Gospel Jesus as lord of a here-and-now kingdom

Thomas

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If I'm understanding that right, then I see that as an answer to my question, and maybe what RJM was saying also. It might also help me to have a better attitude about people thinking that way. Thank you.
No problem. That's what IO is about ...
 

Longfellow

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I keep wanting to respond to the threads “Why do you need Jesus?” and “Did he die for our sins?” but it’s only because I see the salvation story of Christianity as part of the smoke and mirrors hiding gospel Jesus from people and repelling them away from Him, and that might not be a good reason for posting in those threads. :D
 
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Cino

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I keep wanting to respond to the threads “Why do you need Jesus?” and “Did he die for our sins?” but it’s only because I see the salvation story of Christianity as part of the smoke and mirrors hiding gospel Jesus from people and repelling them away from Him, and that might not be a good reason for posting in those threads. :D

As long as you present your beliefs clearly as your own, and without an agenda to convert others to your views, you are welcome to participate! I am not a believer myself, and yet I enjoy contributing to the discussions here, even if no-one has adopted my godless views.
 

Thomas

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Smoke and mirrors aside, what is it that attracts you to Him?
 

Longfellow

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Smoke and mirrors aside, what is it that attracts you to Him?

My thoughts and feelings about Him are a long story going back more than 60 years to when my big sister taught me His prayer and the 23rd Psalm. Also, my grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins were all Bible-believing Christians, and I went to confirmation class and was baptized in an Evangelical and Reformed church.

For now I will only try to describe my current thoughts and feelings about Him. First, the Jesus who matters the most to me is the one in the gospel stories. I’m not interested in any Jesus that anyone is currently calling “historical Jesus.” I’m thinking that everything I need or want to know from and about Jesus, everything that God wants me to know from and about Him, is in the gospel stories. Incidentally, when I say “God, I mean the God of Jesus, who I’m thinking is also the God of Abraham.

Since I started reading the gospels again, there isn’t much about Him that attracts me. In fact, I can’t think of anything about Him that attracts me. He looks cold-hearted and vindictive to me, impulsively violent sometimes, and disrespectful to his mother. He’s constantly preaching at people and insulting them, including His band of most devoted followers. That’s how he’s looking to me now in the gospels, so no, I’m not feeling any attraction now to gospel Jesus. And yet, the warm and fuzzy feelings that I’ve had for Him most of my life are still there, and still associated with Him somehow.

(later) Not attracted to Him as a person, but still attracted as much as ever to His teachings.
 

Longfellow

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A part of my story that goes back many years, and still brings tears to my eyes, is my love for the song about the little drummer boy, which I sometimes think of as my theme song. “I have no gift to bring, that’s fit to give a king.” My heart is aching now with that feeling. My face lights up with a new thought. Timidly but with happy hopefulness: “Shall I play for you ..? On my drum …?” pointing to the little toy drum still hanging from my neck. Mary nods. I play that little toy drum, doing what little I’ve learned to do hoping to please Him, and then, is that a — is He — I thought I saw Him smiling at me! Tears of joy.
 

Longfellow

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One way that I have always been attracted to gospel Jesus, and still am, is in what He says and how he says it. I’m thinking that His way of saying things has always appealed to me no matter how much I disagreed with it and even when He is insulting people, like Aupmanyav’s posts. Along with that, all through the years, I’ve learned to see wisdom in His words more and more. My recent disillusionment with the imaginary teddy bear that I was projecting onto Him hasn’t changed any of that at all.
 

Longfellow

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Now I'm thinking that the Christian gospel ends where where the gospel of Jesus begins, and plants a field of poppies there like the one in the land of Oz.

(later) Now I'm thinking that there might be some people practicing and promoting what gospel Jesus is teaching after all, recognizing Him as their lord even if they don't think of it in those words, in some or all of the Christian churches, in all of the other religions, and outside of all of them.
 
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Longfellow

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I’m currently thinking that gospel Jesus is promoting a metaphorical kingdom with Him as its king. People enter that kingdom when they recognize Him as a person to serve and obey above all others, and start learning to live the way He says to live. I’m thinking that the gospel stories are about a real person who was teaching during the prefecture of Pontius Pilate, who had all the power and authority of the God of Abraham, and who approved of his followers thinking that He was a promised king of Israel. I’m thinking that the story that the gospel stories tell is mostly what He taught his followers to say.
 

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One question for me is whether it’s possible today for people to enter that kingdom in that way. I’m thinking that maybe it is, especially if there are people practicing together to learn to live the way He says to live, because they see God in Him and recognize Him as their lord. I’m thinking that Christian doctrines, Christian proselytizing, and Christian politics are hiding that kingdom from people and repelling them away from even learning about it, but even so, there might be many people including many Christians who have learned about that kingdom and entered it by reading the Bible and/or some other books that teach about it.

(later) If there are people entering and living in that kingdom as Christians, I’m thinking that it would mostly be from having Christian friends who are living in it, rather than just from reading or hearing about it.
 
