Distribution of Fear in Christianity

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Pangloss
 
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 05:23 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7;35623 wrote:
I haven't bothered to do more than skim this...what I glanced at...


You respond to my post and admit you haven't even read it?

Of course, I didn't expect any better from someone who is intolerant, and who refuses to even listen to others. I've said what I have had to say, and will not waste any more time on you (like trying to have a discussion with a brick wall, as we can all plainly see from your responses throughout this thread).


Now, moving on to something more interesting I hope...

I had a discussion with a friend last night on Christianity/religion. He and his family are catholic, and he was raised in the catholic church and spent years going to catholic school. Yet he raised many interesting points about being a Christian, even before I did, noting that Jesus could very well just be a made-up, mythological character, used to illustrate the underlying message of Christianity; he agreed that Christians follow the teachings of this character/figure of Christ, and beyond that we can't really be sure what any "Christian" believes. Just goes to show that someone can be raised for years in a system that breeds a degree of intolerance (he admitted his school did), and still think for himself. And I do think that this happens more often than some might suspect.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 05:35 pm
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
You respond to my post and admit you haven't even read it?

Of course, I didn't expect any better from someone who is intolerant, and who refuses to even listen to others. I've said what I have had to say, and will not waste any more time on you (like trying to have a discussion with a brick wall, as we can all plainly see from your responses throughout this thread).

Have you ever heard of irony?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 06:14 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:

Is humour no longer acceptable now?


Nothing wrong with humor, but even humorous ad hominem is not convincing. So the point remains - you can be a humanist Christian, and you can also deny the historical existence of Jesus and be a Christian.

avatar6v7 wrote:

No you didn't. You made unsubstantiated claims about seemingly non-existant groups of christians


And then when I gave you evidence of said group's existence you made a joke.

avatar6v7 wrote:

So when you make unsubstantiated comments and voice pure opinions about christianity it is 'based in reality' but when I voice my own opinions and ask you to back up your statements I am being dogmatic. You cannot arbitarily decide that my responses are meingless and dogmatic because you disagree with them.


Except that I provide examples and logical arguments.


avatar6v7 wrote:
Why is it that I 'the fundamentalist' require the person I believe in to be actually real, and you my supposedly rational opponent think that we should base our most fundamental beleifs in somthing that doesn't exist?


I've answered this question time and time again. You can go back and reread my posts if you like.

avatar6v7 wrote:
One of the core beliefs of Fundamentalists is Biblical Inerrancy-
Biblical inerrancy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Obviously a view that I do not hold as I do not for instance think that the world was created in 6 days and is 6000 years old.


Yes, that is one fundamentalists belief that you do not hold. That's awesome; we agree on that particular issue. None the less, to demand that a Christian must believe that Jesus existed historically is a fundamentalist interpretation.

avatar6v7 wrote:
In what sense the problem? Whose problem?


The issue at the heart of our disagreement.

avatar6v7 wrote:
If somebody doesn't think that Jesus Christ existed, then what is the meaning or point of naming themselves after this imaginary figure? They believe in the texts rather than the man, so why not name themselves after the Gospel writters? Why not Markites, Lukians, Matthewsians or Johndians? Surely that would be a more truthful name?


Because those authors wrote about the same character - Jesus of Nazareth. Many more authors also wrote about Jesus of Nazareth. Thus you can be a Paulist Christian, or whatever other sort of Christian. Christian is the broader term, and we can very easily add another adjective to make the term more precise - as you say, a Markite Christian, perhaps would be a Christian who refers to the Gospel of Mark specifically.

This follows the history. Before official canon was produced, different churches created their own canon - a church might use Mathew and Paul's Epistles or something like that, while the church down the road used Luke. We see this play out today as well; different denominations have different versions of the Bible. While some texts are more "standard" than others (like the four Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John) what is apocryphal in one church may be canon in another.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2008 06:27 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Nothing wrong with humor, but even humorous ad hominem is not convincing. So the point remains - you can be a humanist Christian, and you can also deny the historical existence of Jesus and be a Christian.

You could just have let it pass but fine

Didymos Thomas wrote:
And then when I gave you evidence of said group's existence you made a joke.

'group'- as in one armchair philosopher. Not a group.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
Except that I provide examples and logical arguments.

One example, questionable logic.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
I've answered this question time and time again. You can go back and reread my posts if you like.

