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If regularly attending a particular place of worship is unnecessary why does the Bible tell us that believers in the first century "day after day [] were in constant attendance at the temple with one accord [] and sincerity of heart"? (Acts 2:46) Why did "they [continue] devoting themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to sharing [with one another]"? (Acts 2:42)
maxximiliann maxximiliann 36-40, M 8 Answers Nov 6, 2012 in Religion

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bible was written by man and i feel it was written to controlothers they felt were of a lesser standing like females you can not trust the bible youhave to trust your understanding first

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Ok. What did atheists like Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Kim-Il-Sung, Than Shwe, Napolean, Castro and Lenin do to control others and make them complicit in the murder of countless innocents deemed of lesser standing than them?

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my guess is way more have been killed in the name of god than any other one person
and when it all comes down to it it was just one group say god told them same to day with others taking rights away in god name as the feel they are doing goods work
if they want to do gods work why not go work in Africa or some other country

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They are being done there . They are to be done everywhere.
Don't think any of those guys claimed to be men of God.

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If religion is all evil why did these non-religious, atheists commit such unspeakable acts of evil? Before you try to, again, make light of the deaths of all those countless innocents slaughtered at their hands, remember, these were atheists, not theists.

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why did we burn so many [people as witch in the name of god why did we in the past go into towns and kill ever one there mad wemoan and children till the horse walked in blood
what did god allow those to abuse us children in his name as the raped us over and over
why did that missonary get made at his wife and take a 10 year girl of of the home they ran and raped her then he tried to kill her
but in that case 2 merc were walking by and he never jhit his wife again and he never raped another child again but then he never did any thing again but lay there bleeding to death as he ask for help not forgiveness

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Not true followers of Jesus.

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maybe not but like you they used god name
sp where do others draw the line words are cheap you do it by how you live not how you talk
and one thing the bible does teach is about judging others unless you are with out sin and i am sorry i know few with out sin other then those that died at birth

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Actually, all the despicable actions you describe fit perfectly with the Bible's description of what it really means to be an atheist. Observe: "They publicly declare they know God, but they disown him by their works, because they are detestable and disobedient and not approved for good work of any sort." - Titus 1:16. These false Christians, atheists really, are the reason why people who share your mindset blashpheme the name of God. (Romans 2:24) In the end, however, your misgivings are misdirected for no Christian has ever committed an atrocity. They were all committed by atheists :)

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God has already told what the judgement is. However, we do have the scriptures which is the standard for which we are judged against.
2 tim 3:16 tells us
All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Which is exactly the letters to the churches are about. Telling them were they are to change either their thinking or acting.
So, it is not my judgement, but what the Word of God has to say.

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god has said only those with out sin can judge and i am betting you are not without sin
andn you are clearly judging but i bet youwillhave lot of friends in hell with you and me

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What judged have I passed on you? I have only replied what the scripture has to say.
Matt. 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."
This is the verse so many use to try to shame Christians for discerning poor behavior, ethics, morals, and values: the "judge not lest ye be judged" verse. . Using only Matt 7:1 is entirely incomplete. This verse is not speaking to not judging at all -- it is speaking to not judging unfairly or any other cheap and selfish way.
Matt 7:2-5 "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged [if we judge with an evil heart or dark intent, His judgment of us will reflect it; if we judge nobly with honesty and justice, His judgment of us will reflect that, too], and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you [if we use extremes or exaggerations or other ignoble means, His judgment of us will reflect it and judging with fairness and compassion will garner likewise in His judgment of us]. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye [point out his sins, "minor" in Jesus' example here] and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye [our own sins, even and especially those we will not admit, magnified by our selective blindness]? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' [tell him of his "minor" sins] when all the time there is a plank in your own eye [that there are greater or the same sins in our own lives which we do nothing about or think we are above]? You hypocrite* [pointing out the sins of others while by pretense thinking of ourselves as above sin], first take the plank out of your own eye [sincerely ask the Lord for forgiveness and learn and live the Truth and Light by His Word], and then you will see clearly [be in a righteous position] to remove the speck from your brother's eye [to judge and to help him out of his bondage to sin]." At Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan, Jesus was talking to the multitudes gathered there after hearing of His message and of His healings to beseech them to not become like the pharisees and hypocrites who think they are above sin.
And, as a FEW examples of His desire for us to judge,
1Cor. 6:2-3 Do you not know that the saints [the saved; Christians] will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!
Prov. 3:21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;
John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
Jer. 22:3 Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness...
Phil. 1:10 so that you may be able to discern [judge] what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ...
Phil. 1:7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you [judge you]...
This is another counterfeiting of the scriptures many have tried to use to shame us for what we do in his name. "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone" is not speaking to judging. Let me explain.
, in John 8:1 - 11 scribes and Pharisees had caught a woman in the act of adultery (the woman commonly referred to as the prostitute) and told Jesus who was teaching in the temple that the Mosaic Law required she be stoned to death. Trying to make an opportunity of this to trick Jesus that they might accuse Him, they, with stones in hand, asked Jesus what He says about the Law. After Jesus tried to ignore their repeated questioning, He told them "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." One by one each man dropped his stone and walked away.
Jesus was not arguing with the judgment. Nor was Jesus arguing the law nor the woman's guilt. Jesus was arguing with our right to execute the woman. Once all the men had dropped their stones Jesus confronted the woman and asked her if any of the men were still there to condemn her. When she answered "No man, Lord", Jesus told her that neither did He - He forgave her of her sin. He did not excuse the sin of adultery/prostitution, he forgave her of it. All behavior and thought that is sinful before forgiveness is still sinful after forgiveness. Not only was Jesus not afraid to call a sin a sin, He was not afraid to call a sinner a sinner. He even reminded her of the sin of adultery/prostitution by telling her "Go and sin no more.".

