Does Jesus qualify as an idol?

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#61
I plan to watch the videos you've linked. You've posted them oh...20 TIMES before... they must be good lol.

I came across some amazing facts on the subject of Gnosticism. Yeah I know, silly wikipedia again but I swear it's not a terrible launching pad into truth:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism

"The earliest origins of Gnosticism are obscure and still disputed... As Christianity developed and became more popular, so did Gnosticism, with both proto-orthodox Christian and Gnostic Christian groups often existing in the same places. The Gnostic belief was widespread within Christianity until the proto-orthodox Christian communities expelled the group in the second and third centuries (C.E.). Gnosticism became the first group to be declared heretical... "

"No gnostic texts have been discovered that pre-date Christianity, and pre-Christian Gnosticism as such is hardly attested in a way to settle the debate once and for all."

"Contemporary scholarship largely agrees that Gnosticism has Jewish Christian origins, originating in the late first century AD in nonrabbinical Jewish sects and early Christian sects."

"Within early Christianity, the teachings of Paul and John may have been a starting point for Gnostic ideas, with a growing emphasis on the opposition between flesh and spirit, the value of charisma, and the disqualification of the Jewish law. The mortal body belonged to the world of inferior, worldly powers (the archons), and only the spirit or soul could be saved. The term gnostikos may have acquired a deeper significance here."

"The Shepherd of Hermas is a Christian literary work considered as canonical scripture by some of the early Church fathers such as Irenaeus. Jesus is identified with angel Christology in parable 5, when the author mentions a Son of God, as a virtuous man filled with a Holy "pre-existent spirit."

"Jesus is identified by some Gnostics as an embodiment of the supreme being who became incarnate to bring gnōsis to the earth, while others adamantly denied that the supreme being came in the flesh, claiming Jesus to be merely a human who attained divinity through gnosis and taught his disciples to do the same."

"Three periods can be discerned in the development of Gnosticism:
1)Late first century and early second century: development of Gnostic ideas, contemporaneous with the writing of the New Testament;
2)mid-second century to early third century: high point of the classical Gnostic teachers and their systems, "who claimed that their systems represented the inner truth revealed by Jesus";
3)end of second century to fourth century: reaction by the proto-orthodox church and condemnation as heresy, and subsequent decline."

"A wisdom tradition developed, in which Jesus' sayings were interpreted as pointers to an esoteric wisdom, in which the soul could be divinized through identification with wisdom. Some of Jesus' sayings may have been incorporated into the gospels to put a limit on this development. The conflicts described in 1 Corinthians may have been inspired by a clash between this wisdom tradition and Paul's gospel of crucifixion and arising."

"The movement spread in areas controlled by the Roman Empire and Arian Goths, and the Persian Empire. It continued to develop in the Mediterranean and Middle East before and during the 2nd and 3rd centuries, but decline also set in during the third century, due to a growing aversion from the Catholic Church, and the economic and cultural deterioration of the Roman Empire."

"Modern scholarship notes that early Christianity was very diverse, and Christian orthodoxy only settled in the 4th century, when the Roman Empire declined and Gnosticism lost its influence. Gnostics and proto-orthodox Christians shared some terminology. Initially, they were hard to distinguish from each other."

"According to Walter Bauer, "heresies" may well have been the original form of Christianity in many regions. This theme was further developed by Elaine Pagels, who argues that "the proto-orthodox church found itself in debates with gnostic Christians that helped them to stabilize their own beliefs." According to Gilles Quispel, Catholicism arose in response to Gnosticism, establishing safeguards in the form of the monarchic episcopate, the creed, and the canon of holy books."

"According to Raymond Brown, the Gospel of John shows "the development of certain gnostic ideas, especially Christ as heavenly revealer, the emphasis on light versus darkness, and anti-Jewish animus." The Johannine material reveals debates about the redeemer myth. The Johannine letters show that there were different interpretations of the gospel story, and the Johannine images may have contributed to second-century Gnostic ideas about Jesus as a redeemer who descended from heaven."

"Tertullian calls Paul "the apostle of the heretics", because Paul's writings were attractive to gnostics, and interpreted in a gnostic way, while Jewish Christians found him to stray from the Jewish roots of Christianity."

"According to Clement of Alexandria, the disciples of Valentinus said that Valentinus was a student of a certain Theudas, who was a student of Paul, and Elaine Pagels notes that Paul's epistles were interpreted by Valentinus in a gnostic way, and Paul could be considered a proto-gnostic as well as a proto-Catholic. Many Nag Hammadi texts, including, for example, the Prayer of Paul and the Coptic Apocalypse of Paul, consider Paul to be "the great apostle". The fact that he claimed to have received his gospel directly by revelation from God appealed to the gnostics, who claimed gnosis from the risen Christ. The Naassenes, Cainites, and Valentinians referred to Paul's epistles."
If you don't mind 19th century theology books on Gnosticism Archive Library has quite a few.

