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The Fallible Apostles

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by timewerx, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. timewerx

    timewerx the village i--o--t--

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    Before anyone shoots me down, hear me out first:

    The Apostles made a lot of mistakes when Jesus was around with them. They even made mistakes after Jesus was crucified. You can read these in the Bible so no need for me to put them here to keep my thread as short as possible.

    And then they recieved the Holy Spirit. Does this make them infallible? Based on the results we see today, even with our best Spirit-filled Christians, the answer would be NO.

    And then we actually visit their teachings in their epistles (in the Bible) which left the majority confused....If nobody believes me, just look around the many denominations in Christianity who don't agree with many subjects in the Gospel. That's hard enough proof for everyone.

    The only reason why any Christian would do a "Hard Settle" on their denomination and belief and shut off their mind entirely to the possibility they might be wrong, is the assumption that the Apostles are infallible.... However, facts and closer inspection doesn't support this assumption.

    Our leaders (except for Christ) made errors or the ones listening to them who eventually wrote their pieces misinterpreted them.

    Ironically, the writings on the Bible concerning the "wicked generation", a considerable portion of them are actually Christians, based on the outcome of their actions.

    How it is possible for anyone to be saved but act and behave like the wicked generation? Is absurd on so many levels. Does not make any sense to sound reasoning. If anyone thinks "sound reasoning" is a bad thing, is in for a suprise, the Bible does teach about using sound reasoning.

    Many have not discerned the Bible correctly and thus, fails to understand it.
     
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  2. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Pilgrim

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    Timewerx, what about the prophets? Would you say that they were not infallible, inerrant, and true because there are many people who debate about the nature, the purpose, and the application of their text? How many groups out there have debated to death if we should keep the Law of Moses? How many groups out there have debated about prophetical statements about future events? The apostles' writings weren't just in the middle of the controversy, but all of the inspired authors of Scripture. But, if we say this is so, then they couldn't be called 'prophets,' since a prophet speaks a word directly given by God, as his mouthpiece as it were.

    Is it possible that the reason there is so many debates about the text is that truth divides? What other religion in the entire world has so many "interpretations" for a single passage in the bible as we do? What other religion has so many denominations, schools of thought within each denomination, and traditions within a single school of thought? If we argued that Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant were denominations, then you have within Protestantism: Baptist, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist and so on, and then you have in Baptist Churches: Reformed Baptist, Southern Baptist, Primitive Baptist, Fundamental Baptist, Arminian Baptist, Seventh Day Baptist, Particular Baptist and so on, and then you have within Reformed Baptist some who hold to Reformed/Covenant Theology and those who hold only to the Reformed soteriology (called Calvinism) of it, and then you have within the school of Covenant theology in the Reformed tradition different perspectives called Westminster/Paedobapist Federalism and Baptist Federalism, and then you have within Baptist Federalism the 1689 Federalist view or the Modern-Day Baptist Federalist View, and then within the 1689 Federalist view you have people who believe in differences in how they see the historical view of the covenants by the Puritans (and each puritan differed a little here and there on the covenants). This goes to show that truth divides, and where truth is there is more division. No church will ever have the purest doctrine at every minor point. But this does not mean Scripture is in error, nor that the apostles were wrong.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  3. Monk Brendan

    Monk Brendan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you don't believe that the Apostles were infallible when they penned the books of the NT, then why do you bother reading it?
     
  4. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The Apostles were men just like us. Fallible. But the Holy Spirit within them was not. It was the Holy Spirit who inspired them to write the gospels and the epistles, and so, through a mystery that we don't fully understand, what they wrote became the inspired Word of God. The men who decided which books were to become Holy Scripture were godly, praying men who sought God with all their hearts for the Holy Spirit to show them which books were to be accepted and which were to be laid aside. Because God is faithful, the Holy Spirit did exactly that, and now we have our Bible through which we know the way of salvation and sanctified living.

    Just because those to interpret the Bible and apply it get it wrong sometimes, it doesn't mean that we cannot trust what God has told us through the Scriptures.
     
