Cohabitation with Christians - uh, those refecting on the Message in the Middle

Mel Brennan
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Cohabitation with Christians - uh, those refecting on the Message in the Middle

Consider: there may be a social/practical difference between inhabiting space and place with and among dogmatic Creedists (those who submit BORN OF A VIRGIN, SUFFERED UNDER PILATE, etc.) and those seemingly more directly Christ-centered (those who don't skip from Virgin to Pilate, but stop to actually contemplate what the cobbled-together 66 books seem to describe the godhead as saying, examining what the godhead said was most important). Specifically, dogmatic Christians, and not to put too fine a point on it, but maybe your faith is wholly misplaced. For the purposes of this thread, I hold to ostensible Christians on their own terms of belief... I argue this: (1) That those who call themselves Christians today have as one of their central pillars of belief that Jesus Christ is God. (2) That those who call themselves Christians today have the various translations of the Bible as their only source material quoting Christ (a state of matters - differing translations - that does not affect my argument much at all). (3) That within that source Christ makes clear that Loving God, and loving your neighbor as yourself are the Two Greatest Commandments. -----(3a) and that establishing "Greatest Commandments" by definition creates a hierarchy of importance and focus, as other Commands are, by definition, NOT as "Great." (4) That Christ affirms that hierarchy by submitting "on these two Commandments hang all the law and the prophets." -----(4a) That "the law" is consistently defined as Scripture, and that "the prophets" is consistently defined as the pronouncements of prophecy by various folks in the Bible. "...the prophets" is also sometimes defined as the persons designated prophets themselves throughout the Bible, but in either case Christ made ENGAGING other Scripture and notions of prophecy/any Prophets CONTINGENT upon FIRST executing the Commands to Love. (5) That Christ leaves no loophole of exclusion from the Commands to love, and in fact makes getting eternal life contingent NOT ON SOME ABSTRACT LEVEL OF FAITH IN THE STORY SURROUNDING HIS EXISTANCE, BUT, RATHER, CONTINGENT UPON THE CONCRETE EXECUTION OF THE GREATEST COMMANDS. Christ also ties our actions, now wholly bound up in lovingkindess behavour, to nonviolent ways of being in the world. -----(5a) In the discussion just preceding the parable of the Good Samaritan, Christ is asked by a lawyer - the ultimate "loophole finders," right? - this question: "How do I get eternal life?" Christ responds NOT with the Apostle's Creed, or John 3:16 (which we'll get to later), but with this: "What does it say in the law?" The lawyer submits "Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself." Christ says "DO THIS, and ye shall live," which right then and right there makes eternal life contingent upon executing the Greatest Commands, which, as I argue above, definitively SUBORDINATE all other Scripture and all other Prophetic notions (of Rapture, Revelation, Second Coming, etc) TO the execution of those Commands. -----(5b) The lawyer, again "loophole searching," asks further, "Who is my neighbor?" IOW, what tools might I use to differentiate between those you want me to love as myself, and those I can hate and/or marginalise and/or kill? Christ responds with the parable of the Good Samaritan, at the end of which Christ asks the lawyher, "Who was neighbor to the man?" THe lawyer, understanding the parable, answers, "The one who showed mercy to him." CHrist responds, "Go and do likewise." SO now, we UNDERSTAND that "neighbor" is ANYONE for whom we can exhibit mercy. That's a heavy mandate, but is part and parcel of the Greatest Command from the man Christians call God, the execution of which Christ - God - ties directly to getting eternal life. -----(5c) To both completely close any loopholes of interpretation, AND to cement the total and complete refutation of the fundamentalist notion of "scriptural equivocation," the assertion that "every word in the Bible is as Commanding and instructive and has as much primacy as every other word (a notion refuted on its face by the very existence of "Greatest Commands," undoubtedly rebuked by HINGING all other law and prophecy UPON such Commands, and further refuted in the following example)," I offer Christ's word in the Sermon on the Mount: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you..." So now, the Greatest Commands are "Love God/Love anyone for whom you can exhibit mercy," and Christ also, in a Sermon where he DIRECTLY ADDRESSES our contrasting notions of "neighbor" and "enemy," demand that we love our enemies. There's noone left to NOT love. ----- (5d) For those looking for the "tough love" loophole out of SEEING "love" as nonviolent (allowing for perverse interpretations of Christ such as "WE show our love for some Iraqis by killing other Iraqis," or "Love sometimes means doing harm in order to do 'good&#39Eye-wink, I offer, again, Christ at the Sermon on the Mount: ""You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person [AGAIN, refutation of 'scriptural equivocation.' Just because you can find it somewhere else in the 'law,' Christ submits here, doesn't mean that it holds as much weight as what I'm telling you.']. