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Old 11-05-2012, 12:52 PM   #11
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Default A Commentary

Since the question(s) have not been really answered, I thought I might mention a couple of things even if the question is a little vauge.

Is there a "prediction" of the destruction of the world in the Bible? The closest one seems to be at Zephania 1:18 (NIV) "...the day of the LORD's wrath. In the fire of his jealousy the whole world will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth." (It's always important to understand that the Hebrew word for "earth" and "land" is one in the same and is far from the "perfect language").

And reading from 1:2-3 to verse 17, we get the idea that this catacylism is not the result of a natural order but of the Hebrew idea of "sin" which seems to be a recurring theme of Hebrew priestly literature.

Let's move to Psalm 46:6 "... the earth melts." Amos 9:5 "The Lord, the LORD almighty, he who touches the earth and it melts, and all who live in it mourn." Zephania 3:8 is the same thing, "...The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger."

Jesus said he has come to cast fire on the earth. (Luke 12:49; 17:30) And lastly we come to Revelation 8:7, where we would expect the full prophetic force would be be revealed but alas it says only that only 1/3rd of the earth will be burned-whatever symbolism is in that.

It should go without saying that Jehovah's Witnesses have no belief in an crispy end to the earth citing such passages as Ecclesiastes 1:4 'the earh abitheth forever' as literal. Which is in contrast to such sentiments as expressed by Psalms 102:26, in which the earth and heavens will eventually wear out.

Now indeed, as the Helium builds up in our sun-natural scientists say it will then result in a nova engulfing our planet. So what then becomes of man, all life, and his works?

Science-fiction writers like to think of man continuing to evolve along the lines of some kind of higher form of super-being as depicted in "The Sixth Finger" from "Outer Limits", "Star Trek". George Pal too is similar to Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" implying that man could build space ships to other stars, but there is absolutely no proof that they will find any suitable habitation when they get there. I might point out that this is entirely the wrong view of evolution. Other scientists say that a frozen "entropy" will overtake the universe. However Sagan too raises the possibility that gravity will pull the universe back to the start of another "big bang". Who knows?

For those who don't accept an "afterlife", the end of the universe is beyond conprehension anyway. Then it could be argued that there could be a "spiritual" universe beyond the sphere of the material. But it can neither be proved or disproved.

The SECOND question which was asked was about "Justice & Jesus or Christianity".

The name of "justice" is taken from the Roman goddess "Justitia", which she had similarities to her (mother) goodess Themis or Greek Dike.

The point being that even the ancients would turn to the supernatural when they felt mistreated or oppressed. Laws were early dependant upon the tribal unit or chief and eventually were written down to be enforced as the Code of Hammurabi (given as 1772 B.C.), precedent to Moses.

A pragmatic Christian application might be the use of the 23rd or 43rd Psalms and then Jesus himself at Matthew 5:39=Luke 6:29 about 'turning the other cheek'.

Last edited by Morbidus; 11-05-2012 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:26 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by pgh69 View Post
IMO, the most convincing evidence that Jesus - the MAN, not the GOD - existed is that there were numerous converts to Christianity during a time when people of his generation were still alive. In other words, people who lived in Judea were converting to Christianity w/in 15-30 years of his death. Though these people certainly didn't know if he was the Son of God, they would have, presumbably, known whether or not such a person existed. If the first converts had appeared 100 years after Christ, I think it would be debatable whether or not such a man ever lived. But, since the converts appeared relatively quickly after his death, I think that's pretty good evidence that such a person really did exist. Now, the issues of whether he was the Son of God and whether he did all of the things attributed to him are a completely different matter.
Hi PGH:
If the point of Jesus was just his history, presence and actions as a spiritual teacher, there would be no big deal to be made about him versus any other spiritual being who has had great lasting impact on humanity for generations, such as Buddha or Jefferson or Einstein.

The issue I am interested in is what QUALITY or FUNCTION/PURPOSE does Jesus represent that CAN qualify as so IMPORTANT and Universal for all humanity. What does Jesus represent that WOULD be necessary for salvation/spiritual peace for all people over all time?

