Is There One Right and another Wrong? Christianity, the Red-headed Step-child...

  • Uzima Moto
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04 Aug 2019 00:27 #340882 by Uzima Moto
There is only one way, at-one-ment.. I've always thought "Jesus" was speaking on what he embodied. Not necessarily him personally. I don't think he meant for folks to worship him. He might've just meant for folks to follow his example..

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04 Aug 2019 19:32 - 04 Aug 2019 19:38 #340896 by Rex
In all seriousness, what is Christianity if not the belief in the unique saving power of Jesus?

I could get unitarian universalists and jedi as being christian-inspired, but to go back to the OP I think Christianity is necessarily exclusive. Not to say Christianity is unique in that way, Islam has the Shahada and Judaism the Shema. Hinduism doesn't have a unified creed because it's such a wide variety of beliefs, and Buddhism is more practice-based than dogma-based.

Religion as a whole is meant to explain the things that can't/aren't explainable to everyone, but ultimately it's a sort of search for the truth. Adhering to any certain religion doesn't prevent you from acknowledging the contributions and truths found by other people (including Yoda) and practices to a certain extent; however, you can't call yourself a Muslim just because you really like the prayers and giving pillars when you ignore the other three (and everything else that those pillars are based upon).

I doubt that most people 100% agrees with whatever beliefs are expressed by their religious institution, but faith revisionism of key components seems like self-dishonesty.

On a separate note, I think Christianity is the sort of religious benchmark and most-scrutinized religion because it is the historical religion of Europe and colonialism. The destructive internal schisms of Christianity imo catalyzed the development of pluralism we see today in developed nations.

Also if we could personify what we most hate about Christianity, I'd bet that we all conjured up a caricatured hick telling us that we're going to hell because we didn't support the invasion of Iraq or we have a friend who's gay. It's that Joel Osteen-ish televangelist who gets rich through exploitation. Imo that doesn't represent the core values of Christianity comparably to how Salafists don't represent Islam

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Last edit: 04 Aug 2019 19:38 by Rex. Reason: added last paragraph because reasons

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  • Omhu Cuspor
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26 Dec 2019 23:51 #347707 by Omhu Cuspor

Rex wrote: In all seriousness, what is Christianity if not the belief in the unique saving power of Jesus?

I could get unitarian universalists and jedi as being christian-inspired, but to go back to the OP I think Christianity is necessarily exclusive. ...
I doubt that most people 100% agrees with whatever beliefs are expressed by their religious institution, but faith revisionism of key components seems like self-dishonesty. ...


To my eyes, it's very easy to review the Christian literature and, depending upon one's initial perspective, come to differing conclusions about the nature of its key components - and hence, we see different interpretations of Christianity, and different types of Christians.

To be sure, the Christian scriptures assert again and again that Jesus is the Messiah, the redeemer of humanity. The gospels have Jesus himself saying it, and it is at the core of Paul's theology. Focusing on those writings would inspire an exclusive view of Christianity.

But then ... Jesus also said that the two greatest commandments were to love God and love one's fellow beings. He did not add believing in him as a savior to that list. He also once said "Why do you call me good? There is none good but God," which by inference suggests that he did not, at least at the moment of that utterance, consider himself capable of being the Messiah. Further, four of the six known theological schools known to exist in the first 500 years of Christian history held to a universalist view - one asserting that everyone, regardless of creed, attained redemption and paradise (though perhaps after some process to refine the character of their souls). In a nutshell, all of this highlights a tradition within Christendom that is strikingly not exclusionary. We just tend to forget about that because of the dominant trends in faith of our time. Despite those trends, a relatively small community of Christian universalists exists to this day. They tend to see themselves not as faith revisionists, but actually as hearkening back to the earliest traditions of the Christian church.

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27 Dec 2019 00:17 #347708 by Rex
Let me split that into the textual case you used and the overall hermeneutic schools point:
The Greek for the text is
Ho de iēsous eipen autō to me legeis agathon oudeis agathos ei mē heis ho Theos
Which can roughly word for word mean
And Jesus said to him why me you call good no one good if not alone God
Punctuation wasn't really a thing until the middle ages, but you can figure out the structure contextually. This statement is an example of a rhetorical strategy: begging the question. What is the logical conclusion of the statements given by Jesus and the young man if both are taken prima facie? That the young man believes Jesus is God.
Given that (like you said) the rest of the Gospels are rife with claims that Jesus is the Messiah, it seems unlikely that he would use this occasion to make a semantic point about the difference between God and Messiah.

The existence of a hermeneutic tradition doesn't prove its validity. There are flat earthers who base their claims on their understanding of science (and often the Bible coincidentally). Churches today exist outside of the orthodoxy created by the first 10ish ecumenical councils. But even the breadth of the traditions which exist today, if anything, would go to prove that the proportion which exist within the delineation are a large enough majority to define the terms

I don't adhere to "death of the author" hermeneutic faction and instead believe that contextual evidence backs a prima facie reading that Christianity does preclude claims that Jesus was not the Messiah. Just because one can reach a conclusion (especially in ignorance of the totality of facts) does not mean it is true.

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