Sunday, January 12, 2014

Feeling an Itch


Work has become less insane again, and I'm feeling an itch to write. I dusted off the keyboard, and found an unpublished comment that's been sitting there for three months. 




Steve FinnellNovember 10, 2013 at 4:20 PM
THE APOSTLE PAUL'S CONVERSION
Before discussing Saul's conversion we need to establish a point of fact. You cannot become a Christian and have unforgiven sins. If your sins have been forgiven you are a Christian. If you are a Christian then your sins have been forgiven. It is impossible to separate forgiveness, from being in Christ. How could you say I became a Christian last night but my sins were not forgiven? By the same reasoning you could not assert that I had my sins forgiven last night but I am not a Christian.
What is true for us, was true for the apostle Paul.
Acts 9:3-6 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" 5 And he said, "Who are You Lord?" And He said, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, 6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what to do."
Saul obviously believed in Jesus at this point, yet he was still not forgiven of his sins; therefore he was not a Christian. Paul was not saved by "FAITH ONLY."
Acts 9:9-11 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. 10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am Lord." 11 And the Lord said to him, "Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying,
Saul believed that Jesus was Lord.
Saul repented.
Saul fasted and prayed for three days.
After three days on the road to Damascus Saul was still not forgiven of his sins. Saul was not saved by faith alone, Saul was not saved by repenting alone. Saul was not saved by praying and fasting. SAUL WAS NOT SAVED ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS.
Acts 22:12-16 "A certain Ananias....13 came to me....16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.'
Saul's sins were forgiven after he was baptized in water, not before.
Galatians 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Saul was not a Christian until he was baptized into Christ.
Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved......
Saul was not saved until he was immersed in water.
Acts 2:38...and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of you sins....
Saul sins where not forgiven until he was baptized in water.
Paul was saved the way all men are saved. FAITH John 3:16---REPENTANCE Acts 3:19---CONFESSION Romans 10:9-19---WATER BAPTISM Acts 2:38
YOU CANNOT SEPARATE BECOMING A CHRISTIAN AND FORGIVENESS OF SINS!
PAUL WAS NOT SAVED ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS----PAUL WAS SAVED IN DAMASCUS.
YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com
These sort of drive-by evangelisms are sort of rude, don't you think? He failed to address anything in my article. Instead, my site becomes a bulletin board for his ideas.

Before discussing Saul's conversion we need to establish a point of fact. You cannot become a Christian and have unforgiven sins. If your sins have been forgiven you are a Christian. If you are a Christian then your sins have been forgiven. It is impossible to separate forgiveness, from being in Christ. How could you say I became a Christian last night but my sins were not forgiven? By the same reasoning you could not assert that I had my sins forgiven last night but I am not a Christian.

Well, I suppose that depends on your definition of "Christian" - an ever nebulous concept. I  I happen to think that anyone who follows Jesus's teachings, and accepts Jesus into his/her heart is a "Christian". This includes, but is not exclusive to, Catholics, Mormons, etc.

Curiously, this renders our ability to determine who is a "Christian" impossible. How could we count how many "Christians" are in the population, if we have no idea how to figure out if someone is "forgiven" or not?

Frankly, though, I don't care. I care that, what the people claim is true, can be demonstrated.
What is true for us, was true for the apostle Paul.
Apparently not in the sense that God decides to just show up and have a chat wtih Saul. No, the rest of us, and the vast majority of Christians, just have to take it on faith, based on what some dusty old book says.

God left the miracle business long ago. Now we get Jesus appearing in grilled cheese sandwiches, and someone manages to survive a car accident while three others didn't.

And he said, "Who are You Lord?"
 I think Saul/Paul kinda answered his own question?
After three days on the road to Damascus Saul was still not forgiven of his sins. Saul was not saved by faith alone, Saul was not saved by repenting alone. Saul was not saved by praying and fasting. SAUL WAS NOT SAVED ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS.
Well no, of course not. Saul didn't do anything to fix the situation. He didn't do any hard time for his murders, etc. This is where Christianity just gets foolish - why is Saul asking for repentance for his deeds from some invisible guy who wasn't even the victim? How petty and egocentric is it, that this Jesus/God fellow thinks that evil deeds done to others somehow victimizes him? Why isn't the requirement that Saul go and make repentance to the victims of his deeds?

... you know, go and do some actual good?

The only reason God/Jesus have anything to do with this is because they've butted into business that wasn't theirs.

 SAUL WAS NOT SAVED ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS.
 And Gandalf didn't die in Moria. Well, sorta. He went to fight some flame-whip wielding ram, and then changed wardrobe.

Saul was not a Christian until he was baptized into Christ.
Why is this the triggering event for forgiveness (from the wrong party no less)? It wasn't that he repented, or even did anything to pay restitution the actual victims... no, he dunked his head in some random stream, presumably, and *poof*, we're all set.

This is how messed up Christian morality can be. It's about as coherent as determining morality from a game of Twister. The fact that Jesus waits until you've been "baptized" before forgiving you is an indicator that this entity is not moral.

This is the disparity where his argument just doesn't connect. Sure, he makes a case that Saul (and specifically Saul, incidentally) wasn't forgiven until he was baptized, but this idea that one isn't a "Christian" until forgiveness is achieved isn't established anywhere. He starts from the conclusion that "unforgiven Christian" is an oxymoron, and goes from there.
Paul was saved the way all men are saved. FAITH
Wait... *backtrack backtrack* - what did he say before?

 Paul was not saved by "FAITH ONLY."
I take it he really meant that all men are saved by FAITH, plus dunking one's head in water. I'll mark this down as a continuity error.

YOU CANNOT SEPARATE BECOMING A CHRISTIAN AND FORGIVENESS OF SINS!
PAUL WAS NOT SAVED ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS----PAUL WAS SAVED IN DAMASCUS. 
OKAY, THOUGH YOU MAY WANT TO DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR FELLOW CHRISTIANS/THEOLOGIANS. I DON'T THINK THEY ENTIRELY AGREE WITH YOU. GET BACK TO ME WHEN YOU CAN SUPPORT ANY OF THIS AS TRUE. THANKS.



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