  5. Tigger45

    Tigger45 Martin Luther Supporter

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    The apostles bickered amongst themselves after the upper room event of the HS coming upon them as tongues of fire showing even though endowed with the HS they still were influenced by their fallen natures. Its a consept refered to as ‘simultaneously just & sinner’ or “Simul justus, et peccator, totus, totus,”-Martin Luther Yet scriptura itself is an act of God 2 Timothy 3:16a 16 All Scripture is God-breathed...
     
  6. timewerx

    timewerx the village i--o--t--

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    A lot of the things they wrote is still good stuff.

    I still agree with what Apostle Paul that all of Scriptures is good for teaching.

    It takes discernment though. Nothing is getting fixed in the broken stuff in our religion. Perhaps, we've been taking things the wrong way since the beginning.
     
  7. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    The more denominations you visit, the smaller the differences get.
    Everyone should do that.

    Then you settle in one church and discover that atheists visit.
    So it really turns out that one church building is one thousand times
    more diverse, than any two denominations are.

    Any two denominations are 1% different. One church is 99% different from the most educated and devout, to a non-believer visiting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  8. timewerx

    timewerx the village i--o--t--

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    It doesn't make sense to me that God or the Holy Spirit would only guide or inspire the men who wrote the Bible...

    ...But NOT the ones who are preaching these stuff to us who can misinterpret the Bible (which we have plenty of evidence for)

    It still produces the same outcome of wrong teachings that we innocently accept as true but are actually misinterpretations.

    I'm not saying that preachers deceive intentionally. The vast majority of them never intended to deceive and have nothing but good intentions. But good intentions alone is not enough to know the Truth, it demands more.
     
  9. david shelby

    david shelby Member

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    Even mistakes teach. In a way you learn more from mistakes. That includes in a written text. You learn not to go down the path of that dead end idea. I think, by the way, concerning such things, Paul clearly changes position over time. So in line with what you said in the OP, I notice that Paul is teaching some faith alone in Romans and Galatians, but its wearing down in 1st Corinthians, and I think the crisis he has to deal with in 1 Cor 5 of the man who is sleeping with his step mother and how the church is tolerating it (undoubtedly due to misinterpreting what Paul meant with his previous faith alone stuff) I think Paul had a turning point in his theology, and this is why we don't see anything about faith alone in the pastorals (1st and 2nd Timothy and Titus). Modern scholars seeing that Paul has dropped the faith alonism in the pastorals, conclude that they are written by someone else! Well, maybe they are written by someone else, a new man, the new Paul, Paul as finally mature and wise, unlike the young idealistic whippersnapper we encountered earlier. I see no reason to conclude that they are not written by him, but plenty of reason to see them as his final, mature, offering. And I think prior to Augustine, the church must have viewed it like I'm not viewing it. But that was forgotten, and it led us to the mess we have on our hands with Augustine and post-Augustine.
     
  10. timewerx

    timewerx the village i--o--t--

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    Even churches within the same denominations, you might find differences in doctrines.

    Bad church split ups is often due to this.

    Note, that 1% is only in relative terms. We don't know the "Baseline Truth". So that 1% stacked together with the count of denominations or even churches can reach a significant value against the "Baseline or Absolute Truth" which nobody knows.

    Proof: If someone tells me they know the "Absolute Truth" another Christian from another denomination will make the same claim but tell a different version of the "Absolute Truth"

    It's doubtful one of them is right when 10 or more repeat the same thing.
     
  11. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Ahh. But they are all saying the same thing with different words.
    Which leads me back to visiting other churches first
    and discovering they are all the same, as a result.

    Proof: Exactly which churches, what street address, and what did they say?
    Can you post links to these 10 churches?
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  12. timewerx

    timewerx the village i--o--t--

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    The only mistakes that concern me are those that become "institutionalized beliefs". Misinterpretations unaware that become part of our doctrines and even denominations.

    Those are soul-killing mistakes that you can't get back up from if you die in those beliefs.


    I'm fully aware of this and I also know the reasons why Paul acted in such manner (in fact this is written in the Bible too, no mystery about it).

    Unfortunately, this is something only very few Christians are aware of (Kudos to you!).

