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Old 03-21-2006, 12:54 PM   #211
Zeismyhero
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What happens to the yak-herder? That is such a good question. This is one of the many, many reasons why I struggle with the literal afterlife concept.

I wasn't raised to necessarily believe in an afterlife. In some ways, I feel so lucky to be alive that it seems almost greedy to have an expectation that if I'm 'good', I'll get a reward at the end. I'm rewarding myself right now, by making the most of what I've got. By being grateful, and looking for the positive, and doing good for others and giving thanks and loving. I'm not perfect, but I try to make every day have meaning. And I'm not doing it because I think I'm going to get something when it's over...it's just the right thing to do, and I feel the right way to live. It's how I worship.

When I was little, we lived in an all Catholic neighborhood. I was so envious of the Catholic kids! Their was such commeraderie...they had so many cool traditions - the uniforms, Mass, incense...there was so much mystery to me. Plus, they knew precisely what they believed in, where I was being raised to question. Some of the kids could be a little cruel, though; the result of my lack of ability to explain what being Unitarian meant, and some the result of their parents not raising them to be accepting of different beliefs. But my parents were pleased - I was about eight - to overhear a conversation with some of the kids...I was getting picked on out front, and through the open picture window, my parents heard the whole thing:

Jeff: I hear you go to the Freak Church.
(kids laugh)
Me: It's not a Freak Church.
Tom: You don't even believe in God!
Me: Yes I do!
Jeff: Do you believe that Jesus was the Son of God?
Me: Yes. And you are God's Son, too.
Jeff: Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins?
Me: I believe a man named Jesus died on the cross.
Tom: Because of your sins?
Me: I don't think so.
Jeff: Then you're going to Hell! You're going to Hell when you die and you're going to burn! That's what my church says.
(kids were going 'Yeah!' and agreeing.)
Me: I don't believe in Hell, so I'm not worried.

So...my point: I guess I'm not a Christian. I've never been baptized, and I get real screwed up with the whole immaculate conception thing and some other big leaps of Faith that Christianity requires us to make. BUT, I don't denounce any religion...that's personal and part of me thinks I'm weak for not being able to commit. And I do live my life - in some ways - as the Bible describes that Jesus did. (though I need to quit boozing and cursing so much.)

So...in my mind, the yak herder was already in "heaven." Every day, he woke before the sun rise. Dressing in the dim light of a candle, he donned his warmest clothes and took his staff from the door way. He stepped out into unpolluted air, fresher and crisper than any we can imagine. The morning dew coated his home made boots as he walked across the grass to his herd, which was lowing and grunting as daylight began to make its way, lush pink and gold streaking the blue black sky. The herdsman looked up at the stars, now fading into dawn and gave thanks for all that surrounded him...he had been given everything he needed to enjoy and embrace life, and life was good.
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:03 PM   #212
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Yeah, the Catholic kids were mean to me too.

So were certain Episcopalians and Baptists too.

I had a Jewish boyfriend for a long time who backhanded me once in a while.
One person I worked with in Los Angeles was really into chanting and channeling, and she was a - well, let's just say she was a real piece of work that I never turned my back on.
And of course, certain Pentacostals still make me want to sneak out a back door when I see them coming
One of my dearest girlfriends is a strange combination of Catholicism and astrology.
We all have some kind of box we can be nicely categorized into by others, so I do my best to ignore it like you do, Zeis, but I think I can confidently say it was during high school in Lubbock, Texas (the Buckle of the Bible Belt), being forced to do "youth group" with a bunch of Southern Baptists teenagers that very nearly killed my faith for good.
Those Catholic kids were judging you, and the sad thing is, they were just repeating what they'd heard from the grown-ups.

It does seem that in the U.S., anyway, kids are taught differently from adults when it comes to the basics in religion. I think it gets distilled and simplified way too far, and kids aren't trusted enough to grasp certain concepts. There were some things I was taught after I came back to Christianity - things that were never covered when I was a kid in Sunday school (back then I wasn't reading the Bible for myself either, which makes a difference).

