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Old 01-13-2001, 07:49 PM   #21
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Captain Bloodloss,

Let's make this simple and see if you can give me the answers I'm looking for.

1) Do you believe that after Jesus died on the cross and his body was laid to rest, his body naturally decomposed as our bodies do? In other words, four days after Jesus died, was his dead body still somewhere on this earth, decaying and rotting away -- "Yes" or "No"?

2a) If you answered "Yes" to #1, is your view also the "liberal Christian" view -- "Yes" or "No"?

2b) If you answered "No" to #1, please explain what "liberal Christians" say happened to the body.

3) If you answered "Yes" to #1 and #2, please explain how "liberal Christians" interpret 1 Corinthians 15 in light of Jesus' body still being around on earth somewhere, still dead and very much decomposed.

--Mike
 
Old 01-13-2001, 09:30 PM   #22
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Hi Mike,

I don't know what pulled me back to the board tonight -- I went out for a walk, and my mind was absorbed with many other things, but for whatever reason, I checked back here...

I've been sitting here for a little while thinking about what I should say in response to you. I'm not enirely sure that I'm ready to write some serious and thoughtful response to your questions tonight. My beloved's friend passed away this week -- I found out yesterday, and it has been on my mind. I received some correspondance yesterday that trouble me, and has also weighed heavily on my mind. In short, I'm not sure if I want to take the time to debate the finer points of Chrisitan doctrine with you right here and now...

But I've also been sitting here tonight wondering if I should even have to respond to your demands of me. I've been wodering if your demands and accustaions of me are something I should have to respond to. One one hand, I would think "yes" because I wouldn't want my failure to respond to be interpreted by anyone else as being unable to respond. But then I realized, that I don't see this forum as a place where I must justify my convictions -- that I'm not really looking to vindicate or validate my spiritual experience in the eyes of you or anyone else. I got to thinking that I shouldn't really be on trial here, nor should you be my "judge," nor should your "decree" of whether I am indeed a Christian or not a Chrisitan hold any relevance or weight to anyone at all other than to yourself. And when I realized that, I thought to myself, why should I be concerned about what your personal opinion is of me? Why should I worry about whether in the eyes of mpartyka, I am a Chrisitan or not?

I guess in the end, if being a Christian is as narrowly defined as you believe that it is, then I could not and would not by my own choice be called a Chrisitan. However, if Christianity is more broad and more beautifully inclusive that you think it must be, then perhaps I do most truthfully fall under the lable of Christian. But I realized that either way it really doesn't matter. Becuase if Christianity is truly as narrow as you believe it is, then I wouldn't even want to be considered a Christian. I would publically and boldly profess that I was most definately not a Chrisitan. And if the label of Christian is far more inclusive as I believe it is, then what difference does your opinion make for how I live and govern my life? What difference does it make if you decree publically in this forum that I am not somehow a Christian? What difference do your railings against me or your lack of a spirit of love towards me make in the grand scheme of things?

I'm not sure why you have so purposely set yourself up against me. I'm not sure why it is so important to you that you can ensure that you are able to say with conviction that I am not a "brother." Perhaps you feel that it is an either/or -- either I am a Chrisitan and therefore you are not, or I am not a Christian ensuring that you are. But why must it be that way?

To me, I would like to be judged by my actions. I would like people not to evaluate me by my doctrines but by how I treat other people, how I govern my own life, if I usually manifest a spirit of love and compassion. Of course I won't be perfect -- in fact on a couple different occaisions I have gotten upset debating with you, and probably said some things that weren't real loving. I'm very sorry for that. I do believe you are a Christian, friend. In fact, I really don't waste time being skeptical of anyone who professes to be a Christian. All I feel I have to go on is their actions, and how they represent themselves to others, if they show a heart of compassion, and spirit of tenderness and love, and most importantly and most often overlooked, a heart full of joy and elaction -- a spirit full of glory, passion, worship and praise.

I have seen such people, and I long to be one. I have seen people who do nothing but build up others, encourage others, and present messages of hope and love -- people who would never even think of being critical, who do not feel it is their "calling" to judge, or to "lay down the law" or what is right and wrong. Instead, they inevitably simply love and comfort and build up all of those they come in contact with.

