Did Christianity begin as an End of the World cult?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Skeptic44, Aug 16, 2003.

  1. Skeptic44

    Skeptic44 Well-Known Member

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    The NT has a letter called "2 Peter." It may have been written after Peter died, or not, but it gives some insight into what was taught in the early Church.


    2 Peter 3:5

    ...the heavens were of old, and the earth out of water and through water standing together by the word of God, through which the then world, by water having been deluged, was destroyed;
    _________

    Suggests this was a group with Judaism, because it starts by quoting from the OT, the story about a Great Flood covering the entire earth to the tops of the highest moutains..
    _________________________

    2 Peter 3:7
    and the present heavens and the earth, by the same word are treasured, for fire being kept to a day of judgment and destruction of the impious men.

    2 Peter 3:8
    And this one thing let not be unobserved by you, beloved, that one day with the Lord [is] as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day;

    2 Peter 3:9
    the Lord is not slow in regard to the promise, as certain count slowness, but is long-suffering to us, not counselling any to be lost but all to pass on to reformation,

    2 Peter 3:10
    and it will come -- the day of the Lord -- as a thief in the night, in which the heavens with a rushing noise will pass away, and the elements with burning heat be dissolved, and earth and the works in it shall be burnt up.
    _______________

    So Peter - or whoever - tells members of the early Church that "the day of the Lord" will certainly come, and when it does, the earth and the works in it shall be burnt up... that there will be a burning heat that will dissolve our planet.

    Did it happen? It's been over 1,900 years and it didn't happen.

    How long do we give an End of the World cult before we deny them crediblity?
    ____________________

    2 Peter 3:11
    All these, then, being dissolved, what kind of persons doth it behove you to be in holy behaviours and pious acts?

    2 Peter 3:12
    waiting for and hasting to the presence of the day of God, by which

    >> the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements with burning heat shall melt;

    2 Peter 3:13
    and for new heavens and a new earth according to His promise we do wait, in which righteousness doth dwell;
    _____________

    This was the theological foundation of early Christianity, as taught by Peter (assuming this letter preserves the teachings of Peter, even if he didn't write it.) The present earth, everything we see around us, is going to be melted, by a burning fire, and then a new heaven and a new earth will be created to take it's place.

    Is the author of this letter credible? Or should we reject 2 Peter as the predictions of another discredited End of the World cult?
     
  2. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Certainly it seem to have become an issue, but I'm not sure I'd term it a "foundation". Quite possibly, it was a streak among some believers, rather than an overwhelming tenet accepted by all. I'm not too sure how 2 Peter was regarded in the early church - I'll have to look that up. But I've certainly seen some interesting perceptions that the "end of the world" spoken of was a reference either to the seige of Jerusalem in 69-70 AD, or else to the later revolt under Hadrian, when he dispelled all Jews from Jerusalem itself and renamed it Heirosolyma (note: when I checked the spelling, I also found the term "Aelia Capitolina" also used). Or is that a forced interpretation?

    A good topic overall, though. :)
     
  3. wkrossa

    wkrossa New Member

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    Did Christianity begin as an end of the world cult

    The most prominent mythological influence on early Christianity was that which had profoundly influenced Judaism before- Zoroastrianism. Zoroaster was the first to posit the dualism of a good creator opposed by an evil power or the lie. In this mythical dualism the good creator had created a paradise that had been corrupted by the evil power. Through the efforts of the true believers who fought to advance the good religion of the good creator, the paradise lost could be restored but only after a coming day of judgment and apocalyptic end of the world. It is doubtful if Zoroaster just picked this stuff out of the thin air. Most mythical themes have a line of heritage and ideas of a past golden age go back to the earliest mythical expression. John Pfeiffer (Explosion: an enquiry into the origins of art and religion) traces such ideas to perhaps some 20,000 plus years ago.
    To understand the core themes of Christianity (as well as Judaism and Islam) it is necessary to trace such things as the Zoroastrian influence which is perhaps the most prominent of all early mythological influences. Joseph Campbell (Masks of God) has done this well. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are in one sense merely refined derivatives of Zoroaster.
     
