liberal vs. literal Christian

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by wil, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. Bandit

    Bandit Well-Known Member

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    hi INLove!! sooooooooooooooooo glad to see you again.:)
    that is me also..literal, metaphoric, allegory layered & can be trusted to the ends of the earth.
    the truth that comes from the Word of the living God that we serve and love.
    oh how lost we would be without it & God would not tell us to have faith in a bunch of 'literal' lies.

    i have been thinking about you tonight, must be why i could not sleep.:)
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste Bandit, while your list is intriguing, I don't think all can be categorized completely by your list. Obviously many Christians will agree with one or more of your assertions.

    I don't think the liberal, or moderate Christians are by proxy to be considered less moral than the literal or dogmatic. The KKK claims to be a very religious biblical based organization and the bible has been thumped on pretty heavy as a war drum over the past 2000 years. The book is often used in negative ways, to lambast folks and 'prove' concepts regarding slavery, treatment of women, and sexual preferences. I think you know what I mean, they may hear forgiveness, and peace and tolerance message from the pulpit.....and then honk and curse trying to get out of the parking lot....spare the rod, spoil the child and all that...

    I think that WWJD thought is pretty powerful. How do we encounter the woman at the well, what do we do when asked to judge on someone being stoned?
    Take the ten commandments for instance....I think on the surface they are pretty easy to follow...

    Thou shall have no gods before me- but I take that to mean the football god, the tv god, not to raise anything upto a place of worship that controls your life...ie fan is short for fanatic....and a lust for anything, call it habit or addiction is creating a god...

    Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image- Now I know the ten commandments vary from denomination and have been altered muchly to allow crucifixes, medalliions, statues and the like, even by the so called literalists, but again, I see this as not worshipping icons, be they sports or tv shows, I think it speaks to pornography, anything that degredates our thought.

    Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy G-d in vain- As I see you with the light of Christ within, as an expression of G-d in the physical realm (in his image) if I curse you, deride you, I am indicating that this creation of God, this expression of G-d, is not worthy in some way and I am guilty of this commandment.

    Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy- Now I know Jesus released us regarding this, yet we have Chick-a-fila a fast food restaraunt in the US that is closed on Sundays....and of course we took Sunday as the sabbath since Saturday was taken, so the Muslims took Friday...us litteralists that organized this methodology appear pretty liberal...I do see it important to not only set time aside weekly, but daily, often to create the sabbath, and devote the time....seems most of us have tossed this one....keep that hour and a half a week holy....make it another time if you can't be there on Sunday...and oh, going to church does not make one spiritual...it is an option (especially if there is a football game on)

    Honor thy father and thy mother- Now of course we know who Jesus indicated was the father we should honor here...and I believe this is both and more...biological parents...whoever is raising you....whoever is taking the time to be concerned in your welfare (teachers, preachers, aunts and uncles) and then of course G-d and Mother Earth....if we don't take care of this big blue ball we've been given to play on...this is truly a sin.

    [​IMG]
    Thou shall not kill- Well duh, unless of course it is war and they have resources we want, then it is all out the window. So taking human life, pretty obvious it is wrong. But what about killing creativity, enthusiasm? How many of us have had the life sucked out of us by some 'father/mother' figure who in our youth intentionally or unintentionally used words that murdered a portion of our psyche....and it has never returned....again tis a sin in my book.

    Thou shall not commit adultery- again, duh, you've made marriage vows, to obvious to limit this to such a small scope. Adultery comes from adulterate, to dilute, to add a foreign substance to a pure product...don't water down your drinks for profit, don't dilute your principles, don't put up with racist jokes, insensitive talk, or sexist behaviour....stand up, state your beliefs in open court...make yourself known...otherwise you will be diluted by allowing it to go on around you...

    Thou shall not steal- Makes me think of the American Indian who realized the land, the horses, was all from the creator. Can we steal if it is all G-ds? All we have comes from source. So what can we steal? I think by not giving G-d or others credit when it is due....that is stealing. When claiming owneship and not providing others with what they need to survive, that is stealing...conspicous consumption...not giving back to the community...all fall under this commandment.

    Thou shall not bear false witness- Most of the world most of the time is either trying to not make themselves look bad, or make themselves look good. I should change that to Americans...I've traveled the states extensively, the world I know not of. And while most people are honest and generous to a fault (I've hitched around this country for years and put myself at the mercy of others, and never been let down, stayed in beds and made up couches in almost every state....) Despite that, when it comes to work or sports or investing....getting ahead in life... the norm is to place blame on others, take credit when it is not really due, avoid looking bad at all costs....something we need to work on.

