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Old 01-10-2011, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Texas
4,346 posts, read 5,591,007 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I can't agree. If the atheist is right in looking at the ascension story and saying it wasn't true, then 'getting the meaning' is irrelevant. It is pointless.

Thom R and I had a chat about this on the religion forum recently. If one takes such a story as literally true then that is one thing. If one takes it as untrue, that is another. If one treats it as metaphorical or allegorical, it is neither, nothing and nowhere and is irrelevant.
In the latter case it would only be irrelevant as an external event. The bigger picture painted is that the essence of man's being came from an ethereal mind and returns there - and that can be both relevant and life changing.

But I do understand your point and that's why most Christians and most atheists don't always appreciate my views. They are counter intuitive to how most interact with the world around them and I understand that.

As far as I'm concerned the important thing is living with empathy for others and peace within one's self. A belief in literal supernatural stories or a disbelief in literal supernatural stories doesn't really have a bearing on that, AISI.
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:21 AM
 
35,456 posts, read 9,215,070 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firstborn888 View Post
In the latter case it would only be irrelevant as an external event. The bigger picture painted is that the essence of man's being came from an ethereal mind and returns there - and that can be both relevant and life changing.

But I do understand your point and that's why most Christians and most atheists don't always appreciate my views. They are counter intuitive to how most interact with the world around them and I understand that.

I take your point, but it's rather a circular or cart before the horse argument.

The Bible - the Gospels - are not about the essence of man's being or an aetheral mind. Those are in the realms of philosophy, mysticism, Deist/pantheist theology, evolutionary biology (oh yes!) and quantum physics.

They are about a very particular and personal deity who intervened in human affairs in ways reported as history and which require us to do and believe certain things.

That is what Christianity is about and it is the basis of a number of powerful and influential churches with a sight more power, money and influence than I like.

If that Bible/gospel is shown to be unsound and unfeasible (and it IS, trust me) then Christianity and all its demands are moribund and rely on only habits of behaviour and the need to keep the men in funny hats in jobs as the reasons to maintain it.

Thus it tells us NOTHING about an aethereal mind or whether we came from it or not. That is another matter and a rather agnostic one, too. I do not (in principle) deny a cosmic mind of that kind. I don't see the mystical experience, our evolved emotions or even the Divine Instinct as neccessarily being evidence that it is real much less in contact with us.

I don't know, and nobody knows, how the universe came to be. But 'Goddunnit' (or aethereal mind did it, if you prefer) is too glib a response and has its own problems.

The Bible is of no relevance to that discussion about which we can only be agnostic, at best.

It is of relevance to the claims and authority of Christianity and, because the gospels are flawed and do not stand up as fact, the claims and authority of Christianity are bogus.

The same applies to Judaism and, it follows, Islam, Mormonism and all the religions of the Book.

Over to you.

In fact you already answered me

Quote:
As far as I'm concerned the important thing is living with empathy for others and peace within one's self. A belief in literal supernatural stories or a disbelief in literal supernatural stories doesn't really have a bearing on that, AISI.
Then you and I are on the same page. It is a page where no one Holy Book - or indeed any book making suggestions about how we should live - has any more validity than any other, unless it has some persuasive logical or evidential grounding. Dragging the Bible into it as a metaphorical example smacks too much of indoctrinated habit.

If you are not doing that then you and I have nothing to argue about.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 01-10-2011 at 07:33 AM..
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:39 AM
 
17,968 posts, read 12,509,555 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eusebius
cannot be saved,
Quote:
Originally Posted by firstborn888 View Post
Saved from what, exactly?
  1. Saved from sin and death
  2. Saved for life eonian (life pertaining to the coming eons)
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:54 AM
 
17,968 posts, read 12,509,555 times
Reputation: 990
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I can't agree. If the atheist is right in looking at the ascension story and saying it wasn't true, then 'getting the meaning' is irrelevant. It is pointless.

Thom R and I had a chat about this on the religion forum recently. If one takes such a story as literally true then that is one thing. If one takes it as untrue, that is another. If one treats it as metaphorical or allegorical, it is neither, nothing and nowhere and is irrelevant.

