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Old 12-08-2012, 04:00 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
Yeshua,
In my earlier post when I compared a couple of Laws of Islam to that of Bible, I only referred to two examples, namely polygamy and slavery.

There is good evidence that the early Christians did practice both of these.

My question to you is this:
in the Bible we see Jesus explicitly talks about the Law of divorce, and rebukes them very clearly regarding divorcing their wives.
But how is it that, there is no such a thing as regards to polygamy or slavery?
Are not slavery and polygamy at least as important as divorce?
Why there is no verse in Bible that Jesus ever rebuked them for slavery or polygamy?

My dear Investigate

I have a hand infection that has spread sores over my fingers and palms, making it painful for me to type, so I hope that you understand, I am not being lazy or anything if I fail to write as much as usual or as clearly

Not everything Jesus said and did was recorded in the four Gospels. Likewise Roman society was a slave-state, so it does not surprise me that Jesus is not referenced in the Gospels as condemning it, even though Paul's later epistles completely undermine the system through the horizontal equality in Christ made between slaves and freemen, which is why later Christian Church Fathers and Popes opposed it. However there is an agrapha of Christ which tells people to "loose their bonds", although its debated whether he is speaking of literal slavery or spiritual slavery to sin. Jesus often spoke of slavery with regards to sin negatively, as in "whoever sins is a slave to sin", so he hardly approved of it.

That is debateable. The Early Church clearly endorsed monogamy and Jesus' statements about marriage speak of one man and one woman becoming one flesh, not one man and three or four women. We also have Paul's statements in his Letters to the effect that one should only be married once, and that the wife gives her conjugal rights and has control over the husband's body and vice-versa. How could these teachings ever be seen in a polygamous light? They clearly teach one woman having power over one man's body and vice-versa. Also Jesus never wrote anything or delivered a scripture. He gave teachings to his Apostles and these were passed down partly in written forum and partly from Christian elder to Christian elder, that is Sacred Tradition, and the Tradition was clearly against polygamy as was Roman society.


In Roman marriages, after a period of 12 months, the husband assumed Manus (that is ownership) over his wife, as he would over any other of his moveable property. Marriages were often arranged between families for social benefit. Divorce was also incredibly easy, straightforward and common. The Early Christians, alternatively, taught that marriage was an equal bond of love between a man and a woman that reflected the love between Christ and his Church. Saint Paul tells us that in a Christian marriage the wife owns the husband's body and he owns her body; that is a mutual ownership that completely runs counter to Roman understandings of marriage, and indeed Roman Law which stipulated the ownership only of the husband over the wife:


Quote:
"...For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife..."

- Corinthians 7:4

You will find no mention of "wives" (plural) or "husbands" (plural) in the New Testament. All of its passages dealing with marriage relate solely to and assume a monogamous Roman Law marriage.
In the New Testament Jesus is portrayed variously as the husband of His wife, the church (Rev 21:9, 22:17), in a strictly monogamous relationship. Marriage is described by Saint Paul and in the Letter attributed to Peter as being modeled on and reflecting the relationship between Christ and his Church. This makes no sense in a polygamous context, since it would mean multiple churches married to one Christ when only one Church is spoken of which is represented in marriage by the wife.

Take for example:


“Each man [should] have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2).

That "wife" is singular, and that "husband" is singular - in both English and the original Greek.

The whole philosophy underpinning New Testament monogamy is that marriage is not about property rights but rather the mutual covenant between a man and woman who stand in the place of Christ and his Church and together become the image of Christ and his Body. That is a unique understanding of marriage believed only by Christians and it admits of no polygamy.

When Jesus was asked about the practice of divorce, He pointed back to "the beginning," and that God made one woman for one man, and that the "two" should become one flesh (Matthew 19:3-9). Yes TWO BECOME ONE. Not three, not four.

Catholic Christianity is not a sola scriptura faith. The bible is not the sole authority for us. The Bible relies itself on apostolic oral tradition, and we believe that much was left unwritten.

As the Catechism explains:

Quote:
"...The Catholic faith is not a "religion of the book." Catholicism is the religion of the "Word" of God, a word which is "not a written and mute word, but the Word is incarnate and living". If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter,the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, "open [our] minds to understand the Scriptures."..."
The Second Vatican Council ("Vatican II") wrote an important document called "On Divine Revelation" (Dei Verbum in Latin). It's quite readable, and contains definitive teaching on the full meaning of Catholic Tradition.
The Council notes the importance of seeing that Catholic Tradition is firmly rooted in the Apostles: it is Christ's whole gift to them, and to us. The Council writes:

Quote:
In His gracious goodness, God has seen to it that what He had revealed for the salvation of all nations would abide perpetually in its full integrity and be handed on to all generations. Therefore Christ the Lord in whom the full revelation of the supreme God is brought to completion..., commissioned the Apostles to preach to all men that Gospel which is the source of all saving truth and moral teaching, and to impart to them heavenly gifts.
(Dei Verbum, 7)
It is specifically this "commissioning of the Apostles" that is fulfilled in the handing on of Catholic Tradition.

The Apostles dedicated themselves to this mission, and they appointed other faithful men to succeed them and carry on their work. That same passage of Dei Verbum continues:

Quote:
This commission was faithfully fulfilled by the Apostles who, by their oral preaching, by example, and by observances handed on what they had received from the lips of Christ, from living with Him, and from what He did, or what they had learned through the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The commission was fulfilled, too, by those Apostles and apostolic men who under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit committed the message of salvation to writing.
(Dei Verbum, 7)
The fact is this: The Church Fathers unaninmously opposed polygamy and not one of them ever supported it in the slightest. One can find no Father who had a favourable view of polygamy, nor one who permitted it, and the canons expressly imposed penalties for it.

For Catholics this Sacred Tradition is equal in authority to the Bible.

I could quote from that tradition, but would you simply say that it is not relevant because it is not biblical (even though in Catholic and Orthodox eyes it is just as important)?

On slavery, I'll deal with that in my next post in full.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-08-2012 at 04:04 PM.
 
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:16 PM   #42
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Tommorrow I'll speak directly about the New Testament and slavery.

Tonight, I've gathered a few quotes from prominent Catholic saints, theologians and Popes on slavery throughout the 2,000 years of the Church's existence. Generally, the Catholic Church opposed slavery, with (as with every ancient institution) some exceptions.

For Catholics, who regard the Church and its deposit of faith and not the Bible as the supreme authority (the Bible being part of the wider picture and compiled by the Church), this age-old tradition is authoritative doctrinally for us.

Have a read brother/sister Investigate:

Quote:
The Catholic Church had all but eradicated slavery from the Christian populations of Europe by the 1100s. The Catholic Church kept a consistent campaign against race based slavery from 1400s until the 1890s.


Quote:
"...The Roman Catholic Church, as an institution, sustained a legal opposition toward slavery. Beginning in the fifteenth century, [particularly], Popes expressed their position in different papal bulls and letters to monarchs..."

- The Historical encyclopedia of world slavery, Volume 1; Volume 7
By Junius P. Rodriguez

* Jesus Christ (agrapha, extra-biblical saying):


"...And the Lord said: Go out, those who wish to do so, from your bonds..."

- Jesus (recorded by Saint Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies 6.44)


* c.185-254: Origen says that he favours the Jewish practice of freeing all slaves after seven years.


* c.335-394: The Church Father St. Gregory of Nyssa opposes slavery outright:


"...When someone claims God's property as his own and assigns dominion to his own race, so as to consider himself the lord of men and women, is he not through pride overstepping his own nature and imagining that he is different from those under him?...You condemn human beings - whose nature is free and who possess free will - to slavery and you make laws in opposition to God, overturning his law for human nature. As though resisting and fighting against divine decrees, you bring under the yoke of slavery one who was made specifically to be the lord of the earth and appointed ruler by the Creator...Irrational animals are the only slaves of human beings...But in dividing human nature into slaves and lords you have caused it to be enslaved to itself and to own itself...He who knew human nature rightly said that the whole world was not worth being given in exchange for a human soul. Therefore, whenever a human being is for sale, nothing less than the Lord of the Earth is led to the marketplace...'I got me slave-girls and slaves.' For what price, tell me? What did you find in existence worth as much as this human nature? What price did you put on rationality? How many obols did you reckon the equivalent of the likeness of God? How many staters did you get for selling that being shaped by God? God said, Let us make man in our own image and likeness. If he is in the likeness of God, and rules the whole earth, and has been granted authority over everything on earth from God, who is his buyer, tell me? Who is his seller? To God alone belongs this power; or, rather, not even to God himself. For his gracious gifts, it says, are irrevocable. God would not therefore reduce the human race to slavery, since he himself, when we had been enslaved to sin, spontaneously recalled us to freedom. But if God does not enslave what is free, who is he that sets his own power above God's?..."

- Saint Gregory of Nyssa (Homilies on Ecclesiastes)


* Circa 400: St. Augustine speaks of the granting of freedom to slaves as a great religious virtue, and declares the Christian law against regarding God's rational creation as property.


* 400-425: Acacius of Amida opposes slavery


* 415-493: Saint Patrick, himself a former slave, argues for the abolition of slavery. He particularly is appalled by the treatment of female captives. The Letter to Coroticus is addressed to an Irish chieftan who had taken some of Patrick's converts into slavery. When Coroticus fails to respond to a plea to to set the captives free, Patrick responds by excommunicating Coroticus. Patrick proclaims that one cannot be a Christian and own slaves. The suffering of women slaves moved Patrick deeply; he remarked on their courage and tenacity. He tells us that "slavery is in and of itself horrific". Patrick so rejected the practice of slavery that he calls for Coroticus and his soldiers to make reparations and do penance.


