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View Diary: Why do so many folks here use the term "Old Testament" as code for barbarism? (265 comments)

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  •  And what is the style of the NT? (0+ / 0-)

    God taking revenge on those who don't believe some silly metaphysical riddle, by throwing them in a lake of fire forever.

    At least in the OT "displeasing God" meant denying justice, cheating in marriage or business, ignoring the poor and needy. In the NT, displeasing God is confounding the Persons or dividing the Substance or some such nonsense.

    •  Not NT, Catholic Church -- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      millwood

      established these ideas --

       

      In the NT, displeasing God is confounding the Persons or dividing the Substance or some such nonsense.
      They kept making it up as they went along.  As the fundamentalists continue to do today.
    •  ? (0+ / 0-)

      In the NT displeasing God means not loving one another, which is basically the concept of Christian Charity.

      •  Not if you follow John or Paul (0+ / 0-)

        One of the most famous quotes from the NT is John 3:16ff. In America (where I live), it is so well known, that you will sometimes see people holding up cards at sporting events that say just "John 3:16".  People are expected to understand automatically what that means.

        Here is the text (exact words from Revised Standard Version):

        For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
        You can see that this text is saying that you are saved if and only if you are a believer, otherwise you are damned.  I'm not sure whether predominantly Christian America realizes how shocking these well-known and well-loved verses look to non-believers!

        In some editions of the NT (though not in the RSV), these verses are even displayed as the words of Jesus himself, not of John.

        The letters of Paul (which in the Protestant branches of Christianity are given equal and to my opinion sometimes greater weight than the words of Jesus) reinforce this by taking the position that no amount of good deeds will save you, and only your belief saves you.  And "belief" is understood to include belief in things Jesus' apostles wrote about Jesus.  Many American Christians, and especially most evangelicals, treat John's and Paul's teachings, rather than Jesus' teachings, as the central message of the NT.  And in fact, by volume, these words constitute a considerably greater fraction of the book than the words of Jesus.

        The NT would be much more palatable to people like me if it were pared down to the synoptic gospels.  Then people could be inspired to follow the (largely OT-inspired) teachings of Jesus, rather than the Johannine and Pauline teachings about Jesus.  

        •  And I don't feel that interpretation is right. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm a protestant but I don't believe the Bible is "perfect." Scripture as they say is God breathed, but we still have to see it through the eyes of man. It's useful for teaching, rebuking correcting and training in righteousness. That's different than following it to the letter. And of course the Bible itself was formed at Nicea because Constantine wanted Christians to stop fighting each other. We can hope they did their best.

          As a Christian I certainly believe that Christ is the reason for salvation, but I believe loving your neighbor IS how you love God, IS how you believe.

          Many people who call themselves Christians are not. People who might not call themselves Christians are.

          Or at least, that's how I see it.

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