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Women and Religion - Open Thread

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serenity blaze
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25 posted 07-28-2006 02:32 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

The End of The Paleothic Period




"Oh don't mind me, I'll just sit here in the late Paleolithic period all by m'self," serenity muttered. She grumpily slammed a rock on the long golden grass she'd been braiding. The shaft then burst into a thousand pieces before Serenity's amazed eyes. Intrigued, she haunched down to examine some of the other stalks. She cocked her head to one side, wondering--

"I'll just bet that if we take these older stalks and bury them in the Mother Earth, we wouldn't have to walk all over the MIDDLE EAST to gather our freaking supper!"

But no one was listening because Serenity was all alone. Sad sigh. The others had leapt ahead, refusing to stop and consider that the same seed that advanced societal evolution to the AGRIGULTURAL AGE, advancing cultural populaces to CLANS, would have been about the same time as when Goddess worship flourished.

Sadly, serenity should have kept her mouth shut. (She sometimes types too much yanno. ) Because it was this same great discovery, which, while being an advancement for the all of humanity would be the beginning of the subjugation of her sex.

Serenity felt eyes upon her. The Shaman was staring at her. The androgyne began cackling at her. It was damned disconcerting too.

He/she never liked her.

She felt a little ill and her back hurt.

As she stretched, her moonblood trickeled down her leg, a drop landing on the bundle of wheat she'd been gathering.

Connections were made. This was it. The End of the Paleolithic period. ( )

Ohhhhhhhhh...she thought.

She couldn't wait to tell everyone. She looked up to see that the androgyne had disappeared. She couldn't wait to tell everyone about her discovery, but she felt a shadow of misgiving regarding the shaman of her tribe.

When she caught up with the others, they were already sitting around the shaman enraptured by his words. The shaman became a priest, and he pointed at Serenity and her show of blood and screamed "UNCLEAN" and she was sent off to be alone for the first time in her life.

Serenity wept for 8 days.

Nobody understood her.

OH. Or was that Clan of the CAVE BEAR???


"At least Jane Auel did her own research" grumbled Serenity.

THE END

or THE BEGINNING...



  

Stephanos
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26 posted 07-28-2006 03:25 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

LeeJ:
quote:
Stephen, Question…Did you read the TDC?


Yes, I did.  Though I didn't see the movie.

quote:
I believe in an all supreme being (God), who created our world, and everything in it…but I also believe in Scientific & Archaeological theories…which to me, associates, with the Bible…along with many other religious theories.


You don't have to convince me of the value of things like archaeology and historiography.  For the most part, where these disciplines have been sound, they have tended to confirm rather than refute the authenticity of the Bible.  I don't think that God's "word" will ever truly contradict God's "world".  Science and Faith are not equals for sure, but they are not enemies either.  


Many statements in the past have been made to contradict the Bible, based on archaeology (or a lack thereof), which were later recanted because new evidence appeared which only confirmed the Biblical accounts.


So I don't think that archeology and historiography are in a position to "prove" the divine source of the Bible, but they can and do show it to be more than plausible.  Since we can doubt anything, even our very own existence if we wish, faith must play a part somewhere.  But that doesn't mean that faith is the blind kind.


As for the "religious theories" you mentioned ... I'm with you with caveat that they can't all be right, especially if they are at odds with each other, in some very basic and fundamental assumptions.  I'll give anything a fair hearing, but that doesn't make everything equally valid.


quote:
the Bible was written by men…and men are by nature, desire driven…to include, ego, power, & tempted by material wealth.


You keep saying that, but why do you doubt that God could say something reliable through men, despite their own imperfections?  It's really a matter of faith in God, as to whether he could give us a solid word or not.   If you wrote me a very truthful letter, should I doubt it just because you are human?


Also you've never explained adequately why a book so devastating to "sinful desires" in it's teaching, might be written for the fulfillment of these very same desires.  That's counter-intuitive to me.


The Gospels, for example, were not written by the rich and powerful ecclesiastical leaders of Israel, they were written by tax-collectors and fishermen, the antithesis of the elite.  Nor could their teachings and writings give them a "high" status in Israel.  In fact their writings got them ostracized from the community!  


quote:
Fear of being wrong ... stagnates man’s progression ... causes anger ... (and) men to be devoid of good sense and judgment… resulting in an inability to ascend further to a ... thought pattern of any ... concept but theirs ...  which so sadly ... creates man’s separation from others ... rage, murders and ... wars, adding man’s need to look for the approval of others to be happy, not to mention, conditioning passed down by our parents, their parents and so forth.  We are so afraid to defy their culture and find our own ways.



LeeJ, there is also a marked lack of fear of "being wrong" among revolutionists.  It's sometimes just "natural" for children to rebel against parents (a reminder of original sin), regardless of whether they are right or wrong.  We don't generally like authority, and I would say THAT has led to more strife, wars, abuse, than anything else.  So when you raised your kids to be kind and moral and good, you were conditioning them??  


I understand that leadership can be corrupt, but it is always based upon their transgression of good and right principles.  But you see what problem this creates, when the very authority upon which "good principles" are based is challenged.  


You'll inevitable run into self-contradiction when placing Biblical teachings in the same category of something that should be "doubted" or "challenged".  I've heard people, (like George Carlin for example) try to say that the Ten Commandments should be resisted because "covetousness" gave rise to them.  Poor guy, he didn't realize that his reasoning for resistance was based upon God's law in the Ten Commandments.


It's good to challenge some things Lee, because they are wrong ... but not all things.  Some things must be sacred.


"It is good that the window should be transparent, because the street or garden beyond it is opaque. How if you saw through the garden too? It is no use trying to 'see through' first principles. If you see through everything, everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To 'see through' all things is the same as not to see." (C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man)

    
quote:
I believe, God and Jesus, are something way beyond anything that we are able to comprehend, (we only utilize 1/3 of our brain) way beyond the Bible, due to man’s inabilities to perceive other dimensions, phenomenon’s, and believe me, there are things that go, beyond our comprehensions…why does it say, “Watch and Learn from the Beasts of the Field)?



I do too.  But real knowledge doesn't have to mean exhaustive knowledge.  There is much to discover about God in his creation, and in human nature.  But I don't think that will ever contradict revealed truth.


The problem is, we have been told in the Bible that some things are revealed from Heaven ... and that when we doubt those revealed things, we are not discovering "new" knowledge, but wrong knowledge.  There are evil forces as well as good forces at play in the world.  


I'm wondering what you think the Bible means when it mentions the spirit of "anti-Christ".  Do you doubt that we should apply that to anything at all?  I'll bet you draw your lines somewhere, though it sounds like to me you're saying that all claims to truth are good and right.  Maybe you're not saying that, and I'm just misunderstanding you.  Could you clarify?


quote:
So, that was the reason for the Bible…man’s interpretation of his perceptions of God’s creations and Jesus’ words, (which were metaphoric) and could only be interrupted in a limited ability back then, due to man’s intellectual comprehension…to explain what they saw.  They were very primitive in thought patterns…perspectives, and perceptions.