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Leveller

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The part about him being the son
I'm not sure what to think of the part about him being a sacrifice for the sins of all people.
Hi Longfellow. Regarding some of your opening comments, you may find the book 'Mere Christianity' by C.S. Lewis to be of value. I write this as a non-Christian but I will readily admit to finding his arguments very impressive.
 

Longfellow

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Hi Longfellow. Regarding some of your opening comments, you may find the book 'Mere Christianity' by C.S. Lewis to be of value. I write this as a non-Christian but I will readily admit to finding his arguments very impressive.

Thanks. :) I read it already. I like his idea of following Christ together.
 

Tone Bristow-Stagg

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Even though this is about the Jesus in the gospels of the Christian bible, I'm posting it here because it's a non Christian or maybe even an anti-Christian view. What I see Jesus promoting in the Bible gospels is not a gospel of salvation. He himself calls it "gospel of the kingdom," not "gospel of salvation." My understanding of his gospel of the kingdom is that it's a metaphorical kingdom in which he is the king, a way for people to learn to live the best life they can in this world, and people enter it when they recognize and accept him as their lord, meaning a person to serve and obey above all others. In my understanding, that's what he wants people to know most of all, and it has nothing to do with any gospel of salvation that is being promoted by any of the Christian churches today.

The part about him being the son of God only refers to him being the one that God promised to David, saying "I will be his father, and he will be my son," and it's only part of the context for Jews to recognize him as their lord. Other people don't need to know anything about that, to recognize him as their lord, and enter his kingdom. They also don't need to believe that any of the miracles, or his resurrection, happened in any physical way. They don't even need to believe that he ever actually existed, or that God exists, to recognize him as their lord and enter his kingdom.

I'm not sure what to think of the part about him being a sacrifice for the sins of all people. That might have been invented by Paul. Even if it came from Jesus, again, no one has to believe it, to recognize him as their lord, and enter his kingdom.

(later) Each statement above should be understood as starting with "I'm thinking that ..." or "In my current understanding ..."

All very reasonable thoughts, yet I hesitate at the comment people do not need to believe.

There are multitudes of thoughts raised by offering what are our possible needs in life.

In a material sense maybe a no, in a spiritual sense, most likely a yes.

Regards Tony
 

Tone Bristow-Stagg

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I believe the Biblical account of Jesus, who he was, why he died and all that, simply because it resonates with me and aligns with personal experiences and thoughts I had, long before ever picking up the book. Mind you, while I did grow up in a Christian household of sorts, we were not regular church goers or particularly pious. Think I'm the only one in the family ever really got into it.

Anyway, it is my beliefs regarding salvation I have trouble conveying to others. There's just no one specific thing I can point to. More a combination of thoughts, ideas and observations I've made over the years.

I guess some of it does stem from my exposure to Hindu culture and reading the Bhagavad Gita, but not entirely. When I read doctrine, I pay attention to the words, words are important, but I put more emphasis on the lesson behind the words. If that makes any sense. I think that's why Jesus taught in parables. Words get corrupted and mistranslated, but the lesson behind the words is often still there I find. In the case of the Bible though, you really have to consider it in it's entirety before the meaning of individual passages becomes clear.

I guess that doesn't really answer the question, but hopefully it will lend some insight into my mindset. Such as it is. :)

That was good. :)

Regards Tony
 

Longfellow

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I’d like to know, if anyone has an opinion about this and would like to answer: Do you see anything in the Bible gospels that contradicts this view of what Jesus is promoting in those gospels?

In the gospels, it looks to me like Jesus is promoting a metaphorical kingdom in which He is the king, and which is a way for people to live the best life they can. People enter that kingdom by recognizing and accepting Him as a person to serve and obey above all others, and learning to live the way he says to live. The reason that He approves of Peter saying that He is the anointed one, the son of the living God, is because those are titles for a promised king of Israel, and that’s what Jews need to know, to recognize and accept Him as a person to serve and obey above all others. It has nothing to do with the way he was conceived. Also when He says and does things as if He is God, that’s because He has authority and power from God to say and do them. It doesn’t mean that the Creator Himself has entered into His creation.

None of this is denying that Jesus, and the way He died and was raised again, play a unique and central role in salvation for all people for all time.
 
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Longfellow

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Now I’m thinking that it was a mistake to frame my view of what Jesus is promoting in the gospels as being opposed to Christian doctrines, because what I really want to do is promote more interest in learning to live the way Jesus says to live, and I don’t think that most Christians would think that’s opposed to their beliefs.
 
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Tone Bristow-Stagg

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Now I’m thinking that it was a mistake to frame my view of what Jesus is promoting in the gospels as being opposed to Christian doctrines, because what I really want to do is promote more interest in learning to live the way Jesus says to live, and I don’t think that most Christians would think that’s opposed to their beliefs.

Maybe James 2:14 - 2:24 are thoughts that could be used?

Regards Tony
 

Thomas

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I am rather of the same opinion as C.S. Lewis, Jesus is either: "Mad, Bad, or the Son of God."
 
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