How to save Christianity from the Christians

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How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by Sakhaiva on Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:10 pm

I believe that the teachings of Yeshua are worthy of study: for a guy, living under Roman occupation (with a 60 percent unemployment rate) to go around talking about 'turn the other cheek' and 'love your neighbor'.... this is radical stuff.

But it seems for every Bonhoeffer there's a zillion nutters out there (loud-mouths who take joy in the condemnation of others and can only find grace when they're caught with their own pants down.)

So what do you think, does Christianity have any value at all?

If so, how to save Christianity from the "anti-eccumenical" Christians?
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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by Bette The Red on Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:13 pm

I have no idea.

A member of my denomination has recently written a book called With or Without God, suggesting that we drop the "god talk" for dialogue that makes sense to 21st century humanity. And that we ditch our dogma in favour of active social justice.

This panentheistic (SUV driving, lol) christian is leading a study group on "Ecological Christianity" this fall, whose stated aim is to try to find active ways to live out a moral relationship with our mother, the Earth.

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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by Sakhaiva on Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:47 pm

Bette The Red wrote:I have no idea.

This panentheistic (SUV driving, lol) christian is leading a study group on "Ecological Christianity" this fall, whose stated aim is to try to find active ways to live out a moral relationship with our mother, the Earth.

This sounds beautiful Bette - a fantastic way to work your circle! (If I were at your church, I'd join your study)

I'm an avid hiker... not so much to 'bag peaks', but rather to gain peace. Getting away from all this man-made crap has a way of healing the soul. In the past I've tried to lead a 'hiking group' at a church but nothing came to fruition (one church was very direct in the reason why they would not take my group; because I was a woman. They eventually gave the idea to a man to lead..... and I eventually found my way out the door)

Blessings to your study Bette; may all that you do be used to open minds and hearts.

~Linda
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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by DotNotInOz on Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:08 pm

That's just bizarre, Sakhaiva, that a hiking group "must" be male-led according to them.

Kinda funny, too, as the hikers at a UU church of which I was once a member were largely women...and not a one of the group was younger than about 50, most were 60-70. Those people were tough, too! They typically did 3-5 mile mountain hikes!

Even though I was invited to become the group's "baby" at my then mere 36 years of age, I said no thanks. Trying to keep up with those people would have killed me off!
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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by Sakhaiva on Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:49 pm

Thanks Dot. The particular church I was attending at that time was a NonDenom that subscribed to the notion that women should not be leaders if men are available. I attended the church as I had friends there, reasonable enough gals, and I really didn't know how 'wooden' the church would be with their theology.

Before I presented the idea, I did a bunch of write ups on local hikes, rated them (family friendly thru strenuous) and listed the various stats/what to bring etc. I handed all of this data to the head pastor to consider and he promised to show it all to the elders. Well, the group of elders voted me down because I didn't have a willie.... and then they handed my data over to a guy. It wasn't just what happened that irked me, but how it happened. In any case, over time it looks like the ball was dropped.


........


Dot, your story of the UU hiking group reminded me of when I was hiking up this steep section of a trail (1000' gain straight up, no switchbacks) and I had to stand to the side to let another hiker pass me up... who I guess was around 68/69. He paused, chuckled and said 'I used to be slower too' then continued on up. (It's one of my favorite hiking memories to date.)
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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by HappyKweer on Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:49 pm

Sakhaiva wrote:I believe that the teachings of Yeshua are worthy of study: for a guy, living under Roman occupation (with a 60 percent unemployment rate) to go around talking about 'turn the other cheek' and 'love your neighbor'.... this is radical stuff.

First of all, we don't know if Jesus even existed. Even if he did exist, we have no way of knowing whether he said what has been attributed to him or not. Finally, can we really label the words attributed to Jesus as 'radical?' Siddartha said much the same things Jesus was alleged to have said and also said things far more brilliant than what Jesus is alleged to have said, several centuries prior to Jesus alleged birth.

Sakhaiva wrote:
So what do you think, does Christianity have any value at all?

Christianity gets a bad rap. Not all Christians are literalist whackjobs. However, the media knows controversy sells, so the literalist whackjobs often get play in the media, whereas the normal, garden variety Christians are not covered, because there is no controversy in what they say or do.

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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by DeavonReye on Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:26 pm

Some of it is okay. . . . "golden rule", "fruits of the spirit" (as a list of good character traits)...

Some of it is bad . . . . "Male donimanted and ruled", "thought crime leading to someone being punished for all eternity"...

Much of the Old Testament is just whacked. Some good stuff in there, but it is few and far between, interlaced in death, sacrifices (animal), stricts rules (many of which are immoral)...
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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by Davelaw on Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:31 pm

HappyKweer wrote:
Sakhaiva wrote:I believe that the teachings of Yeshua are worthy of study: for a guy, living under Roman occupation (with a 60 percent unemployment rate) to go around talking about 'turn the other cheek' and 'love your neighbor'.... this is radical stuff.