I read a book (a very popular and speculative one, but he hit the nail on the head remakably often) which 'explained' the ascension (Acts 1.9-10) where Jesus was lifted up into heaven (a bit of a change from the end of Luke where 'he parted from them') as Jesus going up a hill into a cloud. which isn't very likely and would hardly have seemed miraculous.
I really wish you guys would get your facts straight. Here is the Lukan account of the ascension into heaven:

Luke 24:50-53 CLV Now He led them out as far as to Bethany, and, lifting
up His hands, He blesses them." (51) And it occurred as He is blessing
them, He put an interval between Himself and them, and He was carried
up into heaven." (52) And they, worshiping Him, return to Jerusalem with
great joy." (53) And they were continually in the sanctuary, praising and
blessing God. Amen!"

Act 1:9 And saying these things, while they are looking, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him up from their eyes."


Where is it stated he parted from then went up a hill into a cloud?

It states "He was lifted up AND a cloud took Him up." It does not state how large the cloud was. But they did see Him carried into heaven.

I take that literally. To take it metaphorically is to disprove the ascension and as you say "makes it irrelevant".
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:45 AM
 
Location: Texas
4,346 posts, read 5,591,007 times
Reputation: 843
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I take your point, but it's rather a circular or cart before the horse argument.

The Bible - the Gospels - are not about the essence of man's being or an aetheral mind.
"Those who have ears to hear" would seem to contradict your assertion. (Possibly, I'm not saying it does for sure).
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Those are in the realms of philosophy, mysticism, Deist/pantheist theology, evolutionary biology (oh yes!) and quantum physics.
Yes, they are.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
They are about a very particular and personal deity who intervened in human affairs in ways reported as history and which require us to do and believe certain things.
No one can require someone to believe something. Believing comes from a person's personal conviction. How can you "require" that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
That is what Christianity is about and it is the basis of a number of powerful and influential churches with a sight more power, money and influence than I like.
As a whole - you are correct. That's why people like Bishop Spong are on the scene to balance the equation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
If that Bible/gospel is shown to be unsound and unfeasible (and it IS, trust me) then Christianity and all its demands are moribund and rely on only habits of behaviour and the need to keep the men in funny hats in jobs as the reasons to maintain it.
As someone who doesn't believe that Catholicism has much (if anything) to do with the Spirit of Christ, I will not argue with the point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Thus it tells us NOTHING about an aethereal mind or whether we came from it or not. That is another matter and a rather agnostic one, too. I do not (in principle) deny a cosmic mind of that kind. I don't see the mystical experience, our evolved emotions or even the Divine Instinct as neccessarily being evidence that it is real much less in contact with us.
If it doesn't tell you anything, then how can I protest that it doesn't? I will (and can) not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I don't know, and nobody knows,
That's an educated assumption on your part, a belief.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
how the universe came to be. But 'Goddunnit' (or aethereal mind did it, if you prefer) is too glib a response and has its own problems.
EVERYTHING has it's own problems.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
The Bible is of no relevance to that discussion about which we can only be agnostic, at best.
It has relevance because people give it relevance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
It is of relevance to the claims and authority of Christianity and, because the gospels are flawed and do not stand up as fact, the claims and authority of Christianity are bogus.
They are ideas. Literalists create the bogus-ness.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
The same applies to Judaism and, it follows, Islam, Mormonism and all the religions of the Book.
there is bogus-ness in the literal interpretations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Over to you.

In fact you already answered me



Then you and I are on the same page. It is a page where no one Holy Book - or indeed any book making suggestions about how we should live - has any more validity than any other, unless it has some persuasive logical or evidential grounding. Dragging the Bible into it as a metaphorical example smacks too much of indoctrinated habit.
It has validity insomuch as it has contributed to modern society. Need I remind you that the vast majority of North Americans heard the concept of "Whatsoever you would have men do unto you - do also to them" from a bible verse quoting Jesus? You may say - "others said it first" but how would that negate the bible's relevance?
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
If you are not doing that then you and I have nothing to argue about.
I read the bible as brief glimpses into a beyond which already exists as a reality in my heart. If taken for what it is - a collection of books which reveal the thoughts of man about God and a progression of ideas from 4000 BC to 0070 AD, then it is harmless and even helpful.

AISI

In the hands of fundies, it's a disaster.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:23 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 22,360,344 times
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You know the Indian Shaker Church doesn't even believe in the Bible. As I recall they believe Jesus appears to them in oral stories and visions or something like that. So in theory even if you, AREQUIPA, could "demolish the Bible" there might still be Christians.

