Being Christian

Being Christian

They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love…
yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

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11 Comments

April 30, 2012 · 7:38 AM

11 responses to “Being Christian

  1. Don’t…
    Hate gays – stone them to death Leviticus 20
    Hate minorities – Well, unless you’ve taken them as slaves.
    Hate women – Just oppress them: 1 timothy
    Hate the poor – become the poor: luke
    Hate progress – Wait, don’t take any thought for tomorrow, worry only about today. Mathew 6
    Hate the sick – Simply pray until they get well, or deny them cures from stem cell research etc.

    Why exactly is it that Christian’s claim their bible? It can’t be because it is so clear and understandable.

    • i can’t speak for the more fundamentalist but for me, I claim it because it’s the best we have. Study and training teaches us that there are many cultural and contextual aspects that must be filtered through. I don’t view the Bible as a historical document, rather it gives us insight into the transition of culture, the understanding of God, the understanding of humanity, and the relationship between the two through those cultures. The primary interest for me is the life and teachings of Jesus in the midst of the oppressive and marginalizing context of the political, religious, and social culture of his time…as he set out to turn those things upside down. We continue, even to this day, to try to further that mission…of course that is how I see it

      • I don’t think any one is concerned that you or others might look at the Christian Bible and view the fables there as a kind of morality tale – well, until the moral of the story is that it is okay to have slaves, oppress women, kill homosexuals, kill unruly children, force women to marry their rapists and other things like genocide, mass murder, blood sacrifice, eternal damnation and so on.

        You speak as though you are certain that Jesus actually existed and persevere to study more his teachings… when will you study the teachings of those that came before him, the teachings of others whose ideas were used to create that story of Jesus? If you truly question the politics, culture, and religions of the day when he was supposed to live why do you presume that he did live? I think that perhaps you are not interested in the actual known facts of politics, culture, and religion of that day… but simply finding ways to make the Jesus story appear more real.

        Yep, I just said that. I’ll repeat it too unless you can show me that you’ve studied other religions of and before that time, the politics and culture that Rome brought to that part of the world, the influence of Hindu and far Eastern cultures on that part of the world and much more. I somehow doubt that you have the courage to do so.

        • I am certain that Jesus did exist in terms of my faith. I cannot prove it any more than any of us can prove any faith system. From my Christian perspective, it is faith that is necessary, and if I could prove it, then faith would not be necessary. I don’t feel the need to make the “Jesus story appear more real” as to me, I neither need, nor desire any more “proof.”

          I’m not sure why you presume I haven’t studied those religions or cultural times. I didn’t go to Bible College (with all due respect to those who did). I have a Master of Divinity (a 90 hour Masters degree)–not the same thing as Bible College. It has been my experience that Bible College teaches what the Bible says and what you should believe, while seminary gives you the tools to study it for yourself. To even begin to study the OT, I had to spend literally weeks (on top of my undergrad work) just prepping to understand the religious influences of the pre-Israelite culture. In order to begin studying the NT, I had to do the same with Roman, Greek culture and religions. I have studied Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, etc, etc. But I’m not sure how I would prove it to you if I even were interested. I have stated that I believe that Jesus’ words are not far at all removed from Hindu thought, which is true. While I appreciate your candor (sincerely, I love good conversation), I’m not sure I am interested in trying to prove anything to appease someone on the Internet. Instead, I prefer good honest communication and dialogue.

          I’m sure you have been judged and probably harshly by many theists. I’m not one of them. I would think you have tired about those judgments and it seems from reading other posts of yours, that you don’t like to be lumped in with all atheists and prejudged that way. I am the same way about not being lumped in with all other Christians and being prejudged along those lines. Christianity is a big, wide group of people and we simply don’t all see things the same way.

          Blessings

          • Well, that’s awkward. Very good point about proving anything. I’ve been known to stick my nose in a wasp’s nest to see what the honey smells like. Yes, I wrote that correctly.

