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Pistis Christou

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Here is an good introduction. http://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/pistis-christou-a-pauline-bungle

 

Pistis Christou translates as faith in Christ. Traditionally this has been translated as one is saved by their faith in Christ, but there is a strong minority of important NT scholars who believe the superior translation is that we were saved by the faithfullness which was in Christ.

 

This second interpretation implies Christ's passion enabled salvation for everyone, even non-Christians.

 

My Greek is far too lame to deal with the linguistics, but I strongly feel this universalist interpretation is much more consistent with the Scriptural context. It makes sense of many of the seemingly irrelevant events in late Matthew.

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T

Take Romans 3:22, for example. Christians for centuries have read it as if it means, ‘the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.’ But what if, instead, it means, ‘the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe’? What if Romans 1:17 is talking about the righteous one – that is, Jesus – living faithfully, rather than (as Luther argued) about those who have faith being justified?

 

 

I think either translation works as both appeal to different mind sets and hopefully leads people to an experience of the Divinity within. Faith seems to be external, something concrete that the Christian mind can hold on to for support, but someday they will take a leap of faith into the unknown , let go and fly to heaven where everything has meaning.

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Christian mysticism is very much alive, but non-verbal practices don't lend themselves to productive message board discussions.

 

Buddhism and Hinduism have extensive written scriptures they "hold onto for support". They are complex religions with doctrines, cosmologies and ancient narratives.

 

An overemphasis on meditation seems to be an intellectually lazy approach. Comparing written scriptures would be a fascinating topic.

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There are many people with physical strength that are saturated with knowledge and mental power that celebrate and are pleased with the mind and body, but miss the opportunity of experience in a deep, perpetual way acquainted with the source of energy that gives us life eternally. This appreciation is not just a caring, but a genuine, profound integration and merging with the infinite affection, peace and joy that encompasses us internally and externally. Yes all religions have their narratives and they are beautiful stories, but not very intellectual, their philosophy is more intellectual because the stories are myths and parables that are interpreted at different mental levels. The lower levels believe the stories literally and are inspired to be good, but God in the form of Divine energy is not a naïve; untried, inexperienced reality that is separate from our being expecting us to bow down; on the contrary, God is connected to our being bringing us together with everything in harmony and agreement with our own identity. The extent of free will for the mind is to service our goals and desires that are present mentally and physically, but the freedom of will in the soul chooses to see in the mind's eye useful ways to serve humanity in a spirit of unity. When we function as an organic system our biological programming takes over our free will and we just react to desires, actions and consequences, but when we learn from our appetites, simulations and pleasures we are able to reinvent and redesign ourselves with awareness. Moving our consciousness from a lower to a higher level of reality, remakes our character by setting ourselves free from discord and helping us to let go of what we are at odds with.

 

The intellect must be satisfied before one can go beyond it so study is important, but after an experience beyond the limits of mind and body one can experience the stories not on the surface, but at the source, which is the purpose for the stories. Meditation is not for the lazy, it is not chanting a mantra, saying a rosary or closing the eyes to separate ourselves from life, but a process to enhance our perception, more intelligent than stories about a person who is in tune with the intelligence of the Creator. The stories are good they bring people to God, but they don't put people in God, intellectually we can repeat the quotes and stories of Shiva, Krishna, Buddha and Christ, but we need to know the truth in our own experience. “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”(Attributed to Einstein)

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Still, monks read and they write.

 

What writings have you found particularly interesting?

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I like the philosophy of the Vedas, the Iranian Poet Rumi a Sufi, Jack Kornfield a Buddhist, Deepak Chopra basic Hindu, Evelyn Underhill Christian, Richard Rohr Christian, ST.Theresa of Avila Christian, Thomas Merton Christian, Alan Watts, Frifjof Capra Tao of Physics, Michio Kaku physicist, Emerson Christian, Thich Nhat Hanh Buddhist, Matthew Fox Christian, Pema Chodron Buddhist, Bruce Lipton Biologist, Caroline Myss Christian ect, Thomas Keating Christian

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So start a topic on one, Soma! Personally, I'd love to know more about the Vedas. I'm particularly interested in the Hindu belief that Jesus was an avatar of the god Krishna.

