Jesus said...

Sermon on the Mount

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the cross...

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Re: Jesus said...

#101  Postby Agrippina » Mar 30, 2015 6:28 am

I think you're right Skinny. I've asked people who were ambivalent about religion, and who moved into fundamentalism, why they did this. They said exactly what you've said. My sister-in-law was like that when i met her, then her daughter was murdered by her ex-husband who then committed suicide, and the only comfort she could get was from the JWs in the family who took her to their leader to be brainwashed. My and my DH's efforts at secular comfort just weren't enough. She wanted assurance that she would see them again "in a better place" and the idea that they were not "gone forever" and she found that in that horrible religion.
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Re: Jesus said...

#102  Postby Alan B » Mar 31, 2015 10:59 am

Sad!
Sad that people can be led astray by monsters capitalising on someone's grief.
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Re: Jesus said...

#103  Postby John Platko » Mar 31, 2015 2:58 pm

Skinny Puppy wrote:
Agrippina wrote:The more I look at religion, and particularly Christianity, the more I'm confused about why people believe in it. How do grown ups not see that it's just mythological nonsense? :roll:


As an analogy, (no analogy is perfect, but as an example) when I first studied SR &GR I had no personal vested interest in the outcome. I was simply looking (as an outsider) at facts and they could be dismissed as easily as they could be accepted. Obviously the data was there for 100% confirmation, but if either SR or GR were to be replaced tomorrow, it wouldn’t bother me one iota. My world-view would have to be adjusted, but I would see that as a new and exciting adventure where the new theory would open up an entirely new frontier of discovery.

In addition, I am and always will be ‘me’ regardless of whether or not a theory can stand on its own.

With religion however, you aren’t an outsider looking in; since it’s not something that one does passively, it is something that transforms your entire being and becomes the very essence of your mind and body. At first one is skeptical and leery, but then the barriers begin to crumble as the ‘truth’ begins to replace doubts. The ‘truth’ is not tangible or verifiable in the same way that love can’t be pigeonholed, but it is there none-the-less... and just as real to the believer.

From an academic POV it appears totally illogical and perhaps childish and silly, but to its adherents, it becomes the very reason for their being. It answers all questions, sets aside all fears and frees one from the world. Basically one goes from chaos to serenity and it offers everything that a secular world lacks.

It’s really hard to explain and must be experienced to be fully understood.



While I imagine that we have very different views on Christianity, Skinny Puppy, I enjoy your comments and the wider perspective they give me on it.
I like to imagine ...
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Re: Jesus said...

#104  Postby Agrippina » Apr 01, 2015 5:38 am

Alan B wrote:Sad!
Sad that people can be led astray by monsters capitalising on someone's grief.


It's very sad.In a family of JWs she was the only one who accepted my DH and I and who used to visit us, share birthdays and Christmas and so on, until her daughter died. It's like she's spent the past 20 years in mourning and deep depression, although she claims that it was the only way she could find happiness again. I hate to tell her that the 144,000 who are "going to heaven" will be only "men undefiled by women" so she's wasting her time. :roll: (Apart from that she's actually wasting her time anyway by believing in the afterlife).
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Re: Jesus said...

#105  Postby Agrippina » Apr 01, 2015 5:40 am

John Platko wrote:
Skinny Puppy wrote:
Agrippina wrote:The more I look at religion, and particularly Christianity, the more I'm confused about why people believe in it. How do grown ups not see that it's just mythological nonsense? :roll:


As an analogy, (no analogy is perfect, but as an example) when I first studied SR &GR I had no personal vested interest in the outcome. I was simply looking (as an outsider) at facts and they could be dismissed as easily as they could be accepted. Obviously the data was there for 100% confirmation, but if either SR or GR were to be replaced tomorrow, it wouldn’t bother me one iota. My world-view would have to be adjusted, but I would see that as a new and exciting adventure where the new theory would open up an entirely new frontier of discovery.

In addition, I am and always will be ‘me’ regardless of whether or not a theory can stand on its own.