More recently published ones are more of a mixed bag, but almost anything there is better than GCB's video cluster.
https://archive.org/search.php?query=Gnosticism
 





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#62
You have to feel it for Paul as it seems that as soon as the gospel started to be preached, the “alternative” narrative started to be pushed almost immediately. Not that this is surprising of course - real, valuable things always attracts the efforts of forgers!

Acts 20

25“And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. 26Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent[e] of the blood of all men. 27For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. 28Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
That's untrue. The story of early Christianity is far greater (and more exciting) than the relevance of Paul's Gospel. If you read the entire entry Gnostic is a term to describe a wide range of the earliest Jewish believers. "Gnostic" (the first group the RCC outlawed) is an authentic narrative of Jesus as an emblem of divine wisdom. The Nazarenes and Ebionites offered another (similar in many ways) authentic perspective. It was hundreds of years later that the "alternative" was codified into Roman law, based largely on the Gospel of Paul.

Modern Christians have no understanding of the first 300 years after Jesus. The first communities were only Jewish followers of YHWH. There were vast doctrinal variances even within the pagan churches that arose around the Mediterranean. There was an era of bustling creativity, not based on a "literalist" view of God and Christ.

Modern day Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant are branches of the Roman Catholic Church. They keep the exact same creeds, which is the core of the religion. A lot of the disagreements here are between those who continues to worship under the wings of the RCC church, and others who have escaped her shadow. I tend to feel sorry for the mainstream Christians who take what is truth as parable, and parables for truth. I think the earliest Christians knew the difference and will bring more evidence to prove it.
 





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#63
I tend to feel sorry for the mainstream Christians who take what is truth as parable, and parables for truth. I think the earliest Christians knew the difference and will bring more evidence to prove it.
Inversions seem to have negative spiritual consequences.

Isaiah 5:20 King James Version (KJV)

20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
 





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#64
Inversions seem to have negative spiritual consequences.

Isaiah 5:20 King James Version (KJV)

20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
I've said before, some of your replies are puzzling. You quote me but change topics.

The premise of this thread is questioning if Christianity has made Jesus into an idol. GCB is explaining the view of Messiah from the spiritual/symbolic schools of knowledge that existed, as opposed to the literal/fundamentalist understanding of virgin birth, raising the dead, resurrection, ascending to heaven, etc.

The entry I was quoting mentioned a number of sects that are vaguely categorized as Gnostic: Naassenes, Cainites, Valentinians, Sethians, Basilideans, Thomasines, Johannines, Ophites, Barbeloites, Simoneans, Marcionites, Carpocratians...Manichaeism and Mandaeinism.

It's obvious to me there are elements of the real meaning of Jesus's words within the beliefs of some of these sects. Personally I'm more interested in the books of the Nag Hammadi than the revisionist history of pagans like Ireneous and Tertullian, (though I hope to be reading all of them at some point). We can't claim to care about this subject and not unearth any stone searching for truth.
 





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#65
I've said before, some of your replies are puzzling. You quote me but change topics.

The premise of this thread is questioning if Christianity has made Jesus into an idol. GCB is explaining the view of Messiah from the spiritual/symbolic schools of knowledge that existed, as opposed to the literal/fundamentalist understanding of virgin birth, raising the dead, resurrection, ascending to heaven, etc.

The entry I was quoting mentioned a number of sects that are vaguely categorized as Gnostic: Naassenes, Cainites, Valentinians, Sethians, Basilideans, Thomasines, Johannines, Ophites, Barbeloites, Simoneans, Marcionites, Carpocratians...Manichaeism and Mandaeinism.

It's obvious to me there are elements of the real meaning of Jesus's words within the beliefs of some of these sects. Personally I'm more interested in the books of the Nag Hammadi than the revisionist history of pagans like Ireneous and Tertullian, (though I hope to be reading all of them at some point). We can't claim to care about this subject and not unearth any stone searching for truth.
The only Gnostic leader I know of that was personally identified in the New Testament was Simon of Magus in the Book of Acts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Magus

Look at order of books via estimated dates. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/
The overwhelming majority of Gnostic texts are dated from early 2nd century AD onwards.

The Gnostics were not witnesses of Jesus' miracles.
They never knew Jesus personally.
They were certainly not disciples of Jesus Christ like the apostles.
 





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#66
The only Gnostic leader I know of that was personally identified in the New Testament was Simon of Magus in the Book of Acts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Magus

Look at order of books via estimated dates. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/
The overwhelming majority of Gnostic texts are dated from early 2nd century AD onwards.

The Gnostics were not witnesses of Jesus' miracles.
They never knew Jesus personally.
They were certainly not disciples of Jesus Christ like the apostles.
That's the thing, I'm referring to all the original JEWISH CHRISTIANS who were labeled as heterodox and pushed from the "official" Greek/Roman form of Christianity, not just Gnostic. I trust in God first, and what can be proven to be historically accurate more than Hellenized pagan converts like Ireneous (c180). They are the late arrivals.

