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What makes Jesus so special? - Page 5

post #81 of 187
Jesus offered salvation, hope, peace, and eternal life....I suppose enough people actually were "filled" with these things and "satisfied" with their relationship with Christ that something clicked and people followed. (and died for Christ). Can't argue with having an indwelling of the Holy Spirit, God Himself. Who wouldn't want that? Something has to be real about it.

THose who have found a true personal relationship with this man, who called himself God... then speak about it....that is the difference why Jesus is special.

What I always wondered is why the very name of Jesus causes such a stir with everyone. People swear, curse, sneer, at the name of Jesus...why? Why not other prophets? Whats the "real power" behind His name? There is something powerfully different about the man Jesus. People pick up on that. I think it might have something to do with TRUTH. Just my opinion though.
post #82 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anuska View Post
What I always wondered is why the very name of Jesus causes such a stir with everyone. People swear, curse, sneer, at the name of Jesus...why? Why not other prophets? Whats the "real power" behind His name? There is something powerfully different about the man Jesus. People pick up on that. I think it might have something to do with TRUTH. Just my opinion though.
I think it has far more to do with people's experience with some Christians and with the teachings of some Christian churches than it has to do with their experience with Jesus. I think it's the kind of sentiment that Ghandi was getting at with this quote.
I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
post #83 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

you know i have heard this so many times... and I get it. I do.

but on the other hand it's just an incredible rudeness. Incredible. I can't imagine saying "I like your Hashem but I don't like your Jews" or "I like your Muhammad but I don't like your muslims" or so forth...

if said by the right person at the right time, sure I could buy it. but it's been repeated a BILLION times by so many people who think it such a clever thing to say. as if it's ok to hate Christians b/c they are nothing like Christ.. well it's kinda lost it's value to me. it's just another rude snide remark towards my religion. and it hurts just as much as any others.

not all Jews are rich, not all Muslims hate white people, and not all Christians burn people at the stake who don't accept Jesus. People just cling to the nasty stories about religious people and dump all the rest. most of us religious peoples are normal average people who generally love and respect one another.

it's a bigoted prejudiced remark.... so forgive me if I'm not impressed.
post #84 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anuska View Post
What I always wondered is why the very name of Jesus causes such a stir with everyone. People swear, curse, sneer, at the name of Jesus...why? Why not other prophets?
Where people's primary exposure to religious figures comes in the form of the veneration of the Christian rendering of Jesus, and people's primary ability to have a negative exposure to and/or relationship with a religion comes in the context of an almost exclusive exposure to Christianity ... who else will they sneer at?

A Somalian person, Bhutanese, Algerian, Mongolian, or whatever, who is expressing a similar feeling with regard to a religious figure, is probably not going to think of Jesus first.
post #85 of 187
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HennyPenny View Post
you know i have heard this so many times... and I get it. I do.

but on the other hand it's just an incredible rudeness. Incredible. I can't imagine saying "I like your Hashem but I don't like your Jews" or "I like your Muhammad but I don't like your muslims" or so forth...

if said by the right person at the right time, sure I could buy it. but it's been repeated a BILLION times by so many people who think it such a clever thing to say. as if it's ok to hate Christians b/c they are nothing like Christ.. well it's kinda lost it's value to me. it's just another rude snide remark towards my religion. and it hurts just as much as any others.

not all Jews are rich, not all Muslims hate white people, and not all Christians burn people at the stake who don't accept Jesus. People just cling to the nasty stories about religious people and dump all the rest. most of us religious peoples are normal average people who generally love and respect one another.

it's a bigoted prejudiced remark.... so forgive me if I'm not impressed.
I think if it's a comment made blithely then yeah, it's rude. But it's one of the comments that actually made me THINK when I *was* a Christian, and it really gave me pause about the hypocrisy of these multimilliondollar mega churches and their so called mission programs that are more about bringing in more money than actually helping people survive THIS world. So, my hope is if someone sees this on the back of a car, maybe it'll make them think just a bit about the same concept. That SO many Christians just.....aren't. I realize you're different HP, I really do in my heart believe that, but there just don't seem to be many of you out in the world, at least where I've lived. You, my dear, are the minority it seems.
post #86 of 187
Theoretica,

oh my don't get thinking I think myself something grand, please! but you know, the mega church crud you describe... that isn't Christianity. it's what is popular... but it isn't religious christianity. it's christian-ese. It's christian-like. it's pop-Christian.