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First off, I've not made any determination as to whether you should enjoy everlasting life or eternal death. Even if I was so obtuse so as to do so, such a judgment would be vacuous since I neither have the authority to grant you eternal life or everlasting death. That said, it is very much a Christian requirement for he/she to use discernment and discretion. Observe: “14 Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness? 15 Further, what harmony is there between Christ and Be´li·al? Or what portion does a faithful person have with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement does God’s temple have with idols? For we are a temple of a living God; just as God said: “I shall reside among them and walk among [them], and I shall be their God, and they will be my people.” 17 “‘Therefore get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing’”; “‘and I will take YOU in.’” 18 “‘And I shall be a father to YOU, and YOU will be sons and daughters to me,’ says Jehovah the Almighty.”" - 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. As you can see, it is every Christian's responsibility to keep their worship of God pure which necessarily obligates him/her to identify those who deny and/or offend God :)

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It's not necessary for salvation, but it is encouraged so that we can grow spiritually, and be around other Christians.

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Do you think it also helps one to be "incite[d] to love and fine works"? (Hebrews 10:24,25)

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Sure, we are not meant to isolate our Faith. That's why I take issue with peiople who say their faith is a private issue. That's not what God intended.

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Very true! Even from the time of the ancient Israelites, study and worship of the true God was always done in fellowship with believers, never in isolation :)

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Most definitely, because as the end of this system draws near, regular attendance in a place of true worship will encourage one and all. Spirtual feeding is vital in this time of the end (Daniel 12:3,4). :)

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At the time, there were no school, no police, no soldiers, no law, no common goals and almost complete chaos. Unless someone could take charge of the masses to organize them into a social group, nothing could get done.

The rulling elite devised a plan to scare the proletariat into cooperation by telling them about demons, devils, hell and gods. To ensure that the message was delivered, they required people to congregate frequenty to get their daily dose of mind control messages.

This eventually lead to the building of roads, fair trade and commerce, laws and education systems with police/warrior protection and safety for all inside the wall.

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Interesting. What did atheists like Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Kim-Il-Sung, Than Shwe, Napolean, Castro and Lenin do to convince the proletariat into cooperating with the murder of countless innocents?

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As always, they were told that their ccountry as in danger, their way of life threatened and that as members of the country, they had a duty to defend. National pride speaches are common and they are all the same, typically delivered with a healthy dose of religious conviction that what ever God they beleive in, asked them specifically to rise and defend against the invading idiology. "We will fight on the seas and Oceans... We will defend our island....We will never surrender." Winston Churchill, WWII

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Was Churchill an atheist? :)

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I donno...he might have been. I just viewed his Bio online from a few websites and there is no mention of any religious affiliation.

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Did atheists like Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Kim-Il-Sung, Than Shwe, Napolean, Castro and Lenin also invoke God in their national pride speeches in an effort to whip their people up into a murderous frenzy? :)

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OK, I recognize the Socratic Method when I see it. You can google all this yourself so you clearly have another agenda. If you are trying to educate me, please come to the point...

