I guess the average Protestant or Evangelical would not view me as one of them,August 3 2017 at 7:43 AM
|Tomas (Login TomasSedlacek)|
Response to Infidel
simply because I am not dogmatic that God is a trinity, I consider that only a possibility. And the average Protestant and Evangelical considers the trinity theory a necessary doctrine, many think that if you don't believe in the trinity, you are not even a Christian. Some would acknowledge I am a Christian, but would say I am not a Protestant.
But it could depend on how the term Protestant is defined. If you define it as Christians who protest against some Catholic doctrines and are not Orthodox, then I could qualify as a Protestant. Likewise if you define Evangelicals as Protestants who believe in evangelizing the unsaved, then I could qualify as an Evangelical. In any case, I am a non-denominational Christian. I currently attend worship services in a church of the Southern Baptist Convention, but I am not doctrinally qualified for membership in that congregation. Still, concerning doctrines on which Christians disagree with each other, I agree with the leadership of that congregation on most of them. It would be hard for me to find a congregation where I agree on even more doctrines. I was myself surprised when I recently listed doctrines of INC with which I disagree, I ended up finding so many. I would surely not find so many with this Baptist congregation.
Concerning organized religion, the Bible tells Christians to organize congregations, led by elders, also called bishops, and one of them can be the pastor, the preaching elder, though a congregation can have also more than one preaching elder, pastor. Elders can be also evangelists or teachers. Assisting them can be deacons. That is at least how I interpret church government in the Bible, though Christians can disagree. Most Baptists believe however that the pastor is the only elder, and that the deacons also have a spiritual role in the congregation. Baptists believe that congregations should be autonomous, electing their own leaders, and owning their own church property. I can agree with that. So I definitely disagree with INC on this.
Concerning God communicating with people, I believe there can be no more revelation from God in this era, since the time that the Bible has been finished. God inspired Paul to write to us in 1 Cor. 4:6, not to go beyond what is written. The obvious meaning is what is written in the Bible. So if God were to reveal something to us, it would have to be written in the Bible. But the Bible was finished long time ago. So nowadays God speaks to us only through the pages of the Bible. So the time of God speaking to people through spoken word, visions or dreams, revealing new things, that is for a long time gone already. Likewise God will not send angels to speak to us. And God will not send dead people to speak to us. So I believe the appearances and speeches of Mary or other dead saints are not real. The Bible tells us that the devil can appear to us as an angel of light. So the appearances of Mary can be by the devil or one of his fallen angels. So if somebody told me he or she got a message from God or a holy angel, I would not believe it.
I do believe the Bible has exactly 66 books, as the best Christian Bible experts in the last few centuries have agreed on exactly these 66 books. So I don't accept the Catholic books they call Deuterocanonical, they are clearly inferior books, giving often wrong historical facts, and sometimes doctrinal errors that disagree with the Bible. So I don't accept the Catholic list of 73 books. Likewise a few churches have even longer lists, or shorter, but I agree with the best Christian experts, that only the 66 books are canonical, and all of them, and no other books.
I was not brought up to believe in the inspiration of the Bible. I was born and spent my childhood in former Czechoslovakia, when it was ruled by Communists. So from the school, and the media, I absorbed the propaganda that there is no God, that Marxist science has proven that there is no God. My parents did not speak to me about religion when I was a child. We escaped from the country when I was 14, and we later came to America. There I finally found out that my mom was not atheist, but she was agnostic, and that my dad was not atheist either, he considered himself Catholic, he believed in God, but he disagreed with a number of the official Catholic doctrines. He also believed that all people are basically good. So that could have been one reason why he was not teaching me or my sister his doctrines, but also the fact that my mom was brought up to be anti-Catholic. My dad had suggested having me baptized in the Catholic church, but my mom said that if I have to be baptized, then a Protestant baptism would be OK, but definitely not Catholic. So they also thought about whether the baptism could affect me negatively with the Communists ruling the country, and decided not to get me baptized. And that is OK with me, I believe that infant baptism is invalid, so on this I agree with for example Baptists and INC. So the baptism would have been useless, and not recognized by God.