So that is why I look at what it will take to reach "agreement in Christ" / or by conscience, among all people, in order to establish Justice.

Clearly not the violent kind of retributive justice (like the wars and talk of war warned against in the Bible) because that is the opposite of peace.

What does it take to establish justice with mercy, "peace and justice" or "restorative Justice" in all relations to save humanity from suffering and war?

That is what true faith in Jesus would have to bring in order to fulfill such a role.
So this has to be on some divine global scale that embraces, affects and includes all humanity. It cannot be just his physical human history and role, because not all people relate to that. What does Jesus' sacrifice/redemption represent on a collective scale, that would affect the entire human process, and change our history from our tragic past (as recorded in the OT) to a perfect Kingdom of God and heavenly peace on earth as the NT teachings of rebirth.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:40 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Wallis View Post
If one follows the philosophy of Christ, Justice has nothing to do with it. In fact, in 99% of the time, the opposite effect occurs. And if you truly read those books you sent me, you would understand what I am talking about.

In following the philosophy of the Christ, justice disappears and acceptance becomes universal.
1. Restorative Justice is universal; the idea of including all people in "equal justice" or protection under the laws.

2. Where Justice plays in the process, is learning that we get back what we give.

So if we live by retributive justice, by judging/rejecting/punishing others, then we get the same treatment back.

If we live by restorative justice, mutual forgiveness and correction, then we receive the same graces.

So once we "accept" these laws of justice as universal, and quit blaming others for what we are equally responsible for bringing onto ourselves, there can be peace. There can be equal inclusion of all people instead of these games of divide and conquer, deny and project blame, competing to bully and backbite.

Wallis, I think this shows again, that you and I both aspire to the same higher levels of truth and universal inclusion/acceptance. But we talk about it in different ways, to the point you think I am saying the opposite of what you believe.

The only place where I find disagreement with you is when you condemn Sapphire for things you yourself appear to be doing, too, which is judging and excluding people because you think they are wrong and cannot be corrected.
You talk about loving acceptance, but when it comes to people you peg as fundamentalists, suddenly that rule does not apply to you. I believe when we resolve conflicts like that, this issue with Sapphire will also take care of itself.

The conflict you express is not unlike the same one you point out contradicts the real Christian message if the God in the Bible is to make any sense at all.

Perhaps you and I agree on concepts, of God being all inclusive, but our words betray us, and the way I say it comes across to you as saying the opposite.

I hope we can stick to the meanings we agree on, and somehow untangle whatever is causing our words or wires to get crossed. Thank you, Wallis!
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:58 AM   #14
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(1)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbidus View Post
Since the question(s) have not been really answered, I thought I might mention a couple of things even if the question is a little vauge.

Is there a "prediction" of the destruction of the world in the Bible? The closest one seems to be at Zephania 1:18 (NIV) "...the day of the LORD's wrath. In the fire of his jealousy the whole world will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth." (It's always important to understand that the Hebrew word for "earth" and "land" is one in the same and is far from the "perfect language").

And reading from 1:2-3 to verse 17, we get the idea that this catacylism is not the result of a natural order but of the Hebrew idea of "sin" which seems to be a recurring theme of Hebrew priestly literature.

Let's move to Psalm 46:6 "... the earth melts." Amos 9:5 "The Lord, the LORD almighty, he who touches the earth and it melts, and all who live in it mourn." Zephania 3:8 is the same thing, "...The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger."

Jesus said he has come to cast fire on the earth. (Luke 12:49; 17:30) And lastly we come to Revelation 8:7, where we would expect the full prophetic force would be be revealed but alas it says only that only 1/3rd of the earth will be burned-whatever symbolism is in that.

It should go without saying that Jehovah's Witnesses have no belief in an crispy end to the earth citing such passages as Ecclesiastes 1:4 'the earh abitheth forever' as literal. Which is in contrast to such sentiments as expressed by Psalms 102:26, in which the earth and heavens will eventually wear out.

Now indeed, as the Helium builds up in our sun-natural scientists say it will then result in a nova engulfing our planet. So what then becomes of man, all life, and his works?

