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An Easter question

Posted on 2014-04-20
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Initially there was only God. After a while he got bored of talking to himself and created some companions, demigods called angels. Unfortunately, God is rather a bumbling creator. Hence His creation was flawed, and some of the angels decided they wanted to rule heaven themselves. There was an almighty fight, but God won and the angels, now called devils, were cast into hell.

Some time later, God got bored again and decided to create a world called Earth. On it He created plants, animals, and people, in that order. Or, depending on which Genesis story you believe, He created Adam, then the animals to keep him company and, when that was not enough, a female companion, Eve.

Not being much good at creation, God made the people flawed. The devil saw that and decided to have some fun. God, who must have noticed this, decided not to take any action, and decided to sit on the sidelines while this demigod had a go at Eve and Adam. Predictably, considering the flaws that were built-into people, and the power of their adversary, Adam & Eve failed the test.

Now God, who in his omnipotence had created a flawed design and, being omniscient, would have known what was going to happen, did not decide to fix people up properly. Instead he become enraged at them and damned not only them, but all their descendants as well. Then, to show that He could be merciful as well, He decided to give people a way out of the damnation. He did this by sending Himself, in the guise of His son, to earth, there to be crucified by the descendants of Adam. After 3 days He had enough of being cooped up in a grave, got up, said hello to his friends and returned to heaven.

On earth people were led to believe that the death and resurrection of God would fix the damnation problem they had. Unfortunately (I did say God is a bungler), that did not work very well either. Before the death of Christ, the damned people would go to heaven or hell, depending on how they lived (except, one supposes, those that God massacred in Noah's flood). After Christ, people have not changed in any way, they are still just as flawd, and they are still told that their fate after death will depend on their behaviour in life.

So here's my question: what's the point of Easter? What difference has it made to humans, in the way they live or are expected to live?
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Question by:Herman D'Hondt
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by:WaterStreet
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In my opinion, your last paragraph question would make sense if everything that you said before it wasn't such a ridiculous idea. Where did you get that from?

I don't know what percentage of humans actually believe what you said before your final question.

In other words, I don't think any religion teaches what you said leading up to your final paragraph.

Seriously!
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Dave Baldwin earned 17 total points
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Chocolate candy and ham dinners are the main point for Easter.
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40012323
@WaterStreet
I don't know what percentage of humans actually believe what you said before your final question.
I'm just translating what seems to be accepted by most Christians.

Angels and devils are told to exist. As a Catholic youth in the 1960s I was told that the devils are angels who rebelled against God. There are indeed 2 conflicting creation stories in the bible. Adam & Eve were flawed and succumbed to the devil. Christ (i.e. God) got himself crucified but did not solve our problems by that (as far as I can see). With or without the resurrection, we're still flawed, and still condemned to go to hell if we misbehave.

Which of these are not mainstream Christian beliefs?

I know Christians don't see it the same way as me, but I'd like to hear what they have to say.
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by:tliotta
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To me, major flaws in all of it are two-fold.

First, there is no meaningful explanation that I've come across or seen for why the crucifixion/resurrection changed anything. The fact that a "God" could do such a thing isn't any evidence that it changes my situation at all.

And second, if we view it from the perspective that "God" became human in order to be part of our living experience, we find a human with enough faith to make walking on water possible, to change water into wine, to raise Lazarus. There have been plenty of 'regular' humans who have experienced crucifixion and other tortures to death in order to make a stand for their beliefs, and none of them had the degree of faith that Jesus is said to have. For a "God" to go through the experience seems to be no big deal. It would seem to be a very minor bump of the elbow when measured against the totality of "God". It simply doesn't seem to be an especially notable 'sacrifice'. Similar self-sacrifices by regular humans seem much more meaningful.

For Jesus, there seems to be some amount of foreknowledge of eventual results. The death from crucifixion would be temporary, and everlasting life in heaven would come. When the amount of faith is as great as is told to us, such foreknowledge seems to bring the significance down to near zero. Who wouldn't go through the same things if the same foreknowledge was present?

We're told "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,...". Except, of course, He didn't. It was more a temporary loan for the span of a blink of an eye when measured on an 'eternity' timescale. I can't find much significance in it.

Now, none of that is intended to declare that there is no God, that Jesus was not the living Son of God in human form. It's primarily that the stories about it simply aren't relevant to me. The stories are not part of what gives me my beliefs. If they were all proven archeologically to be exaggerations and made up, I'd still feel the same about my personal understanding of God and the relationship with me.

However, the same can't be said about many others. The stories are needed in the lives of those to whom they give spiritual nourishment. For those people, that's really all the reason required.

Just IMO.

Tom
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by:WaterStreet
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hdhondt,

I too would like to see what other Christians have to say about the view you presented.

(It might take a little while for more responses.)


WS
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by:SunBow
ID: 40016865
If we can defer addressing flaws in the given, and textual matters then, retaining concept of flawed,

Rephrasing Dave Baldwin comment,  the point of Easter:

Chocolate bunnies, candied ham, marshmallow chickens, lots of painted hardboiled eggs, and lots of baskets full of grass. This serves well enough to get the kiddies involved in the matter. (not to mention chocoholics of any age led more by stomach than original sin)

Since chocolate and grass are health foods and candy is not, we can identify an alternative response to a wonder whether which came first, chicken or egg. Response is alternate - the rabbits came first, being rather procreative, they had some grass and laid the eggs into the basket where they produced colorful chickens, not hams. Did any think that ham comes from eggs when they obviously contain yolks?

An update to tliotta comment could include concept of jesus=flawed, christ=god. Thusly some would have the former going "my power,my god, why have you forsaken me" (akin to some more recent elders saying "g-d-mm-t" or elder elders' request "Help Me!" Eli), then giving it all up, and going dead in a mere matter of hours, where the time on the cross was supposed to be three full days of agony on display for the mass-es - which would have been less than a blink of an eye to a god.

for question: what's the point of Easter?

[note easter herein translates to christendom]

What is strangely omitted in the above is not only the lack of mention of purgatory, but for the all important concept of afterlife, where people have a path.

> What difference has it made to humans

Answer: life after death

The sadducees (priests during tenure of jesus) did not believe in resurrection of the dead, thus no potential for rewards after life (or penalties for their personal misbehaviour). They did not celebrate easter, so one less holiday for them, not to mention their missing out on egg hunts, painting, even candied ham and s'mores. No penalty upon them for missing out on rewards from ever-living chocolate after losing access to tree of life.

> the way they live or are expected to live?

Answer: the path

It is the definition of the latter that can divide one christian from another

For example, the Westboro church agrees with you that

> After Christ, people have not changed in any way, they are still just as flawd, and they are still told that their fate after death will depend on their behaviour in life. ...
...damned not only them, but all their descendants as well

---except for the family of Fred Phelps who get a rapture to arise to the heavens like their lord (excepting those he personally excommunicated)

Now remember that some other church, some other christian, may prefer some other path, especially if not directly related to the late Mr Phelps, but it remains a matter of having a form of continuation beyond the grave for them personally, perhaps along with their favorite pet. It is not exaggeration that archaeologically the dog was domesticated for times of adam. Not sure which ones would keep same spouse.

Amongst believers there can be differing values placed upon different transgressions, as well as for potential redemptions, whether outright seeking redemption while alive or getting 'prayed for' after death. A rating scale can also have abundance of laws of man superceded by abundance of laws of religion superceded by special selected top ten list superceded by identified deady sins (7 tops). Through flawed faith one can rearrange rules to justify what it takes to achieve rapture. Or not. Potential for mitigation with communal sharing of fruit of the land. God's country.

The more complete answer for christendom is that the easter holiday is not only a day off from having to work a 'mainstream' day, the point of easter (answering) is

           path to life after death (afterlife)
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40017132
> life after death

Life after death is not an invention of the Christians. Other religions had it long before: start with the Greeks & Egyptians. So did the Hebrews. Their ideas were (obviously) different from the Christian ones, but they did not believe that people's spirit/soul just vanished at death. It went somewhere else, be that Hades or the company of God.
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by:WaterStreet
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I woke up in the middle of the night (PDT) and saw a posting here. It gave me an idea.

What if Scripture is metaphoric and homily for how to live our lives in the here and now?  If so then I could say my true regret caused me to witness a resurrection in my own lifetime leading to the possibility of redemption.  I don't expect everyone to understand this. It only takes oneself and possibly another.

WS
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by:SunBow
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I do not disagree, hdhondt, and confess I intentionally excluded Pharisees who believed in  literal resurrection of the body as well as the coming of a messiah (christ/king). While this is a very sharp contrast to sadducees, the 'path' remains also sufficiently different from christendom (not to mention their divergence on what to expect from their king/messiah). to presume they did not celebrate with easter baskets either. An outdoor hunt for eggs would be taboo.

Where early christians preferred symbology of fish, latter christendom prefer the use of cross and annual marian eggs for totems and symbols (skimping here on use sacraments and cradles etc less relevant to specific holy day.

So I still go that the answer for "the point of Easter?" is the inference to the "path to afterlife", which distinguishes christendom from alternatives. Easter on its own does not define afterlife, it is celebration of their path to afterlife. On it own easter does not much define "the way they live or are expected to live" either, beyond celebrating heavenly concept of consumption of everliving chocolate. This easter habit for the way they live is a celebration that truly distinguishes them as a non-exclusive group. Ever seen an essene consuming a chocolate bunny?  (hah)
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by:tliotta
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The "path to afterlife" is certainly the point for those who can find reason in it. That's where the whole thing leads. But it's not particularly clear how it works nor even how it's supposed to work. There's not a shred of evidence that it has worked for anyone in the past couple thousand years.

But there's some faith that it will happen "someday". For someone; no one knows for whom.

So, how much "faith" does it take? Or how much "belief"?

If there is enough faith, will it necessarily be evidenced during "life before death"? Does it take as much faith as is required to turn water into wine? (Less? More?) Is that a different kind of faith? (Are there degrees of faith? Kinds of faith?) How can one tell if the belief is strong enough? What is different between 'faith' and 'belief in Jesus as Savior'? Does such a belief imply a concurrent existence of 'faith'? Can the two reasonably exist separately?

If I can't turn water into wine, how can I think my belief in Jesus is real? Am I simply deceiving myself? ("Water into wine" isn't exactly intended seriously. It's simply a shorthand symbolic reference to the kinds of things that Jesus apparently said were possible for anyone who could demonstrate sufficient 'faith' or who refused to allow doubt to cause them to sink.)

But maybe I only need to believe a little bit.

