• ENOAH
    653
    IMO a peculiar teaching. I guess in some circumstances it would necessitate internally reaffirming your love of an enemy and then picking up your rifle (or whatever weapon you have) and ending his life e.g. in a time of war where your enemy is out to kill you. I suppose this is the right way to think about it?BitconnectCarlos

    And I get that, and completely agree that "yours" is the reasonable, and functional, and therefore worthy to adopt as true.

    But (I'll admit I'm "romanticizing" -- I'm not theologizing) I like to think of, even the historical Jesus, as an "awakened" individual. More like Siddhartha than (and please God, I mean no offense, say, Islam's prophet, pbuh, or Moses, or the Bab, Bahu'allah, for e.g.).

    I like to think he wasn't even addressing mundane experience (or what I call, History). He was addressing the imprisonment of our truly human nature, as he saw it: sure, maybe sinful, given he was Jewish, but, redeemable. However, only if we get out of our "heads" I.e., attachment to our ego's, and in turn to the objects to which they attach, and so on.

    He addressed this in a few ways (brief e.g.s, not quotes but paraphrasing), "it's not what you eat that defiles you but your speech," "sabbath was made for man not vice versa," "If you don't hate your family, you cannot be in God's domain," "faith the size of a seed can move mountains". "Love your enemies" was like that. On one level it is obviously "impossible" or at least as you correctly pointed out, dysfunctional, to love your enemies. But to be a real human, free from the attachments of our incessant chattering, don't think that all you have to do is pay your tithe, perform your rituals, etc. "Love your enemies," That's "what you have to do."
  • ENOAH
    653
    I guess in some circumstances it would necessitate internally reaffirming your love of an enemy and then picking up your rifleBitconnectCarlos

    Sorry! Ha! I guess that's kind of what you were getting at, nicely lumping it into the functional interface.
  • BitconnectCarlos
    2k


    I think I agree with you. Def more Siddhartha than Moses.

    I find him fascinating and radical. Very polarizing. I didn't grow up Christian and I get the sense that Christians from birth don't find Jesus polarizing but I do (because I was raised Jewish.) My academic interests are mostly with the Hebrew Bible, but on a personal/spiritual level I find Jesus fascinating. I kind of try to straddle the line and follow both, at least as far as it's possible.
  • ENOAH
    653
    I get the sense that Christians from birth don't find Jesus polarizingBitconnectCarlos

    I think Christendom (to use Kierkegaard's furious label) has made it very difficult for those born into it to properly relate to that (whoever he was) authentic Jewish sage, Jesus of Nazareth.

    I grew up "Catholic," and, though it wasn't necessarily a "bad" experience, for me it was the hassle of rituals and the hypocrisy of self righteousness and exclusivity.

    I often think we in the west idealize Buddhists or Jains, for e.g., and assume, because of the doctrine of ahimsa (noninjury) they must be peaceful people. Most likely, "they" are no different than you and me. Plato's cave doesn't discriminate.

    If only Christians carried out Jesus's "teachings"; and I don't even mean social etc. If they sought, personally, to transcend convention and complacency on the level of "love your enemies" and "hate your family," oh, what a world this would be.

    I think non-Christian probably stand a much better chance at understanding Jesus, frankly. I congratulate you on your openess and wish you good fortune in your academic pursuit of the Hebrew Bible (A fascinating topic. I love the books of Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ecclesiates, Job, Hosea--for their expressions of the impossible human struggle to understand/relate to the "divine").
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    IslamENOAH

    The others perhaps. This one, I doubt it.

    If only Christians carried out Jesus's "teachings"; and I don't even mean social etc. If they sought, personally, to transcend convention and complacency on the level of "love your enemies" and "hate your family," oh, what a world this would be.ENOAH

    Jesus wasn't a hippy. The teachings of Jesus are preached by the true Churches. The issue is that the Church doesn't preach your personal prejudices dressed in religious robes. And that goes for most non-denominational "Christians" in the west — they are not Christian, just supremely arrogant.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    The teachings of Jesus are preached by the true Churches.Lionino

    What are the true churches and what teachings do they preach?
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    You're a Pope Francis fan? What is it about these two religions?
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    It would be just easier to say "Catholic Church", but people here will misunderstand Catholic Church in this context to mean Roman Catholic Church, thinking I am excluding the many Orthodox Churches when I am not.

