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Old 12-24-2019, 07:46 PM
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Did Grace and the Holy Spirit exist before the birth of Jesus?


The hymn O Holy Night has the line, "'Til He appeared and the soul felt it's worth." I found that line perfectly in keeping with what the nuns taught me, that Grace entered the world when Jesus was born and, prior to that, even the best Jews were destined to spend their eternities in Limbo, as nice as Heaven but without the Presence of God.

Later, mine goodwife* explained Pentecost as the Holy Spirit 's introduction. I have no idea where she got that, but she had loads of Bible knowledge so I smiled and nodded.

So please help out this poor, Fallen Catholic and show me where I'm right of wrong.


* - Blame her ancestors who basically came over shortly after the Pilgrims, not to be confused with her uncle whose ancestors did. Let's just say the Miles Standish line did not age well.
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Old 12-24-2019, 08:45 PM
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AIUI, Holy Spirit always preexisted with/as God in eternity prior. Jesus being born did not change or affect that.
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Old 12-24-2019, 08:50 PM
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In the Christian tradition, just as Jesus came to Earth at a specific time for a specific purpose, The Holy Spirit came to Earth as Jesus departed to provide counsel (and fortitude and the other ten gifts of the Spirit).
As a manifestation of the Triune God, the Spirit has been around as long as the Father and the Son.

Grace (in the current use of the term) s the presence of God in anyone's life. As such, it is an aspect of God that has been around forever, Adam and Eve speaking with God in the Garden, God speaking to Moses, God speaking to Nathan and David and Elijah and Isaiah and so forth. The word Grace only began to be used among the Christians. so it does not show up much in the Hebrew Scriptures.
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Old 12-24-2019, 11:03 PM
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To flesh out a little what others have said about the Holy Ghost:

Each Personage of the Trinity has had a "dispensation," or period of time where God primarily dealt with people through one specific aspect of the Trinity. All of Old Testament times was the dispensation of God the Father. Jesus' time on earth was the dispensation of God the Son. Pentecost marked the beginning of the dispensation of God the Spirit.

However, God did, and does, sometimes manifest Himself or deal with people in ways other than whatever the "primary" aspect of the Trinity is at the time.

"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (II Peter 1:21). Thus we see that the Holy Ghost was active to some extent during Old Testament times.

As far as the righteous Jews of the Old Testament, the Bible is very clear that (A), they had faith in God, and (B) that because of that faith, God considered them to be righteous, and thus fit to enter Heaven. That's the whole point of Hebrews chapter 11.

"And he [Abraham] believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness" (Genesis 15:6).

"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness" Romans 4:3.

There is no such thing as Limbo. That's a Catholic invention. Even before Jesus' crucifixion, people went to either Heaven or Hell. The story in Luke 16:19-31 (not a parable, but a true story) of the rich man and Lazarus makes that abundantly clear.
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Old 12-25-2019, 08:49 AM
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...

There is no such thing as Limbo. That's a Catholic invention. Even before Jesus' crucifixion, people went to either Heaven or Hell. The story in Luke 16:19-31 (not a parable, but a true story) of the rich man and Lazarus makes that abundantly clear.
I thought the only way to Heaven was through God's grace and the only way to that is through Jesus? A quick Google search seems to point to John 14:6, "no one comes to the Father except through Me." Just curious -- how did anyone get to Heaven before Jesus offered salvation?

Also, Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-25-2019, 09:08 AM
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What an interesting discussion. Thank you.
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Old 12-25-2019, 09:52 AM
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Also keep in mind that all three Persons of the Trinity are eternal, and thus the word "before" is meaningless with reference to them. How did Elijah go to Heaven? By the grace bestowed by Jesus' sacrifice. The fact that, in Earthy time, Elijah left this world centuries or millennia before Jesus was born is irrelevant.
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Old 12-25-2019, 10:37 AM
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Just curious -- how did anyone get to Heaven before Jesus offered salvation?

Also, Merry Christmas!
They didn't. That's the whole point of the Jesus story.
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Old 12-25-2019, 10:41 AM
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I thought the only way to Heaven was through God's grace and the only way to that is through Jesus? A quick Google search seems to point to John 14:6, "no one comes to the Father except through Me." Just curious -- how did anyone get to Heaven before Jesus offered salvation?

