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#1    ambelamba

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 11:43 PM

I've been thinking. What if some influential figure shows up and reveal his personal opinion on Christianity like this? FYI, this is NOT my personal belief.

"See, I believe in God. The true Universal God. And I believe that Jesus was a man of God. He was never the literal God-incarnate, though. He was just like you and me. Just like Jews were 'allegedly' chosen with no apparent reason, so was he. So Jesus was not the supernatural deity. He was just like you and me. He loved, hated, cried, and laughed. He had merits and flaws. His flaws slipped out through his words, trust me. Our God is no Abrahamic one, although he chose Jesus who had Abrahamic faith. His death was not for the atonement and out sins, but Jesus died so that the event could trigger the history into the current direction. Remember the Butterfly Effect.

"Forget about the Old Testament. Even many early Christians disliked it and they had real good reasons. And even the New Testament was edited to be palatable for Roman Empire. So, where's the true Scripture? It's in and outside of us. Our thoughts and actions are the Scripture. We have to create our holy book from ground up, and as time goes the good book should be updated constantly. Don't feel alarmed. As long as the proverbial spirit of our Scripture is alive, nothing's wrong about updating the Book.

"Know ourselves! We are imperfect, but do not condemn ourselves for that! Don't get sold onto Original Sin. We didn't fall. We rose from the ground up. Remember that we started as an insignificant atom. Then lesser beings. Then some kind of rodents at one point. Then some lemur-like creatures and eventually us! Our history is billions of years old, so do not buy into the ancient folklore! it was simply their way to see the universe, so we don't have to follow their thinking.

"Let us not use our own secret jargons! That is for cults! Try our best not to be some kind of fringe cult! Do not be dominionist! Only a small amount of light can light the whole room and only a dash of salt can make food better! So be the Light and Salt like that. When people love our ways, they will eventually follow without being to conscious! Do not expect our belief to be spread around in our lifetime. Chances are it will take many centuries if things go fast. So be good.

"Understand why Marcus Aurelius believed that Christianity as the threat to the society. Realize that Israelite didn't really emphasize on the awards of afterlife that much. Don't be good for the rewards in Heaven. Just be good and moral to feel and act good.

"Know that the Bible as we know it is a construct with deliberate intentions, often not so holy or sacred. Remember that the canonized Church was the state religion of Roman Empire, which abandoned the ideal of the republic! Know that there were hundreds of different gospels with conflicting ideas at one point! Meditate on this and connect the dots with other facts, then the sad truth will be revealed to you."

Is this...too heretical or even blasphemous?

They came with a Bible and their religion. stole our land, crushed our spirit, and now they tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved.

-Chief Pontiac (1718-1769)

#2    Child of Bast

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 11:45 PM

Some would absolutely think so. Others, not so much. You're always going to tick someone off.

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#3    ambelamba

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 11:47 PM

Let me add a few more things. :D

"How can anyone dare to proclaim that he/she is the vicar of God, and his/her cronies are representatives of Jesus the God?! A true blasphemy! Either no one can represent God or we are all parts of the Great Cosmos!"

They came with a Bible and their religion. stole our land, crushed our spirit, and now they tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved.

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#4    Professor T

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 11:53 PM

I don't think anything here is heretical.. Actually much of this makes a lot of sense to me.

Edited by Professor T, 20 April 2014 - 11:54 PM.


#5    and then

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 11:56 PM

View Postambelamba, on 20 April 2014 - 11:43 PM, said:

I've been thinking. What if some influential figure shows up and reveal his personal opinion on Christianity like this? FYI, this is NOT my personal belief.

"See, I believe in God. The true Universal God. And I believe that Jesus was a man of God. He was never the literal God-incarnate, though. He was just like you and me. Just like Jews were 'allegedly' chosen with no apparent reason, so was he. So Jesus was not the supernatural deity. He was just like you and me. He loved, hated, cried, and laughed. He had merits and flaws. His flaws slipped out through his words, trust me. Our God is no Abrahamic one, although he chose Jesus who had Abrahamic faith. His death was not for the atonement and out sins, but Jesus died so that the event could trigger the history into the current direction. Remember the Butterfly Effect.

