christianity is not monotheistic.

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Spirituality in the Arts' started by jarrod, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    Voices in your head are always lying. Mine do... everytime I see a cute girl the voices say... "hey she REALLY REALLY likes you"... "oh yeah? I ask (in me head) "Yeah!" they answer... so I walk on over to her and "Hi baybee!" *SLAP!* ..... :miffer: damned voices did it again.

    There IS a Mother and she is more commonly known as Mother Nature. Sets the natural order of things, the seasons, the growths and how everything is in balance on the earth... except man. But presumably she is either so revered that she isn't mentioned or those bastard jesuits and whomever translated the bible were nothing more than a bunch of male chauvinistic pigs that wanted to maintain control over the women rather give them an idealogical figure head that they might start worshipping instead of the MALE.
    Through all my travels into the wilderness and my time spent threre I've can't help but come to acknowledge that there is no other explaination for how beautiful and wonderous Nature is and that it too must be directed with a feminine hand.
    I cannot believe that God The Father is a mere bachelor because if that were true then why build the female form. Genesis states "let US create Man (as in man kind... not just the sex) in OUR image. To me he was speaking to his wife, his counterpart. I also believe that Jesus Christ, being a pious Jew took upon himself a wife -- I speculate it's Mary Mageline and that to protect her she was kept secret since the high priests and the romans usually have a tendency to eradicate a person entire. Meaning that his wife probably was kept secret for fears that the authorities may fear she was pregnant or come up with the unlawfully wedded, since Jesus told the jewish authorities when asked why he hasn't married? he responded that "since I am wed to an entire household (i.e. his mother and the sisters of Bethany), verily I woudl be stoned for adultry if I were to take upon another..." (or sumpthin like that). Though the use of the word WED... (sheesh another topic here... sorry) may mean taking responsiblity of the care and welfare of those women.

    Either way... hope that answers your question Tez... both of them... :lol:
     
  2. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    Oh, but I do. Look at what I said-that "God" is bigger than gender-as opposed to, men's ideas about "God."

    It's also important that one distinguish between "religion" and "God," especially in this instance, as most religions are reflections of the cultures in which they arose. It's from here that the gender issues you speak of generally arise.

    In any case, even what are thought of as being the most gender-biased, patriarchal of religions, have some feminine aspect of "God," including "monotheistic" ones. In Judaism, for example, there is the Shekhinah, which literally means "dwelling," or in dwelling, and is used to denote the presence of God-especially in the tabernacle, or that cloud that manifested when the Hebrews were in the wilderness. It is also used, or thought by many Talmudic scholars (shekinhah being a feminine word) to denote the feminine attributes of God.
     
  3. Ray

    Ray Master Black Belt

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    since the thread is about Christianity, then when Jesus said "Abba" (not the old group) he meant "Father" else he could have chosen the aramaic word for mother.
     
  4. KP.

    KP. Orange Belt

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    Christianity is not now, nor has it ever been, a book based religion.

    However, in Job you can read "One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them."
     
  5. KP.

    KP. Orange Belt

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    He had to choose one or the other if he wanted to indicate familial intimacy. In a patriarchal society, the choice of 'Father' is more linguistic than directive.

    The notion that God properly understood has a penis always seems strange to me. Moreover, it violates the Old Testament's earliest depiction of God.

    "So God created him in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. "

    If you get into the Hebrew, it's fairly clear what's being said, and it's not that the male is God's image and the female isn't. Or that the male is somehow more like God than the female.
     
  6. jarrod

    jarrod Senior Master

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    thank you everyone for so many thoughtful points on this thread! unfortunately i sleep during the day so i missed out on much of the discussion as it was evolving.

    that is it exactly. any student of religions should be aware that individual belief is not limited by the teaching of religious leadership, even if those individual beliefs are not fully analyzed.

    what got me thinking on this specifically was a conversation i had with a christian who said that when politician X got elected, it was god's divine will. but when politician Y got elected, it was evidence of satan's hand in the world. (in spite of god's will? in absense of god's action?). so while he did not come out & say that christianity was polytheistic & would probably contest the notion, it sounded to me as if his personal belief system accorded satan near equal power to god.



    elaine pagels, the author i mentioned earlier, also wrote a terrific book called "adam, eve, & the serpent" which discusses the removal of the feminine element from most christian theologies. it's been a while since i read it so i don't feel comfortable summarizing, but it is worth a look. i do remember noticing while reading genesis that the common interpretation of "the temptation of eve" doesn't conform with what is actually written. genesis expressly states that adam was there with eve while she spoke to the serpent; therefore he would have been fully aware that the fruit eve offered him came from the tree of knowledge. but when god asks what happened, adam blames eve as a deceiver. god punishes both which, to me, indicates that god wasn't taken in by adam's attempt to shift blame, though most early & medieval christian theology readily accepts adam's assertion that eve was the true sinner. personally, i think that the fact that the heavily patriarchial society of rome inherited christianity is the reason for removal of most feminist elements from christianity.

