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Jesus and Christianity

 
June 7, 2003 12:25 PM

quote:
  • Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
  • I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.
  • I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. - Isaiah 43:10-13

The OLD TESTATMENT GOD... The GOD of Israel says..... There is NO Saviour... besides me!

Sounds a lot like the Islamic take on GOD.[LIST]
  • God [Allah] Begets not, nor is He begotten;
  • He has no partners or associates.
  • There is none like unto Him.
     
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    June 7, 2003 1:47 PM

    MBM,

    Sorry, but this guy just will not discuss reasonably.
     
     
     
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    June 7, 2003 1:48 PM

    "Many believe that there is one God who created all people and all religions. Many fundamentalists, however, do not believe that."

    Actually, I would disagree with this statement. Most if not all fundamentalists believe scripture to be concrete in that the God of the Bible created everything. To think otherwise would be folly.

    "For the sake of argument, and taking a somewhat fundamentalist approach, is the Christian God really the God of Judaism? If Jesus was Jewish it comes to reason that His Father is the God of Judaism. "

    The Christian God is the God of Judaism (YHWH) and the God of the Universe. The fact that Jesus Christ was a Jew while He was here on Earth doesn't negate His mission.

    "Again, does God/Jesus really approve of Christianity? Why or why not? If Jesus had wanted for a new religion in His name, why didn't he just create it when here? "

    Well, the Bible teaches the God is omnipotent and omniscient. So, it stands to reason that He transcends time and space. So, with this in mind, we know as well as the testimony of scripture that Jesus started/pre-ordained the Church. (Christianity) Jesus did establish His church while He was here. :-)

    "Have Christians strayed from His Word? Is Jesus "pissed"?

    What do you think?


    Well, this depends on the term "strayed". I believe that there many believers in Jesus Christ who have held fast to the faith while others like many on television have strayed for using the Gospel for riches instead of salvation.

    Jesus isn't pissed about followers of His word, only those who abuse/lie/cheat/steal while frontin' on His word.

    Hope this helps.....

    Without Christ, this Earth may be the only Heaven that you'll ever get.
     
     
     
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    June 7, 2003 9:05 PM

    I think that the last post was quite well put. I woul dadd only:

    1. "Many believe" is and important but not conclusive datum. It's good for a start of an argument, and it may even be right, but isn't necessarily. "Many fundamentalists don't believe that," may not be quite right. That is, the God of the Bible does not seem to have created all relgions. He did create all things, but not all our reactions to those things, which is the basis for many religions, especially the animist and nature religions, which even seem to be where the classical Greek religions began. Demeter, the corn goddess, was one of the oldest in their pantheon. But this was not a creation of God.

    We do seem to be capable of creating our own religions, though it is to no avail, as God oints out in several places in the Bible. Not everything that we create is right or good.

    The Christian God certainly is the God of the Jews and the God of All. That's why the Christians still read the Hebrew Bible and call it the Word of God just as much as they do the New Testament.

    Why didn't Jesus "just create" a new religion? How do you know that he didn't? "A new commandment I give to you," he said. In fact, he had quite an emphasis on a new thing that he was doing and bringing to us. That's why he told the parable of the wine and the wineskins--he was asked, "Why don't you and your disciples fast? John and his disciples did." And Jesus said that new wine must be poured into new wineskins. The old wineskins cannot hold the new wine. Jesus was creating something new here, and the old wineskins of the traditional understanding of God and ourselves simply would not do any longer.

    He wasn't creating a new religion? Perhaps he was.

    Of course, that would mean tha the really does approve of Christianity. It doesn't mean that Christianity is always right, and when it isn't Jesus no doubt rejects the efforts it makes to do whatever it is doing that it shouldn't. But of Christianity itself, Jesus no doubt approves. He created it, after all.
     
     
     
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    June 7, 2003 9:30 PM

    quote:
    MBM,

    Sorry, but this guy just will not discuss reasonably. - Melesi...
    What's the matter, Melesi?? You don't have a doctrinal, dogmatic defense for:
    • I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

    • I have declared, and [I, GOD...not Jesus] have saved , and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. - Isaiah 43:12-13
    ...huh???

    That's scripture from the BIBLE! Is there something unclear about that language? Does God use the term SAVIOR in several different ways to cause you to question the use here as an exclusive or special designation??

    MELESI,,,,,, What say ye??

    Seriously... How is that unreasonable???
    Please explain this one with as much detail as you have everything else.

    I'm sorry but I can't get my alledgedly unmeditative, unreasonable mind to see any rational, LOGIC defense you can muster that makes this passage null & void in order to install Christ as Lord & Savior or at least render the notion as ... dare I say ... inconclusive... in the face of authorative, Biblical evidence that MAY prove it not be so.

    ,,,,,, What say ye??

    BY...Thus saith the LORD...Who is savior??

    Does this passage in ISAIAH not apply cause it's in the Old Testament?? Is it not clear and decisive??

    It seems clear to me....
    Show me how I am wrong on this??

    ((( What... I'm not playing fair since I use a scripture you have no defense against????? Am I not being courteous because I brought this one up and it doesn't make it easy for you to maintain that you are right whether you feel like I MAY be wrong or not?? )))
     
     
     
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    June 7, 2003 10:10 PM

    quote:
    The Christian God certainly is the God of the Jews and the God of All. That's why the Christians still read the Hebrew Bible and call it the Word of God just as much as they do the New Testament.

    Then, Melesi, you believe what GOD said:
    • I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

    • I have declared, and [I, GOD...not Jesus] have saved , and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. - Isaiah 43:12-13
    ... RIGHT!??