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As I'm sure you've realized by now, it's inaccurate to blame all of the world's problems on religion. After all, atheists have perpetrated their fair share of atrocities. All this does is confirm the existence of evil and good by extension. It also confirms the existence of God. Here's what I mean: (1) If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist. (2) Evil exists. (3) Therefore, objective moral values exist. (4) Therefore, God exists.

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There is a flaw in your logic.
It is not the existance of God that you are proving but the BELIEF in the existance of God. I can convince many people that the world is flat, and a while back that was common knowledge and whole heartedly believed by all,.... but it was not true.
Once people believe, the commandments get laid down and are followed which leads to law and order. The commandments, by defining what is good, also defined what is not good...hence evil is created by the belief that somethings are either good or bad. They are not. We just defined them as such.

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Thing is, mankind doesn't see rape, sodomy and serial murder, to just mention a few, as just socially unacceptable behavior, like, say, picking your nose at the dinner table. Rather, these acts are perceived as a moral abominations - acts of evil. On the flip side, love, equality and self-sacrifice are not just perceived as socially advantageous, like, say, bringing a girl flowers on a first date, but, instead are treated as things that are truly good.
Now, animals don't have objective morals so we certainly didn't “inherit” these from them. Morals do not come from science because science, by it's very nature, is amoral. Where, then, do we get our universal objective morals from?

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Science has no morals. True. Science is a methodology for discovering the truth through careful examination of evidence. Evidence leads to hypothesis which leads to testing, observation and eventually we discover something that we can use to make computers, cell phones, play stations and place analytical instruments on Mars.
Man IS an animal. A mammal to be precise. The lower beasts do not have objective morals because they lack language. There are no universal morals. Man created them. The 10 commandments did not come from God. They came from Man. Moses brought them with him from Egypt after being raised and educated as a noble. After freeing his brethren from slavery, he recreated what he learned in Egypt to bring order his people.

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If there are no universal morals, why has murder and stealing always been viewed as wrong throughout human history while love and self-sacrifice have always been viewed as good? :)

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You said yourself, the lower animals have no concept of rape or murder. Since we too are animals, that should tell you something. Had we not told people what was right or wrong, nothing would be wrong or evil. All actions would carry the same weight in terms of morals. A Tiger can kill another one and have as many she Tigers he can chase down. Nothing amoral about that. It is just life. One day Tigers may develop a behavioural code of ethics and define good from evil, but until that happens, nothing is evil.

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Not to be facetious or anything, however, if you take your cues on morality from the natural world why don't you chop the heads off your partners after sex like the Praying Mantis? Or how about committing dominance rape or having sex with children like monkeys practice? Should it be legal for you to kill and eat babies the way animals do?

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I see your point. Unfortunately society has made all those things unlawful based on the teachings of people claiming to know the word of some unseen and all knowing cosmic entity. I am not saying that society is wrong in doing this. Belief systems have brought stability to many different societies around the globe in all its various forms. Some people NEED religion to give them hope ffor the future and to help them through troubling times. Unfortunately, given all the different application methods for the technique, conflicts arise. That is where I begin to lose it.
If there is only one cosmic entity then why don't all of the people of the world feel the presence in the same way? There are either mulitple entities proclaiming benevolence, peace and harmony or each culture made up their own rules to form a useful society.
Ochams razor suggest the later.

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Your question makes perfect sense. There are tens of thousands of religions in the world. If God set these up for us to learn to worship Him properly, learn to love one another, and have useful, peaceful lives, we can only arrive at one of two conclusions: Either he failed miserably, or he didn't set them up in the first place and something else is behind them. What do you think?

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I think that God does not exist and that Man created him in his own image to assist in controlling the masses by giving them answers to questions they had. Why did He die? Where did I come from? How was the earth formed? What can I do to help my sick and ailing friend? Some of these questions, science has answered. Others we have not. In a time without education, these answers were provided by stories told by the Church. The church also provided hope, eased suffering, provided a venue for transmitting social norms from on e generation to the next and gave people a purpose. To that end, they have a useful place in society. However, once people become educated, they can see some of the gaps in the historical documents and decide for themselves. I think the shift away from story based knowledge transmission is over and people will be using their Sundays in more a productive manner. There will always be people who will swallow what ever story you tell them and so the Church will survive, at least in the near term. Eventually, the Church will need to adapt as the belief in God dwindles under the cold stark light of reason.

