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Source: (consider it) Thread: It's the teaching that matters
Chorister

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# 473

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"Jesus had me at “love your enemies”. He sealed the deal with “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, the parables of the good samaritan, the prodigal son, his transgression of the gender norms of the time, his emphasis on mercy and forgiveness, his reaching out to society’s outcasts, his practical help to the sick and hungry. That’s enough for me, as it evidently was to his disciples, who gave up what they had to follow him long before any crucifixion or resurrection."

So says Peter Ormerod, in the Guardian.

Sounds a pretty good gospel to me: can we therefore dispense with the life, and death, and re-life story and just concentrate on the jolly fine teachings instead?

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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No, because if it is only in this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than anyone else in the world.

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Chorister

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Why?

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Eutychus
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I've been round this one lots of times.

I was struck on a visit to the European Court of Human Rights by a comment by the then ECHR judge Ann Power-Forde: that the right to hope should be a fundamental human right.

As I see it, hope requires something beyond what we can apprehend (the writer to the Hebrews says something like this, too).

Otherwise it's all vanity of vanities.

Some Pascal's Wager part of me likes to imagine I'd be better off living the Jesus way even if there is no hope of the resurrection, but that would mean I'd lived my entire life as the mark in a cosmic con trick.

This somehow does not add up with the values taught by Christ.

And try as I intellectually might, I can't separate his teaching from his resurrection and the hope that goes with it.

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Og, King of Bashan

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This bit about the Disciples following Jesus before the Crucifixion business isn't really telling an important part of the Gospels. Jesus is pretty clear throughout that his way is going to lead to his death, and likely to the deaths of his followers. They often follow him in spite of this news, and sometimes have to be scolded for trying to persuade Jesus that he can't allow this to happen.

An important part of the Gospel is that it is in opposition to the dominant powers that be, and that those powers will try to stifle it. Jesus' crucifixion, for many folks, is more about this than any concept of substitutionary atonement. And even folks who question if the resurrection was a historical supernatural event will tell you that there was something about Jesus that caused a movement to rise up after his death that continues to inspire folks to change the world for the better.

Basically, to ignore the death and resurrection (whatever that means to you) is to ignore a major part of Jesus' own teaching, and the historical impact of his life.

I might also add that if you are just looking for a moral guide, you can definitely find other examples who don't come with all of the baggage of two thousand years of squabbles and two billion other followers. So why Jesus?

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HCH
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# 14313

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I mostly agree with Chorister, although instead of the phrase "dispense with" I might say "deemphasize".
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mr cheesy
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I basically agree with Og. Whatever theory one might have of the atonement, you still consider it to be centrally important.

In contrast, if you say that part wasn't really very important and what really matters is the teaching, then you have failure. The teachings don't really make a lot of sense, and can't really be lived if taken straight. You can't give everything you have to anyone who asks for it. You can't have a political system where nobody judges.

I'd wholeheartedly agree that the true faith is to believe in Jesus Christ: his life, death and resurrection. But it clearly isn't Jesus Christ: his life, message and mumble mumble.

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Adeodatus
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I've a lot of sympathy with Mr Ormerod here. Even if Jesus had only given us the so-called parable of the sheep and the goats, he would be the equal of any moral teacher in history. The kingdom is built here among us, or nowhere.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
I've a lot of sympathy with Mr Ormerod here. Even if Jesus had only given us the so-called parable of the sheep and the goats, he would be the equal of any moral teacher in history. The kingdom is built here among us, or nowhere.

Really? Philosophically poorly worked out compared to Aristotle. Politically naive compared to Plato. Pretty weak compared to the complexity of moral teaching of the Buddha or Mohammed.

The gospel teaching has layers of meaning, but I'd argue that only is revealed from within the framework of the atonement. Cutting that out leaves very little of any real help as per moral teaching.

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Schroedinger's cat

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# 64

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No, because the Christian faith is incarnational, because Jesus actual life is important. It is not just "good teaching", it is about the presence of God on the world.

