As a result of many thousands of received e-mails, I feel that
the Holy Spirit wishes me to add these links here to pages which
I, the Editor of BELIEVE, composed, and which are not actually
in the BELIEVE site. There have been so many people who seem to
have misconceptions about Christianity in general or certain
centrally important parts of it, that it seems necessary to
make these two links available here.|
New Presentation of Christianity
Christian Arrogance, Self-Righteousness
Here is another link which might be considered worth some thought
Christianity - Salvation - End of Life
It seems that most people have an enormous misunderstanding regarding
what a "scholarly text" actually is! A good example might
be our presentation on Arguments for the
Existence of God. If most people tried to compose that
presentation, including virtually any Church or its personnel,
they would assemble it in the "obvious" way. And that
would not possibly qualify for being a "scholarly work"
no matter how brilliantly it was researched and presented! If you look at
our presentation linked here, you will see a prominent distinction
which qualifies it as being scholarly. Right after the initial
presentation of the arguments FOR the Existence of God, that
author has a section which discusses the arguments AGAINST the Existence
of God! Most Christian Ministry seem to be viciously against
including such things! Many have told me that I am certain to
go to Hell for allowing such things to be included in BELIEVE!
Amazing! They INSIST on only telling THEIR side of any stories or
any issues, apparently deciding that THEY are each brilliant enough
to determine what their Church Members should be allowed to hear
and what their Church Members should be denied hearing!
No actual scholar would ever do that! It is considered critically
important to always present BOTH sides, ALL sides, of any issue, logically
and fairly. Scholars then rarely actually extend that to forming
conclusions, other than what is solidly based on the arguments and
known facts. In contrast, we find it immensely frustrating that
MOST Christian books, articles and speeches tend to ONLY provide
SELECTIVE EVIDENCE which then appears to totally support whatever
conclusions that the (Christian) writer or speaker wants to
claim. We hope you see the distinction, as it really is very, very
important. Regarding BELIEVE, we do not necessarily want to present
thoughts or arguments which appear to oppose Christianity or some Church,
but in an effort at presenting scholastic honesty, we feel that it
is critically important that we ONLY present articles by scholar-authors
which DO consider all sides of any issue. Virtually every argument
and every group has wonderful assets but also a few warts! We think it
would be potentially deceptive if we tried to ignore the existence
of those warts! This text makes clear that
we have great confidence in the brains and the personal Discernment
of each reader, especially since we are confident that the Indwelling
Holy Spirit will assist each person regarding that. So we have no
concerns whatever regarding the fact that our scholar-authors
sometimes discuss matters which might seem unsettling to Christians.
We feel that this is far better than the only alternative that we
are aware of, where WE would select a single viewpoint to try to present
to all our visitors.
Several of the most important topics in BELIEVE have presentations that
extend over 100 screenfuls of text! The presentation of the
Roman Catholic Church is more
than 30 screens in length. The one on God
is about 150 screens in length. The one
on Jesus as a Child is
nearly 500 screens in length! Even a generally unfamiliar subject
like Supralapsarianism is about
five screens in length, with several links to other BELIEVE pages
that are closely related to that subject. Some of the more obscure
subjects are covered in just one or two screens.
There is certainly a multitude of Christian and other religious sites on the
Internet. Many of them are informative, but they seem to generally
present only their own view of whatever subjects they discuss.
That might be valuable, but it can often cause an incomplete understanding
of those subjects. How can a student of Christianity or any other
religion truly understand any subject if he/she only has access to
one narrow viewpoint? Yes, we realize that there might be value
in sometimes presenting ONLY ONE approach, of NOT bringing up matters
which might cause some Christians to become confused or uncertain.
Our Non-Denominational Christian Church thinks that in general it is
wrong to consistently do that. How could a person develop a solid
foundation for Faith if incomplete or inaccurate or distorted information
is all that is available? What if your First Grade Teacher only decided
to teach you her favorite letters of the alphabet and not all 26 of them?
Our approach is to try to imagine how
Jesus might have presented religious information. Would He have only
presented some facts that supported a point He wanted to make? We doubt
it! Would He have presented any statement that He did not truly believe
to be true, or that was otherwise incomplete or inaccurate or misleading
or deceptive? We doubt it! We think that He would have patiently
sat down with anyone who had questions and He would have helped each
person to fully understand the answers to those questions.
We often consider a real situation which existed in the Early Church.