            With that said, if it’s not problematic, perhaps we can have such a conversation like you mentioned. Given the start, if you’re not up to talking about it, perhaps you could lead me to information which you personally think best explains the depth of the influence of Zoroastrianism on both Egyptian culture and Judaism. This is a topic that I don’t feel I’ve found good coverage of in the limited reach of my educational efforts. It remains a question that I had not found a satisfactory answer to in my search for truth, the search that lead me from belief to non-belief. It seems you might well be placed to give some guidance.

            I am, of course, open to other topics as well.

            Thanks in advance.

            For me, I simply wish you to continue, to exist and thrive.

          • Well, I already typed you a response on my ipad and the app ate it. So let me try again BRIEFLY.

            I believe what you ask is a tall order, but I’m up for it, to a point.

            I do not believe I have anything of import to add to the discussion of how Zoroastrianism MIGHT have influenced Egyptian Culture. Egyptian culture was much older and my interest lied mainly in a time of Egyptian religious influence on Judaism (a time before Zoroastrianism’s rise to its brief time in the spotlight.)

            As to Zoroastrianism’s influence on Judaism, yes, I have some things to add. I am not a fan of plagiarizing but frankly cannot remember what ideas might be my own and what might be something I read at some point in the past. I could point you to some authors that might or might not have written on the subject.

            As to Zoroastrianism’s influence on Christianity, which you didn’t mention. I would find that this would only be secondary as Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism; however, there may be (I’ll have to think on it) some tie ins that are either limited to Christianity OR that could be surmised to have influence on the TIME of Christ or the Apostle Paul. Will take some chin scratchin’ for that one.

            The reply will be timely and long and as I recall, mostly just comments about the similarities between the two and possible areas of exposure between the two looking at timelines of their history, but I’ll give it the ole’ college try. It is almost the bewitching hour here and I must go to bed. I’ll try to get started on it tomorrow and post what I can when I can. I look forward to writing this down as I don’t think I’ve even tried to compile such information specifically tied to this topic, but already the juices are flowing in my head. Good, insightful question. Until tomorrow.
            Tommy

      • Tommy, we ran out of room for comments. As my Coptic Egyptian friend likes to say… Awesome! I look forward to the fruit of your efforts on my behalf. Your initial reply is quite the summary of what I have been able to find for reading materials. I have some pet theories about the world and human history and such mysteries as this one strike at the heart of them. I am not vying for any grant money so I should say up front that this counts as part of my research 🙂
        The theories I have rely heavily on the alignment of power/religion/technology as the guiding pillars of human interactions globally. That is where religion is now replaced by science and science based technology. The industrial revolution was more than machinations in this respect, and science itself (though a slow starter) has now usurped religion in it’s role in that interaction or alignment in my theories.
        The mysteries of how Zoroastrianism played out in the real world are the edge cases of my theories. Judaism is one of the groups that should have gone underground but did not. That makes it an edge case and gives import to Zoroastrianism. I have not been able to find in depth information due in large part to how my theory works.
        Suffice it to say that an informed opinion and additional facts are most appreciated.

        Thank you for your efforts

  2. They will know you’re Chirstian because your love for one another- The Bible is God’s Word- Humans problem is our understanding God because we are incomplete- His thoughts are higher than the heavens above ours===So instead of using our incompleteness; live the Bible, His yoke is easy, His burden is light!

    • I do not agree that the Bible is God’s Word. I believe it points TO God’s Word. I believe that Jesus is God’s Word (logos in the Greek) and it says so in the Scriptures. I think trying to elevate Scripture to the level of Jesus is idolatry, but that’s just my belief perhaps.

      Having said that, I do agree that we do not fully understand God and never will (Paul said we see through a dark glass dimly). Yes, his thoughts are higher than ours ever could be, which is why it always bothers me when some presume to always know God better than another when they disagree over Biblical or Theological interpretation. Living the Bible is easy to say…but as we all bring our own “stuff” to our Biblical interpretation, we all will find at a minimum, slightly different nuances as to what it means to “live the Bible” thus the best way for us to all get along, even WITHIN the Body of Christ, is to quit judging others and to accept each other as members of the same belief system, even when, no ESPECIALLY when, we disagree on what that looks like.