Figuring Out Religion

Other discussions not related to the Permanent Portfolio

Moderator: Global Moderator

User avatar
Desert
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 3488
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:39 pm

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Desert » Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:26 pm

I just ran across this article, describing a mega church in my area. I've visited this place a couple times to hear some visiting speakers, but I have never considered attending regularly. Still, I found this article interesting.

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/arti ... ltiethnic/
User avatar
Xan
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 1905
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:51 pm

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Xan » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:49 pm

Desert wrote:I just read through John again, and I don't see anything that even resembles anti semitism. I do see a lot of negativity directed at the self-righteous, the decent right wing religious folks of their time, the pharisees. But it's hard to twist anti-semitism into the NT, particularly given the fact that Jesus was a Jew, as were the majority of the authors of the NT. But I suppose if I hated Jews and went looking for support, I could wring something out to satisfy my existing bias.
I had assumed that the declaration "salvation is of the Jews" was from Matthew, but no, it's from John. Hardly anti-Semitic. And Matthew has this exchange:
And a Canaanite woman from that region came to Him, crying out, Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is miserably possessed by a demon.” But Jesus did not answer a word. So His disciples came and urged Him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. But Jesus replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” “O woman,” Jesus answered, “your faith is great! Let it be done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Jesus was sent only to the house of Israel. The Hebrews are the children and everyone else are the dogs. Racism against the Jews I tells ya!
User avatar
Xan
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 1905
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:51 pm

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Xan » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:51 pm

farjean2 wrote:
Desert wrote:Here's an article on Luther that I read recently, and seems appropriate to put here on this day, and in this current period in our country:

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/arti ... sh-problem
Glad to see a Christian acknowledge the dark side of Luther. I don't believe it's a stretch to say he bears a lot of responsibility for the holocaust.

I would also suggest you turn the same honest spotlight on some other antisemitic writings from which Luther drew his inspiration - namely the gospels.
For what it's worth, the LCMS has an official resolution on this matter:
WHEREAS, Anti-Semitism and other forms of racism are a continuing problem in our world; and

WHEREAS, Some of Luther's intemperate remarks about the Jews are often cited in this connection; and

WHEREAS, It is widely but falsely assumed that Luther's personal writings and opinions have some official status among us (thus, sometimes implying the responsibility of contemporary Lutheranism for those statements, if not complicity in them); but also

WHEREAS, It is plain from Scripture that the Gospel must be proclaimed to all people — that is, to Jews also, no more and no less than to others (Matt. 28:18-20); and

WHEREAS, This Scriptural mandate is sometimes confused with anti-Semitism; therefore be it

Resolved, That we condemn any and all discrimination against others on account of race or religion or any coercion on that account and pledge ourselves to work and witness against such sins; and be it further

Resolved, That we reaffirm that the bases of our doctrine and practice are the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions and not Luther, as such; and be it further

Resolved, That while, on the one hand, we are deeply indebted to Luther for his rediscovery and enunciation of the Gospel, on the other hand, we deplore and disassociate ourselves from Luther's negative statements about the Jewish people, and, by the same token, we deplore the use today of such sentiments by Luther to incite anti-Christian and/or anti-Lutheran sentiment; and be it further

Resolved, That in our teaching and preaching we take care not to confuse the religion of the Old Testament (often labeled "Yahwism") with the subsequent Judaism, nor misleadingly speak about "Jews" in the Old Testament ("Israelites" or "Hebrews" being much more accurate terms), lest we obscure the basic claim of the New Testament and of the Gospel to being in substantial continuity with the Old Testament and that the fulfillment of the ancient promises came in Jesus Christ; and be it further

Resolved, That we avoid the recurring pitfall of recrimination (as illustrated by the remarks of Luther and many of the early church fathers) against those who do not respond positively to our evangelistic efforts; and be it finally

Resolved, That, in that light, we personally and individually adopt Luther's final attitude toward the Jewish people, as evidenced in his last sermon: "We want to treat them with Christian love and to pray for them, so that they might become converted and would receive the Lord" (Weimar edition, Vol. 51, p. 195).
User avatar
Desert
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 3488
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:39 pm