I am not yet one of thsoe people. I still get caught up in my emotions, I still criticize people sometimes -- I know even in our dialogues I have sometimes attacked you. I am sorry for that.

I remember one time in my life when I was so certain I was right about something. A beloved mentor or mine could see farther down the road that I could, and he tried to help me see that as well, gently, declicatly and slowy -- but I just couldn't see it. Rather than forcing the issue, or blatantly telling me how wrong I was, or getting upset about it, or publically denouncing my thinking, he instead supported me, yes that's right he supported me on my journey. In fact, he encouraged me to keep holding on to the things I felt convicted were right, even though he felt he could see that they were wrong. He loved me, he encouraged me, he never criticized me, or exclaimed that I was un-christian or said anything negative. But he walked with me the whole time! It turned out in the end that I had been wrong and he had been right. You know what happened when I found that out? Did he jump on me and say "I told you so!" Did he take any pleasure in finding out he had been right and I wrong? No. All he did was open his arms and give me a big hug, comforted me when I was hurting, accepted me as he had accepted me the entire time -- he never once felt that I was somehow un-christian, even though I had seen things differently than him, and even though he had ended up being right. And you know what? I've never cherished somoene more because of that! I've never been more helped, more comforted, more minsitered to, that I was by that person.

Perhaps you feel like I am an evil man, and that is why it is so important for you to be sure that you can say I am not a Christian. I don't know... all I know is that I simply want my actions to reflect the heart and witness of Jesus, and I want othesr to feel the love that I have for them, and I want people to say of me that he was a man of compassion, tenderness, empathy, sincerety, loyalty and love. I don't care about being "right" enough to set myself of so dogmatically against someone else. In fact I think, if you were honest, that you would look back at many or our posts and see that a lot of the time, not all of the time, but a lot of the time, I was simply trying to make enough room for myself, not trying to somehow prove you wrong or misguided.

Having said all that, since I am still not ready for bed, I guess I will go ahead and briefly answer your questions. I'm sure it probably won't satisfy you one bit, and I am truly, truly sorry for that. But at least, I will answer them honestly.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
1) Do you believe that after Jesus died on the cross and his body was laid to rest, his body naturally decomposed as our bodies do? In other words, four days after Jesus died, was his dead body still somewhere on this earth, decaying and rotting away -- "Yes" or "No"?
</font>
You've asked me for my opinion and I will give it to you -- I only hope that it doesn't make you angry. I'm sorry if it does. I can tell you that there are some "liberal" Chrisitan who would answer your question "Yes" and some who would still probably be considered "liberal" who would answer "No." But you asked for my opinion, didn't you? Well, this is my answer: The question is totally irrelevant. If you go back through my posts, specifcally the ones pertaining to the ressuection, you will see that I have said this many times. One of the places where we disagree is that I do not believe that the significance of the ressurection in the life of a Christian is bound up merely in whether Jesus's body came back to life and walked around for a while. If that didn't mean anything else, then big deal -- it's nothing more than a pretty interesting miricle but not at all saving. Even those who believe in the bodily ressurection of Jesus press that further and explain why that is particularly saving as opposed to other miraculous accounts. You asked for my personal opinion and my peronal opinion is not a "Yes" or "No," I'm sorry. I know that will upset you. My personal opinion is that reguardless of whether it was literal or non-literal, whether he was raised bodily just like you and I, or whether he was some kind of spirt/ghost type thing that could appear and dissapear, walk through walls or whatever, or whether the "worms ate into his brain" as Pink Floyd said, does not change the fundamental significance or power behing what the ressurection account represented, nor does it change the power to be found in the account of Jesus' life. I'm well aware that you disagree. And I'm not going to be drawn into an argument about it. But you asked, and I am once again honestly answering.

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2a) If you answered "Yes" to #1, is your view also the "liberal Christian" view -- "Yes" or "No"?
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Obviously, since I could not answer the first question with a yes or no, I can't answer this question in that fashion either. Some Liberals would say "yes." Some would say "No." And some would answer as I have answered. What I have done is provide you an explaination (though not an exhaustive one) of their interpretive process, and show that even if wrong, it is based on a lot more than "wishful thinking."

