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Jesus

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Dissident Heart

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Re: Jesus, Wealth and Power

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Chris: Jesus dying on a cross thousands of years before I was born has nothing to do with me, my sins, or my salvation.Have you ever considered approaching the Cross of Jesus as a paradigm for the all-too-many horrid crosses throughout human history? Crosses arising out of imperial domination, social oppression, militant terrorism, religious fanaticism; and the countless kidnappings, disappearings, brutalizations, tortures, rapes, murders that define the dark history of human crosses? In this sense, Jesus Crucified is a metaphor for the millions of terrorized humans, past and present, and undoubtedly future. Then, metaphorically, Jesus Crucified serves as a type of "sacred reminder" challenging those who take his cross seriously, to take seriously the many crosses in their world. This "sacred reminder" pronounces an ultimate obligation: who among you is crucified? what is your role in their suffering? what is your role in their liberation and healing? Looking at it through this lens, then I think all of us have something to learn from that challenge. As Christians, it becomes clear that out life projects, social visions, political allegiences, economic programs, etc. must begin with this Cross, and find their bottom line in liberating and healing the many crosses that crowd our world.Chris: I'm not obligated to thank or worship Jesus for actions done before I was even born.Are there words and deed that others have committed in your life and human history that your are grateful for? Aren't there ancient voices that offer wisdom, guidance, insight, hope and invite you to act in certain ways? Are you so dismissive of the great wealth of human experience? I feel obligated to show gratitude to anyone, from any time period, that illuminates the trials and trajedies of my life; offers an example of how to love and live freely, as well as how to die. I think it is proper reverence of the past. I think proper reverence to Jesus fires a passion for justice and love for life that warrants profound gratitude. The question, it seems, is what is proper reverence for Jesus? As I see it, the answer lies in my reverence for the many who are and have been crucified. From this sort of reverence, an entire worldview takes shape that is not simply seeking heaven or avoiding hell: but transforms the many hells right here on earth with a heavenly vision of justice and healing.I don't think worship is a matter of placating a cosmic tyrant (although it can be): I see it as communion with God and humanity through acts that liberate and heal. This communion takes place in ritualized ceremonies and spontaneous activism; it fuels a loving solidarity that courageously engages life's many crosses, and provides a hope for a transformed world where the executioners do not have the last word.
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Jesus

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MadI can handle the religious reformer idea. I'm short on time so this is a hit and run post.
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Jesus

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I just wish we could discuss people that we all know existed, such as Martin Luther King Jr. or Ghandi. Not that I know much about either of them, but at least we're talking about a real people. Jesus might have existed and I tend to think he probably did. But if our goal is to discuss all the emotional things that Dissident continually wishes to discuss, it might be wiser to stick with real people or people no sane person considers to be a mere myth.I guess I don't really buy the idea that this thread is designed to be a discussion of the qualities assigned to Jesus (myth or not) and how we should all aspire to be more Christ-like. To me the tone of the posts made by Dissident is that Jesus truly existed and now lets talk about the wonderful stuff he did. I just don't buy it.Damn it. I have to go.
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Re: Jesus

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I think the sheer vastness of the Christian influence is a good reason to discuss Jesus, but you're right, Chris, why not discuss some of those other figures as well.I suppose one good reason is that a good many of us are only vaguely acquainted with, say, Ghandi. To which end, perhaps we should consider choosing a book on some of those other people and discussing what we read there. Once we've gotten a few recent and well-documented figures under our belts, we can try Jesus again.
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Dissident Heart