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away." Nonviolence as the way of being in the world. So NOW we have Greatest Commands as "Love God/Love anyone for whom you can exhibit mercy," and Christ also, in a Sermon where he DIRECTLY ADDRESSES our contrasting notions of "neighbor" and "enemy," demanding that we love our enemies, and everyone lese, NONVIOLENTLY. (6) Given all of the above, might John 3:16, might Christ's very life and death, be seen utterly differently? I think so. -----(6a) If someone asks you if you believe in MLK, or your father, or me, you don't respond with considerations as to whether or not they have actually manifested as you understand them in the historical or current record or reality, respectively. You are far more likely to address such a question with either clarification or with something along the lines of "You mean, do I believe in what MLK stood for?" Apply this to a Christ who, in the book Christians claim is the Word of God, God himself, in the above conversation with the lawyer, submits that the way to eternal life is through the EXECUTION of the Commands to Love, the broad scope of which we've also established. KNOWING now that Christ is QUOTED as submitting that eternal life comes from "doing Love," - and "doing mercy," and "doing nonviolence" - how about this as a new (old?) take on John 3:16? The chapter and verse submits this: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Now that you KNOW, from the above, that eternal life is also tied to "doing Love," doesn't this verse suffer from a popular misinterpretation? Isn't "believeth in him" NOT "rest replete in some internal belief dialogue about the litany of "facts" surrounding the life and the death," but rather "believe in what he Commanded so completely that "doing Love," the thing that will get you eternal life, is so part and parcel of your existence as to be inseparable?" Believe in what he said, believe what he said to be true, not that he suffered under Pilate and was born of a Virgin? We'll get to the inescapable thinking that emerges even if you refute this and stand fast for the Creed-ist take, the story surrounding the birth and death, later, but I wanted to consider this as well. -----(6b) if the above as I've asserted it is the case, maybe the Fundamental Tenets of what it means to be a "Christian" are totally misplaced. Maybe it's not about believing in any story about CHrist's life, but, CRUCIALLY, about believing in the Commands to Love the Numinous and love each other that is transformative and related to "eternal life." Maybe 2.1 billion CHristians willign to do what it takes to stand fast for everyone for whom they can exhibit mercy in the Lovign Mode they've been COmmanded to undertake produces a fundamentally different world than the one we have now, where Christ s used as a shield for, given the above, PATENTLY Anti-Christ practices, not dissimilar from "just war" doctrine. Maybe bering a Christian has to do with being centered on Lovign Action, everyday, and nothing at all to do with a hideaway personal belief dialogue about whether, for examplke, Mary was a Virgin or not. Maybe being a Christian is about being out there, in the midst of unloving, unmerciful, violent acts around the world and saying that I've a DUTY to be here because I love ALL the parties in this conflict, and I stand fast in lvoe for everyone who is suffering, regardless of color, creed, or anything else. Maybe the Christian Peace Teams, the Iraqi Action Quakers, the nuns cutting through fences and laying body and blood on American missiles...maybe they've all got it right, and others claiming CHrist but NOT ACTING have got it totally, ETERNALLY wrong. -----(6c) Looking now at a Christ who lived lovingly and mercifully and nonviolently toward everyone, taught love and mercy and nonviolence toward everyone, and who died calling for love and mercy, nonviolently, for everyone, might it be that Christ KNEW how HARD - it is far more courageous to stand in nonviolence and love in the midst of a violent hateful situation than it will EVER be to go in guns blazing, which itself takes a kind of courage that only pales in terms of the former - it woudl be to live this life, and set his life and death as example to follow? Might "the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world" do so not just through some symbolic transmutation that we cannot explain, but, rather, through the concrete establishment of a permanently loving, merciful and nonviolent way of being in the world? (7) What does it mean that no Creed, and no Sermon, places the Greatest Commands to Love with Mercy and Nonviolence, on the pedastal upon which NOT ACTING BUT SIMPLY BELIVEING - and having everything else "interpreted" for you - rests? Who has the power in that scenario? Who is patently IGNORING the clear tie between "doing Love" and eternal life in such a scenario? (Cool What type of world ensues when 2.1 billion Christians feel it encumbent upon themselves to simply move through the world with loving acts, nonviolently, every single day? Why is what Christ gave primacy simply not affirmed as the central tenets from which all else MUST spring, as Christ made clear? Might it be that permanent conceptions of Love, Mercy and Nonviolence RUN COUNTER TO THE NEEDS AND DEMANDS OF THOSE IN POWER (be they the political class, "religious" class or a "nobility&quotEye-wink? What HAPPENS when Love, mercy and nonviolence run rampant? How do wars get fought? How does injustice prevail? How can we "capitalise" in that environment? How is it that Christianity today is so perfectly tied to war, violence, and economic "isms" of any kind? Isn't that an additional indicator of its failure as currenty conceived, that we might be institutionally missing a piece of the puzzle? Might that piece be the biggest piece of all? (9) If Christ is God, and God Commands you to Love, to exhibit Mercy for everyone you come across (does that mean "mentally come across" as well? Everyone about whom you are even AWARE?), to Love evne those you seeas your enemies, and to do all of that in nonviolence, AND if God says that "You can't even TALK about other Scripture or various Prophecies without getting this done; ALL other law and prophets HANG upon doing these Commands," AND ties DOING those Commands to ETERNAL LIFE, how is that NOT perfectly, unmissably central to every Christian faith? ---- I'd like any of the Fervent to wrestle with the above. On your own terms, it seems to me, Christ is missing from your conception of Christ. Were I to see Christ as emerging solely from the Bible as historical record - which I don't - the above would FORCE me to reconcieve of Christ outside the narrow frames offered. I'm interested in what, exactly, happens in your Christ-experience that allows you to make anything else central, and/or how the above is incorrect.


