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Author Topic:   The Marketing Of Christianity
GDR
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 171 of 591 (787512)
07-16-2016 12:24 PM
Reply to: Message 170 by ringo
07-16-2016 11:45 AM


Re: Faith vs Evidence and the fruits to know truth by.
ringo writes:

Nonsense. The "fruits of the spirit" show up as often - if not more often - in people who don't have faith in God. The "fruits of the spirit" have a lot more to do with humanism than with religious faith.

That's fine but it is a matter of faith as to whether the "fruits of the spirit" or acts of unselfish love, is a result of the voice of God in our hearts or the result of a chance collection of mindless particles deciding that it's a good idea, regardless of our religious beliefs.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 170 by ringo, posted 07-16-2016 11:45 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 172 by ringo, posted 07-16-2016 12:30 PM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 175 of 591 (787542)
07-17-2016 2:52 AM
Reply to: Message 172 by ringo
07-16-2016 12:30 PM


Re: Faith vs Evidence and the fruits to know truth by.
ringo writes:

So why do the mindless particles often produce more fruits than the voice of God?


Who is to say that is the case. It is a matter of faith no matter which one we choose. I believe that acts of unselfish love, or even more so sacrificial love, happen because we respond to that still small voice of God in our hearts. You choose to believe, (as I understand it), that they happen as a result of an evolutionary process that began with mindless particles that has eventually produced beings that are capable of making those choices. In either case those are our beliefs and a matter of faith.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by ringo, posted 07-16-2016 12:30 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 176 by Tangle, posted 07-17-2016 3:05 AM GDR has responded
 Message 179 by ringo, posted 07-17-2016 2:07 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 177 of 591 (787548)
07-17-2016 10:39 AM
Reply to: Message 176 by Tangle
07-17-2016 3:05 AM


Re: Faith vs Evidence and the fruits to know truth by.
Tangle writes:

You're trying to make an equivalence that doesn't exist. Please stop doing it - I know it means you feel better about your beliefs but it's an error.

C'mon, do you really think that saying that makes me feel better about my beliefs. It has absolutely no impact on how I feel about my beliefs.

Tangle writes:

It's not a matter of faith that I think evolution is the force that created empathy, it's a matter of evidence.

What you call evidence is simply a record of how empathy has evolved in the world. Mind you, the evidence as far as I can see only applies when there is some form of link in the gene pool. Also, there is a big difference for feeling sorry for people in far flung cultures that we never encounter and actually sacrificially giving in order to help them.

I'm fine with the idea that it has evolved over time, but whether it simply evolved from non intelligent root causes or an intelligent one is a matter of belief that can't be proven in either case. So, it is a matter of faith in what it is that we believe.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 176 by Tangle, posted 07-17-2016 3:05 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 178 by Tangle, posted 07-17-2016 11:09 AM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 180 of 591 (787590)
07-18-2016 4:21 PM
Reply to: Message 178 by Tangle
07-17-2016 11:09 AM


Re: Faith vs Evidence and the fruits to know truth by.
Tangle writes:

People do not believe or have faith in biological processes.


Sure. The question I'm debating is why that evolutionary process came into existence.
GDR writes:

Also, there is a big difference for feeling sorry for people in far flung cultures that we never encounter and actually sacrificially giving in order to help them.

Tangle writes:

No there isn't - it's exactly the same thing.


Wrong. There is a biog difference between reading about people suffering in Africa and feeling sorry for them as opposed to feeling sorry for them and opening up your wallet and doing something about it.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 178 by Tangle, posted 07-17-2016 11:09 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 181 by Tangle, posted 07-18-2016 5:40 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 209 of 591 (789820)
08-20-2016 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 204 by ringo
08-19-2016 12:08 PM


Re: What Is More Important?
ringo to Phat writes:

Of course. It's a little disturbing that you would even ask.
Remember Matthew 25? I think it's been mentioned at EvC before. Jesus said we'll all be judged for feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the prisoners, etc. - not praying for them. Praying when you should be doing comes dangerously close to mouthing, "Lord! Lord!"

Sorry to butt in. I just wanted to add that I agree, but also in that there was no awareness that they had done those things for/to Jesus. They simply did them because that's where there hearts were, and not because they were thinking about some future benefit from God.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 204 by ringo, posted 08-19-2016 12:08 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 210 by jar, posted 08-20-2016 11:11 AM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 212 by ringo, posted 08-20-2016 11:45 AM GDR has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 253 of 591 (790482)
08-30-2016 7:22 PM
Reply to: Message 252 by Phat
08-30-2016 4:44 PM


Re: Christianity 101
Phat writes:

So whats so incredulous about that?