    to answer your question though, my personal belief perceives god as the sum & union of all things, which is personified in part through the joining of male & female.

    jf
     
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  7. jarrod

    jarrod Senior Master

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    for better or worse, in some denominations of christianity it is (supposedly) based entirely on the authority of the bible.



    to my understanding, this seperates satan as something different from the angels & from YW, but doesn't clearly define his own status.

    jf
     
  8. Brian King

    Brian King Master of Arts

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    *Off topic*
    Apologies in advance for my going a bit off topic with this post for although I am sitting by a nice comfortable fire it is snowing outside and I have a lot of driving to do in the morning and the thought of it may be making me even more cranky than usual.

    There have been some good thought provoking posts with thoughtful questions and replies, a give and take honest type of conversation that I enjoy, thank you to those that took the time voice your opinions and questions in a manner that treats the beliefs of others with respect. There have been other posts and portions of posts that fall short and it is these I am addressing in no particular order.



    Questioning beliefs especially questioning ones own beliefs also to my mind are a good thing. I have seen this thread and will admit that the very first sentence in the OP (“this isn't intended as a dig at christians as a whole, but”) has kept me so far from posting any of my thoughts and opinions on the subject of the OP. If somebody writes something along the lines of “I do not mean to be insulting but” you just know that an insult is coming. I do not mean to be, this isn’t intended to be a, and other similar phrases are just a ways of soft peddling the intended insult or dig.

    In this case in my opinion the Op is not so much asking what some believe but rather is stating their opinions on what others believe and then asking others to prove it mistaken. This tactic in my experience is much more likely to lead to confrontation rather than clarification and hinders that give and take conversation needed for positive communication.


    No matter if unintentionally or deliberate language used as above is not meant to promote conversation or increase understanding in my opinion. It instead promotes defensiveness anger and frankly the feeling of why bother to respond as it is just more of the same silly shallow attacks, at least that is my own reaction, I can see and have seen in the past that for others the type of language above promotes a feeling of belonging and cohesiveness amongst those that share the belief of the writer and often leads to one-upmanship as restraints politeness and civility standards are loosened. This often leads to one sided conversation as those serious believers with an opposing view choose not to participate.



    This is the quote that brought me into the thread. I find it amusing and irritating at the same time when some compare the evil fundamentalist Christians with the evil Fundamentalist Muslims. One when they disagree with you will pray to their God that you find salvation the other will drug you, bind you and cut off your head while recording the screaming for your children and loved ones to see and hear. One will protest and/or boycott an artist defiling their God in artwork or writing (I am thinking the urine and feces artwork of a few years ago) while others will burn down buildings and have riots that kill hundreds of innocents over cartoons in a paper and will put out death threats and carry out assassinations of authors and artists that defile their religion no matter how slight. Some might have a difficult time seeing the deference in religious groups, I do not.



    Sound advice given (thank you) and advice I heeded up to now. I wanted to take a moment to point out the language used in the hopes that future thread authors and posters might take a little more time with their wording if they truly do want to have conversation that will lead to mutual understanding rather than insults and non-participation. I will again take up this advice as much of the conversation does indeed get my hackles up even as other parts I find interesting and thoughtful so am again withdrawing back to lurk mode.

    Warmest regards
    Brian King
     
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  9. jarrod

    jarrod Senior Master

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    brian, thanks for dropping by to share your thoughts. the first line you quoted from my OP was really not intended to mask an insult; really my point was never to insult anybody but to create a dialogue on the usefulness of religious classifications, among other things. i preceeded my thoughts with a "no offense intended" because i know how hard it is to discuss religion without emotions flaring up. at any rate, best of luck with your drive tomorrow, & happy lurking.

    now back to the point at hand: exodus 7:8-13

    " 8 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 9 "When Pharaoh says to you, 'Perform a miracle,' then say to Aaron, 'Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,' and it will become a snake."
    10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Yet Pharaoh's heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the LORD had said."

    i think it's interesting here that the pharoh's sorcerers were able to replicate the miracle. i think that if you were reading this story objectively, it appears as if the message isn't that other gods don's exist, but that the god of the hebrews is more powerful. if this is the case then it is also interesting because i cannot immediately think of another religion that admits the existence of other gods. the typical model when two religions intersect is to a) deny the existence of the other deities or b) equate the two (i.e., venus is just what the romans call aphrodite, the germans call zeus wodan, etc).

    thoughts?

