Divine Intervention v. Divine Inspiration

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by wil, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    "...I have no isssues if you are Hindu, Catholic, Muslim, Protestant, Buddhist, Jain, Taoist, Shinto or whatever..."

    --> I am presently in Shanghai China on vacation. I visited a large Taoist temple in downtown Shanghai. (This was the first time I had ever been to a Taoist temple.) As I watched the devoted followers burn their incense and pray their prayers, I was struck by how they are making just as much progress along the path as any other group of religious followers.

    I was also struck by how Christians say the Taoists I watched are not making any progress at all, and how they will burn in hell since they have heard of Jesus and rejected him.
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Thomas, I'm living life. What comes out of my fingers thru the keyboard at any given moment is anyone's guess. I am not tied by a doctrine, I am blessed by the love.
    Surely you understand this. I don't have a connection with any G!d of doing, but a G!d of being. G!d isn't loving, G!d is love. I am not a believer in what 99% of the world would speak of when they speak of G!d.
    I believe I was paraphrasing one of the sayings of someone you are aware of. If I am to speak to a Japanese person it would benefit if I spoke to them in Japanese. If we are speaking of G!d and Jesus of the bible it actually benefits the conveersation to use things we both know and can be conversant in....or so I thought.
    I believe in the power of man to create automobiles, roads, and wonderful meals all out of materials that are provided abundantly here on this earth. You don't? And what does that have to do with our spiritual understandings?
    No, it renders it meaningless to you evidently. A rose opening, a baby taking its first breath, the earth rotating so the sun shines on my face as I sit contemplating the miracles of life...tis all miraculous, the trees providing me oxygen, and I carbon dioxide for them.....wow. Pardon me if I don't buy a virgin birth or get excited about a story about turning water into wine.....now the metaphor and lesson behind them both....those can be miracles in any of our lives, but only if we don't allow them to be rendered meaningless.
    everything is atoms, and different, we are all humans, but we are distinguisahble from each other, Thomas allow thought and energy to become your bliss, everything does not need to be evaluated to nth degree. I'm thinking thinking and the brain is often a great hinderance to spiritual understanding. The heart and meditation has some value in the process.
    Again, G!d doen't participate or choose that would be your typical Theists view....G!d is....in my view.
    ah....got the God bless back....blood pressure returning to normal....
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Nice....

    You know, I believe it was someone here who said....or quoted, it is not that there are just many paths...there are many mountains!

    The really big question is why worry about anothers path, it simply detracts you from your journey....that is their path, bless them and go on.
     
  4. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Wil,

    I totally agree.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    Hell to me is a place of learning the difference between right and wrong not a place of punishment. Its like a mental , hospital, a rehab , a prison .....get it.
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I believe hell is a place we put ourcellves right in this life....heaven or hell, our choice...and yes a place of learning for sure...hopefully anyway...otherwise it can be err...err hell.
     
  7. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    To me hell is rehabilatation to get to heaven I know who my father is.
     
  8. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    I agree that their path is probably best for them and there is no value in trying to change another's path. However, I think there is value in learning about and challenging other potential paths in life.

    I don't have "faith" that I was necessarily born into the "one true" religious path in life, so personally I try to learn about many different paths. I don't think there exists one true path and so I try to incorporate the "best" from many different traditions into my life. At the same time I try my best to keep an open mind about new ideas/traditions that might help make me a better person...
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Well we'll have none of that!

    Are you sure you are from Iowa? hmmm must be downwind from Fairfield and MUM.
     