The teaching is really just explaining stuff. there are plenty of good teachers. But Jesus was God being a human being, living in the world. Because Christianity is about living out the faith.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
No, because the Christian faith is incarnational, because Jesus actual life is important. It is not just "good teaching", it is about the presence of God on the world.

The teaching is really just explaining stuff. there are plenty of good teachers. But Jesus was God being a human being, living in the world. Because Christianity is about living out the faith.

Right, but then I guess you could have the incarnation without the atonement.

To which I'd reply, with William Penn: no cross, no crown.

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Chorister

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Being a follower of his teachings is a jolly good way to live though, right? I'm a big fan of trying to get it right in the here and now and then letting the future take care of itself.

Quite frankly, I find people who spend their whole lives striving for a future heaven rather scary.

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Nick Tamen

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# 15164

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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
This bit about the Disciples following Jesus before the Crucifixion business isn't really telling an important part of the Gospels. Jesus is pretty clear throughout that his way is going to lead to his death, and likely to the deaths of his followers. They often follow him in spite of this news, and sometimes have to be scolded for trying to persuade Jesus that he can't allow this to happen.

I agree. I also think that the idea that the disciples followed Jesus because of what he taught ignores those parts of the texts that strongly indicate they failed to understand or even accept Jesus's teachings, but they still followed him. They followed him, as you suggest, not because of what he taught, but because of who they thought he was.

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Nick Tamen

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# 15164

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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
Quite frankly, I find people who spend their whole lives striving for a future heaven rather scary.

So do I. But I also think that those who spend their lives striving for a future heaven have completely missed the point of the Incarnation, the crucifixion and the resurrection.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:


Quite frankly, I find people who spend their whole lives striving for a future heaven rather scary.

Not sure if that's addressed to me, but I don't think "No Cross, no crown" is just about heaven.

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my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
Quite frankly, I find people who spend their whole lives striving for a future heaven rather scary.

There's a big difference between striving for a future heaven and hoping for one.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
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no prophet's flag is set so...

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@OP,
I agree with the sentiments expressed by Chorister, Adeodatus.

I don't go for much in the way of atonement. Maybe there's something to it, but I don't care about it. The world has been distorted and misshapen by people who thought Grace in the belief in sacrificial theology was enough to get the ticket to heaven, whose works are exploitation and maybe today, a corporate sponsorship with naming rights on a hospital wing. Which is the modern equivalent to nobility funding a kapellmeister or composer and donating lands to fund a church's living. Which is why Christendom and Christian nations have never existed.

If we had ever focussed on Christian teachings we would be a heaven of a lot better off.

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(formerly known more succinctly as "no prophet"), either way not be taken seriously. \_(ツ)_/

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HCH
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As I said, deemphasize.
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Adeodatus
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# 4992

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
I've a lot of sympathy with Mr Ormerod here. Even if Jesus had only given us the so-called parable of the sheep and the goats, he would be the equal of any moral teacher in history. The kingdom is built here among us, or nowhere.

Really? Philosophically poorly worked out compared to Aristotle. Politically naive compared to Plato. Pretty weak compared to the complexity of moral teaching of the Buddha or Mohammed.
Well, you could call Lao-tze trite, Socrates flippant and Seneca a boring old fogey if you wanted, but that just shows it's easy to dismiss any teacher up to the point that you let them get under your skin.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
Well, you could call Lao-tze trite, Socrates flippant and Seneca a boring old fogey if you wanted, but that just shows it's easy to dismiss any teacher up to the point that you let them get under your skin.

Well you could; but it surely isn't a controversial point that many philosophers had more worked out moral teaching than the gospels. Is it?

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SvitlanaV2
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On a pragmatic level, if Jesus as Redeemer and Son of God is irrelevant then much of what we say and hear and do in church worship is a waste of time. Our liturgies and hymns are maintained only because they're beautiful, or perhaps as a sideways form of ancestor worship.

