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Posted: 3/19/2006 8:26:07 PM EDT
I became a Christian at 13 and have seriously attended church my entire life. I have a Bachelors degree in Bible and youth ministry, led my youth group while I was growing up, and have pastored a church. I married my wife from Christian college and have been raising my children in a Christian atmosphere.

Finally, after 23 years of it I have realized that it all is a load of crap. In my deepest heart, I am an atheist. No god, no Jesus, no supernatural, nothing on the other side of the sky but more sky . . .

Needless to say all of my friends and family are pretty freaked out right now. My wife has been supportive because she thinks that somehow god is going to bring me back through some miracle . . .

Looks like I'm in for a bit of a hard time. Any good Atheist resources that anyone can recommend?

Disconnector
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 8:43:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2006 8:49:10 PM EDT by christ0ph]
WOW! welcome to my way of thinking friend, we all turn into dirt! How did you come to this conclusion? After a lifetime of organized religion, it must be pretty hard.

ETA: will you change anything about your lifestyle now? I like to think of it this way...absolutley everything we know is manmade, it is what we have thought of and learned so far in our existance. Something a bunch of dudes wrote down in a book is definetley NOT the answer to everything, because it is artificial, manmade, simple as that.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 8:44:59 PM EDT
So what caused you to lose faith?...me I never had it so it wasn't a big change.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 8:54:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2006 8:55:20 PM EDT by thedoctors308]
I'll pray for you.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 9:05:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2006 9:06:18 PM EDT by _disconnector_]
Why have I made this decision? Well, about a year ago I sat down and tried to read the Bible nad for once in my life to try to push aside all of my preconceptions and beliefs. I wanted to read it like I had never read it before. For the first time in my life I tried to read it without the lens of faith that had always skipped me over the hard parts. I was utterly amazed at what I found . . . a book full of contradictions, chaos, a capricious and bloodthirsty God, and an unbelievable amount of tension in the New Testament between the real apostles and Paul (check THIS out).

Also, my research found that the rates of abortions, murder, rape, incest, and divorce are identical between the believing and nonbelieving people. Where is this mythical "Power of Christ"? Doesn't seen to do much for the majority.

I believed because at 13 I was a confused, hurt young man in the middle of my Moms second divorce. The youth pastor of a local church (and still a REALLY nice guy) took me under his wing and pretty much became my father figure. Now, 35 years later, I am finally able to pull myself up and out of it.

My wife knows and my pastor knows. No one else yet. This is going to be a political bombshell . . . I have been deeply involved in the Worship ministry and the church for years.

As far as change, not much will change for a while. As an honorable man, I married my wife and made certain promises to her that I will not break. I will humor her and let her bring in folks to pray for me (for now). The education of my children is a growing concern.

Eventually, though I will probably stop attending church. Also, I will be pouring FAR more energy into life. Since I'm not waiting for the Big Daddy in the sky to fix stuff I've got to get it done. Also, I'm leaning towards Objectivism as an anchoring philosophy. We'll see . . .

Disconnector
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 9:08:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:
I'll pray for you.



Thank you for the concern thedoctors308

I understand your feeling and thoughts . . . I've done exactly the same thing before.

Disconnector
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 9:42:55 PM EDT
Now run out side and take that " jesus fish " off your car !

Its nice to hear about someone finaly " seeing the light " ( the REAL LIGHT )

Sorry it took so long

Things only get better from here on out!



Invisiblesoul
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 9:49:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By _disconnector_:
Finally, after 23 years of it I have realized that it all is a load of crap. In my deepest heart, I am an atheist. No god, no Jesus, no supernatural, nothing on the other side of the sky but more sky . . .



So how do you explain physical premotion and efficient causality?
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 9:56:32 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:16:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wolfpack:
Amazing, I did just the opposite about a year ago. I was a lifelong athiest and now I'm a believer.


What snapped?
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:40:37 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 3:07:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2006 3:08:31 AM EDT by Tomislav]

Originally Posted By _disconnector_:
Any good Atheist resources that anyone can recommend?



