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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 22660  
Subject: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 10:29 AM
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I've had an interesting thread going on over at the Christian Fools board:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=24816703

I was curious about what mitzvot Christians follow. Obviously they don't follow most of them (kashrut, shabbat, taharat hamishpacha, shatnez, etc. etc.), but obviously they do follow some (against murder, sexual immorality, and (though some Jews would disagree) against idolatry.

Anyway, one of the messages concerned Paul of Tarsus. If you don't know who he is, you can learn about him here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_of_Tarsus

The Christian version of Paul's story (as I understand it):
Originally named Saul, he was an anti-Christian activist. He was sent by the Sanhedrin to Damascus to arrest Jewish followers of Jesus. (At this time, Christianity was still a sect entirely within Judaism.) On the way, he had a vision, became a Christian himself, and changed his name to Paul. He became a Christian leader, and declared that brit milah was no longer necessary for converts to Christian Judaism. (He did away with most of the other mitzvot as well.)

The practical result was that lots of non-Jews became Christians (get saved, quick & easy! No muss, no fuss!), while many of the Jews who had believed in Jesus as Moshiach became disaffected with the movement. Belief in Jesus lost all traction within the Jewish community.

I once heard a lecture in which the theory was put forward that Saul invented the whole thing. In this theory, the only vision he had on the road to Damascus was the plan he formulated to make Christianity repulsive to Jews. He would become an agent provocateur. He was sent by the Sanhedrin to put a stop to this new sect within Judaism, and with his made up story of a vision and conversion, that's exactly what he did. He told people they could substitute belief in Jesus for observance of mitzvot. By making Christianity a new religion that was incompatible with Torah Judaism, he drove the Jews away from the sect.

i wish I could provide more detail, but I heard the lecture over 20 years ago. I heard it at Yeshivat Ohr Somayach, but the speaker was a guest-lecturer from Aish Hatorah.
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Author: andryia Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11862 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 10:55 AM
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Steve,

I followed your link from CF. Before I respond, I wanted to see what the board's protocol is for non-Jews posting here. I couldn't find a FAQ.

Thanks,
Andrea

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11863 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 11:08 AM
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I wanted to see what the board's protocol is for non-Jews posting here.

Non-jews post here all the time. I don't think we have any formal rules.

My advice: be respectful.

I would prefer no blanket criticisms of Judaism, and no attempts to missionize, but I'm not the dictator here.

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Author: Silencer2480 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11864 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 11:16 AM
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I was curious about what mitzvot Christians follow. Obviously they don't follow most of them (kashrut, shabbat, taharat hamishpacha, shatnez, etc. etc.), but obviously they do follow some (against murder, sexual immorality, and (though some Jews would disagree) against idolatry.

In the strict sense they follow no mitzvot, b/c they don't believe the commandments of the torah are commanded to them. They may do them anyway, but not b/c they are commanded by God to do them.

I once heard a lecture in which the theory was put forward that Saul invented the whole thing. In this theory, the only vision he had on the road to Damascus was the plan he formulated to make Christianity repulsive to Jews. He would become an agent provocateur. He was sent by the Sanhedrin to put a stop to this new sect within Judaism, and with his made up story of a vision and conversion, that's exactly what he did. He told people they could substitute belief in Jesus for observance of mitzvot. By making Christianity a new religion that was incompatible with Torah Judaism, he drove the Jews away from the sect.

I have heard this too...I also once heard that the prayer "nishmat kol chai" is attributed to him....

-silencer

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Author: Silencer2480 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11865 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 11:17 AM
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Steve,

I followed your link from CF. Before I respond, I wanted to see what the board's protocol is for non-Jews posting here. I couldn't find a FAQ.

Thanks,
Andrea


Come one, come all, just keep it civil =)

-silencer

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Author: andryia Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11866 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 11:26 AM
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OK, here's my take on the above.

The main reason Christians don't follow most of the Mosaic law is simply because the vast majority of us are Gentiles. As I mentioned in the thread Steve linked to, a council of early church leaders decided that Gentile Christians need not convert to Judaism. However, there were a few requirements unique to Mosaic law that they applied to Gentiles as well.