But one of those things no one told me was that, according to the Bible anyway, there is no possible way to ever deserve heaven (whatever that is, exactly) no matter how "good" you are. As a kid, I thought that if I did my very best to be nice to my brothers and sisters, to do everything that my parents told me to do, stay out of trouble, to be a doormat and let people walk all over me, oh - and to always be sure to denigrate myself when I'd done anything praiseworthy, as well as become a Mother Theresa clone when I grew up, then maybe Jesus would like me better. Maybe my parents would like me better too, for that matter. How I got that message from church, I'm not really sure. I'm sure it was a deadly combo of well-meaning volunteers, no real communication, and some really f'd-up parenting.

But if we regard the meaning of Christ's "perfect" suffering on the cross to be a price/ransom/consequence that paid for every single wrong thing that anyone (even a yak-herder who's never even heard of him) ever did, past, present or future, then the idea of ever being "good enough" for heaven, for God, whatever - becomes moot. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." And sin is anything that comes between you and God.

So Christ made it possible for anyone - from innocent yak-herders to - (ahem) "ethically-challenged people" like Jerry Falwell and Fred Phelps (and yes, I'm being judgmental) - to approach God in all of his power and splendor - just as we are right now, in whatever spiritual state we happen to be in. No matter what, because of Christ, that entry is open to all. That's what Christians believe, or should believe because that's what their Book tells them. Unfortunately, practicing that truth is a whole other challenge.

I'd like someone to show me an actual passage in the New Testament that says that people who have never heard of Christ go straight to hell in a handbasket. I've read it at least a few times, and can't recall anything that says that, but I could be wrong.

The two "Brynn-you-are-so-weird-and-this-is-so-not-in-the-Bible" scenarios I picture for my own entertainment go like this:
In the first one, I'm at the end of my rope and have exhausted all other options. I decide to approach God in the throne room with yet another of many requests. The guy at the door asks me my name and I give it. I'm going in by myself, proud of my tiny princess handful of good deeds. It's a pretty long list. I try to ignore the bag of crap I also carry around full of all the other stuff I don't want anyone to know about, especially God. He'd really like to help me, but it's all just too amazingly pure and perfect and horrible, like the sun up close only more so. And it's really really bright, and I can't see, and I'm even starting to burn up. I have no protection and I'm feeling really stupid. I am going to melt in the glory of the creator of the universe and exist no longer. The end. Oh yeah - and as what's left of me is squirming in agony on the floor, the Accuser of the brethren, old Beezebub himself, kicks what's left of my head and calls me a sack of sh*t just for good measure. Nice touch.

The second scenario is the same, but with one difference. Before I go in, I give my name but then do some major name-dropping because Jesus carries a lot of weight around there. Jesus shows up, and he walks before me as I cower behind him in his shadow. God doesn't see me at first and all my paltry good deeds, all my other junk. He just sees Jesus, his perfect sinless son who can do no wrong - and really came through on that cross a while back - so any friend of his...is not just fine, they're family. I'm not there in my own worth but in Christ's. In fact, I can now stride boldly up to the throne of God himself and ask whatever I want in Jesus' name, and know that my prayer is heard, and things are being set in motion. The end.
Oh yeah, and on the way out I can give Satan a kick in the shins if I want to.

I don't know how other people picture some of the benefits of knowing Christ, but this one works for me. As for the yak-herder - I don't know how he might come to know who Jesus is, but the Bible promises that everyone will know who he is and what he did before the end comes. I guess what it comes down to is, do I believe in what the Bible promises or not? At that point, Bible as allegory fails somewhat for me, mostly because the promises are really specific, they're really great, and many of them have already come true for me. The track record's much better than other things, so I've thrown my hopes and dreams on it. For me, the alternatives aren't so great and haven't worked for me so far.

Craig - someone somewhere once said "Heaven is here on earth and men do not see." I'm sure you've already experienced a little of heaven and hell already just in the course of being alive. As for the afterlife, it seems to me that any conjecturing has to be pretty subjective, since we don't have any contemporary eyewitness reports - unless you count all those famous accounts of near-death experiences.
Gotta go, so no editing or revising, but not much to do about it today.
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Old 03-22-2006, 07:28 AM   #213
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Brynn,

Before we go any further, I want to commend you on making a stand for what you believe in - you are attempting to answer a lot of different questions and I find that admirable.