The term Gnostic is is a modern description. What I know is that the teaching of spiritual knowledge was in the hearts and minds of the first followers (did I mention they were Jewish?). They would have easily known what parts of the teaching were symbolic vs what were literal. Christianity itself is Gnostic. The first paragraph of the entry explains how people could misunderstand the broad designation:

"Gnosticism (from Ancient Greek: γνωστικός gnostikos, "having knowledge", from γνῶσις gnōsis, knowledge) is a modern name for a variety of ancient religious ideas and systems, originating in Hellenistic Judaism and the Jewish Christian milieux in the first and second century AD. Many of these systems believed that the material world is created by an emanation or 'works' of a lower god (demiurge), trapping the divine spark within the human body. This divine spark could be liberated by gnosis, spiritual knowledge acquired through direct experience. Gnosticism is not a single system, and the emphasis on direct experience allows for a wide variety of teachings..."

@JoChris you said:

"The Gnostics were not witnesses of Jesus' miracles.
They never knew Jesus personally.
They were certainly not disciples of Jesus Christ like the apostles"

You're defining Paul's ministry to the gentiles! How ironic.

So you think there were only 12 disciples/followers that witnessed Jesus, or had direct contact with the theology of the Jewish communities before and after Him? The Ebionite and Nazerenes (followers of James the Just), scores of other congregations had no connection to the original Gospel?

Thanks to the Holy Roman Church destroying or hiding the majority of religious scripture, the extreme little we know about the apostolic age(at Jerusalem for example) is from the ACTS OF ST PAUL! Wow how convenient for the establishment powers that hijacked a religion and force fed their contrived version across the planet. I appreciate the link to the (estimated) dates of the writings, that is solid information. But did you happen to look when ACTS was written? 80-130! So anywhere from 50 to 100 years after the events lol.

People are still slowly breaking from the pedo Roman Universal Church. It's painful to let go what we were raised to trust in, but we must honor the truth. Ignorance thrives within Christianity because most are either RC or riding the fence, neither hot or cold. You can't say you've separated yet share the same Christology, repeating the same creeds and dogma.

So yeah, the vast majority of Christians have made Jesus into an idol. Not just in the crucifix or their bizarre "portraits" and statues, but most importantly in their concept of God; their self awareness. Because of the soul-sucking, lazy doctrines preached by our (ignorant) ancestors, Christianity is now mass produced garbage.

Maybe some of the Jewish fathers did believe in a literal resurrection, etc., but it's doing no good for the confused masses who have no grasp of reality. They have no foundation, and the mysteries only spin them further from experiencing what Aspiring Soul points out is God's Immanence. God is not far away in the sky. Heaven is not in the sky. You can't strive toward transcendence without first realizing immanence.

We're taught to believe unbelievable tales, and this shatters our person- we could never be whole or sane because of the inherited dissonance. It's the greatest injustice, because we think in the back of our logical minds, "it's all a lie, there is no judgement", while asleep to the fact that THIS IS THE JUDGEMENT! You feel it every moment, the power of life. Jesus has been turned into this unreachable deity who we sell out our own mindfulness for. Isn't God of the living, and not the dead? Didn't He say we would do greater things?

"Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?" So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
 





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#67
An extract below of a dialogue between Ransom and Weston on C.S. Lewis’s book Perelandra. It’s a long read but it goes to the heart of many of the various “readings” of things. Jesus as the divine second person of the Trinity, or Jesus the avatar of “Christ Consciousness”?


“...The tragedy of my life," he said, "and indeed of the modern intellectual world in general, is the rigid specialisation of knowledge entailed by the growing complexity of what is known. It is my own share in that tragedy that an early devotion to physics has prevented me from paying any proper attention to Biology until I reached the fifties. To do myself justice, I should make it clear that the false humanist ideal of knowledge as an end in itself never appealed to me. I always wanted to know in order to achieve utility. At first, that utility naturally appeared to me in a personal form--I wanted scholarships, an income, and that generally recognised position in the world without which a man has no leverage. When those were attained, I began to look farther: to the utility of the human race!"

He paused as he rounded his period and Ransom nodded to him to proceed.

"The utility of the human race," continued Weston, "in the long run depends rigidly on the possibility of inter-planetary, and even inter-sidereal, travel. That problem I solved. The key of human destiny was placed in my hands. It would be unnecessary--and painful to us both--to remind you how it was wrenched from me in Malacandra by a member of a hostile intelligent species whose existence, I admit, I had not anticipated."

"Not hostile exactly," said Ransom, "but go on."

"The rigours of our return journey from Malacandra led to a serious breakdown in my health----"

"Mine too," said Ransom.

Weston looked somewhat taken aback at the interruption and went on. "During my convalescence I had that leisure for reflection which I had denied myself for many years. In particular I reflected on the objections you had felt to that liquidation of the non-human inhabitants of Malacandra which was, of course, the necessary preliminary to its occupation by our own species. The traditional and, if I may say so, the humanitarian form in which you advanced those objections had till then concealed from me their true strength. That strength I now began to perceive. I began to see that my own exclusive devotion to human utility was really based on an unconscious dualism."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean that all my life I had been making a wholly unscientific dichotomy or antithesis between Man and Nature--had conceived myself fighting for Man against his non-human environment. During my illness I plunged into Biology, and particularly into what may be called biological philosophy. Hitherto, as a physicist, I had been content to regard Life as a subject outside my scope. The conflicting views of those who drew a sharp line between the organic and the inorganic and those who held that what we call Life was inherent in matter from the very beginning had not interested me. Now it did. I saw almost at once that I could admit no break, no discontinuity, in the unfolding of the cosmic process. I became a convinced believer in emergent evolution. All is one. The stuff of mind, the unconsciously purposive dynamism, is present from the very beginning."

