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A Challenge For Non-Believers Of Christianity

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posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 07:42 AM
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See, my take is this.

You've got the Jesus of history and the Jesus of faith. And for me it's trying to reconcile those two people which causes me all the problems. Because trying to piece together the historical Jesus is difficult enough. And as you do so, reading textbooks or increasingly using the internet, the more problems I have with the Jesus of faith.

For me the problems start right at the beginning of Jesus's life. With his birth. I don't know about your homes or churches at Christmas but in my home & church we have the festive nativity scene, with the new born Jesus in a manger surrounded by his parents, with Wise Men & little animals, all housed in an open front stable. You see the same portrayal on Christmas cards or in fine paintings.

But nowhere in the Gospels does it even mention a stable. So what exactly are we celebrating ? A legend passed down through the ages ?

I don't think you can rely on the Bible as a historical document. If you consider a great battle, take your pick but say Gettysburg, all the history books say that happened in July 1863. Some are even more precise and give you exact dates - the first til third day of July 1863.

So what does the Bible say about the date Jesus was born ?
Luke says that Jesus was born during a census period of the reign of Caesar Augustus, when Quirinius was Syrian governor & during the reign of Herod of Judea. So you'd think we could maybe pin Jesus's birth to maybe a few years within the overlap of each period in office, huh ? Maybe not accurate but least we'd have a rough idea when Jesus was born.

But there was no census during the reign of Caesar Augustus. And during Herod's reign Quirinius wasn't governor of Syria. That's historical fact. So how accurate was Luke ? Not very. But isn't the Bible supposed to be the infallible word of God ? Things are either infallible. Or theyre not. There's no degree of infallibility. So either God is fallible (which of course, if he existed, he couldnt be) or Luke is and the Bible is not the word of God.
And that's just one part of where the reconciliation between the two Jesus characters breaks down, it happens all over the place.

I don't doubt Christians have some very profound beliefs. The words of Jesus still have an extraordinary power 2000 years after the event. But I can't make the jump from the historic Jesus to the Jesus of faith. I just can't. In fact the more you read up on the historic Jesus the more it does damage to any Christian faith you actually have left. Could the historic Jesus have created thousands of fishes and loaves, or cured the lame, or walked on water or any of the other remarkable things that the Jesus of faith did ? No he couldn't. He just couldn't. He could no more do it than Caesar himself. The historic Jesus was just a guy. A very remarkable guy indeed. But no more divine than you or I.

And it's just puzzling why in this supposed enlightened age that many folks seem to be getting taking in by this religious folklore, whether it be Jesus or Mohammed or whoever else. It's just plain weird.




posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 08:47 AM
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religion is the greatest fraud perpetrated on human beings the evidence prooves that jesus christ is a figment of Constantine's imagination get over it The Silent Revolution of Truth must prevail for humanity to have a chance



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 08:54 AM
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Oh dear...another one.... (sigh...) I have a better challenge! Bring me one indisputable shred of proof - just one - that God exists, and is not simply a figment of ancient man's supersticious imagination, and I will happily convert
Of course as we both know, you can't, and never will - because no-one has ever managed it in 2,000 years!


'Nuff said. Case closed.

J.

[edit on 13-8-2007 by jimbo999]



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 10:31 AM
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Originally posted by Niall197
See, my take is this.

You've got the Jesus of history and the Jesus of faith. And for me it's trying to reconcile those two people which causes me all the problems. Because trying to piece together the historical Jesus is difficult enough. And as you do so, reading textbooks or increasingly using the internet, the more problems I have with the Jesus of faith.


Try reading the Bible instead of textbooks.


For me the problems start right at the beginning of Jesus's life. With his birth. I don't know about your homes or churches at Christmas but in my home & church we have the festive nativity scene, with the new born Jesus in a manger surrounded by his parents, with Wise Men & little animals, all housed in an open front stable. You see the same portrayal on Christmas cards or in fine paintings.

But nowhere in the Gospels does it even mention a stable. So what exactly are we celebrating ? A legend passed down through the ages ?