I do have some comments on your thoughts, but appreciate your replies and the dialogue that may be established.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brynn
But if we regard the meaning of Christ's "perfect" suffering on the cross to be a price/ransom/consequence that paid for every single wrong thing that anyone (even a yak-herder who's never even heard of him) ever did, past, present or future, then the idea of ever being "good enough" for heaven, for God, whatever - becomes moot. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." And sin is anything that comes between you and God..
This is interesting, but then in your next paragraph you called my yak-herder innocent.

The yak-herder is not innocent if the above is true.

I have read that a person must "believe with their heart and confess with their mouth" in order to be "saved." The yak-herder never got that chance.

Romans 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brynn
I'd like someone to show me an actual passage in the New Testament that says that people who have never heard of Christ go straight to hell in a handbasket. I've read it at least a few times, and can't recall anything that says that, but I could be wrong...
I can think of two examples that make Christianity pretty exclusive, and hint of being cast into the fire if you are not "in" Christ - though a liberal interpretation could apply - a person may not have to know the "Name" in order to be in the "Vine."

I will admit that no specific mention of handbaskets are in these passages...

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.


I agree with the concept of a person being "attached to God" - but I simply find it hard to condemn a person who has never heard of Jesus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brynn
As for the yak-herder - I don't know how he might come to know who Jesus is, but the Bible promises that everyone will know who he is and what he did before the end comes.
Where does it say this?

Is it your view that a person could do this after they die, when "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess?" I mean, are you referring to the below when you talk about those promises?

Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


And also here:

Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.


The trouble is, it doesn't say every knee that bows and confesses will be "saved,"

And even if it did say that, the idea of a final judgement and "casting into the lake of fire" doesn't make much sense if there is no one to be thrown into the lake.

I really like your posts, Brynn - you have a good sense of humor and are non-judgemental, which speaks highly of your character.

Last edited by EmotionalVelcro : 03-22-2006 at 09:06 AM. Reason: Grammatical
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:40 PM   #214
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Velcro - what a great post! It's a pleasure to meet you! I often wish Tikki Stanley hadn't cut out or I might be asking him these same questions myself.
In the future, though, I'll have to be less lazy with you around, and make sure I'm actually in the Bible before attempting to talk about it from vague memory. With limited time, however, this may slow down responses. Probably a good thing.

You are quite right about the yak-herder - to clarify, I regard him as "innocent" in terms of never having heard of God, Jesus, etc. but perhaps the word "unversed" or "ignorant" might be closer to what I meant. It's an awfully ethno-centric way to word it though, and I avoid it because when it comes right down to it, I really can't claim to know the mysteries of how God works in the world - (she said modestly).
With your quotation of Paul's salvation "formula" from his epistle to a Roman church it's essential to keep in mind exactly whom he was writing to and why. Notes I've cribbed on it say that when Paul wrote Romans about A.D. 56, he had not yet been to Rome, but he had been preaching the gospel since his conversion in A.D. 35. During the previous ten years he had founded churches throughout the Mediterranean world. Now he was nearing the end of his third missionary journey, so it's pretty safe to say that Romans is a mature statement of his understanding of the gospel. The church at Rome had been founded by other Christians (Acts 2:10) and Paul, through his travels, knew many of the believers there.
He most likely wrote Romans while he was in Corinth in AD 56, taking a collection to help the needy Christians in Jerusalem (15:25 -28, 31; 2 Cor. 8,9)

He planned to go to Jerusalem again with this collection, then visit the church in Rome (1:10, 11; 15:22-24). "After being refreshed and supported by the Christians in Rome, he planned to travel to Spain to preach the gospel (15:24). He wrote to tell the Romans of his impending visit. This letter was likely delivered by Phoebe. (16:1,2).
In view of his personal plans, Paul wrote to introduce himself to a church he had never visited. So it's pretty important to note, I would think, that he's addressing people who have already heard of Jesus, and who are actively involved with teaching others about Jesus. So it seems to me, anyway, that he's taking pains to encourage them to be bold and specific about what they are teaching, so that there's no confusion whatsoever about who Jesus is in his role as savior, and how to access the comfort of his presence. There is undeniable power in speaking the name of Christ aloud, and Paul knew this. For someone who has actually heard of Christ, and understands the gospel, this is solid advice.

