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Going Downhill Fast
#21
(10-14-2015, 04:48 AM)pennmartkd Wrote: Context is always the kicker. When Jesus said "I am the way" it was in the context of his discussion with the disciples that how the world would know we are in him is that we love one another. The way, therefore, is love.

Paul repositions things to suggest that we interpret Jesus' death as the atonement for sin. Oddly modern Christianity has focused more on our verbal acceptance of Paul's proposition than Jesus' sense that action is the true telling of our faith.

As a result Christianity is split in many ways, and the world looks at us as confused hypocrites. I guess what I'm suggesting is less finger pointing and more thoughtful congruency between faith and action no matter what tradition.

I think you have put your finger on a very big part of the problem many have with Christianity, the fact that Paul changed everything.

The early 'Christians' were a Jewish sect, they understood how to read the Tanakh, how to interpret what they read, they understood how teachings were made with allegorical stories, they understood Jewish thought and the how, whys and wherefores, Paul took the sect off into places that it wasn't intended it should go. He started the 'original sin' idea, holy ghosts, the backwardness and sinning ways of women etc etc it means that now there is no similarities between Christianity and Judaism because they were all lost. Paul not Jesus was the founder of Christianity, if Paul hadn't changed anything Christianity would still be a part of Judaism if it survived.
The Christian church went on to be a huge political entity less to do with faith and religion and more to do with power and wealth. Changes were made to enable the Church as it was then to become even wealthier, priests, and other religious orders were forbidden to marry to save looking after dependents. In the Celtic Christian church priests married as did nuns and monks, the Roman Catholic church spread itself over much of the Western world as well as using conversion as an excuse to take over 'new' countries. The spilt from the Eastern Orthodox Church meant that much of what the latter believed was disregarded by the Roman church to it's loss. Much of what Christians believe these days is man made and man organised. As a Jew I can shrug my shoulders and say whatever you want to believe but as a woman I can't, the abuses poured on women by so called Christian beliefs over the centuries is appalling. Men having control over women's sexuality, fertility, property and lives. In the early Christianity there were female bishops and disciples yet again white washed out of history by men.
Millions of lives have been destroyed and lost by the Christian churches in their wish to be the only religion of the people. In England we had one monarch killing the Catholics then the next killing the Protestants then the next killing the Catholics again, both sides killing non Christians and non conformists, it's a very bloody history. It's not finished yet, in Northern Ireland there may be a 'peace agreement' but daily it's being broken with shootings and bombings still between Catholics and Protestants. Do you know why Protestants in N Ireland cheered when the bomb went off in Boston? it was because Boston was a fund raising hub for the IRA to buy their bombs and weapons. Sick isn't it.
We have good Christians here, the big Quaker families Cadbury and Rowntree among others did a great deal to make life better for many people, Quakers are people I admire and respect very much for their non violent, no judgemental and non evangelising way of life, great people doing great work.
In America unions and socialism are mostly considered as 'communism or communist inspired' here the union organisations and socialism comes from Methodist roots. The Methodist preachers used to walk from town to town preaching that everyone was equal, men women rich and poor. Our modern socialist leaders still come from a strong Methodist background.
Religion is very much man made, our prayers aren't for G-d they are for us, our rituals comfort us, we make our religions how we want them to be, what makes us feel happy. It's human nature to do this. Our relationship (or not) with G-d is personal, something we have to work out for ourselves, no one can claim to speak for G-d or justify their actions by saying it's what G-d wanted.
There are many ways to G-d, why wouldn't there be? No one is better than another, to think one is superior because one has a special belief would be arrogance. The Jews have a Covenant with G-d, you may think it isn't binding but for us it is. Even the current Pope says the Covenant has never been revoked and if the Catholic Church can say that after two thousand years of persecution well perhaps there's hope yet. http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/...amp-god/2/

To believe you are right is fine, to believe you are the only one who is right is not.
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#22
No offense intended Tez, but Paul did not invent the concept of the Holy Spirit. Jesus himself predicted the coming of the Holy Spirit, both John and Peter taught about it, and Luke mentions the Holy Spirit quite often.

