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Jesus is God, I don't think so

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posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by marko1970
It's clear within the Bible that there is ONE God. So we can't ALL be God.
If THAT were the case, people could fix their own miserable exsistences, & everything would be FABULOUS!


If we understood and realized our own unity with God -- the true meaning of faith -- then people COULD fix their own miserable existences, and everything WOULD be fabulous.



I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these


John 14:12.




posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 04:29 PM
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I think I see where you're coming from.
If I'm not mistaken, your beliefs are within the "UNITY" church teachings? (If I've misunderstood let me know)

Continuing.....


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
That we are all God is not an assumption, Marco. It's the fundamental fact experienced by all mystics. Or, well, what I have experienced is that I am God myself. And since I'm not a crazy person, I don't believe that this state of affairs is unique to myself.


Dude! We're ALL CRAZY! That is an obvious fact of life!
HA!




Actually, again I must point out that unity and identity are not the same thing. So maybe "I am God" or "we are all God" isn't quite the best way to put it. Say rather, that God is at the core of who we are, that our individual identities are masks and illusions, and that we may experience unity with God (or with all-that-is).



That is where I got my assumption for the Church of Unity



This understanding is common to mystics of all religions: the monastic orders and the Gnostics within Christianity, the Sufis within Islam, the sadhus and seekers within Hinduism and Buddhism, the Kabbalists within Judaism. What Jesus said about his own relationship with God, and the unity between them, is very much like what many, many others have said, and I think it far more likely that he meant by it exactly what they meant, than that he meant to say he, and he alone, held an identity with God.

Which is another way of saying that I think Jesus was a mystic, not a crazy person.


I also agree Jesus was not a Crazy person. But the teachings of Buddists, Kabbalists, Hindus... etc..... are quite different than what Jesus taught.


As to the commandments business, did Jesus not give two commandments of his own, to love God with all one's heart, and to love one's neighbor as oneself? When he said to keep his commandments, don't you think he was talking about these, which he said encompassed all the Law and the Prophets, rather than the commandments given to Moses?



I see where this view could be drawn, based on reading this sole verse of scriptue alone.

But in context with the topic of their conversation, which was about "The Father", along with Jesus telling them, "If you've seen ME, you've seen the Father" & asking them why they STILL don't know him after all the time he's been with them....
That is what makes me realize he is talking about the original 10 commandments.

ALSO, how much time did Jesus spend with Timothy & Philip?
I don't think we're clearly told a timeframe, but It couldn't have been more than a few years. And seeing how Jesus is saying "ALL THIS TIME I've been with you", the overtones of his words sound as if he's talking about "ALL ALONG- from the BEGINNING", As in, "as long as the Father".....

That's what I get from it.

Concerning The religious differences between Hindus, Kabbala, Bhuddists & the like- I had a pretty in-depth discussion with "RasoBasi" in another thread, as to how much different Jesus' teachings were, compared to the teachings of the aformentioned.

I'll try to find that, & post the link for you.
We had a good chat, because he wasn't sure if I actually understood anything about the other religious beliefs, & asked me How theye were different.

Anyway, I'm about to take off from "work", so I'm Out!
It's been an interesting discussion thus far!

[edit on 4-8-2006 by marko1970]



posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 04:47 PM
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Originally posted by marko1970
Jhn 14:15 ¶ If ye love me, keep my commandments.


WHY did Jesus tell Philip & Timothy to keep "HIS" commandments?
Did God give Moses the original commandments that were to be kept?

Jesus is claiming the commandments as being his own. Therefore...........

Jesus doesn't go by all the Commandments, and made up one on his own (Mat19:18-19), so maybe he considered just those to be his own Commandments, and to hell with the others, particularly the First, which might (and does) cancel out any chance of him being God, along with being a human being.

It's just a weird holdover from the Romans declaring their kings to be gods that people consider him a god. And those Romans were all heathens and infidels, too. So if you want to go along with what they say, feel free. Allah will set you straight.



posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by marko1970
If I'm not mistaken, your beliefs are within the "UNITY" church teachings? (If I've misunderstood let me know)


Actually I'm a Neopagan, practicing a type of Wicca. I've never heard of Unity Church, and so can't say whether I'd agree with them or not. I have studied many other religions, however, and find that there's a common thread running through them all, hence the forays into Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism, in their mystical aspects.



Dude! We're ALL CRAZY! That is an obvious fact of life!
HA!



Got me on that one, I'm afraid.




I also agree Jesus was not a Crazy person. But the teachings of Buddists, Kabbalists, Hindus... etc..... are quite different than what Jesus taught.


Take any two religions, and you will find that they are very different from each other, on the surface. Dig beneath the surface, though, and you will find that they are all metaphors for the same Reality. Faith is like a wheel, with many spokes and many points on the rim defined by its spokes, but only one hub. The points of doctrine or practice unique to a particular religion are rim-material, while the things it has in common with all are usually hub-material. For example, the Hindu teachings about reincarnation and the caste system and cow-protection are out on the rim, but the Hindu teaching about the relationship between Brahman (the All, or God) and Atman (the individual self, or soul) is of the hub -- and is identical to much of what Jesus said.

