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  #21  
Old June 28th, 2013, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by walruskkkch View Post
Sorry but the issue is not separate, it is the very core of the issue. But if you want to simplify the answer, there is no contradiction between Jesus words and Atonement, both can exist as truths simultaneously. Hence the question of belief. CHrisitians have been killing each other for centuries over these semantic arguments and in the end they will never be satisfactorily reconciled. It all comes down to belief and what you want to believe.
You're a real ray of sunshine!

You're essentially saying that the truth concerning these matters is not discoverable, and any argument over them is bound to end in bloodshed. Would you have said the same thing to Aztecs who were debating over the practice of human sacrifice?
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  #22  
Old June 28th, 2013, 12:24 PM
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Since I am an agnostic, how can I argue otherwise? [ed. The inevitable bloodshed is arguable.]

Now comparative religions is a more interesting area for argument.
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  #23  
Old June 28th, 2013, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Amadon View Post
Some of you may be familiar with the teaching that "Jesus died for our sins". Yet the teachings of Jesus, even as recorded in the Bible, are contrary to this doctrine. The choice for Christians is clear: follow the teachings of Jesus, or follow the teachings of the men who espouse the atonement doctrine.

I tried to post the entire text of this article, but the server couldn't handle it. Please follow this link if you are interested:

http://urantia-book.org/archive/readers/atonement.html
Good thread.

The problem with Shanbour's hermeneutics is that he confounds the secondary moral and spiritual teachings of Christ that pertain to the believer's everyday life with the foundational terms of reconciliation between God and mankind.

From the time of the Fall on, it's clear that the blood atonement of sacrificial death and rebirth is the only acceptable course of reconciliation between a perfect and holy God and the repentant soul. Compelled by love, it's the only reason that Christ took on human flesh: to confront and take on sin and death and overthrow them once and for all as only the sinless, holy Lamb of God could. The rest of Jesus' three-year ministry was sheer prelude, wherein He left His testimony regarding the teachings and, more importantly, the example, that the redeemed are to follow as He demonstrated His power and authority over the elements of creation and over sickness and death via His miracles, with the greatest of them all being His resurrection and ascension before a multitude of witnesses. Hence, Christ's sacrificial death in our stead is the last and final blood atonement for all time and for all mankind.

In the meantime, Shanbour simply disregards the many and unmistakable pronouncements made by Christ Himself regarding the nature and the purpose of His death.

For example:
For this is my blood of the new testament [or covenant], which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Matthew 26: 28).
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As foretold by Isaiah, the essence of the coming Messiah’s mission is clear:
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
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  #24  
Old June 28th, 2013, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Rawlings View Post
Good thread.

The problem with Shanbour's hermeneutics is that he confounds the secondary moral and spiritual teachings of Christ that pertain to the believer's everyday life with the foundational terms of reconciliation between God and mankind.

From the time of the Fall on, it's clear that the blood atonement of sacrificial death and rebirth is the only acceptable course of reconciliation between a perfect and holy God and the repentant soul. Compelled by love, it's the only reason that Christ took on human flesh: to confront and take on sin and death and overthrow them once and for all as only the sinless, holy Lamb of God could. The rest of Jesus' three-year ministry was sheer prelude, wherein He left His testimony regarding the teachings and, more importantly, the example, that the redeemed are to follow as He demonstrated His power and authority over the elements of creation and over sickness and death via His miracles, with the greatest of them all being His resurrection and ascension before a multitude of witnesses. Hence, Christ's sacrificial death in our stead is the last and final blood atonement for all time and for all mankind.

In the meantime, Shanbour simply disregards the many and unmistakable pronouncements made by Christ Himself regarding the nature and the purpose of His death.

For example:
For this is my blood of the new testament [or covenant], which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Matthew 26: 28).
Did you miss this part:
http://urantia-book.org/archive/read...nement.html#p7

I know it's long, but it's very thorough.


