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Old 04-11-2002, 12:59 PM   #91
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But joyful girl, you're forgetting one thing. Many religions claim to be the only way. Christ in particular said "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by me." Now, if all religions lead to God, how do you reconcile the fact that several make claims to be the only way? Since Christ himself said that He is the only way, I must assume that if He is the Son Of God, Christianity is the only way. If He is not the Son of God, then Christianity is a complete and utter falsehood.
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Old 04-11-2002, 01:10 PM   #92
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All the Manifestations of God have the same metaphysical nature and the same spiritual stature. There is absolute equality among Them. No one of Them is superior to another.

The differences which exist between the teachings of the various Manifestations of God are not due to any differences in stature or level of importance, but only to the varying needs and capacities of the civilizations to which They appeared (big difference between people who lifed 2000 years ago or today).

However, the Bahá'í doctrine of the oneness of the Manifestations does not mean that the same individual soul is born again in different physical bodies. Moses, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and Bahá'u'lláh were all different personalities, separate individual realities. Their oneness lies in the fact that Each manifested and revealed the qualities and attributes of God to the same degree: the spirit of God which dwelled within any one of Them was identical to that which dwelled in the others.



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Old 04-11-2002, 01:11 PM   #93
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Originally posted by joyfulgirl:
Big enough to express Itself to those who aren't Christian, to those who will never hear about Christianity...
I realize that you don't believe the Bible, but I thought you might be interested to know that the Bible teaches this very thing about God. In the book of Romans, Paul wrote: "what may be known about God is plain to them , because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." He's saying that God expresses himself to everyone, Christian or not, through his creation. Based on this fact he's saying that everyone is accountable to God, whether they've ever seen a bible or heard of Jesus or not.
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Old 04-11-2002, 01:18 PM   #94
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
But joyful girl, you're forgetting one thing. Many religions claim to be the only way. Christ in particular said "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by me." Now, if all religions lead to God, how do you reconcile the fact that several make claims to be the only way? Since Christ himself said that He is the only way, I must assume that if He is the Son Of God, Christianity is the only way. If He is not the Son of God, then Christianity is a complete and utter falsehood.
Jesus was the way for the people at that time, within that culture, and for all who have resonated with him since. I do believe a Son of God is the way. But I also believe that there have always been, and will always continue to be, Sons of God on this earth, in different cultures.


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Old 04-11-2002, 01:35 PM   #95
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Originally posted by AM:
All the Manifestations of God have the same metaphysical nature and the same spiritual stature. There is absolute equality among Them. No one of Them is superior to another.

The differences which exist between the teachings of the various Manifestations of God are not due to any differences in stature or level of importance, but only to the varying needs and capacities of the civilizations to which They appeared (big difference between people who lifed 2000 years ago or today).

However, the Bahá'í doctrine of the oneness of the Manifestations does not mean that the same individual soul is born again in different physical bodies. Moses, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and Bahá'u'lláh were all different personalities, separate individual realities. Their oneness lies in the fact that Each manifested and revealed the qualities and attributes of God to the same degree: the spirit of God which dwelled within any one of Them was identical to that which dwelled in the others.

[This message has been edited by AM (edited 04-11-2002).]
AM--a colleague of mine belongs to the Bahá'í faith and when she and I talk about spirituality, we feel a kinship with one another. I think it is a beautiful religion.

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Old 04-11-2002, 01:43 PM   #96
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I realize that you don't believe the Bible, but I thought you might be interested to know that the Bible teaches this very thing about God. In the book of Romans, Paul wrote: "what may be known about God is plain to them , because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." He's saying that God expresses himself to everyone, Christian or not, through his creation. Based on this fact he's saying that everyone is accountable to God, whether they've ever seen a bible or heard of Jesus or not.
It's not that I don't believe in the Bible. It's more that I don't believe it was necessarily intended for the masses of people to come in future generations, although I am happy for anyone who finds truth in it thus giving their life meaning. I believe it was written for the people of that time, and that its original message has been distorted throughout time from its numerous translations, and that for me it is not easy to adapt it for today's spiritual seekers. But I appreciate you sharing that quote and, again, I'm glad that others see it differently.

[This message has been edited by joyfulgirl (edited 04-11-2002).]
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Old 04-11-2002, 09:32 PM   #97
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
[BSince Christ himself said that He is the only way, I must assume that if He is the Son Of God, Christianity is the only way.[/B]
For Christians. For others, there are other paths, other ways. If one views Christianity as the only way for himself, that's fine. Like joyful girl, I never felt a resonance with Jesus. I still don't, but I believe in the divinity of Jesus; He was God on Earth. Now that I'm on a different path, I can understand Jesus more and appreciate who He is and what He did. It's good.

