Beliefs Question and Answer.
This is not the usual “Statement of Faith” that Churches and other “Christian” organisations generally give. Such statements tend to be full of standard phrases and platitudes that often leave you little wiser as to the true beliefs, doctrines or motives of the body concerned.
Note that this is in no way an absolute list of beliefs for all Church-free Christians. People who read the Bible for themselves, who are at different stages of their walk with the Lord, and who are thinking seriously, will vary considerably in the detail of their belief. Probably no two people will ever be identical.
If a question is not here you can add it by going through the Contact page. You can also ask for clarification. If someone has already asked for clarification on an answer you will see a Clarification link at the end of it. Click it to go to the relevant post.
1 When and How will Men be Judged?
At the Final Judgement, and according to their deeds. However, those who have genuinely accepted Jesus will be in the position of having already been justified (found innocent.) Those who died too young to have done anything will be judged according to what they would have done; given God’s ability to know the motives of peoples’ hearts, and the vast evidence of how others behaved in an almost infinite range of different situations, this will not be difficult. There will also be a huge jury, including all of God’s People and even the Queen of Sheba; justice will be seen to be done and approved by all, not merely enforced by God. Clarification Q1
2 What happens to those who are found to be Wicked?
They will go to destruction in the Lake of Fire.
3 Do Men have Free Will?
Yes. See Free Will or Predestination here.
4 Are Men made by God to be Sinful?
No, they are made to be upright.
5 Can Men Save Themselves?
Men have free will, and God in his Grace has given abundant clues to men of their need for Salvation and his readiness to forgive. Hence, through the Grace of God, men may choose Salvation.
6 Do Men Understand Exactly how God Works?
No. The belief that they do is based on pride. Men have neither the perspective, the knowledge, nor the intelligence to know exactly how God works. Any attempt to tie Him down to a set of simple, humanly understood actions is futile. We are not called upon to understand God fully, but to have faith in him; that does not mean having faith that He exists, as that is obvious from what has been made. Blind faith in God’s existence is a totally false concept that is heavily promoted by atheists and fake or confused Christians. Faith actually means having trust and confidence in what He does and will do in the future. Understanding is no more expected of us than parents expect to be understood by a three-year-old.
7 What makes men Proud?
The fact that we are so fearfully and wonderfully made, with such a vast range of abilities.
8 Is God the Creator of everything?
9 Is God in Control?
Yes. But in Genesis 1:28 He says “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” This verse is extremely significant, since it is God giving control of the Earth to Adam and his descendants. This means that men have control and responsibility for what happens on Earth until the Final Judgement when God will take back direct control. God generally limits his interventions on Earth so as not to compromise his decision to give control to men. There are times of obvious intervention when He attempts to divert men on to a better course, the Flood and the sending of Christ being the most obvious. There are many smaller interventions that can easily be dismissed as coincidence, with the purpose of improving outcomes. However, the ultimate direction of history, the major affairs of men, are the result of Man’s collective actions over time, and billions of minor occurrences are the result people’s individual choices and actions.
Just to clarify, the idea that God predestines everything and that nothing happens outside of His perfect will is absurd and untenable.
Consider this example: if you lend your car to a friend, are you in control of it? Yes, of course you are, it’s your car! But when your friend is driving it, he is in control, not you. God has given control to men for a time, but will take it back at the End of Time.
10 Does God know everything?
In general terms, yes. But since men have free will He does not know every detail of what will be done. There is nothing spiritual about this. We all know plenty of people for whom we can predict pretty closely what they will do next year, but that doesn’t mean knowing what they will do for every minute of every day.
11 Does God Approve of Violence?
No. Violence is His prerogative, and only His. Whenever He has used it or will use it, it is right for Him to decide, regardless of whether He does something directly or uses men to do it. Men have no excuse to use violence except in direct obedience to God; therefore, before any Christian uses or even approves of violence he must be absolutely certain that it is fully in line with the actions and teachings of Jesus Christ. And it is, at the very least, extremely difficult to conceive any situation where that would be the case. Clarification Q11
12 Must We Believe in the Trinity?
No. “Trinity” is not a Scriptural term. We must believe what the Bible says about God, about Jesus Christ, and about the Holy Spirit. See Question 6. Clarification Q12
13 What about Post-Biblical Writings?
Post-Biblical Writings, such as those of Augustine, or the Westminster Confession of Faith, or Luther, or Calvin, or various Creeds, or even the piece you are reading now, do not have the Authority of Scripture. Since there are many false prophets, there is potential risk in reading anything other than the Bible, and the very greatest care is necessary. Reading the New Testament with a genuine desire to understand and follow is risk free. As explained elsewhere on this site, many of the respected post-Biblical writings not only lack the Authority of Scripture, but are positively opposed to it.
14 Is Money a Bad Thing?
Money is a necessity of life. The Love of Money is a Root of Evil.
15 What about Abortion, Gay Marriage, the Death Penalty, Military Service . . . . .?
Christians can teach by example and by word, but all of these things and many others are matters for the Civil Power and/or individual conscience. Jesus’ clearest instruction regarding the Civil Power was simply “Pay your taxes.” Clarification Q15
16 Does God Act Directly in His Creation, Even Today?
Sometimes. See Question 9.