  4. WHKeith

    WHKeith Well-Known Member

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    The idea that Christ would physically return IN THE LIFETIME OF THOSE WHO KNEW HIM is extant throughout the New Testament, not just in I Peter. In Mark 14:62, Jesus tells the chief priests, "Ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven." Matthew 10 tells the disciples that “when they persecute you, flee to another city . . . for "you shall not have gone through all the cities of Israel till the Son of man be come." Matthew 24:34 says "This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." "All these things" include verse 30, "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." A great deal of the power and immediacy of the Gospel during the 1st Century seems to have been an outgrowth of this conviction, that the end times were nearly upon that generation. Having once been part of a fundamentalist Biblical tradition that saw the Rapture and the End Times as just around the corner, I can say from personal experience that the idea lends a certain electricity to one's belief! As Sam Johnson said, I believe, "The knowledge that one is to be hanged in the morning concentrates the mind wonderfully well." (Not sure of the exact quote.) It is also true that 1st-century Christians saw a LOT of fulfilled prophecy in the destruction of Jerusalem. (Brian, I'd never heard of Heirosolyma--obviously a Greek name. I'd always heard Aelia Capitolina, the Latin name, where the Romans built a Temple of Zeus on the site of the Second Temple.) The Book of Revelations--which even traditionalists agree was written no earlier than 92 or 93--can most transparently be understood as including references to Rome (the seven hills) and Nero (whose name works out numerologically to 666, and who was traditionally expected to come back from the dead--the "Beast" with a mortal wound who reappears to a wondering world.) The early Christians had to do some rethinking when Jerusalem was razed and the Son of man did NOT return in power. Okay, so 1900 years have passed and He STILL hasn't come. Does that mean the whole thing is bunk? No. As my friend Polycarp--who sometimes appears on this board--might say, modern Christian belief emphasizes first the fact that "no man knows the day or the hour" of Christ's return, and that Christians are expected to live and act AS THOUGH He will return at any moment. The emphasis of the epiphany has shifted in 1900 years from transcendent (an outward, visible manifestation) to immanent (an inner manifestation of God's presence.) Too literal an adherence to scripture can lead to some unpleasant quandaries for the believing Christian. One of these is the apparent contradiction between expectations of Christ's return and the actuality of history. Accepting the scriptures in a more metaphorical light--as guide rather than as absolutist rulebook--can ease some of this tension, and allow Christians to see greater depth within their faith than the merely superficial "clouds-of-glory" bit.
     
  5. WHKeith

    WHKeith Well-Known Member

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    Gadfrey! Sorry about that, everyone! I cut-and-pasted the above from a Word document, and all of my paragraphs disappeared! Forgive the single-paragrapoh density of that epistle, please! It wasn't me, I swear!
     
  6. Skeptic44

    Skeptic44 Well-Known Member

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    ___________________

    Not sure I understand the logic of this answer, Keith.

    If Peter told his followers that "the Last Days are upon us" and the world was going to burn up in fire,

    and then 1,900 years pass and nothing the man predicted has happened

    then why can't we come to the conclusion that "the whole thing is bunk"??

    The Christian "belief" that Jesus is a divine being... OK, I'm reminded of a general rule. "Proportion your belief according to the evidence."

    If the assertion being tested is something unbelievable, such as "Jesus said the world would be destroyed in fire while some of the people who heard him preach were still alive," then it would require a great deal of evidence - a mountain of evidence - before anyone would "believe" that statement is credible.

    What is the evidence that Jesus was a divine being?

    An account from "eyewitnesses"? A little research shows that the Gospel of Mark is a written version of a sermon that Peter gave to Christians in Rome ~25 years after Jesus died, at a time when the story has had time to grow.

    2 Peter is a bit later.

    If the "eyewitness accounts" are taken from Peter's testimony, and we discover that Peter was running an "end of the world cult" where the members had to sell their property and turn the proceeds over to him (Acts, Chapter 5) ... then the entire account has no credibility.

    and yes, it DOES mean the whole thing is BUNK.
     
  7. Skeptic44

    Skeptic44 Well-Known Member

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    ____________

    Let me show you Chapter 5 of Acts.

    The term "End of the World cult" has lots of great examples today. Heaven's Gate suicides in San Diego, hundreds of murders by the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandants in Africa...

    ...enough examples that we can write a list of common problems.