Also, Merry Christmas!
At the Final Judgement they will need to accept and believe that Jesus truly is the Son of God and that this belief is the only Way to everlasting salvation.
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Old 12-25-2019, 11:03 AM
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They didn't. That's the whole point of the Jesus story.
And now we did who didn't bother to read my earlier post.

The Tabernacle, the animal sacrifices, etc. were all shadows, or foreshadowings, of what was to come. The book of Hebrews goes into considerable detail on this point.

But because the righteous Jews had faith ("But without faith it is impossible to please [God]" -- Hebrews 11:6a), God counted them as "honorary Christians," for lack of a better term, and took them to Heaven when they died.

"The just shall live by his faith" (Habakkuk 2:4b).

"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law" (Romans 3:8).

People who lived and died before Jesus came to earth went to Heaven precisely because -- and only because -- they had faith in God's promises. This faith showed itself by their willingness to obey God's commands. "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works" (James 2:17, 18).
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Old 12-25-2019, 11:33 AM
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And now we did who didn't bother to read my earlier post.

The Tabernacle, the animal sacrifices, etc. were all shadows, or foreshadowings, of what was to come. The book of Hebrews goes into considerable detail on this point.

But because the righteous Jews had faith ("But without faith it is impossible to please [God]" -- Hebrews 11:6a), God counted them as "honorary Christians," for lack of a better term, and took them to Heaven when they died.

"The just shall live by his faith" (Habakkuk 2:4b).

"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law" (Romans 3:8).

People who lived and died before Jesus came to earth went to Heaven precisely because -- and only because -- they had faith in God's promises. This faith showed itself by their willingness to obey God's commands. "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works" (James 2:17, 18).
Oh look, it's the one true and definitive theology. My mistake.
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Old 12-25-2019, 11:51 AM
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At the Final Judgement they will need to accept and believe that Jesus truly is the Son of God and that this belief is the only Way to everlasting salvation.
It seems like you and Flyer are saying conflicting things.

Anyway, where were they in the meantime? Were they in hell until Jesus came along?

Flyer, you seem to be saying that faith in God is sufficient, not accepting Jesus as your savior. That seems to be a unique take, from what I understand. Or, was faith sufficient before Jesus, but after He came along, you had to have faith and also accept Jesus as your savior?
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Old 12-25-2019, 12:07 PM
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It's my thread and I set some of the groundrules. Therefore, IOk1, I'd appreciate no snark. It's unbecoming on Christmas.

And FTR, please note I received this part of my theological training from crabby, old, Dominican nuns, hardly highly educated in the finer points of theology. And I have no idea where my wife got her ideas, but she started out as a Methodist. You know, a heretic.
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Old 12-26-2019, 06:32 PM
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There is no such thing as Limbo.
Just as dispensations are an invention of Rapturists such as Edward Irving and John Darby.

Limbo was, indeed, a Catholic invention. It was an effort to deal with the words in Scripture that say that all salvation can come only through Jesus without condemning young children and righteous pagans to hell--a rather cruel action by God.

The problem of a too literal reading of certain passages of scripture is that one may come away with the idea that God has condemned billions of people to hell for the simple act, outside their control, of being born at the wrong time or the wrong place. Christians have wrestled with that issue for much of history, with different proposals being advanced. (I will not impose my own beliefs on this thread.)

(Not sure where the parable of Lazarus and Dives stopped being a parable.)
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Old 12-27-2019, 01:18 PM
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A nuclear family may consist of father, mother, and son. The Holy Trinity is father, son, and ghost. Jehovah the father, in a spate of domestic violence, obviously killed the cosmic mother, who is now only a ghost. And since all are facets of the same Godhood, the father fucked himself as the mother and produced a son who fucked his mother to be born. Xianity is among the most pervo of faiths. Jove and the swan have nothing on Jehovah and the ghost.

There's another option, though bestial. A Lutheran cemetery on the Mendocino coast is maintained and weeded by Holy Goats. Change the realized Trinity to Father, Son, and Holy Goats. They'll be frisky. Look into their goatish eyes...
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Old 12-27-2019, 02:29 PM
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RioRico, there might have been something humorous in that post, (much like listening to a Trump speech), but it added nothing to the thread and is sufficiently obnoxious that it could be regarded as trolling. Please refrain from this sort of thing in the future.
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Old 12-27-2019, 02:40 PM
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Also note that, while the Catholic Church did once teach the existence of Limbo, it doesn't any more. The current Catholic position is basically that Limbo might exist, but we don't know, but God finds some way or another to be just, kind, and merciful.
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Old 12-27-2019, 04:02 PM
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So, I'm still not sure what the answer to the question posed in the OP is. Can someone help a guy out? Is it just, we don't know? Or, depends on which version of Christianity? Something else?