(I'm terribly sorry if this is a huge rude thing i am saying ot any mega-churches... forgive me for being blunt, and feel free to disagree with me)

It's not that take issue with bigger churches... or church buildings. or anything like that. but the stuff sold at the mega churches is "easy believism". it's just something to spoon feed people to make them feel good. It's common for "missions" to just be like rich people's "fund raisers". it's people giving money to a cause they know little about so that other people can do all the work. it's pathetic and speaks little of what Christ was about. it's hypocritical!

and yeah, I don't relate to that. and not i'm saying you can't go to a big church and be a Christian either. but the "big church" mentality is a lot like the "walmart" mentality - box it up quick and cheap and people will buy it. it's not about quality - it's about quantity sold.

and that... well that isn't what Christ was about. and maybe I can't speak for Christ completely. I don't know it all... I admit that fully. but what Bible are Christians reading to get the mega church idea?

so I guess what I'm aiming to say is this - there are a lot of real Christians out there. not trying to sell you candy bar religion, and NOT trying to terrorize you into believing in God or going to hell (etc). But maybe they don't get noticed so much... maybe they are quiet. maybe they are just the person that smiles are you at the store. maybe they are busying living their lives in the way they feel god intended. or.... maybe they are off on REAL missions working their butts off with no credit.

I hate to see all of Christianity thrown into two common labels of "crazy witch hunting proselytizers" or "mega church phonies"...

sorry I guess that is a but OT... but who are we kidding here... how can this topic stay... on topic? hah
post #87 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by HennyPenny View Post
you know i have heard this so many times... and I get it. I do.

but on the other hand it's just an incredible rudeness. Incredible. I can't imagine saying "I like your Hashem but I don't like your Jews" or "I like your Muhammad but I don't like your muslims" or so forth...

if said by the right person at the right time, sure I could buy it. but it's been repeated a BILLION times by so many people who think it such a clever thing to say. as if it's ok to hate Christians b/c they are nothing like Christ.. well it's kinda lost it's value to me. it's just another rude snide remark towards my religion. and it hurts just as much as any others.

not all Jews are rich, not all Muslims hate white people, and not all Christians burn people at the stake who don't accept Jesus. People just cling to the nasty stories about religious people and dump all the rest. most of us religious peoples are normal average people who generally love and respect one another.

it's a bigoted prejudiced remark.... so forgive me if I'm not impressed.
I'm sorry you feel hurt - that wasn't my intention, which was to answer why the name of Jesus cause a stir. I do think that sentiment encompasses the feelings many non-christians experience when confronted with Christianity. And frankly it's not without basis. With things like the Pope's recent comments abour Africa, the Prop 8 campaign in California and numerous horrendous comments I have heard and my children have heard personally all spouted in the name of Christianity/Jesus, I get the sentiment. I don't hate Christians but I admit a skepticism about those who follow the religion that professes love and yet my personal experience is that so many act hatefully and cite their religion as the justification. I don't think that Christianity is often a true reflection of the message of Jesus Christ and it is often (not rarely but often imo) used as a political or personal hammer, a platform for judgement or exclusion and not a force for good.
post #88 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by HennyPenny View Post
It's not that take issue with bigger churches... or church buildings. or anything like that. but the stuff sold at the mega churches is "easy believism". it's just something to spoon feed people to make them feel good. It's common for "missions" to just be like rich people's "fund raisers". it's people giving money to a cause they know little about so that other people can do all the work. it's pathetic and speaks little of what Christ was about. it's hypocritical!

and yeah, I don't relate to that. and not i'm saying you can't go to a big church and be a Christian either. but the "big church" mentality is a lot like the "walmart" mentality - box it up quick and cheap and people will buy it. it's not about quality - it's about quantity sold.

and that... well that isn't what Christ was about. and maybe I can't speak for Christ completely. I don't know it all... I admit that fully. but what Bible are Christians reading to get the mega church idea?

so I guess what I'm aiming to say is this - there are a lot of real Christians out there. not trying to sell you candy bar religion, and NOT trying to terrorize you into believing in God or going to hell (etc). But maybe they don't get noticed so much... maybe they are quiet. maybe they are just the person that smiles are you at the store. maybe they are busying living their lives in the way they feel god intended. or.... maybe they are off on REAL missions working their butts off with no credit.

I hate to see all of Christianity thrown into two common labels of "crazy witch hunting proselytizers" or "mega church phonies"...
I have never tried to put my finger on it, but this is it. Thank you. This is how I feel about huge churches that I have been to.

