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Thread: Meaning of Christianity as understood by a universalist

  1. #21
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    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Mana View Post
    Namaste Chris

    Wow was it that early, amazing; I always assumed it was written in Hebrew; Thank you.
    Do you have any knowledge as to the destruction of the Jewish temple 70AD in Jerusalem. Was that Jesus s' temple; how that is explained in the history books?

    praNAma

    mana
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    I don't know much about the destruction of the temple. It would have been the temple where Jesus overturned the money-lenders desks.
    It was indeed the temple Jesus had a fit in, over the corruption. It was indeed finally destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE in a final act of "That's it, we've had enough of these rebellions!". The Romans virtually razed it to the ground, leaving only the western (wailing) wall. I believe most of the rest of the fondations are gone also.
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ

  2. #22

    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by TouchedbytheLord View Post
    Love of, and devotion to God and all creatures. No more, no less.
    Words of wisdom, TouchedbytheLord. I am in wholehearted agreement with you in this.

  3. #23
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    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    The largest Christian church, the Catholic Church, does not teach that simply being non-Christian will send someone to eternal damnation.

  4. #24
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    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by ILoveGod View Post
    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.
    I understand your desire to think positively of the religion you grew up with. And if you wish to do so, that's certainly your right. But since you've made a specific case, let's look at it logically. You say that agape love was behind Jesus' crucifixion.

    Why was the crucifixion of Jesus an act of love?

    Answer: because by his death, we can all be saved from our sins and avoid going to hell. That's what Christians mean when they say that he takes the sins of the world, that he conquered death, etc. Even the liberal Christians mean this, though they haven't yet figured out how to say these words while simultaneously rejecting belief in eternal hell. Of course this implies that we must believe in him, which entails that we stop being Hindus and convert to Christianity.

    So then, you see the problem. It's not possible to see Jesus' death as an act of love without introducing the concept of hell. Let's put it another way. Let us say that Lord Krishna had been killed on the battlefield of Kurukshetra instead of living for more than thirty years after the fact. Would God's death be an act of love? Theologically speaking, I think not. We would likely commend what he did in life, namely instructing Arjuna in Dharma and acting as his charioteer. Maybe we'd commend his willingness to risk death. But the death itself wouldn't mean too much. That's because in our religion, there is no hell. More importantly, we don't believe in substitutionary atonement. God doesn't take your sin away by suffering for the deeds that you have done. And since eternal hell is not the alternative to letting God suffer vicariously for our sins, we see nothing wrong with paying for our own sins.

    I can't make any comment one way or another on Jesus himself, because the Bible contains scare little information on him. I'm with Satay. Christianity at its best is irrelevant to us, at its worst a religion that centers on eternal hell and escape from it. Hell makes Christianity an awful religion bent on the destruction of other cultures. But without hell, Christianity is just a bunch of meaningless platitudes and a Sunday social club (see the Episcopal church).

  5. #25

    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by sanjaya View Post
    I understand your desire to think positively of the religion you grew up with. And if you wish to do so, that's certainly your right. But since you've made a specific case, let's look at it logically. You say that agape love was behind Jesus' crucifixion.

    Why was the crucifixion of Jesus an act of love?

    Answer: because by his death, we can all be saved from our sins and avoid going to hell. That's what Christians mean when they say that he takes the sins of the world, that he conquered death, etc. Even the liberal Christians mean this, though they haven't yet figured out how to say these words while simultaneously rejecting belief in eternal hell. Of course this implies that we must believe in him, which entails that we stop being Hindus and convert to Christianity.

    So then, you see the problem. It's not possible to see Jesus' death as an act of love without introducing the concept of hell. Let's put it another way. Let us say that Lord Krishna had been killed on the battlefield of Kurukshetra instead of living for more than thirty years after the fact. Would God's death be an act of love? Theologically speaking, I think not. We would likely commend what he did in life, namely instructing Arjuna in Dharma and acting as his charioteer. Maybe we'd commend his willingness to risk death. But the death itself wouldn't mean too much. That's because in our religion, there is no hell. More importantly, we don't believe in substitutionary atonement. God doesn't take your sin away by suffering for the deeds that you have done. And since eternal hell is not the alternative to letting God suffer vicariously for our sins, we see nothing wrong with paying for our own sins.