The full Bible as we know it was only finalized nearly 400 years after
Jesus lived. We sometimes consider a passionate Christian of around
80 AD, who happened to NOT have an entire Bible but just a SINGLE
SHEET from ONE LETTER of Paul. What could the Lord have expected
of that person? A comprehensive understanding of all aspects
of Christianity? That would not be possible for him! But he certainly
would read that page every day and certainly memorize it. Whatever
specifics that Paul might have discussed in that page, this man would
have centered his life upon. And we feel that the Lord would be
totally Pleased with him for that effort. Curiously, when I have
brought this story up to several hundred other Ministers over the years,
at least two hundred of those Christian Ministers immediately told me
that that man went to Hell, for not having FULLY followed all the
aspects of Christianity! I am always astounded at hearing Ministers
say that, and it terrifies me regarding what they might be Teaching
in their own Churches! They are either ignorant or overlook the fact
that the complete Bible only was settled on around 390 AD, but they
still demand that earlier Christians be knowledgeable regarding a
Bible which did not then even exist! It seems to me that those modern Ministers
believe that Christianity is totally Legalistic, where they must not
have read the parts of the Bible that make clear Jesus' attitude
about such things!
BELIEVE is here with the intent of permitting our visitors
to access all the (credible) perspectives that we are aware of,
with the intention of enabling DEEPER Devotion to the Lord.
Well, we have a disadvantage here! We are not Jesus! We do not have
His Knowledge and Understanding! So, we just try the best we can to
supply the most accurate, understandable and complete information
we can, on each of these many subjects. That is basically the core
reason for the BELIEVE Religious Information Source web-site.
We try to not express opinions but only present
the facts and all of the generally accepted attitudes on each subject.
These articles were written by many
in their specific subjects. We felt that such
scholars were the best available authorities in each of the many subjects.
We are very aware that there have probably been millions of articles
written by religious scholars over the centuries, and we have only
been able (so far) to review a tiny fraction of them. That means that
this BELIEVE site should forever be a work-in-progress, and it will
hopefully forever get better and better!
We sometimes say that in another thirty years, BELIEVE might start
to resemble something that the Lord might be Pleased with!
In the process of selecting the 7,000+ articles that are currently included
in BELIEVE, we examined over 50,000 articles that we did not include.
If an article seemed biased or incomplete or not solidly based
on accepted scholastic standards, we did not include it. It is our
hope that the remaining articles are useful to the visitors to this site.
Whether your interest is casual curiosity or deep philosophical
research, BELIEVE should certainly be helpful. Many of the subject
presentations start with a General level
presentation of the subject, which is often followed by
very comprehensive Advanced presentation(s)
for student and Ministry research. Actual Scripture from the Bible
is generally not included, but many thousands of Scriptural
references are included, as are extensive bibliographies (for most
of the articles) for even further study.
Have you ever been a little unclear when your Minister refers to
in a sermon? Or
Well, most Ministers aren't going to even mention two of these very
important aspects of Christian Faith in their Sermons! But they
would if they could! Or maybe you wanted to learn more
about your friend's
beliefs? Or the history of
The Lord's Prayer?
Have you ever been curious about just how our modern beliefs in
Jesus got refined to where they are today?
Or you wanted deeper understanding of any of hundreds of
other interesting religious topics?
These are some reasons where you may want to browse through BELIEVE!
As mentioned above, we have gone to considerable effort to eliminate bias
from this collection of articles. It is reasonable for most authors to
be enthusiastic for their subject, but if an author showed such an extreme
attitude that possible distortion of facts might happen, WE LEFT SUCH AN
ARTICLE OUT! BELIEVE is meant as an information source which has
the most "level playing field" possible, so that readers can
count on getting useful and fair and accurate information. There is only one substantial
bias that was NOT removed, that against Satanists, Atheists, and similar
groups. We considered including some of their own information, to balance
some of the negative comments that some of our included authors make, but
we decided that we did NOT want to encourage or publicize or support the
activities or beliefs of such groups.
If you get the impression that any particular presentation in this
library shows substantial bias for or against any group or belief
system, please let us know by an E-mail message or a postal letter.
We hope to forever improve BELIEVE, and you can help!
People regularly send in manuscripts and essays which they hope to have
added to our BELIEVE site. Unfortunately, most of them cannot be
used here. One characteristic we insist on is that ALL perspectives
on a subject or issue be equally and fairly discussed, as is the
case in any credible scholarly work. When most people feel motivated
to write an essay, it is because they have very strong feelings
regarding one particular viewpoint on the subject. In many places,
there is nothing wrong with that, in "promoting" that
particular perspective. It is even often a great way of encouraging
people to accept that particular belief. But BELIEVE is meant to
present ALL perspectives as equally as is possible, and so
"sales pitches" for any one position are not generally
desirable here. In many cases, such an essay could be fairly
easily expanded to include the opposing viewpoints. There have been
many wonderful manuscripts sent in, which could have been used with
such a modification, but not otherwise.