I always call it generic Christianity.
post #89 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
I'm sorry you feel hurt - that wasn't my intention, which was to answer why the name of Jesus cause a stir. I do think that sentiment encompasses the feelings many non-christians experience when confronted with Christianity. And frankly it's not without basis. With things like the Pope's recent comments abour Africa, the Prop 8 campaign in California and numerous horrendous comments I have heard and my children have heard personally all spouted in the name of Christianity/Jesus, I get the sentiment. I don't hate Christians but I admit a skepticism about those who follow the religion that professes love and yet my personal experience is that so many act hatefully and cite their religion as the justification. I don't think that Christianity is often a true reflection of the message of Jesus Christ and it is often (not rarely but often imo) used as a political or personal hammer, a platform for judgement or exclusion and not a force for good.
I think this is true of all groups though - people are often hypocritical and/or self-righteous, as individuals and as a group. I can't think of a religion it wouldn't apply to, though it tends to be more common in the regions' most popular religion (or non-religion) I find.
post #90 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post
I think this is true of all groups though - people are often hypocritical and/or self-righteous, as individuals and as a group. I can't think of a religion it wouldn't apply to, though it tends to be more common in the regions' most popular religion (or non-religion) I find.
Possibly, although in my experience I've had proportionately more unpleasant experiences with Christians, both personally and politically/culturally than with any other religious groups I encounter. And unfortunately it isn't isolated to the mega-church sterotype that HP posted about. It's been across the Christian spectrum.

Regardless, IMO it still serves to answer the question about why Jesus causes such a stir - especially in North America and other countries where Christianity is one of the major if not predominant religions.
post #91 of 187
honestly Karen, I'm not insulted by you. I realize you were trying to make a point here. I'm just irritated how rude comments are posted towards Christians without a second thought... but if i ever said anything like that about any other religion I would be shamed and ridiculed. (however I would never say such things, as I don't think such things... it's all equally nasty and rude). The excuse is always that Christianity is the majority so it's not percecuted. ok? so what now? we can't pick on minorities but we can belittle and be nasty towards "majorities". well gee... let's just go around kicking all the white people in America and the Indians in India. (yeah see, that just is stupid when you break it down).

I am sorry about your bad experiences with "Christians". I can't defend them or apologize for them as I don't know them or if their belief is real... or are they simple "culturally christian". (for that matter I can't defend or apologie for most Americans just b/c many are rude or self centered). But I can say that if you believe Christianity is by far the majority of religious people, wouldn't it make sense by logic alone that the you'd have problems with the majority? meaning is 8 out of 10 people are blue, and 2 are red, and 5 people were rude to you it would very easily be 3 of blue and 2 of red?
and that's not so say I am ok with your bad experiences with Christians! not at all... it's just that it's so easy to make lump generalizations.

I've known a few nasty athiest in my time. I don't assume all athiest as nasty. we also have this group of Africans in a nearby town tht scam everyone. stealing and lieing - they have quite a rep!! but I don't assume all africans are nasty scamming people and write them all off - even if those were my only real personal experiences with Africans. ykwim? if I did make that assumption I would be unjustly flaming an entire group of people and I would also be losing out on from any friendships with any people that happen to be African.
post #92 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post
I think this is true of all groups though - people are often hypocritical and/or self-righteous, as individuals and as a group. I can't think of a religion it wouldn't apply to, though it tends to be more common in the regions' most popular religion (or non-religion) I find.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
Possibly, although in my experience I've had proportionately more unpleasant experiences with Christians, both personally and politically/culturally than with any other religious groups I encounter. And unfortunately it isn't isolated to the mega-church sterotype that HP posted about. It's been across the Christian spectrum.

Regardless, IMO it still serves to answer the question about why Jesus causes such a stir - especially in North America and other countries where Christianity is one of the major if not predominant religions.
I often have had these thoughts and feelings myself. Sociology and anthropology pretty much cover this under the term "ethnocentric", which means "hypocritical and/or self-righteous, as individuals and as groups", with or without religion.

In everyday living, when any individual puts themselves above another (no matter what the situation, from personal to international), all while proclaiming their brand of rightousness, it just raises my ire! In the US, it takes laws generated under the Constitution to protect groups of people (race, creed, national origin, age, disability, etc.) because peoples can't--or won't, control ourselves (with religion or without it). If Christian, we should be looking at and heeding the Ten Commandments for guidance in these matters. While formally formed under religion, I think the commandments is just darn good psychology.

