Some questions on incarnation

Ahanu

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Recently I have been reading a little on Sufism to gain a better understanding of the Baha'i Faith. Both reject the incarnation.
Bahá’í writings emphasize that the “divinity attributed to so great a Being and the complete incarnation of the names and attributes of God in so exalted a Person should, under no circumstances, be misconceived or misinterpreted … that invisible yet rational God … however much we extol the divinity of His Manifestations on earth, can in no wise incarnate His infinite, His unknowable, His incorruptible and all-embracing Reality in … a mortal being.” Cf. Shoghi Effendi, The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh.
Bahá'í Reference Library - Memorials of the Faithful, Pages 32-36
Some denominations in Christianity, like Baptists, accept the incarnation. I assume that this means that the essence of God is incarnated in Jesus? Could a Christian provide a brief overview of their view of the incarnation?

This is my brief understanding of the reflection of God.

26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness (Gen 1:26).

God is formless. According to Sufi understanding, God's image means the Divine Names and Qualities. The image of God is reflected in the believer, the mirror. Light is knowledge. To know is to gain insight, understanding, and wisdom. The ultimate form of worship is to know God (though the essence of God is unknowable).


"Because I was a hidden treasure and that it pleased Me to be known."
Also, what does it mean to worship God as an incarnation in Jesus?
 
Hi Ahanu, good to see you around again.

Ahanu said:
Recently I have been reading a little on Sufism to gain a better understanding of the Baha'i Faith. Both reject the incarnation.
Bahá’í writings emphasize that the “divinity attributed to so great a Being and the complete incarnation of the names and attributes of God in so exalted a Person should, under no circumstances, be misconceived or misinterpreted … that invisible yet rational God … however much we extol the divinity of His Manifestations on earth, can in no wise incarnate His infinite, His unknowable, His incorruptible and all-embracing Reality in … a mortal being.” Cf. Shoghi Effendi, The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh.
Bahá'í Reference Library - Memorials of the Faithful, Pages 32-36
Some denominations in Christianity, like Baptists, accept the incarnation. I assume that this means that the essence of God is incarnated in Jesus? Could a Christian provide a brief overview of their view of the incarnation?

This is my brief understanding of the reflection of God.
26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness (Gen 1:26).​



God is formless. According to Sufi understanding, God's image means the Divine Names and Qualities. The image of God is reflected in the believer, the mirror. Light is knowledge. To know is to gain insight, understanding, and wisdom. The ultimate form of worship is to know God.
"Because I was a hidden treasure and that it pleased Me to be known."​



Also, what does it mean to worship God as an incarnation in Jesus?
I can. I was a member of a Baptist church in the Southern Baptist Convention for about a year, a member of a pentecostal charismatic church for twenty, and a member of a non trinitarian group for over 5 years.

As a Baptist, to worship God as an incarnation in Jesus is a matter of belief and acceptance that we cannot understand everything about God. The Baptists do not have a secret inner doctrine. Everything is above-board. Not all Baptists believe in the Trinity or in this or that doctrine. There are many kinds of Baptists, but a majority are members of the Souther Baptist Convention, which is a non-binding affiliation originally intended as a common financial fund for missionaries. Now it has become a fund of pastors, so that churches which are members generally recruit pasters through SBC. That is the main reason that SBC churches have a solidarity about belief in certain teachings. SBC Baptist churches may hold a completely different view on any given doctrine, though it is very unlikely. The original 'Baptists' were non-trinitarian, rejectors of the use of mystery in their religion, and though mystery has remained out of fashion many Baptists now accept the trinity as a concrete (not a mysterious) item. In other words, to them the Trinity has little humanly accessible meaning whatsoever. This is different from some where the Trinity is understood to have a deeper accessible meaning. A few modern Baptists see things similarly to the way you describe the Sufi way, though they are probably rare.

Worshiping God as an incarnation in Jesus is much the same as worshiping without, except that you assume Jesus is involved somehow. You can pray to Jesus or 'God' or 'The Lord', although to you they are all the same person. If you eavesdrop at an SBC church, you will hear the Three used interchangeably and repeatedly in prayers. Prayers are informal, not rehearsed, full of requests and usually emphasize a humanish version of God. It is a touchable, almost changeable God, yet not changeable. Both attributes are to be accepted as non-exclusive, and that is about the entire affect on worship of the trinitarian belief.
 