    jf
     
  10. GBlues

    GBlues Purple Belt

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    Well, there are two references to the fall. However, the reality is it didn't happen until after Satans accusal of Job. Job is really what go the whole thing started. But the bible does make it clear, that it was Satan that instigated the rebellion in heaven. But yes in the new testament and I forget where as it has been a very long time since I have sat down and read the bible from cover to cover, the demons, which Satan is one of, are cut off from all enlightenment. Matter of fact that is exactly what it says if memory serves me right. " for they are cut-off from all enlightenment." I would imagine there is a reason for that. How long were the angels around before the earth was even created? How long before man? We don't know it could have been millions of years. It's not like man's test is exactly stacked in his favor you know. To take this one step further, this really is a test, and really started with Adam and Eve. In my mind the bible basically stated that god created adam and eve perfectly. To my mind that means without flaw. Yet, they sinned? So if they were perfect human beings and they sinned, then how are we to pass this test we live in now?

    To take this even one step further there are some religions or theologians that believe the word adam in the original texts meant, "all mankind" and that eve meant, "all womankind" so if that be true, then satan didn't decieve only two people, but the entire world. That's some persuasion. Last but not least I don't believe that I am a fallen angel that was sent here to be tested that is not stated in the bible. Matter of fact the whole you have a soul is not stated in the bible. THe only reference to death and what happens when you die is, " That from dust you are and from dust you shall return and on that day your thoughts do cease" Is pretty straight forward. To know that your in heaven there must be some thought process going on. To know that your being punished there must be some thought process going on. But if your thoughts do cease, then how can it be that you would go to heaven and enjoy the bliss of it?:asian:
     
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  11. theletch1

    theletch1 Grandmaster

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    MOD NOTE:

    All users please take not that this thread has been moved to the Philosophy and Spirituality forum as opposed to the Study. Please keep the rules for posting in this forum in mind while participating in this thread.
     
  12. seasoned

    seasoned MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Very excellent thread jarrod. There is more information here, than I cared to know. This has to be the ultimate cross training experience.J It all can be very confusing, and therefore the more info, makes it more so. As naïve as it sounds, my approach to this whole thing is very elementary, and childlike. There are many God’s, yes, because that is the main idea of the Christian faith, freedom of choice. “Choose ye this day whom you will follow“. To those who follow Satin, he is a God, to them anyway. To those who follow the God of Israel, to them, this is the true God. I believe there is a holy spirit as well as an unholy one, trying to get our vote. My vote goes to “ there is one God, creator of heaven and earth”. And there are many avenues to him because of the many different people on earth. This I feel is very cool. As in MA, there are many ways, heading toward the same core theme. What is that theme, is not for us to know at this time, that is why it is said, “by faith we are saved”. Jesus said while teaching children, that we must approach God the same way, with that child like mentality. Kid stuff? My 2 cents, I hope I am not too far off topic.:)
     
  13. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think that some people do go far more deeply nto things than the rest of us have time for! I was thinking of the evolution v creation argument in particular. It's fine for scientists to work on their evolution theories and the religionists to work on their creation theories but for the majority of us it is literally an academic argument. Whatever happened all those very long years ago has really little bearing on our lives when you're under stress trying to support families, keep your job, keep your car running, worry about your children etc. We simply don't have the time or the spare mental capacity left over from everyday living to actually really think about these things deeply and to consider whether it effects us know. Does the fact you are decended from Adam or an ape affect keeping your job in this depression?

    I know a few people are deeply involved in their religion to the extent they run their lives by it totally but the majority of us don't or can't. It's one of the nice things about MT that for a little while we can discuss things like that (and martial arts!) on here.

    One thing I was thinking about is why we give gods whichever, human aspects? All the 'old' gods are human in all but their 'superhuman' powers, Jesus is in human form, even the Egyptian and Hindu gods while not looking human are given aspects we as humans can relate to. All religions of course have symbols, 'logos' and physical things we can identify ourselves with, do we need these or can we have faith without any physical reminders?
     
  14. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    Interesting. Not quite accurate, though, and-again, a matter of belief, not necessarily facts.

    The two references to the fall are found in Ezekiel and Isaiah. While, as I said earlier, they are thought to be metaphoric references to the fall of kings, specifically the King of Babylon ant the King of Tyre, we'll approach them as though they are factual references to the fall of Satan.

    In any case, if we look to Ezekiel first, we find it's the easier book to date, because of several references made to the king of Jerusalem and other occurences. We can infer from these (without going into detail) that the book was probably first written between 593 and 571 BC. Most scholars, secular and religious, are in agreement with these dates, with a slight bias towards, of course, a later date. The argument about Ezekiel's authorship, however, is another matter, and not really germain here.

    If we look to Isaiah, we find that it also can be dated, or at least its authorship dated, to between 800 B.C. and 687 B.C. when it's events are thought to have taken place, specifically, the rule of Uzziah and the presumed (Talmudically) martyrdom of Isaiah.