Believe in what exactly? Surely it's not belief in the stories, but rather belief in Jesus specifically. But if that's the case, it gets back to what's the point of "Easter"? (Isn't reverence for Easter another form of idolatry?)

To me, beliefs should be in the lessons of the stories, the spirit of the stories, the meanings of the stories, and, before those, belief in Jesus is what creates the substance behind the other secondary beliefs. The particular stories shouldn't matter in the slightest.

By focusing on specific stories, it starts to tend to be a focus on particular sequences of words. The words must be the right words in the right sequence in order to be the 'real' story. It almost becomes 'magical'. Incantations.

The meanings must be more important than the stories.

One meaning seems clear: No matter how bad the beating seems, no matter how certain the death appears, a group of mere men can't kill "God". Another possible meaning is that sufficient belief can conquer death. (Is 'insufficient belief' enough?)

Of course, every single word is open to personal interpretation.

Just IMO.

Tom
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by:WaterStreet
ID: 40020686
There is virtually nothing in the So Called Old Testament ("SCOT") that tells of an afterlife, except for what some interpret as a hint or a suggestion of it.  IMHO, that's not enough.  The SCOT is almost exclusively about how to live in the here-and-now along with the "historical" background.  This prevails so much to the extent that if an afterlife were so important then there would be relatively clear and repetitive mentions of it as there are with so many other issues about living a proper life in the here-and-now.

My understanding is that development of afterlife beliefs arose in Judeo-Christian minds during  the two centuries surrounding the turn of the era (BCE to CE).

Regardless of what I just said, IMHO religious beliefs are true if they work for their believers, even if they conflict with the beliefs (or non-beliefs) of others.  For example, those who believe in a hell may end-up there; and those who don't won't.

WS
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40021516
For example, those who believe in a hell may end-up there; and those who don't won't.
That sounds totally wacko to me. Are you telling me that reality depends on our belief? Or perhaps that hell is subject to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?

As I pointed out earlier, belief in an afterlife existed long before Christ. Of course (and as always in religion) different societies had different ideas about it. I suppose those beliefs evolved over the centuries, and culminated in the Christian beliefs. Or should the culmination be the Muslim beliefs? After all, they came later, and I would not mind being served by half a dozen virgins! Are they still virgins afterwards, or only the first time?
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by:WaterStreet
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"That sounds totally wacko to me."
Okay. No problem.

"Are you telling me that reality depends on our belief?"  
Yup; to some arguable extent.  

Myth is true for those for whom it works.  An explanation of what I mean by this can be found in the last couple paragraphs of "A Short History of Myth" by Karen Armstrong, as cam be seen on Amazon "Look Inside" feature for this book.

WS
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by:SunBow
ID: 40023777
             Caution to lay person, do not try this at home
While christendom is about the cross, easter is not, yet fervor can remain in contrasting observances for "the way they live":
"If what you do makes you love others more, then it is pleasing to God," he said. "But if you do it for photographs, just to be famous, that is spiritual vanity." [Archbishop Socrates Villega]:
http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/98foot-crucifix-falls-crushes-man-to-death/25657480
"Devotees in northern Philippine villages had themselves nailed to wooded crosses to re-enact the crucifixion of Jesus":
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/filipino-devotees-enact-crucifixion-christ-23374458
"Sign painter Ruben Enaje, 53, had himself nailed to a cross at a dusty mound in Pampanga's San Pedro Cutud village for the 28th year."

              Some people still think that once is "more than enough".
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by:viki2000
ID: 40024990
I have read your initial story before the question.
I am sorry you remained only with that view about what happened.
Why is your view so deterministic and later you acknowledge the Heisenberg principle?
If you would be a god, a creator of Artificial Intelligence let’s say, what would be the ultimate thing that you would implement?
It would be the freedom of choice, of course not unlimited. Would be restricted by certain limits imposed by you, but wide enough.
God made everything perfect, even if the things went wrong from our point of view, because He gave to His creation the freedom of choice, knowing that may lead to rebellion against Him.
He can destroy and remake everything right now.
Satan can be destroyed right now.
There are reasons why He chooses the present path for the creation and we know part of it, as much as He wants to discover it to us, to let us know.
First of all, the Bible did not say that falling angles were sent in hell, but on earth. They are here with us in a parallel world which influences us. Lucifer is master now. Do you remember the temptations of Christ?
There is a fight and is hard when you are blind.

You know what comes after free will?
Understanding.
A relation is strong when is based on love and respect. When you add understanding then is unbreakable.
Before I start to correct your initial statements or even to go down to your question, take 10 min and watch next explanation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YGGvQEffOI

The people were and are saved and the Jesus's sacrifice was not for nothing, but not as you expect, as a major change seen statically in masses during a certain present time. It is a flow during history, some then, some now, “for many are invited, but few are chosen.” and “but small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it”.
The new seed are not the last people living on earth. The time, history and death mean nothing to eternity.
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by:tliotta
ID: 40025380
The time, history and death mean nothing to eternity.
And "eternity" means nothing to us. It's beyond human understanding, so it seems pointless to discuss seriously.

Tom
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by:viki2000
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It means nothing to you when you let the consciousness to identify itself with your perishable body.
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40025604
I've said it before and I'll say it again: eternity is hell, regardless of whether you're in hell or heaven. It is a lot worse than nothing.

Just think about it. Yes, assuming vigorous health, I would like to live an extra hundred years. Maybe even 1000. But I am certain that, after 100,000 years I will want to just disappear, to die. And even a quadrillion years is literally nothing compared to eternity.

The same would be true in heaven. Of course, God could totally change us so we would enjoy it forever. But remember that we are supposed to be human - at least after the final judgement.

To a human anything is hell if it lasts forever.
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by:viki2000
ID: 40025617
Why do you see it like that?
That is  a pessimistic view.
We as human beings, will see the things different when the consciousness state changes.
Te entire perception over the universe and what life means changes.
The purpose changes.
You will not be boring.
The notion of time changes. Is not as we perceive it now. All these measures and laws mean nothing, is just a small point somewhere.
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by:WaterStreet
ID: 40025827
I've enjoyed everyone's postings so far, but I'm just going to comment right now on those of hdhondt, tliotta and viki2000.

Tom,

I was busy preparing and the next one to post after your comments in ID: 40020518.  So, I  never read your posting until now.  

You said a lot that resonates with my personal philosophy of the whole thing: "But maybe I only need to believe a little bit."  "To me, beliefs should be in the lessons of the stories, the spirit of the stories, the meanings of the stories, ... The particular stories shouldn't matter in the slightest."  Yes! They are lessons in morality taught in the form of a story that can be remembered and retold in a way each succeeding generation will understand.  For just one example, this is how I've come to accept the narratives of Adam and Eve.  Finally, you said, "The meanings must be more important than the stories."


hdhondt,

"Just think about it. Yes, assuming vigorous health, I would like to live an extra hundred years. Maybe even 1000. But I am certain that, after 100,000 years I will want to just disappear, to die."

I have thought about that exact thing.  It's also a later issue in a trilogy for the first novel I'm trying to complete.

Your statement also stunned me for a few moments of deep personal reflection.  Wouldn't we want to just disappear after some point (maybe in temporary bouts of depression) over the centuries?

But, we are not static as the world changes.  I agree with viki2000 that you are taking a pessimistic view.  This seems to be a case of seeing the glass as half empty or half full, where you seem to be looking at the halfway point as moving toward empty while others view it as moving toward full.

In my view, change brings new and fulfilling things along the way toward a possible eternal life.


Viki2000,

Liked your posting, ID: 40025617, a lot, as mentioned above.


All,

My view of the bible is that the medium is NOT the message.  We tend to focus on the medium (the literal narratives and their inadequate translations) instead of the messages which they are meant to convey.

IMHO, God represents the ideal eternal continuum to which we move closer and closer over the generations toward the infinite point where there is harmony and one notion of God.

Michael
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40026383
We as human beings, will see the things different when the consciousness state changes.
But then we won't be human any more. Sure, God could turn us into something different so that we'll be perfectly happy for ever after, but I don't think you could still be human like that. And remember, not even the angels were able to put up with it forever...

However, getting back to Easter: what difference has it made?

God created us imperfect, knowing in advance that we would fail. The resurrection has not made any difference to our behaviour, nor to our future.

To me, all that seems to have happened is that belief in Christ's resurrection created a new religion. Is that all?
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by:viki2000
ID: 40026659
I thought I answered that, but you refuse to see it.
It made a change, but not for all, because the free will is still there and we can refuse to accept the change/event.
People are changed due to what happened at Easter, but not all, just a part who are opened to see and accept the change.
As I said, there are some now, some in the past. some in the future.
You will not see a massive change of the entire population.
There are people with miraculous change in their life, seeing absolutely fantastic things as seen in some SF movies, here on Earth, now and in the past, difficult to accept. There are things that changed their life. They met Christ and their change is strong that are ready to die for their belief, not in kamikaze style, but as martyrs in Roman Empire. it is not just a simple idea, it is about life.

What difference has it made?
It changed everything when you have as reference more than history of mankind seen as simple walking body.
It gave the chance to reconcile with the Creator, still using free will and having the lesson of not being anymore connected to Him.

You mentioned that after 1000 years or more you would like to die anyway.
That is like a reset, reboot or shutoff because you had enough, boring or seeing enough things.
Here comes the frighten part for you: not only Christianity, but most of the religions claim that we are more than simple chemicals, there is soul, spirit which is beyond the matter. And the most important part: is eternal, no matter if you want or not.
When you die the things are as a veil comes out of your eyes, a state of
super conscious, when have no more doubts and the way how you accept the knowledege is different, is directly, you just know it, without the need of any proof. The feelings and the mind is there attached to the consciousness. The perception of the time is different.
For that state Easter is important.
There is the attraction, resonance law which will place you on a certain level according with your state and there is nothing that you can do to jump out of that state.
The laws of spiritual world, which we cannot see now clear with the present state of consciousness makes that happen.
We are now like blind beings towards such state of consciousness.
Our mind can access it in a special state and experiment have been done along the history. The people may be confused speaking about these things, because they seem SF. You may have then problem to define what is the reality, seems stupid and dangerous.
What brings you back in our world is the information which let us speechless, sometimes about the past sometimes about the future, things that nobody knew and happen(ed).
These are things which you do not see daily on the street or in the office, but happen everyday on earth when people are at the limit and their attention is moved from identification of I body to I without body.
from where do you think they took the idea seen in Matrix and Avatar?
These are old things, about us, only made with special effects. That's why had such big success on screen, because resonates with what and how we are.
You mentioned that if the state of consciousness changes then we would not be human anymore. It is not true.
It is the example with the half glass above.
Right now we are spiritual and body, heavenly and earthly beings in a symbiotic combination.
When you said that we would not be humans anymore, you actually said that you will not identify with your earthly body anymore, which is true, but is not that what makes you human. That is only a part, which sis only 80-100 years time anyway.
The consciousness, the spiritual part is also part of what we are, the human beings aware of their existence, asking questions and dominating the Earth and what's on it.
Why are you afraid of that part in you?
You will be like that, with s spiritual body anyway after you die.
Silly suicidal people, they think that everything is over if they stop here the connection with their body.

