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  1. #11
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    Default Which Jesus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Journey View Post
    We are commanded to be like Jesus, what then can we say?
    We can say, "Which Jesus?".

    Over two thousand years Jesus has been cast in the image of many different cultures - in fact hundreds of cultures.

    There is not just one Jesus but hundreds of Jesus.

    So we can ask, "Which Jesus should we be like?".

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journey View Post
    We are commanded to be like Jesus, what then can we say?
    Countermand that order! I command you to be yourself!

    Your Commandant has spoken - Be Yourself.

    I don' want you to be like anybody, I jus' wan' you to be yourself.

    In that way, I can be myself too.

    You know, the nicest person is the world is someone I can be myself with.

    Why not you?

    Victor.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    How ridiculous. Roman Catholicism does not teach that we must go out into the world and condemn sin at every turn. Quite the opposite.

    And Roman Catholic theologians argue that there is nobody in hell.

    And Roman Cathoiics do not argue that only sin divides Christians. Again, quite the opposite.

    And RCs do not claim that fear, shame, guilt and remorse are signs of spiritual healing.

    In fact the only people who make these claims are anti-Catholic bigots.
    Strange. I discussed these issues with a Roman Catholic for three days prior to this thread and those are exactly the beliefs he argued.

    1. He is to condemn the sin of his fellow sinners.
    2. Sin is the only thing that divides Christians.
    3. Shame, guilt, and remorse bring people to God.

    If you would like I can send you the messages of the debate I had with him.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journey View Post
    I can't condemn people of sin. Condemn means essentially to sentence or doom. I can't do that, only God can do that. I occasionally confront people of their sin, only when I am in the Spirit and it is out of love that I am doing it. So that makes it rare occurance. And people have confronted me about my own sin, and I am grateful. I didn't always agree with them, though, and have said so. I have to be really touched to the core of my being to warn someone of hellfire. This just shows the hardness of my own heart.

    Jesus talked more about hell, warning people of it, than he did any other topic. It seemed to be foremost on His mind that people escape it. He pointed out the sins of the woman at the well, that she was living with a man who was not her husband. So Jesus confronted sinners (that includes me, the Spirit convicts me) also.

    We are commanded to be like Jesus, what then can we say?
    I don't think Jesus talked about "hell" that much. Gehenna, a word Jesus used to reflect what you might call hell, is only used about 12 times in the New Testament (I think 7 in mathew, 3 in Mark, 1 in Luke, and 1 in James). John uses "lake of fire" about 3 times in Revelation. If you add that up, that's only about 15 direct references to "hell" in the whole New Testament, less times than there are books/writings that make up the New Testament.

    I guess at other times Jesus could've mentioned condemnation or punishment without directly referring to "hell", but I'm not aware of him ever focusing on that to convert people. I'm not aware of any place where it describes Jesus going around telling people nothing but that they're so bad and sinful and that they're going to "hell" in order to save them. He got like that with the Pharisees (Jewish religious nutcases) who rejected Him, but that was after they already saw Him perform miracles and had already heard many things He had to say.

    It would be interesting to evaluate the Gospels and Acts and take note of the circumstances of all conversions that took place. I'm not enough of a J type to stay dedicated and focused on something like that to actually get it done, though.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    There has long been a division on one particular issue in Christianity and that is man's place when it comes to condemning sin.

    Most Catholics and most fundamentalist type Christians argue that man must go out into the world and condemn sin at every turn. That often translates into telling people they are going to hell if they don't repent. These Christians argue that only sin divides Christians and that fear, shame, guilt, and remorse are signs of spiritual healing.

    The more liberal Christian groups on the other hand, such as the Red Letter Christians argue that only Jesus/God have the right to condemn sin and to ask for repentance. These groups generally argue that it is the duty of every Christian to love God and to love fellow sinners, sin and all. They believe that only love can bring people to God and that shame and guilt are tools that those who corrupt the word of God use to control.