The individual web-page presentations are all designed to display properly
on any home computer. They are hopefully also compatible with the
obsolete computers and browsers which Missionaries often have to use.
(The files are each made absolutely as small as they can be so that such
Missionaries can have shorter Internet access times and expenses.)
BELIEVE doesn't contain banners or
other images that might interfere with such use.
If someone thoroughly studied the entire contents of BELIEVE (equivalent
to over 10,000 pages of typewritten text, over 30,000 screenfuls) and
also the Bible, the resultant religious knowledge would be very close
to that of a Divinity Degree from a
Seminary! We realize that most people aren't going to use it that
thoroughly! But if you keep the downloadable BELIEVE program on your
computer's hard drive, or keep a bookmark for this web-site in your browser,
its information will be rapidly accessible, faster than you could
find it in a reference book!
BELIEVE has two parallel home pages, one with the subjects listed
alphabetically and the other with more central subjects at the start of the
list. (An abbreviated alphabetical list is to the right, and a link above
it can get you to the other lists.)
The way both subject lists are set up encourages browsing. You or
your kids might have 15 minutes available one day. You COULD play some
computer game! But if BELIEVE is there, you might just as
well decide to learn a little about
You don't need to commit a huge block of time
to it (but you could!)
Even very devout Christians will probably find many unfamiliar terms
in the list at right. Many Protestant Christians do not realize that many
things like the above mentioned Arminianism probably contributed
(in one way or another) in a substantial way in the development of
the beliefs of the Church they attend! Very few Christians seem to
know that nearly all modern Christian
Churches are Semi-Sabbatarian!
We have added foreign language translations of all of BELIEVE
(not including the extensive Early Christian Manuscripts).
It is our hope that the French version might assist Missionary efforts
in many of the countries in Africa where French is a primary language.
Similarly, we hope that the Spanish and Portuguese versions might be of
help to Missionaries in South America. And we hope that, as Chinese
people learn about the "outside world", some of them may
find value in either Chinese version. We also have hopes that if
Arabic people have access to accurate information on the world's
various religions, they might learn that we are far more alike than
we are different.
If you know of anyone that could
benefit from those versions, here are links:
For people who are Missionaries, or others who have difficult or
expensive access to the Internet, we also now provide most of these exact
same files which are often only 1/3 the file size, because they do not
include the interactive presentation of the English original text.
Here are those links:
The above languages should display properly with most modern
computers, without having to add any additional fonts. They tend to
use the UTF-8 encoding system, but some pages use either Western
European or Windows. If your
computer is really old, you may need to use Windows Control panel/
Add/Remove Programs/Windows Setup/Multilanguage Support, to
be able to properly see the Russian or Polish pages.
The smaller files for Missionaries and others for these languages are at:
These following files do NOT include separate files for each subject
presentation, as they depend on common automatic computer
language translation. They have a common problem of only translating
a certain number of words at the start of a file and not translating
the later parts of long presentations.
These languages may require you to download Microsoft or other fonts to see
the presentations properly. (You may see empty rectangles instead of
characters above if your Browser does not contain the needed font).
For Japanese, one file is ie_ja.exe (2.6 Mb)
(an expanded MS Gothic font); for mainland (or Simplified) Chinese, one file
is ie_zhc.exe (2.6 Mb) (MS Hei and MS Song fonts); for Taiwan (Traditional,
or Big5) Chinese, one file is ie3lpktw.exe (4.1 Mb) (MingLiu Font); from
the Microsoft web-site. If you do a web-search for that file name,
you can find it quickly.
These are computerized, automated translations of the English language
pages of BELIEVE, so they are nowhere near perfect. But, hopefully,
they will allow the many BELIEVE pages to be available and useful to many
more people. We also hope that volunteers will offer to "clean up"
any especially poor automated translation of a page!
In 2007, roughly 70% of BELIEVE visitors accessed English language
pages. Spanish was 13.4%; mainland Chinese was 4.8%; Russian was 2.8%;
French was 2.4%; Japanese was 2.3%; German was 1.8%; Taiwanese was 1.7%;
and Arabic was 0.8%. Italian, Portuguese, Swedish and Polish accesses
were minimal due to really bad automated translations then!
In 2009, the total number of visitors was slightly more than double
that of 2007. There was increase in the number of English language
visitors, but the increases in the other languages were far greater.
This effect caused the RELATIVE number of English language visitors
to seem to have decreased! In 2009,
44.8% of BELIEVE visitors accessed English language
pages. Spanish was 16.4%; mainland Chinese was 2.4%; Russian was 2.7%;
French was 5.3%; Japanese was 3.9%; German was 3.8%; Taiwanese was 3.2%;
and Arabic was 2.5%. Italian was 4.3%, Portuguese was 6.3%, Swedish
was 1.2% and Polish was 3.3%.