The whole point of being an agnostic/atheist is that you don't get anymore homework.

(Well, maybe not the whole point, but you know what I mean.)
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 3:30:28 AM EDT
Disconnector,

A couple of websites that may be useful to you:

www.skepticsannotatedbible.com

www.nobeliefs.com/beliefs.htm


As for life situation, I can relate to some degree. I'm an agnostic (from strong Christian background) that married a Christian. We attend church together, but for me it is only to show my support for her.

Obviously if/when we have children, their education will be a potential hurdle, but I don't have a problem taking them to Sunday school and church. (I'll simply encourage them to try to figure things out for themselves, which each one of us must ultimately do).



Link Posted: 3/20/2006 6:04:17 AM EDT
welcome to the club. I was a Christian for the majority of my life and came to a different understanding while I was in the military.

this is a link for the secular web (freethinkers, agnostics, and atheists)
www.infidels.org/

this is a link for american atheists magazine
www.americanatheist.org/

Interreligious marriages can be a problem, hopefully your love for each other will overcome any problems.

good luck to you

Link Posted: 3/20/2006 6:15:36 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 6:19:44 AM EDT
glad you are thinking for yourself now.

Best of luck.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 10:20:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By unkempt1:
glad you are thinking for yourself now.



Why, it doesn't seem to have done you much good.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 10:58:35 AM EDT
I would say that I will pray for you...

But, instead, I'll just give you a 'Good Luck!'

Eric The(IWIllPrayForYourFamily)Hun
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 12:02:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2006 12:03:11 PM EDT by Dino]

Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By _disconnector_:
Any good Atheist resources that anyone can recommend?



The whole point of being an agnostic/atheist is that you don't get anymore homework.

(Well, maybe not the whole point, but you know what I mean.)



hasn't worked that way for me hehe

I found my interest in religion and mythology skyrocketed after I became an atheist.


Link Posted: 3/20/2006 12:04:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By EricTheHun:
I would say that I will pray for you...

But, instead, I'll just give you a 'Good Luck!'

Eric The(IWIllPrayForYourFamily)Hun



LOL,

I thought "hmm that was mild for the Hun" then I saw your tag in the middle of your name
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 1:01:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dino:
welcome to the club.



A non-prophet organization I take it?

Link Posted: 3/20/2006 1:04:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2006 1:19:19 PM EDT by unkempt1]

Originally Posted By Belloc:

Originally Posted By unkempt1:
glad you are thinking for yourself now.



Why, it doesn't seem to have done you much good.





some of us don't need a manual .
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 1:17:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 0ldGuy:

Originally Posted By Dino:
welcome to the club.



A non-prophet organization I take it?




Link Posted: 3/20/2006 1:23:30 PM EDT
I must admit when I clicked on this thread I had hopes I'd be welcoming a new member to our fold. But we're losing one, after such a long time.

That bums me out.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 1:34:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 0ldGuy:

Originally Posted By Dino:
welcome to the club.



A non-prophet organization I take it?




indeed :)

I'd offer to let him join the Lake of Fire Swim Team, but he's still a newbie
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 1:51:50 PM EDT
Wow, this is the saddest thing I've read all day. I'll be praying for your family and those you led in the faith for so long. I'll pray for you, too. I'm sure you won't mind. After all, if there's no God, what could it hurt?
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 2:31:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dino:

Originally Posted By 0ldGuy:

Originally Posted By Dino:
welcome to the club.



A non-prophet organization I take it?




indeed :)

I'd offer to let him join the Lake of Fire Swim Team, but he's still a newbie





I have a feeling disconnector will do just fine.

I must say I do not envy what he will have to endure from those who will try to convince him to reverse his decision.


Link Posted: 3/20/2006 2:47:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 0ldGuy:

Originally Posted By Dino:
welcome to the club.



A non-prophet organization I take it?




0ldGuy - you owe me a new keyboard after that one.

disconnector - good luck, and you description of your reading of the bible is pretty much exactly my experience as well.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 3:51:41 PM EDT
So, again, how do you explain physical premotion and efficient causality?
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 4:18:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TheInvisibleSoul:
Now run out side and take that " jesus fish " off your car !



