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Does the Holy Spirit lead us into all the truth?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by vanshan, Aug 8, 2006.

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  1. WarriorAngel

    WarriorAngel I close my eyes and see you smile Supporter

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    Its too easily suggested that all ppl who all teach things vastly different and are opposed to the beginning teachings are following the Spirit's guide.
     
  2. racer

    racer Contributor

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    Neat. Now, that I think about it, it kind of addresses the point in more ways than one. You’re direction is a little different than the one I anticipated. But, it does still apply using your analogy.



    I believe the Holy Spirit leads us even before being baptized. Some people are eventually baptized because they were guided and moved by the Holy Spirit.



    I don’t really see it that way. Because, this is to say, (if you are following the aim of my analogy) that we’re being led without freewill, then once we’ve reached a more mature level of obedience, the leash is cut and we straggle and stray along—kind of like a rebellious teenager? Maybe I’m not understanding your point. I just don’t think we are ever lead with a leash.



    I don’t think you’re actually following the intent of my analogy. Or maybe, you’re just showing me how the analogy could be altered to support your scenario. And it works for you, but it’s just not getting at the same point I was attempting to make.



    No, from my point of view, (and I realize that you are probably just making your own point) there’s one “pond” and one “destination.” There is one sure straight way, and that is the way the Holy Spirit is leading us. However, because a leash is not employed, we do not follow directly or exactly, we straggle, stray, amble, and wander along. Some get completely lost and never make it to the “pond,” some get there, but they just take different routes.

    I thought of an even better analogy. Let’s take our beloved dogs. You know how hopelessly devoted they are to their masters. I mean there’s not more worshipful animal that “man’s best friend.” Now, we can use a leash and our dogs follow us explicitly. Or, as with the horses, we can use not leash. Now, dogs are more devoted, trainable, and leadable. They will follow us somewhat better without a leash. But, say you’ve got two or three following you, one a little older and wiser who will follow you diligently to the desire destination, one young and easily distracted. He’ll follow a bit, but then he’ll see a little butterfly fluttering around and run after if for a bit. Then, he’ll look up and noticed that he almost lost you completely, and run like the dickens to catch up. This pattern will probably recur a few times until the destination is reached. Then, you may have a completely distracted, lazy, stubborn old hound who’s just going to do his thing. Heck, he might just plop down and say forget that, that’s too long and too hard of a trek. However, you as the leader did not waiver, did not change paths or directions. You were on course and true for allow dogs following you.

    What do you think? Does that analogy work, too?
     
  3. Asinner

    Asinner Seeking Salvation

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    I agree.



    Yes. God does not pull us with a thick, unbreakable leash, that would negate free will. I do believe that He leads us though. Perhaps the leash is made of straw . . . :p where we can choose to abandon His lead.



    Yes. I am an "analogy alterer" . . . guilty! :sorry:



    Your analogy leaves out the deceiver, which is satan, who mimicks Christ and the Way. Yes, there is only one Pond, as you say, and different ways of getting to the Pond. But there are many, many ponds that deceive those who are thirsty. Only one contains the Living Water.









    Let's say that while the dogs are following their master, another master tries to coerce the dogs with treats. These treats look yummy and this master is leading them to a destination that is not so difficult or long . . .

    God Bless :)

    (edited):sorry:
     
  4. racer

    racer Contributor

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    That is not an argument that I’ve seen asserted here.



    He instructed the eunuch, and sent him on his merry way. Phillip, an individual person not a church, instructed the eunuch and sent him away instructed.



    Because, He knew that many, many, many, people would need guidance and instruction, not religious rule. Why do you continue with this argument? Can you show one person here asserting what you are arguing against?



    Because, we being human, imperfect, and easily entertained become distracted and stray. Belonging to a spiritual body with the same objective helps bring us back into line when this happens.



    Because, in spite of the abilities of God, we humans are fallible and slow to learn . . . . We don’t always listen and pay attention when the Holy Spirit is speaking. There are many reasons.



    Because, that’s not the case, and we never said it was.



    And that’s what the church is supposed to do.
     
