Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Smellincoffee, Jan 22, 2014.
O.K- I'll grant that is a legitimate exception.
I'll certainly buy into the notion that if you don't think there is only one god you can't possibly be a Christian. Do you have even a single example of someone who claims to be a Christian who doesn't think so?
But this highly inconsistent and vengeful god who commits genocide is an entirely different matter. Which portions of the Bible are stressed, or not even believed, is the main reason why there isn't a single unified Christian sect instead of literally thousands of them. To claim that you must know what a "Christian" is while they don't is intolerance instead of any sort of truism.
Mormons. God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are considered three separate and distinct entities who all have their own divine power. So it's polytheist.
I would say that anyone who worships Jesus Christ is a Christian. Everything else is just details.
Even Baha'i and similar faiths?
For those who think Jesus (PBUH) come to change law with a better law, or to demolish the law in the old testament, I like to warn you with a passage in the bible Matthew 5: 17, 18 that stated:
Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, not one jot, or one tittle, shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled.
And I also think one should properly define what is being a Christian mean, if it mean being a follower of Jesus than they should follow his teaching no matter what, and it is not necessary for one to acknowledge him as a God to be Christian, I thought there were also old Christian group that reject the notion that Jesus is God but instead they believe that Jesus is a creation of God, just like any other prophets and human. While contemporary Christian groups that is known to reject trinity yet still count as part of Christendom are Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Christadelphians, Unitarians and Christian Scientists. By this definition being part of the Christendom is not by definition to acknowledge Jesus divinity but it is lay at the claim that they follow the (true) teaching of Jesus.
Just want to straight that one. So I think it is quite confusing for someone that claim to be a Christian but in the other hand they not only refuse to obey but don't believe in the teaching of Jesus. If one believe in the teaching of Jesus but break it, they are a sinner, but if they refuse to believe? that make one out from being a believer in Christianity.
How would one define the teachings of Jesus? They seem to be more of a "survival" guide, than any specific commands. After Jesus came back from the grave, he gave the command to preach the Gospel. It was that command that should be obeyed and his teachings tell us what to expect when we do that command.
I realize that humans want to just focus on Jesus' teachings because it is hard to accept that Jesus is God and that he died and rose again, and that he is the only Messiah.
They don't appear to follow Christ or his teachings, so no.
My understanding is rather: the understanding that Jesus (pbuh) is divine (in the same position or lesser than God) or not it also a part from the variety of understanding of his teaching or doctrine. In this sense believing in his divinity itself is appear as another understanding of his teaching, but the core claim of whether those who believe Jesus is divine or those who not is they both claim that they uphold the true teaching of Jesus. If there is no such things as the teaching of Jesus there is no such things as Christianity.
If I to debate you that Jesus is not God, but he is a prophet and creation of God just like Moses and Abraham, you will debate me by quoting the verses from the bible right? That mean you take your legitimacy of your belief that Jesus is God by giving an argument that your belief is actually the true teaching of Jesus, that you think he teach you that he is God and order you to worship him. Should we then dismiss those who belief another understanding of the teaching of Jesus that Jesus never claim divinity hence he is not divine is out from the Christendom? or appear to be a heathen instead of heretic in your view? By this understanding no, because they are like you, they claim this is the true teaching of Christ while you are the false one, while you are the opposite, but the core is both of you claim to be the follower of the true teaching of Jesus hence a Christian.
So what is Christianity? the religion (set of teaching can be both rule or principal in life) that is teaches by Jesus. Who is Christian? those who claim to be the follower (or at least believer) of his teaching.
Could they be compared to the Mormons? They "broke" away from Islam like the Mormons did from Christianity. Like Islam, the teachings of Jesus are important and "from God", they are not just the core teachings. It could be argued that even Islam "broke" away from Christianity and attempted to bring the Arab people groups into the historical context of the Bible. Islam could also be compared to the roots of Mormonism, their founders are both called prophets and were given insight from angels.