In 2011, 37.5% of BELIEVE visitors accessed English language
pages. Spanish was 26.2%; mainland Chinese was 2.4%; Russian was 2.7%;
French was 5.0%; Japanese was 2.3%; German was 3.0%; Taiwanese was 2.7%;
and Arabic was 2.1%. Italian was 4.2%, Portuguese was 9.3%, Swedish
was 1.4% and Polish was 2.5%.
In 2012, 27% of BELIEVE visitors accessed English language
pages. Spanish was 28%; mainland Chinese was 3%; Russian was 3%;
French was 6%; Japanese was 2%; German was 3%; Taiwanese was 4%;
and Arabic was 3%. Italian was 4%, Portuguese was 9%, Swedish
was 2% and Polish was 2%.
In 2013, 23% of BELIEVE visitors accessed English language
pages. Spanish was 29%; mainland Chinese was 5%; Russian was 3%;
French was 6%; Japanese was 7%; German was 3%; Taiwanese was 5%;
and Arabic was 4%. Italian was 4%, Portuguese was 9%, Swedish
was 2% and Polish was 1%.
This has become a significant amount of traffic, where people around
the world are apparently studying and learning a good deal of
accurate religious information. Every day, around 400 million characters
in Spanish are distributed! Every day, around 40 million characters
in mainland Chinese and another 50 million characters in Taiwanese
Chinese are sent around the world! We hope we are doing some good
in getting accurate and thorough religious information to people who
might not otherwise have had access to it.
Other reasons for the existence of BELIEVE are:
- For Ministry
- BELIEVE can be a useful source for when Pastors are
assembling their Sermons. Many of the topics include very
comprehensive discussions, especially the Advanced articles.
BELIEVE can also be helpful to Ministry when a Congregation member
asks a question about an obscure subject. Refreshing that knowledge
gained on Photius in
Divinity School can be quickly done!
- For testifying to others
- BELIEVE is a useful information source when you are about to
testify to someone of another Faith. Articles describing nearly all
world belief systems are included. Knowing something about what
a person presently believes will help you to intelligently
comment on their beliefs, and then express the advantages of your
belief system. This can help develop respect and credibility in you
and make YOUR presentation more acceptable. Often, when Christians
witness to others, they overlook why the person currently believes
what he/she does, as though it is irrelevant, often because they know very little about that
other belief system. This often comes across as extremely
insulting! Here's a chance to improve the effect
of your witnessing to others, by showing respect for them
by intelligently discussing their current beliefs.
- To confirm or deny a questionable comment made by a friend.
- Sometimes, you hear someone say something religious that just sounds
weird! Normally, you don't have quick access to reference books
to research the topic, or you just don't want to invest
hours tracking down such information. BELIEVE probably
has useful information on that subject, available in just seconds.
Knowing this, you might be more likely to "check it out!"
- Two Children's Versions (Young and Older) are being worked on.
- These are intended to help kids better understand some
subjects that aren't often described very well for their level.
We have the preliminary structure already present in our
web-site. They are both still almost empty of text entries.
The Younger Version will be
targeted for ages about 5-9. The Older
Version will be targeted for ages about 10-15. Assistance
from interested parties is encouraged. Contact us by E-mail.
BELIEVE was first placed on the Internet in the Spring of 1997.
Since then, there have been an amazing number of visitors to our
site! It seems that most web-sites quickly brag about how much
traffic comes to a site. Considering the content of this site, we feel
that would be the wrong attitude. Large numbers are essentially
irrelevant! Our interest is (hopefully!) always in each single visitor,
with our efforts being to aid that person to better understand the Lord
and religion and Christianity. If a person is able to get closer to a point
of better committing to God (and Jesus), then our efforts are
successful! So, as far as we are concerned, we have had ONE visitor,
YOU! And, since you are important to God and Jesus, you are very important
to us. We think that's the attitude Jesus would want us to have!
Also, we realize that you might be interested in knowing more about
the organization that created and operates BELIEVE. Our Church,
A Christ Walk Church is a relatively normal Protestant Christian
A Christ Walk Church - Statement of Faith is very similar to that of most Protestant
Churches, although it might be more thoroughly presented! The most
noticeable difference between our Church and other Protestant Churches
is our special focus on always trying to figure out what Jesus might
have said or done in each situation, and then act and speak appropriately.
Basically, the result of this is that our Church seems to have much less
dogma than many other Churches. Instead of applying any rigid formulation
of response, we believe it is better to understand and respond to each
situation of life individually. This statement should make the
entire existence of BELIEVE a lot more logical, because it really fits
in with the concept. Each visitor is an individual, unlike anyone else.