On a more serious level, if this is what we truly believe then our words, music and rituals must be described as somewhat blasphemous (that's if we still actually believe in God).

At first glance, I wouldn't describe this as a religion for people who are trying to live authentically. Too much obfuscation and waffle.

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Adeodatus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
Well, you could call Lao-tze trite, Socrates flippant and Seneca a boring old fogey if you wanted, but that just shows it's easy to dismiss any teacher up to the point that you let them get under your skin.

Well you could; but it surely isn't a controversial point that many philosophers had more worked out moral teaching than the gospels. Is it?
I'm not sure about that. None of those I mentioned really had what I would call a systematic moral philosophy. Anyway, the characters I have in mind when I think of the great teachers are those I feel not a rational, but a heartfelt attraction to. And I think it's in the nature of charismatic moral teachers that their teachings tend to be fragmentary. If you want systematic moral philosophy in Western philosophy before Christ, you really have to go to Aristotle, who surely can't be called charismatic by any stretch of the imagination. I would read Aristotle for a sort of dusty, dutiful illumination, but for something to actually care about I'd go to Jesus, or Epicurus, or one of the Taoist fathers.

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Gamaliel
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I've resisted saying this so far but surely it's a both/and thing?

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rolyn
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Christianity, or the practicing of it, is a bit scary. The history of it isn't just scary it is alarming and disturbing.

The teachings alone do not appear to set Christians apart from 2017 Secularism. On the contrary, most of the attributes set out in the OP are better demonstrated these days by a modern society that has moved away from the fixed attitudes promoted by traditional religion.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
"Jesus had me at “love your enemies”. He sealed the deal with “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, the parables of the good samaritan, the prodigal son, his transgression of the gender norms of the time, his emphasis on mercy and forgiveness, his reaching out to society’s outcasts, his practical help to the sick and hungry. ...

Three questions. Two you can answer. One you won't be able to?
1. Are you consistently succeeding in doing all those things?
2. Is Peter Ormerod doing so?
3. If this is just moral teaching without the existential dimension, why bother?

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
3. If this is just moral teaching without the existential dimension, why bother?

Because there are universal ethical principles which fill the existential vacuum. Because empathy and serving others whilst not neglecting your own joy. Because transcendence of life's difficulties is answered by goodness. Existential anxiety isn't answered at the bedside of the dying except through these things. And a wee bit of beauty and good humour.

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We must learn to live in harmony with nature. If we don't cease believing we can master and dominate it, life on Earth may be destroyed.
(formerly known more succinctly as "no prophet"), either way not be taken seriously. \_(ツ)_/

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
Sounds a pretty good gospel to me: can we therefore dispense with the life, and death, and re-life story and just concentrate on the jolly fine teachings instead?

Because among the teachings are teachings saying there's more to it than the teachings. If you disregard those teachings, you've already gone beyond concentrating on just the teachings, as you've brought in something from the outside -- viz., whatever criteria you are using to decide which jolly fine teachings to concentrate on, and which to dispense with.

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Og, King of Bashan

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
3. If this is just moral teaching without the existential dimension, why bother?

Because there are universal ethical principles which fill the existential vacuum. Because empathy and serving others whilst not neglecting your own joy. Because transcendence of life's difficulties is answered by goodness. Existential anxiety isn't answered at the bedside of the dying except through these things. And a wee bit of beauty and good humour.
I guess I wonder the same thing as Enoch, but maybe with a slightly different way of asking why bother.

If what you are looking for is a universal ethical principle, why go with some rural preacher from first-century Palestine whose movement was barely off the ground before he was killed, and whose teachings we only know through heavily interpreted texts written decades after his death? Especially when he comes with all of the baggage of Jesus, including 2000 years of at times nasty things done in his name. Why chose to associate your moral beliefs with that when you can find it somewhere else?

