The Dissonance between Institutional Beliefs and the Love of Christ

Countless sources? What does that mean? And where did they get it?

The article is basically saying Jesus will somehow communicate with us and we can lay aside the prophets. But how do we even know Jesus existed and that He said the Spirit will guide us except through the prophets.

That’s the contradiction I see in the logic of the article. They’re stating that we need to free ourselves from our concept of Jesus via the prophets but then we depend on the prophets for the very concept that Jesus lived and was the messiah. And we depend on the prophets for the concept that Jesus would send us His Spirit to guide us.

Seems like they just want to focus on what they choose instead of taking scripture as a whole.

And no, it doesn’t bother me. I don’t know why it should. Our enemies will always try to use our words against us. I’m glad you verified that the Spirit exists and guides us. Hope He continues to guide you

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Are you saying Jesus was the first or last to say that humans can be at one with their creator?

Because this simply is not the case.

It doesn’t matter if Jesus existed nor does it matter what the prophets say. If the Holy Spirit exists and one has had personal experiences with that consciousness he knows it is as real as he is and he ignores those who question that reality.

Trying to take scripture as a whole would be like deciding that the only way to appreciate Niagara Falls would be stand at the bottom and drink everything that comes over the falls, all at once.

We must take a glass or two at a time from whatever source of information or enlightenment comes our way.

Further, there are some things that go over the falls we don’t want to drink at all, so we filter and remove the detritus.

For me, the still small voice is that filter which, along with my logical brain, helps remove anything in any book that seems anathema to leading the most enjoyable life possible for me and everyone around me.

I know it’s arrogant and it’s been said a thousand times before but who knows better than me what’s best for me?

(And yeah. I know there are texts that say that there’s a way that seems right to a man but that way is wrong. I consider those texts to be nihilistic black holes which I simply choose to ignore. To do otherwise is a contradictory conundrum where a person tries to do what’s seems wrong to him, because that must be right but then that must also be wrong, ad nauseam.)


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Socrates left us nothing; his disciple Plato wrote about him. No one reading the Dialogues gets lost in history. Are Socrates teachings intrinsically meritorious and helpful? Does the morality Socrates espoused make sense to us today? Does the way he died tell us anything about his values, or lack thereof? If anyone reads the Gospels and cannot see that the essence of the life of Jesus (ignore the supernatural per se) deserves examination? While Socrates died for his reasons, Jesus died for his as well.

Did Socrates even exist, or is he made up? He and his disciples believed in an immortal soul. Is that historically accurate? Jesus disciples did not believe in such a “soul.” Is that historical? And if the “historical” consumes your perspective, it also consumes N. T. Wright whom you have no doubt read and discarded. Very thoughtful people in the past and present hear you and do not hear your echo in their own considerations of the same issues. Leave at that.


I really have no idea what you mean.

Agreed on the condition that N. T. Wright, EGW, Joseph Smith et. als., having been justifiably discarded on the grounds that miracles prove nothing, will “Leave at that”-or at least until Jesus himself returns-any further “Christian” apologetics, no matter how many credulous adherents they find within whom their unfalsifiable message echoes true.


As I grew from childhood and reached the beginnings if adulthood, I had been a part of a very small family - mom, dad, and me. We had supported each other and developed strength through some tough times; and just as life had become normalized, my mom got sick and passed away when I was a junior in college. As I went forward, she went with me.

Our threesome had been close, and my mom and I - very close. Throughout the years that followed, all I had of her was her “spirit” that guided me through some of the most important experiences of my life - my wedding, and the birth of my two children, as well as the other tough time when my dad passed away. Through all this, I have made sure that my life was as fulfilled and happy as it could be, because I knew what she would have wanted me to be.

This is how I see the “Holy Spirit”. Jesus said that he “must leave” but he would send his followers a “Comforter” - who would guide us and direct us to finding “all truth”. We, immediately fashion this “spirit” into an actual person that miraculously is able to be a personal guide to everybody, individually, and corporately, for God’s special people (as if He actually has favourites). But here’s “rub” (as the British might say). In order for the “Spirit” to work with us and for us, there has to have been an incredibly close relationship to God to begin with. Without that relationship, this all sounds like nonsense.

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For me, the issue is not opinions or beliefs per se, but whether or not my beliefs can also be considered “plausible convictions.” Not proven beyond the shadow of a doubt (few thing so amenable when dealing with fundamental commitments), but not merely “opinions” or theories with no connection to anything rational. This means that we can both posses plausible convictions about the resurrection, but never settle to equal satisfaction which one is the most plausible. It’s more or less a hung jury; both cannot be right, but both may be wrong.

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I think you’ve missed my point.

I reject NT Wright and any other Christian apologetics which insist that Jesus’ resurrection does anything to make Christianity more plausible.

Not because I do or don’t believe that it actually happened. Instead, I find the argument unconvincing due to the fact that even if every one of Jesus miracles was shown to be a real event, those events do nothing to verify that everything else he purportedly said was absolutely the incontrovertible word of god.

For instance, even if a guy really can walk on water this feat, in and of itself, does nothing to substantiate his claim that everyone else in the world should abandon his family and become his disciple.

This is very helpful. If one believes the resurrection happened, that would make it utterly different in meaning than all the other reported events put together. And, Who uses the phrase “the incontrovertible word of God” anymore except extreme fundamentalists? In fact even the phrase “Word of God” makes no theological sense for believers who have taken the time to think it through. I use the word “meaning” above because without that cluster of events Fri-Sunday Jesus life makes no sense at all. It may have moral value, but it is not “Messianic” value in the best traditions of the prophets. If Jesus did not “show us the father” (ignore any divinity issues here) as persuasive, infinite, sacrificial life-giving love, then the record of his life is a failure in terms of the entire Hebrew tradition. So much to deal with here.

Why would anyone want to ignore divinity issues if Jesus said humans are gods and god’s kingdom is within each of us?

To my mind, Jesus’ talk of himself was not a reference to himself, personally, or his ego self. Instead, these discussions were about The First Self of All Things and the blasphemous idea that got Jesus killed was that rather than being cut off from that source, everyone has free and easy access to divine consciousness, without the need for a messiah, a middleman or an easily misread book, as that self is, and always was, the most essential and sacred part of themselves as well.

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