Just what makes you think it's a "jesus fish"??????
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 4:47:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2006 4:51:21 PM EDT by unkempt1]

Originally Posted By 0ldGuy:

Originally Posted By Dino:

Originally Posted By 0ldGuy:

Originally Posted By Dino:
welcome to the club.



A non-prophet organization I take it?




indeed :)

I'd offer to let him join the Lake of Fire Swim Team, but he's still a newbie





I have a feeling disconnector will do just fine.

I must say I do not envy what he will have to endure from those who will try to convince him to reverse his decision.






Yikes, +1000

And my wife loved the Gefilte fish.

I have been ordered to find one
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 5:02:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By unkempt1:
Yikes, +1000

And my wife loved the Gefilte fish.

I have been ordered to find one



I IMed you the link.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 6:19:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2006 6:20:23 PM EDT by _disconnector_]
Thanks for all of the support AND prayers. I am certainly not claiming to know all of the answers . . . I'm just pretty sure that the traditional notion of Christ and the Bible is bunk. And if I cannot honestly believe any particular system i will believe none of them. I am more than willing to be wrong . . . hell I even let my wife talk me into getting prayer at the altar at church on Sunday.

Let me give a little more detail on how this decision came to be. This certainly was not a snap decision . . . this is going to make my life EXTREMELY difficult. Both sides of my family are extremely hardcore old school Evangelicals and I attend a GREAT church. Folks really do care about each other in a selfless way there. Unfortunately, all of the nice in the world can't make up for a cataclysmic lack of coherency and "truth" in the Bible.

Any Christains faith rises and falls on the inerrancy of Scripture. If the Bible is true, then we have reason to believe that it is "God-breathed" as II Timothy 3:16 in the KJV reads, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God...". If God gave it, it must be true and complete with no error. This is basic Evangelical belief . . . God has given us his revelation through the scriptures that he has preserved for us through the ages. Any attack on the Bible is an axe laid to the foundation of Christianity itself.

My journey from faith began on April 2, 2005 with the death of Pope John Paul. I had been raised as an Evangelical by my single Mom, who still finds all of her friends and relationships through the church.I had been taught that Catholics were well meaning, but incorrect on certain matters of theology. When the Pope died, I thought that it would be intersting to look into what they really believed because I had never looked for myself. I found Catholic Answers.com and began to read some of the Catholic apologetic works. I figured that it would be a bunch of off-kilter superstitious nonsense . . . instead, it rocked the foundations of my faith.

Two of the pillars of Protestantism are Sola Scriptura and Sola Fidelis. They mean "Scripture alone" and "Faith alone". Sola Scriptura means that there is no over-arching authority determining scriptural interpretation. In Martin Luther's day this was critical in achieving the needed break from the Catholic Church, because he needed to have his interpretations of Scripture be viewed as just as relevant as the traditional views held by the ecclesiastical authorities. This determination led to the Protestant Reformation and the development of the vast majority of Christian denominations that we see today. But I found that it also leads to an irresolvable problem . . . if anyone can interpret Scripture we have no guideposts for what Scripture REALLY means. For a quick start on this issue, please see THIS. Please don't claim that all of the denominations are only differant in the details because that is patently NOT TRUE. From that thinking comes Jonestown and the Branch Davidians. The scriptures themselves actually speak against Sola Scriptura, but do your own research . . . that is not the point of this.

After several months of hardcore study, including communications with several Catholics and reading many Catholic apologetic works (especailly this book) I had come to the conclusion that my faith had many rational weaknesses that were glaringly obvious.

Continued . . . .
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 6:24:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 0ldGuy:

Originally Posted By unkempt1:
Yikes, +1000

And my wife loved the Gefilte fish.

I have been ordered to find one



I IMed you the link.



Sweeeeeeeeeeet.

thank you
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 6:30:21 PM EDT
So far your story isn't terribly different than mine, only I ended up in the Catholic Church -- well, I'm joining at Easter, at least.

