God-hood & Faith in God(s)

And that is an egregiously contradictory statement! C’mon, Jason. You would use more brain cells than that to plan a vacation.” (Jim)

I don’t go on very many vacations to be honest – so actually ‘no I wouldn’t’. You version of contradiction is illogical – thought I’d mention that. The claim you say is in contradiction is:

Jesus was sent by God – but is not God

Jesus was sent by his Father – but is not his Father. This is logical. Jesus was sent by his Father – and Jesus is his Father. That not logical. Yet the 2nd one is the claim of Christianity – that Jesus and the Father are one – they are both God (yet one).

I think for a Christian to believe the Messiah is one with God in that the Messiah is God – is a strong removal from the original faith Jesus himself belonged to – so strong a removal to be in opposition to it. It breaks the very first commandment – can’t get any more removed than that.

A few questions” (Quest)

The questions you ask are asked as if the story is 100% true already – I think there is a slant there (in my opinion).

Now the story may very well be true – but it leaves more questions. Is Jesus – because of this birth – the literal son of God? This same thing happens in the Tanakh to Sarah – and her son is not considered the ‘son of God’ (a parallel). Heck, John the Baptist is brought about the same way – a miraculous birth – does this make him a son of God? No.

The only writers to so much as touch on this subject are Matthew and Luke – that’s it. No John, James, Peter, Mark, and Paul. If this is such a strong and important doctrine – how come more than ½ the NT writers never mention it? I would also like to point out that Luke’s ‘Acts’ also does not mention it…one might think this story was an addition later on? I am not sure of that myself – I just know the doctrine means very little and was dropped altogether by Paul.

Jesus was the same in nature as His Father and the same in nature as his mother. That would make Him 100% human and 100% Divine.” (Quest)

Quest, I hate to use some logic, but I must interject here…Jesus was 200% a person? Didn’t Hulk Hogan also give 110% in the ring? LOL. 100% is the most a human can be and I am going to break this down.

If Jesus is born as God and a human man – then Jesus isn’t exactly like us in ‘every way’ – is he? Jesus is ‘more than us’ – he’s God – he’s actually nothing like us. Jesus then dies on our behalf – which is also not true – because God cannot die. So if Jesus died then that is very strange – it reveals he is human – but how is he God? Unless God can die – split Himself into 2 – and willingly sacrifice one piece of His parts for us (died) – so ½ of God can die? It’s just very strange – cause if it’s true – then when we die – ½ of us does not die (we fully die).

To be totally honest with you it’s a real bender. I’m not sure if your just arguing or seeking to understand the concept. Even if you don’t believe it do you follow the concept?” (Quest)

I am looking at the concept and letting it be what it is – and then delving into it and seeing what it all means. I personally cannot believe Jesus is God – it breaks the first commandment – which God demands the Jewish faith do not break. I do not believe this concept – nor that the virgin borth truly matters (real or not). I follow the teachings of Jesus and that’s what I try to do – make those active in my life. I do believe that is what it means to ‘follow Jesus’.

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10 thoughts on “God-hood & Faith in God(s)

  1. one pastor from my seminary remarked during his ordination exam, when asked about his belief in the virgin birth he said “I believe as Paul believed on this issue” and that satisfied his audience. you do good to point out that paul never mentions it!

    the part of 100% divine and 100% human would not be hard to think about in a first century mindset as humans could take on deities… Caesar was deified as Saturn and Mars depending on the setting (court or war). however, many orthodox churches such as the coptic church in Egypt and most of the African and Indian never affirmed the Calecidonian Creed (forgive my misspelling of that creed, but it’s late) which set the doctine of the duel nature of Jesus. the stopped at the Nicaean Creed and said that “we are all two natures, why must we define it for Jesus? this can be misinterpreted to say that Jesus was different and then unapproachable to humanity.”

    here i say the copts are right.

