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  1. #1
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Default Oh Dear~Aphrodite Questions Christianity, Specifically the Resurrection, Etc.

    So, I'm a born again Christian, newly. But I've always had problems with a hardcore literal interpretation of the bible when it diverged from known natural phenomena of life. I also am skeptical because for a few? decades after Jesus' crucifixion, nothing was evidently written down as a testament, making it obvious that verbal stories and scattered scribblings, from the hands of mere mortals, should at the most be rejected as a word-for-word literal tome form the lips of God, and at the least be used warily, with a discerning mind.

    To learn more about Jesus, I embarked on an 11-week bible study called, "Jesus, the One and Only" with Beth Moore. I like her. She's an ENFJ and very into scripture and teaching; she can bring out nuances, sometimes even just hinged on the root of a word, and tie them in with our own psychological situations very well, which is why I really like her studies.

    I could enjoy Jesus' history and words, and even works (though I agreed with my left brain that I wouldn't look too closely at raising the dead, and we could keep tripping along the bumpy Jerusalem road) as we went along week after week. But I knew it was coming. That moment where I would be confronted with the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ, the Messiah. For some reason I could accommodate the holy conception as coming from God (though I secretly think Mary was a victim of incest, if I were to be completely honest), and the beautiful, selfless life (my fav part) of Jesus. But for some reason, I cannot suspend my ability to disbelieve anymore, when it comes to Jesus' literal resurrection on the third day, walking around and 'appearing' to people for 40 days, then finally ascending in heaven, per Luke's account.




    Can I be a Christian, believe Jesus was a special person who exemplified the notion of Coram Deo, was persecuted for his special, ironical belief in God and man's hatred, and ascended into heaven the same way we all will when we die?

    Or does one have to believe in it all literally, hook, line, and sinker to be a Christian?



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  2. #2
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    I'm not one to always be a biblical literalist and I don't think anyone has the authority to day who is or isn't a Christian. However my personal perspective is that the resurrection is really the main point of Jesus's life. If he didn't live perfectly and overcome death, if god is incapable of having Mary conceive they how do we se them as divine at all. It of course contradicts the natural order because if it didn't it wouldn't be much of a statement.

    I guess what I'm saying is if you do t believe in an all powerful Christ and god why would you want to be a Christian?

  3. #3
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Most of the creeds include a profession of the belief in the resurrection, as far as I know. However, my own tradition is pretty darn literalist, so I'll defer to those who know more than I do on the subject.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
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    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Most of the creeds include a profession of the belief in the resurrection, as far as I know. However, my own tradition is pretty darn literalist, so I'll defer to those who know more than I do on the subject.
    Snark answer: Given the sheer volume of chuckle-heads who call themselves Christian but then believe whatever they want to believe, I don't see how your choice to doubt or disbelieve the Resurrection should make you any less a Christian

    More serious answer: I'm not sure how you could. As Cafe touched on above, The Resurrection is one of the fundamental aspects of the religion and is repeatedly affirmed in the liturgies and the Apostle and Nicene Creeds. It signifies Christ's triumph over sin and death, it's the miracle to end all miracles, the chief source of proof that Christ really was the son of God. To throw that out or to write it off as symbology I think severely undercuts the religion and reduces Jesus to a mere mortal or teacher on the same level as Buddha, Confucius, or Lao Tzu. Not that any of these figures aren't important or anything like that, but they are no Messiahs or Sons of God(tm) by any means.

    Truthfully, of all the aspects of Christianity that's causing you cognitive dissonance, why is it the Resurrection? I mean, if you believe that God can do anything, then why is raising the dead out of the question? Shouldn't that be well within the purview of his abilities?
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Biblical literalism is the hall mark of dead religion, rooted in the solo scriptural heresy, its only natural and logical that you'd think what you are.

    Additionally I think it sounds like you're closer to James and Matthew's version of the Christ than Pauline Christianity, I'm the same but I dont think pauline christianity deserves to be villified as anti-semitic the way some bitter Jews have done.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Biblical literalism is the hall mark of dead religion, rooted in the solo scriptural heresy, its only natural and logical that you'd think what you are.

