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Troubling Doctrines For Christians

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Because the idea of being "saved" or "destined for Destruction" directly contradicts everything that Jesus taught about every single person being able to be "saved" if they would just understand what he was saying. Also, his meaning of being "saved" meant to understand the truth about God and to ultimately become part of God, not a crude, heads or tails choice between being Saved or Destructed. That's how one gets around it, because it was not how Jesus saw it.

So why did Jesus speak in parables?

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Troubling doctrines? I could make a list but the worst one for me is vicarious salvation, especially in the form of animal and human sacrifice. It's morally repugnant and illogical.

"By oneself alone is evil done,

By oneself alone is one defiled,

By oneself alone is evil avoided.

By oneself is one purified.

Purity and impurity depend on oneself,

None can purify another"

- Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha

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Posted (edited)

How did this occur? Did God create us this way?

According to Scripture we were created "good". If you read the account of Creation in general and man in particular in Genesis, at the end God said it was "very good". We were also given free will and as such could either obey or disobey God's only restriction at that time. Though the Bible does not say when a portions of the angels rebelled and fell, many theologians believe it was after Creation and (obviously) prior to the fall of man, where Satan interjected himself into the account.

Man as a free moral agent was deceived and followed Satan rather than God. Our fallen nature seems after that point to be hereditary, that is two fallen individuals can only produce a fallen offspring. Perhaps that is why Jesus was not conceived using two human parents, had He been so he too would presumably had a fallen nature and therefore could not be a sacrifice of the sins of others.

So we were not created as fallen, any more that Satan or the other fallen angels were. Rather as free moral agents we (and the angels) made a very bad decision and its effects have reverberated throughout history. It's a bit like telling a child not to touch a glower burner on the stove and he does it anyway, there are and will be consequences.

Edited by Sundew
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According to Scripture we were created "good". If you read the account of Creation in general and man in particular in Genesis, at the end God said it was "very good". We were also given free will and as such could either obey or disobey God's only restriction at that time. Though the Bible does not say when a portions of the angels rebelled and fell, many theologians believe it was after Creation and (obviously) prior to the fall of man, where Satan interjected himself into the account.

And many Christians will say the Creation account didn't literally occur. So I guess the question still remains.

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So why did Jesus speak in parables?

Because his ideas were more subtle than the old black and white, "us" & "them" thinking that people had had for centuries. What he tried to do with his parables was to try to put his ideas in ways that his audience would be able to relate to. To simply boil down his teaching to simple black/white thinking that classifies people into "Saved" and "Others" does him rather a disservice, I feel, although people who claim to be "Christian" have been doing that for very many years, of course.

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And many Christians will say the Creation account didn't literally occur. So I guess the question still remains.

I rather doubt that Christians who don't believe in the Creation account literally would also believe in "original Sin" as a concept either, somehow.

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I find the "doctrine" itself troubling.

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Posted (edited)

The role women play is pretty non existent or it makes women look bad, the feminine aspect of the godhead has been completely stripped and the right gods people have to pillage other lands (rape and kill and steal) the massive attack on other belief systems

That is the docrine that bothers me for the most part, then there is the religious attitudes.. that is also disturbing

Edited by SpiritWriter

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Because the idea of being "saved" or "destined for Destruction" directly contradicts everything that Jesus taught about every single person being able to be "saved" if they would just understand what he was saying. Also, his meaning of being "saved" meant to understand the truth about God and to ultimately become part of God, not a crude, heads or tails choice between being Saved or Destructed. That's how one gets around it, because it was not how Jesus saw it.

Do you have scriptural evidence of your interpretation of salvation? I interpret damnation and salvation as opposites describing one's state in the afterlife. I don't see how my interpretation contradicts anything that Christ taught. Of course, He preached the salvation of souls. After His time here, people could accept or reject Him. Their choice affected the states of their souls in the afterlife, according to Christianity. Surely, an omniscient God knew what choice they would make. The only alternative is that He didn't.

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Troubling doctrines? I could make a list but the worst one for me is vicarious salvation, especially in the form of animal and human sacrifice. It's morally repugnant and illogical.

"By oneself alone is evil done,

By oneself alone is one defiled,

By oneself alone is evil avoided.

By oneself is one purified.