    How do you know...Jesus didn't create a "new" religion??
      Well... all I can do is Take Him At His Word!
    • Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy [The LAW of the Old Testament], but to fulfil.
    • For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    • Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
    • For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 5:17-20
    One thing is for certain... Jesus was not trying to change the Law or say that it or some part of it was no longer applicable to the "New Testament" Church.
    • "[NOT] one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass..."
    • The conditions whereby it may not or cease to apply:
      [LIST]
    • Till Heaven & Earth pass;
    • Till all be fulfilled
    Draw your on conclusions.[/LIST] Contrary to what is promoted in Christian faith as I understand it [13 formative years of adherence, at least five actively pursuing it's truth], Jesus establishes an even higher standard than mere good works or observance of the 'letter of the law' but rather emphasizes the 'spirit of the law' that goes to the root purpose of the belief/moral code and shows the force and importance behind the pre-eminent Bible philosophy: As a man thinketh, so is he.

    If you read the rest of the passage Jesus addresses the type of "thinking" or rather the mentalities that lead to transgressions and, in essence, says nip that kind of thinking in the bud and upholding the law is easier.

    I think Jesus use very direct and definitive language here where you can't confuse or believe he is saying anything but He endorsed the LAW and, hence, did not create a new religion per se but a new way of thinking about how to follow the old one.
     
     
     
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    June 7, 2003 10:37 PM

    quote:
    But of Christianity itself, Jesus no doubt approves. He created it, after all.
    That's a bit of circular reasoning...

    And you know it!

    Your premise and your conclusion is that Jesus created Christianity, of which you can not prove. You only believe it to be so.

    Paul is credited with and is the author of the Christian faith. Period! Jesus and the role some believed MAY have played is what Paul talks about and Christians accept. It's 90% Paul and perhaps 10% Jesus in terms of teachings and observances.
     
     
     
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    June 7, 2003 11:54 PM

    You're having trouble with your reasoning again.

    What you listed as an example of circular reasoning is not. It may be an example of hasty conclusion, it may be an incorrect conslusion, but circular it is not. There is only the premise--that Jesus approves of the Church--and the evidence--that he created it. There is no setting forth of the conclusion as the premise which is necesary for it to be circular reasoning.

    Nmaginate, it seems that you are really stretching to try to make this point. But you fail at every attempt. Most of the time, when someone expends this much time and energy on a minor point like this, the impulse for it is not logic or even truth, but emotion. You have taken this exchange personally? Why? You feel insulted because--as you ahve repeated--you think I indulted your intelligence? I assure you that I did not. I only pointed out that you seemed rather cavalier in your assumption that you knew what the future world would look like, and now you have mounted your charger to try to run down this upstart. But you are like Chesterton's rider who galloped off in all directions. You're not doing very well.

    Stay on the subject. When you get off it, you lose your reason.
     
     
     
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    June 8, 2003 8:24 AM

    ON THE SUBJECT:

    What your answer to the passage ISAIAH???
    [I noticed no comeback to that...]

    Are you and the rest of the Christian Church abiding by that?
     
     
     
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    June 8, 2003 8:37 AM

    quote:
    You feel insulted because--as you havve repeated--you think I insulted your intelligence?
    Get your topics straight... That was on "God's Chosen People"...

    I do believe I posted on this subject well before you did.

    Remember, I told you I don't care what you think! And...frankly...lol... I don't!

    It's Business...Melesi... never personal!

    You only wished it was! You're nothing special when it comes to me expressing my opinion on something I feel strongly about. NOTHING SPECIAL.

    You are only an exercise...

    Now... stay on topic: Isaiah 43: 10-13 ???

    What kind of logic do that scripture use??
     
     
     
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    June 8, 2003 7:56 PM

    Forgive me, I thought I WAS on a subject that you brought up and placed on a separate posting. I also note that you ignored my response.

    Do not jump to conclusions. I was in fact in the process of answering your Isaiah 43 quote when the phone rang and I had to go help a friend in an emergency. Not done with the post, I simply deleted it, waiting until I could come back to the issue. As it is, I'm going to be a bit brief now since I have guests coming over shortly. But I shall make a start.

    Context, Nmaginate. In Isaiah 43 Isaiah moves from talking about hte Lord's people in the Lord's fire to the Lord not letting the fire burn them up. In Chap. 42, Israel is shown as pretty stubborn and rebellious. But Ch. 43 begins with the Lord saying that he will not desert his people. In fact (vv.3-4) the safety they enjoy in such hard times and trials as they are experiencing is because of God's presence, the same God of the Exodus. He will bring his people, all of them and from everywhere, together under his care (vv. 4-7).

    Now, your passage starts after that. The people of Israel are in their early history surrounded by other gods and their devotees. This is a problem and a recurring temptation to them until the Return from Babylon, and Isaiah turns now to this issue. He will again.

    vv. 8-9: There is either patos or sarcasm here, perhpas both. Does a plaintiff depend on those who cannot see to be eyewitnesses? Yet that's what Israel does by turning to other gods. Israel is culpable, since they have been given the Law and now the Prophets. Yet they are still stubborn.
    vv. 10-11: That's why God tells them to believe him (the Hebrew construction here--ha'amin le--mens to believe hwat someone says)
    vv. 12-13: Because God is the only Lord who did as he first proclaimed he would do. The idols didn't.

    Thisis the issue in these verses. It's God or idols. In that case, of course God is going to say "Beside me there is no other." Baal or Dagon or any other are not gods at all, but merely creations of the hand of man.

