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  •  Jesus a liberal? (7+ / 0-)

    "Jesus was primarily an inclusive liberal... "  No, he wasn't.  He was an exorcist, a faith healer, an end-of-the-world nut who thought that justice for the poor and everyone else would come after the world came to an end.  He was also against divorce, and not very fond of marriage -- he thought it was better to avoid marriage if you could (just like the apostle Paul).  "Liberalism" as it's used in contemporary American politics just doesn't fit a first-century Jew, or a first-century anyone.

    According to the gospels he was at best ambivalent about non-Jews, and the pro-Gentile stories are suspect because they (like the rest of the gospels) come from a period when the mission to Jews had largely been abandoned in favor of evangelizing Gentiles; they may have been invented to make Jesus look friendlier to the goyim than he actually was.  But "inclusive" is not the word I'd use for someone who taught that he wanted to foment division, to break families, to set parent against child and brother against brother, and in the final judgment to separate the sheep from the goats.  He also taught that only a few found the way to salvation, while most would be lost.  At best, you're oversimplifying on this issue.  But then, anyone who actually does study early Christianity isn't likely to think that any modern form of the sect can appeal to Jesus as a model.

    •  That's some ugly, highly selective reductionism (9+ / 0-)

      you're selling there @Duncan1951.  There's a whole lot more to the contents of the Gospels than that.  Your reading is the kind of thing that comes from taking an academic modern-day secular point of view and failing to fully read between the lines in the context of the times.

      While you're correct that "Liberalism" as a (Western-hemisphere) concept today doesn't at all fit the 1st-century world view, Jesus of Nazareth is viewed by progressive Christians as offering a radical, highly-inclusive, love-is-the-greatest-commandment approach to life - a huge challenge to the authorities both religious and secular.

      If the early sects got so much wrong, it's not surprising as they had rather little to go on and where working it out the hard way.

      •  Jesus was a radical, (5+ / 0-)

        which is why the hierarchy of His era wanted to get rid of him...He threatened their status quo.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:24:45 PM PDT

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        •  Doesn't really matter (0+ / 0-)

          When the only scripture the, "Christian," wingnuts quote is from the Old Testament, pre-Christian.
          It certainly is much easier to understand a vengeful, jealous, wrathful God than to accept and give love.
          From each book: "Thou shalt have no other gods but Me." "The love of money is the root of all evil."
          Case closed for the Plutocrats.

          "To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence." - Mark Twain

          by CaptainAnalog on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 07:12:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Jesus is a myth (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Just ask Pope Leo X. He is quoted as declaring: "It has served us well, this myth of Christ."

          The character of Jesus was invented by those who sought to compete with the many other 'God Men' prevalent in the ancient world at the time. Pope Leo X knew this and said so on many occasions (as did all the rest of the long line of Popes but were afraid to state it publicly).

          A study of Papal bulls and speeches is a daunting task, but quotes can be found if you have the patience to rummage through the Vatican, Papal archives.

          This whole Christian thing is a hoax; a power grabbing stunt that got way out of control. Of course, any other religion is no better and serves the same controlling interests of the monied elite.

          "Faith answers no questions; it prohibits us from asking them"

          by OldSickandTired on Sat May 23, 2015 at 07:38:04 PM PDT

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          •  Any other religion? (0+ / 0-)

            Organized religions, perhaps.

          •  I am sick and tired of endless efforts (0+ / 0-)

            to counter such drivel. Try this:

            "Although widely attributed to Leo X, the earliest known source of this statement is actually a fiercely antipapal work by the ex-Catholic Anglican priest John Bale “Acta Romanorum Pontificum usque ad tempora Paulo IV” (Basel 1538; Frankfurt 1567; Leiden 1615) which was first translated from Latin into English as "The Pageant of the Popes" in 1574:

            "For on a time when a cardinall Bembus did move a question out of the Gospell, the Pope gave him a very contemptuous answer saying: All ages can testifie enough howe profitable that fable of Christe hath ben to us and our companie."

            The Pope in this case being Leo X.

            There are no authenticated documents that state that the real Pope Leo X actually said this.


            aures lupi

          •  Who quoted that pope with those words? (0+ / 0-)

            Someone at one of his orgies? Seriously, I couldn't care less what any pope ever said about anything, because they're all nothing but overblown altar boys who get carted around the globe like gods and indulge in whatever kind of depravity they deem appropriate whenever they feel like it. But it is, indeed, instructive to hear it straight from the horse's mouth.