 

The reason I started this particular topic was because at least one member indicated they thought being a Christian necessarily required belief in certain Western doctrines. Not true at all, but stereotyping is an evolutionarily positive feature of human thought.

 

I thought it was worth demonstrating that Christianity is extremely varied, and many Christians do not believe 'belief' in Jesusis even necessary. Some believe one can become a God with their own star, some believe all religions are facets of a single truth, some think Jesus and Satan are siblings.

 

There are thousands of Christian sects and denominations. Christianity is not defined by what one sees on TV or learned as a child in Sunday School.

 

Christians who attain direct spiritual contact with God are the fastest growing segment of Christianity. No meditation or training necessary.

 

I respect your reliance on on meditation, but when you write about it it comes out sounding mushy and self-indulgent. Similarly, my personal belief that Jesus of Nazareth was an incarnation of God sounds like an stupid superstition. The ability to express purely spiritual concepts verbally is exceptionally rare. Rumi could do it, but I don't think you and I are in his class.

 

However, we are all intelligent voices who can compare and contrast ideas. I'm trying different ways to establish physical frameworks for a productive group chat, but it's kind of like trying to start a fire with damp tinder.

Edited by Burl

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The Vedic, Buddhist, Sufi, science and other philosophies have made me a better Christian in my mind and I am grateful for the experience they have lead me to, like you I try to share the experience and stay grounded in it as my teachers from around the world have demonstrated. I also feel the intellect has to be quieted by answering or searching out all questions it brings up so it will be quiet and we can hear the rose talking to us as Rom described so well. There are so many thoughts in the infinite and I am glad you acknowledge their importance. I like Zen and how they shock us to the experience by totally confusing the mind in duality with a paradox.

 

I also feel Christianity is evolving from devotion to a Deity that has been used to exploit people's devotion to a true experience from multiple practices, may they be intellectual, physical, service, devotion, piety, art, sports or whatever. It is a good observation that my writing is mushy, my mind seems to be more flexible and instead of just forming concrete images it seems to enjoy the abstract and disintegration into no thing, nothing...............of importance.

 

It is hard to talk about the abstract so many ministers talk about the Devil more than Eternal Wisdom creating a fear to manipulate their congregation. Why not introduce them to the thought that Lucifer is a devoted Angel acting as a prosecutor like in Jonah and the whale where fake piety is exposed or true devotion is strengthen instead we Christians honor fake piety and praying for others to hear, but that is OK, it gives us something to do. Like some Buddhist, Hindus, Carmalites, Trapist, and Sufis we can learn to just master pure being.

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Soma, please post on your interpretation of Jonah. At least your outline.

 

I always start teaching people to read English Bible with that particular scroll because it is short and the narrative is intense.

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I am looking for the paper I wrote, but am limited because I am staining my desk, book shelves and other furniture for my office and can't get to the hard drive it is on. I really don't know where it is, I feel I was talking about unity, and how duality in unity contains the opposites of good and evil and that they both work together as two sides of the same piece of paper, then I used Satan as an example of a devoted angel doing God's work prosecuting Jonah. Jonah passed the test, deepened and expanded his devotion in the process growing closer to God from the ordeal. Sorry, I am in the whale right now, experiencing labor pains and hope to be reborn again.

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Burl, I think you asked in another thread, but I go to different observances from different faiths and Christian denominations. I went to a mass about 2 months ago. When I go to Korea and Vietnam, I am sure to visit different temples.

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Soma, since you are interested in direct experience I wondered if you have spent much time in Pentacostal churches?

 

I lived in New Orleans for a couple decades and have spent a lot of time with authentic tongue talkers and people who were slain in spirit. I also attended several Voudou services but always felt like an outsider there.

 

My conclusion is that there is definitely something happening there.

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I am more an introvert so I really like the Quakers because of their silence and the Catholic symbolism, mass and Christian mysticism. I liked it better when the mass was in Latin.

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I am more an introvert so I really like the Quakers because of their silence and the Catholic symbolism, mass and Christian mysticism. I liked it better when the mass was in Latin.

 

Me too, but stretch your social legs a bit and move outside of your racial/historical/emotional comfort zone. You can do both. You will probably like Wednesday nights with Pentecostlists better. It's more informal.

