The Mystery of Jesus Christ. (Page 2)
Zanjan: With Moses, lump packages were delivered to followers over His lifetime; it seems this was because His followers continued to beg for certain solutions; then Moses appealed to God on their behalf.
Whereas, there was a 20 year gap in Muhammad's output while the Quran was being completed. Some thought He couldn't be a Prophet because the flow had been interrupted. Turns out it was a test to them, demonstrating you can't boss God around.
I think of Jesus, presenting in front of everyone at the Festival of Tabernacles, rising at the end of the ritual, on its last day, to announce His majestic, formal Declaration. Then I think of Him coming across the woman standing at the well, where He casually just flopped on the ground beside her; I can see Him lightly smiling up at her as He spoke.
Clearly, there are two states of a Prophet's being; one of the common man, and one of being the Vessel of that Revelatory state - for the latter, what poured into them was from an outside source, rather than from themselves. They couldn't dictate when and where - they merely awaited instructions.
ghostgeek: I've been taking a cursory interest in Muhammad of late. No doubt about it, he was in the mould of an Old Testament prophet. Hearing the word of God, preaching to the people and being a man of action, he had it all. His basic message, that people had been led astray and must submit to the will of God, could easily fit into the Old Testament. Thus it's not difficult to see the Qur'an as a logical extension to the Hebrew bible. Both have a sacred language, Classical Arabic for the Qur'an and Hebrew for the Torah and other books. Both also speak to a chosen people, the Qur'an to the Arabs and the Torah to the Jews. The problem with this tidy little picture is that it leaves no room for Christianity. Christianity is the interloper here, a religion so different that people have struggled to relate the Old and New Testaments. How to explain this though? Might I suggest an answer; by acknowledging that Christianity has its roots elsewhere than in Judaism.
Zanjan: The roots of all of God's religions are in GOD.
In many ways you're right - both the OT and the NT mention the importance of submission to the Will of God; I can't imagine not including that principle if one wants to be a good servant. This seems like nothing new or revelatory.......personally, I had to think about that when I first read the Quran.
The result was this: while the means to come closer to God was there in all of these religions, what stands out is a "MANDATE" - not just a teaching strictly for followers, but a lesson and direction for all of mankind. It's a theme, round which everything in that religion revolves.
For example, the lesson Christians had to learn was "Brotherly Love" - the world didn't know that but once Christians understood it, they could teach it to the world. God was saying it was time all mankind learned this major thing so, no excuses - everyone was capable of doing it, whether religious or not.
For Islam, the theme was "Submission to God"; Muslims had to learn this, then do as above. Like the above, one shouldn't assume everyone in religion does this; it means even if you're not in a religion, if you don't submit to God's Will, nothing else you do is worth much of anything to God or yourself. Faith can be blind and good works will pass away.
Every religion of God has had a unique mandate. My religion has one as well. This aim is what we should keep foremost in front of us when interacting with anyone or any agency. It's the goal, the mission, and greatest spiritual achievement of our Era. It's "UNITY".
ghostgeek: Strange how in Christianity God does the splits, three in one, Trinity style. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Not at all the concept of God one reads about in the Old Testament or the Qur'an. In Christianity God sends his Son, who is also Himself, to be sacrificed so Humanity can be absolved of its sins. Mortal yet divine, born of a virgin, who dies only to rise from the dead. It sounds like the plot from a novel or a crib from the "Pagan's Guide to Religion." I bet it must have left the old Rabbis scratching their heads when told it was a sect of Judaism.
Zanjan: Well, the Jews were the children of Israel and only had to deal with their own tribes - not converts. They weren't allowed to marry non-Jews, due to the 'bad influence", so it all stayed tight in the family without being misconstrued for a long time.
Christianity wasn't like that - it welcomed everybody, marrying those of different religions' additionally, it left Israel almost immediately. Its base didn't remain in Israel - strangely, it was established in Italy.
The NT wasn't compiled for a long time after Christ; there weren't churches and scholars everywhere - they were a loose bunch, sprinkled around the Mediterranean, outside Israel. Mostly, people were illiterate and unofficially translated what they'd memorized to other languages. Nothing tribal about Christianity.
You can well imagine how it must have been, having only bits and pieces, and having to fill that in with your own cultural baggage - remember, pagans were converted too. Eventually, followers had gotten so many whacky ideas, leaders were forced to create an official cannon where all the teachings were in one place.