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Give your advocacy for reason I'd like to explore with you a little further if belief in God is really as unreasonable as you believe it to be. Consider the following from a body of proofs for the existence of God -

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(1) Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
(A) If atheism is true, the universe has no objective explanation of its existence.
(B) If the universe has an objective explanation of its existence then atheism is not true.
(2) If the universe has an objective explanation of it's existence, that explanation is God.
(3) The universe exists.
(4) Therefore, the objective explanation of the universe's existence is God.

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Statement 1 is false. Everything exists, True. A stone has no other purpose than to be a stone and it is up to us to explain its existence. This issue is currently unsolved. And as for eluding to an unknown external cause for it being there...there is no logical progression to suggest that.
Statement A is True. The Universe exists without explanation. One day we may know, but not today.
Statement B is build on the flawed premise in Statement 1. All the rest are similarly invalid arguments.
No one knows why the universe exists, where it came from or where it is going, but based on you statement above from 9:54 AM, I think we can agree that it was not a perfect cosmic overlord who denies his flock the proof of his existence.

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Does a stone exist by necessity or was it caused by something else?

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That is an interesting question. Currently science can not explain the origins of the Universe or the matter within it. There are theories but none that could be discribed as fact. Clearly, since a stone exists, something must have happened to place it there. One day we may find out.

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Thankfully, contemporary Cosmology has already come up with a solid answer to this fundamental question. The physicist P. C. W. Davies writes, “the coming into being of the universe, as discussed in modern science . . . is not just a matter of imposing some sort of organization . . . upon a previous incoherent state, but literally the coming-into-being of all physical things from nothing.”
Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin, co-author of the BVG theorem, had this to say regarding the beginning of the universe, "It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. *** There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning ***. (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176)
As such, the fervent belief that the universe is infinitely old, beginningless, or eternal has no basis in any respected mainstream scientific theories of the universe. It's just more atheistic folderol and wishful thinking.

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Since the universe only came into existence some 13.7 billion years ago we need to ask, does the universe exist by necessity or did something (or someone) cause it to exist? :)

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That is the 64 dollar question. When it gets sorted out, there will be parades and highschools named after the brilliant mind that suceeded. I believe what Alex wrote. Yes, the universe had a beginning. How or why it happened, is still up for grabs. I have enjoyed your mindful thoughts as we debated this but it seems we have come to an impasse. You have your beliefs and I mine. Be well. Namaste.

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Great reasoning! Great answer :)

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Simply the perfect answer! I could not have said it any better.

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Excellent reasoning points I will be using this in the door to door work.

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Genesis 1:1-23, explains how the universe, the heavens and it's bodies, as well as the Sun and Moon came into existence. Also, it stands to reason that even though the other planets such as Jupiter, Mars, Venus, etc., are not mentioned, it stands to reason that they were created also a highly intelligent Creator, The orderliness, and precision of the planets that keep them from colliding into one another, them being the precise distance from one another, shows that God created the universe as well as all other creations with purpose and deliberation.

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The Bible also tells us that we should give everything we own to the poor and to hate our real brothers and only claim other followers of Christ as family.

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No, it doesn't. Now you're just being silly, lol :)

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Yes it does, and I'm quite surprised you don't know this since it's a basic Christian precept. Matthew 19. Luke 14. These I know by memory because they were jammed into my brain by my church growing up. Matthew 19 is the very foundation of the Christian mission.

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You express a common misunderstanding. Often, the Bible also employs the word “hate” to mean loving to a lesser degree. (Ge 29:31, 33; De 21:15, 16) For example, Jesus Christ said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own soul, he cannot be my disciple.” (Lu 14:26) Obviously Jesus did not mean that his followers were to feel hostility or loathing toward their families and toward themselves, as this would not be in agreement with the rest of the scriptures.—Compare Mr 12:29-31; Eph 5:28, 29, 33.

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I take it you've never read the Bible in its entirety? :)

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In Luke 14 jesus is referring to loving your family less than you love God. meaning God comes first in your life.
“Hating” is a Semitic expression for loving less. Jesus didn't teach hate.