Quote:
_________________________________________________


As foretold by Isaiah, the essence of the coming Messiah’s mission is clear:
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Those aren't the words of Jesus...
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  #25  
Old June 28th, 2013, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Amadon View Post
I read it. His doctrine's all wrong. Among other things he argues:
"Some say the 'ransom' is to pay the Devil who will then release mankind from his evil clutches inherited from the "fall of Adam" (fall of man).(26) Even this assertion is not plausible for that would presume that God owes the Devil a debt. This cannot be, because Good is always greater than evil and owes evil nothing."
The first sentence gives it away: it's not God's debt; it's ours. The blood atonement of sacrificial death is not premised on God's debt; neither the prophets nor the disciples, let alone Christ, argue the implausible.

Quote:
Those aren't the words of Jesus...
Oh, but they are the words of Jesus, i.e., the pre-incarnate Christ, the living Word of God.

But in any event, how is it that Shanbour's hermeneutics should carry more weight than the testimony of the prophets and the disciples who unmistakably declare Christ's sacrifice to be for the remission of sins?

What precisely does it mean, according to Shanbour, to believe on Christ unto salvation? I can't seem to get a handle on that.
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  #26  
Old June 28th, 2013, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Rawlings View Post
I read it.
I'm sure you can understand why I got the impression that you didn't read it, since you criticized Shanbour for ignoring Matthew 26:26-28, when in fact he didn't. But perhaps when you said he "disregards" it, you meant something other than "ignore"?

Quote:
His doctrine's all wrong. Among other things he argues:
"Some say the 'ransom' is to pay the Devil who will then release mankind from his evil clutches inherited from the "fall of Adam" (fall of man).(26) Even this assertion is not plausible for that would presume that God owes the Devil a debt. This cannot be, because Good is always greater than evil and owes evil nothing."
The first sentence gives it away: it's not God's debt; it's ours. The blood atonement of sacrificial death is not premised on God's debt; neither the prophets nor the disciples, let alone Christ, argue the implausible.
There are several different flavors of the atonement doctrine. I don't think it's fair to criticize Shanbour for summarizing one of them, especially when he starts with "Some say". He's talking about what "some" other people say, not necessarily what he says, or even what the bulk of Christians say.

Quote:
Oh, but they are the words of Jesus, i.e., the pre-incarnate Christ, the living Word of God.
That's a new interpretation for me...can you elaborate?

Quote:
But in any event, how is it that Shanbour's hermeneutics should carry more weight than the testimony of the prophets and the disciples who unmistakably declare Christ's sacrifice to be for the remission of sins?
It's not about Shanbour's interpretation. I think it goes beyond interpretation. He's just the messenger. There is a clear contradiction between what Jesus said is necessary for salvation, and what the atonement doctrine says. It doesn't get much clearer than this:

NIV Luke 10:25-28

25. On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

26. "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

27. He answered: "`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' ; and, `Love your neighbor as yourself.' "

28. "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."



Quote:
What precisely does it mean, according to Shanbour, to believe on Christ unto salvation? I can't seem to get a handle on that.
Well, since Jesus came to reveal God's love to mankind, he brought us closer to the Father with a material demonstration of his love and mercy. If you click this link and scroll down to "Meaning of the Death on the Cross", you'll get a better idea of where Shanbour is coming from:

Paper 188 - The Time of the Tomb | Urantia Book | Urantia Foundation
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  #27  
Old June 28th, 2013, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Amadon View Post
I'm sure you can understand why I got the impression that you didn't read it, since you criticized Shanbour for ignoring Matthew 26:26-28, when in fact he didn't. But perhaps when you said he "disregards" it, you meant something other than "ignore"?



There are several different flavors of the atonement doctrine. I don't think it's fair to criticize Shanbour for summarizing one of them, especially when he starts with "Some say". He's talking about what "some" other people say, not necessarily what he says, or even what the bulk of Christians say.



That's a new interpretation for me...can you elaborate?



It's not about Shanbour's interpretation. I think it goes beyond interpretation. He's just the messenger. There is a clear contradiction between what Jesus said is necessary for salvation, and what the atonement doctrine says. It doesn't get much clearer than this:

NIV Luke 10:25-28

25. On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

26. "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

27. He answered: "`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' ; and, `Love your neighbor as yourself.' "

28. "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."