The Easter event made  a change also in spiritual worlds, in heavens, not only for us under the heavens. And heavens does not mean sky.

The fact ended in a religion is something expected and is not a problem.
The major problem is the usage of the name as a wolf dressed in sheep.
Along the history, under the name of Christianity, including the church which claimed to follow Christ, made abominations. They just used the name and still happens and will happen, because after Easter event remained only one good weapon towards Christ sacrifice: the deception. And that creates confusion, especially for blind people.
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by:viki2000
ID: 40026839
In the Chapter 5, 3rd part of the novel „The Idiot“ written by Dostoevsky prince Myshkin says: “beauty will save the world”

What kind of beauty is that?
Does it refer to "therapeutic function of art", listening to music, admire a painting, read a poem and felt progressively drunk of beauty and healed of ugliness from around? How many of us burst in tears when we are crossed by a "aesthetic thrill"? But from here up to "save the world" ...
What did Dostoevsky ultimately mean? That all people will be saved from a course supported by music, painting and literature? That we will recover all of infamy and sin, when the art grasped by the masses, will become sovereign, entering into the world? Dostoevsky could not be so naive to imagine a fully educated mankind, who would have spent a good part of life through museums, concert halls and with books in their arms? And then, even if it were so, how do we know that "the encounter with the work of art" will transform the human species in a reservation of angels? History is full of deeds of educated villains.
From his correspondence we know that when he wrote "The Idiot", Dostoyevsky wanted to see if it's able to embody in a finite person the fullness of the infinite beauty. But beauty is not full, except in the visible form of manifestation of the Good. Would it be able as a writer, asked himself Dostoevsky, to create a character, incarnating the ide of good in our world, to realize the full beauty of the human scale?
But this character does not have precedent in a real life person? Isn't Dostoevsky's character the literary replica of a living being? 1869 In a letter to a friend, Dostoevsky says: "In the world there is only one positive figure of beauty: Christ, this figure of immeasurable of infinite beauty is undoubtedly an endless miracle (the whole Gospel of John is inspired by this thought: John sees miracle in the incarnation, the visible manifestation of the Beautiful)
Prince Myshkin is then the literary replica of Jesus , his " reincarnation " in the coordinates of time and place of the author's life . The stage of the world is now society from Petersburgh with aristocracy full of villains in the 19th century . Like Jesus , Myshkin will have an input and an output of the world and will carry with it a message : " Beauty will save the world " . Which means : just reforming it morally , embodying in each individual, the model of Myshkin , the splendor of good , the world will be able to be saved. In relation to the behavior of people , Myshkin really make fantastic things which seem to be " out of this world ", takes the suffering of others and he put himself in the place of any unhappy man who comes to cry on his shoulder , sees through the soul of the other, he can hear what they say and pronounces every time, gentle, the truth, and he finally mixes his tears with those of the man who killed his love.
In the case of the Gospels , as in that of Dostoyevsky , the question - radical and disturbing - is the same: support the human species , the appearance of a  "divine" character which can be taken as a model , an absolute moral reform ? Are we able to do a transfer of such proportions ? Can be the absolut beauty of a man to be contagious , so be imitated by all and thus save the world , healing her brutally , envy, selfishness and stupidity ? Or , on the contrary , at the end of the historical experience (Jesus ) and the literary ( Myshkin ) is waiting a failure ?
Is it not somehow, statistically speaking , this specie which populate the earth limited in a eternal and unreformed self-wickedness ?
Is it not somehow the flock of mankind unable to rise up to the level of the gift received and will end by expel and crucify its models, offended that someone puts them face to face with chosen being unbearable too special?
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by:SunBow
ID: 40030869
Observing that so much of the content above can entrance one like me to some infinite number of responses, I do suppose that as the length of a thread approaches infinity, so would level of boredom correspond. So while applauding efforts of all, to approaching limit of question to easter consider:

What was - was not.

For both the observance for a cross on a friday, a holy day on a sunday, consider for instance application to family values. A mere single family member present at the cross, then effectively disappearing from narrative, presumably with a person not her child to provide care. Presence of disciples, while likelihood of lack of presence of apostles (original 12 count). Many individuals referred to as a Mary, many as a John (example: "the other Mary", naming conventions applied for participants). A form of apostles (and family?) forsaking the mortal. Later on a solitary witness to the potential for afterlife - the Magdalene (some denoting as apostle to apostles). So easter in itself is limited to day of week and report from a single mortal. None from family member.

For "What difference has it made to humans, in the way they live or are expected to live?"

The way they live is to diverge in the day of the week chosen for the common gathering, and the days of the year that are most holy, where some may be based on european calendar (solar) while others remain oriented to lunar cycle. The belief becomes expansive and inclusive through inheritance. Belief can extend to a 'knowing' for what the human and his mother looked like (image replication embedded in object).

Where the appearance(s) recognize that of human (where there is earthly role and apparent remaining wounds) the concept of mortality is diminished (cannibalistic?).

For the way they live, they inherit use of persecution up to point of torture and crucifixion and more (witches, templar, gas chambers, stigmata, the Magdalene, racism, exorcism, massacres/genocide/war crimes ...) .

This is however contrary to the way they are "expected to live?" Thus result for contrivance of rites to absolution to attain afterlife.

Quote attributed to innocence: "kill them all, let god decide" - true 'believers' get 'saved'

Let me now end this comment with a response to diverging remarks - can a god be limited to belief of those mortal / how many texts are used by the religion that were attributed to their saviour?
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40036281
People are changed due to what happened at Easter, but not all, just a part who are opened to see and accept the change.
So it only affects the true believers - but I thought Christ died for all of us?

According to your belief, what happens to you is exactly the same as what happens to me or to people before Christ: depending on how you behave you go to heaven or hell. People were flawed (what you called a "perfect" creation), and they're still just as flawed. So where is the difference? The only one I can see is that there are now people who are of the opinion that someone died on a cross and got up from the grave. They also believe that they may do the same - along with the other people who don't believe in that. Of course some Christians believe that only a special group, e.g. the "reborn" ones will get that privilege, but most Christians accept that everyone, Christian or not, can get to heaven.

I still cannot see any point in Christians celebrating Easter.
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by:viki2000
ID: 40036532
So it only affects the true believers - but I thought Christ died for all of us?

Then you understood it wrong.
He died for all who are willing to accept His sacrifice and change their path following Him. It is a conditional saving.
He did not die for those who spit on Him and stay in that state, without changing.
He not died for Satanists who fight against Him and the creation and not renounce at their path.
Among such people are some who change and understand and accept the value and the chance of the sacrifice. Then they become His followers and He died for them too.
This is what the Scriptures say and I do not care about religious groups and their doctrines.

So where is the difference?”
God gave a chance to His creation, which was never done before, to be saved. And it is not about these bodies. It is about that part from us which is eternal in all of us and defines us, what we are. We identify too much only with our bodies and we call that progress. In the eyes of God that is madness.
Before Christ, some people had the Law, which should be in the consciousness of each mankind. But we became blind and deaf and we like more our pleasures than the truth and we did not want to hear the voice of consciousness. Then around the earth we replaced that voice with external forms and different false gods or not god at all. That’s why the history of Jewish people is important, because records such events representative for all other people. They did the same. We are no better than them. They even asked: if You God exists show Yourself to us, we want to see you. Afterwards they did not want that anymore, they were too scared.  The impact of celestial beings with our life form is always big if they do take a body as ours. In almost all the meetings between a man and an angel, the celestial being started the message with words similar with “peace be with you”, “don’t be scared”. First time when Christ came on Earth among us was like us, but second time will be different, as a celestial being in all His power.
The law says: the penalty of sin is death.
The human race sinks more and more on sin and at horizon is death for all of us, the future generations. The mankind will be wiped out from Earth again and the future seed will not live in this type of body.
And death is explained as 2 types: one that we all know and see now and the second for soul, which is a consciousness state without time. Jesus came for that second death, to offer a chance.
In the end will be justice, God will make justice and each one will receive what deserves.
And the chance that we received is this: you may stay in front of God’s justice alone for all your actions and decisions or you may have intercessor that paid for you too.
What is so difficult?
Either you choose your own path and you are ready to respond/pay for your actions and receive the state of consciousness accordingly, or you follow Christ who already paid for you all.
What happened at Easter is so important that God gave His judgment throne to Christ and every soul will stay in front of Him as a King and Judge. And those who accepted Him and followed His commandments do not even go to judgment. And no one can say that God did not understand His creation in the present type of body, what temptations and sufferings mean.
Easter moments made a big difference in Heavens because the God’s justice was fulfilled for each human being who is ready to accept the sacrifice. Christ paid with his blood on earth the death. And He was a clean lamb, a man without sin. And that is precious in the eyes of God. There is no bigger love than to give your life for your friends.  God reconciles with His creation and at the final moments of judgment no celestial beings can have an argument against. And it made a big difference for us on earth giving the chance to see God in flesh, saving friends, even if they change in the last moment as the criminal from the other cross. Try to understand these in a timeless state.

“I still cannot see any point in Christians celebrating Easter.”
It is a moment of joy remembering what chance we had and have.
Try to use the 10 commandants as a reference, a mirror for your consciousness to see how saint or how sinful you are and then ask yourself only one question: how do you pay for your sins?
Of course means nothing for you as long as you do see what is behind, if you think and feel that you may have your own path, good enough. The sin means nothing to you, God means nothing to you, or you have your own image and you are satisfied in your state.
I understand perfect your confusion, because you just put Christianity and Jesus together with the other religions in a common soup and seem no criteria to differentiate which is the true one or if such thing exists.
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by:viki2000
ID: 40036612
Many times our path in the life is similar with a walking only straight forward, but we arrive always in the same point as we would be on a Moebius strip.
Those moments of “déjà vu” are meant to help us wake up.
The only chance to escape is to break the existing connection, to turn 180 ° and make another stronger connection; otherwise you are vulnerable to confusion.
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by:viki2000
ID: 40036753
I just realized a possible confusion.
Christ died only once and for all indeed. That’s God, Saviour point of view.
What difference does it make if you do not accept His sacrifice?
None, as long as you refuse the offer.
It is the same as He would not have died for you. That is our point of view as beings which can be saved.
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40036929
He died for all who are willing to accept His sacrifice and change their path following Him. It is a conditional saving. He did not die for those who spit on Him and stay in that state, without changing.
So you mean the true believers, not the others.