    The fundamentalist type Christians have a few hurdles to cross since Jesus made comments like,

    "Judge not ye be judge"
    "Love thy neighbor as you love yourself"
    and so forth, thereby making the case that you can't judge people. However, they argue a specific distinction to get around this. They say that judging sin is not the same as judging sinners.

    Ultimately it comes down to one story in the Bible of questionable origin about a prostitute that was going to be stoned by a group of men.

    The fundamentalist type Christians argue that this clearly shows that Jesus says that men are capable of condemning sin while not condemning the sinner. Whereas the more liberal Christians argue that Jesus told all the men that he who is without sin could condemn her. No man condemned her, and thus Jesus did not condemn her. In doing so, they argue that Jesus was saying, no man has the right to condemn sin. And thus, as the argument goes, since he was sinless, he asked her to repent, since he was the only being who had the right to do so.

    So what are your thoughts on this big division in the scripture? Please no preaching, just sharing of your personal views.
    Not all relationships involve love, but love only occurs in relationships. Jesus wants to establish relationships with people. When you're critical of others and focus on what's wrong with them, this is an anti-love and anti-relationship way of behaving. If the relationship even forms, then it certainly won't be a good one.

    When your friend is doing something that is not good for him and isn't aware of it, you have to be really careful and solution-oriented when bringing up the problem. This is also something that should be done after having established some level of a good relationship.

    Two possible ways you can approach a friend with a problem concerning his behavior:

    "Look man, I know you like to be loud and obnoxious, but these people we're hanging out with, they don't like that. If you wanna keep hanging out with these people and have them like us, you need to tone things down, man."

    "You're such a loud, obnoxious idiot! Don't you realize that these people are annoyed with you. You're making them not like us, and if you keep this up, we might not be able to hang around them anymore. I mean, they're already trying to avoid us whenever they can."

    The first one may end up correcting the problem and the friendship may remain in tact. The second one will cause contention between the two friends and may even divide them.

  6. #16
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    I guess there's just one more thing I'd like to say.

    I believe that every time Jesus points out and convicts someone of what they're doing wrong it is NEVER an attempt to make that person more acceptable to Him. Jesus is willing to accept people as they are without making them sign a contract that they're going to try to be good and clean up their lives. Jesus is not raising the bar on you, so that you have to get better and better in order to be accepted. God is love. Love is not self-seeking. When God tells you to stop doing something, it's for your benefit, even if you can't understand how it would be for your benefit. God understands things much better than we do.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImNotTooPopular View Post
    I guess there's just one more thing I'd like to say.

    I believe that every time Jesus points out and convicts someone of what they're doing wrong it is NEVER an attempt to make that person more acceptable to Him. Jesus is willing to accept people as they are without making them sign a contract that they're going to try to be good and clean up their lives. Jesus is not raising the bar on you, so that you have to get better and better in order to be accepted. God is love. Love is not self-seeking. When God tells you to stop doing something, it's for your benefit, even if you can't understand how it would be for your benefit. God understands things much better than we do.
    I suppose the only issue I have is when there is more than one interpretation of what a certain sin in the Bible actually is.

    For example: homosexuality

    All three stories of the Bible that have to deal with "homosexuality" deal with rapists and/or molesters. Also the word used for homosexual in the Old Testament is vaguely translated, and could just as easily refer to pedestry (which is much more relevant to the times as well) or in some cases, even male prostitutes. (Not to mention to my recollection, Jesus never even spoke of homosexuality)

    So when I hear people condemning homosexuality, I can't help but wonder if God meant sins such as rape, child molestation, and prostitution rather than consensual same sex relationships. My reason argues, that where there is love, there God, so I think such relationships are actually doing God's work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  8. #18
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    Most Christians treat homosexuals like crap. I really don't see where the Bible emphasizes homosexuality as far as the Sodom and Gomorrah story, yet so many Christians are taught to believe that it emphasizes that as the reason. Yes, there were a couple of male angels the men in the town wanted to get freaky with, but God was fixing to destroy the towns before that even happened. The Bible says it's because the towns were wicked and nothing about homosexuality being the reason.

