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Christianity
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31 / M / Toronto, Canada
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Posted 6/3/12 , edited 6/3/12
Christian Denomination: Church of the Nazarene


Church of the Nazarene
The Manual
FOREWORD

The General Assembly is the supreme doctrine-formulating and lawmaking body of the Church of the Nazarene. This Manual contains the decisions and judgments of ministerial and lay delegates of the Twenty-first General Assembly, which met in Anaheim, Calif, June 23-38, 1985, and is therefore authoritative as a guide for action, Because it is the official statement of the faith and practice of the church and is consistent with the teachings of the Scriptures, we expect our people every where to accept the tenets of doctrine and the guides and helps to holy living contained in it. To fail to do so, after formally taking the membership vows of the Church of the Nazarene injures the witness of the church, violates her conscience, and dissipates the fellowship of the people called Nazarenes.

With the Bible as our supreme Guide, illuminated by the Holy Spirit, and the Manual as our official agreed-upon statement of faith, practice, and polity, we look forward to the new quadrennium with joy and unswerving faith in Jesus Christ.

The Board of General Superintendents
Theological Tradition

The Church of the Nazarene is the largest denomination in the Wesleyan-Arminian (Holiness) theological tradition.
ARTICLES OF FAITH:
I. THE TRIUNE GOD

We believe in one eternally existent, infinite God, Sovereign of the universe; that He only is God, creative and administrative, holy in nature, attributes, and purpose; that He, as God, is Triune in essential being, revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Ge 1:1-2:1; Lev 19:2; De 6:4-5; Isa 5:16; 6:1-7; 40:18-31; Mt 3:16,17; 28:19,20; Joh 14:6-27; 1Co 8:6; 2Co 13:14; Gal 4:4-6; Eph 2:13-18
II. JESUS CHRIST

We believe in Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Triune Godhead; that He was eternally one with the Father; that He became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary, so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say the Godhood and manhood, are thus united in one Person very God and very man, the God-man. We believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and that He truly arose from the dead and took again His body, together with all things appertaining to the perfection fo man's nature, wherewith He ascended into heaven and is there engaged in intercession for us. Mt 1:20-25; Lu 1:26-35; Joh 1:1-18; Ac 2:22-36; Ro 8:3; 8:32-34; Gal 4:4-5; Php 2:5-11; Col 1:12-22; 1Ti 6:14-16; Heb 1:1-5; 7:22-28; 1Jo 1:1-3; 4:2,3,15
III. THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Triune Godhead, that He is ever present and efficiently active in and with the Church of Christ, convincing the world of sin, regenerating those who repent and believe, sanctifying believers, and guiding into all truth as it is in Jesus. Joh 7:39; 14:15-18,26; 16:7-15; Ac 2:33; 15:8,9; Ro 8:1-27; Gal 3:1-14; 4:6; Eph 3:14-21; 1Th 4:7,8; 2Th 2:13; 1Pe 1:2; 1Jo 3:24; 4:13
IV. THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, by which we understand the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith. Lu 24:44-47; Joh 10:35; 1Co 15:3,4; 2Ti 3:15-17; 1Pe 1:10-12; 2Pe 1:20,21
V. SIN, ORIGINAL AND PERSONAL

We believe that sin came into the world through the disobedience of our first parents, and death by sin. We believe that sin is of two kinds: original sin or depravity, and actual or personal sin.

5.1. We believe that original sin, or depravity, is that corruption of the nature of all the offspring of Adam by reason of which everyone is very far gone from original righteousness or the pure state of our first parents at the time of their creation, is averse to God, is without spiritual life, and inclined to evil, and that continually. We further believe that original sin continues to exist with the new life of the regenerate, until eradicated by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
5.2. We believe that original sin differs from actual sin in that it constitutes an inherited propensity to actual sin for which no one is accountable until its divinely provided remedy is neglected or rejected.
5.3. We believe that actual or personal sin is a voluntary violation of a known law of God by a morally responsible person. It is therefore not to be confused with involuntary and inescapable shortcomings, infirmities, faults, mistakes, failures, or other deviations from a standard of perfect conduct which are the residual effects of the Fall. However, such innocent effects do not include attitudes or responses contrary to the spirit of Christ, which may properly be called sins of the spirit. We believe that personal sin is primarily and essentially a violation of the law of love; and that in relation to Christ sin may be defined as unbelief. Original sin: Ge 3:1-24; 6:5; Job 15:14; Ps 51:5; Jer 17:9,10; Mar 7:21-23; Ro 1:18-25; 5:12-14; 7:1-8:9; 1Co 3:1-4; Gal 5:16-25; 1Jo 1:7,8 Personal Sin--cf. Mt 22:36-40; 1Jo 3:4 Joh 8:34-36; 16:8,9; Ro 3:23; 6:15-23; 8:18-24; 14:23; 1Jo 1:9-2:4; 3:7-10

