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Terry Holley
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Quote:
On Apr 27, 2014, Mike Maturen wrote:
Rob: I would agree that the statement of faith needs updating, perhaps to read simply "We agree that the Bible is "inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16).

This statement is 100% Biblical, cannot be argued, and is inclusive to all Christian Churches.


So all the following "good to go?"

*******

The Way International: http://theway.org/article.php?page=jan_14&lang=en - The reason the Word of God can be believed is because it is God-inspired. II Timothy 3:16: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: http://www.mormon.org/beliefs/commandments - God wants us to read His words because they help us know His will, and following God's will is always in our best interest. The scriptures contain the things God has revealed to His children through prophets. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recognizes the following books as scripture: The Holy Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price

Unity School of Christianity: http://www.unity.org/about-us/our-philosophy - Unity founders Charles and Myrtle Fillmore studied the Bible as history and allegory and interpreted it as a metaphysical representation of humankind's evolutionary journey toward spiritual awakening. In addition, Unity recognizes that the Bible is a complex collection of writings compiled over many centuries. We honor the writings as reflecting the understanding and inspiration of the writers at the time they were written. The Bible continues to be a valuable spiritual resource for us.

Jehovah's Witnesses: http://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/ - The Bible offers the best possible advice on life’s most difficult questions. Its value has been proved throughout the centuries. In this section, you’ll find out just how practical the Bible really is.—2 Timothy 3:16, 17.

Unification Church (Rev, Sun Nyung Moon) - [I cannot find info to prove that this group believes in Biblical inspiration, as the hold that the Bible is "not the truth itself, but a textbook teaching the truth." - http://www.unification.net/dp73/dp73-1-0.html - Many passages in the Bible say that new words of truth will be given to mankind in the "Last Days". What will be the mission of the new truth? Its mission will be to present the internal truth that religion has pursued and the external truth searched for by science under one unified theme.... In addition, the new truth should be able to explain lucidly all the difficult problems of Christianity, since Christianity plays a major role in the formation of the world cultural....With the fullness of time, God has sent His messenger to resolve the fundamental questions of life and the universe. His name is Sun Myung Moon....The Divine Principle revealed in this book is only part of the new truth. We have recorded here what Sun Myung Moon's disciples have hitherto heard and witnessed. We believe with happy expectation that, as time goes on, deeper parts of the truth will be continually revealed. It is our earnest prayer that the light of truth will quickly fill the earth [General Introduction to Moon's "Divine Principle"].

Scientology: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/scientology/users/catechism/part1/ - Scientologists hold the Bible as a holy work [inspired?] and have no argument with the Christian belief that Jesus Christ was the Savior of Mankind and the Son of God. We share Christ's goals for man's achievement of wisdom, good health and immortality. Christianity is among the faiths studied by Scientology ministerial students. There are probably many types of redemption. That of Christ was to heaven.

**********

Just askin'. Comments in [ ] are mine.

Terry
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Mike Maturen
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Terry:

These other ecclesial bodies have OTHER issues that automatically make them non-Christian...and they are recognized as such by the majority of the Christian world.
Mike Maturen
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Mike Maturen
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But to be honest, does the FCM even check the background of those it accepts as members? Or, do they simply trust that when someone agrees to the SoF, that they are being honest?

What to stop a Mormon or a JW or any of the other groups you mentioned from saying they are Christian (because most of them believe such), and joining?
Mike Maturen
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Craig Logan
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Quote:
On Apr 28, 2014, Mike Maturen wrote:
But to be honest, does the FCM even check the background of those it accepts as members? Or, do they simply trust that when someone agrees to the SoF, that they are being honest?

What to stop a Mormon or a JW or any of the other groups you mentioned from saying they are Christian (because most of them believe such), and joining?


I know a JW, and his contention is we're just different denominations. I have tried to lovingly persuade him otherwise, but to no avail.