      •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

        It's time for ALL OF US to set aside our political and religious differences and join forces to fight the profit-over-planet crazies in and out of government in the fossil fuel war loving, planet polluting oligarchy. For example, you know those fundies always blamed for ignoring the climate issue. Well, they GET IT NOW!
        I just read from a Seniors web site that are Christians the truth that ACTUAL Christians NEVER were supposed to agree to trashing the environment. All that mind fork injected into the so-called Fundies has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity and EVERYTHING to do with a pro-war, pro fossil fuel oligarchic propaganda exercise lasting more than a century. 
        " What's With That Dirty House Roof?
        We recently celebrated "Earth Day".. From my Christian perspective, I believe we have a deep responsibility to be good stewards of the planet that God has given for          each of us to use for a few years. "This Is My Father's World" Have you sung that  hymn at church? I have, since I was a wee boy, and that's a long time. So then, today might be a good time for each of us to ask if we have been responsible with "our Father's world". And, how can I be more responsible tomorrow? 
        From a more practical perspective, what good is having all of the money or gold in the world, if we have destroyed our air, water, and land? Have you noticed how filth from the sky has fouled your roof, or the one next door?  
        We didn't see so much of this just a few years ago. If you have a new home with a clean roof, just drive around and look at some 10-year roofs. Crud from the air has           been deposited on roofs, and streaked by the rain.

        If it's on the roofs, it has also been sucked into our lungs. An awful thought. It's in our air, our water, our land.
        We have taken God's gift to us, and polluted it. So what can we do about it? You have the answers if you - - just stop for a moment to think about it.Now - - - ACT!" [img][/img] 

        Progress of Petition to Change this Forking Dirty Energy World! 

        CA  Jul 05, 07:16  # 227 Our local, family owned company has been providing solar services to the OC and desert communities for 38 yrs.  

        Spain Jul 04, 07:39  # 224   I have learnt that my life has the same value as the life of a person that lived in the past and the life of person who will live in the future. They probably dream also of a better future for us or for the future predecessors..We all have different dreams but I hope that we humans keep on dreaming and carry on with this miracle of having an intelligent life in a marvelous place like planet earth. For us, for the people. Andres

        CA  Jul 03, 17:33 # 221 I've been off grid using solar electricity and solar heating for more than 25 years. I also worked for an electric utility and saw how their investments in massive central coal, nuclear and natural gas plants and the interstate transmission lines required to get the energy was actually more expensive and less reliable than the long term costs of solar, wind and geothermal power. But the utility used very sophisticated bookkeeeping to hide the real cost of energy and the greater customer benefits of investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
        Turkey Jul 02, 23:40 # 220 All over the world we, people and NGOs have to be more proactive for changing the energy sources to renewables as gifted by our nature, stopping using the fossil fuel sources killing our nature and future.
        Here's a link to the petition to the White House to Demand a 100% Transition to Renewable energy within a decade using the World War II Liberty Ship Manufacturing Miracle:
        Thank you and please pass it on. The Biosphere you save may be your own...

      •  "Reading between the lines" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nautical Knots

        ...means editing other's writings to mean whatever YOU want them to say, and will always be illegitimate and irrelevant.
        Just HONESTLY read/comprehend what is actually written.

      •  yes, but Duncan is correct... (0+ / 0-)

        on many of his facts. Jesus had a lot of good stuff to say, but he also could be vindictive and nasty. Modern day Christianity has evolved into a much different religion than what Jesus was preaching. This does not make Jesus a bad person or something, just someone who was very much a person of his time. However, I agree with what you are saying, in that what some people do who call themselves Christains varies greatly from modern day Christianity.

      •  read between the lines ?! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pamelia HR, Nautical Knots

        are you kidding? tell ya what, you go make up your own version of Christianity and then stick it ... between your own damn lines.

        When there's no way to make sense of words other than wholesale "interpretation" of them, you're probably dealing with what was utter bullshit in the first place.

    •  Twisted Words (11+ / 0-)

      I'm not a religious person but I'm not gonna let this horseshit stand. You've earned a random long-ass ranting post by flaunting your lack of knowledge and sensitivity whilst simultaneously acting like an expert.

