What if you became the minority..

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Jeff Vella Leone's picture
Beneames continue the

Beneames continue the discussion here please:

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
Beneames continue the

Beneames continue the discussion here please:

beneames's picture
Good idea :) Here's my last

Good idea :) Here's my last post....

"You call this justifying that they are the same thing?" No, I wasn't trying to do that. I was taking each of your thoughts and telling you where i agree with your interpretation and where we differ.

"You are teaching your kids things that are impossible...." One of my favourite theologians, NT Wright says something like "The revolutionary way of Jesus has not so much been tried and found wanting, but has been found difficult and largely left untried."

Love for enemies is one of these types of things. In regards to racial "enemies" (like the Jews and Samaritans in Jesus' time, or the Jews and Romans, or the Jews and the Greeks), the New Testament authors challenge believers to get rid of those racist tendencies, some of which were centuries old. This is one of the themes of the Good Samaritan parable. And to love your neighbour, whoever they are, whatever gender, whatever race, whatever their beliefs.

In regards to more direct enemies (like your example of suicide bombers) it's bloody difficult, but forgiveness makes it possible. We have quite a few amazing stories of families who have ended up forgiving the people who murdered their family members, even going so far as to make sure their "enemy" is treated fairly. Theres a book called "The girl in the picture" or something that tells the story of a girl whose village was brutally destroyed in a war. She lost all of her family and friends, and was horribly burned. But years later she searched for the man who destroyed her town and publicly forgave him. I just watched a movie recently called "The Railway Men" which told a similar story, of a man who was tortured for years by Japanese enemies in war, and then he searched out the man who'd tortured him and they eventually became friends and worked together to bring peace and hope. I heard a story once of a town where a shooter went on a rampage, killing a lot of young people and then committing suicide. But the town didn't allow hate and revenge to consume them, or bitterness to govern their lives for the next decades. They worked through the issues and gradually came to a place of forgiveness, and then they took in the shooter's family, showed them a lot of love and made sure they were well looked after. This is the kind of thing Jesus was talking about. Not impossible, but very difficult. "Forgiving the Dead Man Walking" is another one.

Without forgiveness, you're still being controlled by your enemy. Forgiving them frees you from the hate, anger and bitterness. This is not just from Christianity. It's right through secular psychology as well.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
You are teaching your kids

You are teaching your kids things that are impossible...." One of my favourite theologians, NT Wright says something like "The revolutionary way of Jesus has not so much been tried and found wanting, but has been found difficult and largely left untried."

Yea because he asks the impossible on purpose to make you feel guilty and thus resort in believing in him blindly for salvation.

As I have said before: recognizing equality, respect and fairness are not love, so please stop trying to change the meaning of the word to make it more possible.

"Without forgiveness, you're still being controlled by your enemy."

Forgiving someone does not mean loving him.

you keep changing the subject.

Jesus clearly says LOVE your enemy and it contradicts our human nature and reason itself.

We love people who are dear to us, we don't love strangers and even worse, we don't love our enemies.

As long as they are our enemies we will never love them.

When they stop being our enemies, then and only then there is hope for love.

So Jesus is not only wrong but either stupid or he is asking the impossible on purpose.(which is what I contend)

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
And please do not mix

And please do not mix kindness with love, because I feel you will say something like this in your next post.

You can be kind to many people but you only love people you know, how can you love people you do not even know well enough?
You might think you love them but you are LIKING a biased image of them since you do not really know their character.
It takes time to get to love someone, your enemy tends to be distant from you so it is not possible to truly love him.

Hope this is enough to show you how impossible it is to love your enemy no matter what.

Admit that reason and Jesus do not agree with each other with regards to love your enemy so we can move on.

beneames's picture
"As long as they are our

"As long as they are our enemies we will never love them." Yes you are right. And that's kind of the idea. Jesus was encouraging us to work towards not having any enemies. "As much as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." And even if the other person wants to remain our enemy, Jesus wants us to love them anyway. Yes it's a pretty difficult ideal to live up to. But it's a valid goal to work towards. Most people would say they want world peace. Jesus was just making that personal: "You want world peace? Really? Start with your own life."

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
"Jesus was encouraging us to

"Jesus was encouraging us to work towards not having any enemies."
That is a very drastic way of interpreting LOVE your enemy.
Why is Jesus so stupid in saying one thing but he means something else?

Have no enemies does not mean you have to love your enemies.

But yes I grant you that Jesus words can be interpreted the way you like but it is a very stupid way of interpreting anything since with the same logic one can make any phrase mean anything.

Hate your father, mother and yourself?

But I actually mean that you should love your father, etc.. since I am using the word hate to mean love less compared to love god.

Although this only confirms that Jesus is allusive and not clear on purpose so people can misunderstand him.
Which makes his claim of coming to save us really a big fat lie, since he is doing his best to not save us with such bad indications.
In a way that one must really be biased in thinking that he MUST be the good guy to try and make the message mean something good.

This is pathetic and completely illogical.
If god wanted to send you a message he would clearly talk to you instead of using such cryptic message that needs a reader to be biased to get the right interpretation.

The most logical interpretations is that when he says love your enemy, he means you actually have to love your enemy.

Knowing fully well that you will feel guilty when you fail this request.
Guilt is the key on getting you back to the church for redemption. Accept Jesus and your sins are forgiven.
Scapegoating Jesus for your sins.

John 14:6
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

He said it himself.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
The trick to recognize if

The trick to recognize if your bias is hindering your judgement is to ask yourself:

If Jesus wanted to actually mean that we should love our enemy, how could have have said it better then that?

