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Potential Ramifications Of Verses About Sin


godlessgrrl
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I was just re-reading my extimony from way back in the day, and it got me thinking about something.

 

I was reading the bit I wrote about FBX, and remembered that when he finally came clean with me about everything, he admitted that he had regarded me as being emotionally needy and spiritually broken from the moment we met. He decided that I needed to be "fixed", and that he was the guy to do it, and that the "fixing" would happen by him leading me back to Jeebus, thus making me once again into a happy, cheery, joyous Bible-believer, filled with the joyjuice of Jeebus. (And conveniently become doctrinally sound again, and, thus, fuckable - after the appropriate godly ordained matrimonial ceremony, so that he wouldn't sully his virginal sexual purity.) :Wendywhatever:

 

What struck me, though, was the fact that FBX looked at me as something broken from the moment we met. Not only that, but during the course of our relationship, he would often comment to me that something he admired about his female Xian friends was "how strong they are". Granted, he never really went into detail on what he meant about "strong"; but it did puzzle me. After all, I had survived a miserable childhood, being raised in an alcoholic family, at least one rape (with some other sexual abuses here and there as well), multiple abusive partners, a degree of domestic violence, years of suicidal ideation, depressive illness, and a painful divorce - and yet I hadn't cracked, killed anyone, or killed myself. In fact I was doing better when he met me than I ever had done in my life. I had survived all that, and he didn't count me as being strong??

 

So I just thought about this some, and thought about what the Babble teaches about the sinfulness of mankind. Romans 3:23, for instance: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." And the verse about how we are like "soiled menstrual rags" to God. I think FBX was coming from the whole theological concept of utter human depravity, derived ultimately from the idea of original sin, and embedded deeply in the fiber of Xian belief, especially with regard to the evangelical denominations which both myself and FBX belonged to. (I was AoG Pentecostal initially, he was Foursquare.)

 

It just occurred to me how tremendously unhealthy and disrespectful it is to approach every human being on the planet as if they are utterly depraved, needy, and broken - which is what the doctrine of utter depravity supports. FBX literally looks at everyone as if they are as sick and twisted as he is inside. And I can remember doing this to a degree, too, when I was a Xian - I had the attitude that everyone was separated from god, but they maybe just didn't know it, and they needed healing, and Jeebus was the answer, if they'd only realize it! I pitied people who didn't believe. I don't remember thinking that everybody I knew was utterly depraved (I reserved that judgment only for my own moral state), but I sure did feel sorry for them.

 

I think stuff like this completely devalues the efforts and good faith of human beings just trying to live their lives the best they can. I mean, hell, I wasn't perfect, but I wasn't the needy, weak little thing FBX assumed I was. I didn't need fixing, and it was presumptuous of him to think so, just as it was presumptuous of me to pity my loved ones when I was still a believer too.

 

Thoughts?

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....

Thoughts?

Dear Gwenmead,

 

Perhaps the "total depravity" doctrine itself is evidence that we are "totally depraved." Why else would we allow the evolution of such a demeaning and hurtful teaching? :scratch:

 

I absolutely reject this doctrine. Where in the world did they get that, anyway? Well, of course, from their understanding of the Bible. I see it in a completely different way.

 

Of course, we miss the mark. All have missed the mark and fallen short of their god-glory potential. No argument from me. But how does one get from "missing the mark" to "total depravity"? It makes me shudder.

 

Some support for this doctrine can only be derived from misunderstandings and/or misinterpretations of texts, such as the one you quote in Isaiah 64.

 

This passage is a penitential plea to God after the Babylonian exile in which Judah was decimated and carried away and the Temple was destroyed. This is a cry of a lost and hurting people. Interestingly enough, they do assert that God, too, is partly to blame for their fate: "...you have struck him who would gladly do justice, and remember you in your ways. It is because you are angry that we have sinned." (I like this challenge to the divine and I think the divine liked it, too.)

 

The particular passage about "all our righteousness being as filthy rags" (other translations put that as: "filthy garments"; "grease-stained rags"; "as a garment passing away"; and "dirty pieces of cloth") are the words of one people at one point in history, crying out in penance. Taking these words and applying them to all humankind forever thereafter is not merited by the text at all. It is a shame that some do just that.