  10. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    It's very easy to say that "Unsupported objects tend to fall down" because, of course, it is so widely observed. It is an open and notorious fact that the Church has a long and often ugly history of acting to put a privileged few in a position of domination over other people, and that small religious groups (such as the Christians were before "the Church" is well-documented) frequently show such motivations to dominate even more strongly.
    Black-and-white all-or-nothing thinking is, if you'll pardon me, quite stupid, and not the attitude that I expected to hear from you. Reality is that even extravagant mythologies start from something: obviously the episode in the Iliad where Ares God of War personally descends to the battlefield, then whines like a baby about the bloody nose he gets from Diomedes, is not something we are going to accept; but the 19th-century skeptics who decided, therefore, that there wasn't even such a city as Troy or any major war were just being silly. Now, sorting out what is the original material, from what is later accretion, can be approached as a difficult scholarly puzzle, which is how I deal with it; but for those who have not the patience or the aptitude for that, sifting out the genuine from the concocted on the basis of what does or doesn't make any sense in terms of one's experience in the world is really the only possible approach. (I can hear you saying, "No! Another approach is to accept the great Tradition!" but think: why? Because you have gone into deep scholarly examination of the basis for thinking they have some claim to authority? Or are you accepting them because, subjectively, you trust that what they are saying makes sense? Surely you are not saying that we should throw a dart at a board marked with every old school of thought that is out there, and "accept" whichever one gets hit?)

    You can, of course, point to the more extreme outliers of what people end up thinking on the subject, based on their own particular psychologies; but the big picture is that rational people in the world are gradually settling on a view of how it was, a view that is not going to look anything like "Every word in the NT is true" nor "It was all made up out of nothing".
    Some theses have more basis than others. I like his approach, of saying that we should start with what we are certain is original, which is similar to Meier's multi-volume A Marginal Jew series, which I also commend to you (note: Meier is a staunch Christian believer, but is discussing what should, to a rational unbeliever, still look supported by the evidence). Breech and Meier have similar criteria for deciding what is "certain" (scare-quotes are obviously necessary around a word like "certain"!) to be original: we ask questions like "Is there another possible source?" and "Is there a motivation to make it up?" Breech does not "reject" the idea that Jesus said "Love thy neighbor as thyself" but doesn't consider that the proper starting point for understanding Jesus because it could be just copied from conventional sentiments of the same kind expressed elsewhere; likewise with wonder stories, either of the miraculous healing type (including rising from the dead) or the multiplication of material (a standard part of magicians' repertoires). Similarly, things which could have been invented to serve the purposes of the organization are not the proper starting point (you can say "Nuh-UHHH! They weren't made up!" all you want, but if you want to discuss with someone who doesn't share your presuppositions, the possibility of an alternate origin makes this a bad place to start); Meier similarly talks about a "criterion of embarrassment", such as the account of John the Baptist expressing grave uncertainty whether Jesus was the Messiah (not likely to be made up, indeed rather embarrassing to have to admit).

    Breech doesn't focus on the parables just because he "likes" them, but because, as literary pieces, they are startlingly original (not the idea of "parables" as such, but the particular style of these parables, is something unlike anything else in the literature) and obviously the product of a powerful mind; and their enigmatic nature is precisely what makes them unlikely to be a propagandists' creation: they are challenging you to think, not ramming home some point. So: take this "certainly original" batch of texts as if this were all you had from Jesus, and see where that takes you.
    And why do you think parroting something that has been passed down from days of woeful ignorance is preferable to thinking anew?
    Here, I have to agree with you. It is an inevitable problem; Meier says something like "Catholics investigators always tend to discover that Jesus was a Catholic, while Protestants find a Protestant Jesus, and liberals find to no-one's surprise that Jesus was a liberal."
    Um... well... all the texts do agree that Jesus was one of those kinds of beings with, you know, two legs and two arms and a head with a mouth in it, and so on. I don't think "anthropomorphism" is the proper term for talking about a human as if he were a human. Talking about a rock formation as a "face" that "expresses" some "deep sadness" or whatever... that is anthropomorphism. "God" is not in the category of "human", so talking about "God" as if similar to a human in some way is something that needs justification; "Jesus" is in the category of "human", so talking about him as if he is something else besides is likewise something that needs justification.
     
  11. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    Its supposed to be guidance not domination.
     
  12. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    Jesus is supposed to be a projection of all of us.

    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

    Didn't Paul say we had to become "all things to all people?"