It is our belief that if we provide sufficient accurate information,
each visitor and his/her indwelling Holy Spirit will then be able
to Discern the Truth for that person.
We have another presentation which may be of interest, where the
basic Meaning of Christianity is presented, as understood by our Church, at
What Is Christianity, Anyway?
We have noticed that recently, bumperstickers
are beginning to appear with "WWJD" (What Would Jesus Do?)
on them. We find that wonderful, very similar to what our Church has
always tried to do and Teach.
We are certainly not perfect, and neither is BELIEVE. In this vein,
it probably makes sense for us to admit to a significant "bias" that
we know we have! BELIEVE currently does NOT contain a presentation
on "Collection Plate" or "Donation" or "Mammon"
because we are not sure we could "fairly" present such a topic. We
have somewhat unusual attitudes toward that subject!
Shortly after the Editor of BELIEVE was Saved (at age 19), he was
on vacation and attended a Church in Florida. "New"
Christians are all especially enthusiastic, and that was true in
this case. However, during an hour and a half Service, the Minister
passed the Collection Plate FIVE times! They each were for reasonably
valid reasons: the normal Collection; a collection to repair the
Church parking lot and driveway; a collection for a building project
toward having a Sunday School; a collection for a guest Minister;
and a collection for a Christian music group that played during
the Service. However, collectively, the experience was offensive
to the Editor. Without being able to put a finger on exactly what
was wrong, it just seemed like something was different from the way
Jesus might have wanted it to be.
As a consequence of that experience, the Editor, and BELIEVE, have
an intense attitude about keeping religious experience and learning
as far as possible from money matters. Clearly, each Church MUST
pay mortgages and utility bills and the staff's wages, so money
must necessarily be present in the operation of each Church. But
we have all seen examples where something has gone wrong and Ministry
flies around in personal Learjets and rides around in chauffeured
limousines. I guess our attitude is that we wish that the hour
or two that we each share in the Lord's House each week, could be
entirely focused on religious ideas, and that people would make
their Offerings to their Churches without having to be "prodded"
by the existence of a Collection Plate! But that's not realistic!
We just hope that each Church uses good judgment (and consults their
Holy Spirit!) regarding all subjects associated with money, in or out.
We see this as a pretty significant bias, and so we didn't feel we could
fairly present a page on the subject! There are many reasons why
your local Church NEEDS the funds from the Collection, so please
be generous to them.
We have recently become aware of yet ANOTHER potential bias we might have!
We receive enormous amounts of e-mail, and some of it is critical mail
from other Protestant Clergy members. In general, such mail attacks us for
submitting our visitors to "wolves" (Matt 7:15; Acts 20:29).
Their position is that we should intensely and exclusively present OUR
perspectives and beliefs on the many subjects included in BELIEVE,
and we should NOT include "alternate" perspectives at all!
They believe that we introduce the possibility of confusion in our
visitors by presenting various (seemingly credible) approaches on
subjects that are centrally important to Faith.
They believe that we commit outright sacrilege by openly presenting
Catholic and Orthodox and other beliefs!
Well, they might be right about that, so we cannot defend our actions
directly to them! They often also tell us that we are destined for
Hell as a result of this aspect of BELIEVE! We hope that they are wrong
We also receive a lot of mail applauding us for our "Ecumenical"
We tend to think that neither is quite accurate, but for an apparently
unusual reason! BELIEVE was created and is presented by our
non-Denominational Protestant Christian Church, which is named
A Christ Walk Church. This appears to be important in this area.
Our Church has a special emphasis on Christian behavior along
with all the standard Christian Teachings. We feel that Jesus
demonstrated and discussed many "proper behaviors" in
addition to the words of His Teachings. As a consequence of this, our
Church sees specific importance in the END RESULT of Christian Ministry,
basically, the condition of the hearts of those who listen. In our
view, virtually the ONLY essential question at the end is "Is
your heart Devoutly committed to the Lord?" We believe that that
is the single question Jesus would be interested in, at the point
someone is at the Gates of Heaven. We see that as logical, and
our Ministry sees ALL Ministry in that light. Of course, we want to
believe that our methods of Teaching are valid, but we recognize
that there might be many other ways a person's heart might be
brought to Devotion in the Lord.
Our critics disagree! They feel that a Soul will be evaluated
by the adherence to a whole variety of requirements. Each Church
seems to Teach its own list of just what those requirements are.
Many then absolutely insist that ONLY their Church knows the
"correct" Teachings, and therefore that ONLY their
members could ever enter Heaven. A recent series of communications
with such a Protestant Pastor somewhat astounded me when he
unequivocally stated that NO Catholic EVER in history has EVER
gotten into Heaven! His Denomination has a few hundred thousand
members, and he and the other Ministers in that Denomination
Teach that only they could ever enter Heaven.