 

Furthermore, there are two ways to view this idea of "righteousness" being "as filthy rags." It can be a reminder of humility. It is easy to grow high and mighty with one's superior intellect or understanding or righteousness. This passage would much better be used not as a ballbat to beat people over the head with to convince them of how filthy they allegedly are, but as a reminder that no matter how holy one thinks one is, our holiness is limited and, therefore, we best not set ourselves above others.

 

We all "have issues." My partner, in fact, recently purchased for me a T-shirt with that tagline on the front: "I have issues." I always tell him that he is right. I do have issues, and I admit it. He has issues and won't admit it! :HaHa: We all "sin," we all "fall short," and we all "miss the mark." So what! The hope is that we move on from these episodes and strive to embrace our higher naturew and, for those who are theists, the energy of divinity to reshape us (that passage in Isaiah 64, in fact, concludes with the "you are the potter" metaphor).

 

BTW, which translation uses "soiled menstrual rags" as the metaphor? Or is that the Gwenmead International Version? :HaHa:

 

-CC

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I absolutely reject this doctrine. Where in the world did they get that, anyway? Well, of course, from their understanding of the Bible. I see it in a completely different way.

 

Is there some other way to understand these verses, CC?

 

Romans 3

All have turned away,

they have together become worthless;

there is no one who does good,

not even one.

 

Romans 5

Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men

 

Ephesians 2

"[We] were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind."

 

I believe it was Augustine who first began this doctrine - the doctrine of all humankind inheriting the Adamic nature (i.e. depraved and carnal)

 

While it isn't accepted by all denominations, it's certainly standard issue for a whole bunch of em.

 

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood. post-389-1172537266.gif

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I absolutely agree that is a terrible, terrible doctrine, and it's ramifications go pretty deep. First, the assumption that we're all pond scum lays a solid foundation for the fear that the xian cult thrives off of. It becomes part of the bait when the alternative of divine forgiveness and eternal life is presented. Once in the fold, it continues to serve. It fosters the "us vs. them" mentality that many xians harbor, with the ultimate gulf between "us" and "them." It's a convenient way for every last person on the face of the earth that is not in their fold to be worthy indescribably horrible eternal suffering to their basking in eternal paradise. This provides fodder for excuses to demonize anyone they decide god disapproves of, to wage war against the heathens, and to castigate strangers, acquaintances, friends, even their own children. It feeds the self-righteousness of the "saved" to treat people this way despite certain of the elements that are contradictory within their own religion. And the damage to self-esteem and one's general mental well being is severe, and all too familiar to many of us. Born into sin, filthy rags... a horrible, manipulative crock of shit.

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I absolutely agree that is a terrible, terrible doctrine, and it's ramifications go pretty deep. First, the assumption that we're all pond scum lays a solid foundation for the fear that the xian cult thrives off of. It becomes part of the bait when the alternative of divine forgiveness and eternal life is presented. Once in the fold, it continues to serve. It fosters the "us vs. them" mentality that many xians harbor, with the ultimate gulf between "us" and "them." ...

 

This point about the "us vs. them" mentality, ShackledNoMore, is crucial. Christians, being human, do tend to separate the world into such categories, with Christians being the "us" and everyone else the "them." I'm afraid we all do this with our little category-making, including the newest one called "Brights." (What are non-Brights called?)

 

It seems almost natural to divide ourselves along some line or the other. Too bad. We do have to move away from meditating on that which separates us and instead ponder that in the other which may complete us. We must transcend our petty squabbles and embrace a higher, more healthy way of living.

 

-CC

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Now that was one bloody post, Mythra. :HaHa:

 

You may know that my good friend Paul and I have some disagreements. The 1st chapter of Romans is one example. With that in mind, let me say...

 

It seems to me that in the early chapters of Romans, Paul is seeking to level the playing field: "Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things." (2.1)

 

From this point, he goes off on quite a diatribe, pulling scriptures from all over the OT, to prove that "all have sinned," Jew and Gentile; that all have "gone astray," Jew and Gentile; and that "no one is righteous," Jew or Gentile. Having equalized the situation, he proceeds from that point to his magnificent theory on the grace of God and the power of faith to make one "the righteousness of God."