Purity and impurity depend on oneself,

None can purify another"

- Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha

The idea of sacrifices was troubling to me too. It probably was a reflection of cultural practices, that were seen as norms, in Abraham's place and time. The Hebrews likely made a comparatively huge jump in understanding when they eschewed human sacrifices that were seen as normal by some of the other cultures of that time. That said, the story of the young Isaac greatly bothered me when I was a kid.

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I find the "doctrine" itself troubling.

Could you be more specific? I take it that you're referring to all Christianity.

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The role women play is pretty non existent or it makes women look bad, the feminine aspect of the godhead has been completely stripped and the right gods people have to pillage other lands (rape and kill and steal) the massive attack on other belief systems

That is the docrine that bothers me for the most part, then there is the religious attitudes.. that is also disturbing

Women were treated relatively well during the very early stages of the Church. Their future treatment often mirrored the culture around them. As for murder and rape, CINOs (Christians In Name Only) have no monopoly on that. Those crimes are universal to humanity, and no "group" is immune despite fashionable fairy tales that try to scapegoat one group over other groups.

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The idea of sacrifices was troubling to me too. It probably was a reflection of cultural practices, that were seen as norms, in Abraham's place and time.

Yes, as was Yahweh the Ugaritic Hill/Storm god.

The Hebrews likely made a comparatively huge jump in understanding when they eschewed human sacrifices that were seen as normal by some of the other cultures of that time. That said, the story of the young Isaac greatly bothered me when I was a kid.

But they still continued slaughtering lambs (as some kind of scapegoat) until the Romans destroyed the last temple. Christianity continues to do this ritually and thankfully metaphorically. Agnus dei qui tollis peccata mundi

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But they still continued slaughtering lambs (as some kind of scapegoat) until the Romans destroyed the last temple. Christianity continues to do this ritually and thankfully metaphorically. Agnus dei qui tollis peccata mundi

Look on the bright side. At least, no Christian churches are like Santeria.

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Women were treated relatively well during the very early stages of the Church. Their future treatment often mirrored the culture around them. As for murder and rape, CINOs (Christians In Name Only) have no monopoly on that. Those crimes are universal to humanity, and no "group" is immune despite fashionable fairy tales that try to scapegoat one group over other groups.

The question is what I dont like about biblical doctrine. Many parts of the bible make this ok for gods people to do simply because of the god they serve... I did not imply this wasnt a universal trait. Womens treatment mirrored the culture around them... ok but there is still misogyny in doctrine (jusyifying this) and I dont like thay aspect of it...

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Look on the bright side. At least, no Christian churches are like Santeria.

Not long ago they used to claim that some animals were demonic or an evil plague, that had to be anathematized and executed.

I'm sure I could find a syncretic flavour of Christianity somewhere in the Caribbean or Africa that does involve animal sacrifice. I know, hardly orthodox, but still ....

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Posted (edited)

Because his ideas were more subtle than the old black and white, "us" & "them" thinking that people had had for centuries. What he tried to do with his parables was to try to put his ideas in ways that his audience would be able to relate to. To simply boil down his teaching to simple black/white thinking that classifies people into "Saved" and "Others" does him rather a disservice, I feel, although people who claim to be "Christian" have been doing that for very many years, of course.

Hmm, He taught in ways that his audience could relate to? I was under the impression he spoke in parables so that his audience wouldn't understand him! Which seems to contradict your assertion that everything that Jesus taught about every single person being able to be "saved"
Matthew 13:

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven(H) has been given to you,(I) but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.(J)13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;

though hearing, they do not hear or understand.(K)

14 In them is fulfilled(L) the prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;

you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.

15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;

they hardly hear with their ears,

and they have closed their eyes.

Otherwise they might see with their eyes,

hear with their ears,

understand with their hearts

and turn, and I would heal them.’

Edited by Paranoid Android

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Do you have scriptural evidence of your interpretation of salvation? I interpret damnation and salvation as opposites describing one's state in the afterlife. I don't see how my interpretation contradicts anything that Christ taught. Of course, He preached the salvation of souls. After His time here, people could accept or reject Him. Their choice affected the states of their souls in the afterlife, according to Christianity. Surely, an omniscient God knew what choice they would make. The only alternative is that He didn't.