But we are not just reading an "interpretation" in the New Testament, but often a verbatim recording of what was said and done, by more than one person.  Therefore we too, can interpret the words of Christ.


Admittedly they are somewhat flexible, but not modernly elastic.  There's a breaking point where you are forced to part with the historical.  An honest reading, would not allow a "New Age" or Pantheistic Jesus, because it just isn't in the data we have.  That's why Dan Brown, and the gnostics are forced to refer to other later texts to do their version of teaching.  It is a different "Jesus" as it were.  It's a wee bit hard to teach gnostic doctrines from the Bible, because it's speech is not that ambiguous.  A spade is a spade.


And the authenticity of the pseudopigraphal gospels can easily be shown to be doubtful using Historiography.  Gnosticism was a religious movement distinct from both orthodox Judaism, and Christianity.  And it "absorbed" the Christian history for its own ends, and rewrote its own version.  Two things are seldom doubted among reliable scholars (Christian and otherwise), 1) These documents are later than the canonical gospels, and 2) Their authorship is doubtful.  In other words, the gospel of Thomas wasn't written by Thomas.  The gospel of Peter wasn't written by Peter.  The gospel of Barnabas wasn't written by Barnabas.  etc ...  To attach an apostolic name to a writing was a method of gaining quick prominence.  


The gnostic gospels are more "political" than any of the traditionally accepted Christian texts.


quote:
What I can’t comprehend is why, people are so afraid of the idea that Jesus not only took Mary as His Wife, but had children, and confided more in Mary then any other disciple?  He was a Man?


I've explained this before ...

Yes he was a man.  But he was also more than a man.  From the Christian perspective Jesus was the "Lamb of God", do you know what that means?  It means that his mission (given to him by God from before the foundation of the World) was to be born, to live, and to die as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins.


Think about it ... If Jesus were just another Joe who gets married, has kids, and settles down, there has been no sacrifice for our Sin.  I am also "afraid" of that doctrine, because I know my own sin and what it can do.  So for the Christian, this seemingly innocent story is the denail of one of the central tenants of the Christian Faith ... one of the Lynch Pins, corner-stones, pillars, as it were.  Without the particular Christian History as given in the canonical Gospels, there is no salvation.


That's a lot to give up, for just the romantic feeling that Jesus might have had an earthly wife and children, isn't it?  It's not that scripture is anti-marriage or anti-family- but the opposite.  Many of the disciples and apostles were married.  Paul, though single himself, give a rather lofty view of marriage and children.  So tell me, why can't this one figure set those things aside, for a higher calling?  


I am married myself, and have children.  They are a blessing beyond imagination.  But it thrills me to think that there are things even higher.  And it thrills me even more to think that someone abstained himself from something lawful and good, for little 'ol me!...  I personally think, Lee, that you are accepting something good, but losing something eternally better if you think that the history of Jesus was that of a mere human who had a good life and never went to the cross.  


And doesn't the goodness of marriage and children, give more value to the fact that Jesus would give that up for us?


Besides those very poignant points for you to ponder, I'll also add that the canonical gospels represent the best and most solid history of Jesus.  And the data we have does not say that he was married.  Only the later gnostic writings relate such stories.


quote:
Yes, the Bible is a great body of teachings, but has also been  intergraded in so so many other different religions…each claiming “theirs is the absolute truth and word”, adding their own man made rules



Interesting Lee, that these "denominations" you mention all agree on the essentials about Jesus, and the historicity of the gospels.  And the "man made rules" can be discerned from the rest, because they don't have the same amount of Biblical support as the central doctrines.


There are also many Denominations who do not claim that they represent "the absolute truth" ... in the sense that no other members of other denominations will be saved.  There can still be a great amount of unity in diversity.


quote:
and Stephen, I apologize, but if we don’t consider other solutions and theories, how can that not be closed minded off mind, unable to consider and think for themselves?


I don't think we were supposed to think with total autonomy, apart from divine revelation.  That doesn't mean that we aren't supposed to think at all, however.  There has to be something absolute, or you are adrift.  A man drowning at sea who chooses to clutch a life preserver rather than a floating palm leaf, is not "closed minded".


quote:
I can’t trust totally in such a primitive concepts


Lee, if you believe in the alternate story of the gnostic texts (such as the belief that Jesus was married) you are trusting primitive ideas.  Why does the time of events or thinking, automatically invalidate them?  It shouldn't.  I've mentioned "chronological snobbery" before, and I would rather see you test something as valid or invalid based on criteria other than the clock.


quote:
...and one reason is, due to woman’s persecution during time.  I believe also, that was totally man’s ego to control.



Then you should stay away from ANY gnostic ideas, as 2nd and 3rd century gnosticism was extremely anti-women in their outlook.  Makes the Christian texts look like Women's Lib material.


From the so-called "Gospel of Thomas":


"('Peter' says):  Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life.

('Jesus' adds): I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven."


So women aren't worthy to live, and must have a sex change before entering into heaven.  In praising the gnostic views, Dan Brown forgot to mention this huh?


quote:
My bosse’s church is a Roman/Catholic Culture…but they believed people should explore TDC and come to their own conclusion…decide for themselves…and that kind of thinking we need more of.



I answered this in the other thread, before you moved the conversation over here ... but I'll say it again.  

I have no problem with investigation.  You know that.  Of course everyone must decide for themselves.  That doesn't mean that all claims are equally reliable.  I'm 99.9999 % sure that your boss' Church takes a particular view of whether the Jesus Story is like Dan Brown says, or like the Gospels say.  Just because they encourage others to read material, doesn't mean they don't have a committed view on the matter... unless it's a gnostic temple in disguise?


I challenge you to ask your boss, whether the priests teach that Jesus was married, and didn't go to the cross ... or the orthodox view.


quote:
I ask you this question…who are you to make a statement that Dan Brown, or me or anyone else is not Christian…you don’t know…how a person walks his life…this is exactly a perfect example of what is not Christian to me…


I didn't say that I know for sure that Dan Brown is not a Christian, or that I know he will never be saved.  I said rather that if he believes what he writes about Jesus Christ, then he is not a Christian.  And I do have a certain definition of Christian in mind ... the Biblical sense of the word.


"Christian" may have some flexibility in lesser matters, but it is not a totally elastic word.  It means someone who believes certain things about Jesus Christ, and who is devoted to his teachings.  It would only stand to reason that if we may know what a Christian is (by the words of Jesus himself and the apostles), then we may be able to distinguish whether certain beliefs and people who hold them are "Christian" or not.  