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Wow amazing. I love that I can open my beloved Bible any moment of the day or I can search for what I'm looking for online. I have read the Bible. I have studied it academically when I wanted to be a member of the Methodist clergy over twenty years ago. I have nothing to lose from offering what is written EXPLICITLY in the Bible. It it not a common misunderstanding. It's quite plain, but it is ignored every single day. I know exactly what was meant, and I think it's bizarre that you can't see what is actually written. I KNOW it's not the same hate you feel for an enemy, who you are, by the way, also supposed to love. But it does say to leave your family to follow Him and call your Christian brethren your family.

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Sorry I hit reply. continued: It says these things, and yet we ignore them by saying "yeah that's not what he really meant" but you're doubting God's Word when you insist the Bible doesn't say what it says but then you turn around and use the same tactic via pulling scripture out of context to make a claim.

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Hebrews, this is not true. The words I'm speaking of are talking about the sacrifice the disciples and other followers of Christ were asked to make. You're dismissing that sacrifice. Why would you do that? If you just read the next few verses in Luke it's spelled right out for you. What do you think he meant by "bearing their own cross?" Do you not see the implication there? Do you think Jesus just had a ho-hum day when he was crucified? He was talking about turning away from your earthly family and turning toward your new blood family and how hard it will be... but that it must be done if they wanted to establish a firm foundation.

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Not everyone will be called to leave their families, however, if you are, do you love God more than your family? Are you willing to leave your family as in your family rejects you/disowns you because you are a Christian?
It simply means are you willing to give up everything to follow Jesus, if that is what God calls you to do.
And if we are Christians then we are in God's family.

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Matthew 10:38
Crucifixion is a shocking metaphor for discipleship. A disciple must deny himself (die to self-will), take up his cross (embrace God’s will, no matter the cost), and follow Christ.
Mark 8:34
Following the first major prediction of his death and resurrection (v. 31), Jesus instructs in discipleship all those who would come after me. The goal of self-denial (cf. 14:30, 31, 72) and taking up one’s cross is not pathological self-abasement or a martyr complex but being free to follow the Messiah (1:18; 2:13). Self-denial means letting go of self-determination (cf. Ps. 49:6–8) and replacing it with obedience to and dependence on the Messiah.

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Hebrews what you've said does not contradict my original comment. This is exactly what I meant too! The Bible may say things, but they don't necessarily mean what people think. The Word should not be taken out of context to suit a personal claim. Acts 2 is not an instruction guide; it's a story. You don't read it and say, "Oh if that's how they behaved, we must behave in the same way!" This is why churches have contradicting commandments. This is why some Christians believe in headcovering or a ban on blood transfusions or think wine and bread can actually BE the blood and flesh of Jesus Christ.

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Yes, Acts is about the first of believers after Jesus resurrection. The disciples had not really started their global ministry yet. You need to disciple those at home, so they can disciple others and home, then send missionaries out to disciple to the rest of the world.
We are to be discipled and to disciple others.

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So when Jesus said, "He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in union with me, and I in union with him" he was literally inviting his audience ... to eat him? :)

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RE: So when Jesus said, "He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in union with me, and I in union with him" he was literally inviting his audience ... to eat him? :)
Yes, and that is why many Christians believe in transubstantiation.

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No Jesus didn't mean to actually eat Him. As how could we do that now that He has ascended?
John 6:53 Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood cannot be intended literally, for no one ever did that. As Jesus has done frequently in this Gospel, he is speaking in terms of physical items in this world to teach about spiritual realities. Here, to “eat” Jesus’ flesh has the spiritual meaning of trusting or believing in him, especially in his death for the sins of mankind. (See also v. 35, where Jesus speaks of coming to him as satisfying “hunger” and believing in him as satisfying “thirst.”) Similarly, to “drink his blood” means to trust in his atoning death, which is represented by the shedding of his blood. Although Jesus is not speaking specifically about the Lord’s Supper here, there is a parallel theme, because the receiving of eternal life through being united with “the Son of Man” is represented in the Lord’s Supper (where Jesus’ followers symbolically eat his flesh and drink his blood; cf. 1 Cor. 11:23–32). This is anticipated in OT feasts (see 1 Cor. 5:7) and consummated in the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9).

