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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    ___________________

    Since we're talking about evidence, just a couple of small corrections to the above.

    First, there was no Great Flood.

    Second, there never was a man named Adam. Adam is a fictional creation of the myths in Genesis, and perhaps drawing on earlier myths, but there never was a time in human history when there was a single man named Adam.

    There never was a Tower of Babel. That's a metaphor for the way different languages and customs keep people from working together.

    Finally, all of this illustrates what I've been talking about: how do you tell a con game from a legitimate statement?

    What is your test?

    If the author tries to back up his claims by referring to mythical events, then... OK, there was a Star Trek: The Next Generation, where Commander Ryker meets a woman out of his past. Only she wasn't a real woman, she was an illusion he created in the holodeck as his ideal woman. So, when someone presented her as real, Ryker knew it was a con, an illusion.

    Any "authority" - this Swedenborg you mentioned - IF a theologian's work or theory is based on a Church ending with the Great Flood, then I would have no problem saying it's a con game. Wrong False.

    The same way... what I'm trying to show is, how do rational people react to a religion that seeks to control evil spirits by having a man sleep with widows? Or an exorcist who commands the evil spirits to go into a herd of swine and commit suicide?

    We are not opposed to Christianity because we are afraid of it, or the consequences of ignoring it. We think it's silly because it's based on a man's authority to command "unclean spirits" - the same reaction that, hopefully, many of you had to my story about traditional or animist religions in Gangre, Kenya.

    (PS - On the off chance that you were using Swedenborg as a way of making a point, I apologize for being dense. Couldn't tell whether you were serious about this drivel or not.)
     
  2. Skeptic44

    Skeptic44 Well-Known Member

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    ________________

    I have no idea what this means.

    But your attempt to deny the evidence by saying it's "only" external evidence...

    wow! That's one way to get around it, I suppose.
     
  3. Iacchus

    Iacchus God of the Mask

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    It's not only a way to get around it, it's the only way to get "at it." It's a lot like the external shell of a nut. The evidence - or meat-of-the-matter - is contained within.

    And once you do get at it, it's funny how the "drivel" you refer to above seems much less significant, although more plausible, and yet the difference in the way I feel is barely perceptible (kind of neutral), except that it's a lot easier to bring up. This is when I realize there are still many people out there who have been unable to ascertain it for themselves.

    So in this sense I don't see the need to argue about it, except perhaps to bring up those things I've been able to ascertain for myself.
     
  4. Iacchus

    Iacchus God of the Mask

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    This one of my favorites!

    A Zen koan from Alan Watts', Behold the Spirit ...

     
  5. Skeptic44

    Skeptic44 Well-Known Member

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    ____________________

    Just wanted to pull this one up, to show you what I was talking about.
     
  6. Dave the Web

    Dave the Web Well-Known Member

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    I read some of the better points at the beginning of this topic.
    I agree that Christianity was subject to many pulls among its early followers. And if those followers came together under one creed does not mean to say that all previous difference it to be edited out. The Gospels are proof of that anyway.
    If there is a n end of the world cult side to early Christianity then I am all the more enriched for being made aware of it. That does not mean that this is or ever was the only side of Christianity. It has grown so precisely because it was not.
     
  7. benOddo

    benOddo Member

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    Skeptic44,
    I'm amazed at your questions, in this thread. You are truly a skeptic, for all your knowledge of Scripture, and still seek understanding.
    What of the world around you? Do you see and not understand?

    God Almighty, reveals his plan to mankind, all through Scripture.
    Read in Lev. 10:3, what is the test here?
    (Just do what God wants us to do!)

    And Jesus states; "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:44.
    When I first read this, I understood this, in this sense; No one comes to the Word, unless drawn by the Holy Spirit.

    You say, "It's 1900 plus years, where is the end times? Or someone asks about the DNA of Jesus, how foolish!
    You should all know, the precepts of God, in His Word. They can all be gleaned from the first book to the last. To understand His plan for man.

    The known facts of DNA, that the Maternal markers genes in all men, are traceable to Eve. Unless by a stroke of luck, you can trace yourself back to the Nephilim, as in Gen.6:2

    But glean what it says in verse 3, Then the Lord said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years."
    Now remember if we've studied the Word, we should have gleaned some precepts. What was the largest counting of weeks in the Law? (7x7+1=50) Could we understand, "My Spirit will not remain with man forever"? If 120 years, times 50, is 6000 years.