  5. racer

    racer Contributor

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    . . . . the first time. :sorry:



    I would strongly disagree.



    To imply that you are more submissive or obedient because you are wise enough to put your salvation in the hands of a ruling religious body is about as egotistical as it gets. You and I are personally held accountable for our sins and transgressions by God—not the church. The church is to help lead us and keep us in line, but we are not accountable to the church for our sins. So, if God is holding you and me personally accountable for our actions, then by george I’m betting He expects us to possess the ability to personally discern what He expects from us. Heck, how can you know that you even need to go to church is you can not personally determine what’s expected of you? Exactly what level of discernment to you believe we possess? Where does it stop? How do I discern that I need to submit to the Church?



    I realize in the days of the apostles, there were many untaught, but that’s not so today. I don’t know how the ratio of “unstable” people would rate between those of the apostolic era and today. Even at that, what are the odds that the “unstable” would get it even if the church spelled it out for them? However, he’s not referring to laity in general. He’s referring to a specific group or specific groups of people. Unless you are asserting that the laity was all untaught and unstable, are you? He is not saying that all people are untaught and unstable, therefore twist scripture to their own destruction. This verse simply is not saying what you assert that it is.

    Difficult to understand does not mean unable to understand, nor does the fact that something is difficult to understand guarantee that people can not get it right.

    I hate to be a broken record, but:

    On Christian Doctrine, Book I

    Chapter 40.—What Manner of Reader Scripture Demands.

    44. And, therefore, if a man fully understands that “the end of the commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned,”1757 and is bent upon making all his understanding of Scripture to bear upon these three graces, he may come to the interpretation of these books with an easy mind.

    Book II

    Chapter 9.—How We Should Proceed in Studying Scripture.

    14. In all these books those who fear God and are of a meek and pious disposition seek the will of God . . . For among the things that are plainly laid down in Scripture are to be found all matters that concern faith and the manner of life,— . . . .

    CHAP. 18.--ONLY IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS PERFECT TRUTH ESTABLISHED ON THE HARMONY OF BOTH TESTAMENTS.

    33. . . . . Is not this what the Apostle Paul appears to desire when he says, "For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant unto you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man: that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the height, and length, and breadth, and depth, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fullness of God?" Could anything be more plainly expressed?

    34. Wake up a little, I beseech you, and see the harmony of both Testaments, making it quite plain and certain what should be the manner of life in our conduct, and to what all things should be referred. To the love of God we are incited by the gospel, when it is said, "Ask, seek, knock;" by Paul, when he says, "That ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend;" by the prophet also, when he says that wisdom can easily be known by those who love it, seek for it, desire it, watch for it, think about it, care for it. The salvation of the mind and the way of happiness is pointed out by the concord of both Scriptures;

    Augustine’s Confessions, Book XIII

    Chapter XV.—Allegorical Explanation of the Firmament and Upper Works, Ver. 6.

    16. Or who but Thou, our God, made for us that firmament1 of authority over us in Thy divine Scripture?2 As it is said, For heaven shall be folded up like a scroll;3 and now it is extended over us like a skin.4 For Thy divine Scripture is of more sublime authority, since those mortals through whom Thou didst dispense it unto us underwent mortality. . . . Whence as a skin hast Thou stretched out the firmament of Thy Book;6 that is to say, Thy harmonious words, which by the ministry of mortals Thou hast spread over us. For by their very death is that solid firmament of authority in Thy discourses set forth by them more sublimely extended above all things that are under it, the which, while they were living here, was not so eminently extended.7 Thou hadst not as yet spread abroad the heaven like a skin; Thou hadst not as yet noised everywhere the report of their deaths.

    17. Let us look, O Lord, “upon the heavens, the work of Thy fingers;”8 clear from our eyes that mist with which Thou hast covered them. There is that testimony of Thine which giveth wisdom unto the little ones . . . .

    Continued . . . .
     
  6. racer

    racer Contributor

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    Are you really asserting that Scripture does not tell us that prayer and faith will bring wisdom and understanding?



