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  • Lord, Liar, or Lunatic?

    ((If this is the wrong place for this thread, I apologize))

    I've been debating this for a very long time with myself, and seeing as I'm getting nowhere, I figured I'd ask everyone here. I grew up Roman Catholic, and I was taught that Christianity is the one true path to God because Jesus said he was the only Son of the one true God. I'm blanking on the exact verse right now, but in one of the gospels Jesus says "No one can come to the Father except through me". It was also taught to me that because he claimed to be the Son of God, Jesus could only have been either a Lord, liar, or lunatic - if he said he was the son of God and he wasn't, then Jesus was either a liar or mentally unstable. Since he clearly wasn't either of these, then he had to truely be God's son who rose from the dead.

    However, if this is true, then every other religion in the world then has to be false, which is something I can't accept. I've heard it explained that all religions hold some wisdom which Catholics can benefit from, but in the end the only true religion is Christianity. My problem with this line of thinking is that it either totally discards the heartfelt, authentic relationship others have with their respective deities, or assumes that all their worship really goes to Jesus though they might not know it (which sounds incredibly rude, but that's just me). This is probably my biggest issue with Christianity and my hardest one to personally resolve. I guess my question is, for those of you who left a Christian faith, how did you reconcile this issue of believing that Jesus is the one true God with your new spiritual path? Any insights would be very welcome...I'm pretty confused right now.

    And just to make sure, I'm not bashing Christianity/intending to offend anyone in any way.
    There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
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    "Tell me - is this real, or has it been happening inside my head?" "Of course it is inside your head, Harry, but why should that mean it's not real?" -Dumbledore

  • #2
    Disclaimer: I am not an expert in biblical hermeneutics, but as a student of religious studies I find textual analysis fascinating.

    I think it's important to keep in mind that Jesus might never have said anything that's been written down in the Bible, that is, if he ever existed in the first place.

    The problem with the "liar, lunatic, or lord" argument is that it only gives three options. As I said, he might never have existed, or, if he did exist, his words may have been distorted, and since what we know of him was written down after his death, the writers had plenty of time to distort the facts.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Lokabrenna View Post
      ... he might never have existed, or, if he did exist, his words may have been distorted, and since what we know of him was written down after his death, the writers had plenty of time to distort the facts.
      Excellent point, and just the one I was about to make. He may also not have intentionally lied, but was simply mistaken.
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      - THE HOMERIC HYMNS - XXVIII. TO ATHENA

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      • #4
        My personal view is that each God/Set of Gods created their own group of people. Christianity is the ONE TRUE religion for those who the Christian God created. I was created by the Kemetic Gods, so the statement that Christianity is the one true religion for those created by the Christian God is mute.

        I still have a relationship with the Christian God. He's kinda like an Uncle to me.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Silverwing View Post
          "No one can come to the Father except through me".
          Originally posted by Annyka View Post
          My personal view is that each God/Set of Gods created their own group of people. Christianity is the ONE TRUE religion for those who the Christian God created. I was created by the Kemetic Gods, so the statement that Christianity is the one true religion for those created by the Christian God is mute.

          I still have a relationship with the Christian God. He's kinda like an Uncle to me.
          Annyka, my thinking is on a similar line. If your ultimate goal is to get to Heaven, and God, then being Christian is logical. But, if you're like many of us, that may well not be your goal. I had someone ask me why I wasn't Christian, and my answer was simple. "I don't want, need, or have any desire, to go to Heaven." Granted, all other religions would be the wrong way to go about getting into that heaven/afterlife/whatever you want to call it, but that option at death isn't our only one.
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          • #6
            I agree that know-one knows exactly what Jesus said or didn't say. However, I think - please check - that Jesus NEVER said (in the Bible) that he was the "son of God". I know the verse you're thinking of, but there are other sayings, too, that seem to indicate that these words "I am the Resurection and the Life, no man comes to the Father except by me" may indicate the path (love of God,etc) rather than the person - after all, what was written has been translated so many times, it's hard to know what the original emphasis was when written, let alone when/if spoken!
            Personally, I think the historical man Jesus was just that - an person preaching a not-uncommon at that time message about spirituality and living. there is some debate about where he was during his late childhood/early adult hood. Bible tells us he spent time in Egypt as a baby - did he go back? Some of his reported words echo Buddhist teaching - did he find some of this on his travels?