It says quite clearly in the 10 commandments to: "have no other Gods before me", so a lesser emanation of God, which is what people presume Christ to be (as the Son) would be to place another God before God.
This is clearly a violation of the commandment and therefore is idolatry.
(regardless of what christians tell you, they are idolaters already (IMO) and so have a vested interest in justifying their practice).
You do not need an intercessor between you and God.
We do not see God as we are spiritually blind and we do not hear God as we are spiritually deaf.
What we need is to remedy those problems (blindness and deafness).
 
Shawn said:
It says quite clearly in the 10 commandments to: "have no other Gods before me", so a lesser emanation of God, which is what people presume Christ to be (as the Son) would be to place another God before God.
This is clearly a violation of the commandment and therefore is idolatry.
(regardless of what christians tell you, they are idolaters already (IMO) and so have a vested interest in justifying their practice).
You do not need an intercessor between you and God.
We do not see God as we are spiritually blind and we do not hear God as we are spiritually deaf.
What we need is to remedy those problems (blindness and deafness).
In that past I thought it seemed to be clearly a violation as well, but it turns out that 'Other gods' means any powerful being, even a politician or parent. The commandment is not about semantics, but the commandment is to have only one ultimate authority -- God who must be above all others. Even if you believe in the incarnation of God in Jesus, you are still obeying God as long as you believe Jesus is perfectly one in purpose with God. If you thought Jesus and God differed on some important point and you decided to follow Jesus in opposition to God -- that would be putting another god before God. That is rare among Christians. A much more common infraction is putting the preacher, priest, oneself, or whomsoever before God.
 
What I am referring to is people who consider Jesus (the man) to be God.
Such people no longer pray to God, they pray to Jesus whom they consider to be the go-between.
On one hand it is semantics and it doesn't really matter, but on the other hand it is a point of discernment which I thought should be noted.
*packs up soap box and leaves park*
 
Some denominations in Christianity, like Baptists, accept the incarnation. I assume that this means that the essence of God is incarnated in Jesus? Could a Christian provide a brief overview of their view of the incarnation?
I can, but it is necessarily brief, and it is necessarily limited.

Christianity is a Mystery Religion. I happen to believe it is a Mystery Religion without equal, which is why you will see me so often locked in contention with those who seek to rationalise it, in effect rationalise it away, into something kind of humanist blacmange with the cherry of Christ on the top.

God is a Mystery, Christianity is a Mystery Religion, but it is an error to assume the mystery will ever be explained, or be revealed, or become clear ... as if one could discover and delineate the Divine Horizon, as if one could circumscribe God ... it cannot be done. The Divine Nature being Infinite, the more you roll on, the more it rolls on ahead of you ...

... anybody who says they understand the Christians Mysteries is mistaken about the mysteries Christianity is referring to.

+++

In Christian metaphysics, by incarnation we mean that Jesus Christ is 'fully human and fully divine" in that He is two natures (the divine and a human nature) in one person. Normally the unity of the human and divine is witnessed in an oracle, a prophet, etc., when in effect the divine uses the human as a vehicle of transmission ... so you have two beings, or two 'persons', the divine and the human, object and subject, the latter being a vehicle or instrument of the former.

In the Incarnation however, it is not a case of the divine utilising a given human nature, rather it is the divine utilising human nature a such to manifest Itself. So the old gnostic idea of the cosmic Christ and the human Jesus is an erroneous one — there is one person, not two, the man Jesus was not subsumed by the Holy Spirit at baptism (as some claim) nor was the same man Jesus deserted and left to die on the cross by an absconding Spirit at the crucifixion (again, as some claim) — Jesus Christ, the man we know, is both fully human and fully God, because the divine has united Itself in a unique fashion to a human nature through the mystery of the Virgin Birth.

People often say that in Scripture, Jesus never proclaims His own divinity. This is not the case, He does so all the time.

Jesus was a Jew, talking to Jews, about the God they held in common ... and yet:
Jesus forgave sin, in his own name;
Jesus worked miracles, in His own name;
Jesus raised the dead, in his own name;
Jesus rewrote the Law, in His own name;
Jesus spoke the Word of God, in His own name ...

... to a Jew, the claim to deity in so doing was clear and unambiguous.

+++

God is formless. According to Sufi understanding, God's image means the Divine Names and Qualities.
There is a need of great care here ... for example, if God is formless (which I do not dispute), then technically you cannot attribute any quality to God, other than formlessness, because to do so immediately 'determines' the divine according to the quality predicated of it.

