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Thread: Definition of Christian

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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Read "Jesus Lived in India".

    Look up what's now grouped as "the mystery cults" for a glimpse of early christianity that resembles nothing like we see today. Gnosticism is a specific example. Modern Christianity is what remains after all the other groups were declared heretics and either converted or were killed.
    I read an interesting article/essay on Gnostic Gospels, specifically on Gospel of Thomas. The author proposed that Gospel of Thomas was not included in the New Testaments because Thomas taught that God can be found anywhere and everywhere, especially within oneself (which supposedly resembles Eastern or Asian way of thinking). The early Christian leaders found this threatening because it implied that a formal structure (in both literal and figurative sense) of Church was not needed to be close to God. The author also attributed Thomas's Asian way of thinking to India where he allegedly proselytized and was martyred.

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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Deism is interesting and very important in the revolutionary/founding fathers. Deist believe in a single, divine power/god, that created the universe and its "natural laws", then essentially stood back, hands off. Actually, not Christian at all. The Declaration of Independence is loaded with Deist phrases. Nature and nature's God, Divine Providence (the will of the creator embedded into nature at creation), "unalienable" rights (literally not capable of being surrendered or taken away, as they are part of nature/natural law), as opposed to inalienable rights. etc.

    Look up what's now grouped as "the mystery cults" for a glimpse of early christianity that resembles nothing like we see today. Gnosticism is a specific example. Modern Christianity is what remains after all the other groups were declared heretics and either converted or were killed.
    Yes, the period between 30 AD/CE and the early second century is very interesting on this topic. The so called "Jewish Christians", the first followers (the Ebionim) who believed "Jesus" (Joshua Ben Yosef) to be the long awaited Mashiach; the Church of Jerusalem, James the brother of Jesus, Their destruction when the Romans killed of the population of Jerusalem when crushing the first Jewish Revolt in 70 AD/CE. Thus, leaving the Hellenistic Goyim (gentiles) believers to build what would later be called "Christianity".

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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Re Asian influences; Modern archaeology unearthed a large Greco-Roman style city at the point a trade route from China was joined by the trade route from the south / arabia (incenses/spices). Herod the Great, the Roman's Ethnarc, had gotten his old buddy Octavian Augustus to fund it as an economic development project . Turns out Nazareth was kind of a suburb of this city, full of the native trades folk, when Jesus later would supposedly live there. Probably a lot more interesting information/ideas flowing through than we used to think.

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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by moynihan View Post
    Deism is interesting and very important in the revolutionary/founding fathers. Deist believe in a single, divine power/god, that created the universe and its "natural laws", then essentially stood back, hands off. Actually, not Christian at all. The Declaration of Independence is loaded with Deist phrases. Nature and nature's God, Divine Providence (the will of the creator embedded into nature at creation), "unalienable" rights (literally not capable of being surrendered or taken away, as they are part of nature/natural law), as opposed to inalienable rights. etc.

    Look up what's now grouped as "the mystery cults" for a glimpse of early christianity that resembles nothing like we see today. Gnosticism is a specific example. Modern Christianity is what remains after all the other groups were declared heretics and either converted or were killed.
    Yes, the period between 30 AD/CE and the early second century is very interesting on this topic. The so called "Jewish Christians", the first followers (the Ebionim) who believed "Jesus" (Joshua Ben Yosef) to be the long awaited Mashiach; the Church of Jerusalem, James the brother of Jesus, Their destruction when the Romans killed of the population of Jerusalem when crushing the first Jewish Revolt in 70 AD/CE. Thus, leaving the Hellenistic Goyim (gentiles) believers to build what would later be called "Christianity".
    Spinoza has an interesting point of view on this.

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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawler View Post
    Spinoza has an interesting point of view on this.
    He was an interesting fellow. Could you elaborate?

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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by moynihan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawler View Post
    Spinoza has an interesting point of view on this.
    He was an interesting fellow. Could you elaborate?
    I second that motion.

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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    I wonder if Christianity has some connection with buddism. Like maybe some founders of buddism met Jesus in Asia.

