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Trying not to be a bore but I have another Jesus question

 
 
Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 07:33 pm
Mo's grandparents have been yakking about Jesus to him and while I feel competent to answer most of his questions once in a while I find myself in a sticky situation.

Mo and I were talking tonight and Jesus came up. Now I don't know if Jesus was "Jesus" but I like most of his ideas so I'm cool with saying "I believe in the idea of Jesus" and blah blah blah just so that Mo can form his own ideas and blah blah blah blah.

Anyway....

Tonight it came up that Jesus loves us and Jesus wants us to be happy and Jesus died for our sins and yadda yadda yadda and Mo and I were clicking along when he brought up Hell.

If Jesus love us and he wants us to be happy and so on and so forth and he died for our sins could someone please explain to me the threat of Hell?

And yes, I do mean the threat of Hell.

Maybe I'm being dense but if Jesus died for our sins what the hell is Hell all about?

Is Hell the boogyman of Christianity? Is it the lump of coal in your stocking for being a bad little boy? God's monster under the bed?

I'd seriously like to know.

Thanks for your help.
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shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 07:38 pm
It is the sign of a spoiled brat.

he wont get what he wants, so he will now break all of your toys and go home..
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 07:46 pm
Ha!

I totally fogot to add the whole crucifixion part of our conversation --

Mo asked me if I knew how they killed Jesus and I said I did and wasn't that weird and awful and I told him that was how they killed criminals.

He wanted to know what Jesus' crime was and I really didn't know so I said that Jesus questioned things and caused a commotion.

But I don't think thats really right and I feel bad about that because I tell Mo to question things and make a fuss if he feels things aren't right.

Mo's grandparents also told him that they nailed Jesus to a cross and some good people took him down and tried to save him.

Huh?

So please, if you could, I would apprectiate a briefing on the crucifixion because I think I'm missing something.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 07:55 pm
Hell is the whip of the Christians...

Shocked

(Ima regret this one tomorrow)
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 08:01 pm
I believe you're right, Rockhead, but I don't get why if Christianity teaches that Jesus died for our sins why they need a whip at all.

I get that you don't want to have a religion that says "go out and do what you want -- who cares? -- someone else has already taken the blame" but when I find myself really trying to explain it to a seven year old I get frazzeled.

I hope I don't sound flip or silly because this is truly a puzzle to me.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 08:31 pm
Re: Trying not to be a bore but I have another Jesus questio
boomerang wrote:
Mo's grandparents have been yakking about Jesus to him and while I feel competent to answer most of his questions once in a while I find myself in a sticky situation.

Mo and I were talking tonight and Jesus came up. Now I don't know if Jesus was "Jesus" but I like most of his ideas so I'm cool with saying "I believe in the idea of Jesus" and blah blah blah just so that Mo can form his own ideas and blah blah blah blah.

Anyway....

Tonight it came up that Jesus loves us and Jesus wants us to be happy and Jesus died for our sins and yadda yadda yadda and Mo and I were clicking along when he brought up Hell.

If Jesus love us and he wants us to be happy and so on and so forth and he died for our sins could someone please explain to me the threat of Hell?

And yes, I do mean the threat of Hell.

Maybe I'm being dense but if Jesus died for our sins what the hell is Hell all about?

Is Hell the boogyman of Christianity? Is it the lump of coal in your stocking for being a bad little boy? God's monster under the bed?

I'd seriously like to know.

Thanks for your help.


The basic thoelogical underpinning is that "Jesus died for our sins" since he was sinless himself and chose to die in payment for the sins of ancestors (Adam & Eve, et al... This also "earned" him the right to absolve those who ask for his forgiveness (of their own sins).

Yeah, it's quirky and there are variations but that's the basic jist of it.

Hell, on the other hand, long preceeded Jesus and (theologically) remains. For your basic Christian that means that if you don't accept the premise of the Trinity (including the whole bit about Jesus being a savior) then there is no way to get into heaven - your spirtitual self is doomed to hell (purgatory or "limbo" used to to be an in-between state with some versions but that seems to have closed up shop - I think they sell Pizza there now.). One can also end up in hell even if they accept the trinity if they commit various sins and don't repent. (What is or isn't a sin and the level of seriousness again varies...)

