MS Fowler - 9/27/2004 9:32 PM
Well you all finally lost me. You are simply following the ages-old formula for founding a cult; make it like Christianity, but w/o Christ.
No can do.
I think we've had this discussion before, but for those who weren't involved, for me, Christianity stands or falls on the fact of the physical, bodily resurection of jesus from the tomb. All those NT texts showing Jesus as fulfilling OT prohecy are there to show who is Jesus; He is the saviour promised thru the whole OT, from Genesis 3 thru Malachi.
If there was no resurection; Christianity is false; and it should be removed from all memory. How can you claim Jesus was a great moral teacher when He claimed to be God? He did not give you that choice--He is either a lunatic, or He is Who He claimed to be.
Orthodix Christians accept the writings of Paul as authoritative because Peter grouped them with " the other Scriptures".
I am probably alone on this, but its not a popularity contest; your votes don't affect what I believe.
Let the flames begin....
I have no desire to attack your religious beliefs, however that is a risk one takes if they venture on to open threads, so in order to defend my own beliefs I must do so. First and foremost, I consider myself a scientist above all else, not in some ego-enhancing sense of the word, but in the original meaning of the word, a person who desires to spend one's life in the acquiring of knowledge. Biology, geology, paleontology, and especially astrophysics lead anyone who wishes to simply admit the truth as it is, to the conclusion that much of the Bible is impossible myth.
Further studies in the areas of history, psychology, ancient languages and literature give evidence that much of the descriptive language of the Bible, with its raising of the dead and ascensions to heaven, were common components of literature of that age used by all of the hundred of competing sects within the Jewish and Roman worlds for the purpose of establishing divinity for their cult figure.
Myself, I found if you took a more analytic approach to the New Testament, and simply rejected the mythology as you read it, that one could find a truer message by simply taking Christ at his word. For example, when he said "The Kingdom of God is at hand" we take it to mean itĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s around the corner, yet the original Greek translates more to the sense that the Kingdom of God is within your grasp. As you go thru the rest of his writings, he is proposing a world where if each and every person practiced his philosophy of neighborly love, paradise would reign, right here, right now. In fact, he proposes non-atheistic Communism. Nobody really talks about Christ's politics, but every Sunday the church regales us with the same BS they have been throwing for 2,000 years as he turns water into wine and defies physics by walking on water, etc.
The greatest tragedy of mankind has been the nether-worldly death cult that grew up around this man. A friend of mine, a Presbyterian minister who retired recently, told me how glad he was to be thru with the pastorage because he had grown sick of talking about blood every Sunday, and that when one is forced to repeat it over and over again, one realizes what a blood cult Christianity is. YouĂ˘â‚¬â„˘re saved by the blood of Jesus, the blood of the Lamb, you eat his flesh and blood, he stares down from the cross, a bloody freaking mess. All of this needs to be rejected so a new religion that makes sense in a post-Darwinian world can arise. Those who see his blood sacrifice as his centrality miss what his centrality truly was - a man who delivered the most radical belief system ever proposed, that still, 2000 years later no one practices - they are great at practicing the rituals and believing the myths, yet the central message has been lost.