First of all, we don't know if Jesus even existed. Even if he did exist, we have no way of knowing whether he said what has been attributed to him or not. Finally, can we really label the words attributed to Jesus as 'radical?' Siddartha said much the same things Jesus was alleged to have said and also said things far more brilliant than what Jesus is alleged to have said, several centuries prior to Jesus alleged birth.

Sakhaiva wrote:
So what do you think, does Christianity have any value at all?

Christianity gets a bad rap. Not all Christians are literalist whackjobs. However, the media knows controversy sells, so the literalist whackjobs often get play in the media, whereas the normal, garden variety Christians are not covered, because there is no controversy in what they say or do.

not all literalists are whack jobs and those that would separate the words and non-miraculous deeds of Jesus from the religion about Him are not Christians but Jesusians; Christians believe that Jesus was and is the promised Christ (Messiah) of the Jewish people
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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:12 pm

Hey, Dave! Quick question for you, and almost on topic, even. As a Christian, does it matter whether Jesus really lived or not? Is it crucial to your theology?

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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by Davelaw on Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:24 pm

yes and no

it makes it more personal to believe that God actually interacts with History

i think the concepts would be valid regardless; although someone seems to have a vested interest in discrediting recent archaeological finds like the James ossuary and one wonders what they have to gain by going to such links to discredit a such a find-that experts were willing to perjure themselves in a Court of Law-plus opposition seems to make strange bedfellows-why are the Israeli antiquities board and the RCC in cahoots on this issue-sorry off on a tangent
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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by Davelaw on Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:27 pm

oh and I'm sure that many would doubt if Jesus would be proven to be fictional or a composite of many such type people; and a strong minority would come to believe that History and Science were of the Devil-that the Devil actually changed the evidence to discredit scripture
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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:53 pm

Davelaw wrote:Christians believe that Jesus was and is the promised Christ (Messiah) of the Jewish people

While this is certainly true, it's inadvisable of Christians to blat this around Jews since Jesus didn't even begin to meet the criteria for Messiah. As far as Jews are concerned, the Christian appropriation of the term "Messiah" is meaningless as a result.
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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by HappyKweer on Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:48 pm

DotNotInOz wrote:
Davelaw wrote:Christians believe that Jesus was and is the promised Christ (Messiah) of the Jewish people

While this is certainly true, it's inadvisable of Christians to blat this around Jews since Jesus didn't even begin to meet the criteria for Messiah. As far as Jews are concerned, the Christian appropriation of the term "Messiah" is meaningless as a result.

True that. The Numbers 23:19 'god is not a man' pretty much negates any idea the Jewish god would incarnate in human form as some fulfillment of Jewish OT prophecy. And the fact 'messiahs' are a dime a dozen (Saul, Cyrus, every priest, etc) in the OT and every single one was human only puts the idea to rest as well.

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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by Davelaw on Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:15 pm

CONTEXT- God is not a man who lies: te focus of this verse isn't that God is incapable of taking human form; but that He doesn't lie or break His word
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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:14 am

HappyKweer wrote:
DotNotInOz wrote:
Davelaw wrote:Christians believe that Jesus was and is the promised Christ (Messiah) of the Jewish people

While this is certainly true, it's inadvisable of Christians to blat this around Jews since Jesus didn't even begin to meet the criteria for Messiah. As far as Jews are concerned, the Christian appropriation of the term "Messiah" is meaningless as a result.

True that. The Numbers 23:19 'god is not a man' pretty much negates any idea the Jewish god would incarnate in human form as some fulfillment of Jewish OT prophecy. And the fact 'messiahs' are a dime a dozen (Saul, Cyrus, every priest, etc) in the OT and every single one was human only puts the idea to rest as well.

EEEK! "Jewish OT prophecy"??? There's another scream-inducer as far as Jews are concerned. Not only did Christianity appropriate Jewish scripture for the Christian OT but mistranslated a good deal of it as well as taking most of the so-called prophecies pointing to Jesus wildly out of context.
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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by Lolkat on Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:52 pm

Dave, 'God' is not a man!

And I agree with what Brandon Scott has to say in this video short.....

Christianity's Betrayal of Jesus by Brandon Scott
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBYQ1zIqCVw&feature=related

Love, Peace and Wellness for all,
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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by Davelaw on Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:27 am

If God is God: He can become a Man-anytime He wants
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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:32 am

I do not mean to come off as rude, and far be it from me to defend a religion I usually disagree with on a fundamental level, but it seems rather presumptious that a religion need saving from its own members, especially when coming from someone who is not a member of said religion.