    Thou shall not covet- Envy, jealousy, grass is always greener, keeping up with the Jones's...and I wish I was smarter, more beautiful, thinner, faster, richer....if only I had the advantages that they had, if only....

    I think the ten commandments are a pretty hard act to follow....and then there are those that follow a few hundred more....but is it ritual or do they take them to heart...
     
  3. Pico

    Pico Well-Known Member

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    Jesus was *******briliant.

    He taught in parables so that many people could understand what he was talking about. He tought the literal meaning to his deciples later on when they asked him about it.

    By teaching in parables the message could last throughout the ages and people 2000 years later will understand because they could relate to it. Had he taught directly all the time, the message might not be as easy to understand thousands of years down the line. Christianity is the only(?) religion that doesn't have a "holy language" reuqired to understand it. Because of this, his teaching could be translated into many languages and different cultures could understand the message he tells through stories.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2006
  4. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    I'm not sure these labels: Literal, Liberal, moderate...Christian are at all useful. If you go all the way back to find the roots of Christianity there is a wide spectrum of ideas and scripture to examine. Those who have accepted the cannonized, Catholic Bible's version of the Christ story may hold the majority position, but that is by no means the only source material, nor does it represent the entire spectrum of early Christian thought. So, the idea that anyone with notions of what it is to be Christian that fall outside the narrow perspective of the "Church" is not a "real" Christian is absurd. One does not have to subscribe to the notion of original sin, or a literal virgin birth, or even a historical death and resurrection to be a bonafide Christian. These are not the only positions available within the total spectrum of Christology.

    Having to compartmentalize a literal view of the Bible so that one can hang on to notions that are incompatible with science, like virgin birth or literal creationism, for me, creates a wall between spirit and matter. It turns religion into a meaningless anachronism.

    Just my thoughts.

    Chris
     
  5. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Ever wonder what it might have been like ... to have been a fly on the wall while Jesus was teaching the disciples, literally? ;)

    Wait, wait ... I don't mean, like, metaphysically, if you were a fly and stuff. But, if you had the ears of a fly. What you might you have heard?

    flywithears.jpg

    :D andrew
     
  6. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    I come from a conservative, literalist, evangelical Christian background. My father is a Seventh-day Adventist minister. I was born in Pakistan where my parents were missionaries. I grew up in Asia, the Far East, and Africa. Within conservative Christian circles there very often seems to be a near obsession with stripping away any Pagan influence from Christianity. I guess the idea is to preserve a strictly Judeo-Christian understanding of the Bible. But for anyone who has studied the Bible extensively, and I have, I would pose this question: Strip away everything Pagan and what is left? Almost nothing, IMO. The very concept of a dead and risen avatar goes back to Osiris and beyond.

    Someone mentioned levels, or layers of meaning in the Bible. Consider this:

    According to myth, Zeus let fly two eagles from the opposite ends of the earth. The eagles flew toward each other at equal speed and met at the Greek town of Delphi, and the point at which they met was the center of the entire earth. This point was marked by the omphalos stone in the temple of Apollo. Omphalos means “navel” and the omphalos marks not only the center of the earth, but the center of the universe as well. This foundation stone symbolically represents the center of sacred space.

    Other sacred cultures possessed omphalos stones in one form or another as well. The oldest known omphalos was the ben-ben at Heliopolis, the theological center of Egypt, which was established around 3350 B.C.E. Also notable are the Rock of Foundation at Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, and the Lia Fal, or king-making stone at Tara, Ireland.

    O.K., to make this easy to understand, imagine a cube with sides that are sectioned into smaller squares like a kamea. This cube has sides that are 9x9 squares. 9x9x9=729 total smaller cubes that make up the larger cube. Such a cube has a total surface area of 9x9x6 sides=486. Gematria of the name Cephas=729, Petra=486. This is the foundation stone, or omphalos of Christian Church. The reason the number 729 refers to the solar year is that it is the sum of days and nights: 365+364=729. A magic square of 27x27=729 smaller squares can be constructed so that all the numbers add up vertically, horizontally, and diagonally just like the smaller kameas of the planets. In the center square is the number 365. Neat eh?!

    So, you can see that underneath the parables and stories in the NT there is, among other things, a layer of gematria that coresponds to Pythagorean geometrical concepts. Very Pagan!

    Chris
     
  7. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    A note to Brian: I'm not intending to go off on a tangent with the gematria thing, just using it as an example of the layered meanings of the Biblical text.

    Chris
     
  8. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Dually noted Chris (on behalf of I, Brian), and by the way, Welcome to CR. ;)

    v/r

    Quahom
     
  9. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Perhaps Taij, but it was as you stated, a ficticious character's comment, portrayed by Ms. Parton, and not Ms. Parton's personal opinion.