    These days God's people are supposed to be following the Spirit of God, not rules and laws. So, the believers need to learn how to do that, and that will allow God to work with them in their specific situation. God's Spirit can also reveal to you how you should deal with other people.

  9. #19
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    I used to practice Christianity very rigidley when I was younger, you could say im agnostic now.

    Any Christian that judges anyone else or condemns sin is not a real Christian, I understand people make mistakes, but as someone who has been to church all their life, about 90% of organized religion can be catorgorized as "false". The Bible teaches that Christians should be accepting of everyone, to love everyone and try to show them to Jesus, and then let that person and God work out the sins.

    Kiddo, there are more quotes along those lines as well. Although I can only remember one,

    "Do not try to remove the spec of dust from your neighbors eye before removing the plank from your own"
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImNotTooPopular View Post
    I don't think Jesus talked about "hell" that much. <and the details>
    Yes, I'm going to have to agree with you on that. It barely comprised any real percentage of his message in the Gospels, if you do a word count.

    Gehenna, a word Jesus used to reflect what you might call hell, is only used about 12 times in the New Testament (I think 7 in mathew, 3 in Mark, 1 in Luke, and 1 in James). John uses "lake of fire" about 3 times in Revelation. If you add that up, that's only about 15 direct references to "hell" in the whole New Testament, less times than there are books/writings that make up the New Testament.
    Yup, and Revelation was so figurative, written to a culture feeling oppressed and needing a vision of a positive future, that it's hard to take any concrete theology out of it.

    Gehenna has also been tied concretely to the large burning trash pit outside of Jerusalem, where the fires never went out (due to the amount of compacted garbage) and dogs fought over scraps of flesh ("weeping and gnashing of teeth"). So, again... how much is a reference to a physical thing meant to evoke a particular image, and how much is "hell theology" as in "hell" being a metaphysical location of some sort. it was an idea that only developed in Jewish thought over time, along with the conception of an adversary (who eventually became our "satan").

    Jesus brought a message of hope and love to the average, downtrodden Jews. He brought recrimination against Jewish leaders who had twisted (to him) the true message of God. And even with the gentiles he dealt with (the woman at the well, or the woman who came to have her daughter healed, or the roman centurion), he treated them as human beings as well and even positively esteemed their faith if they had any.

    I find the Good Samaritan story rather humorous and possibly even dangerous. Jesus recast the story so that (to put it in OUR terms as a "Christian nation") the potential Iraqian terrorist [ceremonially unclean and thus corrupt and sinful] was the GOOD guy and the prominent televangelist and other social bigwigs in our culture who Christians see as great leaders would have been the villains.

    If "sin" to them was "breaking the Law," then Jesus had a very different approach than legalism. People were evaluated by their hearts and how they loved others, regardless of their ceremonial uncleanliness or their cultural affiliations.

    Quote Originally Posted by ImNotTooPopular View Post
    Most Christians treat homosexuals like crap. I really don't see where the Bible emphasizes homosexuality as far as the Sodom and Gomorrah story, yet so many Christians are taught to believe that it emphasizes that as the reason.
    If you look at the story, the townspeople were going to rape the two visitors not because they had same-sex attractions but because it was a debasing, insulting, cruel, coarse act. It's exactly the same as male soldiers raping other male prisoners of war, to humiliate them and break their spirits.

    This is why the NT reference to Sodom and Gamorrah refers specifically to their "inhospitality" (which probably sounds like an understatement to us)... They were supposed to esteem visitors and honor them, instead they did the opposite as an act of brutality and xenophobia.

    It's just amazing to me how "homosexuality" has been read into that particular text.
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