Mel Brennan
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Thoughts?

Thoughts?


d_focil
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Yes, To me this is the

Yes,

To me this is the essential point that is so often missed. Every religion has a rich tapestry of ideas that are to be taken as a whole and not from specific passages that can be interpreted in many different ways. As you say one must look at the big picture and all sources avaliable to get an understanding of the message really is. 

Religion is NOT science, its not supposed to compete with it. It is not meant to descirbe the fuctions of matter, or the process of cell division. It brings meaning and context to what otherwise is a cold, hard material reality. Most people take this way, they see it as an addition to science, not a replacement for it. 

People love to debate the inacuracies in the bible, and the apparent contradictions, but its not about that. Its about taking a critical view of faith and examining what it means to be human within the context of some higher power, and a larger meaning to existence.

People who take a moderate view of Christianity and most other religions are often sidelined by the fanatics and fundamentalists who spend their time condeming people to hell and using fear to gain converts.

There is a value and a message to be found in Christianity, one that still inspires people to sacrifice themselves for others. To fight violence and hatred with love. 

 


Susan
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Mel Brennan - formatting

Mel Brennan - formatting please.

This post is extremely difficult to read!

Thanks. 

 


JCE
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Susan wrote: Mel Brennan -

Susan wrote:

Mel Brennan - formatting please.

This post is extremely difficult to read!

Thanks. 

Thank you, Susan!!  I was not looking forward to digging through this thing to find the point.

 


darth_josh
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Mel Brennan

Mel Brennan wrote:
Consider: there may be a social/practical difference between inhabiting space and place with and among dogmatic Creedists (those who submit BORN OF A VIRGIN, SUFFERED UNDER PILATE, etc.) and those seemingly more directly Christ-centered (those who don't skip from Virgin to Pilate, but stop to actually contemplate what the cobbled-together 66 books seem to describe the godhead as saying, examining what the godhead said was most important).

Sure. I agree that there is a difference between all christians. Thus the denominations of which there are over 33,830 according to a 2001 AP article:

http://www.adherents.com/misc/WCE.html

In fact, this is one of the major stumbling blocks when it comes to defending christianity in my opinion. If so many have the message confused then is it the reader or the writer to blame? If the bible is supposed to be the holy word of god then how could so many differences arise?