    So when they read Paul, only some parts are clear to them, the others confuse them and probably don't bother with those parts..... Hence, we get doctrinal differences in a massive scale!

    I've actually made a older thread about the issue concerning doctrinal differences between denominations and many of these teachings are actually centered around Paul's Epistles.
     
  13. Tigger45

    Tigger45 Martin Luther Supporter

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    God warned us in His word that no one is infallible Romans 3:23. That would include the apostles, EFCs and your current pastor. We as adults are responsible for putting Christ first and that would include the denomination we grew up in and our favorite doctrines.
     
  14. Shempster

    Shempster ImJustMe Supporter

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    The mistakes they made are the same ones we make.
    The point of making mistakes and admitting our beliefs were in error is a learning lesson.
    That's what life is. Getting to know God one lesson after another.
    Learning over time that sin comes with a price and the payment is too high.

    In the book of Acts, we see believers butting heads. Paul vs. the Apostles for one example.
    Though they had the holy spirit within them, they were still human and subject to misunderstanding things, just like us.
     
  15. timewerx

    timewerx the village i--o--t--

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    It might also be written by one of Paul's followers.

    Paul may have given different set of teachings to different believers. Paul did mention this in the Bible. So again, they are likely to fall under "cultural context".

    This means not everything that Paul wrote is meant for us. While "every scripture is good for teaching" is true, I don't think it meant every teaching in there is meant for us to do....Do you still sacrifice animals to atone of sins? Do we still stone sinners to death? Not anymore! Everyone loves the Book of Proverbs but has anyone read Ecclesiastes lately to put everything into context?

    I think "every scripture is good for teaching" also includes mastering our gifts of discernment or the wisdom to determine which teachings still applies to us.

    If we try to take all scripture as applicable to us (which is impossible), trust me, there can never be one whole body of Christians who will never disagree on theology.
     
  16. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's also why we don't consider the Church infallible. People must ultimately be responsible for their own beliefs and behaviors. While Lutherans are a confessional tradition, we also recognize the importance of the individual exercising their own agency.

    That's also why we send pastors to seminary, and some spend even more years in purely academic pursuits concerning theology and Christian ethics. "The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it" is not an intellectually responsible way to do theology.

    The doctrine of inspiration is often full of vague or even flatly wrong ideas (like the Bible being dictated), it's often simply a way for people to short-circuit actual engagement with the text's background and context.
     
  17. jacks

    jacks Er Victus Supporter

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    Interesting, but I'm not sure that a belief in the infallibility of the apostles is the reason for different denominations or people's "Hard Settle". In fact I'd say it's not uncommon for Christians not to know the finer points of their chosen denomination. And even if we say the apostles words are infallible, their interpretation is certainly subject to opinion. Like Skywriting mentions I've also attended a number of different churches and really their differences for the most part are relatively minor. (And frankly unknown to many of the attendees.) As long as they preach the love God and being kind to others, the rest is often a tempests in a teapot.
     
  18. Noxot

    Noxot Supporter

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    I would say that the Holy Spirit sanctified the bible so it does not matter if their are sinful men that helped write it because God preserves truth and goodness in it, the words acting as containers and images that point to higher things if contemplated in the right spirit.

    but it becomes hard to discern if such and such human was in error or not because we would have to know their spiritual conditions rather than merely observe their appearances.

    Matt 23:25-26 (YLT)
    `Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye make clean the outside of the cup and the plate, and within they are full of rapine and incontinence. `Blind Pharisee! cleanse first the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside of them also may become clean.

    and I think God has a game going on and does things in his infinite wisdom which means why things are how they are are probably pretty complicated. but no doubt that Gods kingdom depends on us, otherwise it would have already came if it only depended on God.

    God said to knock and we shall find, surly this applies to understanding God. look at some of the conditions of being and the results.

    Matt 5:5-9 (YLT)
    `Happy the meek--because they shall inherit the land. `Happy those hungering and thirsting for righteousness--because they shall be filled. `Happy the kind--because they shall find kindness. `Happy the clean in heart--because they shall see God. `Happy the peacemakers--because they shall be called Sons of God.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
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