"Forget about the Old Testament. Even many early Christians disliked it and they had real good reasons. And even the New Testament was edited to be palatable for Roman Empire. So, where's the true Scripture? It's in and outside of us. Our thoughts and actions are the Scripture. We have to create our holy book from ground up, and as time goes the good book should be updated constantly. Don't feel alarmed. As long as the proverbial spirit of our Scripture is alive, nothing's wrong about updating the Book.

"Know ourselves! We are imperfect, but do not condemn ourselves for that! Don't get sold onto Original Sin. We didn't fall. We rose from the ground up. Remember that we started as an insignificant atom. Then lesser beings. Then some kind of rodents at one point. Then some lemur-like creatures and eventually us! Our history is billions of years old, so do not buy into the ancient folklore! it was simply their way to see the universe, so we don't have to follow their thinking.

"Let us not use our own secret jargons! That is for cults! Try our best not to be some kind of fringe cult! Do not be dominionist! Only a small amount of light can light the whole room and only a dash of salt can make food better! So be the Light and Salt like that. When people love our ways, they will eventually follow without being to conscious! Do not expect our belief to be spread around in our lifetime. Chances are it will take many centuries if things go fast. So be good.

"Understand why Marcus Aurelius believed that Christianity as the threat to the society. Realize that Israelite didn't really emphasize on the awards of afterlife that much. Don't be good for the rewards in Heaven. Just be good and moral to feel and act good.

"Know that the Bible as we know it is a construct with deliberate intentions, often not so holy or sacred. Remember that the canonized Church was the state religion of Roman Empire, which abandoned the ideal of the republic! Know that there were hundreds of different gospels with conflicting ideas at one point! Meditate on this and connect the dots with other facts, then the sad truth will be revealed to you."

Is this...too heretical or even blasphemous?
Pretty much but hey - never caused you to blush before huh?  :w00t:   I'm curious Ambel - and I mean no offense - REALLY - but I see a pattern in your musings and it always seems to come back to a NEED to remove the legitimacy of the scripture.  My guess is that subliminally you might feel that if you can find a chink that disproves scripture then you will be "safe".  It's just a guess.  I believe in scripture and in Christ as he is portrayed therein.  But I take COMFORT from it.  He asks of us a very simple condition so that we can exist in eternity, growing in wisdom and love and life - we must accept the gospel.  Not become perfect or never sin again - ACCEPT THE GOSPEL.  (my caps are for emphasis - I don't mean to shout )  And what is the gospel?  4 things:  Believe that Christ came from eternity with the Father and took human form.  Died as a sacrifice for our imperfection. Was buried.  Rose physically to life on the third day according to what was written in scripture.  That and NOTHING more.  No works can save a man - nothing we do or don't do beyond this belief.  If one truly believes this "good news" then they can have eternity.  Yet so many die refusing to kneel and acknowledge it.  I wish you all the best on this resurrection day - the day death died!

  We've cast the world, we've set the stage,
  for what could be, the darkest age...

#6    StarMountainKid

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:22 AM

Sounds reasonable to me, thought it may be a voice crying in the wilderness. I think we need some kind of religion similar to this without all the hocus-pocus, without all the magical events that were only put there to impress the not-yet-believers.

Jesus as a normal human being having had some kind of enlightenment experience is much more attractive to me than Jesus as an intrinsic spiritual being.

