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Defining a True One

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Belinda Carlslile taught me that Heaven Is A Place On Earth.

Belinda Carlslie was also documented and wrote about in her lifetime...not 70 years after her death...so maybe she is more relevant for writing "Our Lips Are Sealed" which confused Australlians to sing "Alex the Seal?!" than capital J walking n talkin all dat smack!

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Belinda Carlslile taught me that Heaven Is A Place On Earth.

 

In the back of your mind, what you're hoping to find, she's the "Real Thing", Belinda Carlisle!

 

Belinda Carlisle is a vegetarian, and supporter of animal rights. She and her band-mates were the first stars to pose for PETA's "Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" campaign in 1990. In a 2013 interview, she talked about going back to vegetarianism after a long break stating that,

 

"I fell off the vegetarian wagon and never felt good about it. I wouldn't let myself think of my plate of meat as an animal, but I knew deep inside it was, and actually it was gross, especially chicken. I was full of shame. Then I started practicing yoga, which is all about nonviolence, and realized eating meat isn't compatible with that. Now I teach yoga, and I'm so full of pride not to support factory farms and to be socially responsible."

 

She contributed her song, "Bless the Beasts and the Children" to the album "Tame Yourself" to benefit PETA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belinda_Carlisle#Vegetarianism

QFT

 

In the Back of Your Mind, What You're Hoping to Find It's the Real Thing - Where to Go for Transcendence

 

As a human being, you're continually in search of greater happiness.  We all find happiness in our own ways. But what if you could find a place where a concentrated, virtually unlimited reservoir of happiness was available?

 

There is one that exists, and great teachers throughout history have pointed us inward to find it. The Bhagavad Gita, where Yoga was taught for the first time, locates this reservoir of joy at the source of thought, at the basis of (or back of) your mind; it's transcendental. Since happiness is what you always seek, and since it exists in abundance at the back of your mind, what you're always hoping to find can be found at the back of your mind. And, Coca-Cola is right; it is the real thing.

http://www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=13396

 

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Was Jesus REALLY that great of a guy? I mean, he did say he did not intend to bring peace to earth, but a sword. And he did refer to one non-Jew (Gentile) woman as a "dog" when she asked for him to heal her daughter. Matthew 15:22-28. He basically said, in whole, "No, I will not help you, because I came to help the Jews, not the non-Jews." Then, with all of his power, he was ultimately convinced to change his mind by her basically saying, "even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table".

Jesus also gives numerous examples of bad advice (not saving money, not planning for the future, make people want to persecute you, if someone hits you, invite them to do it again, etc) and examples of things that are just patently absurd (marrying a divorced women is adultery, don't have sexual urges, if your eyes or hands do something wrong, pluck it out/cut it off, etc). And thought crimes, as you gave examples of, are also absurd. Thinking about doing ANYTHING immoral or harmful is NOT as bad as doing it. It actually is good if you can THINK of doing something like murder and have the restraint NOT to. To say "thinking it is as bad as doing it" sort of permits bad behavior since you haven't drawn a distinction between the two.

So, on top of his "sacrifice" not really being a real sacrifice, he's also a bit of a dick and a bit crazy. Do we REALLY need to strive to be like that character?

you're right, Jesus did teach those things. However, context is important.

God, in this sense, offered salvation ONLY to the Jews, the descendants of Abraham. The Jewish establishment was corrupt, much like the Christian establishment is corrupt today.

Bringing a sword was his way of explaining that he intended to destroy the corruption that had permeated Judaism.

Being that salvation was only for Jews, not for others like Gentiles, Jesus summed it up perfectly: you don't take food from your children and give it to a dog.

The woman did convince Jesus that dogs get table scraps, which is really how Christianity was born (being that salvation is available for non-Jews since the Jewish establishment rejected his teachings)

As for the "bad advice," all I can really say is that he was teaching the importance of not getting caught up with worldly goods, desires, greed, quarrels, etc.