Then kindly reenlighten me, because I can't seem to find anything but you repeating your point without explanation. I could be wrong on this, and I am not trying to repeat this, but you really haven't answered the question.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
Yes, that is one fundamentalists belief that you do not hold. That's awesome; we agree on that particular issue. None the less, to demand that a Christian must believe that Jesus existed historically is a fundamentalist interpretation.

Fundamentalists also believe we should do good. Obviously that makes you evil or a fundamentalist as well.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
The issue at the heart of our disagreement.

Lets try and adress it then:)

Didymos Thomas wrote:
Because those authors wrote about the same character - Jesus of Nazareth. Many more authors also wrote about Jesus of Nazareth. Thus you can be a Paulist Christian, or whatever other sort of Christian. Christian is the broader term, and we can very easily add another adjective to make the term more precise - as you say, a Markite Christian, perhaps would be a Christian who refers to the Gospel of Mark specifically.

This still fails the answer of why they name themselves after a supposedly non-existant person.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
This follows the history. Before official canon was produced, different churches created their own canon - a church might use Mathew and Paul's Epistles or something like that, while the church down the road used Luke. We see this play out today as well; different denominations have different versions of the Bible. While some texts are more "standard" than others (like the four Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John) what is apocryphal in one church may be canon in another.


Believe it or not I am actually aware of that. But I don't think any of them thought that Jesus didn't exist.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 26 Nov, 2008 03:46 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
You could just have let it pass but fine


Yeah, I could have let the whole thread pass by. But, you see, I come here for the discussion.

avatar6v7 wrote:

'group'- as in one armchair philosopher. Not a group.


That's a funny term, armchair philosopher.

In any case, that particular scholar is not the only one to have published books and articles questioning the historical existence of Jesus.

I think a bit of history might do you some good on the subject - the issue is pretty much dead, and most scholars agree that Jesus actually lived, however, the matter was one of serious debate. You can look at the disagreement between Bruno Bauer and David Strauss as an example.

avatar6v7 wrote:

One example, questionable logic.


As for the logic, you've not managed to address it so there isn't much I can do if you call it questionable. Again, the debate over whether or not Jesus existed was once a serious issue, with Christian arguing on both sides. The matter isn't so popular today given the general consensus of scholars, but some still argue that Jesus did not historically exist. This group is increasingly small, but that's no matter - even if we reach a point where no Christians question the historical existence of Jesus any longer, the fact that some once did question that claim is enough to accurately assert that to be a Christian does not require belief in the historicity of Jesus.

avatar6v7 wrote:

Then kindly reenlighten me, because I can't seem to find anything but you repeating your point without explanation. I could be wrong on this, and I am not trying to repeat this, but you really haven't answered the question.


The question as to whether or not a Christian must believe in the historical existence of Jesus?
Okay.
First, the historical existence of Jesus, for a non-fundamentalist, is spiritually irrelevant. Most leading Buddhist scholars, and every Taoist scholar I've encountered, are quick to point out that the historical existence of Siddhartha Gautama and Lao Tzu respectively is irrelevant to their spiritual practice. I contend that the same is true of Jesus - even if Jesus did not live as you and I do, the teachings attributed to Jesus do not lose any spiritual value whatsoever.

I also contend that one can be a Christian and question, even disbelieve, that Jesus existed historically. As evidence, I give you a small pool of modern scholars, and the history of the debate among historians, theologians and philosophers.

avatar6v7 wrote:
Fundamentalists also believe we should do good. Obviously that makes you evil or a fundamentalist as well.


I do not think fundamentalists are necessarily evil - knowing many of them I can safely say that most are decent folks. Do I share some views with fundamentalists - sure, I'm a Christian. But my views are not fundamentalist in nature - the claim that Jesus must have lived in order for his teachings to have spiritual value is fundamentalist in nature. I'm not suggesting that you are a fundamentalist, only that, on this issue anyway, you tend toward the fundamentalist perspective.

avatar6v7 wrote:
This still fails the answer of why they name themselves after a supposedly non-existant person.


I don't see how I failed to address that issue. First, most Christians do believe that Jesus lived as you and I. Even if a Christian doubts or outright rejects the notion that Jesus lived as we do, Jesus is still the mythological figurehead of the faith tradition - it is that figure that they look up to. Most Christians do not look up to the historical Jesus, about who we know very little. Most Christians look up to the mythological Jesus, Jesus of scripture who walks on water and heals the lame.

avatar6v7 wrote:
Believe it or not I am actually aware of that. But I don't think any of them thought that Jesus didn't exist.