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#7    ambelamba

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 07:13 AM

View Postand then, on 20 April 2014 - 11:56 PM, said:

Pretty much but hey - never caused you to blush before huh?  :w00t:   I'm curious Ambel - and I mean no offense - REALLY - but I see a pattern in your musings and it always seems to come back to a NEED to remove the legitimacy of the scripture.  My guess is that subliminally you might feel that if you can find a chink that disproves scripture then you will be "safe".  It's just a guess.  I believe in scripture and in Christ as he is portrayed therein.  But I take COMFORT from it.  He asks of us a very simple condition so that we can exist in eternity, growing in wisdom and love and life - we must accept the gospel.  Not become perfect or never sin again - ACCEPT THE GOSPEL.  (my caps are for emphasis - I don't mean to shout )  And what is the gospel?  4 things:  Believe that Christ came from eternity with the Father and took human form.  Died as a sacrifice for our imperfection. Was buried.  Rose physically to life on the third day according to what was written in scripture.  That and NOTHING more.  No works can save a man - nothing we do or don't do beyond this belief.  If one truly believes this "good news" then they can have eternity.  Yet so many die refusing to kneel and acknowledge it.  I wish you all the best on this resurrection day - the day death died!

And Then, it took me some time to realize that Original Sin is an entirely alien concept in Asian culture and that's totally fine.

The concept of Fall and Redemption are also entirely bizarre concept. In Asian culture, you work your way up spiritually. You start out as a n00b and level up. Just like that.

See buddy, this is the clash of cultures. In traditional Asian culture, absolute monotheism is a very pathetic idea and laughable. Even many other cultures embraced more malleable kind of cosmology and spiritual landscapes. Think about it.

They came with a Bible and their religion. stole our land, crushed our spirit, and now they tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved.

-Chief Pontiac (1718-1769)

#8    ambelamba

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 07:15 AM

View PostStarMountainKid, on 21 April 2014 - 01:22 AM, said:

Sounds reasonable to me, thought it may be a voice crying in the wilderness. I think we need some kind of religion similar to this without all the hocus-pocus, without all the magical events that were only put there to impress the not-yet-believers.

Jesus as a normal human being having had some kind of enlightenment experience is much more attractive to me than Jesus as an intrinsic spiritual being.

He was exceptionally intelligent, but beyond that...things can be really debatable.

The biggest problem is that any reliable first hand records were likely to be destroyed during the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD.

They came with a Bible and their religion. stole our land, crushed our spirit, and now they tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved.

-Chief Pontiac (1718-1769)

#9    and then

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 12:14 PM

View Postambelamba, on 21 April 2014 - 07:13 AM, said:

And Then, it took me some time to realize that Original Sin is an entirely alien concept in Asian culture and that's totally fine.

The concept of Fall and Redemption are also entirely bizarre concept. In Asian culture, you work your way up spiritually. You start out as a n00b and level up. Just like that.

See buddy, this is the clash of cultures. In traditional Asian culture, absolute monotheism is a very pathetic idea and laughable. Even many other cultures embraced more malleable kind of cosmology and spiritual landscapes. Think about it.
I'll take your word for that.  But dude if it's that simple then why the obsession?  No human being is perfect - we live and die in our imperfections.  Somewhere along the way we have to decide what is most important to each of us.  I want my life to help others - not harm them.  Christianity isn't some esoteric concept to be dissected for me... it's the way I'm most comfortable trying to live my life.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Like he said "come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest - for my yoke is easy, my burden light" :)   I've found this to be true.

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#10    Professor T

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:21 PM

View PostStarMountainKid, on 21 April 2014 - 01:22 AM, said:

Sounds reasonable to me, thought it may be a voice crying in the wilderness. I think we need some kind of religion similar to this without all the hocus-pocus, without all the magical events that were only put there to impress the not-yet-believers.

Jesus as a normal human being having had some kind of enlightenment experience is much more attractive to me than Jesus as an intrinsic spiritual being.

I don't think we need some new kind of religion without the hocus pocus.. I think we need a new meme of thought, a new process of non-physical development that encourages people to mix and stir different aspects from different religions and to use their own experiences with the mix to develop themselves into more spiritual beings.. A process with no dogma except maybe that of universal truths and laws.. Much can be learned when one demolishes the religions and dogmatic aspects of their lives. Limitations are removed like walls... But the foundations remain..