"...Wherefore, then I plead with you earnestly, ye holy and humble of heart, it is not permissible to court the favour of such people, nor to take food or drink with them, not even to accept alms, until they make reparation to God in hardships, through penance, with shedding of tears, and set free the baptized servants of God and handmaids of Christ, for whom he died and was crucified...Where, then, will Coroticus with his criminals, rebels against Christ, where will they see themselves, they who distribute baptized women as prizes - for a miserable temporal kingdom, which will pass away in a moment?..."

- Saint Patrick (415-493), Letter to Coroticus


"...But the greatest is the suffering of those women who live in slavery. All the time they have to endure terror and threats. But the Lord gave His grace to many of His maidens; for though they are forbidden to do so, many of them follow Him bravely..."

- Saint Patrick (415-493), Confession


* 500s: While in power Pope Gregory the Great attempts to repress slave-dealing. He wrote: "Since our Redeemer, the Author of all life, deigned to take human flesh, that by the power of His Godhood the chains by which we were held in bondage being broken, He might restore us to our first state of liberty, it is most fitting that men by the concession of manumission should restore to the freedom in which they were born those whom nature sent free into the world, but who have been condemned to the yoke of slavery by the law of nations".

* 529: Emperor Justinian's "Institutes". Compilation of Christian Roman Law by Saint Justinian. Foundation of law in all medieval legal systems in Europe. States that freedom is a Natural Law right. The code says "Wars arose, and in their train followed captivity and then slavery, which is contrary to the law of nature; for by that law all men are originally born free."


* 588-650 - Saint Eligius uses his vast wealth to purchase British and Saxon slaves in groups of 50 and 100 in order to set them free.


* Circa 610: St. Isidore of Seville writes:


"...I can hardly credit that a friend of Christ, who has experienced that grace, which bestowed freedom on all, would still own slaves...God has made no difference between the soul of the slave and that of the freedman..."

- Saint Isidore of Seville (c. 560 – 4 April 636), Church Father


* 626 – 680: Saint Bathilde (wife of King Clovis II) becomes famous for her campaign to stop slave-trading and free all slaves

* 851: Saint Anskar begins his efforts to halt the Viking slave trade

* 1000s: Church teaches that no Christians are allowed to be slaves to other Christians. That the Church willingly baptized slaves is claimed as proof that they have souls, and so both kings and bishops—including William the Conqueror (1027-1087) and Saints Wulfstan (1009-1095) and Saint Anselm (1033-1109)—forbid the enslavement of Christians. The Protestant Rodney Stark wrtites, "Since, except for small settlements of Jews, and the Vikings in the north, everyone was at least nominally a Christian, that effectively abolished slavery in medieval Europe, except at the southern and eastern interfaces with Islam where both sides enslaved one another's prisoners. But even this was sometimes condemned: in the tenth century, bishops in Venice did public penance for past involvement in the Moorish slave trade and sought to prevent all Venetians from involvement in slavery".


* 1167: Pope Alexander III condemns slavery and declares it unnatural:


"...Christian men ought to be exempt from slavery, [moreover] nature having made no slaves, all men have an equal right to liberty..."

- Pope Alexander III, Papal Bull (concerning the Muslim King of Valencia's enslavement of captives), 1167


*1100s: According to the historian James Bowden, "[By this time] mainly by the voice of the Church, slavery had been extinguished in western Europe". For the first time in history we have basically an entire continent where no European is permitted to enslave another European.


* 1200s: "...Saint Thomas Aquinas deduced that slavery was a sin, and a series of popes upheld his position. It is significant that in Aquinas's day, slavery was a thing of the past or of distant lands. Consequently, he gave very little attention to the subject per se, paying more attention to serfdom, which he held to be repugnant.However, in his overall analysis of morality in human relationships, Aquinas placed slavery in opposition to natural law, deducing that all "rational creatures" are entitled to justice. Hence he found no natural basis for the enslavement of one person rather than another, "thus removing any possible justification for slavery based on race or religion." Right reason, not coercion, is the moral basis of authority, for "one man is not by nature ordained to another as an end." Here Aquinas distinguished two forms of "subjection" or authority, just and unjust. The former exists when leaders work for the advantage and benefit of their subjects. The unjust form of subjection "is that of slavery, in which the ruler manages the subject for his own [the ruler's] advantage." Based on the immense authority vested in Aquinas by the Church, the official view came to be that slavery is sinful..." - Rodney Stark


* 1400s: Unable now, because of the Church, to enslave fellow Christian Europeans, the emerging Spanish and Portugese Empires look abroad to find slaves in other countries. Thus begins the new "racial", "chattel" slave trade of Africans and natives from around the world. The Church condemns this from the very beginning.


* 1435: Pope Eugene IV condemns the enslavement of native peoples in the newly colonized Canary Islands. His bull Sicut Dudum rebuked European enslavers and commanded that:


“...All and each of the faithful of each sex, within the space of fifteen days of the publication of these letters in the place where they live, that they restore to their earlier liberty all and each person of either sex who were once residents of the Canary Islands … who have been made subject to slavery. These people are to be totally and perpetually free and are to be let go without the exaction or reception of any money..."


* 1462: Pope Pius II (1405-1464) announces in a papal encyclical that slavery is a 'great misfortune' and a 'great crime' - meaning that it was not a natural condition for mankind - and encourages individual Catholics to release their slaves.


* 1464 - 1448: Rodney Stark: "...Pope Pius II (1458 to 1464) and Pope Sixtus IV (1471 to 1484) followed with additional bulls condemning enslavement of the Canary Islanders, which, obviously, had continued. What this episode displays is the weakness of papal authority at this time, not the indifference of the Church to the sin of slavery..."


* 1519: Bartholomew De Las Casas, a Dominican, now being considered for sainthood, argues against slavery and becomes "The Defender of the Native Americans":


"...No one may be deprived of his liberty nor may any person be enslaved....”


* 1514: James Bowden writes: "The rapid development of this atrocious system, under the fostering influences of Spanish and Portugese avarice and cruelty, did not pass without strong and decided censure. It was emphatically denounced by the highest authorities in the Catholic Church and at times by the most powerful men in the state. Pope Leo X declared against slavery at a very early stage of its existence, and he did so under somewhat extraordinary circumstances. The Dominicans, an order of the Church who witnessed the horrors of this cruel bondage, held that it was utterly repugnant to the Gospel, and pleaded for its entire abolition. Another order of the church took a different view and eventually an appeal was made by the contending parties to the Pope, as head of the Church. His reply was a memorable one..."


And this was his reply:


"Not only the Christian religion, but nature herself, cries out against slavery"

- Pope Leo X, 1514


* 1537: Pope Paul III Pope Paul in the bull Sublimis Deus described the enslavers as allies of the devil and declared attempts to justify such slavery "null and void." Accompanying the bull was another document, Pastorale Officium, which attached a latae sententiae excommunication remittable only by the pope himself for those who attempted to enslave the Indians or steal their goods.


Pope Paul III wrote:


"...The exalted God loved the human race so much that He created man in such a condition that he was not only a sharer in good as are other creatures, but also that he would be able to reach and see face to face the inaccessible and invisible Supreme Good...Seeing this and envying it, the enemy of the human race, who always opposes all good men so that the race may perish, has thought up a way, unheard of before now, by which he might impede the saving word of God from being preached to the nations. He (Satan) has stirred up some of his allies who, desiring to satisfy their own avarice, are presuming to assert far and wide that the Indians...be reduced to our service like brute animals, under the pretext that they are lacking the Catholic faith. And they reduce them to slavery, treating them with afflictions they would scarcely use with brute animals...Desiring to provide ample remedy for these evils, We define and declare by these Our letters, or by any translation thereof signed by any notary public and sealed with the seal of any ecclesiastical dignitary, to which the same credit shall be given as to the originals, that, notwithstanding whatever may have been or may be said to the contrary, the said Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ; and that they may and should, freely and legitimately, enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property; nor should they be in any way enslaved; should the contrary happen, it shall be null and have no effect.

By virtue of Our apostolic authority We define and declare by these present letters, or by any translation thereof signed by any notary public and sealed with the seal of any ecclesiastical dignitary, which shall thus command the same obedience as the originals..."

- Pope Paul III, Sublimus Dei, 1537. [Ibid., pp.79-81 with original critical Latin text]


Pope Paul not only condemned the slavery of Indians but also "all other peoples." Furthermore they are to have complete liberty "even though they are outside the faith", not Catholics. The Protestant historian James Bowden writes: "In two separate briefs, Pope Paul III imprecated a curse on any Europeans who should enslave the Indians or any other class of men".


* 1591: Pope Gregory XIV condemns slavery in the Bull, "Cum Sicuti"


* 1639: Pope Urban VIII (1623 to 1644), at the request of the Jesuits of Paraguay, issues a bull Commissum nobis reaffirming the ruling by "our predecessor Paul III" that those who reduced others to slavery were subject to excommunication.


* 1686: the Congregation of the Holy Office (the Roman Inquisition now 'Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith') takes up the matter. On March 20, 1686, it ruled in the form of questions and answers:


It is asked:

Whether it is permitted to capture by force and deceit Blacks and other natives who have harmed no one?

Answer: no.

Whether it is permitted to buy, sell or make contracts in their respect Blacks or other natives who have harmed no one and been made captives by force of deceit?

Answer: no.