His sacrifice probably wasn't that great if you look at it the way you described. But some verses indicate that the crucifixion also nullified the Jewish laws in the Old Testament. There are other verses that seem to contradict that statement, so it's up for discussion.

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I thank everyone for your questions.  I don't have time to respond to them in detail just yet, but I will be back later this afternoon and get on them.  Now, I'm happy for the questions, perhaps most of you won't be fully satisfied with my responses but I'll go out on a limb and say they should be interesting for you to read.  However, I guess I'm not getting the full response in this topic that I hoped.  Perhaps my topic title and OP are slightly misleading, but I do want to discuss those points in better detail.  To get this thing going off in more of the direction of discussion I want it to go (and again I'll answer the previous questions as well), all the former christians, tell me your take of what Christianity is, or how you understand some of the main tenets of Chrisitanity.

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Belding and I are pretty close to how we view Christianity with respect to a Biblical/Historical context.  The Old Testament reads like a continual repeat in large of God's chosen people screwing up and continually making a new covenant.  Jesus comes along and is rejected by the leaders of God's chosen and then opens it up to everyone. 

 

The rules that man had set up to keep the covenant with God had become the wall that separated man from God.  Jesus came to rebuild the relationship that had been lost as a result.  The Father's relationship to anyone is different as is parents with their children.

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you're right, Jesus did teach those things. However, context is important.

God, in this sense, offered salvation ONLY to the Jews, the descendants of Abraham. The Jewish establishment was corrupt, much like the Christian establishment is corrupt today.

Bringing a sword was his way of explaining that he intended to destroy the corruption that had permeated Judaism.

Being that salvation was only for Jews, not for others like Gentiles, Jesus summed it up perfectly: you don't take food from your children and give it to a dog.

The woman did convince Jesus that dogs get table scraps, which is really how Christianity was born (being that salvation is available for non-Jews since the Jewish establishment rejected his teachings)

As for the "bad advice," all I can really say is that he was teaching the importance of not getting caught up with worldly goods, desires, greed, quarrels, etc.

His sacrifice probably wasn't that great if you look at it the way you described. But some verses indicate that the crucifixion also nullified the Jewish laws in the Old Testament. There are other verses that seem to contradict that statement, so it's up for discussion.

 

OK, to your first point: what? That's honestly all I know to say to that.

To the second (bringing a sword..): evidence to support that interpretation? Because Matthew 10 offers no such context (and that is where that verse appears). He goes on immediately after that verse to elaborate on that and explain that he came to "turn a man against his father, daughter against mother...a man's enemies will be the members of his own household". And then, after that, he FURTHERS his own context by saying “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Basically, Jesus, over the course of several verses in Matthew 10, affirms what I said: that Jesus came to not bring peace, but conflict (the sword). There is no hint on parable here. In case you're uncertain, Matthew 10 is Jesus sending the 12 disciples out to witness to the Jews.

So, if Jesus is god, and god is Jesus (hello, holy trinity), then Jesus, aka god, in all of his supposed omniscience and omnipotence, was swayed by a mortal non-Jew to, you know, not be a dick to non-Jews? How does that even make sense?

That doesn't address his truly bad advice of not saving for tomorrow or the others. You can twist it how you want, he expressly states "give all you have to the poor". He wanted his followers to reject worldly things, sure. But he REALLY wants that. Don't work for food. Don't save money. Don't plan for the future. And does ANYBODY listen to Jesus on this? HELL no they don't. Why? Because it isn't practical. At all. And due to that, people like to say (just as with the bible's condoning of slavery), "it was a different time, so god set different rules and expectations", which makes no sense, again, because a perfect being doesn't change his mind. To change your mind is to admit error, and a perfect being is without error.

