Born Again?

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309756
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Born Again?

Post by 309756 » Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:26 am

Again, no theological offense intended. I just wanted to raise the isssue, since I was born and raised in an evangelical atmosphere, and I wanted to know what was going on these days since I left... again, some of the "criticisms" may sound harsh until you read the next paragraph, which usually balances out the entire spectrum.



So... here's the deal. I was raised in a very theologically conservative Christian church... a place where the Bible was absolute truth. The thing was, though, that this evangelical church defended its doctrines with sound theology and Scripture. Every argument made from this church was defended with logic.



Nowadays, having changed religious affiliations several times and having searched for years to find myself spiritually, I find myself looking back at evangelicalism and I see a totally different world nowadays.



How many of you have heard of Jerry Falwell? Benny Hinn? Pat Robertson? Paul Crouch? James Dobson? Heck, even Bill Frist? Can you see what is happening to "Christ's followers?" They are being exploited!



How is it that a movement that was once centered on Christ himself, and the possibility of salvation through theologically sound conservatism now becomes a politicized and destructive wave of commercialized data?



Alan Wolfe, in his book "The Transformation of American Religion" offers perhaps the most balanced critique I have seen in a long while. According to Wolfe, theology has gone missing from both evangelical and mainline churches because:



1. Evangelical churches now worry less about doctrine as compared to growth--hence, we have the Hinn controversy on TBN and the Falwell controversy as well, because theology is not agreeing with each other. There is division in the evangelical ranks over a lot of issues, from the role of women to the centrality of the ransoming role of Jesus.



2. Mainline churches, who are losing members in droves, now don't preach about doctrine because it could turn potential members away--hence, we have the dichotomy on trinitarian v. unitarian believers, the death of the presbyterian doctrines of predestination, the disintegration of the salvation by method (Methodists), and so much more... liberal Christian churches are dying?



So what exactly does it mean to be born again? What does it mean to have faith that Jesus is coming again? Is it a faith journey that brings us to the offering plates and to our crusades and rallies for healing? Is that what faith is about? I certainly hope not.



Those of you who are "born again"--rather than arguing that the only salvation is through Jesus Christ to the rest of us--perhaps, you should be tackling the bigger problem of who IS RIGHT within yoru circles. What constitutes your theology? What is the basis of your argument? Can you reason with a mainline or liberal critic? Can you point out the weaknesses in your doctrine?



Or will you retreat behind the Barthian defense that all theology is revealed? What prevents a moderate Catholic from learning more about his faith? His church's hierarchal structure. What prevents a Unitarian from learning about his faith? The fact that his church has none. What prevents an evangelical from learning about HIS or HER faith?



The fact is that no one knows who is right; that no one can understand what the real basis for belief is--rather, they resort to "CHristian Rock Music" and their carefully polished publicity campaigns. Evangelicals need to bring doctrine back into the fold and make America understand what they beliieve rather than converting them in droves and then losing their new members.



The evangelical faith can be powerful but it can be dangeorus. Keep your eyes open.



And if you are a skeptic, don't judge an evangelical by their skin. One of the most brilliant, talented, and perhaps perfect young women that I know is blessed with a divinely talented wit and an insightful mind. Before you judge someone who is born again, just learn to love them for who they are. Reach out to our neighbors and build a society together--skeptics blast the born again for building their own schools and having their own cliques, but it is all of our faults--perhaps, by just LISTENING we could understand each other better.



Heck, what's the point? When it all boils down to it, we all believe in different things. Whether you're born again or not, all I ask is that we all get along--and stop believing in the false God of American pop culture.



Ask any questiosn you may have.



PS: !xfog... there are some very very very interesting dialogues between top evangelical leaders and the state of Israel/Jewish community. Reply if you want some interesting attitudes.

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Re: Born Again?

Post by FranklinF » Thu Jul 21, 2005 12:52 pm

i used to attend an envangilistic church and i liked it then but i do see alot of fault in it now, and i disliked and still do dislike many of the televised evangilist they just seam so fake and while i am sure that some of them really do cure people in the name of the Lord alot of them like Benny Hinn are fake..... and i am most sad to say that alot of the evangilists (as most of us are) are led astray alot more lately i really think the world needs a long prayer...
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Re: Born Again?

Post by !XogFog » Thu Jul 21, 2005 9:13 pm

Originally posted by pandasandpenguins@Jul 20 2005, 11:26 PM

PS: !xfog... there are some very very very interesting dialogues between top evangelical leaders and the state of Israel/Jewish community. Reply if you want some interesting attitudes.

[right][/right]



I know that many evangelical Christians are very supportive of Israel because they believe that with the Jews they can carry out the steps they believe will bring the return of Jesus. The Jews are trying to bring the Messiah, and the Christians are trying to bring him back, and working together is easier than trying to deal with the Muslims.
G-d is not a man, that He should be deceitful, nor a son of man that He should change His mind. (Numbers 23:19)



The fear of the L-RD is the beginning of knowledge; foolish ones scorn wisdom and discipline. (Proverbs 1:7)

The beginning of wisdom is to aquire wisdom; from your every acquisition acquire understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)



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Re: Born Again?

Post by 309756 » Sat Jul 23, 2005 4:26 pm

But the other part is that the evangelical leaders want all the Jews to convert to Christianity. See Don Wildmon. James Dobson.



Have fun!

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Re: Born Again?

Post by !XogFog » Sat Jul 23, 2005 4:47 pm

Originally posted by pandasandpenguins@Jul 23 2005, 01:26 PM

But the other part is that the evangelical leaders want all the Jews to convert to Christianity. See Don Wildmon. James Dobson.



Have fun!

[right][/right]



But of course they do. Don't they believe some requisite number of Jews (144,000?) must convert as part of Jesus' return?
G-d is not a man, that He should be deceitful, nor a son of man that He should change His mind. (Numbers 23:19)



The fear of the L-RD is the beginning of knowledge; foolish ones scorn wisdom and discipline. (Proverbs 1:7)

The beginning of wisdom is to aquire wisdom; from your every acquisition acquire understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)



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Re: Born Again?

Post by 309756 » Sat Jul 23, 2005 6:52 pm

Well, it says that there will be 144,000 sealed believers, not necessarily Jews.



However, it does say that each of the twelve tribes of Israel will be represented. So, either it means that there will be the literal twelve tribes or that there will be 12 divisions somehow.



-Eugene

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