Whether the possessors of Blacks and other natives who have harmed no one and been captured by force or deceit, are not held to set them free?

Answer: yes.

Whether the captors, buyers and possessors of Blacks and other natives who have harmed no one and who have been captured by force or deceit are not held to make compensation to them?

Answer: yes


* 1741: Benedict XIV condemns slavery and the slave trade in the bull Immensa Pastorum


* 1815: Pope Pius VII - At the Congress of Vienna after the Napoleonic Wars, the pope demanded of the victorious Congress powers the immediate suppression of the slave trade and the outlawing of slavery itself.


* 1839: Pope Gregory XVI's 1839 bull, In Supremo, reiterated papal opposition to enslaving "Indians, blacks, or other such people" and forbade "any ecclesiastic or lay person from presuming to defend as permissible this trade in blacks under no matter what pretext or excuse". It clearly condemned slavery:


"...We, by apostolic authority, warn and strongly exhort in the Lord faithful Christians of every condition that no one in the future dare bother unjustly, despoil of their possessions, or reduce to slavery Indians, Blacks or other such peoples..."


* In the Bull of Canonization of the Jesuit Peter Claver, named the "Slave of the slaves", one of the most illustrious adversaries of slavery, Pius IX spoke of the "supreme villainy" (summum nefas) of the slave trade.


* In 1888 and again in 1890, Pope Leo XIII forcefully condemned slavery and sought its elimination where it persisted in parts of South America and Africa.


He wrote:


"...The maternal love of the Catholic Church embraces all people. As you know, venerable brother, the Church from the beginning sought to completely eliminate slavery, whose wretched yoke has oppressed many people. It is the industrious guardian of the teachings of its Founder [Jesus] who, by His words and those of the apostles, taught men the fraternal necessity which unites the whole world. From Him we recall that everybody has sprung from the same source, was redeemed by the same ransom, and is called to the same eternal happiness. He assumed the neglected cause of the slaves and showed Himself the strong champion of freedom. Insofar as time and circumstances allowed, He gradually and moderately accomplished His goal. Of course, pressing constantly with prudence and planning, He showed what He was striving for in the name of religion, justice, and humanity. In this way He put national prosperity and civilization in general into His debt. This zeal of the Church for liberating the slaves has not languished with the passage of time; on the contrary, the more it bore fruit, the more eagerly it glowed... St. Gregory the Great, Hadrian I, Alexander III, Innocent III, Gregory IX, Pius II, Leo X, Paul III, Urban VIII, Benedict XIV, Pius VII, and Gregory XVI stand out. They applied every effort to eliminate the institution of slavery wherever it existed. They also took care lest the seeds of slavery return to those places from which this evil institution had been cut away..."

- Pope Leo XIII, CATHOLICAE ECCLESIAE, 1890



* 1965 Pope Paul VI wrote in Gaudium et Spes, “Whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery . . . the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where men are treated as mere tools for profit, rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed . . . they are a supreme dishonor to the Creator."

I would like your thoughts on this anti-slavery tradition (of which their are many more quotes I could show).

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-08-2012 at 04:39 PM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 04:25 PM   #43
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I like Pope Leo X's statement in particular:

Quote:
"...Not only the Christian religion, but nature herself, cries out against slavery..."

- Pope Leo X, 1513

Now Pope Leo credits the Christian faith as "crying out against slavery".

James Bowden writes of Leo:

Quote:
"...Pope Leo X declared against slavery at a very early stage of its existence, and he did so under somewhat extraordinary circumstances...Leo X was one of the most learned of the popes, and, doubtless was fully aware that, mainly by the voice of the Church, slavery had been extinguished in western Europe..."

Quote:
Pope Leo X issued a papal bull against slavery on January 14th 1514. Though Leo was unpopular for his "immoderate luxury," which included a pet elephant, he nonetheless gained some followers when he issued a bull — or charter — stating that slavery was unnatural and should be abolished. Despite the bull, the slave trade continued to flourish, but Leo's statement was later referenced by many abolitionists.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-08-2012 at 05:12 PM.
 
Old 12-08-2012, 04:50 PM   #44
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Posts: 1,296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
My dear Investigate

I have a hand infection that has spread sores over my fingers and palms, making it painful for me to type, so I hope that you understand, I am not being lazy or anything if I fail to write as much as usual or as clearly
I wonder if you didn't have that infection, how much you would have typed.
Anyways, hope you get well soon.


Quote:
Not everything Jesus said and did was recorded in the four Gospels.
well, I am not saying that Jesus or any other Prophets before or after Jesus, ever promoted slavery or polygamy. Surely in the sight of God, slavery is not acceptable, and monogomy is better, But it seems old Testament allowed it and new Testament did not explicitly and clearly mention about them, as I believe was not possible for that age to abolish slavery or polygamy completely.
It is true that Not everything Jesus said and did was recorded in the Gospels, but I believe everything that was supposed to be ordained and emphasized was recorded in Bible. I don't believe God is powerless as to fail to include such important things as slavery or polygamy had He wanted to, and if indeed Jesus explicitly talked about them.
Yes, I am aware that, Christians argue that New Testament teaches monogomy, and does not allow slavery.
But the point is this: in our age, it is clear that polygamy and slavery are not acceptable.
But 2000 years ago, it was still acceptable in the sight of many people to prectice polygamy or slavery.
and if New Testament is not that clear about these issues, How could the people of 2000 years ago know these things were wronge?

Anyways, thanks for your reply.

Last edited by InvestigateTruth; 12-08-2012 at 04:56 PM.
 
Old 12-09-2012, 12:05 AM   #45
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From: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,893
Islam does not mean submit!

It is not good enough to submit, for the submitting ego is still an ego.

Muslim means one who has surrendered the ego, it is like saying moksha or nirvana in the past. Through every religion, all the saints and sages, they have all surrendered their individual nature. All is Tawhid, but it is wrong to say "I am God" because many will think you mean the body, it is the universal consciousness which you find which is Tawhid. This is the difference between the hatred of terrorists and a human society that is utterly one in nature, loving each other totally because we all come from the same source.

For me, it is impossible to trust Islam exactly because of the disgusting things done in its name. It is the same for Christianity though, it doesn't matter who is right or wrong, who started what, the fact of the matter is that millions of deaths have been justified by this faith as well. Now we have the Baha'i Faith which is already talking about violent conquest of nations, this whole line is corrupt. How can it be otherwise though? There has never been peace in this line, why would there be now?

We have to stop believing people have exclusive revelations from God, what is called God is each ones true nature. As long as God remains a belief, it will remain something to defend and kill or die for. Only when our interest is to know God directly, when belief is dropped and knowing directly is insisted, only then will this whole concept ever actually become something useful for man.

There is a great truth, the only fulfillment in life, through what is pointed at as God.

Find that and all this discussion drops.
 
Old 12-09-2012, 05:34 AM   #46
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Dear Investigate,

You do know that the author of the first Letter of Timothy, condemned the slave trade of human beings as if they were property? This is the basis, obviously, of the strong papal tradition of trying to end the Transatlantic slave trade when it arose.

Now, the question I have for you is how is the author of Timothy's condemnation of slave-traders any different from Baha'u'llah's condemnation in the Aqdas (1873) of people who slave-trade?

Abdu'l-Baha took this condemnation in the Aqdas as implying condemnation of the institution of slavery itself (even though that is by no means obvious since the slave trade and slavery itself in the 19th century were treated as distinct in the broader spectrum)?

1 Timothy tells us:

Quote:
"...We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine..."

- 1 Timothy 1:8-10

As you can see the New Testament author lists "slave traders" in the same category as murderers and sexual deviants and clearly condemns it, as scholars note:

Quote:
"...The inclusion of 'slave traders' is unusual, since the economy of the Roman Empire was in large part dependant upon the institution of slavery..."

- J. J. Harrington

Quote:
"...Mistreating slaves in any way was denounced in Ephesians 6:5-9 and 1 Peter 2:17-24. In Galatians 3:26-29, free men and slaves were considered equal. But in 1 Timothy 1:6-10, slavery was denounced. The author compared slave traders to be equal in social stature with murderers, thieves and perverts..."

- D. Nicholas Overall
Now the latter scholar takes the condemnation of slave-trading as a condemnation of slavery. Why not? Didn't Abdu'l-Baha do exactly the same with the Aqdas?

Baha'u'llah in the Aqdas - like the author of 1 Timothy - condemns only the slave trade:

Quote:
"...It is forbidden you to trade in slaves, be they men or women..."

- Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-Aqdas (paragraph 72), 1873

Why not say, "it is forbidden for you to own slaves", since slavery itself had been abolished even in the United States by this time after the Civil War?

Likewise in Baha'u'llah's tablet to Queen Victoria he praises the British government for its outlawing of the slave trade in 1807 (which still permitted slavery itself afterwards) but mentions nothing to her about the actual Abolition of Slavery Act in 1833 (which did abolish the institution of slavery). He writes: “We have been informed that thou has forbidden the trading in slaves, both men and women. … God hath, truly, destined a reward for thee, because of this.”

So why are the New Testament and the Aqdas not on an equal footing when it comes to slavery?

If fair is fair, shouldn't we take both 1 Timothy and Baha'u'llah as implying a condemnation of the institution of slavery itself, or hold that they both only condemned the slave trade?

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-09-2012 at 05:41 AM.
 
Old 12-09-2012, 07:32 AM   #47
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Lunatik, i'm growing tired of your "revelations". Now they are just plain corny.