God gave a chance to His creation, which was never done before, to be saved.
So the people who lived before Christ are condemned to hell? That's not the way most Christians see it. And, If that's how your God is, I can only call him vicious.

Either you choose your own path and you are ready to respond/pay for your actions and receive the state of consciousness accordingly, or you follow Christ who already paid for you all.
If I choose my own path and be good, don't I then follow Christ? So what does this sentence mean? Or are you saying once again that being good is not enough, you have to be a true believer?

What difference does it make if you do not accept His sacrifice? None, as long as you refuse the offer.
Again, you seem to be saying that only the true believers (whatever you mean by that) are saved.
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by:viki2000
ID: 40037737
"So you mean the true believers, not the others. "
Yes, by Him.

"So the people who lived before Christ are condemned to hell? That's not the way most Christians see it. And, If that's how your God is, I can only call him vicious."

That's the most difficult one to understand and personally I do not believe that people go to hell only because they were born before Christ or even nowadays in geographical and cultural areas were they never had the chance to hear of Christ and His sacrifice.
For my mind, it just make no sense.
In fact we can extended at billions of people who lived from year 0 up to our times and never had the chance to hear the Gospel.
I challenged different theologians to answer this question in a logical and comprehensible way for my mind. And before I asked them, I already had an answer from Scriptures, but I needed a confirmation from people who presumably studied more than me.
We can discuss this subject later.

"Or are you saying once again that being good is not enough, you have to be a true believer?"
You may do good deeds and have a nice image about yourself, but when we speak about good that means according with the 10 commandments. And you are not. None of us pass the test of the 10 commandments. The reference is God and not your own ideas about what is good. You and I, we are not those who are able to have the end word.

"Again, you seem to be saying that only the true believers (whatever you mean by that) are saved. "

Jesus speaks about the Judgement day and apocalyptic times.
Later the apostles explain that His flock of true believers will go directly from death to life without any judgement because He recognize them and will separate the sheep from the goats.
Then who is going to be judged? The others.
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40039117
We're going round in circles. You seem to agree with my statement that only the true believers (whatever they may be - can you give me a clear definition?) will get saved. Any others will go to hell (although you personally think that is too harsh). Unfortunately you waffle around it without giving a clear answer.

I challenged different theologians to answer this question in a logical and comprehensible way for my mind.
I assume you got no answer - just as I'm not getting one from  you. Sure they, and you, can quote the bible, and interpret it your, or their, way. But so far you've only managed to convince me that there seems to be absolutely no agreement, even among Christians, as to just what Easter means to us
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by:viki2000
ID: 40039151
C’mon, is it all what remained from my effort?
On short.
The true believers and followers of Christ will be part of the Bride, which is His Church and they will go from death to life without judgment.
The others will not necessary go to hell. It will be a judgment. I personally refuse to accept that is a judgment only to show that the rest of people  will go to hell, as some people claim.

And the answer that I found and backup my understanding, also confirmed by some theologians, is the text from Romans Chapter 2, which I let you to have your own interpretation without any comment from my side:

“For God does not show favoritism.
All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)  This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?  You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.
A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.”
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by:WaterStreet
ID: 40039612
All lot of opinions so far.

In my opinion, Romans is an example of text written a generation or two or three after Jesus from the recollections and interpretations of mortal men.  Men whose stature cannot even begin to compare with the holy writings canonized in the so-called old testament.

It is my further opinion that these writings were by men whose recollections and interpretations, after many years, were shaped to reconcile with their pre-existing beliefs.  

To what can this be compared? A man who shoots an arrow into a distant wall and then paints his target around it.  Later generations respect him as an accurate archer.
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by:SunBow
ID: 40040051
Considering basket of easter
Given the Islamic treatment referring to Jesus as being an admirable prophet,
Given the nature of three lengthier acceptable gospels beginning with content of Mark
Given the multiple versions of the latter, additions, supplements, omissions...
- and that version ending in 16.8 (called abrupt ending as opposed to long, longer, short, brief,etc)
- and that ending is found followed by text: End of text (as opposed to there being missing lost pages)
= the original gospel omitted mention, reference to leader afterlife
->afterlife was contrived add-on to original text, expounded upon later.
+>> there was no such easter event, gospels were later adjusted to accomodate popular beliefs

                 easter was not

> what's the point of Easter?
- to gather larger audience appealing to favored inherited sound bytes, FUD
- leader disappeared from sight -- fulfill need/demand for holy day

>difference has it made to humans,?
-need to be afraid, be very afraid, of others, divide and conquer
-remaining need for living bible, finding leader, upgrade telly

> the way they live ?
-do what thou wilt, it won't be your fault, you'll be absolved
-be nice, have bake sale, play bingo, knit, beware of instant karma

>are expected to live?
-perform rituals, consume invisible leader, tithe, there's lawyers more than willing to sue
-worship objects deemed religious, bring bigger family to altar, images are pay per view

...
> what's the point of Easter?

- chocolate bunnies, baskets of grass, developing artistic talent of children (liberal arts)
                         anyone for s'mores ?
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by:viki2000
ID: 40040075
I guess everybody is entitled to have an opinion, as Nietzsche also had one saying: "God is dead." and 50 years later God said:"Nietzsche is dead."
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by:WaterStreet
ID: 40040086
viki2000

That's one of my favorites.  

I originally heard it in script format:
Nietzsche:  God is dead.
God:            Nietzsche is dead.

Take your pick
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40040235
@viki

Your last comment was a bit clearer. What I understand now is that:

1. true believers will go to heaven
2. others may or may not go to heaven

I assume there is no sure-fire way to tell whether you are a true believer. Hence we're still at the same point as we were before the resurrection: we're flawed, and there is no way of telling whether we are going to go to hell or heaven.

So what was the point of it? The only good point so far is Dave Baldwin's and Sunbow's: easter eggs.
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by:SunBow
ID: 40040289
Nietzsche:                                                         [per Reader'z Diegest less sound-bite-eth]
§ Verily, I like them not, the merciful ones, whose bliss is in their pity:
    too destitute are they of bashfulness.
§ Thus spake the devil: "Even God hath his hell: it is his love for man."
§ And lately, did I hear him say these words: "God is dead: of his pity for man hath God died."
§ "Behold, I am disease," saith the evil deed: that is its honourableness.
§ To him however, who is possessed of a devil, I would whisper this word in the ear:
    "Better for thee to rear up thy devil! Even for thee there is still a path to greatness!"
§ "Myself do I offer my love - my neighbour as myself "—such is the language of all creators.
§ And if a friend doeth thee wrong, then say: "I forgive thee what thou hast done unto me"
§ One should hold fast one's heart; for when one letteth it go, how quickly doth one's head run away!

§ And not to him who is offensive to us are we most unfair,

§ God is dead.                                    [friday]
§ And we have killed him.            [even forsaking apostles & clerics/priesthood]
§ Yet his shadow still looms         [from before - thru easter - and beyond]
§ How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers?
§ What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us?                                         [christendom]
§ What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent?   [easter et al]

... retorts from his detractors:
¢ absolute morality didn’t depend on a supreme being.
¢ humanity had no need of a higher authority or the threat of divine wrath to live a good and moral life.

» are expected to live?
§       offer love, not pity

¬ belief in a literal death or end of God,
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by:viki2000
ID: 40040383
Did you ask your initial question with a prejudgment? Because seems so.

Jesus said: “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Paul said: “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker. “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

You are wrong.
You know it, by faith, in the same way as Jesus believed His Father, the true followers believe Jesus words and promises.

“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved”

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”

Easter moment means Jesus came from death to life and is the key point of the Christianity.
If you want to say that Easter means nothing to you, then you say that Christianity is zero points, the entire mission of Jesus has no value, He died for nothing or is just a legend and in fact all the other followers who died believing He is their Savior and is alive are just credulous people.
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by:SunBow
ID: 40041706
OTOH

Paul was apostasilic deny-er of Jesus, acclaiming his pauline ascendancy to Paul made himself the sole provider of wisdom from beyond. He held favor for scofflaws and inequality and divisiveness. Excepted apologetics. Was known brigand and liar and persecutor and...

=> no easter basket for Paul                                  [yes, we have no bananas]

Jesus opposed engravement of texts and statues that can become worshiped.

=> easter basket for jesus

also promoted truth, justice, freedom

=> gets egg for basket

while recommending learning from history, prior work on TA: eat, drink, have merry

=> color for eggs

also encouraged abiding by law of the land

=> gets the marshmallow chicken

led by ethnic example of hard work, with abundance of time-out to reflect

=> grass for the basket

demonstrated for liberty and equality for all

=> chocolate bunny as well

How does that affect the world of today?

=> we get more holy days like easter without having to be apostolic, without having to go congregate away at some temple, or trek to prehistoric monument, not to mention that we do get the s'more-s that the kiddies can well provide later, that's amore. Family values.

=> when it comes to easter, sacred Paul's pious irreverence is irrelevant, he'd not even given us wester for redemption

Apologetics accepted
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40041759
Easter moment means Jesus came from death to life and is the key point of the Christianity.
That's fine as far as Jesus and his father are concerned.

My question stated quite clearly:
What difference has it made to humans, in the way they live or are expected to live?
It did not ask what it means to Jesus or his dad, I asked what it means to us, and specifically Christians. You have not yet been able to tell me what difference it makes in the way we are supposed to behave and be rewarded/punished after death.

As for "prejudgement", I suppose you know my feelings about religion. I would just like you to explain to me, in simple terms, without bible quotes to prove the bible, how the resurrection makes any difference to the way we are expected to behave.
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by:viki2000
ID: 40042074
Somewhere is a confusion and I wonder if it is maintained in purpose.
My explanations were not for the relation Jesus-God case closed. They show consequences for the mankind.

Jesus did not make the sacrifice only to satisfy the God justice in a relation between them. That makes no sense, because everything is perfect between them. It involves the 3rd party, which is us. For us was made the sacrifice, so we can be in this relation that they already have. But that should be obvious.

