RexRed
 
Reply Thu 16 Jun, 2011 05:13 pm
I have created this discussion to debate religious and spiritual matters of the Bible.

What is the orthodoxy of Christianity?

Many Christian scholars believe that every single word jot and tittle of the Bible is God inspired and inherently without a single error.

Most people are brought into the study of the Bible with and idealistic approach and so when told that the Bible is inerrant they believe it wholeheartedly. When they encounter their first contradiction in the scriptures they then shift the blame to the error being one of translation or forgeries, for how could God make an error?

They cannot believe in their heart of hearts that God did not write the book and the authors may have had different views concerning spirituality and Christian doctrine. So they twist, contort and wrench the Bible to fit their own point of view.

The Canon of the New testament was assembled out of the myriad of first century writings because they seemed to fit together and had the least amount of blaring contradictions. You cannot have one book saying Jesus was born in a stable and manger at an innkeepers barn then in the next chapter say he as born in a cave in a totally different city under different circumstances. How can Jesus have two, three and four different birthdays?

Thus the New testament Canon had to be shaped to only include books that seemed to agree. Heated debates surrounded the forming of the NT's (New Testament) inception and some brutally lost their lives simply because they disagreed with the doctrines being formed and cemented by the time of Constantine.

Thus God had little to do with this process it was decided by people who considered themselves educated in such matters and had an agenda of their own to propagate.

Even book names and chapter numbers were added and at this time. It is uncertain how many other things were added and subtracted from the original writings. Perhaps there were no original writings but a simple tale of a carpenter's son that was crucified for not fitting in.

Yet the end product of the NT is that this person being called Jesus, or some form of the name, had to be conformed to fulfill all requirements the OT (Old Testament) stipulated in order to be believed as being the true promised messiah of the ancient Hebrew text.

Thus the Biblical writers began to fabricate this "story"...

For instance, the OT stated that this coming Messiah's first miracle would be restoring the sight to the blind... So they wrote a story about Jesus restoring the sight to a blind man and inserted it in.

This Messiah was compared to a lamb in the OT so they created story of Jesus dying as the passover lamb.

In order to pull this off both highly educated Jews and Greeks would have to be in on the process.

This is why Jesus says:

Matthew 5:18
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Comment: The NT Jesus had to fulfill every requirement of the OT in order for the law to face irrelevancy.

So we see story upon story being invented to make this seem like it was indeed the case. Perhaps this was a writing contest to see who could write the best story of a messiah's actions and how he would fulfill this law if he were to come in their present day.

As story upon story was written, compared and compiled suddenly a very enigmatic picture emerged.

Even the reason for having four gospels rather than one continuous story was part of the old testament logic. The old testament talks of "four branches". The messiah would have to be linked with these four branches also. So the stories of Jesus and his fulfilling of the OT prophecies incorporated even the most obscure areas of Hebrew wisdom and doctrine.

In the process of the scribes and librarians writing all of these Jesus stories there were many that were rejected because they did not fit with the overall picture that slowly emerged as the, "word became flesh".

Also in writing these stories new mystical knowledge (revelation) was revealed that had never been speculated upon or perceived before. Human spirituality became crystallized into a very precise almost mathematically exact religious discipline. Thus "the truth" was thought to be present in this body of literature.

The stories and the revelations surrounding them about spirituality seemed to have the earmark of the divine. Though there was probably little or even no truth to them they had far reaching social implications.

Anyone who has written a fictional book knows how they sometimes write themselves once the main pillars are set within the storyline.

Even the parts of Jesus sending disciples out two by two are invented as social mechanics, tools to bring about change and emancipation from the yoke of the law and tyrannical rulers of the day. Jesus distaste for the rich and his feeding the multitudes are all social instruments created to magically empower the people. His temptations, his celibacy (somewhat resembling homosexuality) and tolerance for sin were all parts of a social movement created by the writers of these documents.

Perhaps even a grander picture and watermark of spirituality emerged and was available to these first century writers than what can be gleaned from the scriptures and their translations today.

In the first century true spirituality became defined and Jesus was the vehicle used to paint this picture.