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2b) If you answered "No" to #1, please explain what "liberal Christians" say happened to the body.
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Do you mean did the body rise, or did it decompose, or do you mean what happened to the body in the sense of, why the scriptures say the body was not in the tomb? Oh, forget that, don't bother answering, becuase I don't want to respond past this post -- I've given you my personal opinion, and that is that this whole line of questioning completely misses the point. I guess implict in that statment is an answer that says "I don't know, nor does it matter." For liberal who say which conviction Jesus' body did not rise, I guess they would say his body decomposed somewhere, I don't know, I believe it is irrelevant to the good news message. I understand that you don't believe it is, but you asked for my personal opinion.

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3) If you answered "Yes" to #1 and #2, please explain how "liberal Christians" interpret 1 Corinthians 15 in light of Jesus' body still being around on earth somewhere, still dead and very much decomposed.
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I have given a brief liberal explaination of 1 Cor 15, which summarized basically says, there is a lot more thought and interpretaion that must be done to understand those passges -- they can't be used as simple proof texts for either side. I did indeed sumarize a bit about those passages, but in addition to that, I mentioned sources that deal specificlaly with interpreting that particular passage. Once you have read my post, and engaged those sources (I say this simply becasuse I cannot write the ammount of detail that goes into thinkinga about those passages into the space of this forum -- as it is my back is killing me and my hands are falling off...) if you still do not feel you have received and explaination of the "liberal" interpretation of those passages, then come see me.

I'm sorry that you have felt such a need to put yourself against me. I would have liked to consider us brothers. I do believe you to be a Christian, and I respect your insight, and I forgive your occaisional outbursts of disparagement as I hope you will forgive mine.

Again, bless you and I hope you have a wonderful evening,

Andrew
 
Old 01-13-2001, 09:41 PM   #23
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Captain Bloodloss,

Amazing. You're like a plane that circles, and circles, and circles, but never lands. You do realize, don't you, that planes that do that tend to...um...crash?

--Mike
 
Old 01-14-2001, 01:17 AM   #24
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Couldn't sleep, so I'm killing time....

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by mpartyka:
Captain Bloodloss,

Amazing. You're like a plane that circles, and circles, and circles, but never lands. You do realize, don't you, that planes that do that tend to...um...crash?

--Mike</font>
You know, quite a bit of our ongoing and tedious discussion has centered around this main point of disagreement: I feel like you are mistaken because you are making a false dilemma and you feel I am mistaken because such a dilemma actually exists. In other words, I think I am amazing to you, because it completely baffles you that I answer as I do, becuase in your mind you honestly do not see an option where I say there is an option. For you it is ethier/or. It is this way for you about a great many things. So to you, I seem as thought I am "hovering" between two poles.

I say hovering, because I don't think "flying in circles" is the best description. I don't feel as though I've been inconsistent in what I've been saying -- its not like in one post I start leaning towards "yes" thinking and then in another post I move towards "no" thinking. No, I've been pretty consistent about my personal beliefs, when I actually have been speaking for myself and not defending a "group" of people. But I'm sure it does seem like I'm "hovering" between two poles -- in fact I'm sure it probably feels to you that I am uncertain or unwilling to "actually" answer.

But to me (just to me, from my perspective), this is not at all the case. To me, this is what it feels like: when you speak, it sounds to me like, "Either 2+2=3 or 2+2=5. Now which is it? 3 or 5?" But to me, I clearly see it is not 3 or not 5, and that you have not presented me with the option that happens to be correct, that being 4. When I say 4, when you have only given me a choice between 3 and 5, you become frustrated, and you either disparage me, or call my analysis bullshit, or say its so damn obvious I'm not a real "mathematician" that you hate even bringing it up. And you tell me that its amazing that I'm flying in circles because I'm unwiling to land at what you percieve to be the only options -- 3 or 5. You summarize with one final quip in my direction, "planes flying in circles eventually crash" -- which I'm not sure what kind of help that is suppse to provide me, but perhaps it felt good for you to say it. It certainly doesn't change the fact that from my perspective, I have "landed" very comfortably and very safely at "4".

Having said that, I think the better part of my post was not the final quarter, where I briefly answered your questions, but the first three fourths, where I explained how I thought "christianity" ought to really be evaluated... if it should be evaluated at all.