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Correction. Many so-called Christians believe in transubstantiation :) Jesus could not have meant that his followers were literally to eat his flesh and drink his blood. Why not? After the Flood of Noah’s day, when God gave man permission to eat the flesh of animals, he directly forbade man to consume blood. (Genesis 9:3, 4) This command was repeated in the Mosaic Law, which Jesus obeyed fully. (Deuteronomy 12:23; 1 Peter 2:22) And the apostles were inspired by holy spirit to renew the command against consuming blood, making that law binding upon all Christians. (Acts 15:20, 29) Would Jesus institute an observance that would require his followers to violate a sacred decree of Almighty God? Impossible!
Clearly, then, Jesus used the bread and wine as symbols. The unleavened bread meant, or represented, his sinless body that would be sacrificed. The red wine signified his blood that would be poured out “in behalf of many for forgiveness of sins.”—Matthew 26:28. Didn't they teach you this in seminary? :)

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RE: orrection. Many so-called Christians believe in transubstantiation :)
You missed my point in your quest to prove me wrong on verses I took directly from the Bible. Why DID you ask the question in the first place if you're not interested in actual discussion? My comment was an answer to your question but instead of looking in to it you decided to ridicule me and insist I didn't know my Bible. I proved you wrong and you change fronts again. God man if you want to discuss a topic how about sticking with it? How about dropping the ad hominem because it does not strengthen your position one bit. Let me spell it out again. You asked the question: regularly attending a particular place of worship is unnecessary why does the Bible tell us that believers in the first century "day after day [] were in constant attendance at the temple..."
To whit I reminded you that there are other statements in the Bible that we know are not to be taken "literally". Both of our verses are about the foundation of the religion. Both are in biblical. Why is yours any evidence of a commandment for everyone now? Why should your verses be taken any more literally?

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Ridicule? Your very first reply was an explicit attempt to ridicule the Bible! It was therefore necessary to expose the holes in your reasoning so the truth could be known. That's not an ad hominem attack. That's just refutation. If, however, such refutations offend you maybe you shouldn't blatantly mischaracterize what God is actually saying in His Inspired Word :)

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I have not ONCE ridiculed the Bible! I didn't even ridicule your opinion. I have no need to ridicule the Bible. I love it! Ad hominem is what you've been stooping to since I first answered. The crack about not reading the bible without any indication that you considered my response, which was, by the way, a valid one that could have led to an interesting discussion. Instead you chose to insult me straightaway and you've now done it several times. That IS ad hominem, not refutation which Hebrews gave but you haven't yet even referred to, not even ONCE. I have not once insulted you. I have expressed surprise that you don't know the basic foundation of Christianity. That is all. And that's because you dismissed the very sacrifice Jesus insisted His followers make in order to establish the kingdom. It blows my mind that anyone who has read about the acts of the disciples could misunderstand that sacrifice, but the point was, as I said in the first reply, that the Bible says a lot of things that people don't pay attention to. As in the examples I gave. And not only did you ignore the content, you made that crack, then went on to argue over the validity of the scripture I offered. A pointless ad hominem filled argument and I still have NO indication you are even aware that my first response actually answered your question!

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RE: your insults:
You: Now you're just being silly, lol :)
You: I take it you've never read the Bible in its entirety? :)
You: Didn't they teach you this in seminary? :)
You: you shouldn't blatantly mischaracterize what God is actually saying in His Inspired Word
All done with that silly smiley face at the end, as if that makes it okay to insult someone who has taken time out to answer a question you've asked.
I never blatantly mis-characterized God. I posted straight from scripture, in response to your question. Are you actually saying God does not expect His people to make sacrifices? Are you one of those easy-believers? The verses I posted say exactly what I said they would... and that WAS my point. There are words in the Bible that can be used and misused to suit one's arguments. You have already inadvertently given example yourself, but again I think you're more in favor of mindless argument than actual discussion. Not being one to give up easily, I will continue to contend that there are plenty verses in the Bible that are used to support contradicting tenets, much like transubstantiation. There was no need for you to insult those who believe in it. There was no need to ridicule a large group of your brethren and no need to ridicule me either.

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What really irks me is how you quoted from Acts, but just a verse taken out of context when the VERY VERSE BEFORE IT is about selling all their possessions.
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
I actually went back to make sure I hadn't misunderstood anything and that's what I saw. So all your criticism of my opinion is nothing compared to what is written.