Wind, breath, air, dust, soul, spirit, body, mind, heart etc these constituents of religion were all given precise meaning. Today these meanings are lost and these terms are used interchangeably by many spiritualists, preachers and minsters without even a thought that their Biblical meaning differs from today's usage. Even within the first century their meaning became obscured by mass confusion. Scribes were unsure which terms to use so they changed copies of the bible to reflect their own understandings. Thus life itself (when it begins and when it ends) became indefinitive.

These terms were once Biblically defined.

Out of the mass of first century writings came a well polished social instrument meant to engineer the world toward a peaceful age.

Yet these writings had loose ends. The allegories and metaphoric symbolism that when carried to their conclusions left many questions unanswered. The first century writers could never have imagined how their works would be scrutinized.

This scrutiny led to the fracture and eventual collapse of the orthodoxy.

The extraneous writing that never made it onto the canon were suppressed as best the church fathers could. The cracks in the orthodoxy had already rendered it waxed feeble by the second century. Besides the entire Christian church had been built upon the old testament and the writers never dreamed that science would evolve to such a degree to prove many of the OT stories as false and as unreliable as they have become. The church tried to suppress even the scriptures themselves in a dark age so as to conceal their contradictions.

The ironic parable about the man who built his house on shifting sands where the rains came and washed his house away came around and bit the orthodoxy on the behind. Perhaps if Jesus had rejected the OT outright but Jesus seemed to endorse the OT and was an extension of its fables. Thus he can easily be thrown under the same bus. For how can he be divine and God in the flesh and not know the earth is round and such other vital matters?

How can Jesus endorse the God of Abraham and Noah? This God does not even know the great flood never ever happened...

Science opened a gaping hole within the orthodoxy that rendered it impotent and without divine authority. This science then exposed the Jesus myth as just exactly that a myth created by spiritualists and social engineers. This does not negate the social truth implemented in the Bible message. It simply stripes it of its divine inception. It removes the word "holy" from its title... For how can something be divine and full of so many blaring scientific errors? How can we have been created 6000 years ago and yet share the DNA of plants and animals? How can an earth millions of years old be only 6000 years old? And why would God create dinosaur fossils? How can the Y chromosome be a mutation of the X chromosome when man was created first?

These astounding scientific revelations have crippled the Orthodoxy to the verge of extinction. It has silenced and exposed a once authoritative Christian source to ridicule and rank foolishness.

If we were to overlook the blaring problems between science and the Orthodoxy how would we arrive at the core message that Christianity is trying to impart? Why would this message even have merit considering that the orthodoxy has tried to pass bad science off as the inspired word and will of the one true God? How much divinity is really left to recapture a simple faith and doctrine? The fact that Islam is built upon the same scientifically inept myths subjects "Allah" to the same sterility and foolish ridicule. Well one approach it to consciously dismiss it all and to only believe those things that seem worthy of belief. As opposed to believing it all and throwing out what is found lacking. Considering the Bible had a several thousand year tradition of being wrong about many things it seems like an unlikely place to find more truth given its abhorrent history.

How many people have lived and died believing in its trickery? Yet still spiritual truth is the quest here not discrimination for discrimination's sake. Can we still learn anything from the Bible and its philosophies? I say yes... but much has to be overlooked in order to find the "wheat among the tares." And one must constantly say to themselves this book is NOT divine as a whole so as not to become ensnared again by its allure and claims of infallibility.

Perhaps its greatest truth in the Jesus story is the travesty of hate crimes and how people unfairly exact judgment on others based upon false witness. One does not need to be a Christian to understand this. One does not have to believe in a flat earth to love their neighbor and one does not have to follow the Judeo-Christian laws to live a good and meaningful life.

If there was a Christian orthodoxy it is certainly shrouded in contradiction and obscurity now and probably was just as errant back then. Is Christianity obsolete? I do not believe this to be true. Perhaps it is the few stories of love and compassion within its pages that will stand the test of time. Yet its stories of brutality and hated will linger and continue to cause it to become more and more marginalized.

This discussion here is for debating what is left of the Orthodoxy and the Gnostic texts surrounding it and for trying to ascertain if there is anything (maybe a god) left salvaging out of the whole mess.
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kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jun, 2011 09:00 pm
@RexRed,
the orthodoxy of christianity is found in the nicene creed....both of them.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 12:39 pm
@kuvasz,
Both of them? Are there two creeds? Isn't that an oxymoron?

