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Why Was Jesus Born


roymercer
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I’m not sure that the “traditional Christian” view of why Jesus was born is the same as the orthodox view. There are so many denominational and non-denominational Christian Churches these days that it would probably be hard to find agreement.

 

From an orthodox standpoint, I think it could be said that the reason Jesus came into the world was purely revelatory. It was through Jesus that the Triune nature of God was revealed, as well as the union of God’s divine and our own human natures as a result of the Incarnation. At least, I don’t think this view is contrary to orthodox doctrine.

 

But, a Southern Baptist minister, or a Progressive Christian might have a whole different understanding. I just don’t know.

 

Peace,

Steve

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I would answer the question with ......

 

Jesus was born for the same reason as any other person. To fulfil the purpose for which that individual was created in accordance with the dance of the whole.

 

Joseph

 

Hmmn I would say something like

Jesus was born for the same reason as any other person and dances in the whole.

 

Why? is a misleading unless we asking as to the cause (I think).

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I think Roy’s question related to how orthodox or “traditional” Christianity views Jesus; his purpose for entering the world. From that Christian viewpoint, Jesus was unique from all other persons, so his arrival signifies much more than the birth of every other human being. The “how” of his birth is unimportant when compared to his purpose.

 

According to Christian doctrine Jesus had a distinct mission, unlike any other person. So, to say the “why” of Jesus’ existence is the same as any other person’s “why” is incorrect if we are attempting to answer this question from a “Christian” perspective. To say that there is essentially no difference in the “whys” is to merely express an opinion as to what one does or does not believe.

 

The second part of Roy’s question is rather interesting, because he asks about the “Progressive Christian” perspective on this. As far as I know, there is no Progressive Christian doctrine separate from orthodox Christianity. The question for me is if one claims to be a “Progressive Christian”, does that person not hold orthodox Christian doctrinal views? For as long as I’ve been reading the posts on this forum, I’m not sure I have even run across a Progressive Christian. But, if there is one out there, I would enjoy reading their response to Roy’s question, or a response to what is explicit in my post.

 

By the way, when I refer to “orthodox”, I am referring to the accepted Christian doctrine at the time of the early Church, beginning with the Council of Nicaea and prior to the Reformation.

 

Peace.

Steve

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I would answer the question with ......

 

Jesus was born for the same reason as any other person. To fulfil the purpose for which that individual was created in accordance with the dance of the whole.

 

Joseph

I think I am with Joseph on this. I am not so much interested in the why but the meaning that has for each of us.

Steve I would also go with Progressive Christianity allows for the personal vision of the mystery for each of us rather than enforcing a single doctrine on others. The so called orthodox view is (IMO) only what the church wanted to be established at Nicaea rather than the view ever Christian had back then.

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Steve,

 

A progressive Christian may or may not hold orthodox views. Remember a progressive Christian as defined here on this site is on a progressive journey with his/her approach to God or the Divine found at least in part through the life and teachings of Jesus. (not necessarily all the recorded teachings) It seems to me that what happens from that point is not based on traditional or orthodox Christian dogma or doctrine but rather a product of that individuals journey. To see what progressive Christianity means to those who identify as PC's check out ----> this thread. pinned on this site.

 

Joseph

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Thanks, Joseph. I understand where most people are coming from in regard to the framework of Progressive Christianity. I think Spong, Borg and others have been very helpful to Christians attempting to find a way out of fundamentalist beliefs. But, I do have a few thoughts of my own.

 

I get the idea that Progressive Christians want to be free from doctrinal limitations. However, since they still claim to be “Christian”, there must be some element of doctrine involved in their beliefs and practice. Jesus, Christ and the Trinity are central to Christianity, so regardless of one’s “personal vision of the mystery”, without these central tenets, there is no “Christianity”.

 

My impression of Progressive Christianity so far is that it is merely a reaction to Protestant fundamentalism, rather than a specific movement within the Church as a whole. Unless one thinks the central ideas of Christianity are "fundamentalist" views, there should still be some acceptance of orthodoxy, even among the most progressive Christians.

 

The converse of fundamentalism is not necessarily liberal or progressive Christianity, but rather, syncretism. It seems to me that Progressive Christianity is perhaps syncretic, picking and choosing among various doctrines, and even borrowing from other traditions. One then attempts to understand Christianity in a manner that comfortably fits an individual’s personal experience of reality. But, since beliefs are left to the individual, they cannot be consistently applied among all Christians.

 

A Progressive Christian is then left with a synthesis of various beliefs and practices, without having experienced the depth of any one religion or tradition. Or, they are left with nothing at all.

 

Peace.

Steve

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However, since they still claim to be Christian, there must be some element of doctrine involved in their beliefs and practice. Jesus, Christ and the Trinity are central to Christianity, so regardless of ones personal vision of the mystery, without these central tenets, there is no Christianity."

I think this establishes a kind of "clubbiness" to the definition of Christian. I don't think Jesus rolled that way. I think if presented with the mental gymnastics of the so-called "Trinity," Jesus would start writing amusing things in the sand.

 

NORM

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Well, it’s pretty clear to me that people apparently find it difficult to answer the following question: “What, if anything, does a Progressive Christian accept which can be said to be orthodox (traditional) doctrine?” And, how does that differ from the garden variety Lutheran, Catholic, or Eastern Orthodox Christian? These are fairly straight forward questions; nothing tricky or clever about them.

 

Peace.