It's a real character study for me to watch how important it is for you to discredit me, to put me into the box of your either/or thinking, how important it is for your to make your judgments in the venue of this public forum, how extremely and almost desparately important it is for you to be able to definitively say for yourself and everyone else that I am most definately wrong. All I can say to that is what I said in my post above -- people tend to show themselves to be Chrisitans or not be Christians by their actions, and how they represent themselves to others, if they show a heart of compassion, and spirit of tenderness and love, and most importantly and most often overlooked, a heart full of joy and elation -- a spirit full of glory, passion, worship and praise.

And again, from my earlier post, to me the most authentic kind of Christian is not the one who has all the right answers and can effectively put everyone else in their place, or clarify for everyone else who is or who is not truly "christian." The most authentic kind of Chrisitan would be one like the mentor I mentioned:

Rather than forcing the issue, or blatantly telling me how wrong I was, or getting upset about it, or publically denouncing my thinking, he instead supported me, yes that's right he supported me on my journey. In fact, he encouraged me to keep holding on to the things I felt convicted were right, even though he felt he could see that they were wrong. He loved me, he encouraged me, he never criticized me, or exclaimed that I was un-christian or said anything negative. But he walked with me the whole time! It turned out in the end that I had been wrong and he had been right. You know what happened when I found that out? Did he jump on me and say "I told you so!" Did he take any pleasure in finding out he had been right and I wrong? No. All he did was open his arms and give me a big hug, comforted me when I was hurting, accepted me as he had accepted me the entire time -- he never once felt that I was somehow un-christian, even though I had seen things differently than him, and even though he had ended up being right. And you know what? I've never cherished somoene more because of that! I've never been more helped, more comforted, more minsitered to, that I was by that person.

And you know what else? If it had turned out that I had been right, and my mentor had been mistaken, he would have been just as thrilled and happy for me, threw his arms around me in my sucess as surely as he did in my failure, even if it meant he had to rethink a thing or two on his own. And in that person described above, I see the witness of Jesus. To me, it is on THAT kind of criteria that one could more effectively and accurately determine someone's "authentic" Chrisitanity.... christianity not just of dogma backed up only by rigidity and the harsh treatment of others, but chrisitanity in literal action. -- fluently lived and acted out with deep love and great joy in daily life. Do you have such love and joy? I sincerely hope that you do!

Again, have a good evening, I hope not to be back here until morning, so wish me luck in sleeping.

Andrew
 
Old 01-14-2001, 02:59 AM   #25
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Captain Bloodloss,

To me, this is what it feels like: when you speak, it sounds to me like, "Either 2+2=3 or 2+2=5. Now which is it? 3 or 5?" But to me, I clearly see it is not 3 or not 5, and that you have not presented me with the option that happens to be correct, that being 4.

That may be what it feels like -- that's certainly not what it is.

Let me re-post the initial question.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Do you believe that after Jesus died on the cross and his body was laid to rest, his body naturally decomposed as our bodies do? In other words, four days after Jesus died, was his dead body still somewhere on this earth, decaying and rotting away -- "Yes" or "No"?</font>
And here's your answer.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Well, this is my answer: The question is totally irrelevant.</font>
Obviously, you weren't given a choice between two wrong answers. If there is any legitimate answer other than "Yes" or "No" to the question I asked, I'd love to hear it. All you did was avoid answering the question by calling it irrelevant. What aggravates me is that I obviously believe it's relevant, since I asked it, and if it is irrelevant, then there's no harm in your answering. You could answer the question, if only out of common courtesy, but again and again you sidestep it, claiming it's not an issue. Well, regardless of whether it's an issue or not, what is your answer -- "Yes" or "No"?

Come to think of it, I'll also accept the answer, "I don't know," but if that's what you choose, this discussion is over.

Matthew 21:23-27 -- And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

--Mike
 
Old 01-14-2001, 06:01 AM   #26
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Mike,

I had a response all typed out, but my computer crashed and I lost it. It doesn't matter though, because it wouldn't have satisfied you anyway. Something feels very wrong about me feeling as though I should play this game where I am put on trial by you. You are not my judge. You misunderstood what I was saying when I said it was "irrelevant," I tried to clarify, but I don't have the energy to write it again, and it wouldn't have mattered anyway, because you wouldn't have liked it.