I agree with a portion of what you said, in that finding God often transcends a single religion. Tawheed as you quoted is I think alive in many of the world's traditions. The Qur'an mentions Bhudda twice, and calls his followers "righteous men". There is a universalism that many religions bring light to.

But you say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatik
...it doesn't matter who is right or wrong, who started what, the fact of the matter is that millions of deaths have been justified by this faith as well.
Sorry my friend but the logistics DO matter. It's like saying that the KKK would never had existed if it weren't for Christianity. The truth of the matter is that the world's religions preach peace and unity but when selfish and greedy men get their hands on it they find ways to twist and distort it. The KKK doesn't represent Jesus' teachings that God loves all equally. Why should Al Qaeda represent the Qur'an's teachings that all men and women come from the same source? That the best of men is the most humble?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatik
There has never been peace in this line, why would there be now?
PLEASE read a history book. Other religions got along just fine in the past with Muslims. Yes, if you weren't Muslim you paid a tax (a very small one) but it was LESS than the obligatory charity tax Muslims had to pay. You paid more money if you converted to Islam (which countless did). It is counter intuitive to say that Muslims forced people to convert even through a tax. In reality you would pay LESS in taxes today than if you lived in one of the earlier Muslim states. (Less than 2% your income).

And we all know how lax Muslims used to be on the homosexuality issue. Their European neighbors would mock them all the time about this.

I bring that up because I knew someone would make that comment.

I think it is very very naive to say that religions are the source of all problems. It's greedy and xenophobic men that are the source of the world's issues. This world is changing SO fast. In the past 50 years we have completely changed how humans live. It's not surprising that there are those resistant to change.

But we have to fight ignorance wherever we find it, and not just point a finger and say "RELIGIONS DID IT!". It's not scholarly, it's not truthful, and it's not going to get us anywhere. You raise good points but please support them with facts and evidence and not metaphor.

Peace.

Last edited by Zhang; 12-09-2012 at 08:56 AM.
 
Old 12-09-2012, 10:53 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Dear Investigate,
Now, the question I have for you is how is the author of Timothy's condemnation of slave-traders any different from Baha'u'llah's condemnation in the Aqdas (1873) of people who slave-trade?
Yeshua,

I suggest looking back at Old Testament first. It seems to me there are Two separate Laws: One is regarding 'purchasing slaves', another is about 'stealing human'.

Leviticus 25:44-46:

"However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way."

Now with regards to stealing human, OT does not allow that:

Exodus 21:16:
“Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death."


Now as regards to the quote in 1 Timothy 1:10, in fact it is talking about man-stealers. It is not talking about purchasing human:


"whoremongers, sodomites, men-stealers, liars, perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that to sound doctrine is adverse"

(Young's Literal Translation)
 
Old 12-09-2012, 03:08 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhang View Post
Sorry my friend but the logistics DO matter. It's like saying that the KKK would never had existed if it weren't for Christianity. The truth of the matter is that the world's religions preach peace and unity but when selfish and greedy men get their hands on it they find ways to twist and distort it. The KKK doesn't represent Jesus' teachings that God loves all equally. Why should Al Qaeda represent the Qur'an's teachings that all men and women come from the same source? That the best of men is the most humble?
Christianity is responsible for the KKK and similar groups, actually, so it is ironic you make this comparison. It is required of every KKK or similar to be a white protestant and Christian texts are used to justify their propaganda.

The point I was making though is that the very fact this can be justified at all using these texts is reason enough to get rid of the text. You seem to actually agree, but your personal identification won't let you see your agreement.

The Quran and Bible teach religion in a way that is fundamentally flawed, they teach a type of identification which is the root of all evil. Rather than method of transformation, you have to try to be the best Christian, Jew or Muslim possible. You have to perfect a character which is the very problem, and it is this which can easily be molded. A true Muslim has surrendered all identifications and found that they are simply active love.

These people are called Sufi's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhang View Post
PLEASE read a history book. Other religions got along just fine in the past with Muslims. Yes, if you weren't Muslim you paid a tax (a very small one) but it was LESS than the obligatory charity tax Muslims had to pay. You paid more money if you converted to Islam (which countless did). It is counter intuitive to say that Muslims forced people to convert even through a tax. In reality you would pay LESS in taxes today than if you lived in one of the earlier Muslim states. (Less than 2% your income).
Wherever there are Muslims coinciding with another religion, there is violence. Hindus and Muslims constantly fight, Sikh's and Muslims. Christians and Muslims, Jews and Muslims. Where is the tolerance?

I am not even touching on the Caliphate's crimes, I am talking about present day. I would suggest you research how they defeated others though, and the motivation they used to justify spreading those empires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhang View Post
I think it is very very naive to say that religions are the source of all problems. It's greedy and xenophobic men that are the source of the world's issues. This world is changing SO fast. In the past 50 years we have completely changed how humans live. It's not surprising that there are those resistant to change.
Identification is the root of all problems, but religion is one of the fundamental identifications in this world - another big one is country.

Change is the only constant in life, identification with the old also causes us to fight with the new.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhang View Post
But we have to fight ignorance wherever we find it, and not just point a finger and say "RELIGIONS DID IT!". It's not scholarly, it's not truthful, and it's not going to get us anywhere. You raise good points but please support them with facts and evidence and not metaphor.
This is the difference.

I am not interested in how we can fight ignorance or injustice, not in the slightest. I am interested in spreading love so far and wide that neither can happen in the first place. The Abrahamic line is big on fighting this and that, what exactly have they accomplished?

I would suggest man has advanced DESPITE it, not because of it - although I recall a rant you made in one thread about the Arabic advancements, do you really feel they wouldn't have happened without Islam?

The only thing I am sure of is that peace will never come in the world until man no longer identifies as this and that, until he can face the world himself rather than going along with the crowd. When we give each individual the freedom to utterly express his potential, what he has come to show the world, we will keep killing each other to get revenge on our repressions.

Enough is enough.
 
Old 12-09-2012, 03:10 PM   #50
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"active love" is actually a misnomer.

Love is active silence.

Silence is inactive love.
 
Old 12-09-2012, 04:29 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunitik View Post
The Abrahamic line is big on fighting this and that, what exactly have they accomplished?.
Brother Lunitik,

I would never deny the atrocities committed by followers of the Abrahamic faiths, however I also would never uniquely focus on them as if they are an exception to the rule.

The problem is when religion becomes entangled with "states".

Since most states wage war, all state religions can and do justify war, including, in extreme cases, wars of conquest. Since Buddhism has often been a state religion, it would be strange if it had been exempt from these practices - and sadly it isn't.

There is, for example, a 7th Century Mahayana text known as " The Treatise on Absolute Contemplation". Such texts have statements contained in them that are worse than nearly anything in the Qur'an or Bible in providing fodder for people of an elitist or violent temperament with ammunition. This sacred text tells us:

Quote:
"...Killing is evil only in the event that the killer fails to recognize his victim as empty and dream-like. On the contrary, if one no longer sees his opponent as a living being separate from emptiness, then he is free to kill him at will..."

- The Jueguan lun (Treatise on Absolute Contemplation), 7th century Buddhist text

The chilling thing is such modern Buddhist thinkers as D.T. Suzuki in the 20th century used this text during the Second World War to justify the atrocities committed by the Japanese Army. After the War Suzuki became a revered "enlightened master" in the Western world. These Westerners were unaware of his writings before and during the War.

Read:

Quote:
The noted Zen writer D. T. Suzuki's early writing reflected the influence of Soen's teachings...In 1896 as the war with China began, he wrote, "religion should, first of all, seek to preserve the existence of the state." Like his teacher, he saw the enemies of Japan as "unruly heathens" who needed to be tamed and conquered or who would otherwise "interrupt the progress of humanity. In the name of religion, our country could not submit to this." Going to war, he called "religious conduct."

Suzuki used poetic language in praise of Japanese soldiers. "Our soldiers regard their own lives as being as light as goose feathers while their devotion to duty is as heavy as Mount Taishan (in China). Should they fall on the battlefields, they have no regrets." This metaphor of "goose feathers" would become a major point of military indoctrination, teaching recruits and the young kamikaze ("divine wind") pilots that their individual lives were meaningless and had no weight. Only total devotion to the emperor would give their existence meaning. Suzuki also popularized the bushido concept of the "sword that gives life" that was used over and over again to rationalize killing. Years later, the Japanese ambassador would use this phrase on "the sword that gives life" in a speech at Hilter's chancellery in Berlin following the signing of the Tripartite Pact on September 27, 1940.

Victoria points out that all Buddhists sects supported the war publicly and enthusiastically...

Sojiji, the Soto head temple, organized a sect-wide project to handwrite over ten million copies of the Heart Sutra, some in blood, to generate merit for the war effort. Most Zen students are familiar with the formal dedication of merit (ekobun) after sutra recitation. Both traditions changed their ekobun to pray for "the continuing victory in the holy war" and "unending military fortune." The Soto sect raised money for two fighter planes, aptly named Soto No. 1 and Soto No. 2. Not to be outdone, the Rinzai head temple of Myoshinji contributed three fighter planes to the imperial navy. The Bodhisattva of compassion, Kanzeon, was officially renamed, "Kanzeon Shogun" and invoked to bring greater victory in the "holy war." (This would be the equivalent of renaming Jesus Christ, Jesus General.)...