    He's not saying anything about his nature here except that other gods do not exist.

    Jesus is not another god. He is part of Elohim. As the Son of God, incarnated by the Holy Spirit of God, he is not another god but part of this one.

    Perhaps God is more than you've been giving him credit for being?
     
     
     
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    June 9, 2003 9:05 AM

    quote:
    Perhaps God is more than you've been giving him credit for being?
    You need to qualify that! ... And you need to clarify in the mind and speech of Christians that JESUS IS NOT GOD! ... A very many of them teeter on doing just that and you know it. Matter of fact, one would be hard pressed to tell who some Christians are talking about at a given moment.

    You know it! Like I said... I know the Church cause I was in it!

    I THINK YOU DON'T GIVE GOD ENOUGH CREDIT!

    Just on the basis of common sense and reasoning, all beliefs aside - and that means your doctrinal INTERPRETATIONS [i.e. context that render GOD's absolute statements obsolete... as you just did]

    WHY would an ALMIGHTY GOD need a Son/Daughter/Friend/Ghost to do anything??

    If you believe God is all powerful then... What?? was he too weak to take care of Salvation HIMself??

    Common sense now.... NOT DOGMA!!

    Your little clever art of projection leads a lot to be desired!

    Have you heard Daryl Coley's song with Wilmington Chester Mass Choir.... perhaps a decade old... THE LORD, MY GOD is...SOVEREIGN?!

    If you have heard it then you what I mean ... or if you've heard any version of it or simply digest the meaning of the operative word...

    I most certainly respect and will not disrespect the vast power of GOD by saying he needs a Trinity Tag Team. God IS GOD... ALONE!

    No parts, no partners, no associates, no Trinity... GOD is GOD ALL BY HIMSELF!
    He needs NO help!

    Anything else would be less than God... unless you want to simulate the Patheons of pagans...
    Christians are good for assimilating pagan beliefs... IMO.
     
     
     
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    June 9, 2003 9:25 AM

    quote:
    Originally posted by Melesi:
    It doesn't mean that Christianity is always right, and when it isn't Jesus no doubt rejects the efforts it makes to do whatever it is doing that it shouldn't. But of Christianity itself, Jesus no doubt approves. He created it, after all.
    Melesi... You mind is playing tricks on you!

    That more recent "reasoned" statement does not sound like one of your previous "reasoned" statements:
    quote:
    It may be that he did not envision Christianity starting as it did, but we really have no way of knowing if that it true. Not everything he said and did is recorded. That is not proof, I know, but still it means that we do not know if he did not suggest or propose it or that he would have disapproved of it.
    I know your EGO is too big to admit that you have contradicted yourself... No! I've learned you're much too "rational[e]" for that. But, nevertheless, I would like to point out in the latter statement above [which you posted first on page 1 [?] you acknowledge twice [2] some uncertainty about Jesus and the founding/creation of Christianity.
    NOW... I guess you've been born-again cause you just categorically said JESUS CREATED IT AFTER ALL! which you anounced with glee and defended it with fervor.

    I just want to know:
    WHICH IS IT?? Are you - sure - or - unsure??.
    First, you say WE HAVE > NO < WAY OF KNOWING!
    Then you say I KNOW HE DID [create Christianity]

    Boy... you are something else.... lol!
     
     
     
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    June 9, 2003 11:39 AM

    The one thing that is not being acknowledged is the view of Islam. To many people's surprise, he is a great prophet in Islam. In Islam's perspective, Jesus never proclaimed to be the son of God, rather the statement that many Christians seem to justify as so, in our belief, was placed out of context. ***Please note, it is not my intention to have a my religion is better arguement.***

    Furthermore, with culture being mixed in with religion as we have had pointed out in previous posts, it must be understood that Roman and Greek culture frequently had their gods visit in the form of a human. To discount the possibility of this would be very ignorant.

    Jesus would not be happy for the whole entire point of his ministry has been skewerd. Did he care for others that were not jewish? Then what would be the point of his good Samaritan parable?
     
     
     
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    June 9, 2003 12:57 PM

    First, Y'shua the KRST was an AFRIKAN HEBREW ISRAELITE, following the Laws of his Ancestors and the Torah. NOWHERE did he EVER proclaim himself a "Christian". He was hailed as KING OF THE "JEWS" and never as KING OF THE CHRISTIANS. Second, Y'shua Krst who came who came to fulfill the "Laws of Moses" (Afrikan Mystery System Teachings) stood against of ALL form of Exploitation and Domination. He was an Exalted Black Man, who did struggle to DEATH against the Romans. Y'shua would have not approved Euro-Christianity with its doctrine of 'chosen people' in direct relation to Sex, Class, Race, Color and Nation, doctrines used to damaged the Mind of Africans! Yshua vehemently condemned the Romans...He also would have rejected their Immoral societies and their perverted Interpretation of our Sacred Texts. Under the general Constantine at the conferences of Nicea and Jamnia European mades changes to our Sacred Texts to suit their own Imperialist design: oppress, subjugate and colonize Black people worldwide. Euro Christ-Insanity has proved to be even more powerful a weapon than the European's firearms. Y'shua would have not only condemned western Religions Judah-ism (Zionism) and Christianity but rejected them.

    An old Ethiopian bust of the Afrikan/Kushite Jesus




    [This message was edited by Afroman on June 09, 2003 at 02:09 PM.]
     
