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Will

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I have done a bit of looking at the beliefs of progressive christianity, and a couple questions come to mind.

 

1. If many people have true paths to the same God, then why does John 14, verses 5,6, and 7 say:

 

5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"

6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."

 

2. Is not God's first commandment to us, "You shall have no other gods besides me." How does this leave room for any belief to be true and right, other than christianity?

 

 

Forgive me if I find some of what I read on this site hard to stomach, but it really makes no sense.

 

-Will

 

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men." Matthew 5:13

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The first commandment is “I am the Lord thy God and thou shall not have strange Gods before Me.” This is the basis for the conviction that there is only one God, a belief that leads to the knowledge of unity, which once accomplished influences and helps us in our daily lives. There is only one God appearing before us, and this one God is for everyone embodying the secrets for successful living in His all-pervading consciousness. In the awareness of God’s omnipresence we realize that God is all loving and always present so there is no need to fear either man or his developments because God has full power. Love without fear and you will be able to feel God's love everywhere also.

 

God Bless

 

There is only one God so why do you say there are many Gods and your God is best? There is only one God so love that God. No need to be better, different or compete with other Gods because there is only one. If you truely love Christ you will see him everywhere.

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I have done a bit of looking at the beliefs of progressive christianity, and a couple questions come to mind.

 

1. If many people have true paths to the same God, then why does John 14, verses 5,6, and 7 say:

 

5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"

6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."

 

Hi Will,

It seems to me one must remember that Jesus said many times that he did not speask his own words but that which he heard the Father speak. He did not do his own works but that which the Father showed him. When you speak someone elses words and do their acts you represent them and for all practical purposes when you see and hear them you are hearing and seeing the one they represent. Verse 6 in Greek to me is translated most correctly as paraphrased "I exist as the true way to life and that life is in my Father. No one can come to him except through the way I exist. " How did Jesus exist? By the light of the Father (Christ). He existed by doing the will of the Father and not his own. If you really knew him as the light, the annointing of God, the Christ then you would know the Father because they were one in Spirit and will. He prayed also that you who believe on his name (not the proper name Jesus but his 'onoma', authority or charcter in Greek) which was representative of the Father would also be One.

 

2. Is not God's first commandment to us, "You shall have no other gods besides me." How does this leave room for any belief to be true and right, other than christianity?

Forgive me if I find some of what I read on this site hard to stomach, but it really makes no sense.

 

In my view, Soma has answered this quite well. There is only one God who is present in all. Perhaps also it would be good if man put no proper name to God which tries to separate him among religions as if it were possible to name God or separate that which is inseperable from life.

 

Just a view to consider concerning your question

 

Love in Christ,

JM

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For progressive Christians, that passage from John is not about exclusiveness, but refers to the "way" of dying to an old way of being and being born into a new way of being, which is known in all the major faiths of the world. It's about a path, a journeying with, not a set of beliefs. The way of Jesus is a universal way, of relationship and transformation.

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I think there is another consideration, and that is who wrote the individual gospels and why. John was

written later than the other gospels, and probably by a sect of John devotees or admirers-- which John is another question. But many scholars do not think it is too likely that Jesus actually uttered those words.

The words in John are quite different than the other gospels in tone, and in actual events. There is no birth

story, not so much of the parables and so forth that seem like a teacher might have taught, and more full

of complex and layered meanings passages.

(Since most of us here do not take the scriptures literally and do not feel they were written by God.)

 

It is also possible that the I AM was really a word play of a particular sort about God. I AM was the ancient

Hebrew term for God. So look at it this way. I AM the way the truth, the life, no one goes to the father but by I AM (perhaps and not "me"). If it is the case, then the passage would translate into regular speech as this: God is the way, the truth, the life, no one goes to God except thru God. This would be a statement on

idolatry more than exclusivity.

 

re: no other Gods:

Also I think most of us here view other religions as grasping other aspects of God, vs being about a different God. Even supposed pantheistic religions often have a sort of super god. For instance, we know that some of these show a higher respect for creation than traditionally Christianity has demonstrated, so they may provide us with wisdom. Just a possibility.

 

Also these particular texts were written for a purpose as well. They were to encourage the early Jews to

stay with Judaism, and not slip into their other tribal religions. They were warned that their Lord was a "Jealous God". Strange words if you think about it. But not when you think about Judaism in competition with

local pagan religions.

 

I wonder why you would read this site if "it turns your stomach". You should know we do not deal well with proselitizing. Many of us do come from backgrounds of legalistic religion, if not fundamentalism. However, if you are truly seeking, then I would recommend something like

"Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously but not literally".

by Marcus Borg. It's good for someone with not much background in progressive thought, and he is not

too progressive and not at all angry(as opposed to someone like Spong).

 

 

 

 

--des

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Actually I found this site while looking for a new church in the area I'm moving to. They had a sort of 'what we believe' link which took me here. Sorry about the stomach comment, I did not mean to infer nausea, just a difficulty in understanding.

 

So, just to clarify, and then I'll leave you guys alone, would you consider the Bible God-inspired?

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Not trying to chase you away Will. We do have people here who are not progressives. As

long as they respect our viewpoints, that is ask respectful questions, etc.--as you

are doing, they are welcome. I was sort fo puzzled by the "turned the stomach", but

it sounds like what you meant was "puzzled".

