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ranrod

How much do looks matter for Christians?

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OK here's a painting of Jesus armwrestling with Satan. I say that Jesus is on the left and that handsome devil (painted as a Caucasian because why not?) is Satan is on the right.

post-108987-0-16301200-1360885583_thumb.

No sins that I can see here. Any problems with it? I guess Jesus isn't as attractive as Satan but you say there's no problem as long as Jesus isn't depicted as committing sins.

I've got no problem with it, though I'm pretty sure whoever painted that picture intended Jesus to be on the right.

I was at a sci-fi convention a couple of years ago, someone was dressed as Jesus, white robes, long hair, beard. I took a photo of him shaking hands with Santa Claus. I thought it was hilarious.

Why not? Jesus wasn't European-Caucasian either.

What difference does it make how tall he was? Is height important to Christians? I know Christian Bibles added three feet onto Goliath's height.

You brought up Michael Jordan and said we should start making Jesus look like him. I was just curious why. I honestly don't care how people choose to draw or not draw Jesus, it just isn't a big deal for me. I don't have paintings of Jesus up on my wall at home, or at the church I attend.
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That's fine, I totally believe you, 'Biblical faith' or 'Faith' capitalized is not believing without evidence, it's something more specific involving trust and acting on it. Unfortunately for both of us, we didn't create a different word that refers to the modern definition of the word faith involving believing without evidence, as Christians invoke the word faith in this sense. Thus, 'the faith that Christians have' is not just restricted to 'Biblical faith', and leaves the term 'Christian faith' ambiguous as to what specifically is being referred to. Now I don't remember what formulation of faith I used, and I'm sure no matter what I said it is legitimate and fair for you to have interpreted me as referring to Faith. Is it fair to say that Biblical faith follows after a belief in God has been established? Am I correct that Biblical faith has almost nothing to do with how a believer arrived at this belief, unlike modern 'faith' which for some people is to some extent involved sometimes in arriving at their belief?

No one in the Bible credited with faith was done so solely for believing God exists. For me, I've always believed God exists. God was always there, in some ways God's existence has always been real to me. At moments of doubt in my teens I did move into agnosticism, but for the most part I knew God existed. It was a fact of my life. I wasn't always a Christian, though. I didn't turn to Christ until I was 19-20'ish. I moved from knowing God exists (not faith) to trusting that God spoke to me through the Bible and acting on it (faith). So yes, what you said was a fair comment. Faith has little to do with believing in God.

I think where I'm getting blocked is that I'm still thinking about how 'belief' and 'trust' are interrelating here, specifically in "I can say "I believe" all I like, but if my belief does not lead to the TRUST required to step up and do something about it, then that is not true faith.". I can parse that a few ways. Is it possible for someone to believe with as much certainty as possible that the Christian God exists and to believe Jesus is their savior, and not have 'true faith', they don't put it into action? That would probably be the clarifying question for me. I don't think you mean it simply as 'some people say they believe but don't really'. One issue I have is that I keep wanting to end your sentence not with 'then that is not true faith', but with 'then they apparently don't actually really believe in the Christian God, for if you did you would automatically or by definition possess the trust required". If you don't trust enough to not put your faith into action, to stop or at least struggle against sinning I believe would probably be the primary requirement, in some sense it seems you don't believe in the Christian God. I think I'm overlapping what we had discussed briefly on another thread concerning whether it's really consistent or accurate to refer to 'Christian terrorists', and am probably just needlessly talking myself in circles just because of semantics here.

If you believed truly what God says then how could you not put it into action? For example, if you and I were living in an apartment together, you're at the computer posting on UM and I come running in, telling you that the stove's caught fire and spread to the rest of the kitchen, I've called the fire brigade but we have to get out NOW. If you turn around and say, "sure PA, I believe you" and then turn and continue reading the forums did you truly believe me? Did you TRUST me (faith)? The way you would show faith in me would be to get up and try clearing the building.

That's not to say that followers of God are always perfect. There are times when we sin. It's a natural part of life. What matters to God is not whether we sin, but whether we try not to and make amends for it when we do.

And just to address your other point - I guess it is possible for someone to truly believe the Christian God but do nothing about it. They're called hypocrites, and when they meet Jesus he will tell them "Begone from me, I never knew you".