Waiting to see where your potential conversion went awry . . . .
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 6:36:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LadyLiberty:
So far your story isn't terribly different than mine, only I ended up in the Catholic Church -- well, I'm joining at Easter, at least.

Waiting to see where your potential conversion went awry . . . .



Hmmm,

awry?
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 6:46:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2006 7:23:46 PM EDT by _disconnector_]
Continued . . .

So, I began to reread the Bible with critical eye that I never had before. I had always ran all of my reading through the filter that I had been taught while growing up and in bible school. I had never critically read scripture and really opened my eyes to what was being said. To my utter dismay, shock, and horror I found that I was repelled by the glaring inaccuracies, murder, and contradictions that I found. The absolutely AMAZING thing is that I've read it from cover to cover several times and spent 5 years of my life studying it in great detail but I never once saw these issues.

I'm not going to go into details, so please understand that I am not trying to mount an attack on Christianity via a couple of posts on a gun board. IF YOU HAVE FAITH, NO AMOUNT OF RATIONAL ARGUMENTS CAN SWAY YOU! Which, in my opinion, is the primary issue with faith. Check out the Skeptics Annotated Bible for details about contradictions - I'm not even going to try to start that here.

Also, I noticed an amazingly capricious and bloodthirsty God in the Old Testament. Entire cities killed, children murdered, young women sold into sexual slavery, etc ALL AT THE COMMAND OF GOD! The typical Christian response to this is that "we cannot judge God . . . he is above judgement" or that "these people were being judged by God". HORSESHIT! By his own rules, killing for no reason is wrong. Murdering innocents is a SIN - and morality isn't relative by Christianity's own definitions. I can judge God - if he exists he is far more bloodthirsty and barbaric that Hitler ever was PLUS he throws temper tantrums like a 4 year old. For example, we giggle our way through the plagues of Eygpt, but do you ever stop and think of the horror of EVERY innocent first-born male being killed because of the FUCKING PHAROAH'S CHOICES THAT WERE FORCED ON HIM BY GOD HIMSELF? If that doesn't bother you, you aren't reading closely enough. Or how about Numbers 31? Kill all of the men, children, and women EXCEPT the virgins . . . one can only imagine what for. Barbaric, cruel, and petulant are the best word to describe the god of the old testament.


To be continued . . .
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 7:18:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2006 7:23:09 PM EDT by _disconnector_]
Continued . . .

Also, in the New Testament I noticed a serious conflict between the Pauline writings and the other authors. If you are a Christian, please read The Pauline Conspiracy and try to digest it. The author is a bit vitreolic, but his ideas hit a chord in my mind. Finally, I got a copy of The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity which seemed to offer a far better explanation of the issues that I saw than any other theological work. Since I'n getting pretty tired of typing, I'm going to skip over more details . . . do your own research with an open mind.

At this point, I still had my faith in God, but it was seriously shaken. I began looking at other "indicators" that would show me that my beliefs were correct. Once again I was shaken by my discoveries. You would assume that a population of folks with the "power of god" to "change their lives" would be STATISTICALLY verifiable via some differances in divorce rates, mental illnesses, suicides, depression, etc. What I found was the exact opposite! Christians sit right in the middle the indicators for these issues.
DIVORCE
SUICIDE
My own personal observations bear this out. My wife used to be a part of the counseling ministry at our church and I was constantly amazed at the number of sincere believers with debilitating mental illnesses even after many years of faithful attendance and prayer.

As far as supernatural occurrences (miracles, healings, etc) go, you do realize that many religions claim to be able to heal the sick by praying, right? The Hindus, Muslims, Jews, all have concrete evidence of the miraculous - Christians are not unique in this respect. You cannot judge a religion by the devotion of those that adhere to it either - see your local suicide bomber for proof of this thesis.

Of course there are many many other points that led me to this place, but I'm not here to convince anyone. Right now, I am demanding a rational and empirical belief system. Faith simply will not do. Faith leads to unprovable, irrational, and ultimately untenable belief systems. If god wants to be known, why doesn't he make himself a little more obvious?