Science-fiction writers like to think of man continuing to evolve along the lines of some kind of higher form of super-being as depicted in "The Sixth Finger" from "Outer Limits", "Star Trek". George Pal too is similar to Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" implying that man could build space ships to other stars, but there is absolutely no proof that they will find any suitable habitation when they get there. I might point out that this is entirely the wrong view of evolution. Other scientists say that a frozen "entropy" will overtake the universe. However Sagan too raises the possibility that gravity will pull the universe back to the start of another "big bang". Who knows?

For those who don't accept an "afterlife", the end of the universe is beyond conprehension anyway. Then it could be argued that there could be a "spiritual" universe beyond the sphere of the material. But it can neither be proved or disproved.
Dear Morbidus:
RE: (1a) The Bible does mention that "heaven and earth may pass away" but the Word of God shall remain. This means the universal laws or truth will always be what it is, regardless what happens to our physical world.

(1b) I am more concerned with how to make the most of relations and resources "in this lifetime." I believe if we "think globally, act locally" then
whatever peace is achieved on higher levels comes from making peace
within our local relations where we DO HAVE direct influence and ability to change. It is about the balance and connection between local and global levels.

By Matthew 18:15-20 if 2 or 3 pray in agreement on anything touching the earth it is done by our Father in Heaven. So whatever we can resolve locally, releases the same globally or collective. Whatever is loosed on earth, is loosed in heaven; whatever is bound on earth, is bound in heaven.
So if we narrow down arguments to fine point of agreement we agree to focus on, then peace can be replicated elsewhere; and whatever we forgive and let go of locally, then globally other people can do the same who experience similar.

(2) RE:
Quote:
Originally Posted by M
The SECOND question which was asked was about "Justice & Jesus or Christianity".

The name of "justice" is taken from the Roman goddess "Justitia", which she had similarities to her (mother) goodess Themis or Greek Dike.

The point being that even the ancients would turn to the supernatural when they felt mistreated or oppressed. Laws were early dependant upon the tribal unit or chief and eventually were written down to be enforced as the Code of Hammurabi (given as 1772 B.C.), precedent to Moses.

A pragmatic Christian application might be the use of the 23rd or 43rd Psalms and then Jesus himself at Matthew 5:39=Luke 6:29 about 'turning the other cheek'.
(2a) this reminds me of the way a Buddhist monk summarized the Bible, that the OT was about living by the letter of the law while the NT was about living by the spirit of the law. The point is to move from legalistic abuses of law and authority to "condemn and control others" to spiritual fulfillment of the laws
where people submit one to another equally for sake of true peace and justice.

Regardless which laws you ascribe to or cite; the point is to abide by them as equals, in the spirit of truth and justice, not injustice by fear and falsehood.

As for "turning the other cheek" the best interpretation I heard of this passage, was not to accept rebuke as a slave/nonperson (ie a backhanded slap for noncitizens or lesser slaves) but to insist on rebuke/correction as an "equal"
(ie a forehanded slap that was used between fellow citizens). When we address and correct each other as equal neighbors, for the sake of RESTORING relations, (again, as in Matthew 18:15-20 or James 5:16 where we confess our faults one to another and pray for one another that we may be healed), then we can live by and invoke equal respect for truth justice peace in all relations, and "collectively" this establishes peace on earth. That is the most we can do, regardless if we can or cannot change the physical timelines of the sun/earth.

So if we focus on that, at least we can live our days in peace and harmony, connected by common respect for truth and justice in local and global relations.
And if there is any hope that human intellect could lead to branching off onto other worlds, or even changing the path of earth to avoid burning up by the sun,
then by making peace first we could work together to devise the best solutions.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by emilynghiem View Post
(1)

dear morbidus:
Re: (1a) the bible does mention that "heaven and earth may pass away" but the word of god shall remain. This means the universal laws or truth will always be what it is, regardless what happens to our physical world.
what is truth?