     
     
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    June 9, 2003 4:12 PM

    quote:
    Originally posted by MBM:
    There seem to be a number of people versed in Christianity and the Bible here. As such, I'm going to throw out a question that has perplexed me for a long time. I do so not to be needlessly provocative, but to better understand. I appreciate your perspectives, as always! Smile

    _What would Jesus think about Christianity?_ Since Jesus was not only Jewish, but a rabbi - a leader and scholar of Judaism - would he really approve of Christianity? It is my understanding that He never suggested or proposed that Christianity develop. It all started after His death. What would He think about all of this?

    Aren't Christianity and something like Mormonism parallel in terms of their being "off-shoots" of other religions? Even though founded based upon His life and principles, wouldn't Jesus have preferred for His followers to be better Jews than to be Christians?

    There are a number of fundamentalist Christians that believe that you have to be a very specific kind of Christian or else you are going straight to Hell. What do they think about Jesus not only not being of that perspective, but being Jewish? Confused



    Now is the time to make real the promises of Democracy.


    MBM,
    I would respond to your question as follows. I do not know what Jesus would think about Christianity. Both contemporary Christianity and Judaism would probably seem quite odd to him. Both have undergone radical transformation over the last couple millennial.

    When you call Jesus a rabbi, I think it is important to know that it simply means that he was recognized as a teacher, not that he had any special theological training or education. As the son of a artisan/carpenter in a backwater town such as Nazareth, he was a member of the working class and was in all likelihood barely literate. [See John Dominic Crossan et al writings on the historical Jesus]

    Further, what one sees in the gospels are narratives about Jesus written many decades after his death. The are primarily theological in orientation, not historical, so it is difficult from them to gather a real picture of Jesus self understanding. I tend to think that Jesus spoke more about the nature, character, and reign/realm of God rather than about who he was, and to some extent, I think that he would be rather surprised that people worshiped him.

    As to Christianity being derivative, to some extent, I think that most religions are derivative or off-shoots of some other. Historians of religion would point to other religions of northern African and the Arabian peninsula (such as Zoroastrianism) and show how Judaism is also derivative. You see the same or similar language, stories, and rituals in Judaism as you do in its neighbors.

    Finally, with respect to fundamentalist Christians, most would acknowledge that Jesus was Jewish, but he was also 'the Christ'. To be a Christian (literally a "little Christ") means to "accept Jesus as ones Lord and Savior and to leave according to his will." To reject 'the Christ' is to reject salvation with the consequences being eternal damnation. There is no inconsistency or incongruity in their minds.

    God has told you, O man and woman, what is good; and what does the SOVEREIGN ONE require of you but to do justice, and to be compassionate, and to walk humbly with your God?
     
     
     
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    June 9, 2003 5:14 PM

    Thanks Kresge - I was waiting for you to chime in on this one! Smile

    quote:
    Originally posted by kresge:

    I tend to think that Jesus spoke more about the nature, character, and reign/realm of God rather than about who he was, and to some extent, I think that he would be rather surprised that people worshiped him.



    This quote gets to the core of my questions about Jesus and Christianity. To take this statement one step further, I wonder whether He would be disappointed that Christians developed (what He might think of as) a somewhat circuitous route to God, as opposed to embracing and perfecting His way?

    Distilling the argument further, Jesus worshiped God through the laws, traditions, and principles of Judaism. Wouldn't Jesus be just a bit amused that mere "man" would determine that His view of God and religion wasn't good enough for them - such that they had to create a whole new way to worship God!? Confused Essentially, Jesus Christs' approach to religion and God was rejected for "man's" approach? (BTW - Is that THE grandest definition of arrogance or what?) The part of my brain that searches for logic in concepts keeps making me wonder about how all this fits together.

    quote:
    Originally posted by kresge:

    Finally, with respect to fundamentalist Christians, most would acknowledge that Jesus was Jewish, but he was also 'the Christ'. To be a Christian (literally a "little Christ") means to "accept Jesus as ones Lord and Savior and to leave according to his will." To reject 'the Christ' is to reject salvation with the consequences being eternal damnation. There is no inconsistency or incongruity in their minds.



    You're right, I am sure that they see no incongruity in their thinking. Wink The logic behind much their fundamentalism would seem to be a bit porous though. They are worshiping someone who, by their definition, based upon who He was and what He believed, would not be worthy of their theological approbation, much less their version/vision of Salvation. For many, it's pretty simple. You believe and do certain things or you go to Hell. As a Jew, Jesus would no doubt, then, be condemned for eternity. Seems a bit odd to me. Smile

    P.S. I'm not trying to be heretical or unduly disrespectful to either Christianity or anyone's way of understanding the world. I'm just striving to understand things myself. That's all. I certainly mean no offense to anyone. Smile



    Now is the time to make real the promises of Democracy.


    [This message was edited by MBM on June 09, 2003 at 02:52 PM.]
     
     
     
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    June 9, 2003 6:30 PM

    quote:
    Originally posted by MBM:
    Thanks Kresge - I was waiting for you to chime in on this one! Smile....

    P.S. I'm not trying to be heretical or unduly disrespectful to either Christianity or anyone's way of understanding the world. I'm just striving to understand things myself. That's all. I certainly mean no offense to anyone. Smile



    Now is the time to make real the promises of Democracy.


    [This message was edited by MBM on June 09, 2003 at 02:52 PM.]


    MBM,
    I just got back in town after several days being at a conference dealing with theological education and religious pluralism. One of the most interesting things that was brought up was that unfortunately a majority of the laity in churches have a very stunted religious education. One of the bizarre consequences, however, is that even those clergy who receive a first rate theological education, often feel compelled to "forget" or keep it to themselves, lest they be removed, fired, etc.