Even the Catholic church does not "center" it's core beliefs on the teachings of Jesus. It is the authority of the Magisterium and not necessarily the words of Jesus found in the NT. If it comes down to it, only Protestants to some degree only follow the teachings Of Jesus without mixing in a lot of other beliefs. Then again, if one follows Jesus teachings themselves without even being "religious" would seem to qualify according to your terms.
See my above answer. I would like someone to point out where Jesus commanded his disciples to worship him.
That there is a historical debate over the divinity of Jesus would not negate that it is a true statement. One still has to decide on which side of the issue one places his trust.
I would say that a Christian is one who accepts Jesus as the God Messiah, but not very many people agree to that definition.
I don't know man, Mormons seem to worship Jesus as much as any other type of Christian.
You try to argue that because the Muslims belief in Jesus (pbuh) as prophet, and we believe in the scripture before us and its alteration by the hand of human, so Muslims must be a branch of Christian sect and a broke out from Christianity? By that definition it mean Christianity also broke from Judaism and nothing but a part of Judaism sect. But that is your understanding not mine, and I perfectly know where you got that understanding (it is an old claim indeed)
In my understanding there always be what we understand as the chain of the prophet and chain of religion. What Islam to Christianity is what Christianity to Judaism, it is chain of religion. Moses (pbuh) is not broke out from the teaching of Noah (pbuh) but he perfected it, he fulfil it. Jesus (pbuh) is not broke out from the teaching or religion of Moses (pbuh) but he perfect it (and I believe also fulfil his teaching). So do Muhammad (pbuh) to Jesus (pbuh) are exactly the same.
In Islam we believe there are 124,000 prophets sent by God through out history, the one that we know is the one that is mention by God, while there are many other prophets that is not mention. And these prophets are sent to every place around the world to their peoples teaching monotheism. So not all the prophets are Jewish, there is a Chinese prophet that teach monotheism backthen in China, there is African prophets, Greek prophets, and all of this chain of prophethood is end up in Muhammad as the final prophet, teaching monotheism. What is the chain of the prophets use for? to straight the corruption of previous believer in terms of altering religious law, broke out from monotheism to polytheism, and these prophet sent to fulfil and renew the law of God.
So we don't see religion partially we see it as a comphrehensive process in history: as a dialect between God with his creation, through prophethood, scripture, from time to time in history of mankind.
I sometime even assume someone like Xenophanes might be a Greek prophet, he is lot more monotheis than other claim monotheist in our contemporary time and I must admit I'm one of his fans.
Nice to hear, so do I! But that is quite fallacious in your believe, because you believe he is God while I don't, and God is meant to be worship and you been commanded by God to worship him, if Jesus is God why did you think that you should not worship him? I agree there is no passage in Bible that Jesus said "I'm God worship me" but if you believe the part that he is a God, you must also believe that he order you to worship him, because God order you to worship God alone and not to take any partner for God.
Why it seem to me that you believe in separate God? which Father is God that you must worship, while Jesus is another God that you don't have to worship? I'm not debating just curious.
How can you be a Christian without following or at least believing the teaching of Jesus? I think your definition is becoming so wide in one aspect but extremely narrow in other aspect.
That is part of my point though. They worship him as a god. They do not accept him as God. I am still not seeing where people are suppose to worship Jesus though. Jesus was distinct from God because he was in human flesh, and now that he has a glorified body, there will always be a bodily representation of God in the flesh, but not the current state of human flesh. It is in the state of what Adam was before the knowledge of good and evil and the death sentence on human flesh. But Jesus will not be worshiped until he returns and the Jews give him the honor that he deserves as God on earth. The body that Jesus had on earth was corrupt. Even the Jews do not hold that the Messiah will be God. As pointed out by haroon only GOD demands worship, and Jesus kept reminding his followers that God was his Father and the one to give worship to.
The Catholic Church would have you believe that they replaced the authority of Christ on earth. They taught that humans were to worship Mary and the Son. God only gave the command to worship to the Hebrews who became known as the Jews.
In my logic it is the religion that is known as Christianity that is fallacious, but that is like calling every government evil and not having the power to change them.
I reject any form of "organized" religion. I also accept that God has chosen thousands of followers throughout history with a personal call and they are free to obey that call or not. They are not the progenitors of any religion. They are to proclaim there is one GOD and he provided himself as a way to reverse the choice that Adam made in the Garden.