The teachings of Jesus can be interpreted in ways that fit very well with other mystical teachings from other religions, and if they are intrepreted in that way rather than in the way many Christians traditionally do, the contradictions and unexplained things about them mostly go away. That tells me that Jesus' real teachings were NOT radically different from the core of what other religions teach, they have simply been misunderstood.

Of course, that does not make Christianity identical to other religions. Its rim-material defines the differences between it and the others. Christians don't (usually) believe in reincarnation as both Hindus and Buddhists do, they don't see anything wrong with religious artwork as Muslims and Jews do, and they do not give the Holy multiple forms as Pagans like myself do. But these practices and beliefs are all pointing to the same place just the same.

When a religious believer focuses on the things about his religion that make it distinct from all others, he is, in my opinion, making a bad mistake. Nothing out on the rim really matters that much. It's the hub of the wheel of life where the real Truth is found.


But in context with the topic of their conversation, which was about "The Father", along with Jesus telling them, "If you've seen ME, you've seen the Father" & asking them why they STILL don't know him after all the time he's been with them....
That is what makes me realize he is talking about the original 10 commandments.


I don't understand your reasoning here. Can you connect the dots, please?

I look forward to your return.



posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 09:20 PM
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Originally posted by Two Steps Forward


Actually I'm a Neopagan, practicing a type of Wicca. I've never heard of Unity Church, and so can't say whether I'd agree with them or not. I have studied many other religions, however, and find that there's a common thread running through them all, hence the forays into Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism, in their mystical aspects.


GOTCHA! I understand you MUCH better now.
I actually DID at one time look at the Wiccan movement myself. Mainly due to personal experiences I was trying to find answers about... (OBEs especially.... and hearing that they were "evil"... which I didn't fully believe to be true, as I was 5 yrs old when they started!)

However, with a Christian foundation, & strong belief in God, with Jesus being the Savior, AND... holding EVERYTHING "religious" up to Biblical standards, I found too many things that didn't hold up for me, concerning Wicca.

I DID eventually get the answer I was looking for, from the Bible itself.
(John mentions his vision of Heaven, & basically says, he wasn't sure whether he was in the body, or out....)
OBEs aren't "bad"... but the means of achievement & reasons can have reprocussions if used unwisely)





Take any two religions, and you will find that they are very different from each other, on the surface. Dig beneath the surface, though, and you will find that they are all metaphors for the same Reality. Faith is like a wheel, with many spokes and many points on the rim defined by its spokes, but only one hub. The points of doctrine or practice unique to a particular religion are rim-material, while the things it has in common with all are usually hub-material. For example, the Hindu teachings about reincarnation and the caste system and cow-protection are out on the rim, but the Hindu teaching about the relationship between Brahman (the All, or God) and Atman (the individual self, or soul) is of the hub -- and is identical to much of what Jesus said.


This is where Raso and I got into a GREAT discussion!

We actually started out our "encounter" on the board much in the same way you & I have. LOL!

But There is a HUGE difference between what Jesus taught, & what other religions teach, or how they actually describe Jesus himself.

(I Need to go back & find that post..... I THINK it was the "Hell is Real" post.... it would be the last 2-3 pages we started discussiing the differences)


The teachings of Jesus can be interpreted in ways that fit very well with other mystical teachings from other religions, and if they are intrepreted in that way rather than in the way many Christians traditionally do, the contradictions and unexplained things about them mostly go away. That tells me that Jesus' real teachings were NOT radically different from the core of what other religions teach, they have simply been misunderstood.


Again, the difference in teachings, & doctrines, was quite obvious. (need to check on location of above mentioned post/discussion)


Of course, that does not make Christianity identical to other religions. Its rim-material defines the differences between it and the others. Christians don't (usually) believe in reincarnation as both Hindus and Buddhists do, they don't see anything wrong with religious artwork as Muslims and Jews do, and they do not give the Holy multiple forms as Pagans like myself do. But these practices and beliefs are all pointing to the same place just the same.


Hate to go... but dinner is ready!
I WILL be back.

BTW, I can appreciate your side much more now... knowing the origin.

LAter



posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 09:46 PM
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Originally posted by marko1970
I actually DID at one time look at the Wiccan movement myself. Mainly due to personal experiences I was trying to find answers about... (OBEs especially.... and hearing that they were "evil"... which I didn't fully believe to be true, as I was 5 yrs old when they started!)


Hmm, so you had OBEs?

I should say here that Pagans don't have any exclusive understanding of that phenomenon. We do, many of us (myself included) practice magic, and OBEs are a part of that, usable both for spiritual and for practical purposes. But many other mystical lineages do as well, and some of them have a very, very profound grasp of the subject. It would have impoverished my understanding terribly not to have explored Yoga, the Kabballa, Hermeticism, Gnosticism, Umbanda, Santeria, and so forth.