Seems pretty important, within the context of the Christian religions anyway.
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Old 12-27-2019, 04:13 PM
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Jeeze, don't ask me. I'm still.not convinced that Christianity isn't polytheistic, though late Doper Polycarp made a gallant effort to explain the Trinity years ago.
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Old 12-28-2019, 07:39 PM
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RioRico, there might have been something humorous in that post, (much like listening to a Trump speech), but it added nothing to the thread and is sufficiently obnoxious that it could be regarded as trolling. Please refrain from this sort of thing in the future.
Sorry, trolling was not my intent, merely poking roughly at belief. How can grace or holy ghosts be verifiably observed to exist before or after a mythical event of celestial incest? As Heinlein said, one person's theology is another's belly laugh. But I'll calm down.
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Old 12-28-2019, 08:43 PM
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My take on it is that God does not change, the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus is God, Jesus is the way, thus the way does not change. The path was, is and forever is the same and forever open. The instructions for finding the way is given as seek and you will find. This seeking God will result in finding Jesus, who is God with us and in us, And thus receiving the Holy Spirit and continuing Jesus' ministry on earth. The work of Jesus can be seen in the OT, stuff like raising the dead, the work of the Holy Spirit can also be seen with instruction, spiritual gifts and wisdom. But as for the book, the way it was written, we can see why these are not mentioned directly as Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In OT times things were hidden 'behind the veil' so the masses could not see or understand it. but after the veil was torn in the Bible, these things are revealed to us as we read. With the revelation in the NT we can see the work of God in the OT.
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Old 12-28-2019, 09:02 PM
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The doctrine of the trinity has been a subject of disagreement for a long time, to put it mildly. The nature of the holy spirit is never explained in the canon. (Personally, I think it's more of an expression than a deity. It's often ambiguous in the bible whether the presence of God is God himself or some kind of messenger or intercessor.) It's unlikely that most early churches saw Jesus as literally the same being as God. For more information, look up Adoptionism and Filioque.
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Old 12-29-2019, 06:13 AM
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Limbo was, indeed, a Catholic invention. It was an effort to deal with the words in Scripture that say that all salvation can come only through Jesus without condemning young children and righteous pagans to hell--a rather cruel action by God.
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Also note that, while the Catholic Church did once teach the existence of Limbo, it doesn't any more. The current Catholic position is basically that Limbo might exist, but we don't know, but God finds some way or another to be just, kind, and merciful.
This. The Christian scriptures say God is love. Theology and doctrine, IMHO, reach their limit pretty quickly in their ability to say for sure just how God's love will save such persons as Limbo was invented for, but God loves them as much as he loves us, and we who are Christians can trust him to find a way.
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Also keep in mind that all three Persons of the Trinity are eternal, and thus the word "before" is meaningless with reference to them. How did Elijah go to Heaven? By the grace bestowed by Jesus' sacrifice. The fact that, in Earthy time, Elijah left this world centuries or millennia before Jesus was born is irrelevant.
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My take on it is that God does not change, the same yesterday, today and forever.
This. As the author of Hebrews says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." I would say that Jesus' death and resurrection happened at a particular place and time, yet are eternal, and are present at all places and times in this universe.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 12-29-2019 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 12-29-2019, 09:01 AM
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This. The Christian scriptures say God is love. Theology and doctrine, IMHO, reach their limit pretty quickly in their ability to say for sure just how God's love will save such persons as Limbo was invented for, but God loves them as much as he loves us, and we who are Christians can trust him to find a way.