I do not think that any one agrees on what a Christian is. There are thousands of flavors claiming to be the correct one. They all differ in practice and some even disagree on the concept of the Christ as you have pointed out. Even Jesus pointed out that the road was available to all, but narrow and few would find it.
I should have said "followers" not "worshippers".
I really enjoy the conversation, so I will proceed. My high school was mono gender catholic school, they not really teaching me religion over there even though there is class on religion but surprisingly they are not that focus on explaining their doctrine or Christian teaching, so I really not learn that much in that school (and I got a high mark in religion). But in my experience in catholic school they seem to consider Maria have divinity, and yes they also pray to Maria, but I don't remember the part where they actually worship Maria and consider her as God, and to be fair I don't believe they actually believe so.
But IIRC I do read that there were debate between the Christian regarding Jesus divinity and Maria divinity, as which one is more divine, The son of God or his mother (I hope Plotinus help me here to put more detail, I do remember read that long time ago but I can't address which spesific sect of Christianity it is)? As far as I understand Catholic regard Maria or Mary as a saint, she is only divine in that sense, however they don't consider her to be God.
But if you ask my belief, do the catholic worship Mary? in my believe yes (edit: possibly) they do, because only to God we pray and only to God we worship. Saint, prophet or Angles don't have the power to accepted prayer as only God that able to grant wish and accept the prayer of His creation, while saint, prophet and angels are like us a creation they also pray. They do have close relation with God and have God favour but they are no God. However we must put aside our understanding, and try understand it as the Catholics understand it, that mean according to them Mary is not a God, she is a divine human, a saint.
That is your believe I will not argue about that.
We are partly agree in the sense that each sect of Christianity also not agree with each other on what is the true teaching of Christ (that the nature of Christ maybe not part of the teaching of Jesus but it is part of the bible interpretation), this is what later divide them.
I think we should first properly define what is Christianity to order to understand Christianity, I believe every things that exist must be able to be put in definition, and definition for me is crucial (to difference what is and what not).
I don't think Christianity is a faith that believe Jesus is God. Because the notion that "Jesus is a God" is just part of how Christian sect and branch (or institution like: Church) interpret the Bible, we cannot use part of something to define the whole entity of that thing.
Christianity is like any other religion, it is a teaching of God that is sent through His prophet or Messenger that bring revelation and scripture to be left to mankind as a guidance, so they may learn and follow. Catholic lay a claim that they are the true representative of God in earth, but early Catholic understand the terms representative as also the only legit institution to give explanation of what is the true teaching of Jesus they never aim to replace the teaching of Jesus with their own teaching they are claim to be the legit successor of true Christianity (remember this is a claim, whether it is right or not, is not part of the discussion).
Without something call: the teaching of Jesus, Catholic lost its legitimacy as institution so do other Christian institution. So the core existence of Christianity is without doubt the teaching of Jesus. Base by this understanding, I define Christianity as the teaching of Jesus. And I checked Oxford definition regarding Christianity it is exactly as I purpose:
the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus Christ, or its beliefs and practices
But what is the transmitter of the teaching of Jesus? it is the bible that contain the legit saying of Jesus. And which one is legit or not (the gospel), and how we should understand its verses, etc etc etc, from all of this kind of question Christian separated into groups, that have varied understanding include the belief that Jesus is divine, or he is God or he is not God, and all its explanation and argumentation.
what is the law?
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Jesus changed the law, he replaced it with 2 suggestions
Thank you for your willingness to carry on the discussion. The only point I have here is to determine if there is a difference between following and worshipping and does praying to a saint fall under the category of worshipping or following? One can follow some printed words that happen to be attributed to a person without actually paying honor or allegiance to that person, but that is getting into the area of intent. However praying to that person elevates that person into a position of reverence and worship. If Mary and Jesus are not considered GOD, then that is contrary to the Law of Moses.
