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Jesus Loves You

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by Under Grace, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Jane_the_Bane

    Jane_the_Bane Gaia's godchild

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    Everything is equally significant. That still doesn't render cosmic importance to our (as per the Bible) "sinful" appetite for bacon or shrimp cocktail.
    I've always found that whenever the religious community contested a scientific discovery, such as heliocentrism, the age of the world or evolution, it wasn't because these discoveries belittled God - it was because these discoveries took away from the supreme importance of Man.

    Man, the bridge between the heavens and the earth. Man, living at the very centre of a universe that revolved around him. Man, God's physical and/or spiritual likeness (depending on your individual believer's take on the matter). I don't mind giving a potential deity its due. What I do mind is the pompous obsession with ourselves that's so common in Christianity and its illegitimate children, such as humanism, communism or what-have-you.

    Why should it be? And how do you "reject God" to begin with? It's not as if we could break the "laws" of nature. Even our most creative acts fall strictly within the domain of the naturally possible - and thus, within whatever boundaries are placed upon us by what you'll call "creation".

    ...while simultaneously KNOWING that each and every human being will fail to meet His standards, because, well, we're human - not divine.
    As for integrity and moral standards: I find that an actual evaluation of cultural codes and the ethical dimensions of any given situation make for a much greater degree of integrity than appealing to some hypothetical supernatural authority.
    As a Christian, you already reject most of the culture-specific taboos of the ancient Hebrews, yet hang on to others that have somehow persisted in Christianity, in spite of being just as arbitrary and unrelated to actual ethical considerations as prohibitions against wearing wool-cotton blend jumpers.

    And yet, each and every culture both ancient and contemporary has a share of specific taboos and conventions that are just as restrictive and arbitrary as anything you'll find in the Old Testament. The ancient Israelites weren't "special" in that sense. Such taboos are a dime a dozen. Just look at the Inuit and some of the utterly idiosyncratic customs that they adhere to.

    You know what? After YEARS of having every second Christian tell me that HIS particular perspective reflects TRUE Christianity, and that therefore any POV that does not coincide with his must reflect the incomprehension of the Unbeliever, I've come to place very little value in such accusations of holding a wrong perspective.

    You think sin does not affect God? Read "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God". You think we choose our path, make our own destinies? Read anything by A.W. Pink.
    For anything you object to, I'll be able to produce more than a handful of CHRISTIAN sources which adhere exactly to the beliefs that you pointed out as the "wrong perspective".
     
  2. Glass*Soul

    Glass*Soul Senior Veteran

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    Hi peaceful soul.

    In the post as a whole, I was drawing a distinction between Jesus as conceptualized by Christianity and the historical Jesus. In the gospels, I fear that we are already getting a combination of both. Each of the four authors presented a portrait of Jesus that expressed what they had come to believe about him over a period of time. So one is meeting a person who was probably an historical figure, but one is getting him through the lens of decades of reflection. There are probably parts that are pretty raw and unadulterated and parts that are pretty digested and reflect somewhat later thought. I'm not skilled enough in historical-critical analysis to tease the two apart in a scholarly fashion. I have my inklings regarding a few passages but that is probably only really useful to me.

    Even if you disagree with what I've said above, we must both agree that nearly 2000 years of history have intervened. Jesus, as conceptualized by the church, has been pushed and pulled this way and that, looking quite different in different places and different times and as presented for different purposes.

    In answering the OP's claim that Jesus loves me, I first give my heart-felt response to the conceptualization of Jesus that Christianity has presented and is presenting. That Jesus often has existed solely to serve the church and the wants and desires of the church rather than the other way around. He generally does not come across as loving someone like me. He comes across in quite the opposite manner: as detesting someone like me and anticipating punishing me in due time. One might even say that detesting the members of various out groups is his most well worn function, as demonstrated by how he is so often presented. There is huge power in being able to do that.

    Anyway, if you re-read my whole post you will see that asking me to defend part of my first paragraph purely by citing the bible would force me to leave a great deal of my thinking out. I can present the beginnings of Christianity's use of the figure of Jesus to vilify and condemn out groups by citing from the Bible, but there is much more down through history and going on right now that has contributed to that impression.

    The challenge is to determine what you will do in light of the fact that some people are getting the distinct impression that Jesus not only does not love them but hates them and will some day hurt them. One possible reaction is to call the impression ridiculous. If you have enough power you can actually have it both ways. That is one of the perks of truly massive power.