Jesus was born in a small cave. In those days domestic stock were kept in these caves. They were in fact stables of old.


So what does the Bible say about the date Jesus was born ?
Luke says that Jesus was born during a census period of the reign of Caesar Augustus, when Quirinius was Syrian governor & during the reign of Herod of Judea. So you'd think we could maybe pin Jesus's birth to maybe a few years within the overlap of each period in office, huh ? Maybe not accurate but least we'd have a rough idea when Jesus was born.


the reason Jesus' birth is not exactly known is because the practice of the time was to remember the deaths of great people and not the births. Jesus' death was the most significant event in history and that was the focal point of the new testament.

Herod's death was recorded by Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and would have fallen in 4 B.C. Therefore, according to the adjusted calculations, Christ's birth took place some four years before the traditional date. Counting forward from 4 B.C. for 2,000 years (one year has to be added because there was no year 0) yields 1996 as the true 2,000th calendar year after Christ's birth.

the date chosen had to celebrate the birth of Christ had nothing to do with biblical precedent. It was chosen as a way to get the Pagans to more readily accept Christianity. So, it's more a date of tribute than an actual birth date.



But there was no census during the reign of Caesar Augustus. And during Herod's reign Quirinius wasn't governor of Syria. That's historical fact. So how accurate was Luke ? Not very. But isn't the Bible supposed to be the infallible word of God ? Things are either infallible. Or theyre not. There's no degree of infallibility. So either God is fallible (which of course, if he existed, he couldnt be) or Luke is and the Bible is not the word of God.
And that's just one part of where the reconciliation between the two Jesus characters breaks down, it happens all over the place.


Lets see your historical fact, please. In fact there could actually have been 2 census's during this time. The recording of the census is not what the new testament is about. It's not a textbook and not every word written in it is the Word of God. Many times people generalize insignificant parts of a story. I see nothing wrong with that.


I don't doubt Christians have some very profound beliefs. The words of Jesus still have an extraordinary power 2000 years after the event. But I can't make the jump from the historic Jesus to the Jesus of faith. I just can't. In fact the more you read up on the historic Jesus the more it does damage to any Christian faith you actually have left. Could the historic Jesus have created thousands of fishes and loaves, or cured the lame, or walked on water or any of the other remarkable things that the Jesus of faith did ? No he couldn't. He just couldn't. He could no more do it than Caesar himself. The historic Jesus was just a guy. A very remarkable guy indeed. But no more divine than you or I.


You've already made up your mind on God, Jesus and everything involved because you go mostly on text written outside the Bible. This historical Jesus you speak of, where are you getting this information? The historical Jesus you are talking about is not the Jesus of the Bible. So, why should I accept anything of the sort?

He couldn't? As the Son of God He could and did. I don't think you have any perception of Faith. Why couldn't He perform miracles? Because you say so?


And it's just puzzling why in this supposed enlightened age that many folks seem to be getting taking in by this religious folklore, whether it be Jesus or Mohammed or whoever else. It's just plain weird.


It's not folklore to me, it's my Faith. I think it's sad when people don't open their hearts along with their minds and give it a chance. After all, when is the last time you saw the wind?



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 02:01 PM
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Originally posted by DaRAGE

Instead of believing one thing and only one thing, how about you try to open your mind, and do some research on things. Such as Horus and Jesus. Zeitgeist. Just dont try and tell us to change our beliefs. I think all the time on life, reality, what is it, paranormal ativity, science, quantum physics, philosophy, theology, physics, conspiracies, etc. I try and take in as much info as i can, and have a wide variety of things to read and take in. Sure i believe in god, or a god, or osmething like that. I believe in a "life" after death not kowing exactly what it would be, could be, but when you start trying to unravel what reality is it will get you thinking along the lines as "i exist and dont exist at the same time", I'm here and everywhere all at once, but im also nowhere at the same time"


Actually, DaRAGE, I do have an avid interest in the paranormal, science,theology, and I'm open to the idea that there may be life on other planets besides ours. I have studied into other religions lightly.
You stated that you had an upbringing in the Catholic church. I'll say this again; if I had been brought up Catholic, I too would probably be an atheist at this point. I'll say this again too. Catholics are not Christian.