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Desert » Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:24 pm

God employs the weak to carry out his mission, not the strong. Nietzsche hated this, rightly given his belief system. The exaltation of weakness sickened Nietzsche ... he wanted the uberman to be glorified, not the weak. Nazi beliefs were based on his philosophy. Nietzsche got so much right: the foremost drive of every living organisms isn't survival, it's power. His Will to Power philosophy is so well described and so correct. And it goes back to the Garden of Eden. Adam didn't grab that peach to satisfy a physical hunger; he wanted to be equal to God.
User avatar
Maddy
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 673
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:43 am

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Maddy » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:24 am

It's hard to deny that the quest for power dominates most human interactions. However, my own observation throughout a lifetime of watching and analyzing people suggests that the motivation behind the urge to acquire power usually has less to do with the desire to become Godlike (the biblical take) than to compensate for deeply ingrained feelings of inadequacy and shame. The term "classical narcissism," as used in psychoanalytic circles, describes this phenomenon in which a very fragile, "puffed up" ego structure conceals a fairly constant battle with feelings of worthlessness and powerlessness . I have worked closely in the trenches with a number of very "powerful" people who, within the privacy of a trusted relationship, resemble wounded little children in their need for constant affection and affirmation.

In this sense, I think that mainstream religion once again has it all wrong when it focuses on the "God complex" as the root of all evil.
farjean2
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:51 am

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by farjean2 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:29 am

Desert wrote:I just read through John again, and I don't see anything that even resembles anti semitism. I do see a lot of negativity directed at the self-righteous, the decent right wing religious folks of their time, the pharisees. But it's hard to twist anti-semitism into the NT, particularly given the fact that Jesus was a Jew, as were the majority of the authors of the NT. But I suppose if I hated Jews and went looking for support, I could wring something out to satisfy my existing bias.
Like I said above, it's doubtful that you would see it because you aren't looking for it. Here's a paragraph from a Wiki page on the subject....
The Gospel of John has long provided anti-Semites with grist for their mill.[28] There are 31 instances where the gospel uses the word Ἰουδαῖοι, the Jews in a hostile sense,[29] among the 63 uses[30] of the word in this gospel,[31] and all Jewish groups are lumped together, with no distinctions made between them. The Sadducees, prominent elsewhere, disappear.[32] The enemies of Jesus are described collectively as "the Jews", in contradistinction to the other evangelists, who do not generally[33] ascribe to "the Jews" en masse calls for the death of Jesus. In the other 3 texts, the plot to put him to death is always presented as coming from a small group of priests and rulers, the Sadducees.[31][34] John's gospel is thus the primary source of the image of "the Jews" acting collectively as the enemy of Jesus, which later became fixed in Christian minds
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemit ... _Testament

Also interesting that this is the latest of the 4 gospels, written between 80 and 90 A.D. Not only does it present a different picture of Jesus than the other three gospels but also the Jews.
Last edited by farjean2 on Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Michellebell
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:27 pm

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Michellebell » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:33 am

farjean2 wrote:
Desert wrote:I just read through John again, and I don't see anything that even resembles anti semitism. I do see a lot of negativity directed at the self-righteous, the decent right wing religious folks of their time, the pharisees. But it's hard to twist anti-semitism into the NT, particularly given the fact that Jesus was a Jew, as were the majority of the authors of the NT. But I suppose if I hated Jews and went looking for support, I could wring something out to satisfy my existing bias.
Like I said above, it's doubtful that you would see it because you aren't looking for it. Here's a paragraph from a Wiki page on the subject....
The Gospel of John has long provided anti-Semites with grist for their mill.[28] There are 31 instances where the gospel uses the word Ἰουδαῖοι, the Jews in a hostile sense,[29] among the 63 uses[30] of the word in this gospel,[31] and all Jewish groups are lumped together, with no distinctions made between them. The Sadducees, prominent elsewhere, disappear.[32] The enemies of Jesus are described collectively as "the Jews", in contradistinction to the other evangelists, who do not generally[33] ascribe to "the Jews" en masse calls for the death of Jesus. In the other 3 texts, the plot to put him to death is always presented as coming from a small group of priests and rulers, the Sadducees.[31][34] John's gospel is thus the primary source of the image of "the Jews" acting collectively as the enemy of Jesus, which later became fixed in Christian minds
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemit ... _Testament
I never noticed any anti-semitism either. Really I'd say there was the opposite message - No Jew or gentile, just everyone in Christ, right? according to the writings of Paul