    If you are interested I will give you a walk-though of the book of Mark that outlines why I answered the question again in regard to the historical Jesus the way I did in my second paragraph. The bible is my main reference point in that half of my answer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  3. b&wpac4

    b&wpac4 Trying to stay away

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    As pointed out, Acts is where this story of Paul is found and Paul didn't write Acts. I had forgotten that little point. So, perhaps the writer of Acts simply added that in for effect.
    You can be sincerely wrong about something and that doesn't make you a liar.
    It's a popular idea so it must be true? Will you believe Islam if the membership eclipses Christianity? No? Then I guess arguing from popularity doesn't work, does it?
    Mormons died for their beliefs. Muslims died for their beliefs. Jews died for their beliefs. You are not a unique and special snowflake.

    In fact, based on this claim. you should all be Mormons. We know, directly, that many of the initial followers died for their cause. We have proof of this, we know it happened. So, they must, by your own logic, REALLY have the truth. So why aren't you a Mormon?
     
  4. b&wpac4

    b&wpac4 Trying to stay away

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    I did not say I believed he persecuted the Church. I said that he claimed to do this. It's there in the writing, of course I believe he claimed it. I dont' think it happened.

    I honestly don't think the Church was persecuted by the Jews that much to begin with. The Romans? Yes, certainly. But the Jews didn't have any power to do this at all at the time.
     
  5. razeontherock

    razeontherock Well-Known Member

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    ^_^ Now this "contradictory account" I gotta see ^_^ You do realize Saul didn't contribute to the NT, right? You keep digging yourself deeper, Jane.
     
  6. Jane_the_Bane

    Jane_the_Bane Gaia's godchild

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    What are you even talking about, raze? "Saul didn't contribute to the NT"?

    I, specifically, speak about the differences between Paul as portrayed in Acts of the Apostles vs. what little Paul tells us about himself in his Epistles.

    Contrast the account Paul gives of his travels and his contact with the other apostles in Galatians 1, 15ff. with what we are told in Acts:

    Paul, in his own words, "did not consult any man, nor did [he] go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before [he] was, but [he] went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.
    Then after three years, [he] went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days."

    That is not what happens in Acts of the Apostles, not by a far stretch.
    Likewise, the incident in Antioch is omitted from Acts. Actually, it's PETER who approaches the gentiles for the most part in that book, whereas Paul's speeches always show him trying to demonstrate his ongoing respect for Jewish law and custom.

    How often did Paul travel to Jerusalem?
    According to Acts Paul had already been to Jerusalem twice (Acts 9, 11) before the Jerusalem council (Acts 15). According to his letter to the Galatians, Paul had only been to Jerusalem once (Galatians 1:18) before the council (Galatians 2:1).
    And as the whole point of Galatians was to establish his independence from the Jerusalem church, noting that the leaders there "make no difference" (Gal 2:6) to him, the number of previous trips is part of his line of argument: "See, I've barely even met these folks. I'm my own man - or rather, God's man."

    There is another problem with Luke's placement of Paul in Jerusalem. In Acts 7:58, 8:3, the yet to be converted Saul was said to be in Jerusalem and took an active part in the murder (or execution-depending on how you view it) of Stephen. Yet Paul in Galatians 1:22 said that when he visited Jerusalem for the first time three years after his conversion, he was "still unknown by sight to the Churches of Judea". If Paul did take part in Stephen's murder/execution, than at least some of the early Christians would have already seen Paul in Jerusalem before his conversion. Thus the presence of Paul in Jerusalem at that time is definitely unhistorical .

    The Paul in "Acts" is a competent orator, always finding the right word at the right time; no matter his audience, he comes out on top.
    And yet, Paul himself writes in II Corinthians 10:10:
    "For [my opponents] say, "His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.""

    Acts 16, 1-3 shows Paul having one of his disciples circumcised because of expediency; to avoid problems for his mission with the Jews in the region.

    Now, here's what he's got to say about that himself, in Galatians:

    Galatians 2:1-6
    Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas taking Titus along with me. I went up in response to a revelation. Then I laid before them (though only in private meeting with the acknowledged leaders) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure that I was not running in vain. But even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. But because of false believers secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might enslave us-we did not submit to them even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might always remain with you.

    Later on, in the same letter, Paul explicitly repudiated a rumor circulated by his opponents that he practiced circumcision for expediency!

    Galatians 5:10b-11
    But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty. But my friends, why am I still being persecuted if I am still preaching circumcision?


    There's even more than that, of course, but I think this is already sufficient to pretty much establish just how ahistorical Acts of the Apostles happens to be.
     
  7. Jane_the_Bane

    Jane_the_Bane Gaia's godchild

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    Actually, I just realized that I worded my prior post somewhat sloppily: Paul-as-author has very little to say about his life priorto becoming a cult leader, apart from stating that he persecuted Christians and used to be a pious Jew.
    It is due to other factors that Paul-as-literary-character can be shown to be quite distinct from the historical person.
     
  8. Zeena

    Zeena ..called to BE a Saint

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    Gal 2:1
    Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.