Here he paused. Ransom had heard this sort of thing pretty often before and wondered when his companion was coming to the point. When Weston resumed it was with an even deeper solemnity of tone.

"The majestic spectacle of this blind, inarticulate purposiveness thrusting its way upward and ever upward in an endless unity of differentiated achievements towards an ever-increasing complexity of organisation, towards spontaneity and spirituality, swept away all my old conception of a duty to Man as such. Man in himself is nothing. The forward movement of Life--the growing spirituality--is everything. I say to you quite freely, Ransom, that I should have been wrong in liquidating the Malacandrians. It was a mere prejudice that made me prefer our own race to theirs. To spread spirituality, not to spread the human race, is henceforth my mission. This sets the coping-stone on my career. I worked first for myself; then for science; then for humanity; but now at last for Spirit itself--I might say, borrowing language which will be more familiar to you, the Holy Spirit."

"Now what exactly do you mean by that?" asked Ransom.

"I mean," said Weston, "that nothing now divides you and me except a few outworn theological technicalities with which organised religion has unhappily allowed itself to get incrusted. But I have penetrated that crust. The Meaning beneath it is as true and living as ever. If you will excuse me for putting it that way, the essential truth of the religious view of life finds a remarkable witness in the fact that it enabled you, on Malacandra, to grasp, in your own mythical and imaginative fashion, a truth which was hidden from me."

"I don't know much about what people call the religious view of life," said Ransom, wrinkling his brow. "You see, I'm a Christian. And what we mean by the Holy Ghost is not a blind, inarticulate purposiveness."

"My dear Ransom," said Weston, "I understand you perfectly. I have no doubt that my phraseology will seem strange to you, and perhaps even shocking. Early and revered associations may have put it out of your power to recognise in this new form the very same truths which religion has so long preserved and which science is now at last re-discovering. But whether you can see it or not, believe me, we are talking about exactly the same thing."

"I'm not at all sure that we are."

"That, if you will permit me to say so, is one of the real weaknesses of organised religion--that adherence to formulæ, that failure to recognise one's own friends. God is a spirit, Ransom. Get hold of that. You're familiar with that already. Stick to it. God is a spirit."

"Well, of course. But what then?"

"What then? Why, spirit--mind--freedom--spontaneity--that's what I'm talking about. That is the goal towards which the whole cosmic process is moving. The final disengagement of that freedom, that spirituality, is the work to which I dedicate my own life and the life of humanity. The goal, Ransom, the goal: think of it! Pure spirit: the final vortex of self-thinking, self-originating activity."

"Final?" said Ransom. "You mean it doesn't yet exist?"

"Ah," said Weston, "I see what's bothering you. Of course I know. Religion pictures it as being there from the beginning. But surely that is not a real difference? To make it one, would be to take time too seriously. When it has once been attained, you might then say it had been at the beginning just as well as at the end. Time is one of the things it will transcend."

"By the way," said Ransom, "is it in any sense at all personal--is it alive?"

An indescribable expression passed over Weston's face. He moved a little nearer to Ransom and began speaking in a lower voice.

"That's what none of them understand," he said. It was such a gangster's or a schoolboy's whisper and so unlike his usual orotund lecturing style that Ransom for a moment felt a sensation almost of disgust.

"Yes," said Weston, "I couldn't have believed, myself, till recently. Not a person, of course. Anthropomorphism is one of the childish diseases of popular religion" (here he had resumed his public manner), "but the opposite extreme of excessive abstraction has perhaps in the aggregate proved more disastrous. Call it a Force. A great, inscrutable Force, pouring up into us from the dark bases of being. A Force that can choose its instruments. It is only lately, Ransom, that I've learned from actual experience something which you have believed all your life as part of your religion." Here he suddenly subsided again into a whisper--a croaking whisper unlike his usual voice. "Guided," he said. "Chosen. Guided. I've become conscious that I'm a man set apart. Why did I do physics? Why did I discover the Weston rays? Why did I go to Malacandra? It--the Force--has pushed me on all the time. I'm being guided. I know now that I am the greatest scientist the world has yet produced. I've been made so for a purpose. It is through me that Spirit itself is at this moment pushing on to its goal."

"Look here," said Ransom, "one wants to be careful about this sort of thing. There are spirits and spirits you know."

"Eh?" said Weston. "What are you talking about?"

"I mean a thing might be a spirit and not good for you."