As for the church getting politicized, that certainly did happen. But not until a few hundred years after Jesus and the Apostles died off. Until then Christianity was a non-political and, at times, persecuted belief system. By the time the church was merged with the state (a bad idea), every major belief had been well established. This is historically verifiable, though not the common line of thought expressed in academia.

As for Paul bashing women, I do not think that is the case, although he wrote certain things that could be construed that way.

Nor did Paul take Christianity out of Judaism. Ultimately it is beliefs about the person and work of Jesus that drive the wedge between professing Christendom and professing Judaism. These beliefs were not unique to Paul, for they are affirmed by Peter, John, Luke, Matthew, Mark, Jude, and pretty much every early Christian whether that Christian was ethnically a Jew or ethnically a Gentile.

John's writings are if anything more straightforward about the person and work of Christ than Paul's are. So it is not Paul that caused the divide. Ultimately it is disagreement about the identity of Jesus.

To think that only one tradition has truth is arrogant. The Word lights every man. Paul himself affirmed this truth by quoting from pagan poets and philosophers to emphasize truths he believed. But, if the Logos/Light of God is transcendent and not merely cultural, then at times it is inevitable that two distinct positions cannot both correspond equally to that transcendent ideal. Sometimes they could equally correspond, but sometimes they would not. One perspective would be closer than the other. Although, as Jon "Instructor" said, "We all see through a glass darkly."

For the Christian, whether ethnically Jewish or not, it is foundational to the Faith that transcendent, revealed understanding of God reaches it zenith in the person and life and work of Jesus. He is the Eternal Word of God in human form.

You disagree. Does that mean I think you have no truth? Of course not. I am quite confident that in many ways you could teach me much about walking in love and the light of God. But we cannot both have an equal correspondence to the truth about this Jesus fellow while holding such divergent views on his identity. One of us is at least more "right" (closer to the reality about Jesus) or equally "wrong" (both so far from the reality about Jesus, but in different tangents, that of course we are also not aligned with each other).

Do you think I am being arrogant in saying that? I am not baiting you. This is a sincere question.
Martial Arts done well leads to a more virtuous life because everyone is fighting something.

"If your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eye is evil, even the light that is within you will be darkness.  If the light that is within you is darkness, how great is that darkness?"  (Jesus of Nazareth)
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#23
(10-13-2015, 01:38 PM)Kong Soo Do Wrote:
(10-10-2015, 10:58 AM)Instructor Wrote: Personally I think that mankind did invent religion.  I do not think that man invented God though.  I think initially religion was simply mans struggle to comprehend and communicate with God.  A humans limited response to something eternal and incomprehensible.  The Bible admits:

1 Corinthians 13:12King James Version (KJV)

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Conrad and I were just talking about the differences between people the other day.  We are each unique and thus communicate with one another differently.  For example I would communicate with my wife much differently than I would a stranger.  So I think that God communicates to each of us in a way that resonates with us in a special way.  So we all will have a unique perspective and belief.

Are you suggesting there is more than one way to God?  The Bible is pretty clear on that topic:

John 14:6

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus is the way, not a way. 

I agree that religion is man-made and every religion has a common point i.e. works.  That is what separates Christianity and makes it not a religion, but rather a relationship.  In other words, religion (works) is man's attempt to reach God, Christianity (grace) as a relationship is God's attempt to reach man.