    What does the word "again" mean, if not more than once?
    Therefore your entire thesis is based upon your misapprehension of that word "again". :wave:
     
  9. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus Hebrews 2:14.... Pesky Devil, git! Supporter

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    http://www.christianforums.com/t7411599-23/#post53365798
    Galatian 2:1

    2:1 Thereafter thru fourteen years, again/palin <3825> I went up into Jerusalem with Barnabas together-taking also Titus

    3825. palin pal'-in probably from the same as 3823 (through the idea of oscillatory repetition); (adverbially) anew, i.e. (of place) back, (of time) once more, or (conjunctionally) furthermore or on the other hand:--again.

    Strong's Number G3825 matches the Greek &#960;&#8049;&#955;&#953;&#957; (palin), which occurs 142 times in 138 verses in the Greek concordance of the KJV
     
  10. razeontherock

    razeontherock Well-Known Member

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    And yet again, Jane spins her wheels in the mud, going nowhere at all. Axe to grind much? Never heard of the word "hermeneutics," right? I can't say "try it, you'll like it;" but at least it would cut through your confusion. Even easier, try "chronological." That'd be enough to sort through your error on display here.
     
  11. Glass*Soul

    Glass*Soul Senior Veteran

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    Demonstrate how.
     
  12. Jane_the_Bane

    Jane_the_Bane Gaia's godchild

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    :scratch:

    I don't quite understand your objection. Is it possible that you did not understand what I wrote?

    Galatians does indeed reference two journeys to Jerusalem:
    one in 1:18, and the second one (associated with the Jerusalem council) in 2:1. That's what I wrote before. Read it again - perhaps you missed it.

    Gal 2.1 references the journey associated with the Jerusalem council.
    Gal 1:18 records the ONLY prior occasion on which Paul went to Jerusalem after becoming a Christian - at least according to Paul.

    Acts, however, claims that he went there TWICE (Acts 9, 11) before the council, and after his conversion.

    Now, who's got it right? Paul - or the author of Luke-Acts?
     
  13. razeontherock

    razeontherock Well-Known Member

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    Jane, you're pretending the Bible is an all-exclusive list of everything that happened.

    It's not.

    Lots and lots of people lived and died with no mention whatsoever. The very few things that we do have recorded there, the thing to take note of is, WHY are they included?

    Looked at from that POV, you will draw very different conclusions. From your current perspective, I could try sorting out these minute details til I'm blue in the face and it would do no good.

    Instead let me address the thread title, that Jesus loves you, from the very valid angle of Glass Soul saying she doesn't think so. She has given ample and sincere reasons to think and feel like that.

    YouTube - &#x202a;Who Am I - Casting Crowns&#x202c;&lrm;

    Lyrics are there, sorry I can't cut and paste them so you have to watch the vid. I wrote them all out to create my cheat sheet for this tune but my puter crashed since then, gotta go practice ...

    I think this song says it rather well!
     
  14. Jane_the_Bane

    Jane_the_Bane Gaia's godchild

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    After repeatedly insulting me, and pretty much giving "nuh-uh" as the sole reply to my elaborate posts several times, you try to mollify me with a schmaltzy song?

    Now, with regards to the "all-inclusive list":
    It's "Acts", not "Galatians", that mentions more visits to Jerusalem.

    This is significant, because Paul's whole line of argument in Galatians revolves around establishing his independence from the Jerusalem Church.
    "See, I've only been there two times. I barely even know these people, and they are not that important to me, anyway. Only the Risen Christ is."
    Omitting a journey in this context would be a lie of omission, and a significant one at that.

    So, which one is it? Did the author of Luke-Acts get it wrong - or did Paul lie the Galatians in the face?
     
  15. razeontherock

    razeontherock Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Zeena. It would be interesting to also see how much time this student of Gamaliel had spent in Jerusalem from childhood to seeing the Lord, as the Bible is completely silent on all of that. Jane, the song expressly did NOT address you in the least, but does directly address Glass Soul, as I stated. And I never insulted you. You've simply chosen to argue for it's own sake, w/o any basis.
     
  16. razeontherock

    razeontherock Well-Known Member

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    This is bogus. Saul was a Jew. He studied under one of the most prominent Rabbis of the time. Your "his whole argument relies on not going to Jerusalem" schtick is a red herring, it stinks, and you should take it back.

    We have what's important, and you have no interest in seeing it. Why argue the point?
     
  17. Zeena

    Zeena ..called to BE a Saint

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    So? Must it need be repeated in every instance?

    Jane_The_Bane, you are aware this is not the debate forum, surely?
     
  18. Jane_the_Bane

    Jane_the_Bane Gaia's godchild

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    I addressed that particular point in the very paragraph you "snipped". In short: no, it must not be repeated. It's the other issue that matters.

    Why bother to reply, then?

    Jesus loves me. Case closed. End of debate.

    Satisfied?
     
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