    One of them - when the world doesn't end on schedule and the deadline passes, the people who sold their property and donated it to the group ask for it back. And then they are killed. (variations on New AM Standard version)

    Acts 5:1
    But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property. Ananias kept back some of the money he received for himself, with his wife's full knowledge. He took the rest of the money from the sale of (his property) , and laid it at the apostles' feet.
    ___________

    So, when Ananias and his wife joined Peter's early Christian church, they were subjected to "peer pressure" that led hm to sell his land and give the money to Peter, to "lay it at Peter's feet." (Same pressure that college fellowships place on members to "tithe" by donating 10% of their income, for the rest of their lives, and "Don't worry about it until after you graduate and have a paycheck coming in.")
    _______________

    Acts 5:3

    Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."
    ________________

    Does any of Peter's statement make any sense? After a member of the church sold a piece of his own property, SATAN took control of the man and caused him to "keep back some of the price of the land" and not give it ALL to Peter..... what kind of man was Peter? And how reputable was the group he ran? If a man decides he wants to keep some of his own money, isn't it a scam for a religious leader to say that SATAN has made him act that way?
    _______________

    Acts 5:5
    And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it. The young men got up and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him.
    _____________

    A popular TV show is Crime Scene Investigation. If the forensics team from CSI found the body of Ananias and did an autopsy, what would they call the cause of death? Did God strike this man dead? Wait, it gets better.
    ________________

    Acts 5:7
    Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.

    Peter asked her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?" And she said, "Yes, that was the price."

    Acts 5:9
    Then Peter said to her, "Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well."
    _____________
    Here's the kicker. Before God strikes Sapphira dead, Peter predicts it will happen. And this prediction is much better than the one about the End of the World by a fire hot enough to melt the elements. She falls down dead on the spot.
    ________________
    Acts 5:10
    And immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
    _________________

    So, in the early Christian church, members who held back part of their own money were struck dead by God, and the other men carried the bodies outside and buried them.

    What would the CSI team rule as the cause of death?

    Natural causes?

    Are we being naive about this? Is this bunk?

    __________________

    Acts 5:11
    And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.
    _______________

    At least the other people in the church had enough sense to be afraid.

    "Great fear" came over everyone in the church, when Peter told them how God had struck two people dead - three hours apart - when Satan made them hold back part of their money and not give it ALL to Peter.
    _________________

    Acts 5:12
    At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people;
    _____________

    So, in peter's re-telling of this time, he and his co-leaders were doing "many signs and wonders".... and that's right at the top of the list for "Foibles of Your Typical End of the World cult."

    Very few Christians get this idea of the early Church, that Peter was running it as an "End of the World cult" and telling the members to sell their property and give him the money. But it's right there in Acts 5, possibly the only book in the Bible not based on the writings of either Peter or Paul.
     
  8. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Actually, I believe that the Jehovah's Witnesses had Apocalypse dates during the 19th century - though I can't pull up a source at the moment (files in wrong places at the moent).

    Certainly Acts 5 1:11 is certainly a disturbing passage - thanks for bringing that up. For some reason, though, it immediately makes myself think of the Essenes. But, of course, the possible connection is too tentative to document.

    What I would suggest, however is that although the "end of the world" was an aspect of belief, it doesn't make it a dominant aspect of that belief system - and I'm sure it's not unique (I'm under the impression that Mithraism had a similar outlook). It's also a point of note that different apostles may have empasised different elements - the letter of James of works over faith, as opposed to Paul's emphasis on faith over works, for example.

    But I'm really going to have to pull some decent resources out - got a full reformat coming up so not everything is immediately available at the moment.
     
  9. Skeptic44

    Skeptic44 Well-Known Member

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    ______________

    Christianity started as a small group within Judaism.

    They met and recruited members in the synagogues.


    They needed a "theology" - a sales pitch - in order to convince people to join THEIR group, especially after the rabbis asked the Christians to leave and not come back.

    what was their sales pitch?

    1) Baptism. To get right with God, you need to be immersed in water by a member of our group.

    Mark 16:14 Afterward Jesus appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table and...said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned."

    Condemned. Cast into the fiery pit... at the end of the world.


    2) The End of the World. The last days are at hand.

    3) Resurrection. Every dead person is going to be raised up in new bodies to live again, especially those who died at the hands of the Romans. Jesus was the first...


    Paul's letter to the Romans:

    1:1 PAUL, a servant of Jesus Christ, ...

    1:3 who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh

    1:4 and declared Son of God with power.... by the resurrection from the dead...


    So, in the same way that Julius Caesar was declared a divus after his death, by proclamation of the Senate...

    the Jewish God declared Jesus "Son God" BY his resurrection from the dead.

    The resurrection - an event that the Pharisees thought was predicted by the OT and the Sadducees (in charge of Temple) didn't...

    was the End of the World.