Well, since Jesus came to reveal God's love to mankind, he brought us closer to the Father with a material demonstration of his love and mercy. If you click this link and scroll down to "Meaning of the Death on the Cross", you'll get a better idea of where Shanbour is coming from:

Paper 188 - The Time of the Tomb | Urantia Book | Urantia Foundation
Ah! Good eye. I missed "some say" and "disregard" was indeed a poor choice of words. Thanks, Amadon. I stand improved.
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Old June 29th, 2013, 02:31 PM
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Okay. Yesterday I didn't have time to carefully reread Shanbour's observations in the light of your admonition regarding the phrase "Some say".

We've still got a serious problem of inconsistency here.

Observe. . . .

Shanbour states:
Some say the "ransom" is to pay the Devil who will then release mankind from his evil clutches inherited from the "fall of Adam" (fall of man).(26) Even this assertion is not plausible for that would presume that God owes the Devil a debt. This cannot be, because Good is always greater than evil and owes evil nothing.
Again, the first sentence gives it away: it's not God's debt; it's ours. The blood atonement of sacrificial death is not premised on God's debt; neither the prophets nor the disciples, let alone Christ, argue the implausible.

Hence, what some may or may not say is irrelevant. Whether it's Shanbour's misunderstanding or someone else's, bad doctrine is bad doctrine. The notion that the blood atonement of sacrificial death (which Christ clearly declares to be for the remission of sin, contrary to what Shanbour is claiming with regard to the larger and ultimate issue here) is premised on God's debt is utterly false, untenable, a red herring.

The Bible teaches that it's our debt, not God's. The prophets, the disciples and Christ Himself make it abundantly clear that the Messiah's sacrificial death was not obligatory. God owed neither man nor Satan anything whatsoever. Compelled by His immeasurable love for us and by nothing else, God "gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

God paid our debt so that He could justifiably redeem us back from the one to whom we had sold ourselves, namely, Satan.

Quote:
He's talking about what "some" other people say, not necessarily what he says, or even what the bulk of Christians say.
Precisely! The only thing that matters here is what the Bible says. And the Bible doesn't say what "some say" and neither do the bulk of those who claim to be Christians.

Shanbour is refuted. The implausible notion that God would be a debtor to anyone is a trivial distraction. Christ's words stand in defiance of Shanbour's ultimate claim:
For this is my blood of the new testament [or covenant], which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Matthew 26: 28).
Orthodox Christianity 101.


Don't lose that thought. Hold onto to it. I'll come back to it momentarily.


I wrote:
But in any event, how is it that Shanbour's hermeneutics should carry more weight than the testimony of the prophets and the disciples who unmistakably declare Christ's sacrifice to be for the remission of sins?
(In other words, what of the fact that the teachings of the prophets in the Old Testament and the disciples in Acts, the epistles and Revelation conform to Christ's declaration, while Shanbour's teaching doesn't?)

You answered:

Quote:
It's not about Shanbour's interpretation. I think it goes beyond interpretation. He's just the messenger. There is a clear contradiction between what Jesus said is necessary for salvation, and what the atonement doctrine says. It doesn't get much clearer than this:

NIV Luke 10:25-28

25. On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

26. "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

27. He answered: "`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' ; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "

28. "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
Actually, what we have here is a wholesale contradiction between the Jesus of the Golden Rule and the prophets, the disciples and the Jesus of the remission of sins . . . that is to say, according to Shanbour's interpretation, though Shanbour, as I've shown, never satisfactorily or coherently explains why he rejects Jesus' teaching in Matthew.

To love God is to believe what He says and to obey Him (John 1:1-3, Matthew 26:28, I John 5:3).

Of course, the only real contradiction we have here is the one between what some say, those who would impose the recent teachings of the Urantia Book/Foundation on the centuries-old teachings of the Bible and thereby confound the secondary moral and spiritual teachings of Christ that pertain to the genuine believer's everyday life with the foundational terms of reconciliation between God and mankind, which provide for the genuine believer's new everyday life in Christ Jesus in the first place.