But nor can you say there is nothing there ... God is not 'a thing', but Gopd is not 'nothing' — this is why both mystics and metaphysicians speak of the 'beyondness' of God, beyond-being.

In the Christian Tradition we have apophatic (negative) and cataphatic (positive) expressions of the Divine. By apophatic we might say 'beyond being', 'formless', 'unknowable', 'ineffible' ... on the other hand, man can agree to this, but still make positive comments about God — God id good, God is love ...

The image of God is reflected in the believer, the mirror.
But for the believer, the image of God is equally reflected in everything, and Christian doctrine says that man can come to a knowledge of God through the contemplation of nature.

Light is knowledge.
In an analogous sense.

To know is to gain insight, understanding, and wisdom. The ultimate form of worship is to know God (though the essence of God is unknowable).
Well we go beyond that, because in our Tradition the objective knowledge of God — insight, understanding, knowledge, wisdom — is surpassed by the subjective knowledge of God:

"We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3:2

"We see (objectively) now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know (subjectively) in part; but then I shall know even as I am known" 1 Corinthians 13/12 — the last phrase means to know subject and object as one, a divine order of knowing, and a divine order of self-knowing.

Here we draw a distinction between objective knowledge and subjective knowledge — between say intellectual knowledge and experiential knowledge. Christianity is not about objective knowledge, this we refute as 'the gnosis so called' but experiential knowledge which transcends objectivity and in which the person of the individual and the person of God enter into a tur union, not of knowledge, but of being.

"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again incorruptible: and we shall be changed." 1 Corinthians 15:52

"Unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that can not fade, reserved in heaven for you" 1 Peter 1:4

"Being born again not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God who liveth and remaineth for ever." 1 Peter 1:23

(Please allow the Peter references, people tend not to look for Peter the mystic ... their loss)

So Jesus then prefigures this Divine Union, not by the appearance of a human who is united to God, but by God who unites His nature to our human nature in the Person of Jesus Christ.

"Because I was a hidden treasure and that it pleased Me to be known."
My favourite Sufi quote.

Thomas
 
What I am referring to is people who consider Jesus (the man) to be God.
Such people no longer pray to God, they pray to Jesus whom they consider to be the go-between.
On one hand it is semantics and it doesn't really matter, but on the other hand it is a point of discernment which I thought should be noted.
*packs up soap box and leaves park*

Actually, that's not entirely correct. We pray to the Father through the Son (or through the mediative qualities Jesus provides in being our High Priest), by the Holy Spirit, who indwells in us by that same mediation. When we pray 'in Jesus' name', it is that name that gives us authority to pray to the Father.
 
What I am referring to is people who consider Jesus (the man) to be God.
Jesus is, according to the text:
A man born of the Holy Spirit and of a woman by a miracle — therefore by no human paternal agency;
A man who was killed, and rose again, not in spirit but in the flesh;
A man who sends 'another paraclete' who is demonstrably divine — the Holy Spirit — to continue the work that He — Jesus — began, and furthermore to testify to Him — Jesus.

If you read Paul, it's even more explicit. Jesus, the Son revealed by the Father, is the salvation of humanity — not the Father, the Son — this alone, Paul's intense focus on Jesus Christ as the revealed destiny of mankind, the head of the body, to assume that Paul thought Jesus anything other than God is to assert that as a result of his conversion, Paul was now a convinced polytheist, and that the message of isreal was polytheism all along.

The humanity of Jesus sets up paradoxes with regard to His divinity — Jesus lives and grows, eats and sleeps, thirsts, cries, suffers, dies ... God does none of these things ... yet the authors who penned the texts seem in no doubt about Him, and their faith in Him.

What the authors do state is their ignorance, their growing understanding, their realisation, their certitude and their faith ... and they wrote the texts to help others come to the same faith, the same certitude, the same hope ...

As ever, one can dispute the faith that they hold. I am not a Muslim, not a Jew, not a Buddhist ... but I do not for a moment believe that Abraham, Isaac and Moses were not Jews, or that Mohammed and his followers weren't Muslim, or that Buddha's followers were not 'Buddhists' or that they made the texts up to 'big-up' the reputation of the one whom they followed.

One can choose to accept or deny ... one can say they were all mistaken ... but I don't think you can argue that they themselves did not believe that Jesus Christ was God.