I think some dealbreakers consist of disagreeing about:
Who Jesus is (both God and Man)
The exclusivity of Salvation (through Christ alone)
The inerrency of the Bible (without error)

As an aside, I believe the Scriptures are inspirited by God and authoritative in a way beyond other texts. Not to flame or offend, just my belief.
"A wizard is not to be made in a day." -Professor Hoffmann (Modern Magic)
Mike Maturen
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Mediocre...we don't disagree on any of it.

As to salvation, I don't want to start that discussion here...as it ALWAYS leads to war.

Suffice it to say that Salvation is BY grace, THROUGH faith. Scriptures gives a bunch of other caveats regarding what is required of us as believers...but since this is a magic forum and not a theology forum...we shall leave that alone.
Mike Maturen
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Terry Holley
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Quote:
On Apr 28, 2014, Mike Maturen wrote:
Terry:

These other ecclesial bodies have OTHER issues that automatically make them non-Christian...and they are recognized as such by the majority of the Christian world.

Mike,

My point is that if the wording in the FCM Statement of Faith is changed from "believe the Bible to be the only inspired infallible Word of God" to "we agree that the Bible is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness," the FCM is then open to membership that puts extra-biblical revelation on par or above the Bible, which the groups I cited most assuredly do. As I see it, that is one problem with extra-biblical revelation and dismissal of Sola Scriptura. Anyone can claim that their "revelations" and teachings are direct words from God and on the same level as Scripture. Other than the belief in Sola Scriptura, there is really no way to refute extra-biblical revelation no matter how much an individual or a group attempts to claim that they have the final word. It simply becomes one person's word against another.

Terry
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robvh
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Terry, I don't think that Mike was suggesting that his short statement would make up the entirety of the statement of faith. It would however remove the requirement to adhere to sola scriptura (which has already been pointed out as being both unbiblical and illogical). Perhaps we should all simply be looking to the Nicene Creed for the answer!

By the way, sola scriptura is no answer to the "one person's word over another" problem you mention. Otherwise there wouldn't be over 30,000 Protestant denominations! Jesus had the answer (no surprise there) and that was to grant authority to the Church he founded -- and more specifically to Peter. This is what the Keys and binding & loosing are all about! Jesus promised to preserve the Church from dogmatic error (though not human frailty) through the help of the Holy Spirit. Thus we can identify that Church by, among other things, apostolic succession and authority. That's how you resolve the whole "he said, she said" problem!

But I digress. Let's get back to the statement of faith. Mike's suggestion is good given that it comes straight out of the Bible. The Nicene Creed might contain other affirming content.
Mike Maturen
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Rob is correct. I NEVER recommended that my suggestion be the ONLY SofF. Certainly, the person MUST be Christian. There are basic tenets which one MUST believe in order to be Christian. Sola Scriptura is NOT one of them. In fact, Sola Scriptura is a relatively NEW invention in the Christian world. It is only a few centuries old, in fact.

As Rob has already pointed out, Sola Scriptura is neither logical NOR biblical.

If you believe Sola Scriptura to be "infallible"...prove it. From the Bible.
Mike Maturen
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SDMoore1
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Quote:
On Apr 27, 2014, jamiedoyle wrote:
Wondering:
Who, in this conversation is a member of the FCM?

I'll start: I am.

Well, I'm not, and I started the conversation.
Mike Maturen
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LOL
Mike Maturen
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MagicBus
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I was granted "lifetime" status as a FCM member, one of the benefits of getting old. Smile
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CONGRATS!
Mike Maturen
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MagicBus
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Thanks! I have also been a member of the IBM and SAM on and off since 1963, but did have the money to pay dues when starving in college in the 70ties so some of my magic memberships lapsed. IBM Order of Merlin, etc. then all went down the drain
Smile I enjoy the FCM convention the best of them all, but have to miss this year in Nashville due to a missions trip I am going on the following week.