Just so you know, I began my spiritual trek as a Christian. I was raised in an agnostic household, but experienced the divine Presence at age 12, and it transformed my life totally. That same year (1968) I also hit puberty and discovered politics, a genuine triple-whammy. I remained a Christian for several years, but found that there was a lot of it that I could not accept, particularly the claim to exclusive possession of the truth, as well as some parts of the sexual morality. I moved from there into exploration of all the things mentioned above. I call myself a Pagan now, not because I believe Paganism is "true" in the sense that a Christian often believes Christianity is, but simply because I like it on a personal and aesthetic level. I know that The Truth cannot be told, and any religion I practice will be, at best, a metaphor for it, not a direct statement of it.

No religion has an exclusive possession of the Truth. Not even mine.



However ... holding EVERYTHING "religious" up to Biblical standards


This is what I believe to be your mistake. Why? Well, aside from what I know about how the books of the Bible were chosen, which hardly inspires confidence, there's a more fundamental problem.

God cannot be rationally known. God's nature cannot be encompassed by the human mind, nor described directly in human language. The Bible, being written in human language, therefore cannot state the divine truth.

This limitation means that neither the Bible, nor any other sacred book such as the Koran or the Upanishads, can be the "word of God" as Christians sometimes mean that phrase. Such a book cannot exist. Even if God were to have dictated the Bible word for word to its human authors, still it could not convey the truth about God. Because no book written in any mere human tongue ever can, or ever will.

And so the standard you need to hold everything up to is not the Bible, but your own spiritual perception, guided by the presence of God within. If you are using anything your rational mind can encompass, such as the Bible, to override that perception or to check on it, then you are steering yourself off the path.



But There is a HUGE difference between what Jesus taught, & what other religions teach, or how they actually describe Jesus himself.


We will have to discuss this later, when you have more time. For now, I'll only say that if you perceive such a difference, then you are misinterpreting what Jesus said.



posted on Aug, 6 2006 @ 11:30 PM
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This is simple. The hard part comes from Believers trying to "convince" non-believers that Jesus is God. Their presuppositions that Jesus is NOT God will not allow them to believe Jesus is God no matter what Believers say to them. Only when God gives them "faith" to believe shall they know and understand.

So I shall not seek to convince anyone that Jesus is God Incarnate but I shall demonstrate what the Scripture states.

First, we have John 1:1

John 1:1-3
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 He was in the beginning with God.

3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.


In John 1:14 we get very clear as to this "Word"

John 1:14
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.


We then have Jesus speaking to the Jews in John 8:58. He stated that He was before Abraham and the Jews, upon hearing this yelled "blasphemy" and picked up stones to kill Him.

John 8:58-59
58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."

59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.


Now why would they seek to kill Jesus? What was His crime? Well He boldly stated that He was equal with God. This was blasphemy and was punishable by death as stated in Mishna Sanhedrin 7:5 "the blasphemer is not guilty until he pronounces the name" God said this very same thing to Moses when Moses asked God who shall he say is sending him and God replied, "I AM" (Exodus 3:14). The Jews knew exactly what Jesus was saying.

We also have in John 20 the disciple Thomas, whom did not believe the stories of Jesus resurrection and stated such until He saw Jesus physically. Jesus did appear before Him and Thomas said "My Lord and my God". Now Thomas was a devout Jew, he would not call just any man "my God" because he then would be guilty of blasphemy.

Jesus also did not correct Thomas but fully accepted the title of "God".

Also, in John 17:5 Jesus states this -

John 17:5
5 "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

Keyword here being "glory" and also notice "before the world was". This implies that Jesus had knowledge of God the Father before the foundation of the earth, creation itself. Now let's compare this passage with what God states in Isaiah 42:8 -

Isa 42:8
8 "I am the LORD, that is My name;
I will not give My glory to another,
Nor My praise to graven images.

Notice here that God states: "I will not give My GLORY to another"?? God will not give or share His glory with anyone. Jesus, as God the Son, before His incarnation, had this very same glory and it is this GLORY that Jesus set aside for a time.

Phil 2:6-8
6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

So does this convince you that Jesus is God? Most likely not as you shall not believe until God calls you. My point is that YES, Scripture declares that Jesus is God, the Messiah as God alone is free of sin and ONLY a sacrifice free of sin can appease God for sin. Jesus is the Lamb.



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 10:30 AM
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Originally posted by Two Steps Forward




Hmm, so you had OBEs?

I should say here that Pagans don't have any exclusive understanding of that phenomenon. We do, many of us (myself included) practice magic, and OBEs are a part of that, usable both for spiritual and for practical purposes. But many other mystical lineages do as well, and some of them have a very, very profound grasp of the subject. It would have impoverished my understanding terribly not to have explored Yoga, the Kabballa, Hermeticism, Gnosticism, Umbanda, Santeria, and so forth.

Just so you know, I began my spiritual trek as a Christian. I was raised in an agnostic household, but experienced the divine Presence at age 12, and it transformed my life totally. That same year (1968) I also hit puberty and discovered politics, a genuine triple-whammy. I remained a Christian for several years, but found that there was a lot of it that I could not accept, particularly the claim to exclusive possession of the truth, as well as some parts of the sexual morality. I moved from there into exploration of all the things mentioned above. I call myself a Pagan now, not because I believe Paganism is "true" in the sense that a Christian often believes Christianity is, but simply because I like it on a personal and aesthetic level. I know that The Truth cannot be told, and any religion I practice will be, at best, a metaphor for it, not a direct statement of it.

