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How much do looks matter for Christians?


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#61    ranrod

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 06:51 AM

View PostParanoid Android, on 12 February 2013 - 01:28 AM, said:

There are two ways of looking at it, a negative and an affirmative.  Your interpretation is the negative - follow me or die.  It assumes that God is going to go and off you if you don't believe in him. That is not the only way of viewing it, though.  You could put it in the affirmative - follow me and live.  This approach assumes that we are doomed because of what we ourselves have done, but by Grace God has offered a way to eternal life.

Follow me or die.
Follow me and live.

A subtle difference, but one I believe makes an enormous difference.
I read it like this, "Those who fear me join me, those who oppose me, die!" - Serpentor (or Jesus according to andthen)


#62    ranrod

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 06:57 AM

View PostSeeker79, on 12 February 2013 - 06:29 AM, said:

Sure.... But I would only need surgery if I were sick. If I did not have cancer then any surgeries would simply be to line the pockets of the doctors. Further more, if I did have cancer and the doctor new for sure I were a dead man and would suffer a miserable death without his help, he could simply sneak up behind me sedate me and do the surgery anyway. I'd be p***ed but alive. This happens all the time in real life. Especially with children. If parents don't have faith in medical science courts will force medical treatment on the child because the child dosnt know any  better.

Analogies like this are ineffective. Let's call it what it is. God certainly has the ability to save who he wishes regardless of their belief, but the Christian god only saves those that believe he exists and in a man from 2,000 years ago non the less.

It all seems very business like to me. There is no reason to accept it as truth. Just because somebody wrote it down. I often wonder if Christians truely have faith in god ( I do) .... Or if they really worship their bible.
Even faith is no assurance...
"If a person is illegitimate by birth, neither him nor his descendants for ten generations may be admitted to the assembly of the Lord" -Deuteronomy 23:2
So even if you live a perfectly Christian life and worship genuinely and wholeheartedly, you can still get:
"Sorry, your great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather was born illegitimately.  You go to hell (or limbo or oblivion).  Sucks to be you!"


#63    Paranoid Android

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:33 AM

View Postranrod, on 12 February 2013 - 06:51 AM, said:

I read it like this, "Those who fear me join me, those who oppose me, die!" - Serpentor (or Jesus according to andthen)
I once converted for fear.  I was 12, and I'd heard about Jesus for the first time in my life.  It was from a fire-and-brimstone preacher scaring us into following God.  That conversion lasted a couple of weeks, then I gave it up.  When I eventually converted when I was 20 years old (maybe 19, the exact age I cannot quite recall), I did not do so for fear, I did so for love.


View Postranrod, on 12 February 2013 - 06:57 AM, said:

Even faith is no assurance...
"If a person is illegitimate by birth, neither him nor his descendants for ten generations may be admitted to the assembly of the Lord" -Deuteronomy 23:2
So even if you live a perfectly Christian life and worship genuinely and wholeheartedly, you can still get:
"Sorry, your great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather was born illegitimately.  You go to hell (or limbo or oblivion).  Sucks to be you!"
The Assembly of the Lord is not heaven.  It was a meeting of Jewish people, a physical place where people of Israel went to meet.  It was different to a normal meeting of faithful followers.  Other meetings allowed non-Hebrew converts to Judaism, but the Assembly of the Lord allowed only Jews by pure blood birth.  

Of course, if you'd ever studied the Bible on this topic it would have been obvious.  I can only conclude you didn't do your research first.

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#64    Paranoid Android

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:39 AM

View PostSeeker79, on 12 February 2013 - 06:12 AM, said:

It would seem that could be an option, be we are talking about god, the designer of the system in he first place. I made a thread about this once. Jesus has his hand out any you are hanging over a cliff. You must let go and reach for his hand hopeing he is there on very flimsy evidence. He could just reach down and save you. There are good people that will never be Christians, the view that one must be Christian to be saved, to me, is simply built in proprietorship much like apple is guilty of. Spirituality abounds in this world, from wonderful men Like Tenzin Gyatso ( the Dali lama), to native American holy men that can never accept middle eastern mythology as the one and only spiritual path. It's exceedingly hard for me to believe in a god that would allow such people to perish because they cannot believe in the divinity of one man a world and several millennia removed from the context and culture that they belong to. The whole notion is just.... Well... Silly.
The phrase "good people" is an entirely subjective phrase, and rests on the supposition that mankind is able to (or should be) "good enough" to reach God on our own.  What if this is an incorrect assumption?  I believe it to be incorrect.  

So also is "flimsy evidence" a subjective comment.  To me, it is not flimsy at all.  And to answer your post, yes I agree, he could just reach down and save us from that cliff.  However, we still retain the Right to choose to accept that hand and God will honour that wish instead of forcibly grabbing us and pulling us up (arguments of predestination aside, which is a topic worthy of its own thread).

