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Defining a True One

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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.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

I get that it's figurative language. However, the "figurative" part of it is suggesting that the Gentiles are worth less than the Jews. In the context of what the bible is, that is obviously true for your god. So it still doesn't soften the issue.

As far as the sword being "his message", that's a good interpretation of the text. But that is all it is. YOUR interpretation of the text. If we're going to have any kind of meaningful discussion, we have to agree to how we're going to read this. You said some things can be taken literally and others not. That sort of thinking leads itself to confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance. You can't just take what is convenient and pawn the rest off as anything but literal. The way that verse and the verses following it read, it sounds as if god's plan was to send "his message" out via the earthly embodiment of himself with the knowledge that it will cause a conflict and tear people (and specifically, families) apart. We call that a home-wrecker where I'm from, and they are assholes. Back on point, either we're taking this book as literal or we're not. You don't get to dictate which parts are literal in order to manipulate the conversation.

OK, I can play along with the cutting/plucking lines as you say. Even so, it doesn't soften the issue that they are nothing but guilt tripping of this "corrupt nature" as you call it. Saying that masturbation (sinning with your "heart" and your hand) is so bad that it's better to cut your hand off and enter the kingdom of heaven maimed is better than having a sinful limb is fucking stupid, I'm sorry. And, according to your book, the disciples agreed, because they don't follow through on that. That is all you can conclude. You can't conclude that Jesus didn't ACTUALLY want people to do that. That's an assumption based on the fact that they didn't do it. The best you can do is say that the disciples just didn't do it. That's it. And on the whole "committing adultery in your heart" deal, my heart is not capable of doing or feeling anything. All it does is pump blood. That is it. Same with every other living thing with a heart. Let's try to keep the language as clear as possible so we don't have to start venturing down the path of me asking you what you mean by every little word. Again, your attempt here is to have a meaningful conversation (which I'm not so sure you are at this point), so let's do that and avoid flowery platitudes.

I get the purpose of "turning the other cheek". Being the bigger person. Not stooping to somebody else's level. I get it. My thing is, if somebody has me backed in a corner and they hit me, I'm GOING to hit them back. When somebody hits somebody else (let's just say it's my sister), I'm not giving them any grace. They're getting hit. That's not a practical teaching ALL the time. In some cases, sure. But not always. To teach it as a moral absolute is absurd. That is what I was pointing out, along with many other of his teachings.

On to the not worrying/planning. This is just stupid. You are trying to spin this. I am talking about Matthew 6 (just so we're on the same page). What the verses say is that chasing after food, clothing, and material things is stupid. Sure, obsessing over it does nobody any good. But the wording itself is the issue. It says "seek first the kingdom, and these will be given to you". First, please me, and if you do, I'll give you all you need. That is stupidity. Food will not magically appear. Even charitable givers will eventually run out of charity. It's been true since the first formation of societies, but if you want food or clothing, you either labor for it or purchase it. No god has ever just made these things appear because they were good servants. I get the point is to get people to focus on servitude and pleasing the "almighty's" apparently tiny ego, but at the end of the day, it is just bad advice. Do not worry about tomorrow, for each day has enough trouble of it's own? Sure, it's good for reducing stress. Take it a day at a time. But at the same time, not planning for the future is what will get you screwed. Jesus expressly states, "do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself". Your rambling of your supposed invention is nothing more than evidence that you have an idea for an invention. It says nothing about the teaching. You are speaking in strange platitudes again.

It isn't referring to just that parable (I assume you're referring to Luke 12, right?). He tells the parable JUST before he says that. They are not connected. He says the parable, goes onto a similar rant about not worrying about food and such like he does in Matthew, and then says to sell your possessions and give to the poor because what you have here on earth is apparently nothing compared to what you'll have in heaven. That is the point he's making. I think it's bad advice, because ignoring one's needs and desires in this life in order to holdout for the promise of reward in another life is absurd. You don't know that that "kingdom" is there. However, you DO know that that hunger is there, and to not worry about your hunger or other needs is, ONCE MORE, BAD. ADVICE.

You are in danger of committing the No True Scotsman fallacy. What is "true Christianity"? Christianity as you interpret it? I bet it is, because that is what literally every Christian I know says, and all of them differ at varying levels.

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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.


I thought God sent you here to send us all straight

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The Gospels of the New Testament were not the only writings about Jesus during that time.

Most people believe that he did exist and was an important person. Of course who and what he was is not as clear.

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I get that it's figurative language. However, the "figurative" part of it is suggesting that the Gentiles are worth less than the Jews. In the context of what the bible is, that is obviously true for your god. So it still doesn't soften the issue.