VI. ATONEMENT

We believe that Jesus Christ, by His sufferings by the shedding of His own blood, and by His meritorious death on the Cross, made a full atonement for all human sin, and that this Atonement is the only ground of salvation, and that it is sufficient for every individual of Adam's race. The Atonement is graciously efficacious for the salvation of the irresponsible and for the children in innocency, but is efficacious for the salvation of those who reach the age of responsibility only when they repent and believe. Isa 53:5,6,11; Mr 10:45; Lu 24:46-48; Joh 1:29; 3:14-17; Ac 4:10-12; Ro 3:21-26; 4:17-25; 5:6-21; 1Co 6:20; 2Co 5:14-21; Gal 1:3,4; 3:13,14; Col 1:19-23; 1Ti 2:3-6; Tit 2:11-14; Heb 2:9; 9:11-14; 13:12; 1Pe 1:18-21; 2:19-25; 1Jo 2:1,2
VII. FREE AGENCY

We believe that man's creation in Godlikeness included ability to choose between right and wrong, and that thus he was made morally responsible; that through the fall of Adam he became depraved so that he cannot now turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and works to faith and calling upon God. But we also believe that the grace of God through Jesus Christ is freely bestowed upon all men, enabling all who will to turn from sin to righteousness, believe on Jesus Christ for pardon and cleansing from sin, and follow good works pleasing and acceptable in His sight. We believe that man, though in the possession of the experience of regeneration and entire sanctification, may fall from grace and apostatize and, unless he repent of his sin, be hopelessly and eternally lost. Godlikeness and moral responsibility: Ge 1:26,27; 2:16,17; De 28:1,2; 30:19; Jos 24:15; Ps 8:3-5; Isa 1:8-10; Jer 31:29,30; Eze 18:1-4; Mic 6:8; Ro 1:19,20; 2:1-16; 14:7-12; Gal 6:7,8 Natural inability: Job 14:4; 15:14; Ps 14:1-4; 51:5; Joh 3:6 Ro 3:10-12; 5:12-14,20; 7:14-25 Free grace and works of faith: Eze 18:25,26; Joh 1:12,13; 3:6; Ac 5:31; Ro 5:6-8,18; 6:15-16,23; 10:6-8; 11:22; 1Co 2:9-14; 10:1-12; 2Co 5:18,19; Gal 5:6; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12,13; Col 1:21-23; 2Ti 4:10; Tit 2:11-14; Heb 2:1-3; 3:12-15; 6:4-6; 10:26-31; Jas 2:18-22; 2Pe 1:10,11; 2:20-22
VIII. REPENTANCE

We believe that repentance, which is a sincere and thorough change of the mind in regard to sin, involving a sense of personal guilt and a voluntary turning away from sin, is demanded of all who have by act or purpose become sinners against God. The Spirit of God gives to all who will repent the gracious help of penitence of heart and hope of mercy, that they may believe unto pardon and spiritual life. 2Ch 7:14; Ps 32:5,6; 51:1-17; Isa 55:6,7; Jer 3:12-14; Eze 18:30-32; 33:14-16; Mr 1:14,15; Lu 3:1-14; Lu 13:1-5; 18:9-14; Ac 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 17:30,31; 26:16-18; Ro 2:4; 2Co 7:8-11; 1Th 1:9; 2Pe 3:9
IX. JUSTIFICATION, REGENERATION, AND ADOPTION

We believe that justification is the gracious and judicial act of God by which He grants full pardon of all guilt and complete release from the penalty of sins committed, and acceptance as righteous, to all who believe on Jesus Christ and receive Him as Lord and Savior. 10. We believe that regeneration, or the new birth, is that gracious work of God whereby the moral nature of the repentant believer is spiritually quickened and given a distinctively spiritual life, capable of faith, love, and obedience. 11. We believe that adoption is that gracious act of God by which the justified and regenerated believer is constituted a son of God. 12. We believe that justification, regeneration, and adoption are simultaneous in the experience of seekers after God and are obtained upon the condition of faith, preceded by repentance; and to this work and state of grace the Holy Spirit bears witness. Lu 18:14; Joh 1:12,13; 3:3-8; 5:24; Ac 13:39; Ro 1:17; 3:21-26,28; Ro 4:5-9; 4:17-25; 5:1; 5:16-19; 6:4; 7:6; 8:1; 8:15-17; 1Co 1:30; 6:11; 2Co 5:17-21; Gal 2:16-21; 3:1-14; 3:26; 4:4-7; Eph 1:6,7; 2:1; 2:4,5; Php 3:3-9; Col 2:13; Tit 3:4-7; 1Pe 1:23; 1Jo 1:9; 3:1,2,9; 4:7; 5:1; 5:9-5:13; 5:18
X. ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION

We believe that entire sanctification is that act of God, subsequent to regeneration, by which believers are made free from original sin, or depravity, and brought into a state of entire devotement to God, and the holy obedience of love made perfect. It is wrought by the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and comprehends in one experience the cleansing of the heart from sin and the abiding, indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, empowering the believer for life and service. Entire sanctification is provided by the blood of Jesus, is wrought instantaneously by faith, preceded by entire consecration; and to this work and state of grace the Holy Spirit bears witness. This experience is also known by various terms representing its different phases, such as "Christian perfection," "perfect love," "heart purity," "the baptism with the Holy Spirit," "the fullness of the blessing," and Christian holiness." 14. We believe that there is a marked distinction between a pure heart and a mature character. The former is obtained in an instant, the result of entire sanctification; the latter is the result of growth in grace. We believe that the grace of entire sanctification includes the impulse to grow in grace. However, this impulse must be consciously nurtured, and careful attention given to the requisites and processes of spiritual development and improvement in Christlikeness of character and personality. Without such purposeful endeavor one's witness may be impaired and the grace itself frustrated and ultimately lost. Jer 31:31-34; Eze 36:25-27; Mal 3:2,3; Mt 3:11,12; Lu 3:16,17; Joh 7:37-39; 14:15-23; 17:6-20; Ac 1:5; 2:1-4; 15:8,9; Ro 6:11-13; 6:19; 8:1-4; 8:8-14; 12:1,2; 2Co 6:14-7:1; Gal 2:20; 5:16-25; Eph 3:14-21; 5:17,18; 5:25-27; Php 3:10-15; Col 3:1-17; 1Th 5:23,24; Heb 4:9-11; 10:10-17; 12:1,2; 13:12; 1Jo 1:7,9 "Christian perfection," "perfect love" De 30:6; Mt 5:43-48; 22:37-40; Ro 12:9-21; 13:8-10; 1Co 13:1-13; Php 3:10-15; Heb 6:1; 1Jo 4:17,18 "Heart purity" Mt 5:8; Ac 15:8,9; 1Pe 1:22; 1Jo 3:3 "Baptism with the Holy Spirit" Jer 31:31-34; Eze 36:25-27; Mal 3:2,3; Mt 3:11,12; Lu 3:16,17; Ac 1:5; 2:1-4; 15:8,9 "Fullness of the blessing" Ro 15:29 "Christian holiness" Mt 5:1-7:29; Joh 15:1-11; Ro 12:1-15:3; 2Co 7:1; Eph 4:17-5:20; Php 1:9-11; 3:12-15; Col 2:20-3:17; 1Th 3:13; 4:7,8; 5:23; 2Ti 2:19-22; Heb 10:19-25; 12:14; 13:20,21; 1Pe 1:15,16; 2Pe 1:1-11; 3:18; Jude 1:20,21
XI. THE CHURCH

We believe in the Church, the community that confesses Jesus Christ as Lord, the covenant people of God made new in Christ, the Body of Christ called together by the Holy Spirit through the Word. God calls the Church to express its life in the unity and fellowship of the Spirit; in worship through the preaching of the Word, observance of the sacraments, and ministry in His name; by obedience to Christ and mutual accountability. The mission of the Church in the world is to continue the redemptive work of Christ in the power of the Spirit through holy living, evangelism, discipleship, and service. The Church is a historical reality, which organizes itself in culturally conditioned forms, exists both as local congregations and as a universal body; sets apart persons called of God for specific ministries. God calls the Church to live under His rule in anticipation of the consummation at the comming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ex 19:3; Jer 31:33; Mt 8:11; 10:7; 16:13-19,24; 18:15-20; 28:19,20; Joh 17:14-26; 20:21-23; Ac 1:7,8; 2:32-47; 6:1,2; 13:1; 14:23; Ro 2:28,29; 4:16; 10:9-15; 11:13-32; 12:1-8; 15:1-3; 1Co 5:11-6:1; Gal 5:6; 5:13,14; 6:1-5; 6:15; Eph 4:1-17; 5:25-27; Php 2:1-16; 1Th 4:1-12; 1Ti 4:13; Heb 10:19-25; 1Pe 1:1,2,13; 2:4-12,21; 4:1,2; 4:10,11; 1Jo 4:17; Jude 1:24; Re 5:9,10
XII. BAPTISM

We believe that Christian baptism, commanded by our Lord, is a sacrament signifying acceptance of the benefits of the atonement of Jesus Christ, to be administered to believers and declarative of their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, and full purpose of obedience in holiness and righteousness. Baptism being a symbol of the new covenant, young children may be baptized, upon request of parents or guardians who shall give assurance for them of necessary Christian training. Baptism may be administered by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion, according to the choice of the applicant. Mt 3:1-7; 28:16-20; Ac 2:37-41; 8:35-39; 10:44-48; 16:29-34; Ac 19:1-6; Ro 6:3,4; Gal 3:26-28; Col 2:12; 1Pe 3:18-22
XIII. THE LORD'S SUPPER

We believe that the Memorial and Communion Supper instituted by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is essentially a New Testament sacrament, declarative of His sacrificial death, through the merits of which believers have life and salvation and promise of all spiritual blessings in Christ. It is distinctively for those who are prepared for reverent appreciation of its significance, and by it they show forth the Lord's death till He come again. It being the Communion feast, only those who have faith in Christ and love for the saints should be called to participate therein. Ex 12:1-14; Mt 26:26-29; Mr 14:22-25; Lu 22:17-20; Joh 6:28-58; 1Co 10:14-21; 11:23-32
XIV. DIVINE HEALING