"But I thought you agreed that Spirit was the good--the end of the whole process? I thought you religious people were all out for spirituality? What is the point of asceticism--fasts and celibacy and all that? Didn't we agree that God is a spirit? Don't you worship Him because He is pure spirit?"

"Good heavens, no! We worship Him because He is wise and good. There's nothing specially fine about simply being a spirit. The Devil is a spirit."

"Now your mentioning the Devil is very interesting," said Weston, who had by this time quite recovered his normal manner. "It is a most interesting thing in popular religion, this tendency to fissiparate, to breed pairs of opposites: heaven and hell, God and Devil. I need hardly say that in my view no real dualism in the universe is admissible; and on that ground I should have been disposed, even a few weeks ago, to reject these pairs of doublets as pure mythology. It would have been a profound error. The cause of this universal religious tendency is to be sought much deeper. The doublets are really portraits of Spirit, of cosmic energy--self-portraits, indeed--for it is the Life-Force itself which has deposited them in our brains."

"What on earth do you mean?" said Ransom. As he spoke he rose to his feet and began pacing to and fro. A quite appalling weariness and malaise had descended upon him.

"Your Devil and your God," said Weston, "are both pictures of the same Force. Your heaven is a picture of the perfect spirituality ahead; your hell a picture of the urge or nisus which is driving us on to it from behind. Hence the static peace of the one and the fire and darkness of the other. The next stage of emergent evolution, beckoning us forward, is God; the transcended stage behind, ejecting us, is the Devil. Your own religion, after all, says that the devils are fallen angels."

"And you are saying precisely the opposite, as far as I can make out--that angels are devils who've risen in the world."

"It comes to the same thing," said Weston.

There was another long pause. "Look here," said Ransom, "it's easy to misunderstand one another on a point like this. What you are saying sounds to me like the most horrible mistake a man could fall into. But that may be because in the effort to accommodate it to my supposed 'religious views,' you're saying a good deal more than you mean. It's only a metaphor, isn't it, all this about spirits and forces? I expect all you really mean is that you feel it your duty to work for the spread of civilisation and knowledge and that kind of thing." He had tried to keep out of his voice the involuntary anxiety which he had begun to feel. Next moment he recoiled in horror at the cackling laughter, almost an infantile or senile laughter, with which Weston replied.

"There you go, there you go," he said. "Like all you religious people. You talk and talk about these things all your life, and the moment you meet the reality you get frightened."

"What proof," said Ransom (who indeed did feel frightened), "what proof have you that you are being guided or supported by anything except your own individual mind and other people's books?"

"You didn't notice, dear Ransom," said Weston, "that I'd improved a bit since we last met in my knowledge of extra-terrestrial language. You are a philologist, they tell me."

Ransom started. "How did you do it?" he blurted out.

"Guidance, you know, guidance," croaked Weston. He was squatting at the roots of his tree with his knees drawn up, and his face, now the colour of putty, wore a fixed and even slightly twisted grin. "Guidance. Guidance," he went on. "Things coming into my head. I'm being prepared all the time. Being made a fit receptacle for it."

"That ought to be fairly easy," said Ransom impatiently. "If this Life-Force is something so ambiguous that God and the Devil are equally good portraits of it, I suppose any receptacle is equally fit, and anything you can do is equally an expression of it."

"There's such a thing as the main current," said Weston. "It's a question of surrendering yourself to that--making yourself the conductor of the live, fiery, central purpose--becoming the very finger with which it reaches forward."

"But I thought that was the Devil aspect of it, a moment ago."

"That is the fundamental paradox. The thing we are reaching forward to is what you would call God. The reaching forward, the dynamism, is what people like you always call the Devil. The people like me, who do the reaching forward, are always martyrs. You revile us, and by us come to your goal."

"Does that mean in plainer language that the things the Force wants you to do are what ordinary people call diabolical?"

"My dear Ransom, I wish you would not keep relapsing on to the popular level. The two things are only moments in the single, unique reality. The world leaps forward through great men and greatness always transcends mere moralism. When the leap has been made our 'diabolism' as you would call it becomes the morality of the next stage; but while we are making it, we are called criminals, heretics, blasphemers. . . ."

"How far does it go? Would you still obey the Life-Force if you found it prompting you to murder me?"

"Yes."

"Or to sell England to the Germans?"

"Yes."

"Or to print lies as serious research in a scientific periodical?"

"Yes."

"God help you!" said Ransom.

"You are still wedded to your conventionalities," said Weston. "Still dealing in abstractions. Can you not even conceive a total commitment--a commitment to something which utterly overrides all our petty ethical pigeon-holes?"

Ransom grasped at the straw. "Wait, Weston," he said abruptly. "That may be a point of contact. You say it's a total commitment. That is, you're giving up yourself. You're not out for your own advantage. No, wait half a second. This is the point of contact between your morality and mine. We both acknowledge----"

"Idiot," said Weston. His voice was almost a howl and he had risen to his feet. "Idiot," he repeated. "Can you understand nothing? Will you always try to press everything back into the miserable framework of your old jargon about self and self-sacrifice? That is the old accursed dualism in another form. There is no possible distinction in concrete thought between me and the universe. In so far as I am the conductor of the central forward pressure of the universe, I am it. Do you see, you timid, scruple-mongering fool? I am the Universe. I, Weston, am your God and your Devil. I call that Force into me completely. . . ."
 