There are no verses that indicate that the crucifixion also nullified the Jewish laws in the Old Testament. None. Jesus himself said, also in Matthew, that he did not come to abolish the law, but fulfill it (fulfill the blood sacrifice requirement for all sin forever, which is also silly, considering Jesus is god's human form. All god had to do was say, "hey, guys, new rule, you don't have to sacrifice blood and flesh for sin anymore. Yeah, just like, pray about it and it's all good".). He goes on to say, "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished." So, there you have it. Straight from the horse's mouth. If there is anything that contradicts that, well, I guess at that point we can chalk it up to yet another contradiction of the bible and more reason to call BS.

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Matthais,

Jesus' crucifixion was a sacrifice for humanity's sins, but was it really that big of a sacrifice?

Most of us have been taught that heaven is a paradise.

Jesus presumably knew this better than anyone, so sacrificing his earthbound body of flesh and blood was really not much of a sacrifice at all. It amounted to little more than temporary pain and anguish for a big payoff at the end.

God should have simply cut out the "middle man" and decreed that humanity was getting a "do-over". As long as individuals accepted God as their savior, they would be forgiven.

Why all the unnecessary dramatics?

A crucifixion isn't like a simple beheading or something. It is about the worst way a person could die and was reserved for the most heinous of criminals.

It wasn't just about his death, but the suffering that went into that death.

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Hell if someone guaranteed to me that if I was crucified, my own daughter would live forever, I'd do it.

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What does that mean that our nature mirrors God's?  By trying to keep the "Torah or Law" as you say reveals a corrupt nature?  That is what you are saying here.

 

I'm sorry, I didn't make that clear.  Ultimately when we try to keep the commandments, we always fail.  The failing reveals that our nature is corrupt.  In the beginning, when Adam and Eve were created, the stuff mentioned in the Ten Commandments were in born to them.  They kept them naturally.  For instance, the command not to have any other god before Yahweh, Adam and Eve kept it on instinct.  After the fall, it was no longer instinctual.  By trying to put God first, and failing, reveals the corrupt nature.

 

 

 

Matthais,

 

Jesus' crucifixion was a sacrifice for humanity's sins, but was it really that big of a sacrifice?

 

Most of us have been taught that heaven is a paradise.  

 

Jesus presumably knew this better than anyone, so sacrificing his earthbound body of flesh and blood was really not much of a sacrifice at all.  It amounted to little more than temporary pain and anguish for a big payoff at the end.

 

God should have simply cut out the "middle man" and decreed that humanity was getting a "do-over".  As long as individuals accepted God as their savior, they would be forgiven. 

 

Why all the unnecessary dramatics?

 

 

The suffering Jesus did went beyond physical pain.  However, you could make the case that because it was temporary, was it really a big sacrifice?  Usually when someone sacrifices something, they lose something in the process.  Not all the time however.  For instance I could risk my life to save someone, and in the end we both survive.  Does me surviving the ordeal cheapens the fact I risked my life?  Ultimately though, God couldn't just wipe the slate clean without any kind of cost.  Justice was involved here, and someone had to pay for the evil that has been done in the world.  I'm sure you heard about the job of a judge and the comparisons of God being a judge before.  If God just wipe the slate clean, that wouldn't be right.  In this case, the whole world is like criminals before God.  As the story goes, Jesus took our punishment, and He suffered the penalty in our place.

 

 

Now, this thing about Jesus taking our place as a criminal isn't as simple as it sounds.  It wasn't like someone going to jail in your place.  Because even if someone were to go to jail in your place, you would still be guilty of the crime.  What happened with Jesus is He literally took all the action and guilt of the person onto Himself, that you could say Jesus Himself committed the crime, it was that literal.  On that day, the culmination of all evil that man has done and will do, was on Him.  So He felt the depression of the whole world along with all the physical pain.  He died and that was the sacrificial part, yet He did rise again, all of this according to the NT.  I can see how the argument is made was it really a big sacrifice if Jesus would rise again, but there's some other things with this to understand.  I will say there was a chance that Jesus could have went the way Adam did.  Had that happened, Jesus (God) would have become corrupt like us.