 

His language in Romans 3 is over the top. Seems to me. While there is truth to the statement that we all have a "tendency toward ill," we also all have a "tendency toward good." (Modern Jewish ways of thinking about it.) His purpose here was not to highlight the "angelic" side, but the "demonic" one. I agree that we, potentially, have both natures.

 

All of 3.10-18 are quotes from Psalm 5, 10, 14, 36, 53, 140, Proverbs 1, and Isaiah 59. Nothing original. He leapfrogs through the Psalter and a bit in Proverbs and Isaiah to establish his point. He's cherry-picking ( :wicked: ) to make his point. He does not pick those truths that will not support his overall theme: We are the same. None is high and mighty. All need the atonement.

 

There is but one way to read Paul's words, you are right, but there are "howevers" and "buts" as well. Seems to me. But, you know, I'm slippery. :HaHa:

 

-CC

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There is but one way to read Paul's words, you are right, but there are "howevers" and "buts" as well. Seems to me. But, you know, I'm slippery.

 

You are slippery, you little devil. Nailing you down is like trying to swat a fly with a sledge hammer.

 

You can't just blame this goofy little gig on Paul, though. Isaiah said this:

 

We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags.

 

Perhaps this was the verse Gwenmead was referring to, when discussing feminine hygiene products???

 

So, we are all unclean. Filthy, dirty, disgusting worms, slimy gross putrid decaying lumps of useless flesh in God's eyes.

 

Okay. We get it.

 

But, that's okay. Cause he's a whole lot less than that to us. He's irrelevant.

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...Filthy, dirty, discusting worms, slimy gross putrid decaying lumps of useless flesh ...

...

 

We may be, some of us, some of the time (e.g., mass murderers, rapists, Hitlers, etc.).

 

But we also are made just "a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor." I like this idea much more than thinking we are "filthy rags."

 

-CC

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But we also are made just "a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor." I like this idea much more than thinking we are "filthy rags."

 

Well, and in this we agree. (except for the angels part - if we are lower than the angels, are we then a little higher than the pixies?)

 

The point of this is - it's christianity that makes mankind ugly and sinful and lacking and unclean and deficient. YOUR brand of christianity may not see it that way. It doesn't matter. There is no question that it's inherent in the religion. If not, then what was the whole savior-on-a-stick schtick about????

 

This is one of the reasons that many of us left the religion. We have too much respect for the human condition. We cannot buy the idea that all mankind is utterly without a single redeeming quality, apart from de Jebus. We cannot buy the whole sin sales pitch - which takes normal human things like sexual desire and self-pride and turns them into some kind of dark shameful thing that one must repent of.

 

Sure, there are shitheads out there. Plenty of them. But there are also millions of wonderful people who are kind and helpful to strangers and give of themselves without being asked. For no other reason than it's in their nature to do so.

 

The really hardcore religionists who worship jesus are so birdbrained that they see evil even in philanthropy, unless it's done in jesus' name.

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LOL! Heh, I honestly can't remember where I heard the particular translation that I did for that "filthy rags" line... I'll have to dig it up, and if I can't find it, then yeah, it's probably the GIV™... ;)

 

I don't have much brain power to respond to anything other than that at the moment, but I appreciate the responses so far and will hopefully get back here once I'm not braindead anymore and maybe give a semi-intelligent reply myself later on...

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This point about the "us vs. them" mentality, ShackledNoMore, is crucial. Christians, being human, do tend to separate the world into such categories, with Christians being the "us" and everyone else the "them." I'm afraid we all do this with our little category-making, including the newest one called "Brights." (What are non-Brights called?)

 

It seems almost natural to divide ourselves along some line or the other. Too bad. We do have to move away from meditating on that which separates us and instead ponder that in the other which may complete us. We must transcend our petty squabbles and embrace a higher, more healthy way of living.

 

-CC

The problem is the substantial following of authoritarian xians that shape xianity into very unhealthy forms.

 

If fact, it's the authoritarian groups more than human nature in general, that tends to foster an "us vs. them" mentality. So you see it increasingly more as the christian, muslim, etc. becomes more conservative, and you don't tend to see it among liberal christians, buddhists, agnostics, etc.