No religion has an exclusive possession of the Truth. Not even mine.




This is what I believe to be your mistake. Why? Well, aside from what I know about how the books of the Bible were chosen, which hardly inspires confidence, there's a more fundamental problem.

God cannot be rationally known. God's nature cannot be encompassed by the human mind, nor described directly in human language. The Bible, being written in human language, therefore cannot state the divine truth.

This limitation means that neither the Bible, nor any other sacred book such as the Koran or the Upanishads, can be the "word of God" as Christians sometimes mean that phrase. Such a book cannot exist. Even if God were to have dictated the Bible word for word to its human authors, still it could not convey the truth about God. Because no book written in any mere human tongue ever can, or ever will.

And so the standard you need to hold everything up to is not the Bible, but your own spiritual perception, guided by the presence of God within. If you are using anything your rational mind can encompass, such as the Bible, to override that perception or to check on it, then you are steering yourself off the path.


We will have to discuss this later, when you have more time. For now, I'll only say that if you perceive such a difference, then you are misinterpreting what Jesus said.



Yeah, I started having OBEs at 4-5 yrs of age. I didn't ASK to have them, nor did I do anything "mystical" to induce them. I didn't know what they were until a few yrs ago. That's when I started reading about them, & studied some of the other "Spiritual" & New-Age philosophies for a while.

I also started to question the Bible, due to reading bits & peices of people who showed "contradictions" in it.... (I have learned since then, that those "contradictions" are merely misinterpretations, & misunderstanding, due to not reading the evrses in context.)

I wound up coming back to my original faith FULLY after finding inconsistencies with the "Alternative" religions. Mainly being the topics of Reincarnation, Self redemption, & necromancy.
For a while I thought Spirit Guides were helpful souls that could assist in guiding us to divine revelations. I also bought into the "reincarnation wheel" for a bit.
But I remember reading 2-3 different books on subjects of personal interest, they ALL had different things to say.... which made me go back to the Bible, & start paying closer attention to what was written, & started to understand it MUCH MORE than I did as a child.

I was also able to verify many Biblical things as fact, after researching history.

THEN, I started to find key verses of scripture that clarified (for me) the questions I had concerning the "alternative" information I had been reading.

Something just clicked, & my Faith, AND LOGIC grew much more.

The Bible mentions that people have ONE LIFE, & when it's over, it's over. The soul is eternal, & goes to one of 2 places.
(My experience in OBEs turned "belief & faith" of an afterlife, into a KNOWN... so I know for a fact that our physical bodies may "die", but we DO continue)

I realize people's religious beliefs (or lack thereof) are purley personal choice. & you can't convince someone of YOUR OWN beliefs, from just talking about them.
It takes some kind of "experience" or "personal revelation" for someone to make a change like that.

The main thing different between Jesus' teachings & other religions is, Jesus taught There is only one way to enter the kingdom of Heaven. He also never taught (nor mentioned) reincarnation. Those 2 things were consistent throughout his lifetime.
He also stressed there is ONE GOD, & never said we could become a GOD ourselves. Nor did he say we could gain salvation on our own, or by many paths.

Those are the differences I see.

I follow my gut feelings, & spiritual heart to know if I'm doing the right things. When I do that, it always works out in my favor. (which also happ0ens to correspond with the original dosctrines of the Bible.)
So that's why I compare everything to the Bible. Everytime I stray from IT, things just don't go well for me!
LOL

I hope that helps explain my OWN beliefs a little better, & WHY I have them.




posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 01:21 PM
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Originally posted by marko1970
Yeah, I started having OBEs at 4-5 yrs of age. I didn't ASK to have them, nor did I do anything "mystical" to induce them.


That happens to some people. In fact, I would say that most people with a strongly spiritual orientation (of whatever kind) have powerful experiences of this nature, spontaneously.



I also started to question the Bible, due to reading bits & peices of people who showed "contradictions" in it.... (I have learned since then, that those "contradictions" are merely misinterpretations, & misunderstanding, due to not reading the evrses in context.)


Let me go into this a little more, and repeat in different words what I said before, because I don't think it got across.

"Contradictions" in Biblical text do depend on interpretation. If you interpret the Bible literally, then yes, there are massive contradictions from one book to another, and sometimes even within the same book. If you are willing to interpret much of it metaphorically, you can smooth a lot of those away. We are still left with strange things like the involved genealogy of Joseph offered in the Gospel of Matthew, which does not make a lot of sense in view of the doctrine of the virgin birth (Joseph being, accordingly, not Jesus' father, and hence the genealogy offered not Jesus' ancestry). But that's less important than what I was getting at before.