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#65    Mr Walker

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:33 AM

View Postranrod, on 09 February 2013 - 10:42 PM, said:

If it was common knowledge that if Jesus existed, he looked similar to the guy on the left, and nothing like the guy on the right, how many would not become Christians?
Well actually if he looked like the guy on the left christianity would never have got started

Christ was a typical middle eastern person  probably of dark and swarthy appearan e  with dark hair and semitic features, but by christ :devil:  he was good looking ,appeared intelligent and attentive.  He was charismatic and  was attractive to  both women and men. The guy on the left is plain ugly, no matter what ethnic group he comes from.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#66    Mr Walker

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:40 AM

View Postscowl, on 10 February 2013 - 09:45 PM, said:

People started painting Jesus as a white European for a reason.

Yup they used real life models who naturally happened to BE european. Also they had a fixed perspective on human appearance based on the european model. When the first european artists arrived in australia they painted our trees as looking like european trees even though they are completely different. They just painted what the y knew in their minds and were used to painting..

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#67    freetoroam

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:30 PM

View PostEverdred, on 12 February 2013 - 12:40 AM, said:

In traditional depictions, the basic idea is that Jesus is depicted like the average person of the culture in question. Someone in, for example, 8th century England wouldn't have the slightest idea what a 1st century jew would have looked like.

Now of course there are also modern trends of pseudoscholarship trying to claim Jesus as a blond-haired blue-eyed Aryan, or a black African, but this is completely different from tradition and rather is an attempt to harmonize people's racist viewpoints with their Christian religion (i.e. if a white person or black person posits that their race is responsible for all the wisdom in the world, then they can't possibly be worshipping some brown guy).
I am not too sure about the bold bit. they knew he was not European and whoever brought the 'teachings' of jesus knew that too.
As for the second paragraph, so really they do care what he looked like?

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#68    scowl

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:39 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 11 February 2013 - 10:06 AM, said:

I thought it was common knowledge that Jesus looked more like the guy on the left and nothing like the guy on the right.  It's just been common to depict Jesus like the guy on the right because of centuries of European art, but I thought very few Christians actually believed that's what he looked like.

Then why did they paint Jesus as a white bearded longhair instead of what they think he looked like?

And why is God always depicted as a white guy with a gray beard (except in that Monty Python movie)?


#69    White Crane Feather

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 06:48 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 12 February 2013 - 09:39 AM, said:

The phrase "good people" is an entirely subjective phrase, and rests on the supposition that mankind is able to (or should be) "good enough" to reach God on our own.  What if this is an incorrect assumption?  I believe it to be incorrect.  

So also is "flimsy evidence" a subjective comment.  To me, it is not flimsy at all.  And to answer your post, yes I agree, he could just reach down and save us from that cliff.  However, we still retain the Right to choose to accept that hand and God will honour that wish instead of forcibly grabbing us and pulling us up (arguments of predestination aside, which is a topic worthy of its own thread).
I guess, I don't see mankind as wretched as some Christians think we are. There are certainly wretches out there, but by and large I think there are some wonderful people. No one is perfect of course, but there are many people perfectly human. We are designed with instincts and behaviors prooven with biological science to be apart of our very nature. It then is the choice of the person to rise above their animal. If god designed us, then he put those potentials in us, he knew every step of our evolution and every piece of selection leading to what would be us.

I find it exceedingly difficult to believe  that we are automatically unworthy by design. It seems so very much like  a tactic to keep people from finding god themselves as opposed to using a medium.

I do not believe that god is out of reach from a pagan, shaman, buddist, Hindu, Muslim, or your average undecided because they don't believe that Jesus was god. I don't even think atheists will be denied the afterlife or access to heaven. I have met many many people that are just as moral, trust worthy, and personally beautiful, as any Christian. It boggles my mind that intelligent people cling wholeheartedly to these religous proprietary concepts. Why? Really what reason is there to think you will be saved while your neighbor, the buddist monk who has legitimately dedicated his life to compassion, will not be.

I can't find any reason to not believe that Christians have faith in a often mistranslated and abused collection of spiritual writtings based on middle eastern mythology and  not god at all. Then I see the unlikely scnerios of demigods or angles haveing sex with women, nephelim, demons, fallen angles etc etc, and one word comes to mind. "drama" . A soap opera of immense proportions. Another saga like the Homeric epics.... Hector & Acellies, or the bagavagita with Arjun speaking to his chariot driver which is really Krishna, or the Navajo's the black faced god, or the sues Wankatanka.