[ 04. April 2017, 23:24: Message edited by: Og, King of Bashan ]

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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# 15560

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Your response actually partly names it: history. Another part is culture. Still another is the positive things done in his name. Some of these things are bread in the bone, and yes, bad an good things.

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(formerly known more succinctly as "no prophet"), either way not be taken seriously. \_(ツ)_/

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Lamb Chopped
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It's not a mistake to admire and love Jesus' teachings. If he is whom he said he is, then those teachings are the purest form of all the good stuff we find in other teachers who were (whether they knew it or not) borrowing from him, the Source of everything.

But great as it is for us to get the teaching straight from the source, the Gospels make it clear that wasn't his main purpose in coming here. That had to do with his suffering, death and resurrection, as he kept saying. To focus on the teaching alone is to miss out on the main point of the Incarnation. Which would be a shame.

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Anglican_Brat
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I would put it differently, I would say that it is not objectionable per say, to focus on some parts of the faith than others. Some forms of right-wing Protestant Christianity frankly ignore the social teachings of Our Lord, when they vote for increasing military spending or cuts to the poor.

So, some liberal Protestants. don't do the supernatural bit too much and prefer to focus on the ethical teachings. I'd bet there are quite a few in mainline Anglicanism who would fall in that camp.

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Schroedinger's cat

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# 64

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
No, because the Christian faith is incarnational, because Jesus actual life is important. It is not just "good teaching", it is about the presence of God on the world.

The teaching is really just explaining stuff. there are plenty of good teachers. But Jesus was God being a human being, living in the world. Because Christianity is about living out the faith.

Right, but then I guess you could have the incarnation without the atonement.

To which I'd reply, with William Penn: no cross, no crown.

No - because his physical death was also part of his physical existence. And some of his teaching was to help understand that.

I don't think his teaching was bad or wrong, or even should be ignored. It is great, and what I seek to live by*. But without the incarnational aspect of his ministry, it is all hot air. If nothing else, he came and lived it, to show what it meant.

*Badly, of course

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
I would put it differently, I would say that it is not objectionable per say, to focus on some parts of the faith than others. Some forms of right-wing Protestant Christianity frankly ignore the social teachings of Our Lord, when they vote for increasing military spending or cuts to the poor.

You don't find that objectionable?

quote:
So, some liberal Protestants. don't do the supernatural bit too much and prefer to focus on the ethical teachings. I'd bet there are quite a few in mainline Anglicanism who would fall in that camp.
I'd love to know what ethical teachings these liberal Protestants believe in, because I can't see any real evidence of them giving all their money to the poor, of them taking up their cross unto death, of them loving the enemy.

ISTM that the gospel teachings can only ever be understood within some wider framework. If one doesn't like the supernatural stuff then taking the gospel teaching seriously can only be done by creating another framework to fit it within.

Take Gandhiji, who had a rather fanatical belief in some aspects of the gospel teaching which is a challenge to many Christians. He rejected the Christian "supernatural stuff", but instead fitted the teaching within another framework.

The alternative is not to live the Christian ethical framework and live the Christian ethical teaching, because the teaching makes no sense without some framework. Either one takes or creates an alternative framework within which to understand that teaching, or one is into self-deception and is kidding oneself about the attachment to the abstract gospel teaching.

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Og, King of Bashan

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# 9562

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As I said on the Personal Creed thread, I've been on a Borg kick lately. He would definitely fall into the "alternative" framework described directly above, although he might have quibbled about which framework was the newer alternative. At any rate, I have found the books to be extremely stimulating, and they have me more interested in studying the Bible, not to mention less troubled by the difference between what I sometimes thought I was supposed to believe and what I actually believe.

I think that focusing on the teachings at the expense of other parts of the Gospels might rob folks of rich opportunities to really engage with and wrestle with their faith.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

...
If we had ever focussed on Christian teachings we would be a heaven of a lot better off.

Where's the quotes file?