At the same time, he's setting forth a full and orderly statement of the principles of the gospel he preached - full of great themes of redemption: the guilt of all mankind, our inability to earn favor with God, the redeeming death of Christ, and the free gift of salvation to be received by faith alone. But the overall doctrinal theme that Paul seeks to demonstrate is that God is righteous. In spite of all that happens in this world - even though all men are sinful (1:18 - 3:20): even though God does not punish but forgives guilty sinners (3:21 - 5:21); even though believers may not fully live in a way consistent with God's righteousness (6:1 - 8:17); even though believers suffer and final redemption is delayed (8:18 - 39); even though many Jews do not believe (9:1 - 11:36) - still God is perfectly righteous, and by his grace has forgiven us. Because of this great mercy from an all-righteous God, we should live a pattern consistent with God's own righteousness (12:1 - 16:27).


But the yak-herder is still a really fascinating theological problem that deserves exploration. I just hesitate to apply something specific that Paul was writing to a body of believers in Rome to a yak-herder, or for that matter, the two-year-old Ugandan AIDS orphan who is dying of neglect and exposure - I mean, if we're going to take what Paul says literally and out of context, I doubt the two-year-old could even say the name of Jesus even if she could or wanted to between crying breaths, you know?

If this god that Paul says is as perfectly righteous and merciful as he and other writers of the Bible say he is - and this is the God I believe in and have experienced for myself - then I have every confidence that God has this part of the problem figured out. He is, after all, a god not limited by time, space, or circumstances. He is sovereign of every waking and sleeping moment, of every pulse of our hearts, of every breath, of every microscopic or macroscopic issue we can imagine, and over and above those things that we can't imagine. Any god smaller than that is simply not worth bothering about.

I am always flabbergasted at my own dramatic conversion, given my past hostility to Christ and to organized religion in general. In some ways, I may have even been in worse shape than the yak-herder, who in his ignorance of Jesus, has at least formed no opinion, negative or positive of him or his followers. If God could reach me, of all people, and completely change my heart towards him, then he can certainly find a way to speak to the hearts of others who feel a nameless but nevertheless raw need for him, no matter where they are in the world or what their circumstances are. It may be something as basic as a simple calling-out for help in utter humility. I certainly don't know.
I've heard contemporary stories of Jesus appearing in dreams and visions to handfuls of people in the Muslim world, causing conversions in one of the most dangerous places in the world for people to practice Christianity. I don't know first-hand that these stories are true, but I do wonder what it is exactly that's so compelling to cause a Muslim to convert to Christianity in the face of an automatic death sentence - and that does indeed happen.
So, speaking very frankly here, I just don't worry so much about the yak-herder. Missionaries who are far more obedient and far less selfish than I am do, though, and I do what I can to support their efforts. In fact, if I'm remembering correctly, I think I even made some sort of deal with God not to send me to deepest darkest Africa or something if I became a Christian - so far, so good, but I have to say that God's even changing my perspective little by little on that one too, and that was a biggie.

There's more I'd like to respond to - your post is so rich! Especially about Jesus' words about the vine, but this is long enough. Thanks for the thought-provoking comments.
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Old 04-08-2006, 04:41 AM   #215
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Happy Easter!

Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new.
The old life is gone: a new life burgeons!


2 Corinthians 5:17 Msg
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Old 04-28-2006, 05:06 AM   #216
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Biblical Disproportions...

High Brynne:

Just happened to be in the 'hood ...My gawd, I take a short sabbatical and this forum goes all to Heaven on a Forklift. Is this a 'private fight or can anybody get in....'? Even though I'm relatively unversed in the Bible...gawd told me, come mon down, the water's fine...a Z-re-baptism....water bourne again.

But first, as a former 'incense survivor', A Happy Resurrection to you my dear Brynne.