God is a mystery. What do I mean by "mystery"? I mean something that the rational mind cannot understand, and that cannot be told in human language. Something that must be experienced for oneself. That being the case, the idea that God has revealed Himself in a set of writings, so that one without the necessary experiences can come to an understanding of Him, is false. The Bible CANNOT be, in the sense many Christians believe, "the word of God." I say this, not so much because the evidence points to it not being that (although there is plenty of such evidence), but because for ANY book to be what many Christians mean by "God's word" is IMPOSSIBLE. Human language simply cannot express these truths.

And this is, in one form or another, the central error of Christianity: the belief that something which can be put into words is THE TRUTH.



Mainly being the topics of Reincarnation, Self redemption, & necromancy.


Reincarnation is a metaphor; if you find it useful, use it, if not, don't. But don't take it for literal truth either way.

Please explain what you mean by "self redemption" and by "necromancy."



But I remember reading 2-3 different books on subjects of personal interest, they ALL had different things to say


Please note what I said above. The truths of the spirit cannot be expressed directly in human language. In poetic metaphor, yes, but not directly. You should never hope to find "the Truth" written down anywhere, by anyone, as an absolute guide. That point is not limited to the Bible in its application.



I was also able to verify many Biblical things as fact, after researching history.


I'm not sure why that's pertinent. No one has ever argued that everything written in the Bible is factually wrong, and that would be massively unlikely.



The Bible mentions that people have ONE LIFE, & when it's over, it's over. The soul is eternal, & goes to one of 2 places.
(My experience in OBEs turned "belief & faith" of an afterlife, into a KNOWN... so I know for a fact that our physical bodies may "die", but we DO continue)


I think you're drawing some unwarranted conclusions there, and making some unrecognized assumptions. To start with, what do you mean by "we"? And should something survive death, what exactly is it? Consciousness is not the same as personality. If consciousness survives death, that does not mean that personality does. This goes deeper and is more basic than spirit-world survival versus reincarnation.



The main thing different between Jesus' teachings & other religions is, Jesus taught There is only one way to enter the kingdom of Heaven.


Here is an example of where I believe you are misinterpreting what Jesus said. This relates to our earlier discussion. I also don't think Jesus was ever clear about what he meant by "the Kingdom of Heaven," which is not his fault, because that's one of those things that can't be told directly in human language. But anyway, few Christians have any idea what he was getting at with that phrase.



He also never taught (nor mentioned) reincarnation.


(Shrug.) Not important. As I said, reincarnation is a metaphor. One Jesus didn't use, to the best of my knowledge. That doesn't make it an invalid metaphor.



He also stressed there is ONE GOD, & never said we could become a GOD ourselves.


Incorrect. He DID say that we could become God, or become one with God, or become as he was. Many times.



Nor did he say we could gain salvation on our own, or by many paths.


What do you mean by "on our own"?

As for "by many paths," he never said to the contrary, either, and it's plain common sense.



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 02:06 PM
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To clarify something from the post above:



As for "by many paths," he never said to the contrary, either, and it's plain common sense.


Here's what would be necessary for me to accept it as "to the contrary."

Find me a quote from Jesus, where he is saying, "in order to achieve the Kingdom of Heaven, you must be a believer in and a follower of the religion that will be established in my name." Because that is what Christians mean when they say that there is "one way" to Heaven.

I don't believe he ever said anything of the kind. On the other hand, many times he said things to the effect of the Kingdom of Heaven being in one's heart rather than in any external mouthings. Since professed religious belief is an example of an external mouthing, by implication it has little or nothing to do with salvation.



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 05:46 PM
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This is full of contradictions itself and therefore this persons worldview is erroneous and cannot stand.

Please allow me to expound a bit on this.

Two Steps Forward states:




God is a mystery. What do I mean by "mystery"? I mean something that the rational mind cannot understand, and that cannot be told in human language.


Who told this to you? How did you come to grasp, with your rational mind, that God is beyond our "rational" understanding? You then go on to explain this in "human language". This is illogical and contradictory.

Many Hindu's seek to explain that Brahman is beyond our ability to grasp then they, in the same breath, express the attributes of Brahman.

Two Steps Forward states:



That being the case, the idea that God has revealed Himself in a set of writings, so that one without the necessary experiences can come to an understanding of Him, is false.


You express this and believe it yet how is it you KNOW this to be true if you stated previously that God is beyong our understanding?? Again you have contradicted yourself. All others have it wrong, yet you have it right yet you also believe we can't know God.




Human language simply cannot express these truths.


Yet, you just did! In other words you go on to express these "truths" (yet deny we can know truly) in human language that God can't be known. I can then state that you are a liar for you have no idea, truly according to your view, what you're talking about. Would you agree?

You wish others to believe you, that your view is true, yet you deny we can know "Truth". Do you see the contradictions?

Read what you have stated:



And this is, in one form or another, the central error of Christianity: the belief that something which can be put into words is THE TRUTH.


You then go on to state:



You should never hope to find "the Truth" written down anywhere, by anyone, as an absolute guide.


Again, do you see your contradictions? You state this as a FACT, the truth, yet you in the same sentance state that "the Truth" can't be written down anywhere, by anyone (including you obviously).