Frrank's picture
Well, first off, before a

Well, first off, before a religion completely decays a new one will be sent. This is why Christianity came into the decaying Roman Empire, or Islam was sent to the decadent pagan Arabs who had fallen to idle worship. It is absolutely true that the current batch of religions, across the planet, are in a state of decay. The fact that this is happening everywhere is a clue to our being at the tail end of 'this world'...renewal will come soon, as predicted in all the faiths.

Anyways...I am already a minority. There is no one else my age in the church I go to...well, I suppose one person but even she is a few years older and married with kids, whereas I am a bachelor.

It doesn't bother me...I am 32, and one gets a very different perspective on things talking with the elderly who attend. I enjoy it.

I think part of our problem today is we are often so segregated by age. Starting from school, where you are surrounded each day with vast numbers of people the same age as you, through work, to death. Too many people remain mostly within a social group that is relatively the same age; thus, you only see the world the way your age cohort happens to.

beneames's picture
Sorry, let me see if I can

Sorry, let me see if I can slow it down a bit. There are sometimes people in our lives who don't like us. There are some people we connect with who seem to want to disagree with everything we say. Sometimes there are people at work whose aim it seems is to make our life hell. Sometimes family members want to treat us badly at every opportunity. Sometimes there are people who might be jealous of us, and so they wish something bad would happen to even it up or something. Sometimes there are people who believe differently to us, and are quite attacking about it (I've seen some quite attacking, insulting people on here - both theists and atheists). Jesus wanted his followers to show love to these people, instead of hate and bitterness. The parallel passage in Luke 6:27-28 adds: "do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you..."

The Old Testament rule was "Love your neighbour." And there was an unspoken second part to it: "...and hate your enemy." But Jesus wanted his followers to go further than that. Anyone can love their friends and hate their enemies, and that doesn't really bring peace to the world. So Jesus said "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

Over time, if we are doing this, hopefully our enemies will slowly turn into our friends. Kindness can have that effect on people. Unfortunately that doesn't always happen though. There might still be people who hate us. Jesus said to love them anyway. The type of love here is "agape" - which is quite helpful to know. It's used of brotherly love, or selfless love, wishing the other person well, wanting the best for them. Jesus wants us to see the people who hate us and mistreat us as actual people too, and to wish them well in their lives, to want the best for them instead of hating them back. This doesn't happen instantly and it's very counter-cultural in our world today. Sometimes it can take decades and many counselling sessions and a lot of forgiveness to move from hatred to wishing them well. But it's a goal worth working towards, and over time we can get there. A person who hates no one is a more peaceful person.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
Again you are interpreting

Again you are interpreting what Jesus said as what Jesus should have said according to your bias.

Yes they are nice words when you interpret them like that but it is not really the correct interpretation, here see if you get the drift here:

Luke 6:27-36

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them."

here the correct interpretation is that Jesus is asking the incredibly hard on purpose.
He knows how hard those things are and he wants us to do them anyway to be Christians.

How can you see someone killing your son and then give him your other son so he would kill him too?
This is possible but unrealistic.
How can you love the devil(which is your enemy too) and not love your own son enough to let him be killed because Jesus says so?

The only logical interpretation is that Jesus is trying his best to make it hard to follow the Jesus path.

This is more apparent here:

Luke 14:26
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple.

Does he want you to hate your loved ones?
Possibly; if they go against Jesus path but mostly he wants you to feel guilty that you cannot follow his path.

When you truly analyze all that Jesus says and read them literally and without bias, it is clear that he is asking incredibly hard things.
Instead of saying be patient and forgiving as you are claiming, he is asking the extremes and lets people like you to understand a moderate interpretation of what he is saying.

So when he says love, he MUST mean be friendly, when he says hate, he MUST mean love less and so on.

This is why theists are considered biased and unreasonable, because they are not capable of being unbiased in their judgment regarding religion.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
To sum up what jesus means:

To sum up what jesus means:

If you are human it is impossible to follow Jesus path and thus you can only find salvation through Jesus sacrifice.
believe in him and your sins are forgiven.

You are a sinner(because it is impossible to be human and not have sins) and thus Jesus is the only way you can be saved.
he sacrificed himself for you because that is the only way to salvation.

This is a psychological game that instead of telling you that you have to believe or you cannot be saved, he is saying that you need to follow Jesus path and if you fail then only Jesus can save you.
then just making the Jesus path so impossible that you have to go to Jesus anyway.

This psychological trick makes people feel guilty and miserable and guilty people do no rebel and do not question the validity of Jesus claims.

All the authors did is, they copied all the good parts from other religions and boosted them to a level that it becomes impossible to follow.

If you study other religions of the era, you can see that there is nothing original about Jesus, everything is copied and exaggerated from previous theologies and religions.

Do you even question why Jesus does not make his message clear but has to always exaggerate to say something or send a message?
If he is god why is he making his teachings be interpreted so differently thorough history that we have a 1000+ denominations of Christianity today?

The reason is simple, whoever wrote the gospel wanted to insert as many meanings as possible in the story since he had a few of his own to insert in it.

The gospels are very very complex literary works, they are not vague memories put on paper but very precise piece of literature.
Everything Jesus says or does has 1 or 2 different meanings that can be understood only by having the right context or knowing the story of an other piece of literature.
"Wars of the Jews" by Josephus is such an example.(this piece of literature was part of the bible itself at one point in time)
The early Christians knew about this connection and that is why it was part of the bible.


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