I don't necessarily agree or disagree with that (from an agnostic's point of view). The orthodoxy of Christianity is to some found solely in the new testament scriptures of which the Nicene creed is "supposed to" reflect. Does it reflect what the scriptures say or not... that is the purpose of this discussion. When the creed says one thing and the scriptures portray a completely different thing then there are problems. Martin Luther felt the scriptures held more authority than any external creed by men and popes.

I was once taught that protestant does not necessarily mean that people "protest" but that they are "pro testament" or "for the written word" versus traditions and creeds.

Even in the first century, refinements were being made to the orthodoxy.

Acts 18:24And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

25This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

26And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

Comment: Apparently what Apollos was teaching was imperfect.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 12:49 pm
@RexRed,
RexRed wrote:
I was once taught that protestant does not necessarily mean that people "protest" but that they are "pro testament" or "for the written word" versus traditions and creeds.


Jesus wept . . . you'll believe anything.

Wanna buy a bridge?
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 12:59 pm
@Setanta,

RexRed wrote:
I was once taught that protestant does not necessarily mean that people "protest" but that they are "pro testament" or "for the written word" versus traditions and creeds.


Protestants are called Protestants because in 1526 (April 19), at the Diet of Speyer, followers of Luther, the "Protestant princes", presented a "protest note" ...
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 01:28 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

RexRed wrote:
I was once taught that protestant does not necessarily mean that people "protest" but that they are "pro testament" or "for the written word" versus traditions and creeds.


Jesus wept . . . you'll believe anything.

Wanna buy a bridge?


I am aware Set that is not the popular interpretation of the word "protestant" yet being raised a Lutheran from before I could even speak English, I have quite a bit of first hand experience with the Lutheran's statement of faith than you probably do.

You and I have sparred over words before... remember the word "rex"? Rex, ra, rey, raja, eric, and (and you swore up and down they were not the least bit connected though funny they all mean king).. remember you lost that argument hands down? And I recall you were just as arrogant even after your rank error was put to reticule.

That is because you have a cheap dictionary education of words and are not the slightest bit linguistic yourself. You accept western definitions of words rather than thinking these word through logically. You take everything said in a dictionary as gospel.

Like the words Carpe Diem...

I bet you translate them "seize the day" while I translate them "capture the day". How does the word "Carpe" become the word "seize" over time?

Yet nowhere once in the wiki article or on the entire net other than my post right here on carpe diem is the word "capture" even once used or supplied as an alternative translation for Carpe. Yet I am sure you translate Carpe as seize too and will argue that point till you are red, blue and every shade of green in the face. How did I learn that carpe means capture? I think for myself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpe_diem

There is a difference between popularly translated and accurately translated. Your arrogance has you blinded from the latter.

So who is the one on the bridge to nowhere?
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 01:29 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Yes Walter... a pro testament note. Much like Luther's 95 thesis based not upon tradition and not upon what the pope said but based upon the testament or testimony of the scriptures which common people were forbidden to read by the Roman church.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 01:36 pm
You're wasting your time, Walter. When he gets one of these goofy ideas, he's like a dog worrying an old shoe.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 01:48 pm
@RexRed,
RexRed wrote:

Yes Walter... a pro testament note.

Ignorant.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 02:06 pm
The entire crux of Martin Luther's church was based mostly upon one statement. This statement was from the scriptures and not from any liturgical writing or from any creed.

This was that "salvation was of faith and not of works..." What did Martin use to support his belief in this? He used the testament of the written word.

His entire premise was based upon the testimony of the scripture and not based upon anything extraneous. That has since changed in the Lutheran church where the traditions of the church outweigh the actual scriptures in many cases but protestant denominationalism took this idea to its farthest extent.

Where with some churches "the sole and only rule of faith, doctrine, authority and practice are the scriptures".

Followers are indoctrinated as children with songs like, "The Bible tells Me So..." This idea is the foundation of fundamentalism.
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 02:07 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

RexRed wrote:

Yes Walter... a pro testament note.

Ignorant.
Stupid.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 02:27 pm
@RexRed,
RexRed wrote:
Stupid.


I suppose, your knowledge of the Reichstag in Speyer is better than the original sources.

And you can read Luther's German better than I can.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 03:25 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

RexRed wrote:
Stupid.