After I came to America, one day, when I was no longer Marxist, I decided to consider what evidence I have that God does not exist, and I found none, so I had to convert from atheism to agnosticism. My first introduction to the Bible came shorty after that time, when two Jehovah's Witnesses visited us and offered to teach us about the Bible and about their doctrines. So then they gave us one Bible in Czech, the classical Kralicka Protestant translation, and a Bible in English, in their own NWT translation. At that time Jehovah's Witnesses still had not translated the Bible into Czech, so that is why we got the Protestant translation. So that got me interested in religion, but I did not find faith among the Witnesses, nor did anyone else in my family. So later I started reading about some other denominations, and even about other religions. And I started reading also books giving me evidence that the Bible is true, that Jesus is the Christ. Evidence like that various prophesies in the Old Testament prophesied about the Messiah, and Jesus fulfilled the prophesies, while nobody else was able to fulfill even a significant number of the prophecies. Also the testimony of the apostles, they saw Jesus do miracles, and they saw that after he died, then his tomb was empty, and then he was seen alive by them. So they had firm faith in him being the true Christ, Messiah, and they did not recant their faith even when threatened with death, as most were indeed martyred. One would not make up lies about witnessing the miracles of Jesus, if such lies would mean death. So they were honest about what they witnessed. They were not lying. So that also proves that Jesus is the true Messiah, the Christ, just as he claimed to be. So I was convinced, so I converted to Christianity. And soon I was also convinced that the Bible is true, without errors, after all God would not have given us some revelation and let us mix it with errors that are not inspired. So I became saved. It was the grace of God, cooperating with my free will.
Of course had I been born to Muslim parents and brought up in Islam, then I would have been Muslim. Then maybe I would have never discovered the truth of Christianity before I died. Then the hope would be only that after I am resurrected, when Christ comes back, then after I am taught correctly by God, that I would be converted, repent of my sins, love God and his Son, and so I would become saved after my resurrection. Just like I hope that my parents and plenty of other relatives who died unsaved, will be converted after their resurrection. My dad did not believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, surely not even the book of Revelation, so based on Rev. 22:19 he would be guilty of taking from the book of Revelation, and so he surely died unsaved. Likewise my mom died unsaved and so did her parents, who left the Catholic church and left Christianity when Czechoslovakia became independent in 1918. So they were not convinced of the truth of Christianity before they died, and so did not receive the grace of God. So I hope they will accept God's religion after they are resurrected and taught correctly by God. I loved my grandmother very much, she was so good to me. She should not find it difficult to be converted and repent of her sins, including the sin of unbelief. My grandfather died before I was born, but my mom told me good things about him. So I don't think he will have difficulty being converted either. It will be great to finally get to know him.
- Manmade Fiction - PuksainAngTaglish on Aug 5, 2017, 8:11 PM
- You have no scientific proof that the Bible is just man-made and not the word of God. - Tomas on Aug 7, 2017, 2:58 AM
- Wow... - Iam1plus1plus1 on Aug 7, 2017, 11:47 AM
- OK, the pages of the book are man-made, but the words of the Bible are inspired - Tomas on Aug 9, 2017, 7:20 PM
- It's easy to write about something after the fact... - Iam1plus1plus1 on Aug 9, 2017, 9:01 PM
- What can you expect? When Jesus was going around preaching, he just had a - Tomas on Aug 10, 2017, 8:11 AM
- Manmade Fiction - PuksainAngTaglish on Aug 11, 2017, 4:29 AM
- The Bible predicted in the Old Testament the coming of the Messiah. - Tomas on Aug 11, 2017, 5:32 AM
- Genocide & Ethnic Cleansing - PuksainAngTaglish on Aug 11, 2017, 5:50 PM
- The Bible does not teach anything like sex slaves, it is not like in the Qur'an, - Tomas on Aug 12, 2017, 6:56 PM
- Scientific Proof - PuksainAngTaglish on Aug 16, 2017, 1:39 AM
- The oldest game of telephone... - Iam1plus1plus1 on Aug 16, 2017, 6:48 PM
- Some archaeologists do believe in the exodus. They found for example the destruction of - Tomas on Aug 17, 2017, 12:06 AM
- Battle of Jericho - PuksainAngTaglish on Aug 18, 2017, 5:53 PM
- You know about Caesar's Messiah? - Iam1plus1plus1 on Aug 18, 2017, 7:12 PM
- Most legends have some basis in fact - Deacon646 on Aug 18, 2017, 8:08 PM
- The Israelites - PuksainAngTaglish on Aug 18, 2017, 10:12 PM