I cannot say enough (as I have said many times before) about the advantage of being a "regular" in our church's weekly Sunday morning Sunday School program. Working on new material every single week, and I don't have to "establish" myself each Sunday. The kids know I try to bring three different effects every week- and I (and they) look forward to it. The kids at church know me as the "magician" (even though my wife and I do lots of other stuff as well at church), and they love to ask me to "show me a trick."

Probably this Sunday I will do Barry Mitchell's Gospel version of "The Magic Box" along with "Daniel in the Lions Den". Haven't decided yet what the third routine will be yet. Yep, you guessed it, I just recently bought these items from Barry Mitchell and David Laflin so I will be trying them out for the first time this Sunday. That's another advantage of being old and throwing little away, I have alotta magic stashed all over the place. Just a joy. Lots of times I find parts of tricks I want to try out but can't remember where I put the other parts needed exactly. Any of you like that?
MagicBus
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Whoops, sorry, none of the above has to do with the FCM statement of faith. I digress. My wife hates it when I do that too (we are taking a walk and she is talking to me about something and I respond back with something else totally unrelated out of the blue).
Mike Maturen
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LOL...glad I'm not the only one that does that!
Mike Maturen
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mralincoln
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The issue being discussed is sugnificant. The Statement of Faith for those of us as FCM members is important. Doctrine matters--and that I just what we are discussing here. We are discussing theology--especially Bibliology (the study of the Bible).

Though I was not a member when it was drafted, I believe it was likely intended not only to provide a unique identify to the organization, but also to "limit" membership to those who could agree to hold to the concept that the Bible (the now-completed canon) is our sole authority. Of course, there are those who hold to different doctrines. That's understood. For them, it would make sense they could form an alternative organization. However, to criticize or to ask an established Christian organization to change its identity to suit their beliefs (or their church's doctrinal positions) seems a bit self-centered IMHO. If you cannot agree to the SoF of an organization, by all means, do not join that organization. It's just not a good fit--for you or the group in question (whatever group that may be).

To be honest, if the FCM did succumb to pressure to change its SoF in such a way that elevated a human being or a church's leader/governing body to the same authority as the Scriptures, I would feel the need to remove my membership.

NOTE: I do not speak for FCM, just my personal opinion publicly stated.
jamiedoyle
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Very insightful post Dr. Christopher.
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wwhokie1
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Quote:
On Apr 23, 2014, Mike Maturen wrote:
The ONLY reason it would make a difference to me is that--as a Catholic--I believe that the Bible (God's infallible Word) is NOT the only authority. Since the Bible didn't even EXIST until the second or third century, we understand and teach that the teaching of the Apostles (Holy Tradition---capital "T") is also authoritative...and is important to the faith. Therefore, a restrictive "Statement of Faith" that requires assent that the Bible is the ONLY authoritative source of faith effectively cuts out the largest Christian Church in the world.


Of course the OT did exist long before then. Also the books of the NT were around before then and were considered as authoritative. It was the view that these books had been considered authoritative for a long time that helped shape the canon of the Bible in its final form. Therefore, to say that the Bible didn't exist until second or third century - though technically correct that it wasn't compiled in today's form as one book - doesn't really describe the history of the OT and NT books that make up the Bible.
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But...these books were passed down by? You guessed it! ORAL TRADITION! These books had to be hand copied, which took forever since most were illiterate back then. While you are correct that the books that currently form the Bible WERE always considered authoritative, there were dozens of others that many considered authoritative that were ultimately left OUT of the Canon of Scripture.

It was the authority of the Catholic Church that made these decisions.
Mike Maturen
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SDMoore1
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Quote:
On May 3, 2014, mralincoln wrote:
The issue being discussed is sugnificant. The Statement of Faith for those of us as FCM members is important. Doctrine matters--and that I just what we are discussing here. We are discussing theology--especially Bibliology (the study of the Bible).