      "I came for the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Matthew 15:41

      Well, damn, I guess he came for the Jews too. There are also other verses later in the New Testament where Paul basically says the "real" Israel isn't some sort of genetic or cultural thing, but a personal state of being. "Not all who are Israel are Israel."

      "Rejoice not that the demons of hell are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." Luke 10:20

      Comparing Jesus to a modern-day exorcist or faith healer is like comparing a Sufi to a modern new-ager. They're only superficially similar, at best, and once you get down into the meat you find they're about as different as night and day.

      "The kingdom of God does not come with careful observation, nor will people say "it's here,' or 'it's there,' because the kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:20-21

      "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. " Luke 12:31

      "If you seek me you will find me." (All over the Old and New Testament, too many to cite them all. For easy reference, all of the book of Jeremiah.)

      "Broad is the path of destruction and many follow it, but narrow is the way to life, and few find it." Matthew 7:13-14

      Take those last four as a kind of syllogism leads us to an interesting place. If you find whenever you seek, but few find, then that can only mean that few are seeking. Interesting. I wonder if Jesus said anything about that in particular.

      "You search the scriptures because in them you think you have life, and indeed they are that which testify of me (Life) but you are not willing to come to me that you might have life." John 5:39-40

      I could go on and on about other New Testament verses where Paul says the only God or Jesus that we should be knowing is the one that is within, but I think you might be starting to get the idea now. You know, I think I will lay one more Jesusism on you to drive the point home.

      "Don't cling to me, for I have not yet ascended." John 20:17. Well, how about that. Jesus, the Jesus, telling us not to cling to him. Just a few verses later we're told we're getting his spirit, which is better-suited to the job anyway. Again, given what Paul said about "Not knowing Jesus after the flesh anymore," I think it's safe to conclude that the life, the Jesus, and the kingdom the bible speaks of is a personal condition, an individual state of being. Oh, what's this? "Always bearing about in my body the dying of the Lord Jesus, so that the life of Jesus might be manifest in my mortal flesh." 2 Cor. 4:10.
      Paul wasn't the only one to express such a sentiment; "The price of eternal life is steep indeed; in order to obtain it, one must die several times whilst still alive." -Friedrich Nietzsche.

      Yeah, the life that Jesus talks about is a personal state of being, it's for everyone that wants it, some people don't pursue it, and that's perfectly okay. There's no judgment in making a descriptive statement saying not very many people decide to go that route. No one in the text is making a moral value judgment in any of those. The closest Jesus ever comes to a moral value judgment is when he engages in acts of physical violence against people who try and make money by exploiting peoples' spiritual practices.

      Oh, and about the sword-part of your little Gish gallop (And really, I never thought I'd see a Gish gallop used against religion.) yes, Jesus did promise to bring not just division, but the word he used was "sword." Here, let me quote that one too. "I did not come to bring peace, but to bring a sword. I've come to set son against father, daughter against mother...etc... Matthew 10:34-35.

      "The word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

      "The sword of the spirit is the word of God." Ephesians 6:17.

      Well, now we know what kind of sword Jesus meant to bring, and now we know what that sword does, and from there I think it's safe to say we know why it has the effect that it does. When you can cut through the masks that people hide behind, sometimes you find ugly stuff, and sometimes that stuff sets people against each other. People lie to each other on a daily basis for reasons like convenience and preserving each others' feelings. The masks people wear are as much for those around them as they are for themselves sometimes, but that "sword" is supposed to cut through all of that. I think now's the time to borrow another Nietzsche quote: "Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth simply because they don't want their illusions destroyed." Seriously, try destroying a person's illusions, illusions that they rely on for comfort. You'll be lucky to escape with life and limb intact. Hunting for the truth, especially the truth concealed in peoples' hearts, is not something that typically engenders peace.

      And I don't remember anywhere where Jesus said it was better to avoid marriage. I remember Paul expressing an opinion along those lines though. Jesus, and the culture that surrounded him, also defined divorce differently than how we do today. They also defined marriage differently. In their day, the act of consummation was the marriage, and divorce, according to the text, was external forces trying to separate two people who wanted to be together. The only time Jesus mentions divorce as coming from one of the couple members, is when one party abandoned their spouse for another.