Did you ever think that the dark power that Lewis talks about might just be us?

Edited by GDR, : ?


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 252 by Phat, posted 08-30-2016 4:44 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 254 by jar, posted 08-30-2016 7:38 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 269 of 591 (790790)
09-05-2016 1:20 PM
Reply to: Message 267 by Phat
09-04-2016 10:33 PM


Re: Limited Exposure To Beliefs
Phat writes:

Are there any notable people that you can think of that believe that Christianity is about what one does and that everyone on the planet is free from damnation without need of a belief in a messiah?


As I see it, that is the major problem with fundamentalism in a nutshell. It has become all about personal salvation. That is where the focus is. What that dose is to turn Christianity on its ear. It makes it all about me, and what will happen to “me” when I die. It is the exact opposite of what Jesus taught.

Yes, God through Jesus saves people from eternal damnation, or from separation from God, but that establishes the vocation that we are called to of infecting the world with God’s love. It is about being saved for a purpose here and now.
Remember, that when the Gospels refer to the “Kingdom of God” or in Matthew the “Kingdom of Heave” that is not about going to heaven when you die. That is about the Kingdom that God established through Jesus for this world that began with the ascension.

What happens in the next life will take care of itself and it is our hearts, not what we give intellectual ascent to that will determine our place in that life. Yes as we pray for in the Lord’s prayer, (save us from the time of trial), Jesus’ disciples can be considered righteous by God, but It isn’t up to us to figure out or worry about who is in or who is out. As Jesus said, in the Sermon on the Mount, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged”.

Edited by GDR, : dose not does


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 267 by Phat, posted 09-04-2016 10:33 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 271 by Phat, posted 09-05-2016 7:21 PM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 272 of 591 (790802)
09-05-2016 8:28 PM
Reply to: Message 271 by Phat
09-05-2016 7:21 PM


Re: Limited Exposure To Beliefs
Phat writes:

I agree that we are called to infect the world with Gods love and that we dont know whom God may have given us so it is best to treat everyone the same. I don't believe that everyone is going to make it---and quite honestly I myself may end up being one of the casualties. In a sense, its a bit like natural selection. Only the worthy people survive to carry out the next great commission.
Jar may well be right in that many of these people won't even be Christians.
My point is that not everybody will survive the spiritual pruning that will take place.


There is still this focus on who is in and who is out. I don’t understand what you mean by the next great commission, but if you mean the life next life them maybe you have missed the point.
It isn’t about what we do, it is about our hearts. Deep down who is it that we love.? What or who de we serve? As you can see in my signature what God wants of all mankind is humble; kindness or mercy and justice. That isn’t just the call or message for Christians but for everyone and everyone is worthy of that call. We have the choice to reject it a little, a lot or even completely.
Christianity is about Jesus the Messiah who was crucified, resurrected and enthroned by God. When this world is renewed it is for all creation but my belief is that there will be those that reject it, and God honours that decision. I know I’ve quoted CS Lewis form his book “The Great Divorce” but I’ll trot it out again.
quote:
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”

I recommend Lewis’ book “The Grat Divorce” and also “The Last Battle” from the Narnia series as I believe that using metaphor he presents a really good understanding of all of this.

Phat writes:

Christianity is in fact based on what we do.


Not really. It is based on Jesus, His story, His message and His resurrection. What we do as Christians should flow from God’s love but it isn’t about doing things to earn God’s favour. I was blessed with growing up in a loving environment. Do you really think that I should be on an equal footing with someone who grew up in a cold abusive situation. Should I be treated on an equal footing with someone who grew up in a home where in order to make one’s father proud it is necessary to be a suicide bomber?
I go with Paul. I’m not concerned about who is in and who is out. My concern is to be what God hopes I’ll be, and to be the person that He enabled me to be. Like everyone else I keep screwing up, but hopefully through all of this my heart is at least moving incrementally towards where God’s wants it to be.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 271 by Phat, posted 09-05-2016 7:21 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 275 by Phat, posted 09-07-2016 11:21 AM GDR has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 284 of 591 (791986)
09-29-2016 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 281 by jar
09-29-2016 9:02 AM


Re: Inter-Office-Memos
jar writes:

Again, Phat, that's not really the case except for the very early church. It was Christianity becoming a State Religion with membership offering economic, political and power advantages that spread and grew the Christian Church and the Church was not spread based on truth but rather force.