This. As the author of Hebrews says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." I would say that Jesus' death and resurrection happened at a particular place and time, yet are eternal, and are present at all places and times in this universe.
OK, but people who existed in a different part of 4D space didn't know to take Jesus into their hearts as their personal savior, because in that part of 4D space, Jesus was unknown. So, do they get in if they had good works? If they had faith in God but not Jesus? Do people in other parts of 4D space where Jesus is known become saved if they have faith in God but have not accepted Jesus as their personal savior? (I'm using 4D space to try and translate "present at all places and times in this universe" into something I can try to understand)

I also don't really understand what it means to say "God is love" and then talk about "God's love" -- it's like saying "love's love" or "God's God", but this seems like semantic nitpicking, so I'm fine to let that lie. Maybe it's some archaic usage of "is" or something.
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Old 12-30-2019, 05:45 AM
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OK, but people who existed in a different part of 4D space didn't know to take Jesus into their hearts as their personal savior, because in that part of 4D space, Jesus was unknown. So, do they get in if they had good works? If they had faith in God but not Jesus? Do people in other parts of 4D space where Jesus is known become saved if they have faith in God but have not accepted Jesus as their personal savior? (I'm using 4D space to try and translate "present at all places and times in this universe" into something I can try to understand)
My personal take is: God loves each and every person in this 4D spacetime bubble far more than I love my own son, and nothing in this world is going to stop me from loving that crazy kid. So I'm gonna just trust that he's got this covered.

Quote:
I also don't really understand what it means to say "God is love" and then talk about "God's love" -- it's like saying "love's love" or "God's God", but this seems like semantic nitpicking, so I'm fine to let that lie. Maybe it's some archaic usage of "is" or something.
I think you're going to have to accept that neither I nor the author of the epistle (1 John) that "God is love" comes from, was writing as a logician.
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:13 AM
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My personal take is: God loves each and every person in this 4D spacetime bubble far more than I love my own son, and nothing in this world is going to stop me from loving that crazy kid. So I'm gonna just trust that he's got this covered....
So, your answer to the OP is, yes, grace and the Holy Spirit always existed, right?

I think your view of salvation is more expansive than most Christian sects that I know of, but that's fine by me.
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Old 12-30-2019, 11:50 AM
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For the Mother God and Daughter of God, I believe in them and I believe why we don't hear about them is due to Gen 3:16 where God places a man as authority over a woman, And Matt 18:18, whatever is bound on earth is bound in heaven (the curse that placed man over women), must apply in the heavens (thus we get a male centric God). This is restored in Christ (Gal 3:28).

Also that Christ has to suffer everything so no one can boast (meaning that no person can claim suffering that Christ did not do), but it is impossible for a male Christ to suffer the greatly increased pains of childbirth - a curse given to women through Eve, thus a female Christ must be needed.




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...

I also don't really understand what it means to say "God is love" and then talk about "God's love" -- it's like saying "love's love" or "God's God", but this seems like semantic nitpicking, so I'm fine to let that lie. Maybe it's some archaic usage of "is" or something.
God is one, God is Love, God is indivisible. So wherever there is Love, it is God's Love and is God. So everyone can be a expression of God on earth by Love, thus Jesus has come in the flesh, as that would be Jesus working through us.

However not all apparently loving acts are really love, as Love come from the heart and intention to love. Paul goes into what Love is in 1 Cor 13 (Love is patient, love is kind. ...)
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:02 PM
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So, your answer to the OP is, yes, grace and the Holy Spirit always existed, right?

I think your view of salvation is more expansive than most Christian sects that I know of, but that's fine by me.
Are we talking about formal denominations, or (to use your word) sects?

The beliefs of sects are of course all over the map. Actual denominations, not so much. I doubt that any significant denominations believe that the Holy Spirit didn't always exist, or that people who died prior to the time of Christ are destined for hell on account of that failure on their part to be born at the right time. If I'm wrong, feel free to share details.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:27 PM
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Oh look, it's the one true and definitive theology. My mistake.
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:10 PM
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I don't know the answer but the traditional way of finding it involves at least 2 holy wars and a genocide, so let's just leave it as a mistery :P
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:53 PM
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I don't know the answer but the traditional way of finding it involves at least 2 holy wars and a genocide, so let's just leave it as a mistery :P
Now you're killing the fun. Can't have religion without schism; can't have schism without bloodshed, rapine, enslavement, fun; can't have fun without religion. Break that cycle and the fun goes away. How will we know what suppositions to merrily suppress? We can't just let heathen and heretical notions pass - why, that leads to POLYTHEISM! (I gesture against the evil eye and diversity.)