And yeah, Hell is the boogyman of Christianity. The "golden key" is "God's love" and those who deny him (or her) will never be in his (or her) presence in the after-life. It's a bit like telling a little kid that you are going to send them to their room forever if they don't do what you tell them to do - only the room is 800 degrees and they will be in constant pain while they're in there. Wink
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 08:51 pm
boomerang wrote:
Ha!

I totally fogot to add the whole crucifixion part of our conversation --

Mo asked me if I knew how they killed Jesus and I said I did and wasn't that weird and awful and I told him that was how they killed criminals.

He wanted to know what Jesus' crime was and I really didn't know so I said that Jesus questioned things and caused a commotion.

But I don't think thats really right and I feel bad about that because I tell Mo to question things and make a fuss if he feels things aren't right.

Mo's grandparents also told him that they nailed Jesus to a cross and some good people took him down and tried to save him.

Huh?

So please, if you could, I would apprectiate a briefing on the crucifixion because I think I'm missing something.


His grandparents gave him the short version of it. Crucifiction usually involved being bound to a cross and suspended until the person finally died from a combination of thirst, starvation, exposure and exhaustion. Sometimes, if they were lucky, people threw rocks at them and would knock them out and they'd die while unconscious. If they didn't then it could take several days to die up there.

Occassionally family members would pull at the legs and feet of the guy hanging up there while they wept and sobbed so if there was a particularly large/emotional crowd they'd throw a few nails through the writs and feet to make sure the guy didn't come down before he was dead. (They didn't nail through the hands because the bodies weight could pull the nail through the hand and allow the body to fall. But most versions of the Bible say hand instead of wrist anyway.) Anyway, because of the body's weight and your basic inability to suspend yourself forever you tend to do things like dislocate the shoulders and distend the chest cavity which also makes it hard to breath. Capital punishment has come a long way since then.

But anyway, after the guards determined that the guy was dead they allowed family members to take the body for internment. Biblically, his family and close followers did so.

As far as why he was killed... The biblical story is that he claimed to be the son of God. That upset the existing religious hierarchy. I'd guess they looked at it much the same way the Catholic Church looked at heretics centuries later in Europe. We can't just have people walking around claiming to be the rightful religious heir now, can we?

There is a bit of speculation about what the exact charges were but Christian theology says that the charges were trumped up - that he'd committed no violations of any laws. But the religious leaders feared his influence, framed him and talked the Romans into killing him and it was done.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 09:06 pm
Mushrooms as hallucinogens perhaps!
Quote:
There is a 1291 fresco in Plaincouralt, France, which has Adam and Eve, the Serpent, and the Tree of Knowledge (apple tree) with the mushroom; Eve is clutching her stomach as a warning to potential users.


http://www.botgard.ucla.edu/html/botanytextbooks/economicbotany/Mushrooms/index.html
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 09:13 pm
Actually the Tree of Knowledge was a beefsteak tomato plant and jesus was put to death for the same reason that spartacus was, they gave the poor and downtrodden hope for a better life.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2008 11:06 am
Great. Now he'll get to be afraid of mushrooms and tomatos too.

You know, I really don't mind Mo's grandparents talking to him about Jesus but I really wish they'd leave Hell alone. I don't even believe the idea of Hell. "Jesus means love, they tell Mo and "Jesus sends bad people to Hell when they die". I mean c'mon -- pick a frikken side already.

I guess the intention is to make kids so afraid of hell that they chose Jesus instead. I'll bet Jesus would be seriously pissed.

Interesting, fishin', that there isn't any record of what crimes Jesus was charged with. I understand that the thinking was that he was railroaded but it seems like someone would have made a note or two about it.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2008 11:30 am
boomerang wrote:

I guess the intention is to make kids so afraid of hell that they chose Jesus instead. I'll bet Jesus would be seriously pissed.


Not just kids... They'll push the hell angle on adults too.

Quote:
Interesting, fishin', that there isn't any record of what crimes Jesus was charged with. I understand that the thinking was that he was railroaded but it seems like someone would have made a note or two about it.


If you read the sections of the bible that cover that part of the story you'll find that he was referred to in John 18 as a "malfactor", in Mathew 26 and Mark 14 the charge is blasphemy. Luke 22 says that the charge was that he "claimed to be the son of God" (which would be considered blasphemy too.).
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2008 12:23 pm
Boomer, Mo is going to hear about Jesus and hell from more folks than his grandparents. Coming back with something along the lines of, "Yes, that's what your G-parents believe and many others believe that too, but lot's of other folks don't believe the part about dying for our sins. Yes, he was crucified, that's how they executed criminals in those days, but the rest of it is kinda fuzzy."