I agree that is what the Catholic church teaches and believes. They may not be worshipped directly but act as intermediaries. The Bible (Romans 8:34) does point out that the person of Christ sits on the right hand of GOD pleading on our behalf. The same chapter points out that without the Holy Spirit we do not even know how to pray to GOD. Yet both are GOD and equal to GOD yet different ways GOD manifest himself to humans. There is no where in the Bible that mentions any person as able to make intercession for us to GOD. There may be instances where a live human may step in and pray to God for help, but that is for a physical reassurance. There is no physical tangible reassurance when praying to a dead person. There is only the word of the one claiming the experience. When two or more people are in agreement and God moves in ther presence there is more than just one person as a witness.
That the Bible is open to private interpretation is a given, because it warns against doing so. Physically, I see no way around that. It is there in black and white, however if we accept that there is not a Holy Spirit of God guiding us, then we may as well just toss the whole Bible out, as opposed to just being misled all the time. There are parts that do not make any sense. If everything was explained there would be no room for faith, doubt, or choice. It seems to be a fact that humans will be led astray, but how are we to decide that going in the extreme opposite direction does not also stray from the truth and even brings about dogma that is false itself?
That is ok, but do we go to a modern acceptance or one that can be found closer to the time the name came into use?
Jesus did say that he was GOD and that he was sent from GOD. This was given to us in multiple writings and various authors confirming that point.
Actually the early stirrings of a Roman church laid claim to an apostolic succession, not from Jesus as a prophet, but from Peter as an apostle. It was the churches founded by the apostles themselves and the passing on from bishop to bishop that led to multiple schools of thought. That is why there was infighting going on between the churches in Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria. Constantinople and Jerusalem to a lesser degree. That continued for the first 300 to 400 years leading to the eastern orthodox schism.
That is the claim, but even the prophet of Islam saw that the church had strayed from the teachings of Jesus, and that is where the claim for a new prophet came into the picture. It was to correct the path of the religion and put it back into the hands of the prophets, and not church orthodoxy. At least that is the reasoning that is in my head. I could be wrong.
He did not change the law. He said that these two laws contain (verse 40 says that all the law and prophets "hang" that is boil down to these two laws) the law in it's entirety. You have to understand how Judaism works. One cannot be a Jew unless one accepts the whole law. That is all 613 of them. The person asking the question was trying to avoid doing that and wanted just one commandment that would do the job. It is not even two commands but one being that one was to love God and others before he loved himself. That is he was suppose to put himself last. That is still impossible to do in the human condition. Show me one person who can do that. For starters one would have to accept that there is a GOD. Even in condensing the Law (which btw did not happen, the Jews still accept all 613 of them) Jesus was showing us that no one can live by the Law. They are not suggestions either. You still have to accept them if you want to "please" God. The Law is the demand given by God to grant "his approval". Those two commands do not even work in a civil government setting. At least most of the 613 minus the first 4 was to keep peace and harmony in a fair yet gruesome manner in a governmental setting. Loving everybody does not even get to the level of communism. At least there you do not have to love the person who cannot do for themselves what you are able to do for them.
You're welcome, I always appreciate civil discussion like this
I'm a hundred percent agree with you, as for me prayer and worship is an act that can be only attributed to God. I would say implicitly they are (possibly) worshipping Mary. But we must also first understand them as they understand themselves, you must remember there is a concept called intercession in Christianity that is also popular among the Monasticism. Here saint can intercede the relation between you and God, they can make sure that your sin been forgiven, your life been blessed, they even hear your prayer and have power to accepted it. If we use our definition of what is God and what is creation, and what God can do and what the creation cannot do to the Catholics, then the pope himself is possibly God to our definition. But what they understand is those saint have power to intercede because they accumulate somekind of spiritual energy from their act of rejection to the world (living in poverty or aesthetic life, even that is very questionable) and dedicating themselves to worship God alone, so they develop an unbelievable closeness to God and surplus amount of spiritual energy that is more than enough for themselves, it mean they can share it (or sell it) to other, so they in this sense they act as God representative in the world.