As a Christian I believe that Jesus is the only way.  Well the other way is to have never committed a sin which is impossible for most of us.  However that being said many, many, many different denominations and groups practice Christianity differently.  The are unique from each other.
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#24
I believe it is arrogance to believe only one faith has the 'truth', and to kill others because of that belief is even worse. Christians are still killing each other because of that belief, that one is right while another is wrong. I lost friends and colleagues in Northern Ireland, as well as having my life threatened when I was deployed there, it's not something I think Christians should be proud about and it's still going on.
I believe free will is given and we will each choose the right way for us, Joshua ben Joseph may be yours but he's not most of the worlds 'right'. You think I have a view on your 'Jesus' I don't because he is actually nothing to me other than an historical figure in Israel's long history and quite honestly a very small figure one of many self proclaimed messiahs at the time. It simply isn't an issue that Jews consider after all, it's our writings, our history, our prophecies. what right do non Jews have to decide what our writings mean? However to take the faith, history and religious writings of others, and decide that it is now all redundant because Christians have decided it is so is something that I don't think Christians realise they have done. To quote back at Jews their own writings telling them what it means is arrogance also, it would be like me quoting the American Constitution to Americans telling them it doesn't mean what they think it does but what I think it does and what they believe has been superseded by what I believe and that basically Americans are mistaken people who need to see things how I do and then they will be saved. Rightly it would be taken as enormous cheek on my part (actually I think it would be taken as insulting) and I would be told to stay out of America's business.
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#25
That is all well and good as far as mutual respect goes.  I am not trying to tell you what the Law, Prophets, and Writings mean to you.  As Paul said, "Who are you to judge someone else's servant?  To his own Master he will rise or fall." (Romans 14.4)
Martial Arts done well leads to a more virtuous life because everyone is fighting something.

"If your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eye is evil, even the light that is within you will be darkness.  If the light that is within you is darkness, how great is that darkness?"  (Jesus of Nazareth)
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#26
(10-15-2015, 09:24 PM)Conrad Wrote: That is all well and good as far as mutual respect goes.  I am not trying to tell you what the Law, Prophets, and Writings mean to you.  As Paul said, "Who are you to judge someone else's servant?  To his own Master he will rise or fall." (Romans 14.4)


I know you aren't. The puzzle is though why our writings, Law etc should mean anything to non Jews. Why have non Jews taken something that was given to us and turned it all around? it's not that we think we have the only way or that we are right but more that why take something that was clearly meant for a specific people? I think this article reflects how we approach things and the fact that non Jews take what is written to be literal. Perhaps this shows the difference in our thought processes on what is after all our writings and why seeing othrs, non Jews, say it means something else is grieving. 
http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/...tradition/
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#27
(10-15-2015, 07:55 PM)Tez Wrote: I believe it is arrogance to believe only one faith has the 'truth', and to kill others because of that belief is even worse. Christians are still killing each other because of that belief, that one is right while another is wrong.
Here is the unfortunate crux of the problem.  Are Christians killing each other or are 'Christians' killing each other?  Let me expound if I may.  Anyone can call themselves a Christian.  Mormons call themselves Christians.  Jehovah Witnesses call themselves Christians.  A whole host of various sects have called themselves Christians.  And I'll be bold and say that Catholics call themselves Christians.  But none of them truly are Christians.  Why do I may this statement?  Simply that none of them actually follow the teachings of Scripture.  Mormons certainly do not follow Scripture and rather place the Book of Mormon above the Bible.  Jehovah Witnesses follow the Watchtower and use a perverted version of the Bible that is based upon the Alexandrian Texts and modified to fit their agenda.  And speaking as someone that came out of Catholism, I can speak that they follow 'the traditions of men' more than they do the Holy Scriptures.  That is a whole conversation in and of itself.
Many people are 'Christians by tradition' which does not make one a Christian.  Jews are suspicious of 'Christians ever since the crusades and the holocaust.  Problem is that it was the Catholic church that sponsored the crusades (again a whole separate conversation).  Sure, they call themselves 'the' Christian church.  Well, I can call myself a chair but it doesn't make it so.  Did the Catholic church kill Jews?  Yes, as many as they could.  But did the Catholic church also kill Christians?  Yes, over 100 million since the time of the Inquisition.  As proof, a previous Pope came out many years ago with a public apology for the Inquisition and acknowledged the atrocities committed.  So Christians don't kill Christians, history shows the Catholics have killed Christians (more than Jews).  And by the way, Jews also killed Christians and so did/do Muslims, Buddists and on and on.
But wait!?!  What about the Protestants and the Catholics killing each other?  Once again, anyone can call themselves a Christian but are they actually being a doing what it takes to be a Christians?  Not by any stretch.  What is the Christian example?  Christ could have called 12 legions of angels...but didn't.  Paul and Peter and James an Stephen ect could have run away or killed...but didn't.   Christians don't kill...they get killed. 
I am a Christian.  Don't lump me in with false Christianity or stereotype me. 
As far as the truth, it isn't my truth.  The Christ, the Messiah, The Yeshua, the Price of Peace stated he was THE truth.  I simply believe him.  It is a choice.  And here is the truth of Christianity Tez; you are a Jew and right now you don't believe what I believe.  My faith and the Scriptures don't tell me to kill you.  They tell me to love you, pray for you and bless you.  And I do each of the three.
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