  2. One of the first things I doubted in my faith was the concept of the trinity or tri-unity. It is ridiculous to claim 3 beings to be the same one being. There is no logical or rational way to make it true. So then I asked why is the concept of the trinity important?

    I think it is important because church leaders use it make their congregation feel dumb and thus easier to control. They might say “You don’t understand the trinity, well that’s because it takes so much faith that such a common stupid person wouldn’t understand it, so you must listen to me because I totally understand and believe it.” But even a child gets that three things are not one thing.

    I was told to think of the trinity like a father, mechanic and brother. All three can be true of one person. Yes, but a Father does not equal a brother. A Mechanic does not equal a father. Roles are not people. Roles are just characteristics of a person and not separate people.

  3. So then I asked why is the concept of the trinity important?
    I think it is important because church leaders use it make their congregation feel dumb and thus easier to control. (Wilfred)

    I believe you are right. I don’t know if church leaders are purposely trying to make the congregation feel dumb, as most congregation members could probably care less about the doctrine of the trinity, but the leaders are exerting a kind of control. All pastors, whether they want to believe it or not, are an ambitious and power hungry bunch, of which the power and control mentality serves them well

    Each congregation member sitting under the church or the pastor “has to” believe the doctrine of the church or else they will be excluded. Thus if you feel a “pull” to work in the church, or to help, or to become a minister, then you absolutely have to adhere to the rules and the theology of the church/denomination. This in turn limits discussion around unproven doctrines – the trinity being number 1 on the list. A person is just supposed to accept by faith that it is true.

  4. “Jesus was sent by God – but is not God”

    God cannot be present in a man? You seem to follow a pattern of assigning to God a few things that the Almighty is not able to do.

    Tell me then, where is this God who sent Jesus? Isn’t He omnipresent? We say figuratively He is in Heaven because He is the ruler there, but He’s also here among us. If this ONE God is omnipresent, is He made up of an infinite number of smaller gods each occupying a small particle of space? Or is He ONE God present inside and outside of all space?

    So you cannot say the ONE God is incapable of sending a man and not being in that man. When we feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, we are experiencing that presence of God. In Christ, God the Holy Spirit was not only present but intimately involved in Jesus’s persona from His conception. His mother was Mary so the Jesus in the flesh was half God, half human. In one sense you could say He was “different” than God, but only in a superficial way.

    Without this acknowledgement of Jesus’s deity, the prophecies are unfulfilled and the reconciliation that only a God-man could bring does not exist. Making Jesus into a mere man goes against what his closest followers said He claimed and makes the absurd statement that a human did the work for us.

    God did all the work and continues to do so. That’s what we see in nature and that’s why Judeo-Christianity is true, because it matches that reality. I’d like to know your thoughts on what I’ve said here, Jason. My hesitation to commit myself to God was due to a similar reluctance to recognize who Jesus was….and is.

  5. “absurd statement that a human did the work for us.” Jim J

    What’s absurd about Jesus being just a human being? What’s absurd about a human making significant changes in this world through human endeavors? What about people like Buddha, Gandhi, Mother Theresa or MLK Jr? We are all capable of making contributions to this world.

    An absurd notion is claiming to be a god. It’s called illusions of grandeur or schizophrenia, or some other type psychosis. I respect Jesus, not for the supposed miracles he preformed, but his compassion and lifestyle. That was godly, everything else was fairytales.

  6. “God cannot be present in a man?” (Jim)

    The Spirit of God can be present in a man – which is different than saying ‘God is that man’. See the prophets for such a disctinction.

    “You seem to follow a pattern of assigning to God a few things that the Almighty is not able to do” (Jim)

    I am? I am not the one assigning to God that He is more ‘than One’ – with the addition of Jesus to the god-hood I see ‘2’. That’s seems to be an assignment that the Almighty has sworn not to do according to commandment #1 – unless God is into breaking His own commandments – and that’s not really a road that holds much weight with me.