This to me, as a general trend, has more to do with being a scriptural magpie; one reads which ever scripture and takes from it the bits they like, and ignores all the bits they do not (without necessarily addressing them). I look at it this way, many people make statements such as, "Jesus would be ashamed of the religion which bares his name". Now they may be right, but they may be wrong; what I usually ask when such a statement is made is "What has led you to reach such a conclusion?" or "What are you basing that claim on?" Since, as far as I am aware, the New Testament is the only texts which makes any mention of Jesus (I know that many contemporary texts make mention of Christianty and Christians), and doubly so for what it is his beliefs were, it is a rather odd conclusion to reach; if you are not basing your opinion of Christ (and his teachings) on Biblical scripture, what are you basing it on?

Now the argument has been made, that there exists several different "Christianities" between the four Gospels, and there may certainly be merit to this (though I'm not at a point where I really care enough to explore it further). However, the explanation I usually get comes down to either, "I just know" or selective reading of the NT. Not to say that it is only (and I am generalizing here) among progressives (and non Christians) because it does happen on the more conservative side as well, though the former tends to a more selective reading, as the later tends to favour a more literalist bent anyway.

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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by Lolkat on Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:17 pm

Interesting points of view! I guess that's why i come here...to see what others think and have to say.

IMHO the cross has been turned upside down and misused as a sword through so much of Christianity's history...that i find it more meaningful to use the spiral as a symbol for my own faith.

And, i also dispensed with the he/she/it aspects of the Mystery that so many call 'God'.

Many think Christianity is going through another reformation (happens every 500 years or so) to determine the ways in which it will function in the future. An ideological war perhaps? If the conservative side 'wins', I won't be around to celebrate (in more ways than one, most likely)!

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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by padre775 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:09 pm

A Jewish colleague of mine and I have done of lot of "deconstructing" of both received traditions (i.e., Rabbinical Judaism and Christianity). We've concluded that the Parting of the Ways happened in the mid 90's C.E. Before that, the Jesus Movement was basically a Jewish sect (and probably closer to the center than, say, the Essenes, who held a very different religious calendar).

One of the upshots of the Parting of the Way (no doubt led by the ideas in the Gospel According to John, written about the same time) was that the increasingly Gentile church hijacked the Hebrew canon to "prove" that Jesus had replaced the Second Temple and the Law. Besides, the writers of Matthew, Mark and Luke used the Greek version of the Hebrew canon (Septuagint), which tended to translate things rather loosely.

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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by Sakhaiva on Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:16 pm

It's interesting to come back to a topic after a long while to see it from a new angle. Thanks for the posts guys.

padre775 wrote:A Jewish colleague of mine and I have done of lot of "deconstructing" of both received traditions (i.e., Rabbinical Judaism and Christianity). We've concluded that the Parting of the Ways happened in the mid 90's C.E. Before that, the Jesus Movement was basically a Jewish sect (and probably closer to the center than, say, the Essenes, who held a very different religious calendar).

One of the upshots of the Parting of the Way (no doubt led by the ideas in the Gospel According to John, written about the same time) was that the increasingly Gentile church hijacked the Hebrew canon to "prove" that Jesus had replaced the Second Temple and the Law. Besides, the writers of Matthew, Mark and Luke used the Greek version of the Hebrew canon (Septuagint), which tended to translate things rather loosely.

Good deconstruction.

If there were a historical Jesus (Yeshua), which there is zero evidence of, then he most certainly would have been a Jewish person, and his movement would have been something of a Jewish revival. If that was the case, then he would have been in good company as there were many self-proclaiming messiahs rising up to lead a revolt against occupying Rome (like the Bar Kokhba revolt.) Those were such turbulent times... we think we've had it bad during the recession.... man.

The gospels -- a peculiar form of literature -- come after Yeshua's theoretical life and, as you touched upon, the Gospel of John illustrated a good deal of anti-Jewish propaganda leading to the branch off.

.....

Revisiting this thread after some time, I think the OP reflected a bit of naivety on my part. My op seems to have assumed there could be a pure religion, unfettered by man's manipulation. Constantine's crafty & stereotypical Roman use of orthodoxy to gain power over the masses -- the process of canonizing the Bible -- I think shows that even at it's inception, Christianity has been a very useful tool designed to control others. If this is the case, the not only was my op a bit naive... it was completely off base!

You cannot "save" a religion from people who are doing the exact same thing the fathers of the church did.

Thoughts?
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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by padre775 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:00 pm

Yeshua was Jewish, no doubt. As an observant first century Jew, he would have known the Shema and recited it daily. "Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is One" is the opening. Interestingly, the word "echad" ("one") doesn't refer to a number, but the concept of "unity." Hence, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is Unity." It's not too far afield to suggest that divisiveness is bad for children and other living things.

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Re: How to save Christianity from the Christians

Post by tmarie64 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:43 pm

padre775 wrote:Yeshua was Jewish, no doubt. As an observant first century Jew, he would have known the Shema and recited it daily. "Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is One" is the opening. Interestingly, the word "echad" ("one") doesn't refer to a number, but the concept of "unity." Hence, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is Unity." It's not too far afield to suggest that divisiveness is bad for children and other living things.
Not if he was trying to find his own path and did not want to follow it.

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