    Also, we don't hang on a cross (never have). We "carry our cross". We don't try to pass it on to someone else, nor blame another for our burden. It is a "cross" of our own making, hence we are responsible for it.

    However (and this is the good part), for those that believe, Jesus is quite clear on assuring us He will lighten our "burden". He will help up carry our cross.

    v/r

    Q
     
  10. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I wouldn't recommend attempting to make bread from "chaff"...
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Sorry Chris - replied to Lunamoth on another thread about Gematria before reading your post to this one. Can you lay your hands on "Jesus Christ, Sun of God" easily? That's where I got the 153 fishes from...

    Thomas
     
  12. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Hi Thomas, Thank you for the explanation in the other thread I started. I know little about numerology, aside from a vague sense that these recurring numbers are somehow related to perhaps the physical laws that govern things like chemical bonding and other natural phenomena. But, I can appreciate the symbology and the sacredness of certain numbers.

    Having said that, when you start to use two, three or four different systems of interpreting text in various languages, don't you get to the point where you can make any word or name mean just about anything you want? Especially when you also have the options of adding the numbers in various ways after assigning numbers to them?

    I'm intrigued, but also skeptical, I guess.

    lunamoth
     
  13. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    Yes, I have the book. I only wish I could post some of the illustrations!

    Chris
     
  14. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    Luna,

    "Intrigued but skeptical" pretty much describes my outlook on a lot of things! It's a good way to be. I haven't responded on your post on the Judaism board because I'm not Jewish, so I can't really speak from that perspective. I'm still trying to figure out what's acceptible around here. I think you're right though about the possibility of making gematria or numerology be whatever a person wants, but the danger of self-delusion is ever-present in all facets metaphysics, spirituality, and religion. I guess each person has to decide how best to navigate in the spiritual realms.

    Chris
     
  15. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Hi China Cat,

    It makes sense to me that Jesus and his disciples, Paul and the apostles, would use symbols and rituals that people around them were used to and could relate to. I know a lot of Christians do make a big deal out of things like Christmas and Easter and various symbols and rituals being pagen, or influenced by pagen tradition, but many more do not. But, if Christ can transform hearts, why not rituals and traditions as well?

    While I have not delved much into things like numerology in biblical interpretation, I think there are many valid avenues for diving down into the text. I also find that the historical and cultural information I glean, albeit in a very unorganized way through my reading, tends to deepen my appreciation of Christianity, and add layers of meaning, rather than stipping away the essentials.

    But, that's just me...:)

    lunamoth
     
  16. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    Thank you! If I get out of line just let me know.:)

    Chris
     
  17. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    Hey, I graduated to Junior Member! I guess that means I can wear my Ninja Turtle underoos! Whoohoo!

    Chris
     
  18. Bandit

    Bandit Well-Known Member

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    i shall be posting my liberal vs. literal beliefs in all the other religions soon.

    it shall include all my beliefs & omit their literal religious beliefs, miracles & rituals & teachings.

    this shall of course be my own personal 'liberal' view of islam, bahai, judaism, paganism, hinduism, buddhism, escoteric and all religions represented here.

    Jesus the Messiah & King of Kings & the Bible shall be presented as an alternative & 'liberal' approach to the current beliefs in these other religions here at CR.:)
    we are going to see Banidt as the 'liberal' muslim & the 'liberal' buddhist & the 'liberal' hindu & new ager, teaching the gospel of the death burial & resurrection & shall include ALL the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostles and Prophets, of course from my liberal perspective of their religion.

    since we are doing liberal Christianity, it shall only be fair to do liberal in other religions.
    thank you for this opportunity to be a liberal in other religions.
     
  19. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    All,

    As you see, this thread has been moved from the Christian forum to Comparative Studies. The reason:

    This thread is comparing two "policitcal/religious" views that are in opposition to each other, yet claiming to be of the same cloth (as it were). In the center circle is the Bible (Christian Bible). And the outskirts are those in various degrees of concurrance concerning the validity of said Christian Bible. Is I a real Christian, or is I a "timex Christian". Are we both Christian?

    As I said, diametrically opposed views (with varying ranges in between), but emphasis is on political rather that faith based issues. Hence it deserves more "comparative study" in a more neutral forum. ;)

    v/r

    Quahom
     
  20. Bandit

    Bandit Well-Known Member

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    awe shucks:) !
    i was going to really get into the liberal thing in other religions, but the thread has been moved.

    maybe some other time, cause i am sure it wont be long before it pops up again under a different title in Christian.

    i am kind of bummed & happy at the same time that it was moved.
    thank you everyone, for all those different alternative views, but i must stick with Jesus the good shephard.:)
     

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