We believe in the Bible doctrine of divine healing and urge our people to seek to offer the prayer of faith for the healing of the sick. Providential means and agencies when deemed necessary should not be refused. 2Ki 5:1-19; Ps 103:1-5; Mt 4:23,24; 9:18-35; Joh 4:46-54; Ac 5:12-16; 9:32-42; 14:8-15; 1Co 12:4-11; 2Co 12:7-10; Jas 5:13-16
XV. SECOND COMING OF CHRIST

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will come again; that we who are alive at His coming shall not precede them that are asleep in Christ Jesus; but that, if we are abiding in Him, we shall be caught up with the risen saints to meet the Lord in the air, so that we shall ever be with the Lord. Mt 25:31-46; Joh 14:1,2,3; Ac 1:9-11; Php 3:20,21; 1Th 4:13-18; Tit 2:11-14; Heb 9:26-28; 2Pe 3:3-15; Re 1:7,8; 22:7-20
XVI. RESURRECTION, JUDGEMENT, AND DESTINY

We believe in the resurrection of the dead, that the bodies both of the just and of the unjust shall be raised to life and united with their spirits--"they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." 21. We believe in future judgment in which every man shall appear before God to be judged according to his deeds in this life. 22. We believe that glorious and everlasting life is assured to all who savingly believe in, and obediently follow, Jesus Christ our Lord; and that the finally impenitent shall suffer eternally in hell. Ge 18:25; 1Sa 2:10; Ps 50:6; Isa 26:19; Da 12:2,3; Mt 25:31-46; Mr 9:43-48; Lu 16:19-31; 20:27-38; Joh 3:16-18; 5:25-29; Joh 11:21-27; Ac 17:30,31; Ro 2:1-16; 14:7-12; 1Co 15:12-58; 2Co 5:10; 2Th 1:5-10; Re 20:11-15; 22:1-15
CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE--GENERAL RULES

To be identified with the visible Church is the blessed privilege and sacred duty of all who are saved from their sins and are seeking completeness in Christ Jesus. It is required of all who desire to unite with the Church of the Nazarene, and thus to walk in fellowship with us, that they shall show evidence of salvation from their sins by a godly walk and vital piety; and that they shall be, or earnestly desire to be, cleansed from all indwelling sin. They shall evidence their commitment to God--

FIRST. By doing that which is enjoined in the Word of God, which is our rule of both faith and practice, including . . . (1) Loving God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength, and one's neighbor as oneself Ex 20:3-6; Le 19:17,18; De 5:7-10; 6:4,5; Mr 12:28-31; Ro 13:8-10 (2) Pressing upon the attention of the unsaved the claims of the gospel, inviting them to the house of the Lord, and trying to compass their salvation Mt 28:19,20; Ac 1:8; Ro 1:14-16; 2Co 5:18-20 (3) Being courteous to all men. Eph 4:32; Tit 3:2; 1Pe 2:17; 1Jo 3:18 (4) Being helpful to those who are also of the faith, in love forbearing one another Ro 12:13; Ga 6:2,10; Col 3:12-14 (5) Seeking to do good to the bodies and souls of men; feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and ministering to the needy, as opportunity and ability are given Mt 25:35,36; 2Co 9:8-10; Ga 2:10; Jas 2:15,16; 1Jo 3:17,18 (6) Contributing to the support of the ministry and the church and its work in tithes and offerings Mal 3:10; Lu 6:38; 1Co 9:14; 16:2; 2Co 9:6-10; Php 4:15-19 (7) Attending faithfully all the ordinances of God, and the means of grace, including the public worship of God, Heb 10:25 the ministry of the Word, Ac 2:42 the sacrament of the Lord's Supper; 1Co 11:23-30 searching the Scriptures and meditating thereon; Ac 17:11; 2Ti 2:15; 3:14-16 family and private devotions. De 6:6,7; Mt 6:6
SECOND. By avoiding evil of every kind, including: (1) Taking the name of God in vain Ex 20:7; Lev 19:12; Jas 5:12 (2) Profaning of the Lord's Day by participation in unnecessary secular activities, thereby indulging in practices that deny its sanctity. Ex 20:8-11; Isa 58:13,14; Mr 2:27,28; Ac 20:7; Re 1:10 (3) Sexual immorality, such as premarital or extramarital relations, perversion in any form, or looseness and impropriety of conduct. Ex 20:14; Mt 5:27-32; 1Co 6:9-11; Ga 5:19; 1Th 4:3-7 (4) Habits or practices known to be destructive of physical and mental well-being. Christians are to regard themselves as temples of the Holy Spirit. Pr 20:1; 23:1,2,3; 1Co 6:17-20; 2Co 7:1; Eph 5:18 (5) Quarreling, returning evil for evil, gossiping, slandering, spreading surmises injurious to the good names of others 2Co 12:20; Ga 5:15; Eph 4:30-32; Jas 3:5-18; 1Pe 3:9,10 (6) Dishonesty, taking advantage in buying and selling, bearing false witness, and like works of darkness Lev 19:10,11; Ro 12:17; 1Co 6:7-10 (7) The indulging of pride in dress or behavior. Our people are to dress with the Christian simplicity and modesty that become holiness. Pr 29:23; 1Ti 2:8-10; Jas 4:6; 1Pe 3:3,4; 1Jo 2:15-17 (8) Music, literature, and entertainments that dishonor God 1Co 10:31; 2Co 6:14-17; Jas 4:4
THIRD. By abiding in hearty fellowship with the church, not inveighing against but wholly committed to its doctrines and usages and actively involved in its continuing witness and outreach. Eph 2:18-22; 4:1-3; 4:11-16; Php 2:1-8; 1Pe 2:9,10