 

We all know the bible isn't the most wonderfully consistent document ever written, and as I read the responses to this thread this morning, I noticed there is in fact wiggle room in it's description of the nature of man. On one hand, there is the "a little below the angels" passage, and on the other there's the whole nasty original sin doctrine. Heck, one could even make an argument that this isn't one of the bible's contradictions because of the whole "fall from grace" thing, although it seems pretty harsh to me to condemn all of humanity to eternal hell because a snake persuaded one person to eat a piece of fruit. So starting from your perspective, a christian who believes the bible is not inviolate, and every word literally true, you can provide a reasonable interpretation.

 

Nevertheless, my initial reaction to Gwenmead's post was from the perspective of the predominate mainstream/conservative point of view: with good reason, I think--that's how xianity is mostly promoted.

 

What the xianity that I really have a problem with says, is that the most benevolent, good hearted kid (insert age of accountability disclaimer here to lessen your revulsion to this, if desired), is so vile, such an abomination, that s/he deserves to spend an eternity agonizing in hell. If all xians were like you, CC, the world would have been a better place.

 

Recognize the xianity that I have my big problem with, that says we're all hellbound scum? It's the selfsame heavily represented branch that brings us the "us vs. them" mentality.

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...

The point of this is - it's christianity that makes mankind ugly and sinful and lacking and unclean and deficient. YOUR brand of christianity may not see it that way. It doesn't matter. There is no question that it's inherent in the religion. If not, then what was the whole savior-on-a-stick schtick about????

 

This is one of the reasons that many of us left the religion. We have too much respect for the human condition. We cannot buy the idea that all mankind is utterly without a single redeeming quality, apart from de Jebus. We cannot buy the whole sin sales pitch - which takes normal human things like sexual desire and self-pride and turns them into some kind of dark shameful thing that one must repent of.

...

 

I am not so quick to dismiss thousands of years of philosophy and religion, much of which surmises that there is something "astray" or "amiss" or "missing" in human nature.

 

If we are products of evolution, in fact, we are just a little higher than the animals (not that St. Francis sees anything wrong with the animals...unless it's a tiger or bear and I'm alone with it!). It is interesting to note that these two views -- Creation and Evolution -- begin at opposite premises and conclude in the same place.

 

Creation: Made in the image of God, very good, a little lower than the angels. Then something happened and something got in the spiritual/emotional/biological DNA.

 

Evolution: Made in the image of what came before, adapted a little here and there. Over time, something happened and got in the DNA and we have become more tame, more civilized.

 

But both views seem to bring us to the same place.

 

Another point briefly is that Christianity is not by any means alone in casting doubt on our "perfection" or calling for a mindfulness of our sexual energy, etc. Buddhism, a non-theistic religion originally, does the same in teaching that we must control our cravings, avoid intoxicants and sexual libertinism. Islam, too. Judaism as well: What was circumcision about but a way of saying the penis is sanctified for filling the earth and making Abraham's descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven; therefore, use the "seed" and one's sexual energy well.

 

The "savior-on-a-stick" (as you put it) myth (not in the "untrue" sense, but in the symbol/explanation/meaning sense) is a way for us to psychologically cast our care. All our shortcomings and failures and even grotesque sins can be carried off. Our consciences can be cleansed. We can put down the burden of condemnation and walk freely and lightly upon the earth. That's how I take it.

 

-CC

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GIV... ;)

 

:grin:

 

I've got my own version, too: the BCWTB version.

 

(Be Careful With This Book)

 

-CC

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...

What the xianity that I really have a problem with says, is that the most benevolent, good hearted kid (insert age of accountability disclaimer here to lessen your revulsion to this, if desired), is so vile, such an abomination, that s/he deserves to spend an eternity agonizing in hell. If all xians were like you, CC, the world would have been a better place.

 

Recognize the xianity that I have my big problem with, that says we're all hellbound scum? It's the selfsame heavily represented branch that brings us the "us vs. them" mentality.

 

Believe me I can be a hellion, too, just like anyone else, but your kind words are noted and appreciated. I have been working out my salvation for twenty-five years and I have still have miles and miles and miles to go before I sleep.