Anyway, I'm worn out. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read this . . . I'm still trying to plan my next steps. It has taken a lifetime to get where I am now, and I'm sure that it will take several years to reformulate my mind and life system. And don't worry, I am being completely open and transparent with my wife. I love her more than life itself and no silly god is going to change that!

Disconnector
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 8:36:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2006 8:36:57 PM EDT by WildBoar]

Originally Posted By _disconnector_: Any good Atheist resources that anyone can recommend?

Disconnector



I am not knocking your choice. Just wondering. Why , or what resources would you want/need as an atheist? I would just live live as I saw fit. Do you really need resources? Do you mean books to help reaffirm your decision and so forth?

Trying to understand, not trying to pee on your parade.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 9:58:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By _disconnector_:
Thanks for all of the support AND prayers. I am certainly not claiming to know all of the answers . . . I'm just pretty sure that the traditional notion of Christ and the Bible is bunk. .



But this is what you said in your original post:
n my deepest heart, I am an atheist. No god, no Jesus, no supernatural, nothing on the other side of the sky but more sky

So, yet again, explain premotion and causality.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 11:45:38 PM EDT
Me too. Christian turned Agnostic. The key however is to remain conservative and not join those liberal bastards in politics. I will always vote for the 2nd ammendment. So no matter what else I believe I will always be considered conservative. Other things like abortion and stem cell research get a bit blurry but I know where I stand when it comes to guns. SO while I think all you religious types need to see the light , I still love you all cause were voting the same way.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 11:59:09 PM EDT
I thought I lost faith in God once, but realized that it was the church, and all of the human aspects of it that I had lost faith in.



Link Posted: 3/21/2006 12:10:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2006 12:12:39 AM EDT by ljtag]

Originally Posted By WildBoar:

Originally Posted By _disconnector_: Any good Atheist resources that anyone can recommend?

Disconnector



I am not knocking your choice. Just wondering. Why , or what resources would you want/need as an atheist? I would just live live as I saw fit. Do you really need resources? Do you mean books to help reaffirm your decision and so forth?

Trying to understand, not trying to pee on your parade.



I love it how people always ask that exact question to people who loose their faith and act like they know what they would do if in that situation even though they have never been in that situation. It is such a jerky question wether or not you preface it with what you said. I love it when you all say well I would just act this way. You have no idea how you would act if you are not or have not been in this situation. Most Christian peoples world view is built upon a foundation, a very strong and powerful pshycological foundation. When that foundation comes crumbling down you have problems, just as you would if your house's foundation failed. This is why people in that situation and you yourself would look for some sort of guidance on how to reconstruct your house. When one realizes most or all of his life was spent in a worthless pursuit of soemthing they now believe was totally false it is devistaing. Imagine living with your wife for 20 yrs loving her taking care of her ect and then finding out she has been cheating on you the whole time with somone else she really loves, and that all your children are really the other guys kids. Will you just go about your life being the father and husband after all of this knowledge just the same way you did before with no feelings involved? That is exactly what it is like when you realize you have been duped by religion. Hope that gives you a little better understanding for the next time you throw that cliche question out to someone who has lost their faith while in the pursuit of gaining faith such as Dissconnector and I did. I am sure you would not ask the man who was cheated on and then finds out he has been supporting another man's children why he needs some self help books.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 12:19:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By yekimak:
I thought I lost faith in God once, but realized that it was the church, and all of the human aspects of it that I had lost faith in.





Great point, thats kinda where I am. I actually think it is intellectually dishonest to be an Atheist. You cannot prove or disprove Gods existence. Hence I go for Agnostic. I hope there is God I just dont think we are that lucky. But for me God and Christianity are not the same. God is God, the same God every one believes in (even if its in their own way) I am not sure what you mean by church however. I think church and religion are the same; God and sprituality are another for this coversation.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 12:34:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ljtag:

Originally Posted By yekimak:
I thought I lost faith in God once, but realized that it was the church, and all of the human aspects of it that I had lost faith in.