    But what years would it refer to, remember Jesus said somewhere, the end will come like a flood, Lets look at Gen.7:7 Noah and his sons, his wife and his sons wives entered the ark to excape the flood.
    verse 6, Noah was 600 years old. verse 5, Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.
    And yet, as sure as the Lamb of God sits in heaven, the Holy Spirit was offered during two exiles, which truly are the Seventy Weeks of God.
    We glean from Rev.7 that 144,000 from the twelve tribes are sealed, and taken into the Lambs Ark, after the sixth seal was opened, (Rev.6:12) twenty-four elders with harps are around the Throne.
    Is it any wonder, that 6000 times 24 is 144,000 saved out of the Great Tribulation,(Rev.6:12-17)

    Have you not read the latest news, this past January 7, 2004; of Astronomers newest sighting, and the fact the most powerfull nation, does not want to maintain a telescope in the sky. Why? What is the orbit of the newest sighting, its speed, it's size, it's direction to or away from Earth? (Rev.7:16)

    We glean from Scriptures, the Creation week, where one day, could be as a thousand years. A Week of Seven day/years. How do we count the years? Only one place in Scriptures, at God's appointed time, are we told, by God, "This for you is your first month". The Command to go forth, and build. (in the middle of the week, maybe?) After the first 3500 years?

    You asked, How do we know the difference? By searching Scripture's with a pure heart, a pure faith. Not as a scoffer, not as a sceptic.

    Did Peter run an End of the World Cult? Or was it God's plan all along? Did not Jesus say, "I say only what the Father, has told me to say".?

    For us to believe, what Jesus said, was from the Father.
    Now thats a test for any man, for as long as the Comforter remains, a door is open for us.

    Peace
    ben Oddo
     
  8. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste BenOddo,

    welcome to the forum.

    What news are you referring to? can you post a link or somesuch so that we can view the information as well?
     
  9. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

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    Gnashing of teeth

    Dear Ben:

    My theology professor in the university told us something about God providing for everything, even in hell.

    In hell there is going to be the pain from burning so excruciating that the damned will scream and gnash their teeth. And those who arrive their without teeth, not to worry, God will provide. So, you can be sure that an angel will be dispensing denture to toothless arrivals.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  10. benOddo

    benOddo Member

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    Susma,

    shalom,

    Oy Vay! Let me know how things turn out for you! If you need a Dentist, I know a good one, a cousin of mine.


    link: www.astronomy.com or www.space.com

    peace
    ben Oddo
     
  11. Chronicles

    Chronicles Well-Known Member

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    I think the telescope referenced is the Hubble, which is no longer going to be serviced - according to the latest NASA plans.
     
  12. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste all,

    i'm referring to this statement by benOddo:

    "Have you not read the latest news, this past January 7, 2004; of Astronomers newest sighting, and the fact the most powerfull nation, does not want to maintain a telescope in the sky. Why? What is the orbit of the newest sighting, its speed, it's size, it's direction to or away from Earth? (Rev.7:16)"


    however, i see nothing on the referenced links that indicate something "new" that has been seen. the space.com and astronomy.com sites are quite extensive...
     
  13. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Hi Skeptic, are you still here? You raise very interesting pointy points!

    I could entertain the hypothesis that the end of the world prophecy was introduced in the very early church as the "stick" to go along with the immortality "carrot." But I don't think that was or is the heart of Christianity at all. I can also entertain the idea that the end of the world prophecy is referring to the end of a spiritual world, and that world could have been annihilated without anyone in the material world witnessing it.

    As for the term "cult," well sure, why not consider the earliest Christ movement a cult. Some cults are good, some are bad, but the term cult itself is pretty neutral in my dictionary (Merriam-Webster, but it is the paperback edition after all).

    I would suggest to you some of the books by John Dominic Crossan. Your points about early Christians being asked to pool their resources is addressed in his book "The Birth of Christianity." Not to convince you, just to give an example of another interpretation besides it all being a con game. Brian brought up the Essenes, who lived communally, and this is related to Crossan's hypothesis.

    As for your quest for a test, you must be hoping for someone to give you this answer: Matt 7:20 Thus, by their fruit you will recongnize them.

    Peace!


