T Nation

Christian Or Christ-Follower?

[quote]ZEB wrote:
Beowolf wrote:

He said, and I quote, “I am the son of God, and we are all God’s children”.

Please show me the scripture where Jesus Christ stated that.

Doesn’t really sound like he wanted to be special.

He was indeed quite special and told everyone many times. This is only one verse where he stated that no one gets to (Heaven) the father, except through him:

John 14:6:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)

It is also one verse (there are many others) which alienate people. No one really wants to think that there is only one way to do anything much less make it to Heaven.

Go figure.

I don’t believe in the Bible.

That is your right in a free society. But, it is my right to point out where you are wrong relative to your quotes. In other words, believe what you want, but do so through knowledge and not ignorance.

I believe he was a man who wanted peace, love, and forgiveness.

And you must also believe that he was a liar, if you believe that he was just a man.

belived in letting the little things pass you by. In looking at the greater picture, in the moment.

He never once tolerated sin. However, often he was forgiving of those who sinned. He would always caution those he healed or forgave not to sin again. There is no “little sin” to Christ. it is all simply sin. This is a difficult doctrine for many.

Does anyone want to actually talk about the videos?

Sure, as OJ said “I’ll take a stab at it.” The video is meant to demean Christians. It’s perfectly alright to put a Rugby sticker on your car. It’s also fine to tell everyone you train with weights constantly. You can even tell folks that you meditate and follow the great Krima Gibna. But as soon as you claim that you are a Christian and display that in other ways, you are condemned by some.

This video simply plays to that central theme. It’s anti-Christian propaganda. It simply states, that it’s okay to be a Christian as long as you shut up about it.

The concept of a person who doesn’t nessecarily follow the Bible word for word, but still appreciates Jesus’s message and believes in his divinity?

If someone believes in Christs divinity but does not “follow the Bible” then I wonder how much he actually believes in Christs divinity.

Certainly the New Testament is pretty much about Christs coming to earth in human form.

[/quote]

The bible was wirrten after his death, and therefor I do not count it as a primary source.

The videos were certainly not meant to bag on Christianity. Simply to intriduce the idea of a non-uptight Christian. Which already exists.

Look at the site. Does it look anti-Jesus to you?

And if you want to say I think Jesus was a liar, then sure. If he was exactly how it’s written in the bible (a statement I laugh at, as the Bible is one of the worst sources of history in popular existance), then he is a liar in my eyes. But, he was a liar with a great core message.

Remove all the stuff about stoning people to death, and you’ve got yourself a great man, self-proclaimed divinity or not.

[quote]ZEB wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
Does anyone want to actually talk about the videos?

Sure, as OJ said “I’ll take a stab at it.” The video is meant to demean Christians. It’s perfectly alright to put a Rugby sticker on your car. It’s also fine to tell everyone you train with weights constantly. You can even tell folks that you meditate and follow the great Krima Gibna. But as soon as you claim that you are a Christian and display that in other ways, you are condemned by some.

This video simply plays to that central theme. It’s anti-Christian propaganda. It simply states, that it’s okay to be a Christian as long as you shut up about it.

[/quote]

Incorrect sir.

The videos are pointing out the pride and vanity of the “uber-christian”. The slovenly fellow represents someone who is content to follow and believe the teachings of christ. The “uber-christian” represents someone who is more concerned with the appearance of being a christian, loudly proclaiming to the general population that “I am a christian, see my stickers? See my clothes? I’m respectable, and a top-notch believer!” This is also the type of person who is insistent upon loudly condemning others of differing opinions on forums or by starting incendiary threads with dire warnings of impending eternal consequences of actions or thoughts that differ from their own.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:

The bible was wirrten after his death, and therefor I do not count it as a primary source.[/quote]

I can understand where you’re coming from. But, the Bible is actually one of the most reliable of ancient writings. There a couple of good web sites that speak to this issue. Here is one:

[quote]
And if you want to say I think Jesus was a liar, then sure. If he was exactly how it’s written in the bible (a statement I laugh at, as the Bible is one of the worst sources of history in popular existance), then he is a liar in my eyes. But, he was a liar with a great core message.[/quote]

Again, as I stated above the Bible is one of most accurate of all ancient writings.

And I wonder how many liars have “good core messages.”

And how many liars healed the sick and raised the dead.

But of course, you don’t believe any of that because you didn’t see it.