Your worldview is one big contradiction and thus cannot be true for it violates the law of non-contradiction from the start.



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 10:05 PM
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Two Steps....

Here are a couple examples where Jesus taught that there is only one way (not many) to the Kingdom of Heaven or the Father...

Mat 7:21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
....(translation-“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Mat 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.



ALSO:
I've never heard of reincarnation as a metaphor or figure of speech. It's always been referred to in a literal sense... "You come back as a sacred cow... you come back as a rat... you come back as *insert favorite noun*.... So I'm not sure what you were trying to convey.

Concerning the "Mystery" of God:
Yes, I can see where there might have been some mystery in the earlier days.... But The Bible does clarify that on too....

1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

and....

Eph 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Eph 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

Eph 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Eph 3:9 And to make all [men] see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:



The most important thing I can say to you is this....
You said you grew up with a Christian background. (me too)
You then ended up on another path, looking for something more, or for something easier to understand, & less "threatening" (me too)

Although I don't remember exactly what it was that I realized didn't make sense with the "spiritual" / non-religious/non-denominational path, SOMETHING stood out to my common sense, & rationalization.
So when I went back & read the Bible again, & studied what I had heard years before, it made sense, & explained why the other stuff seemed off kilter.

...... If you have any undecidedness at all in your life, with spirituality, religion...etc...., I personally recommend looking at the Bible again with a fresh mind & sense of understanding.

Another thing to point out is, Becoming one with God is much different than actually BECOMING GOD.
example: In my marriage, I am ONE WITH MY WIFE... but I am not "my wife"... (THANKFULLY!!! LOLOLOL!!)
It's one thing to be connected to someone, & have that interactiion/relationship. But it's different than becoming something or someone "higher".
(does that make sense??)


The last thing I want to let you know is, I'm not trying to attack you here, or put you down in any way. I'm actually just trying to clarify the differences between the theachings of different religions.

AND.... To let you know that I completely understand where you're coming from.... because not TOO long ago, I was exactly where you are now, with your spirituality/religion/beliefs/questions.



posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 08:41 AM
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Originally posted by UnrealZA
How did you come to grasp, with your rational mind, that God is beyond our "rational" understanding?


Who said I grasped it with my rational mind? There are other ways to understanding. And in fact, those non-rational, direct-experiential ways are the age-old paths to sacred knowledge, which dependence on scripture or doctrine works to block.



You then go on to explain this in "human language".


God is beyond rational understanding. The fact that God is beyond rational understanding, however, is NOT beyond rational understanding. See the difference?



posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 09:09 AM
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Originally posted by marko1970
Here are a couple examples where Jesus taught that there is only one way (not many) to the Kingdom of Heaven or the Father...

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Mat 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


None of these indicate what you suggest, or what many Christians seem to believe, namely, that only through belief in and following the Christian religion can one find the Kingdom of Heaven.

To "do the will" of Jesus' father in Heaven does not imply being a Christian. To "become as a little child" does not imply being a Christian. To be humble does not imply being a Christian. And we have already been over the last quote.



I've never heard of reincarnation as a metaphor or figure of speech. It's always been referred to in a literal sense


People with limited understanding can be found in any religious tradition. I realize that there are many who treat the idea literally. Maybe I should explain why I don't. (Actually, I don't even use it in my spiritual thinking any more.) One can come to a place in meditation where one perceives and understands, that underlying our apparent diversity is a Unity. This happens when consciousness is separated from the personality. What I came to understand (and many others before me have done the same), is that the core of consciousness from which we look out upon the world, is not many, but one -- a single consciousness simultaneously looking upon the world through all of us. That being so, how meaningful is it to say that I am the reincarnation of so-and-so? Obviously, I am the reincarnation of everyone who has ever lived or ever will!

But this is hard to grasp, and the fear of death, and clinging to limited consciousness through that fear and through earthly needs, gets in the way of perception. So religions use metaphors such as reincarnation -- or spirit world survival, which is also a metaphor -- to convey the difficult truth that death is an illusion, that consciousness does not die, that we are not mortal but immortal, not temporal but eternal -- all of which is actually part and parcel of the truth that we are one, not many.

Remember what I said before about hub material and rim material on the wheel of faith? Reincarnation is out on the rim. It's not really important. And anyway, I'm not advocating becoming a Hindu or Buddhist, as those religions (like all others) have their good and bad points.



Concerning the "Mystery" of God:
Yes, I can see where there might have been some mystery in the earlier days.... But The Bible does clarify that on too....


Excuse me. Before we take that too far:

First, the sense in which I mean "mystery" isn't something from "the earlier days." It's a fundamental limitation of the human mind. The only thing that could possibly change it, is a change in the human mind. I suppose if everyone were to become enlightened, then words might enter our language to describe the truths of enlightenment directly. But at this point, such words would only be gibberish for most people.