Great point, thats kinda where I am. I actually think it is intellectually dishonest to be an Atheist. You cannot prove or disprove Gods existence. Hence I go for Agnostic. I hope there is God I just dont think we are that lucky. But for me God and Christianity are not the same. God is God, the same God every one believes in (even if its in their own way) I am not sure what you mean by church however. I think church and religion are the same; God and sprituality are another for this coversation.



Church, churches, organized religion, buildings, people, the whole establishment of traditions, holidays, and ceremonies. I have issue with all of these and how our own evilness played into both their creation and their continued practice.


Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:09:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ljtag:

Originally Posted By yekimak:
I thought I lost faith in God once, but realized that it was the church, and all of the human aspects of it that I had lost faith in.





Great point, thats kinda where I am. I actually think it is intellectually dishonest to be an Atheist. You cannot prove or disprove Gods existence. Hence I go for Agnostic. I hope there is God I just dont think we are that lucky. But for me God and Christianity are not the same. God is God, the same God every one believes in (even if its in their own way) I am not sure what you mean by church however. I think church and religion are the same; God and sprituality are another for this coversation.



Is it intellectually dishonest to say you don't believe in invisible, intangible, pink elephants with wings? You cannot prove or disprove the existence of IIPEWW's.....

I am an atheist because I do not believe in a theistic concept of God.

I am also an agnostic because I don't believe God's existence is a matter that can be proven either way.

You can also be an agnostic theist (you believe in God, but realize his existence can't be proven)

I think you may have a point when it comes to strong atheism (those who make the positive assertion that God does not exist) as they claim knowledge no human can have.

BTW, the statement in red is something an agnostic atheist would say. You may be one of us
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:18:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 9:31:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By _disconnector_:
Continued . . .

Also, in the New Testament I noticed a serious conflict between the Pauline writings and the other authors.


Okay, before I begin, I am a Christian., had been raised Catholic, went through the same thing, quit believing, etc. THEN read the Bible (like Martin Luther had and saw there was a huge problem with the teachings in the church) and read it without all the organized religion teachings in mind. Left the Catholic church many years ago for I do not believe in much of what they teach.
I am NOT going to get into a new debate about the Catholic church guys.....

Your statement there about Paul is right on! However, you are also believing some Joe Blow out there and sounds like you're taking his word as Gospel. IMO...

I am going to probably have to buy all the popcorn after my post is read.

What ALOT of churches are teaching that is soooo wrong is combining Paul with the Gospels. It certainly would look like contradictions, and they are if you combine what Paul was called to do verses things that were said in the Gospel accounts
.
Jesus clearly spoke in the Gospels that He was only there for Israel.
Ref: Matthew 15:21-28

21Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite (gentile) woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."

23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."

24He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."

25The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.

26He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." (dogs was a slang term for Gentiles)

27"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." (meaning..I hear you Lord, so I will take any little bit you can give me)

28Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Jesus still would do miracles because of someone's faith in Him, whether they were Jewish or not. However, note He said He was there for Israel only.

Paul was chosen to bring the message to the Gentiles. At first, yes, Paul talked to the Jews, but in Acts 18:6 he says ;
"Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."

People, there were different dispensations. Paul brought in the dispensation of grace

Jews required signs They also basically had to work for their blessings. They also had to offer up unblemished animals for a sacrifice for the covering of their sins, and so on. All that was removed including eating pork, etc. after Christ rose from the dead.

Notice that Paul says to a prison guard after asked what he must do to be saved. Two words "Just believe"

Not go and get dunked in a river, or anything else for that matter.

Honestly, there is so much I can write here, but one of the BEST books to help understand on Rightly Dividing the Word is from Cornelius Stam titled "Things that Differ"

http://www.bereanbiblesociety.org/searchli.html

You can also read their articles online.

Best to you.



Link Posted: 3/21/2006 9:38:00 AM EDT
Sorry about how long this is, but it is a good read. The mystery that is talked about here is that salvation was going to be offered to the Gentiles.