I can say that Dan Brown isn't a Christian, based upon his own professed beliefs, just as easily and accurately as I can say you're not a Muslim.


I am sorry that you percieve that as "unchristian" thing to do, but I still wonder what your definition of "Christian" is.  It's more than just being a nice guy ... dogma is also central to being a Christian, like it or not.  I'm not saying that we shouldn't treat people kindly and respectfully, and I try to do so.  But to me that doesn't mean not making certain estimations based upon truth.  I'm not making a moral judgement on Dan Brown.  We're ALL sinners, including myself.  But I am saying he's mistaken in his definition of what a Christian is.


Finally I would say that one test of whether or not such statements (as I made) are "christian" or not, is to honestly read the bible and ask: "Did Christian teachers in the New Testament make such estimations?".  Yes they did.


quote:
Perhaps you are further ahead then I am, but the fact of the matter is, to feel as you do is judging….isn’t it?  This is an example of conditioning by your parents culture…and you actually fear if you explore other concepts, you’ll burn in hell?????



As I said above, such statements are not "judging" in the negative sense, but merely stating truth.  Again I'm basing this off of the fact that truth may be known.  I think perhaps you believe that it can't ... though I'm not sure.  But if you believe that way, my views will always appear arrogant, even when held with a tender heart.


Lastly on this matter I'll say that it was not my "parent's culture" to accept absolute truth, though certain Christian assumptions were always there.  I became a Christian later in life, and mainly from influences outside of my family.  But even if I had been raised Christian from the start, that doesn't mean that it's wrong, or that that's the only reason why I might believe as I do.  We can still ask whether or not a certain "culture" or "atmosphere" is right or not.


Surely you realized that political correctness and the new "tolerance" is also a cultural atmosphere?  It's based upon a philosophical assumption of the impossibility of knowing anything absolute, and a magnification of individualism.  That's the prevailing "Zeitgeist" of today.  


quote:
Would you hold back, because I didn’t believe in God the same way you do, or go to your church, or would you try to control me, to bring me over to your side, instead of allowing me my beliefs, would you continue to go to your church without me there, without worry, in confidence, and more so, with support and understanding that I do need my own identity?  Or would you not even consider the relationship at all because I believe in something other then you?




Honestly, as a Christian, I intentionlly chose to marry a Christian woman ... not that I just picked one for that reason, or that I wasn't crazy about her.       This is based upon Biblical teaching where Paul says not to be "unequally yoked with unbelievers".  That doesn't mean that we're to have nothing to do with non-Christians obviously ... Paul pointed out the absurdity of that thought by saying we would have to "leave the world".  The Christian "cloister" mentality is not encouraged in the Bible.  We are encouraged to have friends and to love all kinds of people, especially those who don't yet believe.  


However, in such an intimate arrangement as marriage, one has to consider many things.  As a believer and unbeliever, our goals might be totally different.  Our views of how a marriage should work might be totally different.  Our words to our own children about life, God, salvation might be totally different.  The Bible says with great pragmatism "How can two walk together except they be in agreement"?  


So no, I would not marry a non-Christian, being a Christian myself ... unless I could be assurred of their very real conversion.  There's too much at stake there, to go on feelings of infatuation only.  


Personally, my marriage has been the better for it.  Though not perfect, my wife and I have peace, and love each other deeply.      


Now your questions about someone "going to a different church", or believing a peripheral doctrine differently ... I might answer differently.  Those things are much lesser things to overcome.


quote:
I also suggest this, don’t worry about me, don’t worry about Brown’s concept…look at how his book brought us together to discuss this and consider, allow, and be tolerant of each other, we will both walk away richer, and so will a lot of others who discussed this book.



Oh absolutely Lee!  I think regardless of right or wrong, his book has brought about a lot of stimulating conversation.  And God will always use both truth and error to his own benevolent ends.  Remember the passage about how Paul was rejoicing that "Christ is preached" even though some of the preachers were doing it wrongly or for wrong reasons?  The whole place was in a buzz, and people were thinking about Christ.  That's always a good thing to me.  


And LeeJ, yes I love you too.  I tend to be ruthless in my debating for truth's sake, but it's never personal or malicious.  I hope that shines through somehow.  


Stephen.


Alright Karen you're next ... (sigh, as my hand falls off)


Stephanos
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27 posted 07-28-2006 03:36 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

LOL.  Lee, I saw your post telling me to wait, immediately AFTER I posted the above.  Too late!  

cheers,

Stephen.
Stephanos
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28 posted 07-28-2006 04:14 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Karen:
quote:
So it's symbolist literature when the deity is a feminine face of God? How convenient. Can I bat my evil eyelashes at ya?



No, what I meant was that she a figure of ancient demonology, categorizing her as a demon rather than something to be admired or worshipped.  I'm open to your suggestion that there was a "godess" status attached to her, but I would be interested in some citations, because as I've understood it, there's not a lot of evidence for that.


That's just what I believe now.  I'll really look at anything you give me showing otherwise.

quote:
And I am merely trying to establish a timeline, so don't get all freaky on me already. It just helps ME to put it in perspective...



Freaky!  lol.  I'll try not to do that.  First you'll have to tell my un-cool un-hip self what that means.


quote:
What I find interesting about Lilith is her exclusion from scripture and ultimate dismissal as folklore, as well as the demonic taint given to her as though a warning as to what can happen to women who say "No."


Actually the name is mentioned in a couple of Old Testament passages I think, of course in a negative context.  That would make sense if her origin is in ancient demonology.  Though the tainting you speak of, needs to show the "before" as well as the "after", to prove that the "after" is not the original.  I really am interested in learning about this.  Take your time, I don't mean to put you on the spot.


quote:
Especially when Goddess was heretofore, (or is it theretofore?) the mainstream religion.



I think the evidence is more weighty for the worship of male AND female deities in ancient paganism.  We could discuss that more though.


quote:
I do not believe (despite what I say in some of my poems) that there was any treachery involved in "Fall". I think what occurred was a natural evolution and instinct to procreate. "Go forth and multiply."

Kind of difficult to do when one is innocent in matters of sexuality. So y'see, there are parts of scripture that I dismiss as well, because interestingly enough, the allegory places shame on the sexual act.



It seems like you are conflating the "fall" with a form of sex or procreation.  But if you read the Genesis account, Adam and Eve are told to "be fruitful and multiply the earth" before they ever encountered the serpent or the forbidden fruit.  Their sexuality and ability for gestation was already intact and approved by God.  This may sound funny, but they might have avoided the serpent if they had been making more use of the "be fruitful" command, and ignored the the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil".  Some things are more interesting and fun than nature walks!  lol.  (that's about as close as you'll ever see me come to being naughty Karen!)  