Do unverifiable energies and/or beings exist before and/or after an unverifiable event? Sure, why not. Such ideas give artists material to illustrate and pundits points to ponder, keeping them off the streets so they don't block traffic. Anything but that!
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:03 PM
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For the Mother God and Daughter of God, I believe in them and I believe why we don't hear about them is due to Gen 3:16 where God places a man as authority over a woman,
And caught Hell for it when he got home!

Glad you're a fellow polytheist.
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:07 PM
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Are we talking about formal denominations, or (to use your word) sects?

The beliefs of sects are of course all over the map. Actual denominations, not so much. I doubt that any significant denominations believe that the Holy Spirit didn't always exist, or that people who died prior to the time of Christ are destined for hell on account of that failure on their part to be born at the right time. If I'm wrong, feel free to share details.
Sorry, I didn't mean to offend by using "sects". I thought it was the appropriate term for the various denominations, offshoots, Synods, etc. Are Missouri Synod Lutherans a different denomination than ELCA Lutherans or LCA Lutherans?

Anyway, and maybe this is off-topic for this thread, but how about those born after the time of Christ? Is there only one way for them to be saved?
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:41 PM
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The Holy Spirit is mentioned in Genesis and the act of creation is later attributed to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (to each individually in separate passages).

I don't know if Grace existed in the same way before as it did after the death of Jesus but there was certainly forgiveness in the OT. The book of Jonah is about God loving and forgiving people even though they hated and killed the people of Israel. Jonah doesn't forgive them but God does.

Last edited by Dark Sponge; 12-30-2019 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 12-30-2019, 08:46 PM
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The Holy Spirit is mentioned in Genesis and the act of creation is later attributed to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (to each individually in separate passages).
How much later? Few hundred years, maybe? It would serve you better to treat the bible as a library, not a book.
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Old 12-31-2019, 10:30 PM
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I'll go with holy goats. They're tangible. And they've been around awhile. Graceful, too. Not like gospel-bleaters.
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Old 01-02-2020, 03:17 AM
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How much later? Few hundred years, maybe? It would serve you better to treat the bible as a library, not a book.
Sure, the bible is a collection of texts produced by different people at different times, but the OP asks about Christians beliefs, and Christians read each of the scriptural texts in the light of the others, and in particular read the OT texts in the light of the NT texts. Thus as an explanation of Christian beliefs it's perfectly legitimate to point to the NT texts as an elucidation of what Genesis says about the Spirit and creation.

In answer to the OP, I think it's safe to say that the bulk of Christian traditions hold God to be unchanging and unchangeable. Thus if God is Trinity - Father, Son Spirit - then God is Trinity always and at all times, and there is never a time when God is not Trinity. So not only the Spirit but also the Son existed before the birth of Jesus. The birth of Jesus represents the incarnation of the Son, but not the inception of the Son.
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:21 AM
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In answer to the OP, I think it's safe to say that the bulk of Christian traditions hold God to be unchanging and unchangeable. Thus if God is Trinity - Father, Son Spirit - then God is Trinity always and at all times, and there is never a time when God is not Trinity. So not only the Spirit but also the Son existed before the birth of Jesus. The birth of Jesus represents the incarnation of the Son, but not the inception of the Son.
Likewise, becasue God is unchangeable, his Grace has always existed.

That said, I have heard the idea that dropzone says--except I heard they were in "Abraham's Bosom"* rather than Limbo. But the concept is similar. They waited there until Jesus came and took them to heaven when Jesus descended "to the grave (sheol)."

Still, letting them go to Limbo or Abraham's Bosom would be an act of Grace.

*The linked Wikpedia article is rather informative. Apparently the idea existed in Judaism, which explains why Jesus used the term in the parable with the rich man and Lazarus.

Last edited by BigT; 01-02-2020 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 01-02-2020, 02:41 PM
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...I think it's safe to say that the bulk of Christian traditions hold God to be unchanging and unchangeable. Thus if God is Trinity - Father, Son Spirit - then God is Trinity always and at all times, and there is never a time when God is not Trinity. So not only the Spirit but also the Son existed before the birth of Jesus. The birth of Jesus represents the incarnation of the Son, but not the inception of the Son.
A problem: an immortal deity can't die, so offering a godling for sacrifice is meaningless. Crucifixion won't kill any aspect of the three-in-one deity. Nobody died for the human sins introduced by the very same three-in-one deity. I'm reminded of a shell game.
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Old 01-02-2020, 05:33 PM
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A problem: an immortal deity can't die, so offering a godling for sacrifice is meaningless. Crucifixion won't kill any aspect of the three-in-one deity. Nobody died for the human sins introduced by the very same three-in-one deity. I'm reminded of a shell game.
There is usually a different definition of death then the conventional one in which a immortal deity would have no problem with. Actually many people who have died will be raised to life again. Death is not a ending, but either a sleep or existence in the underworld. So no problem there. Now if you consider death as non-existence/ no longer existing then yes a immortal deity could have some difficulty, but that non-existence state doesn't seem to be what the Bible talks about and more like some churches looking to make hell look not so bad for those who visit there.