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 02:35 PM
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How exactly do you define Christian?

Personally I see nothing inside any of the forms of today's mainstream Christianity that even remotely resembles the Teachings of Christ.



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 04:30 PM
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The gospels were just the certain apsotles take on Jesus and what he taught. They were not broken down for certain people. Jesus sent the apostles out to teach the jews (ill repost later when i have time to give you the specific passage) and no one else. Does this mean his message wasnt for every one... NO. If you want to follow Jesus you can but he was not sent for specifically at that time to teach everyone just the hebrews but by saying that the gentiles and other would sit with them in heaven shows there are other ways.



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 04:57 PM
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Quazga, I guess that the problem is that you have been hanging out in the wrong places. or around the wrong people. I can see why Christianity has such a bad name. It's all these off-shoots that claim Christianity, or do things in the name of Christianity. But these points make no difference to the non-believers, because it helps their cause to add fuel to the fire. Personally, I belong to an Interdenominational faith.
Which basically has the intention of leaving out man-made doctrine. That concentrates on the love message, rather than the 'hell-fire' message. We don't believe that the Bible is God's Word. We believe that it CONTAINS God's Word. We don't believe in hitting people over the head with 40 lb. Bibles and shoving it down their throats. It's every Christian's mission to share the 'Good news of the Gospel.' The Word tells us that if the message is not accepted there, move on.
What is the Good News? Other than our Saviour has come and fulfilled our Redemption Plan, Jesus said, "I have come, to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out the devil, bind up the broken-hearted and set the captives free."

I know I will get arguments about this, but it takes faith. Without it, we're going nowhere.

[edit on 08/11/2007 by janasstar]



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 04:58 PM
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This quote sums up how i feel about all religious texts:

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."
- Buddha

I think that all the religious text should be viewed with this in mind. Dont believe it just cause its written in the bible, believe it because it makes sense to you. Im not a christian but i grew up as one, im what i am, i dont label myself, because just as i am a unique and different individual, so is my religion, and i seek god in my own way. Whats wrong with that??


And i invite all you christians out there to open your minds and read other texts besides just the bible. You might learn something
Peace.



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 05:32 PM
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I've seen the question asked many times now, about what happens to the people who never heard of Jesus? I won't even pretend to know everything about the Bible, but I know that it speaks of a Judgement Day. If everything was totally settled before we left this earth, I guess we wouldn't need a judgement day.
Before I was born again, I had a problem with what I heard about suicide being the 'unforgivable sin.' Since then, I have learned that it is mostly a Catholic belief. But the reason it bothered me was because my lil sister shot herself when she was 17 years old. She was a victim of child molestation for many years. She just couldn't deal with the trauma any more.
But praise God, I did find the passage, after I was born again that says there are sins that can and can't be forgiven in this world and the next. There is only one sin that can't be forgiven in this world or the next, and that is 'blasphemy.' Blasphemy means rejection. So that in itself, might answer the question about those that haven't heard of Jesus. You can't reject something you don't know about.
I hope something in here helped somebody.

[edit on 08/11/2007 by janasstar]



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 05:56 AM
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Christianity to day has been hijacked by the western world.
This is very funny that many westerner, including USA doesn't understand that Christianity at is origin is a Middle Eastern religion created and implemented for the dissident Jews that where in need of an evolutionary extension of they former belief system which in they view where becoming corrupted.
Jesus had a very strong monotheist view which was need it to he's spiritual development.
Westerner in large at that time had very different view of the spiritual realm, they worshiped trees, son, moon, and many practical aspect of they life, with the help of druids and shamans they actually lived a very comfortable life in equality and prosperity compare to the people in the Middle East.
Woman had the same right or sometime higher then man.
Now think about this, once the westerner where more in tune and in balance with the life of this planet and them self as a all. Then came Christianity, which brought misery and segregation of sexes.
I don’t pretend to know it all on this subject, but what strike me is this contrast and separation that never was for the Westerner at that time...in my view Westerner should had develop they won system of belief from the Celtic point.
God knows what kind of world we will now be living in, if.
Love come from your innersole, if it is not switch on then try to find the switch our self...no one knows better then your self.
Kacou



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 08:00 AM
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Originally posted by janasstar
I'll say this again too. Catholics are not Christian.


