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Featured Christ/Christianity in the Americas?

Discussion in 'Christian History' started by DevinCamary, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. DevinCamary

    DevinCamary New Member

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    I was wondering something. I thought there was a verse that says that Jesus would give everyone a chance of repentance and coming to him (I cant find the exact verse...) and that lead me to think about America before Columbus. Did Jesus go to the Americas and told the gospel? Did he not visit? Would the Americans even have a chance of redemption for not knowing Christ before columbus discovered them?
     
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  2. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    I think you may be thinking of the Scripture that says God desires that all be saved and come to repentance. That's 2 Peter 3:9

    There's no evidence, and no reason to believe, that Jesus ever came to the Americas. Or to any part of the world except what is written in the Gospels themselves.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  3. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member

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    All of humanity has before it the evidence for God and of his care for humanity and we are all without any excuse for not worshipping him.

    God is Just and he will not unfairly or unjustly condem anyone.
     
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  4. DevinCamary

    DevinCamary New Member

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    Well that begs the question. Would Gof condemn the natives, who never heard about Jesus before Europe started to colonize? How would he judge those who never heard of the Gospel, and those who might not even know who God (Yahweh) is? That is where I'm getting a little sad...
     
  5. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    If we believe that God is the One who makes Himself known to us in Jesus, who gives Himself to us in Jesus, who loves the world, saves the world, heals and redeems the world through Jesus, then we have a God who is deeply concerned and loves the whole world.

    We can therefore trust in His goodness and grace as it pertains to those who have not believed. It's simply not our place as Christians to say who is and isn't saved, but instead to trust in Jesus.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
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  6. DevinCamary

    DevinCamary New Member

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    Well... are there verses that say that? About those who dont even know God or Jesus, and have no way to in life? Are there verses that say he might save them?
     
  7. -Sasha-

    -Sasha- Handmaid of God

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    If the Kingdom of God is within us, and the law is written on our hearts, it would make sense that people who had never heard the Gospel still contain within themselves everything necessary.
     
  8. DevinCamary

    DevinCamary New Member

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    Faith in Jesus is one of those necessary things, right?
     
  9. Hammster

    Hammster Every knee shall bow. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
    John 3:3
     
  10. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    "For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe." - 1 Timothy 4:10

    It's important to understand that salvation isn't about meeting certain requirements to be acceptable to God, it's about what God has done for us in Christ. Jesus is the Way to the Father, not the goalie or bouncer trying to keep people away from God and out of paradise.

    When we confess that salvation is found in Christ, we are not saying, "Salvation is the exclusive privilege of those who managed to find the right religion in this life" we are saying, "This is a trustworthy saying worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15).

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  11. -Sasha-

    -Sasha- Handmaid of God

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    Can someone have proper faith without knowing all the particular theological details? I would say so, by the grace of God.
     
  12. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    Faith is a gift, not an obstacle to be overcome. Ephesians 2:8.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  13. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    Not everyone gets to have a "road to Damascus" type of experience. We are called to preach the gospel to all people, and that can take many different forms that do not necessitate that Jesus personally travel or appear anywhere. I will say personally that I felt God working through my Mayan neighbors (they were three little old ladies -- sisters sharing one house -- from Guatemala) when they brought over a pan of 'condolence flan' (not sure what else to call it, really) the day my mother passed away, when I was 14. At the time I had been isolated from religion entirely after a bad falling out with a local Baptist church I had been forced to go to while my mother was still alive, and while I took another ~10 years or so to come back to Christianity, looking back I do wonder if examples and people like these were God's way of nudging me back to Him...

    So it is not even always that we must go to others to show them Christ. Sometimes -- perhaps more often than we realize -- He shows Himself through them! (I'm sure my neighbors were some kind of Christian, at least, but that's not the point.) In the Egyptian tradition, we have a saint named Abba Bishoy ("Abba" is the term for monastic father, so the saint's proper name is Bishoy), one of the desert fathers, who is known to have met and conversed with Christ many times in the Egyptian desert in which he lived. One of those meetings is particularly instructive with regard to questions like this: when Abba Bishoy was an old man, he had gathered to himself many younger disciples, and they asked him if they could go with him to meet Christ, because even in his own lifetime (4th-early 5th century), he was famous for this. One day he told them that they would all go together into the desert from the monastery to meet Christ together, so they should all wait for him at particular hill from which they would proceed. So excited to meet their Lord, the young disciples barely took notice of one among them who was a very old man, a pilgrim who wished to travel with them. He asked each one who passed him that day if they would be willing to take him on their shoulders for the duration of the journey, as his advanced age prevented him from walking very long. Each one of them, worried that he would slow them down, declined. Only Abba Bishoy himself considered the man worthy of such help, and took him on his own shoulders, even though Abba Bishoy was also an old man by that point. It was then revealed to the Abba that the man he was carrying was Jesus Christ the Lord Himself in the appearance of an old pilgrim. So Abba Bishoy carried Christ the Lord our God on His own shoulders, travelling among the acolytes who had refused Him unawares.