Okay.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Thu 27 Nov, 2008 06:02 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:


In any case, that particular scholar is not the only one to have published books and articles questioning the historical existence of Jesus.

I think a bit of history might do you some good on the subject - the issue is pretty much dead, and most scholars agree that Jesus actually lived, however, the matter was one of serious debate. You can look at the disagreement between Bruno Bauer and David Strauss as an example.

I know that the matter has been debated, but as you admit the debate has been mostly resolved on my side of the arguement.
Didymos Thomas wrote:

As for the logic, you've not managed to address it so there isn't much I can do if you call it questionable. Again, the debate over whether or not Jesus existed was once a serious issue, with Christian arguing on both sides. The matter isn't so popular today given the general consensus of scholars, but some still argue that Jesus did not historically exist. This group is increasingly small, but that's no matter - even if we reach a point where no Christians question the historical existence of Jesus any longer, the fact that some once did question that claim is enough to accurately assert that to be a Christian does not require belief in the historicity of Jesus.

Just because someone once did somthing and believed somthing does not make it true. Now that is illogical
Didymos Thomas wrote:

The question as to whether or not a Christian must believe in the historical existence of Jesus?
Okay.
First, the historical existence of Jesus, for a non-fundamentalist, is spiritually irrelevant. Most leading Buddhist scholars, and every Taoist scholar I've encountered, are quick to point out that the historical existence of Siddhartha Gautama and Lao Tzu respectively is irrelevant to their spiritual practice. I contend that the same is true of Jesus - even if Jesus did not live as you and I do, the teachings attributed to Jesus do not lose any spiritual value whatsoever.

I also contend that one can be a Christian and question, even disbelieve, that Jesus existed historically. As evidence, I give you a small pool of modern scholars, and the history of the debate among historians, theologians and philosophers.

I see the problem here. The fact is that those figures that you use as examples were teaching a philosophy that did not require their existance is any sense. Christ was founding a faith that requires his existance. The idea of redemption is not justified if Jesus's sacrifice did not occur. That being one of the most central themes to Christ's teachings it cannot be a spirtual teaching that stands alone.
Didymos Thomas wrote:

I do not think fundamentalists are necessarily evil - knowing many of them I can safely say that most are decent folks. Do I share some views with fundamentalists - sure, I'm a Christian. But my views are not fundamentalist in nature - the claim that Jesus must have lived in order for his teachings to have spiritual value is fundamentalist in nature. I'm not suggesting that you are a fundamentalist, only that, on this issue anyway, you tend toward the fundamentalist perspective.

I meant that just because a fundamentalist happens to hold a view, it does not make it a fundamentalist view. Most christians believe that christ really existed, and most of them are not fundamentalists.
Didymos Thomas wrote:

I don't see how I failed to address that issue. First, most Christians do believe that Jesus lived as you and I. Even if a Christian doubts or outright rejects the notion that Jesus lived as we do, Jesus is still the mythological figurehead of the faith tradition - it is that figure that they look up to. Most Christians do not look up to the historical Jesus, about who we know very little. Most Christians look up to the mythological Jesus, Jesus of scripture who walks on water and heals the lame.

But I contend that the mythology is a true account.
Didymos Thomas wrote:

Okay.

Fair enough.
 
ariciunervos
 
Reply Thu 27 Nov, 2008 12:40 pm
@Justin,
Don't know how on topic this is, but I came over some stuff just now and found it very funny.

Do not take a dump in the camp, you don't want God's divine foot to step in ****. Instead bury it using your weapon somewhere outside the camp, so when God comes to your aid the camp is clean or else He might not help you kill your enemies.

Deutoronmy
23:13
And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee:

23:14
For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

Now, if people need God to be mentioned as reason why they should not **** where they live then I guess fear of God is really an useful tool for just about anything Laughing
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Fri 28 Nov, 2008 12:21 am
@ariciunervos,
avatar6v7 wrote:
I know that the matter has been debated, but as you admit the debate has been mostly resolved on my side of the arguement.