The Bible says that the greatest commandment is "love one another". The 10 Commandments is the waterfall effect from this one commandment. If people fully understood the 10 Commandments--and followed them as a moral code or good psychologic practice--there wouldn't be such strife. Instead, humans create their own misery and then revel in their injustice collections. Sad.

As it pertains to this thread, one of my original comments speaks to the success of Jesus and Christianity because people were raising to a new level of consciousness and away from what Roman rule represented. So, here we are some 2,000+ years later in the same struggle with the continual fine tuning to keep ourselves in check. Just my opinion. :
post #93 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
I'm sorry you feel hurt - that wasn't my intention, which was to answer why the name of Jesus cause a stir. I do think that sentiment encompasses the feelings many non-christians experience when confronted with Christianity. And frankly it's not without basis. With things like the Pope's recent comments abour Africa, the Prop 8 campaign in California and numerous horrendous comments I have heard and my children have heard personally all spouted in the name of Christianity/Jesus, I get the sentiment. I don't hate Christians but I admit a skepticism about those who follow the religion that professes love and yet my personal experience is that so many act hatefully and cite their religion as the justification. I don't think that Christianity is often a true reflection of the message of Jesus Christ and it is often (not rarely but often imo) used as a political or personal hammer, a platform for judgement or exclusion and not a force for good.
i'm following this discussion and i have this on my mind as well.
HP, I know that generalizations are terrible and not fair, but here there is a point.
The Pope's comments about the AIDS situation in Africa, the recent scandals with the priest who does not believe there was an Holocaust and the last one, the excomulgation of 5 people involved in the therapeutic abortion to a 9 year old brazilian girl, raped, pregnant with twins whose life was in danger becaue of the pregnancy are just examples of an attitude that is at the very top of the church's organization.
post #94 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by delfin View Post
i'm following this discussion and i have this on my mind as well.
HP, I know that generalizations are terrible and not fair, but here there is a point.
The Pope's comments about the AIDS situation in Africa, the recent scandals with the priest who does not believe there was an Holocaust and the last one, the excomulgation of 5 people involved in the therapeutic abortion to a 9 year old brazilian girl, raped, pregnant with twins whose life was in danger becaue of the pregnancy are just examples of an attitude that is at the very top of the church's organization.
I'm not catholic... so I'm not sure what to say about that one. I have NO clue what the pope has to say about anything.

The Catholic church ISN'T Christianity. it's a sect. it's a grouping of people... it isn't The end all, be all of those who follow Christ.

The Pope isn't Christianity any more than some random priest is Christianity. Christ is the leader... not any man. so I can't vouch for random people's asinine behaviour or remarks anymore than I can their clever ones.
post #95 of 187
HennyPenny, I just want to thank you for the amazing contributions you have made to this thread.

I think this thread has generally been pretty respectful, given the difficulty of the question at hand, but still feel like I just have to say this.

*climbs atop soapbox*

I hear a lot about how Christians are persecuted AND about how they only think they are persecuted... and both points aggravate and frustrate me to no end.

It's not okay to be nasty to people about what they believe, period. That's a hard line in the sand to draw, and it's a hard standard to live up to, but it's the right one.

Now, someone could believe that Christians are all anti-science, brainwashed fanatics. And, in turn, a Christian could believe that this other person is blind to the truth, hellbound, and possibly a tool of Satan. Even if these two people are totallly certain of their beliefs, they still need to be kind and respectful of one another. If they aren't, religious prejudice takes hold, and the next thing you know, we're feeding people to lions, burning them at the stake, or committing genocide. Better off to just nip it in the bud, eh?

Here's something to remember to keep it all in perspective: all belief systems are taken on faith. You cannot prove or disprove the existence of any God or Gods empricially.

*gets down off soapbox*

Back to your regularly scheduled thread.
post #96 of 187

I second the comment!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leta View Post
HennyPenny, I just want to thank you for the amazing contributions you have made to this thread.

I think this thread has generally been pretty respectful, given the difficulty of the question at hand, ...

May I say "AMEN" and "I second that"?
post #97 of 187
I think we should all be proud of this thread - it's one of few that have managed to discuss a difficult topic that is pretty sensitive and it didn't once take a bad nasty turn. I've really enjoyed it!

we made it for 5 whole pages and didn't get shut down! go us!!
post #98 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by HennyPenny View Post
I think we should all be proud of this thread - it's one of few that have managed to discuss a difficult topic that is pretty sensitive and it didn't once take a bad nasty turn. I've really enjoyed it!

we made it for 5 whole pages and didn't get shut down! go us!!
Thanks, HP! I was brought up not to discuss the hot topics of politics or religion... On your milestone statement, let's keep going!