    In both these cases, I've used presumed dates based upon content, rather than actual dating of the earliest fragments of the books, which of course are later. So we have the events of Ezekiel and Isaiah taking place around 800-570 B.C.

    Most religious scholarship places Job in, as you've inferred, the age of the Patriarchs, and even attributes authorship to Moses. It's likely that the man referred to was a Midianite, perhaps even Moses's father in law's great-grandfather. There are references to his acting as priest for his family, though, so we know that the content is thought to be prior to the Exodus. In this case you're right-the events of Job precede those of Isaiah and Ezekiel-but do they precede the fall? (Interestingly, Job is a bit of a mess, from a secular point of view, with later additions, and the possibility of being Sumerian in origin, but, as usual, I digress....:lol)

    No, they cannot precede "the fall," because those events are presumed to have taken place before the Creation-or, at least, contemporaneously with it-we have "the Serpent," in the Garden of Eden, leading to, of course, man's fall, and all the events of the Bible proceed from there.

    The events of Job cannot have taken place "before the fall," at least, not to a believer-the view of secular scholarship isn't too different, though. :lol:

    Where, exactly?

    Memory doesn't serve you right. The word "enlightenment," never appears in the Bible. "Enlightened," yes. "Enlighten," yes. Never that other.

    See enlightenment here:
    enlightened here, and enlighten here.

    In any case, a verse that even resembles what you're remembering does not appear in any Bible verse found in the above online searches of the King James Version of the Bible.


    As for the rest of your post, it was delightful-but, as I said, we don't have the events of the Garden of Eden-specifically, Eve's and Adam's "sin"-without the temptation of the serpent, the father of lies, etc., etc., etc.-and that took place before everything else in the "Bible." :lol:
     
  15. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    While the confrontational nature of some of those quotes might be debatable, one has to remember that context is everything, and they are not, necessarily, confrontational at all.

    Speaking to context, you're the only one who has posted them in this thread. :lfao:


    Yer "evil fundamentalist Christians" picket funerals of vets with signs that say "God hates fags," and "Thank God for Iraq," and do really, really stupid things like blow up abortion clinics (which could kill pregnant women receiving an abortion, and kill a fetus, which is just stupid since that's what they're trying to prevent, or at least protest) and assassinate doctors.

    But hey, there's no comparison.....:lfao:
     
  16. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    Actually, the aramaic root ab, meaning "all fruit," and denoting parenting, is gender neutral, though the literal meaning is "O father," or "papa"-something that denotes formality and intimacy as well-a combination of love and formal respect, like "papa" or even "dad." Since he was probably denoting a personal parent, he likely did say "abba," which is really more like "dad," than "father," but he just as likely could have used abawoon, which denotes "father/mother," or "parents" in the Lord's prayer-I've seen it written that way. In Gesthemane, however, he definitely prays: "Abba,all things are possible to you, let this cup pass...."

    Anyway, it's not as clear cut as some of us would like, especially when one gets into reading earlier translations in source languages. In the Greek, as well as later translations, the above verse uses "Abba, Father," it uses both-whether to denote gender or some level of respect and filial piety, who can say......
     
  17. KP.

    KP. Orange Belt

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    The bible is a collection of texts and are not collated into a strict chronological order, and it's very dangerous to take texts like Job too literally, for a whole variety of reasons, both textual and theological.

    Job is part of the Wisdom Literature of the Bible, it's a story designed to instruct about the character of man in relationship to God and is not a literal tale.

    (It's also interesting to note that there is very good textual reasons to believe that the last chapter, where Job lives happily ever after, was added long after the text was originally penned.)
     
  18. KP.

    KP. Orange Belt

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    There's a reason that Jewish theology, as well as Christians, hold that a man and woman are not married until the marriage has been consummated. There is a tradition as old as the religions themselves that it is not as individuals that we are in the image of god, but when we are united as male and female, and share in God's creation of the world that we are most like him.

    A divine orgasm isn't just metaphor :)

    Hebrew for "Human" is:
    של אדם

    Hebrew for "Adam" is:
    אדם

    In Genesis 1:27 --

    א ָר ְב ִ
     
  19. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Have the courage to speak softly

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    That's quite a fascinating insight, KP.

    I do confess that I've not heard that before and, altho' it's been a long time since I heavily studied scripture, I considered myself more knowledgeable than average about it.

    Thank you for adding to the stock of my experience.
     
  20. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I have heard stories/myths/legends whatever from various sources that say we were originally one sex but were split into male and female for verious reasons depending on who tells the story. Ever since that split we have to look for and find our other half. it's a romantic story but I admit I like it. I like the idea too from KPs post that united we are in the image of G-d. the problem is of course when you know you've found the other part of you but he doesn't agree and finds his other half. Incredibly painful and no amount of religion helps!
     

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