Jesus was critical of the religious leaders, who were Jewish, but not because they were Jewish but because they were hypocrites. He observed the Sabbath himself and considered himself a Jew.
farjean2
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:51 am

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by farjean2 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:43 am

Michellebell wrote:I never noticed any anti-semitism either. Really I'd say there was the opposite message - No Jew or gentile, just everyone in Christ, right? according to the writings of Paul
I just added a note to my previous post about how it is interesting that the gospel of John depicts not only a different picture of Jesus than the other three but also of "The Jews". It is believed to be the last gospel written, somewhere between 80 and 90 AD so Christianity has been alive for some 50 to 60 years already and Jerusalem fell to the Romans 10 to 20 years prior in 70 AD - a judgment many Christians believed was due to their rejection of Christ (and many still do believe this).

(I'm not a Jew, BTW).

As for Paul, sometimes I have a hard time getting my head around the idea that Paul got his theology from the same Jesus that we see in the gospels.
User avatar
Maddy
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 673
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:43 am

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Maddy » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:56 am

farjean2 wrote: As for Paul, sometimes I have a hard time getting my head around the idea that Paul got his theology from the same Jesus that we see in the gospels.
You can say that again.

By the way, he didn't (get his theology from Jesus). Paul never met the historic Jesus and went on record as stating that he had no need to learn about Jesus from those who did know him. His inspiration came entirely from a "revelation" that he alone experienced.
User avatar
Mountaineer
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 3600
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:54 am

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:23 pm

Maddy wrote:
farjean2 wrote: As for Paul, sometimes I have a hard time getting my head around the idea that Paul got his theology from the same Jesus that we see in the gospels.
You can say that again.

By the way, he didn't (get his theology from Jesus). Paul never met the historic Jesus and went on record as stating that he had no need to learn about Jesus from those who did know him. His inspiration came entirely from a "revelation" that he alone experienced.
“And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And he said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do." The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:4-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬
Everyone is discontent. Anyone who says otherwise is likely selling something. That's why we have online shopping and commercials and fly swatters: the discontents sell them to other discontents in order to try to make contentment. It works. Sometimes. For a while. The pursuit of happiness is endless. It is very slowly killing you. Happiness is the final idol.
User avatar
Maddy
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 673
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:43 am

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Maddy » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:04 pm

Mountaineer wrote:
Maddy wrote:
farjean2 wrote: As for Paul, sometimes I have a hard time getting my head around the idea that Paul got his theology from the same Jesus that we see in the gospels.
You can say that again.

By the way, he didn't (get his theology from Jesus). Paul never met the historic Jesus and went on record as stating that he had no need to learn about Jesus from those who did know him. His inspiration came entirely from a "revelation" that he alone experienced.
“And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And he said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do." The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:4-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬
Other accounts say that the witnesses saw the flash but heard no voice. I guess that's a mistake anybody could make.
farjean2
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:51 am

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by farjean2 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:10 pm

Maddy wrote:
farjean2 wrote: As for Paul, sometimes I have a hard time getting my head around the idea that Paul got his theology from the same Jesus that we see in the gospels.
You can say that again.

By the way, he didn't (get his theology from Jesus). Paul never met the historic Jesus and went on record as stating that he had no need to learn about Jesus from those who did know him. His inspiration came entirely from a "revelation" that he alone experienced.
And this is the basic fodder for the "Christ Myth" theory. That it was indeed "another Jesus" from whom Paul got his revelation. Interestingly, Paul warns about those who preach "another Jesus" so obviously it must have been happening. Wouldn't it be interesting to have some record of the other Jesuses that were being preached so we could compare them?
Post Reply