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Love wins

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
Sounds a pretty good gospel to me: can we therefore dispense with the life, and death, and re-life story and just concentrate on the jolly fine teachings instead?

Because among the teachings are teachings saying there's more to it than the teachings. If you disregard those teachings, you've already gone beyond concentrating on just the teachings, as you've brought in something from the outside -- viz., whatever criteria you are using to decide which jolly fine teachings to concentrate on, and which to dispense with.
I.e. beyond living a good life which is its own reward, beyond being kind for its own sake (who then shall save me from this body of death? ...) there IS eternal life in actual transcendent paradise. WAH-HOO!!! I want that. Me, me, me, me. For everyone.

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Love wins

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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Well, yes, ethical teachings without some kind of transcendence are rather meagre fare, aren't they? Most religions seem to combine the two, even the religions, such as Buddhism often described as atheist.

In fact, it strikes me that some versions of theism wreck transcendence, since it is over there, while I am here. It is lost. But then the atonement doesn't do buttons for me.

But then in some Eastern religions you have the issue of living with the not-two and the two, or duality and non-duality, where the latter represents some kind of transcendence. How do we do this? Like this! (Smashes 25 bricks with forehead). Have you got an aspirin?

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clarity eats into freedom. (Bellow).

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leo
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# 1458

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No, because those teachings were not original - lots of other pharisees said similar things.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

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No-one can ever say why they think some of His teachings are a 'good' thing - 'good' enough to redact from the whole, and where necessary to overcome the whole.

I don't think it's much more than aesthetic - "don't do that, dear, it isn't nice".

If we want to transcend pride, that isn't a good place to start. But we'd need a reason to want to transcend pride.

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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It's my understanding that Jesus, at least in his younger days, sought to understand and interpret the teachings of others. So he built on what was already there. I cannot see why doing the same today should open anyone up to a cosmic con trick.

It seemed to me that Jesus spent rather a lot of his time shushing people up if they tried to big him up at all (or too soon?). Perhaps our role is to quietly do the same, wtihout worrying about the bigger picture, and let the future take care of itself.

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
No, because those teachings were not original - lots of other pharisees said similar things.

About the poor, women, children, disabled, afflicted, sick, ethnic minorities, sinners?

Where?

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Love wins

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
It's not a mistake to admire and love Jesus' teachings. If he is whom he said he is, then those teachings are the purest form of all the good stuff we find in other teachers who were (whether they knew it or not) borrowing from him, the Source of everything.

But great as it is for us to get the teaching straight from the source, the Gospels make it clear that wasn't his main purpose in coming here. That had to do with his suffering, death and resurrection, as he kept saying. To focus on the teaching alone is to miss out on the main point of the Incarnation. Which would be a shame.

Plenty of us are creedal and know we have eternal life. We just don't live as if we do. Therefore we ... don't. Have it.

[ 06. April 2017, 09:55: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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BroJames
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# 9636

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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
"Jesus had me at “love your enemies”. He sealed the deal with “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, the parables of the good samaritan, the prodigal son, his transgression of the gender norms of the time, his emphasis on mercy and forgiveness, his reaching out to society’s outcasts, his practical help to the sick and hungry. That’s enough for me, as it evidently was to his disciples, who gave up what they had to follow him long before any crucifixion or resurrection."

So says Peter Ormerod, in the Guardian.

Sounds a pretty good gospel to me: can we therefore dispense with the life, and death, and re-life story and just concentrate on the jolly fine teachings instead?

I think it's quite easy to take a subset of Jesus' teaching and actions (usually focussed on ethics) which are culturally acceptable in today's society and say 'That's enough for me'. But the original disciples took the whole Jesus - not just that subset, and those same disciples were also massively concerned about his death and resurrection, and about what it meant. The Jesus whom the disciples followed was a Jesus whose life, words and actions included the things Peter Ormerod mentions but they were fundamentally shaped by Jesus' growing foreknowledge of his death - a death which for him was both purposeful and purposive, and not just a consequence of saying things which were unacceptable to the PTB.