 

The Bible as God inspired, yes. I'm not sure I would put the whole Bible

in that context, you know the Bible is made up of books that were written by different

people and some were very inspired and some don't seem to be too inspired at all.

In the not inspired catagory I would put things like the death penalties

in Leviticus (wearing mixed fibers, talking back to parents-- hmm maybe for my

high school students :-), etc.); she-bears eating up children; genicidal actions by

the early Hebrews, etc.

 

Inspired: Psalms, the Hebrew Prophets mostly, most of the gospels (Sermon on the Mount!!),

some of Paul (I mean the stuff on no Jew nor Greek, that sort of thing).

 

 

Fire away, Will. Your questions and attitude are respectful.

Hth,

 

---des

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Actually I found this site while looking for a new church in the area I'm moving to. They had a sort of 'what we believe' link which took me here. Sorry about the stomach comment, I did not mean to infer nausea, just a difficulty in understanding.

 

So, just to clarify, and then I'll leave you guys alone, would you consider the Bible God-inspired?

 

Hi Will,

 

Your questions are valid concerns. Personally I would consider many writings God inspired. The Bible is not exclusive for the writings of men that are inspired of God. No Book should be taken for innerrant. Even the Bible testifies in 1 John 2:27

But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

 

So the true teacher is within and not a book. Men in religion and governments can manipulate books but not the spirit of God. Psalms and Proverbs and all the New testament except for Revelations are in my view the most accurate but all of them are still tainted from original teachings by translations and religious and government leaders in control. That there is over 40 different trranslations to date and that the 1611 version contained 14 more books is testimony to this. You can check out the 1611 version here if you doubt:

 

http://etext.virginia.edu/kjv.browse.html

 

Welcome to the site Will and may God grant you understanding and wisdom far beyond your expectations and may it be shared with us who are One and the same.

 

Love in Christ,

JM

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Joseph, I am often impressed with your depth and sincerity. Thanks for writing this.

I am not much for lines and verse, so kudos. :-)

Anyway, you add a wealth of insight here.

 

"May God grant you understanding and wisdom far beyond your expectations..."

This is a lovely blessing.

 

Thanks,

 

--des

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The first commandment is “I am the Lord thy God and thou shall not have strange Gods before Me.” This is the basis for the conviction that there is only one God, a belief that leads to the knowledge of unity, which once accomplished influences and helps us in our daily lives. There is only one God appearing before us, and this one God is for everyone embodying the secrets for successful living in His all-pervading consciousness. In the awareness of God’s omnipresence we realize that God is all loving and always present so there is no need to fear either man or his developments because God has full power. Love without fear and you will be able to feel God's love everywhere also.

 

God Bless

 

There is only one God so why do you say there are many Gods and your God is best? There is only one God so love that God. No need to be better, different or compete with other Gods because there is only one. If you truely love Christ you will see him everywhere.

 

Soma, you have an interesting name. Soma is a fermented drink made from clarified butter and was consumed by ancient Hindu tribesmen.

 

To me, “I am the Lord thy God and thou shall not have strange Gods before Me” actually says, “I am Yahveh of the gods, who brought you out of Egypt, out of household slavery. You have no other gods ahead of Me.” God is as you say, the all-pervading consciousness, the collective consciousness, the super-consciousness mind or the collective unconscious as Carl Jung called it. It is Me (bold italics) and I (bold italics) am the One that split into a plurality at the point of the Big Bang. If this is true, then we have to see other people as an extension of ourselves. Whatever they are doing, I am doing too. In the physical, our individual consciousnesses are limited. We are unable to see what is going on in the super-conscious mind of Me (bold Italics). We drift around in an illusion of separation.

 

All understandings of god are correct. The solution is to find an understanding that produces harmony instead of chaos.

 

(1) What does faith mean to me? Faith kills and divides us as pointed out by Sam Harris in ‘The End of Faith’. Through faith, Christianity has divided itself into 1500 different sects. Gnosis or Knowing is always better than faith. Know that I (bold Italics) am god. This means that each and every one of us is a piece of Me (bold italics) that became a plurality.

 

(2) Awareness, knowledge and appreciation of other religions are essential in being a Christian. Christ means ‘the anointed’ which is achieved by anointing ourselves with gnosis and resurrecting ourselves above the tree of knowledge of good and evil, also called the duality of satan (italics) and to look upon no one as good or evil. We change our view to looking upon people as having relationship problems.

 

(3) Before we can find common grounds between religions, we have to go back to our Christian Old Testament and study it in its original languages Hebrew and Aramaic. The tools are available in the Expositors Bible, Hebrew learning courses and Hebrew English lexicons. I did and I discovered that that the teachings of the Old Testament are much closer to the teachings of Hinduism than I previously thought. Let’s fix the mot in our own eye before we tamper with someone else’s.

 

To me the “child of one God” means that we are pieces of Me (bold italics) that keep ourselves in the physical through sexual reproduction.

 

By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who recognize that I (bold italics) am the One who is always with you. I (bold italics) am Allah, I (bold italics) am Buddha, I (bold italics) am Christ, I (bold italics) am Brahma, I (bold italics) am the god of all religions and that everything that I (bold italics) do is correct. It is incumbent upon Christians to learn and teach others the kinds of relationships that produce harmony and avoid those that produce chaos starting with the Ten Guidelines (Ten Commandments) brought to us by the messenger Yahveh.

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