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Old 01-02-2020, 05:39 PM
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....

That said, I have heard the idea that dropzone says--except I heard they were in "Abraham's Bosom"* rather than Limbo. But the concept is similar. They waited there until Jesus came and took them to heaven when Jesus descended "to the grave (sheol)." ....
Waiting for Christ seems to be common, even in end times Rev 6:9-11 where the saint are told to basically go take a nap till Christ is comes.

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9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O [k]Lord, holy and true, [l]will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.
  #42  
Old 01-02-2020, 06:00 PM
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A problem: an immortal deity can't die, so offering a godling for sacrifice is meaningless. Crucifixion won't kill any aspect of the three-in-one deity. Nobody died for the human sins introduced by the very same three-in-one deity. I'm reminded of a shell game.
Dr Qadgop brought it up in the classic thread. Jesus gave up a weekend for our sins. and will rot in Hell for it.
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:31 AM
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There is usually a different definition of death then the conventional one in which a immortal deity would have no problem with. Actually many people who have died will be raised to life again. Death is not a ending, but either a sleep or existence in the underworld. So no problem there. Now if you consider death as non-existence/ no longer existing then yes a immortal deity could have some difficulty, but that non-existence state doesn't seem to be what the Bible talks about and more like some churches looking to make hell look not so bad for those who visit there.
"Death is not an ending!" he called, leaping from the tower. SPLAT! Well, this time...

No, gospel says the nonhuman alien Jehovah sacrificed a son who was actually itself. But no sacrifice was possible because immortal. What a logical pickle.
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:12 PM
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how about those born after the time of Christ? Is there only one way for them to be saved?
Before, after, whatever - of course there's only one way: welcoming the presence of the Lord into one's heart.

What forms that can take in this life, or whether it's still possible after this life is over - who knows? That's beyond my knowledge. But I'm sure it goes well beyond saying the Sinner's Prayer, or following the Four Steps to Salvation, or any of those other attempts to impose rules on a Being who, as C.S. Lewis reminds us, is "not a tame Lion."
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:11 PM
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.......

No, gospel says the nonhuman alien Jehovah sacrificed a son who was actually itself. But no sacrifice was possible because immortal. What a logical pickle.
This which you dismiss in such a offhanded manor really contains the ultimate beauty of Love and I doubt you even realize the words you speak shows how your statement betrays you.

Do you even have any grasp of what 'nonhuman alien Jehovah sacrificed a son who was actually itself.' means? I doubt it. And as such the rest of your statement doesn't mean much without that understanding.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:14 PM
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This which you dismiss in such a offhanded manor really contains the ultimate beauty of Love and I doubt you even realize the words you speak shows how your statement betrays you.

Do you even have any grasp of what 'nonhuman alien Jehovah sacrificed a son who was actually itself.' means? I doubt it. And as such the rest of your statement doesn't mean much without that understanding.
More "If you really understood it you would believe it" nonsense that allows believers to dismiss what they don't want to talk about.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:18 PM
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In answer to the OP, I think it's safe to say that the bulk of Christian traditions hold God to be unchanging and unchangeable. Thus if God is Trinity - Father, Son Spirit - then God is Trinity always and at all times, and there is never a time when God is not Trinity. So not only the Spirit but also the Son existed before the birth of Jesus. The birth of Jesus represents the incarnation of the Son, but not the inception of the Son.
Yes. There is a tradition that believes the Son existed as Divine Wisdom prior to the incarnation, so the Son was around at the beginning. As was the Holy Spirit. Those parts of Trinity may have manifested themselves differently about 2000 years ago, but they always existed.
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:15 AM
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Before, after, whatever - of course there's only one way: welcoming the presence of the Lord into one's heart.