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Old 11-06-2012, 02:03 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by pgh69 View Post
IMO, the most convincing evidence that Jesus - the MAN, not the GOD - existed is that there were numerous converts to Christianity during a time when people of his generation were still alive. In other words, people who lived in Judea were converting to Christianity w/in 15-30 years of his death.
I think this idea of dating is unconvincing. For a good reason. The idea that simply gobs of Jews were running off to Christianity is extremely unlikely. Christianity did not "take off" until after the fall of the Temple of Jerusalem after 70 A.D. And that was only because of Paul's revelations that the "way" should be open to Gentiles as well. There is no evidence really (even though it says so in the Acts) that James and the Apostles wanted to accomodate Gentiles. Look carefully at Acts 21:18-James and "all the elders" wanted Paul to take his risky journey to the Temple. In his usual penchant for understatement, Dr. Luke fails to point out that one of the "elders" was Peter!
Nor is it particularly likely that any of the Synoptic Gospels was written prior to the fall of the Temple-which would make it an absolute minimun of 40 years or so give or take. The only possible exception would be Mark-but it too has obvious Pauline influences. Which would mean that the Christianity we know today came more from Paul than Jesus. One of the objections to this conception is a real difficulty-the gospel of Paul's "The Romans". Where did this great number of "Christians" come from? How numerous were they? And most importantly, how were they founded without an apostle? Admitedly, it is a good one. There is actually nothing within the gospel of Romans to make it particularly "Roman" intended-except for the last chapter which sticks out like a sore thumb as if it does not belong there-and that's what many scholars suggest. It could have been a letter sent to any of Paul's churches-except the fact that it twice contains the word "Rome". Unfortunately, the manuscripts we possess are "secondary" if old-the original is lost-what it contained for sure no one knows. Suspicion (but not proof) lies that in a time when all of the churches were equal-one of them wanted to be the dominent one. Guess which one?
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:22 PM   #17
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Christianity did not "take off" until after the fall of the Temple of Jerusalem after 70 A.D. And that was only because of Paul's revelations that the "way" should be open to Gentiles as well.
Christianity didn't "take off" until it became the official religion of the Roman Empire in the 4th century. Until then, it consisted of various feuding blood cults - which of course, it still is today.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:54 AM   #18
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Sapphire doesn't appear to see jesus as 'justice,' she, as most christians, seem to see jesus as the way to eternal life, the path to heaven, god, and nothing more, correct me if im wrong. And jesus doesn't seem to represent justice at all! He says, that if someone slaps you, to turn to them the other cheek... or something like that. How is that justice? And Hell isn't justice, either. I'd say burning for eternity just for not believing is a little to cruel. He doesn't even bother giving us evidence of his existence. Just expects us to believe without question.

I think you should just call justice what it is; Justice. Not Jesus.
Dear Wallis and Richard:
Another way that Jesus and the Bible speak to Justice
The idea of loving/forgiving one another as God/Jesus offers for us.

That is a form of "reciprocity" or the Golden Rule,
that whatever Mercy/forgiveness we extend to others is granted to us.

And whatever rules or degrees we judge by, we invoke the same.

We reap what we sow.

Love one another as we also would want to be loved.

Pulling the beam from our own eyes in order to see clearly before helping a neighbor with a splinter.

Confessing our faults one to another and praying for one another that we may be healed. That's reciprocal also.

This kind of Justice that Christianity teaches is a LOVING justice.
If there is judgment or correction by God's laws, it is like the loving spirit of a caring
parent who is taking responsibility for nurturing children in development.
And since we are equal children of God, then we submit to mutual corrections, not one of us always being above the others.
But maybe taking turns, so we all have equal strengths, weaknesses and contributions to make to help each other to grow.

The point about receiving Jesus in our hearts and living with that spirit
dwelling in us, is letting this love of neighbor come through us to express itself. it is not about doing things on the outside for appearance or reward. It is not false justice or charity for show, but truly sincere in spirit that makes it such a powerful force.

It is NOT about just loving those who love us, and hating those who hate us. (that is the material
ways of the world or man's justice which is biased and gets corrupted by imposing on others)

But this higher kind of love, from God, loves first and has faith that multiples this love.
It forgives first and has faith that this inspires more forgiveness.