ISTM that if we consistently take Peter Ormerod's line, we end up following a not-Jesus, or at least an incomplete Jesus (which IMO comes to the same thing).

Along the same lines it's interesting that Peter Ormerod doesn't address the moment when Jesus is asked which is the greatest commandment, and begins with love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength; and then the second commandment is love your neighbour as yourself.

In the end I would say that truly understood Christian faith is not about striving for heaven, but about recognising that I fall below the standard for heaven, and instead accepting it as a gift of God in Jesus Christ, and then doing my best to live up to the gift which I have been given.

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Adeodatus
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# 4992

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I really don't understand why people think that if you remove the idea that you get a "heavenly reward", then Jesus's moral teaching loses value. Surely reward-based ethics is the very lowest form of ethics? - you end up doing things basically from the most selfish of motives.

I also don't see why his teaching loses value if you remove the claim that he was God. "Yeah, but our guy is God" seems to be a pretty crude knock-down line which you'd employ if you were trying to defend bad teaching, not good. Imagine: "Thou shalt beat kittens with sticks." "But that's a terrible thing to do!" "Yeah, but God says so...."

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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OK so explain how exactly one rationalises and lives the ethics of Jesus as described in the gospels in the abstract. What does it even look like to live that ethic?

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my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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Martin60
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# 368

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Absolutely Adeodatus. Being creedal doesn't stop us being unkind in the slightest, doesn't make us incarnational. At all.

[ 06. April 2017, 10:15: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
No, because those teachings were not original - lots of other pharisees said similar things.

How strange that the people who heard Jesus speak disagree with you.

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Lost in Space

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BroJames
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# 9636

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I agree with you Adeodatus. I think the idea that Christian teaching is that heaven is a reward for good behaviour is one of the most persistent distortions of Christian belief both within and outside the Church that we have to contend with, along with the closely related idea that Christian faith is primarily about ethics.

[ 06. April 2017, 10:25: Message edited by: BroJames ]

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Adeodatus
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# 4992

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
OK so explain how exactly one rationalises and lives the ethics of Jesus as described in the gospels in the abstract. What does it even look like to live that ethic?

Just off the top of my head I can think of three important ways (cliche, I know, but I really can think of three at the moment) in which Jesus's ethics beat any others around at the time, and still have immense power today, when all our instincts tend to pull in the opposite direction to his teaching.

First, he removed any thought of behaving well so that you could receive a reward (in this life at any rate). Doing good in order to be seen doing good was replaced with the idea of doing good, full stop. Hence, do your alms in secret, etc.

Secondly, he completely blew apart so many of our "Yes but" responses to ethical teaching. We love to set limits and make exceptions. Jesus's teaching says we can't. Love your friends? - no, love your enemies. Do good to those who do you good? - no, do good to those who hate you. Give the stranger shelter unless she's a Syrian refugee? - no, give the stranger shelter, full stop. This "no exceptions" idea in ethical behaviour is huge.

Thirdly, is Jesus's teaching on hypocrisy, about which, you'll recall, he had fairly strong views. Before I can say that Jesus's moral teaching is for you, I must acknowledge that it is for me. I must remove the log from my eye before I can presume to remove the speck from yours. I cannot put a burden on you and not lift a finger to help you bear it. It's this element of the teaching that, arguably, give it its moral force: I cannot ask you to go further than I would go. I cannot ask you to sacrifice something I wouldn't sacrifice. I cannot ask you to bear a load I won't help you carry. I don't have to be good at practising these ethics, but I have to be trying to at least as hard as I would ask you to try.

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
OK so explain how exactly one rationalises and lives the ethics of Jesus as described in the gospels in the abstract. What does it even look like to live that ethic?

Exactly the same as it does to live it under any other philosophy. The actions are the same regardless of the underlying theology.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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