I trust god PA I do not trust the writtiings of men and their imaginations and psychological sales and games. I don't think god is going to let me die because he blessed me with critical thinking. But that's just me, I don't think god cares one way or another what we believe to be true, I think god only cares what we do and our intentions behind our actions. But hey, on judgment day ( if there is to be such a thing), Jesus is more than welcome to apear before me and say your a fool, I am god and I am right here. But how am I supposed to differentiate from all the deceptive demons, demo gods, and jinn. Being a mere mortal I can be lead into anything right? I suppose that's why god gave me a brain.



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#70    euroninja

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:42 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 12 February 2013 - 09:39 AM, said:

God will honour that wish instead of forcibly grabbing us and pulling us up (arguments of predestination aside, which is a topic worthy of its own thread).
My experience will contradict your statement. Jesus Christ knows His flock. He will not let you down if you are on the Book of Life. Forcing is not the right word to use because it's been decided long before this life period. You may think you're an atheist or whatever but if you're on that list you better expect a change. That's all I'm going to say about it....................................................................................... "Blessed are those who are called to His supper".

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#71    scowl

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:41 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 12 February 2013 - 10:40 AM, said:

Yup they used real life models who naturally happened to BE european.

They chose models who were European. They could have found Middle Eastern people living in Europe if they wanted the painting of Jesus to be more accurate.

Quote

Also they had a fixed perspective on human appearance based on the european model.

Because Jesus just had to be a good-looking guy to the Europeans. That seems to be the answer to the topic of this thread.


#72    IamsSon

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:02 PM

Of course analogies are going to fall apart, since they are used to try to address one part of a very difficult subject.

As to God only saving those who believe in Him and accept Jesus, I think the situation is a bit more complicated than what you've made it, or what most Christians believe.  A careful reading of the Book of Romans seems to indicate that knowledge of God and salvation is available to anyone who truly examines nature and examines himself.  But if someone does not feel they need to be saved, does not feel they have done anything for which they need to pay for, then no amount of evidence will convince them.  Jesus said He came to heal the sick and free the slaves, if you don't consider yourself to be in need of healing or liberation, then God has nothing to offer you.

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#73    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:34 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 12 February 2013 - 09:39 AM, said:

So also is "flimsy evidence" a subjective comment.  To me, it is not flimsy at all.  

Perhaps you wouldn't term it 'flimsy' exactly, but by the very definitions of the words I don't think we can call it very good evidence, in that it has failed to convince the majority of the people alive today; evidence that fails to convince is by definition not very good.  I guess we could say that there may be evidence of things that may not convince people because the subject matter is complicated; I don't know enough about physics to weigh in on the evidence for dark matter for example and be 'convinced' the current explanations are correct.  But this complexity argument doesn't seem to be a relevant factor at least for Christianity, we are told that something as mundane as creation itself leaves everyone 'without excuse', so it is presumably accessible by most everyone.

I've always thought also that the 'evidence' is supposed to be flimsy by design and is a part of most Christian theology; it is faith I thought that is supposed to lead us to belief, not reasoning from the available evidence.

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#74    Mr Walker

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:39 PM

View Postscowl, on 12 February 2013 - 08:41 PM, said:

They chose models who were European. They could have found Middle Eastern people living in Europe if they wanted the painting of Jesus to be more accurate.



Because Jesus just had to be a good-looking guy to the Europeans. That seems to be the answer to the topic of this thread.

I think you are wrong, based on a study of art history and human perspective.

I also think you attribute motivation based on your own "prejudices" How many middle eastern "artist models" do you think existed in europe in a time when most people never travelled more than a few days walk from their village.

Sure there were probably  some semitic peoples in the major cities, living largely in "ghettos" or localised areas but then the artist has to consciously think "well to be realistic i have to go and find  jewish looking guy under 30 years of age"

IMO it was never (or rarely) a deliberate choice, but simply a convenience to chose the "normal" models available.

Also many artists used familiar models such as a mistress,  a friend, or a patron or a relative, for many of their  religious paintings And jesus was a good looking guy. That much is evident from a sociological and psychological study of his few years of ministry.  Not just good looking, but "attractive"  to both men and women, and very charismatic.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#75    J. K.

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:00 PM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 12 February 2013 - 09:34 PM, said:

I've always thought also that the 'evidence' is supposed to be flimsy by design and is a part of most Christian theology; it is faith I thought that is supposed to lead us to belief, not reasoning from the available evidence.

The kind of faith involved is faith that say something will continue to operate in the way you've seen it operate before.  it is not totally without reasoning.  I came to God through observation of His work in other peoples' lives, and through the communication of the Holy Spirit.  It is just like driving a car for the first time.  You've seen it work before, and you believe that it will work again.  Can you name every component of a vehicle and explain its purpose?  I can't, but that doesn't stop me from driving.  Likewise, not being able to understand or explain everything about God doesn't keep me from having a relationship with Him.  That is the basis of my faith: that He will continue in the future as in the past, and that I can trust Him to do so.

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