Concerning your example where God orders you to be a missionary, I guess, not believing myself, that maybe I've never thought of what's really going on when Christians intentionally sin or disobey. I suspect I've mistakenly thought that this happens partly out of doubt that their religious beliefs are correct, and maybe it is for some even if it's just for a short time, but I guess I've never considered someone who truly believes with absolute certainty and then commits adultery for example. If you truly know God is watching you and disapproves of what you are doing, I have trouble understanding how anyone can then do it, but as I said I just started thinking about it. I understand your missionary example as clarifying what Biblical faith means, but as a real scenario, I don't even understand why option #1 is there; the way you've defined it, it was certainly God, and I don't then understand not obeying an order by the Supreme Being of ultimate goodness who promises to provide you the ultimate reward.

Intentionally sinning is human nature. While I would never condone adultery, some people do it for various reasons. This may or may not indicate a complete loss of trust in God, but it does show that for a time their sinfulness got in the way of their relationship with God.

As to my scenario, #1 is on there because there are many reasons why I may not want to go on Mission. It would require me to give up my career (temporarily, at least). I couldn't go and play my weekly Poker tournament, which would be annoying. It would require that I go to an area of the world I don't want to go, among people I don't know. It would be scary. I do not believe I have what it takes to be a missionary. So if God came and asked me, it would be a decision to make, even with a direct command from God. Incidentally, though I did not intend it this way, this example parallels what happened to Jonah in the Bible. Jonah was sent by God to bring a message to the people of Ninevah. But Jonah hated the Ninevites and so ran from God's calling, taking a ship and crossing the ocean (the exact opposite direction he needed to go, to an inland city. Several calamities later and the whale/big fish vomits Jonah up where he should have been headed to begin with.

That said, I'd like to think that if God did require me to become a missionary that I would have the courage and conviction to follow even though I do not want to.

~ Regards, PA

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The word faith is not referred to in the quote but it is meant. To believe without seeing is faith. You don't have to use a word to get the message across.

one of several answers: firm belief in something for which there is no proof

http://www.merriam-w...ictionary/faith

I have never seen Jesus but I do believe in him. Is that not faith?

The demons also believe in Jesus, and they shudder! I have never seen Jesus either, and I believe in him. But that alone is not faith. Leastaways this alone is not a living faith. The book of James deals with this and says that Faith, unless accompanied by works, is a dead faith.

That's not to say that we are saved by our works. It is still Grace through faith. But our works are a natural extension of our Faith, if they are not there then we must question whether the faith is there also.

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I doubt looks would matter for any intelligent Christian/follower of Jesus.

But I bet there are those who think he was white.

There are are.

I once heard a KKK leader express

" Jesus hates Rag heads" of course bigotly referring to middle eastern people in which jesus surely is. I bursted out laughing on the spot.

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Is not. It is an entirely valid comparison. There is no logical reason to regard believers in the bible in any different from believers in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

An irrational belief system is an irrational belief system. To claim that one irrational belief system is superior to another irrational belief system is simply not a position that you can defend.... other than by posturing and name-calling.

Except there is no irrational belief system in a FSM. it is a CONSTRUCT designed to RIDICULE another point of view by makeing Eronius comparisons. ( please see PAs information from where it came from). This is not logic. Infact logical reasoning frowns heavily on atacking any thing but the argument itself. Makeing up a STRAW MAN because YOU THINK it can be compared to what the discussion idabout is not in any sense of the word a logical argument. So you can say in your opinion it's a good comparison, but if you want to invoke LOGIC, you will be torn to shreds. In fact, it's not even slightly a logical position.

Most people do not even know the real anthropological and pysiological facts ( not even theists) concerning the origins of religions. In fact, its not even irrational to believe in god or gods. It's built into the very nature of our existence in more ways than most ever imagined.

The FSM is a straw man no matter which way you tilt or spin in. Sorry... Logic is logic. There is reason why logic is not based on opinions,

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Was there there some guy called Jesus in Palestine 2000 years ago? Heck, yes! There there thousands of guys called Jesus. Just there are today.

Was Jesus the result of some fictitious supernatural being impregnating a virgin Mary? Just as much as there is a Flying Spaghetti Monster.

The difference is zip, zilch, nada, nix,. nill.

So, you are discussing the skin color of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. No banana, try again.

Are you really as dim as this post makes you sound, or is there some other reason you are not discussing the point ?

Try reading and thinking about what I wrote.

A man called jesus (or something similar) back in judea 2000 years ago, taught something which established an immediate cult following and within a couple of decades was perceived by roman emporers as a threat to roman religions. It adapted judaism (itself an evolution of several other faiths) into an entirely new belief system. With the redirection of paul/saul in preaching to the gentiles, this teaching became the greatest (largest) religious belief in the world today.