So if you love with conditioned love, then you get conditioned love in return.
But if you love unconditionally, then God's love can enter where we are
all included equally, and any conditions are either met or resolved.

The fact that whatever level you give, with love and forgiveness and sharing truth and charity with others, that is what you get in return.

If you only offer this "conditionally" then people will require you to meet conditions. If you offer love/acceptance freely, then you will be offered the same.

So there is justice either way.
If you are conditional you are treated the same.
If you are retributive, judgmental or punitive, you will get this right back.

We are called to love one another like Jesus, which means God's love (not man's conditional love which is limited).
That is what it means for Justice to live in our hearts. To love and forgive all people equally as God does.
And since none of us can be that perfect and all inclusive, without personal bias getting in the way,
that is why people exalt Jesus as representing this divine perfect love and will higher than any of us.

It is not to take this Jesus/Justice and impose it on others, for no one is in a position to do that.
The point is to make us humble by realizing we ALL fall short of "perfect justice",
so we DON'T try to impose our knowledge and wisdom as supreme since we are all limited and biased in what we know.

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Old 11-08-2012, 01:00 AM   #19
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Hold the phone, Emily!

First you state that the Bible speaks to Justice. Yeah! Stoning, beheading, and disembowlment.

Second, you state that reciprocity is in the Golden Rule, yet the Old Testament reads "kill them" in reciprocity. God didn't seem to get pissed when Jacob's sons wiped out a whole village for the rape of their sister. Jacob was downright scared afterwards because of the reciprocity he expected from his other neighbors.

"Do not let one man, woman, or child, nor anything of livestock survive." Genocide, baby! And that was the "Word" of the Lord.

Then you write:

Quote: And whatever rules or degrees we judge by, we invoke the same.

We reap what we sow.

Love one another as we also would want to be loved.

Pulling the beam from our own eyes in order to see clearly before helping a neighbor with a splinter.

Confessing our faults one to another and praying for one another that we may be healed. That's reciprocal also.

Unquote.

Oh, come on, Emily, you are just pulling off platitudes that barely have any connection with each other.

Oops, your skirt is showing. "Christian" 'taint in the Bible. "Christian" is a modern "thang" that colorizes the Bible just enough to create an unreal world of NO justice. There is no justice in Christianity--true Christianity. Besides, show me a so-called Christian who does NOT believe in an eye-for-an-eye. That is Justice.

You babble about some kind of justice in wanting to rejoice in getting slapped around. "Oh, yes! Slap me again! Dear Jesus! Did you see that! Did you rejoice with me! I'm getting slapped for YOU! Maybe it will mitigate just a little bit of the pain you suffered from the whip, the thorns, and the cross!"

So, bottom line here: you took three separate and unequal entities (the Bible, the Golden Rule, and the Christian perspective) and tried to make a trinity out of them as if they were all spouting off what you are declaring to be true.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:24 AM   #20
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Hey Wallis, thanks to you and Wouldhe and others chipping in input, I think we are really getting somewhere with what is going on with our differences, and how the heck are we going to deal with the diverse splits. I'm running late, so I will only answer one point and save the rest for next time:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallis View Post
Hold the phone, Emily!

First you state that the Bible speaks to Justice. Yeah! Stoning, beheading, and disembowlment.

Second, you state that reciprocity is in the Golden Rule, yet the Old Testament reads "kill them" in reciprocity.
Yes, OT is more retributive justice, where people get killed off etc.

NT is more about restorative justice, where we are forgiven as we forgive others.

So we have a chioce, to live by OT justice or NT justice.
To live by the laws of truth and love, or die by the sword.

It's the same sword, double edged, as Sapphire said Jesus is the judge.
But the Bible says his role is to save the world, to use the mercy/forgiveness grace side of God to save us from the OT ways where we killed each other out of retribution and unforgiveness. That is wehre divine forgiveness and grace in Christ Jesus brings us salvation fromt he ways of death by unforgiveness.
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