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Old 04-11-2002, 09:53 PM   #98
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Originally posted by martha:
For Christians. For others, there are other paths, other ways. If one views Christianity as the only way for himself, that's fine. Like joyful girl, I never felt a resonance with Jesus. I still don't, but I believe in the divinity of Jesus; He was God on Earth. Now that I'm on a different path, I can understand Jesus more and appreciate who He is and what He did. It's good.
You say that Christ was God on earth. But can Christ be a liar and God at the same time? Do you believe that God lies? Christ said he was the only way. If he is not the only way, then he is a liar. And how can a liar be God?
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Old 04-11-2002, 11:27 PM   #99
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
Quote:
Originally posted by martha:
For Christians. For others, there are other paths, other ways. If one views Christianity as the only way for himself, that's fine. Like joyful girl, I never felt a resonance with Jesus. I still don't, but I believe in the divinity of Jesus; He was God on Earth. Now that I'm on a different path, I can understand Jesus more and appreciate who He is and what He did. It's good.
You say that Christ was God on earth. But can Christ be a liar and God at the same time? Do you believe that God lies? Christ said he was the only way. If he is not the only way, then he is a liar. And how can a liar be God?
what if christ never said that...the bible was canonized 500 years later...can you remember a conversation you had 5 years ago?...how about 500??? Christians place waaaaay too much emphasis on the bible. What if Christ meant that the universal teachings he taught were the only way?

in the book of job..god puts a man through hell just because he wants to win a bet. Personally god being a liar is quite tame, to him being irresponsible as he's portrayed in that story.

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Old 04-12-2002, 12:25 AM   #100
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Have at it, kids; I'm done here. I'm not up to rehashing the same points over and over again. It was interesting for a while, but I just don't care enough to continue. Some people insist on walking the path that is exclusionary and narrow. That's fine, but not for me. My faith is strong and real and alive, and I'm happy with my life and choices. I'm not into dogmatic arguements.

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Old 04-12-2002, 04:14 AM   #101
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martha, I'm not sure who's being dogmatic (as it's a tricky word): anyone who doesn't let up is considered dogmatic. I assume you are saying that the Christian argument (i.e Christ is the only way) going on here is dogmatic; well, I guess the other side of the argument has to be considered dogmatic, too, because the other side of the argument is adamant that all paths lead to God. Of course, I am only assuming that you are directing your post to the Christians here, and I wanted to respond to that.

joyfulgirl, I'd like to bring your attention to another passage in the Bible, talking about those who have not heard the gospel of Jesus Christ (this is to answer the question, 'will they be saved as well?'):

A letter to the Romans, written by Paul the apostle: All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declares righteous.

In other words, let's consider remote tribes in Borneo who have not heard of Jesus Christ and what he did. We can't say that they won't be saved simply because they haven't heard, as it is unfair. Rather, the tribe will inevitable form their own codes and law, and as long they obey their law, their conscience bearing witness as well, they will be accepted by God. So, in this way, God is 'bigger', too.