Christianity grew by soldiers killing all the priests of the other faiths and wiping out any signs of a different religion, by adopting those events that were popular and re-branding them as Christian, by requiring membership in a particular chapter to engage in commerce and by physically expelling and taking all the possessions of members of other religions.

Christianity before becoming a State Religion was never more than a tiny irrelevant fringe cult.

That's nonsense jar. It spread initially by those without power at all and then there was Paul who gave up power to spread the message often from prison. If it was such a fringe group then why were the Romans so concerned about it that they were having them executed , and if it was such small group how did it even manage to spread to Rome in the first place?

Rome and Christianity

From that site"

quote:
Religion was very important to the Romans. Within the Roman Empire, Christianity was banned and Christians were punished for many years. Feeding Christians to the lions was seen as entertainment in Ancient Rome.

The message of Christianity was spread around the Roman Empire by St. Paul who founded Christian churches in Asia Minor and Greece. Eventually, he took his teachings to Rome itself.

The early converts to Christianity in Ancient Rome faced many difficulties. The first converts were usually the poor and slaves as they had a great deal to gain from the Christians being successful. If they were caught, they faced death for failing to worship the emperor. It was not uncommon for emperors to turn the people against the Christians when Rome was faced with difficulties. In AD 64, part of Rome was burned down. The Emperor Nero blamed the Christians and the people turned on them. Arrests and executions followed.

“Nero punished a race of men who were hated for their evil practices. These men were called Christians. He got a number of people to confess. On their evidence a number of Christians were convicted and put to death with dreadful cruelty. Some were covered with the skins of wild beasts and left to be eaten by dogs. Others were nailed to the cross. Many were burned alive and set on fire to serve as torches at night.”Tacitus
The dangers faced by the Christians in Rome meant that they had to meet in secret. They usually used underground tombs as these were literally out of sight. Rome had a large number of poor people within its population and Christianity continued to grow. In AD 313, the Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal and for the first time, they were allowed to openly worship. Churches were quickly built not just in Rome but throughout the empire. In AD 391, the worship of other gods was made illegal.


So, it wasn't even legal for Christians to worship in Rome until 311AD. Christians were weak and powerless for roughly 300 years and it spread because it was a religion based on love and not power.

You call yourself a Christian but i asked you before to name anything that you believe that differentiates you from any theist who believes in a god that is good. Actually from what I have read that you have written, it seems to me that you are closest to being a Buddhist who attends a Christian church.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 281 by jar, posted 09-29-2016 9:02 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 286 by jar, posted 09-29-2016 11:44 AM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 288 of 591 (791992)
09-29-2016 12:38 PM
Reply to: Message 286 by jar
09-29-2016 11:44 AM


Re: Inter-Office-Memos
jar writes:

Christianity, the tiny sects that were early Christianity were spread by individual marketers like Paul but it was a loose organization of a few small bands of folk in a few locations.

Here is a web site for atheists that agrees that by 300 AD Christians numbered between 5 and 8 million.

http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=95

jar writes:

And of course I have answered you many, many times. I explained that I am a Cradle Creedal Christian and a member of a recognized chapter of Club Christian and believe in those statements of belief outlined in the Creeds. That distinguishes me from being a Buddhist.

In other threads you have agreed that you don't believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus and see him more as a prophet as do Jews and Muslims.

jar writes:

But I also understand that belief and fact are not synonymous. I m also pretty sure that GOD, not that caricature we worship but the real thing will not be anything like what we talk about and not "good". GOD, if GOD really exists will be complete, not just good or bad or male or female. Complete.

All religions are human attempts to ascertain the nature of a divine power. The point of Christianity is that Jesus perfectly embodied that nature so that we are able to understand that nature. It obviously has nothing to do with gender. Goodness is only what we generally understand it to be, which is loving, kind, just etc.

As for being complete, that's just jargon that tells us nothing.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 286 by jar, posted 09-29-2016 11:44 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 289 by jar, posted 09-29-2016 10:01 PM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 290 of 591 (792037)
09-30-2016 7:53 PM
Reply to: Message 289 by jar
09-29-2016 10:01 PM


Re: Inter-Office-Memos
jar writes:

Which even if correct (and I cannot imagine how any such figures might be determined) it is still not a really significant number.

Not bad for a religion whose members were sporadically persecuted to the point of death.

jar writes:

No, I have said it does not matter whether or not there was a physical resurrection. The lesson I believe we are supposed to learn would be the same.