I think Paul "invented" Christianity about like Al Gore invented the Internet. He played a major role, but many others were involved as well. He joined a movement already in progress; he didn't begin one.

All IMHO, of course.

Thanks for the thread.

Andrea

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11867 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 11:44 AM
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In the strict sense they follow no mitzvot, b/c they don't believe the commandments of the torah are commanded to them. They may do them anyway, but not b/c they are commanded by God to do them.

Yes, that I understand. But they still believe that certain activities are sinful -- adultery and murder, for example.

If you ask me why those things are wrong, I'd say "Because G-d said so." (In other words, morality isn't subjective or subject to a vote. His is the only opinion that counts.)

So the focus of my question was this: Why do Christians believe it's wrong to murder or to commit adultery? What guide to they have to tell them what behavior is permitted and/or desired, and what is prohibited?

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Author: MitsouR Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11868 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 11:53 AM
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Don't Christians believe in and follow the Ten Commandments?



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Author: greystarfish Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11869 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 12:26 PM
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Steve, "In the strict sense they follow no mitzvot, b/c they don't believe the commandments of the torah are commanded to them. They may do them anyway, but not b/c they are commanded by God to do them.

Yes, that I understand. But they still believe that certain activities are sinful -- adultery and murder, for example.

If you ask me why those things are wrong, I'd say "Because G-d said so." (In other words, morality isn't subjective or subject to a vote. His is the only opinion that counts.)

So the focus of my question was this: Why do Christians believe it's wrong to murder or to commit adultery? What guide to they have to tell them what behavior is permitted and/or desired, and what is prohibited?"
If you would like to read the New Testament, check out "Reference Bible" at http://www.htmlbible.com/kjv30/index.htm .I have mine set to the King James Version, but there are other versions, that you can set to. 1st Corinthians, Chapter 6 is at http://www.htmlbible.com/kjv30/B46C006.htm .Paul talks about the sins that will cause people, to go to Hell. "9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
inherit Isa 3:11

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
washed Heb 10:22"
1st Corinthians, Chapter 13 is at http://www.htmlbible.com/kjv30/B46C013.htm .Paul describes love. Teresa


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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11870 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 12:30 PM
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Don't Christians believe in and follow the Ten Commandments?

Yes, No, and Maybe.

I could not get a straight answer to this question. You may want to read the thread for yourself here:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=24816703

But my understanding is that they believe:
1. If one believes in Yushkie, he will make you righteous, and
2. It naturally follows that if one is righteous, he will do good deeds and refrain from evil ones. Such a person won't need explicit instruction as to which deeds are good and which are evil -- he will know in his heart.

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Author: MitsouR Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11871 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 12:42 PM
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There is a very good and thorough discussion of the 10 Commandments on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments

You'll see that the Christians are all over the map as to whether they apply to Christians formally as rules (some say yes - some say no) but all seem to recognize something worthy of attention/respect in the 10 Commandments.



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Author: Silencer2480 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11872 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 1:05 PM
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Two clear possible violations. They don't keep Shabbat, and they have possible problems with idolatry too...

-silencer

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Author: mapletree7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11874 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 2:24 PM
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I once heard a lecture in which the theory was put forward that Saul invented the whole thing. In this theory, the only vision he had on the road to Damascus was the plan he formulated to make Christianity repulsive to Jews. He would become an agent provocateur. He was sent by the Sanhedrin to put a stop to this new sect within Judaism, and with his made up story of a vision and conversion, that's exactly what he did. He told people they could substitute belief in Jesus for observance of mitzvot. By making Christianity a new religion that was incompatible with Torah Judaism, he drove the Jews away from the sect.

I have a rule of thumb: never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence.


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Author: mapletree7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11875 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 2:25 PM
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Yes, that I understand. But they still believe that certain activities are sinful -- adultery and murder, for example.

If you ask me why those things are wrong, I'd say "Because G-d said so." (In other words, morality isn't subjective or subject to a vote. His is the only opinion that counts.)

So the focus of my question was this: Why do Christians believe it's wrong to murder or to commit adultery? What guide to they have to tell them what behavior is permitted and/or desired, and what is prohibited?


Ten Commandments.