OK...I read through some of this thread, (not all, because of the increasing demands of my new entrepreneurial venture-- yep a paper route) replete with numerous Biblical citations...chapter and verse from the New Testament. I won't muddy up the waters by launching into a debate of the prima facie contradictions of the Old Testament versus the New - that would probably take an eternity(or perhaps even longer). But sufficit to say, why might an omniscient God change the rules of engagement for salvation by fiat overnight(biblical time - but not Kansas Central Time)...unless it was it a market-driven decision, or worse, he was a Republican up for re-election? More on that latta if you like...

So here's my main point: Christianity is based on the Assumption(sorry) that the Bible is the textual infallible manifestation of the word of God. Here's where I get spiritual heartburn with seemingly gratuitous 'thees' and 'thous'. To appropriate, some of Willie-- Me thinks they preacheth too loudly...

Now, suppose for the sake of discussion, the Bible was hacked...advertently by dyslexic stenos and/or just plain sky-jacked by (dare I say) fascist political manifestistas to lord power over us illiterate unwashed masses.

I'm further assuming you are acquainted with the writings of:

Thomas Merton - The Seven Story Mountain

Elaine Pagels - The Gnostic Gospels..... and Beyond Belief

????? - The Judas Gospels

and

Bart Ehrman - Misquoting Jesus. (2006), a scholarly piece tracing the origins of the Bible. Caution: Spoiler Caveat for Fundy Christians.

Now, Brynne you have referenced the "Power of Myth" by Joseph Campbell as being supportive of your thesis that the Christ as depicted in the Bible is essentially:

1. The Son of God
2. Was immaculately conceived
3. The resurrection represents substitutionary atonement for original sin of all men
4. That belief in the Christ in the only way to eternal life in Heaven
5. Salvation is not by works, but by faith.

Now I would be deeply appreciative if you could tell me exactly where in any of Campbells writings you find support for the above. Au contraire, I find Campbell's take on organized religion contradictory. Campbell, whom I admire greatly, walked miles literally miles(gawd rest his soles) exploring the origins of religion, including most especially the prepatriachal, pre-Christian religions. His take on the Bible: Read it as poetry, not prose. Again, more on that latta if you like....

All the above citations have one common thesis: Gnosism - or knowing the diety within you-the intrinsic versus extrinsic godhead. The New Testament is not infalible, and does not accurately represent the complete and accurate 'genisis' and 'evolution' of the Bible. And if all of your religious belief is based on the infallibility of Bible as the foundation for faith, then....

I'm open to discussing...

I remain, Kosmickly yours,

Mick
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Last edited by Kosmick : 04-28-2006 at 05:49 AM. Reason: dyslexia -"Help find a Dyslexia for Cure"
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Old 04-28-2006, 02:30 PM   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosmick
Campbell ... walked miles literally miles(gawd rest his soles)
I'm NOT jumping into this (I just don't have the time and energy), but this DID make me laugh out loud!! Thanks, Mick!
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Old 05-09-2006, 05:54 AM   #218
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Kosmick! So nice to see you again!!!!

My computer went black for weeks and weeks (turned out to be a problem with the power supply cord thingy, of all things), so just now checking in.

I missed you too, Smarty. <kiss/hug> hey don't back away come here and give me a real hug and another kiss for good measure and don't wipe your mouth this time, sugarlips

Look - unlike some, I never claimed to be an expert at this. Just somebody who had some freaky experiences and ended up a convert who continues to be engaged and fascinated and full of wonder at real things that continue to happen in my life as a result of believing in Jesus and his resurrection. So yeah, I do focus on the New Testament, and enjoy reading the Old Testament as the prequel to the fulfillment of prophecy. You call it what you want - poetry, fiction, whatever you like - and go have fun, you know? You trying to sink my rowboat, or what? Geez.