 

 

 

Belding and I are pretty close to how we view Christianity with respect to a Biblical/Historical context.  The Old Testament reads like a continual repeat in large of God's chosen people screwing up and continually making a new covenant.  Jesus comes along and is rejected by the leaders of God's chosen and then opens it up to everyone. 

 

The rules that man had set up to keep the covenant with God had become the wall that separated man from God.  Jesus came to rebuild the relationship that had been lost as a result.  The Father's relationship to anyone is different as is parents with their children.

 

 

I agree with that in how it was a repeat of the people messing up in the OT.  Jesus comes and restore the lost relationship.

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Was Jesus REALLY that great of a guy? I mean, he did say he did not intend to bring peace to earth, but a sword. And he did refer to one non-Jew (Gentile) woman as a "dog" when she asked for him to heal her daughter. Matthew 15:22-28. He basically said, in whole, "No, I will not help you, because I came to help the Jews, not the non-Jews." Then, with all of his power, he was ultimately convinced to change his mind by her basically saying, "even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table".

Jesus also gives numerous examples of bad advice (not saving money, not planning for the future, make people want to persecute you, if someone hits you, invite them to do it again, etc) and examples of things that are just patently absurd (marrying a divorced women is adultery, don't have sexual urges, if your eyes or hands do something wrong, pluck it out/cut it off, etc). And thought crimes, as you gave examples of, are also absurd. Thinking about doing ANYTHING immoral or harmful is NOT as bad as doing it. It actually is good if you can THINK of doing something like murder and have the restraint NOT to. To say "thinking it is as bad as doing it" sort of permits bad behavior since you haven't drawn a distinction between the two.

So, on top of his "sacrifice" not really being a real sacrifice, he's also a bit of a dick and a bit crazy. Do we REALLY need to strive to be like that character?

 

 

Speaking on the bit about the woman being called a dog, it was figurative language.  In fact, Jesus said it in a way that He referred to the gentile people as household pets and Israel were the children. (Hence the woman's reference about them eating the crumbs that fall from the table.  In fact if we know anything, even back in that time, it's more likely the children would feed their pets big chunks of food from their plate)  It wasn't meant as something to be taken offense to.  Of course the sword Jesus mentions that He's bringing, is simply His message.  Those who accept it, will be at conflict with those who reject it.  It's not like Jesus was saying He's come to kill as many people as possible.  Not that kind of sword.

 

 

So sayings like cutting off your hand and plucking out your eye.  Those things were meant to cause you to gasp.  The first thing is, if Jesus really was telling people to do that, how come Peter still had his hands and eyes everytime he messed up?  How come all the disciples kept their body parts?  So, we can conclude Jesus didn't want people to do that.  If that's so, what was His angle?  It was again that the commandments were meant to be kept perfectly.  That even if any part of your body caused you to break them or tresspass against God, it would be better to cut them off and enter God's kingdom maimed.  So the angle was to get people to come to the end of themselves, that they can't keep the commandments.  It's the same with the thought crimes.  By the way, it's not just the thought, but for instance "to look" after a woman "to lust" for her, you commit adultery in the heart.  So these thought crimes are essentially yeilding and fantasizing in a way, not just a passing thought. (Passing thoughts could come from anywhere.  Particulary by suggestion)  Yet who hasn't fantasized concerning sex?  Who hasn't hated someone with an intense passion?  We call it human nature, but Jesus says these things to show us it's a corrupt nature.

 

 

On other things Jesus said, such as turning the other cheek (literally and figuratively), He's teaching that when someone offends you, give them grace.  So it is that God will give us grace, when we offend Him.  That of course, was before Jesus went to the cross.  Now we give people grace, because God has given us grace.  This is the christian teaching. 

 

 

You mentioned something about not saving money and planning for the future.  I assume you are referring to Jesus telling the disciples to follow Him, and them leaving behind everything right there and following Him.  Also might be referring to the rich young ruler, who Jesus told to sell his belongings and give the proceeds to the poor. 