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Old 04-12-2002, 08:43 AM   #102
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what if christ never said that...the bible was canonized 500 years later...can you remember a conversation you had 5 years ago?...how about 500??? Christians place waaaaay too much emphasis on the bible. What if Christ meant that the universal teachings he taught were the only way?
in the book of job..god puts a man through hell just because he wants to win a bet. Personally god being a liar is quite tame, to him being irresponsible as he's portrayed in that story.
Arun V, it's obvious you don't believe in the validity of the Bible. Martha made the statement that Christ was God, but that he's not the only way. My discussion with her is from a totally different angle. I was basically asking her how she could believe Christ when he said he was God, but not when he said he was the only way. This argument doesn't apply to you because you don't even believe Christ when he said he is God. However, I will answer some of your questions anyway.
(1)The reason I can have so much in the Bible even though it was canonized a long time after Christ is because I know that if God wants the world to hear the Gospel message, He's gonna find a way to keep the word together. Quite frankly, compared to some of the other things He has done (water into wine, raising Lazarus and Himself from the dead, etc.), it would be the LEAST of his miracles.
(2)If Christ would have meant that the universal teachings he taught were the only way, he would have said it that way. What he said was "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me". If you want to argue that he didn't say those words at all, that's one thing, because it is ultimately a matter of faith. However, if you accept that he said those words, you can't argue that he meant something totally different.
(3)You misrepresent the book of Job. God did not put Job through hell to win a bet. Satan told God that Job was only faithful to God because of all God have given him, that he would be faithless if it were all taken away. Satan asks for permission to put him through the ringer.
God, knowing that Job will be faithful, grants him that permission - but with limits.
That's not a "bet". That's a test. And you know what? All his children go through tests - all the time. Tests are what strengthen us. They're for our own good. But then, you left out the end of the story - the part where Job stands faithful through the test and is given twice what he has lost!
If you want to question God's "justice" in allowing this test, I suggest you read God's answer to those claims, Job 38-41. Then, read Job's response to that and the incredible blessings he received when completeing and passing the test with flying colors, Job 42.
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Old 04-12-2002, 08:52 AM   #103
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Originally posted by martha:
Have at it, kids; I'm done here. I'm not up to rehashing the same points over and over again. It was interesting for a while, but I just don't care enough to continue. Some people insist on walking the path that is exclusionary and narrow. That's fine, but not for me. My faith is strong and real and alive, and I'm happy with my life and choices. I'm not into dogmatic arguements.
martha, I was not "re-hashing the same points over and over again". I brought up a new point; a point that you obviously would rather not answer at all. That's fine. You called my path "exclusionary and narrow". You are right on one point, but you couldn't be more wrong on the other".
Christianity IS a narrow path, the Bible even says this. But, by claiming to be the only way, that's natural.
But "exclusionary"? Hardly! I would say, in fact, that it's very INCLUSIVE. The Bible says that "God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to everlasting life." Anyone who accepts Christ as Lord will be saved - the offer is open to absolutely everyone; black, white, yellow, brown, fat, skinny, tall, short, people who have been Muslims all their lives, people who have been Athiests all their lives, even people who have been Satanists all their lives. How in the world is that "exclusionary"?
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Old 04-12-2002, 09:13 AM   #104
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Originally posted by Arun V:
what if christ never said that...the bible was canonized 500 years later...can you remember a conversation you had 5 years ago?...how about 500??? Christians place waaaaay too much emphasis on the bible. What if Christ meant that the universal teachings he taught were the only way?
in the book of job..god puts a man through hell just because he wants to win a bet. Personally god being a liar is quite tame, to him being irresponsible as he's portrayed in that story.
Arun V, it's obvious you don't believe in the validity of the Bible. Martha made the statement that Christ was God, but that he's not the only way. My discussion with her is from a totally different angle. I was basically asking her how she could believe Christ when he said he was God, but not when he said he was the only way. This argument doesn't apply to you because you don't even believe Christ when he said he is God. However, I will answer some of your questions anyway.
(1)The reason I can have so much in the Bible even though it was canonized a long time after Christ is because I know that if God wants the world to hear the Gospel message, He's gonna find a way to keep the word together. Quite frankly, compared to some of the other things He has done (water into wine, raising Lazarus and Himself from the dead, etc.), it would be the LEAST of his miracles.
(2)If Christ would have meant that the universal teachings he taught were the only way, he would have said it that way. What he said was "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me". If you want to argue that he didn't say those words at all, that's one thing, because it is ultimately a matter of faith. However, if you accept that he said those words, you can't argue that he meant something totally different.
(3)You misrepresent the book of Job. God did not put Job through hell to win a bet. Satan told God that Job was only faithful to God because of all God have given him, that he would be faithless if it were all taken away. Satan asks for permission to put him through the ringer.
God, knowing that Job will be faithful, grants him that permission - but with limits.
That's not a "bet". That's a test. And you know what? All his children go through tests - all the time. Tests are what strengthen us. They're for our own good. But then, you left out the end of the story - the part where Job stands faithful through the test and is given twice what he has lost!
If you want to question God's "justice" in allowing this test, I suggest you read God's answer to those claims, Job 38-41. Then, read Job's response to that and the incredible blessings he received when completeing and passing the test with flying colors, Job 42.

I'll sum this up very neatly...I Don't beleive in the validity of the bible...but that doesn't mean I discount the teaching of christ.

I do believe jesus was god...I just don't dont believe the bible is 100 percent accurate account of his life.

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Old 04-12-2002, 09:52 AM   #105
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Arun, I'm not here prove that the Bible accurately records all of Jesus's words, but I think I do need to point at least one thing out that I think supports that it's very likely that the Bible is historically accurate (i.e. what it says Jesus taught is really what he taught).

Although you're right that the new testament (second half of the bible) wasn't officially canonized until the 5th century, the gospels (at least Matthew, Mark, and Luke) were almost certainly written by 60 AD, within a few decades of the events that they record. And writings of early church fathers show that these gospel accounts were accepted by the early church in the 1st century. They were so widely accepted by early Christians that the need for official canonization was not seen until centuries later when people were trying to add other books to those that were being used by the church.
Certainly if the gospels had been written and were being read in 60 A.D., there were people around who could have disputed their accuracy far better than we can today.

All this to say that I think it's reasonable to believe that Jesus really did say that he was God and the only Way, simply because it's written in the Bible.



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