Seriously, didn't realize I was actually attributing all that to Joseph Campbell, Mick. Wow. I've been smoking too much crack again, people are starting to complain. I should go back and read what I wrote. He actually wasn't all that detailed in his discussions of Christ at all, if I remember correctly, so if I've left the impression that he supported the principal ideas of Christianity, well, that's just plain wrong as you say.
He liked the Upanishads best, I think, but here's the thing - I do vividly remember a wistful moment when he wished aloud that he was less scholar and more of a true believer in something, and that he was more in love with the pursuit than the practice of anything.
His regret about always being an observer and not a participant struck me as wise, and I took it as advice. It greatly influenced me when I was considering a commitment to Christ. I remember thinking that it was pointless to go halfway with the thing - if I did that, I wouldn't find the peace I was looking for. For me, this turned out to be the best course of action ultimately - but that's my story and no one else's. Someone else is going to take an entirely different route - but I do fervently believe that anyone in the world who searches for God with all of their heart will come to similar conclusions, at least about the nature of faith itself, and quite possibly about Jesus. As amazing and impressive as his insights were and are still, I'm not convinced that Campbell did exactly that (pursued one mode of faith wholeheartedly) in his lifetime, else he wouldn't have made that comment. As I continue to try to throw myself in the water and swim the whole way, who knows where I'll end up? All I know is that I want some more of what little I've scratched the surface on. Sorry, but the Gnostic route strikes me as a real dead end to this goal, but for someone else, it may be a jumping-off place. And yes, those last few sentences had far too many mixed metaphors, but it's one-thirty in the morning here, okay?

Reading Campbell was like cracking open a space in me for things of the spirit and I'll always be grateful for that. He provided for me a prism by which to approach Christianity again after years of bitterly rejecting it. When I finally really met the Christ for myself, instead of the Southern Baptist version, it did seem stupid to keep avoiding the reality of who he is and not worship him, so my focus finally narrowed. But yes, anything from Joseph Campbell is still fascinating, so go for it. I love his wide-open appreciation of the beauty and the mystery of faith in general and how faith is expressed by different cultures. It's rich and astonishing.

I've read Merton without much success. The older I get, the stupider I get, and that's the truth. Thanks for the title - I might try again someday. Going through some Jane Austen right now though. I've been wanting very badly to read Misquoting Jesus, however, and will definitely get to it.

The Gnostic Gospels have never appealed to me on a gut level, and sorry, but the particular proponents of them whom I've met personally and who pushed them on me (present company excepted of course) have been - hmmm, what are the words ? - nasty? aggressive? didactic? hostile? not exactly loving or concerned about my welfare as a person? - so I guess I got off to a bad start or just had some bad luck from the beginning. Or good luck - however one wants to look at it. I think we've all been turned off once and for all from certain religious viewpoints because of the unloving/judgmental way it was presented. I think it's generally a good litmus test, though, don't you think? If there's no love there, run. Run away fast fast if you're not strong. So okay, the Bible actually says to just stand around and don't be intimidated, so I better stick with that. Metaphorically speaking. Not literally, although that works too. <coughs awkwardly>

Apart from that personal prejudice, some of the gnostic writings have struck me as somewhat lifeless, not ringing quite true. What admittedly little I've read of them just hasn't resonated with me in any way compared to the canonical books, and I always end up thinking "Hmmm. No wonder the (evil, corrupt, controlling, serf-oppressing) church threw them out." This latest Da Vinci code fiction/nonsense about Jesus having a child with Mary Magdelan is really not something I can take seriously at all, for instance, and I just recently heard an excellent interview on NPR with a guy who very handily disputed all of it by minutely pointing out - pretty conclusively - how imaginative the culture gets with turning holes in the original manuscripts into the most fanciful conjecture. I may be confusing this legend with some of the gnostic writings, though. Am I? eh. Probably.

Yeah, I guess things got pretty religious here in the Christianity Discussion thread. Blah blah Jesus this, gooba gobba Jesus that, God loves us this, redemption and repentance that. I'll try to keep a lid on it, but I do get a bit irrepressible when left to my own devices for months on end, Mr. Sabbatical . Especially when there are no other Christians around who want to talk out loud here, unfortunately. What's an enthusiast to do?
Doing my best, and taking long breaks myself. Trying to say more than I'm capable of conveying. I do apologize if it irritates. Why wouldn't it? Even so, I sure am glad you showed up again, Kosmick.

and you, my smartysugarlips, I just want to squeeze you into bits of pretty diamonds and Julia Sweeney soundbites of rational thoughts, my love

amen and goodnight - !
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Old 05-09-2006, 04:56 PM   #219
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Brynn, I found that picture of us together when you visited me in Rome, when you first started calling me "Sugar Lips."

