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Thread: Meaning of Christianity as understood by a universalist

  1. #1

    Meaning of Christianity as understood by a universalist

    Greetings everyone.

    This is just something that I've been contemplating for a while and thought it would be nice to share with open minds.

    Christianity is NOT about condemning people to eternal hell or forcing religion on people. It's not about judgement or frightening people. It isn't about being better or more righteous than others.
    And please don't think that just because I'm talking about something I feel is good about and central to Christianity, it means that I'm trying to lure you into the religion. It simply isn't true.

    The true meaning of Christianity is agape love. It teaches love like any other religion. Agape is the Greek word for a divine, selfless, and unconditional love. It is central to Christianity, as Mahatma Gandhi once said.

    Jesus taught and demonstrated agape love. He taught love toward the neighbor, enemy, saint, and "sinner."

    Jesus even said that it is agape love that is the mark of a true disciple or Christian.

    Remember that Jesus also befriended the outcasts and the oppressed in his society.
    Jesus is also known for being crucified, but it isn't the "blood" and "torture" aspects of it that are important. It was the agape love that was behind it. It was Jesus' selfless love for his friends and even his enemies.

    I grew up Christian, and the message that the religion speaks to me is to simply love everyone.

    So, for those who may believe that Christianity is a bloody or evil religion, please consider looking at it in another way.

    Please feel free to share any thoughts.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by satay; 24 December 2011 at 11:01 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    At this point in my walk... I find it very naive how anyone can come to an exact conclusion about what Jesus did and didn't teach. First off, Christians have claimed his teachings as their own. Secondly, Jesus did not speak in any sort of obvious lineage or tradition. He was an out of the blue character, who irritated others. And lastly, given the amount of political intrigues, as well as the ambiguity of many of his teachings, how can you come to such non-ambiguous conclusions?

    Jesus was an interesting person. Should I trust what is written about him or he purportedly said? Not at all. Nor should anyone else.
    How can I put this in a sentence? Try next time.

  3. #3

    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    Kismet, I understand. I was just giving my own interpretation of what the Christian faith means. I'm not trying to set something in stone. I just thought about the way I worded the title of my thread, and I didn't intend it to mean that "this is the only way." I apologize if I did.

    There is a thought on HDF (and elsewhere) that if someone is a Christian, it is likely that he or she is deceitful or has ulterior motives, but that isn't always true.
    There are Christians who are sincerely focused on kindness and interpret their faith in light of kindness.

    In the end, I think that's what it's really about, whether you are Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, atheist, etc.

  4. #4
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    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    Namaste and greetings I Love God,

    First, good to see you posting again. Secondly, I hope to keep in spirit of Kismet's response and your follow up. In light of Shian's post last night, this is what I selfishly wish for.
    I Love God, I have followed your posts, and I do not question your intent for others at all. I view you as a seeker from within. I am happy how you choose to interpret the meaning of Jesus. With this though, his purported teachings can not be taken in a vacuum. There is very much that you do not include with his acceptance and preaching regarding the Torah which he also is quoted as teaching about (I will not insult you or what I feel is your intent, with sharing post of going into thoughts regarding Torah and the dreaded oral tradition of the Talmud). Based on what is given to us in these texts (to include Pauline), it seems to me, as but one spectator, that you are in love with an idea, the most beautiful idea known to us, and that you filter it through a tradition that you are more familiar with. Unfortuantely, the text where it seems you derive this beautiful idea of the ideal, does not support such a view. The idea of agape love for the Divine is more than beautiful.

    Take care I Love God.

    Om Shanti.

    FFTW
    Last edited by Friend from the West; 13 December 2011 at 09:05 PM. Reason: Font is for people younger than me.

  5. #5

    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    FFTW, that was one of the most beautifully kind yet wise posts I have ever read.

    Adam, Beloved Bless you in every single way.

  6. #6

    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    FFTW, thank you so much for your love and kind words. Thank you for recognizing my feelings and intentions. You are a good friend.

    NayaSurya, it is good to talk to you again. I hope you have been well. May you also be blessed.

  7. #7

    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by ILoveGod View Post
    Kismet, I understand. I was just giving my own interpretation of what the Christian faith means. I'm not trying to set something in stone. I just thought about the way I worded the title of my thread, and I didn't intend it to mean that "this is the only way." I apologize if I did.
    I did not intend, by the way, to downgrade your own personal interpretation of what Christianity means *to you.* If that is the case, then fine. By all means you are entitled to believe that which moves you.

    Speaking in general terms, though, it sounded more as if you were giving an actual argument about the real meaning of Christianity. Loosely defined "Christian" can mean just about anyone or anything. Your remarks about Jesus, too, I have no idea of how to verify. How do you know Jesus really loved both his friends and enemies? I do not know, and I do not care to speculate anymore.
    How can I put this in a sentence? Try next time.

  8. #8
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    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by ILoveGod View Post
    Greetings everyone.

    Christianity is NOT about condemning people to eternal hell or forcing religion on people. It's not about judgement or frightening people. It isn't about being better or more righteous than others.

    Please feel free to share any thoughts.

    Thanks.
    Namaste,
    Since you asked ...

    I realize that you are creating your own version of Christianity but the main stream Christianity is precisely about hell, about frightening people destroying cultures, families and condemning people and humanity in general for the sins that they never even committed.

    In general, Hindus don't care about Christianity and Jesus. It is completely irrelevant to us.

    Pls don't think that when I say this that I am being critical of Christianity. I watch a couple of programs from two different churches on Sundays. Christianity is precisely about judgement and hell is normally the theme of their messages. In fact, last Sunday message was precisely about judgement day and repentance, a special message to remind people of these two central themes during this gift buying bonanza.

    Just because you have some liberal notion of Christianity doesn't make the religion itself what you imagine it to be or what you think it should be.

    Anyway, Christianity is irrelevant to us in general.
    satay

  9. #9

    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by ILoveGod View Post
    Kismet, I understand. I was just giving my own interpretation of what the Christian faith means.
    I appreciate your attempt to find liberal meanings from an established religion. Ofcourse your interpretation would be of any real help only if you can get Christians (at least some of them) who believe in eternal hell, hinduism is satan worship, only salvation through jesus etc, to agree with you and behave accordingly. Since none of the Hindus believe in these things, nothing is achieved by telling us what real Christianity should be. But if you try to spread these understanding among the fundamentalist christian I would greatly admire your efforts and courage. There is only gain if we can make a few fundamentalist into humanists. Hindus have no problem if they worship Jesus or someone else, but if they are humanists, we surely will all benefit from greater brotherhood. Humanists can't necessarily believe in eternal torment of fellow human beings. Please continue the good work, but to the right audience.
    What is Here, is Elsewhere. What is not Here, is Nowhere.

  10. #10

    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by ILoveGod View Post
    The true meaning of Christianity is agape love. It teaches love like any other religion. Agape is the Greek word for a divine, selfless, and unconditional love. It is central to Christianity, as Mahatma Gandhi once said.

    Jesus taught and demonstrated agape love. He taught love toward the neighbor, enemy, saint, and "sinner."

    Jesus even said that it is agape love that is the mark of a true disciple or Christian.
    If Christianity is about love to saint and sinner then why does it teach that non-Christians, even those who practice love, will go to hell whereas those who believe in Jesus will be forgiven and saved even if they practice hate?

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