    You wrote: How do we decide if someone is trying to deceive us? What's the test?[/QUOTE]
     
  14. cmptechie

    cmptechie Member

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    some misunderstandings

    After reading your post, I looked up Acts 5, and read around it to get it into context. If you look at the end of Acts 4 you'll notice that the people in the church came under the power of the Holy Spirit, and many out of their abundance, sold lands and gave the money to the apostle's that "distribution (could be) made unto every man according to his need." (Acts 4:35)
    They were not selling property in preparation for the "end of the world," but so the poor and needy could be provided with anything they needed. Also, Ananias was not condemned for not giving all the money to Peter, but for lying about the price he received for the land he sold. He could very well have told Peter, "I sold my land for so much, but I'm only contributing this much" and all still would have been well. That Ananias would want to keep some of the money in the first place tells me that he must have had some kind of debt to pay himself, and so needed the money. There is no indication that the contributions were forced in any way, but rather were voluntary. Why would someone condemn another for not making a voluntary contribution.
    All Scripture must be taken in context, and when possible, the original meanings must be evaluated. Though I am a Christian, I laugh when I see people trying to discredit the Koran of the Islam religion by taking everything out of context, and not understanding the original meaning of the term. I suppose every religion must handle this in one form or another.
    In summary, in no way can Christianity, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered an "end of the world cult."


     
  15. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Thanks for that cmptechie - sounds like you've provided a much needed rational counter-argument. :)
     
  16. Quesocoatl

    Quesocoatl R a i n b o w T r i b e

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    I can't speak for the authors of the New Testament but it would seem clear to me that the general concensus is ultimate and utter apocalypse, seeing that it ends with the Revelation of John.

    One has to keep in mind the times in which the stories were accounted.
    (Fall of Egypt and, ultimately, the Roman Empire.)

    Kingdom come, kingdom go.
     
  17. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    Paul believed that messianic predictions could be derived from the Torah and Prophets and thought it was being fulfilled in his day. The Dead Sea Scrolls seem to agree. So yeah, I guess it was an End of the World Cult.
     
  18. Ben57

    Ben57 Well-Known Member

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    I wish I had the time right now to sit down and give a JW point of view to all these posts but right now I am just going to say that the account mentioned below is not (by our understanding) refering to the "end of the world" but to the end of a "system of things" We are told in the Bible that the earth will last forever and Jeus taught that the meek will inherit the earth (if that is Ok with the rest of you).

    JWs understand frpm the way 'world' and 'mountains' are used that these are refering to the 'world of mankind' and mountains to 'governments' so JWs understanf these verses as saying the currupt man governments will be done away with and replaced by a government by Jesus.

    Now I have opened a can of worms havent I.

     
  19. Ben57

    Ben57 Well-Known Member

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    I can understand why this account sounds very "ciultic" but I think there is more to this account than peolpe think.

    The "christians. did not have to sell any of their possetions, it was volentary to help others that were in need.

    He "expired" because he he lied. It was a scheme betwee him and his wife to make themselves look beter then they were... yes we gave ALL our money, aren't we good.... but the heart was eveil. It would have been different if they said ... look we sold our land but we can only aford to give so much to help the others... but they wanted glory for something they did not do.




     
  20. IMSassafras

    IMSassafras A Believer

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    Greetings Everyone,

    I found some time to read some other sections and thought this was an interesting topic.

    What amazes me is with all the scripture-knowledgeable Christians in the world, there is no one Christian coming forth with the answers. There are, though, a ton of Christians with possibilities. To say your own Religion is "bunk" has got to be just about the last straw or possibility available. And to say Jesus the Christ may not be as creditable as you thought, that has to the next worst thing to say about your own Religion.

    It would seem to me the Clergy of your Religion could give you some help, but they don't seem to know anymore than you folks. Or at least they aren't talking about it, anyways. They probably still have debt to pay off. Face it, if they knew the answers to your questions and told you, they would be out of a job. No one wants a jobless Clergyperson. Besides, the Bible says the Clergy will reject Christ's Second Coming as they did when the Jewish Clergy rejected Christ. They should be there to help with the translation, but it isn't so.

    Most of the time the scriptures are tranlated literally, but they need to be translated symbolicly most of the time, instead. So all that doom, agony, and woo is me stuff doesn't cut it.

    For most of the passages that were quoted, they were a mixture of prophecy for Christ, Muhammed, the Bab, and Baha'u'llah. I know, a pretty broad topic range.

    As for the Christian Religion, it is real. It is NOT an end of the world cult. Jesus is Who He said He was, and He is glorified by His Second Coming.

    I think that was all I was going to say. I hope I was helpful, that was my goal. Happy searching.

    warmly,
    Sassafras
     

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