    I can't start to understand what you mean by these two questions. My guess is that you didn't start there, so I wasted my time posting the links.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    I'm not sure why you would post these two websites as representations of true and authentic religions. Remember I don't share your worldview, so I have no idea what your intent is. I thought you were being satirical at first. It's certainly not self-evidence and the content I see is standard religious fare. I grew up in the Baptist Church and I worked for the Catholic Church for many years so I'm familiar with the frames and concepts.

    I'm asking why these two churches and not The Church of England or Quakers? How do you determine which version of Christianity is true and which one is not - other than via personal preferences?
  • ENOAH
    653
    Jesus wasn't a hippy.Lionino

    I'm unsure what you mean. Obviously not.


    The teachings of Jesus are preached by the true ChurchesLionino

    And personally transcending convention and complacency on the level of "love your enemies" and "hate your family, is not a teaching? What, then, is the call to Holiness? The call to be like Christ?

    But, with respect, far more importantly, on what authority do you claim that the teachings of Jesus are exclusive to the true Churches? [maybe I misunderstood] . And I don't mean that in the "protestant" sense, as in there isn't a "true" church. I mean it in the same way as if you were saying Plato’s teachings are dictated by Oxford University. Unless I was Russian Orthodox, for e.g., what the Russian Orthodox church teaches may have no bearing whatsoever on my understanding of Jesus. Why wouldn't that be legitimate?

    I'm not looking for an argument. I do not have any emotional or sentimental basis for my questions. I'm just surprised at your statements. Maybe you were being ironic?
  • ENOAH
    653
    The others perhaps. This one, I doubt it.Lionino

    That statement, I won't touch. I sense it was hollow and not really intended for discourse.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    I'm asking why these two churches and not The Church of England or Quakers?Tom Storm

    It is not "these two churches", they were sites I provided since you asked. I am referring to the Catholic Churches, which are the Church, not nonsense like Mormonism. Reformists were formal heretics and modern Protestants are at least material heretics. I don't need to argue for the legitimacy of the Catholic Churches as they have continuity from the church established during the Roman councils, not something that some guy in Germany or England or Sweden that thinks his interpretation skills (of a translated bible) trump 2000 years of tradition has. A historical overview of the subject is available in many places and stands by itself.

    The Church of England I don't know. I have heard some claim it is Catholic but I doubt it. But they also deny that they are Protestants? The only thing I know is that it was created because the pope refused to cancel some English king's marriage, so he made his own church since others were doing the same at the time. From that fact alone it is hard to take seriously as a traditional institution.

    Remember I don't share your worldviewTom Storm

    It is not about worldview, I am saying it how it is. The teachings of Jesus are given through the Church, not through some Instagram hippie's interpretation of the Bible, which was compiled by the Church. It is like talking about the story of Harry Potter and referring to fanfictions online instead of the writings of JK Rowling. Well you are not talking about «Harry Potter» anymore, are you?
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    I mean it in the same way as if you were saying Plato’s teachings are dictated by Oxford UniversityENOAH

    It is not equivalent, at all. It is more like Socrates' teachings are dictated by Plato and Xenophon. It is.

    on what authority do you claim that the teachings of Jesus are exclusive to the true Churches?ENOAH

    :yawn:

    Ok, let's go there, where else would you get the teachings of Jesus from?
  • ENOAH
    653
    It is more like Socrates' teachings are dictated by Plato and XenophonLionino

    Sure. Why? Because Oxford is more remote from the source than the Church is from its? Perhaps, and I should be more thoughtfully precise, but I don't think it negates the point to the extent you might. That is, that of course there are secondary sources, and, as you point out, beyond. But their existence, while not to be devalued, while admittedly useful, do not render the primary source invalid to those who are not (simply) adopting the "views" of the secondary source (not intended to demean).