There is no hint of sexuality given in the account, connected to the "fruit of the knowledge of good and evil".  Go back and read what the Serpent promised them through this fruit. He said "Your eyes will be opened and you will be like God.  This has much more to do with the spirit and the mind than the loins.  It was a "taste" that would eventually corrupt all of life, not just sexuality.  That's why biblically, not only sexual misconduct but greed, murder, covetousness, and many other things are attributed to the fall.  All these too, are perversions of what was originally given as "good".


So my statement to you, is that you need not reject the text for thinking it makes sex dirty or shameful.  Though, don't worry, that's a very common assumption made by many people.  I think it has to do with sexuality at a later date, being described as "forbidden fruit".  And don't get me wrong, certain expressions of sex are forbidden in the Bible, but sexuality is only affected by Original Sin in the same way that everything else is ... by twisting and perversion.  


My textual backing for this, in summary:


1) God blessed Adam and Eve and told them to be fruitful and multiply the Earth, BEFORE the incident with the serpent.


2) There is nothing really sexual portrayed in the textual description of eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.

    
-------------------------------------------


Now, one last misconception to clear up.  Karen, you mentioned the King James Version, and someone else followed.  When I discuss the validity of the Bible, I don't limit it to a translation that occurred in 1611 A.D.  I'm referring primarily to manuscripts that go way back to the early centuries which ALL translations of the Bible are based on.  Translations of the Bible are very very similar, and differences are negligable.


The mention of KVJ always gives the image of a stuffy "thither and thou" mindset, and I felt that that misrepresented my views.


Though, I think it's a very poetic translation, and have no big problems with it, other than the fact that it's language is archaic enough that people aren't really understanding what they are reading anymore.  


The NASB, ASV, NIV, are just a few examples of contemporary english translations, and they too are based upon the ancient manuscripts.


Stephen.  


Essorant,

I'll get to you too, but not today.  These women have gotten the best of me.    
Essorant
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29 posted 07-28-2006 05:13 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"to me, it denotes that Eve is one with Adam, one in the flesh..spirit and mind...equal, not one over the other, but equal, but if you think about society back then when the Bible was written, men ruled so?????"


But how does Woman being portrayed as originally being created out of a body part of Man express "equality"?  To me it seems to make the source of woman in the male himself.  Man gets to be the prototype and original, and the spring from which woman herself is from, while woman is made out to be an improvisation of but a part of that prototype and original.

[This message has been edited by Essorant (07-28-2006 08:08 PM).]

Essorant
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30 posted 07-28-2006 05:35 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"The NASB, ASV, NIV, are just a few examples of contemporary english translations, and they too are based upon the ancient manuscripts."

I am glad to see you mentioned the NASB (New Anglo-Saxon Bible).  That is one of my favourite translations.  

serenity blaze
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31 posted 07-28-2006 05:41 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Got the best of you?

oh sweet Stephan!

laughing here

I'm not sure if you are underestimating US or yourself!

and tsk...

I erred in this thread already.

I should have never suggested we start with Genesis.

I should have suggested we begin with historical fact.

My bad.



I'm going to save this thread to re-read, so that I can proceed with care, and address everything that has been said thus far, but I confess that I feel exasperated as I fear that once again you and I will part ways, and what could have been a fruitful conversation will not happen.

I do not accept The Bible as ulitimate authority and you do.

With all of the books I pulled off the shelves, just one of them was a Bible. Um, wait, no-- that one wasn't actually pulled off the shelf, as it stays by my reading lamp. I refer to it more often than you might have guessed.

The others were history, anthropology, sociology, archeology, and um, one was even a psychiatric case study! (blush) (That one was for moi btw--congratulate me, I stopped a mood swing. REALLY RON. I just happen to wake just as goofy as I am when I don't sleep for a day and a half.)

Now, my little phone Nazi has just come home, and actually, he's not a Nazi--he is in love. Which is also a form of obsession based madness.

So let me save this stuff so I can read it offline, and Lee? I'm not dissing the DaVinci Code. I'm sure it's well written, it must be. But it isn't fact, it is a work of fiction. There may be facts in there, but it just confuses things to keep referring to a novel. And I promise to read the book that you suggest, if you promise me you will investigate the Gnostic texts, Holy Blood, Holy Grail and the various other sources used by Dan Brown, k? So hopefully I didn't offend you with my post that had fun with the Clan of the Cave Bear. I just enjoy having fun in my conversations--puts the cream in my coffee, yanno?

Now, I must defer my time to my son, simply because I believe that LOVE rules. His Goddess awaits.

On that note, I send love to you all. And I'll be back.
iliana
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32 posted 07-28-2006 05:42 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

A challenge for you two men:  watch the movie, Lagaan: Once upon a time in India.  A man caught between the love of two women (the minor plot, but the larger spiritual truth is derived through this interaction).  A fabulous movie.  To me, it says, a person cannot reach their true strength/potential without being stretched by love.  Now what that has to do with women and religion?  Well, are we talking about religion or spirituality?  I'd like to see this thread encompass both.  Watch the movie (video) and then tell me what spiritual or religious truths you derive.  Pretty please.

Note to Karen....you should watch it, too....think of the English woman as Lilith.  *wicked grin*

Lee -- ice tea sounds pretty good.....thanks.

[This message has been edited by iliana (07-28-2006 06:57 PM).]

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33 posted 07-28-2006 07:08 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Also Stephanos, there is no need to rush.  Write back in a millenium if you want.
Essorant
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34 posted 07-28-2006 08:33 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"I should have suggested we begin with historical fact."


Well, it is one thing to suggest Genesis is not a historical fact and it is another to prove it  

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35 posted 07-28-2006 08:47 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

I still want to know what the "our" is.
Essorant
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36 posted 07-28-2006 09:07 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Iliana

I think the plural "our" is meant to betoken the holy trinity, the three personhoods that stand in one Godhood.  They are treated as distinct as fire, light and heat.  Fire, light and heat may be one together as the sun, but also as three together, fire, light and heat.  

Another hue you may give it is a royal figure referring to his singular self in the plural.  The plural we is often used with singular meaning to sometimes when we say "How are we today?"  asking a single person how he or she is.  It is a strange behaviour in English that plurals are used thus with singular meanings.  Even the words you and your are also historically plural.  The legitimatly singular ones are thou, thine and thee.  

iliana
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37 posted 07-28-2006 09:43 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Essorant, thank you for reponding, but I have trouble swallowing that, in that the Holy Trinity in Christianity did not manifest until Jesus conquered the grave.....I thought?
Essorant
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38 posted 07-28-2006 11:05 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Hi Iliana,


I'm not sure of any Christianity that says that.  I understand the belief in the holy trinity as saying that God was always the father, son and spirit.  And it only seems more even and easy if God is eternal to understand his "roles" as being eternal as well.