    I can't make any comment one way or another on Jesus himself, because the Bible contains scare little information on him. I'm with Satay. Christianity at its best is irrelevant to us, at its worst a religion that centers on eternal hell and escape from it. Hell makes Christianity an awful religion bent on the destruction of other cultures. But without hell, Christianity is just a bunch of meaningless platitudes and a Sunday social club (see the Episcopal church).
    I agree absolutely. Once you say that non-Christians won't go into hell you are odds with all the major Christian lineages. You are saying that the crucifiction was not necessary, turning to Christ is not necessary, and therefore the gospels are not necessary. Many Christians would not class you as a Christian.

    Now Jesus may well have been a guru to his disciples, teaching the same message as other gurus. I know Hindus who believe this, but we should not kid ourselves that it is encompassing Christianity. It is saying that Christianity has it wrong and we understand the real message of Jesus through Sanatana Dharma, which they have missed.

  6. #26
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    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    I agree with Satay and sanjaya.

    Xity is irrelevant for Hinduism for the following reasons.

    (a)Adam and Eve never existed.
    (b)Original sin and its transmission via biological inheritance due to which all of us are in a "fallen" state is false because of (a).
    (c)Christianity is dull and sad. As sanjaya mentions, it is about God suffering vicarious for our sins which are anyway not ours because even granting Adam and Eve existed, the sin was theirs not ours. To further support this point, I googled Christianity images. Here were the first few results.



    and

    .

    I dont like to follow a religion where the only imagery I have of the Gods and Goddesses are full of pain and sadness.

    Contrast this with the first few results for Hinduism images. Here were the first few results.



    and



    Hinduism is quite simply a much more open, fun and diverse religion. It is a no-contest.

    Dont take this too personally, ILoveGod. You probably are a well-meaning person. But it is what it is. Xity is simply too stifling a religion. You may have a different POV, but this is after all a Hindu message board. Hinduism has suffered enough under Abrahamic filth for Hindus to be open-minded about the Abrahamics' intentions. If any proselytization needs to be done, it is to be done on the Abrahamic so that he gives up notions of eternal heaven and eternal hell.

  7. #27

    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    Thank you for your replies.

    As I've said, I know the stance of Hindus on HDF toward Christianity, and I have total respect for that. And I am also deeply sorry for what's been going on between Christians and Hindus in general. I even looked at a website once, and the articles on "how to evangelize Hindus" were very disturbing to me, too.

    In my original post, I was trying to make a point that not all Christians are the same or have the same mentalities.
    A religion can be interpreted in different ways by its adherents.


    I'm a Christian, and it certainly isn't my intention or desire to destroy any culture or religion. I'm not bent on destroying anything.
    I'm honestly not joking: I love Hinduism & India, and other cultures and religions.
    I don't think Hinduism is wrong or full of "Satan worshippers." I enjoy learning about it, as well as other religions. That's just part of my interests.
    Nobody has to believe or think the way I do. Everyone should have the right to believe whatever he or she chooses.

    Maybe a majority does, but I personally wouldn't use Christianity as a means of conversion or threatening of eternal hell. To me, Christianity is a religion of example: that is, following Jesus' teaching and example of loving others.

    By the way, concerning the images of Christianity, my personal favorite is the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That doesn't make me feel sad or scared. It inspires me to love everyone.

  8. #28

    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by ILoveGod View Post
    By the way, concerning the images of Christianity, my personal favorite is the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That doesn't make me feel sad or scared. It inspires me to love everyone.
    Interesting that it should be plagerised iconography from the Ramayana that predates Jesus:

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aB5PNbIDm2...-rama-sita.jpg

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ysbqAK-74J...d+Heart+LG.gif

    see http://www.exoticindiaart.com/article/hanuman/

  9. #29

    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    "As soon as one desires to worship some [god], I make his faith steady so that he can devote himself to that particular deity." BT 7:21

    Doesn't matter who it is we worship, the true god will still support us.

    Now in my understanding and research.
    The 3 gosples (mat,mark,luke) are the ones christains should follow. In those gosples it's about doing good deeds and love all without descrimating (spelling)
    the book of john and pauls writting are the only ones who talks about Jesus being a human sacrifce. Jesus has warned about Paul and orginaized religions who claim to be "Christ". Christ means annoited (spelling) and he said not to belive anyone who claims this. In my interpretation of the gosples, christainity was pose to be an inner peace religion but later turned into an outward religion where you must listen to the false Christ and there own interpretation of the bible.

    In this way people are following other peoples interpretation of god and not there own personal god.
    Religion = self idenity = entrapment,
    Only in silence will you find God.

  10. #30

    Re: The True Meaning of Christianity

    Chris,

    For me, that is okay.
    I also love the images of Hanuman.
    I like any image that inspires Divine love.

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