Why I will never be a Christian.....

by outbutnotdown 32 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Navigator
    Navigator

    The proper way to think of sin is Self-Imposed-Nonsense. The theological definition of sin is that which separates us from God. Since nothing can do that, there cannot be any such thing as sin. We are here on this planet to learn. If we don't wake up during this lifetime, we get to come back for the "slow learners" course. There are consequences for unloving and selfish behavior. Mostly we get to suffer those consequences during this lifetime, but there is always karma.

  • LittleToe
    LittleToe

    Brad:
    I take it that our reaping what we sow, in this life, is not in question?
    Is your main grievance with the concept of "Original Sin"?

    Navigator:
    Kindly explain how "Karma" (specifically paying in this life for negative things done in a previous life) differs greatly from "Original Sin" (specifically paying, or perhaps being expunged, for a negative thing done by an original forebearer).

  • Sirona
    Sirona

    LT

    I'd like to join in, if I may:

    Kindly explain how "Karma" (specifically paying in this life for negative things done in a previous life) differs greatly from "Original Sin" (specifically paying, or perhaps being expunged, for a negative thing done by an original forebearer).

    As I understand it, Karma is not a payment as such, rather it is the natural outcome of what we have done. As einstein said, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Karma is a reaction to our own actions, whether they be good or bad (good or bad used there loosely for the purpose of this discussion)

    Original Sin however is something that we were born with which is not directly related to us or what we have done. A little baby, according to original sin, needs a saviour. Karma puts responsibility on the individual, Original Sin takes an innocent and suggests that the redemption comes from an outside source and furthermore that redemption is required "no matter what you do". We are tarnished from birth and have to look to an outside source (Jesus) to sort it out for us.

    Sirona

  • LittleToe
    LittleToe

    Sirona:My rebuttal it to the idea that the "Sin" framework is nonsense.
    IMHO it has as much validity (as something to work to) as Karma.

    I think that we all agree (excepting maybe the existentialists) that we are all subject to generation, and a propensity to do things wrong occasionally

    Setting that as a basis, for a moment, which of the following concepts is "true":

    • self judgement, based on actions in this life
    • divine judgement on a single life
    • past lives and karmic debt
    • cosmic consciousness
    • overactive imagination

    My point is that we all take one framework or another and live our lives accordingly.
    As a "Christian" (which is very broad term) I live to the axioms of "love God passionately" and "love neighbour as myself" (which presumes self-love).
    I live with a "clean sheet" on a continual basis, but don't make that an excuse to go around hurting people and being a generally evil b*gger.

    I have no hereditary or past-life debt, according to my belief system, because it's all been legally pardoned by my "divine judge". As a sidebar, my belief system would also have it that after-the-fact I was then adopted into his family as a younger brother. I might reap what I sow, but I'll never be cast out of the family.

    This conversation does raise some interesting further questions as to "divinity in belief systems", though:

    • who regulates divine justice
    • who regulates karma
    • who regulates cosmic consciousness
    • who am I
  • Sirona
    Sirona

    LT

    I can see where you are coming from.

    Setting that as a basis, for a moment, which of the following concepts is "true":

    • self judgement, based on actions in this life
    • divine judgement on a single life
    • past lives and karmic debt
    • cosmic consciousness
    • overactive imagination

    The three I've bolded are perhaps three that I have considered now and then (LOL, I don't consider overactive imagination ) However, I don't 100% agree with any of them. Self judgement is OK, but that isn't Karma. Even if we didn't judge ourselves we'd still experience the backlash of our actions. Past lives...well who says we carry Karma from past lives? I'm not sure we do, in fact I tend to think that each life stands on its own karmically (sp? karmicly?) As for cosmic consciousness, well that is pretty vague...

    But overall I do get the point that we are all approaching this in our own way. You must admit though that there is a fundamental difference to believing in a natural reaction to an action, and believing that a God is required to redeem us (or even punish us for not accepting that offer)

    As for who regulates everything: how about noone, that is no one conscious entity?

    Sirona

  • Evesapple
    Evesapple

    My husband is reformed Jew, we are a part of the temple though I never converted, before meeting him, I was attending Unity church....though it is Christian based, it embraces all religeons and doesn't highlight negativity so prevelant in Christian churches today, their approach is summed up on their web-page which I visit often....

    http://www.unityonline.org/index.htm

    I just don't believe that their is a right way nor a wrong way in worshipping God....