Indeed, I know your feelings towards religion, but if you don’t mind, could you tell me please from what point of view did you ask the question?
Are you just curios? Do you not understand what is significance behind? Or you know it very well, but is not clear and you need additional explanations? Or you just want to prove that Christians are wrong, stupid and what they do is just a nonsense, because nobody can give you a satisfactory explanation? The ask yourself first, how open you are to receive an answer.

The Easter part with eggs, bunny, chocolate, basket…is just a tradition, which is not important. It is bad that sometimes people resume to that, forgetting the real significance of the event.
There are certain pagan things attached to the event.
The date is old, because before Jesus, at that time, Jews celebrated the exodus from Egypt. And they used the blood of a lamb as was told by God, to protect their first born from the 10th plague. Now, the lamb was Jesus.
In fact we do not even know exactly the resurrection date as we do not know the birth date.

Christians celebrate Christmas, but that is something that we choose to do and was not a command.
With resurrection is different. At the last supper, Jesus  took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Christians do this regularly, because they want to remember that, it is important for them His sacrifice. And one time per year, with an approximation, they celebrate with more attention, giving higher importance to that event.

But, let’s try one more time to answer your question ”how the resurrection makes any difference to the way we are expected to behave?”:
1) We are expected to behave as Sons of God, believing in Christ, follow His commands ,having Him as big brother, the first born, who sacrificed Himself for us to have a chance at the eternal life in His and Father presence.
2) The resurrection makes sense for us when we accept that the life is beyond the small time frame of 80-100 years earthly time and we are more than bodies, otherwise you may see it as a total nonsense or you cannot understand it or accept it.
Is that clear enough?

You may ask then additional questions as:
- If the Christianity, what Jesus said and did, including the story with cross, resurrection, is so good, then how come did not change the humankind in the last 2000 years? Contrary when you look at the history you see wars done by Christians, Church, cruelties, stupidity, all related with religion. Then is easy to understand why we prefer today science and ethical and moral laws of common sense without need of celestial being, which some call God.
The answer is:
- If you compare what is written in Scriptures with what was done and still is by some “christian” groups, in the name of tradition, introduced by man, then you may clear see that was Jesus commands were not followed. The free will was not taken from people. We can still choose what to do. They used the name, behind the Christianity they made big earthly powers, instituting additional laws made by clerks. The fact that you are born Christian,  registered somewhere, doing certain rituals, going to the church regularly, knowing the Bible, does not make you follower of Christ. That is only a external form which suppose to show the inside life, transformation. Unfortunately for many remain only the shell. I have friends with higher moral scale of values than those who are called themselves Christians and are religious people. They just hide under name, rituals, they are hypocrites, the same as some Jews during  Jesus time.
- Then who is Christian? Then one who follows and respect indeed what Jesus said and is written in Scripture. It has nothing to do with a certain group or Christian denomination. It is a personal behavior.
- Jesus teachings are based on love your neighbor, help him as a brother. The character, personality of the people would be different, the humanity would be changed, but are not followed. The society imposed rules are most of them ego center.
- We have rules, but because we are individuals in groups, we tend to change them in certain way to obtain advantages for those groups, depends who is in charge. The external law, which concern all people is different, especially if it comes from Creator. To see it like that, you must first accept that there is a Creator.

I must say that your question, no matter how you twist it, can receive answers acceptable for your mind or pure nonsense, depending what do you accept initially, which are your premises, your initial axioms which you accept as true without any need to prove them true. Without that you cannot build any logical explanation and you end up in a continuous rejection, confusion, which is not healthy for the mind and soul.

From what angle do you ask your question?
And what kind of answer do you expect to get? Based on what references? Or to achieve what?
To whom helps the answer?
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by:WaterStreet
ID: 40042134
Without resurrection, there is essentially no Christian theology and religion. So, I think your question is about Christianity in general, rather than simply about Easter.
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by:viki2000
ID: 40042704
A true believer and follower of Christ is such person that when a mosquito bites him/her and flies away, it starts singing "there is power in the blood of Jesus" :)
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by:SunBow
ID: 40043094
Nobody builds monument to worship a basket of grass with godalmighty chocolate inside.
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by:viki2000
ID: 40043679
Well said. I will remember that, because I like it.

We are called to build the image of Christ inside us, to become better, in His image. We are the temple and the Holy Spirit from  God can live in us when we are clean and deserve it by changing our path, attitudes, actions fulfilling the words " I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
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by:SunBow
ID: 40044029
Thanx
Do you think Jesus supports the right to arm bears? Bunnies? The right to bare arms?:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Other/Politics/Q_28427043.html

Matthew 10:34, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."
 
Luke 22:36, "And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. "

Matthew 26:52,Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

son of god ?
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40044034
@Waterstreet

You are correct, the question is about Christianity. I used Easter, and the resurrection to see if Christians can tell me what difference it has made to them and us. So far I have not seen any.

We are expected to behave as Sons of God
Surely you don't mean that. Christianity has done enough damage to the world, without imagining us as Jesus' brothers.

The resurrection makes sense for us when we accept that the life is beyond the small time frame of 80-100 years earthly time
At last you're making some sense, although not much. Yes I see that to Christians the resurrection implies that we can live again, too. But remember that people believed in that long before Christ. I suppose you can add that to Christians there is heaven and hell, to many other religions there were only dreadful places like Hades.
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by:SunBow
ID: 40049627
http://kbia.org/post/clergy-members-arrested-after-protesting-missouri-legislature

 Twenty-three Clergy members were arrested Tuesday during a rally at the capitol. The rally, by the group Missouri Faith Voices, was meant to get state senators to expand Medicaid eligibility.
.." witness to the fact that as people of faith we are called to speak out about dignity and that we will not be silenced"
[& for pronouncing the name of their land "Mizzoorah"?, not proper english.]

What difference in the way they live?

Silence opposition, oppose free choice of others, .. killing off those near abortion clinics claiming "right to life"


What difference in the way are expected to live?

All are same in eyes of god, without regard to social status, age, race, gender, political affiliation...
Treat others as you wish them to treat you
Twenty-three Clergy members were arrested in Missouri
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by:viki2000
ID: 40050620
@SunBow
"Do you think Jesus supports the right to arm bears? Bunnies? The right to bare arms?"
No. He was against violence as solution to solve problems. Your last 2 verses from Matthew are eloquent.

What about first 2 verses? Why they seem to instigate to violence?
You have to understand those words in a context and not out of the context, because He spoke many times with double meaning, in a parables. Don't you remember when He said to be born again and Nicodemus, a smart one, imagined right away the womb of the woman, the entire process of birth?
Let's take the one from Luke with verses before and after:
35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”
“Nothing,” they answered.
36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
“That’s enough!” he replied.
39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.


The sword from verse 36 should be understood knowing the armor of God:

Ephesians 6:11-17

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Revelation 2:16

" Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth."

As you see, in the verse from Luke, Jesus mentioned  the sword, the apostles understood the direct meaning. as you did, came with 2 real swords, at which He said "Enough", which means enough with violence and nonsense of real swords.
He meant the sword of Spirit, which the Word of God spoken with His mouth.

When I have time I come back to the rest of the questions.
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by:SunBow
ID: 40057093
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by:viki2000
ID: 40057167
Does any of you upset Zone Advisors so bad with your comments that will forbid you to post? 'cause, seems  I just did. And it was about my real life experience, not just some stories...categorized as inappropriate content....
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by:viki2000
ID: 40057275
@SunBow
Let’s take Matthew 10:34, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."
Actually if you take the entire chapter where this verse is included, you may see strong words.
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ 37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”


As you see, if you want there is more to object.
Everyone speaks about Jesus as love, kindness, good things….and here is about disruption of the family.
How is that possible? And what does it mean the swords from 34?

During the last century we started to believe the truth is relative, but here Jesus said that is not.
He said in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The words from Matthew 10 explain what happens when a person becomes a true follower of Christ, because there are no more compromises, no relative truth.
In Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
This one of the reasons why I believe the Christianity will be in future forbidden. Does not let place for “another truth”. People change their attitudes and lives, stand up and take positions and cannot be included in a big soup of variety of belief systems.
Only due to His words the people will argue one to each other, from fights to real war with swords, or whatever they may use.
The sword from 34 means conflict. It does not matter at what level it is, but will be even in family. And all these are possible only due to His words.
When things, including words, are not manifested, words are not said, they are only in their potential state, then an infinite of possibilities are given and there is no reason for conflict.
When something is done, in a certain way, it does not matter how, things are manifested and there is reason for interpretation, argue, conflict. Even words. These things have a higher impact over the consciousness when come from somebody important. People take sides and bring arguments pro/cons. But what do you do when is a matter of life and death?

Jesus invited people to change their way and follow Him. And that means to behave in a certain way, to believe certain things. Even if things preached are good things, not everyone is ready to accept and from here the conflict.
He does not say in 34 that part with the sword, even if it is a real one, that must be like that.
It was a prophecy, foreseen events, as consequence of taking position to a truth that He declared not relative.
When comes to extreme situations, even your close persons, inside the family, are ready to sell you because you do not believe like them. Sometimes you are rejected, alone with your Jesus.
Jesus proved with His life that helped people, was peaceful, care taker and loving of mankind.
Don’t try to associate His life or words with wars or instigation to wars, because you picked up the wrong person.
Before He was arrested in the Gethsemane garden:
Matthew 26:
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

If it would have been a question of power or army, as Jewish people expected at that time against the Roman occupation, that would have been easy to solve, using celestial powers, more powerful that we can imagine. But it is not about that. It is about something else, more powerful than the flesh which can be easy destroyed. It is about what is in us, what we are after the body dies.
 
I will give you another example to understand better the conflict and the fight at spiritual level.
The conflict between Christ and Satan. That could have been a war as we see in Star Wars, with a lot of power. But when Christ came on Earth in flesh and Satan felt that has the highest chance, being an old conflict, they fought with the swords of their mouths.
Satan knows very well the truth of God, the Word of God, the Scriptures and tempted Jesus in desert.
It was an attack using the truth.
The reply was always with the Word of God, again the truth.
This is how they fought, even if it could have been different from our point of view. But it seems the most powerful way.
We learn one important thing from that fight, named the temptation of Christ, that the Word of God is powerful like a sword, a non-relative truth, Lucifer tried to twist it around and to make it relative.
The main rule is this: you understand and obey the Word of God, a commandment, as long does not contradict another one.

Speaking about sword and Word of God, if you understood what I tried to explain, in Revelation there is a description of the Christ in His spiritual real power:


Revelation 1:
10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”
12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man,[d] dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
19 “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels[e] of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.


In verse 16: “and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword”

Revelation 19:
11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”[a] He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”
19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.