With religion however, you aren’t an outsider looking in; since it’s not something that one does passively, it is something that transforms your entire being and becomes the very essence of your mind and body. At first one is skeptical and leery, but then the barriers begin to crumble as the ‘truth’ begins to replace doubts. The ‘truth’ is not tangible or verifiable in the same way that love can’t be pigeonholed, but it is there none-the-less... and just as real to the believer.

From an academic POV it appears totally illogical and perhaps childish and silly, but to its adherents, it becomes the very reason for their being. It answers all questions, sets aside all fears and frees one from the world. Basically one goes from chaos to serenity and it offers everything that a secular world lacks.

It’s really hard to explain and must be experienced to be fully understood.



While I imagine that we have very different views on Christianity, Skinny Puppy, I enjoy your comments and the wider perspective they give me on it.


What is the difference John Platko, can you define how different your "christianity" is to that of Christians in general?
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Re: Jesus said...

#106  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 01, 2015 9:16 am

Which of the 41,000 flavours is his?
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Re: Jesus said...

#107  Postby Alan B » Apr 01, 2015 9:36 am

Raspberry! :snooty:
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Re: Jesus said...

#108  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 01, 2015 9:42 am

Well he says it is basically catholic.


Albanian Byzantine Catholic Church
Armenian Catholic Church
Belarusian Catholic Church
Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church
Chaldean Catholic Church
Coptic Catholic Church
Byzantine Church of Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro
Ethiopian Catholic Church
Greek Byzantine Catholic Church
Hungarian Byzantine Catholic Church
Italo-Albanian Catholic Church ; a.k.a. Italo-Greek Catholic Church
Macedonian Catholic Church
Maronite Catholic Church
Melkite Catholic Church
Romanian Catholic Church
Russian Catholic Church
Ruthenian Catholic Church ; usually called the "Byzantine Catholic Church" in the United States
Slovak Greek Catholic Church
Syriac Catholic Church
Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
Syro-Malankara Catholic Church
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church



These are part of the roman catholic communion.

These are independent:


Apostolic Catholic Church
American Catholic Church in the United States
Bosnian Church (no longer in existence)
Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church
Catholic Charismatic Church of Canada
Celtic Catholic Church
Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association
Communion of Christ the Redeemer
Community of the Lady of All Nations
Free Catholic Church
Liberal Catholic Church
Mariavite Church
Old Catholic Church
Old Catholic Church of America
Old Catholic Church in Europe
Old Roman Catholic Church in America
Palmarian Catholic Church
Philippine Independent Church
Polish National Catholic Church
True Catholic Church



Which one John or have you started your own?
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Re: Jesus said...

#109  Postby Alan B » Apr 01, 2015 11:31 am

Hmmm! :think: "Liberal Catholic Church".

Surely that's a contradiction in terms?
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Re: Jesus said...

#110  Postby Alan B » Apr 01, 2015 11:47 am

Okay. Next question for the theists.

"Blessed are they that mourn...". (The REB says: "Blessed are the sorrowful...").

What is the meaning of 'mourn' or 'sorrowful' in the context of the Sermon on the Mount?
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Re: Jesus said...

#111  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 01, 2015 2:26 pm

Alan B wrote:Hmmm! :think: "Liberal Catholic Church".

Surely that's a contradiction in terms?


What about the Free Catholic Church then?
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Re: Jesus said...

#112  Postby Alan B » Apr 01, 2015 3:52 pm

Ah! Didn't notice that one - but then no church is free. They all cost something.
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Re: Jesus said...

#113  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 01, 2015 4:04 pm

:rofl: Exactly.
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Re: Jesus said...

#114  Postby Agrippina » Apr 02, 2015 5:05 am

Alan B wrote:Ah! Didn't notice that one - but then no church is free. They all cost something.


:rofl:
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Re: Jesus said...

#115  Postby Alan B » Apr 02, 2015 10:40 am

Skinny Puppy wrote:Yes the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of god are one and the same.