    The Resurrection of the Dead. The day of judgment.

    If Peter and Paul both taught "resurrection" as a core belief.... and after a few hundred years passed and the dead weren't resurrected, the focus shifted to the resurrection of a single man... but that wasn't the original version.

    Hard to come up with anything Peter taught that didn't involve the end of the world.. circumcision and dietary laws, maybe... always Open to suggestions....
     
  10. Skeptic44

    Skeptic44 Well-Known Member

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    ___________

    Jesus died ~30 or ~ 33 AD.

    Gospels were written before ~ 100 AD.

    So, it's been 1,900 years.

    Mark 9:1 And Jesus told them, "Truly, I say there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power."

    In 70 AD, Temple of Jerusalem was leveled.

    How long before we can agree it was bunk?
     
  11. Iacchus

    Iacchus God of the Mask

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    The book of Revelation refers to the "consumation of an age," in reference to the end of the old church and the establisment of a new church - which, was supposed to occur in the year 1757, according to Emanuel Swedenborg, the gifted Swedish scientist, theologian and, mystic.

    In which case the Christian Church was fourth in succession in a lineage of churches called The Church of Man: which included the Church of Adam, the Church of Noah and, the Israelite Church. While something similar to the Last Judgment (Apocalypse) typically occurs at the end of each church: where the end of the Church of Adam was signified by the great flood; the end of the Church of Noah was signified by the fall of the Tower of Babel I believe; and the end of the Israelite Church was signified by the Kingdom of Judah being taken captive by the Babylonians and the temple at Jerusalem being destroyed.

    As for the end of the Christian Church, it was supposed to occur in the spiritual world, but was also performed on both the Reformation and, the Roman Catholic Church. And yet even today, the New Church, which in many ways corresponds to the Age of Enlightenment and the advances of science (Swedenborg was a scientist), is still relatively unknown. I recommend you contact the Swedenborg Foundation for more information.

    Of course if the "Christian Era" had already come to a close, and we've been living under the Age of Enlightenment ever since, then at what point should the next church begin? Well, when you consider things have significantly changed over the past 245 years, perhaps even more so than during the Christian Era, then it's quite possible that we're living in that period today. In fact this is what I speak about in the first few chapters of my book (chapters 1,2,3 and 5), but also detail in the thread at PhysicsForums.Com, A Spiritual Timeline / The Church of Man.
     
  12. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I'm surprised that no one's apparently chased up the notion of the Tzaddikim with repsect to that passage.
     
  13. Dave the Web

    Dave the Web Well-Known Member

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    To say that Jesus were simply a man out to connive and trick people for material gain is to see too narrow a picture. Whereas I was not there 2000 years ago and so cannot prove your idea wrong it does suggest that you think that fooling people with promises is easy. In that way I believe you have completely misunderstood what Christianity has and does represent even in different ways for different people.
    Whereas I am far from the most doctrinal of people I also see that schemes based upon purposeful deceit and falsehood eventually fail. Doomsday cults die and disappear as you wrote in your original article. What you need to address is precisely why around a third of the world's population continue to believe in various ways and to various degrees if Jesus were simply a simple con man.
    In answering that you may perhaps see that there must indeed have been something very remarkable about Jesus.If he was nothing but a source for deceit then he was the cleverest confidence trickster in the history of humanity.
     
  14. Skeptic44

    Skeptic44 Well-Known Member

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    __________________

    OK, I think you need to understand HOW this all came about.

    You said, "Schemes based upon purposeful deceit eventually fail." How did Jesus die? He was arrested by Roman soldiers and nailed to a cross, where he hung for six hours until he died, in great agony.

    Not sure how you could possibly describe this man as "clever" or "remarkable."

    It seems that his scheme to become famous as a faith healer or exorcist failed. The people who watched his tricks didn't buy them.

    Everything you know about Christianity could have been invented ten or more years after Jesus was dead. Hard to say for sure there was any part of it that went back to a time when Jesus was alive and had a say in it - except, perhaps, for the aspect of deceit.

    There was nothing remarkable about Jesus. But the story was great.

    A god impregnates a human virgin, creates a Savior for mankind.

    And the Savior dies on a cross cursing, "My god, my god, why have you forsaken me?"

    A fitting epitaph for a con man.
     
  15. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Whereas the whole story of Christianity may be interpreted widely, and there have been many perceptions of Jesus - perhaps constantly referring to Jesus as a "con man" is not the most friendly way to be resident on the Christian issues board?