Look at the words we use in ordinary language, how they function. For example, if I say that I am typing these words on a computer, and connected to the Internet through cable modem, you'll understand that, right? But that's because they are referring to things within your experience. You've seen and used computers, you know what the Internet is because you use it, and I'm sure you know what cable modem means, too. But when we refer to things that are outside ordinary experience, words cease to work correctly. Ever heard the old saw about explaining color to a blind man? Or, more pertinently, the Sufi parable of the blind men and the elephant? That's what I'm talking about.

It's useless to quote Bible passages in refutation of this. It's too basic, and it calls the Bible itself, as an authority, into question.



...... If you have any undecidedness at all in your life, with spirituality, religion...etc...., I personally recommend looking at the Bible again with a fresh mind & sense of understanding.


I don't. And at this point, such a step would be several steps back for me. But I do understand that you mean well.



Another thing to point out is, Becoming one with God is much different than actually BECOMING GOD.


Ah. But you see, in every quote from Jesus you have presented to suggest he was claiming to be God, I see him claiming to be one with God -- which, as you say, is not the same thing.



AND.... To let you know that I completely understand where you're coming from.... because not TOO long ago, I was exactly where you are now, with your spirituality/religion/beliefs/questions.


No offense intended here, but no, you were not. You were a follower of religions which I see as being spiritual metaphors, much like Christianity in that regard. I even see Neopaganism as a metaphor. I don't literally "believe in" the Goddess, I see her as a lens created partially by my own mind, through which the One relates to my limited intellect and emotions.

When I point out the flaws in Christianity, I am not saying that some other religion out there can do what Christianity can't, namely hand one the Truth on a silver platter. What I'm saying is that's impossible, and so NO religion can do it. They ALL have flaws. We just happen to be talking about Christianity at the moment, so the Christian flaws are the ones I'm talking about.



posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 10:13 AM
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Two Steps,

You skirted the bulk of all of your contradictions, butI understand as to why.

If I can "grasp" with logic and reason that God is beyond my understanding and then calim "we can know nothing of Him" I have in FACT stated that I KNOW SOMETHING of God...which is that we can know nothing of Him. Plain and simple.

To further demonstrate your contradictory worldview please read your below statement and answer a simple question.



When I point out the flaws in Christianity, I am not saying that some other religion out there can do what Christianity can't, namely hand one the Truth on a silver platter. What I'm saying is that's impossible, and so NO religion can do it. They ALL have flaws. We just happen to be talking about Christianity at the moment, so the Christian flaws are the ones I'm talking about.


Do you believe your above statement to be TRUE? If so then you are doing what you have stated to be "impossible" and are handing us the "truth", that no one can hand us the truth on a silver platter, on a silver platter.

If you reply, "I am not stating a religion" I would counter with, "YES, you are in fact as you believe this to be true and these are your core beliefs, hence your religion."

In other words Two Steps...you are telling Mark that no one has the truth, fully and completely, and you TRULY believe this to be TRUE. Hence again you have contradicted yourself.

It can be looked at like this. If I were to ask you if Truth is Absolute and you denied it and stated that Truth is relative and I then asked you if you believe that to be absolutely true and you respond, "YES", you have then contradicted yourself. One can't believe, TRULY, that no one else has the Truth for they themselves claim to know this TRULY.

I'm sure you grasp this and understand the flaw in your logic and reasoning. The question now becomes, can you admit that, rethink your position and reformulate it?

It would be better to argue that every belief system must have a first principle. Those with no First Principle are erroneous and those with contradictory First Principles fail from the start and are thus false. The one worldview which doesn't have a contradictory First Principle is the True view. Then set about to discover that.

Truth is always discovered, it is never made up by man.



posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 10:58 AM
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Originally posted by UnrealZA
If I can "grasp" with logic and reason that God is beyond my understanding and then calim "we can know nothing of Him" I have in FACT stated that I KNOW SOMETHING of God...which is that we can know nothing of Him. Plain and simple.


I did NOT say that we can know nothing of God. I said that we cannot know God through reason, only through direct experience. And that the knowledge gained by direct experience (which is the only way to gain it) cannot be expressed in human language.

Also: the statement that we cannot know God through reason is more a statement about the human mind -- something we CAN approach through reason -- than a statement about God.



Do you believe your above statement to be TRUE? If so then you are doing what you have stated to be "impossible" and are handing us the "truth"


There are truths and then there is Truth. What I have stated is a truth. It is not Truth. I cannot convey my own spiritual understanding in a way that can be understood by those who have not shared my experiences. I can, however, communicate truths about other things. This is one of them.

I am not saying that nobody can communicate anything about anything ni ordinary language. I am saying that nobody can communicate the nature of God in human language.



I'm sure you grasp this and understand the flaw in your logic and reasoning. The question now becomes, can you admit that, rethink your position and reformulate it?


I'm not sure what the name is for this logical fallacy. Let's just call it the "Gotcha" fallacy: claim that you have proven your point when this has not been conceded, and then assert that those who disagree are doing so for some illogical reason instead of because you haven't really made your case. It has aspects of argumentum ad hominem, but it's an interesting variant on that.

Not fallin' for it, bub. You haven't made your case. Try again, perhaps.



posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 11:04 AM
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Here, Unreal, let me show you a passage where I DID attempt to convey Truth in language. Rather backing up what I was saying about that being impossible, not only did you not call me on it, you apparently didn't even notice.