When I pointed out that there are currently nearly a BILLION
Catholics, and that many are VERY Devout, he said it was sad that
so many people were so misled! When I mentioned remarkably Devout
Catholic Saints, such as Saint Augustine, Saint Benedict, Saint
Teresa of Avila, and Saint Dominic, he again absolutely insisted
that they are all in Hell, because they followed the "wolves".
We have a "quiz" for you! Virtually all Christians confidently
feel that they are "IN" once they are Saved. We think that some
may be being "optimistic" about this! Try this:
As a mental exercise, in private, list TEN times when you have let
the Lord down! Many Christians laugh at this, commenting that they
fall short thousands of times, but this exercise is more challenging
than you might think. Just remember that you are considering the
Lord, so consider your "standards".
A person might THINK that he/she is devout, but without an awareness of
the many times we humans fall short, there seems the likelihood
of a non-Christian arrogance. We think that awareness of a
personal list of ten examples of shortcomings would confirm
the status of that person's heart. The "scale" of those incidents
would likely vary greatly from individual to individual, and
it would remain a private matter between that person and the Lord.
The point of this exercise is that if you manage to think of ten
different specific times you let the Lord down, you're probably on
the right track. If you cannot think of any, or struggle to think of
a couple, you might want to consider putting more effort into your Faith!
Of course, he might be right! We have no absolute way of proving him
wrong! And, if Jesus really DOES run Heaven where many strict
"rules of admission" are applied, then, yes, most of
us will be "out of luck" in happening to have chosen
the "wrong" Church to attend.
We see two major problems in that situation. First, it seems to
imply that Jesus is rather "legalistic" in who is allowed
into Heaven, and we know from when He was with us that He was
violently against the Jews for being legalistic in applying the
"Law" of the Old Testament (example: Luke 13:14).
Second, and, we think, even
more importantly, is another implication regarding Jesus. We all
believe that Jesus IS Love and Compassion, essentially the very
definition of the words! So, our Church, with its special focus
on behavioral issues, asks "Would a Compassionate Jesus
participate in a Heaven where extremely Devout people who spent a
lifetime committed to Him would be denied entry to Heaven?"
Our emphatic response is that He wouldn't and couldn't.
Yes, we Teach the Two Protestant Sacraments, Baptism and the Eucharist, and we Teach that
Good Works spring FROM Christian Faith rather than being necessary
to it, and we Baptize and have the other common beliefs of many
Protestant Churches. But we think it would be very arrogant
(therefore, non-Christian) to claim that WE alone knew how to
prepare individuals for the Presence of the Lord. Therefore, we
openly applaud ALL Churches that attempt to prepare the hearts of
their followers for profound Devotion to the Lord, even when they
follow methods which we might not agree with.
We do not have ANY good explanation as to how the Lord deals with this
diversity in Heaven, only that, because of His Compassion, He does!
So, a Devout Catholic, who was Taught a central importance in doing Good
Works as a condition for Salvation (which we Protestants think is
very wrong!) would still be welcomed with a Smile into Heaven,
whether or not we understand why! Any other result would seem to
imply a Lord whose Compassion is not what we want to believe it is.
Our conclusion from all this is that, prior to committing one's
life to the Lord, a person may freely visit various Houses of Worship.
Consider the deeper meaning of Baptism. Who did you intend
to affect by being Baptized? We hope it was not for friends or
family or a Church leadership. Our hope is that you (possibly even privately)
became Saved (actually, we see that as being Baptized by the Spirit),
committed to the Lord, and then were publicly (water) Baptized
for only one purpose: To tell the Lord, "I am Yours, and I will
forever demonstrate my Devotion TO YOU by strictly following the
Rites and beliefs of THIS (your) Church." As of that moment, each
believer has the strict responsibility to follow THAT Church.
You have essentially told the Lord "Judge me by THIS standard."
There is NO leeway. No room for interpretation on your part!
If you happened to have chosen a Church that requires you to ask
"How high?" when it tells you to jump, then you MUST,
not for the Church, but to keep demonstrating to the Lord your
total Obedience to Him. Just because a Church down the block does
not require jumping, you have NO room to complain, and just better
get good at jumping! Your Personal Promise to the Lord is on the line!
From the moment you are Baptized, IN A SPECIFIC CHURCH, then ONLY
that Church's Christian Rites and beliefs have real meaning for you.
Hopefully, your Church has valid beliefs and Rites.
Beliefs and procedures in some other Church may be VERY different,
and they may even seem incompatible with what you must follow.
