's look at the dogma of a certain church - one that believes that homosexuality is okay in God's sight. Most everything else they preach is biblical (as far as I know). Then comes the big but? The word of God is sharper than any double edged sword and His word is clear about what He thinks about men with men and women with women. I understand He loves the person and hates the sin. But this is becoming very confusing. I don't want to teach the wrong teaching so please, correct me if I'm in error.

Joseph said...

Hope, your questions with regard to my question one, are all legitimate and I'll spend next weeks early posts addressing all of these issues.

With regard to your confusion about question 2, well I hate to say this but you're going to have to wait until next week for those answers too! :)

Meanwhile, like the 'atheists' advocate, "don't worry..." just enjoy frivolous friday until next week.

Joseph said...

Ash, be careful not to make nonsense of the reason for shed blood of Christ as you come to your conclusions. I will address the issues you raised when I post next week.:)

Ash said...

i certainly don't negate the significance of the cross. i think im addessing simply the idea that God does not despise the genuine prayers and hearts of the jewish or muslim people. again though i dont think its my call to say what their status is with God. not all christians have a relationship with God either. will be interested in what u have to say...ciao

Joseph said...

Ash, go ahead and follow the tip I gave Hope and read Acts 10 so that you'll get a glimpse into the heart of God regarding this. One thing that you're spot on about is the fact that not all Christians are Christ followers. See you next week. :)