On one hand it is semantics and it doesn't really matter, but on the other hand it is a point of discernment which I thought should be noted.
Well the semantics do matter, the word is derived from the Greek word σημαντικός (semantikos), meaning "significant", from σημαίνω (semaino), "to signify, to indicate" and that from σήμα (sema), "sign, mark, token".
The whole thrust of the New Testament writings is that by the reading of the signs, one can see that Jesus Christ is God.

In John's Gospel, for example, he does not used the word 'miracle' but the word 'semeion', meaning that the miracles should not be seen purely as displays of power, but rather seen as signs of something, in this case the Son's divinity. He lists seven as sufficiently indicative of that fact. This is one of the reasons why Origen called John's Gospel 'the first fruits' of the Gospels.

The point, as ever, is to discern what John meant, not what we assume he meant.

Here, of course,we get the old complaint of who's right it is to determine the discernment of the signs, as if because someone sees something one way, that is valid in itself.

The assumption that because one can read, one understands what one is reading, is of course demonstrably not necessarily the case. Curiously, in any field of the study of signs, that would never be an acceptable argument. Medicine, for example, one is not allowed in law to make a diagnosis because it is a given that without medical training one is not sufficiently equipped to read the signs. Same in any science. Same in literature.

Suddenly, when it comes to religious texts, that rule does not apply, as if such texts were somehow totally comprehensible in all their senses to the most superficial reading. It's a nonsense ...

Thomas
 
When it comes to religious matters how can one have confidence in any "professionals" in the industry of religion as there are so many disputes between :
-the different religions,
-the different denominations and factions within each of these religions, etc.
If it sits well with a person, then they will find acceptance within whatever group they side with and antagonism from all the others whom they have rejected.
So there is no win-win situation there at all.
A person just has to do what feels right for them personally.
Now if there were some absolute proofs available from any of the aforementioned groups, replicatable and simple, then that would be another ball of Falasha altogether.
 
A person just has to do what feels right for them personally.
And hope that others respect that.

I find it laughable that people often queue up on the board to knock the faith of others, claiming their free right to do so, ignoring the free right of others to believe in what they choose to believe, and then cry 'censorship' or 'abuse of freedom' when those of faith kick back.

So please read your own words, Shawn, and take note.

Of course, if there was any absolute proof that your position is right, you might have some grounds to argue from, but there isn't, so you haven't.

Please leave the space free for those who wish to discuss the question asked, rather than imposing your own unhelpful prejudices upon the argument.

Thomas
 
Here we draw a distinction between objective knowledge and subjective knowledge — between say intellectual knowledge and experiential knowledge. Christianity is not about objective knowledge, this we refute as 'the gnosis so called' but experiential knowledge which transcends objectivity and in which the person of the individual and the person of God enter into a tur union, not of knowledge, but of being.

As I was reading this, I was thinking, "It is in knowledge of God that we have our being." In The Hidden Words, Bahá’u’lláh said:
O BEFRIENDED STRANGER! The candle of thine heart is lighted by the hand of My power, quench it not with the contrary winds of self and passion. The healer of all thine ills is remembrance of Me, forget it not. Make My love thy treasure and cherish it even as thy very sight and life.
To "remember God" is a big thing in Sufism. We have fallen from our God center. One does not have to die to "return to God," to use the phrase of Muhammad. The believer can return to God in the here and now, so the spiritual path is about uniting with our God center. Often, Bahá’u’lláh speaks of "Remembrance of Me," and this is to know God. To know the light is to become more like light is. The seeker becomes more heavenly. This is how one finds union with the Divine.

There is a need of great care here ... for example, if God is formless (which I do not dispute), then technically you cannot attribute any quality to God, other than formlessness, because to do so immediately 'determines' the divine according to the quality predicated of it.

So the first Self Determination of God is the Names and Qualities of God. These are what appear on the mirror's surface. As Sufis would say, the surface is "the mirror of nothingness." In this mirror the Names and Qualities of God appear, making up the "image" of God in this sense to be more specific. The Essence of God can not be comprehended. It is like a black light due to the intensity of it's luminosity. It cannot be encompassed, because It is "ineffible," or "infinite." I could be wrong about this, or misunderstanding what I have read, but I believe that every determination of God has multiplicity, yet in the Essence of God all is united as one. With this in mind, the one of the two stations of the Manifestation of God is united as one across the board. In this sense Muhammad is considered to be Jesus.

