Many Christians believe that if one does not worship God in the precise way that they do, that that person is doomed to eternal hell. This thinking raises an interesting question. Aside from the fact that Jesus Christ himself would not have passed muster for these people, what was the fate of those who lived for thousands and thousands of years prior to Christianity? What did God "think" of them? Were they automatically sent to hell because they had yet to find Christ (even though Christ had yet to be born?)? (This sounds "harsh", but many today believe that people should be judged on their "Christianess" whether they have ever been exposed to Christ or not.) Was there some vast pre-Judgment (Purgaotory-like) 'holding pen' that God placed these folks in to then judge based upon the future Christian ethic? Perhaps God judged them on whether these folks would have embraced Christ if they had had a chance? Or, did they just get a pass and go straight to heaven? Did they go straight to hell?

Thoughts?

© MBM

Original Post
The Old Testament says SHEOL not HELL.

The translation is wrong.

That is part of why I suspect the system works on reincarnation.

HELL is part of the religious power game for controlling people by terrorizing them from childhood.

umbra
IMHO, a biblical case for reincarnation is completely possible. Many early Christians believed in reincarnation, and many mystic Christians still do. Even many liberal Christians hold an open-door policy on the possibility.

The Syrian Church and some parts of the Ethiopian Church believe in reincarnation today.


The belief in "Hell" did not exist in Christianity until around 420 A.D., the idea was created by "St." Augustine, and codified by the Church of Rome (later to become the Roman Catholic Church) in 535 A.D. The belief in an eternal hell became quintessential to Western Christianity to scare European Celts and Druids into the Christian religion. Celts and Druids had no problem mixing some Christian beliefs and motifs into their own animistic religion, until the Church started burning their sacred trees and killing their priests and forcing them to convert ALL THE WAY.

Thankfully, alot of Eastern Christianity avoided alot of this madness and didn't latch on to the eternal Hell belief (although the Eastern European Orthodox Church has).
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Actually, we've had this discussion before.

To summarize:

A place for the dead is of very old standing. Some differences will be expected in this concept, first since it was not of primary concern, and since once you're dead, to all appearances, you're, well, dead.

We're not sure just where the word "sheol" comes from, but it's most likley that it means, "the deep place," the place where the shades of the living go when they die. It can be found in Gen 37 and in Num. 16, so the idea of sheol is a very old one.

That there are some conflicts in the idea of sheol would not be surprising, since for a time Israel had difficulty separating themselves from the polytheistic beliefs of their neighbors. With sheol, however, one thought that seems to be consistent and constant is that sheol is ruled by God and not by some other god independent of him.

By the time we get to the Book of Daniel, sheol is seen as a place of unrest if not punishment, although what "punishment" there may be is not anywhere in scripture spoken of as administered by God.

That's because hell, whether in Hebrew or Greek part of the Bible is not meant for people but rather "for the devil and his angels." Anyone else who goes there goes because of the conscious choices that person made, specifically to ignore God and his requirements. So hell is a consequence, and the suffering in it comes from being alone, as selfish people always are, even in this life.

By the time of the New Testament, hell is a well-developed idea (sometimes today it is overdeveloped, I think), partly because of the Valley of the Sons of Hinnom outside of Jerusalem which was the place of human sacrifice to Molech in its pre-Israel days, and later became a byword for suffering and death, and thus was used as a Greek nickname for hell, gehenna (from "ge-hinnom" or "ge-ben-hinnom").

So a belief in hell certainly did exist before 1220 (or did you mean 422, EP?), it did involve some sort of suffering, even though it did not have the pitchfork-wielding demons making life--or death--miserable for the inmates in it, and while a subject of teaching in both Testaments, it is not as important as living a godly life is.
Actually, MELESI... you've fallen short every single time these type of questions are raised. Direct your attention to the title question and then quote some scripture for us:

What was the fate of those who lived for thousands and thousands of years prior to Christianity? What did God "think" of them?
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:

Actually, we've had this discussion before.


Uh, actually we haven't. sck

quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:

Actually, MELESI... you've fallen short every single time these type of questions are raised. Direct your attention to the title question and then quote some scripture for us:

What was the fate of those who lived for thousands and thousands of years prior to Christianity? What did God "think" of them?


My question was more about God's judgment of pre-Christian people rather than where one goes after death.
MBM,
Actually, even when I was a Christian, the idea that people before Christ are sent to Hell never sat right with me.

There is a growing Christian ideology called "Christian Universalism" that makes biblical cases for universal salvation. Smile

One of my uncles is a Unitarian Universalist Christian pastor who believes in and preaches about universal salvation by Christ.
I was always taught that those who lived and died before the Christ were damned to Hell and that we were "lucky" to have been born when we were. I don't subscribe to that.

A co-worker put forth the idea the other day that the whole confession of faith can be done without ever coming into contact with Christianity: those who simply look at nature or the world around them and recognize and believe in and take a subordinate place to a "higher power" can meet the criteria. And that could've been done without ever hearing of Jesus or knowing that he would be born later on down the line. Doesn't make a lick of sense to me, but I like the sound of it.
quote:
My question was more about God's judgment of pre-Christian people rather than where one goes after death.
And believe me... MELESI knows exactly what type of questions I'm talking about and he knows that these questions have everything to do with God's Judgement and the question of Salvation pre-Christ, etc.
quote:
Answer me this...

What happened to the people during and before Christ time that had not heard of Christ/Christianity? Were ALL of their "false religions" leading them to hell?
quote:
And the people in other countries that had not heard of Christ?

You do know that Christ walked the Earth but did not walk on every continent/country when he did? right?

What about those people? When he was living that never even heard of him? What about those that die and practice other faiths that still to this day don't hear about him?
Those were questions (more directly asked of Shebakobe at the time) that MELESI never gave an adequate answer to. Instead he registered his typical Mealy-Mouth, damn near meaningless rhetoric:

We can't really say what will happen to those who have never heard of Christ. The hints that seem to speak to this issue in the Bible say that God will deal with them according to the knowledge they do have. But that's up to God.

Well, last I checked the whole Salvation & Judgement thing is "up to God"... "Saved By GRACE" is a very Christian concept last I checked. And, as I pointed out then, MELESI's statement there conflicts with the idea of Salvation Through Christ ONLY.

I mean, when the issue is about people who never knew Christ being judged according to their knowledge... then it logically follows that there is, for lack of a better term, an alternative "salvation" plan for them. And MELESI has acknowledged that there is a "hint" to that effect in the Bible, much to his own doctrinal chagrin.

I also put it like this to our dear friend MELESI... especially since personalizing the issue and trying to make it about me was his feeble tactic de jure (when he knew he could not adequately answer the question(s) or speak at length about them without making a grand statement in that would totally contradict his Salvation = Jesus article of "faith.") :
quote:
Not attacking your belief or saying that "salvation" can't be found "through" Jesus, but is that not inconsistent with the Measure Of Faith, According To Their Knowledge doctrine for those who never knew or will "know" JESUS?

Something more than just a "hint" would have to satisfy me if I was confronted with the question of absolute picture of my salvation as a result of someone merely mentioning that some man named Jesus was the way to salvation...

That would especially be so when I have a firm belief in a particular non-Christian religion... My first question would be: "Well, since I understand and relate to GOD very well as-is, is there SALVATION for me without confessing Christ who I do not know very well?