Japan’s major war began in 1931 with the invasion of Manchuria. From the mid-1930's, Zen academics and abbots embarked on an intellectual campaign to justify their war participation. They taught that "compassionate war" was a Bodhisattva practice and was of great benefit to Japan’s enemies. As one Soto philosopher wrote, "there is no choice but to wage compassionate wars which give life to both oneself and one's enemy. Through a compassionate war, warring nations are able to improve themselves and war is able to exterminate itself " During this period, millions of Chinese were dying and cities were being decimated.

In 1937, D. T. Suzuki was finishing Zen and Japanese Culture, in which he wrote that Zen "treats life and death indifferently" and "is a religion that teaches us not to look backward once the course is decided." He wrote that Zen "has no special doctrine or philosophy. It is therefore extremely flexible in adapting itself to almost any philosophy and moral doctrine as long as its intuitive teaching is not interfered with." Zen can be "wedded to anarchism or fascism, communism or democracy.... or any political or economic dogmatism."...

As Suzuki wrote these words, Japanese troops were marching towards the ancient city of Nanking. They were indeed going to act out the Zen bushido creed and "treat life and death indifferently." They did not look back. In December 1937, the Japanese army seized the city, then the capital of the Republic of China. Japan was in its sixth year of its invasion of China. Millions were dying. Japan had already conquered Peking, Tientin and Shanghai...

The barbarism was so intense that the Nazis in the city were horrified, one declaring the slaughter to be the product of a "bestial machinery."...

In the light of Nanking, Suzuki's writing is grotesque. The spiritual justification for killing and mass brutality is undeniably the worst perversion of religion imaginable. It is truly deplorable that Zen could devolve into this kind of glorification of slaughter. This is pornography, not art. Also, from a Dharma point of view, this teaching is totally ridiculous on so many levels.

Another is Zen master Harada Daiun Sogaku. During the War he told his disciples:


Quote:
"...[If ordered to] march: tramp, tramp, or shoot: bang, bang. This is the manifestation of the highest Wisdom [of Enlightenment]. The unity of Zen and war of which I speak extends to the farthest reaches of the holy war now under way..."

- Daiun Sogaku Harada Rōshi, 1939, Sōtō Zen monk & master

Or what of Shaku Soen (1859-1919) a Zen Master who enthusiastically embraced war as Zen training. In the war against Russia, Soen served as a chaplain in 1904.

Quote:
"...I wished to inspire our valiant soldiers with the ennobling thoughts of the Buddha, so as to enable them to die on the battlefield with confidence that the task in which they are engaged is great and noble. I wish to convince them.... that this war is not a mere slaughter of their fellow-beings, but that they are combating an evil..."

- Shaku Soen (1859-1919) a Zen Master

Have you ever read the book "Zen at War" or another "Buddhist Warfare"? The former describes how the main Zen Buddhist schools in Imperial, post-Menji Restoration Japan were fervent supporters of the Japanese Empire's brutal expansionism and indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians. They justified this state-sanctioned murder using the Buddhist scriptures and a warped interpretation of the anatta (Notself) doctrine. Its an eye-opener if your one of those Westerners who thinks that Eastern religions have never undergone the same corruption and dilution of their original teachings as the Abrahamic ones. I'm afraid to tell you that modern Buddhism is just as far removed from the teachings of Siddartha as are Abrahamic religions often from their founders.

Therevada Buddhism is the same as Mahayana.

Read:

Quote:
"Modern Thai and Sri Lankan monks rely on the Abhidhamma of the Pali Canon that emphasizes intention and claims that, if the killing is committed with the right state of mind (detachment or compassion), it entails no karmic consequence and therefore can be considered to be a wholesome act."

(Buddhist Warfare page 214.)

Buddhist history is suffused with conquering kings. Actually look up every kingdom that has embraced Buddhism and while you will find some notable righteous figures such as Ashoka, you will find many horrendous leaders too.

When you have a religion that embraces millions of people and has a wide geographical spread, it will naturally encompass within its ranks all manner of psychological profiles ranging from saints to psychopaths.

Westerners as a whole are totally ignorant of the history of countries where Buddhism is a majority religion. If they knew something about Asian history they would know there is no end to the list of wars and atrocities committed by people claiming to be Buddhists, who actually were in complete opposition to the teachings of the Buddha, who taught:

Quote:
"...All men tremble at punishment, all men fear death; remembering that thou are like unto them, do not strike or slay. All men tremble at punishment, all men love life: remembering that thou are like unto them, do not strike or slay..."

- The Buddha (The Dhammapada)

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-09-2012 at 04:38 PM.
 
Old 12-09-2012, 04:37 PM   #52
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This too:

Quote:
This is Zen bushido in action: Killing as high art. The soldiers are being taught the perfect etiquette in beheading -- the exact way to cleanse the sword, the proper way to swing the weapon, the strong virile shout. With this image in mind, consider the following passage that D. T. Suzuki wrote at the same time as the Nanking massacre:

"... the art of swordsmanship distinguishes between the sword that kills and the sword that gives life. The one that is used by a technician cannot go any further than killing.... The case is altogether different with the one who is compelled to lift the sword. For it is really not he but the sword itself that does the killing. He had no desire to harm anybody, but the enemy appears and makes himself a victim. It is though the sword automatically performs its function of justice, which is the function of mercy…. the swordsman turns into an artist of the first grade, engaged in producing a work of genuine originality."
 
Old 12-09-2012, 04:54 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua
When you have a religion that embraces millions of people and has a wide geographical spread, it will naturally encompass within its ranks all manner of psychological profiles ranging from saints to psychopaths.

Westerners as a whole are totally ignorant of the history of countries where Buddhism is a majority religion. If they knew something about Asian history they would know there is no end to the list of wars and atrocities committed by people claiming to be Buddhists, who actually were in complete opposition to the teachings of the Buddha, who taught:
+1 for absolute truth. Lunatik wants religions to be 100% beneficial or 100% worthless. Human beings are not all the same. You have criminals and the kind-hearted. Ironic that the KKK used the bible to justify their hatred when MLK Jr. used it to justify equality. A prime example right there. My point is that humans aren't robots. They hate and fear and use all manner of devices in order to justify such hatred and fear, including but not limited to religion. (Fear was a great tool in the secular USSR, and a great tool in the Taliban)

To just say "religion did it" is to reduce humanity and the human conscience into a simple cause and effect machine. It's not as simple as that. People are hateful and greedy for any number of reasons. Abandonment for example and abusiveness were big factors in Hitler's life.

Come on, do you really think humans would get along just fine if religion didn't exist? We would still be selfish and greedy creatures because that is human nature.

Again, very naive to just blame religions. Like humans are machines and by deleting a file we fix them. Religions have become powerful unifying forces that unite men under a single cause. This inspires growth and development and though it is not directly responsible, it is indirectly so. Arabia was a **** hole before Islam arrived, tribal warfare and the murdering of infant girls. Less than 300 years later it was the center of culture and science.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatik
The point I was making though is that the very fact this can be justified at all using these texts is reason enough to get rid of the text.
Really? Come on. What if I interpret the second amendment as my right to shoot Jehavoah's Witnesses when they come a-knocking on Saturday mornings? What if I interpret the right to free speech as my right to hurl racial slurs at my neighbors because I think they dress funny?

Does that mean we toss out the bill of rights too? Really, you can twist anything and make it violent.

I know you love the Sufi, but understand that the Sufi CHANT the Qur'an. Rumi, perhaps the most popular Sufi, even said:

Quote:
I am the slave of the Quran while I still have life,
I am dust on the path of Muhammad, The Chosen One,
If anyone interprets my words in any other way,
I deplore that person and I deplore his words. — Rumi
They see the word Muslim as one who submits to God. Not someone who is a Sunni. That's what the Qur'an teaches too. The oneness of God and religions is right in the book you think should be thrown out.

"10:47 And for every nation is a messenger."
"22:34 And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies"
"22:67 For every nation We have ordained religious ceremonies "
 
Old 12-09-2012, 05:18 PM   #54
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Yeshua...

Just a reminder... when quote copiously you need to cite your sources and try to be be brief and cogent rather than exhaustive in your posts...
 
Old 12-09-2012, 05:24 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arthra View Post
Yeshua...

Just a reminder... when quote copiously you need to cite your sources and try to be be brief and cogent rather than exhaustive in your posts...
Your right Arthra. Im a bit disorientated atm though because im suffering from some sort of skin condition and am on meds. Point taken tho. It will be fun going back and finding all my sources lol btw Im writing on my phone right now which is why my writing is so poor.
 
Old 12-09-2012, 09:05 PM   #56
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I understand... about the phone part. Hope you're feeling better!

 
Old 12-10-2012, 04:55 AM   #57
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@arthra
“I've only responded to your posts.. ... I'm sorry if you feel personally offended and unduly insulted.”

Well I guess I’ll take what I can get. I’ll grow a thicker skin to your comments and hope for the best. “I’m sorry if you feel” isn’t exactly an apology but I guess it’s time to move on or move out.

arthra wrote:

“While the verse from Ephesians is an admonition it is not a law or an ordinance. Let me explain... The Qur'anic law is not in conflict with Ephesians.. The intent "Let him that stole steal no more" is essentially not in conflict with the Qur'anic law. The quote from Ephesians is an admonition not a law. It's "apples" and "oranges".. You can't compare them.”

SFQ:

I… disagree. How are you distinguishing this as an admonition vs. a command with the absence of words like: encourage, exhort, advise, rebuke, warn and the like?
Furthermore even IF it is an admonition vs a command it does not stand alone but in harmony with the rest of the NT which says,
Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

1Pe 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
1Pe 2:14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

Tit 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

It’s only in rare cases that Christians are Biblically authorized not to obey the law.