      It's a sad truth in this day and age that so many who claim to be enlightened refuse to even entertain the possibility that we might be able to find some valuable wisdom in old sacred texts like the bible, or the Vedas, or the Buddhavacana. They're art, they're literature, and they serve the same ends of personal development and growth that all art serves. It's not inaccurate to call Jesus an inclusive liberal. He was equally at home with the low and high class people of society, and didn't discriminate between Jew, Samaritan, or Gentile. Kind of like the God of the Old Testament, "he was no respecter of persons."

    •  Paul specifically qualified his remark with the... (0+ / 0-)

      Paul specifically qualified his remark with the statement that it was his own opinion not an apostolic mandate... It was a recommendation made in ignorance of any specific revelation on the subject. But then he goes on to say that marriage is good so that you don't tempt yourself. You don't have to agree with this sentiment, and I have corrected your misstatement.

    •  He said he *would* cause division. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He didn't say he wanted to.  You're misrepresenting his words there.

      The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early; don't mistake an unfulfilled dream for a lost one. A dream has no deadline!

      by Panurge on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 03:33:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, actually, ALL the stories about Jesus (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salliezoo, bfdf75, Sk8eycat

      in the Bible are suspect. Go back and compare the life of Jesus, as described, with the life of Heracles as given in the Greek myths.

      1. Both were the sons of a king-god and a mortal woman.

      2. Both were targeted for killing as infants by jealous monarchs: Herod in Jesus' case, Zeus's jealous wife Hera in Heracles'. (She sent poisonous snakes to kill him in his crib; he strangled them with his bare hands.)

      3. Little is known about either one's life between childhood and grown manhood.

      4. Jesus had twelve apostles; Heracles, twelve labors.

      5. Both died and ascended into heaven. Heracles was poisoned by a jilted lover, so that his mortal nature perished and he rose to Olympus fully divine.

      I'm sure there are others, but those hit the highlights.

      The Greeks had plenty of opportunity to influence accounts of Jesus' life, of which the oldest known date to decades after the Crucifixion; they were among the first people, after the Jews, to take a serious interest in the new faith, and the New Testament was translated into Greek before it was rendered in Latin.

    •  I've never taken Jesus' words about the divisio... (0+ / 0-)

      I've never taken Jesus' words about the divisions between people as causative, bug rather as predictive.

    •  Several rebuttals are contained in the following: (0+ / 0-)

      song by a Jew!

      (Ducks back out of knife fight)

    •  Do not confuse the actual teachings of Jesus (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      with the letters written to the early Christians from people like Paul and others who claimed authority in the young church.  The words of Jesus were those of a liberal who preached love and compassion for the poor and unfortunate and care for the world and it's people.  The words of Paul are those of a man who hates women and is already creating the dogma and strictures adopted by the church over the centuries.  Some people interpret the Bible literally, but others know the History of the Bible and the early church and understand that there may be things in the Bible that have been modified over the years or ineptly translated.

    •  When the Ends of Worlds are common events (0+ / 0-)

      Jesus was not an "End of the World nut." In the ancient world nothing was more self-evident than that worlds came to ends, and the role of the Messiah was supposed to be the political task of ending which ever empire held the area around Jerusalem, returning the Jews to self rule. Jesus took this mundane task and used it to introduce a behavioral model that would help his followers to avoid getting sucked into the end of the Roman Empire which every one, especially the Romans, believed was about to implode pretty much from the time of Augustus. A compassionate, non-violent social organization is, actually, a good way to deal with End Times. The loony tunes eager to precipitate Armageddon have really lost the point.

      If you filter out what isn't presented as a verbatim quote, you can see that there is much in the Gospels that is based on a disciple's direct recollection and the thrust of Jesus's message is that, after the End, you will be judged on how much you minimized the suffering that goes with End Times. How much of his idea of the judgment has to do with motivating his followers and how much he really believed in it is anyone's guess. As for the idea that there was no way but his way,his words were for his audience, not everyone everywhere for all time. As for the Epistles, you are better off going to the Apocrypha. Paul had his own agenda. As for the Book of Revelations, that's a political screed with some Christianity thrown in for good measure.

    •  Duncan, my friend (0+ / 0-)

      you need to do a little bit of academic study of the Bible at a good theological institution. Your interpretation of the Gospel message is really overly literal. I'm sorry that you have chosen such a negative view.  I personally find Jesus to be a wonderful role model of how to treat others -- he welcomed the outcasts of his day.

    •  Saul, aka Paul (0+ / 0-)

      Wasn't an apostle, he never met Jesus in his life. He was a con artist who knew a good con.

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