    To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 1 Corinthians 9:22

    Netting as many people as possible? Didn't Jesus say we would become "fishers of men" if we followed him?

    "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Mark 1:17

    The purpose of Christianity is to reach as many Gentiles as possible, so that as many people as possible can become followers of the Abrahamic faiths.

    I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. Romans 11:25

    Is it not arrogance that prevents certain kinds of Gentiles from being included?
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You said:
    To which I pointed out that the God of the Bible does not will evil.

    Often, but then in the next breath you say 'we are gods', or that we are 'sons and daughters of God', or that we will do greater things than God can do ... so you seem not only to be anthropomorphising, but placing man higher than God.

    In case you're wondering, the only thing I'm trying to preserve here is an authentic Christian teaching, from 'New Thought' syncretism, and bad metaphysics.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That's changing the subject.

    Thank you, and yes, I should have been more precise. There is the text, there is the tradition, there is the hermeneutic. The three together ... what I object to is the subjective pick-n-mix mentality that so patently cherry-picks — it's cheap-n-easy feelgood religion.

    But don't think I embrace the Church blindfold ... it has struck me that Christ had very little to say about sex, whereas the institutional church seems obsessed with it, and Christ did have a lot to say about social justice, which the institutional church seems not to have noticed, for much of its history ...

    Back to who's certainty, surely? You takes your pick ...

    ... but there's a lot to digest here, so forgive me if I take some time to look around. I find your approach 'honest', it's just that I find a lot of other approaches fundamentally dishonest, in that they're patently self-serving, reflecting a zeitgeist that is so at odds with the world from which the text sprang — Wil, God bless him, actually completely reverses the meaning of the text where it suits, to insist that black is white.

    Anyway ... I'll get back to you.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  15. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    Thats a topic a lot of churches do not like to discuss. Do you know that when the arc was opened that there was a tablet in there with two angels in a well lets just say the priests were embarrased when they saw it. There is something I call the 4th thing hidden in a secret place that is spirit. Sex is also a spirit energy the most sacred. This other part of everyone is literally sexual spirit energy and yes it comes from the creators energy like that. This is a very complex and somewhat embarrassing topic. There is spirit soul body and then the sexual spirit which is the 4th aspect of everyones being. The concept of a nonsexual kingdom of heaven is the most childish concept on earth.
     
  16. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    One more thing this spirit does have its place in the soul and body as well, doesnt it already manifest itself in the body?
     
  17. donnann

    donnann Active Member

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    Well you did mention it so its within the subject
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    my bad....G!d is in everything, I don't believe has a hand in it. But I do believe that all is good. And I can't explain or see the good in all but all is good, that is what I feel and believe. I don't know what the world would look like today without Hitler. Would Israel exist? I doubt it, would Jews still be persecuted as before? Quite likely. I don't know. Check out the number of Jews in congress and the senate and in high political positions before and after WWII. Does that have nothing to do with the overall change in attitude that we got when we were apalled by Hitler? Or is it just coincidence?
    Does not your book say we are gods? Did not Jesus ask that of those that pointed fingers at him? Are you playing the pharisee? Asking me about what Jesus said?
    authentic Christian teaching as taught by your church? Why not the Ethiopian Church? Or a Protestant Church? or the Anglican Church?

    me thinks the 'authentic' anything is pretty much man's intervention.
     
  19. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    Don't forget, however that early Christianity was itself a syncretism of Judaism and Hellenism. Christianity today descends directly from that syncretism. That means that authentic Christian teaching is actually syncretistic. Christians over the centuries have held the erroneous and mistaken notion that their religion was monolithic. It's a bit like Korean nationalism and the belief that the Koreans are a pure race that never intermarried.

    If early Christianity was syncretistic, why can't further syncretism be allowed? The Jerusalem church proposed the minimum requirements for inclusion: that Christians uphold the Apostolic Decree. As long as Christians conform to the minimum requirements of the Apostolic Decree, people who follow other traditions can be assimilated and integrated into "Christianity." Christianity today is really a "depaganised" version of Hellenism with idolatry removed and a directive to honour and worship the Abrahamic God.