 

Firstly, Jesus never told people not to plan for the future nor don't save money.  He told them not to worry about what they are going to eat or what they are going to wear.  He said to first seek the kingdom of God and the righteousness of it, and all those things would be added to them.  So ultimately, the things we need, was in doing the work of the kingdom.  Whatever we need.  In fact, I have many invention ideas that have been inspired by the faith.  For instance, we know this country is in a lot of debt, but I always say one invention could change all that.  Say something that would make energy use more efficient, we could sell that invention to other nations, and cause great profit for the nation to come in.  I feel like I have an idea for such an invention because of what I've learned from my studies of my faith.  So if I'm successful in that endeavor, it would be an example of what Jesus was talking about.  If anything, Jesus tells us to be good stewarts.  Just look at the parables concerning the talents and all that.  The master in that parable was mad because one of his servants couldn't have at least put his money in the bank, so he could get some interest on that thing!  B)  So for christians, we are just in a different kind of business, and our needs will be taken care of.

 

Secondly, the disciples did leave everything behind to follow Jesus, but they didn't lose anything.  I guess in Matthew's case, he did leave his job, but that job was full of crook activity anyway back in those days. (Of course we still hate tax collectors, only now we call them bill collectors.)  They left all that behind, and became family themselves.  Of course I would say they were more free back then, at least in their thinking.  Concerning the rich young ruler and what Jesus said to him, that was a little bit different situation.  It will take me a little bit to explain, once again going into the thing about Torah and grace.  Yet all in all concerning the command to sell everything and give the proceeds to the poor, Jesus only told that to the rich young ruler.  No where else, did Jesus tell that to anybody.  Yet again, this situation is a little bit different than with the disciples. (Not that there is nothing wrong with selling your belongings and giving to the poor.)

 

 

 

 

Allow me to get on topic a bit, though. Other posters have covered the big issues with this thread topic. You simply can't draw a universal Christianity premise here. Defining which god it is that we're talking about IS important. So, your intention is right, but your execution leaves something to be desired. The best you can do with this is define what god is TO YOU and argue that point (which, essentially, you have done). Just don't assume that these are things that are/should be universal (your Genesis as literal truth, for example).

Arguing against your point, it's really simple to debunk the bible as a collection of stories written by men in the Bronze Age.

First line of the bible. A claim is made there. Prove that claim. If you cannot or if you do not desire to, there is no need to have the conversation. EVERYTHING in the bible hinges on whether or not that claim is true.

 

 

I guess what I really want to show is things that are universal, things that you can't leave out, in determing true Christianity.  Discussing those tenets that I listed

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Posted

Belinda Carlslile taught me that Heaven Is A Place On Earth.

 

Finally, we get a glimpse of the origins of your belief system.  No wonder your posts are uber informative.

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A storyteller needs to know his audience for a story to be well received. 

 

The crucifixion story works best in the context of an audience of two thousand years ago, when it was not uncommon for sheep or goat herders to sacrifice an animal to curry favor with their god(s). 

 

While the whole premise of sacrificing lives of any sort in return for favors seems pretty far fetched today, at the time, God allowing "his son" to be crucified was likely viewed as the ultimate in sacrifices by highly superstitious goat herders.  Today it would just be considered bad parenting.

 

Still, looking back with 20/20 hindsight, what did God actually sacrifice?  Where is Christ now?  Isn't he hanging out with his Dad and the Holy Ghost? 

 

If you think about it, the whole plan to save souls was a pretty slipshod effort at best. 

 

Why all the poor record keeping?  Where are all the first hand accounts?  Only way-after-the-fact stories have survived and they're so badly written that they are subject to all sorts of conjecture and doubt.  It seems obvious that credible first hand accounts are critical if you expect people thousands of years later to believe and be saved.

 

What is the fallout of this fiasco?  

 

Today, two-thirds of the world's populous are not buying what God, Jesus and the New Testament are selling.

 

One should really expect better results from an omnipotent supernatural being like God, especially if he intentionally sacrifices his progeny in the effort.

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