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#68
That's the thing, I'm referring to all the original JEWISH CHRISTIANS who were labeled as heterodox and pushed from the "official" Greek/Roman form of Christianity, not just Gnostic. I trust in God first, and what can be proven to be historically accurate more than Hellenized pagan converts like Ireneous (c180). They are the late arrivals.

The term Gnostic is is a modern description. What I know is that the teaching of spiritual knowledge was in the hearts and minds of the first followers (did I mention they were Jewish?). They would have easily known what parts of the teaching were symbolic vs what were literal. Christianity itself is Gnostic. The first paragraph of the entry explains how people could misunderstand the broad designation:

"Gnosticism (from Ancient Greek: γνωστικός gnostikos, "having knowledge", from γνῶσις gnōsis, knowledge) is a modern name for a variety of ancient religious ideas and systems, originating in Hellenistic Judaism and the Jewish Christian milieux in the first and second century AD. Many of these systems believed that the material world is created by an emanation or 'works' of a lower god (demiurge), trapping the divine spark within the human body. This divine spark could be liberated by gnosis, spiritual knowledge acquired through direct experience. Gnosticism is not a single system, and the emphasis on direct experience allows for a wide variety of teachings..."

@JoChris you said:

"The Gnostics were not witnesses of Jesus' miracles.
They never knew Jesus personally.
They were certainly not disciples of Jesus Christ like the apostles"

You're defining Paul's ministry to the gentiles! How ironic.

So you think there were only 12 disciples/followers that witnessed Jesus, or had direct contact with the theology of the Jewish communities before and after Him? The Ebionite and Nazerenes (followers of James the Just), scores of other congregations had no connection to the original Gospel?

Thanks to the Holy Roman Church destroying or hiding the majority of religious scripture, the extreme little we know about the apostolic age(at Jerusalem for example) is from the ACTS OF ST PAUL! Wow how convenient for the establishment powers that hijacked a religion and force fed their contrived version across the planet. I appreciate the link to the (estimated) dates of the writings, that is solid information. But did you happen to look when ACTS was written? 80-130! So anywhere from 50 to 100 years after the events lol.

People are still slowly breaking from the pedo Roman Universal Church. It's painful to let go what we were raised to trust in, but we must honor the truth. Ignorance thrives within Christianity because most are either RC or riding the fence, neither hot or cold. You can't say you've separated yet share the same Christology, repeating the same creeds and dogma.

So yeah, the vast majority of Christians have made Jesus into an idol. Not just in the crucifix or their bizarre "portraits" and statues, but most importantly in their concept of God; their self awareness. Because of the soul-sucking, lazy doctrines preached by our (ignorant) ancestors, Christianity is now mass produced garbage.

Maybe some of the Jewish fathers did believe in a literal resurrection, etc., but it's doing no good for the confused masses who have no grasp of reality. They have no foundation, and the mysteries only spin them further from experiencing what Aspiring Soul points out is God's Immanence. God is not far away in the sky. Heaven is not in the sky. You can't strive toward transcendence without first realizing immanence.

We're taught to believe unbelievable tales, and this shatters our person- we could never be whole or sane because of the inherited dissonance. It's the greatest injustice, because we think in the back of our logical minds, "it's all a lie, there is no judgement", while asleep to the fact that THIS IS THE JUDGEMENT! You feel it every moment, the power of life. Jesus has been turned into this unreachable deity who we sell out our own mindfulness for. Isn't God of the living, and not the dead? Didn't He say we would do greater things?

"Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?" So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
On itablet:
Paul was not the apostle who wrote 1 John - the book written specifically to address the early Gnostics' false teachings.
https://bible.org/seriespage/introduction-1-john
https://blog.lexhampress.com/2015/0...nse-to-proto-gnosticism-in-his-first-epistle/

The apostle John's words way outrank any gnostics' writings.

If Jesus is God, than all miracles performed by Him are believable. Who do YOU Davidson say Jesus is?
 





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#70
On itablet:
Paul was not the apostle who wrote 1 John - the book written specifically to address the early Gnostics' false teachings.
https://bible.org/seriespage/introduction-1-john
https://blog.lexhampress.com/2015/0...nse-to-proto-gnosticism-in-his-first-epistle/

The apostle John's words way outrank any gnostics' writings.

If Jesus is God, than all miracles performed by Him are believable. Who do YOU Davidson say Jesus is?
Who cares who you or I think Jesus was/is? I've answered your inquiries months ago.

I'm trying to have a discussion on the subject at large, specifically the history of what the first followers and congregations believed; the original christology (that Islam actually keeps closer) before the Hellenized and RCC churches. That the overwhelming majority of Christians are spiritually dead. I'm not interested in lexhampress, so no thanks. If you had watched the Spong lecture or ready the tiny little "Gnoticism" entry, you'd understand that John and Johannine writing are the most spiritual/gnostic of any we've uncovered. Anyways as explained, I'm referring to the term "gnostic" as a general characteristic of the writings that sadly the masses are unaware of. As Jesus said, they can't enter heaven and they'll block your way too.