...which is the same message you can get from Buddah or Gandhi or numerous others. Why waste your time at church. Why not join Rotary and do all sorts of good works there without having to pay for building, clergy etc.

The point is that you don't believe anything particular to the Christian church. You are a culturally Christian. You say that you are a "Cradle Creedal Christian and a member of a recognized chapter of Club Christian". First off your beliefs do not fit the creeds. Things like "born of a virgin" and "rose again" aren't consistent with your beliefs. You say that you are a cradle Christian which I assumes means born into a Christian culture and maybe with Christian parents. I was born in a hospital which does not make me a doctor. There are many on this forum who were raised Christian and are now atheists or agnostics.

jar writes:

Kinda. All religions are human attempts to create a system for controlling populations. The point is that the Jesus mythos perfectly fits the various messages that Christians want to promulgate. But there is no universal portraiture or caricature of Jesus. What You post is entirely different than what Faith posts or Phat posts or I post.

Maybe you see it that way and often you are right, but I'd suggest that there are many who adhere to a religion simply because they believe it to be true and that it is the right thing for the world. I don't see any of the characters such as Paul in the NT benefiting from what they were doing, or that they were controlling anyone.

jar writes:

And yes, I believe we are all clueless and must be clueless about what GOD might really be and that all the Gods we can discuss are just human creations.

The major point of Christianity is that we can see the true nature of God in the person of Jesus Christ. Sure religions are human creations but that doesn't mean that they got it completely wrong.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 289 by jar, posted 09-29-2016 10:01 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 291 by jar, posted 09-30-2016 9:40 PM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 294 of 591 (792042)
10-01-2016 10:51 AM
Reply to: Message 291 by jar
09-30-2016 9:40 PM


Re: Inter-Office-Memos
jar writes:

There was a thread GDR on what made a true Christian and the result was the only possible way to tell a true Christian was to ask them if they were a Christian.

Sure, and I'm fine with calling you a Christian. You have grown up in a Christian society and have always attended a Christian church. (That is what I gather from what you have said and you can correct me if I'm wrong.) However at the same time your beliefs are consistent with a moderate Muslim, or even someone who would call themselves agnostic. Your beliefs themselves though are not anything that would define you as Christian, from what I can understand from what I have read that you have written on this forum.

I don't see why you have a problem with being called a cultural Christian.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 291 by jar, posted 09-30-2016 9:40 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 296 by jar, posted 10-01-2016 1:17 PM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 297 of 591 (792048)
10-01-2016 4:02 PM
Reply to: Message 296 by jar
10-01-2016 1:17 PM


Re: Inter-Office-Memos
Well tell me where I'm wrong then.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 296 by jar, posted 10-01-2016 1:17 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 300 by jar, posted 10-01-2016 7:52 PM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 314 of 591 (792071)
10-02-2016 8:23 PM
Reply to: Message 300 by jar
10-01-2016 7:52 PM


Re: repeating old material
jar writes:

As I have said, I am a cradle Creedal Christian, I subscribe to those statements of Faith outlined in the Nicene Creed. I believe they are true; but I also understand that I could well be wrong and believe it is really unimportant whether they are factual or not.

As I see it jar there are two aspects to the Christian faith. The first is that God has given humans the ability to understand right and wrong, good and evil, and wants us to infect the world with that point of view. We are in agreement on that but so are people of other faiths and non-faiths as well for that matter.

The second aspect is the Christian narrative. It is the story of God reaching out to hearts and minds of people, and in this case one small beaten up tribe in the Middle East. The OT tells the story of this people with all their triumphs, but even more so of their failures. The climax of that part of the narrative is Jesus Christ. It is the life, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus that is the basis for the Christian narrative.

Slowly through the narrative we can see a progressive revelation of how it becomes less and less about trying to figure out how to get God to do what we want Him to do ,and more and more about what we can do to serve Him. This comes to a head in the Gospels in places like the Sermon on the Mount or Matthew 25. It is also in the OT as you can see in my signature.

