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Are You A "biblical" Christian?


BrotherRog
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FYI,

 

I just received the following message from a group that falsely assumes I share their fundamentalist right-wing beliefs. They invited me to take part in a survey which indicates how well my views on various subjects such as family, church, scripture, government, theology, etc. correlate with a "Biblical Worldview." (As defined by them of course)

 

I came out between a Secular Humanist and a Moderate Christian, so the survey seems accurate as I'd call myself a Liberal/radical Christian (though they didn't have that category!).

 

I also discovered that the aggregate results of that survey will be utilized as part of the basis of an author's upcoming book in which it seems that he will assert that "the majority of respondents stated that government policies should be determined by the majority of the citizens, and since the majority of the citizens indicate that they are "Biblical Christians", then our nation's laws, policies, and social mores, ought to be dominated by Biblical Christians."

 

Interestingly, the way that people are exposed to this survey is by it's being forwarded to them via various conservative Christian organizations and newsletters. I'd surely never have had the opportunity to take this survey if I hadn't been on such a list! - Can anyone say "skewed/biased research sample!!??"

 

I'd like to invite you to engage in a subversive effort to undermine this agenda. I am forwarding this message to some of my more liberal-minded friends and if you take this survey - and forward it to others - we'll be able to undermine this author's thesis! ; ) Note, it takes about 25 mins to answer the questions.

 

(.... Now, if you'd like a more interesting survey that might actually help you ponder your personal religious beliefs and possible religious affiliations, I'd recommend that you take the "religious beliefs survey/indicator" at Beliefs Indicator )

 

 

 

----- Original Message -----

 

Dear Friend,

 

Do you have a Christian worldview?

Find out by taking a free worldview test at "Biblical Christian" surveyAfter you've taken the test, you will get an instant score.

 

Your worldview will be tested in the area of law, economics, civil government, religion, social issues, sociology (family issues) education and science.

 

You will also receive an overall worldview score and rating. This test will take you about 20-25 minutes to complete.

 

I also want to invite you to attend one of the upcoming Worldview Weekend conferences if you haven't already done so. You can see our 2004 Worldview Weekend cities, dates and speakers at www.worldviewweekend.com.

 

You can send questions or comments about the worldview test to info@worldviewweekend.com

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Maybe it's not nice to mess with their "survey" especially when my text at beliefnet consistant comes up with "neopagan" and "new age", while my birth church "Roman Catholic" is always at the bottom! Who writes these things anyway? :blink:

 

What is more troubling is their assertion that the majority of Americans are "Bible Believing". A lot of people may say it, but do they even know what is in the Bible? Maybe it's just a platitude? What is more, in a article at Common Dreams, religious "nones" are now the fastest growing "denomination" in America, falling just behind Catholics (who the fundies don't consider Christian) and Baptists. It seems that the "old time religion" is now the "over the hill religion"!

 

(Bye the bye, I redid my Webpage and am interested in your comments. Thanks!!)

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Brother Rog:

 

I guess I was helpful in this worthy cause. At your suggestion I spent considerable time and thought answering the survey questions honestly and openly. I came out to be a Communist! I just hope it wasn't the Russian view of that term, or Castro's view. I took the questionaire on the Search for Jesus Semnar on BeliefNet and turned out to be a Bishop Spong Christian, a little kinder result. But it was fun if not very revealing. I would suggest we do something similar on this network. I wonder if it would be referenced in the projected Book?

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Thanks, Brother Rog. I love the Bible as a fascinating collection of Ancient Literature which contains a lot of wisdom, but the idea of basing present-day laws on it fills me with despair. people, it seems , learn nothing from History.

 

I don't think anything will prevent fundamentalists from 'producing' whatever statisc support their dogma. they seem to em to be very sad people who are siomply afraid of confronting Reality. Go to the 'Premier radio Online ' discussion forum and you wil see some of them, hysterical patients of Dr. Sigmund Freud most of them, who have a rather 'hot-house' realationship with Jesus ('His will for me' (gasp).).

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I am a biblical Christian. I was brought up Presbyterian and remain so. I taught Bible in a Christian university in Japan. In the course of my teaching and experience, I became convinced that the basic message of the Bible is the Oneness of God. The biblical concept of God began in the midst of a polytheistic culture as one among many, with the presupposition that God is defined by power, my (our) God can beat up your God. In an evolutionary historical process the people of Israel's conception of God (at least that of the minority elites) came to define deity more in terms of compassion and mercy than sheer power. The ethno- centric view gave way, in the minds of some at least, to the concept that Israel's God, though the One only Creator, and special deity of Israel, was nevertheless concerned for the nations.

