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If Christ had died of old age....(19 posts)

If Christ had died of old age....rwbadley
Sep 3, 2003 6:36 AM
Where would Christianity be today?

A question posed by my 17yo son.

Makes you think, huh?
re: If Christ had died of old age....jtolleson
Sep 3, 2003 6:50 AM
There would be no Christianity as we know it today. Without the atoning sacrifice of death followed by resurrection, you lose two of the most fundamental tenets of Christianity. Jesus' significance for Christians is not in the wisdom of his teachings but in the symbolism of his death and resurrection. Otherwise he's just another prophet, even if divine himself.
just another prophet......rwbadley
Sep 3, 2003 7:20 AM
Good answer. I essentially threw out a similar thought.

Though, that leaves out the question of virgin birth, which came before death and resurrection, and should qualify Him status on that virtue alone...

Taking it further, One might wonder if certain aspects of the story may have been 'enhanced' to provide more momentum for the movement.

Martyrdom is a powerful thing. To be born again even more so.

Bottom line, We would have found someone else to hoist up on the pedestal, eh? Maybe Christmas would be called Smithmas.... sorry that is a bit simplistic.
We'd be praying to the Celtic gods.MR_GRUMPY
Sep 3, 2003 6:52 AM
We'd be asking, ......Jesus.... Who ?????
There would be no Crusades...mohair_chair
Sep 3, 2003 7:59 AM
I guess a lot of people would have to find some other justification for killing other people they don't like. Killing, raping, pillaging and plundering is so much more fun when God is on your side.
That's not what all Christians are about you knowKristin
Sep 3, 2003 8:18 AM
Throughout the ages, greedy, power hungry and misguided people have used various religions to justify all sorts of atrocities. That doesn't mean that Christ isn't who he claimed to be or that Christianity supports killing, raping, pillaging and plundering. That is often why I identify myself as a Christ follower and not a "Christian." (Though I wish I was sure I am even that. I don't know what the heck I am these days. Just trying to figure it all out, I guess.) One thing I do know. If my experiences have been encounters with God, then God is not evil.
True and many 'Christians' are nothing about Christ! nmSpunout
Sep 3, 2003 8:22 AM
I do knowmohair_chair
Sep 3, 2003 8:32 AM
Sorry Kristin. I meant that to be a little over the top, but didn't really mean to offend anyone.

If you look at the history of the Crusades and lots of other things done in the name of Christ (e.g., the Inquisition), it's not hard to see that the people involved totally lost the meaning of what Christ stands for, and co-opted the religion for their own gain. Much like what is happening to Islam today. Much like the Pharisees (sp?) did in the time of Jesus.

I do know that all Christians aren't like that.
No need to apologizeKristin
Sep 3, 2003 9:12 AM
I wasn't offended, and I suspected that you were being facetious. At the same time, I get the impression that Christian's/Christianity as a whole is something that irks you--which makes me sad. I don't like to be irksome. And its also easy for those who believe that Christianity is all a bunch of hogwash to pig pile on events like the crusades in an attempt to proove Jesus was a farse.

What would have become of Christianity if Jesus had died of old age? "We can not know what would have been; only what is." ~C.S. Lewis (I've not gotten this quote quite right. I'm going on memory, but I'll look it up tonight and correct it tomorrow.)
to clarify...mohair_chair
Sep 3, 2003 9:46 AM
I was raised a Christian, and to some extent I still am one. I'm not really sure anymore. I have a lot of issues with this stuff and how it relates to my life that I haven't sorted out.

Christianity doesn't irk me so much as religion as a whole. I have never liked all the rituals and robes and candles and stuff. It's just not my thing. But what irks me the most is that too many participants who want to use their religion as a base of power and a means of control, and I'm not going to play along. Christians, Jews, Muslims--they all do it.

What irks me about Christians in particular is that too many don't take seriously two key things that Jesus said: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, and judge not lest ye be judged. I'm not sure if there is an equivalent in other religions, but the concept is pretty simple. Do your thing, but leave me alone. If whatever I'm doing is evil, I'm sure God will punish me when the time comes.

My parents are still fairly religious. Not crazy shrines in the house religious, but they are strong believers and are very involved in their church. They aren't in it to elevate themselves over their neighbors. For my life, right now, I've decided to distill a set of values from how I was raised by my parents. That is, try to be good, do good things, be kind, be considerate, be honest, don't screw over people (as well as the basic don't steal, don't kill, etc.). For now, that's enough for me.