In verse 15: “Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.”
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by:SunBow
ID: 40057278
Sidebar/
¿ (where zat be) @Viki: Anyone thin of skin need avoid top three TA of real life: Politics, Religion, Sex... in EE add Lounge to list
I've recently seen some references in Misc, so in review of the that (quote)
"Experts aren't just IT gurus: They have real lives too. Having a global community means there's almost certainly someone who knows exactly what you need. It's also a great place to answer questions and show off those additional skills you have."
While you appear as among the more righteous, you also seem to have the thicker skin, such as for my recent link.
I've been away for several years, not back long, but while it is different now, it may not be that different.
It used to be that for similar comment posted in the Lounge, some of its Lizards would rally to cause, in their mysterious ways...
There may remain those unseen lurkers as well.
IMO your  real life experience is nothing you must admit to [I favour right to privacy]
OTOH IMO from above quote:
 §§ showing off those additional skills you have to embed  real life experience is to be valued, not flamed. It enhances ability to communicate. (to some) [additional skills means others be less aware of the what they may be]
§§ §§ "someone who knows exactly what you need" translates to be "many do not know what the need is, and would be unable to evaluate what a best answer could be"
While my sabbatical was lengthy, and many wanted me banned for life, I was not. Harrassed, yes. Persecuted. Not banned.
An aside: You've also indicated interest here in such variety other than easter, why not try isolating one into a question in this TA? I've too so many that have arisen here to discuss with you (& others) that it remains difficult to be selective. So I migrated to Politics & Lounge to get my feet wet again. (new presentation method, experiences...) care to ask or try me on in Politics?
Your record shows a lot of experience, but I've no idea how off-base I am here, whatever my own experience. But you seem adaptive to the long runons as well.
/Sidebar
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by:WaterStreet
ID: 40057289
Viki,

Regarding what you said about the zone advisors, I have no idea what you're talking about. I redesigned from any official capacity here almost 2 years ago. If you have no idea what the problem was then post something in the Community Support section asking EE to explain to you exactly what the problem was.  Personally, I can't stand reading all that droning on and on about Jesus. But, that's my problem not yours. The other problem is that a lot of people don't like to be preached at, which is exactly what you've been doing, be that as it may.  Of course, I don't have to read it. But, in my opinion, it detracts from the question of the thread. However, that's also not my call to judge, as I am not the author of this question thread.
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by:viki2000
ID: 40057292
Thank you SunBow. It made me feel better.
I thought I started to belong to "divergent" race...

@hdhondt
"Surely you don't mean that. Christianity has done enough damage to the world, without imagining us as Jesus' brothers".

Under the name of Christian Church or Christian religion have been done a lot of bad things, outrageous.
Don’t forget, they used the name, the clerks found a system to hide their personal interests.
None of these persons are followers of Christ. They will be judged, all, starting with their leaders, no matter if we speak about Pope’s or other bigots. They did not follow what is written in Scripture. They invented their own rules.

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
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by:WaterStreet
ID: 40057297
Sunbow,

Regarding the statue of Satan in front of the state capital, that's one of the funniest things I've ever heard of.  That kind of issue was bound to come up sooner or later.

I keep going back and forth between being disgusted and ROTFLMAO.

Sooner or later, someone is going to push the envelope on the Second Amendment and try to put  a Nike missile or an antiaircraft gun in their backyard.
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by:SunBow
ID: 40057307
@Vicki: I type so slow you now be two comments ahead of me ...
an aside: where you be at?  {answer not needed] with? [ditto]
I'm just of mood to wish someone (you?) a           Happy Mother's Day!

Append to above:
easter egg: A secret message or screen buried in an application. Typically, easter eggs are used to display the credits for the development team or to display a humorous message. To see an easter egg, you need to know a special procedure or sequence of keystrokes ... One of the most famous easter eggs in Microsoft software was dubbed the "flight simulator" in Excel ’
[http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/E/easter_egg.html]

My fav this TA was the Magic Eight Ball within MS-Access

Also, prior topically:

While the origin of Easter eggs can be explained in the symbolic terms described above, a sacred tradition among followers of Eastern Christianity says that Mary Magdalene was bringing cooked eggs to share with the other women at the tomb of Jesus, and the eggs in her basket miraculously turned brilliant red when she saw the risen Christ. The egg represents the boulder of the tomb of Jesus.
A different, but not necessarily conflicting legend concerns Mary Magdalene's efforts to spread the Gospel. According to this tradition, after the Ascension of Jesus, Mary went to the Emperor of Rome and greeted him with "Christ has risen," whereupon he pointed to an egg on his table and stated, "Christ has no more risen than that egg is red."

After making this statement it is said the egg immediately turned blood red
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_egg]

[I tend to favor where she brought the egg representing it as a known symbol then added the reddish (purple?) color to represent symbolically the one she was so devoted to - to the leader who'd never been met - leading to greater service and protections for her thereafter]
[the 1st bullet infers there were leftovers, holy boulders to worship seems so idiotic]
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by:SunBow
ID: 40057321
> I thought I started to belong to "divergent" race...

HaHaHa => you do! It just takes more than one to make a race! Reminds me some psycho-babel quote (go figure)

"Just because you are paranoid, does not mean THEY are not really out to get you!"          [ubiquitous]
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by:viki2000
ID: 40057331
The part with eggs is just a tradition based on legend. For example, where I grew up, the Easter red eggs had a different story.
His mother has placed a basket with eggs near the cross and the blood was dripping from wounds on the eggs. So since then...
But that is more tradition based on a legend. It is not written in Scriptures and therefore it is not important at all.
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by:SunBow
ID: 40057367
OTOH: Tradition is important, for the carrying on of values. For one, texts such as 'scriptures' have been and are made on changes and legends - lessons learned, questions remain for inclusion/exclusion.  For two, within EE a self declared devout atheist (very so - to extremes) expressed preference to have child raised/educated within religion, not because of easter, but because of traditions that could better enable the youngun to learn moral values [deemphasizing 'scripture']. Such was claimed anyway. I'd ditto you on deemphasizing the drops of blood - scripture denies it and I already have a favorite.
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by:SunBow
ID: 40057391
<ugh> I forget what I don't remember. Running up a couple dozen, they all have the blood. Not to neglect the water, a sample:
John 19:34 - "Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and blood and water immediately came out."
[ok, I'll accept defeat on that one: My bad, maybe there's another to be found but time better spent with a moving on ...]
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by:viki2000
ID: 40057405
Tradition is important, for the carrying on of values
But not when modifies the Scriptures or when replace them with some invented new rules. I think we all know enough about such new rules transformed into tradition, claimed to come from Scriptures. For example during Inquisition time and generally prior the moments when the Scripture was accessible to the mankind, under the pretext that only the Church can interpret the Scripture properly... and then was the chnace to add new things. No one could check them.
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by:WaterStreet
ID: 40057418
"Tradition is important, for the carrying on of values
But not when modifies the Scriptures or when replace them with some invented new rules. "

Gosh!  Hard to believe you actually said that.  My thoughts as well.  That's exactly why my beliefs and faith are not in Jesus and your so called New Testament.  Well put.  Couldn't have said it better myself.
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by:WaterStreet
ID: 40057423
BTW, I think the Easter egg tradition is just fine for Christians.
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by:SunBow
ID: 40057483
ok then, no chocolate rabbit for you either [wasn't certain - maybe daughter has grown, maybe hope remains she can add color to the world?]

At risk of repeating (forget) @Viki: How many scriptures - were written by who? Begin with Jesus, then move on to traditional twelve biggies, then ..._____
Consider ... traditions for what secrets Jesus wrote in sand, only to erase them before they could be reviewed by others
[how can it be secret when 'everyone' knows it]
As you've quoted Luke, you seem to support text prepared by some also-ran hanger-on, coming onto the scene after-the-fact, trying to form a collection of traditions to pass on as a story(s):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_the_Evangelist        [not the apostle or even disciple]
Luke was a native of the Hellenistic city of Antioch in Syria. .. unmarried and without children
There is similar evidence Luke resided in Troas, province which included the ruins of ancient Troy,
Luke was a Gentile ...referred to as a doctor in the Pauline epistle to the Colossians; thus he is thought to have been both a physician and a disciple of Paul. ..
His earliest notice is in Paul's Epistle to Philemon
Most scholars understand Luke's works (Luke-Acts) in the tradition of Greek historiography.
The preface of The Gospel of Luke drawing on historical investigation identified the work to the readers as belonging to the genre of history.  [not biography]
The Bishop of Padua delivered to Metropolitan Ieronymos the rib of St. Luke
[etc]
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40057874
Under the name of Christian Church or Christian religion have been done a lot of bad things, outrageous.
As far as I'm concerned, that is outrageous. Just because you interpret the bible differently, you refuse to consider these people to be Christians. Yet they were as convinced of the truth of their belief and actions as you are. Can I assume that the fundamentalist Christians who murdered an abortion doctor in the US are by your definition also not Christians?

So just what is a real Christian, by your definition? Are there any with the exact same interpretation of the bible as you?

I'm getting close to wrapping up this question, as it seems clear that there is no clear answer to my question: "what difference does Easter make to Christians?". We seem to be back to the old problem in Christianity: anything can be proven by quoting the bible and interpreting it the way you want. Any final thoughts before I allocate points?
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by:SunBow
ID: 40058076
hdhondt> Under the name of Christian Church or Christian religion have been done a lot of bad things, outrageous.

That is applicable as well as to most any religion or philosophy, Review Sun Tzu's Art of War.

viki2000> "found a system to hide their personal interests.  None of these persons are followers of Christ"

This is well documented historical fact beyond need of faith. Consider the Crusades which were not only power grab, but land grab with absolution granted in advance to those willing to forsake the Lord in favor of their lords. Creation of serfdom, feudalism, etc. On current political scene there's (quote) 'christians' claim of 9/11 being created by god to punish ...<blah><blah> [religion? or politics?]

There's christians.
Then again,
There's christians.

Saying goes that god did not create evil, the evil comes from calling a thing what it is not.
[POV re: peacemaker above]

hdhondt> "... that is outrageous. .. interpret the bible differently..  Christians who murdered... by ...definition also not Christians?"

Yes, for those who place value in set(s) of commandments...and...
validated by law of land such as Americans permitting "conscientious objection" to military service (days of conscription).
Not so far off, the recent Israeli change from permitting default to exemption based on sect. Opting in or opting out can be matter of personal choice rather than banner flag of group leader.