I happen to side with the majority of scholars - Jesus existed. But that isn't the debate. The debate is over whether or not belief in an historical Jesus is necessary for someone to be a Christian, and also whether or not the historical existence of Jesus is necessary for the teachings attributed to Jesus to have spiritual value.

avatar6v7 wrote:
Just because someone once did somthing and believed somthing does not make it true. Now that is illogical


I never argued that the belief of certain Christians was true. I only argue that because Christians have held X belief, X belief is compatible with Christianity, that someone can hold X belief and still be accurately labeled a Christian. Because some Christians have doubted and even denied the historical existence of Jesus, it is possible to be a Christian and doubt and even deny the historical existence of Jesus.

avatar6v7 wrote:
I see the problem here. The fact is that those figures that you use as examples were teaching a philosophy that did not require their existance is any sense. Christ was founding a faith that requires his existance. The idea of redemption is not justified if Jesus's sacrifice did not occur. That being one of the most central themes to Christ's teachings it cannot be a spirtual teaching that stands alone.


And I couldn't disagree more.

Why must a man named Jesus experienced the events in the Gospel exactly as they are recorded? Never mind the contradictions in the Gospels, why do these accounts lose value if they are not historical? Is the story any less compelling?

Even if the story is an absolute fabrication, people have given their lives for the sake of others. The meaning of the story of Christ is not contingent on the historical accuracy, the meaning is contingent upon the content of the tale. And the tale in question happens to be one of the most compelling calls to altruism, to universal love, in all of human history. Such a tale does not rely upon historical accuracy, such a tale relies upon it's ability to impact the reader or hearer. It is a testament to the power of the Gospels that some people demand that aspects of the story be taken literally - this demonstrates the power of the story. But this emotional response cannot be confused with history. Again, I agree with most scholars - a Jewish man named Jesus preached a radical message and was crucified. But the rest is up in the air - the few records of the man we have tell us nothing more about him. The Gospels are not history, they are scripture. Scripture goes beyond history, and is more potent than history because scripture speaks to the heart of the human condition. Confusing history and scripture confuses the study of history and spiritual practice.


avatar6v7 wrote:
I meant that just because a fundamentalist happens to hold a view, it does not make it a fundamentalist view. Most christians believe that christ really existed, and most of them are not fundamentalists.


That's fair, and you're absolutely right. I do not think you are a fundamentalist - most fundamentalists would have called me a pagan and promised to pray for me. If this conversation has at any point become 'heated', I'm sorry. I don't mean to be callous. I only carry on with these discussions if I enjoy them, and I have enjoyed our conversation so far. Thanks.

avatar6v7 wrote:
But I contend that the mythology is a true account.


And I'm not arguing that the mythology lacks truth. There is some historical accuracy to the mythology. Most scholars think a man named Jesus lived and preached a radical message for which he was crucified. The Gospels confirm this much at least, and I certainly cannot argue with the experts. But as for the finer details, they are impossible to confirm. How can we confirm, for example, Christ's dying words on the cross? It's impossible. But even because some details cannot be confirmed, the story remains just as compelling. It's those unconfirmed details which make the story so compelling. The story which history can confirm is exactly the same as many other radical preachers of the time. If Jesus is special it's because the Gospels and related scripture present such a rich and a-historical (in that they cannot be confirmed nor denied) account of a life.

An ideal doesn't have to be manifest in history. Historical or not, Jesus is an ideal for human life. Spiritually, the question of Jesus' historical existence is irrelevant. Therefore, a Christian can doubt or even deny the historic existence of Jesus and still be a Christian because said individual adheres, or at least attempts to adhere, to the teachings attributed to Jesus.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Fri 28 Nov, 2008 04:37 am
@ariciunervos,
ariciunervos wrote:
Don't know how on topic this is, but I came over some stuff just now and found it very funny.

Do not take a dump in the camp, you don't want God's divine foot to step in ****. Instead bury it using your weapon somewhere outside the camp, so when God comes to your aid the camp is clean or else He might not help you kill your enemies.

Deutoronmy
23:13
And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee:

23:14
For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

Now, if people need God to be mentioned as reason why they should not **** where they live then I guess fear of God is really an useful tool for just about anything Laughing

This is just another proof of how much the bible rocks. If proper sanitation is not carried out in millitary camps infection could spread very quickly, and it could mean losing most of your army and make your men weak for the next battle. So in the mythological terms of the Old Testament if certain things are not done (i.e. burying excrement) then God will not aid them in battle- they will lose.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
I happen to side with the majority of scholars - Jesus existed. But that isn't the debate. The debate is over whether or not belief in an historical Jesus is necessary for someone to be a Christian, and also whether or not the historical existence of Jesus is necessary for the teachings attributed to Jesus to have spiritual value.