As simple "hint" that you would suggest for me in that situation would not make that aspect of Christianity one that would lure me... I would reasonably think, "Well, even if I come to know and "trust Jesus"... what about my parents,etc. who are good, GOD fearing people?"

Will they be SAVED?

A whispered [and whimpy] "we can't say" and an indefinite "only GOD knows" would discourage me for finding Christianity attractive because naturally those questions would have to be answered completely for me to feel secure in the Christian faith...

http://africanamerica.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/96970854/m/67570618/p/2
MBM,

Ah, then my apologies if I misunderstood the question.

However, I have a question for you at the end of all this.

In one sense, there has never really been a difference in the means of salvation from the Hebrew Bible to the Greek, for both require faith. Faith that abandons all to follow Christ is not substantialy different from the faith that abandons all to follow God. Why not eat pig? We can guess and say "it's because of trichinosis" and all that, but we will never really come to an answer with that approach, because we're not given one. The requirement was, "Don't eat pig," and then it was up to us to not eat it, for whatever reason God said not to. That's faith, and it's the engine of salvation.

It can be this engine because of the work of God. From the very beginning God is at work, outward, other-directed, revealing himself, and calling the world into relationship with himself. He is always the Redeemer, freeing Israel from the bondage of slavery and the bondage of sin. He is superior to his creations while relational to them, for he is personal and relational.

Sometimes Christians misunderstand this, taking Jesus' words about him being "the only way" out of context. It is this taking his words out of context that allow for all manner of distortions: on the one hand we can find a kind of christomonism, or a salvation isolated from the rest of the created world (including our neighbor, which isolation we are told never to do), and on the other--much more prevalent today and equally as damaging--a theocracy in which a view of the gospel is made into a law by which to rule the world. That has never worked, from the classical city of Kourios through Herrnhut to today, because the gospel was never meant for that.

Broadly speaking, the Gospel is the news of God's acts in our history, acts which are not limited to the life of Christ. Christ is a special revelation and manifestation of God's love and work, but he is part of God's whole love and work. The confession "Jesus is Lord" means that Jesus is something other than merely an historical figure, for one does not "confess" an historical figure. He is God's only-begotten (John 3), and therefore the only one in whom is salvation. It requires faith to know this and him. But before him?

Just as the faith that does what God requires is the faith that saves, the love that gave Jesus is the love that God has always had for his people, the love that created the world. Thus all creation has a goal, a reason, and it is salvation. This is not universalism, for this salvation requires faith, but it does apply to those who lived before Christ, too. To an extent, all stand in some sort of relation to God: the rainbow is for everybody, the rain falls on saint and sinner alike, Cyrus and Nebudchadnezzar both have their place in God's will, all live under the promise of salvation and always have. That's the nature of God's love and the meaning of Paul's teaching on the cosmic aspect of Christ in Colossians.

So before Christ it really does depend on the person. Does that person who lived before Christ want a relationship with God who wants a relationship with him? Does he seek one? Does he do the best he can with what he has to work with in his life? Does he refuse to settle for "good enough" and for just doing as everyone else does? Then I would have no trouble thinking that he is saved.

Now, the question, MBM:
Since all this is past and beyond our changing it, why is this important? What would you say we are to take away from this discussion?
quote:
So before Christ it really does depend on the person.
More of your special brand of the Mealy Mouth.

quote:
Does that person who lived before Christ want a relationship with God who wants a relationship with him?
Roll Eyes
The question was, in terms of Salvation... in terms of God honoring their faith or faithlessness: What did God "think" of them?

Direct your responses to that central question or tell us exactly why you want to divert the discussion away from such a question that you admit the Bible merely "hints" about and doesn't cover at any respectable length.

quote:
Does he do the best he can with what he has to work with in his life?
Do you know how to answer a question, forthrightly, and how to actually address questions, as a Christian, citing the Bible, etc. to the best of your ability? To give the best possible answer your faith/religion and the Bible has to offer? Or do you purposely try to obfuscate at every turn... all the time?

quote:
Does he refuse to settle for "good enough" and for just doing as everyone else does?
Do you refuse to answer the question in earnest? Apparently so...

MBM asked about "God's judgment of pre-Christian people." Now, you alluded to "Paul's Teachings in Colossians." Care to share those with us. What does the Bible actually say on this subject? Or does it say much of anything?

Remember... You're already on record saying:
"We can't really say what will happen to those who have never heard of Christ. The hints that seem to speak to this issue in the Bible say that God will deal with them according to the knowledge they do have."

Now why are you pontificating without actually citing scriptures? WHY MELESI?

quote:
Just as the faith that does what God requires is the faith that saves, the love that gave Jesus is the love that God has always had for his people, the love that created the world. Thus all creation has a goal, a reason, and it is salvation. This is not universalism, for this salvation requires faith, but it does apply to those who lived before Christ, too.
Ummm.... Those who lived before Christ aren't like some add-ons to a Salvation Plan. They came before Christ, obviously, and so anything that came after them did not "apply to them." They had their own "application", perhaps, the "first" Salvation Application and just as a son with the same name as his father is known as a junior (or the II or III, etc.), it's proper to credit things in their actual order.

Martin Luther King, Jr. may be much more the person, historically, in terms of what he contributed to society/world than his father but it is beyond absurd to say MLK's dad was named Martin Luther King, TOO... As such, "The Promise Of Salvation" doesn't work in reverse order no matter how cosmic or mystic you want it to be.

The idea runs counter to what's written in the Bible anyway. Old Testament. New Testament. Old Convenant. New Convenant. With respect to the Children of Israel (going from the Bible), God had a Salvation Plan of sorts for them that not only pre-dated Jesus but also did not include Christ as a component.

I mean, you're not telling that Moses confess/confessed "Jesus"??? Seriously, where is the Biblical record that says that?

What about the prophets that foretold of Jesus? Is their Salvation through Jesus? I mean, surely if it was they would have spoken of it. Where is it?? Where is it where they say they will confess Jesus? That their salvation is through Jesus, too?

Now, if I got something confused then demystify this termonology "Promise Of Salvation." You're going to have to break out of your Christian-speak and speak in plain language.

quote:
...I would have no trouble thinking that he is saved.
Be honest for a change. Again, the question is:
What did God "think" of them?

If you can't speak to that, why don't you just say so? It's clear MBM didn't ask you what you would "think"... He asked you in particular (after asking others, generally) WHAT DID GOD "THINK" of them?

Now, do you believe the Bible is God's Word??
If so or rather since you do, please tell us, what you know in terms of what the Bible has to say on this subject.

Again, you were not asked, personally, what you "think." MBM asked you what did God "think."

Please quote from your source... The Bible.
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:

Now, the question, MBM:
Since all this is past and beyond our changing it, why is this important? What would you say we are to take away from this discussion?


The past is the best way to understand the present in many instances, no? This would particularly be the case with religion where there seems to be little innovation or growth - where people are trained to drive forward looking solely in the rear view mirror.