One of the challenges of raising a kid without indoctrination into a prescribed set of beliefs is helping him understand that religion plays an important role in many people's lives. Many feel that they are right in their own thinking and everyone who doesn't agree with them must be wrong. Some will try to convince everyone else to join their group while others take a more live and let live approach. Encouraging him to talk to you about it when he has questions is good. Sharing your own questions is also good. Maybe something along the lines of, "You know, Mo, I've just never been too sure about all that stuff. Some of it makes sense to me -- I certainly like the message that Jesus was tellling but the rest of it..... dunno, I've never really accepted all of that as factual."

Don't forget -- the Bible is not front page reporting. They are stories - some of them beautiful, some of the horrific that can be used to teach values and morals without getting bogged down by what is and what isn't historically accurate.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2008 12:44 pm
In fact, the entire "good Friday" story is preposterous on the face of it. It is one of the least believable parts of the whole "gospel" dog and pony show. Pontius Pilate as the prefect of Iudaea did not have the authority to execute anyone. He did not command Roman soldiers--there were two legions in Syria, under the command of the senatorial legate. For Pilate to have deployed Roman soldiers to Jerusalem, he would have needed the authority of the legate, and he would have needed a damned good reason. Pilate would have commanded about 2000-3000 auxiliaries, and they would have been stationed at Caesarea Maritima, which was the only important city in Iudaea as far as the Romans were concerned--Jerusalem simply wasn't on their political map, it was unimportant. Those auxiliaries could have been stationed along the trade route that ran through the province of Iudaea, which ran north of Jerusalem.

The story has Pilate sending Hey-Zeus off to Herod, because the savior was supposed to be a Galilean. He would never have been in Roman custody to begin with, unless he was charged with sedition or fomenting rebellion, in which case Pilate would have been required to send him off to the legate in Syria. The story has the Caiaphas bullying Pilate, and attempting to manipulate him--but this was absurd, given that Pilate was the official responsible for appointing the high priest (although he did not appoint Caiaphas, who was later removed by the legate in Syria). Pilate held authority over these Jewish religious leaders, not the reverse. Furthermore, Pilate was eventually recalled because of allegations of cruelty, and disrepsect for the religious sensibilities of the inhabitants of Palestine. It is a bit much to expect that he could have been manipulated by Ciaphas, and yet be described as arrogantly disrespectful of Jewish and Samaritan religious scruples.

Finally, there is the crapola about an earthquake and an eclipse. Funny how no one else in the middle east noticed either event, nor recorded them. Most fantastic of all is that an eclipse would have occurred at a time and visible from a place when that would have been in defiance of the realities of astronomy.

It's a silly story, and is very likely made up from whole cloth, much later than the date of the events which are alleged to have occurred, and by writers who were ignorant of the times and of the facts of Roman administration.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2008 01:05 pm
Re: Trying not to be a bore but I have another Jesus questio
boomerang wrote:
...If Jesus love us and he wants us to be happy and so on and so forth and he died for our sins could someone please explain to me the threat of Hell?

And yes, I do mean the threat of Hell.

Maybe I'm being dense but if Jesus died for our sins what the hell is Hell all about?

Is Hell the boogyman of Christianity? Is it the lump of coal in your stocking for being a bad little boy? God's monster under the bed?

I'd seriously like to know.

Thanks for your help.

I would reassure Mo that Hell is only for very evil people who have done
things that they know are very bad and hurt other people deliberately and
just don't care.

I'm not offering this up as theology, just a way to help a little boy.
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2008 01:09 pm
Here's another view:

In Wagner's "Ring of the Nibulung" there is a world ash tree and when this tree is burned it is the end of the gods, i.e., "Gotterdammerung".

I believe there is probably more than one religion that uses a tree as a universal symbol.