FOR YOU, it is irrelevant what the Christians in those other Churches
must do. However, you should encourage them to be very Devout in
their following of their own Church's Rites and beliefs. At the
moment they were Baptized in those Churches, they made their own
solemn Promise to the Lord to forever demonstrate their Faith to Him.
(The exception to this are clearly aberrant groups that claim to
Some people have expressed concern about this regarding what would
happen if they move or otherwise decide to attend a different Church,
that these comments might seem to suggest that Salvation or Baptism
would no longer have effect! No, that is not the concept we tried
to describe here! We believe that in those situations, a simple and
private conversation with the Lord would inform Him that you now wish
to be evaluated by the new set of rules and behaviors of the new
We might have another possible analogy to use here. When one gets
married, one makes certainly commitments to another person, and we even
then say "forever". However, there are some individuals
that either immediately or later start thinking and behaving as though
they had never made such a commitment, that they are somehow free to
be "making up their own rules" to follow. That is clearly
unacceptable. We feel that it is critically important that a person
not have the freedom to "decide what rules must be followed
regarding the Lord." So we insist that the existing set of rules
regarding behaviors and attitudes of an existing Church be followed instead.
So, that is our concept, and our ONLY defense to those attackers
who criticize us for being in league with the wolves! Many have
directly implied that we might as well buy shovels now, as we will
spend Eternity stoking the furnaces in Hell! And, again, we have
no absolute way of knowing or proving that they are wrong, except our
Faith in what WE believe the Lord to be, and that He IS Love and
These few paragraphs might sound like a "commercial" on
our part. They are not intended as such. But, we have received a number of
such criticisms, and felt it necessary to allow readers to know
both about the criticisms and our reasons for BELIEVE being the
very "open" form that it is. In the event that this
represents a "bias" we felt you should know about it!
One final comment about the "confusion" we might be
causing and / or the "wolves" business: Another central
belief of our Church is that the Holy Spirit is RIGHT THERE with
EVERY visitor to BELIEVE, whether Christian, Seeker, or skeptic.
Our belief is that that Holy Spirit will give guidance to each
individual visitor, regarding the discernment of Truth. Therefore,
we believe that, when we present various Christian scholars'
broadly accepted views on our many subjects, the Holy Spirit will
lead each visitor in finding the "correct" one for that
person. This is why we don't have reservations about presenting
positions that our Church happens to not agree with, and why we
feel we can present such views fairly and honestly. And, as a
responsibility to Jesus, we feel we are REQUIRED to do so!
So, if you should find anything in BELIEVE that appears to disagree
with the Teachings of your Church, we recommend relying on those
Teachings first, but possibly asking informed questions at the right
time and in the right place. They probably have EXCELLENT reasons
for their beliefs and Teachings!
Now, whether our approach represents an "Ecumenical"
perspective, we do not know. The result is similar, of a tolerance
and acceptance of other Churches, but we see it as being for a
rather different reason than most Ecumenical efforts are initiated.
And we don't see need for "conformance" to some common
set of beliefs, but rather a recognition that the Lord Smiles on
ALL of the diversity of Christian approaches. We acknowledge that
God's Plan for us is far beyond our capability to completely
Our impression is that Churches generally concentrate on the
specific "means" toward becoming a Christian and we tend
to concentrate more on the "end" of actually BEING a
Devout Christian. We don't see that it means we disagree, but
just that we do not see cause to argue among Churches in how they
each accomplish it! Actually, we tend to see value in WHATEVER
a Church feels it needs to do to prepare the hearts of its
Congregation members, so we are actually a fan of (nearly) all of them!
We have a page with additional comments on our
Simple Christian beliefs.
BELIEVE also includes thorough and fair presentations of all
of the other major belief systems of the world. Again thinking of how
Jesus might treat such subjects, we think that He would be open and honest,
having Faith that Christianity can "hold its own" when honest
and complete information is available about all options. We do not
think that He would have been "secretive" in avoiding
discussing other religions and their good and bad points. Therefore,
we try to follow His lead in BELIEVE. We put those subjects down at
the bottom of the list, separate from the Christian subjects.
You probably consider yourself to be one of the "children of
God", don't you? More than that, a child of the One, True God,
Whom Abraham worshipped and Who communicated with Moses to provide us
with what we commonly call the Ten Commandments? There are a LOT
of people who would make those statements! Protestant Christians
carefully study the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament) to learn
how to Worship Him. Catholic Christians use a combination of the
Bible and Traditions to do the same. Jews use only the Old Testament,
which they call the Torah, in order to know how to Worship God.
Muslims use a combination of part of that same Old Testament, which they
call Taurah, along with their Koran, to learn how to Worship the
very same God, Whom they call Allah. All of these people consider
themselves to be "children of God", the One God of Abraham.