I’m not sure what definition you are using when you use the word “great.” But I am not aware of any “great” men who were such outlandish liars.

You really can’t have it both ways.

Beowolf:

I know there is no “proving” of someone’s faith. But that does not stop people like me from occasionally making a play to do just that. Quite simply it all makes sense to me. And it doesn’t to you.

Interesting huh?

Here is a post from someone else that I thought was quite good. Not wanting to reinvent the wheel I am reposting it here.

Please take a look at it and PM me later with your thoughts. I don’t think it will serve anyone to continue to debate the topic on this thread. So…I’m out. And I won’t even be looking at the thread or the forum as I’m pretty busy. But, I will check my PM’s so please leave your thoughts.

Please keep an open mind as you read this. All I’m saying is that there is a possibility for you to be wrong (just as there is for any of us).

Thanks for your time, and all the best to you:

"aslater
02/15/06
01:21 PM

Historical writers mentioning Jesus:
Following is a list of extra biblical (outside of the Bible) references of biblical events, places, etc. The list is not exhaustive but is very representative of what is available.

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?, a Jewish historian) mentions John the Baptist and Herod - Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 5, par. 2

“Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness.”

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions Jesus - Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 3, par. 3.

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (10) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

There is debate among scholars as to the authenticity of this quote since it is so favorable to Jesus. For more information on this, please see Regarding the quotes from the historian Josephus about Jesus

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions James, the brother of Jesus - Antiquities, Book 20, ch. 9.

“Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done.”

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions Ananias the High Priest who was mentioned in Acts 23:2

Now as soon as Albinus was come to the city of Jerusalem, he used all his endeavors and care that the country might be kept in peace, and this by destroying many of the Sicarii. But as for the high priest, Ananias (25) he increased in glory every day, and this to a great degree, and had obtained the favor and esteem of the citizens in a signal manner; for he was a great hoarder up of money

Acts 23:2, “And the high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike him [Paul] on the mouth.”

Tacitus (A.D. c.55-A.D. c.117, Roman historian) mentions “christus” who is Jesus - Annals 15.44

“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.”

Ref. from http://classics.mit.edu/...s/annals.mb.txt

Thallus Circa AD 52, eclipse of the sun. Thallus wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time. His writings are only found as citations by others. Julius Africanus who wrote about AD 221 mentioned Thallus’ account of an eclipse of the sun.

“On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.”

Is this a reference to the eclipse at the crucifixion? Luke 23:44-45, “And it was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 the sun being obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two.”

The oddity is that Jesus’ crucifixion occurred at the Passover which was a full moon. It is not possible for a solar eclipse to occur at a full moon. Note that Julius Africanus draws the conclusion that Thallus’ mentioning of the eclipse was describing the one at Jesus’ crucifixion. It may not have been.

Julius Africanus, Extant Writings, XVIII in the Ante?Nicene Fathers, ed. by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973), vol. VI, p. 130. as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996.

Pliny the Younger mentioned Christ. Pliny was governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. Pliny wrote ten books. The tenth around AD 112.

“They (the Christians) were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food?but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.”

Pliny, Letters, transl. by William Melmoth, rev. by W.M.L. Hutchinson (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1935), vol. II, X:96 as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996.

The Talmud

“On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, “He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.” But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!”

Gal. 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”

Luke 22:1, “Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. 2And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people.”

This quotation was taken from the reading in The Babylonian Talmud, transl. by I. Epstein (London: Soncino, 1935), vol. III, Sanhedrin 43a, p. 281 as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996.

Lucian (circa 120-after 180) mentions Jesus. Greek writer and rhetorician.

“The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day?the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. . . . You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property.”

Lucian, The Death of Peregrine, 11?13, in The Works of Lucian of Samosata, transl. by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1949), vol. 4, as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996.

Though Lucian opposed Christianity, he acknowledges Jesus, that Jesus was crucified, that Christians worship him, and that this was done by faith.

The historical Jesus is debated by very, very few. You can find people that still believe the world is flat so just because you can find a few in a google search doesn?t mean that they hold much credit, regardless the above listing should answer your question."

End of text.

So…why are people following Jesus for over 2000 years if he was just a man?

Certainly if nothing else you need to explore this further, and come up with some explanations that have substance.

Hey ZEB. Good to see you again.

I don’t know if the longevity of a religion is the best indicator of its truth. After all, people have been following the teachings of Gautama Siddhartha for going on 2500 years, and he was “just a man”, although many believe he attained enlightenment and oneness with the universe, which is about as close as one can get to divinity in the Buddhist belief system.