 

I do not disagree with your points above. At all. I am happy to say, however, that I think there is a shift away from these views. Hellfire sermons are more and more rare as are "you are pond scum" sermons. Let's hope that trend continues.

 

-CC

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I do not disagree with your points above. At all. I am happy to say, however, that I think there is a shift away from these views. Hellfire sermons are more and more rare as are "you are pond scum" sermons. Let's hope that trend continues.

 

And, why do you suppose that is? Is it because we have some new revelation from God Almighty telling us that perhaps the sin and condemnation thing was a little overstated? Is it because we realized that those things weren't really found in the Big Book of Answers? Are there no more "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" sermons because it was found to be in error, and not really representative of the true nature of YAHWEH?

 

No.

 

People like Max Lucado and Joel Osteen are finding that the "feel good" brand of christianity sells better. People will wait in line to lay out their hard-earned cash for someone to tell them they're okay.Especially when it's coming from an emissary of GOD.

 

People are getting rich. That's why the message is being softened.

 

No one wants to believe that Yahweh is a deity of wrath and anger and jealosy and temper tantrums.

 

Luckily, we still have the bible to remind us.

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I do not disagree with your points above. At all. I am happy to say, however, that I think there is a shift away from these views. Hellfire sermons are more and more rare as are "you are pond scum" sermons. Let's hope that trend continues.

 

And, why do you suppose that is? Is it because we have some new revelation from God Almighty telling us that perhaps the sin and condemnation thing was a little overstated? Is it because we realized that those things weren't really found in the Big Book of Answers? Are there no more "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" sermons because it was found to be in error, and not really representative of the true nature of YAHWEH?

 

No.

 

People like Max Lucado and Joel Osteen are finding that the "feel good" brand of christianity sells better. People will wait in line to lay out their hard-earned cash for someone to tell them they're okay.Especially when it's coming from an emissary of GOD.

 

People are getting rich. That's why the message is being softened.

 

No one wants to believe that Yahweh is a deity of wrath and anger and jealosy and temper tantrums.

 

Luckily, we still have the bible to remind us.

 

I suppose I have a higher view of human nature. I don't think that everyone is in it for the dinero. I think Lucado and Osteen are closer to the original intent. Our constitution, for example, enshrined slavery and racism, but that was not its original intent. It has taken us time to realize the original intent of the constitution and of the Bible. And there have always been groups who rejected the hellfire and bloody damnation teachings, always. I'm glad we are getting away from what was not true to begin with. Just my view.

 

-CC

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I am not so quick to dismiss thousands of years of philosophy and religion, much of which surmises that there is something "astray" or "amiss" or "missing" in human nature.

 

If we are products of evolution, in fact, we are just a little higher than the animals (not that St. Francis sees anything wrong with the animals...unless it's a tiger or bear and I'm alone with it!). It is interesting to note that these two views -- Creation and Evolution -- begin at opposite premises and conclude in the same place.

 

Creation: Made in the image of God, very good, a little lower than the angels. Then something happened and something got in the spiritual/emotional/biological DNA.

 

Evolution: Made in the image of what came before, adapted a little here and there. Over time, something happened and got in the DNA and we have become more tame, more civilized.

 

But both views seem to bring us to the same place.

 

Another point briefly is that Christianity is not by any means alone in casting doubt on our "perfection" or calling for a mindfulness of our sexual energy, etc. Buddhism, a non-theistic religion originally, does the same in teaching that we must control our cravings, avoid intoxicants and sexual libertinism. Islam, too. Judaism as well: What was circumcision about but a way of saying the penis is sanctified for filling the earth and making Abraham's descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven; therefore, use the "seed" and one's sexual energy well.

 

The "savior-on-a-stick" (as you put it) myth (not in the "untrue" sense, but in the symbol/explanation/meaning sense) is a way for us to psychologically cast our care. All our shortcomings and failures and even grotesque sins can be carried off. Our consciences can be cleansed. We can put down the burden of condemnation and walk freely and lightly upon the earth. That's how I take it.

 

-CC

Nothing is missing...it just goes unnoticed.

 

I don't think it is so much about casting doubt on our perfection, but trying to get us to see that we are already perfection in waiting, so-to-speak.