    I find this to be truly sad. Personally, I cannot take offense at serious questions about Christianity. I have always felt that if ones deity or faith was not able to withstand critical inquiry and investigation, then it is not worth having.

    God has told you, O man and woman, what is good; and what does the SOVEREIGN ONE require of you but to do justice, and to be compassionate, and to walk humbly with your God?
     
     
     
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    June 9, 2003 7:02 PM

    quote:
    Originally posted by MBM:
    This quote gets to the core of my questions about Jesus and Christianity. To take this statement one step further, I wonder whether He would be disappointed that Christians developed (what He might think of as) a somewhat circuitous route to God, as opposed to embracing and perfecting His way?

    Distilling the argument further, Jesus worshiped God through the laws, traditions, and principles of Judaism. _Wouldn't Jesus be just a bit amused that mere "man" would determine that His view of God and religion wasn't good enough for them - such that they had to create a whole new way to worship God!?_ Confused Essentially, Jesus Christs' approach to religion and God was rejected for "man's" approach? (BTW - Is that THE grandest definition of arrogance or what?) The part of my brain that searches for logic in concepts keeps making me wonder about how all this fits together.


    I do think that Jesus was a religious innovator, to a certain extent, but again, it was within the Jewish tradition. One one looks at the gospels, for example, there clearly appears to be a kind of theological/religious debate taking place between various factions. The Pharisees appear to support a conservative view in favor of strike adherence to the some 613 laws found in the Old Testament. They the purity and piety tradition within Judaism, yet they strive to do this within the community.

    You also have the Essenes at Qumran. They basically cloister themselves away because they feel that Judaism has completely lost its way.

    You also have the Sadducee for whom it might said are nominally Jewish. I have heard it described that they retained those elements of culture and belief that were convenient.

    With respect to Jesus, there is an attempt to critique the tradition. He identifies on numerous occasions with social outcasts/sinners who do not or can not keep the purity codes. He is constantly challenging convention with his associations, when and who he heals, laws about eating, washing....

    So, was Jesus teaching and practice different from that of some other Jews? I would say yes? Was it, however, part of the diversity of a tradition or was it meant to be/become something other. I do not think that the intention was to become a 'people" apart, that the separation came about for a number of reasons; i.e., historical, sociological, and theological.

    God has told you, O man and woman, what is good; and what does the SOVEREIGN ONE require of you but to do justice, and to be compassionate, and to walk humbly with your God?
     
     
     
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    June 9, 2003 9:31 PM

    quote:
    I do think that Jesus was a religious innovator, to a certain extent, but again, it was within the Jewish tradition.

    ... I'm glad others have joined in...

    I apologize for monopolizing my opinion on this thread... and YES! KRESGE... I would have to agree. That's I have always pointed out the verse where JESUS makes it clear that he did NOT come to DESTROY the LAW... but to FULFILL it.

    That kinda puts an end to concept of a New Testament Church with a radical departure for the Jewish tradition. I interpret his views/emphasis, as I have said before, as concentrating on the "spirit of the law" instead of strict adherence to the "letter of the law".

    ABOUT ISLAM...
    I did not intend or pretend to give a full perspective on the Islamic view of Jesus. Though I have learned some of how he is viewed, I'm not a Muslim so I won't begin to speak for them or Islam...completely. I just figured I would share that perspective/truth...

    About JESUS' prophethood...
    I would like to point out that that is in no ways a demotion. From what I've learned or the perspective I recall, performing the many miracles he did as a 'mere' mortal [and humble servant of God] is easily a greater feat than being "God in the flesh" and performing "miracles".

    How is it a 'miracle' for God to do great things 'in the person of Jesus'?

    You have to ask who is it great to. If God is Almighty, what is turning water into wine FOR him? He's the creator of the universe... that's not a miracle for him... maybe to us... but not him. That's a drop in the bucket.

    To the contrary, for a man... a son of man... to multiply fish and bread for the multitudes it is indeed a miracle because men... mere men... don't do that everyday. But for GOD its a normal occurrence.

    Just my two cents...
     
     
     
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    June 10, 2003 1:23 PM

    MBM and Kresge,

    If Jesus was a religious innovator within Judaism yet never said that everyone should become Jewish, if his concern was for us to "love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ouself," and rejected the contemporary understanding of some (amny?) of the traditions of Judaism, then how far can we go in following his lead? How far is it allowed for us to innovate as well? Where is the line between the new and the wrong?

    I think that there is no doubt that some (many?) of the permutations of the Church are less worthy than others. Would some be, are some wrong, in fact? I have no doubt of it.

    I have a personal dislike bordering on hatred for what passes for "contemporary Christan music," for example. It's not worship, it's very badly written, and does not elevate. Worship is supposed to be about as well as to God, and some of the popular Christian music isn't. It's about us--"I want to thank you." "I want to praise you," (why on earth don't they just do it instaed of talking about how much the want to do it? And I really dislike "Shine, Jesus Shine," an excrable bit of lazy emotionalism if ever there was one). That's the kind of thing that Jesus speaks against in the New Testament, this concentrating on ourselves.

    But that's different from saying something like "is Christianity itself a wrong response to Jesus?" I'm not convinced that that is the case. What Jesus taught was to concentrate on God and others instead of self. If we do that, then there are quite a number of other things that do not matter.