They could then say "This is everything Christians believe", until some decided to believe it differently and the Church split. The Trinity is one of those bits of baggage which contributed to the split in understanding. Easter was the gift of the pagans, and the Resurrection just got screwed up over a long time. The ball keeps rolling.
Now with Islam, we're back to a tribal beginning with Arabs maintaining the stronghold within a whole country; they commanded Islam from this base, no matter how far the faith spread, and they still do.
So, yeah, Christianity seems to be the odd duck chapter.
Zanjan: Chastity and celibacy are NOT the same thing.The first is purity of spirit and honour of dignity, the other is choosing not to have extra marital sexual relations. That was was taught in Judaism, so the pagans were familiar with it, though they may not have practiced either.
Early believers wouldn't have got that wrong. Altruism attracts people of virtue, battling the darkness and this is the spirit that wins over it.
Don't think for one moment that the people of light and the people of darkness don't know who the other is!
GeraldtheGnome: Did he exist or did he not ? If so then where is the proof that he did or didn't or that all or most or 1/2 or some of what happened to him and by him did happen or not ? These are the true mysteries of Jesus Christ, not just that of a mystery about him. Also please, can we not use words like Altruism ? Thank you. Bye.
(Edited by GeraldtheGnome)
ghostgeek: The battle between light and dark, between good and evil. The holy forces of God ranged against Satan's wicked minions. The only niggle I have with this rather entertaining scenario is why an all powerful God didn't just think Satan out of existence. That way, no temptation, no original sin, no fall and no need for redemption. Makes me think it was all supposed to happen the way it did, that it was plan A from the beginning. Seems like a Machiavellian scheme is afoot to me.
Zanjan: Tsk, tsk, why do people not not know why humans have a dual nature?? I mean, they recognize it but are puzzled why we have it. They'd have the answer to that question if they stopped living by one nature.
If God thought Satan out of existence, that would be like knocking the legs off a chair and expecting it to remain standing. Likewise, a roof sits on a foundation - one without the other isn't a house.
Satan is another word for our base, animal self (ego): if God were to extinguish this lower part of our nature, man would cease to exist as anything more than a puppet, unable to appreciate unconditional love since he wouldn't know what fickle love was.
This being wouldn't be able to survive on earth amongst animals because he'd be unable to interpret their moves.
As one man put it: "Without cowardice, there would be no need of valor".
You see, it takes a man to challenge instinctive impulses and overcome them; it's the most brilliant intellectual achievement possible. You want to take that away??
GeraldtheGnome: I'm the one with Machiavellian-like schemes on and off the net ! I won't allow another to be ! The Battle of Light and Dark, Good versus Evil (kind of) in the Biblical way is imaginary, also there is no proof so far that God went against the Devil or that either of them or both of them did or didn't exist or that either or both of them do or don't exist. So until either is proven then the critics of the Bible have every right to be critical of it and that that is fair as well as justified. Ego is not an Animal self, also Humans are a form of Primates, Primates are Mammals, Mammals are Vertebrates and Vertebrates are Animals. Do you get the idea ? Love is still fickle, even away from any Religious forms that have so far been mentioned. 'Being' ? In your interpretation what does that mean ? Also who are they ? Not in my words, but in yours. The only reason that Valour does exist is because of Cowardice ? How can you validate that claim ? Your last last paragraph I do agree with, though I think a , rather than a ; was still okay to use there.
ghostgeek: This is interesting stuff Zanjan. It would appear that you're saying evil is part of God's plan, that it's existence is essential to the divine purpose. Well, maybe so, but doesn't it go against the notion that God is an omnibenevolent being who wouldn't want His creations to suffer? You also say that Satan is another word for our base, animal self or ego. So in your scheme of things Satan isn't a real entity. This makes me wonder if you also see God in the same light, as a reification of other aspects of human nature.
GeraldtheGnome: Good cannot with without Evil and Evil cannot live without Good. That is just the way things are, even away from any 'mystery' , God is just a concept that some people believe in, it does not mean that he does or does not exist. With that known there is no way to know that he had any creations or that of any of them to suffer, there's not even any proof that Satan does exist even in a metaphorical manner. We are all Animals literally, this bit about Ego is baffling me. What is a reification ? I have never even seen that word before ? Can we at least put on words that are more regularly used anyway thank you ? Also I hate Human Nature, why bring up anything about them, if Hell does exist then three videos will show that there are certain 'Demonic forces' out there that are worse than Hell itself.