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11876 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 2:46 PM
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Why do Christians believe it's wrong to murder or to commit adultery? What guide to they have to tell them what behavior is permitted and/or desired, and what is prohibited?

Ten Commandments.


Not according to the Christians on the Christian Fools board. (Apparently Christians aren't supposed to eat blood, or eat strangled animals -- neither of which is part of the Aseres hadibros.)

You'd think it was a simple question, but it's spawned a 40-plus post thread on the Christian Fools board.

See for yourself: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=24816703

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Author: TVKFool Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11877 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 3:19 PM
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You'd think it was a simple question, but it's spawned a 40-plus post thread on the Christian Fools board.


I think you asked the question in the wrong way on the christian board.

In judaism there are hundreds of these law that govern every aspect of your life. That to me sounds like a manual. Wake up, do A then do B followed by C if this condition exists do D if not do E.
That's a very technical view on it.

Christianity is more of a hippy-like approach if you will. It's about love and acceptance and trying to be a good person as much as possible. They have a son of god, so their goal is to come as close to the ideal of that man as they can.

Imagine religion as trying to paint a picture. Judaism is paint by numbers. Christianity is "here's a picture, copy it".

That's why your reasoning seems somewhat odd to christians. While the core of both religions is the same, the approach to it is very different. You are asking them where the numbers are in their picture..no wonder there is confusion.

-TVK



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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11878 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 3:59 PM
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That's why your reasoning seems somewhat odd to christians.

And vice-versa!

It's about... trying to be a good person as much as possible.

Well, that's what I tried to focus on. How do what know what behavior marks as as a "good person"? Some things seem obvious (don't kill people), some don't. (Most Christians would agree that homosexual sex is immoral, but is that intuitive?)

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Author: Silencer2480 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11879 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 4:06 PM
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Paul/the other gospel writers point out specific things that christians are supposed to do and not do. I think this is what christians are supposed to follow...

-silencer

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Author: TVKFool Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11880 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 4:11 PM
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<That's why your reasoning seems somewhat odd to christians.>

And vice-versa!


of course. The conversation resembles that of a conversation between an engineer and an artist. The engineer wants to know how you determine the exact hue to use, and the artist wants to know why the engeneer would care about such detail when there is such beauty to behold. Neither is wrong, but neither can understand the other.


Well, that's what I tried to focus on. How do what know what behavior marks as as a "good person"?

Jesus.

Judaism has many rabbis trying to interpret the laws of god. As you said previously sometimes those rabbis even contradict each other. Which makes it obvious that the laws are not as clear cut as you would have us believe.

Now christians have Jesus. They have documented his life well and he is their measurement and their rabbi if you will. Should you be rich? No because jesus said you have to share the wealth with the poor and help out your fellow man. Homosexuality? well I don't remember jesus saying anything about it, but I betcha that once Jesus is quiet on the issue they fall back on the old testament. So homosexuality is bad.

However how do you know whether you should wear white after labor day? Whether you should continue going or stop when the green light changes to yellow. Whether you should donate to doctors without borders, or habitat for humanity? See there aren't rules for everything, so you make the judgement call and in the end it either doesn't matter or society in which you live will correct you on your decision based on many unspoken rules and traditions (don't run a yellow light in Wisconsin, but do in NJ or you'll get rearended).

-TVK




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Author: Silencer2480 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11881 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 4:12 PM
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well I don't remember jesus saying anything about it, but I betcha that once Jesus is quiet on the issue they fall back on the old testament. So homosexuality is bad.

Paul is pretty harsh on it too.

silencer

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Author: mapletree7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11882 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 4:15 PM
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Well, that's what I tried to focus on. How do what know what behavior marks as as a "good person"? Some things seem obvious (don't kill people), some don't. (Most Christians would agree that homosexual sex is immoral, but is that intuitive?)

Behavior and whether someone is a 'good person' is irrelevant.

You are either saved, or not saved, and the key is thoughts/feelings, not behavior or action. This is the works/faith distinction.

Many Christians are uneducated about the fine points of the theology, so a discussion with lay people can be confusing.