    As for Jesus himself, as the Son of God, as one who "made himself equal with God," who said that he--not his methods--is the way, the truth, and the life, he is worthy of worhip. While Islam has many good things in it, I think that it misses the nature of Jesus here. Jesus is more than that. Incarnated by God's Spirit makes him something more than a prophet or a teacher.

    Thus, worship of Jesus, so far from being a circuitous route to God, is in fact a direct route to him. Jeuss points us to the Father, yes, and that's where our prayers go and our worship belongs, but to exalt Jesus as Son and Savior is to recognize the work that God has done.

    The Church isn't perfect, and won't be as long as it has people in it, I would guess. But as long as it follows Jesus' teaching and obeys God, it will be the right place to be.
     
     
     
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    June 10, 2003 4:55 PM

    quote:
    ...as long as it [the Church] follows Jesus' teaching and obeys God, it will be the right place to be.
    That's been my whole point here and ... some... many have agreed in one way or another that THE CHURCH is not following the teachings of JESUS.

    Jesus never said worship him. He told the devil and the people to worship God... the FATHER [in spirit and in truth]. He said he was unequivocally Jewish when he said HE CAME TO FULFILL THE LAW... not DESTROY it!

    What does the word fulfill mean? What is the context of that passage of scripture?

    Why am I making the most sound argument based on scripture and you are not?

    The major points you just tried to make...unsucessfully... Jesus is worthy of worship aside from being contradicted by your own liberal, dogmatic interpretation of his life
    has NO scriptural basis.

    Where did Jesus say... worship me?
    quote:
    RECONCILE:
    "What Jesus taught was to concentrate on God and others instead of self." - AND - Your "Jesus is worthy of worship theory"


    How can you contrate on God when you're engaged in worshipping his servant?
    • Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Matthew 4:10

    • But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.


    What do the words ONLY and TRUE mean to you?
    I really don't think those verses - which happen to represent the only times that Jesus speaks about 'worship' - lend to your worship Jesus type of Christianity when Jesus most certainly deflected attention off of himself - aka concentration - and said he came to do the work of his father that sent him.

    In other words... all praise be to God!
    If you follow Jesus, do what he did. He worship the Father!

    Somehow... no matter what Christians will always ignore the words of the very man they say they are so focused on. Those scriptures leave no wiggle room... no room for interpretation... he said what he said.

    Who's the most reliable to determine what Jesus meant?? You?? Paul?? or Jesus himself???

    I think Jesus via his words is the most reliable source. Sorry, Melesi!

    All you can point to is:
    "I am the way, the truth and the life..."
    ... Isn't a WAY a METHOD? ... aNYwaY... in that same passage is the "Great Works" verse... which I guess, too, is suppose to be ignored, unexamined, irreconciled with the rest of the words of Jesus.

    I guess I really shouldn't waste so much energy on this topic cause it doesn't matter. Christians will still follow the teachings of Paul at greater proficiency than Jesus. While they may say they follow the "teachings of Jesus" it is clear many Christians reject, perhaps, as many as they accept.

    Melesi... now I'm beating a dead horse... so I think I'm done with this one. I've highlighted several times the scriptures I think are problematic for Christianity.

    You, for one, have not addressed those passages and instructed me on how I'm wrong concerning them. Instead, in the usual Christian pick-n-choose manner, those clear, direct and authoritative scriptures have been ignored for an unmistakably man-made canon/doctrine you feel most comfortable with.
     
     
     
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    June 11, 2003 3:16 PM

    Though I am late in joining, I'd like to add my opinion.

    I understand the meaning of your question, but in order to answer, I must differentiate between how you and I define 'jew' and 'judism'.

    Your question assumes the validity of the NT and the events it contains. It also assumes the historical progression of Jerusalem according to recent historical facts. Facts that do not take into account the original status of Israel, the term 'Jew', and the religion called 'Judism'.

    Jesus could not be accurately referred to as a 'rabbi' of 'Judism'. What we know as Judism was not the religious practices of the Israelites. Two thousand years ago, no one could really say what Israelite 'religion' was like. They ran their country by the Law, and guided the people by the words of the Prophets.

    The Law and Prophets was not a religious book used to conduct worship sevices. Leviticus may fall under this area, but it was used to provide the means by which sacrafices could be offered to Jehovah. Everything else was mostly concerning cleanliness.

    As for Jesus' opinion of Christianity, I doubt he would have one. I do not believe he would even recognize the religion from the simple truths of what he originally taught. Not only this, no devout Israelite, which is what Jesus actually would have been, would have worshiped as God anyone other than Jehovah.

    His teachings stressed his equality with us, and the superiority of Jehovah above himself. What is striking about Jesus is his humbleness, his poverty, and his meek attitude towards all. Most Christians do not embody this aspect of Jesus' teaching.

    You say he was a rabbi, but he instructed his followers to call no man by that name. Not that one could not teach, but that no one should possess a title that separates them from the common believer, or that establishes some sort of significance with God. Which is exactly what father, preacher, pastor, bishop, rabbi, and all those other 'reverential' names do.

    The deal with Religion, on all fronts, is that it is a method of instructing a willing mind on how to worship a specific deity. That is the problem with religion, there is no attention paid to living rightously and godly. If the clergy lead by example, then the words of their new testaments condemn them. Their fruits mark them for what they are.

    Jesus was not a christian. 'Jews' of this day and age are not Cchristian. The reason for that is the Old Testament and Jehovah God. The assumption that the Roman Church was right in picking Jesus as the Israelite Messiah is the sticking point. If one agrees with Rome, there is no debate. If one does not, then the question becomes who the Messiah actually *is*.