Quote:
That's a new interpretation for me...can you elaborate?
Jesus is God Almighty incarnate, the Second Person of the only true God. Orthodox Christianity 101.

I'm sorry, but even after reading "Meaning of the Death on the Cross", I still don't understand precisely (1) what it means to believe on Christ Jesus unto salvation or, for that matter, (2) what the point of the crucifixion is according to the teachings of the Uranthia Book/Foundation. All I got out of that is what it supposedly doesn't mean to believe on Christ Jesus unto salvation and what the crucifixion supposedly doesn't mean.

Could you briefly explain these matters to me?
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Last edited by Rawlings; June 29th, 2013 at 02:43 PM.
  #29  
Old June 30th, 2013, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Rawlings View Post
Okay. Yesterday I didn't have time to carefully reread Shanbour's observations in the light of your admonition regarding the phrase "Some say".

We've still got a serious problem of inconsistency here.

Observe. . . .

Shanbour states:
Some say the "ransom" is to pay the Devil who will then release mankind from his evil clutches inherited from the "fall of Adam" (fall of man).(26) Even this assertion is not plausible for that would presume that God owes the Devil a debt. This cannot be, because Good is always greater than evil and owes evil nothing.
Again, the first sentence gives it away: it's not God's debt; it's ours. The blood atonement of sacrificial death is not premised on God's debt; neither the prophets nor the disciples, let alone Christ, argue the implausible.

Hence, what some may or may not say is irrelevant. Whether it's Shanbour's misunderstanding or someone else's, bad doctrine is bad doctrine. The notion that the blood atonement of sacrificial death (which Christ clearly declares to be for the remission of sin, contrary to what Shanbour is claiming with regard to the larger and ultimate issue here) is premised on God's debt is utterly false, untenable, a red herring.

The Bible teaches that it's our debt, not God's. The prophets, the disciples and Christ Himself make it abundantly clear that the Messiah's sacrificial death was not obligatory. God owed neither man nor Satan anything whatsoever. Compelled by His immeasurable love for us and by nothing else, God "gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

God paid our debt so that He could justifiably redeem us back from the one to whom we had sold ourselves, namely, Satan.



Precisely! The only thing that matters here is what the Bible says. And the Bible doesn't say what "some say" and neither do the bulk of those who claim to be Christians.

Shanbour is refuted. The implausible notion that God would be a debtor to anyone is a trivial distraction.
Can you honestly say that you've read and carefully considered Shanbour's article in its entirety? I understand that it's long, and that you may not have had time to complete it. It appears that you haven't, since you are focusing of Shanbour's brief mention of the "Christus Victor" theory of atonement as if his whole argument hinges on it.

Quote:
Christ's words stand in defiance of Shanbour's ultimate claim:
For this is my blood of the new testament [or covenant], which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Matthew 26: 28).

It's a specific interpretation of Christ's words that stand in defiance of Shanbour's argument. Matthew 26:28 can easily be interpreted in terms of symbolism. Jesus was completely committed to doing the will of the Father, which included allowing the events of his death to unfold naturally. Ever since our world has had this example, and the example of Jesus' life, there has been a "remission" of sins. In other words, sin on this world has gone into remission because of the light that Jesus's life has shone.

Quote:
Actually, what we have here is a wholesale contradiction between the Jesus of the Golden Rule and the prophets, the disciples and the Jesus of the remission of sins . . . that is to say, according to Shanbour's interpretation, though Shanbour, as I've shown, never satisfactorily or coherently explains why he rejects Jesus' teaching in Matthew.
What he rejects is Christianity's interpretation of Jesus' words in Matthew, which creates the contradiction. The interpretation that the death on the cross was a revelation of supreme devotion to the doing of the Father's will eliminates the contradiction.

Quote:
To love God is to believe what He says and to obey Him (John 1:1-3, Matthew 26:28, I John 5:3).