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Christian Church: Immanuel Baptist Church 1100 finch ave east, Toronto, Canada


Our Beliefs

Immanuel’s beliefs are based on our Denominational (Baptist) distinctives:

The Lordship of Jesus Christ: Jesus is the incarnate expression of God, head of the church, our Saviour and our example.

Separation of Church and State: the state should not interfere with religious practices – the church answers to a higher authority

Sufficiency of Scripture for matters of faith and practice: the Bible is the authoritative word of God and our ultimate guide for behaviour.

The Priesthood of all believers: each individual Christ-follower has been given gifts to do ministry in Jesus’ name – each has direct access to God through Christ and has no need of a human “mediator.”

Soul Liberty: each individual has the right before God to seek the Holy Spirit’s leading in all matters – we do not “enforce” beliefs on others.

Regenerate Church membership: membership is a voluntary association with an individual church through the personal testimony of faith in Christ.

Ordinances as symbols of spiritual realities: we practice baptism and communion as “ordinances” – directives of Jesus.

Fellowship with others: while each Baptist Church is autonomous we gladly associate with sister churches, provincially, nationally and globally.

World Mission: we have a commitment to living out the Great Commission globally and “sending out” our people to share the Good News.


http://www.immanuelbaptist.ca/index.php/beliefs

Posted 6/3/12
I think I can agree with statement 1.

As for Jesus Freaks, you'll find a great deal of them belonging to odd sects seated in the belly of the U.S. Many of which are rather extreme, or just plain nutty.
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Posted 6/7/12
Knox Presbyterian Church

630 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON
M5S 2H4



Our Vision Statement

To be a growing, grace-filled community that is transforming the people and culture of Toronto with the renewing gospel of Christ.
Our Mission Statement

Knox Presbyterian Church calls all people to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, and equips them to grow in faith and service to the glory of God.
Our Core Values

Knox Presbyterian Church subscribes to and strives to live out these values:

Christ-Centred
Prayer
Spiritual Growth
Evangelism
Authority of Scripture
Inspiring Worship
Teaching Missions
Discipleship
Fellowship
Love for Others

What We Believe

The following statements, based on the Bible and given historic expression in the Westminster Confession of Faith, are a summary of what we believe.

Holy Scripture, the Word of God written, is to be believed and obeyed. We are assured of its infallible truth and divine authority as the Holy Spirit works in our hearts.

The one true and living God, infinite in being and perfection, has revealed Himself in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He made male and female in His image, but fellowship with God was broken and paradise lost through disobedience.

Our nature now is sinful, and our transgressions deserve God's judgment. But God in His grace offers us new life and forgiveness. This is the gospel, that the Father has sent the Son to pay the penalty for the sins of His people and grant them the power of His resurrection.

God pardons our sins and accepts us into His family as we trust in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation and sincerely repent. That faith must show its reality in works of love, and real repentance requires a firm resolve to walk in the way of God's commandments. Grateful for His grace, we live for His glory.

The Ten Commandments reveal the moral law and will of God. He alone is Lord of the conscience, and has set us free from the doctrines and demands of men which are contrary to His Word.

Our Lord is building His Church in the world. We exist to worship God, learn the Scriptures, encourage one another in the Christian life, and spread the gospel by word and deed.
God has appointed a day in which He will judge the world justly by Jesus Christ. We must all appear before Him, to give an account of our attitude and actions, as well as receive from Him retribution or reward. That inevitable encounter is not a stimulus to speculation, but an incentive to repentance and obedience.




http://www.knoxtoronto.org/welcome/believe.html
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Posted 6/7/12
@ shinto_male: can you please stop that?
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31 / M / Toronto, Canada
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Posted 6/8/12
why? i like learning about different christian churches
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23 / M / Guess
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Posted 6/8/12 , edited 6/8/12

shinto-male wrote:

why? i like learning about different christian churches


Why, if we wanted to learn about them, we can very well look it up, thank you very much, and if you like to learn about them, there is no reason to continually post up what you learn, like a kindergartener ready to showcase all the neat things he has finger-painted. It is irrelevent to the topic, and it doesn't address anything of what the OP actually says.



1. Christian sects are many but there can only be one true church, one right doctrine, one right authority. What is/are these church, these are the "Apostolic Churches" (the churches that has a continuous line up to the first disciples of Jesus Christ). Anything else besides the "Apostolic Churches" are excess.

2. Christians, at least those who knows what it is really all about, doesn't have this superiority complex. All of us came from humble origins. Most of us, Christians, are those who did bad things in their past. That is why we cannot brag that we are better than anyone else.

For those who were born to be Christians, they are yet to undergo this process.