I do find it interesting that you've remained very silent about the other 3/4ths of my post. I'm not sure why you've taken such a hostile stances towards me, as you did your original post from today. But I wonder, have your posts to me been full of love? What about joy? Peace? Patience? Kindness? Gentleness? Self control?

I'm sorry I bother you so much. I think you must hate it that many people see me rather favorably here, and don't have a problem considering my christian or not christian or whatever. I'm sorry for that top. But I wish you would just have the maturity to let it go. If you want to discuss abstract topics, fine. Within reason. But stay out of my personal life, and save your sarcastic and unchristlike comments about the patheticness of my claim to be Chrisitan to yourself. Try to treat me with courtesy, and I'll try to do the same for you.

Andrew

 
Old 01-14-2001, 10:07 AM   #27
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Captain Bloodloss,

You misunderstood what I was saying when I said it was "irrelevant," I tried to clarify, but I don't have the energy to write it again, and it wouldn't have mattered anyway, because you wouldn't have liked it. I do find it interesting that you've remained very silent about the other 3/4ths of my post.

I wouldn't have liked it because that was not what I was specifically asking from you. I asked you a clear "yes or no" question, and you could have answered either "yes" or "no" or even "I don't know" and I would have been satisfied. Instead, you subjected me to "the other 3/4" of your post, which dodges the question entirely.

I think you must hate it that many people see me rather favorably here, and don't have a problem considering my christian or not christian or whatever.

I don't resent the fact that some people see you favorably here. I rather expect that, for they seem to gravitate to you for the same reason I am appalled by you -- you make a good show of being spiritual, but there's no substance to what you say. I cringe every time I see a new thread showing you as the author, because it inevitably means I have to read another long-winded speech about peace, love, tolerance, and divine energy, and it makes me gag because I've been there and it's empty. I have found so much more in Jesus Christ than anything you have ever attempted to communicate, and I hate to see other people led astray by the "lofty words of wisdom" you pump out like counterfeit bills. It angers me even more when you implicitly attach yourself to the name "Christian" for in doing so you seek to "empty the cross of its power" by telling people to look to some mysterious message of love and justice within the gospel rather than to the gospel itself, which is itself "the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes." You are essentially asking people to believe you rather than believe God, and when you have the audacity to claim this is a proper Christian attitude, of course I get upset!

Please understand that I don't resent you at all for believing differently from me. There are people on this forum whose beliefs are a complete 180-degree turn from mine, and I wish they would repent, but I don't resent them a whit. However, this is because they have the guts to stand up and say, "I do not believe. I am not a Christian." They make no bones about it, and they don't avoid the tough questions. Moreover, they don't try to take the gospel and translate it into something more comfortable and palatable -- they just reject it, and the heck with what I think. I respect them for that, even though I think they are wrong to their own peril.

What I resent is how you straddle the theological fence and encourage others to do the same -- to call themselves Christian and proclaim whatever "truth" they want so long as they are loving and kind. Loving and kind is great, I grant you, and love and kindness are indeed Christian qualities, but it is possible to be loving and kind without being a Christian, and consequently you should not seek to define "Christian" as "anybody who is loving and kind." That confuses the issue, muddles the message, and makes it that much harder for the gospel -- the real gospel -- to spread.

Galatians 1:6-12 -- I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 12:30 -- He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.


--Mike
 
Old 01-14-2001, 01:07 PM   #28
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You misunderstood what I was saying when I said it was "irrelevant," I tried to clarify, but I don't have the energy to write it again, and it wouldn't have mattered anyway, because you wouldn't have liked it. I do find it interesting that you've remained very silent about the other 3/4ths of my post.

I wouldn't have liked it because that was not what I was specifically asking from you. I asked you a clear "yes or no" question, and you could have answered either "yes" or "no" or even "I don't know" and I would have been satisfied. Instead, you subjected me to "the other 3/4" of your post, which dodges the question entirely.
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I understand that you feel like I am dodging a question. I am sorry for that. I realize that the truest and most honest expression of the truth as I understand it would mean that rather than answering in some false “yes” or false “no,” I must answer that it is entirely possible for someone to answer yes and truly grasp the power and significance that the resurrection account can have in human life, and it is possible to answer yes and completely miss every element of that power, mistaking the forest for the trees. On the other hand, it is entirely possible to say no and truly grasp the power and significance that the resurrection account can have in human life, and it possible to answer no and completely miss every element of that power, throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.