Essorant
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39 posted 07-29-2006 12:02 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

By the way, thanks for the movie recommendation.  I hope I may find it at the local library here.  
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40 posted 07-29-2006 12:29 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

This is written in the Hebrew Talmud, the book
where all of the sayings and preaching of
Rabbis are conserved over time.

It says: "Be very careful if you make a woman
cry, because God counts her tears. The woman
came out of a man's rib. Not from his feet to be
walked on. Not from his head to be superior, but
from the side to be equal. Under the arm to be
protected, and next to the heart to be loved."
Essorant
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41 posted 07-29-2006 12:53 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Balladeer

I don't think anyone under the sun shall deny that is a loveliest passage and spiritual sentiment.

But to me the more literal aspect is still very uneven.  The male is still treated as the first human and the source of woman.  And then woman specifically comes from a physicially smaller part of that source. I don't understand that.  I guess I will just need to learn to overlook it somewhat like the other parts of the bible I don't agree with.  

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42 posted 07-29-2006 01:31 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Essorant, you can probably find it at the library as it is considered an excellent movie...you might search for it on the web and read the reviews.  You're welcome....enjoy.  

Many things have been taught to us in Christianity which have their basis in other religions and paganism older than the Bible.  Don't get me wrong.....the Bible, I believe, has layers of wisdom written into it.  I am not nearly as versed on the subject as Serenity is, but I do know that the "trinity" thing was in existence prior to Judaism or Christianity through Egyptian beliefs of Isis, Osiris and Horus.  And, scholars believe Constantine helped transition Paganism (sun god at that time) to Christianity (Son God).  Constantine was converted when he won a battle after a vision he had....very much a metaphysical guy.  As a result, he had the shields of his soldiers paint the Christian symbol of that time (I believe, the Chi Rho, or first Christian cross which looks kind of like an P with and X laying horizontally through the middle.  And, of course, they won their battle.  The chi rho was the monogram of Chronos, the god of time, and an emblem of several solar deities.  

I guess, that's one of the reasons why I place more weight to the New Testament in that is where I find the words of The Christ, who I do believe shows the way back to God through his actions....the Gnostic gospels enhance his divinity, but I do not find them any more patriarchal than in the Bible....in fact, they expose the truth that Peter was jealous of Mary...and reflect the attitude of the culture at that time.  

In my mind, Christianity was manipulated into what would work as a geopolitical uniter in a troubled patriarchal world to bring order and reconciliation for a time.  I don't argue that that wasn't a part of God's Plan....but it disturbs me that so few Christians do not examine the roots of their beliefs.  

When I read Holy Blood, Holy Grail in the early 90s....I went through a sort of spiritual crisis.  I went to my local pastor and asked him if I should quit reading it.  He told me to do what I felt I should...but that it was required reading where he went to seminary.  So I finished the book....and at the end, it just didn't matter to me whether Jesus was the designated and true Messiah anymore...what I did find was that my faith didn't change....that he served the role God had given him well and had produced the results God had wanted ....the spread of a deeper understanding....which ended up being called Christianity....it didn't matter if he was just a man or divine or married or not...or even if he might have had children....what mattered was that history and the consciousness of man changed as a result of his light in the world, not to mention the political landscape.  And, he is my Hero.  It was a paradign shift in the consciousness of humanity.  People get hung up on the little things.....a pity.  And...it's time for another one of those shifts....'cuz mankind is looking pretty dowdy at the moment.

[This message has been edited by iliana (07-29-2006 03:02 AM).]

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43 posted 07-29-2006 01:54 AM       View Profile for icebox   Email icebox   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for icebox



...so, in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,

...and the Word was God....the same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

...the true light that enlightens everyone was coming into the world...and the Word became flesh, and lived among us....and the world was made through him, and the world didn't recognize him.

...and so...the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn't overcome it...

...for the Word was blocked...and then crushed...by the censorship filters because the Word could lead to thinking...which could expand awareness...possibly even lead to dancing...and raiding the refrigerator...and late night speed runs to fast food franchises....

...and so on the Seventh Day God rested...and having caught his breath, turned to Adam and said, “Hey, Boy, whaddya say you fall by my crib and we’ll stay home tonight and mellow out...I'll make some wine...you bring the ribs, OK?”

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44 posted 07-29-2006 02:02 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

  Mr. C......that was priceless!  
LeeJ
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45 posted 07-31-2006 11:25 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

quote:
  You keep saying that, but why do you doubt that God could say something reliable through men, despite their own imperfections?  It’s really a matter of faith in God, as to whether he could give us a solid word or not.  If you wrote me a very truthful letter, should I doubt it just because you are human?


Hardly a comparison…but, if I wrote a poem which stated this, “God came to me in a dream, and told me that I should revise the book of Mathew” Would you believe it?

Here are some examples
One of the Bible's 10 basic Pillars, the ten commandments, says:  "Thou shalt not murder.  (Exodus 20:13)."  Yet, we see GOD Almighty Commanding His servants to not only kill the enemy's men, but also the innocent children and non-virgin women who have not done anything to anyone:
1 Samuel 15:2-4
2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
4 And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.
"Now kill all the boys [innocent kids]. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.  (Numbers 31:17-18)"
If Exodus 20:13 was supposed to be the basic pillar that prevents the Bible followers from committing murders against innocent people, then how are Numbers 31:17-18 and 1 Samuel 15:2-4 justified then when GOD Almighty Himself nullified His own Commands and decided to kill innocent children and virgin girls perhaps by the thousands?
To me Stephen, these are the words and acts of men, not a God.  

quote:
  Also, you’ve never explained adequately why a book so devastating to “sinful desires” in it’s teaching, might be written for the fulfillment of these very same desires.  That’s counter-intuitive to me.


To you, perhaps, but to me, not at all…TDC didn’t bring out anything that hadn’t already been brought forth years ago, not to mention…again…my question to you would be, “what would be so wrong with Jesus being married to Mary, and them having a child, and the possibility of HIS seed walking the earth today?  Why do people fear that concept?  

Many artists painted or wrote under codes….otherwise they would have been banned from society or worse, simply b/c they didn’t go along with religious beliefs.

Do you deny, that at one time the priests had control of the Bible, and no one else, at that time had access to The Bible but the Priests?  Why?  And when they did finally give access to common people, what had they done to change it or was it in fact the real Bible of God, or something put together by the priests to rule the people by?  Did they Leave things out…lets remember, that all the followers gave the Priests absolute source of income and power.  

One thing I don’t understand, you keep saying and using Christian…even though I do not believe the same as you, I deem myself a Christian…and again, I say with all due respect…whose gets to say I’m not?  

You said, it’s good to challenge things because some things are wrong, but, not all things, as some things are sacred…by what authority Stephen, who decides what is wrong and what is sacred?