True. But I think it important to establish that those who disbelieve in Christ are probably wrong.
Didymos Thomas wrote:

I never argued that the belief of certain Christians was true. I only argue that because Christians have held X belief, X belief is compatible with Christianity, that someone can hold X belief and still be accurately labeled a Christian. Because some Christians have doubted and even denied the historical existence of Jesus, it is possible to be a Christian and doubt and even deny the historical existence of Jesus.

But how many christians have ever held the belief? Nobody in the early church- though some denyed his divinity(i.e. the aryan heresy) and it was not until the late nineteenth century that any debate on the matter really occured. And it was mostly concluded that those who posited Christs non-existance were wrong and were not recognised by the church.
Didymos Thomas wrote:


And I couldn't disagree more.

Why must a man named Jesus experienced the events in the Gospel exactly as they are recorded? Never mind the contradictions in the Gospels, why do these accounts lose value if they are not historical? Is the story any less compelling?

Even if the story is an absolute fabrication, people have given their lives for the sake of others. The meaning of the story of Christ is not contingent on the historical accuracy, the meaning is contingent upon the content of the tale. And the tale in question happens to be one of the most compelling calls to altruism, to universal love, in all of human history. Such a tale does not rely upon historical accuracy, such a tale relies upon it's ability to impact the reader or hearer. It is a testament to the power of the Gospels that some people demand that aspects of the story be taken literally - this demonstrates the power of the story. But this emotional response cannot be confused with history. Again, I agree with most scholars - a Jewish man named Jesus preached a radical message and was crucified. But the rest is up in the air - the few records of the man we have tell us nothing more about him. The Gospels are not history, they are scripture. Scripture goes beyond history, and is more potent than history because scripture speaks to the heart of the human condition. Confusing history and scripture confuses the study of history and spiritual practice.

You are entirely right that people can read the scripture and gain vast moral and spirtual benefit from it and not believe in Christ. These people are very moral people who are not christians. If you read the bible in this way then you can read eastern texts, the qua'ran, indeed texts from any spirtual background in this way. But you are not entering into the faith, just gaining benefit from it's writings. I have read Norse myhtology and I love it, it has a lot of valuable lessons and it's very compelling. But I am not a scandanavian pagan. Also you still haven't explained your view on the matter of redemption and the ressurection.


Didymos Thomas wrote:

That's fair, and you're absolutely right. I do not think you are a fundamentalist - most fundamentalists would have called me a pagan and promised to pray for me. If this conversation has at any point become 'heated', I'm sorry. I don't mean to be callous. I only carry on with these discussions if I enjoy them, and I have enjoyed our conversation so far. Thanks.

No it's been a good debate. For a pagan devil worshiping heretic!:devilish::shocked::eek::perplexed::whoa-dude:


Didymos Thomas wrote:

And I'm not arguing that the mythology lacks truth. There is some historical accuracy to the mythology. Most scholars think a man named Jesus lived and preached a radical message for which he was crucified. The Gospels confirm this much at least, and I certainly cannot argue with the experts. But as for the finer details, they are impossible to confirm. How can we confirm, for example, Christ's dying words on the cross? It's impossible. But even because some details cannot be confirmed, the story remains just as compelling. It's those unconfirmed details which make the story so compelling. The story which history can confirm is exactly the same as many other radical preachers of the time. If Jesus is special it's because the Gospels and related scripture present such a rich and a-historical (in that they cannot be confirmed nor denied) account of a life.

I think that the words were truely recorded as were christs words because I believe that the diciples would not have allowed his words to go forgotten and unrecorded. I believe the events are reported honestly. I believ this because I do not think that faced with God incarnate that they could have failed to record his life honestly. That is a belief of course, but that is my view of the matter.
Didymos Thomas wrote:

An ideal doesn't have to be manifest in history. Historical or not, Jesus is an ideal for human life. Spiritually, the question of Jesus' historical existence is irrelevant. Therefore, a Christian can doubt or even deny the historic existence of Jesus and still be a Christian because said individual adheres, or at least attempts to adhere, to the teachings attributed to Jesus.