I'm afraid I don't take every single thing that's said in every single part of the Bible, including the OT and the many opinions of Paul, literally. I prefer to look at what Jesus said about things. All the "salvation or damnation" was all invented by "Christian thinkers" like Paul & Augustine and all that lot, very often to completely twist and pervert the words of the one they claimed to follow, for their own purposes. That purpose mainly being to get power for themselves and control over the people. It was often little short of a crime. And all this argument about "an omniscisent God" knowing what choice people would make is really anthropomorphising, isn't it. It gives the impression of how as sitting up there, on his throne in the clouds, with huge filing cabinets full of dossiers on every single person who's ever lived, and a record of whether they've been naughty or nice.

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Posted (edited)

Hmm, He taught in ways that his audience could relate to? I was under the impression he spoke in parables so that his audience wouldn't understand him! Which seems to contradict your assertion that everything that Jesus taught about every single person being able to be "saved"

I'm afraid don't really understand your line of argument here. You're saying that Jesus spoke in parables because he wanted to be mysterious & enigmatic. So why are you so sure that his beliefs, ideas and theories are so in keeping with those of Paul? If they're open to individual interpretation, why are you so sure that Paul so right about it? The whole poitn about Jesus' teaching was that it was about compassion for all of humanity, and to teach them how to return to unity with God, which was what "Original Sin" was, people moving away from this unity with God. That completely goes against any notion of people being "destined" for one thing or another.

Edited by Lord Vetinari
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Posted (edited)

I'm afraid don't really understand your line of argument here. You're saying that Jesus spoke in parables because he wanted to be mysterious & enigmatic. So why are you so sure that his beliefs, ideas and theories are so in keeping with those of Paul? If they're open to individual interpretation, why are you so sure that Paul so right about it? The whole poitn about Jesus' teaching was that it was about compassion for all of humanity, and to teach them how to return to unity with God, which was what "Original Sin" was, people moving away from this unity with God. That completely goes against any notion of people being "destined" for one thing or another.

I'm saying that Jesus intentionally spoke in order that certain people wouldn't understand him. If he wanted everyone saved he wouldn't have used parables. Those who wanted to understand Jesus would have to enquire further, but he knew that many wouldn't. Everything is up for individual interpretation, but not all interpretations are valid. Needless to say that after reading the New Testament, the teachings of Paul and Jesus have never clashed for me, they complement each other. Not having any reason not to accept Paul, I choose to believe that his teachings are valid for spiritual growth and understanding God. Edited by Paranoid Android
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The slavery n the bible, more closely reflects indenturd servants here the usa.

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The role women play is pretty non existent or it makes women look bad, the feminine aspect of the godhead has been completely stripped and the right gods people have to pillage other lands (rape and kill and steal) the massive attack on other belief systems

That is the docrine that bothers me for the most part, then there is the religious attitudes.. that is also disturbing

With a few exceptions gods people were ordered not toi take anything from the defeated cities. One of the reasons David hd to raid the temple for food.

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Sundew, that indeed was very helpful. Most of your points tracked with my own understanding of those issues. One could start a new thread on whether or not Hell makes moral sense when good people ostensibly go there. Your explanation mirrored traditional Christian teachings on the subject, though. I liked what you said about the ancient Middle East in that certain events, that seem very bizarre in our era, make more sense in the context of those places and times. We often make the same kinds of mistakes when judging other chapters of the historical record through the lens of America in 2013. We may part company on slavery, as it's not severely criticized in the New Testament. I realize that much of that comes from the culture of that era, but the lack of criticism is still troubling.

Thanks! Yeah the issue of "good" people going to hell (and then for all eternity) is very troubling. My understanding is that God, being perfect, cannot exist in the presence of sin. Sin I believe was an ancient archery term meaning to "miss the mark" and we as human beings cannot live up to God's perfection in our fallen state and so we miss the mark. God gave the world His solution to the problem in that God Himself would be the perfect sacrifice for sins, the perfect sacrificed for the imperfect. The Scripture say that Christ took on our sins and in return imputed to us His righteousness, so that when God looks at us, he does not see our sins but instead sees the righteousness of Christ. It is pretty obvious from reading the Scriptures that God only made a single way, on His own terms that He will accept, which seems pretty clear form John 14:6:

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

This isn't popular and certainly isn't politically correct, but that is what the text says.