> any with the exact same interpretation of the bible

Can be where applies to those more in need of banner for their classification, less so to those having religion more personal in nature, some claiming "spiritual" nature, not so in need of interpretations of third party. Consider where some human, like Albert, could have a god without having a designated approved religion, and how approval of actions such as violence can change depending on target (ex: Hitler vs Hiroshima).

> We seem to be back to the old problem in Christianity: anything can be proven by quoting the bible and interpreting it the way you want.

Not so sure on that either way, I may have skimmed too much, but that does not apply to context of the quote.

From my seat the difference can be had by how well individual can hold their belief despite changes to their scripture and archaeological/geological record, identification of alternative text. Perhaps some of text

What do you think about case of Moonies - Jesus has returned to flesh and designates who gets to marry who - en masse?
Do you believe they are christians?  Jim Bakker (convicted felon, gold-plated bathroom fixtures,  Jessica Hahn, hostile takeover, Tammy's makeup)? Christian? Reverend Phelps? Branch Davidians? James Jones? Jeffs?

Plea bargain argument: "Jesus made me do it". Christians? Romanian exorcisms? Despite 'freedom of religion" a country can designate who is not acting in non-christian ways (or maybe not so - just yet). Where Mormons found more direct contact to scriptures of Jesus, they'd divided within over applying so with multiple marriages. Adaptable. Where some people claim they are truly christians, others thinking they are christians argue no, they are cults.

I've begun to wonder on the monument proposed by self-claimed Satanists, that seems to be directly applied to beliefs found in christendom - so, what would their viewpoint be on diversity of monuments in OK, home to Granville Oral Roberts famed for his  Christian charismatic approach:

"unless he raised $8 million by that March, God would "call him home." "

he'd had vision from a 900-foot-tall Jesus who told him to build City of Faith Medical and Research Center, and the hospital would be a success.

Hospital got built <pity>, and when he got sick he skipped town. "Give me your money or god will kill me - I don't want to die, please help me". Christian?

Mathologically, it did not happen - the three times 24-hour period of being in the grave. So what? "Onward, christian soldiers.."
It matters not so much where ,matters concerning afterlife may not so unique even if they think it 'special'

>  "what difference does Easter make to Christians?".
Get a 'special' symbol (cross)
Get a 'special' Holy Day (weekly): Sunday
Get a 'special' Holy Day (annual):
Where some of congregation has regular attendance, the building fund also has need for days of 'special attraction' to observe to bring in other members of congregation. The former are more often the have-nots, the latter the haves. Those leaders having more rank do need their gilded mansions to glory to validate their success.
Christians and non-christians can get the chocolate bunny, even color eggs
             even children who've yet to choose religion - or something else
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by:viki2000
ID: 40058232
"As far as I'm concerned, that is outrageous. Just because you interpret the bible differently, you refuse to consider these people to be Christians. Yet they were as convinced of the truth of their belief and actions as you are."
I do not know at who do you refer, but I have in mind people who do things which are not written in the Scriptures.
You are wrong here with the presumption. I do not refer to the different interpretations. There are things clear for everyone as they happened in the history. For example: indulgences, paying to be absolved of sins, killing in the name of holy war to protect the faith…
I refer to the things which are not written in the Scriptures and were and are done. I do not refer to interpretation.
And there is one more thing, a personal view: Sola Scriptura. For centuries the Roman Catholic Church had made its traditions superior in authority to the Bible. This resulted in many practices that were in fact contradictory to the Bible.

"Can I assume that the fundamentalist Christians who murdered an abortion doctor in the US are by your definition also not Christians?"
There is no Christian act in murdering an abortion doctor. Christianity is against the abortion, but that does not mean someone has to kill to sustain that. It is just a position in the Christian community. It is : do not make abortion teaching. The people are still free to do it if they want. We have free will. We are allowed to turn against God. The consequences will come later. But now we can do what we want as we would be god.

"So just what is a real Christian, by your definition? Are there any with the exact same interpretation of the bible as you?"
No. That would not be right. Me or “my kind” or whatever other groups that someone is associated with, is not the reference.
For me, a real Christian, is a believer, a follower of Christ who follows His commandments as are written in the Scriptures. And I speak about main things which cannot be wrong interpreted. There are so simple that everyone can understand them. I just want to let the interpretations aside, for theologians. You have to do things, not only read and agree with them in your mind.
And such kind of people belong to different denominations, despite the fact the system is not good as a whole. Because Christian is a personal change to become better in the image of Christ.
Is Mother Teresa a good enough example for you? For me she is. And I know many other names in different countries contemporaneous Christians, some of the pacifists martyrs, but their name may not mean too much for you, if you do not know their life. I have friends Christians who renounce at their personal life to make a change around them bringing the Gospel into the hearts of moral degenerated people. I have seen changes in an entire neighborhood similar with the impact done by David Wilkerson when he was young, described in his book “The Cross and the Switchblade” . They even made a movie years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_brqLzgUQo


I'm getting close to wrapping up this question, as it seems clear that there is no clear answer to my question: "what difference does Easter make to Christians?". We seem to be back to the old problem in Christianity: anything can be proven by quoting the bible and interpreting it the way you want. Any final thoughts before I allocate points?

Well, you decide what is clear and not for you.
From my point of view, you asked a question and you received answers. And they are proper.
The problem is different: you are not prepared to accept them as meaningful for you.
Easter means: Friday death of the sins at the cross together with Jesus and Sunday resurrection of Christ giving chance and hope for all who are ready to follow Him. Without 2 these events there is no Christianity. We would be all as before Jesus came on Earth.
The Easter events changed and change lives on Earth, but as I said, not as you expect a change of the masses measured in percent. Even if Christians are over 30% of the global major religion, followed by Muslims, that does not mean that all Christians are veritable. You have to see the change through the flow of time. The purpose of the Easter events is a selection, only some are saved, they become the Church of Christ and they belong to different denominations.
My personal belief is that are people who had no chance to hear the Gospel, but they lived an exemplary life and one day they will meet Christ.

And the Easter means also that when the Justice of God will be done, we will not deal directly with God and His commandments, but a trial will be done by the Son of God as Judge, who sees through the eyes of flesh and no one can say the God is unfair because does not know how is it to be in flesh.
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40058661
@SunBow I know other religions are equally bad (as are non-religious people). What I objected to was viki2000's labelling those people as non-Christians. For example, the crusaders killed many innocents, they raped and pillaged, but they behaved according to the interpretation of Christianity at that time. They were Christians, just not as accepted at present. So is the guy who killed the abortion doctor: by his interpretation of the "truth", and that of his fellows, he is a real Christian.

a real Christian, is a believer, a follower of Christ
That is something I can understand, but it implies that atheists are also Christians if they behave morally, as Christ  would have behaved (at least according to one interpretation of his teachings) - apart from the believing bit, but that should not prevent them from getting their heavenly reward, by your own admission.
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by:viki2000
ID: 40059101
For example, the crusaders killed many innocents, they raped and pillaged, but they behaved according to the interpretation of Christianity at that time. They were Christians, just not as accepted at present. So is the guy who killed the abortion doctor: by his interpretation of the "truth", and that of his fellows, he is a real Christian.

No way.
Nowhere in the New Testament you will find Jesus telling such things.
These are things done by their own will. There is no connection with Jesus teachings.
It is not a question of interpretation here.
Show me where is written that following Jesus and His commands you must do such things. Then you can speak about interpretation.
Contrary, is written that revenge belongs to God and not to us.

Atheists and moral people are not Christians, because they do not follow Christ. They do not have Him as Savior.
Following Christ is in fact more than following His commandments. It is a covenant between you and Christ, done after you are ready to follow and you are born again from water and Spirit.
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by:SunBow
ID: 40060597
There are Americans
      Then again
There are americans

Consider: Their own Civil war.

Consider: Church vs State.

Roman Catholics confined to small area without standing army by mutual agreement, lords vs representative of Lord aka 'Vatican' (or Papacy).
For crusades, some wore religion on sleeve, noting the likes of Templars, Hospitalers....
Nobles - seeking coveted 'promised land' - for themselves - oft 'fighting' before they get there
'Children's' crusade
Vatican gets the armies away from their own coveted land while in opposition of 'Knights', deals made to get it going
Seeking power vs seeking christ
With the rumors of The Magdalene having made landfall in France, Papacy sent soldiers Westward bound to eradicate any not wanting to be adopted into their system of tax collection - exclamation of "Kill them all, let God decide" [fate of their own catholics who may be in the way] - absolution can depend on what is worn on sleeve (despite religion)

Consider 'Adoptions'

Baptisms for the dead for victims of the Holocaust had been performed by members of the LDS church
The LDS Church has urged members to submit the names of only their own ancestors for ordinances, and to request permission of surviving family members of people who have died within the past 95 years.
- [adoptions] include Albert Einstein, and Irving Berlin without family permission.
 LDS Church is generally considered to be distinct and separate from mainstream Christianity by Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches, which express differences with one another but consider each other's churches as Christian.
...Mormon cosmology and its plan of salvation including the doctrines of pre-mortal life, baptism for the dead, three degrees of heaven, and exaltation.

Different views have been expressed on the meaning of the phrase "baptized for the dead", and on whether Paul gave his approval to the practice. [wikipedia,org]
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by:viki2000
ID: 40060854
All of the above are not biblical.
Baptism of the dead people is the biggest nonsense and Mormons are not followers of Christ. They follow  Joseph Smith and they have their own book. I do not care if they declare themselves Christians. In my opinion they are not. They break the commandments from New Testament.
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by:SunBow
SunBow earned 16 total points
ID: 40060910
Nowhere in bible does it say Simon was a church to be built on or a city to support
Nowhere in bible does it say a human can become infallible through electoral process
Nowhere in bible does it say the true sole leader of religion as determined by god has to be one to be elected by superior's own peers who are best to determine rules within own favorite city of gold
Want to hasten to some better afterlife?Amongst Protestants are those who selectively only adhere to epistles foregoing all else,
at expense of both gospels and old testament of bible alike. They don't have to deal with as much of the written word. [they have own easter parade] Some limit that to what they designate as from Paul.
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by:viki2000
ID: 40061191
Agree with all "Nowhere" above.
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40061469
@viki2000 I'm sorry but your idea of who is or is not a Christian differs from that of most other Christians - i.e. the ones who do not belong to your congregation. I'm not saying they are right and you are wrong, just that all of you believe in (slightly different) fairy tales.

All of the above are not biblical.
That is your problem: you want to relate everything back to your interpretation of the bible, The bible is just a book of myths, similar to other books of the same era. Part of it is based on truth, other parts are pure fiction. And, regardless of whose interpretation of the Old Testament you use, you will still have a major problem reconciling that with the improvements in the teachings of Jesus - or with the (further improved) teachings of modern morality. Slavery anyone, my neighbour's daughters perhaps?