#11    Einsteinium

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:26 PM

View Postand then, on 20 April 2014 - 11:56 PM, said:

Pretty much but hey - never caused you to blush before huh?  :w00t:   I'm curious Ambel - and I mean no offense - REALLY - but I see a pattern in your musings and it always seems to come back to a NEED to remove the legitimacy of the scripture.  My guess is that subliminally you might feel that if you can find a chink that disproves scripture then you will be "safe".  It's just a guess.  I believe in scripture and in Christ as he is portrayed therein.  But I take COMFORT from it.  He asks of us a very simple condition so that we can exist in eternity, growing in wisdom and love and life - we must accept the gospel.  Not become perfect or never sin again - ACCEPT THE GOSPEL.  (my caps are for emphasis - I don't mean to shout )  And what is the gospel?  4 things:  Believe that Christ came from eternity with the Father and took human form.  Died as a sacrifice for our imperfection. Was buried.  Rose physically to life on the third day according to what was written in scripture.  That and NOTHING more.  No works can save a man - nothing we do or don't do beyond this belief.  If one truly believes this "good news" then they can have eternity.  Yet so many die refusing to kneel and acknowledge it.  I wish you all the best on this resurrection day - the day death died!

Sounds too good to be true. Sounds like Romans finding a way to pacify militant Jews to me (your messiah has come! and he is completely anti-militant! Lay down your arms and come 'give unto Ceasar'!


#12    Einsteinium

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:30 PM

View PostProfessor T, on 21 April 2014 - 10:21 PM, said:

I don't think we need some new kind of religion without the hocus pocus.. I think we need a new meme of thought, a new process of non-physical development that encourages people to mix and stir different aspects from different religions and to use their own experiences with the mix to develop themselves into more spiritual beings.. A process with no dogma except maybe that of universal truths and laws.. Much can be learned when one demolishes the religions and dogmatic aspects of their lives. Limitations are removed like walls... But the foundations remain..

I completely agree! The age of 'spiritual truth' being contained within ancient books is ending, the time of spiritual discovery and enlightenment within the self is at hand (one would hope).

I think that the increasing number of people who identify as 'agnostic' or 'atheist' and the dwindling church attendance numbers show that this indeed is starting to happen.


Lets just hope the insane 'end times' people don't do anything too crazy...


#13    Marcus Aurelius

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 11:20 PM

View Postambelamba, on 21 April 2014 - 07:13 AM, said:

And Then, it took me some time to realize that Original Sin is an entirely alien concept in Asian culture and that's totally fine.

The concept of Fall and Redemption are also entirely bizarre concept. In Asian culture, you work your way up spiritually. You start out as a n00b and level up. Just like that.

See buddy, this is the clash of cultures. In traditional Asian culture, absolute monotheism is a very pathetic idea and laughable. Even many other cultures embraced more malleable kind of cosmology and spiritual landscapes. Think about it.

Hello, ambelamba. I hope this post finds you well! I wonder, are such things so foreign to Asian culture and belief? If I may, allow me to add some of my own observations and insights to these questions...

You say that in traditional Asian culture monotheism is a pathetic and laughable idea; but I would ask WHICH Asian culture and going back how far? That is a rather broad statement and perhaps a bit of a generalization. Allow me to share some of my own cultural experiences in my travels to parts of Asia.

My wife is from the Philippines. Their culture is almost entirely Roman Catholic, and this stems from a very deep tradition. Yes, one could argue this comes from the influence of the Spaniards; but their Catholicism is a very integral part of their society, even today. When I visited the Philippines I saw their level of devotion first hand. In my wife's village, the entire town would gather in the very early hours of the morning to pray the Dawn Rosary. Every home has an altar and/or prayer corner. The townspeople would process with an Icon of the Blessed Virgin to someone's house who would have the honor of having the Icon for the day. They would light candles at the altar, sing hymns, pray and then someone would offer a devotion. They blessed me in leading their devotions during my stay.

And this isn't just limited to smaller towns. Even in places like Cebu, churches and shrines dot the landscape and they are often packed with worshipers and pilgrims. Public transportation vehicles, more commonly known as Jeep Knees have sayings painted on them that say things like "Jesus I trust in you" and various scripture quotations. Surely the Catholics of the Philippines might disagree with your statement.