What forms that can take in this life, or whether it's still possible after this life is over - who knows? That's beyond my knowledge. But I'm sure it goes well beyond saying the Sinner's Prayer, or following the Four Steps to Salvation, or any of those other attempts to impose rules on a Being who, as C.S. Lewis reminds us, is "not a tame Lion."
This is so strange to me as an unbeliever. We're talking about where you spend eternity, next to which your actual life is almost literally meaningless -- you spend an infinitesimal living and then an infinity either saved or not. There really is no more important of a religious question as this, as far as I can tell, and yet the magic eight ball comes back with Reply Hazy. Different denominations and different religions come up with different answers to this most crucial of all questions. Some of them seem to imply that the coming of Jesus made it harder to be saved, not easier -- if you could be saved before by "just" taking the Lord into your heart before, now you have to take a very specific version of Him, so Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and so on, are now no longer welcome where before they could, I don't know, be righteous and good and maybe get in.

I'm not really looking for a response -- I think this is an unbridgeable gap between believers and the rest of us.
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Old 01-04-2020, 09:03 AM
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This is so strange to me as an unbeliever. We're talking about where you spend eternity, next to which your actual life is almost literally meaningless -- you spend an infinitesimal living and then an infinity either saved or not.
Not as I see it. Your life and possible death here on earth is part of your eternal existence. (I believe at the point of death of the body, or right before, the Lord will come to take the person, thus not experience death - however some will chose death. I believe Jesus talks about this, we see it in the stoning of Stephan, and also how God took Enoch away and some other places like Paul describes in his letters. ). Also death (hell) is not the end, but a place where one can descend into (for a purpose ) and also be raised out of. It's all part of a eternal life.



Quote:
There really is no more important of a religious question as this, as far as I can tell, and yet the magic eight ball comes back with Reply Hazy. Different denominations and different religions come up with different answers to this most crucial of all questions.

I once believed this, but as I studied some faiths and dabbled in others, I have found that faiths, even intentionally made up ones . such as the FSM or Jedi, converge around what the Buddha called Dharma or universal truths, but differentiate themselves around cultures (dogma). The different religions are divergent in dogma and convergent in Dharma. Not that everyone has the exact same Dharma, but aspects of it such as the eastern concept of Karma, and the biblical doctrine of you reap what you sow. Both are trying to express the same universal law, but do so in cultural context. There are many more such examples including coming to God. The Bible states 'seek and you shall find' I believe this is a universal principal - or at least a aspect of it, and why even made up religions will converge around Dharma and they will start revealing universal truths mixed in to culture (which the FSM certainly has cultural influences).

Quote:
Some of them seem to imply that the coming of Jesus made it harder to be saved, not easier -- if you could be saved before by "just" taking the Lord into your heart before, now you have to take a very specific version of Him, so Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and so on, are now no longer welcome where before they could, I don't know, be righteous and good and maybe get in.
Religions are not perfect, even the Dharma is always expressed imperfectally.

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I'm not really looking for a response -- I think this is an unbridgeable gap between believers and the rest of us.
Well you posted here and got one anyway . But I feel that last part is the assertion of dogma on the religious side has erected the barrier that makes that unbridgeable gap, as you have expressed above. Religious folk usually combine the two (Dharma and dogma) and thus create that gap, but that's only a cultural difference.

Last edited by kanicbird; 01-04-2020 at 09:04 AM.
  #50  
Old 01-05-2020, 12:14 AM
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This which you dismiss in such a offhanded manor really contains the ultimate beauty of Love and I doubt you even realize the words you speak shows how your statement betrays you.
Xian dictionary:

Death = eternal life.
Intolerance = love.
Tragedy = divine will.
Genocide = divine will.
Infanticide = joy.
Incoherence = revelation.
Fantasy = prophesy.
Pi = three.

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Do you even have any grasp of what 'nonhuman alien Jehovah sacrificed a son who was actually itself.' means? I doubt it. And as such the rest of your statement doesn't mean much without that understanding.
"Nonhuman alien Jehovah sacrificed a son who was actually itself" means exactly what I wrote. Jehovah (previously the Ba'alite war deity) was neither terrestrial nor human. The bit it claimed to have sacrificed, echoing earlier tales of divine self-sacrifices, was itself divinely omnipresent and thus could not be killed - lost a weekend, maybe.

You are free to believe whatever you want. I won't convert you. Enjoy!
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