What would Jesus do? 'christian' fundamentalists - confused?

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RedHanrahan
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21 Jul 2011, 4:50 pm

Firstly, I am not generally hostile to christianity, The story of Jesus portrays quite a pleasant chap for the most part.

However I am quite bemused as to what exactly makes sense in what is generally grouped as 'christian' fundamentalism.

I was raised Catholic and one of the finest men I have ever met was one of the Priests who passed through our parish, I came to understand the life of Jesus [the christ] through the four conventionally accepted gospels and was taught that to emulate those values was the definition of christanity and the expression of christian values ['to be christ like'].

As the years rolled by I realised I had no belief in 'god' but the basic core values of what I came to understand was generally 'liberation theology' and 'christianity' stuck with me.

However I see no corespondence with what I hear from and see in the 'fundamentalist' christians in this world. The key issues seem to be their rigourous adherance to tracts from the old testament and a generally highly unchristian view of anyone outside their faith group.
I seem to remember Jesus saying that all that stuff from the past was irrelevant [I paraphrase for those who are impaired by an uber literal aspie tendency] and the message he brought to the world was the new path, and the message he brought was one of tolerance, peacefulness, communalism and the need to seperate oneself from the institutions of man. In fact I would go so far as to say that he was communistic or anarchistic in his approach to worldly concerns and much of the christian community in poor third world locations seem to concur.

So how come there are so many biggots in the world waving the 'readers digest' redux of the Jewish faiths extensive library of theology, philosophy, history, myth and legend and claiming this justifies, killing other people, imposing their own values and defends rabid corporatist capitalism? How on earth does the Jesus message make communism or indeed any leftist leanings 'evil'?

Jesus said 'turn the other cheek', 'love thy brother as thyself' and 'let he who is without sin cast the first stone'. His only remotely violent act in regard other humans was driving the capitalists from the temple [I have issues with the driving the demons into a swine and forcing it to kill itself - nasty specism on display there].

What do you think old JC would do if he turned on his telly today and saw your average TV preacher encouraging personal greed so that he can collect a tithe for example? or getting busted shagging wee kiddies? How do you think he would council the anti abortion lobby, he certainly makes no mention of it in his teachings in a time when midwives would have been offering termination as a normal part of their trade?

So, what would Jesus do? just wondering who he would call to his side if he were around today, who he would preach against and who he would counsel?

peace j


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Philologos
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21 Jul 2011, 7:43 pm

It is well known that four reasonable, thinking people who look at realities, one of them Catholic, one Muslim, One Atheist Democrat, and one Secular Republcan, can have a really good talk coverinh a wide range of topics anf come out of it with greater understanding of the universe and deep respect for one another.

It is also well known that if you get a spitback by the book guy who thinks the "model" is more importsant than the facts he can't really get on with ANY of the first four.

We already know what Jesus said to the fundies of his day. Ours are too busy tithing mint and anise and cumin and dissing Samaritans to take what he said literally.

Not to mention the ones who will tell you nothing Jesus said applies to the church.,



zer0netgain
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21 Jul 2011, 7:53 pm

I'm not sure what Jesus would think about modern "Christianity" in how it is sometime practiced.

You make a common error in trying to classify Jesus with a political ideology.

The rules under the Old Testament are still relevant. Jesus came to fulfill the law and prophecy. The New Testament DOES NOT invalidate or dispose of the old law, all of that were types and shadows of what was to come in Christ Jesus. Hence, it would be improper for any "Christian" to just dump it all in the dustbin saying it no longer applies. The general accepted rule is that if something in the Old Testament was continued in the New Testament, it still applied. Many of the cultural and ritual practices were no longer needed. The sabbath, for example, is not needed because Jesus became mankind's sabbath. Every day is a day of rest for us.

Why is socialism or communism evil? Why is capitalism good? Well, I don't know if you can say either is absolutely correct about either. Certainly, you can't defend Marxism, Socialism or Communism from the Bible. The idea of just giving a man his daily needs without him having to work is not supported by the entirety of scripture. You have admonitions to provide for the poor, and certainly, with God, some day every person's needs can be met, but that's via supernatural power. Man can't do it without taking from one to give to another, and neither Jesus nor the early church body ever endorsed taking from an unwilling giver.

Capitalism favors human greed, but it tends to reward the virtue of hard work and making an effort. It frowns upon those who expect others to carry them rather than contribute to the community.