3. Christians tries to convert or share their religious belief to other people because we found peace and a sense of redemption with our religion. Our way of living became better when we change according to Christian living. Like before, when someone hits me, all hell turns loose and the cycle of violence begins and never stops but with Christianity, i live in peace now breaking violence with forgiveness.

We share not only our religious belief but also our happiness.

anyway, that is about us. Most people stereotype us as Jesus Freaks or something.
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Posted 6/8/12
For me I am a Catholic but the thing is I haven't gone to church in a long time. I do the Easter and Christmas mass but that is it. Now I did go every Saturday when I was a kid but my mother had to raise my brother and I alone so the time for church ran out with practices, house chores and whatnot. Also the problem I have with the current church is the molestation that was released to the news for the past 10+ years. If these men work for God then they would know better than to do these horrible acts to these children. On top of that more are being found out and in the state of PA a trial is going on where one of the officials is being convicted of covering up and knowingly transporting priests from parish to parish who have committed these acts. My own mother who went to a Catholic school lost her faith in the system itself and not the doctrin it teaches. I went to my girlfriend's step sister's graduation ceremoney from a Catholic school, grades K-8, and the preiest himself mentioned facebook as a way of connecting with their old classmates. I was blow away by this. I know he was trying to be "with it" but apparently he doesn't know how wrong, in my opinion, it is for a 14 year old to have a facebook account let alone a high-end phone.

As for the Jesus Freak comment. It is reserved for a group that pushes their beliefs to everyone. Forcing them to listen to what they believe and how the person they are talking to should change they way they live. That is when I call them Jesus Freaks. But if it is done just a matter of fact basis and they live it and preach it then fine.

For me, as long as I believe there is a higher power and respect those around me, do the right thing to the best of my human ability and love those who are dear to me I think I will see my dad when I pass on. I mean does God really going to send me to hell for eating meat during Lent? Does He really care for details like this after thousands of years of religious wars that killed millions of people all because they prayed to a different being and not following the idea of loving all people? I think not. He has given me a loving mother, brother and my girlfriend who I love dearly, a roof over my head, a job in this tough economy and clean bill of health from an illness that almost had my colon removed. He took my dad at a young age but all in all I think He has helped me out when I really needed it the most.
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Posted 6/11/12
Christianity got really fucked up from what I experienced and believe me, it's really fucked up. All I see is extremists and wrong beliefs everywhere, not to mention blind faithfuls. I was forcefully transfered to a methodist school (BTW, I'm not a Christian) and it was literally hell. Chistianity was intergrated in every aspect to the school, from school rules and learning process. I got so sick of this school and I've even heard suicides due to the school. It's madness, and it really felt like hell, even though there's a church next to the school.
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Posted 6/16/12
Religion teaches people to get along with each other.
Religion is based on the teachings of a human who interprets the words of the Supreme Being.
Because religion is interpreted by humans, there is room for error.
All religions teach basically the same general theme, the difference is in the details.
There can not be one True religion, just variations of the same religion and the same God by various names.
People who claim Religions other than their own are false are just ignorant.
People who claim their religion makes them superior to other religious believers or non-believers are evil.
Modern religion has been corrupted and manipulated to allow powerful people and governments to control large groups of people.

Bottom line: All religions are a guide for people to find peace and fulfillment in their lives or to deal with disappointment and tragedy.
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Posted 6/22/12
Oh, sooo much to say. I can't let that slide without criticism for a full week :P

1. It's a teaching in most religions, but it's not always the focus. Buddhism is more focused on personal enlightenment. The implication is that you should help others to do it, but it doesn't seem to be the focus.

2. The abrahamic religions, yes. However, Hinduism doesn't exactly fit this model, and neither does the ancient Egyptian religion or the Greeks.

3. I pretty much agree with that.

4. I think there are real differences between many religions. If it's the same theme among all religions, what is that theme?

5. Ok, this is where you get into some real issues. There can't be one true religion. The true religion is that God actually manifests himself into every religion. That's a double standard buddy-there can't be one religious meta-narrative, except for yours of course.

6. "People who claim Religions other than their own are false are just ignorant." You are saying that religious exclusivism is false. Once again, you fail to recognize a double standard with your meta-narrative. You are ignorant for dismissing all religions with one clean sweep. You aren't being accepting and enlightened but a bigot by your own standards.

7. You think that people who don't follow suit with your way of thinking are evil. The implication is that you are good for not doing so. If good is morally superior to evil, then you are stating that you are better than religious exclusivists. Good is morally superior to evil, therefore you are stating that you are better than religious exclusivists. Because your views make you superior, you are evil. See how that works? You make a strong statement like that and you end up ruining the credibility of your own stance.

8. There is no entity called modern religion because it's not all unified. Perhaps certain factions are corrupt, but saying that all modern religions have been corrupted is quite simply false.

9. So they all have roughly the same function. Well, we can wrap in any type of worldview with that statement. We're able to wrap them into a singular category because of their function. This is pretty much a big nothing statement.