The Egyptians worshipped Horus for at least three thousand years. He, like Jesus, was believed to be simultaneously a man, the son of God (Osirus), and the incarnation of Osirus. Belief in Horus lived on for another thousand years in Greece, where he was worshipped as Dionysus.

And of course, Christianity’s closest rival in Rome before the Edict of Milan was Mithraism, which was the Roman version of the mystery cult of Mithra, the only begotten son of Ahura Mazda, the god of the Persian Zoroastrian religion, which predated Christianity by about a thousand years.

Neither is the fact that Christianity has become the world’s major religion necessarily conclusive proof that it is the “one true faith”. Currently, a quarter of the world’s population is some stripe of Christian. Approximately another quarter is Muslim. The Muslims believe in Jesus too, just not in his divinity. If Islam becomes the most prevalent religion in the world, will this prove that they are right? Not to Christians, certainly, any more than Christianity’s ascendency convinced most Jews that their own faith was mistaken.

As for the divinity of Jesus, you rightly state that it will never be proven to one who doesn’t already believe it. Nor will it likely be disproven to someone who is already convinced. However, as you are probably aware, the New Testament as it exists today is the abridged version. A good many gospels were trashed by Constantine in 325 AD during the Council of Nicaea, because they did not support the official doctrine of a Divine Christ, which Constantine needed to reinforce his own claims of Divine Right to rule. Just something to keep in mind.

FInally, as for the topic of the thread, I have never understood why believers feel such a need to be so outspoken in their belief. Evangelical Christians sometimes strike me as the Amway distributors of God, who expect that their own Hereafter will be made all the richer the more they build up their own personal network of converts. On the other hand, I also fail to see why atheists need to be so shrill in their denunciation of faith. Let it go. As Jefferson said, “it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

If ZEB is right, then he and those who believe as he does will get their reward, and those who don’t will receive their punishment. If Beowolf is right, he and everyone else will simply cease to exist. However, nobody really will know for sure until they die. If a belief in Christianity, or Buddhism, or Islam or Zoroastrianism or atheism makes your short life on this planet a little happier and more bearable, then that is good. More power to you. But keep it to yourself, please.

[quote]ZEB wrote:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)

[/quote]
Call me blasphemous but this sounds like a dare.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
On the other hand, I also fail to see why atheists need to be so shrill in their denunciation of faith. Let it go. As Jefferson said, “it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

[/quote]
Atheism isn’t a doctrine against faith. It is a doctrine that god does not exist. Faith does not hold dominion over religion and spirituality. Faith is emotional and to deny faith in one’s self is the denial of a vital emotion. Faith is as necessary in one’s life as love or friendship.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Atheism isn’t a doctrine against faith. It is a doctrine that god does not exist. Faith does not hold dominion over religion and spirituality. Faith is emotional and to deny faith in one’s self is the denial of a vital emotion. Faith is as necessary in one’s life as love or friendship.[/quote]

Yeah, that was a poor choice of words on my part. I meant shrill in their denunciation of the faith, i.e. the religion, of believers.

[quote]ZEB wrote:
Beowolf:

I know there is no “proving” of someone’s faith. But that does not stop people like me from occasionally making a play to do just that. Quite simply it all makes sense to me. And it doesn’t to you.

Interesting huh?

Here is a post from someone else that I thought was quite good. Not wanting to reinvent the wheel I am reposting it here.

Please take a look at it and PM me later with your thoughts. I don’t think it will serve anyone to continue to debate the topic on this thread. So…I’m out. And I won’t even be looking at the thread or the forum as I’m pretty busy. But, I will check my PM’s so please leave your thoughts.

Please keep an open mind as you read this. All I’m saying is that there is a possibility for you to be wrong (just as there is for any of us).

Thanks for your time, and all the best to you:

"aslater
02/15/06
01:21 PM

Historical writers mentioning Jesus:
Following is a list of extra biblical (outside of the Bible) references of biblical events, places, etc. The list is not exhaustive but is very representative of what is available.

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?, a Jewish historian) mentions John the Baptist and Herod - Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 5, par. 2

“Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness.”

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions Jesus - Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 3, par. 3.

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (10) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

There is debate among scholars as to the authenticity of this quote since it is so favorable to Jesus. For more information on this, please see Regarding the quotes from the historian Josephus about Jesus

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions James, the brother of Jesus - Antiquities, Book 20, ch. 9.

“Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done.”

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions Ananias the High Priest who was mentioned in Acts 23:2

Now as soon as Albinus was come to the city of Jerusalem, he used all his endeavors and care that the country might be kept in peace, and this by destroying many of the Sicarii. But as for the high priest, Ananias (25) he increased in glory every day, and this to a great degree, and had obtained the favor and esteem of the citizens in a signal manner; for he was a great hoarder up of money

Acts 23:2, “And the high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike him [Paul] on the mouth.”

Tacitus (A.D. c.55-A.D. c.117, Roman historian) mentions “christus” who is Jesus - Annals 15.44

“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.”

Ref. from http://classics.mit.edu/...s/annals.mb.txt

Thallus Circa AD 52, eclipse of the sun. Thallus wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time. His writings are only found as citations by others. Julius Africanus who wrote about AD 221 mentioned Thallus’ account of an eclipse of the sun.

“On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.”

Is this a reference to the eclipse at the crucifixion? Luke 23:44-45, “And it was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 the sun being obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two.”

The oddity is that Jesus’ crucifixion occurred at the Passover which was a full moon. It is not possible for a solar eclipse to occur at a full moon. Note that Julius Africanus draws the conclusion that Thallus’ mentioning of the eclipse was describing the one at Jesus’ crucifixion. It may not have been.

Julius Africanus, Extant Writings, XVIII in the Ante?Nicene Fathers, ed. by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973), vol. VI, p. 130. as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996.

Pliny the Younger mentioned Christ. Pliny was governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. Pliny wrote ten books. The tenth around AD 112.

“They (the Christians) were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food?but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.”

Pliny, Letters, transl. by William Melmoth, rev. by W.M.L. Hutchinson (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1935), vol. II, X:96 as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996.

The Talmud

“On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, “He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.” But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!”

Gal. 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”

Luke 22:1, “Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. 2And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people.”

This quotation was taken from the reading in The Babylonian Talmud, transl. by I. Epstein (London: Soncino, 1935), vol. III, Sanhedrin 43a, p. 281 as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996.

Lucian (circa 120-after 180) mentions Jesus. Greek writer and rhetorician.

“The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day?the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. . . . You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property.”

Lucian, The Death of Peregrine, 11?13, in The Works of Lucian of Samosata, transl. by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1949), vol. 4, as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996.

Though Lucian opposed Christianity, he acknowledges Jesus, that Jesus was crucified, that Christians worship him, and that this was done by faith.

The historical Jesus is debated by very, very few. You can find people that still believe the world is flat so just because you can find a few in a google search doesn?t mean that they hold much credit, regardless the above listing should answer your question."

End of text.

So…why are people following Jesus for over 2000 years if he was just a man?

Certainly if nothing else you need to explore this further, and come up with some explanations that have substance.

[/quote]

Why have people followed Buddha for longer?

Why have we followed Socrates? Why do some follow Marx? Adam Smith? Washington?

You do not have to be divine to be great.

And you most certainly can be a liar and have a great core message.

If Jesus said he was the ONLY Son of God, then I believe he truly thought that (even though I don’t think that is what he meant).

His core message was faith in God, love, forgiveness, and peace. You want to argue all of those things matter nothing if he was not divine?

I do blelive Jesus existed. I don’t believe he was Christ, or any other sort of God relation. I believe he was a VERY popular philosopher, and that he perhaps became so enlightened, he was called, and prehaps called himself, the messiah. He wanted to lead his people out of sin, and in my eyes, saying he was the Son of God is justifiable in that regard. His actions may not have been justified if they were not as pure as they were.

And as for the raising the dead, you can continue to believe your Myth, and I willl continue to not. We’re not going to convince eachohter.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Atheism isn’t a doctrine against faith. It is a doctrine that god does not exist. Faith does not hold dominion over religion and spirituality. Faith is emotional and to deny faith in one’s self is the denial of a vital emotion. Faith is as necessary in one’s life as love or friendship.

Yeah, that was a poor choice of words on my part. I meant shrill in their denunciation of the faith, i.e. the religion, of believers.[/quote]

We’re not. We just get upity when religion stickes it’s nose in places it doesn’t belong.

I’m not adament that Christian faith is wrong. I’m adament that it’s not fact.