    Ok, let's go there, where else would you get the teachings of Jesus from?Lionino

    I am prejudging your question to have a hidden polemic (against, those who claim the bible is the only source, perhaps? Or perhaps you're sitting on, "the church is the source of the bible" with an anticipated explanation about the canonization process, etc. Or that "the bible is not the only primary source.") Otherwise, why the question with an obvious answer. Anyway if it helps. I already assume though there are reasonable doubts, the history is what it is conventionally supposed to be; and, I assume so only for the purpose of discourse. Or, if not, then I am willing to suspend the concept of a historical Jesus and proceed with the question between the lines, "to understand the mythological (or the character) Jesus, is there any validity in drawing my own pictures and sharing them, or ought I restrict them to the pictures of tge church?

    And by the way, if it is the latter, then I say, notwithstanding the degrees of removal, the Oxford analogy applies. And I'll go a step further and suggest, by analogy, it is similarly applicable to the way some view philosophy. Loosely put, if one expresses a novel philosophical proposition not included in the "teachings" of "Oxford," or not obviously traceable thereto, it is outright rejected.

    There are places for insistence where orthodoxy is a reasonable imperative. Maybe with regard to strictly academically philosophical points, this forum is probably such a place. Maybe this is such a place of orthodoxy in fact for any hint of philosophy (in which case I ought to be reprimanded, if not suspended). But I don't think this to be a forum where one can, with a straight face, insist upon religious orthodoxy. But again, I could be totally misunderstanding.
  • DifferentiatingEgg
    36
    As an atheist, I don't mind declaring: God gives purpose, which is generally something to live for...
  • BitconnectCarlos
    2k
    If only Christians carried out Jesus's "teachings"; and I don't even mean social etc. If they sought, personally, to transcend convention and complacency on the level of "love your enemies" and "hate your family," oh, what a world this would be.ENOAH


    I do try to carry out "love your enemy" but I also keep in mind "do not throw your pearls to the pigs" -- do not give one's best to one who is undeserving. Jesus's teachings can leave one ripe for exploitation, but Jesus knows this so he tells his disciples “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves." Yet at least some of Jesus's followers do carry swords.

    In any case, the world is complex and different dispositions are suitable for different circumstances. One of my favorite teachings is when Jesus tells his followers "the greatest among you will be your servant" and I love how Jesus turns servitude into something so powerful and potent and strong. In some crowds (typically more mature, spiritually elevated ones) an attitude of servitude and helpfulness will get you far but in others it could be quite dangerous. His teachings often beckon to an ideal -- very useful to know and keep in mind, but one ought to be "wise as a serpent" when it comes to implementation.

    Another user, Count Timothy von Icarus, mentioned this idea of metanoia i.e. self transformation through the gospels through the internalization of these teachings and this, for me, is close to what I have in mind when I talk about Christianity, as an outsider.

    Just my two cents.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    Sure. Why? Because Oxford is more remote from the source than the Church is from its?ENOAH

    No, because the source is given by it. On the topic of Oxford, not only is it removed but also holds no authority over it.

    But again, I could be totally misunderstanding.ENOAH

    That is a lot of text for a very simple question. Again, where else do you get the teachings of Jesus from, besides the Bible?
  • BitconnectCarlos
    2k
    It is not about worldview, I am saying it how it is. The teachings of Jesus are given through the Church, not through some Instagram hippie's interpretation of the Bible, which was compiled by the Church. It is like talking about the story of Harry Potter and referring to fanfictions online instead of the writings of JK Rowling.Lionino


    We have the gospels and some are canonical and some are not. If people stick to the four canonical ones then we're interpreting from the same texts. The Catholic Church will have it's lens through which it interprets, just as the Jews will say one must know Talmud/oral law/study our own sages in order to understand the Bible (Tanakh in their case). I've found this approach somewhat stifling, personally.