I suppose, your knowledge of the Reichstag in Speyer is better than the original sources.

And you can read Luther's German better than I can.
Are you done stroking yourself?

My professors were German too who commissioned me as a biblical scholar and taught me this.

Protestants are protestors and nothing more huh?

Origin:
1350–1400; (noun) Middle English < Middle French ( French protêt ), derivative of protester to protest < Latin prōtestārī to declare publicly, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + testārī to testify, derivative of testis a witness; (v.) late Middle English protesten < Middle French protester

The word we are having an argument about is the word "testis"... no it does not mean testicles.

I have known of the word "testis" for almost 20 years. I was taught about that word in the summer of 1982.

It means "witness".

Now what does witness have to do with people protesting? None of this makes sense to the common observer. Who or what is their witness, as God is my witness... or, sworn on a stack of Bibles? The general consensus on this subject seems anemic at best.

Again it is the difference between someone who has popularism versus real study.

The witness is the "testament".

1 John 5:9 KJV
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

Comment: And where is this witness of God found? Well THAT is the debate of this discussion.

They profess themselves to be wise but are fools.
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 03:30 pm
@RexRed,
Yes, both of them, the later of which caused the Great Schism that separated Roman Catholicism from Eastern Orthodoxy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East%E2%80%93West_Schism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicene_Creed

I don't want to sharp shot you but any religious person ought to know the history of his faith.

Since you are attemping to look at this stuff syncretically, I would recommend that you check out "The Perennial Philosophy," by Aldous Huxley.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 03:39 pm
@RexRed,
RexRed wrote:

Walter Hinteler wrote:

RexRed wrote:
Stupid.


I suppose, your knowledge of the Reichstag in Speyer is better than the original sources.

And you can read Luther's German better than I can.
Are you done stroking yourself?

My professors were German too who commissioned me as a biblical scholar and taught me this.

Protestants are protestors and nothing more huh?

Origin:
1350–1400; (noun) Middle English < Middle French ( French protêt ), derivative of protester to protest < Latin prōtestārī to declare publicly, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + testārī to testify, derivative of testis a witness; (v.) late Middle English protesten < Middle French protester


Your professor should have looked a book about (Middle) High German.

Grimms Wörterbuch, for instance (hier: Volumne 13, column 2175):
Quote:

PROTESTANT, m., franz. protestant (aus dem lat. partic. protestans, protestierend), ein zur lehre Luthers, überhaupt zur reformation sich bekennender (so genannt, weil auf dem reichstage zu Speier am 19. april 1529 die der reformation ergebenen stände eine protestation einreichten gegen den in den religionsangelegenheiten gefaszten mehrheitsbeschlusz ihrer katholischen mitstände


I don't know the qualification of your Latin teacher. But he wasn't as good as someone who had Latin just at school here.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 04:04 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
LOL
My professor in that case is dictionary.com

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/protest

Perhaps you should argue with them.. Besides my professors from years ago concurred and said the word protestant came from the root words pro and testis.

This is silly because your final argument is that the word protestant has noting to do with the Bible. The witness and their testimonies have for centuries been sworn on bibles and/or the name of God.

Romans 9:1 KJV
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me WITNESS in the Holy Ghost,

Comment: That is from 2000 years ago and how old is your German definition? Germans were pagans when this was written.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 04:16 pm
@RexRed,
RexRed wrote:
Besides my professors from years ago concurred and said the word protestant came from the root words pro and testis.


wait, i thought it was the catholic priests who were pro testes
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 04:21 pm
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:

RexRed wrote:
Besides my professors from years ago concurred and said the word protestant came from the root words pro and testis.


wait, i thought it was the catholic priests who were pro testes
Shhhhh! Smile
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 05:03 pm
The rub here is the conflict between modern vernacular and perception and the perception of these same words in the past.

Religion used to be closely knit into the meanings of words. One could not escape this connection. A perfect example is in the Hebrew language.

When a Hebrew speaking person would say I am going to sell my cow, it was inferred that they would also perform a blessing on the cow so the future owner would not be cursed by the animal. Today when you sell your cow you say I am going to sell my cow and no religious connotation whatsoever is inferred.

Well we can thank the Bible for this change. Because Jesus freed us from "the law" then no longer was this law so closely knit into our language. But it took years for this religion to dissolve and fade from our culture.