This particular point (of the thread) is intriguing to me because IMHO it points out one of the grand inconsistencies (and weaknesses) of religion. Many religions assert that their way is THE way and the ONLY way. Many in Christianity, of course, think this way too. Furthermore, many believe that if someone's spirituality lies outside of the narrow confine of their specific brand of theology that that person will be condemned to eternal damnation. To my sensibilities, that thinking is quite ridiculous. In Christianity this theological "egocentrism" is particularly ridiculous since even Jesus - as a Jew - wouldn't today even pass muster with the Pat Robertson types. Jesus Himself - as a "non-believer" - would be cast to hell. ek

So, what are we to take away from this discussion? Pretty much what I hope people take away from any discussion here: thought provoking ideas, introspection, analaysis, perspective, good dialogue and debate etc. Those are the objectives of the site; discussions about religion should not be exempt from that should they? bsm

As you may have suspected though, my broad perspective about this comes from the belief that people should be introspective and analytical and critical of everything that they consume in life. That includes religion. In particular, African Americans have been "fed" a religion, in Christianity, that was used as a meaningful tool of our enslavement. That alone should make us even more thoughtful about our current consumption. To be clear, this is absolutely NOT to say that we should not be Christian, but just that we should understand how - in all its glory and power - Christianity is as much as anything, a tool of man. Man has used Christianity as a tool to control and influence and execute objectives that sometimes have little to do with the Gospels. Many look to the Bible as a document beyond analysis and question. I fundamentally disagree with that approach to anything - particularly something as deeply important as the way one approaches their spirituality.

You may recall I had a debate about "universal truths" with Noah the African and maybe Nmaginate(?) a few years back when I said that any perfection or truths in the universe could only be "smudged" and made imperfect via their interaction with man. We are so flawed and imperfect beings that our contact in and of itself renders any universal perfection immediately less than so. At best, this is the case with Christianity. As we have seen with the current troubles in the Catholic Church, holy men can also be sinners of the most high variety. Many people understand that more Earthly considerations also were embedded in the early formation of "the church". Hence our read of holy texts should be informed by this reality (i.e. it's OK to drink the Kool-Aid, just know what flavor it is before you down it!).

When your religion tells you that in 2005 it is still not appropriate to use contraception or to masturbate or for women to be priests, it is our duty to think about whether those "truths" really come from God or have been given to us with more Earthly motivations. With that perspective, we should live our lives in a manner which is most congruent with our beliefs and sensibilities.

To make a long story short, the fundamental point for me is merely caveat emptor. Know what you are practicing and who you are praying to. Beyond that, in the strongest terms, I reject religous fundamentalism that forces a singular path to God. IMO, that is a way of thinking born of weakness and insecurity (do you think God really cares whether we worship Him or not? Do you care whether a gnat in your backyard worships you?). That thinking is also inherently designed to coerce and to divide human beings - attributes which to my thinking are completely opposed to what religion and spirituality should really be about.

For better or worse, this world is about power and self-interest. (People acquire power in the naked quest for their self-intersts.) Obviously religion - as a vehicle that can mold thought - has been a huge part of that equation. IMHO - the veneer of "perfection" needs to be peeled away from religion so that people can see it for what it is. It can be a wonderful path to spiritual growth, health, and even enlightenment. It does wonderful good on Earth. Just know that man has his imperfection woven throughout every aspect of religion. Doing this empowers you to take control of your spiritual life, experiencing God in ways that are most germane and helpful to you.
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When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, they sided with the fallen angels. The bodies that died from that point on were property of the Devil, in spiritual law. God made a place for those that do not please him.

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. - Psalm 9:17


On to believers before Christ died....they slept in their place of burial.

50-Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51-And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52-And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53-And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. - Matthew 27:50-53

We know all souls belong to God (Ezekiel 18:4), Some will not see death (ex. Enoch, Elijah, and ???, etc.)
quote:
52-And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose.
Many??? Many??? Why not ALL??

quote:
On to believers before Christ died....they slept in their place of burial.
"Believers" in what?? The question here is, at least in part, about those people who are not accounted for in the Biblical tradition.

What was the fate of those who lived for thousands and thousands of years prior to Christianity?

Those people, of course, include a great many people who did not live in the Biblical World - i.e. in the Middle East - and those who did not adhere to the Abrahamic religion(s) no matter where they lived.

Are you including ALL "BELIEVERS" including those who were not Jews in your answer about those who "slept in their burial places"??

And what of Enoch and Elijah? Scripture suggest that they had no such "burial places" and, as you said, did not see "death." Were they not "saints"? "Believers"?? How could they raise out of "graves" they never "slept" in?

Also, why would or should God-fearing people, prophets no less, have to wait or sleep until the Rapture, etc.? Did they not fulfill their missions? Were they not covered under a different Salvation Plan?

If or since they were already "saved"? What did they have to wait for?

Certainly everyone who died after Adam/Eve's "fall" were not "wicked." There are, perhaps, countless stories in the Bible alone that talks about good, God-fearing people (Job, David, prophets, etc.) who did not "forget" God. Were they also the "property of the Devil"?

Seriously, what about those who were not "wicked" and did not "forget" God and also did not subscribe to Abraham's, Moses' religion??
quote:
This world is about power and self-interest.


I think the fear of hell is hell itself.


Christianity isn't the originator nor the sole proprietor of the concept of hell.

Gehenna(muslim), Kamitian weighing of your heart(Maat), Greek Hades, infernus, abadon.

I'm just saying, maybe we should take that into consideration.


I believe self-interest plays a part in the construct of heaven. Poor people live in nothingness(hell) throughout their natural lives, because they have next to nothing. To make matters worse they are psychologically, socially, economically taunted by people with everything they want. Therefore I think heaven can be considered for the poor and by the poor, because it gives them the promise of having. This oasis can live in the mind of the poor only, how could a well-off person construct in their minds, the concept of an imaginative oasis when they already live one? That's why they hold on so dear to life.

I think hell was sensationalized by the rich themselves. Why? Because heaven is promised to everyone, why not get the best of both worlds, but keep the poor at bay with the threat of eternal nothingness. To keep the poor humble and living to a higher standard. Hell has no bearing in the mind of the rich, because they have no experience of it. Why fear what you haven't experienced?

Put to practical use:

Whites use hell to keep niggas humble, and away from their goods. Keeps us slightly indifferent about the maldistribution of wealth and quality education in society. One tool they use in keeping us experienced and well versed on the feeling of hell is incarceration.

Blacks use heaven as a means to cope with a hellish existence. We cripple ourselves with this concept because it gives us an obligation to be unmotivated about obtaining happiness whilst living. So we settle for living in nothingness while hoping for eternal bliss.


I think the problem with both creations is it teaches one group/class to value the next life, while teaching the other group/class to value this one. It would be in the best interest of both groups if they valued both equally. But I think their is a thin line between 'best' interest and 'self'-interest.
quote:
Originally posted by SistahSouljah:
I'm just gonna shake my head at this one and call it a day. Roll Eyes


Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? - Galatians 4:16
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
Many??? Many??? Why not ALL??


And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? - Luke 6:46


quote:
"Believers" in what?? The question here is, at least in part, about those people who are not accounted for in the Biblical tradition.

What was the fate of those who lived for thousands and thousands of years prior to Christianity?
-snip-
Seriously, what about those who were not "wicked" and did not "forget" God and also did not subscribe to Abraham's, Moses' religion??


19-Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20-Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21-Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to (1) make one vessel unto honour, and (2) another unto dishonour? 22-What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: - Romans 9:19-22

fitted to destruction = created solely to get a point across Red Face
quote:
Originally posted by DivineJoy:
quote:
Originally posted by SistahSouljah:
I'm just gonna shake my head at this one and call it a day. Roll Eyes


Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? - Galatians 4:16


NOT TALKING TO YOU! Cool

I was responding to the thread in general. Some people can be so brainwashed and ignorant, it just kills me.
quote:
fitted to destruction = created solely to get a point across

So much for the Live and Let Live principle, huh?? lol

Too funny...