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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by erynsouth4 View Post
    I wonder if Christianity has some connection with buddism. Like maybe some founders of buddism met Jesus in Asia.
    There was definitely trade going on between the Middle East and Asia, often through China, and with trade also comes the exchange of ideas, customs and religions. Since Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism had been around for hundreds of years before Christianity and likely came along with the commerce and trade it would not be surprising to find many of the elements being incorporated into the evolving Christianity. There would be little need (and almost no evidence) to support Jesus traveling to Asia (remember Jesus whole ministry only lasted about three years) for influences from other religions to become incorporated into the new evolving post Jesus creation called Christianity.
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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    There was a degree of correspondence between Byzantium and China before the rise of Islam made the journey too hazardous, and Nestorianism was practised in the Far East for a while too. As Jar says, Buddhism predates Christianity. There was some melding of Buddhist and pagan Hellenic religious statuary for a while, it's quite strange to see.
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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by Flounder View Post
    There was a degree of correspondence between Byzantium and China before the rise of Islam made the journey too hazardous, and Nestorianism was practised in the Far East for a while too. As Jar says, Buddhism predates Christianity. There was some melding of Buddhist and pagan Hellenic religious statuary for a while, it's quite strange to see.
    Of course Islam only begins around the 7th Century CE and extended all the way into the Indus valley. For most of it's history it was also pretty tolerant of other religions as long as the paid their taxes and obeyed the laws.
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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by erynsouth4 View Post
    I wonder if Christianity has some connection with buddism. Like maybe some founders of buddism met Jesus in Asia.

    Personally I think that some of the more recent religions are selective re-interpretations of earlier ones.

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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by erynsouth4 View Post
    I wonder if Christianity has some connection with buddism. Like maybe some founders of buddism met Jesus in Asia.

    Personally I think that some of the more recent religions are selective re-interpretations of earlier ones.
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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by Flounder View Post
    All NEW and IMPROVED!! TWICE the diety at HALF THE PRICE!!!... or your AFTERLIFE BACK!!*
    That should be THRICE the deity... get it, Trinity, Thrice... Thank you, I'm here all week and don't forget to tip your waiting staff.

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    All NEW and IMPROVED!! TWICE the diety at HALF THE PRICE!!!... or your AFTERLIFE BACK!!**your afterlife is at risk if you do not keep up sacrifices.
    An ad for the The one true religion

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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by moynihan View Post
    All NEW and IMPROVED!! TWICE the diety at HALF THE PRICE!!!... or your AFTERLIFE BACK!!**your afterlife is at risk if you do not keep up sacrifices.
    An ad for the The one true religion
    Thanks, but I'll be sticking with Tarvuism. It's so easy to join!!™

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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Hebbo!

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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by RNHC View Post
    I was raised a Catholic but I haven't been to a church in a long while. As I read and learn, I started to question and I no longer believe in divinity of Jesus. I still believe in God. What does that make me?
    Er, depending on what you think God is, it could simply make you Jewish or muslim, or one with a mixed bag of beliefs.

    If you have said the Nicene Creed, and most Catholics have, you know that it unequivocally defines Jesus as divine. So if you've abandoned that and the other beliefs stated therein, you've left the Church and most denominations behind.

    My question for you: why do you ask?
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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by VertOlive View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RNHC View Post
    I was raised a Catholic but I haven't been to a church in a long while. As I read and learn, I started to question and I no longer believe in divinity of Jesus. I still believe in God. What does that make me?
    Er, depending on what you think God is, it could simply make you Jewish or muslim, or one with a mixed bag of beliefs.

    If you have said the Nicene Creed, and most Catholics have, you know that it unequivocally defines Jesus as divine. So if you've abandoned that and the other beliefs stated therein, you've left the Church and most denominations behind.

    My question for you: why do you ask?
    The Nicene Creed is a great example of the evolution of Christianity and basic beliefs. It did state that God and Jesus were divine and of one substance, but it originally left out the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit did not get added in until the later Conference of Constantinople. And even then, the general understanding was more a definition of who each was and what each was than the modern Trinitarian usage. Who each was was Jesus or God or the Holy Spirit and what each was was divine.
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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by VertOlive View Post
    My question for you: why do you ask?
    Previously answered in post #24.

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    Default Re: Definition of Christian

    Quote Originally Posted by moynihan View Post
    ...that exists to this day in a number of the later Arian-Protestant religions (Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, etc.).
    Wait, Mormons and Jehovah's Witness don't believe in divinity of Christ? I did not know that. How interesting.

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