 

Jesus as a Jew started with the concept of exclusivism, sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but a Canaanite mother of a sick daughter helped him to an attitude adjustment. Jesus had a deep sense of being son of God (a title applied to all Israel in the OT), and told his disciples they also were children of this "father" who provided sun and rain for good and bad equally. Jesus was egalitarian, undiscriminating, and self giving for others.

 

Paul interpreted the death of Jesus as Christ as the weakness of God, which overcomes worldly "power" and the foolishness of God, which is wiser than the wisdom of the world. The cross demonstrates that self-giving, inner persuasing rather than imposition of power from outside, is of the essence of Deity.

 

Through the Bible and especially through Jesus I know God as compassionate, with a divine plan of reconciliation that embraces all creation. I am a universalist in the B. B. Warfield sense of the term, that "salvation" (whatever that means) is a gift of grace, and (unlike Warfield) that God embraces all within that grace, and not just those specially predestined.

 

I'm a bible-believing Christian. I want to placard "Christian" and "Bible" in the sense I understand these terms, and join with as many others as possible to let it be known that there is another way to be a Bible Beliving Christian than that trumpeted by the war-mongering fundamentalist Christian Zionists who unconditionally support the state of Israel and urge the US establishment to prepare for Armageddon with nuclear weapons.

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Thank you for your stand for the Bible and your understanding of it. But what do you make of Jesus' commentary on it to be found in the pages of "The Course in Miracles"? This 20th Century supplement to the ancient text seems worthy to some of us to warrant the respect accorded to the Bible which you so competently affirm. It seems to me to correct the Bible in one fundamental point:It affirms the unity of Sonship with the divine, which the Bible seems to deny to manknd in general as you correctly point out.

 

In God I Trust, Jeep

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Archibald, I ahve read your post two or three times before i felt I could reply to it,a si wanted to understand exactly what yopu are saying. I am in agreement with all of it, with one exception.

 

For me it is clear that ther is a vital force or life behind the Creation and sustenance of the cosmos, the transmission of DNA, etc. I believ that uis what eole refer to as 'God'. So, it makes sense for me to say that go is the creator and preserver of all things seen and useen. but I cannot think of God as a person, a decision-making personality, as described in the Bible.

 

I'd be interested to hear how you envisage God. What evidence is there in our world for a listening, deciding God?

 

.

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First let me say that I am NOT a "Bible-believing Christian" - I believe in that to which the Bible is directed like "a finger pointing at the moon", namely God - or rather that Ultimate and Unknowable Mystery which we conceptualize and label God. The main problem with the Bible is that it contains a developing moral view of God (or maybe chronicling the moral development of God?). It in essence presents many different and incompatible gods, some of which - if human - would be considered sociopathic. The problem comes when, as a "Bible-believing Christian" you try and reconcile all of these images into one true God. Unfortunately, when this is done you must accept the sociopathic elements and, since we become what we believe, end up absorbing the sociopathic elements into oneself - and from that the woeful history of Christianity is born!

 

We need to see the Bible as a process, but why close off the process? Has God gone on holiday? or died? Historically the only reason we closed the scripture was because the bishops (especiall Iraneaus) feared losing their authority; afterall, if anyone can access the source of Wisdom then what do we need bishops and priests for? But was this what Yeshua (Jesus) intended? In the most authentic layers of stories and teachings of Yeshua - (especiall the Gospel of Thomas which seems to predate even Mark since Mark depends on Thomas according to the theologian Stevan Davies) - Yeshua does not claim a unique connection to God, but that we all can become as he - "Whoever will drink from my mouth will become like me. I myself will become he, and what is hidden will be revealed to him." (Gospel of Thomas, 108).

 

It is very interesting that Jeep should mention "A Course in Miracles", since it seems to be very close to the Yeshua found in the Gospel of Thomas and other - so called - Gnostic writings. I very much have come to admire this book; although, not ready to say that the physical world exists only as a training ground. For me, however, the goal is not to depend on any scripture as the source for Wisdom, but to have the "law written on the heart" - to in essence to become living scripture which is which speaks of the nature of the sacred by living a life of compassion and gentleness. Ultimately, you must burn your Bible!

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That's a very good answer, peaceangel, which found a ready ear in me!

 

I agre with you about Thomas pre-dating Mark. Mark is so much more the professional, finished job, Thomas the more rough-and-ready collection of sayings which rings more authentically.

 

Curious that S.Paul, the one biblical writer who could have had real evidence of Jesus' life, never quotes him. It's little things lie this that convince me that the Bible is a much more fascinating collection than the fundamentalists can guess.