In other words, you have nothing intelligent to say on this matter. Ummm... Thanks anyway... Roll Eyes

quote:
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? - Luke 6:46
Ummm... The verse said:
"...many bodies of the saints which slept arose."

I simply asked WHY NOT ALL?? And your response talks about people who "do not the things which the Lord commanded, etc."??? Are you really that ILLITERATE?

Since when does SAINT = "a person who does not do the things..."??

C'mon... You, at least, have to have enough pride and INTEGRITY not to think you can pawn that stuff off as an answer to a clear question that was about SAINTS!!

But maybe you can tell me why God is a respector of "SAINTS"... Chapter & Verse.

Once again... Too funny... Roll Eyes
I guess it must be ABC for you to understand. Oh, and when I said live and let live, that was me and my feelings toward people who believe, not God's.

A - Adam and Eve rebelled against God and sided with the fallen angels.
B - God created a place called HELL for those who do not want to live a holy and pleasing life. One way, immediate ticket.
C - Jesus came and lived a sinless life proofing it could be done, and therefore winning back the rights of death.
D - A lot of people believe in God, but do not live to please him. Before Jesus, those that pleased God slept in their graves. Before Jesus, those that didn't please God went to hell.
E - After Jesus died, people are judged at his throne at death and are sent immediately to their destination.
F - There is still a final judgement with God for all mankind, once it is proven created beings cannot live without a close relationship with the Creator.
G - All believers who pleased God will live with him in New Jerusalem throughout eternity.
quote:
Originally posted by DivineJoy:
I guess it must be ABC for you to understand. Oh, and when I said live and let live, that was me and my feelings toward people who believe, not God's.

A - Adam and Eve rebelled against God and sided with the fallen angels.
B - God created a place called HELL for those who do not want to live a holy and pleasing life. One way, immediate ticket.
C - Jesus came and lived a sinless life proofing it could be done, and therefore winning back the rights of death.
D - A lot of people believe in God, but do not live to please him. Before Jesus, those that pleased God slept in their graves. Before Jesus, those that didn't please God went to hell.
E - After Jesus died, people are judged at his throne at death and are sent immediately to their destination.
F - There is still a final judgement with God for all mankind, once it is proven created beings cannot live without a close relationship with the Creator.
G - All believers who pleased God will live with him in New Jerusalem throughout eternity.


Oh, I understand it just fine. I just believe it is immoral and unethical (as well as far-fetched).

Not to mention that from the circumstances that this belief was created (by men with power to gain, and off the back of a legend about the god of one particular people, in one particular place of the world, on one planet, in one solar system, in one galaxy, in one universe), I find it very hard to believe that something so human-sounding could be "God".

That kind of god sounds more like a petty, tribal ruler, not a universal God.
DivineJoy,

Here's a couple reasons why I think Hell is a white construct.

A. The fire in Hell makes you black/burnt to a crisp.
1. Whites loathe anything associated with black, or blackness (except oil and coal)
2. Going to hell and becoming AS the people they oppress... hmm... scary thought if I were white

B. The devil is a nigga(Antar,Cush) with horns,
1. Ever seen pictures of the devil? How come he isn't white, but everyone else associated with the EuroBible is?
2. For real? How come? Jesus is blonde-haired blue-eyed, but the Devil is black or deep blood red, with horns... wth?

C. We are looked upon as walking, living breathing DEMONS, they DEMONIZE blacks and blackness throughout history, and still to day in the media.

1. Blacks are bred criminals
2. Hypersexual, lascivious, promiscuous, lazy liars

D. The Devil(King of Tyre, EZEKIEL 28: 12-15) is known for being gifted in MUSIC and adorned with lots of JEWELRY.

1. Music, don't have to dig to deep for that one. Ancient African drums, Blues, Gospel, R&B, Jazz,(etc.)
2. Jewelry, ancient cush and the Nubians, nubia meant, land of gold. Diamonds come from Africa, and many of the other precious rocks

E. Baccus (little suspect, a black man in dreds and greek clothing), Supposed to be the god of wine, associated with drunken sexual orgies, the greeks created this god with a black man in mind.

F. Where is Hell?
1. Supposedly Underground,
a. Blacks are people of the earth or earthy. hmm...
quote:
God in the beginning had created together two creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal, that is to say the angelic and the earthly, and lastly man, who was made of both spirit and body, the council continues:

"Diabolus enim et alii dæmones a Deo quidem naturâ creati sunt boni, sed ipsi per se facti sunt mali." ("the Devil and the other demons were created by God good in their nature but they by themselves have made themselves evil.")


whom I suggest these earthly people they speak of are you jest?
b. Where is Heaven? Beyond the white and blue skies... hmm... which emphasizes wind and spirit
c. Blacks were considered to not have souls, in early retarded European thought

I had a few more but they slipped my mind...

May I be so bold as to say, the Fall of Man (which I don't adhere to AT ALL!!!), is nothing but Eve being seduced by a Black Man with a slong that resembled a snake, once she had an orgasm, she was no longer an innocent/clueless/virgin. Anyhow, she liked it, so she got Adam to join in, they had an orgy, Eve got pregnant, so God kicked them out of the garden. The End.
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quote:
I guess it must be ABC for you to understand.
No. When you post a response after something you've quoted from me, I expect what you say to not only be relevant to what I said but to actually address what I presented.

quote:
Oh, and when I said live and let live, that was me and my feelings toward people who believe, not God's.
Yada, yada...

quote:
D - A lot of people believe in God, but do not live to please him.
What part of SAINTS don't you understand?? What within the concept of the idea of someone being a "SAINT" makes you think of "people who do not live to please God"???

I.E. That is not an intelligent, much less a relevant, response to what you quoted from the Bible.

quote:
G - All believers who pleased God will live with him in New Jerusalem throughout eternity.
Again, what part about SAINTS did you not understand? I mean, is there such a thing as a SAINT(s) who have not pleased God?? Seriously?

I.E. Yours is not an intelligent, much less a relevant, response...

Webster defines a SAINT as "one eminent for piety or virtue." Perhaps you can explain how someone fitting that description could manage not to please God. Or maybe you have some definition, even a Biblical definition, of a SAINT who would not qualify as one who would "please God" and would be someone who merely claimed to believe in God and showed little regard for pleasing God. How exactly you someone deemed a SAINT would be someone prone to live a life that's unpleasing to God, I don't know... but perhaps you have an actual explanation for this curious line posting.

BTW, The Easton's Bible Dictionary defines a SAINT as someone who is:
    a] "separated from the world and consecrated to God";
    b] "one holy by profession and by covenant"; or
    c] "a believer in Christ"

    These verses are cited as example-references for those definitions: Ps. 16:3; Rom. 1:7; 8:27; Phil. 1:1; Heb. 6:10.
Now, maybe you can tell me which definition of "SAINTS" was used in the Matthew scripture you cited earlier. By definition (and context), those "SAINTS" were those who lived before Jesus so being a "believer" in Christ (hot, cold or lukewarm) would hardly be a fitting defintion. But maybe you know the Greek word/meaning or which term was used in the original and the original meaning used in that Matthew scripture. But, if Paul's word is worth anything to you ( you say you believe in the Bible), I really don't know where you're coming from associating the term SAINT with those who don't "please God":

quote:
1 Corinthians 6: 1-2

Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
Now, whether you agree with Paul or not (he's suspect, IMO), I think it's safe to say that the term "SAINTS" refer to people who do "please God" which is how they earn that distinction, IMO. And, for sure, if SAINTS shall/will "judge the world" then it's only reasonable to believe that those given that role would actually be people who "please God." Which brings us full-circle...

quote:
And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose.
Why just "many" and not ALL??