            For me, he was a man, his words have been distorted, hi-jacked, misquoted etc. , but if some people find a message of hope & peace there, fine. There is therefore IMOH, no need to worry about "one true Path" - follow your intellect and your Heart!
            Blessings, Arianne.
            When all's said and done, there's a lot more said than done!

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            • #7
              Jesus is a son of a lord, aint we all :D
              This will be a good signature one day

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              • #8
                I was also raised Roman Catholic as well. My problems began when I became a good student and began to really research the actual writing and formulation of what is contained in the bible, and being modern day Catholic that means the King James version. When you come to realize that Jesus did not actually write one single word that is in that beautiful book, and that what is contained in it was written by men exclusively several hundred years later based on their respective interpretations of what he supposedly taught, it gets knocked down a few notches. Then when you put that together with the actual history of the Council of Micea and then Vatican II, put that together with the early rip-offs of the local pagan traditions, the ruthless evangelicalism, inquisition, crusades and other basically all out genocide that has been committed in the name of that bible,church and what it supposedly stands for, it gets knocked down a bunch of notches. We really do not even need to include the internal strife and corruption that has plagued Christianity since its inception. Then, when I became a good man, and traveled a good portion of our beautiful world, then became exposed to other "ways of life and worship" the entire " My way or no way" argument holds no merit whatsoever. I would dare say that if Jesus were here today the one comment he would make is " You missed the ****ing point!"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Arianne Weaver View Post
                  For me, he was a man, his words have been distorted, hi-jacked, misquoted etc. , but if some people find a message of hope & peace there, fine. There is therefore IMOH, no need to worry about "one true Path" - follow your intellect and your Heart!
                  Blessings, Arianne.
                  That's kinda where I am now. I'm taking a college religion class with one of my old high school friends, and it's teaching a historical perspective on Jesus that's WAY different than what we were taught at my Catholic high school. I agree with and believe a good deal of Jesus's teachings, but I think it's important to read them in the proper context of the time.
                  There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
                  - Douglas Adams

                  "Tell me - is this real, or has it been happening inside my head?" "Of course it is inside your head, Harry, but why should that mean it's not real?" -Dumbledore

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                  • #10
                    Since there is no proof at all that Jesus did actually exist, I have no problem.

                    Jesus was neither lunatic, liar or lord. He was nothing. If his existence cannot be independently verified by actual sources, the fact of the matter is that he cannot be counted as any more real than the Yeti or Nessie... or Santa Clause.

                    I know it's a generally unpopular view, but I stand by it. He's a decent mythological character, but that's what he remains.
                    The fact that even Pagans seem to consider him an actual historical figure is just the more chuckle worthy...
                    Previously known as Njorun Alma


                    "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw

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                    • #11
                      For some reason, Christianity seems to have this "all or nothing" clause. I don't know if it's simply the work of preachers over the past couple generations, or what. But I've heard things like this countless times.

                      They tell us that either you are a Christian, or you are no better than the worst person on the planet. Either you believe the whole Bible is true, or that it is all false. Jesus was either the Son of God, or a lunatic. It's all black and white, with no possibility for gray anywhere.

                      But I say they are wrong. Christianity is more than just a religion, it's our cultural heritage. It is a part of us whether we want it to be or not!

                      We don't have to fight it, believing that we must accept it fully or rid ourselves of it completely. That's just crazy! We need to just accept the parts we think are good, and spit out the bad.

                      At least, this is what makes the most sense to me.
                      Tobias



                      Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

                      -Dwight D Eisenhower

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Silverwing View Post
                        ((If this is the wrong place for this thread, I apologize))

                        I've been debating this for a very long time with myself, and seeing as I'm getting nowhere, I figured I'd ask everyone here. I grew up Roman Catholic, and I was taught that Christianity is the one true path to God because Jesus said he was the only Son of the one true God. I'm blanking on the exact verse right now, but in one of the gospels Jesus says "No one can come to the Father except through me". It was also taught to me that because he claimed to be the Son of God, Jesus could only have been either a Lord, liar, or lunatic - if he said he was the son of God and he wasn't, then Jesus was either a liar or mentally unstable. Since he clearly wasn't either of these, then he had to truely be God's son who rose from the dead.