This has been bugging me for a bit, so I decided to 'do a Wiki'.
Wiki Matthew
A term (Greek: βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν) used in the Gospel of Matthew in preference to the "kingdom of God" (Greek: βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ) of the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Luke,...

Wiki Heaven
In traditional Christianity, it is considered a state or condition of existence (rather than a particular place somewhere in the cosmos) of the supreme fulfillment of theosis in the beatific vision of the Godhead.

My view is that the 'Kingdom of God' in Mark and Luke is for the Hoi Polloi, the 'masses' who would not understand the 'philosophy' that this Jesus was teaching to his disciples. Whereas the 'Kingdom of Heaven' could be a 'spiritual' mind-state. Maybe akin to the Eastern Nirvana? Perhaps nothing to do with 'God' at all.
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Re: Jesus said...

#116  Postby jinxu » Apr 02, 2015 3:05 pm

I might be being overly sensitive, and if so let me know. Just seems like threads such as these are bait or traps laid out. Reading through the bulk of the posts (haven't read all of them honestly) I am left with a few questions :

1) Why ask for my opinion knowing that I will answer from a point of belief? Of course I cannot provide acceptable evidence of my belief, it is my belief. If I could PROVE my belief, then it'd be your belief as well.
2) Why bring verses of the Bible into the discussion if you don't believe that the Bible is the word of God? For that matter why ask about any verse in the Bible and it's application or interpretation when you don't believe in God or the Bible?
3) I know many here are former theists of one variety or another. And that many gave up their faith based on critical thinking. But when going back to any holy text do you ever put yourself back into the shoes of the current believers? This last question doesn't really have anything to do with the topic and you can choose to disregard if you like.
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Re: Jesus said...

#117  Postby jinxu » Apr 02, 2015 3:21 pm

To answer the original question :

"Blessed are the poor in spirit..." I like NLT's version of :

"“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,[a]
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs."

"...realize their need for him." Helps me to better understand what "poor in spirit..." or "...the poor" means to me. Poor can mean simply a financial situation but to me it means the understanding that I need God. I accept that God is my ultimate provider and that all things come from him.

The Beatitudes were only one part of the Sermon on the Mount. The entire sermon goes on until chapter 7 in Matthew. Matthew's audience were Jews so the relevance to the OT would be more profound to them. As someone mentioned Jesus' claim was that he came to fulfill the Law. Luke's audience were for mixed audience primarily Greek so the relevance to the OT wouldn't mean as much to them. Additionally, Luke's account doesn't even have most of the Sermon on the Mount. My personal belief is that the Bible is inspired by God, written by men. So not literally written by God like the laws on the stone tablets. Does that leave room for errors? Could be, but because of its inspiration I believe the message remains. Tomato vs Tomatoe (hmm, kind of hard to express in text). Still talking about a red fruit / vegetable that goes great with almost anything.
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Re: Jesus said...

#118  Postby Alan B » Apr 02, 2015 4:06 pm

jinxu wrote:I might be being overly sensitive, and if so let me know. Just seems like threads such as these are bait or traps laid out. Reading through the bulk of the posts (haven't read all of them honestly) I am left with a few questions :

1) Why ask for my opinion knowing that I will answer from a point of belief? Of course I cannot provide acceptable evidence of my belief, it is my belief. If I could PROVE my belief, then it'd be your belief as well.

The original question was not asking for 'proof' (by that I presume you mean 'evidence') of any belief. Of the some 41,000 Christian sects there are probably 41,000 different interpretations - in which the idea of a single universal interpretation cancels out.
2) Why bring verses of the Bible into the discussion if you don't believe that the Bible is the word of God? For that matter why ask about any verse in the Bible and it's application or interpretation when you don't believe in God or the Bible?

The Bible is the word of humans and written down by humans some of whom were gullible enough to think a 'god' was 'speaking' to them. I ask about the interpretation of statements in the Bible because I can not because I have or have not a belief in a god or the writings in the Bible.
3) I know many here are former theists of one variety or another. And that many gave up their faith based on critical thinking. But when going back to any holy text do you ever put yourself back into the shoes of the current believers? This last question doesn't really have anything to do with the topic and you can choose to disregard if you like.