    This event is depicted in Coptic (Egyptian) iconography in our monasteries and churches around the world. My home parish in New Mexico in which I was received into the Orthodox faith was named after Abba Bishoy, so we had icons of him as well.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The point of the story should be obvious, but in case it isn't: Christ may arrive in any place in forms that we do not recognize, among people whom we would usually ignore. In a "uncontracted/uncatechized people" context, this could include those who could not tell you anything of the Gospels (in the sense of The Gospel According to XYZ), but nevertheless live according to Christ's two greatest commands. NB: I am not endorsing nor do I endorse the popular western Christian maxim that we are to "preach the gospel at all time; when necessary, use words" (I think attributed to Francis of Assisi?), as I think it is often used as an excuse to not explicitly preach with words, but instead saying that in those places where the gospel is not known or has not been known for centuries, we may find fertile ground for its message in the hearts of men and women who may also thirst for it without realizing, and if this is enough for God (and only He knows the hearts of His creation), then we ought not consider anyone lost by virtue of their isolation or whatever else has kept them from knowing or professing the Christian religion explicitly. Dating from a very early time in Christian history, we have examples like St. Justin Martyr (100-165 AD) preaching the "Seeds of the Word", in reference to what was gleaned in pre-Christian religions of the Truth by means of shadows and archetypes of He Who illuminates all, and before Him in the Holy Scriptures proper we have St. Paul the Apostle preaching to the pagan Greeks on the "Unknown God" Who is known. St. Paul, St. Justin, and others in a similar mold (St. Basil comes to mind) were not wrong. We leave all to the mercy of God on which we all depend likewise, while doing our best to reach everyone. God knows what we did, and what we did not do.
     
  14. -Sasha-

    -Sasha- Handmaid of God

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    I'm paraphrasing with this story, because I don't remember where I originally found it, so any mistakes are my own fault:
    A great theologian happened upon a simple peasant in his travels and struck up a conversation. They began discussing God, and the peasant said he knew God was real because it had been proven to him. When the theologian asked for an explanation, the peasant stated that every evening he placed a small bowl of milk near a tree, and in the morning it would be empty because God would come and drink it. The theologian laughed at this foolishness and explained that of course God was not drinking the milk, and convinced the peasant to hide and watch what really happened. After awhile, a deer came along and drank from the bowl. The peasant was devastated while the theologian rejoiced in having been proven right!
    After the theologian departed, he was overcome by a vision from God. The Lord rebuked him for destroying the faith of the peasant saying, "Each night I sent a deer to drink the milk that was offered to Me in simple faith and love!"

    Now perhaps this is not a real account, but only meant to teach a lesson (who am I to say?), but the point is that we who consider ourselves to be more informed than others in particular details ought not discount the great love of God, and His desire to save all. Even one who knows nothing about Scriptural studies might possess a love for God that far surpasses our own, and I just can't imagine that our good and loving Father wouldn't use such as a means of salvation.
     
  15. Monk Brendan

    Monk Brendan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The pretty boys on bicycles says Jesus did, but that's not true.
     
  16. gospels

    gospels Member

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    This is how people will be judged who never heard of the gospel and God:
    Romans 2:14-16 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when God judges the secrets of men.
     
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  17. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Romans 1:1-6 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

    4And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 6Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ...

    Rom 1:14-32 I am debtor both to the Greeks & to the Barbarians; both to the wise & to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

    16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

    Jeremiah 6:10-21; Jeremiah 25:15-33; Jonah 1:4-10; Acts 27:13-26)

    18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who supress the truth in unrighteousness. BECAUSE that which may be known about God IS MANIFEST IN THEM; for God has SHOWED it to them.

    20For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are CLEARLY SEEN, BEING UNDERSTOOD BY THE THINGS THAT ARE MADE (created), even His eternal power & Godhead; so that THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE.

    Because that, WHEN THEY KNEW GOD, they glorified him not AS God, neither were THANKFUL; but became vain in their imaginations & their foolish heart was darkened.

    22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools & changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man & to birds & fourfooted beasts & creeping things.

    24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: 25Who changed the truth of God INTO A LIE & worshiped & served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly & receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

    And even as they DID NOT LIKE TO RETAIN GOD IN THEIR KNOWLEDGE, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.

    Those, who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    Romans 2:1ff You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.

    So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

    5But because of your stubbornness & your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”

    7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor & immortality, He will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking & who reject the truth & follow evil, there will be wrath & anger.

    9There will be trouble & distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor & peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.

    12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, & all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

    14(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.

    They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness & their thoughts sometimes accusing them & at other times even defending them.) This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
     
  18. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

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    For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men (all mankind) are without excuse" (Romans 1:20)

    and

    "the requirements of the law are written on their hearts" (Romans 2:15).

    Taken together these passages reveal that everyone has an inherent knowledge of God, that this can be clearly known from creation and that everyone also has a God-given moral compass.

    1 Kings 8:39

    then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know, for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men

    “the times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commands men that they should all everywhere repent” (Acts 17:30).

    Everyone has the awareness of God (it's in their heart), although there are those that deny this.

    God knows the hearts ... we do not.

    We are to get the good news out about Jesus and not worry or be concerned about who is saved, or will be saved or is not saved .... the saving part is totally 100% up to Jesus.
     
  19. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

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    Romans 1:19-20 “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

    Acts 17:30

    American Standard Version
    The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent:
     
  20. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things" Supporter

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    Yes.
     
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