Interesting? Yet many of these children of God absolutely insist
that the others are all Devil worshippers and therefore sinful!
Many Christians, who actually know virtually zilch regarding what
Muslims believe, get ferociously vicious at ME for pointing out
that Jesus, the Father, Jehovah, YHWH, Allah and many other Names
ALL refer to the One True God Whom Abraham first Worshipped.
They never have enough background to explain WHY or HOW the God
of Abraham who WE Worship is somehow exactly opposite of the God
of Abraham that Muslims worship many times every day!
Actually, we suspect that many Christians will be amazed to find that
Muslims' Holy Koran tells the stories of Adam and Abraham and Israel and
Moses and many others on whom our Faith is based. It seems that few
Christians realize that their Allah is One and the Same God as Who the Jews
call YHWH (Yahweh, or Jehovah) and Whom we Christians call Father. Certainly,
their stories have differences from our Bible, but the many similarities
are something to consider! Again, we know that Jesus would be
absolutely confident that Christians would not have their Faith
weakened by learning about such things, but it might assist all of
us to learn to get along better together.
Actually, we note that God originally forbade anyone to even
say His Name! It would probably be extremely healthy if we did that
today. A Christian would then say that he/she Worships "the
One, True God of Abraham, Moses and Adam." Which is EXACTLY the same
thing that Jews and Muslims would say! The later appearance of that
One True God walking the Earth as Jesus, tends to cause massive
confusion, both in many Christians and in most non-Christians.
Many Christians are so focused on Jesus that they forget that the
First Commandment made very clear that there is actually One True
God, which Jesus therefore has to also be! Non-Christians (Jews
and Muslims) are more focused on Moses' Ten Commandments and therefore
concentrate on the "One True God" aspect and think that
Christians are Worshipping "somebody else" and therefore,
very properly, find error in that as seeming to conflict with the
On this point, the Koran and Islam hold Jesus in very high esteem,
considering Him a Prophet, and even expecting Him to some day Return!
It is our suspicion that Muhammad (the initiator of
Islam) misunderstood the Christian concept of the Trinity. At several
places in their Koran, there are statements that clearly indicate that
Muhammad thought that Christians considered Jesus to be a SECOND God,
and Muhammad aggressively defended the First Commandment statement that there
is One True God (which all Muslims repeat at least five
times every single day). It is our suspicion that if Muhammad had
fully understood the concept of the Trinity (One God), he would have
realized that the One True God had Chosen to walk the earth
six hundred years earlier as Jesus! With that adjustment, Christianity
and Islam become surprisingly similar in basic beliefs!
Their belief system seems to have a number of errors in it regarding Christianity,
such as the impression that the Christian Trinity is Father, Jesus, and the
Virgin Mary! (Koran Sura 5.116) This is interesting, since Muslims
believe that every word of the Koran is precisely accurate because
it came directly from God (Allah) to Muhammad. Our point is that it
is not nearly as "foreign" as many people think.
While we're on this tangent, we'd like to ask Christian readers why
Muslims insist on facing Mecca for all their prayers! Do you know?
It's because of a single thing, a building in Mecca, called the
Kaaba. Muslims believe that Abraham (yup, OUR Abraham!) built the
Kaaba, and they recognize Abraham as being the very first
"true" believer, because he was willing to sacrifice
his own son for the Lord. We find that interesting! Each
person is free to interpret such things however they wish!
If this interests you, we have created a small presentation
which is absolutely compatible with all Christian beliefs and is
also completely compatible with all Muslim beliefs. It is at:
Obviously, these comments do not include the militant terrorist Muslims,
who have grave errors in their understanding of their own Islam.
They don't seem to be aware of the surprisingly peaceful tone of what
Islam actually tries to teach. They seem to ignore the many times
where their Koran emphasizes brotherhood with Jews and Christians, as
brother "believers of the Book (the Torah, the first five Books of
the Bible)". It is very sad that the vast majority of
peace-loving Muslims are painted to seem so evil by the actions of
a small number of extremely dangerous people. It is certainly true that
we think that Muslims have many incorrect ideas and beliefs,
particularly regarding Jesus, Mary and Christians. But it is
interesting to note the many similarities, too.
Most of the BELIEVE entries are included in a downloadable package file.
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You may also want to visit
A Christ Walk Church,
our Church's fully-functional, non-denominational Church presentation and
Service on the Internet. The environment is meant to be as similar as
possible to that in a conventional Church. There are weekly Services.
Sounds and music are intended to be part of the experience, which will be
meant to encourage singing along. After the Service, you could
join the Pastor and others in the congregation in a (chat room) discussion
group, to have a casual conversation about that week's topic or
anything else on your mind. Private conversation is also possible.
Information about the Editor of BELIEVE.
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