On the four-hour FRONTLINE program on the life of Jesus, several segments cover the writings of the gospels (mentioned earlier, to watch in segments on your computer). Did anyone catch that portion yet?

Gospel means "good news". Mark was the first to write about the life of Jesus in the New Testament following the desecration of Jerusalem and the temple, the hub of the spiritual community. I quote from FRONTLINE: "The Gospels were products of social and religious reconstruction in the period after the war, ranging from roughly 70 to after 100 C.E. The program looks at how these stories were passed down before they were written. And how the writing of each Gospel reflects the experiences and circumstances of early Christians. They do not all tell the same story of Jesus because each one is responding to a different audience and circumstances. For example, Matthew's gospel is clearly written for a Jewish Christian audience; it is the most Jewish of all the gospels."

The gospels were written for small communities who were developing their own ideas on Jesus. The four gospels, "good news", were not biographies or written by four court reporters as one scholor states! (lol) Mark draws on earlier writings and oral tradition. His audience spoke Greek, not Aremaic that Jesus spoke. Jesus died around 40 A. D. where oral tradition in the local community carried the story of Jesus until Mark wrote his gospel about 20 years later. Matthew and Luke's gospels draw on Mark. I am over simplifying here, but how can we ignore history in our understanding why the Jesus movement survives? Literal interpretaion of the Bible just can't cut it for me given the simplicity of such interpretations, when 2,000 years of evolutionary aspects of anthropology (society, politics, ethnicity, customs, etc.) all factor in. Keep in mind, new archeology discoveries emerge from time to time casting new insight to early christians. JMO. :
post #99 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThirdEyeMom View Post
The gospels were written for small communities who were developing their own ideas on Jesus. The four gospels, "good news", were not biographies or written by four court reporters as one scholor states! (lol) Mark draws on earlier writings and oral tradition. His audience spoke Greek, not Aremaic that Jesus spoke. Jesus died around 40 A. D. where oral tradition in the local community carried the story of Jesus until Mark wrote his gospel about 20 years later. Matthew and Luke's gospels draw on Mark. I am over simplifying here, but how can we ignore history in our understanding why the Jesus movement survives? Literal interpretaion of the Bible just can't cut it for me given the simplicity of such interpretations, when 2,000 years of evolutionary aspects of anthropology (society, politics, ethnicity, customs, etc.) all factor in. Keep in mind, new archeology discoveries emerge from time to time casting new insight to early christians. JMO. :
I think the kind of literal interpretation you are talking about (I think) is a pretty new idea in any case; it doesn't fall within the historical Christian tradition of understanding scripture.
post #100 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by HennyPenny View Post
I'm not catholic... so I'm not sure what to say about that one. I have NO clue what the pope has to say about anything.

The Catholic church ISN'T Christianity. it's a sect. it's a grouping of people... it isn't The end all, be all of those who follow Christ.

The Pope isn't Christianity any more than some random priest is Christianity. Christ is the leader... not any man. so I can't vouch for random people's asinine behaviour or remarks anymore than I can their clever ones.
True, the Catholic church is not all of Christianity nor does it represent all of Christianity.
Neither do the churches who supported Prop 8.
Nor do the people who run the Operation Christmas Program.
Nor does the Salvation Army who expels gay members who dare to come out of the closet.
Nor do the missionary workers who would only help those affected by the tsunami if they converted to Christianity.
Nor does the family member who told my 7 year old child that her chronic illness is a result of the sins I have committed and who continues to try to recruit my kid by telling her she will die an early painful death if she doesn't accept Jesus.
Nor is a good friend of mine who encouraged her child to try to convert her great grandmother, a lifelong and active member of her UU, church who was suffering from dementia and on her death bed.

You are right - none of them individually represent Christianity. But it is a pretty broad group of sects represented, who will all tell you that they do what they do out of love, because that is what their religion and their god commands them to do.

I completely understand that this is not the only view of Christianity - that there are many, many loving wonderful Christians who work hard to follow the tenets of their faith, and I have deep respect for those who live their faith. However the public face of Christianity is not always one to be admired or respected and so many things are done in Jesus' name are inhumane - which I think is the reason that the general impression of Christianity can be negative. It's unfortunate, and sad, and I can see how it pains people like you. But it's not invalid viewpoint. If someone's personal interactions with Christians matches their impression of the public face of Christianity I can see how they could come to be suspicious of the grounding of Christianity.
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