As for your computer problems, maybe you didn't prepare your house properly. Check this out. They don't speficially mention computer problems, but it can't hurt to look into it. Tell them you know me, and maybe you can get a discount.
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Old 05-09-2006, 07:05 PM   #220
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Smarty, I'm longing to relive the moment, but the URL keeps timing out - as for the house blessing, are you kidding? First thing I did, fer cryin' out loud.
ETA:
Oh yeah, it does my heart good to see that Ze's got a ripe sponsor below for this page, btw.

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Old 05-09-2006, 11:54 PM   #221
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brynn
Smarty, I'm longing to relive the moment, but the URL keeps timing out

Here you go...
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File Type: jpg Smarty-Brynn-in-Rome.jpg (30.2 KB, 105 views)
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Old 05-10-2006, 05:14 PM   #222
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^
ROFL!

I forgot to tell you that that was the weekend you cured my migraines...
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Old 05-10-2006, 06:35 PM   #223
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Originally Posted by Brynn
^
ROFL!

I forgot to tell you that that was the weekend you cured my migraines...

Aha! So it DID work!! I *told* you the extra lire I suggested you place in the collection basket would cure all that ailed you. And you had SO little faith. Goddamned SKEPTIC!!
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Old 05-12-2006, 03:22 PM   #224
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By the way, I'm in Santa Cruz this weekend for a wedding. I can see your house from here - can you see me waving?????
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Old 05-12-2006, 04:10 PM   #225
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Still pondering the following:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosmick
But sufficit to say, why might an omniscient God change the rules of engagement for salvation by fiat overnight(biblical time - but not Kansas Central Time)...unless it was it a market-driven decision, or worse, he was a Republican up for re-election? More on that latta if you like...
I like the re-election theory - hadn't thought of that before. It's catchy .

Out of town here, so mindful of hogging the host's computer (gee, DSL is a wonderful thing) and being the backsliding heathen hussy that I am with no Bible in hand so winging it off the top of my head, I'm pretty dang sure that God's plan for salvation can be found in Genesis, right after Adam and Eve are kicked out of the garden for eating dessert first. God has just cursed Eve with pain in childbirth (nowadays generously revoked due to a wonderful discovery called the "epidural block") and not one to ever be completely without mercy, He then promises that the seed of woman will someday crush the head of the serpent Satan under his heel. He's talking about Christ.

There's also a pretty cool song that Johnny Cash sings called "The Fourth Man in the Fire" that tells that story in the book of Daniel (?) about Shaddrack, Meschak and Abednego being thrown into the fiery furnace for not bowing down to King Nebukanezzar. Someone looks in and sees a strange dude in there with them, keeping them all cool as cucumbers. That was Christ too.
There are other examples - like when God gets so pissed off at Moses for hitting the Rock instead of asking it nicely for water like He told him too that Moses is banned from the Promised Land.

The blood of the Passover lamb swiped around the doorsills of the captive Jews in Egypt to protect them from the angel of death is another precursor to the sacrifice of Christ on a different Passover - what some educators would call a "teachable moment" I'd say, to slowly bring them around to the idea of exchanging blood for salvation. After all, (don't go all apoplectic on me here, Smarty) we're talking about combatting death here - what's more full of rich, pure life itself than the blood of a meek, spotless lamb? Where we've gone wrong in the world is the idea of spilling blood in the name of dead religion and completely leaving out the fact that a savior's blood has already been spilled for that purpose.

The Christ has been around for a long long time - note the use of the plural when God speaks the world into creation in Genesis as well. There's a reason why Christ is called "the Apha and the Omega."


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosmick
And if all of your religious belief is based on the infallibility of Bible as the foundation for faith, then....
Well, actually, no. It's not. It's what we have. But I do love the Bible and get a lot out of it. If I read it more often, I'd probably do a whole lot better. I'd love to talk about that sometime as well.

Waving to everyone's houses here in Capitola Village...
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