    If one seeks to understand Jewish tradition read the Talmud. If one seeks to understand Catholic tradition read Aquinas and/or Augustine etc. Regardless, these thinkers have valuable insights which aid in understanding the text quite greatly. But sometimes insights are also added purely for theological cohesion.

    Yet the book can also be understood and insights gleaned from other sources outside of religious tradition. Literature, anthrpology, and archaeological findings can bear greatly on our understanding of Scripture.
  • ENOAH
    653
    I do try to carry out "love your enemy" but I also keep in mind "do not throw your pearls to the pigs" -- do not give one's best to one who is undeserving. Jesus's teachings can leave one ripe for exploitation, but Jesus knows this so he tells his disciples “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves." Yet at least some of Jesus's followers do carry swords.BitconnectCarlos

    Very true. Big confession that, while I pretend to myself not to, I am selective in
    my constructed Jesus.

    In any case, the world is complex and different dispositions are suitable for different circumstances.BitconnectCarlos

    That simple statement expresses something way up there in the "hierarchy of
    [constructing] truths."

    His teachings often beckon to an ideal -- very useful to know and keep in mind, but one ought to be "wise as a serpent" when it comes to implementation.BitconnectCarlos


    Another user, Count Timothy von Icarus, mentioned this idea of metanoia i.e. self transformation through the gospels through the internalization of these teachings and this, for me, is close to what I have in mind when I talk about Christianity, as an outsider.BitconnectCarlos

    I respect that so much! No different than a Chritian or Jewish person earnestly seeking Satori (while presumably thousands of so called "native" adherents to zen light candles and think they are enlightened).
  • ENOAH
    653
    No, because the source is given by it.Lionino

    Fair enough. Then, the argument that the Church "gave" us the canonical Bible, etc. If I lived in Plato's time, born after the death of Socrates, and stood up in the Academy and disagreed with Plato's rendition of the trial, I'd be a fool. Agreed. But if the Academy somehow lived on today, as a student in Athens today, I might offer my interpretation of the trial, a radical interpretation, like Plto depicts Socrates choice to die as heroic, I think it was a tragic capitulation to the dualism Plato promoted, the Ideal (Justice) trumps the Real (the living body); and moreover I think Plato deliberately constructed it that way. I don't think the Academy would insist I stick to the literal interpretation of Platos dialogues. Do you? Or have I corrupted the analogy again. Are you able to see tge point regardless? Or, honestly, is there no point. I am sincerely stuck in my thinking, if you can free me, I am willing, please do.



    That is a lot of text for a very simple question. Again, where else do you get the teachings of Jesus from, besides the Bible?Lionino

    Hah. True. Sorry. Directly above too, no doubt. Where else? Yes, other primary sources--but you know this. Desert Fathers, church councils, theologians etc. All arguably teachings of the church. (I wont complicate this further by adding, from Vedanta, or JD Salinger, Bob Dylan, for e.g.) But even if get my teachings of Jesus from church generated/ordained sources, either I (mis)took your (mild) "objection" to mean there is no validity in exploring those teachings and diverging therefrom, or that's exactly what you're saying, and I disagree.

    That I have learned unconventional things from the teachings of Jesus, things that seemingly wander far off of the path I may have started with my catechism, does not by itself render those teachings invalid in a forum outside of catchechism or mass. Or, maybe, they even simply re-present them, their true essence, their pith and substance, in an alternate way.
  • ENOAH
    653
    It is like talking about the story of Harry Potter and referring to fanfictions online instead of the writings of JK Rowling.Lionino

    I just noted that. Ok. I'm relieved. Now I understand your approach to this. Ibrespect it. But I respectfully disagree. Even for Rowling, a fan might enrich her text far beyond its original place in History. Just as (and I don't necessarily believe this) Elvis Presley enhanced "Its alright mama"