You said, real knowledge doesn’t have to mean exhaustive knowledge?  Stephen, who decides what’s real and what isn’t?  You, or your religion?  Does that mean then, in your eyes I’m less of a person, or not a Christian because I do not believe the way you do?  

You say, there’s a breaking point where you are forced to part with the historical?  Well, then, where might be the Ark, or the Ark of the Covenant, and why is Christmas and Easter celebrated on the wrong dates of the real events?  

My point is, what does it matter what I believe…as long as I believe in God and His Son…I’m not saying my theory is right…but what I really find hard to swallow is that all Christians don’t understand that, they want you to believe as they do or else?????  And they won’t let you alone, they keep arguing that their belief in the One and Only.  How does that make yours any different?  

Stephen, I find it quit smug when people say, well, they’re not Christian, or their Belief isn’t Christian…which sets them above any other religion in the world….?  To me, that’s just as smug as saying…”I’m saved”  And please understand, I’m not directing this to you personally, but reintegrating my beliefs.

I don’t always explain myself well while writing like this so please don’t be offended as it is not my intent to hurt anyone, just sharing my thoughts.  

Stephen, no matter what you say, to me, The Bible cannot be a divine source of information...to me anyway, and I'm sorry if that hurts you, but I believe in God and Jesus, but again, say with all due respect…I would like to believe that Jesus and Mary were Married, and they had a child, or children…and their seed is walking the earth today…in secret, unharmed and safe.  Is it factual?  Who knows, but for me, it works, it's my safe line, yanno?

I am a Christian, Stephen, but I don’t believe for one minute everything that the Bible states, as factual and THE Word.

I disagree Stephen, I don’t believe I’m loosing anything Good, I believe God loves me just as much as He loves you…as I’ve believed for years, ever since I was a child, that he wanted me to write?  As a child, people would laugh and say, well, what do YOU, think you'll write about, and I'd say, whatever God wants me to.  People can be so cruel, yanno?    

Again, it’s very kind of you to share your beliefs with me…but consider one thing, Stephen, maybe I’ve given you some very poignant points as well…I believe truly…that when we’re the most confident (cocky) about something, that’s when it “wham” hits ya like a tone of bricks.  And rather then force feed others with our beliefs, I think we should be humble and keep working on our own, rather then trying to convert others to think exactly as we do?  

I’ve considered and read about other religions, not because I believe them, just because I’m incredibly interested…

I went to Bible Study from the time as I a child…and loved it…continued throughout my adult life, though I have no religion today.  Its not about religion, but about faith...

Stephen, I’m not here to debate with anyone, who is right or who is wrong…I believe the reason I’m here is to leave this place a little bit better then when I arrived…if you wanna believe then it’s your choice/free will and perogative, …but I don’t’ believe I’m any less of a person, or Christian, or child of God…b/c of my beliefs...as long as I try just as hard as you do, to live a good life.

Man needs something to believe in, something more powerful & infinite then ourselves…man has a desire to be loved and socially accepted…

I have known people in my life, who were of different religions or political views, who but married anyway, and have very healthy marriages, but it takes two very diverse & mature people who understand allowance, tolerance…and do not seek to change the other persons views…to me, Stephen, “that” is the ultimate Christian…regardless if they agree on what each word of the Bible means…to me, that is the ultimate love…

The spiritual love, the one love that everyone searches for, but very few find…it is a love and confidence within self…without need to prove, or control or change another person…but loving with spiritual progressiveness, serving the connection during our life of spiritual lonliness.

On a spiritual level our nature is to love purely and have pure love in return.  All we do is in the hopes of finding and expressing our love…focusing on the real spiritual identity of each other.  

We cannot deem ourselves above, but equal to…allowing each and every person their path.  If our love must be wasted on truth, it must be based on the divine knowledge of the soul…and the connection is eternal.  

We all have our own paths…that we must fulfill, and we must be careful, no matter how much we love others and try to safeguard them, we must not interfere to the point we could change their entire course of stucture, we must respect each other, and each other’s identity.  Your faith is your identity, as well as mine is to me.  That is the creation, the significance of that person.

One may be further along then the other, but we must be careful not to misdirect or turn them away in our zealous to maintain their minds to our level…remember…as well as anything can be debated for the right reasons, it can be debated to the other opposite side of the spectrum.

Once someone hurt me a great deal…for quite some time I was spiritually bankrupt.  I placed trust in him…my heart in his hands…and simply assumed that he respected me...WRONG

Sadly, he was only looking for a summer romance, nothing more, nothing less…this to, is an example, of how it is very very dangerous to play with the hearts of others.  

We may change them forever…not because they love us so much, but because we hurt them so badly…we may change their path and direction, along with our own.  When we hurt others, we hurt ourselves two fold.

I rely on no one, nor will ever put that much faith in any human being...when you deem someone as your savior, your knight in shining armor, you expect that person to be someone you've made up in your mind...and when they fail to live up to your expectations, it hurt them deeply, corrupts the relationship, it dictates to them, that they failed you.  Impossible, no one can make you happy, unless you yourself are good with you.  

People jump from one relationship to another, searching in vane for that one special love, yet, they end up hurting each other, scaring each other for life...that, is not healthy.  And to me, I'm so surprised that Christain Faith has not focused on change, to help and raise children to know, that you do not have to be married to be successful.  And God doesn't wave a magic wand and make all things right...he gives us the gift of birth, then its up to us, our free will, our choice.  

I think religion has helped to stagnate society, as well as helped society.  So, you see, which is the lessor of two evils Stephen?

thank you Stephen for taking the time to express your opinion...I am thankful to you for helping me see your perspective as well as mine, and for your patience with me.  That means a lot.





Ess, I'm totally with ya...in every aspect of what your saying...thank you for contributing....


[QUOTE]But how does Woman being portrayed as originally being created out of a body part of Man express "equality"?  To me it seems to make the source of woman in the male himself.  Man gets to be the prototype and original, and the spring from which woman herself is from, while woman is made out to be an improvisation of but a part of that prototype and original. [/QUOTE}

Exactly, something only a man would dictate...well, let me rephrase that, some men...


Iliana thanks so much for your feedback, like where this thread is going...

Karen, many thanks to you to...

and Yes, Stephen, please don't feel rushed to reply...we've got all the time in the world...well, you guys maybe... me, I'm in the late autumn of my years...hehehe

  Icebox, that was great!!!


[This message has been edited by LeeJ (07-31-2006 12:43 PM).]

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46 posted 07-31-2006 12:35 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Lee?

And I said, I'd be back, but I'm afraid this might be it.

Unlike Lee, I'm rather disappointed.

Y'ever sign up for a course, excited about the subject and then find out that your professor decided to start in the middle of the book and discount the beginning as insigificant? Nod. On the other hand, I had a professor I enjoyed so much, that he accused me of deliberately failing the first time, so that I might take his course again. (Um, no, I don't have that kind of money and I missed literally missed the bus for my final.) grin

It was my Western Civ. class, of course

I have such little time of late, I honestly don't want to spend it having the same old argument of allegory or fact.