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Jesus, Gandhi and MLK

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I think Dr. King would be an excellent candidate for discussion, as with Gandhi. Not suprisingly, both held Jesus in extremely high regard; the moreso with Dr. King. There is very little of Dr. King's word or deeds that make sense without the Bible, the liberation of Israel, the Prophets, and especially the "beloved community" of Jesus and his cross. King was a baptised, ordained minister and Doctor of Theology who saw Jesus as the embodiment of what is most holy and sacred in life: he modeled his vocation and career upon the model of Jesus, also recognizing his own inevitable death as a cross similar to Jesus'. King found great courage, confidence and unbreakable hope in Jesus, who was not a delusional myth or ridiculous superstition, in his eyes, but was God's way of healing the sick, liberating the oppressed and preparing for new futures. King was hardly alone in this belief. It was a crucial common denominator for the vast majority of African Americans struggling in the Civil Rights movement. For Gandhi, Jesus was a great world teacher and exemplar model of non-violent resistance. He held that the Sermon on the Mount, via his interpretation, would make him a Christian (through Hindu lenses of course.) He rejected the notion that Jesus was the only incarnate Son of God and was terribly critical of how Christianity had perverted and subverted the non-violent ahimsa of the Gospel.I mean, I am not trying to argue the value of exploring Jesus from the authority of these two persons. But it should at least make us pause before dismissing Jesus out of hand.
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Re: Jesus

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That got fugly. Full of Porn*http://plainofpillars.blogspot.com
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Frank 013
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Jesus

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[GDR: Chris and Frank, just for my own curiosity, what is your personal belief of Jesus' historical existence? Is it your belief that he never existed?]Unlike Chris I do not give in readily to the existence of a Jesus person. I think there might have been a guy named Jesus (although I am not very convinced) that lived around that time or very soon after the times stated. I think the early writers of the current Biblical scripts could have taken a name from their local history or used a name of someone they herd of, or knew. It is also very possible that they made the name up to keep other peoples actions from being confused with their messiah's. I do not believe that this Jesus did or said anything attributed to him. The Jesus in the current Bible appears to be just a reincarnation of the Mithra cult beliefs. Jesus just followed the parade of earlier heroes and children of gods that preformed similar deeds, worked miracles, and had terrible deaths resulting in resurrection and ascension to their heaven.The Jesus myth parallels Mithra so closely it can only be a reproduction; in addition much of what is written in the Bible is paraphrased from the old Mithraic religious text. Of course the history, names and locations were changed but the basic story is very closely followed. But what Chris said is true, weather or not a person named Jesus did actually exist simply is not important. Later Edited by: Frank 013 at: 3/25/06 12:42 am
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Jesus

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MadYou guys can discuss Jesus. It offends me to have a serious discussion about Jesus without any evidence that the guy was who people claim he was.
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Jesus

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I'm only willing to assume Jesus existed because I just don't care one way or the other. If he existed we know all the miracle stuff didn't happen, since miracles don't and can't happen. So if he existed he was nothing but one of billions of humans, and I have better things to do than worship, idolize or even contemplate the life of someone that nobody on this planet knows anything about. Every single last word discussed about Jesus is pure wind. Nobody has a clue. And common sense tells us that it is all probably nonsense, so why waste precious time studying stories other humans made up about a human they never even knew?
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Re: Jesus

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ChrisQuote:You guys can discuss Jesus. It offends me to have a serious discussion about Jesus without any evidence that the guy was who people claim he was. Ever read the entry on atheism in the Enclcopedia Britannica? There is an example there of a potential problem for atheism.An atheist called Jim walks out of his house at night and all the stars in the sky rearrange themselves to say "Hello Jim, God here, just letting you know that I exist". Now Jim position on atheism should not change because of his incident. The fact that stars in the sky rearranged so that they appeared to look like a message should not be considered evidence in the eyes of Jim. In fact, by the logic of the average Athesit, it would be impossible to prove that God existed.Now where that brings me is to ask: What exactly would you consider evidence that Jesus performed miracles?Even if you had been there and seen Jesus turn water into wine, cure the sick and raise the dead, the more likely explanation in all of those situations would be that he was a fraud. Heck, if you'd seen him crucified and reappear to you a few days later, the most likely explanation would still be that either you were mistaken, the whole crucifiction had been staged or that you were halucinating. Full of Porn*http://plainofpillars.blogspot.com
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