The Almighty outranks us all, the knowledge Jesus was attempting to impart is greater than any Christian writing. You can base your faith on anonymous authors but I do not. I really don't think you know what it means to cut out the Roman Catholic Church from your life.


Clearly you didn't bother to read my post. I notice this strange phenomenon from a few of the members here who can't actually reply to what's been said. There's an inability to address a topic and have a simple conversation in plain language. Oh well, it is what it is. While we might be very different people in ways, it makes me appreciate the posts of @Daciple who has the respect to respond to statements made when he chooses to reply to that person.

Again, these are the wiki entries I was referencing yesterday:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_the_1st_century#Apostolic_Age
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James,_brother_of_Jesus

Here's one I have loaded up:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_centers_of_Christianity#Jerusalem

The overarching theme in the potsherds of authentic historical documents is that the common religion is based on Paul's Acts of the Apostles. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying we need more, and it's there to be found. I truly believe those who seek will find.

If you're able to respond intelligently to anything I've stated in this post or the previous, or what is accepted historical fact like from the wiki entries, I welcome the discussion.
 





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#72
Who cares who you or I think Jesus was/is? I've answered your inquiries months ago.

I'm trying to have a discussion on the subject at large, specifically the history of what the first followers and congregations believed; the original christology (that Islam actually keeps closer) before the Hellenized and RCC churches. That the overwhelming majority of Christians are spiritually dead. I'm not interested in lexhampress, so no thanks. If you had watched the Spong lecture or ready the tiny little "Gnoticism" entry, you'd understand that John and Johannine writing are the most spiritual/gnostic of any we've uncovered. Anyways as explained, I'm referring to the term "gnostic" as a general characteristic of the writings that sadly the masses are unaware of. As Jesus said, they can't enter heaven and they'll block your way too.

The Almighty outranks us all, the knowledge Jesus was attempting to impart is greater than any Christian writing. You can base your faith on anonymous authors but I do not. I really don't think you know what it means to cut out the Roman Catholic Church from your life.


Clearly you didn't bother to read my post. I notice this strange phenomenon from a few of the members here who can't actually reply to what's been said. There's an inability to address a topic and have a simple conversation in plain language. Oh well, it is what it is. While we might be very different people in ways, it makes me appreciate the posts of @Daciple who has the respect to respond to statements made when he chooses to reply to that person.

Again, these are the wiki entries I was referencing yesterday:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_the_1st_century#Apostolic_Age
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James,_brother_of_Jesus

Here's one I have loaded up:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_centers_of_Christianity#Jerusalem

The overarching theme in the potsherds of authentic historical documents is that the common religion is based on Paul's Acts of the Apostles. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying we need more, and it's there to be found. I truly believe those who seek will find.

If you're able to respond intelligently to anything I've stated in this post or the previous, or what is accepted historical fact like from the wiki entries, I welcome the discussion.
I am asking you the important question for your own sake *.
You Davidson are too impressed - and therefore deceived - by worldly reasoning and philosophy. High intelligence does not equal spiritual wisdom**.
Unlike you try to imply it is not an intellectual argument only***.
Your eternal destiny is determined by whether you say Jesus is God or not****.
It is faith (in Jesus) that saves a person, not works (including a fine ability with words). *****
Again, ask yourself honestly - who do YOU say Jesus is in your heart? Whatever you put before Jesus is your own personal idol or god *****.

-----
* John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God....
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


**Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

***2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;


**** Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:8-17


***** Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.


****** Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:1-6
 





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#73
I am asking you the important question for your own sake *.
You Davidson are too impressed - and therefore deceived - by worldly reasoning and philosophy. High intelligence does not equal spiritual wisdom**.
Unlike you try to imply it is not an intellectual argument only***.
Your eternal destiny is determined by whether you say Jesus is God or not****.
It is faith (in Jesus) that saves a person, not works (including a fine ability with words). *****
Again, ask yourself honestly - who do YOU say Jesus is in your heart? Whatever you put before Jesus is your own personal idol or god *****.

This is an area where I believe there is a massive conspiracy - Satan determined to keep intelligent people (like yourself) to consider every philosophy or way of thought to keep them from seeking the whole Truth - Jesus.
If you remain believing the LIE, you remain spiritually


* John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God....
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


**Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

***2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;


**** Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:8-17


***** Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.


****** Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:1-6
Continuing on -
This is an area where I believe there is a massive conspiracy - Satan determined to keep intelligent people (like yourself) to consider every philosophy and system of thought e.g. religion to keep them from seeking the whole Truth - Jesus.
If you remain believing the LIE, you remain spiritually cut off from God, the true source of Wisdom and intelligence.

Although I believe CS.Lewis' theology was iffy in places, his works AGAINST anti-Christian worldviews were exceptionally good.
His mini-novel is where an uncle demon advises his nephew about how to sabotage a new Christian's faith. C.S.Lewis - the Screwtape Letters.

