Hmmmm. Why do I feel like Paul getting ready to tangle with James in Jerusalem . . . ;)
>>Well, look at it this way. You are told the story, and if God the Father moves you, you believe it. Or maybe you believe it anyway. Or maybe you don't.<<
There's a big difference between "proselytizing" and "telling a story," it seems to me. Sorta like this story:
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves" (Mt 23:15).
>>But --- if you never HEAR the story, then you don't have the option to believe it, and God the Father never has the chance to convince you. Okay?<<
Now, SS, why would you want to place such a restriction on almighty God? Folks are always trying to put a limit on God in some bizarre way or another. It's NOT okay. I was already convicted BEFORE I heard the story. That's why I was able to RECOGNIZE Jesus when I did hear the story. Funny thing, shortly after I heard the story, the same people tried to lay some doctrinaire bs on me that damn near caused me to reject what I already KNEW to be true. Sorta sheds a bit more light on Paul's words to the Jews in Rome:
"For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written" (Rom 2:24).
>>And no...there are now enough original manuscripts scientifically dated to the 2nd century AD that scholars have pretty much concluded that the gospels as translated today do accurately reflect the 2nd century manuscripts. Even 50 years ago people could say with conviction that the gospels were manufactured by "the church" in the 4th and 5th centuries, and lots of stuff was added, deleted, or whatever. Today we know that assertion is false.<<
SS, my beef is with the consensus-got interpretations that wafted out of Nicaea, not the accuracy of the canon. I could care less whether or not the scripture was diddled with because you've gotta have the eyes to see what needs diddling with, and those august worthies at Nicaea were just as blind to the truth as was the Sanhedrin.
"Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, name Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not" (Jn 11:47-50).
Expedience, it seems to me, was the whole point to Nicaea, and so they crucified him yet again.
Stick around, SS, you may yet learn what the other edge of your sword is for.