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Author: mapletree7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11883 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 4:16 PM
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Now christians have Jesus. They have documented his life well and he is their measurement and their rabbi if you will. Should you be rich? No because jesus said you have to share the wealth with the poor and help out your fellow man. Homosexuality? well I don't remember jesus saying anything about it, but I betcha that once Jesus is quiet on the issue they fall back on the old testament. So homosexuality is bad.

And the answers to these questions are so fluid and uncertain that Christianity does indeed come to resemble Judaism with its contradictory rabbis.

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Author: TVKFool Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11884 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 4:18 PM
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Paul is pretty harsh on it too.


My knowledge of christianity while better than judaism is still sorely lacking. But now that you mention it..was he the guy that totally hated women too?

-TVK

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Author: TVKFool Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11885 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 4:25 PM
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You are either saved, or not saved, and the key is thoughts/feelings, not behavior or action. This is the works/faith distinction.


now that you mention it, the seven deadly sins are all thought/feeling and none of them action


Still I do believe that actions in christianity matter. You are not supposed to kill or steal or fornicate or any of those things. However I think you can make up for most if not all of them with proper feeling, namely acceptance of the Lord as your savior, and penatance.



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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11886 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 4:27 PM
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Homosexuality? well I don't remember jesus saying anything about it, but I betcha that once Jesus is quiet on the issue they fall back on the old testament. So homosexuality is bad.

You could substitute "shatnez" for "homosexuality" and the first parts (jesus didn't talk about it, Jewish bible did) still hold true. So why don't they consider shatnez bad?

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11887 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 4:29 PM
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You are either saved, or not saved, and the key is thoughts/feelings, not behavior or action. This is the works/faith distinction.

Are you saying Christians have no concept of sin?

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Author: TVKFool Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11888 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 4:37 PM
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So why don't they consider shatnez bad?


shatnez is what? probably because they considered it inconsequential and irrelevant to being a good person. Kinda like while torah supports slavery and subjugation of females most jews choose to adopt the moral standards of current society on the issue.

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11889 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 4:41 PM
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shatnez is what?
Wikipedia is your friend: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shatnez

probably because they considered it inconsequential and irrelevant to being a good person.

And how do they decide which commandments are inconsequential?

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Author: elann Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11891 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 5:51 PM
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And how do they decide which commandments are inconsequential?

Just like you decide if the sun ever rose in the west. :-)

Elan

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Author: mapletree7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11893 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 6:29 PM
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Still I do believe that actions in christianity matter. You are not supposed to kill or steal or fornicate or any of those things. However I think you can make up for most if not all of them with proper feeling, namely acceptance of the Lord as your savior, and penatance.


Does behavior matter? Yes. Does your behavior determine whether you will get into heaven? No. On the other hand, if you are saved and uh, stuff, then you obviously don't go around murdering people.

This is a distinction that is sufficinetly fine lined to have caused major church schisms, and you will find differing perspectives, but they basically boil down to the above.

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Author: mapletree7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11894 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 6:39 PM
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You could substitute "shatnez" for "homosexuality" and the first parts (jesus didn't talk about it, Jewish bible did) still hold true. So why don't they consider shatnez bad?


Christians interpret certain verses in the new testament to mean that Mosaic Law is no longer necessary. The phrase that is used is that it has been 'fulfilled'. Matthew 5:17, Romans 10:4, Romans 6:14, Galatians 2:16-19. The first is a quote from Jesus - the next three are from Paul's letters. Remember that these writings are part of their canon.

Homosexuality is considered bad because it is adultery and also because it was condemned by Paul in Romans 1.

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Author: mapletree7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11895 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 6:41 PM
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You are either saved, or not saved, and the key is thoughts/feelings, not behavior or action. This is the works/faith distinction.

Are you saying Christians have no concept of sin?


On the contrary. Sin is everywhere, and it is out to get you. That is, it got you a long time ago.

Everybody's a sinner and pretending that one sin (or sinner) is greater/lesser than another is to arrogate to oneself the divine right of judgement.



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Author: mapletree7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11896 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 6:44 PM
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shatnez is what? probably because they considered it inconsequential and irrelevant to being a good person. Kinda like while torah supports slavery and subjugation of females most jews choose to adopt the moral standards of current society on the issue.