If you want to take something on faith, power to you. I’d rather just live my life for now, instead of living for some life I’m not sure exists.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
Varqanir wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Atheism isn’t a doctrine against faith. It is a doctrine that god does not exist. Faith does not hold dominion over religion and spirituality. Faith is emotional and to deny faith in one’s self is the denial of a vital emotion. Faith is as necessary in one’s life as love or friendship.

Yeah, that was a poor choice of words on my part. I meant shrill in their denunciation of the faith, i.e. the religion, of believers.

We’re not. We just get upity when religion stickes it’s nose in places it doesn’t belong.

I’m not adament that Christian faith is wrong. I’m adament that it’s not fact.

If you want to take something on faith, power to you. I’d rather just live my life for now, instead of living for some life I’m not sure exists.[/quote]

You haven’t been paying attention. Faith is FACT to the one who believes. Your mind believes a placebo will heal you, and your body then heals you. Faith and belief are indeed fact. The internal experience is all that most people use to validate their world.

And the power behind faith is that it changes your world. You said “I’d rather just live my life for now, instead of living for some life I’m not sure exists”. Well, when you have true faith you KNOW it exists right now, you feel it. Just like when you fall in love, you don’t know why or how, you just know it when you are in it. Do you care that it can’t be scientifically validated? No, because it is real to you and that is all that matters.

True faith is real!

[quote]Lorisco wrote:
True faith is real!

[/quote]

But that doesn’t mean that what one has faith in is actually real, just that one’s faith is real.

[quote]Kainjer wrote:
Lorisco wrote:
True faith is real!

But that doesn’t mean that what one has faith in is actually real, just that one’s faith is real.[/quote]

Exactly. Having faith is about knowing it’s unprovable, and has no evidence, but believing it anyway because you either like the way it feels, or becuase you were told to by an authority figure (the second one being WAY more likely).

People who live for heaven, ignoring the pleasures of this life because of a supposed after-life, are people with incredible faith. I’d rather not put that to risk. I’d rather assume what I have is all I have. The fleetingness of life is what makes it so beautiful. If there is an eternity in paradise, then isn’t this current existence a horrible one by comparison?

Faith is real to the person with faith, but he/she still must know and aknowledge it is not fact for others. Tolerance is one of the biggest parts of Old-time Christianity (really really old-time, like when Jesus was still alive).

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
Kainjer wrote:
Lorisco wrote:
True faith is real!

But that doesn’t mean that what one has faith in is actually real, just that one’s faith is real.

Exactly. Having faith is about knowing it’s unprovable, and has no evidence, but believing it anyway because you either like the way it feels, or becuase you were told to by an authority figure (the second one being WAY more likely).
[/quote]

Or because you have seen first hand how that faith has made your life better in some way or actually healed you of some disease.

So if you believe you will be healed of a disease and you are healed, then both your faith and what you had faith in are real. In fact, the placebo effect is so real that pharmaceutical companies use it to determine the effectiveness of medications they are testing. So belief makes what you believe in real regardless of whether others have the same experience or believe it is real.

People who are “living for heaven” don’t fully understand. Faith should make your life better NOW, not sometime in the future. So those with real faith do not see it as ignoring the pleasures of this life. They see it as taking full advantage of life now and not that they are denying themselves of anything.

[quote]
Faith is real to the person with faith, but he/she still must know and aknowledge it is not fact for others. Tolerance is one of the biggest parts of Old-time Christianity (really really old-time, like when Jesus was still alive).[/quote]

Not sure what you mean by tolerance? But I would say that Jesus is the model for how a believer should be living his life.

[quote]Lorisco wrote:
Not sure what you mean by tolerance? But I would say that Jesus is the model for how a believer should be living his life.
[/quote]

But how does one know how Jesus really lived? All accounts of his life are from different sources other than the man himself. Not to mention some of these depictions seem totally different from each other.

[quote]Lorisco wrote:

Or because you have seen first hand how that faith has made your life better in some way or actually healed you of some disease.

So if you believe you will be healed of a disease and you are healed, then both your faith and what you had faith in are real. [/quote]

But by no means are the two necessarily related.

In addition, this seems to be exactly the type of reasoning you are arguing against in the “Creationism Museum” thread, that the burden of proof is to prove that what YOU are saying is true, and until that can be done, it can not be assumed to be true.

[quote]Lorisco wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
Kainjer wrote:
Lorisco wrote:
True faith is real!

But that doesn’t mean that what one has faith in is actually real, just that one’s faith is real.