Actually a christian is somoene who believes in christ.. aka jesus christ...

I was brought up to believe in jesus christ being the son of god, part of the trinity. You know. God, the holy ghost and jesus freakin christ.

Actually I saw a pastor today standing outside a church standing out pamphlets, dvds, cards and something else. I went over to him and was going to ask why he feels the need to try and impose his belief on to others, who are like i am, an adult, and surely have thier own beleifs worked out. I cowered out at the end though coz he was handing out stuff to another bloke and was acting all nice. so i just took some of his rubbish and put it in my bag...

And as i was walking off with this other bloke who had taken some, i said: You dont believe in this jesus stuff do ya? His reply was absolutely. It's not rubbish. I've seen him. Three times. I know he exists. So i asked what he looked like. And he said "like the jesus you see on the cross, and are on pictures everwhere". I told him that picture is actually of a person who actually existed and he wasn't jesus, i cant remember his name but he was actually a murderer. Scientists actually believe that jesus was black/dark skinned, arab looks, short hair, etc. He didn't say anything after that and went his seperate way.




[edit on 14-8-2007 by DaRAGE]



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 08:21 AM
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you know what. How about this:

First we have a message of pretty much "God loves everyone", "God made us in his image". Then we have: believe in God or: "That one will be bound, taken away and cast into outer darkness, hell-fire.." 2 Peter 3:14. And "Otherwise he/jesus/god will cut you off from his house, church, family, presence, for eternity.." Revelation 3:16. Then you get told there is no hell. God loves us all.

This is all out of this little book i got from the pastor today."If we deny him... He will also deny us.. If we are faithless he remains faithful.. he cannot deny himself. 2 timothy 2: 12b, 13.

To be faithless is to be in great sin.. unbelief is sin, the scriptures say taht unbelif is evil.

To be quite honest i find it all a bit tiring. Think logically lady. You believe you are here to serve god? And god put you here to do that? Thats self serving to me. I think we are here to live. Experience new things, learn things, understand things. Trying to make me believe in a fairy tale of jesus the messiah teh saviour son of god is like trying to sell me bullshiotre and rip off my brain, my body, my soul, and make me a slave to "jesus christ/god". I dont think were here to be slaves. "God made us in his image" Who wrote that? men. But im sure you believe everything your told.... and ave no real sense of expanding your views... You've closed off your mind.



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 08:27 AM
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Originally posted by janasstar
But praise God, I did find the passage, after I was born again that says there are sins that can and can't be forgiven in this world and the next. There is only one sin that can't be forgiven in this world or the next, and that is 'blasphemy.' Blasphemy means rejection. [edit on 08/11/2007 by janasstar]


Read the post above yours... Of what buddha said...

Who said blasphemy's a sin? Who wrote it? Who wrote that passage? Where did they get thier knowledge from? How did that person get their knowledge. If you say god or jesus christ then man i wish i could lock you up in a crazy asylum... Think lady think... dont beliebv it just coz u read it. dont believe it coz people say it. I'm sure you think politicians dont lie either? believe every word they say. It's crazy...



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 08:32 AM
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Originally posted by janasstar
I know I will get arguments about this, but it takes faith. Without it, we're going nowhere.
[edit on 08/11/2007 by janasstar]


Pssst. I am Jesus Christ reincarnated. Believe it. Have faith. It's true...

And im going to say it again: "I have come, to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out the devil, bind up the broken-hearted and set the captives free."