    Again difficult does not mean impossible and unattainable.



    I love it when people quote Scripture without actually quoting it, then go on to give their personal spin on it.



    So, they weren’t led to the truth by the Holy Spirit. They concluded correct doctrine by meeting and reasoning with one another?



    Well, according to what you just said, the truth they arrived at was not Holy Spirit-inspired. They were reasoned and worked out by men.



    Even a group of individuals can be wrong—even your church.

    Tell me this, if we are not supposed to trust ourselves to correctly find the truth, how do we even know that attending or belonging to “a” church or “the” church is necessary? How do we reason that? Just how far are we to trust our personal discernment? How are we to know exactly which church is “the” church? At what point or to what point to we trust our own understanding?



    The eunuch was untaught and probably just a little unstable. So, he needed instruction from somebody, which happened to be Phillip—Phillip—an individual. Did Phillip constitute the Church? Did Phillip instruct the eunuch to go and find a Church to attend? Why? Surely, if Phillip had thought that he alone could not sufficiently instruct the eunuch or had believed the eunuch would need further instruction, why didn’t he just direct him to the nearest church instead of taking it upon himself?



    This is not a contradiction, because nobody here has asserted that the church and its instruction is not needed.


    We need them to keep us reminded of the destination and how to get there. Because being mortal, we are cursed with human fallibility and weaknesses.



    Vanshan, nobody here argues against the necessity of the church, just the extent of the authority of the Church.
     
  7. CaliforniaJosiah

    CaliforniaJosiah Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes.

    Truth does not equal our opinions.
    Jesus IS the Truth.

    Not necessarily each individual person, congregation or denomination or meeting. But "us."

    Not necessarily by January 15, 34 AD.



    Amen!

    Sola Scriptura.


    Ah, EVEN ST. PAUL considered himself accountable and fallible, so I wonder why some persons and denominations don't? And even ST. PAUL submitted to the whole church catholic, the whole witness of the church - not just his own self or a denomination to their own leadership.


    Kinda makes you wonder about those who claim that they themselves aren't accountable, just everyone else, doesn't it?

    And what was the norm here? See verses 15-18.


    I agree.
    And I think that denominations should take their own advise.

    And that the norm should be Scriptures, not the self-same teacher's interpretation of Scriptues or even what's between the lines in Scripture (what the Apostles meant to write but didn't but they can see what they meant to write but didn't).


    Amen!

    So I reject teachers who claim infallibility for themselves, who argue they are accountable only to God (as they themselves so determine) and that their teachings are at least equal to God's Holy Scriptures. To those who claim to know what dogmas God sadly forgot to include in the Scriptures (but they know - and only they know - infallibly).


    Not all denominations agree with you on that, at least in certain circumstances.



    It's good they wrote down the apostolic teaching before they died. Soli Deo Gloria!



    MY perspective...


    Pax.


    - Josiah
     
  8. TheWarriorProphet

    TheWarriorProphet Liquid Fire

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    Try throwing them the bits of Scripture the Holy Spirit reveals to YOU.
     
  9. Asinner

    Asinner Seeking Salvation

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    After rereading my post, it strikes me as being very condescending. I truly didn't mean to come across so horribly. I am sorry, Racer.

    Thank you, WP, for addressing my post.

    God Bless :)
     
  10. vanshan

    vanshan A Sinner

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    These are very good points. That is why we must all humbly compare what we believe God is revealing to us with what God has shown to others. If we are out on a theological branch alone, or with sparse company, then we might want to consider the fact we are probably wrong, even if we think we can back up what we believe with scripture. In reality, we are probably misinterpretting it.

    In our fallibility sometimes we think we are right and everyone who disagrees is wrong, less spiritually in tune with God, or stupid. This is an arrogant point of view to maintain. We cannot use our opinions, even if we think they come from God, to measure everyone else's spirituality, which is what we do when we see our thoughts the the Holy Spirit inspired truth and everyone else who disagrees is seen as spiritually inept. If we come into agreement with what has been believed from the beginning, by all, and throughout time, then we can place confidence in that, but not any opinion we have which contradicts that collective consensus of understanding, which was almost universal before the Great Schism and the subsequent fragmentation of the reformation in the west. The eastern Church didn't experience these unfortunate events, so a consistent apostolic witness has been maintained to this day.