As far as the sword being "his message", that's a good interpretation of the text. But that is all it is. YOUR interpretation of the text. If we're going to have any kind of meaningful discussion, we have to agree to how we're going to read this. You said some things can be taken literally and others not. That sort of thinking leads itself to confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance. You can't just take what is convenient and pawn the rest off as anything but literal. The way that verse and the verses following it read, it sounds as if god's plan was to send "his message" out via the earthly embodiment of himself with the knowledge that it will cause a conflict and tear people (and specifically, families) apart. We call that a home-wrecker where I'm from, and they are assholes. Back on point, either we're taking this book as literal or we're not. You don't get to dictate which parts are literal in order to manipulate the conversation.

OK, I can play along with the cutting/plucking lines as you say. Even so, it doesn't soften the issue that they are nothing but guilt tripping of this "corrupt nature" as you call it. Saying that masturbation (sinning with your "heart" and your hand) is so bad that it's better to cut your hand off and enter the kingdom of heaven maimed is better than having a sinful limb is fuging stupid, I'm sorry. And, according to your book, the disciples agreed, because they don't follow through on that. That is all you can conclude. You can't conclude that Jesus didn't ACTUALLY want people to do that. That's an assumption based on the fact that they didn't do it. The best you can do is say that the disciples just didn't do it. That's it. And on the whole "committing adultery in your heart" deal, my heart is not capable of doing or feeling anything. All it does is pump blood. That is it. Same with every other living thing with a heart. Let's try to keep the language as clear as possible so we don't have to start venturing down the path of me asking you what you mean by every little word. Again, your attempt here is to have a meaningful conversation (which I'm not so sure you are at this point), so let's do that and avoid flowery platitudes.

I get the purpose of "turning the other cheek". Being the bigger person. Not stooping to somebody else's level. I get it. My thing is, if somebody has me backed in a corner and they hit me, I'm GOING to hit them back. When somebody hits somebody else (let's just say it's my sister), I'm not giving them any grace. They're getting hit. That's not a practical teaching ALL the time. In some cases, sure. But not always. To teach it as a moral absolute is absurd. That is what I was pointing out, along with many other of his teachings.

On to the not worrying/planning. This is just stupid. You are trying to spin this. I am talking about Matthew 6 (just so we're on the same page). What the verses say is that chasing after food, clothing, and material things is stupid. Sure, obsessing over it does nobody any good. But the wording itself is the issue. It says "seek first the kingdom, and these will be given to you". First, please me, and if you do, I'll give you all you need. That is stupidity. Food will not magically appear. Even charitable givers will eventually run out of charity. It's been true since the first formation of societies, but if you want food or clothing, you either labor for it or purchase it. No god has ever just made these things appear because they were good servants. I get the point is to get people to focus on servitude and pleasing the "almighty's" apparently tiny ego, but at the end of the day, it is just bad advice. Do not worry about tomorrow, for each day has enough trouble of it's own? Sure, it's good for reducing stress. Take it a day at a time. But at the same time, not planning for the future is what will get you screwed. Jesus expressly states, "do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself". Your rambling of your supposed invention is nothing more than evidence that you have an idea for an invention. It says nothing about the teaching. You are speaking in strange platitudes again.

It isn't referring to just that parable (I assume you're referring to Luke 12, right?). He tells the parable JUST before he says that. They are not connected. He says the parable, goes onto a similar rant about not worrying about food and such like he does in Matthew, and then says to sell your possessions and give to the poor because what you have here on earth is apparently nothing compared to what you'll have in heaven. That is the point he's making. I think it's bad advice, because ignoring one's needs and desires in this life in order to holdout for the promise of reward in another life is absurd. You don't know that that "kingdom" is there. However, you DO know that that hunger is there, and to not worry about your hunger or other needs is, ONCE MORE, BAD. ADVICE.

You are in danger of committing the No True Scotsman fallacy. What is "true Christianity"? Christianity as you interpret it? I bet it is, because that is what literally every Christian I know says, and all of them differ at varying levels.

