There were no gospel writers present at any time. It is extremely unlikely that a gospel writer even knew Jesus. Luke admits as much in the first four verses of his gospel; and Paul, the earliest NT writer, simply ignores Jesus’ life for a theological argument about his purpose.
Could you explain in a bit more detail what you mean here. In the last chapter of his gospel, he indicates that he is the one he has been refering to throughout the whole gospel as ‘the disciple Jesus loved’. Perhaps you have a different interpretation of this?
In this you are not that different from a person, who converts to Isalm and reads the Qur’an on a regular basis. I do not doubt your faith, I was once a Christian myself. In time I came to the realization that Reason was the true gift of God, not faith, and became a Deist.
Personal beliefs may be powerful but do not in themselves prove a truth.
I’m afraid I’m a bit ignorant as to what a deist is (I guess I’m in danger of getting flamed on a deist ng!), could you give me a brief explanation of your beliefs.
You believe you have a relationship with Jesus, not unlike a Hindu who believes he has a relationship with Siva. Remember I was once a christian, and now recognize that my faith blinded me where Jesus was concerned.
Sure, but I have to be true to my understanding and revelation – you can always counter your beliefs with ‘someone else believes something else’ – that goes for your belief system as well. There are people who believe Elvis is still alive, but that doesn’t stop me thinking he isn’t.
Most of these positive values comes from the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament has teachings, where Jesus, tells children to hate their parents, that he will divide and break up families, etc. People who think the NT have good values have not read it carefully enough.
I’m sure in your mind your last statement has an element of accuracy in it, but by making that sort of statement, you discredit your other arguments (which in some cases are challenging/interesting). I won’t bother quoting the endless number of scriptures about loving your neighbour, honouring parents, giving generously, being kind, compassionate etc. I am surprised that someone who seems to be quite intelligent could make such an absurd statement.
I think Jesus teaching was very accurate. If you look at history, families have been divided, brothers have put one another to death etc. because of their faith. You are putting the value of a persons relationship with their family as more important than their relationship with God. When Jesus said ‘Hate your mother and Father’ he clearly didn’t mean it in the literal sense that you interpret it in, as when he was being crucified, he looked down to his mother and asked John to look after her. Now that’s love. What he meant was that if there is a conflict in what God wants and what your parents want, then you have to choose Gods way. If you look at society, many of the strongest families are christian – so it seems that being christians strengthens the family. (I am not in any way implying that non- Christians or other religions can also not have this, but surely if the effect of Jesus was disunity in the family – christian families would be a mess. I have a very close relationship with both of my parents, whom I love very much, and also with my wife and child. Jesus loves the family)
Many strong christian marriages and families implies some superiority over non-religious or other-religious groups, or that christianity has it right and others do not. I was merely responding to Rev P’s point that Jesus’ intention was to break up families (see earlier post).
I was stating that surely if this was the case, christians the world over would not be trying to promote family and family values. They would surely see building a strong family as going against their Lord’s wishes. There are numerous christian based charities which promote and endeavour to strengthen the family (eg care for the Family, Rapport
etc). Many churches assist in marriage and family counselling.
I think you took my point further than I had intended – I just wanted to use the fact that, without reference to any other groups, if christians are for the family (which all the christians I have ever spoken to on the subject are) then surely Rev P’s interpretation that
Jesus wants families destroyed and parents hated cannot be valid.
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