OF course the man's ethnicity is critical. It was his role, as a jew reinterpeting old judaic theology, and later paul's expansion of this, which gave billions of human their modern beliefs. They need to know and understand the man he was.

In contrast the colour of the FSM is irrelevant to anyone. The theological constructs of christianity are not illogical or irrational But yes they do require belief. People who construct and hold a belief in christ (Or god) can be healed, empowered, live longer happier and healthier lives; feel less pain, not be lonely depressed angry or alienated. All this is demonstrable, scientifically and medically Thus even if no god existed it would be logical and rational to choose a belief in one, and illogical and irrational to condemn yourself to a inferior life by choosing not to believe. It doesnt have to be the christian god, but the nature of the psychological construct of the christian god makes it very powerful and beneficial in man yf these areas, compared with other belief systems

For example it teaches that all men are equal and the worst drunk or wife beater is loved by god and can be turned around via belief in god. The drunk can give up drinking and find they have no reason to drink. The wife beater can become a loving and gentle man .All this occurs via belief, and its power to transform human beings. Christianity also invites the power of god into humans, and be that a physical power of a real god, or a power generated via faith within a person, it can, and does, work miracles inside a human being. On their body and in their mind.

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I doubt looks would matter for any intelligent Christian/follower of Jesus.

But I bet there are those who think he was white.

Native people in Israel are "ethnic" Caucasians.

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I've got no problem with it, though I'm pretty sure whoever painted that picture intended Jesus to be on the right.

How can you tell? The guy on the right looks like an ordinary powerless human while the guy on the left clearly has tremendous supernatural powers. I'd put my money on the guy on the left.

You brought up Michael Jordan and said we should start making Jesus look like him. I was just curious why.

Because Michael Jordan is a fine looking guy, better looking than this pale hippy that is supposed to be Jesus in old paintings. If there's nothing wrong with painting Jesus as a supermodel, why not update his look?

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How can you tell? The guy on the right looks like an ordinary powerless human while the guy on the left clearly has tremendous supernatural powers. I'd put my money on the guy on the left.

:rolleyes: I honestly can't tell whether you're trolling right now, or whether you're just obtuse.

Because Michael Jordan is a fine looking guy, better looking than this pale hippy that is supposed to be Jesus in old paintings. If there's nothing wrong with painting Jesus as a supermodel, why not update his look?

I'd have nothing against it, though your "pale hippy" comment is very much a subjective statement. Not everyone finds Michael Jordan that good looking. Fact is, you're not going to find many people changing the archetypal Jesus-mould - the current depiction is steeped in centuries of artistic tradition. If one or two people draw him differently the majority will still have the white robe/long-hair/beard in their mind's eye simply because that is what they are used to.

Incidentally, the way you refer to Jesus as a "pale hippy", I'm not entirely certain you're not trolling here either!

Edited by Paranoid Android
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Jesus (as opposed to god) is historically accepted as a real entity. The flying spaghetti monster is not.

Second it does not matter what colour an imagined being with no influence over millions of people's live is, whereas it is important to maintain historicla verisimiltude as far as possible for a real human being worshipped by bilions.

But Jesus being a historical figure is not a fact. A lie is a lie even if billions believe it. The truth is the truth even if no one believes it.

Do you think there was a historical Jesus? ...I'm not quite sure where you stand on that.

Bronze-age cultures invented the pre-cursors to Judaism and Christianity, and didn't have the slightest clue what was causing the things that were happening to them. Why are their opinions more valid than ours? How likely are their tales to be accurate? I'd say no more than that of tribal men living in isolation today.

...btw, in answer to a previous post of yours, there are plenty of ugly people in the world with a ton of charisma. A historical Jesus (if there was one), could look like the guy on the left of my original post, and be charismatic enough to gather followers.

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The demons also believe in Jesus, and they shudder! I have never seen Jesus either, and I believe in him. But that alone is not faith. Leastaways this alone is not a living faith. The book of James deals with this and says that Faith, unless accompanied by works, is a dead faith.

That's not to say that we are saved by our works. It is still Grace through faith. But our works are a natural extension of our Faith, if they are not there then we must question whether the faith is there also.

Native people in Israel are "ethnic" Caucasians.

ah, we've found one of those people who thinks Jesus was white... If you learned as a matter of fact that Jesus was dark brown or even more African looking (...the Jews were African slaves after all according to the bible), would you stop following Christianity?