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#28
I'm going to throw out some thoughts here just to play because I've noted some interesting things in my time studying and pastoring.

Christians killing Christians has been addressed in good fashion that just saying one is a Christian doesn't make it so. However going back to the Crusades and Inquisition Protestants tend to like to hammer Catholics. What is often forgotten is that at that point Catholicism had a bit of a monopoly. Protestants weren't even in existence at this point. So like it or not, those horrible actions are part of our shared Christian heritage, not only modern Catholics.

Also, I love the point that Christians tend to interpret the OT differently than Jews. Some of the most insightful thoughts I've heard about the OT have come from Rabbis rather than Christians. And to be truthful, one can't get past the reality that the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New are drastically different, particularly if one sees God as most accurately and fully revealed in Jesus. I think one of the tragedies of Christianity is that most Christians do a pretty shoddy job of reconciling these two Testaments, often taking scripture in the OT drastically out of context.

What I find is missed often with the John 14 verse is that what is missed is the context of that statement. Jesus is in the midst of preparing his disciples for his death. The way Jesus says people will know we belong to him is that we live lives of humble, sacrificial, servant love. His sense of "the way" is that it is an internal change that is lived out in a radically loving life, not some doctrinal statement.

Then we get the language of the substitutionary atonement, which is not the way Jesus' death has always been viewed. St. Anselm of Canterbury was the one who brought this to the fore of Christianity around 1100 AD and it kind of stuck. But the language of Christ dying as a sacrifice for our sins largely comes from Paul, who was a super Jew who converted, and oddly laid at the death of Christ an understanding that is profoundly Jewish as Christianity was in formation.