I mean, if you don't have an answer... if you can't specify why just "many" by virtue of the context of the scripture (i.e. what happens to those who are not in the "many", if the scripture ever addresses that some time before or after that verse)... if you don't have something intelligent and/or relevant to say (as in something that makes sense with respect to what was being asked) then why don't you just say so instead of saying silly stuff?
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
May I be so bold as to say, the Fall of Man (which I don't adhere to AT ALL!!!), is nothing but Eve being seduced by a Black Man with a slong that resembled a snake, once she had an orgasm, she was no longer an innocent/clueless/virgin. Anyhow, she liked it, so she got Adam to join in, they had an orgy, Eve got pregnant, so God kicked them out of the garden. The End.


Wow Heru Star, (notice I dropped the Jesus Star)...You've really progressed. Now get past the stage when translating out stolen mythos and you will be right on it.(But don't stop being angry)

The Adam and Eve story is nothing but a astronomical allagory copied from the KeMeTic teachings, twisted by the Indo-European(Hyksos) out of balance cultural context and literalist translations. (The seperation of man/God/Nature ect. and the blatant sexism)...Same with the story of the Nativity.

Look for the Virgin, the Snake, the tree of life, the cow ect. in the sky.

The snake is the symbol of femanine devine power in most African societies... It has nothing to do with the sexual organ.

It's good to see how the oppressor views/thinks, but use your own African 3rd eye when searching for the African root in the stolen(and mutated) symbolism in the Helio Biblio(Sun Book)...
OA you almost led him there, I screamed sitting at my desk. If he takes a look at the story now he might see why the "snake" spoke to "eve" first and she offered the "fruit" to "adam". Sounds like Tefa to me. Folks who know might also see why women don't get ODU, they don't need it. How do you initiate someone into a mystery that they are born with?
I always heard the Adam/Eve story was taken from Babylonian mythology. I'm not surprised that it was taken from African mythos as well. Axum (Cush/Nubia) had a close trading relationship with Babylon, Persia, India and China. I'm not surprised that African mythology spread to the Near East (Palestine) as well.

It's interesting the way Kabbalists interpret the Adam/Eve myth.
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
quote:
52-And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose.
Many??? Many??? Why not ALL??

quote:
On to believers before Christ died....they slept in their place of burial.
"Believers" in what?? The question here is, at least in part, about those people who are not accounted for in the Biblical tradition.

What was the fate of those who lived for thousands and thousands of years prior to Christianity?

Those people, of course, include a great many people who did not live in the Biblical World - i.e. in the Middle East - and those who did not adhere to the Abrahamic religion(s) no matter where they lived.

Are you including ALL "BELIEVERS" including those who were not Jews in your answer about those who "slept in their burial places"??

And what of Enoch and Elijah? Scripture suggest that they had no such "burial places" and, as you said, did not see "death." Were they not "saints"? "Believers"?? How could they raise out of "graves" they never "slept" in?

Also, why would or should God-fearing people, prophets no less, have to wait or sleep until the Rapture, etc.? Did they not fulfill their missions? Were they not covered under a different Salvation Plan?

If or since they were already "saved"? What did they have to wait for?

Certainly everyone who died after Adam/Eve's "fall" were not "wicked." There are, perhaps, countless stories in the Bible alone that talks about good, God-fearing people (Job, David, prophets, etc.) who did not "forget" God. Were they also the "property of the Devil"?

Seriously, what about those who were not "wicked" and did not "forget" God and also did not subscribe to Abraham's, Moses' religion??


What about those before Noah then, what happened?
=-=-=

A SAINT is a SUBMITTER/BELIEVER of GOD YHSHWH.

MT 27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice,
yielded up the ghost.
MT 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain
from the top to the bottom;
and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
MT 27:52 And the graves were opened;
and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
MT 27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection,
and went into the holy city,
and appeared unto many.

All SAINTS before YHSHWH/JESUS were SAVED.
------------------------------------------------

And:notice they waited until he arose to show themselves.

those who were before noah, were in the same prison of sheol as the spirits.

the Tanakh declares there are different levels.

De 32:22 For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

of course, sheol is the word here, not gehenna.

Ps 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

sheol

Ps 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

Ps 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Ps 16:11 Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

sheol

Ps 86:13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell

this soul was in Abrahams bosom, showing that he was delivered.

Pr 7:27 Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

chambers, plural.

Pr 15:11 Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?

sheol and abaddon

Pr 27:20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

sheol and abaddon

Isa 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

OPEN WIDE, MOTHER EARTH..

from what I see,sheol is still there, waiting to be thrown in the Lake at the GWT.

thats where I see the sinners before Noah being.
quote:
Originally posted by Fagunwa:
OA you almost led him there, I screamed sitting at my desk. If he takes a look at the story now he might see why the "snake" spoke to "eve" first and she offered the "fruit" to "adam". Sounds like Tefa to me. Folks who know might also see why women don't get ODU, they don't need it. How do you initiate someone into a mystery that they are born with?


Wink
MBM,

Thank you for your thoughtful answer.

I hope you had a merry Christmas and a great Kwanzaa.

You wrote:
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The past is the best way to understand the present in many instances, no? This would particularly be the case with religion where there seems to be little innovation or growth - where people are trained to drive forward looking solely in the rear view mirror.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Isn't there a bit of a contradiction here? If "the past is the best way to understand the present," then why is "looking in the rear-view mirror" so bad? I think you omay be expecting the wrong thing from religion, in this case especially Christianity. We have to look in the rear-view mirror because that's where the words of Christ are, where the books of Moses are. The history of religious innovators is not a good one. They are often called "heresies" for good reason--Mormonism says that practitioners will get to be their own gods over their own planets, Jehovah's Witnesses take too literally the 144,000 and blood (as a result, a strict JW is likely to die from loss of blood after a major accident), Gnostics had a mulitplicity of different passwords and rituals to use to appease the demons (or they'd wind up worse than Ron Weasely in "The Chamber of Secrets" Harry Potter film, with his broken wand that kept backfiring on him), and of course, there are all those Maharishi Maheesh Yogi and Bagwhan Rajneesh-types who are in it for the money, and Jim Jones/David Koresh ones who are in it for the power.

If one is going to be faithful to Christ, then looking back to his words would be exactly what is needed to do.

You wrote:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Many in Christianity, of course, think this way too [about their religion being the only way]. Furthermore, many believe that if someone's spirituality lies outside of the narrow confine of their specific brand of theology that that person will be condemned to eternal damnation. To my sensibilities, that thinking is quite ridiculous. In Christianity this theological "egocentrism" is particularly ridiculous since even Jesus - as a Jew - wouldn't today even pass muster with the Pat Robertson types. Jesus Himself - as a "non-believer" - would be cast to hell
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Well, most of this is not that big a deal, really, and your reaction to it isn't quite necessary. You do not wish to be a thought-policeman, yet you strongly react to beliefs and thoughts that many Christians have and seem to wish or insist that they did not have those thoughts.