I will never criticize you for your beliefs and certainly not for simply being a Christian. But if you or anyone else starts telling me I am sinning by drinking, or you tell me I need to pray more, or you tell me my kids need to pray in school, and so on, that's when you cross my line.
to clarify...Duane Gran
Sep 3, 2003 11:54 AM
What irks me about Christians in particular is that too many don't take seriously two key things that Jesus said: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, and judge not lest ye be judged. I'm not sure if there is an equivalent in other religions, but the concept is pretty simple. Do your thing, but leave me alone. If whatever I'm doing is evil, I'm sure God will punish me when the time comes.

I understand not wanting to be left alone, but it is also a fundamental tenet of Christianity to minister to others. Some discount this as a self perpetuating meme required for all religions, but it is rather overt in Christianity. I don't think Christians should be rude about it, but I don't see that anyone is hurt by being invited to church or if someone wishes to talk about matters of faith.
Thanks for clarifyingKristin
Sep 3, 2003 12:31 PM
I agree with everything you said. There is also some truth in Duane's point in his post as well. This is something I'm trying to understand: Where is the line between being honest in love and truth, and being critical and judgemental. I think that you are both talking about different things though.

I suspect that Mo is talking about people who try to force external controls onto him, in order to force him to conform to a religious philosophy. I also wonder if is overly-sensitive to this and sometimes mistakes good intension and love for critical attacks. I think Duane is talking about someone who holds a standard of behavior and explains it to others so that they can consider it for themselves. The first seems to be invasive, the second is not. I guess it all has to do with boundaries.

Since Pygme's post, I've been pondering a new question. What role should one man play in another man's life? We have laws in this country that allow us to stop--with deadly force if necessary--the harmful actions of one person against another. Does the fact that I'm willing to shoot and kill a bank robber, in order to keep him from killing the teller and other patrons, make me a good person? I would think so. But as I review the scriptures, Jesus not even once interveines in any mans actions. It appears that he was about the business of consequences and aftermath. He didn't stop Peter from cutting off a man's ear. Though he scolded Peter after the fact and healed the mans ear. He didn't stop Peter from running away. He warned him, but didn't hinder him. However, he was there, waiting, to help Peter work through the consequences once he came back around. I think you're onto something Mo. Not sure what, but something.

And you're right. I think the church today may be is sick--as in ill. The more I study the texts, the more I see differences between the church and what Jesus was trying to do.
christ did beat up the moneylenders though (nm)ColnagoFE
Sep 3, 2003 9:20 AM
Yes, but consider the storyKristin
Sep 3, 2003 12:41 PM
First of all, in order to think about this properly, you must assume that its true. Why? Because the only account of it is in the bible, and if the story is fiction and God doesn't exist, then the story is pointless.

If its true, then what are the facts?
1. Jesus is God. And the Son of God. (Okay, big debate for antoher day.)
2. The temple belongs to Jesus. It is is Father's house.
3. The men in the temple were behaiving in ways that opposed God (Jesus') original design for the temple. This can be demonstrated through old testement passages.

So now imagine yourself in this sitation. You own a business that employs 25 people. Two of them are your daughters and three others are cousins. You are a good employer and you love your employees and your company. You take care of them and it by providing good benefits and a nice workplace. You need to travel on business and you leave charge of your office to a top executive. You return several months later to find that this executive has moved them out of the nice office space you were leasing and has put them in wharehouse to work. He has cut their benefits in half and has them running his personal errands on their free time. 10 of them have left and the others are very upset. How do you respond?

Now I know there is an obvious hole in the plot. If God is God, then why didn't he do anything about it before? Well, it seems that God lets people make their own choices. This is one of the very few examples in the whole bible where God attacks anyone. And he didn't kill anyone, he simply threw them out. If he is who he claimed to be--and we are assuming, for the sake of this story, that he is. Then he had every right to do what he did.
What did he die of after the resurrection?Turtleherder
Sep 3, 2003 10:30 AM
Seriously, I don't think I ever heard what eventually happened to him after he rose from the dead.
he ascended into heaven...ColnagoFE
Sep 3, 2003 10:52 AM
at least that is what we all recited in church every sunday. far as i know he is still there sitting at the righ had of god the father almighty ready to judge the quick and the dead.
good pointmohair_chair
Sep 3, 2003 10:53 AM
He hung out for 40 days, then he was pulled up into heaven on what Catholics call the Ascension. I have no idea if Protestants have the same thing.

http://www.cin.org/ascension.html
he ascended into heaven...ColnagoFE
Sep 3, 2003 10:53 AM
at least that is what we all recited in church every sunday. far as i know he is still there sitting at the right hand of god the father almighty ready to judge the quick and the dead.
Taken up to heaven...moneyman
Sep 3, 2003 11:01 AM
To be with God the Father.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.


From the Nicene Creed (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11049a.htm)

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