    Re-interpretations and reconstructions is how History moves. It's happening right here right now. Whether we see that or not. You might be confusing disliking my so called hippie construction with disliking reconstructions period. The first, I applaud you for. How then am I expected to learn? Tge latter, hate to break it to you friend, you have no control over.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    We have the gospels and some are canonical and some are not. If people stick to the four canonical ones then we're interpreting from the same texts.BitconnectCarlos

    You are referring to things like the Gospel of Thomas I am guessing? That is another topic altogether, but Church canon about the gospels has been established from a very early time, and they were aware of these gospels and perhaps others that are still lost.

    my so called hippie constructionENOAH

    It is not your construction (is it?), I don't know what you believe in. I am referring to people who say they follow Jesus but reject Church doctrine.

    You said previously you like Jesus' teachings, but yet you are not Catholic or Orthodox, I imagine you are not even Protestant. You don't like Jesus' teachings, you saw things you personally agreed with and suddenly that is what you think Jesus preached. Those "Jesus followers" do the same thing, on top of other things.

    But if the Academy somehow lived on today, as a student in Athens today, I might offer my interpretation of the trial, a radical interpretationENOAH

    If your bishop approves your interpretation and the Pope sanctions it ex cathedra, fine — it won't happen anyway because whatever you may have thought of has been thought of before and addressed —, otherwise, it has been rejected by a reason and insisting on it is heresy. Besides, Church doctrine is handed down through tradition. If you want to follow another tradition, you are not Christian.

    Either be apostate or follow dogma. The alternative is heresy, which is foolishness.

    Tge latter, hate to break it to you friend, you have no control over.ENOAH

    400 years later and protestantism is still considered heresy ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • ENOAH
    653
    You don't like Jesus' teachings, you saw things you personally agreed with and suddenly that is what you think Jesus preached.Lionino

    Not factually correct, far from it, but that's not your fault. You don't know me from Adam. You are allowing your prejudices to cloud your naturally open mind. And you're inadvertently demonstrating the point which i am apparentky failing to communicate to you. But I won't use my particular encounter with Christianity as a "weapon" nor "sheild" (don't worry, I know we're not fighting). Instead, I'll reiterate that one can have a completely valid position on Jesus without it sticking neatly inside the party line. This sounds like a defence of the Reformation, but much of Protestant Christianity has simply replaced one Dogma with another. Jesus of N., I submit, if he was anything was, a prophet against Dogma. Do you require textual evidence? I warn you I'm impatient and lazy, so im hoping you already know that. You present yourself as knowing these things. Don't raise arguments tgat Jesus was a passover keeping adherent of Judaism and loved his Torah as evidence to the contrary.

    If your bishop approves your interpretation and the Pope sanctions it ex cathedra, fineLionino

    Ok, I can't tell if you're being facetious. If you're not. Full respect friend. But obviously we can end our discourse there. For you, clearly Jesus=Orthodoxy. For me it does not. I am not being facetious when I say, I love you for your orthodoxy. I have no inclination to persuade you otherwise. And it is likely I am going to willfully blind myself to anything I might learn from you since, I am already familiar with orthodoxy and you are, by your very responses, telling me there is only that.

    Either be apostate or follow dogma. The alternative is heresy, which is foolishness.Lionino

    And I cannot disagree more, my only concern now is tgat my heresy hasn't offended you.

    Church canon about the gospels has been established from a very early time, and they were aware of these gospels and perhaps others that are still lost.Lionino

    And you realize there were quasi political motivations behind rejecting various apocryphal, like Thomas for its gnostic flavor, and notwithstanding its historical status possibly being on par with Mark? And so on. So I suppose, and I am compelled to reiterate that I am not being rhetorical, you believe the Holy Spirit guided them in that selection? If so, again, praise you and praise God. But that simply isn't my angle. And I feel it is better not to further explain to you, now that I know your angle. It would be tantamount to interfering in your marriage (look, I get tgat was a poor analogy, it's the feeling for me that I'm illustrating). I have no desire to interfere with your adherence to Dogma if Dogma is presumably what we commonly call spiritual for you.
  • ENOAH
    653