 

 

Back with the woman, you have to ask yourself why are the people of Israel called children, and why the gentiles are called little dogs.  Out of the four gospels, Jesus mentions two people as having great faith.  Both of them were gentiles.  In fact to one, Jesus comments that they had a faith that was not seen in all of Israel.  That comment went to a roman of all people.  So with taking all that in, how can we say Jesus see the gentiles as less worthy than Israelites?  You could say that's just my interpretation.  Yet I wouldn't say so at all, with the evidence I just presented concerning Jesus' comments to this lady and to the roman centurion.  The reason why Israel is called children is because of the promise God made to Abraham.  That they are the choosen people, from which God will bless the whole world. (As God told Abraham that through his seed, the whole world would be blessed)  Blessing the world was always God's plan, and the nation of Israel was chosen for that purpose.  So that is why Jesus refers to Israel as the children.  I believe in Mark's account of this story (Mark 7 24-30), Jesus said let the children be filled "first".  This indicates He wanted to take this message to all people, first with Israel.  Of course He mentions this later about the Gospel.

 

 

 

Concerning the sword, I don't doubt the contention Jesus was intending there, between family members and what not.  Yet I wanted to point out Him bringing a sword, wasn't like He was bringing a physical war or anything like that.  However as for the contention, it's meant to be a good thing.  Jesus said if you love mother, father, sons, and daughter, even your own life more than Him, then that person is not worthy of Him.  Yes, that sounds crazy if Jesus was just another dude.  However if He is God, then He reiterating what that first command in the Ten says.  Of course if God is true, He's our creator.  So all of our essence comes from Him.  It only makes sense to have Him before everything else, knowing He cares for everything and everyone else better than we can anyway.

 

 

 

I can easily conclude that Jesus didn't want people to cut off their hands and pluck out their eyes.  I can tell from the disciples not doing it.  That has nothing to do with my interpretation.  I mean these were Jesus most devoted followers were they not?  If Jesus really wanted people to cut off their hands and pluck out their eyeballs, these guys would have been the first to do so, or at least have left Jesus to Himself.  They didn't do it, so it's easy to conclude.  Even with that said, I would agree Jesus was literal anyway.  This plucking out and cutting off business dealt with trying to keep God's laws.  Again that's clear.  Jesus said if your hand caused you to tresspass, then it would be better to cut off your hand etc etc.  Question.  Are Christians trying to keep the Ten Commandments, which dealt with trying to earn God's favor?  The answer is no.  In fact Jesus mentioned that He came to fulfill the Law, and that nothing would pass away from it until all was fulfilled.  So what was Jesus doing with the cutting off and plucking out sayings?  He was getting the people to come to the end of themselves, those who were trying to keep the Law.  He was saying "So you want to keep the commandments?  Make sure you keep them fully no matter what, even if you have to cut your hand off to do it".  This has nothing to do with my private interpretation, it's clear as day.

 

 

Ultimately when it comes to turning the other cheek, the main point is trying to win over the offender.  If someone wronged you by hitting you, not responding in kind is not so much about not stooping to their level, but actually winning the heart of the person who hit you.  Also within the overall context, the persecution done in Jesus name (these were His teaching) would produce great reward in heaven.  So this kind of suffering was for the offender (love your enemy) and for the kingdom's sake.  I don't have a problem with this.

 

 

You said God doesn't magically make things appear that will take care of our needs.  He doesn't really have to, everything that we need is already here, and it comes to us through the working of the business of the kingdom.  Now I'm not talking about what some churches may or may not do in taking the people money for their own desire, no, I'm talking about causing real change in the world.  Extraordinary change.  When people see it, they willingly offer support to see it continue.  That support will be providing for bodily needs or what have you.  Yet I don't equate worrying with planning.  There are many christians mentioned as having a job and so forth in the book of Acts.  We know Joseph provided for his family and so on.  You might make it seem like Jesus told the people to stop farming and quit their jobs.  He simply stated to stop seeking after those things in a way that make those things their god. (As Jesus said that no one can serve two masters)

 

 

 

Finally, what I wanted to discuss with this topic is tenets of what is true Christianity.  Would you say a person can be a christian, and not believe Jesus died for their sins?  It should be universal among christians, that Jesus died for the sins of the world. (As Jesus states that He will give His life a ransom for many)  I wanted to discuss things like that, so we could get a clearer picture of what Christianity is.  So far, I'm not necessarily getting that response.

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I thought God sent you here to send us all straight

 

I don't know about all that, but I will respond to your posts. :)

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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?

 

so when are you going to go thru the exact same level of pain for people you never met or like some on the huddle, could totally reject and mock and ridicule you.

 

you got the gonads for that?

 

you have tried to minimize what Jesus went thru to justify and rationalize your own point of you. but you have been socialized to think that way so it's all good.

 

but back to my first question. when are you going to take 40 lashes minus one and report back to us how its no biggie?

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and for some of you alleged bibilical scholars. what % of the bible is poetry?

