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The issue of the relationship of Jesus to God the Father drove the Byzantine Empire crazy for the first few centuries of its existence, so I suppose it must be important. It would be good if Christian members of the forum would explain the relationship as they perceive it and also explain how they reached that particular conclusion. Personally I don't see how it is possible to reach any firm conclusion, but perhaps I am missing something.
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It is never explicitly stated, but rather implied, that Jesus is either a part of God or is himself God in human form, but a I am no theologian, so I cannot say. Here is a pretty good rundown of the evidence presented through the words of the man himself (or rather some guys who wrote down stories a great deal of time later. I don't know if I'd trust my four closest friends to pass on legends of me to make books about over a century later with any accuracy.).
That is a good question. Alot of fighting over the Trinity is due to this. Jehovah's Witness believers are extremely sensitive to and against any suggestion that Jesus is God himself. For many Christians, especially Evangelical, Baptists, Pentecostals, and Non-Denominational, the Trinity can range between Essential to just merely a spiritual symbolism. Many do not care for the intimate details but instead find comfort in knowing that Jesus was walking the Earth with all of God's power and glory. There is God in all of us, but Jesus way more so than us. Which is why it is easier for those kinds of Christians to make the distinction.
Other parts of the New Testament make a good case for this, but the way it is worded is too vague in my opinion to truly say for sure. I would say that the Trinity concept is perhaps the biggest debate piece for any New Testament type of Christian.
If we go by what the gospels say then I guess the conventional "catholic" position makes sense. Jesus the man seems to have been not literally identical with but some kind of earthly manifestation of God. Although it seems to be a little more complex still if you go by John chapter 1:
It doesn't seem possible to know exactly what this means without a lot of background, but we can confidently say that, based on the gospels, any somewhat literal interpretation of Jesus being merely the son of God is clearly in error. This would imply that He was conceived at some fixed point in time and, since God would therefore be a pre-existing perfect being, this would imply that Jesus was an inferior divinity to God. So going by the book of John, the Arian heresy would indeed be heresy.
Basically, he was the carnal (he was perfect, just human) incarnation of God, the holy spirit the inner light in believers, and God the eternal light.
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An interpretation might be that the logos John speaks of is a kind of universal template or plan or fractal database - the software of the Universe. When this software is running of a particular hardware, this hardware-software is what we call "God" and the runtime projection is the manifest Universe. Jesus was a case of the same software being run on an adapted human brain. (Just as you get a different result when a browser is run on a particular hardware under a particular operating system, so Jesus and his manifestations differed from God, despite sharing the same "mind".) This is why in the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus said "I am the All that is above them all. From me did the All unfold and to me will the all extend. Split a piece of wood and you will see me. Look under a stone and you will find me there". Or words to that effect. Just a thought.
It tells you in the bible that Jesus is the mediator between man and God, so they are telling you God is here and communicating to man right here on planet earth. The planet consist of 2 witnesses who made all the life here. The people who wrote the bible are betting one of the witnesses was here first and created the other witness in it's image the image of God.
Does that make any sense?
Last edited by Moretorque on September 25th, 2013, 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Cornfed I want to hear you talk about the black man, where did the black man come from Cornfed?
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IMO this is the basics.
Accept this, and then you can "get" Chrsitianity.
Judaism taught a monotheism that was spiritual, a religion that demanded perfect obedience to a perfect God. Jesus is where God reached down from Perfection into our messy f***ed-up world, extending himself (lawfully according to the laws of Creation known as the laws of physics) via procreation of His own Child, not through extraterrestrial apparition.
Like Cortez invading Mexico, and burning his ships.
Like the pig does at breakfast. His own flesh.
John clearly states that Jesus was an original part of God, not an afterthought or a created being.
I accept this teaching, not because the Arian POV is clearly wrong (IMO it's not illogical), but because Arianism (and New Age-ism, its modern version) has proven weak. The Moslems acquired Arian North Africa almost without a shot fired, and the Arians there all converted to Islam. New Agers are similarly weak. Their religion has some benefits, but generally it cannot stand up to evil.
Catholicism, whatever its faults, teaches and provides the actually Body and Blood of Christ in the Mass. God is literally and physically present in Catholic churches every Sunday. (Some other churches as well.) This physical presence drove the Moors out of Spain, washed the Turks off the shores of italy, and beat back the Turks from the Gates of Vienna.
So IMO the teachings of John the Apostle are battle-tested.
As you point out, the "Orthodox" East spent a LOT of time niggling over the exact nature of Christ. And they lost their freedom, and were enslaved. They didn't DISAPPEAR, like the Arians did. But they lost their freedom. So my takeaway is, keep it simple, don't get sucked into niggling arguments. God is not after theological rectitude, He is after US. God is here and real and available, because of His Son who entered our world and became one of us.
BTW I do NOT accept Papal Infallibility, and I am not sure about the Immaculate Conception (of Mary). And I DO tentatively share the Eastern view that the Pope is first among equals with other ArchBishops - not Supreme. So I am not trying to endorse Catholic positions. I am simply saying that when it comes to the nature of Christ, Catholics are clear. He is fully God, and full Man.
I think that this was the sense of "Kingdom Come" or the "Good News" that was preached by Jesus and the by the Twelve. I don't think His Blood sacrifice was the central message at the time. The central message was that God is here among us, and here within us.
Demi-gods were not new to the pagan world. Jesus's impact was not that of a demi-god.
Could it be that Jesus saw himself as a Messiah in the Jewish sense at the time which I think meant someone who was expected to become the new King of the Jews (descended from King David) who would free the Jews from bondage (in this case from being subjects of the Roman empire) and restore them to their rightful place at the top. Even after Jesus was crucified, his brothers and key apostles - James the Just, John, and Peter, adhered strictly to the Jewish law and saw the Jesus primarily as a savior for the Jews. They believed he would come back a second time and become King of the Jews on earth as I understand.
In contrast, Paul (Saul) was preaching something radically different (scrap the Jewish law) and offered it to Gentiles. But he was no match for the true physical disciples even as far as Rome inasmuch as his credibility of a messenger for Jesus.
I think Stephen who was stoned to death was the first to make any utterance about Jesus being God.
Everything changed after the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD and the center of the Jewish cult was destroyed. From that point onwards, Paul's message gained traction, was crafted increasingly for Gentiles as Jewish cult became politically minimized. In time, it was decided by the Christians that Jesus is God incarnate.
For Jews, a God man is something that was probably never considered. But Christianity became a gentile religion over decades and centuries. The Hellenized Jews were a transition group for this.
Interesting take on the subject.
I think the book for the most part is made up and most of the authors are made up as well, I think it was written for the most part undercover.
There was an episode on a series " In Search Of " done by Mr. Spock in the 70's that I want to see and according to this episode they had unearthed evidence that of the time of the writing of the second testament or maybe the 1st but I believe it was the second there was evidence a sect was secretly worshiping Matriarchic deities out of site from the mainstream.
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