Of course, the only real contradiction we have here is the one between what some say, those who would impose the recent teachings of the Urantia Book/Foundation on the centuries-old teachings of the Bible and thereby confound the secondary moral and spiritual teachings of Christ that pertain to the genuine believer's everyday life with the foundational terms of reconciliation between God and mankind, which provide for the genuine believer's new everyday life in Christ Jesus in the first place.
Mankind's concept of God is constantly evolving, and is periodically upstepped by revelation. Jesus' life and teachings constitute a revelation. They should not be considered as secondary! Look at the history of Christianity - the doctrines of atonement were formulated by men! To place them ahead of the teachings of Jesus is a grave mistake!

Quote:
Jesus is God Almighty incarnate, the Second Person of the only true God. Orthodox Christianity 101.
Thanks - now I understand what you meant. Your "Orthodox Christianity 101" comments seem patronizing. I can assure you that I am more than familiar with the doctrines of Christianity. I was raised in a Christian church that studied the Bible deeply.

Quote:
I'm sorry, but even after reading "Meaning of the Death on the Cross", I still don't understand precisely (1) what it means to believe on Christ Jesus unto salvation or, for that matter, (2) what the point of the crucifixion is according to the teachings of the Uranthia Book/Foundation. All I got out of that is what it supposedly doesn't mean to believe on Christ Jesus unto salvation and what the crucifixion supposedly doesn't mean.

Could you briefly explain these matters to me?
I hope my explanations above have made things more clear. Reading the rest of Paper 188 would probably help as well.

These explanations also tie into the concept of religious evolution, as discussed in papers 92 and 101:

Paper 92 - The Later Evolution of Religion | Urantia Book | Urantia Foundation

Paper 101 - The Real Nature of Religion | Urantia Book | Urantia Foundation
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Last edited by Amadon; June 30th, 2013 at 10:11 AM.
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Old June 30th, 2013, 04:25 PM
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Christian orthodoxy 101 was not intended to be patronizing at all, merely an allusion to the fact that (1) the doctrine of atonement for the remission of sins and (2) the doctrine of Christ's divinity are theologically and historically well-established. Truly. There was nothing hurtful or petty in my heart. I couldn't possibly know anything about the extent of your religious training, what you do or don't know about the historical teachings of Christian orthodoxy.

Notwithstanding, I think it necessary to lean into this a bit harder given the fact that the notion that the prophets, the disciples and Jesus—that the Bible!—do not teach the blood atonement unto death for the remission of sins is false. I'm sorry if that offends you, but there's too much at stake: the difference between the truth and the lie is the difference between eternal life in Christ Jesus and eternal damnation.

And, yes, I know that according to the teachings of the religion of the Uranthia Book/Foundation that my understanding is unenlightened, afflicted by false consciousness. Have it your way. But make no mistake about it, while I didn't read the entire piece, I read more than enough to know that I'm dealing with a religion that's something akin to Mormonism, and virtually everything I did read is false, i.e., with regard to what the Bible supposedly teaches.

And how do I know this? I know this as one who’s steeped in the teachings of the Bible from cover-to-cover, as one who’s steeped in the history, the doctrine and the theology of the Bible, and as one who’s steeped in the history, the doctrine and the theology of the Church.

Bearing in mind that we still don't have a coherent explanation for Shanbour's trivial distraction regarding who the actual debtor is in the exchange of the blood atonement unto death for the remission of sins, you write that what Shanbour "rejects is Christianity's interpretation of Jesus' words in Matthew, which creates the contradiction."

What contradiction?

The only contradiction here is between the Bible and the religion of the Uranthia Book/Foundation.

Fact.

Jesus' declaration regarding the shedding of His blood for the remission of sins in Matthew and elsewhere, by the way, is perfectly consistent with the teaching of the prophets throughout the Old Testament and that of the Apostles in Acts, Revelation and the epistles.

But what you mean to imply or assert is a contradiction between Christianity and Jesus.

*crickets chirping*

Apparently, Christianity's interpretation is man's teaching.

*crickets chirping*

Apparently, man's teaching is that of the prophets and the Apostles whose teachings in the Old and New Testament are not, allegedly, the same as those of Christ in the Gospels.

*crickets chirping*

The simple truth is this: Prufrock's Cave
__________________


Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains on their own appetites. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there is without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters. —Edmund Burke

Last edited by Rawlings; June 30th, 2013 at 04:40 PM.
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