I am reinvigorated in this quest. Amen. Follow me my disciples.Follow me and dont open your mind. Keep it closed. Muahahahahahah



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 08:41 AM
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Originally posted by DaRAGE

Originally posted by janasstar
I know I will get arguments about this, but it takes faith. Without it, we're going nowhere.
[edit on 08/11/2007 by janasstar]


Pssst. I am Jesus Christ reincarnated. Believe it. Have faith. It's true...

And im going to say it again: "I have come, to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out the devil, bind up the broken-hearted and set the captives free."

I am reinvigorated in this quest. Amen. Follow me my disciples.Follow me and dont open your mind. Keep it closed. Muahahahahahah


All right - it's the big JC!! C'mon folks - what are we waiting for!
So JC, where 's the next sermon then? Any chance of a free ticket?

(sarcasm ends)

J.

[edit on 14-8-2007 by jimbo999]



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 08:52 AM
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Originally posted by jimbo999
So JC, where 's the next sermon then? Any chance of a free ticket?

(sarcasm ends)
[edit on 14-8-2007 by jimbo999]


Yeah i gotta get some publicity first. HAve my faithful followers belt out my name, convert the masses. Then i'll set teh date and place, let everyone know. But dont hold your breath. Like all god hoaxes i'll be sure to cancel at the last minute due to unforseen circumstances such as overheating from all the camera lights, etc, etc.



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 09:01 AM
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Actually I believe here is a good thread for you to view:

Why humans find it hard to admit they are wrong in the face of overwhelming evidence

[edit on 14-8-2007 by DaRAGE]



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 09:06 AM
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You should become a preacher and tell more people this!! Most of us are shutting the doors on this becasue of the bullies, that say you either belive us or you go to HELL!!! Brimestone and fire!!! They all say we are God fearing Christians..
I take your challange every day of my life! I see things how I see them, and dont let others warp my sense of what and who God is to me.
Yet to many out there are holy rollers, and holy Divers.
So what you say rings true to my ears, and your a good hearted soul which needs to speak up more, and prehaps preach what you say.
Its good to know, and more people should hear it.
But they wont listen to a long haired country boy like me when it comes to God.



posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 10:10 AM
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DaRAGE,
Can you dance as cool as your avatar? Tried and failed miserably, 2 left feet, just got to settle for moonstomping nowadays, oh well.

To the point;
Firstly, janasstar;
"You stated that you had an upbringing in the Catholic church. I'll say this again; if I had been brought up Catholic, I too would probably be an atheist at this point. I'll say this again too. Catholics are not Christian."

I was brought up a Catholic, my beliefs are just that: my beliefs and they shall remain that. I have no intention of imposing them on anyone else and I will actively resist anyone else trying to impose their opinions on me!
Christians are followers of Christ.
Catholics believe in Christ.
Catholics are Christians; end of.
Just because they don't have exactly the same beliefs as you do does not make them non-believers.
I'm sorry, your opinion is bigotted.

Back to your original post; yes there seems to be a massive difference in the beliefs of the Old and New Testaments.
The OT is a story about the history and development etc of the Jewish people and faith.
The NT details some of the history and teachings of a man called Jesus who, being a Jew, taught a brand of Jewish religion that taught care and consideration for mankind.
God in the OT is pretty violent, God in the NT is pretty understanding and tolerant. They seem 2 quite different entities.
I know that anyone could cherry pick chapters and verses to "disprove" and "discredit" me to support their interpretation of the bible but it's meant as a summarisation as I see it.

However, the teachings of Paul within the NT at times are quite contradictory to those expressed in the Gospels which are ajudged to be the teachings of Jesus.
It is the teachings of Paul that won through in the end.

Organised religion is the bane of mankind and is detrimental to the continued development of mankind.

I don't see how any further reading of a heavily edited book will give me a greater understanding of Jesus and God.
If it is Enlightenment that I require I'm sure it will happen if / or when I'm good and ready for it.

Until such time I will continue to live my life by the morals and standards that I see fit.



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