As to good people, I just lost a relative and attended his funeral yesterday, by all human accounts he was a "good" man and I liked him a lot, however that has little to do with his eternal state. That hinges on his acceptance or rejection of the Sacrifice God provided.

Concerning slavery, that sadly has been the lot of humanity for most of history. Think about the fact that is was standard operating procedure for a conquering nation to enslave a subjugated one. At the time the New Testament was written Rome had conquered most of the know world, and the Jews were virtual slaves to Rome, at least as far as taxation, and carrying out their own laws. For instance, when the Pharisees wanted to put Jesus to death they appealed to their Roman overlords to carry out the sentence because they said under Rome "they were not allowed to put anyone to death", very hypocritical to say the least since not long before they were ready to stone the woman caught in adultery (which was probably an illegal act under Roman law).

Slavery is troubling, all I can say is the Bible depicts man, and history, "warts and all". It is not some idealistic collections of writings showing how great man is, or the jews were, or the early Christians were, it is more a mirror on the human condition. And that ain't always pretty......

One last thing, slavery is not always about whips and chains and being taken from one's homeland. I recently heard that prior to the Civil War in America one could be considered a slave if one owed more than 25% of his income to the government. Think about that! If you were to add up all the various taxes: Federal and State income, capital gains, sales, school, property, gasoline, cigarette, alcohol, payroll, cable taxes, phone taxes, imbedded taxes, etc, etc, etc., most people are paying well over 50% of every dollar they earn in taxes to the government and in some cases near 75%. By that definition we are ALL economic slaves and it's not looking like it will get better. True you don't have to have phone and cable, etc., but most of us do and most may not realize the hidden tax burdens of these luxuries.

So how does it feel to be a fellow slave!

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It isn't god that be in the presence of evil. It is the other way round.

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Posted (edited)

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

This isn't popular and certainly isn't politically correct, but that is what the text says.

Is it possible that this is a principle, is the truth, irregardless of which text its written in? Those who came through christ and now are in communion with god and can see the assocoation between God and Christ, that indeed this figure is the carnate of god and representation of ourselves as well, to them it is clear that this Jesus is the way the truth and the life. There are other variables that make this hard for some people to accept. 1. The spirit of the lord moves on its own accord like the wind choosing who to reveal this too, that is important to consider 2. Hearts are hardened to Christianity because of its authoritative stance and its hate practices and because of this have built a even higher defence around thier heart from the likes of God, 3. In order for a person to come to god they will have to face thier own demons and this can be a scary place and also a place of deep denial

There is a balance between political correctness and truth.

Chist is the eye opener, the one who was resurrected on our behalf and so has the ability to resurrect. Any person who is in relation with god understands this principle regardless to the fact if they are christian or not. (If they dont they should, and it would be clear to me that if any would say, any way but Jesus is the right way, that they have a lot more soul work to do.) There is power in the name of Jesus and indeed he is the Christ. I have posed this question before and am not adverse to the idea that Jesus (although very real) is a figure for this Christ, but it is the priciple that is important here and not our adversities to religion and text. I have asked the question: are there other ways to God? I dont think its about putting a face on it or arguing about certain scriptures or what they mean, and for me it is definately not about being confined to one particular text... but acknowedging that God does love and value each and everyone of us to redeem us back to himself, not only because he cares about our needs and wants whats best for us but because he wants to be in communion with us, he wants to watch and help us grow and in reality he needs us! We are an extention of him' we are apart of thw universal body, and as long as we are sick the whole world is sick, being adjoined back to god is like being on the antibiotic team, healing yourself and therefore healing the world.

That being said. There are parts of the bible that make me mad, not because I cant accept that the whole world is sick and so therefore is every institution.. I get that but the problem is that these things have become an issue in seperating us further from god and furthervfrom each other because most christians stick by the dogma that the bible is the final authority, this not only limits Christians in understanding who God really is but causes even the concept and reality of divinity to be something that is argued about rather than experienced.

If anybody would listen to little old me today I would tell them there is truth and esoteric knowledge in the teachings of the bible if you contemplate and apply its teaching while in the spirit (this is a state of submission, not in a negative way but in a way of spiritual alertness, a higher state of your own self, a spiritually activated state) and that it is true Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life.

For Christians I would quote this scripture:

1Cor. 8:3

If any man love God he is known by God.

To me this speaks of ANYONE regardless of religion.

PEACE

Edited by SpiritWriter

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