    Then the question of Christianity itself becomes moot.

    [This message was edited by soul_doctor73 on June 11, 2003 at 07:04 PM.]
     
     
     
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    June 12, 2003 1:50 AM

    It is not quite true that no one knows what Israelite religion was like. Susan Niditch has written abou tit, as has Ranier Albertz (two volumes of it, in fact), and Miller, Hanson, and McBride wrote about it in 1987. These volumes all agree that Israel did not exist in a vacuum, and that its religion developed over a long period and through the three great eras in Israel's life--before the monarchy, the monarchy, and post-exilic--but it had a religious life that can be known, if from a distance and somewhat darkly.

    I agree with you, souldoctor, that what is Christianity now is different from what it was in the first century and even different from his desires for us. But "different" is not necessarily "bad" or "wrong." Doesn't it depend on the kind of difference? Difference in style is not difference in substance, for example.

    And to recognize jesus as the Son of God is to recognize him as he was, as he was recognized by his disciples even before his ascension.

    He was "equal" with us in one sense, that God the Father is God. But he stressed also his need to go to jerusalem and die, his mission here on earth--which he mentioned from time to time--and that he was the only way to the Father, something which is not true of anyone else.

    It is also not quite true that Christians do not embody the humble aspect of Jesus' teaching. Many do not, but then many are young in the faith and have much to learn, and some have stopped trying to learn anything at all. But there are also many who strive to learn to be as much as possible as Jesus was. You haven't forgotten Mother Teresa, for example? Or any of the contemplatives, or any of those who seriously try to embody all that Jesus said? These last are the quiet ones, the ones who mind their own business and help their neighbor and give at least ten percent of their income to help the Church and the poor, who practice hospitality and who help and give, sometimes at risk to themselves. Because they do not do so to gain attention, it is easy to overlook them. "Most Christians do not embody this aspect of Jesus' teaching" is not a true statement. I would guess that you do not try to live among "most Christians" to see just how they live?

    "There is no attention paid to living righteously and godly."

    Oops.

    That is simply not true. Most of the sermons on a Sunday deal just with that matter. Listen to James Dobson's Focus on the Family radio show for a while and you will find that the theme of many of his broadcasts. See what kinds of classes churches are offering, and you will find classes on abstinence, marriage and family (meaning faithfulness, self-denial, and service to others), and how to live a truly Christian life the "glorifies" or "honors God." This is what takes up most of the Church instruction time, in fact. And there are small groups devoted to helping one another do what is right before God.

    I'm not sure what your sentence, "If the clergy lead by example, then the words of their new testament condemn them. Their fruits mark them for what they are" means. If the clergy "lead by example," doesn't that mean that they are doing what they are supposed to do? Could you explain what you mean here?

    "Jesus was not a Christian" is obvious. "Christian" means a follower of Christ and was coined in the city of Antioch, probably by non-Christians. Jesus was not a follower of himself. Besides, the name really doesn't matter. Early Christians were also called "People of the Way," and they were the same people. So whatever they are called is only a matter of style and doesn't really matter.

    The Roman Church didn't pick Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus being the Messiah was the reason that there were Christians in Jerusalem long before there was a Roman Church. Teh message of Jesus the Messiah went to Rome and started the Church there, so the Roman Church couldn't have "picked" Jesus as the Messiah since it was created by the same message of Jesus as Messiah as created the other branches of the Church. It isn't "Do we agree with Rome?" but rather "Does Rome agree with the message of Jesus?"

    Do we? Then the question of Christianity becomes crucial.
     
     
     
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    June 12, 2003 11:22 AM

    quote:
    Originally posted by Melesi:
    It is not quite true that no one knows what Israelite religion was like. Susan Niditch has written abou tit, as has Ranier Albertz (two volumes of it, in fact), and Miller, Hanson, and McBride wrote about it in 1987. These volumes all agree that Israel did not exist in a vacuum, and that its religion developed over a long period and through the three great eras in Israel's life--before the monarchy, the monarchy, and post-exilic--but it had a religious life that can be known, if from a distance and somewhat darkly.


    Here again, the assumption of what Israel was as a 'religion'. Why do you perceive the Law of Moses as religion? Where do you find religion in the OT? What did it consist of? I am not religious and I follow the Law. I require no tutoring in how to worship God. What sort of tutoring did the Israelites need that would constitute religion?

    quote:
    I agree with you, souldoctor, that what is Christianity now is different from what it was in the first century and even different from his desires for us. But "different" is not necessarily "bad" or "wrong." Doesn't it depend on the kind of difference? Difference in style is not difference in substance, for example.


    Based upon whose standards? What Christianity is now is nothing like what Christianity was in the first century; the Dead Sea Scrolls prove that. The Gnostic Gospels are a whole class of apocrypha excluded from the Roman bible. Do you agree with the Catholic Canon that they should have been? Or do you think that was God's will? Have you read the Gnostic gospels or any of the Dead Sea Scrolls? There is much difference in substance between them and the Greek New Testament Jesus, but the average Christian is not aware of it.

    quote:
    And to recognize jesus as the Son of God is to recognize him as he was, as he was recognized by his disciples even before his ascension.


    There is only one story of Jesus and the Apostles in the New Testament. Do you know how the books of the New Testament were decided on? Do you know how many other 'new testament' books there are concerning Jesus and his apostles? He recognized himself in a few different ways besides the one you read in the New Testament. Have you read about Jesus anywhere else yet?

    quote:
    He was "equal" with us in one sense, that God the Father is God. But he stressed also his need to go to jerusalem and die, his mission here on earth--which he mentioned from time to time--and that he was the only way to the Father, something which is not true of anyone else.


