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Old 10-18-2003, 06:38 PM   #1
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Christianity - do we have it right?

I listened to a very interesting lecture given by the late Alan Watts last night.

here is a link
http://www.growthandhealing.com/talk...bout%20Him.mp3

it is long...but he is a very interesting speaker and I urge at least one person to listen to this.
after hearing it I have a ton of thinking to do about my beliefs.

essentially, the church has made our religion into a monarchy...where we worship a figure. This happened when they put Jesus on a pedestal and claimed him to be the one and only song of God, when indeed he never meant for that to happen.

he says in the Bible, "I am the Son of God"
and as he is about to get stoned, he asks them to remember pslams 82, where it says "you are all gods".
in fact, the original greek says "I am A son of God"...that is what Jesus actually said.
people like Jesus (buddah, and others) had devine epipany's where they realized their oneness with God...where they realize that everybody is a son of god.

anyway..I really suck at explaining all of it. But if this holds true..I have a lot to reconsider about my spirituality.
listen to the lecture if you like...it's quite involving
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Old 10-18-2003, 07:07 PM   #2
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Jesus makes numerous claims as the exclusive path to eternal salvation. Not the church, not the disciples - Jesus makes these claims. There are about 100 Scripture references.

For centuries there have been those who have tried to water down these claims as Mr. Watts appears to in this lecture.

We are not gods.
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Old 10-18-2003, 07:24 PM   #3
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Basstrap,

I have listened to many hours of Watts.

He has been dead for several years now.

Anyone who wants to broaden their understanding of other philosophies and belief systems would do well to listen to him.



The (lost? or removed) Gospel of St. Thomas suggests that the “light” is in us all.
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Old 10-18-2003, 07:37 PM   #4
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NB, you are missing the point

the Bible may not be the be all and end all. In any case, you cannot prove that it is, and therefore what you hold is an opinion.

and how would explain that he said "I am a son of god"?
how would you explain psalms 82?
I urge you to first listen to the lecture, and then make your rebuttals...but don't come to me flying cliche dogma. I grew up in a pentecostal home, and I've always been frustrated by their, "do not question what the pastor says" mentality.

it is healthy to be critical...otherwise we are mindless sheep
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Old 10-18-2003, 07:55 PM   #5
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I've read some of Alan Watt's books. I'll listen to that lecture when I have time. Ideas are good for you!!
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Old 10-18-2003, 08:30 PM   #6
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From the beginning, there was never a conclusive dogma in approaching God or Jesus. In fact, early Christianity was divided in two: the Church of Jerusalem (Jewish Christian; St. Peter and St. James) and the Church of Antioch (Gentile Christian; St. Paul). When the Church of Antioch all but obliterated the Church of Jerusalem by c. A.D. 200, its beliefs became "the official" beliefs, and all others were declared "heresy."

Whether or not these beliefs would actually be sanctioned by Jesus, we will never know. What is most disappointing, however, is that the Church of Antioch's autocratic attitude towards thinking about God is still very much alive.

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Old 10-18-2003, 08:32 PM   #7
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Basstrap, are you becoming a Mormon?
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Old 10-18-2003, 10:05 PM   #8
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I highly doubt it, but we'll discuss this further when I show up at your doorstep tomorrow
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Old 10-18-2003, 11:33 PM   #9
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Many have tried to add on to what we call Scripture. Taking one isolated passage of Scripture and giving it a meaning inconsistent with the rest of Scripture is the feeding ground of cults.

We can say to each other, "it is good to hear from other sources and broaden our understanding" but that does not mean each source is of equal value and authority.

Psalm 82 starts with God standing and judging among the "gods". This can refer to either pagan gods or human leaders, such as judges, kings, legistlators, etc. God the Great Judge presides over these lesser judges. Jesus later quotes the phrase in John 10:34, stating to the Jewish authorities, in essense, "if you can be called "gods", certainly the Messiah can be called God.

I agree that we need to open Scripture and prayerfully discover the answers ourselves. Otherwise we might reject one shepherd for another and remain, as you say, mindless sheep.
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Old 10-19-2003, 04:53 AM   #10
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I remember in a sermon I once heard... that Jesus always steered away from explicitly acknowledging that he is "the Son of God." My pastor then emphasized that Jesus self-proclaimed that he was "the Son of Man" ... not "the Son of God."

I just did a word search at Biblegateway.com on New International Version... and from the search I did... Most context of the Gospels stating Jesus Christ IS "the Son of God" verbatim... are only said by accusers, sinners and Pharisees and followers... And from what I've scanned... I think I could prove this.