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    Can one be a Jesusite (or however one could call it) instead of being a Christian?

    About being like children, there is also the logion:

    "The person old in days will not hesitate to ask a little child seven days old about the place of life, and that person will live" (Gospel of Thomas 4:1). Compare with Hippolytus (5.7.20) who also cites the Gospel of Thomas: "One who seeks will find me in children from seven years". Also there is:

    "Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his followers, 'These nursing babies are like those who enter the kingdom.' They said to him, 'Then we shall enter the kingdom as babies?' Jesus said to them, 'When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in plcae of an eye, a hand in place of a foot, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter the kingdom.' " (Gospel of Thomas 22:1-7)

    Some believe this saying refers to unity that derives from a dissolution of distinctions based on the flesh. Little children have no knowledge of such illusory distinctions and are one with the inner light, which they lose touch with when they grow up as they focus more and more on matter and flesh than the spirit. There is a similar saying in Galatians 3:27-28, tho Paul means something different.

  • LittleToe
    LittleToe

    Sirona:
    I'm glad we're on the same sheet with this.
    As you know, in many ways my ethos would be similar to the the Wiccan Rede "While it hurt none, do as thou wilt". My deity is triune (with the Holy Spirit likely taking the role of "the Goddess") with a propensity to favour "the Son" as first point of call.

    When you view it as a human living right here right now, in my mind it matters little where such "debt" has been accrued, as it still has to be dealt with in this life (that is if you want to improve your lot in the next).

    The difficulty I have with unregulated debt is a decent explanation of the mechaism. If it's accrued, where is it recorded? If it is recorded and it's not by someone, what are the mechanics of it being enforced? And so on...
    As you know, I'm not in any way demeaning it as a framework. I have my own, which suits my needs, but I continue to examine those of others.

    EvesA:
    What's the basic premise and doctrine of that denomination, please?

    Leo:
    Jesusite might work on some levels, but wouldn't take in the breadth of the usual "Christian" doctrine, involving the Father, etc.
    I understand that the Native American Indians call it "the Jesus Road", which sounds very similar to "the Way" that Luke reports in Acts.
    Jesusite would well describe some Christians, though

    There's much wisdom in youth, as evidenced in a recent thread that suggested they should rule instead of adults.
    I think you're right about the distinctions we come to make. We start to judge based on a few key facts, such as age or paper-based qualifications, rather than seeing these things as merely "indications".

  • Narkissos
    Narkissos

    About "becoming like children", another interesting parallel in GThomas is logion 37:

    His disciples said: "When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?"
    Jesus said: "When you undress (yourselves) without being ashamed [or: when you take off your shame] and take your clothes (and) put them under your feet like little children (and) trample on them, then you will see the son of the living, and you will not be afraid."

    About "making the two into one" in logion 22, which is a leitmotiv of GThomas and other Gnostic works, the best canonical verbal parallel is probably found in Ephesians 2:14: "he who made both one", ho poi├Ęsas ta amphotera hen, which in the context is reduced to the meaning "Jews and pagans" but obviously draws on a much more general aphorism.

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    The logion on trampling the garments of shame is a really fascinating one. It was also in the received tradition of the orthodox fathers and we find it alluded to by Cyril of Jerusalem and Augustine in their homilies and catechismal instruction on baptism. There appear to be two discourses behind it. One is the practice of baptism itself, which apparently involved (at least for some) physical nakedness (cf. Mark and especially Secret Mark). The physical nakedness of baptism is symbolic of "taking off the old person with its deeds" as Cyril noted (Mystagogical Catechesis 2.2), and trampling the garments as a prelude to baptism involved a childlike playful repudiation of the vices and fleshly encumberances that die during baptism. The nakedness is also emblematic of infancy and the childlike innocence of Adam and Eve before they received their "garments of shame," and the baptismal theme of rebirth is also of course characteristic of John. There is also the gnostic sense of taking off one's fleshly garments (cf. also 2 Enoch on those who ascend to heaven as removing their fleshly bodies, and Paul in 1 Corinthians refering to those in the resurrection "putting on incorruptibility" as if a garment). Thomas 21:1-11 also has a similar theme of Jesus' followers being like children "taking their clothes off".

Share this

Google+
Pinterest
Reddit