In the very first chapter this is what your messages communicate consistently:

.... Your man has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to have a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn’t think of doctrines as primarily “true” or “false”, but as “academic” or “practical”, “outworn” or “contemporary”, “conventional” or “ruthless”. Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. Don’t waste time trying to make him think [12]that materialism is true! Make him think it is strong, or stark, or courageous—that it is the philosophy of the future. That’s the sort of thing he cares about.

----
There was a time where I believed psychology and scientism held the true answers if I just looked far enough and deep enough. It is a mirage, an illusion. I read Roman and Greek mythology and some oriental religious mythology in my school years. Even then I could tell the morals of the gods were the morals of the creators themselves.

P.S. Even if you remain a non-Christian you should be impressed at much of the wisdom in the Book of Proverbs. Proverbs chapter 1
King Solomon was an exceptionally wise man. It is a pity he had to learn the hard way RE women.
 





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#74
...There was a time where I believed psychology and scientism held the true answers if I just looked far enough and deep enough. It is a mirage, an illusion. I read Roman and Greek mythology and some oriental religious mythology in my school years. Even then I could tell the morals of the gods were the morals of the creators themselves.

P.S. Even if you remain a non-Christian you should be impressed at much of the wisdom in the Book of Proverbs. Proverbs chapter 1
King Solomon was an exceptionally wise man. It is a pity he had to learn the hard way RE women.
I don't have time for freemasons like CS Lewis. I won't address the personal stuff either, your opinion of my belief in God is meaningless. I'm making observations about the mainstream Christian religion. I'm questioning the role the RCC had in shaping our view of the Gospel, while they hid/burned a great amount of alternative scripture. Why are there only two writings from the three apostolic fathers- Ignatius, Polycarp and Clement combined? What a joke. I said the religion has for the most part made Jesus into an idol. All you've got for me are the letters of St. Paul, oh well.

Be happy you have have an understanding of the fields you do. We each have different interests, but a basic understanding of world history is essential. No one I've read here thinks psychology holds the true answers. Yet all knowledge, worldly or spiritual return in praises to the Almighty.

PS: You need to read Proverbs 1. Then check out Ecclesistes, Ecclesiastcus, the Wisdom of Solomon, all the books of the sayings of King Solomon. There are handfuls. You lack understanding. Solomon sought knowledge of all things, good and bad. He lost his way but was reconciled with his Maker. It wasn't "a pity" what he learned, it was the will of God. This is a basic teaching.

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all.
For God will bring every work into judgement, including every secret thing, whether good or evil." ECCLESIASTES 12:14
 





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#75
I don't have time for freemasons like CS Lewis. I won't address the personal stuff either, your opinion of my belief in God is meaningless. I'm making observations about the mainstream Christian religion. I'm questioning the role the RCC had in shaping our view of the Gospel, while they hid/burned a great amount of alternative scripture. Why are there only two writings from the three apostolic fathers- Ignatius, Polycarp and Clement combined? What a joke. I said the religion has for the most part made Jesus into an idol. All you've got for me are the letters of St. Paul, oh well.

Be happy you have have an understanding of the fields you do. We each have different interests, but a basic understanding of world history is essential. No one I've read here thinks psychology holds the true answers. Yet all knowledge, worldly or spiritual return in praises to the Almighty.

PS: You need to read Proverbs 1. Then check out Ecclesistes, Ecclesiastcus, the Wisdom of Solomon, all the books of the sayings of King Solomon. There are handfuls. You lack understanding. Solomon sought knowledge of all things, good and bad. He lost his way but was reconciled with his Maker. It wasn't "a pity" what he learned, it was the will of God. This is a basic teaching.

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all.
For God will bring every work into judgement, including every secret thing, whether good or evil." ECCLESIASTES 12:14
One of my all time favourite passages in the OT is when Joshua meets the Captain of the Lord’s armies. It resonated with my own encounters with the Lord (and maybe even C.S. Lewis, who allegorically notes in his Narnia series that Aslan was “not a tame lion”).

Joshua 5

The Commander of the Army of the Lord

13And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?

14So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.

And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”

The enigmatic commander answers Joshua’s question in an unexpected way. Likewise when we try to lay our own redefinitions to the Word of God, we will simply find ourselves on the wrong side of the wrong person. I don’t believe God is waiting, hoping enough people will support a fundamental, straightforward reading of scripture in order to fulfill his purposes in the earth. He will do that anyway.

The choice we have is what stance we take towards Him, attempting to so interpret things as for Him to take an alternative position towards us is not going to work.

In this way, I do believe that those who try to recreate Jesus in the image of their own desires and expectations of Him do create an idol. He claimed the name “I AM” which suggests he was, before any of us arrived to offer an opinion!
 





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#77
Inversions seem to have negative spiritual consequences.

Isaiah 5:20 King James Version (KJV)

20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
A good point.

Genocide and infanticide are evil yet you call them good.

Regards
DL