I also experienced this "pathetic monotheism" in Indonesia. Indonesia is an emerging economy and is becoming a new hub of Asiatic industry; and yet they maintain a strict observance of Islam. In the labyrinthine city of Jakarta, Mosques can be found on what seems like every street corner. Five times a day, the Islamic calls to prayer can be heard ringing out through the city and lots of people stop whatever they are doing, no matter where they are, to observe the prayer. It is a beautiful, humbling sight to behold. it gave me chills to see such piety. A deep devotion to Islam dominates the various islands of Indonesia. Surely the Muslims of Indonesia might disagree with your statement.

And when you speak of culture; what of contemporary influence? One could argue that monotheism wasn't as common to other Asiatic countries because there was always a strong sense of nationalism to several Asian countries, and thus immigration was always low. Whenever missionaries did take root in places like Japan or China, traditionally many people actually did convert and become Christians but the said beliefs of the missionaries were often seen as a threat to their sense of nationalism and cultural identity, so it was perceived as a threat. It was often met with rejection and sometimes even persecution. I see their rejection of monotheism as being more a product of their general mistrust of foreign influence and not so much monotheism itself. I think this connection is valid, because again, look at the contemporary influence. South Korea is now largely a Christian country. China, although it was met with much resistance by the secular government, also has a strong and rapidly growing Christian population. Catholicism is even experiencing a lot of growth in places like Vietnam. So I would argue that there are a lot of Asians who are in fact quite open to monotheism if we look at the cultural climate of today.

Furthermore, to say that concepts of monotheism did not exist in Asiatic tradition is not altogether historically accurate. Take for instance China. In ancient times, going all the way back to the second millenium BC; the Chinese had a strong concept of monotheism. They worshiped Shang Di, whose name literally means "heavenly ruler." He was seen as the one creator God, ruler of heaven and earth. This saying is attributed to the Border Sacrifice Rite and Shang Di worship and is indicative of their cosmological beliefs: "Of old in the beginning, there was the great chaos, without form and dark. The five elements [planets] had not begun to revolve, nor the sun and moon to shine. You, O Spiritual Sovereign, first divided the grosser parts from the purer. You made heaven. You made earth. You made man. All things with their reproducing power got their being." Does this not sound eerily similar to the cosmology of the Abrahamic religions? It is also interesting to note that belief in Shang Di would have been going on around the same time as the Patriarch Abraham. The ancient Chinese worshiped this "above emperor" and the belief in Him really didn't begin to decline until Confucius came onto the scene. Confucianism ultimately 'replaced' Shang Di worship and the emphasis on supernatural cosmologies because Confucianism itself, while not directly or indirectly atheistic; was focused more on practical philosophy and daily living. However, it might be incorrect to state that Confucius himself was against theism. In fact, it could be argued that he uses the term "Tian" in a non-idiomatic fashion, aligning his beliefs with those of the Zhou—holding that Tian is an anthropomorphic Heavenly Supreme Emperor and an independent, authoritative moral source. In my translation of the Analects, he wrote  "At fifteen, I set my mind upon learning; at thirty, I took my place in society; at forty, I became free of doubts; at fifty, I understood Heaven’s Mandate; at sixty, my ear was attuned; and at seventy, I could follow my heart’s desires without overstepping the bounds of propriety". This is but one of a few passages where he links moral development with an understanding of Heaven, or a supreme reality.