    Yes, and why? Because individuals cannot rely on themselves alone to interpret the infallible scriptures and traditions of Christ. The Church is there, because we individually are not able to fully understand the truth without its witness and steadfast preservation of the deposit of faith passed down to us. It was created to be the instrument of our salvation--like the ark was to Noah and his family. The Church preserved the apostolic writings and compiled them for us, has preserved the right understanding of those scriptures, and provides the fullness of the faith to aid our salvation.

    Basil
     
  11. vanshan

    vanshan A Sinner

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    What seems more arrogant is when we place our ideas above the right-beliefs passed down from the beginning. If we put our opinions above that longstanding testimony of truth, then that is egotistical.

    We can discern truth by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We know that no one can confes Christ as the Son of God, unless the Holy Spirit reveals that to them. However, as we see all around us, this discernment of truth is not infallible. This is a very important point, which I disregarded when I was a charismatic Christian.

    Basil
     
  12. TheWarriorProphet

    TheWarriorProphet Liquid Fire

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    I can see HIS strength in YOU - denominations will flee away and all this will pass - BUT - the inheritance is YOURS.
     
  13. vanshan

    vanshan A Sinner

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    No, just that we must test our understanding, making sure we aren't being deceived by ourselves or a false spirit.



    Sorry, I guess I assumed that most may recall the basic story. It would be a long cut and past to include most of that chapter . . . and I know some people skip very long posts.



    I definitely never said that. They were led to the truth by the Holy Spirit, but not all those present had received or understood the truth before being persuaded, which is no suprise, since they were as fallible as we are. So sometimes illumination must come through simple argumentation or persuasion. This is how the councils always have resolved differences in percpetions of the truth.



    Certainly, which is why we must carefully test anything we hear to make sure, as best we can, that it is not an innovation or distortion of the truth. I do not trust the words of any single leader within the Church merely because of their position in the Body. If they agree with the unchanging witness of believers from the beginning they are right, but if they contradict the concensus of belief passed down, then I disregard their ideas in that area. We should all test our ministers by this standard--giving proof texts from the Bible isn't enough to prove a point, you must show that the conclusions being made are in agreement with how those verses have been interpretted from the beginning--if they are being twisted, then you are listening to a false teacher.





    Listen to your heart, but check the facts. You trust your impressions to the point that they disagree with what has been passed down from the beginning. The truth cannot change or evolve. Also Christ completed our salvation and sent the Holy Spirit, so no new move of the Spirit is necessary. The Kingdom of God has been at hand since that time and nothing more is needed for our salvation, except to preserve the truth unchanged and to respond to the truth by acting.




    That is implied by the belief that the we individually can be led into all the truth by the Holy Spirit without our fallibility getting in the way. If that is a fact, then we don't really need a church to teach us.




    This human fallibility is why we need the Church to testify the truth to us without change, so that our faith is not based on our fallible perception of the Holy Spirit. It's not that God is too weak to transmit the truth to us, just that we are too weak to hear His voice clearly.

    Basil
     
  14. racer

    racer Contributor

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    I know I didn't cover every form of distraction. But, the deceiver could be that butterfly I mentioned, or the spirit of laziness that caused the hound to lay down and go no further. The deceiver is the distractions that prevent us from following precisely and obediently. You see the deceiver leading to other ponds, I'm guessing you are likening various ponds with the different churchers? I see the deceiver as distractions of any form.

    . . . . or butterfiles . . .

    Butterflies are pretty and fun to chase. :)

    God bless! :wave:
     
  15. Asinner

    Asinner Seeking Salvation

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    Yes. Butterflies are pretty and fun to chase. lol! Dontcha just love it when we are so agreeable. :)
     
  16. CaliforniaJosiah

    CaliforniaJosiah Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some people spell "us" M. E.
     
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