    “Tell me then, where is this God who sent Jesus? Isn’t He omnipresent? We say figuratively He is in Heaven because He is the ruler there, but He’s also here among us.” (Jim)

    I have no clue where God is – I have never seen him physically – maybe that is because He is a Spirit – but either way I have no clue. I would personally say God is another dimension – co-existing beside ours – that but we cannot see nor touch that dimension – maybe that’s heaven. To be honest, it’s a lot of a guesswork – since no one goes to heaven to map it out and comes back.

    Is God omnipresent? That’s a good question. I do believe God is everywhere and God can be reached at anytime. But just because God is everywhere means what exactly? I am not sure of the point?

    “So you cannot say the ONE God is incapable of sending a man and not being in that man” (Jim)

    Sure I can and I do. God sent prophets – John the Baptist had a birth like Jesus’ and yet he was not divine – just sent to be a prophet. I think the leap is made when one thinks God cannot send someone without that person being God.

    “In Christ, God the Holy Spirit was not only present but intimately involved in Jesus’s persona from His conception. His mother was Mary so the Jesus in the flesh was half God, half human. In one sense you could say He was “different” than God, but only in a superficial way.” (Jim)

    Here is some of the confusion with what you write – doctrinally:

    (a) A 3rd persona of God called the Holy Spirit – this is a doctrine not even so much as considered in Judaism (who use the Tanakh) – which has references to prophets being filled with the Spirit of God. To me, it just seems like the way God functions – and not a separate entity. If Judaism does not accept this concept – why should I?

    (b) God has a mother?

    (c) Jesus was ‘different’ than God and also ‘different’ than any human – I mean – what’s the real use of that in theological purposes? This person was nothing like us rendering his temptations and lived ‘human life’ useless to us. He is not an example we can follow.

    “Without this acknowledgement of Jesus’s deity, the prophecies are unfulfilled and the reconciliation that only a God-man could bring does not exist” (Jim)

    (a) The prophecies are fulfilled deity or not – there really is no problem there. Not a single prophecy was understood, by the original Judaic community, to be pointing towards a messianic God person – not a single one. It’s the same to this day for people in Judaism studying the messianic concept.

    (b) The reconciliation that a ‘God-man’ can bring, to me, seems like a made up dogma. It is predicated on the idea that ‘God sacrificed himself on His own altar’ – offering a ‘human sacrifice’ or worse ‘God died’ (both of which are non-sensical). Human sacrifices are not accepted by God and God cannot die.

    Also reconciled, from what and to what? We are Gentiles – these were not our promises to begin with – and we are now included in them? If anything, that’s the reconciliation – God is with every nation. You’re American, you should be able to appreciate that fact. It does not take a sacrifice for this concept to be true – just that this is what Jesus lived and died for…never wavering.

    But I am not sure about the sacrifical system as of yet – and this offering of Jesus up for the rest of humanity as a literal sacrifice – it’s strange.

    “Making Jesus into a mere man goes against what his closest followers said He claimed and makes the absurd statement that a human did the work for us.” (Jim)

    His closest followers didn’t say much about his divineness – only John makes mention (and that gospel is covered in symbolism) and Paul makes one mention – it didn’t seem that important to him (and that one thing may have been altered – who knows?). Fact is, all the stories of Jesus read more like that of a prophet – except he is the messiah figure. The messiah claim is huge in the texts – not his divinity.

    Did the work for us? You think God did the work for you or me? I personally don’t buy into being righteous by vicariousness – so whatever work Jesus did he did to reconcile us to God – or create that opportunity.

    “God did all the work and continues to do so” (Jim)

    Not true. God created and left us to tend to the earth. We are participants in the creative process – in the faith process. Does God cook your meals for you? No. Does God have faith for you? No. That’s the reality we live in. If God is doing everything – why leave us with choice? Interesting way God has of working.

  7. Here’s an interesting tidbit – I learned from Amy Jill Levine – concerning the concept of the ‘daily bread’ in the Our Father prayer.