    I will add, regarding my view, since you bring up for me the terms orthodoxy and heresy, you do acknowledge Jesus was crucified for stepping outside the line. I.e., he was a heretic. And perhaps my following point is intended more for poetic value, and not literally, but feel free. For me, perhaps that is the essence of Jesus (now, Christologically speaking) that it turns out, God, go figure, is a heretic. No offense. Believe me. Discern the exact antithesis of offense, and that's how I meant that.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Thanks for your perspective. Appreciated.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    Instead, I'll reiterate that one can have a completely valid position on Jesus without it sticking neatly inside the party lineENOAH

    Of course, but we are not talking about having a position on Jesus, something that everyone is entitled to. What we are talking about is that having a position on Jesus is having a position on Church doctrine. Separating the two is nonsensical.

    my only concern now is tgat my heresy hasn't offended youENOAH

    You would be shocked to find out I have no dog in this fight, I don't care about heresy. I am just saying it how it is, the whole "Jesus was a cool dude but the Church sucks" is dumb.

    if he was anything was, a prophet against DogmaENOAH

    At his time, yes, but the Church dogma is broadly what Jesus preached. That's why it is called Christianity. If you are against central dogmas you are against what Jesus said hence not Christian. You are against central Buddhist dogmas? Not a Buddhist.

    I am not being facetious when I say, I love you for your orthodoxyENOAH

    I am not even Christian.

    And you realize there were quasi political motivations behind rejecting various apocryphal, like Thomas for its gnostic flavor, and notwithstanding its historical status possibly being on par with Mark? And so on.ENOAH

    I don't know, I wasn't there.

    If only Christians carried out Jesus's "teachings"; and I don't even mean social etc. If they sought, personally, to transcend convention and complacency on the level of "love your enemies" and "hate your family," oh, what a world this would be.ENOAH

    This is the original statement of yours. Here, you imply that:

    1 – You are in a better position to say what the teachings of Jesus than others.
    2 – That Jesus' teachings boils down to "uuuuh turn the other cheek".

    Number 2 can only come from a place of someone who picks up their own personal prejudices from the gospels and ignores else.
  • BitconnectCarlos
    2k
    You are referring to things like the Gospel of Thomas I am guessing? That is another topic altogether, but Church canon about the gospels has been established from a very early time, and they were aware of these gospels and perhaps others that are still lost.Lionino

    The Church and the "instagram hippie" are often drawing from the same texts (e.g. the canonical gospels) but drawing different conclusions when it comes to interpretation. In Judaism we settle this tension through the Talmud by discussing these interpretations in depth. How does authoritative interpretation work in the context of the Church?

    In Judaism there's also midrash which is expanded, extra-biblical "tradition" stories such as concerning, for instance, Abraham's childhood in Ur. These don't contradict Scripture, merely expand on it a bit in ways that inform our theology. I do not know whether the Church has this. These could be accused of being "fan fics" unless they're true.
  • Lionino
    1.8k
    The Church and the "instagram hippie" are often drawing from the same texts (e.g. the canonical gospels) but drawing different conclusions when it comes to interpretationBitconnectCarlos

    The detail missing is that the text is compiled and edited by the Church. And the Church has continuity from the times of Constantine and supposedly from Peter — whose remains are supposedly in the Vatican.

    How does authoritative interpretation work in the context of the Church?BitconnectCarlos

    I don't know the details of that. But the big part are the Councils. Trento, Nicea, etc. Very basically,
    bishops meet up and discuss things until a decision can be made. In Trento, the council officially condemned the selling of indulgences, which Luther criticised, and the Church admitted its mistake.
  • ENOAH
    653
    If you are against central dogmas you are against what Jesus said hence not Christian. You are against central Buddhist dogmas? Not a Buddhist.Lionino

    Ok. Yes. Sorry. That point, I understand and agree.
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