For that matter as a Catholic my religion isn't even solely about the Bible anyway. The Bible is the creation of the Church and the Church is infallible.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:54 AM
 
17,968 posts, read 12,509,555 times
Reputation: 990
Quote:
Originally Posted by firstborn888 View Post
It has relevance because people give it relevance.
They are ideas. Literalists create the bogus-ness.
there is bogus-ness in the literal interpretations.

I read the bible as brief glimpses into a beyond which already exists as a reality in my heart. If taken for what it is - a collection of books which reveal the thoughts of man about God and a progression of ideas from 4000 BC to 0070 AD, then it is harmless and even helpful.

AISI

In the hands of fundies, it's a disaster.
firstborn888, I'm not sure I understand. Do you mean the resurrection of Christ is just an idea and that those literalists who take it literally cause that resurrection to be a bogus event?

Have you literally already met with all the dead that are in their tombs and together with all believers met the Lord in the air as Paul asserts will happen in the future in his Thessalonian epistle? (1 Thess.4:13-18).

I do applaud you for taking what is literal and applying it figuratively/spiritually in your daily life. We are to walk AS IF alive from the dead and consider ourselves dead yet alive to God in Christ.
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:11 AM
 
Location: Texas
4,346 posts, read 5,591,007 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eusebius View Post
firstborn888, I'm not sure I understand. Do you mean the resurrection of Christ is just an idea and that those literalists who take it literally cause that resurrection to be a bogus event?

Have you literally already met with all the dead that are in their tombs and together with all believers met the Lord in the air as Paul asserts will happen in the future in his Thessalonian epistle? (1 Thess.4:13-18).

I do applaud you for taking what is literal and applying it figuratively/spiritually in your daily life. We are to walk AS IF alive from the dead and consider ourselves dead yet alive to God in Christ.
Yes - I have been caught up into the "air" (pneuma).

I'll be VERY honest with you Eusebius. I was born again and transformed by resurrection power and was a worship leader for over 30 years - so I know the power and presence of God. I believe in an all powerful Creator.

Yet, more recently I have begun to doubt the literal events of the bible. I just woke up one day and saw all the end time hype and literal bible religiosity for what it was.

It's been... a very difficult... but rewarding road. And I don't think God is mad at me for being on it.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:45 PM
 
5,925 posts, read 5,708,576 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firstborn888 View Post
It's been... a very difficult... but rewarding road. And I don't think God is mad at me for being on it.

No, he is not.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:14 PM
 
35,456 posts, read 9,215,070 times
Reputation: 4859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eusebius View Post
I really wish you guys would get your facts straight. Here is the Lukan account of the ascension into heaven:

Luke 24:50-53 CLV Now He led them out as far as to Bethany, and, lifting
up His hands, He blesses them." (51) And it occurred as He is blessing
them, He put an interval between Himself and them, and He was carried
up into heaven." (52) And they, worshiping Him, return to Jerusalem with
great joy." (53) And they were continually in the sanctuary, praising and
blessing God. Amen!"

Act 1:9 And saying these things, while they are looking, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him up from their eyes."


Where is it stated he parted from then went up a hill into a cloud?

It states "He was lifted up AND a cloud took Him up." It does not state how large the cloud was. But they did see Him carried into heaven.

I take that literally. To take it metaphorically is to disprove the ascension and as you say "makes it irrelevant".
I wish you would get your facts straight.

You are pleased to say that "He put an interval between Himself and them" and 'he parted from them' is somehow different.

Also the explanation of just going up the hill into a cloud is a not very convincing attempt I found in some book to rationalise the passage. As I said. That's not what I claim at all.

If you are going to make a meaningful contribution at least be honest and accurate.

No, apologies. I see what you mean.

The end of Luke is he blessed them and parted from them and they returned. That is, as I said above, no different from a reading as 'he put an interval between himself and them'. There is no real suggestion of being caught up to heaven in a cloud or anything else and, if you are translation tinkering with 'interval between' to suggest there is, I must retract my apology.

Acts, though goes on with a good bit of chat about the work of the apostles and the lifting up, a cloud taking him out of sight and gazing into heaven when an angel stops by and asks stooge - like what they are all staring at.

All that doesn't appear in Luke. I just said that it seems a bit of a change. Some additional material. Also I see it as a description of a miraculous event and do not buy any glib rationalisation of Jesus strolling off into the mist and I don't suppose you do, either.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 01-11-2011 at 02:44 PM..
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