If there is on God...

JoshuaB:

"For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
So Paul affirms this."

An alternate reading may shed an entirely different interpretation of this and the statement therefore does NOT affirm what you claim it to. Consider this:

"For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for US there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom WE live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom WE live.

Depending on where you put the emphasis here, it seems to me that Paul might have been saying that for Christians, there is one god and lord through which THEY live, but that there might be a difference (and perhaps a legitimate one) abroad.

Now, contextually this interpretation may not have the proverbial leg to stand on, but I don't think your cut and paste from Paul "affirms" anything on its own.

Merryprankster,

You could say that...however Paul reaffirms he is a monotheist and believes in only one God over and over again, so I think the context fits my description much more easily than it fits yours. Of course...your welcome to your opinion.

"Paul reaffirms he is a monotheist and believes in only one God over and over again"

Right. Paul reaffirms HE is a monotheist, but what about everybody else? Does he chastise the unbelievers? I think that's the real question. Is he saying "Your ways will lead you to damnation?" Or is he saying, "My way will save you?"

There's an important distinction there. You probably have more immediate cognitive access to the appropriate biblical passages to answer that question.

Yah...in Acts when there is a statue that is a tribute to the unknown God....Paul preaches and says that he can see these men are very religious...and proclaims the unknown God to be the one that created the heavens and the earth..I believe they start to think that Paul is a God himself If I remember the story correctly. Regardless....Paul was quite adamant that doctrine be properly taught to the churches....Thats why we have his letters correcting wrong ideas, encouraging correct behavior, settlign disputes....etc.

1) The bible affirms the belief in One God:

Deu 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:

2) The bible also affirms belief in false gods:

Exd 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Exd 23:24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.

Jer 13:10 This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.

3) gods can be idols:

Lev 19:4 Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I [am] the LORD your God.

4) There are spiritual entities worshipped as gods who are demons or angels:

Col 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

So, the bible affirms belief in the One True God, and that the people seek to worship false gods which are idols, or angels or demons. Men also can worship other men, or desires as their masters...

"Deu 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:

Deuteronomy, and thus addressed to the Jewish Nation. That is, if you are Jewish, there is ONLY one God to worship and his is indivisible.

"Exd 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exd 23:24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images."

Exodus, once again, addressed to the Jewish Nation - IF you are a Jew, then you must not worship other gods. I might also note there is no mention of them being false here, just that Jews can't worship them and should destroy their images. You read "false gods" into the verse. It's not in there.

Lev 19:4 Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I [am] the LORD your God.

Leviticus, once again addressed to the Jewish Nation, but not necessarily to all mankind.

Contextually, the above relayed standards of conduct from God to the JEWS. They don't relate that this is the "only way to travel" so to speak... just that it's the only way for Jews.

"Jer 13:10 This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing."

This is a little better on the face of it, but still presents some difficulties. Are they evil BECAUSE they do not turn to the Hebraic God? Or are they simply evil people who do not worship the Hebraic God. Then too, it says they walk after other gods, but there is no mention of whether those gods exist or if they are false. You could argue that the one sentence actually means they "walk in the imagination of their heart BY WALKING after other gods," which would suggest the gods were illusory, but it seems a shame to have to resort to that.

"Col 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind."

Better, but now we're talking about standards for Christians--ie, if you're going to be a good Christian, you must do this. But what if you're not a Christian? There's nothing here that suggests that if you AREN'T a Christian you won't be ok...simply that if you declare yourself a Christian and still worship angels, etc, then you're in trouble.

"Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]."

This just remarks that Christians/God fight against spiritual wickedness. This statement, however, cannot be read as exclusionary. It's entirely possible that OTHER religions/gods also fight against spiritual wickedness.

FWIW, this is really just mental masturbation for me. I'm not looking to start a fight or make people upset. I think that there are passages in the Bible that state the existance of ONLY one God and ONLY one correct religion, I just think these aren't them. I, for one, do not claim to know them. I'm exploring a topic here, not trying to be a dick.

Merryprankster,

I for one have taken no offense yet =). As long as you don't call me names or assume to know something about me that you don't, we'll never have a problem. I think that goes for most people on this forum.

No prob...I'll try to elaborate when I have a chance. I've been out of town and need to catch up with my family...