 

Even the Nag Hammadi texts already see Jesus as a mystery, hardly the flesh-and blood media hero of twentieth century evangelism.

 

Did you see the 'right-wing evangelists ' last night in the TV documentary about the Archbishop of canterbury. What horrible self-righteousness. Best argument for atheism i've seen in a long time!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, I’m a new guy.

I would have to say that I am a Bible ‘reading’ Christian. I read my Bible every day and try and learn new things from it all the time. I can’t say that I believe everything that I read in it though, but then what are we saying when we say believe?

Does that mean that I have to believe that God created the Earth in seven day’s? Or does it mean that I have to believe that God stopped the sun in the sky so that a few people could kill a few other people? In fact does it mean that I have to believe in God at all?

If so than I would have to say NO, I am not a Bible believing Christian. But if it means that I read my Bible, and that when I do I find some meaning to what is happening around me, or that I see some of myself in the stories of others, then YES I am a Bible believing Christian.

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Thanks, Steve, I found your reply very interesting. I have this sort of conversation a lot these days and I've evolved a sort of 'form of words.'

 

I beleive the Bible was the accumulated wisdom of those who wrote it, a sincere 'best guess' by very learned theologians, at explaing the history of their faith in a pre-literate, pre-Freudian siociety. It was not a Hoax or a fraud, which is what fundamentalists offer as the only alternative to the 'Word of God'.

 

As I read the Bible I am more aware of possibilities. I reject the 'all-or-nothing arguments'; Jesus was God or he was an Impostor, and so on. Of course, he could have been 101 things in between! What matters is not what he was, but what we make of him now.

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I would have to agree to some degree. I think that many, or most, times I hear a fundamentalist make an argument they are doing so from a logics point of view. I also, though, hear a great deal of liberals using that same tools of logic to say that the Bible is erroneous. Maybe it is time that we start to think of the Bible as more polyphonic than logical.

I was never sure that it, the Bible, was meant to be taken so literally, nor so symbolically.

What do you think?

Oh, and remember that I am not trained very well in theology, so don’t get upset if I use the wrong term or wording.

Thanks

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I was a "biblical Christian" when I was younger. In fact I accepted the Fundamentalist interpretation, the one found in the "Fundamentals" a set of books published at the turn of the 20th century edited by Reuben Torrey. I am currently exploring a set of writings claimed to be the response of a resurrected Jesus to that interpretation and others, and bringing the Bible message to the 21st century. Little seems to be known of this resource, although the proponents of the "Course in Miracles" claim a body of one million students world wide. The book is readily available in book stores. It's effect on me so far has been positive, and I tend to look to it these days rather than the Bible. My friends consider it to"be dangerous" but I find it "freeing" in it's view of reality as only what the creator created, and labels man's self- generated reality as at best an illusion. The Search for Jesus message board had a thread which generated little interest at that time. I wonder what the TCPC board might do. Are you a "Biblical Christian" if you accept the interpretation of it by Jesus in this way?

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Oh wow, that survey was nuts. What I found to be specifically amazing is their assertion that there is a correct answer (i.e. "strongly agree" over "tend to agree" for an example) for each of their questions.

 

I scored out overall as a 'secular humanist worldview' type thinker--which is amazing because they got that simply from my lack of agreement with fundamentalism, the religious right and the republican party.

I got 50 points on the "religion" section and came out as a "moderate biblical thinker" type.

 

Heh, I don't get it. I take such surveys from "Christian" polls and come out as some uber-secularist and I take such surveys from "secular" polls and come out as some fundamentalist who reads left behind daily. I think it must have something to do with my endorsement of "religionless Christianity"...

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  • 1 month later...

I tried to answer the Worldview Survey. But the way the questions were worded, I found it impossible to answer with just the options provided. Those questions are LOADED. It was impossible for me to give a truly honest answer to most of them. I know surveys tend to be like that, but I found this one to be EXTREME. Had to quit just after 5 minutes.

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  • 1 month later...
Maybe it's not nice to mess with their "survey" especially when my text at beliefnet consistant comes up with "neopagan" and "new age", while my birth church "Roman Catholic" is always at the bottom! Who writes these things anyway? :blink:

 

What is more troubling is their assertion that the majority of Americans are "Bible Believing". A lot of people may say it, but do they even know what is in the Bible? Maybe it's just a platitude? What is more, in a article at Common Dreams, religious "nones" are now the fastest growing "denomination" in America, falling just behind Catholics (who the fundies don't consider Christian) and Baptists. It seems that the "old time religion" is now the "over the hill religion"!

 

(Bye the bye, I redid my Webpage and am interested in your comments. Thanks!!)

Interesting article...thanks! ;)

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