Those thoughts may not be what you angrily believe they are (how would you feel if others felt about your feelings as you feel about Christians'?) Their beliefs that others will go to hell, in fact, lead them to acts of kindness or to telling others how to avoid the hell they fear others will suffer. There is a difference between between hate and love, and a strong and angry reaction may misunderstand that. One can do what others do not like out of love, but that does not mean that they do or believe something wrong. "Faithful are the wounds of a friend," is the proverb, and it is true. You've probably had to tell someone something that person did not want to hear, yet you told him. That was not hate, that was love.

Don't get the two confused, even if you strongly wish that Christians wouldn't say or believe what they do. It may be a case of love misunderstood.

You wrote:
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
To my sensibilities, that thinking is quite ridiculous.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Yes, but sensibilities often are wrong. Besides, the ridiciulous often--usually, in fact--is not bad enough for anger.

The problem may be your sensibilities.

There isn't a "Christian egocentrism." There are the words of Christ himself that he is "the only way." Those who take these words seriously must face anger and rejection like yours, but they are willing to do so for the sake of your present as well as eternal well-being.

And about Pat Robertson--a favorite whipping-boy of yours, I notice--you have a definite point. Jesus would anger and offend many Christians like him today, but he would do so for those who take their interpretation of his words more seriously than they do his actual words. That was the problem with the Pharisees 2000 years ago: they had the Oral Law, and Jesus actively rejected it, leading people back to the Law of Moses and the rest of the Word of God. But not all the Pharisees disbelieved--Nicodemus did not, for example. Pat has his own interpretations, and Jesus would stand against many of them, I am sure, but be careful about making such sweeping generalizations. Not all Pharisees rejected Jesus. Not all Pat Roberstons will, too.

You wrote:
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
So, what are we to take away from this discussion? Pretty much what I hope people take away from any discussion here: thought provoking ideas, introspection, analaysis, perspective, good dialogue and debate etc. Those are the objectives of the site; discussions about religion should not be exempt from that should they?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

An admirable goal which will only help our practice of and thoughts about our religion, if and when we do it right, which ought to include no generalized demonizations of others' motives?

You wrote,

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
In particular, African Americans have been "fed" a religion, in Christianity, that was used as a meaningful tool of our enslavement.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Yes, but remember:

1. That no longer obtains.
2. Christianity was "used." It is not inherent in Christianity itself. That's why the North, just as Christian as the South, did not hold that the Bible demanded slavery. In fact, if you read the arguments over the "3/5 of a person" clause in the Constitutional Convention, it was only a matter of taxation and the number of representatives (see Article I, section 2, paragraph 3), not of personhood, because Madison and other Northerners deliberately insisted on slaves being called "persons." "three fifths of all other persons, " is the formula. Once, in fact, in a proposed article banning the importation of slaves, the word "slaves" was struck and "Persons" inserted.

So to speak generally about Christianity being a "meaningful tool" of our enslavement is not altogether true. It is true only of the South, which had already made up its mind about slavery and went looking for possible support. Those who had not so made up their minds did not find any such support in the Bible or their religion. Your use ot the word "used" was correct. Your belief that it is part of American Christianity is not.

You wrote,

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
To be clear, this is absolutely NOT to say that we should not be Christian, but just that we should understand how - in all its glory and power - Christianity is as much as anything, a tool of man. Man has used Christianity as a tool to control and influence and execute objectives that sometimes have little to do with the Gospels.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Quite right, with one exception--Christianity is not a "tool." It has been used as one, but it was not desigend for that. Just like a screwdriver can be used as a weapon but was not meant for that purpose, so with Christianity.

You wrote,

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Many look to the Bible as a document beyond analysis and question. I fundamentally disagree with that approach to anything - particularly something as deeply important as the way one approaches their spirituality.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This is absolutely right. All truth is God's truth; whatever may happen afterward, we must follow the truth. Freedom isn't always what we imagine it will be, and only if we surrender our fantasies will we live in the freedom of truth.

You wrote,

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
You may recall I had a debate about "universal truths" with Noah the African and maybe Nmaginate(?) a few years back when I said that any perfection or truths in the universe could only be "smudged" and made imperfect via their interaction with man. We are so flawed and imperfect beings that our contact in and of itself renders any universal perfection immediately less than so. At best, this is the case with Christianity. As we have seen with the current troubles in the Catholic Church, holy men can also be sinners of the most high variety. Many people understand that more Earthly considerations also were embedded in the early formation of "the church". Hence our read of holy texts should be informed by this reality (i.e. it's OK to drink the Kool-Aid, just know what flavor it is before you down it!).
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I mostly agree with this, but in the most important part (the concepts underlying it) my perspective is a little different. The universe just is. I don't think we can call it "perfect," for we have nothing to compare it to to find out. It's fine to react emotionally to it, but we must remember that these are emotional reactions ("grandeur" is such an emotional reaction to it). Moreover, we are part of this universe. What we are is part of what the universe is. We are made of the same stuff--the "dust of the earth" is the way the Bible puts it--for the 92 elements made either from the orignal creation or in the cores of stars are in us. So I'm not really sure that we can say that we "smudge" (however good the image) the universe. If we are imperfect, I would suggest that the universe as a whole is, too, though what that would mean I'm not entirely sure. What I am sure about is that we cannot say that the universe is so different from us, and us from it. We are one in and with it.

Now, what might that mean for Christianity? It could be imperfect. It probably is, and it would be apt to say so, given the pervasiveness of human sin. It is what the Bible teaches, moreover, that what we do is tainted by sin. Didn't Jesus point out a number of improper interpretations existing in his day? Ours isn't any different. The Bible itself has obviously human influences in it--like all eyewitness accounts, there are differences in them--but there is a core of truth in it: there is a moral Law we must follow, and Jesus really did rise from the dead. The existence of Methodists and Lutherans and Catholics and such are manifestations of our sinful imperfections, but the truth of Jesus is there to be found for those who wish to find it.

The problem about our search for that truth is that same sinfulness that has been the downfall of many Christian leaders is in us, too, and taints our understanding of the problems in Christianity. We don't even understand the problems of it rightly. So the sinfulness you correctly point out is in you, too, as you critique the religion.

Your wrote,

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
When your religion tells you that in 2005 it is still not appropriate to use contraception or to masturbate or for women to be priests, it is our duty to think about whether those "truths" really come from God or have been given to us with more Earthly motivations. With that perspective, we should live our lives in a manner which is most congruent with our beliefs and sensibilities.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I think we should be a little more suspicious of our own motives and sensibilities. Just because they are "ours" and "today's" does not make them right. A moral worng does not become right because it takes place on Tuesday instead of Saturday. A religion that shapes itself to our modern thought-patterns is not a religion. It's a useful tool, which is an important critique of yours against Christianity. You are substituting for what you do not like exactly what you say we should not have.

You wrote,
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
To make a long story short, the fundamental point for me is merely caveat emptor. Know what you are practicing and who you are praying to.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Quite right.

You wrote,
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Beyond that, in the strongest terms, I reject religous fundamentalism that forces a singular path to God. IMO, that is a way of thinking born of weakness and insecurity (do you think God really cares whether we worship Him or not? Do you care whether a gnat in your backyard worships you?)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ah, well, here we disagree. I am not a fan of fundamentalism, either (that's why I am not one), but it isn't just fundamentalism that posits only one way to God. Jesus himself did that. Anyone who takes his words seriously will think the same, no matter the emotional reaction of others.