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Wow! You're one spicy meatball, heh eeh :) I thank you, however, for taking the time to explain your position in more detail. I apologize for any slights I caused although that was certainly not my intent (hence the smileys). If you can, however, try to see this whole exchange from my perspective. To be honest your very first reply was viewed in the context of you identifying yourself as an atheist. As I'm sure you can appreciate, atheists are, overwhelmingly, hostile towards the Bible and those who profess faith in God. This prompted me to incorrectly view your very first reply as hostile and, well, the rest is history :) If you would, I would appreciate it if you would clarify your, apparently, disparate positions. How can you say you love the Bible but still profess atheism? :)

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Because it means something personal to me. I grew up reading it. I cherished it. Years after my grandfather died I found his Bible in a place it shouldn't have been. In a house it shouldn't have been in. I don't believe in signs but that Red-Letter KJV Bible and what's inside it means a lot to me. Even for an atheist. I'm still the same person as when I was a Christian (or at least I thought I was, as some of you say). But there's truth in that book; more than many people can appreciate, regardless of their faith status. Like I said, I studied it academically (not in a seminary, just a Christian college) and I'm interested in truth. When fellow atheists tell things I know are not true, I correct them. I do it because the truth is FAR more important than slander in the name of philosophy's sake. I just cannot believe in the supernatural aspects. I believe much of the story is stuff of legends. I have no reason to believe otherwise.

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I'm glad you're so passionate about truth. I am too. (Look at that! We actually have something in common, e eh ehe :D) Does this mean you would believe in God if presented with reasonable evidence for his existence?

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I would have to decide the definition of "god" first. I had a vision once and thought it was from a god, but it wasn't long before I had other visions... and then my meds were adjusted. I don't know if I could trust my eyes or ears with this mental illness. It would have to be pretty big and belief doesn't necessarily equal devotion. If I discovered the capital G god existed I think I'd have even more questions.
Ya know, the whole reason I responded was because I think gathering to worship is a wonderful, biblical concept but I find it sad when it's turned into a demand based on very little biblical support. There should be more joy in worship, don't you think?

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Absolutely! I certainly find a great deal of joy in my worship of God. Getting back to our topic at hand, I'd like to propose this definition of God and, if it's acceptable to you, we'd go from there. Here it is: "God is the greatest conceivable being and therefore the highest Good."

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If you dislike that concept of God feel free to propose another one :)

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Oh wow I didn't get a notification for your other comment! Sorry. I wish that worked but it's not fact, it's opinion. I understand you're defining one specific god, but I don't think, by definition, your god IS conceivable. That's the problem, isn't it? We have to rely on our own decision to accept by faith the validity of God's existence, then we have to accept that the greatest conceivable being IS good and not say, chaotic neutral (wink). I just don't have that faith juice flowing that St. Anselm had.The ontological argument relies on presupposition that your god is THE god, and that god is as you describe. Is God perfectly good? Or is God "I AM", comprising all. For years I called myself pantheist because I see evidence of a greater conceivable being in the cycles of nature. It has no soul, no evil, no good, but it IS the greatest conceivable "being" if you wish to anthropomorphize and capitalize Nature. lol Sorry if this isn't clear. I'm pre-coffee this morning. You're welcome to add me if you like. We're both BBT fans. ;)

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I love that show!!!! It ALWAYS makes me laugh!! :D The funny thing is that I discovered it just a few weeks ago. I'm getting caught up. I'm on S03E09. Getting back to our chat, I want to provide you with an extensive reply but it'll just be a big block of text here. I'll PM you with it instead :)

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Why is it then that during the procedure of Jesus passing and blessing the unleavened bread and unadulterated wine, that he did not tell his faithful apostles that" The bread and wine that I'm giving you will transform into my literal blood and flesh"?...Its very interesting that the ancient Israelites did not practice cannibalism like the surrounding unbelieving nations did. They were also commanded not to eat or take the blood into their body. Even the early christians were commanded to abstain from blood.....So why did'nt Jesus miraculously change the wine and bread into his literal blood and literal flesh? It's because that practice of christedom is not Bible based or supported by the Bible. Acts 15:20,29 and Leviticus 7:26

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Great answer!

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"...with one accord [] and sincerity of heart..."



The contention here is that as a Christian, you are to battle the evil in the world and need to be with other like minded Christians to "recharge your batteries", so to speak.

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It certainly is a powerful argument against worshiping in isolation, no? :)

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Could be

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Mixing up spirits and buildings again are we?

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Only when I'm at the bar in my favorite restaurant :)

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Money only mixes will with the bad spirits though.

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How exactly do spirits go bad? Were that the case, a bottle of 1775 Sherry from the Massandra collection would go for $0.99 instead of $43,500, lol :)

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Some wine ages better than others, but those are the spirits that honestly count are they? Yet such a high value. Where did I read something about that?

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