 

Pentecostalism is the fastest growing sector of Christianity, especially in the non-US world. Now that you are relocated, take advantage and stretch out a bit. Don't abandon what you know, but open yourself up to new ways of approaching God.

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Burl, I am sure I will visit someday. I am stretching flying to Korea, Vietnam and China for two months, next month. I lived overseas for twenty years studying the various philosophies and practices in many countries and when I lived in Hawaii visited a different group every week. They vary and I enjoy the diversity, but the work must be done by the individual. I enjoy the Buffets in Vegas, but after awhile window shopping gets boring. We can compare the different tastes, enjoy their aromas but sooner or later one gets tired of circling on the circumference of the circle and desires to go to the center. The spoke from which all these disciplines radiate from. I enjoy Buffets and will continue to go to them and various centers of spirituality, but I don't live to eat, I eat to live. Pentecostal seems interesting so I am sure it will present itself and I will engage in some way. Thanks for the tip.

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This seems to be a dwindling topic. Why the universality of salvation in Christianity is not deemed more interesting by people who profess to follow Jesus is curious.

 

I tend to think there is a general lack of education about Jesus and Scripture in general.

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Perhaps you will enlighten us on this matter. What do you feel is lacking in general concerning scripture and Jesus here?

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I guess I don't find it particularly interesting because I don't think there is anything to be saved from. This idea of needing salvation wasn't invented until a couple of hundred years before Jesus (if that) and is not supported anywhere in the Old Testament. It is a relatively modern concept which thankfully is also a dwindling one, in my opinion.

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I tend to think there is a general lack of education about Jesus and Scripture in general.

 

 

I think you are on to something because the only saving is to save the Bible from the Fundamentalist and save the Fundamentalist from the Religious Right with their Republican Holy Profit, One way to heaven, Literal interpretations and their Fascist way or the highway.

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I like accurate reading. Most Christians do not know that most of what Jesus taught was paraphrased from the Torah and the Phophets. They don't know how much work it is to come up with a reasonably correct interpretation. My personal exegetical apparatus has almost 100 perspectives to consider.

 

Still, sometimes people do simply open a Gideon's bible and are compelled to seek God. Never fails to amaze me.

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The great thing about prose and parables are that people can translate their meaning at their level of understanding and progress from where they are at that period, which would change from time to time. I respect Hahn for venturing into Christian culture from his Buddhist background and his view point from a fresh mind.

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I like accurate reading. Most Christians do not know that most of what Jesus taught was paraphrased from the Torah and the Phophets. They don't know how much work it is to come up with a reasonably correct interpretation. My personal exegetical apparatus has almost 100 perspectives to consider.

 

Still, sometimes people do simply open a Gideon's bible and are compelled to seek God. Never fails to amaze me.

 

Personally i don't think it was meant to be complicated. It seems to me, Jesus did not feel the need to write anything himself other than to scribble in the sand once. It is my experience that we become aware of the connection with God not by complicated understandings of Bible writings but more by the simplicity that is in Christ and the basic teachings of Jesus that when put in practice bring about transformation.

 

Joseph

Edited by JosephM

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The basic teachings of Jesus WERE Torah and the Prophets. He knew Scripture and paraphrased it constantly.

 

The exception was the parables, which were made so that followers would question rather than understand what they meant. They were explained only to the apostles.

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I hope it's okay to resurrect an older thread, but Paul makes a good point. Popular Christianity, for better or worse, rests upon the notion that everyone since the time of Adam has been born in the "going to hell line" and that the only way to remedy that damning situation is soteriology. So then endless arguments ensue about whether we are saved by our faith in Christ, the faith of Christ, the teachings of Christ, the atonement, good works, following church or Christian theology, predestination, universalism, etc. ad infinitum. All of this discussion and argument stems from believing in a literal Adam and Eve whose sin, rather than causing them to simply die, resulted in the damnation of all of humanity. So I, too, am thankful if the church can get past the teaching that we need to be saved from hell, and how that is accomplished. Soteriology, IMO, has done nothing to make our world better because it is too focused on some mythical next world. I don't at all deny that the Bible has a lot to say about salvation, but it is seldom in the context of getting out of the "going to hell line."

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