Remember, there those of us who are adult converts to Christianity, and thus who used to think much as you say you do. We found out that we weren't as right as we thought we were.

And we have been over the prayer issue before, and the answer now is the same as it has always been. God doesn't need our prayer. We do. I would care about that gnat if I loved it. God cares about us because he loves us. So he tells us to pray because we need to.

You wrote,

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
That thinking is also inherently designed to coerce and to divide human beings - attributes which to my thinking are completely opposed to what religion and spirituality should really be about.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

There is thinking that is so, you are right, but it is not in the religion. It's in the sinful people, but God will help us to handle and change that in us if we will let him.

Anbd what we think that religion and spirituality should "be about" doesn't matter. It's the truth of spirituality that matters, and it will be different from what we sinful people fancy it is.

You wrote,

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
For better or worse, this world is about power and self-interest. (People acquire power in the naked quest for their self-intersts.) Obviously religion - as a vehicle that can mold thought - has been a huge part of that equation. IMHO - the veneer of "perfection" needs to be peeled away from religion so that people can see it for what it is. It can be a wonderful path to spiritual growth, health, and even enlightenment. It does wonderful good on Earth. Just know that man has his imperfection woven throughout every aspect of religion. Doing this empowers you to take control of your spiritual life, experiencing God in ways that are most germane and helpful to you.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

May I say as gently as possible that this is a misunderstanding of Christianity, or even of its purpose? This "empowerment" you hold highly is precisely what you just got through rightly criticizing in religion and Christianity. It's the source of all the troubles in the Church and the reason so many people reject Christianity without knowing much if anything about it.

There is a weakness that really is disguised strength. That is the essence of being a Christian. I don't think that you see or understand what it is yet.
quote:

May I say as gently as possible that this is a misunderstanding of Christianity, or even of its purpose? This "empowerment" you hold highly is precisely what you just got through rightly criticizing in religion and Christianity. It's the source of all the troubles in the Church and the reason so many people reject Christianity without knowing much if anything about it.


I rejected Christianity and I know a LOT about it - I used to be one and a student of Theology. Always seemed to me that the more one knew about it, the less it made sense Smile

quote:

There is a weakness that really is disguised strength. That is the essence of being a Christian. I don't think that you see or understand what it is yet.


The weakness is one of the mind. A weak mind makes for a strong (read "hard") head and there's no disguising that Smile

Some of us understand all too well.
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quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
In particular, African Americans have been "fed" a religion, in Christianity, that was used as a meaningful tool of our enslavement.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

So to speak generally about Christianity being a "meaningful tool" of our enslavement is not altogether true.


I beg to differ: Christianity was and REMAINS an Altogether True tool of our enslavement. This religion is

* ENSLAVEMENT OF THE MIND *

* ENSLAVEMENT OF THE MIND *

* ENSLAVEMENT OF THE MIND *

The Bible was written by and for sheep herders 2000-4000 years ago.

To read it today as if it were

(1) A history book

(2) A science book

(3) indisputable literal truth

is

* ENSLAVEMENT OF THE MIND *

* ENSLAVEMENT OF THE MIND *

* ENSLAVEMENT OF THE MIND *

And too many black people are sending their children to Sunday School to learn pre-scientific * fairy tales * rather than teaching them MATHEMATICS and SCIENCE which, by the way, are the biggest barriers to African American academic success in High School and College. And these barriers are ultimately barriers to economic and cultural well-being.

We're tithing and WASTING OUR MONEY on the these preachers rather than starting and investing in businesses. All because of that

* ENSLAVEMENT OF THE MIND *

We support these half-literate preachers rather than University Professors because of that

* ENSLAVEMENT OF THE MIND *

The same Conservative 'Think Tanks' that oppose "Big Government" (insofar as it helps black folks) HAVE NO PROBLEM GIVING MONEY TO THESE BLACK PREACHERS THROUGH "FAITH BASED PROGRAMS" BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT RELIGION OF YOURS IS

* ENSLAVEMENT OF THE MIND *

* ENSLAVEMENT OF THE MIND *

That Religion of yours has become a real impediment to Black progress because it UNABASHEDLY and UNASHAMEDLY promotes

* ENSLAVEMENT OF THE MIND *
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And that's the harshest type of enslavement because a "free" man who * thinks * like a slave is a slave and there's not much you can do to help him tfro
honestbrother,

You're assuming rather a lot.

First, I would start off by thinking that your situation is different from MBM's, so what I say to him I wouldn't necessarily say to you. To answer as you did as though I was talking to or about you is to answer questions that were not asked...

...and may be part of the reason you found/find it hard to accept the truth-claims of Christianity. If you impatiently demand that the Bible make sense to you in all the ways you presently think, you are asking it to confirm you instead of confront you, which is what it does best. In order to learn anything, we have to be made uncomfortable, sometimes by what does not at first make sense (talk to a quantum chromodynamicist, for example, or read Kip Thorne's "Gravitation" and see how much you understand. The discomfort tells us how much we have yet to learn). If we conclude that the sense it doesn't make is its fault, then we will never learn what it has to teach us, and in fact we will forever believe that it is false, when in fact it is not. The fault lies in us, not in it.

I would wager that it isn't that the more one knows about Christianity the less sense it makes, I'll bet that it's "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing." Sure, you can learn a lot a a student of theology, but considering from where a student of theology starts, that lot is really only the basics, and it's not always the most important parts. All a theological education does is teach us how to think theologically. The real education begins after we graduate.

I'm not sure that you gave it enough time.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The weakness is one of the mind. A weak mind makes for a strong (read "hard") head and there's no disguising that
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

You are partly right, here. A weak mind does make for a hard head, but you have yet to show the connection between your two statements.

The weakness of which I spoke is the weakness of which Paul spoke and of which many generations of Christians have embraced in order to know God's love and truth. The Desert Fathers, for instance, or the early martyrs had this strength that looked like weakness only because we have defined strength wrongly. There is much deep and hard thinking in the Church. I'm sorry that you haven't seen it.

In some ways I agree with you. The Bible is not a science text nor is it a history book, though it does have history in it. Many of the kings of Israel and Judah, for example, can be found mentioned in the records of the surrounding kingdoms, largely supporting the Biblical records of those kings. So we should not discount the whole of Biblical history at one sweep.

But the purpose of the Bible is to tell us something of God, his character, his requirements for us, and of our character and what we need to change in that character (and how to do so)in order to live truly. Along the way it tells us many things that are true incidentally. Those incidental facts are not its purpose, is all.

I think that you are looking at the Bible with an all-or-nothing attitude that depends on that of the people with whom you most strongly disagree. Current fundamentalist thinking has many things wrong with it, which is why I am not one. I am an evangelical, but not a fundamentalist. "Fundies" tend to commit the fallacy of the excluded middle: it's either all our way or the devil's way. You appear to me to be reacting to that more than to the actual text of the Bible.

Should our churches be teaching mathematics and science? I would endorse it wholeheartedly, and in fact I have done some of that in Sunday School right along with comparative religion courses. I teach that all truth is God's truth and we do not need to fear any of it no matter what it says or looks like. We speak of cosmology (I love astronomy), archeology (I love history), paleontology (just really old history), medicine (including DNA and its changes), and physics right along with Bible. And I do not twist the science to fit a theology. If anything, I tell them to accept the science and then see what fits it.