Steve

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Steve,

 

That is not exactly the topic or question of this thread as alluded to by Paul.. Perhaps it should be asked in its own thread? You could start by reading the 8 points of PC and find some commonality to the teachings of Jesus in the gospels and then start a new thread.. Also it is my experience that most PC's (but not all) have migrated from an extensive background in traditional Christianity and take enough of the main or what they consider the relevant message of Jesus with them to be called Christians. ie: Love..... what Jesus is recorded indicating as the greatest commandment.on which all others hang.

 

Perhaps the church system is responsible for all the baggage? Perhaps the real Christian message is about living a life of Love, sacrifice and caring? Perhaps it is not about the trinity, the person, the scripture as the word of God, the virgin birth, the second coming as taught, and other traditional church doctrines and dogma? These dogmas and doctrine may have a form of worship but in my experience , in themselves, lack the real individual transformational power of a true relationship or oneness with God which i believe Jesus taught?

 

Joseph

Edited by JosephM
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I have never questioned why my wife was born, but I love her in the Trinity of the physical, mental and spiritual realms. My experience with Christ is the same, I don't care if he was born or not because in the duality of the Trinity he is guiding me to the Infinite, Eternal unity of all things in God's pure consciousness. At this time I have no need to question his birth, just enjoy it. Merry Christmas.

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... “What, if anything, does a Progressive Christian accept which can be said to be orthodox (traditional) doctrine?” And, how does that differ from the garden variety Lutheran, Catholic, or Eastern Orthodox Christian? These are fairly straight forward questions; nothing tricky or clever about them.

 

Peace.

Steve

 

I think that, as the name implies, PROGRESSIVE Christianity is not a static set of beliefs that never change. Your question is perhaps a non sequitur?

 

NORM

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... perhaps "Progressive Christianity" is nothing more than mental autoeroticism! (sorry guys..I couldn't resist)

 

Peace.

Steve

 

Crudely put, but, I think - correct. There is no orthodoxy in a faith that is in a constant state of flux as we experience and live life and embrace G-d to the fullest extent of our being.

 

What is right and true today, could be wrong next month should we learn something new.

 

A modern analogy is the current situation with the Duck Dynasty patriarch, Phil.

 

In his small corner of the planet, the civil strife of African Americans never happened. In his experience - and, thus; in his orthodoxy - African Americans had nothing to complain about, since in his experience, they were all well treated and happily whistling gospel tunes while harvesting cotton alongside he and his brothers. In his mind, all of the horrors visited upon African Americans post Civil War didn't happen because he didn't personally witness them.

 

Were he to see what actually happened - and, indeed; what still happens - he might have adjusted his orthodoxy accordingly, and still be enjoying those $200,000 per episode paychecks from A&E.

 

NORM

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There is a saying in the South and it has two meanings, which depends on the two perspectives. The saying is "I am picking high cotton." In one perspective it means everything is great. Money is appearing abudantly. In the other perspective it means it is crappy because of the perspective of having to work hard and getting nothing in return. Phil only sees through one perspective. Wouldn't be nice if we could expand our consciousness and see through multiple perspectives?

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Steve, you write:

 

"It seems to me that Progressive Christianity is perhaps syncretic, picking and choosing among various doctrines, and even borrowing from other traditions. One then attempts to understand Christianity in a manner that comfortably fits an individuals personal experience of reality. But, since beliefs are left to the individual, they cannot be consistently applied among all Christians."

 

Religious syncretism is not a matter of picking and choosing.

 

"Syncretism is the combining of different, often seemingly contradictory beliefs, while melding practices of various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merger and analogizing of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths."

 

Santeria, Voodoo, Palo Mayombe and other similitude religions which are syncretic were not evolved from a picking and choosing. They are all as valid in their beliefs and empirical truths too as any other traditions. Not that any criticism was made in your statement.

 

Syncretism is usually used in a negative way by people who display an exclusivistv approach to their own religion. But I think exclusivity is itself an anachronistic approach. But I don't think so.

 

For me syncretism is a form of monistic thinking and an example of the Divine radiating like the sun penetrating through darkness.

 

I welcome syncretism in all its forms.

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I would also believe without Paul's understandings that I believe were taken from his experiences of Pagan religions in Tarsus (a Roman Free port) and his picking and choosing his form of the religion which I think differs from Jesus the so called traditional Christianity spoken about would not exist..

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It's always been unclear any syncretism on Paul's part. He like Jesus always remained a Jew. Paul as I read him tries to make the gospel more inclusive for Gentiles. The traces of Greek philosophy in Paul - not the early church fathers - are not apparent to me.

Edited by matteoam
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The idea of a human sacrifice, drinking even symbolic blood of human or animal sacrifice, dying in the flesh to rise in the spirit and sharing the existence of Jesus are not Jewish concepts but are pagan. The idea of human sacrifice or drinking even symbolic blood is right up there with eating pork. I really do not trust Paul's jewish credentials at all.

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Okay Pete but you're not specifying Paul's syncretism. Are you saying that Paul applied pagan belief to Judaism? Are you implying that Paul essential imagined the gospels?

Now check this article out on the subject of Judaism and syncretism

Bad Link

 

And even if it were true why is syncretism bad? Isn't it an inevitable result of cultures and peoples meeting and intermingling? So what if something new is created?

Isn't one man's evolution another man's revelation?

Edited by JosephM
Link deleted- flagged as Malware...JosephM
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