                        However, if this is true, then every other religion in the world then has to be false, which is something I can't accept. I've heard it explained that all religions hold some wisdom which Catholics can benefit from, but in the end the only true religion is Christianity. My problem with this line of thinking is that it either totally discards the heartfelt, authentic relationship others have with their respective deities, or assumes that all their worship really goes to Jesus though they might not know it (which sounds incredibly rude, but that's just me). This is probably my biggest issue with Christianity and my hardest one to personally resolve. I guess my question is, for those of you who left a Christian faith, how did you reconcile this issue of believing that Jesus is the one true God with your new spiritual path? Any insights would be very welcome...I'm pretty confused right now.

                        And just to make sure, I'm not bashing Christianity/intending to offend anyone in any way.
                        The very question, "Lord, Liar, or Lunatic?" is a bogus question and a clumsy rhetorical trap that betrays a profound misunderstanding of the nature of enlightenment or God-Realization that seeks to trick the unaware into accepting the reality of Jesus as sole mediator between man and God. This kind of rhetorical trickery is why I loathe Christian apologetics. Mind games and rhetorical binds designed to bedazzle with bullshit.

                        The quotes (perhaps) spoken by Jesus in your post could have just as easily have been spoken by countless enlightened sages throughout history.

                        From the perspective of an enlightened individual, they and the Godhead are one. This is true of everyone and everything but those who are truly enlightened realize this. The illusion of seperation from Deity that you and I labor under is seen, by someone who has seen through the illusion, as the misperception that it is.

                        Therefore you have Jesus speaking as a Self-Realized man who self-identifies with Deity as his own true nature. He is speaking as God because he is God but so are you and so am I. There is nothing that Jesus said on this matter that isn't easily understood from the perspective of Jesus as an enlightened master for whom the illusion of the self being seperate from the Self has dissolved.

                        Let your friend chew on that awhile.


                        )o( Blessed Be,

                        Sundragon
                        Last edited by Sundragon; December 3rd, 2010, 01:37 PM.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sundragon View Post
                          The very question, "Lord, Liar, or Lunatic?" is a bogus question and a clumsy rhetorical trap that betrays a profound misunderstanding of the nature of enlightenment or God-Realization that seeks to trick the unaware into accepting the reality of Jesus as sole mediator between man and God. This kind of rhetorical trickery is why I loathe Christian apologetics. Mind games and rhetorical binds designed to bedazzle with bullshit.

                          The quotes (perhaps) spoken by Jesus in your post could have just as easily have been spoken by countless enlightened sages throughout history.

                          From the perspective of an enlightened individual, they and the Godhead are one. This is true of everyone and everything but those who are truly enlightened realize this. The illusion of seperation from Deity that you and I labor under is seen, by someone who has seen through the illusion, as the misperception that it is.

                          Therefore you have Jesus speaking as a Self-Realized man who self-identifies with Deity as his own true nature. He is speaking as God because he is God but so are you and so am I. There is nothing that Jesus said on this matter that isn't easily understood from the perspective of Jesus as an enlightened master for whom the illusion of the self being seperate from the Self has dissolved.

                          Let your friend chew on that awhile.


                          )o( Blessed Be,

                          Sundragon


                          See what I mean? Nobody owns the rights to "Jesus". We all make him out to be whatever makes sense to us. Which is only reasonable with any public icon.

                          I could just as easily take an Angelic Otherkin approach, and say that Jesus led the way for many angels to want to incarnate as humans. And furthermore, that incarnation was the key to Jesus accomplishing apotheosis (becoming a god); and that this is the natural evolution for angelic beings. "Follow Jesus, become a god!" <just an example>

                          Christianity is in the public domain. It is ours to use as we wish! It has consistently changed over the centuries, so I see no honor in maintaining the fundamental beliefs that were valid in the 1940's. We don't have to dig in our heels and make sure nothing changes during the current Renaissance and spiritual awakening. If we were to do so, which time period, and which denomination's doctrines, are we to pick as "authentic" Christianity?