But (in my own understanding) Jesus's self-proclamation as "the Son of Man" does not necessarily contradict the theology that he was indeed the Son of God. Rather, in nature of this thread argument, perhaps Jesus foreknew his followers may step into the danger of idolizing religion rather serving the Gospel in humility.

that's my 2 cents.
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Old 10-19-2003, 08:12 AM   #11
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That was my recollection as well.
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Old 10-19-2003, 08:39 AM   #12
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Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods'[1] ?

I have said...

and he does indeed say, "I am a son of God"

One of the points is that the Bible is uncertain. Granted, a good historical document, but what we are reading is what the early church wanted us to read. They picked which books of the bible would be in our current one...the books to be included in the testements weren't decided upon, I think, until well after the death of Jesus. Sometimes I get the feeling that whoever decided on the books of the Bible, whoever translated certain words to mean something different were trying to convey a message that they wanted

maybe I'm just being the devils advocate here, but I want better explanations, and I get the feeling nobody has listened to any of this lecture
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Old 10-19-2003, 01:07 PM   #13
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Actually the only place where the "a son of God" reading is possible is Mark 15:39, the centurion realizing there was something unique about Jesus. The modern translations of the Bible have been done by competent Greek scholars, they would not make a mistake such as that or even a falsehood, or critics would be all over it. Such a statement is similar to the one which the Jehova's Witness make about the statement in John 1, saying the Word was a god. Any competent greek scholar will tell you thing is plainly wrong, and if I recall correctly the man who wrote the JW version of hte Bible was proved in court to have no knowledge of ancient Greek at all. In other words such a mistranslation would escape modern scrutiny. A bible translation which is highly regarded by scholars such the NRSV could not have such a balatant error.

With regards to the Psalm in the old testametn, son did not always mean sonship rather an intimate connection to something. Hence son of wickedness. It was often used as an honourific for those who had a close realtionship with God. As time passed it came to have special significance with regards to the Messiah, by Christ's time it was a title pretty much limited to the Messiah, hence the use of the. And with the eception of that passage in John Christ never refers to himself by that title. Others call him it. whenevere he casts out demons he is adressed by them by this title, the Apostles call him this as well. In those cases he most often tells them to be silent. There is some sense that this a secret a unique title which reveals something crucial which he would rather keep secret for the time being. Jesus speaks of the Son of God but save for that one passage never says explicitly "I am the Son of God".

Jesus through out the gospels alwauys differentiates his realtionship wiht God with that of his audience. He never once uses the collective our with regard to himself and the disciples when discussing relations to God; he always says "my Father", or your Father".

The there is Jesus infamous "I am" statement in John 8:58. I am is the exclusive name of God, hence the instant response of those assembled to stone him.

Also one needs to take into account the Epistles which predate the Gospels chronologically. All the Epistles assume Christ's divinity. Paul though he had serious disagreements with the Church in Jerusalem would surely have not gotten away with saying something so off base as calling Christ divine when he wasn't, and if the Jerusalem church didn't belive this then Paul certainly would have made it an issue. The leaders of Jerusalem church had known Christ and clearly Pauls views on Christ's divinity should be pretty close to theirs. The split was over Gentile vs. Jew not Christ's divinity.

As to the Gospel of Thomas, it was rejected for good reason. It's gnostic. Gnostic beliefs in all forms say that salvation can only be achieved through some secret knowledge. Also it's structure doesn't tell much about Jesus, it is a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus by it's authors. As such it isn't a great teaching instrument. Aside from fitting a set of accepted doctrines the Gospels whihc were made aprt of the cannon were required to teach about Jesus, not just give his sayings. His life was an example and his actions together wiht his words make up the message. Even had it not been gnostic I doubt Thomas would have been accepted into cannon. Possibly as apocryphal material but no more than that.
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Old 10-19-2003, 11:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by theSoulfulMofo
I remember in a sermon I once heard... that Jesus always steered away from explicitly acknowledging that he is "the Son of God." My pastor then emphasized that Jesus self-proclaimed that he was "the Son of Man" ... not "the Son of God."
The reference of Jesus as the Son of Man appears 83 times in the Gospels. It is a title given for our benefit, so we would understand the incarnation of Christ. The reference is also Messianic, from Daniel 7:13.

Jesus never shied away from a declaration of His divine nature - in John 10:30, Jesus clearly state "I and the Father are one".
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Old 10-19-2003, 11:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Basstrap
One of the points is that the Bible is uncertain.
This again sounds like fodder for the cultist who, instead of building a principle on many cross references in the bible, leads you to a place of ambiguity, with the willingness to fill in the "ambiguity" with their own ideas.

Check Scripture against Scripture. Pray for God's guidance before reading. God gave us the Holy Spirit for this very purpoes - that we would have a Counselor to help in our understanding.
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