Well according to me, all monotheist religion mostly goes polytheist start from glorifying creation till end up worshipping creation, there are step by step for that, from glorifying exalting the creation of God (making their statue and monument in order to remind peoples of their piety), later they consider them to be God representative (start building small idol to be put at home for luck and things like that), later they consider them to be the minor God (within the concept of deus otosius, the major God is idle, the minor God is active) (start worshipping their statue or relics and believe it have somekind of Godly power), and later on they seen them as God incarnation himself or God manifest within them. Well actually Catholics still not worship Mary or Saint explicitly but of course regarding you and me definition of God, they already.
Well it should be the later, definition is identity of something, so if A not fit with the definition of B, than A is not B, it cannot work like if B claim to be A while B not fit (anymore) with the definition of A, definition of A must be change to be fit with B.
There are other Christian that might read and understand the bible in different way than yours. The understanding of "Son" itself can be quite relative. This is why I suggest you should also include them to be part of Christianity even they reject to recognize Jesus as a God.
Thank you, that is very interesting to know!
In addition, Allah teach us in Quran that the peoples of the book (Christian and the follower of Judaism) actually alter and change the scripture with their hand, and tell that alteration are from God, like in this verses
Therefore woe be unto those who write the Book with their hands and then say, "This is from Allah," that they may purchase a small gain therewith. Woe unto them for that their hands have written, and woe unto them for that they earn thereby. (Al Quran, 2:79)
This act is known to be selling the truth for a material gain (legitimacy, money, power, for politics, etc), as they also hide and alter part of the verses that somehow disbenefit them like the part about the incoming of the last prophet:
And, when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture, [saying], "You must make it clear to the people and not conceal it." But they threw it away behind their backs and exchanged it for a small price. And wretched is that which they purchased. (Al Quran, Ali Imran:187)
However there also among the peoples of the book (the early one that might not exist any more) who were honest in worship of God, in deepness, humility before the Creator and refuse to sold the truth in what ever cost it is:
"Not all of them are alike. Some of the People of the Book are an upright people. They recite the signs (or verses) of God in the night season and they bow down worshipping. They believe in God and the last day. They command what is just, and forbid what is wrong and they hasten in good works, and they are of the righteous. (Al Quran, surah 3:113-114)
"And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in God, and that which has been revealed to you, in that which has been revealed to them, bowing in humility to God. They will not sell the signs of God for miserable gain. For them is a reward with their Lord, and God is swift in account." (Al Quran, 3:199)
So yeah, just stating that to make it clear what Islam stand regarding this. As you inform me about the Catholic and history Christianity, I will answer and inform you regarding this subject. There so much misunderstanding about Islam, the most funny things is, some peoples even doesn't know that we actually believe in Jesus (pbuh) as we believe in Moses (pbuh) and other prophets before or after him.
I have no reason to antagonize people and sound like I am always right. I just have thoughts and they tumble out of my head like a waterfall sometimes.
It just seems to me that every one has equal access to God, and if they do not act on it, then yes they are limiting themselves.
I agree with you on the progression of religion.
Do you agree that if the definition changes over time, then the only way to get back to where it should be, would be the source of that definition?
I do not hold that God would mislead any one who approaches the Bible to learn. If one is just pushing an agenda, and they are appealing to authority and take something out of context is where any issues I have will be given.
I would tend to agree that God uses the thoughts of humans to question what humans claim is the Word of God. The work of the Holy Spirit is free to all and there is no need to charge people on understanding what God is telling people on a daily basis. Nor what he gave to us at the hands of the writers and prophets during the time God gave us his written words.
Would I still be considered a person of the book, if I did not associate with any religion?
I would hardly consider myself an expert on such topics, but I have read and studied the bible. I have read books on the topic of early chrstianity. And there are members posting here that have straightened my thinking out when it goes against the education they have gained throughout their experiences.
The person asking the question was a Pharisee part of the conspiracy to trap Jesus, "the law" as defined by Jesus was love God and others. He didn't endorse every law, or 613. He was changing, violating or ignoring laws, from divorce, cleanliness and the Sabbath to adultery.
They are suggestions, you even said they dont work in a civil govt setting. Thats why they're suggestions - not laws. Jesus didn't tell his followers to punish people who dont love God or others.
Separate names with a comma.