    Does God make bread? No. God allows wheat to grow. Wheat is a ingredient in bread – but is not actually bread. Fact is, we make bread with the wheat we grow/tend to. The making of our daily bread is a concept about the human and God relationship – for each day – we work together.

    This is a great way to view the faith in my personal opinion – God is relevant but ao are we in that process. If God does everything – then we have no role anymore.

  8. a) “To me, it just seems like the way God functions – and not a separate entity. ”
    That’s what I said. And what do you mean by “‘Judaism’ does not accept this concept”?
    b) The Messiah was to come through the line of Judah (Gen. 49). The offspring of the woman would crush the head of the serpent (Gen 3:15). Don’t get too discombobulated by dwelling on “God has a mother”.
    c) I can’t tell wjat you’re saying in c.

    a) “It’s the same to this day for people in Judaism studying the messianic concept.

    Why are the people in Judaism studying the messianic concept if it doesn’t exist?

    b) Isaiah spoke of a stumbling stone and of the suffering servant. Isaac’s near-sacrifice is also an image of Christ as is Joseph being sold by his brothers into slavery so he can save them.

    There’s a lot of mirror images of Christ in the OT. But if you look at it from a traditional Judaism then you won’t see it. You can’t see it. You’re not allowed.

  9. There’s a lot of mirror images of Christ in the OT. But if you look at it from a traditional Judaism then you won’t see it. You can’t see it. You’re not allowed.

    You drag out the usual…..Let’s take a look at just these claimed ‘mirror images’.

    God stopped Abraham from sacrificing Isaac! Abraham was about the emulate the nations in sacrificing their children, an abomination spoken against over and over in Tanakh, but he was stopped.

    The snake reference with Eve? That is your justification for claiming Jesus must be divine? Puh-leeze.

    If ever there was a suffering servant it is the people of Israel. One person dying after a few hours on a stake is nothing compared to the thousands of other Jews who died on stakes, sometimes over the course of days, and nothing compared to the suffering of my people through the ages, mostly at the hands of the followers of your Jesus, BTW. Read the suffering servant chapter in context. Isaiah is talking about the nation of Israel before this passage and after. Yet you claim this in between piece is NOT about the nation of Israel?

    Joseph is such a beautiful mirror image. He instituted the very slavery that one day engulfed his own people. Instead of coming up with a just way of distributing food during the famine he instead collected all the food in storehouses for Pharaoh, then turned around and SOLD it to people who, in order not to starve to death, had to sell their land and themselves to Pharaoh! At the same time he makes sure HIS family is taken care of quite nicely, far away from where he lives, BTW. Yeah, what a compassionate caring asshole. Any wonder the Egyptians were only too happy to one day enslave us?

    You see mirror images with your picking and choosing even to the level of people’s character! The lesson of Joseph is that even a self-centered little jerk can still do some good in the world, although they usually manage to totally taint that good as well. Rather than Joseph being held up as a model to be emulated, he should instead be viewed as someone from whom we learn how NOT to behave.

    Let me bring up another image which you did not mention but which I hear about so often: the brass snake raised on a pole for people to look at and not die. What a beautiful picture, don’t you think? So, what happened to that brass snake? Hmmm. The snake had to be destroyed because the people started worshiping it.

    2 Kings 18:4 “He [Hezekiah] removed the high places, shattered the pillars, and cut down the Asherah-trees; he [also] ground up the copper serpent that Moses had made – for until those days the Children of Israel used to burn incense before it; he called it Nehushtan.”

    Hey, glad your excuses work well for you. You read Torah and only see what you have been taught to see. Yet I’m the blind one? Oooooh Kaaaaaaaaaaay.

  10. One more comment on this:

    But if you look at it from a traditional Judaism then you won’t see it. You can’t see it. You’re not allowed.

    But the messianic types you like to quote so much were allowed to see? Ah, they must have gotten into the wrong line where they were handed the 3d Trinity glasses and that special encoder ring reserved for gentiles thus enabling them to understand all those hidden messages off limits to the rest of us Jews.

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