    Paul "depaganised" Hellenism and we should do the same with "New Age" and Hinduism and allow people to keep parts of their own tradition. Paul allowed the Greeks and Romans to keep their philosophy.

    I don't think that is quite true. Do you not know how "Protestant" or Calvinist Christianity works? If you asked them, they would tell you they are not "picking and choosing." "Protestant" or Calvinist Christians believe in the "Five Solas." Sola Scriptura rules out a secondary tradition. Catholicism includes a secondary tradition. Five-Sola-adherent Christians believe it's wrong to add to the written tradition.

    Five-Sola-adherent Christians believe they are being faithful to tradition and some of them are quite fanatical about it to the point of being fundamentalist. They consider written tradition to be fundamental, everything else is not. They believe that the Bible either speaks plainly or interprets itself. They believe there is one true interpretation. Multiple perspectives are not valid. There can only be one.

    If they find something wrong with any particular ideology/theology, they throw the entire system in the trash bin. Everything has to work. They do not see the value in "secondary tradition" and therefore do not believe in fixing the system. According to them, the Christian Gospel is too good to need "fixing." The written tradition is too good to need "re-interpretation" or "hermeneutics." Unfortunately, they have failed to develop a stable consensus.

    They do not understand how secondary tradition can give stability to a church community as well as keeping a record of past insights and debates. Rather than ditching problematic ideology/theology and forgetting about it (doomed to repeat the past), secondary tradition preserves the sociological history of the religion. Communal unity is more important than wiping out perceived heresies.

    I no longer believe in the Reformation because from what I have read about Second Temple Judaism, the New Testament simply isn't adequate in providing us with all the important information. Secondly, we are not direct descendants physically or spiritually of the original followers of Jesus. The NT therefore doesn't actually apply to us directly. It can only apply to us directly when we have exposed ourselves to knowledge about the Second Temple world and acquired the information that is missing from the NT.

    The NT only contains the minimum information needed to know what Christianity is about. But to fully understand Christianity you have to go further. It's a bit like the written and Oral Torah and I recognise that Catholic sacred tradition is a bit like Judaism's Oral Torah.

    I agree. I know of the bloody history of the past Catholic Church. I don't know about the contemporary Catholic Church, but the Protestant churches don't have a good track record either. They are too interested in preaching and singing hymns. There isn't enough charity and they haven't done much about capitalism, consumerism and rape of the earth's resources.

    I agree about sex having an unhealthy emphasis. I am disgusted at those who want to ban or deny gay marriage. Marriage is a personal thing, not something that should be imposed from the top-down. Those who want to ban or deny gay marriage just want power.

    I'm not a fan of the idea of a "worship service." I think it's weird that it's called a "service" at all. Should we pay for it? Is it a favour someone is doing for us? Does it increase our dopamine levels? Why don't we just read the damn book and decide what we're going to do with it instead of singing hymns every Sunday? I think Sundays should be spent planning and organising helpful communal activities and projects, helping the homeless, the poor and the sick -- and maybe also reducing our consumption. I think this is a better way to worship God. This is what the early Christians did and they really made heaven break in.
     
  20. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    I agree with you Salt.

    In my old Southern Baptist church we would sing (or lip sync :)) 30 minutes of hymns each Sunday. It was framed as "praising" the Lord. I personally think it goes back to the idea of an anthropomorphic "jealous" God that wants us to worship/praise him.

    What's the difference between singing hymns in a Protestant church (which I agree serves no real purpose) and chanting in latin at a traditional Catholic mass? (Where many people don't even know what is being said.) IMHO neither makes us better people or helps our fellow man...

    Of course, once you're "saved" you can go to heaven without helping out your fellow man. And I would argue that going to heaven/avoiding hell is the main goal of many if not most church-goers (at least the ones I used to go to church with). And anyway it's more fun and a lot easier to sing "feel-good" hymns dressed in your Sunday Best than get your hands dirty with REAL service projects...
     

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