17 How Old is the Earth?
About six thousand years.
18 How do I Know that what I am Reading here is True?
You don’t. You have to make your own study of the Bible, Science, History, Life and yourself.
19 Are Churches Christian?
The word “Church” should not be in the Bible. It should say “People of God”. The True “Church” is all those who are genuinely Saved in Jesus. No organisation reflects that group. The Churches in general exist as a surrogate form of Christianity, the first Church (the Roman one) having been set up to divert Christians from the true path. See Christianity was Hijacked Nearly 2000Years Ago.
20 Why is there so Much Suffering?
For two reasons: the sinful actions of men, and God’s Judgements upon those actions. Most suffering is due to the former. Regarding the latter, the suffering caused by punishment may be ongoing; for example, much of the damage caused by the Flood is still with us, such as Earthquakes. One of the effects of suffering is to cause people to think more critically about the nature and purpose of life, which is ultimately a benefit. Also note answers to Questions 1 and 6.
21 Where did God come from?
He always was. If you don’t like this answer, you can believe in the Big Bang, which came from nothing. Since a fundamental of science is that the Cause is always greater than the effect, belief in God is scientifically far more satisfying. God, from Eternity, created Time, and God, being magnificient, created the Universe, and God, being intelligent, provided the information on DNA. Time, and the Universe, and Information appearing from Nothing requires a depth of faith that most Christians can only long for!
22 Where can I get the Answers to all my other Questions?
Not here. See Question 18.
23 What about the Rapture and other End Times Beliefs?
See Questions 6, 9, 11, 13, 16 and 19. Whatever happens at the End, you need to be sure you are ready; your own end might come today. Clarification Q23
24 How do I get Saved?
Acknowledge your sin and believe on Jesus’ Atoning Death for Salvation. Clarification Q24
25 Does God Favour or Oppose any Specific Racial or National Groups Today?
26 Are Other Religions False?
All Religions, including false forms of Christianity, are false.
27 Should I go to Church if I am Saved?
If you feel it’s right to go, you can. If you imagine your Salvation depends upon it, you would benefit from more time spent reading the Scriptures.
28 How can you be so Sure that you are Right?
I’m not. See Question 18.
29 Why don’t all Churches and Ministries give a short, clear exposition of everything they believe?
Perhaps because they are not sure, or possibly because they want to confuse you. If all produced a brief Q and A like this it would save a lot of time trying to work out where people stand.
30 Do you believe “Once Saved, Always Saved”?
No, and in any case I wouldn’t feel it’s something to take a chance on.
31 Do You Count Yourself as Reformed?
The word “Reformed” today is generally used as a synonym for “Calvinist”, with the implication that Calvin was the ultimate leader and symbol of the Reformation. I am not Calvinist.
32 Do you have Problems with Calvin?
Yes. Much of his doctrine followed Catholic doctrine, for example, the union of Church and State, use of violence in war or against “heretics”, Original Sin, a quasi-catholic view of the Eucharist, and Infant Baptism.
33 Do you have Problems with Catholicism?
Yes. Catholicism started with the fake Conversion of Emperor Constantine. He began the connection of Christianity with the State and with violence, and the mixture with Paganism.
34 Do you think Catholic, Calvinist and other Churches are Devoid of Genuine Christians?
Not at all. I’m sure genuinely Saved people are found in most Churches, though they may be hard to distinguish from those who are not. See the Post “Sorting Churchgoing Christians from Churchgoing Churchgoers”
35 Why don’t you give Proof Verses for your Beliefs?
The practice of quoting Chapter and Verse has become especially prevalent since Calvin published his Geneva Bible, which had all those divisions. It has resulted in many people thinking they know the Bible because they have read a number of suggested sentences. Nobody “reads” any other book in this way. It is necessary to read the Bible right through (and not only once) to begin to understand it. That is what I strongly recommend; there is little point in reading material such as what is on this site if it is not underpinned with serious Scripture reading.
36 Are Scripture Reading Plans a Good Idea?
If they involve simply reading the Scripture, yes. If they are tied to someone else’s thoughts and comments, no.
37 Are these your Beliefs or Amish Beliefs?
Mine. I have at times used “English-Amish” as a shorthand since my beliefs are nearer to Amish/Mennonite beliefs than to any other group.
Added Questions Start Here
38 Are Men and Women Equal?
They are precisely equal, just as a pile of one hundred pennies is precisely equal to a pound note. But men and women are not identical, just as a pile of one hundred pennies is not identical to a pound note. We should not confuse “equal” with “identical”, nor should we think that any of the different roles we are asked to play in life are either more or less valuable. It is conventional today to think of working and earning money as superior to raising children, yet if we mess up on the latter for just one generation society is/will be in a truly dire state.
39 What about the Sabbath, the Seventh Day, as opposed to Sunday Worship?
The Seventh Day of Rest and Worship derives from Creation Week. The change to the first day, the day of the Sun god, was implemented by Constantine and the nascent Roman Church in the Fourth Century. It is pagan, not Scriptural. Personally, I take Sunday as a rest day because it’s easier when at least some other people are doing the same, because I think a weekly rest is both Scriptural and necessary, and because I don’t think God is a legalist. I also support anyone who feels happier with the actual Sabbath, on Saturday.