Though I was not a member when it was drafted, I believe it was likely intended not only to provide a unique identify to the organization, but also to "limit" membership to those who could agree to hold to the concept that the Bible (the now-completed canon) is our sole authority. Of course, there are those who hold to different doctrines. That's understood. For them, it would make sense they could form an alternative organization. However, to criticize or to ask an established Christian organization to change its identity to suit their beliefs (or their church's doctrinal positions) seems a bit self-centered IMHO. If you cannot agree to the SoF of an organization, by all means, do not join that organization. It's just not a good fit--for you or the group in question (whatever group that may be).

To be honest, if the FCM did succumb to pressure to change its SoF in such a way that elevated a human being or a church's leader/governing body to the same authority as the Scriptures, I would feel the need to remove my membership.

NOTE: I do not speak for FCM, just my personal opinion publicly stated.

-------------------
SOF:
"I have received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior and believe the Bible to be the only inspired infallible Word of God. I believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin and He died on the cross as the only atonement for our sins; that He rose from the dead; that He ascended to the Father’s right hand in Heaven, and will one day come back for those who trust in Him. As a member of this Fellowship, I commit myself to: (1) reaching lost souls and encouraging growth in the body of Christ through the use of such talents as magic, ventriloquism and associated arts; (2) diligently be a more proficient performer with these talents; and (3) carefully uphold the code of ethics of the magic profession (related to exposure of magical effects and ideas).”
--------------------
Indeed, doctrine matters!

Reading the first chapter of John, "In the beginning was the Word [capital "W"], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God..." I see this as an affirmation of the concept of a triune God, three in one. I see The Word as God's expression. The spirit of God is a living, vibrant thing, unlimited by mankind, and far beyond man's humble understanding. In short, I believe we can believe in God, but are presently, in our earthly forms, wholly incapable of understanding, completely, God and The Holy Spirit. The Word was with God, and the Word is God. I see a rainbow, and I see God's promise. I see the rainbow as God's doing; as God's very expression. A sunrise is God's doing. The sunrise is not God, but it is God's doing, God's will, God's expression. It "is" only because of God.

The Bible, I believe, is the inspired Word of God. Man held the pen while God wrote it. But.. I do not see the Bible as the only expression of God. As I am using the word, "Word", capital W, the Bible is not the only thing God has done or does. The expression of God's will is the Holy Spirit in action. Anything God does is by definition, "infallible" (is it not?). As such, the sunrise is infallible; a rainbow is infallible; a salmon swimming upstream is infallible; all, because they are expressions of God's will, and all are exactly what and where they are due to God's will at any particular moment.

I don't see God as being limited by the Bible. Do I see The Bible as infallible, and God's Word? Absolutely! The FCM statement of faith says it is the ONLY (capital W) Word of God. That's where I have an issue. That's not to say I follow other so called "inspired writings" or believe them to be "infallible". I don't.

Capital W Word of God, is, quite literally (and according to John 1) something I call The Holy Spirit. The Bible is not itself The Holy Spirit, nor is the Bible God...though it is inspired by God, it is God's word, and it is infallible. But as "Word" is used in the Bible itself, in first chapter of John, the Bible is not the "only Word of God" because in John 1, The Word means Holy Spirit. The way I see things, if God wills something to happen, and it happens, then that very thing willed by God is an infallible manifestation of Gods truth, and as such, is The Word in action.

Hence my question, hence my desire for clarification.

No one has quite addressed the question yet, from the perspective that it was asked. I presume the good men who wrote the SOF for FCM meant to keep out followers of Buddha, or Confucius, or mohammedians. Okay. I get that. But it seems to me they limit the word "Word" to meaning ONLY the Bible, and not what the Bible itself says "The Word" actually is, which is The Holy Spirit. They overlooked the homonym. Pretty big oversight.

I am not suggesting that anyone change anything, for me. I just enjoy discussion with THINKING and engaged Christians (as opposed to dogma parrots), and had hoped to find here some that could reasonably discuss.


Does this make any sense? Is what I'm asking now more clear?
Thanks, to all of you who have tried to answer in good faith and without judgement.
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