It is also noteworthy that the view of hard work, self-reliance, etc. varies from region to region. Those who live closer to the equator where crops can produce year-round tend to have a laid back attitude to working while those who live closer to the poles with limited growing seasons (and as such must plant, harvest and store for winter) tend to have a rigorous attitude to the classic "Protestant work ethic."

The struggle to "be in the world but not be of the world" is something every Christian must deal with. The world would consider it foolishness to go out every day and preach the gospel and expect God to provide a roof over your head, food on the table and clothes for your body, but there are very, very few who have done just that...and God provides. Even in the formal ministry many preachers would be hesitant to accept a posting at a church where the tithing would be insufficient to provide a salary...that means getting a "real job" while also running the church as the pastor.

As a Christian, I reject formal religions. While I am part of a denomination, I am careful about what I embrace, even by them. Why? It is because religions have been used throughout human history to control the masses. That "God" commands something be done makes it so easy to get a multitude to follow. When evils are done in "God's name" it rarely is God that is behind it. Islam is a perfect example of this. Do you really think the Muslims who want to harm other people (the infidels) do so because it is their idea or is it their religious leaders telling them it is what Allah wants? Are they really speaking for their "god" in all of this or are they speaking for themselves?


If Jesus came back tomorrow, I think a whole lot of people on both sides of the fence would be shocked to find out what He would really do.

There is a joke in the Pentecostal circles that goes like this....it's harsh, but it makes a good point.

A: The problem with you Pentecostals is that you all think you are the only ones going to Heaven.

B: If you want to know the truth, I don't think half of us are going to make it.

Living for God, being Christ-like, is a transformation experience. It is a progression towards perfection. Most "believers" of all shapes and sizes find it easier to conform their conduct to a rulebook. Rules are useful, but living to a set of rules is missing the whole point of what Jesus taught.



Philologos
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21 Jul 2011, 7:58 pm

"There is a joke in the Pentecostal circles that goes like this....it's harsh, but it makes a good point.

A: The problem with you Pentecostals is that you all think you are the only ones going to Heaven.

B: If you want to know the truth, I don't think half of us are going to make it."

That's not a joke, it is a fair comment on human nature. The rado station I reference around here lives B without getting the point.



ruveyn
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21 Jul 2011, 8:26 pm

zer0netgain wrote:
I'm not sure what Jesus would think about modern "Christianity" in how it is sometime practiced.

.


Jesus would be tearing his long hair out. Fundie Xians, those who pound on the Bible are the latter day Pharisees.

ruveyn



Philologos
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21 Jul 2011, 8:40 pm

You do the Pharisees an injustice. Not all were - nor are - the hypocritical nitpickers [all that long hair?] Jesus griped about. Hillel comes to mind.

As with other categories, I suspect it comes down to "Is you is, or does you SAY you is?"



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21 Jul 2011, 8:42 pm

Let's all try saying "hypocritical nit-pickers" ten times just as fast as ever we can.



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22 Jul 2011, 2:59 am

Christ was certainly not a fundie, and as a matter of fact, he did give selflessly to the poor. I don't think he would have had any problem with people reaping the benefits from working hard, but he certainly would have with those of the wealthy who have caused harm to people for the sake of the almighty dollar - or shekel, as it would have been in his day. And he certainly would have had nothing but disgust for those evangelicals who believe that the rich are rich because they're being blessed by God, while the poor are lazy and faithless. If that were true, then Jesus and his disciples wouldn't have been just thirteen shiftless guys depending on handouts to survive.
As a matter of fact, I attend a mainline Protestant church - Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod to be exact - and I can tell you, the contempt and hostility evangelicals direct at us, their fellow Christians, hasn't exactly made us their halleluiah corner.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



zer0netgain
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22 Jul 2011, 7:04 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
And he certainly would have had nothing but disgust for those evangelicals who believe that the rich are rich because they're being blessed by God, while the poor are lazy and faithless. If that were true, then Jesus and his disciples wouldn't have been just thirteen shiftless guys depending on handouts to survive.


Ah, but that's the thing I've come to understand. God DOES sometimes bless people financially. The Bible teaches that if you are willing to work hard and honor God, as a general principle, you will be blessed financially. I know many "wealthy" (or at least "well to do") Christians who in many ways earned their prosperity without working other people over to get there.

Likewise, I have found some Christians are always poor, even though they work hard.