                          My spiritual foundation is Christian. I do not pretend otherwise. I may have to borrow from here and there to supplement in areas where other Christians have feared to tread, but at it's core my faith is Christian. I have the integrity to give credit where credit is due, yet also the freedom to explore beyond the walls built by others. And, common sense enough not to feel the need to rip out every foundation block I have that is stamped with a Christian symbol!
                          Tobias



                          Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

                          -Dwight D Eisenhower

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Arianne Weaver View Post
                            I agree that know-one knows exactly what Jesus said or didn't say. However, I think - please check - that Jesus NEVER said (in the Bible) that he was the "son of God". I know the verse you're thinking of, but there are other sayings, too, that seem to indicate that these words "I am the Resurection and the Life, no man comes to the Father except by me" may indicate the path (love of God,etc) rather than the person - after all, what was written has been translated so many times, it's hard to know what the original emphasis was when written, let alone when/if spoken!
                            Personally, I think the historical man Jesus was just that - an person preaching a not-uncommon at that time message about spirituality and living. there is some debate about where he was during his late childhood/early adult hood. Bible tells us he spent time in Egypt as a baby - did he go back? Some of his reported words echo Buddhist teaching - did he find some of this on his travels?
                            .
                            Jesus actually did say he was the Son of God & as God identified him as his son,several times:
                            "Christ" is the New Testament word for the Messiah, the anointed ruler of God's people as predicted in the Old Testament. "Son of God" refers to Jesus' special relationship to the Father - a unique position no one else has - the only begotten Son (John 3:16).
                            Matthew 3:17 - At Jesus' baptism, the Father spoke from heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
                            Matthew 16:13-18 - Peter confessed Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Jesus said that the Father Himself had revealed this to Peter, but He rejected as inadequate the claims that He was just a prophet. [John 6:69]
                            Matthew 17:5 - At the Transfiguration the Father again spoke from heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." This is why we should listen to Him.
                            John 4:25,26 - Jesus acknowledged to the Samaritan woman that He was the Messiah (Christ).
                            John 9:35-37 - He told a blind man He had healed that He was the Son of God.
                            Matthew 26:63-66 - During His trial in the presence of His enemies, Jesus acknowledged that He was the Christ, the Son of God.
                            In addition, He allowed various other disciples to make such claims for Him (John 11:27; Matt. 14:33; John 1:29,34,49).
                            Did any other true prophet ever make such claims? Did God ever give approval to any other man to make such claims? John the Baptist expressly denied such claims for himself (John 1:19-22; 3:28).



                            The whole reason for persecution was b/c he dared to make such "outrageous" claims. As for believing them or not, well, thats an individual choice.

                            Theres also the whole "bible is the Word of God b/c god would not let the bible be written falsely in his name" argument. As well as

                            Jesus is mentioned in the bible as well as the Quran and is even a man recognized and written about by other religions as a prophet or teacher. That alone can verify (to me anyway) that he lived.

                            So, Lord, Liar , or Lunatic it is...


                            Im in the middle of a religious class. LOL.
                            Last edited by EavanStar; December 3rd, 2010, 02:28 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sundragon View Post
                              Therefore you have Jesus speaking as a Self-Realized man who self-identifies with Deity as his own true nature. He is speaking as God because he is God but so are you and so am I. There is nothing that Jesus said on this matter that isn't easily understood from the perspective of Jesus as an enlightened master for whom the illusion of the self being seperate from the Self has dissolved.
                              I really like this. My class has been emphasizing the idea that Jesus was more of a political commentator than anything else. The Roman Jewish scholar Flavius Josephus wrote about Jesus as an historical figure, which personally confirms for me that he did exist, but was more concerned with liberating the common people from Roman government and taxation. Yes, he preached about the Kingdom of God, but he meant it in a political context (or at least, that's what I've learned in this class so far). So with that said, do you think it's a valid claim that Christianity as a religion is more based on the writings of St. Paul and his interpretation of what Jesus stood for?
                              There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
                              - Douglas Adams

                              "Tell me - is this real, or has it been happening inside my head?" "Of course it is inside your head, Harry, but why should that mean it's not real?" -Dumbledore

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