PAUL AND THE CHILDREN OF ADAM

It was given to the Apostle Paul to "fulfil [or complete] the Word of God" (Col. 1:25), not statistically, or textually, or chronologically, but doctrinally, by the revelation of "the mystery" (Ver. 26).

Paul's God-given message was the capstone of divine revelation, for "the mystery" revealed to him is the secret of all God's dealings with men and it is in its light that we must consider even the ancient account of Cain and Abel.

For nearly four thousand years God had made distinctions between man and man, distinctions between the line of Seth and the line of Cain, between the seed of Abraham and that of the pagan world about him, between the seed of Isaac and that of Ishmael, between the nation Israel and the other nations.

But in due time, under Paul's ministry, God cast away His covenant people (temporarily) along with the Gentiles, concluding all in unbelief "that He might have MERCY upon all" (Rom. 11:32, 33).2 Thus it is Paul that takes us back, in his theology, not to David or Abraham, with whom the covenants were made, but to fallen Adam, pointing out that "as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin," so by another "one Man" we may be delivered from sin and death (See Rom. 5:12-19).

"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness [or, righteous act] of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life" (Rom. 5:18).

Thus in Paul's epistles former distinctions disappear. "Henceforth," he says, "know we no man after the flesh" (II Cor. 5:16).

"For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:12,13).

There are, to be sure, human distinctions between Adam's children that are still to be observed, but before God there is no difference, except that which we found existing between Adam's first two children, the difference between faith and unbelief.

Now the sacred secret revealed through Paul has cast its light upon the story of Cain and Abel. The blood sacrifice which God then required was typical of that which He has since provided and by which believers not only receive witness that they are righteous but become partakers of all of the merits of Calvary: oneness with Christ, oneness with each other in Christ, a heavenly position, heavenly blessings, a heavenly prospect and all "the riches of His grace."

"To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.

"In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace;

"Where He hath abounded toward us..." (Eph. 1:6-8).

"That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:7).

Those who reject this forgiveness and these riches of grace are often much like Cain. They may be industrious, sensitive and refined. They may indeed be religious, but instead of approaching God in His way, through the blood of Christ, they come, like Cain, offering what they think is better: the fruit of their toil, their "good" character or their religious efforts.

Tell these good, religious people that only the blood of Christ can save them and, like Cain, their countenances fall. But the very religious leaders who have protested that the doctrine of the blood is "loathesome to the finer senses," have also been the leaders in the apostasy that has encouraged communism and the brutality and godlessness that is even now engulfing our nation in its perils. Such is the inconsistency of unbelief, and it is of such that God says: "Woe unto them, for they have gone in the way of Cain..." (Jude 11).

THE ONLY DISTINCTION

During this dispensation of Grace God does not favor one race, or nation, or class above another where salvation is concerned. The one basic distinction is that which we found existing at the very beginning between Cain and Abel, and this distinction now, as then, determines our destinies.

"And the Lord had respect unto Abel AND TO HIS OFFERING, but unto Cain AND TO HIS OFFERING He had not respect." Each man was accepted or rejected on the basis of His offering.

Today, since Christ has already given Himself as a sacrifice for us, we may either trust in His finished work and be accepted by God or bring our own sacrifice and be rejected.

Those who are rejected will one day have to say with Cain: "My punishment is greater than I can bear." Those who are accepted will forever enjoy "the exceeding riches of His grace...His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 10:37:39 AM EDT
No, no.

As Jesus Himself taught....

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved....

Mark 16:16

Eric The(GospelForDummies)Hun
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 10:43:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By EricTheHun:
No, no.

As Jesus Himself taught....

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved....

Mark 16:16

Eric The(GospelForDummies)Hun



That was in the Gospel accounts for Israel to prepare for the Kingdom that was at hand.
It changed after the Gospels because the dipensation of grace had entered.
Kind of long to go into.
Also, there is usually a notation on the bottom of the page of Mark saying that that verse wasn't in the earliest manuscripts, but the later ones found so to be safe, it was put in with an asterisk
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