For me this kind of stuff is just humbling that a lot of how Christians believe is more complicated and intertwined with Judaism than we give credit for being. Which is why continued conversation is so important because there's no way the finite creation can truly comprehend the infinite God in God's fullness.
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#29
(10-16-2015, 12:02 PM)Kong Soo Do Wrote:
(10-15-2015, 07:55 PM)Tez Wrote: I believe it is arrogance to believe only one faith has the 'truth', and to kill others because of that belief is even worse. Christians are still killing each other because of that belief, that one is right while another is wrong.
Here is the unfortunate crux of the problem.  Are Christians killing each other or are 'Christians' killing each other?  Let me expound if I may.  Anyone can call themselves a Christian.  Mormons call themselves Christians.  Jehovah Witnesses call themselves Christians.  A whole host of various sects have called themselves Christians.  And I'll be bold and say that Catholics call themselves Christians.  But none of them truly are Christians.  Why do I may this statement?  Simply that none of them actually follow the teachings of Scripture.  Mormons certainly do not follow Scripture and rather place the Book of Mormon above the Bible.  Jehovah Witnesses follow the Watchtower and use a perverted version of the Bible that is based upon the Alexandrian Texts and modified to fit their agenda.  And speaking as someone that came out of Catholism, I can speak that they follow 'the traditions of men' more than they do the Holy Scriptures.  That is a whole conversation in and of itself.
Many people are 'Christians by tradition' which does not make one a Christian.  Jews are suspicious of 'Christians ever since the crusades and the holocaust.  Problem is that it was the Catholic church that sponsored the crusades (again a whole separate conversation).  Sure, they call themselves 'the' Christian church.  Well, I can call myself a chair but it doesn't make it so.  Did the Catholic church kill Jews?  Yes, as many as they could.  But did the Catholic church also kill Christians?  Yes, over 100 million since the time of the Inquisition.  As proof, a previous Pope came out many years ago with a public apology for the Inquisition and acknowledged the atrocities committed.  So Christians don't kill Christians, history shows the Catholics have killed Christians (more than Jews).  And by the way, Jews also killed Christians and so did/do Muslims, Buddists and on and on.
But wait!?!  What about the Protestants and the Catholics killing each other?  Once again, anyone can call themselves a Christian but are they actually being a doing what it takes to be a Christians?  Not by any stretch.  What is the Christian example?  Christ could have called 12 legions of angels...but didn't.  Paul and Peter and James an Stephen ect could have run away or killed...but didn't.   Christians don't kill...they get killed. 
I am a Christian.  Don't lump me in with false Christianity or stereotype me. 
As far as the truth, it isn't my truth.  The Christ, the Messiah, The Yeshua, the Price of Peace stated he was THE truth.  I simply believe him.  It is a choice.  And here is the truth of Christianity Tez; you are a Jew and right now you don't believe what I believe.  My faith and the Scriptures don't tell me to kill you.  They tell me to love you, pray for you and bless you.  And I do each of the three.

"Christians don't kill" seems a fairly broad brush to me.  I've known plenty of Marines for example who I think are very strong Christians and have had to kill in the line of duty.
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#30
Quote:pennmartkd wrote:

What I find is missed often with the John 14 verse is that what is missed is the context of that statement. Jesus is in the midst of preparing his disciples for his death. The way Jesus says people will know we belong to him is that we live lives of humble, sacrificial, servant love. His sense of "the way" is that it is an internal change that is lived out in a radically loving life, not some doctrinal statement.


Well said.  To me, both the Jewish Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures are more in the vein of human encounters with God that rock them to their core and produce radical, benevolent change.  Properly understood, they create in us a desire to aspire to an ideal regardless of what anyone else is doing.  We all fall far short of that ideal in both theory and practice.  Therefore we all sin ("miss").

As for theory, that is systematic theology.  For the Christian, our theories center on the person and work of Jesus.  And there are better theories and worse theories.  Better perspectives and worse perspectives.  But the Christian Scriptures are not a treatise on theology. If that were the best way to know God, that is how he would have inspired the text to be written.  But He didn't.  We extrapolate theories from the text.  But it is the Word itself that inspires.  Our theories are not inspired. 

As for practice, that is works.  But no one, from the outside looking in, is going to care much about my theories if my practice is baleful and toxic.  In the same way, in real-life self-defense no one is going to care about the beauty of my kata bunkai theories if all I do is trip over myself when put to the test. 

But neither theory nor practice saves.  Divine Grace saves.  Our best theories are not the reality itself.  Our greatest works could never incarnate the Word of God into the humanity of Jesus or raise that same Jesus from the dead.

Brent, someday we should meet.  We are close enough to make that happen.  I've gotten to know Jon ("Instructor") some and it has been a blessing for me.  I am sure you would be too!

Tez:

I can understand why this kind of discussion would trouble you.  After all, I don't think, generally speaking, that a Muslim is, on the whole, likely to convince me that he has a better understanding of the Christian Scriptures than I do.  And it would grieve me if he insisted that my understanding was wrong and his was right.

Understanding and agreement are not the same thing, but understanding is the higher good I should seek to cultivate when I try to relate to other people.  Thank you for helping me understand.
Martial Arts done well leads to a more virtuous life because everyone is fighting something.

"If your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eye is evil, even the light that is within you will be darkness.  If the light that is within you is darkness, how great is that darkness?"  (Jesus of Nazareth)
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