Why is that the only answer I can in good conscience give to your “yes or no” question? Well something that was one written by someone else on this forum came back to mind to me a while back:

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In the past, I read your posts because I was interested in your philosophy of life, not mpartyka's. I have known his philosophy all my life and rejected it 50 years ago. It amazes me that someone with your obvious keen insights would allow him to play his games with you, in his sandbox, and using only his toys. (i.e.: A rigid, static, often grotesque, faith belief system based on the writings of superstitious, scientifically limited, relatively unworldly and fearful authors of ancient times.) If you enjoy it, I will say no more other than to apologize for having said so much.
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You are trying to demand that I play your game with you, on your terms, with your toys, under your conditions, or else. But I can’t play that game. I will only continue to struggle to know the truth and love life and the God I see manifest in and of and through every element of life, for as long as I possibly can.

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I don't resent the fact that some people see you favorably here. I rather expect that, for they seem to gravitate to you for the same reason I am appalled by you -- you make a good show of being spiritual, but there's no substance to what you say.
</font>
What amazes me about your post, is how little of any kind of Christian spirit I see manifest. If you are correct, and there is no substance in what I say, I guess that means you believe there is substance in what you say, which I guess means that you feel that the doctrine you represent is the “true way.” Well, all I see in your witness is constant sarcasm, intolerance, anger, snide comments, a very obvious disdain for me, an unwillingness to come sit down and reason together, but instead an attitude of combativeness. Where my desire is to heal divisions and bring people together, you seem committed to driving deeper wedges, and making painfully sure that everyone knows who in your estimation is “in” and who is “out.” Where I see in Christ’s witness a message of love and of healing – literally of good news – in your witness to me I see nothing but you attempts to paint me in a bad light, your personal and apparently vehement distaste for me, your bitterness and desire to make sure I am discredited and put down by everyone else. You have not carried a message of hope or love or “good news” to me. You have not treated me as you yourself would want to be treated by others. You have not, been compassionate, you have not gone an extra mile, you have not demonstrated to me any fruits associated with the Christian life, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control and the like. You have not had a spirit of forgiveness over my mistakes and the times when I have unfortunately not treated you as well as I should. You have not turned the other cheek. You have never tried to be a peacemaker where I am concerned. In short, you make quite a good show of being Christian, you definitely know how to quote the bible, but there’s no manifestation of fruit or “substance” as you would put it, in your example, in how you have treated me.

All I have to go on is the witness of your “Christian” experience as you convey it to me. Sadly, if you were correct, and you are the most authentic representative of true Christian faith, I would not be able to find any message of goodness in it. All I see represented is intolerance, disdain for others, sarcasm, a patronizing attitude, and an extreme bitterness. When I go to the gospels and I look at the life of Jesus, and I read about his manifestations of love, compassion, mercy, his willing and voluntary association with those the religious leaders of the day saw as evil sinful and despicable – when I attempt to take the life of Jesus as described in scripture, and lay it over your Christianity as you have expressed it to me, I cannot see the picture of Jesus shine through that. You know all the doctrine and feel you have every dogmatic detail figured out, but you’ve fallen into the same trap that Jesus’ heart was broken over when it was manifest in the lives of the Pharisees. You say I lack substance, but you are the one who as never yet manifest any of the fruits of the spirit towards me, never shown a spirit of love, compassion, openness, or the like. It’s not that you don’t agree with me, its that you despise me – I see nothing in that feeling that is at all in accordance with the Christian heart.