Quote:
Specifically, dogmatic Christians, and not to put too fine a point on it, but maybe your faith is wholly misplaced. For the purposes of this thread, I hold to ostensible Christians on their own terms of belief... I argue this:

(1) That those who call themselves Christians today have as one of their central pillars of belief that Jesus Christ is God.

Nope. This has been an issue since before Nicea.

Quote:
(2) That those who call themselves Christians today have the various translations of the Bible as their only source material quoting Christ (a state of matters - differing translations - that does not affect my argument much at all).

Actually, not even all of the alleged gospels are read by christians. Remember the hot-topic of the gospel of Judas? There are more that HAVE NOT read it than there are that have in christendom.

If we're speaking of the people who only call themselves christians then how much text have they read in relation to how much text they have had interpreted for them? Preachers sell the nicey-nice pieces and ignore the parts of jesus sayings that can even remotely be construed as opposite of their projection of jesus christ.

Quote:
(3) That within that source Christ makes clear that Loving God, and loving your neighbor as yourself are the Two Greatest Commandments. -----

That's where church comes in because anyone without the church's idea of proper hermeneutics that reads the bible, specifically the gospels, will not reach these conclusions.

See todangst address hermeneutics here:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/the_self_refuting_nature_of_hermeneutics

Quote:
(3a) and that establishing "Greatest Commandments" by definition creates a hierarchy of importance and focus, as other Commands are, by definition, NOT as "Great."

Absolutely agreed.

Quote:
(4) That Christ affirms that hierarchy by submitting "on these two Commandments hang all the law and the prophets." -----

(4a) That "the law" is consistently defined as Scripture, and that "the prophets" is consistently defined as the pronouncements of prophecy by various folks in the Bible. "...the prophets" is also sometimes defined as the persons designated prophets themselves throughout the Bible, but in either case Christ made ENGAGING other Scripture and notions of prophecy/any Prophets CONTINGENT upon FIRST executing the Commands to Love.

Your hardcore christians would need scripture references in this place. Of course, the better apologetics for both sides of the pew will have scriptures that refute this notion.

Quote:
(5) That Christ leaves no loophole of exclusion from the Commands to love, and in fact makes getting eternal life contingent NOT ON SOME ABSTRACT LEVEL OF FAITH IN THE STORY SURROUNDING HIS EXISTANCE, BUT, RATHER, CONTINGENT UPON THE CONCRETE EXECUTION OF THE GREATEST COMMANDS. Christ also ties our actions, now wholly bound up in lovingkindess behavour, to nonviolent ways of being in the world. -----

(5a) In the discussion just preceding the parable of the Good Samaritan, Christ is asked by a lawyer - the ultimate "loophole finders," right? - this question: "How do I get eternal life?" Christ responds NOT with the Apostle's Creed, or John 3:16 (which we'll get to later), but with this: "What does it say in the law?" The lawyer submits "Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself." Christ says "DO THIS, and ye shall live," which right then and right there makes eternal life contingent upon executing the Greatest Commands, which, as I argue above, definitively SUBORDINATE all other Scripture and all other Prophetic notions (of Rapture, Revelation, Second Coming, etc) TO the execution of those Commands. -----

(5b) The lawyer, again "loophole searching," asks further, "Who is my neighbor?" IOW, what tools might I use to differentiate between those you want me to love as myself, and those I can hate and/or marginalise and/or kill? Christ responds with the parable of the Good Samaritan, at the end of which Christ asks the lawyher, "Who was neighbor to the man?" THe lawyer, understanding the parable, answers, "The one who showed mercy to him." CHrist responds, "Go and do likewise." SO now, we UNDERSTAND that "neighbor" is ANYONE for whom we can exhibit mercy. That's a heavy mandate, but is part and parcel of the Greatest Command from the man Christians call God, the execution of which Christ - God - ties directly to getting eternal life. -----

