reply to post by dogstar23
I think those are good points, and of course I cannot say what is right or wrong to believe.
It seems to me that people have highly personalized interpretations of Jesus.
Even one couple I know that goes to the same church seems to me like the wife has a totally different image of Jesus than her husband.
The OP is based on a personal theory, and it is not labelled or rooted in any tradition, Biblical scripture or even Gnostic or New Age versions of
This does allow for very broad responses.
More conservative and literal groups would say their version is based on scripture, such as John 14: 6.
Even here personal responsibility is not very clear-cut, and hovers somewhere between repentance and supernatural power through prayer to do so, or
constantly telling everyone "Don't Judge".
One can also say that everything in the Bible about Jesus is wrong or mistranslated (and somehow generally untranslatable), but then why bother with
Jesus and the Bible in the first place?
Why not then follow something like LaVeyan Satanism, which is very focused on personal responsibility?
That's not to say that fundamentalism is correct, because it is always selective in the texts it wants to apply to society.
I'd just like to hear more of the alternative readings, rather than to simply say it is totally wrong, or not the "real" Christianity.
At least Biblically the responsibility is the great commission to spread salvation, even through martyrdom, and giving to the poor, arguably to the
point of giving away everything (which neither literalistic nor metaphorical streams do in any case).
Of course "personal responsibility" goes beyond religion, or issues where religion has answers.
If an impoverished person poaches in a game park, then is he as guilty as a rich person?
Should land that was possibly taken during colonialism as productive farmland be returned, even if it endangers food security for an entire
People have to make ethical choices between lesser and greater evils all the time, or choices between immediate survival and long term
No human can simply take "responsibility for everything".
So today I can say I'm a "little Jesus" and I take responsibility for everything.
Apart from then having a little God complex, what does that mean?
If there's an earthquake in China, is that my fault?
So that's where I'm unclear on what is practically meant in the OP.
If it's "responsibility" as in if you want something to happen don't just pray, but get off your butt and do something about it; or if you don't want
cancer then quit smoking or eat better; or if you don't want HIV then have responsible sex then I'd agree with that view. Although, I'd never judge
because I don't know the circumstances and not all misfortune is knowingly or deliberately self-inflicted, and luck or genes also play a role.
However, if it goes into theories where thoughts attract misfortune and people and natural disasters are blamed on negative feelings, then one has a
more repressive world-view than the divine command theory.
In that case one would constantly have to check oneself for negative feelings, which sounds worse than staunch Calvinism.
Without a scriptural debate one first needs to ask: responsibility for what?
For example, if I want responsibility for spreading good in the world (apart from my survival) then that brings further moral and ethical
What is good?
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, buy him a trawler and he may eat for longer, but if more people do that the fish-stocks will collapse
(which they already are in our waters).
Considered responsibility about everything can also be so abstract that it ends up doing as little as possible.
Unfortunately that does pave the way for very rigid groups to assume power, who are convinced they are good, even when evidence often suggests
To say "take responsibility" is a very Enlightenment thought, that not only views humans as essentially good, but also that they can be educated into
It can be very correct in one sense in religion (take responsibility for your sin) or very misguided (ultimately view yourself as God).
While I may have responded through the prism of what I consider "mainstream Christianity", responsibility is a question going back to ancient Greece
and is also found in many other religions.
In some Eastern sects there are also gurus who teach they are gods or the next best thing to God, however judging by the behavior they often don't
take this responsibility very seriously, although some might argue that a god or prophet can do and command whatever he likes.
If a god-man wants to sleep with all the good-looking women and men, and squirrel all the cash into his personal bank account then I suppose it's his
right as a god.
In that sense - be your own prophet or god.
At least you'll know where the cash goes.
edit on 21-6-2013 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)