Otherwise we’re to obey the God-given authorities and obey those laws indirectly given from God such as not stealing and consequences associated with it.

Act 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Although I don’t think Greek/Roman law included severing hands for any and all stealing. That is where (admonition or not) these two link, it’s about stealing. So… if someone stole my money I would seek justice according to the law (because it’s not in conflict with God’s other commands).

As for prayer whether Muhammad hates them, is ready to die as a martyr or not is a different matter. The fact is Muhammad’s told not to pray for people of hell-fire while Christians are encouraged to pray for everyone. Muhammad is called upon/allowed to intercede (pray) for others elsewhere in the Qur’an.

Yes I agree it’s God who forgives sins. Which is one more reason the Trinity rings out true to me when he said that HE had the power to forgive sins.

Mar 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. Mar 2:6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,Mar 2:7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? Mar 2:8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
Mar 2:9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?
Mar 2:10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

Lastly you mentioned that it seemed odd that I have a negative view of Islam and claimed much of my reasoning/thoughts came from H.M. Balyuzi.

It’s true that the author and I draw VERY different conclusions from the historical information he provides but unless someone suggests otherwise with good reason I generally take him at his word about the facts he provides over his opinions.

Death to an opposing poet

Contemporary with Muhammad were poets of high repute and a number of them were extremely antagonistic to Him. They used their undoubted talent to lampoon the Prophet and pour scorn over Him. Jewish poets were particularly guilty in this respect. The greater the extension of the Prophet's work became, the more strident became the invective of hostile poets. This type of satire and contempt had a visible and deleterious effect on the body-politic which was emerging from Muhammad's mission, for the Arabs were susceptible to the bewitchments of poetry. Muhammad could no longer ignore the barrage of abuse and derision, as he had done in days past, no matter how wounding the lashing of tongues. He had to condemn the offending poets in the strongest terms. That was why Ka'b Ibn al-Ashraf, the prominent Jewish poet, lost his life; and Ka'b Ibn Zuhayr, the most eloquent poet of his time, would have lost his had he not hurried to seek the Prophet's pardon.

(H.M. Balyuzi, Muhammad and the Course of Islam, p. 8)

Jesus, Paul and others responded quite differently to mockery and criticism. If Muhammad was the equal to Jesus why not wow the people and the opposing poets like Jesus did his opposition?

One day I hope we can have the friendly talks you and Yeshua seem to have (praying for your hand Yeshua!). And I pray that wherever God takes you today arthra that He blesses you. Thank you for your participation.

Last edited by Some Further Questions; 12-10-2012 at 04:59 AM.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 05:10 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Brother Lunitik,
You have started in this way, but you have spent the entire post justifying why the primary difference you see between us is equally atrocious. You have spent the first half accepting the disgusting past of the Christians, and then the second half showing that Buddhists are equally disgusting.

You have failed to understanding the very point of my every word: Identification AS SUCH is the nature of all evil. It doesn't matter whether it is Christian, Buddhist, Communist, Turkish, Nigerian, the identification as such is irrelevant. The fact that you identify at all means you have aligned with a group that I may or may not align with, and if I do not then it is very easy to justify one of us terminating the other so that our group is victorious.

Buddha himself has seemed to recognize this, for time and time again he insists on each finding their own truth. All the way to his last breath, he has insisted each "be a light unto yourself". He is a useful street sign along the way, nothing more, and I would suggest the same attitude towards Christ would be far more healthy. Jesus himself has said that he must leave so that others far greater than he can come. He has also said those who are whole have no need for him, only the sick need the physician.

We can only be brothers in love, for then there is no you and no me, nothing between us to defend or justify. If you try to save yourself, you will surely die, but those willing to die will surely have life. It means you have to stake everything for truth, and that truth will set you free. Free from all identification and perceived difference.

I hope one day you will know this for yourself, all separation is of mind alone.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 05:28 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunitik View Post
The Abrahamic line is big on fighting this and that; what exactly have they accomplished?
Inaccurate.

The Baha'i Faith is eminently Abrahamic, and its scriptures explicitly PROHIBIT aggression and waging war--which prohibitions are fervently obeyed!:

“O people of the earth!
“The first Glad-Tidings which the Mother Book hath, in this Most Great Revelation, imparted to all the peoples of the world is that the law of holy war hath been blotted out from the Book. Glorified be the All-Merciful, the Lord of grace abounding, through Whom the door of heavenly bounty hath been flung open in the face of all that are in Heaven and on earth.
“The second Glad-Tidings . . .”
--Tablets of Baha’u’llah, pp. 21-22

“Beware lest ye shed the blood of anyone. Unsheathe the sword of your tongue from the scabbard of utterance, for therewith ye can conquer the citadels of men’s hearts. We have abolished the law to wage holy war against each other. God’s mercy, hath, verily, encompassed all created things, if ye do but understand. Aid ye your Lord, the God of Mercy, with the sword of understanding. Keener indeed is it, and more finely tempered, than the sword of utterance, were ye but to reflect upon the words of your Lord. Thus have the hosts of Divine Revelation been sent down by God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, and thus have the armies of divine inspiration been made manifest from the Source of command, as bidden by God, the All-Glorious, the Best-Beloved.”
--The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p 23; also
Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 25.


Peace, :-)

Bruce

Last edited by BruceDLimber; 12-10-2012 at 05:31 AM.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 05:41 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Zhang View Post
Really? Come on. What if I interpret the second amendment as my right to shoot Jehavoah's Witnesses when they come a-knocking on Saturday mornings? What if I interpret the right to free speech as my right to hurl racial slurs at my neighbors because I think they dress funny?
If you can do this in a meaningful way, I think it is grounds to throw out the second amendment. Also, the racial slurs thing, it is actually covered by freedom of speech. It doesn't show a loving heart, but it is not illegal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
I know you love the Sufi, but understand that the Sufi CHANT the Qur'an. Rumi, perhaps the most popular Sufi, even said:
I have brought Sufism into the discussion because you are a Muslim, I have no more love for Sufi's than I have for any other group. I have been initiated by them, but I have been initiated into many esoteric schools. For me, the most dangerous thing is identification, ego, and it is irrelevant what that identification is.

I feel Rumi has had a glimpse of truth, but he is not enlightened, and it is exactly this identification which shows why: there is still something in him, of him, that clings to a text.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
They see the word Muslim as one who submits to God. Not someone who is a Sunni. That's what the Qur'an teaches too. The oneness of God and religions is right in the book you think should be thrown out.
Do we need a book to tell us this though?

I have nothing against Muhammad, I love him as I love any enlightened one. For me, each is priceless, because through each of them who have come before us, we can climb to a higher peak. Each and every one should be revered, and their words preserved so that we can learn from them.

This is my problem though, by insisting we are smaller than Muhammad, by insisting anything that disagrees with him is simply wrong, we stifle human development. It is plain throughout the Middle East that advancement has not happened, and it is all because Muhammad has not permitted anyone to climb beyond him.

You have yourself discussed the past of Islamic development, what has happened to it in recent history? The truths of Muhammad are 1400 years old, and each was relative to that time. Today, truth must be adjusted with what existence has provided. For example:

Still, in Islamic nations, adultery is a stonable offence. It happened less than a year ago that an Imam has permitted the death of a young woman because of this Quranic crime.

The same Quran has said nothing can happen unless it is God's will, but condoms and other birth control have happened. For me, without effective birth control, the laws of the Quran make sense. The baby would be born and the mother would find it impossible to take care of it. I can even say that it is right she die so that her food be given to the baby in this scenario. This whole situation is no longer valid as a law though, without the inherent responsibilities in sex, there is nothing wrong with enjoying each others body - provided we act responsibly.

Indeed, the tantric school, unencumbered by this nonsense, has created of sex a beautiful enlightening ceremony. You see, it is the same life energy exerted in sex that eventually awakens us in the crown chakra. Repressing sex is probably the principle reason for the terrorist attacks though, it has manifested in another way through this obsession, and indeed Americas freedom pertaining to sex was voiced as part of the reasoning behind 9/11.



Religion should be dynamic, truth should be found free from all boundaries, and then asserted into every situation. Man should be trusted to make the right choices once truth is found by him, and I feel this is the purpose for the current mass awakening being seen globally - existence, or God, Allah is trusting man more. We have been as children, we have been as teenagers, now finally we are ready to enter into adulthood.

Baha'u'llah represents his message as this progression, but remains treating man as a toddler in his words. I was drawn to him believing he represents the former, but gradually saw he doesn't even represent change - he simply confirms the old diabolic notions.

The only future for religion is under the nonduality banner, this brings all the schools together in equal footing, and works towards its realization free from expectation or insistence of any book. It is the culmination of all esoteric teachings finally coming to the surface.

In this, you cannot even identify with non-duality, for nonduality even includes the duality of this. Oneness and plurality are just another duality that must be overcome, transcended. Eventually we are simply left with nothing, and yet nothing is lost in this. Buddhism and Hinduism have disputed down the ages about self and no-self... yet this is the fundamental duality. Is there something or is there not?

Everything depends something else to be known, even God depends man to be known. Absolutely nothing is independent.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 05:46 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by BruceDLimber View Post


Inaccurate.