    Additionally I think it sounds like you're closer to James and Matthew's version of the Christ than Pauline Christianity, I'm the same but I dont think pauline christianity deserves to be villified as anti-semitic the way some bitter Jews have done.

  7. #7
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    I am Christian, but I don't know if I can view resurrection literally either. I have no idea what happens after death, I hope, but do not know.

    But I do know grace. I know healing. Rebirth. We aren't born again simply once. We are re-born all the time, as we grow.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    I am Christian, but I don't know if I can view resurrection literally either. I have no idea what happens after death, I hope, but do not know.

    But I do know grace. I know healing. Rebirth. We aren't born again simply once. We are re-born all the time, as we grow.
    That's generally where I come from. The concept of resurrection is crucial; Christianity claims a literal one. i guess the more concrete one is, the more one demands a historical and concrete resurrection to "prove" the veracity of the concept.

    To me resurrection and the cycle of birth and death and rebirth is part of the fabric of this world; and the rebirth provides hope that death is not the end, that there is something more after. every time we suffer a loss or give up something, every time we even go to sleep, it's similar to death; and we hope that we will wake up and/or come out alive on the other side. Jesus is a literal representation of the hope that death is not the end and that life can exist after death. That imagery has real power. I am not sure how we would go about proving Jesus was the son of God per se and that the resurrection truly occurred and was the sign of divine power made manifest; but I believe the idea of resurrection is true regardless.

    There are also very many sects of Christianity, ranging from the very conservative and/or literal to the very liberal and/or figurative. There are people who consider themselves Christian because they embody the ideals of Christ and what he represents, even if they don't really care whether it was a historical event. of course, various sects of Christianity all the time call other Christians "frauds" for not sharing the same beliefs, but one has to determine what one believes and then be true to it regardless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont think pauline christianity deserves to be villified as anti-semitic..
    I don't think it does either. It's also kind of a bizarre claim, considering Paul himself was Jewish and merely sent to preach to the Gentiles, and Jesus was Jewish. Paul simply is going "big picture" and expanding the possibility of a relationship with God to all people and not just to a particular nationality.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I don't think it does either. It's also kind of a bizarre claim, considering Paul himself was Jewish and merely sent to preach to the Gentiles, and Jesus was Jewish. Paul simply is going "big picture" and expanding the possibility of a relationship with God to all people and not just to a particular nationality.
    Which is very consistent with Jesus teaching particularly after his meeting of the woman by the well, I think they were, I cant spell this, a syrophenician? And Jesus did initially respond in a tribalistic fashion but changed his line of thinking apparently because of the faith and persistence of the woman.

    Paul was apparently a Romanised Jew and considered a Jew in name only by the Jews who believe in the Pauline Christianity = Anti-semitism idea, there was a book published about it lately which I was really angry about for a while, I felt the author projected the modern Israeli Christianity = anti-semitism back into the past to the very foundation years.

    Its ironic that they created the James/Matthew vs. Paul dichotomy because the James/Matthew were considered anti-semitic for a while but largely because they had been used by people who were anti-semitic as propaganda, even at that its a very, very eschewed interpretation to find any anti-semitism in any of the new testament, the more I've learned about Jewish thinking and traditions, particularly from Martin Buber or similar sources the more I see it all as pretty consistent although becoming steadily more humanistic.

  10. #10
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Which is very consistent with Jesus teaching particularly after his meeting of the woman by the well, I think they were, I cant spell this, a syrophenician? And Jesus did initially respond in a tribalistic fashion but changed his line of thinking apparently because of the faith and persistence of the woman.
    yes, there were a few such incidents. Woman at the well was one; there's also the one with the woman who chased Jesus down after he was trying to withdraw to rest for the day, and there was the discussion where Jesus asked her if it was right to give the children's food to the dogs, and the woman said even the dogs eat the scraps from the master's table, and Jesus honored her request because of her persistence. he actually honored a number of requests from non-Jews and did not make the distinctions some made; his treatment of and respect for women in general was another hallmark of his ministry.

    the more I've learned about Jewish thinking and traditions, particularly from Martin Buber or similar sources the more I see it all as pretty consistent although becoming steadily more humanistic.
    That's my impression too, although I haven't kept up with my reading enough to really comment more on it right now.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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