This is the part I really object to. I will admit that you can argue that you can read the bible unhistorically and still be a christian, I would diagree but that is simply my view. However to say that there is no difference spirtually between the two is ridiculous. It is utterly not the case.
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 28 Nov, 2008 09:28 am
@Didymos Thomas,
so how much of the bible do you accept as factual and without pandering to other faiths of the time...the crucifixion..the virgin birth...the miracles..the resurrection..they all are found in other pagan faiths of that era and before..why could the message that christ brought not b wrapped up in mysticism to make it more acceptable to the pagan faithful.. the mssage of christ so revolutionery and forward thinking is surely more important than the man..
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Fri 28 Nov, 2008 02:29 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
so how much of the bible do you accept as factual and without pandering to other faiths of the time...the crucifixion..the virgin birth...the miracles..the resurrection..they all are found in other pagan faiths of that era and before..why could the message that christ brought not b wrapped up in mysticism to make it more acceptable to the pagan faithful.. the mssage of christ so revolutionery and forward thinking is surely more important than the man..

still nobody has answered the question of how the concept of redemption is meangiful without the event of the ressurection. But I will answer this for the moment. Not all these concepts are there in pagan mythology, only some, and not in the form that it is presented. There is no evidence that those writing the gospels did not believe what they were writing and I challenge you to find any before you make unsubstantiated claims. Additionally the fact that these things occur in pagan mythology is in fact a boost to its veracity in my eyes. Miracles must have occured before, and much that is in pagan mythology can be seen as prophetic in nature- anticipating the birth, life and death of christ. As to whatever 'forward thinking' means I do not know, does it represent a naive enlightenment view of some kind of unstoppable progress? As to mystism I think that it is a vital part of christianity and one of its greatest merits.
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2008 04:24 am
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
still nobody has answered the question of how the concept of redemption is meangiful without the event of the ressurection. But I will answer this for the moment. Not all these concepts are there in pagan mythology, only some, and not in the form that it is presented. There is no evidence that those writing the gospels did not believe what they were writing and I challenge you to find any before you make unsubstantiated claims. Additionally the fact that these things occur in pagan mythology is in fact a boost to its veracity in my eyes. Miracles must have occured before, and much that is in pagan mythology can be seen as prophetic in nature- anticipating the birth, life and death of christ. As to whatever 'forward thinking' means I do not know, does it represent a naive enlightenment view of some kind of unstoppable progress? As to mystism I think that it is a vital part of christianity and one of its greatest merits.
Ahh so the virgin birth the sacrifice the ressurection the miracles in pagan mythology boost the notion that the christian faith was not copying but reflecting...how strange a concept...me thinks you are kidding yourself...Prove that they did not believe ?but its them who are creating the mystery that is christ..ask the historians what evidence we have of jesus at the actual time being worshiped by the masses..the multitudes that seemed to be followeing him never record their salvation..its a good fifty years after his death before he emerges as a concept and as an alternative faith..
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2008 06:36 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
Ahh so the virgin birth the sacrifice the ressurection the miracles in pagan mythology boost the notion that the christian faith was not copying but reflecting...how strange a concept...me thinks you are kidding yourself...

Strange? No it is very logical. For a start if god is capable of miracles then it is logical to assume that he has performed them long before anyone fully realised the purpose and being behind them. Also I did not say that the miracles in the bible reflect those in pagan mythology, it would be more accurate to say it was the other way round.
xris wrote:
ask the historians what evidence we have of jesus at the actual time being worshiped by the masses..the multitudes that seemed to be followeing him never record their salvation..its a good fifty years after his death before he emerges as a concept and as an alternative faith..

Well for instance John the Baptist initially refuses to baptise Christ because he is the son of god.
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2008 07:17 am
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
Strange? No it is very logical. For a start if god is capable of miracles then it is logical to assume that he has performed them long before anyone fully realised the purpose and being behind them. Also I did not say that the miracles in the bible reflect those in pagan mythology, it would be more accurate to say it was the other way round.

Well for instance John the Baptist initially refuses to baptise Christ because he is the son of god.
pagan myths similar to the christian story abound long before and even at the same time as the christian myths..John the baptist,i cant take biblical stories of evidence..historically there is no evidence of christ..the only thing that gives christ his power is the message he came with and changed mans humanity and gave hope to the multitude..Men of intellect jazed it up to make the message more relevant to pagans who needed a good story to convince them of his standing...we never follow mortals only gods and celebrities ..
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2008 07:50 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
pagan myths similar to the christian story abound long before and even at the same time as the christian myths..John the baptist,i cant take biblical stories of evidence..historically there is no evidence of christ..the only thing that gives christ his power is the message he came with and changed mans humanity and gave hope to the multitude..Men of intellect jazed it up to make the message more relevant to pagans who needed a good story to convince them of his standing...we never follow mortals only gods and celebrities ..