Such that in the time of Martin Luther words still had religious connotations but as religion has slowly faded from the forefront of our culture the word "protest" has become simply a form of civil dissent.

Yet we are then oblivious to the hidden meaning and representation these words had in the past. And to ignore and deny their old meaning then is simply a form of rewriting history to a secular script where these religious cultural overtones become obscured.

Protestant used to mean two things to protest in civil clamor and it meant a person "for" the written testament over the traditional and "infallible" popery of Rome.

Today it simply means to protest Catholicism yet in this, the underlying cause of the protest is lost.

The early protestants were all about individual freedom to decide and choose their own path. To read the testament themselves and let it speak to them where Rome said only the clergy and ordained of God could interpret its divine message. This is why Martin Luther spent much of his own life trying to translate the ancient texts and why Gutenberg eventually printed and published the scriptures for all to read.

The word protestant and religious democracy are nearly synonymous in the old way of thinking.

Democratic religion is what ushered in the age of reason. This we all owe to this single word "protest" and one man's determination to have his own opinion heard. Today "protest" means ANYTHING but then, it had a very specific and religious meaning. Then the protest was against a religious theocracy today it is against (mostly) secular governments.

The justification Martin used was the written word or witness and that it should be the property of all and not only a select few.

Our entire social fabric is created on these grounds and the ambiguity of this document we call the new testament.

And out of this we as a people are to form a more perfect union from its foundations and even its shortcomings.

Martin Luther did not want his religion canonized but the church fathers did so anyway. He instead desired that the Lutheran church dynamically change with the people and their perceptions of "the testament"...

Yet this took many other denominations to slowly work toward a universal doctrine of God and people. Have we arrived at that and what of the orthodoxy? Is there such a thing anymore?

How wide is the gap between the universal church and the world church?
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jun, 2011 04:26 pm
Now that I have established various issues surrounding the orthodoxy of Christianity, the question becomes what gets left in and what gets cut out and why?

Do we cut and add things because that is what such and such religion teaches? Do we do as the fundamentalist protestants do and declare the written "testament" our sole and only rule of faith and practice? What of church traditions and doctrines that are not present in the testament but practiced as gospel anyway? Do we apply sensibilities and reason to the testament and arrive and a new modern interpretation that fits our ideas of cultural liberties more precisely?

Assuming there is an orthodoxy in the first place, as the testament may be an assortment of writings that were neither witnessed from actual events nor were they authentically inspired by a God. That is also a possibility. There many never be a clear cut way to derive a Christian Orthodoxy...

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way , the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Comment: Even this scripture is ambiguous. It declares that Jesus is "the way" but is this way, the teaching from Jesus who were mostly addressed to Israel, or is this the Jesus as portrayed in the epistles of the apostles?

Is this way the pre crucified Jesus Christ or the post crucified Christ Jesus.

As Jesus claimed he was the way for Israel as the messiah is this way likewise the same for the Christian church? And... the way to where? Salvation, heaven paradise, abundant life, all of the above?

How can we begin to define these terms like paradise and heaven if there is no road map or dictionary of terms?

Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise , and shall deceive many.

Can we believe the word of people concerning God? How do we discern truth from error? Even clergy of the same faiths have vehement disagreements when it comes to church doctrine... Did Jesus come in the flesh, do we chew the host or let it melt in our mouths?

Grape juice or wine?

Sprinkled water, immersion or other?

What is our compass that points the way and where are the signs and guides that illuminate our direction and path?

Is God everything to anyone and a mass of confusion or is there really one God, one faith, one baptism, one lord...

What is clear amidst all of the confusion? What of spiritualism, mysticism and the occult, how do they factor in to divine illumination?

Does Christian love exist and how do we obtain this level of compassion for others?

I have tried to lay a foundation so others can contribute opinions. The playing field is wide open. As long as you don't call me "ignorant" and leave no rationale as to why, I promise I will treat your input with kid gloves...

This discussion is where people can express their own personal ideas and why the believe as they do. Let's get down to the nuts and bolts here and try and arrive at some sort of universal idea of what God, Christianity, faith, religion in general are and the doctrines thereof.

We can look at doctrines from many perspectives and hopefully find more agreement than disagreement.
0 Replies
 
 

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