NO!

In considering the theology of Christianity you must remove the phrase 'good person' from your vocabulary. It doesn't matter whether you are a good person. Lots of good people go to hell because they don't have faith in Jesus. Conversely it is theologically accurate to suppose that a 'bad person' could have a sincere deathbed conversion and go to heaven.



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Author: mapletree7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11897 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 6:48 PM
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And how do they decide which commandments are inconsequential?


By the way, the food laws were neutralized by a specific pronouncement of Jesus, which is only one of several verses (some I referenced earlier) which is used to justify the disregard by Christian gentiles of the Mosiac law.

"Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this. Jesus declared all foods "clean.") Mark 7:18-20 NIV

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Author: mapicsman One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11900 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 8:41 PM
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And how do they decide which commandments are inconsequential?

If you ask the man on the street (or in the pew) how he descides which commandments are inconsequential, you will get many different answers. But Saul/Paul wrote to his disciple Timothy that "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" The only scripture that existed at the time that Paul wrote this was the Tanach.

Yeshua is quoted in the Book of John - "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him."

I think it is pretty clear He is referring to the Torah, but that still doesn't explain how most Christians decide which commandments are inconsequential. I believe for some it comes down to "feelings" and the source material is ignored.

Quotes from the NASB






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Author: greystarfish Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11902 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/14/2006 10:16 PM
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Mapletree7, "You are either saved, or not saved, and the key is thoughts/feelings, not behavior or action. This is the works/faith distinction.

Are you saying Christians have no concept of sin?

On the contrary. Sin is everywhere, and it is out to get you. That is, it got you a long time ago.

Everybody's a sinner and pretending that one sin (or sinner) is greater/lesser than another is to arrogate to oneself the divine right of judgement."

I am a Christian and I would like to add to your post. Romans 3:23. The link is at http://www.htmlbible.com/kjv30/B45C003.htm ,if you would like to read the entire chapter. 23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Teresa



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Author: TVKFool Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11903 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/15/2006 9:13 AM
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In considering the theology of Christianity you must remove the phrase 'good person' from your vocabulary. It doesn't matter whether you are a good person. Lots of good people go to hell because they don't have faith in Jesus.

well what I mean is that good person = as close to the image of christ as possible, with all appropriate faith in him of course.



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Author: TVKFool Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11905 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/15/2006 9:25 AM
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Have you ever considered the possibility that since for example christianity has no set laws to proclaim what is good and what is bad, and that since judaism changes their over time to encompass and even contradict torah on occasion, and that so many religions have the same basic tenants (be respectful and do no harm) that maybe just maybe, ethics and morality don't come from religion, but rather they take the pre-existing set of norms which are then put into religion for people to follow?

What I'm trying to say, is that I think things such as good and bad are inborn in us or they are taught to us by our peers. What is bad for societies survival is bad for society, therefore is bad for you. If people killed everyone then the tribe wouldn't survive, if they stole everything they wouldn't be very cohesive and would devolve into a fistfight or worse. While some others things like sexuality and family are probably nature based. Humans are generally monogomous. The men have the biological imperative to protect their young, but first they have to know the young one is theirs, so out of that stems the no cheating clause.

Maybe christians don't need a set of rules, maybe they already have one from outside of religion and they follow those while keeping in mind that Jesus is their lord and savior.



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Author: MitsouR Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11907 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/15/2006 9:35 AM
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I don't know. I thought Hellfire and Brimstone preachers were all about right and wrong - what to do and what not to do. I don't know if it's all scripturally based and I know the disagreements among various denominations are legion but the "hippie view" of how Christianity is is not what I really see here in South Carolina. Or what I used to see when I lived around more Catholics.

Seems like both have pretty strict codes - if they choose to adhere to them - though of course no religion that I know of has so many rules about every picayune aspect of life as Judaism.





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Author: TVKFool Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11912 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/15/2006 10:18 AM
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I don't know. I thought Hellfire and Brimstone preachers were all about right and wrong - what to do and what not to do. I don't know if it's all scripturally based and I know the disagreements among various denominations are legion but the "hippie view" of how Christianity is is not what I really see here in South Carolina. Or what I used to see when I lived around more Catholics.