It's been done in this forum ad nauseum, and I also find it near to impossible to even say that without causing offense.

Stephan, your knowledge of scripture is admirable and your intent downright heroic, but not all of us wish to be saved from ourselves. At first I smiled at your "selah" joke, but your replies are not psalm. I mean no offense, it's just the way I see it.

But I did a lot of reading so that I could come back here and play the point by point game, and once again, I found myself having to glean my information through the bias of men who wrote entire encyclopedias of Biblical commentary.

I wonder if you know what it is like to carry a burden of guilt upon you every time you take what is a natural curiousity and attempt to study?

One of the books I picked up was what I thought would be a good source book, "All The Women of The Bible" formerly published as "The Women of the Bible--"The Life and Times of All the Women of the Bible" by Dr. Herbert Lockyer, R.S.L.

I didn't have to get very far before I felt bad.

Like, um, THE INTRODUCTION.

"While it is sadly true that it was a woman who brought sin into God's fair universe, it was likewise a woman who gave the world the Savior from its sin."

hmmm. I put the book and down and wondered why it wasn't mentioned that the woman who gave the world the Savior from its sin had to be one who had not known a man.

There--from a scholar, a carefully constructed sentence that managed to leave out just enough information and yet, leave a condescending implication that there is somehow hope for me and my vagina yet.

And that was the mildest of what I read this weekend.

This interpretation of Christianity makes me feel bad about myself, and I have worked too hard to get this far, to even ponder points that bring me back to a burden of guilt.

I don't need religion to be objectified. Society and circumstance has done well enough without the walls of tomes that surround me even now that underscore that bias.

And I'm sighing, because as Jo (illiana) so helpfully pointed out, I doubt seriously we will ever be able to discuss Isis, or one of my favorite historical figures, Hypatia, who was physically torn limb from limb by Christians because of her stubborn allegiance to pagan religion. And lawsy, I can't even imagine discussion of Joan of Arc or the Black Madonna, or, YIKES--"Pope Joan."



So here is where I exit, yet again.

Because you see? Just as I handed my husband's Rx back to him and told him his drug problem was now HIS problem-even after he overdosed--I am going to have to do the same with this re-tred thread.

And love to you Stephan, but it's still MY radio, and I would rather turn it OFF than have my dials constantly adjusted "for my own good." I'm sure the music is glorious from your location and it certainly seems to work for you--as you are a remarkable person and indeed, one of my favorite all time people.

But I'm not your job. and you are not mine.

Now.

I think I'll go resume my own studies, but I thank those of you who even considered my perspective.
Much love to all.
LeeJ
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47 posted 07-31-2006 12:58 PM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Thank you Karen, for your commentary...let me remind everyone that this is what I've seen throughout my life...for instance, my girlfriend, born and raised Catholic...divorced, and was not allowed to partake in the sacrements until she received a divorce through the church???

I'm here Karen, and would certainly welcome any info you could give concerning the topics you wish to discuss...I cannot at this time elaborate on them, as I know nothing of them?  Sorry?

By the way, would love some new reading material anyway.

Hugs to ya and thanks hun
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48 posted 07-31-2006 06:48 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

LeeJ:
quote:
Hardly a comparison…but, if I wrote a poem which stated this, “God came to me in a dream, and told me that I should revise the book of Mathew” Would you believe it?




I guess the only way I can reply to that is to say that you're right, that's hardly a comparison.  The claims of the Bible, and especially of the Gospels, are no statements of a "dream".  They were not written in the vacuum of someone's private thoughts.  And that's especially true of the book of Matthew, which is a record of reports of those who saw and heard Jesus themselves.  Can you doubt that history?  Of course you can.  But there are no "alternate" histories to compare it with at all.  Any alternatives written, are of a later date.


quote:
Here are some examples
One of the Bible's 10 basic Pillars, the ten commandments, says:  "Thou shalt not murder.  (Exodus 20:13)."  Yet, we see GOD Almighty Commanding His servants to not only kill the enemy's men, but also the innocent children and non-virgin women who have not done anything to anyone:



I think we have to synthesize the information we have Lee, and say that God was forbidding vigilante "justice", and individual killing within the Jewish community.  He wasn't forbidding Capital Punishment by Government, or killing by War at his bidding.  Whether or not you agree with it, we have the same basic approach in the USA.      


Now don't misunderstand me, I think the value of things like war and capital punishment are limited and inadequate.  They were given under a dispensation where God's Justice was the main revelation.  As a Christian, I know that Jesus taught a kind of passivism that disturbs alot of people, and thus mercy has come full circle in the economy of God.  But I'm not even sure that the human race could appreciate or grasp the concept of mercy without having first understood the reality of Justice in an imperfect and sinful world.


quote:
my question to you would be, “what would be so wrong with Jesus being married to Mary, and them having a child, and the possibility of HIS seed walking the earth today?  Why do people fear that concept?



Lee, I already explained that in detail.  I'm just waiting for your response.  If that history true, then the entire Biblical narrative about Christ dying for our sins didn't happen.  Bearing one's own sins before a holy and righteous God would be a fearful thing.


quote:
Do you deny, that at one time the priests had control of the Bible, and no one else, at that time had access to The Bible but the Priests?  Why?  And when they did finally give access to common people, what had they done to change it or was it in fact the real Bible of God, or something put together by the priests to rule the people by?  Did they Leave things out…lets remember, that all the followers gave the Priests absolute source of income and power.



No Lee, I don't deny that at one time priests "had control of the Bible".  But I don't think that means what you think it does...


First of all, the scriptures were widely circulated and read in the early Church, and throughout the time of the Church Fathers.  In fact it is not until the scriptures were translated into the "Latin Vulgate" that the practice became full swing for only priests to read scripture and interpret.  In other words, 1200 A.D. and later!  Too late to rewrite the Bible then Lee!  Thousands of Greek Manuscripts were already in existence  recording an indelible history of what was written in the Bible by its original authors.


The Early Church Fathers, without a doubt, had no monopolistic control of the scriptures, only a much later Roman Catholic Church which had strayed away from the truth.  And if they had "cut parts out", for their own benefit, they didn't do a great job.  The Bible as it reads today, says plenty to condemn such practices, and nothing to support them.  Hmmm.  Ever think that maybe that's why they only read the parts they wanted to, to the illiterate and unedcated people ... because though they couldn't change what was in the Bible, but they could sure try and hide it.


quote:
One thing I don’t understand, you keep saying and using Christian…even though I do not believe the same as you, I deem myself a Christian…and again, I say with all due respect…whose gets to say I’m not?



Jesus?  