It would be impossible to put myself in the shoes of the millions of believers in the, er, 41,000 sects... And anyway, each person will have their own version which will be different from the next person - that is the nature of belief.

Please read the whole thread to get a better idea of the comments.
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Re: Jesus said...

#119  Postby Alan B » Apr 02, 2015 4:36 pm

jinxu wrote:To answer the original question :

"Blessed are the poor in spirit..." I like NLT's version of :

"“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,[a]
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs."

I see. So the 'Word of God' has different versions? Is your quote from Matthew? Because it seems to neglect the 'in spirit' bit.

"...realize their need for him." Helps me to better understand what "poor in spirit..." or "...the poor" means to me. Poor can mean simply a financial situation but to me it means the understanding that I need God. I accept that God is my ultimate provider and that all things come from him.

As you wish. But consider: the 'poor' in Luke seems to suggest materially poor but in Matthew 'poor in spirit' seems to suggest a humbleness of 'spirit'. Even the materially wealthy can be humble in spirit...

The Beatitudes were only one part of the Sermon on the Mount. The entire sermon goes on until chapter 7 in Matthew.

True. But one bit at a time.
Matthew's audience were Jews so the relevance to the OT would be more profound to them. As someone mentioned Jesus' claim was that he came to fulfill the Law.

Fulfil what Law, precisely? Would this be The Ten Commandments or the similar teachings of earlier prophets?
Luke's audience were for mixed audience primarily Greek so the relevance to the OT wouldn't mean as much to them. Additionally, Luke's account doesn't even have most of the Sermon on the Mount.

Perhaps the Greeks were more mercenary... ;)
My personal belief is that the Bible is inspired by God, written by men.

As you wish.
So not literally written by God like the laws on the stone tablets.

Utter rubbish!
Does that leave room for errors? Could be, but because of its inspiration I believe the message remains.

The words remain - but even they are subject to change, according to the beliefs of the scribes. The 'message' is open to many interpretations as this short thread has shown on just the phrase 'poor in spirit'.

Edit. I use the term 'scribe' in a global sense.
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Re: Jesus said...

#120  Postby jinxu » Apr 02, 2015 5:09 pm

Alan B wrote:
I see. So the 'Word of God' has different versions? Is your quote from Matthew? Because it seems to neglect the 'in spirit' bit.


Yes, different translations. Yes, it is from Matthew. As I stated, the NLT version words it to better express how I believe it to mean. - jinxu


As you wish. But consider: the 'poor' in Luke seems to suggest materially poor but in Matthew 'poor in spirit' seems to suggest a humbleness of 'spirit'. Even the materially wealthy can be humble in spirit...


Indeed, the wealthy can be humble and the poor can be arrogant. So when I put both Matthew and Luke together I understand it as both materially poor and also humble. - jinxu

Fulfil what Law, precisely? Would this be The Ten Commandments or the similar teachings of earlier prophets?


I guess it would be more correct to say that Jesus was the fulfillment of the law. The law laid down both consequences and rewards for obeying the law. So Jesus both fulfilled the requirements of the penalty (death) and provided us the rewards (life / blessings / etc).

Perhaps the Greeks were more mercenary... ;)


I don't deny it :lol: - jinxu


Utter rubbish!


Please explain further. I don't understand what is rubbish. My statement or that God wrote on the stone tablets? - jinxu

The words remain - but even they are subject to change, according to the beliefs of the scribes. The 'message' is open to many interpretations as this short thread has shown on just the phrase 'poor in spirit'.

Edit. I use the term 'scribe' in a global sense.


Indeed, so often in fact that we say "human error" and other such cliches and phrases. But I maintain (with no proof, I know) that the message remains true because it was inspired by God.

*EDIT* Doh, my first attempt at inserting comments failed. Everything outside the quote boxes are my comments and not Alan B's. Sorry everyone.
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