The Baha'i Faith is eminently Abrahamic, and its scriptures explicitly PROHIBIT aggression and waging war--which prohibitions are fervently obeyed!:

“O people of the earth!
“The first Glad-Tidings which the Mother Book hath, in this Most Great Revelation, imparted to all the peoples of the world is that the law of holy war hath been blotted out from the Book. Glorified be the All-Merciful, the Lord of grace abounding, through Whom the door of heavenly bounty hath been flung open in the face of all that are in Heaven and on earth.
“The second Glad-Tidings . . .”
--Tablets of Baha’u’llah, pp. 21-22

“Beware lest ye shed the blood of anyone. Unsheathe the sword of your tongue from the scabbard of utterance, for therewith ye can conquer the citadels of men’s hearts. We have abolished the law to wage holy war against each other. God’s mercy, hath, verily, encompassed all created things, if ye do but understand. Aid ye your Lord, the God of Mercy, with the sword of understanding. Keener indeed is it, and more finely tempered, than the sword of utterance, were ye but to reflect upon the words of your Lord. Thus have the hosts of Divine Revelation been sent down by God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, and thus have the armies of divine inspiration been made manifest from the Source of command, as bidden by God, the All-Glorious, the Best-Beloved.”
--The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p 23; also
Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 25.


Peace, :-)

Bruce
Do I need to quote the Aqdas about the obligation of dying for the cause?

I have already touched on the fact that Baha'is believe and discuss among themselves a violent battle they feel will happen in the future to instigate the World Order of Baha'u'llah, are you going to deny this?

I understand your need to defend your identification, but please look at this rightly and intelligently. If this is how people are responding when you are only 5 million strong at most, do you really feel it will be difficult to justify starting a war if they ever get to 500 million strong? Just look around in your own Assembly and listen more attentively, you know I'm not making this up.

What of this can you consciously defend?
 
Old 12-10-2012, 05:54 AM   #62
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I attended a meeting among mostly Local Assembly elects, and the founder of this assembly, a man still alive from the Hands of the Cause time and who actually went out and preached for Shoghi Effendi was there.

Another gentlemen touched on the issue of a future war, and this man thoroughly agreed, despite the negative reaction from most of the members due to my presence since I was new. The whole situation felt uneasy to me, and it is probably the principle reason I am no longer Baha'i. It seemed to me this is some kind of secret among Baha'is, that it is accepted because it looks unlikely.

Is there another reason for the fervent seeking of converts though? It seems to me that this violent take over IS the Cause, whether you want to deny it or not. Maybe you will accuse Shoghi Effendi of not understanding the texts though? Or maybe he is a poor judge of character since this man was chosen by him to represent the Cause in a new nation? Maybe, just maybe, though, this is actually the intention. Maybe this is the anti-Christ with the backing of a government that will start the New World Order. Maybe it just shows that whenever you give a man texts to believe, he will see what he wants.

Especially when the man that wrote them is dead.

Last edited by Lunitik; 12-10-2012 at 05:58 AM.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 06:06 AM   #63
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This comes back to why I think all organized religion needs to be dropped:

Only with a living Enlightened One can things be maintained in truth. When the founder is dead, those that follow can take the religion any way they please. People can interpret freely because there is no more someone there to correct them, and so many disgusting things are brought in. Only an Enlightened man can rightly interpret and elaborate on Enlightened words, and further, only such a one is capable of giving you the truth you individually need for growth.

Of course, I agree with Baha'u'llah though, a living guide is not even necessary. When the fruit is ripe, it falls of its own accord, there need not be any assistance. Indeed, when the fruit is unripe, there will great resistance even. Each one walks according to their own capability, and cannot be rushed.

Belief is certainly not helpful, though.

Trust, perhaps.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 06:15 AM   #64
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Belief is something of the mind, it is based on a logical conclusion - even if that conclusion is based on flawed logic. For instance, a creator is justified merely on the grounds there is a creation. It is existence, it is not created at all, it is the result of many processes working together. Certainly, we can say existence came from non-existence, and we can witness this in a lab, it is more logical and provable. Oneness is the nature of all things though, for each thing started as a single atom. From that single atom, others are accumulated, and each takes a role - liver, lungs, heart, etc... this is their dharma. Yet, all things started from simply hydrogen, they are different configurations of the same element. The Big Bang was probably the original hydrogen atom. Yet, if we look at the atom, we find there is nothing there, it is empty space. We perceive all things through the interaction of energy - spirit, prana, chi - which encircle the atom. Indeed, Science also tells us all will eventually return to a single atom and become non-existent again through black holes.

Enlightenment is akin to entering a black hole within ourselves, it is the (temporary) returning to the source, to encounter the emptiness which pervades all existence. It is to know that nothing is really happening, it is just a show on the screen of consciousness, now all that is left is to enjoy.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 06:17 AM   #65
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Indeed, Baha'u'llah says this is exactly the reason for all this:

That we enjoy it.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 07:12 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by arthra View Post
I understand... about the phone part. Hope you're feeling better!

Thank you brother Arthra And Investigate too!

I went to the doctor again today and sadly she doesn't know what's wrong with me. I'm being referred to a dermatologist.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 07:18 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Some Further Questions View Post
One day I hope we can have the friendly talks you and Yeshua seem to have (praying for your hand Yeshua!). And I pray that wherever God takes you today arthra that He blesses you. Thank you for your participation.
Bless you brother/sister Some I really appreciate your kind words, as I do Arthra's and Investigate's.

TBH Arthra and myself have had our fair share of disagreements and arguements in the past. I think at times we have both misunderstood each other's intent and since it is difficult [unless one is a very skilled writer all of the time] to accurately convey tone on a forum without seeing someone's face or hearing their voice, people can often express things in ways that sound 'angry' or even 'aggressive' or 'snappy' when that is not their intent.

I used to be in a similar position vis-a-vis Arthra as you find yourself right now, and I would expect that he similarly misunderstood me and my style of posting.

However you get used to people over time, and after 2 years, I'd say that I am well used to his style of posting now and understand that he is not being offensive or trying to get at me even if it appears that way to me

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-10-2012 at 07:20 AM.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 07:40 AM   #68
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For me, while I respect arthra in many ways, I see him as similar to Yeshua in one particular aspect that is detrimental to truth:

You both quote others who you feel have known truth.

How can you judge?

If you cling to this one, it is clear you do not have truth yourself, else you would know that no words can compare to it, that all words fail to say it. All words about it will simply look weak compared to it, you would see clearly the distress in all who try to say it in words, how much they have tried and still fell short.

These ones can be of great help when you yourself are ignorant, at least they are about and so you can do something to find out what they mean. Without devices such as meditation though, this is simply impossible.

The problem is that reading these texts, people feel they know but really do not. You cannot learn religion like you learn geography or history, it isn't a case of memorizing facts and figures, nothing can be further from the case.

Religion is about finding out who this one alive in each of us is.

It is about finding the very nature of life.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 07:42 AM   #69
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By meditation is not meant contemplation, either.

By meditation is meant "be still and know".

Simply become open, and the divine becomes evident in us.

Since God is Spirit or breath, we can do breathing exercises to hasten it, to build up energy within us.

Even this is unnecessary though, just become utterly open and wait.

Trust that divinity will come if we become receptive enough.

Last edited by Lunitik; 12-10-2012 at 07:45 AM.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 07:45 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
Yeshua,

I suggest looking back at Old Testament first. It seems to me there are Two separate Laws: One is regarding 'purchasing slaves', another is about 'stealing human'.

Leviticus 25:44-46:

"However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way."

Now with regards to stealing human, OT does not allow that:

Exodus 21:16:
“Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death."


Now as regards to the quote in 1 Timothy 1:10, in fact it is talking about man-stealers. It is not talking about purchasing human:


"whoremongers, sodomites, men-stealers, liars, perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that to sound doctrine is adverse"

(Young's Literal Translation)

Dear brother/sister Investigate

Thanks for your post and I hope that I didn't keep you too long, I am usually more prompt.

Perhaps my hand problem will actually make my postings briefer and more easily intelligible!

The Greek word in question is andrapodistes and literally it means “slave traders" or 'slave dealers", although older translations usually render it as "man stealer". It is a very rare word and is used only this one time in the New Testament meaning that one has to uncover its wider usage in other contemporary Greek texts to understand its meaning. It combines the words in ancient Greek for "man" and "foot"; apparently meaning to put someone under one's foot - to control a person utterly, that is to enslave them. It might also be related to andrapodon which means according to Greek lexicons, "a slave, especially one made in war, a prisoner of war sold as a slave". In Greek it doesn't have anything expressly to do with kidnapping.

I have done my homework and found a contemporary usage of it in the First Century by another Greek-speaking Jew, the great Jewish hellenistic, biblical philosopher Philo (20 BC – 50 CE) who was very prominent in the Jewish diaspora and later was widely respect by Christians for his use of the concept of 'Logos', transplanting it from pagan philosophy into a Hebraic context.

It is Philo who brings in the kidnapping element. He saw the kidnappers mentioned in Exodus and Roman slave traders as synonymous.

His sense of the word will thus also be the sense in which it is used and understood by the author of Timothy, who is likewise a Greek speaker likely of Jewish extraction and who would probably have been familiar with Philo's writings.

Read:

Quote:
"...Philio thought of the kidnapper as synonymous with the slave trader. [He writes]...: "Everyone who is inspired with zeal for virtue is harsh in his wrath and quite implacable to andrapodistai, who for the sake of the most unjust profit dare to reduce to slavery those who are born not only born free but share the same nature as themselves" (Spec. leg. 4.13-14). In retelling the story of Joseph he has Reuben cry out in frustration to the other sons of Jacob: "A fine business you have started! Let us divide the profits! We are competitors with slave traders (andrapodiston) for the prize of wickedness!" Here it is clear that the merchants who purchased Joseph are andrapodistai even though they did not steal him by force..."