If Jesus is simply a man, (as I recall you saying), who lived and died like anyone else never to be seen again, then the Gospel stories aren't good news only good advice. On top of that, as I have said before, it shows Jesus as being delusional, with the idea that He could replace the Temple by forgiving sins, and saying essentially that He was embodying Yahweh's return to His people. Christianity is the belief that Jesus got it right and this belief is vindicated by God with the resurrection.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 300 by jar, posted 10-01-2016 7:52 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 320 by jar, posted 10-03-2016 8:24 AM GDR has responded
 Message 328 by ringo, posted 10-03-2016 11:46 AM GDR has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 334 of 591 (792102)
10-03-2016 1:56 PM
Reply to: Message 320 by jar
10-03-2016 8:24 AM


Re: on Jesus
GDR writes:

If Jesus is simply a man, (as I recall you saying), who lived and died like anyone else never to be seen again, then the Gospel stories aren't good news only good advice. On top of that, as I have said before, it shows Jesus as being delusional, with the idea that He could replace the Temple by forgiving sins, and saying essentially that He was embodying Yahweh's return to His people. Christianity is the belief that Jesus got it right and this belief is vindicated by God with the resurrection.

jar writes:

Again, you still are misrepresenting my position. Let me try again.
What I have said is that Jesus while living here on the earth among us was fully human. Not part human/part god but purely and totally and only human.
What I have said is that I see no real sacrifice if it is a God dying, a God being resurrected, a God ascending but the idea of a God becoming simply, fully, completely human, being born as a human child unable to focus his eyes, to feed himself, to control his bowels to even turn over by himself; becoming simply, fully, completely human with no knowledge, having to learn how to think, how to speak, how to get along with others, how to earn a living, how to put on clothes; becoming simply, fully, completely human suffering from bugs, fleas, rash, pain, hunger, doubt, fear, confusion; becoming simply, fully, completely human being whipped, sentenced to die, nailed to a cross with no assurance of resurrection other than human faith; that is a real sacrifice.


I’m pretty much with you here except that while I agree that He was fully human He was unique.
jar writes:

What Jesus was before his birth or after the resurrection is a different issue. I believe that Jesus was God before his birth and after the resurrection but again, I really don't think that is an important part of the narrative.

I believe it is crucial to the narrative and it also depends on what you mean by Jesus being God which brings up the whole idea of the trinity.
jar writes:

It is Jesus life that tells us how to behave.
It is Jesus the simply, fully, completely human man that is resurrected that tells humans there can be life after death.


I wouldn’t quite see it as Jesus telling us how to behave but as telling us and showing us where are hearts should be and assuring us that we have the Holy Spirit to be with us in that journey. (That may be nit picking.)

I agree that the resurrection is evidence of what is in store for creation, but I suggest that it is more than that. Death is the ultimate power that evil holds over us. The Romans used the power of evil to maintain their power. The ultimate threat was crucifixion. The resurrection shows that evil does not have the final word.

I’ll say how I see it and we’ll see where we agree or disagree.

I think it is important that we see Jesus as fully man or we do lose sight of the sacrifice and understanding that we have of the nature of God. I also see Him as being fully God but I think that to understand that we have to go to the first chapter of the Gospel of John.

quote:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

So here we have Jesus who was fully man yet who embodied the “Word” of God that existed before the dawn of time. The Israelites had for generations anticipated the return of Yahweh to them, and many of them also had anticipated a human messiah that would somehow save them from the yoke of tyranny of a series of brutal oppressors who at that time were the Romans.

Jesus understood His God given vocation to be the one through whom God would fulfill these two strands of Jewish prophesy. I contend that He came to this understanding of His vocation through the study of the Hebrew Scriptures, through prayer and through His understanding and observations of human nature.

I also believe that He came to a belief, not knowledge, that somehow God would see Him through death and out the other side. He often referred to Himself as the “Son of Man” which is an obvious reference to Daniel 7 where the one like a “Son of Man” is presented to the “Ancient of Days” and given dominion over the “Kingdom of God”, (or as Matthew has it the “Kingdom of Heaven”), which was for both now but also for eternity.

I contend that it is clear that Jesus did not have supernatural knowledge of the resurrection. If He had, then the prayer in Gethsemane where He prays that He not have to go into Jerusalem and do what He was going to do doesn’t make sense. He knew what the punishment was for someone who upset the powers that be with such actions. He was upsetting everyone from the Romans, the Pharisees, the zealots and everybody but the lower classes. It is so telling how God always seems to work through the powerless. He chose a lowly Middle Eastern tribe and then he chose a poor bastard child to reveal Himself to the nations.

If the resurrection didn’t happen, then Jesus got it all wrong, and if He got that wrong it does make Him delusional as I said. If however, as I personally am convinced, that Jesus was bodily resurrected, then we can know that Jesus did represent the true nature of God, we can know that ultimately good does fully defeat evil, we can know that this world is not going to end in some cataclysmic way but will be renewed and we can know that what we do to love and look after our nieghbours, our enemies and our world matters eternally.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 320 by jar, posted 10-03-2016 8:24 AM jar has acknowledged this reply

  
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