 

It is all a mental image that we have of ourselves, but it can't be taken to the extreme of self-loathing. If it is, then the teaching is not getting though because self-loathing is just as much a part of the ego as delusions of grandeur are. The teachings are trying to get one to see that they are more than the mind that operates on the perception and interpretation of forms. There is nothing wrong with it unless one lets the ego rule their lives. This is where "desires of the flesh" is spoken of. If a person's state of mind changes to acknowledge that they are also spirit or the awareness that interprets these forms (world), then a balance can be achieved and the mind no longer seeks happiness in desires. The mind is no longer the driver, but the awareness is behind the wheel.

 

It really has nothing to do with us being either filthy or perfect in a literal sense; it is a state of consciousness of the individual. It's not black and white. If the ego is running the show, we get Hitlers and self-loathing people. The ego doesn't care which way the delusion goes...grandiose or hatred of itself as long as it remains in control of the person. When a balance is achieved, we are psychologically/spiritually perfect.

 

The mind-made self continually seeks reinforcement from things outside ourselves...new car, better job, sex, etc, in order to strengthen its identity. There is nothing wrong with these things unless one finds that their identity is entwined with the things ("Look at me with MY new car!"). :) It will even seek out negative reinforcement when the person feels they are low-lives. It doesn't care as long as it has some identity.

 

What we usually don't realize is that we are already what we seek. This is what the teachings of most major religions are trying to get people to understand. We don't need "things of the flesh" to satisfy our identity because it soon wears off and we are off to the next thing that can gives us some sense of self from our purchase or interaction. We are already fulfulled if we would stop and realize it, then that new car becomes something to enjoy, instead of a reflection of who we want to be.

 

Your last paragraph hints at this. You may have even nailed it if you understand that this walking has to do with a force that is inside and outside of us. The force of life itself. It's not an outside acting force, but one that acts from within..our own selves. This sounds contradictory, and I think this is why many people put God outside somewhere because of the non-duality nature of "oneness". The life force is in everything, so it has to be outside of everything too, but not separate from anything.

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...

 

I don't think it is so much about casting doubt on our perfection, but trying to get us to see that we are already perfection in waiting, so-to-speak.

 

...

 

I like a lot the thought of perfection in waiting!

 

-CC

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I know it's slightly off-topic but I thought this was interesting...

 

Josephus (in "Against Apion") wrote as follows:

 

The Pharisees [who are considered most skillful in the exact explication of their laws and are the leading school] ascribe all to fate and to God and yet allow that to do what is right or to the contrary is principally the power of men, although fate does cooperate in every action. They say that all souls are imperishable but that the souls of good men only pass into other bodies while the souls of evil men are subject to eternal punishment.

 

But the Sadducees are those that compose the second order and exclude fate entirely and suppose that God is not concerned with our doing or not doing what is evil. They say that to do what is good or what is evil is man's own choice and that the choice of one or the other belongs to each person who may act as he pleases. They also exclude the belief in immortality of the soul and the punishment and rewards of the afterworld.

 

Moreover, the Pharisees are friendly to one another and cultivate harmonious relations with the community, but the behavior of the Sadducees towards one another is to some degree boorish, and their conversation with those that of their own party is barbarous as if they were strangers to them.

 

Isn't it amazing that the Pharisees are the only ones that survived the fall of the Temple and that xianities view of "sin, "choice," the "soul" and like so nicely align with them? I'd call it a coincidence that the two are so similar if I actually thought it was. Now we needed jesus to tell us what the Pharisees were already saying...why? :shrug:

 

mwc

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His language in Romans 3 is over the top. Seems to me. While there is truth to the statement that we all have a "tendency toward ill," we also all have a "tendency toward good." (Modern Jewish ways of thinking about it.) His purpose here was not to highlight the "angelic" side, but the "demonic" one. I agree that we, potentially, have both natures.

 

All of 3.10-18 are quotes from Psalm 5, 10, 14, 36, 53, 140, Proverbs 1, and Isaiah 59. Nothing original. He leapfrogs through the Psalter and a bit in Proverbs and Isaiah to establish his point. He's cherry-picking ( ) to make his point. He does not pick those truths that will not support his overall theme: We are the same. None is high and mighty. All need the atonement.