    Actually, perhaps this is part of the parcel of why this place could do with widening it's scope to encompass new boards to properly deal with people's perceptions. I'll start a new topic in the suggestions section.
     
  16. Iacchus

    Iacchus God of the Mask

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    Indeed, there are no doubt a lot of questions as to the origins of Christianity, and yet there's too much about it which smacks of a religious nature - which clearly gets the message across - that you can't help but conclude it's a bona fide religion.

    Thus when a person starts to attack Christianity, because of its controversial elements, I would guess that they've established no belief in religion whatsover. Whereas if you were to ask them about any of the other religions (with a couple of possible exceptions), they would probably be unfamiliar with them or, not exhibit the same bias.

    Brian,

    Why don't you start up an "Atheist's Corner" or something like that, and invite all the folks from Physics.Forums.Com to come over and have look? It'll probably be riot!
     
  17. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Certainly an athiest's corner is a possibility. However, it could be so only the grounds that there is no riot!
     
  18. Skeptic44

    Skeptic44 Well-Known Member

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    My point was, most of the "problems" with Christianity can be explained by making the simple realization that yes, Jesus could have been a con man. And, as you suggest, Christians will take offense at such a theory if I don't back it up. Fortunately, the facts ARE there. He was an exorcist. For most people, that should prove it, but...

    Mark 4:2
    and Jesus taught them many things in parables...

    Mark 4:10
    And when he was alone, those about him, with the twelve, did ask him of the parablee,

    Mark 4:11
    and he said to them, 'To you it hath been given to know the secret of the reign of God, but to those who are without,
    _________________

    Jesus tells his disciples that they have been given "the secret of the reign of God." Hmm. Con man? What is the secret? Let's find out.
    _____________________

    Mark 4:12
    that seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand, lest they may turn, and the sins may be forgiven them.'
    ____________

    Oh, so the people who believe what Jesus says will have their sins forgiven by God, but if you don't believe, then you can't understand the message? Con game 101. Pure and simple.
    _________________-

    Mark 4:14
    He who is sowing doth sow the word;and these are they by the way where the word is sown: and whenever they may hear, immediately cometh the Adversary, and he taketh away the word that hath been sown in their hearts.
    _________________
    Another reason why non-believers don't agree with Jesus' message - a supernatural being called The Adversary comes and takes away the word that has been sown in their hearts. Con game 101, part 2.
    ___________________

    Mark 4:19
    and the anxieties of this age, and the deceitfulness of the riches, and the desires concerning the other things, entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
    _________________

    Here's another reason why people don't believe: people who have money are deceitful, and they "choke the word" so "it becomes unfruitful." A great appeal when your audience is composed of poor people. The rich people are to blame for your problems, and their greatest sin is keeping you from believing in MY words. Con game 101, part 3.
    ______________________
    Mark 4:20
    'And these are they who on the good ground have been sown: who do hear the word, and receive, and do bear fruit, one thirty-fold, and one sixty, and one an hundred.'
    __________________

    this evolved into the Pat Roberston School of Finance: Pat calls it "seed money." If you donate to MY ministry, you are planting a seed, and God will give the fruit back to you 30, sixty, a hundred times.
    ____________________

    Mark 4:33
    And with many such parables he was speaking to them the word, as they were able to hear,

    Mark 4:34
    and by themselves, to his disciples he was expounding all. And he saith to them on that day, evening having come, 'We may pass over to the other side;' and having let away the multitude, they take him up as he was in the boat, and other little boats also were with him. And there cometh a great storm of wind, and the waves were beating on the boat, so that it is now being filled, and he himself was upon the stern, upon the pillow sleeping, and they wake him up, and say to him, 'Teacher, art thou not caring that we perish?'

    Mark 4:39

    >> And having waked up, Jesus rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Peace, be stilled;' and the wind did lull, and there was a great calm:

    Mark 4:40
    and he said to them, 'Why are ye so fearful? how have ye not faith?'
    and they feared a great fear, and said one to another, 'Who, then, is this, that even the wind and the sea do obey him?'
    __________________
    Of course, some Christians would never accept this as a "con game." That Jesus talked to the wind and it obeyed him. Had to be literal truth, right?

    Do you really think I'm doing something offensive by saying, "Hey, folks, this guy was a con man? His followers told people that he could tell the wind to stop blowing and it obeyed him????
     