(5c) To both completely close any loopholes of interpretation, AND to cement the total and complete refutation of the fundamentalist notion of "scriptural equivocation," the assertion that "every word in the Bible is as Commanding and instructive and has as much primacy as every other word (a notion refuted on its face by the very existence of "Greatest Commands," undoubtedly rebuked by HINGING all other law and prophecy UPON such Commands, and further refuted in the following example)," I offer Christ's word in the Sermon on the Mount: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you..." So now, the Greatest Commands are "Love God/Love anyone for whom you can exhibit mercy," and Christ also, in a Sermon where he DIRECTLY ADDRESSES our contrasting notions of "neighbor" and "enemy," demand that we love our enemies. There's noone left to NOT love. -----

(5d) For those looking for the "tough love" loophole out of SEEING "love" as nonviolent (allowing for perverse interpretations of Christ such as "WE show our love for some Iraqis by killing other Iraqis," or "Love sometimes means doing harm in order to do 'good&#39Eye-wink, I offer, again, Christ at the Sermon on the Mount: ""You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person [AGAIN, refutation of 'scriptural equivocation.' Just because you can find it somewhere else in the 'law,' Christ submits here, doesn't mean that it holds as much weight as what I'm telling you.']. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away." Nonviolence as the way of being in the world. So NOW we have Greatest Commands as "Love God/Love anyone for whom you can exhibit mercy," and Christ also, in a Sermon where he DIRECTLY ADDRESSES our contrasting notions of "neighbor" and "enemy," demanding that we love our enemies, and everyone lese, NONVIOLENTLY.

This could stand on its own if the rest WERE IGNORED. There is the problem again.

Quote:
(6) Given all of the above, might John 3:16, might Christ's very life and death, be seen utterly differently? I think so. -----

(6a) If someone asks you if you believe in MLK, or your father, or me, you don't respond with considerations as to whether or not they have actually manifested as you understand them in the historical or current record or reality, respectively. You are far more likely to address such a question with either clarification or with something along the lines of "You mean, do I believe in what MLK stood for?" Apply this to a Christ who, in the book Christians claim is the Word of God, God himself, in the above conversation with the lawyer, submits that the way to eternal life is through the EXECUTION of the Commands to Love, the broad scope of which we've also established. KNOWING now that Christ is QUOTED as submitting that eternal life comes from "doing Love," - and "doing mercy," and "doing nonviolence" - how about this as a new (old?) take on John 3:16? The chapter and verse submits this: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Now that you KNOW, from the above, that eternal life is also tied to "doing Love," doesn't this verse suffer from a popular misinterpretation? Isn't "believeth in him" NOT "rest replete in some internal belief dialogue about the litany of "facts" surrounding the life and the death," but rather "believe in what he Commanded so completely that "doing Love," the thing that will get you eternal life, is so part and parcel of your existence as to be inseparable?" Believe in what he said, believe what he said to be true, not that he suffered under Pilate and was born of a Virgin? We'll get to the inescapable thinking that emerges even if you refute this and stand fast for the Creed-ist take, the story surrounding the birth and death, later, but I wanted to consider this as well. -----

Unfortunately, No. MLK, my biological father, and you are not as much in question as jesus christ. To my knowledge, none of those people brought people back from the dead, claimed to have arisen themselves, or ascended to heaven afterward.

Quote:
(6b) if the above as I've asserted it is the case, maybe the Fundamental Tenets of what it means to be a "Christian" are totally misplaced. Maybe it's not about believing in any story about CHrist's life, but, CRUCIALLY, about believing in the Commands to Love the Numinous and love each other that is transformative and related to "eternal life." Maybe 2.1 billion CHristians willign to do what it takes to stand fast for everyone for whom they can exhibit mercy in the Lovign Mode they've been COmmanded to undertake produces a fundamentally different world than the one we have now, where Christ s used as a shield for, given the above, PATENTLY Anti-Christ practices, not dissimilar from "just war" doctrine. Maybe bering a Christian has to do with being centered on Lovign Action, everyday, and nothing at all to do with a hideaway personal belief dialogue about whether, for examplke, Mary was a Virgin or not. Maybe being a Christian is about being out there, in the midst of unloving, unmerciful, violent acts around the world and saying that I've a DUTY to be here because I love ALL the parties in this conflict, and I stand fast in lvoe for everyone who is suffering, regardless of color, creed, or anything else. Maybe the Christian Peace Teams, the Iraqi Action Quakers, the nuns cutting through fences and laying body and blood on American missiles...maybe they've all got it right, and others claiming CHrist but NOT ACTING have got it totally, ETERNALLY wrong. -----

It just seems like special pleading to ignore the details in favor of the chosen pieces. You're asking for christians to all be cafeteria christians. For a great many, this could work. However, the basic precepts of 'guilting' one another into something go completely against being good for goodness or christ's sake.

