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It Is Amazing That I Am A Religious Zeolot

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on November 19, 2003 13:54:34 UTC

and you are somewhat the opposite. Yet our views are so similar. I certainly like the idea of a scientific god ala Smullyan. I even think of modern science as scripture. And although the jews, one of my many religions, tend to believe in a god but no afterlife, my tendency is to believe in an afterlife more than a god, at least in the common perception of god.

But the point I really want to make in this post is that the christian thinking of LW, in my opinion, is based on a misinterpretation of the Gospel as first promulgated by Paul. The key to such thinking is to be found mainly in Chapter 12 of the Book of John. I will copy it over for you from an on-line bible at:http://www.hti.umich.edu/index-all.html

*********
23] And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified.
[24] Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
[25] He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
[26] If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.
[27] "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? `Father, save me from this hour'? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour.
[28] Father, glorify thy name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
[29] The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
[30] Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine.
[31] Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out;
[32] and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."

***************


1. John 12:32 says that ALL men will be drawn to Jesus when Jesus is lifted up. Nothing is said about belief or even being religious.

But there might be conditions attached so we had better look at the earlier verses.

2. John12:24 says you have to die to bear fruit

So you need to die to get salvation

3. John12:25 If you love your life you will die and then bear fruit. But if you hate your life you will keep your hated life forever.

This is the verse that I believe is misinterpreted by most christians. Most christians believe that you have to hate your life to be saved.

My view is that Jesus preached love. Love god, love your neighbor, love your enemy, and here he is saying love your life, and you will be saved after you die. It's like to really love, you have to first love yourself and then your life, and then your family, and so on.

I think Paul got it all backwards, which has led to the negative aspects of Christianity. All that is required for salvation is love no matter what you believe. In other scripture, Jesus says that if you love your enemy you will become a son of god.

You will be honored by god if you follow Jesus as stated in John12:26. So perhaps there is a little extra for christians. But it is clear from John12:32 that salvation is for everyone. But you can see how it could go either way. The scripture seems to be somewhat ambiguous.

My interpretation is that Jesus is saying that if you are negative and unloving on earth, that is the kind of life you will have after death; but nevertheless you will have an afterlife. So heaven or hell is a matter of attitude. If you hate your life on earth you will hate your afterlife. But we all have one.

Now here is some contrary scripture:

Matthew 12
[30] He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.
[31] Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
[32] And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

It does not say that forgiveness is necessary for salvation. In fact it implies that you will still exist in the age to come even if you are not forgiven. And how does one speak against the Spirit??? -- by hating your life???

Anyway I am fascinated by scripture and how it has motivated people's lifes, both positively and negatively, depending on its interpretation.

Hope this has not been too boring for you. Biblical debate can go on and on.

All the best,

Richard






http://www.hti.umich.edu/index-all.html

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