And it's my assertion that we have recorded the actual sayings of Jesus, about such matters.  And though I cannot judge your soul or your destiny, I can state from the scriptures what Jesus and the Apostles said about being a Christian.  


quote:
You said, it’s good to challenge things because some things are wrong, but, not all things, as some things are sacred…by what authority Stephen, who decides what is wrong and what is sacred?



God does.  And I believe that he's authenticated what is "sacred" both experientially and historically.  


Of course I don't think that means that "blind" submission is what is required.  The Christian story and faith is sturdy enough for examination and questions ... And only an informed submission is required.  Not "informed" in the sense of sharing God's omnipotence, or demanding minute explanations of everything, but in the sense of having real information open to investigation.


quote:
Does that mean then, in your eyes I’m less of a person, or not a Christian because I do not believe the way you do?



Of course I don't think you're "less of a person".  I don't consider non-Christians to be less than persons.  But I have to be honest, from what you've told me, I'm not sure that you are a Christian.  It shouldn't offend you that I think "Christian" has a certain degree of objectivity in it's definition.  


I guess I would like to ask you this.  In 25 words or less, answer the question, "What is a Christian"?
quote:
My point is, what does it matter what I believe…as long as I believe in God and His Son…



Is this not a particularly Biblical statement?  Where do you get that Jesus was "God's son" if not from the Gospels?  How do you know he even claimed to be God's son?


The Davinci Code paints a merely human Jesus, not "God's Son".  


Jesus was a historical person, so which version of history are you believing in?  For example a 7th Century Text (The Koran) says that Jesus didn't really die, and that he never claimed to be "God's Son", because Allah is One, and has no son.  


Or perhaps you are not referring to a historical Jesus at all.  Maybe when you say "Jesus" you mean something different entirely?  
quote:
I believe God loves me just as much as He loves you…



Lee, I do too.  I never said otherwise.


quote:
but I don’t’ believe I’m any less of a person, or Christian, or child of God…b/c of my beliefs...as long as I try just as hard as you do, to live a good life.



So being a "Christian" means merely trying hard to live a good life?  Why do you think it means that?  I'm curious.


quote:
I have known people in my life, who were of different religions or political views, who but married anyway, and have very healthy marriages, but it takes two very diverse & mature people who understand allowance, tolerance…and do not seek to change the other persons views…to me, Stephen, “that” is the ultimate Christian…regardless if they agree on what each word of the Bible means…to me, that is the ultimate love…



Lee, the Bible teaches that believers should not marry unbelievers.  It does however recognize that sometimes such a religiously split marriage happens, and there are ways to work within that.  


If you're already married, then yes, all the love, patience, prayer, and tolerance that one can muster.  But to enter into a marriage with an unbeliever, as a Christian, is a lack of prudence (not to mention, obedience).  


We'll just have to agree to disagree here.


And about not seeking to "change a person's views" ... Given what Biblical Christians believe, wouldn't it be a cruelty not to try?   through prayer, persuasion, and most of all example?  I understand the necessity of not brow-beating someone you live with, but letting the "light" of your actions show your faith.


But if one believes that Christ is the only  way of Eternal Salvation, as the Bible says, then asking him not to try and persuade others is literally asking him to be cruel.



Lastly,

It does seem at this time we're only rehashing the same points, so there is a time to "rest" from the discussion.  Maybe this is it.  I respect you and your feelings, and I don't want this to progress to resentment.  


Stephen.
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Karen:
quote:
"While it is sadly true that it was a woman who brought sin into God's fair universe, it was likewise a woman who gave the world the Savior from its sin."



Karen,

I have to agree with you here.  The Bible places much more emphasis on Adam's sin, than it does Eve's.  


But I really think Lockyer might have been saying that despite Eve's stumbling beginning, she was given a glorious redemption.  The same exact thing could have been said for Adam as well, except well ... you said this was a book about "All The Women of the Bible".  Why would he mention men, if his focus were on women?


To say this could have been stated better, or more accurately, is one thing.  To feel like you as a female are being "made to feel guilty" through some kind of sexist remark, is another.  I don't think Lockyer would deny that Man and Woman, Male and Female, share the guilt of original sin.  


I'm just being honest here, but it seems like there's a sore spot, that might make you hypersensitive to remarks that make any distinction between males and females.  I'm not denying sexist attitudes among the religious, I just don't see it in that statement.  


Maybe you've been hurt by men.  Maybe you've been hurt by specifically sexist attitudes.  And I agree with you that all such things are wrong.  I certainly don't want to cause you any pain.  


quote:
This interpretation of Christianity makes me feel bad about myself, and I have worked too hard to get this far, to even ponder points that bring me back to a burden of guilt.



What interpretation exactly are you referring to?  Do you mean "feeling bad about yourself" in the sense of being a woman?  Or bad in the sense of feeling sinful?  Cause honey, that sin thing ain't pinned on women alone.    


I know I'm being playful in speech, but I'm also being serious.  I'm trying to figure out if you don't like being called a sinful human being, or if you feel that your womanhood is being singled out somehow.  While I concede the Bible does have much to say about our sins, it is not gender-partial in that regard.  


And if it's the sin thing, I agree with you that it doesn't feel good to be called a sinner.  But it really feels good to be called loved, redeemed, and cherished.  I promise you that that feeling exists as well, and it's from a God who is all too willing to forget the past.


quote:
I thank those of you who even considered my perspective.



Karen, I've been friends long enough with you to be forthright.  I respect you, and feel like we're really friends.  


But your statements seem to be forgetting the fact that I did address your statements.  Yes, some of them I did say I disagree with, but with the open-ended invitation for you to give me more information.


I think this is a challenging (and highly controversial) thread for both of us since, I feel that your view holds the very foundation of my faith to be in some sense "sexist".  Would you admit that that is true?  You have your own reasons to believe so.  But of course you can't expect me not to try to convince you otherwise, and to show you where I think you might be misunderstanding some things.  And Yes, you did bring up Genesis.       I know you regret it, but you did.  I am certainly not opposed to the conversation(s) going any direction which takes off.  Though I can't promise not to challenge and ask questions.  That's in my nature.  Yes, Yes, I know I do that too much sometimes, and it's annoying.  I'll try to just let certain things ride sometimes.


Yes, I'm confessing.    


Don't want you to be mad at me, or upset.


Are we okay?


Come back, K.  Me and Essorant, or LeeJ will talk some more, and I'll give you a break from me. (smile)


On the bright side, (for me anyway) we talk more than we used to on the forums.  There was a time when you never would respond to me much.  I guess even an occasional fight is better than the silent treatment!    



Lastly, (that's all for now) I would like know what you thought about my points about the Genesis account not making sex "shameful".  You don't have to tell me now, but I think I may have at least made you think some more about that.


Stephen.          
 
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