'historically there is no evidence of christ.' So every single gospel is a lie. You know what if you want to make statements without any evidence then go ahead. And again pagan mytholgy is a reflection of christianity
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2008 08:12 am
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
'historically there is no evidence of christ.' So every single gospel is a lie. You know what if you want to make statements without any evidence then go ahead. And again pagan mytholgy is a reflection of christianity
If you want to call it a lie thats up to you but i prefer to call them properganda to convince the massses to change their ways...The christian story is a reflection of pagan stories as the pagan stories are centuries before the christian story..
 
Solace
 
Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2008 10:40 am
@avatar6v7,
Quote:

still nobody has answered the question of how the concept of redemption is meangiful without the event of the ressurection.


The concept of redemption is not just about the afterlife though. It's also about life, about how we live it and how we treat each other here. If, because of a belief in the message of redemption, men decide to make a better world to live in, then the concept of redemption has a deep and powerful meaning for everyone. This isn't contingent to Christ's existence or the ressurection. This is contingent to people "living their faith" as it were.

Now, if we were to say that the concept of redemption as it pertains to the afterlife is meaningless without the ressurection then we might be on the right track. But even so, an afterlife may occur whether or not Christ existed. If so, and if one believes that how we live this life affects the next, then following the redemption message, that is living by Christ's example as it is written in the scripture, might very well have a very meaningful outcome in the afterlife as well, whether or not one believes in this life that Christ existed.

Now, if one does not believe that Christ was divine, doesn't believe that he existed and all that, but still said individual lives by Christ's teachings, should it turn out that Christ did indeed exist and is divine, how would said individual be dealt with in the afterlife? I'm not asking you to judge; I daresay that, like me, you wouldn't know what to expect. But my own personal feeling is that this individual deserves far kinder treatment than the many who claim to believe in Christ's existence and divinity, yet do not follow his teachings.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2008 04:16 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
If you want to call it a lie thats up to you but i prefer to call them properganda to convince the massses to change their ways

On the basis of exactly nothing.
xris wrote:
The christian story is a reflection of pagan stories as the pagan stories are centuries before the christian story..

What an amusingly linear concept of time you have.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2008 04:22 pm
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
The concept of redemption is not just about the afterlife though. It's also about life, about how we live it and how we treat each other here. If, because of a belief in the message of redemption, men decide to make a better world to live in, then the concept of redemption has a deep and powerful meaning for everyone. This isn't contingent to Christ's existence or the ressurection. This is contingent to people "living their faith" as it were.

If you deny the mystical elements of the bible, then you deny the source and validation of the teachings. You can simply follow the teachings of course, but it is the acts, the events, that they are contingent upon, and we must accept them if we wish to understand the teachings fully. Is it possible to accept only the teachings and lead a moral life? Of course. But does one acheive a full understanding and appreciation of those teachings removed from their context? In my view- no.

Solace wrote:

Now, if we were to say that the concept of redemption as it pertains to the afterlife is meaningless without the ressurection then we might be on the right track. But even so, an afterlife may occur whether or not Christ existed. If so, and if one believes that how we live this life affects the next, then following the redemption message, that is living by Christ's example as it is written in the scripture, might very well have a very meaningful outcome in the afterlife as well, whether or not one believes in this life that Christ existed.

Now, if one does not believe that Christ was divine, doesn't believe that he existed and all that, but still said individual lives by Christ's teachings, should it turn out that Christ did indeed exist and is divine, how would said individual be dealt with in the afterlife? I'm not asking you to judge; I daresay that, like me, you wouldn't know what to expect. But my own personal feeling is that this individual deserves far kinder treatment than the many who claim to believe in Christ's existence and divinity, yet do not follow his teachings.

Redemption is hardly restricted to simply those who believe it on a purely intellectual level. Simply the recognition of ones own failings, regret over them and a desire to do good is sufficent in my view.
 
xris
 
Reply Sun 30 Nov, 2008 03:45 am
@avatar6v7,
Believing in the story is about faith not history..denying that the pagans told similar stories long before the christian story is only denial for faiths sake..
 
 

 
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