Well I think christianity has split into many different denominations with different view. I talked to a guy not too long ago that told me that whether I go to heaven or hell is predetermined at birth, and that it's that predetermination that influences my actions and makes me a good or a bad person.
That to me is nothing like what I read in the bible, but a large chunk of people believe it nonetheless.

Atonement though is a big part of christianity (judaism too i think) so you can make up for your sins..at least in catholicsm.

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Author: greystarfish Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11914 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/15/2006 11:39 AM
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TVKFool, "Well I think christianity has split into many different denominations with different view. I talked to a guy not too long ago that told me that whether I go to heaven or hell is predetermined at birth, and that it's that predetermination that influences my actions and makes me a good or a bad person.
That to me is nothing like what I read in the bible, but a large chunk of people believe it nonetheless."
It sounds like that man believes in Calvinistic Predestination. See http://www.preterism-eschatology.com/Scriptural%20Refutation%20Of%20Unconditional%20Election.htm .I DO NOT believe in Calvinistic Predestination. God gives people, the right to accept or reject him. Teresa

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Author: greystarfish Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11915 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/15/2006 11:45 AM
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TVKFool, "Have you ever considered the possibility that since for example christianity has no set laws to proclaim what is good and what is bad, and that since judaism changes their over time to encompass and even contradict torah on occasion, and that so many religions have the same basic tenants (be respectful and do no harm) that maybe just maybe, ethics and morality don't come from religion, but rather they take the pre-existing set of norms which are then put into religion for people to follow?

What I'm trying to say, is that I think things such as good and bad are inborn in us or they are taught to us by our peers. What is bad for societies survival is bad for society, therefore is bad for you. If people killed everyone then the tribe wouldn't survive, if they stole everything they wouldn't be very cohesive and would devolve into a fistfight or worse. While some others things like sexuality and family are probably nature based. Humans are generally monogomous. The men have the biological imperative to protect their young, but first they have to know the young one is theirs, so out of that stems the no cheating clause.

Maybe christians don't need a set of rules, maybe they already have one from outside of religion and they follow those while keeping in mind that Jesus is their lord and savior." Read my posts at http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=24821838 and http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=24824568 .Paul talks about sin. Teresa

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Author: mapletree7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11916 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/15/2006 11:51 AM
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Well I think christianity has split into many different denominations with different view. I talked to a guy not too long ago that told me that whether I go to heaven or hell is predetermined at birth, and that it's that predetermination that influences my actions and makes me a good or a bad person.
That to me is nothing like what I read in the bible, but a large chunk of people believe it nonetheless.


This is the TULIP doctrine, which is the foundation of Calvinism.
Total Depravity
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement
Irresistable grace
Perseverance of the saints

It's what you get when you take original sin to the extreme and remove free will from the equation.

This is a good place to start.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Depravity
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_points_of_Calvinism

Atonement though is a big part of christianity (judaism too i think) so you can make up for your sins..at least in catholicsm.

Atonement (actions you take to ameliorate your sin) is the outside manifestation of repentence. Repentence is still the key to attaining forgiveness. If you are sincerely repentent, then you atone.

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Author: greystarfish Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11924 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/15/2006 10:55 PM
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Silencer, "Two clear possible violations. They don't keep Shabbat, and they have possible problems with idolatry too..."

Christians believe in the Trinity. God: the Father, the Son: Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity and http://www.catholic.com/library/Trinity.asp .Loving God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is not idolatry. I thank God for sending Jesus to Earth and his dying on the cross. I am Church of Christ. We believe that the Law of Moses was nailed at the cross. Colossians, Chapter 2 is at http://www.htmlbible.com/kjv30/B51C002.htm ."14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."
"What Happened at the Cross?" is at http://www.bible.ca/ef/topical-what-happened-at-the-cross.htm .We worship on Sunday, because that is when we take the Lord's Supper. 1st Corinthians, Chapter 11 is at http://www.htmlbible.com/kjv30/B46C011.htm ."23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
took Matt 26:26

24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
cup Matt 26:27
new testament Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20, 2nd Cor 3:6, Heb 9:15

26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
come Acts 1:11, Rev 1:7

27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
eat John 6:51

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
examine Gal 6:4

29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
damnation Romans 13:2"
"Eucharist" is at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord's_Supper ."Last Supper" is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Supper .Teresa

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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11925 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/15/2006 11:43 PM
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Steven,

Thank you for your invitation to Jewish & Foolish and for initiating two facinating threads.