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But Jesus being a historical figure is not a fact. A lie is a lie even if billions believe it. The truth is the truth even if no one believes it.

Do you think there was a historical Jesus? ...I'm not quite sure where you stand on that.

Bronze-age cultures invented the pre-cursors to Judaism and Christianity, and didn't have the slightest clue what was causing the things that were happening to them. Why are their opinions more valid than ours? How likely are their tales to be accurate? I'd say no more than that of tribal men living in isolation today.

...btw, in answer to a previous post of yours, there are plenty of ugly people in the world with a ton of charisma. A historical Jesus (if there was one), could look like the guy on the left of my original post, and be charismatic enough to gather followers.

Of course there was an historical jesus Traditional history is pretty clear on this.

His divinity is an entirely different question But cults (small groups of christs followers) sprang up in the local area based on christ's teachings immediately, and local shrines appeared. There were christian churches in the "local" area with in a couple of decades of christ's death and the roman records document christian followers in rome within about 3 decades of christ's death All that is historical fact

There are no writings about christ from his time, but there are writings about the followers of christ and about christian churches within a decade or two of his death .

Judaism evolved from both babylonian and egyptian religious beliefs (not suprisingly) But the early hebiru (or children of the dust) remade god into the form of god we know today. This occered probably for two reasons There comitmnnet to historical timelines with geneaologies and linear concepts of time and their concept of a personal god who walked with them individually. This process is explained in "The gifts of the jews" by thomas cahill. They also transformed nomadic gods (and associated laws for living) into ones for settled and family- based pastoralists and agrarians. Christ WAS NOT considered ugly by the people of his time and place. He might have been ordinary looking but this is unlikely. He was tall for his society, a strong man, fit and healthy and used to manual labour. Peter, who was a very big and strong man, and very physical in nature, deferred to him. He was ALSO very charismatic Men and women found him attractive While not overtly stated all this is implicit within the gospels.

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Of course there was an historical jesus Traditional history is pretty clear on this.

His divinity is an entirely different question But cults (small groups of christs followers) sprang up in the local area based on christ's teachings immediately, and local shrines appeared. There were christian churches in the "local" area with in a couple of decades of christ's death and the roman records document christian followers in rome within about 3 decades of christ's death All that is historical fact

We'll have to disagree on what constitutes a historical fact, but that's a subject of a different topic.

Good looks are subjective and culturally dependent. It could be that he would be considered ugly today, but handsome back in the day.

I still think if a middle-eastern who could be characterized as tall, handsome, and charismatic, walked up to people in America and said that he was the son of God and they should follow him, Americans would rather call the FBI on him. Yet they pray every day to a middle-eastern man painted to look as white as possible. Ironic.

Can you provide an example of what he might have looked like?

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We'll have to disagree on what constitutes a historical fact, but that's a subject of a different topic.

Good looks are subjective and culturally dependent. It could be that he would be considered ugly today, but handsome back in the day.

I still think if a middle-eastern who could be characterized as tall, handsome, and charismatic, walked up to people in America and said that he was the son of God and they should follow him, Americans would rather call the FBI on him. Yet they pray every day to a middle-eastern man painted to look as white as possible. Ironic.

Can you provide an example of what he might have looked like?

No one really knows what he looked like, but we know many things about him, such as his age and background, fitness level and how others reacted to him. I would think he looked like what a tall, dark, handsome person of his "race" or ethnic background looks like today. Particularly one who eats very healthily, and who walks every where, often many miles in a day and hundreds of miles in some weeks.

He would have the body of an athlete, with almost no fat but lot of muscle and sinew. It is probable that he had long hair and a beard, given the customs of the time and his religious background.

I've never been in a church where images of jesus showed a white man ie a northern european. At the very least he appears olive skinned and of middle eastern extraction. Sometimes his skin is a darker brown but certainly not "negroid" or "caucasian" Generally his nose is "sterotypically" semitic or jewish ie long and narrow possibly with a slight hook on its end. These are paintings or images from last century and, i think, show a fair appreciation of what a real jewish jesus would have looked like.

I kind of like this guy as a slightly older, modern day, jesus

68DFFC31-C00C-4640-8859-3F52FC3085A6_mw800_mh600.jpg

Ironic huh?

http://islamizationwatch.blogspot.com.au/2009/06/whats-in-name-why-did-ahmadinejads.html

Edited by Mr Walker

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