Mormons are not followers of Christ.
Amen to that. Their beliefs are almost as weird as Scientology. Christianity is a close third. If you believe the bible is truth, you are forced to believe in mutually contradictory things. Take for example, the 2 accounts of creation in Genesis.

As I've said, this has deteriorated into a discussion of what the bible says. My question was about what difference the resurrection really makes to people. Hence I am closing this. Thanks to all who have participated.
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by:SunBow
ID: 40063451
Thanx,

Yet > all of you believe in (slightly different) fairy tales.

Tales yes, but Vicki <> fairy
Methinks it more akin to reporters of newsworthy items for attention
While OT has the greater focus on human failings, NT more on divisiveness
But dunno.
Appears there be level of bias, or missed how support for the event's giving them a day of pork was so unique.

Now we can move onward ye soldiers ;)        [Alons enfant de la patrie,
                                                                               le jour des gloire et arrivee]
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by:SStory
ID: 40112352

Initially there was only God. After a while he got bored of talking to himself and created some companions, demigods called angels. Unfortunately, God is rather a bumbling creator. Hence His creation was flawed, and some of the angels decided they wanted to rule heaven themselves. There was an almighty fight, but God won and the angels, now called devils, were cast into hell.
All bad presuppositions.
God has always been one God yet three persons, the Father, Son, aka Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. They have forever enjoyed themselves and never needed anything or anyone.  God apparently wanted someone else to be able to get in on the joy and be able to share in His glorious presence.  He created angels and they were made before the world perhaps so someone else would witness creation.  Then He made the universe and men.  God is not at all bumbling.  He knew what was going to happen, and for whatever reason created it all anyway. Jesus coming was never plan B.  That was always the plan.
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by:SStory
ID: 40112355
The devil and angels are not yet in hell, but they are going. They are on a Earth as demons and behind ever really evil thing. They instigate false religions, and more.  The devil wants to take as many to hell with him as possible.
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40113213
He knew what was going to happen
I don't really want to start this up again, but if god knew what was going to happen, what the hell is he complaining about? We are the way he made us, so he should just accept the fact that his creation is flawed. He stuffed up and should bear the consequences.

As for there being 1=3 gods, funny the Old Testament never mentions it. Weren't the Jews supposed to know that??

As for the devils not being cast into hell yet, I assume you're just making that up, just as much as the story I was told about them is made up by the (catholic) church. Have any biblical "proof" for your statement?
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by:WaterStreet
ID: 40113342
hdhondt,

"As for the devils not being cast into hell yet, I assume you're just making that up... Have any biblical "proof" for your statement?"

ROTFLMAO. As they say: Be careful what wish for.  You might get it.  I'm talking about the "proof" SStory would love to give you.  You just made his day with that invitation, and a much longer thread.
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40113355
@WaterStreet

I know, anything can be proven by creative quoting of the bible.
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by:viki2000
ID: 40113785
@WaterStreet
You are funny today and you make me smile.

@hdhondt
Everyone who have read the Bible knows that SStory is right. He or I can provide enough verses and chapters to sustain that. But I am also convinced that would not really help you and you do not want to take it seriously. Contrary will make you nervous or at least will put you in attack position.  You are just surprised that you did not know it.

I will answer to your first surprise:
"what the hell is he complaining about? We are the way he made us, so he should just accept the fact that his creation is flawed. He stuffed up and should bear the consequences."

He is not complaining.
Everything what He told us is to help us to understand Him and our consciousness place in eternity.
It is an effort special done for us with a ready solution from beginning.
If there is something which sounds as complaining is His call done from mercy and love because we make the same mistakes from beginning and He is trying to correct and help us: misuse of the free will that we have from Him.
The Spirit of God lives in us and when we die He is taking back what belongs to Him. That's why the body is called the Temple and our soul should sanctify it. The Holy Spirit of God comes in a clean Temple and open soul to receive the blessings of God. Then comes understanding and wisdom, which for example king Solomon received.
It is not He who bears the consequences, that is what is being said from beginning.
It is us.
There are universal laws given and we go in the wrong direction because we choose wrong when we do it as we please to satisfy ourselves, without listen to Him. Just imagine that we look at the same world image and one sees concave and another convex, even if we speak about high  precision and low tolerances. Not having the proper reference we can argue infinite. Do you know the stereograms, those 2D images that we see 3D with naked eye if you defocus your eyes from the paper plane? Some people see in depth and some also/only opposite.
The same is here.
It is about us with Him as reference.
It is not about Him with us and our thinking as reference.
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by:SStory
ID: 40114386
@hdhondt:
Well, the old testament does support the Trinity.  God said, "Let US make man in OUR image..." In the book of Genesis 1:26-28. There are plenty more if you'd care to see them.   As to the Jews, they were setup in the ideal place where the entire world passed by and meant to be those who showed people God's way, but for the most part they got stuck on themselves and made up so many rules and such in the Babylonian talmud and teachings of Pharisees and Saducees that were not given by God but rather by man.  All the prophets spoke of the coming Messiah. When He, Jesus came, He wasn't what they expected.  He didn't overthrow Rome physically and reestablish the Jews in preeminence and power. He came in a humble way, teaching of a kingdom that was not of this world and inviting them to be part of that eternal kingdom. They rejected Him because He didn't fit their preconceived ideas. Yet there has been no Messiah since.  Especially none who've met all of the prophesies like Jesus did.

I will not bore you with more verses since you apparently aren't open and seeking.  The evidence is there in the Old and New Testaments. Have you read either? Have you prayed that God would show you? I'd say read the Old if you like and ask God to reveal Himself to you and tell you if what I say is really so. At least examine the evidence.

As a human, why God knowing all that would happen, went ahead and created us, is beyond me, but He is God and I am not...I'm sure He had His reason and has no need to explain it to us. Futhermore why he threw the devil to the earth I will not know either because the devil sure is making a mess, but that was His divine prerogative.  There is mention of the Devil in the old testament being in Eden and pride being found in him--even calling him by an angelic name.  
Well, this is enough for you to investigate if you really care to.
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by:SStory
ID: 40114390
"As for the devils not being cast into hell yet, I assume you're just making that up... Have any biblical "proof" for your statement?"
@WaterStreet: Yes I have proof, but you'd not accept it I'm sure. But, do you have biblical proof that they have been thrown into hell? If so speak up.
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by:viki2000
ID: 40114629
"what the hell is he complaining about? We are the way he made us, so he should just accept the fact that his creation is flawed. He stuffed up and should bear the consequences."
Was that an emotional statement? Because it seems so.
In other words you say: it is His problem, not mine/ours.
Did you think at your question? Complain to whom? To us? To the Godhood?
The word "complaining" does not match. Sounds like the small brother whining to someone bigger in his crying for help. It is absurd.
All these are waking calls. And people refuse to hear or believe.
Then comes the moment when you die and the eyes will open.
Then you start to complain: I didn't know!, nobody told me!, how could I believe such things?, only now I can see...
Then is your problem.
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by:tliotta
ID: 40118744
Ahh, the old P&R raises its head. But it's not worth pursuing. The question was more interesting standing on its own, and its premise seems more plausible than the proposed counters.

Tom
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by:WaterStreet
ID: 40118928
Agree that it's not worth pursuing.
One way to end this thread and its potential pulpit / soapbox is to click the Unmonitor star at the bottom of the screen.  I think I'll do that at the first sign of someone declaring a religious truth as opposed to something clearly described as an opinion.  

Oh, what the hell. Why wait?  I'm unmonitoring now.
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by:viki2000
ID: 40118944
"He stuffed up and should bear the consequences."

That is called transfer of the responsibility.
But does not work.
You want to live your life and do what you want and in the end "is not my fault".
Makes no sense. You do not live in vacuum, somewhere distant of the present world.


@WaterStreet
" I think I'll do that at the first sign of someone declaring a religious truth as opposed to something clearly described as an opinion. "
Why declaring a truth is wrong?
You just make it sound as it is imposed by force, which is not true.
Why describing it as an option is better?
For some people that option may be the only solution at a certain time and if that option is a misleading truth, then is wrong.

When you state a truth, you believe in it, then you have arguments for it, you fight for it, you take position to show and share it, if not your are a vegetable. The important part is to not impose it by force.

Opposite, if you have only a set of options, but you are not convinced of any, then you are totally in a undecided state, blocked in believe in nothing, no move, just observer. Then when you say something about a truth what kind of reference do you use to sustain your statement?
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by:tliotta
ID: 40118966
Why declaring a truth is wrong?
It's not. What's wrong is declaring an opinion to be truth.

Tom
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by:viki2000
ID: 40119015
And how you differentiate between opinions which one is the truth if you do not use the same reference?
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40119174
And how you differentiate between opinions which one is the truth if you do not use the same reference?
Unfortunately there are dozens of flavours of christians, and every single one of them claims their own truth is the only real one - and all the others will go to hell. Ditto for muslems, hindus, etc at infinitum.

Hope you can live with your "truth". I'm unmonitoring too.
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by:SStory
ID: 40121839
It is amazing how close minded this group is. It seems to be composed of a group that really only wants to hear one side of any argument with no opposing views and when any opposing views are brought to light, they cry foul and abandon the question.  The Christian worldview is just as valid as that of the Jews and Atheists.
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by:tliotta
ID: 40144585
The Christian worldview is just as valid as that of the Jews and Atheists.
For all practical purposes, that's an excellent example of what an 'opinion' is. Thank you for demonstrating it.

Tom
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by:SStory
ID: 40147023
@tliotta: That last one was my opinion, but it is supported by seeing comments above and those from other times.  Some people only seem to want a one-sided debate or viewpoint. I don't mind seeing the so called "atheists" voice their opinion on here or the Jew, etc.

As to a comment from way above: Many people have gone out in the name of Christ who didn't really know Him in a saving relationship and damaged the world plenty.  The truth is having hospitals and orphanages and such all have Christian roots.  That's why they are named things like Mercy.  The world is so abnormal that true Christianity being normal from God's view, is seen as abnormal by the worlds. Jesus said give and you will get; love your enemy; pray for those who persecute you. The world says, "Get all you can, can all you get, sit on the lid and poison the rest."; "Might makes right"; "He who dies with the most toys wins." The problem is he who died having had the most toys will take none of them with him and what will he give God in exchange for his soul and what will it profit him if he had it all and yet winds up separated from God in torment forever?
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