One reason why the spiritual dialog that you opened over on CF was a little frustrating has been touched on here. Jews and Christians use different paradigms.

If I have understood you correctly, the Jewish model is the Law - the commandments (I won't insult you by pretending to use the Hebrew. Be patient with me, I'll catch on.) A Jew chooses how to live by asking "What does the law require, permit, or forbid?"

The Christian model is the life of Jesus himself. The slogan is ubiquitous and annoying, but also fundamentally accurate: a Christian makes choices based on the question, "What would Jesus do?"

This "immitation of Christ" is an integral part of my religion because the scripture portrays Jesus as having made it a command.

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13: 34-35)

I think it is this passage to which he is referring when in chapter 14 he says "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."

I decide what to do or not to do by immitating Jesus' love for people to the best of my ability. I resist adultery for example, not only because of the commandment against it, but also because I cannot reconcile betraying my wife with immitating the love Christ has for her.

Does that make any sense, or am I just muddying the waters again?

Peace,
b

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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11926 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/15/2006 11:50 PM
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once Jesus is quiet on the issue they fall back on the old testament

That is certainly one conservative approach, (and probably the historically dominant one.)

A more liberal Christian theology might deal with Jesus' silence by hypothesis - "Since Jesus is silent on the subject of Slavery for example, what position would be consistent with the rest of his life and ministry?"

Peace,
bob

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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11927 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/15/2006 11:56 PM
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You are either saved, or not saved, and the key is thoughts/feelings, not behavior or action. This is the works/faith distinction.

This is a popular, but I think scripturally unsound precept.

Historic church controversies notwithstanding, the balance of faith and works is an integral part of Jesus' life and ministry. One is spiritually irrelevant without the other.

Peace,
b

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Author: mapletree7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11930 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/16/2006 1:35 AM
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Two clear possible violations. They don't keep Shabbat, and they have possible problems with idolatry too...

Correct. The Sabbath is, of course, Saturday. Christians typically observe Sunday as 'the Lord's Day' in place of the Sabbath, and the historical niceties have been lost.

Idolatry (in the sense of making images) was forbidden until around the 6th century BCE, when it became permissable in the Eastern Church to use images to facilitate worship (see John of Damascus).

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Author: mapletree7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11931 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/16/2006 1:40 AM
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The Christian model is the life of Jesus himself. The slogan is ubiquitous and annoying, but also fundamentally accurate: a Christian makes choices based on the question, "What would Jesus do?"

This "immitation of Christ" is an integral part of my religion because the scripture portrays Jesus as having made it a command.

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13: 34-35)

I think it is this passage to which he is referring when in chapter 14 he says "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."

I decide what to do or not to do by immitating Jesus' love for people to the best of my ability. I resist adultery for example, not only because of the commandment against it, but also because I cannot reconcile betraying my wife with immitating the love Christ has for her.

Does that make any sense, or am I just muddying the waters again?


It's nice, but it doesn't actually make sense. Very few Christians actually model themselves after Jesus. Jesus was a political agitator who wandered Judea with few possessions advocating open rebellion. Jesus sometimes did odd and violent things.

The 'WWJD' craze is both weird (in that people who invoke it often seem to have very little idea of the behavior Jesus engaged in) and theologically suspect.

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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11935 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/16/2006 8:02 AM
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Jesus was a political agitator who wandered Judea with few possessions advocating open rebellion

mapletree7

I agree with you about Jesus' wandering and poverty, but can you help me understand what you mean by saying he was a political agitator and an advocate of open rebellion?

I also agree with you on the weirdness of the WWJD "craze". I think all spiritual fads deserve theological scepticism. The fact that this particular marketing campaign was based on a fundamental principle of Christianity doesn't exclude the possibility that it was also used as a cynical way to sell "Jesus wear".