If anyone's up to the task, I'd like you guys to try to tear apart my beliefs. I can dish out criticism all day, but I'd love to receive some too especially from Christians. I posted them earlier in this thread. I would really appreciate it.
Posted 9/15/12
Very interesting topic! I wish to address some points later on (but my eyes are rather worn out at the moment ^^;), but I'll just start by saying this:

The Christendom that one probably sees, hears most about today, the "Christianity" that most hold in contempt, is not remotely close to the true nature of God or Jesus Christ.

And, there is a way to read the Bible without getting confused or accusing it of being contradictory. Keep in mind that the Bible is not a religious how-to-do manual. It is not a guide on how to live life. It is a "picture book," if you will, about a wonderful Person who is at the center of the Christian's belief. Christianity is not a set of rules to be followed so that one may, one hopes, live a good and moralistic life. It is not a religion in this sense. It is a life to be lived, yes, but through the Spirit, not through one's willpower. Christendom has distorted and perverted some of the most fundamental teachings of the Bible.

Lastly, for those who wish to learn about Christianity (not Christendom), it's probably not a good idea to start with reading the Bible because you'll likely be confused. I will explain later.

But for now, I'll leave my post at that.

P.S. @gstewart14 I'll likely respond to you soon. ^^;
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Posted 9/15/12

JymRegal wrote:

Religion teaches people to get along with each other.
Religion is based on the teachings of a human who interprets the words of the Supreme Being.
Because religion is interpreted by humans, there is room for error.
All religions teach basically the same general theme, the difference is in the details.
There can not be one True religion, just variations of the same religion and the same God by various names.
People who claim Religions other than their own are false are just ignorant.
People who claim their religion makes them superior to other religious believers or non-believers are evil.
Modern religion has been corrupted and manipulated to allow powerful people and governments to control large groups of people.

Bottom line: All religions are a guide for people to find peace and fulfillment in their lives or to deal with disappointment and tragedy.


By Religion I assume that you're referring to Christianity...

In that case, Christianity obviously promote the killing of anybody who doesn't believe in the Christian God... how is that a guidance to find peace?

And I gathered that you believe that those who don't have a Religion is doom to live with disappointment and tragedy, if so what is your basics of that claim?
Posted 9/16/12
First off, here's that article I promised about how to read the Bible without getting confused: http://escapetoreality.org/2010/03/10/rightly-dividing-the-word-how-to-read-your-bible-without-getting-confused/

Note: this is for those who actually want to understand the Bible but don't know how, not for those who are waiting to prove me (and the author of that article) wrong.

Now . . . on to some responses!


shuyi000 wrote:

By Religion I assume that you're referring to Christianity...

In that case, Christianity obviously promote the killing of anybody who doesn't believe in the Christian God... how is that a guidance to find peace?

And I gathered that you believe that those who don't have a Religion is doom to live with disappointment and tragedy, if so what is your basics of that claim?


@shuyi000:

I admit, many people claiming to be "Christians" and from "Christianity" have slaughtered a countless number of others because these "others" didn't "believe in the Christian God." But I want to clarify to you: Christianity DOES NOT promote violence. Perhaps Christendom does, perhaps someone's perverted understanding of Christianity that he's passed along to others does, but the Christianity expressed in the Bible does not promote violence when preaching the gospel. The true Christian exalts the word of God (that is, both the written word and the living word: the Bible and Jesus Christ).


Posted 9/16/12 , edited 9/16/12

gstewart14 wrote:

I've been a Christian for 7 years, and I've been all over the place on what I believe. I've gone from extremely conservative beliefs to a thoroughly liberal interpretation of the Bible. I consider myself a theistic existentialist, but I'd like to see if you guys would consider me a Christian by considering my thoughts on a pretty central Christian question: who is saved?

It seems to me that it would be completely unjust of God to allow those who haven't had the opportunity to convert to be damned. If we think about how the intellectual question of whether or not God exists is an ongoing and unresolved debate, it's pretty understandable how some turn to atheism and other religions. Now, I believe that the Christian God of the bible is God. I believe that there is a trinity of the father, son, and holy spirit. I believe that Christ died for our sins, but I don't believe that salvation is reserved for the people who happened to get the intellectual question of whether or not God exists right. The accident of birth issue seems inescapable to me.

Our salvation is ultimately in our own hands, and it boils down to the intent behind our actions. There will be a judgment day, but I believe that mainstream Christians have the wrong picture of what that will look like. They mistakenly think that God is the one judging, but it is actually you that is deciding. We come face to face with the higher good as it actually is, and in that moment when we face it we are full like we’ve never been before. You are not something that can be captured in a moment but in a lifetime, a lifetime of intended actions.

Our actions have consequences, but those consequences are outside of our control. This is where Christ's sacrifice comes in- he pays the price for the consequences of our actions so that we are left with a choice. We seek the best consequences and strive for the higher good. When we strive for the higher good, we strive for what God is. This is not limited to Christians, and many people who call themselves Christians don’t strive after what God is. Our whole life we are constantly wrestling with this question, and the summation of your life is an answer to it. It is a very simple yes or no question. Will you or will you not embrace the higher good? If you don’t, you are allowed to fade. If you do, you will shine and glory in the presence of God.