One can come to a place in meditation where one perceives and understands, that underlying our apparent diversity is a Unity. This happens when consciousness is separated from the personality. What I came to understand (and many others before me have done the same), is that the core of consciousness from which we look out upon the world, is not many, but one -- a single consciousness simultaneously looking upon the world through all of us. That being so, how meaningful is it to say that I am the reincarnation of so-and-so? Obviously, I am the reincarnation of everyone who has ever lived or ever will!

But this is hard to grasp, and the fear of death, and clinging to limited consciousness through that fear and through earthly needs, gets in the way of perception. So religions use metaphors such as reincarnation -- or spirit world survival, which is also a metaphor -- to convey the difficult truth that death is an illusion, that consciousness does not die, that we are not mortal but immortal, not temporal but eternal -- all of which is actually part and parcel of the truth that we are one, not many.


Now -- I understand all that, but I'd bet dollars to donuts not many other people here do. Why? Because the fundamental illusion that blinds us all is to confuse our thoughts, feelings, and personality, with our consciousness -- that within us that experiences -- the subject -- who we are. And a part of that illusion, is that many people will think I'm saying that all of our personalities are one, because that's the only "self" they understand, the real self being hidden.

Not that you'll understand THAT, either.

It gets very frustrating at times, and sometimes I break down and shoot the moon, forgetting that it will only lead to confusion.

But here's the key: if you understood what I was saying, I was NOT expressing Truth. If you didn't, then maybe I was.



posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 11:33 AM
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HERE is a genuine contradiction:


Originally posted by UnrealZA
It would be better to argue that every belief system must have a first principle. Those with no First Principle are erroneous and those with contradictory First Principles fail from the start and are thus false. The one worldview which doesn't have a contradictory First Principle is the True view. Then set about to discover that.

Truth is always discovered, it is never made up by man.


The second paragraph is correct. The first, which contradicts it, is not.

A "first principle" is always "made up by man." And "first principles" apply only in purely mental-construct systems of thought with no necessary connection to the real world, such as mathematics. To say that your religion is founded on a "first principle" is to imply that, like mathematical systems, it is entirely made up in your head. Which, in the case of Christianity, it really isn't.

Religion does not require a "first principle," because we are able to enter a state of consciousness in which we directly experience the Reality underlying our perceptions -- which is what religion is really about. That direct experience is what the point of it all is, and all religious ideas, doctrines, rituals, and practices are ways either to achieve that state of consciousness, or to organize our lives so as to make it easier to achieve -- insofar as they are valid.

Note that I said "valid," not "true." There is much in Christianity that is valid. The idea of God united with Man in Christ is valid. The death and rebirth image of the Crucifiction and Resurrection is valid. Jesus as a form of God, a focus for meditation and prayer, is valid. The ritual of the mass, in which the flesh and blood of God are consumed to take His essence within us, is valid.

Not "true" in any simplistic sense -- just valid. They work, and are therefore good things.

But there is also much in Christianity that is not valid. Too often, Christians set aside the direct experience of the Holy that is the point of it all, and instead focus on text-minutiae from a book. Too often, Christians seem unable to recognize the validity inherent in ideas and practices from other religions. Too often, Christians seem to confuse the Mask of God that they worship (which is in itself a perfectly good Mask) with the real Face.

But Christianity doesn't have to suffer from these flaws. It could easily be stripped of them, leaving the core of the faith intact. If you correctly understand what the "core of the faith" is.



posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 06:57 PM
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Hello,



I did NOT say that we can know nothing of God. I said that we cannot know God through reason, only through direct experience. And that the knowledge gained by direct experience (which is the only way to gain it) cannot be expressed in human language.


How can one gain "knowledge" through experience (observation) unless you first have knowledge that you are experiencing or observing something?

This is what I mean by "First Principle".



A "first principle" is always "made up by man." And "first principles" apply only in purely mental-construct systems of thought with no necessary connection to the real world, such as mathematics. To say that your religion is founded on a "first principle" is to imply that, like mathematical systems, it is entirely made up in your head. Which, in the case of Christianity, it really isn't.



Perhaps, "Starting point" is better. An empiricist claims, as you have, that we gain knowledge through experience, by observation (our senses) but how can that be if you have no prior knowledge that you are even observing anything in the first place?

How did you learn the word "valid"? Did you observe it then gain knowledge of it? Empiricists take it as a given that they have knowledge but yet can't account for it. No one can gain knowledge by observation without first having knowledge that they are in fact observing. To claim one observes and gains knowledge by it is putting the cart before the horse.

All knowledge comes from God. This is the First Principle of the Christian worldview.

We all have presuppositions, to deny this is to in fact validate it as that would then be ones presupposition, that they have no presuppositions. The empiricist presupposses that all knowledge comes by way of observation. How do they know this? Did they observe it?

Because of this contradiction from the "start" of their worldview it fails and thus cannot be a valid worldview. A contradiction can only beget more contradiction.




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