Peace,
b

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Author: Silencer2480 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11936 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/16/2006 8:15 AM
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I was speaking more to statues in catholic churches and the dualistic idea that the 'devil' has independent power and can actively oppose God

-silencer

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11941 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/16/2006 10:37 AM
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The Christian model is the life of Jesus himself... a Christian makes choices based on the question, "What would Jesus do?"
[ ... ]
Does that make any sense... ?


Yes, thank you. That helps.

Allow me to take this a step farther:
To emulate the behavior of Jesus, you have to know how he behaved -- what were his guiding moral principals. Lacking a formal, codified explanation of his principals, you rely on a (partly-oral) tradition that is past down to you from people who have been Christians longer than you have -- including your parents, teachers, and religious leaders. This tradition teaches you how to live a moral life consistent with the moral values of Jesus.

Have I hit the nail on the head? Struck a glancing blow? Hit my thumb?

I resist adultery ... betraying my wife...
If I may change the topic for a moment: you may be interested to learn that the word "adultery" (as used in the Bible) is interpreted by Jews to refer only to extramarital affairs involving a married woman. A married man who had relations outside his marriage was not considered an adulterer if the woman involved was unmarried. So the men in the bible who had both a wife (or wives) and a concubine(s) were not adulterers.

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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11942 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/16/2006 11:46 AM
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This tradition teaches you how to live a moral life consistent with the moral values of Jesus. Have I hit the nail on the head? Struck a glancing blow? Hit my thumb?

You have hit one of three nails square on the head. I'd say your thumb is fine.

Anglican (episcopalian) tradition uses the image of a three-legged milking stool to describe christian life. (a milking stool has three legs, but one is longer so... you get the picture.)

The two short legs are Tradition and Reason. The long leg is scripture. The idea is that we are guided by the things passed down to us as you have described and by our own reason. Ulimately, scripture (both Hebrew and Christian) has authority over the other two. In theory, this approach should prevent choices that don't jive with scripture. In practice, well... there is a reason they call it "practice."

The adultry thing is facinating. I'll suggest it to Mrs Pennsy and see how it flies.

Peace,
b

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11943 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/16/2006 12:14 PM
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The adultry thing is facinating. I'll suggest it to Mrs Pennsy and see how it flies.

It was nice knowing you.

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Author: elann Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11945 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/16/2006 12:44 PM
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If I may change the topic for a moment: you may be interested to learn that the word "adultery" (as used in the Bible) is interpreted by Jews to refer only to extramarital affairs involving a married woman. A married man who had relations outside his marriage was not considered an adulterer if the woman involved was unmarried.

Which is the epitome of sexism.

Elan

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Author: mapletree7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11946 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/16/2006 12:59 PM
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I agree with you about Jesus' wandering and poverty, but can you help me understand what you mean by saying he was a political agitator and an advocate of open rebellion?


Judea was an unstable and dangerous place. There were religious prophets roaming the desert (like John and Jesus) preaching to large crowds of people. The Zealots were an increasing movement openly advocating the overthrow of roman-supported rulers. In 39 revolution was narrowly averted when Caligula declared himself a god and ordered that his statue be set up in the temple (his death ended the crisis). Only thirty years after Jesus' death, in 66, there was an open revolt that resulted in the desatruction of the Temple.

Jesus claimed to be King of the Jews. That's why he was executed - for sedition. He disrupted the Temple, which was the seat of power for the local government.

When his message is looked at in context of the land re-distribution rules of the Torah (leviticus 25 - Jubilee), abandoned under Roman rule, statements like 'the meek shall inherit the earth' become much more specific and threatening.

It's quite clear from his words and from the words of his followers that he expected to establish a literal Kingdom of God on Earth (in their lifetimes).

This kind of thing is threatening to foreign rulers who had been expelled from Judea for 100 years under the Maccabees and had only been in power there again for about 90 years.

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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11948 of 22660
Subject: Re: Saul/Paul, & the invention of Christianity Date: 11/16/2006 2:01 PM
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mapletree7,

I understand your position much better now. Thank you.

Now can you explain why you need to dump so many leaves in my yard?

Peace,
b

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