It all comes down to you, you in your fullest or your foulest. What you are as a whole makes that decision.

The objective good exists, but it is distorted to our eyes. Consequently, we fail to actually live by it. Christ died to atone for the consequences of our actions. He took the burden of what is out of our control, and we are left with our intent. It's all about our choices.

Oh, and I'm aware of the lack of scriptural citation this is the product of my own philosophical reflection. If clarification is needed, I understand.


I assume that this is the post you wanted "other Christians" to reply to, gstewart.

For the first question: who is saved? Here's a passage from John, chapter 3, in regard to this question:

"For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. The one who believes in him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God" (John 3:16-18, NET).

What does it mean to "believe" in "the name of the one and only Son of God"? It is not a matter of existence - whether Jesus Christ exists or whether God exists. I agree with you: "I don't believe that salvation is reserved for the people who happened to get the intellectual question of whether or not God exists right." Simply believing in the existence of something may not prove beneficial (or useful) for the believer.

God loves faith, but I would argue that it does not take faith to believe that God exists. It takes faith, however, to believe in the good nature of God, NOT that God is "out to get you," or that He has a schizophrenic nature or a problem with a split personality. He is not waiting to smack you with a sickness at your next sin, he is not going to psych you out, He is not an indifferent God who leaves you to fare on your own. He is a faithful God, even when we are unfaithful or unbelieving towards Him: "If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is" (2 Timothy 2:13, NLT).

"velvetyred, show me that this God is indeed faithful."

You see, I cannot show you anything. These things must be believed through faith. I cannot convince you, through reasoning or proofs, that God is loving and He has reconciled the world to Himself through his Son, Jesus -- these things must be felt with the spirit, if one is willing. Faith is not belief in the existence of something, but a trust in the goodness of an almighty God who says He is good and loving.

So back to the question: who is saved? The one who believes that he is reconciled to God through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. The one who realizes that Jesus has taken away all his sins and clothed him with the robe of God's righteousness. The one who believes that he has "confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus" (Hebrews 10:19), who believes that Jesus has finished everything, so that one can cease from his own attempts at earning salvation.

The one who understands the work of the cross and believes in it is saved. This is what Gospel preachers strive to do - to reveal Jesus to those who are willing to believe in Him.

But why remove the sins of the world? Why forgive the entire world (yes, the entire world is forgiven. Whether or not people are saved is a different question that I have already answered)? Here, I want to touch upon your words, gstewart:

"It is a very simple yes or no question. Will you or will you not embrace the higher good? If you don’t, you are allowed to fade. If you do, you will shine and glory in the presence of God."

The Gospel, which means "good news," is, at its very essence, an invitation from a loving God asking us to participate in the restoration of God's world. It is a message for those who look at the current state of the world and weep for the cruelty, the injustice, the inequality, for those who desire a better world. For these people, God says, "I have given you a better reality through the sacrifice of my Son, Jesus. Do not be afraid, and weep not; My kingdom is at hand." In this sense, God gives us the choice to "embrace the higher good" that He has laid out for us. He looks for people who believe in the blood of Jesus and are willing to participate with Him in this restoration. And He gives us a lifetime to seek after Him, if we truly want to know who He is. For God to reach out to us again, He needs to have taken care of the sin problem, for it is sin and sins that separate us from God (Isaiah 59:2).

Jesus went about and preached the kingdom of God, and he was persecuted and ultimately executed (He was not murdered; He willingly gave His life, otherwise the world would not receive His life. I need to make this distinction clear). The apostles of the first century preached the good news of the kingdom of God, and they were persecuted, some even ultimately exiled and executed. The Christians of history held on to their dear belief in the blood of Jesus and saw the world that Jesus and the apostles preached about, the city that Abraham saw and looked forward to, and they also were persecuted and executed. The Roman Empire, Spain, &c. did not persecute the apostles and believers because they went about saying, "You all are forgiven! Repent from your sins and turn to God!" Yes, that is part of the Gospel. But that's not all there is. It is a second part for which Christians get, and will get, so much heat. They're preaching about a new kingdom, one that will overthrow all current systems, be they political, economic, social, religious. In God's kingdom, there are things that can no longer exist: hatred, separation, death, curses, sickness, sorrow. The apostles preached the kingdom of God that would soon supplant all the kingdoms of the current world. And the leaders of the apostles' time, and the current world today, are not happy about it. The world wants to believe in a loving God, but once it hears that this God intends to take back the world for Himself and for Christ, the world will reject Him and fight against Him because it wants to remain in power.

(Side note: interesting blog post: http://stevehackman.blogspot.com/2012/09/does-chinese-government-understand.html)

The Gospel talks about a better reality, but not all will respond to God's invitation. Some will reject it, some will turn away from it for fear of persecution (and thus they are "allowed to fade"), some will distort the Gospel's message and try to shove it down people's throats, thus turning those people away from the actual Gospel, and some will believe it with all their hearts and go about preaching to those who need it and who are willing to hear it. These latter folks are the folks with whom God will work.

I'm not known for brevity or clear communication, gstewart, but I hope I've given you another Christian perspective.

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