    Again, part of the Roman version of events. You read what they wanted you to read. You trust in Rome's conclusion and the 'authenticity' of their bible, and are ignorant of the NT apocrypha and OT Pseudepigrapha they excluded. There is more than enough of them to fill a separate bible just on Israel and Jesus alone. With more books than the 66 books the KJV contains. Investigate it.

    quote:
    It is also not quite true that Christians do not embody the humble aspect of Jesus' teaching. Many do not, but then many are young in the faith and have much to learn, and some have stopped trying to learn anything at all. But there are also many who strive to learn to be as much as possible as Jesus was. You haven't forgotten Mother Teresa, for example? Or any of the contemplatives, or any of those who seriously try to embody all that Jesus said? These last are the quiet ones, the ones who mind their own business and help their neighbor and give at least ten percent of their income to help the Church and the poor, who practice hospitality and who help and give, sometimes at risk to themselves. Because they do not do so to gain attention, it is easy to overlook them. "Most Christians do not embody this aspect of Jesus' teaching" is not a true statement. I would guess that you do not try to live among "most Christians" to see just how they live?


    Actually, I was born into a Baptist family and raised up Pentecostal. I converted to the Church of Christ at the age of 19. I left religion less than a year ago. In that time I lived among my family, among whom Christians are the greater majority, as personal witness to their ignorance. As well as their false embodiment of Jesus. So yes, I have lived among them. My grandfather runs his own church and has done so for the better part of 50 years. My father is assistant pastor of his church and an active preacher. So not only do I live among them, they live and worship among me. I have first hand experience. From childhood. I know what I see.


    "There is no attention paid to living righteously and godly."

    quote:
    Oops.

    That is simply not true. Most of the sermons on a Sunday deal just with that matter. Listen to James Dobson's Focus on the Family radio show for a while and you will find that the theme of many of his broadcasts. See what kinds of classes churches are offering, and you will find classes on abstinence, marriage and family (meaning faithfulness, self-denial, and service to others), and how to live a truly Christian life the "glorifies" or "honors God." This is what takes up most of the Church instruction time, in fact. And there are small groups devoted to helping one another do what is right before God.


    I cannot bear to listen to Christian broadcasts of any type. These religious figureheads are exposed examples of everything Christianity is not. Their wealth marks them. Jesus was a pauper if I ever saw one, and their lavish lifestyles are those of the wealthy and privileged. And the homeless still sleep in the streets, the hungry children go unfed, but their bank accounts continue to rise into the multiple millions. Please.

    quote:
    I'm not sure what your sentence, "If the clergy lead by example, then the words of their new testament condemn them. Their fruits mark them for what they are" means. If the clergy "lead by example," doesn't that mean that they are doing what they are supposed to do? Could you explain what you mean here?


    I touched on this subject above. As for leading by example, there should be no preacher leading a church convicted of any criminal act. Period. There is absolutely no excuse for this. A man of such a 'devout' and 'religious' nature should in no wise fall victim to the material desires of the world. He is supposed to be withdrawn from that. Even more so above that of his whole congregation. His dishonor is their own shame and embarrassment. Yet they sit there like innocent, blind sheep. Because that is exactly what they are. 'Ye shall know them by their fruits', these false prophets and ravening wolves. Leaders of the Christian churches. Examples to their congregations as disciples of Jesus. Maybe there are wolves among the sheep, but they are not supposed to be LEADERS of them!

    quote:
    t a Christian" is obvious. "Christian" means a follower of Christ and was coined in the city of Antioch, probably by non-Christians. Jesus was not a follower of himself. Besides, the name really doesn't matter. Early Christians were also called "People of the Way," and they were the same people. So whatever they are called is only a matter of style and doesn't really matter.


    The word 'Christ' is Greek for 'messiah', as in the Hebrew 'messiah' of Israel. So every time you say Jesus Christ, you are actually saying Jesus Messiah, Messiah Jesus. Messiah, messiah, messiah. Messiahians. In Greek. As in the Greek New Testament, as in Rome. As in paganistic empire. As in Mithra.

    quote:
    The Roman Church didn't pick Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus being the Messiah was the reason that there were Christians in Jerusalem long before there was a Roman Church. Teh message of Jesus the Messiah went to Rome and started the Church there, so the Roman Church couldn't have "picked" Jesus as the Messiah since it was created by the same message of Jesus as Messiah as created the other branches of the Church. It isn't "Do we agree with Rome?" but rather "Does Rome agree with the message of Jesus?"


    Oh no? Why is Israel not under a King? Why is Jesus dead? Why is the earth still covered with the wicked? Why are Christians waiting for Jesus to come back to save them, when he never even saved his own people? Or didn't you know that the prophesied messiah of Israel was to accomplish this? The story goes, according to the NT, 'he went to the gentiles because his own accepted him not'. But the prophecy of the OT never changed since the ink dried. The Messiah would rule over Israel, gather them from the dispersion, and in his days, the earth and the wicked would be consumed in flames. Now, the Greek New Testament left this part out, but the OT left it all in. Jesus is not your Messiah, or Israel's.

    quote:
    Do we? Then the question of Christianity becomes crucial.


    I agree completely.

    Isaiah 1;2-3
    "Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth; for the LORD has spoken: I reared up children and brought them up, but they have rebelled agaist me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master's crib; but Israel does not know, My people do not understand."
     
     
     
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