 

There is but one way to read Paul's words, you are right, but there are "howevers" and "buts" as well. Seems to me. But, you know, I'm slippery.

 

-CC

 

You are the first christian I have seen in a very long time admit to Pauls fraud. So why do you stop at Paul? Just curious....

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You are the first christian I have seen in a very long time admit to Pauls fraud. So why do you stop at Paul? Just curious....

 

I am not calling Paul a fraud, simply saying that he is not right about everything. He, too, missed the mark. As did Socrates and Buddha and Moses and Albert Einsten and Thomas Jefferson and...

 

The "accept it all or throw it all out" viewpoint doesn't seem logical to me. In fact, it seems fundamentalist: It's all literally true or it's all literally a lie.

 

To throw out the Bible and religion and metaphysical philosophy, for me, would be like gouging out my eyes and sticking pencils through my eardrums. Why would I do that? Why would I dismiss an entire realm of knowledge and understanding and insight simply because I don't see eye to eye with all its hypotheses and doctrines?

 

Do you see, DoubleDee, where I'm coming from?

 

-CC

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I am not calling Paul a fraud, simply saying that he is not right about everything. He, too, missed the mark. As did Socrates and Buddha and Moses and Albert Einsten and Thomas Jefferson and...

 

<_< Sounds to me like somebody drew the mark in the wrong place.

 

You make this all sound like it's nothing more than a philosophy for living, and striving for some apparently unatainable perfection.

 

But, we are paying a little closer attention than that. We know that invisible, silent, giant, magic friends are the source of your philosophies (in your world)

 

And, it's those we discard as so much worthless debris. Most of us have no time or energy left to spend on pretend worlds and entities.

 

And lots of us know that it's okay to be human. No striving required.

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...

 

You make this all sound like it's nothing more than a philosophy for living, and striving for some apparently unatainable perfection.

 

But, we are paying a little closer attention than that. We know that invisible, silent, giant, magic friends are the source of your philosophies (in your world)

 

And, it's those we discard as so much worthless debris. Most of us have no time or energy left to spend on pretend worlds and entities.

 

And lots of us know that it's okay to be human. No striving required.

 

Yes, in my world there is an Ultimate Reality.

 

Should one not believe in an Ultimate Reality, there still is much (I'd say) in religion and philosophy and scriptures that is amazingly interesting and worthy of time and attention. Even if the foundational priciple (there is an Ultimate Reality) is wrong, the secondary premises and teachings may be quite beneficial.

 

But each one must decide these things on their own. What is beneficial to one may not be to another. Of course.

 

-CC

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Well, sure - there are some things in the bible that are worthwhile. Things that could inspire a person to live a better life.

 

But then, the same thing can be said for "The Little Engine That Could".

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You are the first christian I have seen in a very long time admit to Pauls fraud. So why do you stop at Paul? Just curious....

 

I am not calling Paul a fraud, simply saying that he is not right about everything. He, too, missed the mark. As did Socrates and Buddha and Moses and Albert Einsten and Thomas Jefferson and...

 

The "accept it all or throw it all out" viewpoint doesn't seem logical to me. In fact, it seems fundamentalist: It's all literally true or it's all literally a lie.

 

To throw out the Bible and religion and metaphysical philosophy, for me, would be like gouging out my eyes and sticking pencils through my eardrums. Why would I do that? Why would I dismiss an entire realm of knowledge and understanding and insight simply because I don't see eye to eye with all its hypotheses and doctrines?

 

Do you see, DoubleDee, where I'm coming from?

 

-CC

No, I don't see! You speak out of both sides of your mouth and make no sense, other than of course to rationalize or intectualize your delusion.

Paul was a liar and it is plain and simple for everyone to see. Please, do not equate "missing the mark" with lying they are not the same.

 

As for "accept it all or throw it all out" , why shouldn't I throw it all out? It was with Paul whom I initially rejected and then the gospels. If I had seen Paul as virtuous and without fraud I would never have questioned the bible in the first place. Yet he gave me reason to question and search and study for truth. The bible is unreliable and searching for a nugget of truth in a huge pile of shit is not worth my time.

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