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I cringe every time I see a new thread showing you as the author, because it inevitably means I have to read another long-winded speech about peace, love, tolerance, and divine energy, and it makes me gag because I've been there and it's empty. I have found so much more in Jesus Christ than anything you have ever attempted to communicate, and I hate to see other people led astray by the "lofty words of wisdom" you pump out like counterfeit bills. It angers me even more when you implicitly attach yourself to the name "Christian" for in doing so you seek to "empty the cross of its power" by telling people to look to some mysterious message of love and justice within the gospel rather than to the gospel itself, which is itself "the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes." You are essentially asking people to believe you rather than believe God, and when you have the audacity to claim this is a proper Christian attitude, of course I get upset!
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The only way I have available to evaluate the substance of your Christian claims is in your actions, and your actions towards me have been mainly hostile and condescending. You are so worried about what everyone else things about what I say – whether they are “led” astray or not. I think you place for to much importance on what I might write. However, I guess at the same time you’ve been trying to put my on trial by my “doctrines” so you have unwittingly put yourself on trial by your actions and your witness. The jury is not me, but the jury will be all those that read what you write, what you say, and what you claim to believe, and how you claim people should act. Unfortunately, you have probably done yourself a great disservice in that area by how you have treated me. See, I’m not how to “convert” anyone. I’m simply an honest seeker, hungering and thirsting after the truth. You however, in addition to being interested in the “truth” by your own admission are present in this forum as an attempt to witness and to help others see the light. But your witness in rhetoric and dogma rings pretty hollow when you cannot match it up in how your treat others – people like me, when you can't love, when you can't have a spirit of kindness, or of patience.

It’s hard for me not to draw the obvious parallels to the Pharisees, but of course that is such a weighty charge to make. All I know is that Jesus came proclaiming a radical message of love and hope and compassion, and the religious leaders of the day constantly attempted to hit him over the head with doctrine and dogma, and their understanding of the law – they hated him, they wanted to silence him, and they felt he led people astray, he was threatening to them, eventually these feelings built up to full-fledge hatred and the killed him.

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What I resent is how you straddle the theological fence and encourage others to do the same -- to call themselves Christian and proclaim whatever "truth" they want so long as they are loving and kind. Loving and kind is great, I grant you, and love and kindness are indeed Christian qualities, but it is possible to be loving and kind without being a Christian, and consequently you should not seek to define "Christian" as "anybody who is loving and kind." That confuses the issue, muddles the message, and makes it that much harder for the gospel -- the real gospel -- to spread.
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I’m not sure that “resentment” is a feeling or an attitude that is at all Christ-like. It certainly isn’t a fruit of the spirit. I wonder why you would allow a spirit of resentment to grow in your heart, rather than dealing with it, recovering a spirit of love and toleration towards me – apparently you are unwilling to do so. I could take your tone, and we could get into a shouting match about which one of us has the “real” gospel message. I could charge you with being some king of false teacher, hindering the real gospel or whatever. But in truth, I don’t believe that is true. Just because we don’t see everything exactly the same ways doesn’t mean that you are somehow unfit to call yourself Christian. You profess to a Christian experience --- well, the only thing I have to evaluate that is not all your creedal confessions or your dogma or your ability to cut and paste scripture or your ability to argue against anyone who disagrees with you – no, the only thing I have by which to evaluate your Christian experience, is the action of your witness -- how you treat others, how your rhetoric matches up with your lifestyle, how your express love, hope, joy and compassion to others, if you contribute beauty and happiness wherever your go, or whether you contribute dissonance, anger, and resentment wherever you go.

There already enough of the latter in the world – I don’t need to change my spiritual understanding to better conform to yours so that I can more fully experience anger, bitterness, resentment, intolerance, divisiveness, discord and unhappiness. There’s plenty of that in the world, and more than that, my spiritual experience, my understanding of the reality of God, my understanding of Christ and Jesus and the uniting of the two in the historical logos-particular incarnation, my understanding of the message of beauty and hope have already freed me from those hateful, hurtful negative feelings, those feelings that apparently you still seem trapped in, at least when dealing with me. I’m sorry that you are appalled by me, I’m sorry that you resent me, I’m sorry that you are angered by me, I’m sorry that I make you sick, I’m sorry that you feel I am a fake, I’m sorry that you feel I am ridiculous, full of bullshit, and every other negative thing you have said constantly and over and over and over again towards me. I’m sorry that you’ve evaluated my theology and decided it is right for you to treat me as you treat me, and that you are somehow justified in doing so. All I have to go on as far as your concerned it the witness of your life not in your rhetoric but in your action. Faith without works is dead.

For my part, I have definitely gotten upset with you, especially when you talk down to me, or disparage me, or start name-calling. But, at the same time, I have several different places defended you, stuck up for you to those who wanted to write you off. One person suggested everyone should ignore you along with Eternal and others, but I defended you, said that I respected you, argued that you should not be lumped in with those others. I wrote a topic on the Open forum in which I included you as one of the reasons to keep coming here. I said that although you and I sometimes disagree, you were thoughtful, and reasonable, and that I respected you, and I felt that you were basically a pretty good guy.