Oh the Humanity ! (Make that Inhumanity. )
Zanjan: Ghost: " doesn't it go against the notion that God is an omnibenevolent being who wouldn't want His creations to suffer?"
Why, yes it does! Suffering is a necessary part of life and death. God doesn't want humans to deliberately inflict it on each other over and above what one already suffers.
God is an entity, not satan. We understand satan only too well but few are so familiar with God - that's because humans tend to be closer to the former than the latter.
ghostgeek: Why should suffering be necessary Zanjan? I see no purpose to it. In fact, why should there be any need for this world at all? It's not as if God couldn't create directly souls replete with all the experiences they might gain by living in a physical body. That is, if that's what He wants. Does God want to stock His heaven and hell with fully formed souls? Maybe not, maybe He has another purpose. Religions seem to emphasise the need for votaries to ritually worship the divine being. Is that all God wants, for us all to abase ourselves in acknowledgement of His ineffable majesty?
Zanjan: "Why should suffering be necessary Zanjan?"
Creatures need to eat. The earth needs to be in motion, according to it's physics. All creatures must transform. Learning is painful, loss is painful, yet these are necessary functions of life, also a strengthening key to ensure improvement and, ultimately, better survival.
Think of a young plant - the wind tells the plant to build extra cells on that side so it's stalk will become thick yet resilient so it will bend without breaking. As the hail pounds the plant, shredding a few leaves, it tells the plant to make thicker leaves and stems that will merely move over when things hit it. The hot sun is telling the plant to send down deeper roots into the soil to seek protection and nourishment so when rain is withheld it wont wither and die.
The most robust plants are those that had been exposed, in early life, to the elements so they can withstand whatever the sheltered ones couldn't.
We're like those plants - what an observer may outwardly see as cruel is, in reality, a mercy and protection.
ghostgeek: Pity the poor plants. Now, as to the purpose of creation, what the hell is it all for? Why does our friendly mate upstairs need us so? I'm really beginning to think He doesn't like being alone. Well, that's OK, after all, being on your tod for all of eternity can't be much fun. No, what gets my gander up is this notion that we have to pay Him homage. I mean, who's doing the favour here?
Zanjan: What God wants is the best for us; He wants happiness for us so He does what is in our best interest.
When we're unhappy, He tells us why that is and what we can do about it. We're unhappy when we're not living by our higher nature, our true potential - our connection with God is a connection to all good. When we're separated from that, we experience the worst the world offers and crumble under its weight.
It's not that God needs us, its that WE need Him. He built us to be like Him - that is, to reflect those same virtues. We get our sustenance from Him in the same way we get fuel from food. If we stop eating, we die; the same if we block the love and wisdom that flows from Him to nurture our souls.
So, Christ turned water into wine. It wasn't physical wine, but the wine of spiritual love - far more intoxicating and safer than the water. It was a happy wedding.
Thus, God speaks, advising us to drink in the sweet flowing fountain of His Words to wash away the pain, not from the bottle that holds poison. Which homage do you think has no bad side effects?
Zanjan: As for the notion that Jesus Christ is a myth,this doesn't surprise me- it's one of the signs of the last days,describing the mindset of the people.
Paul writes: 2 Timothy 4:4
" and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.(mythology)
ghostgeek: Are you suggesting the end of the world is nearly upon us Zanjan, or do you envisage a golden age to be dawning?
Zanjan: The end of the world already happened - where were you?
Actually, it was a conflagration of two major events - the end of an Age, which also ended the Adamic cycle. Being a double whammy, it was the end of the world as people knew it.
The New Age has a crest and that's in about 300 years from now - the golden age is for one religious dispensation only. Meanwhile, a new, very long cycle of development for humanity has begun; it will last 500,000 years. So relax, mankind will survive.
ghostgeek: Now let me guess, who could you be referring to when you say the golden age is for one religious dispensation only? That wouldn't be your mob, would it Zanjan, the Baha'is? I bet it is. You see, your lot at heart are no different to all the other tub thumping God lovers. It's always the same story, the believers will be saved etc etc while everybody else can go whistle. Personally, I'm waiting for the time when somebody has a new idea about God. One that makes sense. Well, I can tell you, if somebody doesn't come along with it soon I'm going to cook up my own answer. One that suits me.