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Where Is The Loving Christ?


PaulB
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Let me begin by saying that it has been at least 2 years since I have picked up the bible and read it proplery I have been slack and been happy to think yes I don't believe everything but the main premises that Jesus "love us" and that he was about social justice.

 

However upon reading Luke from start to finish it clearly showed he fully expected the world to end very soon as he says (please don't expect chapter and verse) there are some here that will not die before the end comes (paraphrasing).

 

It seemed like just about everybody was condemned and that it was near impossible to enter heaven, as for the whole prince of peace thing he says that he has come to pit father against son, mother against daughter etc. I did not find anything about social justice either I'm sure it's there but did not seem to be much on his radar if it was.

 

About the only time he seemed positive was after the crucifixion, I can't help but think that maybe I didn't read the gospels properly before or perhaps through a pre conceived lense.

 

I will finish by saying that I am more than willing to be corrected and would love to have some passages pointing out to me.

 

Paul

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Hi Paul,

 

Bart Erhmann, a secular biblical scholar and prolific author, writes convincingly that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet who thought he was going to play a part in the immediate coming of a new kingdom for the Jewish people - i.e. the overturning of the Roman rulers and glory days for Israel.

 

Perhaps Jesus did promote social justice amongst his own people, but I doubt he had much regard for those outside that group and I suspect most references interpreted these days as Jesus being a broader brush for social change, most likely came from later writers/interpreters and not Jesus himself.

 

Personally I think the unexpected execution of Jesus left his followers wondering what went wrong and they began to put their own interpretation to Jesus's life and death (enter the atonement theory and the philosophy of a second coming). We see in the gospels how the view of Jesus turns from the nuts and bolts of Mark (the earliest gospel) through to the cult worship of Jesus found in the latest gospel, John. To me it seems the New Testament (apart from the first couple of gospels) is a lot about 'selling' Christianity to the wider world in order to win adherents and this is where I think it began to digress from Jesus' view and what he stood for - but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

 

Cheers

Paul

Edited by PaulS
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Hi PaulB, "Why seek the living among the dead?"

 

Will "love" and its reality be found in any text?

 

He has risen!

 

As I see it, the "loving Christ" is potentially in all things, not the preserve of any Faith or interpretation of any book.

 

Look around. Everything needs what love we have. Seek to give it. And be easy and forgiving on yourself.

Edited by tariki
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Jesus predicted his crucifixion, and with Pentecost and the the destruction of the temple the Hebrew religion of blood sacrifice was eliminated and replaced with several sects based on prayer.

 

It was more a case of people leaning on their own understanding and not recognizing what Jesus meant.

 

In John 11 Jesus wept. Not because of Lazarus, but because his own mother failed to comprehend his message. I think he realized at that point that mankind was not going to understand his prophecy.

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PaulB,

 

I lean more to PaulS than Burl's comments on your question.

 

I agree with the view that Jesus was an Apocalyptic Prophet and that God's Kingdom would be established on earth in the lifetime of some of his disciples.

 

I also agree that he was not promoting social justice - at least for its own sake. His concern was what was coming, the Kingdom and he was calling people to be ready for it. And I agree that too often some scholars or writers imposes his/her predetermined definition on Jesus.

 

​I also agree that the crucifixion came as a surprise, the disciples were expecting something very different.

 

However, I think there is a bit more to the idea that they put their own interpretation on things. First, they claim to have experienced Jesus alive after his death and they shared in the apocalyptic understanding of their teacher - which included the idea of resurrection.They saw the resurrection of Jesus as the beginning of this general resurrection and the establishment of God's Kingdom. And, they 'reached back' into their own scriptures to try to explain the man Jesus. And, I agree that led to the interpretation and understanding of an atoning death and a 2nd Coming- when Jesus would return as a Messiah was expected to come to Israel: as triumphant and 'conquering' the forces of evil as the Kingdom of God in Israel was established. And reaching out to Gentiles, while seemingly not Jesus' mission, was in line with apocalyptic prophecy: that all nations would turn to the worship of the God of Israel.

 

​Don't know if I would look at John as 'cult worship.' The first couple of gospels must, I guess, include Mark and Matthew or Luke but all 4 seem to have specific communities in mind but I do see that the preachers and the gospels were 'selling' Jesus, trying to deliver what they thought was the saving good news. Did it diverge from Jesus? As one writer put it: Jesus preached the Kingdom, Paul (and following) preached Jesus, the Risen Christ. So same and different.

Edited by thormas
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PaulB,

 

Personally i don't think Jesus was predicting the end of the world in the literal sense. After all when he was demanded of the Pharisees when and where the new kingdom would come in Luke, he answers. the kingdom of God doesn't come with observation (outward show) for the kingdom of God is within you. He also many times said his kingdom was not of this world and that we are in the world but not of the world. It seems to me that the Bible not only contains parables but also metaphors. It must be read in context of stories and that which is not obvious in words. Do you remember the song. whose lyrics read "don't say no, its the end of the world, it ended when i first met you". It easy to see in poetry or song lyrics that some things are simply not literal in the sense we might commonly interpret.

Just sayin,

Joseph

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Agree on not predicting. If he was human - humans can't do that. Although they can see the writing on the wall.

 

Depends what end of the world means. He did, seemingly, preach that the Kingdom would be established in this world and therefore that the 'old' world would end - but it was still al gong on in 'this world.' Given that the Kingdom was still coming, it wasn't 'yet' of this world and it would never be of this world, it was God's world and brought about by God's work.

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"Where Is The Loving Christ?"

Great question!

 

Our problem is not due to a lack of material advancement, but a lack of spiritual advancement where we are fine tuned to the wisdom of the universe and are free to be our self. Throwing bombs is no different than throwing spears and is not advancement; consequently, the necessity of human life is to learn how to love and unfold our spiritual consciousness. For this purpose it becomes necessary for us to see ourselves not as body parts, but in a state of consciousness, a divine experience of love, appearing to others as a body. We cannot see love or consciousness, but we can understand that we exist as consciousness and become aware of this reality as it comes to us through the unfolding and revelation of our own inner being. Jesus said,“Love your brother as yourself,” in this action I feel Jesus was saying we must first know and love ourselves, which takes being familiar with the divinity within. The harmony in our experience is the direct result of the activity of love in our consciousness, which is not just making statements or repetitions of love, but an awareness of love and pure consciousness in all things. Everything changes when we start to love others rather than waiting for others to love us, this spirituality is a love connection with Divine consciousness. It could be a death to the physical in order to transition to the spiritual, which we will do when we die, but if we want heaven on earth we might try it while we are alive.

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