  19. Skeptic44

    Skeptic44 Well-Known Member

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    ________________

    that can be answered two ways.

    (1) saying it's "a bona fide religion" is equivalent to saying it's a con game, because any man or group who claims they are speaking for god are pulling a con.

    (2) Christianity has a greater % of con game elements than other religions. It's Savior, for example, became famous when he performed exorcisms in front of crowds.

    Exorcists are con men. Because demons don't exist.

    Here's an example:

    Mark 5:1
    And they came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gadarenes, and he having come forth out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs

    >> a man with an unclean spirit,
    ___________

    the word "spirit" in english, is a translation of the Greek "pneuma" - which means air, wind, the "breath of God" in various places in Bible
    _____________________

    Mark 5:3
    who had his dwelling in the tombs, and not even with chains was any one able to bind him, because that he many times with fetters and chains had been bound, and pulled in pieces by him had been the chains, and the fetters broken in pieces, and none was able to tame him,

    Mark 5:5
    and always, night and day, in the mountains, and in the tombs he was, crying and cutting himself with stones.

    Mark 5:6
    And, having seen Jesus from afar, he ran and bowed before him,

    Mark 5:7
    and having called with a loud voice, he said, 'What -- to me and to thee, Jesus, Son of God the Most High? I adjure thee by God, mayest thou not afflict me!'
    _________________
    So a man is possessed by a supernatural entity - an invisible one - and the entity shouts out, "Jesus, Son of God the Most High?".... The supernatural entity just happened to know the title that the early church had chosen for Jesus and used it in his greeting. How could this possibly be a con game, you ask? Hmmm.
    ___________________

    Mark 5:8
    (for he said to him, 'Come forth, spirit unclean, out of the man,')

    Mark 5:9
    and he was questioning him, 'What [is] thy name?' and he answered, saying, 'Legion [is] my name, because we are many;'
    ___________________

    So the unclean spirits are named "Legion" which was the same name that Roman soldiers used. Is this a subtle dig at the Romans who arrested and executed Jesus? Giving an unclearn spirit their name?
    ___________________


    Mark 5:10
    and he was calling on him much, that he may not send them out of the region. And there was there, near the mountains, a great herd of swine feeding,

    Mark 5:12
    and all the demons did call upon him, saying, 'Send us to the swine, that into them we may enter;'
    ________________

    Of course, when a God-man encounters unclean spirits, they always ask to be sent into swine so they can commit suicide.

    This couldn't possibly be... ridiculous?
    ____________________

    Mark 5:13
    and immediately Jesus gave them leave, and having come forth, the unclean spirits did enter into the swine, and the herd did rush down the steep place to the sea -- and they were about two thousand -- and they were choked in the sea.
    _______________

    So Jesus gave "Legion" - the invisible spirits - his permission to leave the possessed man. Who knew he had that kind of power?
    ___________________

    Mark 5:14
    And those feeding the swine did flee, and told in the city, and in the fields, and they came forth to see what it is that hath been done;

    Mark 5:15
    and they come unto Jesus, and see the demoniac, sitting, and clothed, and right-minded -- him having had the legion -- and they were afraid;

    Mark 5:16
    and those having seen [it], declared to them how it had come to pass to the demoniac, and about the swine;

    Mark 5:17
    and they began to call upon him to go away from their borders.

    Mark 5:18
    And he having gone into the boat, the demoniac was calling on him that he may be with him,

    Mark 5:19
    and Jesus did not suffer him, but saith to him, 'Go away to thy house, unto thine own [friends], and tell them how great things the Lord did to thee, and dealt kindly with thee;

    Mark 5:20
    and he went away, and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how great things Jesus did to him,
    ___________

    So, after the successful exorcism, the demoniac - the man who was possessed by the unclean spirit - was told by Jesus to go around to all his friends and tell them what Jesus did.

    THINK. Why would people THINK Jesus was a con man? Isn't it a possibility worth talking about, considering ALL the evidence?
     
  20. Iacchus

    Iacchus God of the Mask

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    Sounds to me like you don't believe in God, period.

    Says who? Do you believe that evil people exist? If so, and there is an afterlife, then these are the very ones who become evil spirits (demons) when they pass on. In which case the rest of what you say only corroborates it.

    However, I will concede to the fact that a good many exorcists - if not a majority - are con men. In which case someone might need to exorcise us of them. ;)
     

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