Quote:
(6c) Looking now at a Christ who lived lovingly and mercifully and nonviolently toward everyone, taught love and mercy and nonviolence toward everyone, and who died calling for love and mercy, nonviolently, for everyone, might it be that Christ KNEW how HARD - it is far more courageous to stand in nonviolence and love in the midst of a violent hateful situation than it will EVER be to go in guns blazing, which itself takes a kind of courage that only pales in terms of the former - it woudl be to live this life, and set his life and death as example to follow? Might "the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world" do so not just through some symbolic transmutation that we cannot explain, but, rather, through the concrete establishment of a permanently loving, merciful and nonviolent way of being in the world?

Would the 'message' have sold to the masses 2,000 years ago without the miracles? Despite the problems associated with the other small pieces of the christian doctrine, we still have to address the fact that the message doesn't even need a messenger in today's times. The same ideas have been present in human history before, during, and after the rise of christianity.

There are places in the world that developed the same set of morals as christians claim to have without ever hearing of jesus christ's alleged message of hope.

Quote:
(7) What does it mean that no Creed, and no Sermon, places the Greatest Commands to Love with Mercy and Nonviolence, on the pedastal upon which NOT ACTING BUT SIMPLY BELIVEING - and having everything else "interpreted" for you - rests? Who has the power in that scenario? Who is patently IGNORING the clear tie between "doing Love" and eternal life in such a scenario?

The person who is only 'doing Love' because they have the fear of hell in them.

Quote:
(Cool What type of world ensues when 2.1 billion Christians feel it encumbent upon themselves to simply move through the world with loving acts, nonviolently, every single day? Why is what Christ gave primacy simply not affirmed as the central tenets from which all else MUST spring, as Christ made clear? Might it be that permanent conceptions of Love, Mercy and Nonviolence RUN COUNTER TO THE NEEDS AND DEMANDS OF THOSE IN POWER (be they the political class, "religious" class or a "nobility&quotEye-wink? What HAPPENS when Love, mercy and nonviolence run rampant? How do wars get fought? How does injustice prevail? How can we "capitalise" in that environment? How is it that Christianity today is so perfectly tied to war, violence, and economic "isms" of any kind? Isn't that an additional indicator of its failure as currenty conceived, that we might be institutionally missing a piece of the puzzle? Might that piece be the biggest piece of all?

This was beautifully addressed. Now, "why continue to be christian?" if the 'message' is the only important part and the alleged man is nothing? I think that should be added.

Quote:
(9) If Christ is God, and God Commands you to Love, to exhibit Mercy for everyone you come across (does that mean "mentally come across" as well? Everyone about whom you are even AWARE?), to Love evne those you seeas your enemies, and to do all of that in nonviolence, AND if God says that "You can't even TALK about other Scripture or various Prophecies without getting this done; ALL other law and prophets HANG upon doing these Commands," AND ties DOING those Commands to ETERNAL LIFE, how is that NOT perfectly, unmissably central to every Christian faith? ---- I'd like any of the Fervent to wrestle with the above. On your own terms, it seems to me, Christ is missing from your conception of Christ. Were I to see Christ as emerging solely from the Bible as historical record - which I don't - the above would FORCE me to reconcieve of Christ outside the narrow frames offered. I'm interested in what, exactly, happens in your Christ-experience that allows you to make anything else central, and/or how the above is incorrect.

I think it is the fact that we are all individuals despite the attempts of others to unify/govern under a common banner such as christianity.

As children we learn 'same' or 'different'. All too often, and especially in christianity and islam, the 'different' is the focus.

I say we help scrap the religious ideologies that act as the divisive factors in society and focus on just being human.

The need is present that we must show people that I am just as cool to be around as someone devoted to a zombie story. DARN! I almost made it through that without saying anything considered obtuse by christians.

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