Is this the "religion of yours" that you seem to despise without knowing anything about it?
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
honestbrother,

You're assuming rather a lot.


I'm assuming a h*ll of a lot less than you are.

quote:

...and may be part of the reason you found/find it hard to accept the truth-claims of Christianity. If you impatiently demand that the Bible make sense to you in all the ways you presently think, you are asking it to confirm you instead of confront you, which is what it does best. In order to learn anything, we have to be made uncomfortable, sometimes by what does not at first make sense (talk to a quantum chromodynamicist, for example, or read Kip Thorne's "Gravitation" and see how much you understand. The discomfort tells us how much we have yet to learn). If we conclude that the sense it doesn't make is its fault, then we will never learn what it has to teach us, and in fact we will forever believe that it is false, when in fact it is not. The fault lies in us, not in it.


First I'm a trained mathematician. So please don't compare Quantum Chromodynamics to Christian Fundamentalism (which I define as a religious position characterized by (1) Biblical Inerrancy and (2) Biblical Literalism - and I'm assuming you're coming from this perspective).

Second, do you have any clue how much nonsense there is out in the world? Yours is not the only religion or superstition or nonsensical point of view that makes fantastic claims.

* What's SOOO special about YOUR nonsense over ALL the other nonsense that I should waste a disproportionate amount of my time trying to come to grips with it? Time that I could use trying to understand things that DO make sense? *

Virgins giving birth, dead men rising from the grave, a 6000 years old earth, Christian 'salvation', etc, etc. Do NOT make sense to a thinking man. They will NEVER make sense no matter how long you think about them.

And to say "Oh well. Logic and human thinking don't apply or can never comprehend it... Just accept it" is the first step in that

ENSLAVEMENT OF THE MIND

we were talking about.

* Who in his RIGHT mind tells the descendants of slaves don't think about it or try to understand it, just OBEY it because it says so right here in this here book and you can't believe anything else or you're going to hell and if you insist on understanding it and you don't then it's your problem???????????????? *

That's BULLSH*T. Sounds like

* ENSLAVEMENT OF THE MIND *

to me. And * I'll burn in h*ll before I 'serve' a God who is stupid/cruel/evil enough to think I should be the one to yield to that *. This doesn't make me pitiable. But rather it makes Him EVIL.

quote:

I would wager that it isn't that the more one knows about Christianity the less sense it makes, I'll bet that it's "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing."


For your information I've studied theology/philosophy/religion since I was 15 years old and I'm now in my 30's. I really don't believe that you're a qualified judge of what I know.

quote:

In some ways I agree with you. The Bible is not a science text nor is it a history book, though it does have history in it. Many of the kings of Israel and Judah, for example, can be found mentioned in the records of the surrounding


If you believe the world was created in 7 days, or that there was a first man and woman who 'fell' because they ate an apple, or that the sun stood still for a day, or that a man lived again after being dead 3 days, etc., then you, sir, are using it as a history and science book. And in the worst way possible.

quote:

You appear to me to be reacting to that more than to the actual text of the Bible.
..................................
Is this the "religion of yours" that you seem to despise without knowing anything about it?


For the record, I despise any religion which insists on the special authority of a single text(s) which is the source of all spiritual truth which if you're unfortunate enough to have a mind and find it foolish results in your condemnation. I have no use at all for supernatural saviors and special revelation.

* That sort of religion is little more than 'spiritual' childishness which has the unfortunate consequence of also being intellectually AUTHORITARIAN. And that is the very definition of MENTAL ENSLAVEMENT. *

If that's your religion, I despise it. If it's not, I still despise it but I apologize to you.
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quote:
Originally posted by Melesi
If you impatiently demand that the Bible make sense to you in all the ways you presently think, you are asking it to confirm you instead of confront you, which is what it does best.



What's ironic is that is exactly what Fundamentalists do. They impose their own pre-existing ideas and prejudices into the Bible. If they already believe that homosexuality is "icky", they'll look for anti-gay Bible verses to confirm their prejudice. If they are socially conservative, they'll find verses that seem to disapprove of social liberalism.


HonestBrother,
Most people just read the Bible to confirm whatever it is they already want to believe. Fundamentalists want to believe that the universe is controlled by a dictator-deity that agrees with all of their pre-existing ideas because it psychologically gives them a sense of authenticity or authority in their prejudice. Believing that the universe is controlled by a human-like parental figure waiting to punish anyone who doesn't agree with you, and demands obedience is a very soothing belief to the human ego.


I find that often times, the God of many Christians is little more than a mental projection of their own psychological ego written large. Often times, Fundamentalists identify their own thoughts and own subconscious tendancies with the "mind of God" and if they hear their unconscious mind suggest things to them that they want to believe, they claim "God spoke to me". Anything that they don't want to believe, they claim "It's the Devil". Often times, to many Fundamentalists (including my parents), all "God" is their own Ego/Id. The dictatorial nature of the Fundamentalist Christian god is the human Ego, and the wrathful/vengeful/authortarian nature of the Fundamentalist Christian god is the human Id.

The "voice of the Holy Spirit" with Fundamentalist Christians is just the human Unconscious/Subconscious Mind, while Jesus Christ in Fundamentalist Christianity is a representation of the human Superego. The "Devil" is the part of the human Superego/Unconscious Mind that questions learned religious dogma.
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
EP, I believe you're absolutely correct. And very learned and wise for a man of your years - 19 did you say?


Yes, 19 years old. Thank you! Smile I don't consider myself "wise", I just consider myself someone who pays attention. But, thanks anyway.


I'm a former Fundamentalist myself. I used to be a Deist (because my parents were when I was little), then I became an atheist at the age of 11 when one of my close relatives died. I was an atheist until the age of 15 when I became a Born-Again Christian after experiencing a miraculous healing of my grandfather after I prayed in desperation for his life to be spared from his battle with cancer, then subsequently being indoctrinated by born-again pastors.

I was a Born-Again from the age of 15 and I spent years memorizing the Bible and trying to "biblically rationally" justify traditional orthodox Christian dogma. I constantly bashed other religions, I was very suspicious of non-Christians and especially "ATHEISTS", and I constantly accused biblical scholars and Liberal Christians of satanic plots.

My change came slowly. Over the years, I came to question more and more of my Christian dogma. I noticed inconsistancies in the Bible (I had known they were there all along, but I would not let myself admit it). The more I talked to non-Christians and made non-Christian friends, I seriously questioned why God woujld view these people as "evil" and why they would go to hell simply for having a different concept of God or not believing in God.

I de-converted at the age of 18, and now I consider myself a spiritual searcher.


The God-concept I dislike the most is that of conservative, fundamentalist Theism. Fundamentalists in Abrahamic religions are most often people who live in isolated areas or in backwards, under/uneducated areas of the Americas and the Middle East. They are frightened by the influx of modernism and are afraid to let go of some of the old, comfortable and familiar ways.

The Fundamentalist view of God is little more than people writing their own egos onto a divine stage, and trying to satisfy their juevenile need for a parental figure by making God into a Cosmic disciplinarian "Big Daddy" figure. It's also a way of perserving partriarchy and misogyny by making God exclusively masculine and a "Father" and claiming that God hates this 'nasty' modernism, feminism and new ways.

If you notice, when many Fundamentalists say "God does not approve!", it's little more than a transparent, egostical way of saying, "I do not approve!"

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