We find this similar concept in the wonderful Asiatic religion of Taoism, which I have studied extensively. The eastern understanding of the Tao is very similar to the Greek and subsequently Christian understanding of the Logos. Lao Tzu wrote of the Way: "I do not know its name, but but characterize it as the Way (Tao)". This statement alone suggests the possibility that the way he is referring to the Tao is that it clearly could be more than just some impersonal force. By saying he does not know its name implies that he is giving the Tao a personal identity, however remote. He saw the Tao in a metaphysical sense; that it is the Way, the Path or Pattern of Heaven, and the course that all things follow. He saw the Tao as the "uncreated cause" of all things. The concepts of the Tao and Logos (Word) are so similar in fact that Chinese translators of the Gospels have always translated John's Gospel thus: "In the beginning was the Tao, and the Tao was with God and the Tao was God." This is no mere word play to reach an audience; the philosophical concepts of both are virtually identical. Greek philosophers saw the Logos as the Creator, the Sustainer, the Pattern and Ordering Principle of nature, just as the Taoists see the Tao. And while neither the Taoists nor the Greeks had a personal name for it, as I mentioned above, it was always implied that this Tao or Logos was personal and not impersonal. That name of which the Taoists and the Greek philosophers sought...has been made known to us, it has been revealed; because this Eternal Logos, this Eternal Tao became flesh and dwelt among us in history. Christ is the Eternal Tao, the Eternal Logos.

Finally, a word about original sin. Once again, it is just my opinion that this could be seen as an over-generalization to say that we simply start as a "noob." This is not what Buddhism teaches at all. In fact, the Buddhist concept of Samsara is not entirely unlike original sin. The Buddha taught that since beginningless time man has been ensnared in this trap of becoming, in this endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. We are trapped in this state because we live in a state of maya, or delusion. We are bound to selfhood, bound to impermanent attachments and transitory, passing phenomena. Thus, to attain enlightenment, to attain Nirvana is seen as a struggle against the inner self, this false self. It is not simply being a "noob". And while Christians and Buddhists may have different cosmological beginnings and ends; the paths to get to those ends are often very similar. They often intersect and cross, and this is precisely why one will, with but a cursory study of comparative religion find literally hundreds of parallel statements between Jesus and the Buddha.

As you may be able to tell, I have the utmost respect for eastern religion and philosophy. I have studied both extensively for many years; and yes, there are most certainly differences, but there are a lot of similarities as well. And I certainly don't think all Asians would find the concept of monotheism pathetic or laughable. The Buddha himself never confirmed or denied the existence of a deity; he simply thought it irrelevant to his teaching, which was the cessation of suffering in the present moment and this battle against the false self, concepts of which monotheists and Christian mystics are all too familiar with themselves.

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#14    Nenaraz

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 03:00 AM

View Postambelamba, on 20 April 2014 - 11:43 PM, said:

So Jesus was not the supernatural deity.
I'm Christian in the true sense of that word, or so I'd like to believe though I follow Christianity close. There's no blasphemy in my point of view, there's only knowledge and ignorance and neither is blasphemous.
Try like this - The "supernatural" things in the Bible are = Metaphors. Would that be too hard to accept?
The twelve Israeli tribes, the twelve apostles = Zodiac signs. The whole Bible is the prophecy for the Age of Aquarious. The Bible itself is Age of Pisces which culminated during the 1100s merging down Pisces (Religion, Illusion, Alcohol) and Virgo (Science, Banking, Medicine) thus producing the Crusaders who were the first banking system, ending up in Switzerland who, miracle, miracle, wore the cross, are expert bankers and furthermore are taking the role in the greatest scientific research currently. Are their trains also known? Punctuality, another trait of Virgo. Hm.
Thing is - The Bible is not the answer, it's the guide. The religion is not the answer, it's the route towards the answer. Religious people often FORGET this important thing and walk astray from the [cliche warning] "path of righteousness" heh  :}

Truth is, I'd hate to live next to the zealous "Christians" in the USA who're creationism fanatics. I couldn't cope up with the stupidity present there, so I have a bit of understanding for the zealous atheists who prove to be more Christian that they allow to themselves to actually believe.

Try to distinct these things - God - Religion - Organized Religion. The last one is easily mistaken for the 2nd one and unjustly so.


#15    ambelamba

ambelamba

    Just an average guy who tries to be...NORMAL!!!!

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  • It's good to be mildly skeptical to remain sane. But too much of it will make you a douche.

Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:47 AM

Catholicism is an 'imported' religion by Spanish conquerors.

They came with a Bible and their religion. stole our land, crushed our spirit, and now they tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved.

-Chief Pontiac (1718-1769)




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