Thursday, February 21, 2008

Confused Teaching? Or Correction? 2

A new comment has gone up on my older post "Confused Teaching? Or Correction?"

Florian says I'm guilty of discriminating against my own religion by rejecting the exclusive claims of Christianity. He "cannot condone" rejecting orthodoxy while continuing to call oneself Christian. It's not up to Florian to "condone" it. Each of us has to take her or his own moral responsibility.

He is correct in stating that other sons and daughters of God do not claim unique divine status, but incorrect in implying that Jesus of Nazareth did. Belief that Jesus is God grew out of unique historical/cultural developments. The man who actually lived in history never made that claim, as I explain extensively in God Is Not Three Guys in the Sky.

This realization is growing among theologians but continues to be suppressed by the hierarchy.

Florian advises against discarding the claim to Christianity's unique status "so casually." I don't know anyone who has. I and those who respond with excitement to my book spent many hours in agonized reflection and prayer before concluding that the exclusive claims are wrong.
Jeanette

2 comments:

Florian said...

Yes, we do have to be morally responsible. But by continuing to call oneself Christian after having rejected it, one is presenting to others a false impression about what it means to be a Christian. No, I do not condone that.

Yes, in the book God is not Three Guys in the Sky, there is extensive argument that Jesus did not claim to be divine, but I did not find it conclusive; and, further, there is not a consensus among scholars on the matter. As for the scholars that disagree with your view, you always dismiss them as "evangelicals" or what-not who are trying to "suppress" the truth, instead of considering their arguments. I, for one, think that it is correct that the historical Jesus did make the claim. Regardless, it is at least correct to say that we have stories of Jesus claiming divine status. That in itself makes Jesus unique among the great religious founders.

There are many other arguments in the book that are presented as conclusive. But this is misleading (and even outrageous) since a lot of those arguments are not accepted by most scholars anyway. To mislead is not to be responsible.

-Florian

also known as rikki said...

Rejecting Jesus' divine status does not mean you no longer follow him and his teachings. Why does he have to be a god in order for his words to have any value? Why can't he be an extremely wise prophet who's teachings people can still find meaning in, even those who aren't Christian or don't believe in his divinity?

Yes we have stories of Jesus claiming to be God or the Son of God. But in the book of John 10:34 he also said "Ye are all gods" quoting God in Psalms 82:6. Referring to himself as the Son of God, only means that God had sent apart from the rest of humanity to preach God's message. He was a prophet like Moses, Noah, Elijah, ect. They too were Sons of God. However somewhere along the line, the term became twisted to mean something totally different and downright blasphemous in regards to Jesus. And that is why it wasn't Jesus claim that he was divine in a way that sets him a higher rank from the rest of us mere mortals.

Jesus also states in Matthew 5:17 that he did not come to destroy the old laws but to fulfill them. Why would he set himself up a second or third distinct person of a Triune God when Jewish Law commands that God is one and does not share his power?

It's because he didn't. You'd find the word Trinity no where in the Bible. It's a man-made concept that came later.