 

why would you be so narrow minded as to think everything has to be taken literal? besides yet another out clause from having to take any shred of responsiblity once you read it.

 

its an ongoing, yet extremely typical argument. oh well nobody is perfect so why bother. which doesn't really mesh with the bible anyway.

 

and it ain't like hyperbole was invented around the time Mtv was.

 

some of you guys crack me up. the ease in which you puff your chest out on some subjects and yet you hide behind so much deep rooted insecurities when the bible is beyond simple for change.

 

why do i even bother expecting a mildly temperate response is beyond me. i just don't know why i bother.

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so when are you going to go thru the exact same level of pain for people you never met or like some on the huddle, could totally reject and mock and ridicule you.

 

you got the gonads for that?

 

you have tried to minimize what Jesus went thru to justify and rationalize your own point of you. but you have been socialized to think that way so it's all good.

 

but back to my first question. when are you going to take 40 lashes minus one and report back to us how its no biggie?

 

If my dad were an omnipotent supernatural being, my first question would be, "How did you screw things up so badly on earth dad?  I thought you were perfect.  How can such a perfect being, create such an imperfect world and not see it coming from a universe away?"

 

Then I would recommend dad own up to his own mistakes, be a man, and fix them himself.

 

Being omnipotent, he really wouldn't need my help or anyone else's for that matter, would he?

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and for some of you alleged bibilical scholars. what % of the bible is poetry?

 

why would you be so narrow minded as to think everything has to be taken literal? besides yet another out clause from having to take any shred of responsiblity once you read it.

 

its an ongoing, yet extremely typical argument. oh well nobody is perfect so why bother. which doesn't really mesh with the bible anyway.

 

and it ain't like hyperbole was invented around the time Mtv was.

 

some of you guys crack me up. the ease in which you puff your chest out on some subjects and yet you hide behind so much deep rooted insecurities when the bible is beyond simple for change.

 

why do i even bother expecting a mildly temperate response is beyond me. i just don't know why i bother.

 

pstall, all of orthodox christianity's creedal claims stem from a literal interpretation of the bible. adherence to this creed is the foundation upon which evangelical christians build their attempts to wedge american society into the confines of mores stemming from millennia-old middle eastern societies.

 

if you are going to claim people will go burn in hell unless they pray a prayer to a guy who rose from the dead and follow what you believe - and/or then use that as justification to deny rights to members of society who may disagree - then you'd better be prepared for people to criticize it heavily and demand nuanced explanation of where you're coming from. you can't hit somebody over the head and then cry foul when they take exception.

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If my dad were an omnipotent supernatural being, my first question would be, "How did you screw things up so badly on earth dad? I thought you were perfect. How can such a perfect being, create such an imperfect world and not see it coming from a universe away?"

Then I would recommend dad own up to his own mistakes, be a man, and fix them himself.

Being omnipotent, he really wouldn't need my help or anyone else's for that matter, would he?


God did. He did become a man (Jesus) and fix them himself. God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all God.

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Matthias, for simplicity's sake here, let's step back. We're tackling too wide a range for the conversation to have any real direction or meaning. Let's start from scratch. Define your god. Lay down the frame work from which you will be basing everything. It's much easier that way, because I'm sensing a barrier that is being caused by a lack of understanding on how the bible is to be read for the sake of your argument.


pstall, I'm going to assume you were referring (at least partially) to me. What? I honestly have no idea what you're saying other than "don't take it literally". When it comes to how we're supposed to read the book that is supposedly the divine inspiration of a god, I don't see how it can be read any other way. Did a god not write it, according to doctrine? If so, then you would think that his word is good for what it is.

Me personally, I think it's a book written by men for the governance of other people. And history supports that. Most of the big parts and stories in the bible are taken from earlier religions, laws, and cultures. Biblical scholars (people who know far more of the subject than you or I) have reached this conclusion. I don't believe it to be divinely inspired or accurate at all (with the exception of the sieges in Kings). So, that is where I sit on it. As far as this thread goes, I am merely responding to the claims made. It got convoluted, but hopefully from here we can get it focused and moving in a direction worthwhile. At the end of the day, if you don't like the thread, then get out. It's entirely voluntary to be in here. Like you said, why bother? In fact, why bother typing a post complaining about how you shouldn't bother?

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There is no scientific proof of love. Do you guys redicule people who claim to be in love?

Or if you happen to be in love, do you feel uninformed or not intellegent for believing you are in love?

Love also can create sorrow or violence. Do we condemn all love and those who believe in it for every murder committed in its name?
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