Therefore,
It is clear and evident to thee that all the Prophets are the Temples of the Cause of God, Who have appeared clothed in divers attire. If thou wilt observe with discriminating eyes, thou wilt behold Them all abiding in the same tabernacle, soaring in the same heaven, seated upon the same throne, uttering the same speech, and proclaiming the same Faith. Such is the unity of those Essences of Being, those Luminaries of infinite and immeasurable splendor! Wherefore, should one of these Manifestations of Holiness proclaim saying: “I am the return of all the Prophets,” He, verily, speaketh the truth. In like manner, in every subsequent Revelation, the return of the former Revelation is a fact, the truth of which is firmly established….
In that way Baha'is find their union in Jesus Christ alone too. "No distinction do We make between any of His Messengers." Of course there is another station of the Messenger in regards to creation, but all of creation is a reflection of God, and in this sense there is a difference between the Messengers intensity of the reflection of God. Oh, and these reflections, the Names and Qualities, are realities.

By the way, that is not an official Baha'i interpretation, but my own understanding. I could of twisted it unknowingly. If so, let me know.
 
The original 'Baptists' were non-trinitarian, rejectors of the use of mystery in their religion, and though mystery has remained out of fashion many Baptists now accept the trinity as a concrete (not a mysterious) item.

Kool. I did not know that.

Nice to see you too.
 
Hi Ahanu —

So the first Self Determination of God is the Names and Qualities of God.
As we perceive them. As God is without determination — or rather as the nature and being of God is indeterminable, being far beyond our own human nature and comprehension — what we perceive is what God chooses to reveal of Himself to us, in ways that we can understand.

These are what appear on the mirror's surface. As Sufis would say, the surface is "the mirror of nothingness."
Indeed. I would add that, for example, as a mirror reveals only a small part of the whole electromagnetic spectrum, the soul reveals only a small part of the totality of God.

In this mirror the Names and Qualities of God appear, making up the "image" of God in this sense to be more specific. The Essence of God can not be comprehended. It is like a black light due to the intensity of it's luminosity. It cannot be encompassed, because It is "ineffible," or "infinite."
Quite so. Dionysius the pseudoAreopagite (St Denys in the Orthodox Tradition) speaks in "The Mystical Theology":
"Supernal Triad, Deity above all essence, knowledge and goodness; Guide of Christians to Divine Wisdom; direct our path to the ultimate summit of your mystical knowledge, most incomprehensible, most luminous and most exalted, where the pure, absolute and immutable mysteries of theology are veiled in the dazzling obscurity of the secret Silence, outshining all brilliance with the intensity of their Darkness, and surcharging our blinded intellects with the utterly impalpable and invisible fairness of glories surpassing all beauty."

I could be wrong about this, or misunderstanding what I have read, but I believe that every determination of God has multiplicity, yet in the Essence of God all is united as one.
This approaches somewhat the idea of the Holy Trinity. St Maximus says "in the Holy Trinity there is identity of essence, and otherness of persons, for we confess one essence and three hypostases (persons) ..."

"No distinction do We make between any of His Messengers." Of course there is another station of the Messenger in regards to creation, but all of creation is a reflection of God, and in this sense there is a difference between the Messengers intensity of the reflection of God. Oh, and these reflections, the Names and Qualities, are realities.
The point I would press here is that the Principle of Multiplicity must exist in the One ... if there is no multiplicity in the One, there can be no multiplicity beyond the One, who is the Cause of All, only in the multiplicity can the other become united to the One ...

... so Jesus is not a prophet in the sense that He speaks of the multiplicity, or that He speaks of the One, rather, He is the One, He is the Logos, the Principle by which all things exist, and the Principle in which all things can be united to the One ...
"For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and in him. And he is before all, and by him all things consist."
Colossians 1:16-17.

The Prophet speaks the Divine Word, but He is the Word that is uttered, as the Prologue of the Gospel of John testifies.

So we confess there is only one Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the Only Son of the Father, eternally begotten of the Father before all ages, of one being with Him, One in Substance and One in Essence, the Second Person of the Trinity, who, in the fullness of time, became flesh, and walked amongst us ...

All those of God are become divine by the participation of their (human) created nature in the Uncreated Divine Nature (theosis in the Greek, filiation in the Latin) ... but He is not Divine by Union or Participation, He is Divine by Nature — He is of one substance, one essence, and one being with the Father.