Makes me think of Jesus' admonition that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven. It's not because wealth or money is evil, but the love of it is the root of all evil. If you are a devout follower of Christ, your financial blessing is contingent on YOUR ABILITY TO HANDLE IT. So many people joke that they'd like God to give them the opportunity to prove that money can't buy happiness. When you see how many people have their lives ruined when they come into financial excess, you can understand that perhaps for many, many people, having just enough to get by is a blessing. They don't have the excess to spend on vices. They learn to depend on God for daily/weekly/monthly sustenance and be thankful for it rather than think it is all by their own hands and excess that they are blessed.

Simply put...if you can't handle being rich, God won't make your rich. God is looking out for your long-term welfare (eternal). God does not want to give you something here and now that would lead to your ultimate condemnation.



Janissy
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22 Jul 2011, 7:42 am

What would Jesus do if he got dropped down into the modern world? He'd probably gravitate to the only people who seemed familiar to him: Jews For Jesus.



pandabear
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22 Jul 2011, 7:59 am

Not the Republican Party?



ruveyn
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22 Jul 2011, 8:37 am

Philologos wrote:
You do the Pharisees an injustice. Not all were - nor are - the hypocritical nitpickers [all that long hair?] Jesus griped about. Hillel comes to mind.

As with other categories, I suspect it comes down to "Is you is, or does you SAY you is?"


That is true. But there was always Shamai.

ruveyn



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22 Jul 2011, 9:33 am

pandabear wrote:
Not the Republican Party?


Do not act stupid gratuitously.



ruveyn
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22 Jul 2011, 9:38 am

pandabear wrote:
Not the Republican Party?


There was a time when Republicans and Democrats were not all that different. It is only recently that the Democrats have been hijacked by pinko, stinko, commie loving redistributionist liberals and the Republicans have been taken over by a kind of modern American neo-fascism.

ruveyn



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22 Jul 2011, 1:14 pm

zer0netgain wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
And he certainly would have had nothing but disgust for those evangelicals who believe that the rich are rich because they're being blessed by God, while the poor are lazy and faithless. If that were true, then Jesus and his disciples wouldn't have been just thirteen shiftless guys depending on handouts to survive.


Ah, but that's the thing I've come to understand. God DOES sometimes bless people financially. The Bible teaches that if you are willing to work hard and honor God, as a general principle, you will be blessed financially. I know many "wealthy" (or at least "well to do") Christians who in many ways earned their prosperity without working other people over to get there.

Likewise, I have found some Christians are always poor, even though they work hard.

Makes me think of Jesus' admonition that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven. It's not because wealth or money is evil, but the love of it is the root of all evil. If you are a devout follower of Christ, your financial blessing is contingent on YOUR ABILITY TO HANDLE IT. So many people joke that they'd like God to give them the opportunity to prove that money can't buy happiness. When you see how many people have their lives ruined when they come into financial excess, you can understand that perhaps for many, many people, having just enough to get by is a blessing. They don't have the excess to spend on vices. They learn to depend on God for daily/weekly/monthly sustenance and be thankful for it rather than think it is all by their own hands and excess that they are blessed.

Simply put...if you can't handle being rich, God won't make your rich. God is looking out for your long-term welfare (eternal). God does not want to give you something here and now that would lead to your ultimate condemnation.


I tend to believe the blessings God gives is spiritual, rather than material. So people with faith, courage of their convictions, love, trust, etc. are the ones who have been blessed by God. Sure, there are good Christians who have material wealth - - but there are also bad Christians who have money and property who don't live their faith by loving their neighbor. As I stated in my prior post, Jesus and his disciples never got rich. Does that mean that they wouldn't have been able to handle God's material blessings?

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



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22 Jul 2011, 1:45 pm

It is very clear - you can find scriptural support if you feel you need it, I feel you don't - that "blessings" should not be interpreted after the pattern of the Atheists and Maloverniki who reason, "Something I don't like happened so God a. does not exist or b. does not like me".

Two people, both seeking and following God all their heart, and with all their soul, and with all their strength, and with all their mind.

One is sent into the wilderness, where he lives a life of contemplation on a shoestring, blessing the world through is prayers.


One is sent into town, finds a job, accumulates, starts his own business and a family, there he is in time a busy succesful executive, blessing his family, employees, and community with his presence and his wealth - and his prayers.

Have they not pleased God equally by their obedience and love? Has God not blessed them equally?