But in light of all of your railings against me, I’m very saddened to say that a lot of that respect has largely been lost. I’m extremely troubled by your attitude, and I feel you have done yourself a great disservice by your witness to others in how you have related to me. Suddenly so many of your words seem very hollow, when you cannot back them up in action towards others when the going gets tough, and that is a shame. I pity you.

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Galatians 1:6-12 -- I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
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Romans 14:1-4 -- Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

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Matthew 12:30 -- He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.[/b]
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Luke 6-31-37 -- "Treat others the same way you want [19] them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even ‘sinners’ do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.


I hope you are having a wonder Sunday of worship, praise and love.
Andrew


[This message has been edited by Captain Bloodloss (edited January 14, 2001).]
 
Old 01-14-2001, 06:39 PM   #29
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Captain Bloodloss,

I must answer that it is entirely possible for someone to answer yes and truly grasp the power and significance that the resurrection account can have in human life, and it is possible to answer yes and completely miss every element of that power, mistaking the forest for the trees. On the other hand, it is entirely possible to say no and truly grasp the power and significance that the resurrection account can have in human life, and it possible to answer no and completely miss every element of that power, throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.

Fine. Now answer the question! I don't care whether you grasp the power or not, just answer the bloody question already! YES OR NO???

("I don't know" is also acceptable.)

What amazes me about your post, is how little of any kind of Christian spirit I see manifest.

I believe the kind of Christian spirit I am attempting to manifest is exemplified in the following passage of Scripture.

Acts 13:6-12 -- And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name [was] Barjesus: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also [is called] Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, [thou] child of the devil, [thou] enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord [is] upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

Romans 14:1-4....

You just tried to counter a passage about corrupting the gospel with a passage about not giving vegetarians a hard time.

Luke 6:31-37....

Leviticus 19:17 -- Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.

Ecclesiastes 7:5 -- [It is] better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.

1 Timothy 5:20 -- Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

2 Timothy 4:2 -- Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Titus 2:15 -- These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Revelation 3:19 -- As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.


--Mike
 
Old 01-14-2001, 07:27 PM   #30
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You guys should really save personal messages for e-mail. Mike, for a Christian you don't argue like one, and you are not very perceptive. Captain, your initial posts were written well enough and polite enough that not giving a response would not have meant defeat by default. Though I do disagree that with your position that the literalness of the resurrection is irrelevant. To the issue of authority, the church, and interpretation, I'm going to by pass completely to focus on the issue of the post.

First, spiritual bodies are not ghostly or intangible bodies where wounds could not be touched. This is the point of the passage that shows the resurrected Jesus eating along with the premise that ghosts don't eat.

Second, defining Gospel as "good-news" is a lame translation at best. 1) Gospel in its general usage was a message, good or bad. 2) Its historical roots are found in the ancient war runner (battle victory or defeat mailman). 3) Its technical use diverges here. In Rome, it became a person, the Caesar specifically. He was considered the son of God and divine. Everything about him was considered gospel, his birth, death, life, decrees, laws, etc. These were thought to bring peace to those who were under his rule. He is even said to have the ability to control weather and calm storms with a word. In Israel, threw passages like Isaiah 40, we see the war runner message idealized as God's victory over all His enemies. This is event centered. 4) In the first four books we see gospel in genitive relationship (an "of" relationship which can be either adjectival or adverbial by Greek grammar) with different nouns. Hence, Mark 1:1, Gospel of Jesus, who is the Christ takes on the idea that the message is not a religious or moral teaching like that of the Pharisees, but that the message itself is about Jesus. Mark's message is that He is the Christ along with all its natural end-time implications. A few verses later we see Jesus preaching the gospel of God. Now Jesus' message is about the in breaking of the kingdom into the world, which will eventually, not immediately, subdue all nations and rulers.
What does all this mean for early Christians? The term gospel is considered treason to Caesar and wide spread fear among authorities that it is a militant revolt, taking soldier's loyalty oath's unto death (communion bread and wine) for this Jesus. Mass persecution and martyrdom results.


Participation in this community is based upon 1) repentance toward God, and 2) faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:20).
 
 

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