All things participate in Him, but He does not participate in Himself, as it were, He is Himself.

Thomas
 
It says quite clearly in the 10 commandments to: "have no other Gods before me", so a lesser emanation of God, which is what people presume Christ to be (as the Son) would be to place another God before God.

The Son is not a "lesser emanation". The Son is of the same Essence as the Father, co-equal, the same being. God is the Trinity, and the Trinity is God.
 
And hope that others respect that.

I find it laughable that people often queue up on the board to knock the faith of others, claiming their free right to do so, ignoring the free right of others to believe in what they choose to believe, and then cry 'censorship' or 'abuse of freedom' when those of faith kick back.

So please read your own words, Shawn, and take note.

Of course, if there was any absolute proof that your position is right, you might have some grounds to argue from, but there isn't, so you haven't.

Please leave the space free for those who wish to discuss the question asked, rather than imposing your own unhelpful prejudices upon the argument.

Thomas
My biases are no less helpful than your own.
Perhaps they will be helpful to some to keep them from being swayed by ridiculous ideas which the religious amongst us like to cast about.
Maybe try working on your own prejudices.
 
Actually, that's not entirely correct. We pray to the Father through the Son (or through the mediative qualities Jesus provides in being our High Priest), by the Holy Spirit, who indwells in us by that same mediation. When we pray 'in Jesus' name', it is that name that gives us authority to pray to the Father.
I spent years as a christian so I know very well how it works.
The point is that people mistakenly think that they must go through an intermediary, which is like talking to someone who is right beside you via another person.
Plainly a very dumb idea.
 
I spent years as a christian so I know very well how it works.
The point is that people mistakenly think that they must go through an intermediary, which is like talking to someone who is right beside you via another person.
Plainly a very dumb idea.

Depends on how one views the approachability of God. If you view God as absolute Holiness and Purity, then the sinfulness of Man results in a conflict.

Ancient Israel required a High Priest who had to endure a series of careful cleansings and purification in order to enter the Holy of Holies, and even then only once a year on the Day of Atonement to offer up the sacrifice for the sins of the people.

Isaiah, after railing Israel in a series of 'woes' through the first five chapters, suddenly finds himself before the throne of God in chapter 6 proclaiming, "Woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips..." Funny how we become aware of our own shortcomings as we come closer to the Lord.

As Christians, we recognize how unapproachable God is in light of our own imperfections and sins. It is through the remedy of the sacrifice of Christ which make approaching God feasible. The Blood of Christ reconciles us back to God. God sees us in then light of what Christ did, rather than our sinfulness. This solves the matter of an unapproachable God.

Let me ask you something, shawn. How do you approach a Holy God?
 
Let me ask you something, shawn. How do you approach a Holy God?
ABBA,ABBA....runs and gives Him a big hug.:)

It is also written that you are sons and daughters of the most high god...so what do you do....go about groveling like a servant, making appointments and petitions?
That sounds absurd any way you look at it.
But I am not accountable for the actions of my siblings.
 
I spent years as a christian so I know very well how it works.
The point is that people mistakenly think that they must go through an intermediary, which is like talking to someone who is right beside you via another person.
Plainly a very dumb idea.
And not at all Christian in my book.

Perhaps you belonged to one of the more recent American denominations, but that's nothing at all like the traditional notion of Christianity.

Thomas
 
shawn said:
I spent years as a christian so I know very well how it works.
The point is that people mistakenly think that they must go through an intermediary, which is like talking to someone who is right beside you via another person.
Plainly a very dumb idea.
And not at all Christian in my book.

Perhaps you belonged to one of the more recent American denominations, but that's nothing at all like the traditional notion of Christianity.

Thomas
Namaste Thomas,

There must be a vast difference between Catholicism in the US and elsewhere.

Over here this is what I hear constantly from Catholics that they go thru an intermediary for everything. The only one to interpret the bible is the Priest, the parts of the bible that are read are determined in the catechism, not by reading the bible, that if they ask any questions they are chastised for not believing or not having enough faith.

Now this is from when I was a kid and lived next to a Catholic School, and from when I was in High School and had friends who went to Catholic School, and from adults who have left the church for these very reasons, and now as a Boy Scout leader we have about half our troop Catholic, and I just listen to the adults and boys...it isn't any different today. Everything must go thru the hierarchy...and even then Mary is where the prayers head, not to Jesus, or G!d.
 
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