Exactly. Having faith is about knowing it’s unprovable, and has no evidence, but believing it anyway because you either like the way it feels, or becuase you were told to by an authority figure (the second one being WAY more likely).

Or because you have seen first hand how that faith has made your life better in some way or actually healed you of some disease.

So if you believe you will be healed of a disease and you are healed, then both your faith and what you had faith in are real. In fact, the placebo effect is so real that pharmaceutical companies use it to determine the effectiveness of medications they are testing. So belief makes what you believe in real regardless of whether others have the same experience or believe it is real.

People who live for heaven, ignoring the pleasures of this life because of a supposed after-life, are people with incredible faith. I’d rather not put that to risk. I’d rather assume what I have is all I have. The fleetingness of life is what makes it so beautiful. If there is an eternity in paradise, then isn’t this current existence a horrible one by comparison?

People who are “living for heaven” don’t fully understand. Faith should make your life better NOW, not sometime in the future. So those with real faith do not see it as ignoring the pleasures of this life. They see it as taking full advantage of life now and not that they are denying themselves of anything.

Faith is real to the person with faith, but he/she still must know and aknowledge it is not fact for others. Tolerance is one of the biggest parts of Old-time Christianity (really really old-time, like when Jesus was still alive).

Not sure what you mean by tolerance? But I would say that Jesus is the model for how a believer should be living his life.
[/quote]

Those who have faith in something that does not effect humanities daily lives negativly, are not those that need to shut the hell up. It’s those who are intolerant of others whom faith has hurt.

And seriously, how many actual miracles have there been? The Catholic church even has strict rules on to what is to be considered a miracle.

The Placebo effect may, and probably is, nothing more than the amazing control the brain has on our immune system. Stress causes immune deficiencies, while relaxation improves the immune system. If your faith is so great you are relaxed, it may help in great amounts.

In what way would Jesus have been the perfect role-model? If everyone copied him exactly, not one would get anything significant done. Parts of his philosophy are qutie inspired (if you believe a majority of sources).

In the end, faith is still absolutly unprovable. That is why it is faith. If it had proof, it would not need to so much conviction to believe.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Lorisco wrote:
Not sure what you mean by tolerance? But I would say that Jesus is the model for how a believer should be living his life.

But how does one know how Jesus really lived? All accounts of his life are from different sources other than the man himself. Not to mention some of these depictions seem totally different from each other.[/quote]

I think, like anything else, you need to review all the info about him and use that to form the complete picture.

In my mind there are differing accounts of Jesus because He focused on teaching each one of these people (followers) something different. So they came away with different impressions of who He was. However, having stated that I believe the Bible is very clear and consistent on the major issues relating to Jesus:

Who Jesus was
How to be saved
How to treat your fellow man

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
Those who have faith in something that does not effect humanities daily lives negativly, are not those that need to shut the hell up. It’s those who are intolerant of others whom faith has hurt.

And seriously, how many actual miracles have there been? The Catholic church even has strict rules on to what is to be considered a miracle.

The Placebo effect may, and probably is, nothing more than the amazing control the brain has on our immune system. Stress causes immune deficiencies, while relaxation improves the immune system. If your faith is so great you are relaxed, it may help in great amounts.

In what way would Jesus have been the perfect role-model? If everyone copied him exactly, not one would get anything significant done. Parts of his philosophy are qutie inspired (if you believe a majority of sources).

In the end, faith is still absolutly unprovable. That is why it is faith. If it had proof, it would not need to so much conviction to believe.[/quote]

The problem is that you are defining “proof” consistent with the Western scientific method. But many people and cultures do not view it that way. In other words, you are implying that something must work for everyone for it to be true, but that is not always correct even in Medicine.

For example, a significant number of patients die every year from properly physician prescribed, pharmacist regulated, properly administered, and FDA approved medications. Why? Because as much as we want it to be true, everyone is not exactly alike. So if a medication works on 60% of the people, that means it is effective. But the other 40% may get nothing or get dead.

So implying that faith is not true because it cannot be repeated and demonstrated for all people is a false paradigm as very few, if any, things can be truly validated 100% in that manner.

So if someone believes something to be true and it becomes true for them, then it is true.

[quote]Lorisco wrote:

So if someone believes something to be true and it becomes true for them, then it is true.
[/quote]

Joan of Arc, for example. People like this are variously called “saints,” “prophets” or “delusional schizophrenics”.