In the Garden of Eden the apple tree represents the attaining of ego and the appearance of opposites as antagonistic. The Crucifix is the second tree that is, of course, associated with Jesus, and this second tree represents the unity of opposites ,i.e., the recognition of the interdependency of opposites and the seeing through the illusion of ego. This is basically what religion is all about before it becomes corrupted by second-hand belief, and all the symbols become interpreted literally, which resulted in as Oliver Hardy said repeatedly, "Another fine mess."
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2008 01:11 pm
JPB wrote:
Don't forget -- the Bible is not front page reporting. They are stories - some of them beautiful, some of the horrific that can be used to teach values and morals without getting bogged down by what is and what isn't historically accurate.
Superman comics could also be used to teach values and morals without getting bogged down by what is and what isn't historically accurate.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2008 01:13 pm
fishin wrote:
boomerang wrote:
Interesting, fishin', that there isn't any record of what crimes Jesus was charged with. I understand that the thinking was that he was railroaded but it seems like someone would have made a note or two about it.


If you read the sections of the bible that cover that part of the story you'll find that he was referred to in John 18 as a "malfactor", in Mathew 26 and Mark 14 the charge is blasphemy. Luke 22 says that the charge was that he "claimed to be the son of God" (which would be considered blasphemy too.).


By the way, i ought to point out that my post was largely in response to this post. I don't deny what Fishin' writes here, but i am pointing out that Pilate neither had the authority to execute anyone, nor could he have charged anyone with blasphemy--it was not an offense against Roman code, except insofar as one blasphemed against Roman civic religion, which was clearly not the case here--and that would not necessarily have been an executable offense, either. The only basis upon which your boy Hey-Zeus could have been condemned and executed would have been sedition or rebellion--and for that he would have had to have been sent off to the legate of Syria.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2008 01:43 pm
Setanta wrote:
fishin wrote:
boomerang wrote:
Interesting, fishin', that there isn't any record of what crimes Jesus was charged with. I understand that the thinking was that he was railroaded but it seems like someone would have made a note or two about it.


If you read the sections of the bible that cover that part of the story you'll find that he was referred to in John 18 as a "malfactor", in Mathew 26 and Mark 14 the charge is blasphemy. Luke 22 says that the charge was that he "claimed to be the son of God" (which would be considered blasphemy too.).


By the way, i ought to point out that my post was largely in response to this post. I don't deny what Fishin' writes here, but i am pointing out that Pilate neither had the authority to execute anyone, nor could he have charged anyone with blasphemy--it was not an offense against Roman code, except insofar as one blasphemed against Roman civic religion, which was clearly not the case here--and that would not necessarily have been an executable offense, either. The only basis upon which your boy Hey-Zeus could have been condemned and executed would have been sedition or rebellion--and for that he would have had to have been sent off to the legate of Syria.


*nods* Mathew, Luke and Mark refer to "chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders" as the people who arrested Jesus and did the questioning. John refers to Caiaphas as being the high priest.

As the tale goes, they question him in a temple court and then, after determining he should be put to death they take him to Pilate who asks a few questions, asks for witnesses and then figures this is just a local religious squabble and pawns the problem off on Herod. Herod doesn't want any part of it and sends the whole gang back to Pilate who decides that there isn't anything his involvement and tries to pass him back to the temple leaders for punishment IAW their religious laws but they don't want to do that because their religious code doess't allow for condemnation to death (and I've seen claims that this wasn't true at the time as well...). Pilate figures the whole thing is a waste of time, there isn't anything there, and attempts to release him but the crowd demands Barabas's (sp?) release instead.

According to John, Pilate attempts to get rid of Jesus several times before finally just turning him over to the crowd to do as they want with him (hence the "wash my hands of it" saying). But there is no mention of Pilate actually ordering any crucification. The soldiers take him and do the crucifiction (apparently without orders) anyway.

But this is the whole thing that was brought up a few years back with the whole issue of blaming the Jews for his death...

It's all a very fanciful tale but there are more than enough holes in it to shoot it down as implausible.
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2008 02:15 pm
I'd like to point out that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is not an apple tree. We don't know what tree it was (unlike Yggdrasil, which is definitely an ash tree).

As for Hell, I would tell Mo that Hell isn't real.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2008 02:34 pm
boomerang wrote:

Interesting, fishin', that there isn't any record of what crimes Jesus was charged with. I understand that the thinking was that he was railroaded but it seems like someone would have made a note or two about it.


In addition to what others have written about he seemed to have been portrayed to the Romans as a Jewish separatist, leading the movement to break free of Roman rule.

From John 18.
Quote:

33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? 35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
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