- Jerome D. Quinn, Ben Witherington, William C. Wacker

So andrapodistes does refer to slave trading and indeed the unjust purchase of human beings in the context of the first century usage of the term by the likes of Philo, who is the closest contemporary we have to 1 Timothy using this and what's more a Jew (Hebraic mind) writing in Greek!

It is not actually a dissimilar 'slave trade' from the transatalantic one equally condemned by Baha'u'llah in the Aqdas, except that the latter was race-based.

Which feeds into my earlier point...

In Great Britain the slave trade was outlawed in 1807; slavery itself in 1833.

My point is, there is a difference between the slave trade and slavery proper which is why two separate UK acts wre needed to end these institutions.

Quote:
Slavery and the Slave Trade have been age old institutions and practices in almost every continent in the world
Read:

Quote:
Human trafficking is the modern day slave trade— the process of enslaving a person. It happens when someone is tricked or kidnapped or coerced, and then taken into slavery. If moving a person from one place to another does not result in slavery, then it is not human trafficking.
It is different from the institution of slavery itself. This was recognised by early abolitionists who commented on and strained that very Exodus passage like Philo to did millenia before to constutute a condemnation of “slave-trading”:

Quote:
How ironic it was to see slave-traders ransacking the Pentateuch to legitimate slavery while blithely ignoring texts which made slave trading a capital crime: ‘He that stealeth a man and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death' (Exodus 21:16; also Deuteronomy 24:7). [45]

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-10-2012 at 07:57 AM.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 07:48 AM   #71
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Dharma of the East can be translated as exactly this:

The nature of things.

They are like scientific laws, but it is a wrong translation to say it is duty.

Is it our duty to be human?

No, it is our nature.

Our dharma.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 07:50 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Lunitik View Post
By meditation is not meant contemplation, either.

By meditation is meant "be still and know".

Simply become open, and the divine becomes evident in us.

Since God is Spirit or breath, we can do breathing exercises to hasten it, to build up energy within us.

Even this is unnecessary though, just become utterly open and wait.

Trust that divinity will come if we become receptive enough.

Actually, in Christian mysticism contemplation means be 'still and know', whereas meditation refers to discursive prayer.

In Catholicism, the earlier practices of the spiritual path (the "beginner's" level if one were to use such an artificial phrase) are what we call "meditation". Meditation is explicitly discursive, using mental images, ideas, thoughts, concepts, memory (this is known as cataphatic prayer) in other words the left side of your brain - the one dealing with discursive thought.

Psychologists and brain researchers have observed that our human brains have two sides which appear to serve very different functions. The left side of the brain is active during logic and reasoning processes, often involving words, numbers and discursive thinking. The right side of the brain, however, works with large chunks of information in the form that deals intuitively with complex issues - free of dirscursive thought and the kind of images and fantasy element (imagination) which seems to take place in "meditation".

Meditation stimulates only the left side of the brain. It is not this part of the mind that "connects" with God.

God is above all thought. He is not a being, not a this or a that. He is a pure Nothingness above all thought, feeling, images, depictions, ideas, concepts, emotions. And he is thus encountered when the human mind reaches such a state. Meditation cannot attain to this. It is but the beginning.

Contemplation is a freeing of the mind from all images, thoughts, concepts, ideas, sense perceptions etc (this is known as apophatic or imageless prayer). This is the supreme intuitive awareness of God for Catholics and the succesor to "meditation".

To do so a Catholic might employ a technique such as 'Centering Prayer'.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 08:05 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Perhaps my hand problem will actually make my postings briefer and more easily intelligible!
Do you realize you still rambled trying to justify the different forms of owning a sentient being? I cannot see how it is justifiable to own an animal, yet you have seemed to condone the Torah saying it is fine provided they are not Jews.

I can see you really have looked into this, you really want to bend things to justify your faith. Truth of the matter is, while it was a reality in those times, it is utterly disgusting. I have to say you are disgusting also for trying to justify what is said. Even material things should not be kept as property, for this very sense of ownership creates an ego, for the ego will take the form of "owner", the ego will declare "I own this". It is this very ego which abolishes stealing, nature provides plenty, we need not become possessive of anything.

As I go on saying, this ego, this sense of identification, is the cause for all evil in the world. It is also this very ego that buys into the promise of eternal life, it wants to retain its separateness forever, for what?

Again I have to agree with Baha'u'llah, separation is hell. Yet, I take it further than the Baha'is, the sense of separation itself must die for us to be reborn in Spirit. Jesus said this 2000 years ago, but it still has not come to fruition. Yet it is true, he who tries to save himself will surely die, but he who dies shall surely attain life. It is a paradox, only encountering and moving through death can true life be known, for otherwise life is simply a running from death.

Who dies? It is only the ego, the separate self.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 08:25 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Lunitik View Post
I cannot see how it is justifiable to own an animal, yet you have seemed to condone the Torah saying it is fine provided they are not Jews.
You have lost me Lunitik. I do not recall ever saying anything like the above statement

I have merely explained the meaning of the word andrapodistes in Greek and prior to that provided Investigate with a series of quotations from a variety of Catholic saints, mystics and popes down the centuries in a chronological order of time.

And that is a discussion I am having with Investigate, whose answer I look forward too, as always.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-10-2012 at 08:31 AM.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 08:28 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Actually, in Christian mysticism contemplation means be 'still and know', whereas meditation refers to discursive prayer.

In Catholicism, the earlier practices of the spiritual path (the "beginner's" level if one were to use such an artificial phrase) are what we call "meditation". Meditation is explicitly discursive, using mental images, ideas, thoughts, concepts, memory (this is known as cataphatic prayer) in other words the left side of your brain - the one dealing with discursive thought.

Psychologists and brain researchers have observed that our human brains have two sides which appear to serve very different functions. The left side of the brain is active during logic and reasoning processes, often involving words, numbers and discursive thinking. The right side of the brain, however, works with large chunks of information in the form that deals intuitively with complex issues - free of dirscursive thought and the kind of images and fantasy element (imagination) which seems to take place in "meditation".

Meditation stimulates only the left side of the brain. It is not this part of the mind that "connects" with God.

God is above all thought. He is not a being, not a this or a that. He is a pure Nothingness above all thought, feeling, images, depictions, ideas, concepts, emotions. And he is thus encountered when the human mind reaches such a state. Meditation cannot attain to this. It is but the beginning.

Contemplation is a freeing of the mind from all images, thoughts, concepts, ideas, sense perceptions etc (this is known as apophatic or imageless prayer). This is the supreme intuitive awareness of God for Catholics and the succesor to "meditation".

To do so a Catholic might employ a technique such as 'Centering Prayer'.
You have described Zen - which is a transliteration stemming from Dhyana in the East, often translated as meditation. The only difference is that what you call "The supreme intuitive awareness of God" or a common translation of Zen as "dissolution into the whole" and "dropping of dual perception" is just the beginning in this practice.

Why do I say this? It is because simply entering this state, ego can be sustained. In Zen and Yogic circles, the point is to recognize your nature to be the same as this. Then you too can say "I and the father are one", except there would be no "I" and no "father", there would only be oneness.

Yet, still the appearance of multitude expressions of that oneness are there, so even oneness and plurality is a duality that this transcends. There is something higher than this, though, except in this there is no opposite, it is like the deepest sleep there is, it is like death.

Knowing this, you cannot look at words and say it describes it, and you cannot remain clinging to anything. There is no God or Jesus there, no Baha'u'llah, no you even, there is simply nothing at all because all things require an opposite to be known. You cannot say something about it, because there was nothing to describe.

It is simply the void, empty, yet it remains the nature of all things we have ever encountered.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 08:34 AM   #76
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I have to say you are disgusting also for trying to justify what is said.
Peace be with you brother Lunitik, that's all I'll say to that.

One thing religion teaches people is always to use respectful language when addressing another human being created in the Image of God. Your words are not gracious. The Buddha taught as a fundamental principle of the Noble Eightfold Path, 'right speech'. Its common courtesy even in secular belief systems.

Rudeness is not enlightened, compassionate or in anyway commendable in an individual. It demonstrates to me that the 'ego' you claim to have done away with is very much alive in you.

Even a child would be capable of sustaining a far more respectful dialogue and civil discussion than that.

Last edited by Yeshua; 12-10-2012 at 08:42 AM.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 08:46 AM   #77
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This is why, in Buddhism, there is no God as object.

Dharmakaya is what Jesus would have experienced as God.

Sunyata points to the dropping of all duality, which is akin to death.

The first is what is described whenever someone describes God with attributes, the latter without attributes.

The basic disagreement of self and no-self between the Advaita Vedantists and Buddhists pertains to whether there is actually something which is the nature of Sunyata, which Advaitans say is Brahman. This is only an intellectual disagreement though, for Nirguna Brahman is Sunyata, while Seguna Brahman is Dharmakaya.

The God which talks and manifests can only be Seguna Brahman, since it has attributes, even if it is not in any body, and even if it was the first appearance in consciousness. Even this God must one day return to Nirguna or Sunyata, it must also return to its source. The very sense of separateness this one exhibits in the many scriptures, such as describing itself as jealous, shows it retains an ego.

Advaita Vedanta details this by describing Ishvara - which means "Lord", and is what it most commonly references itself as. Buddhism also details this in the appearance of the first Brahma after his enlightenment, this one claims to be the creator of all existence and seems to fit the detailing of the Demiurge of Gnosticism. Later, another Brahma comes and simply asks politely that Buddha share what he has found. A distinction is made of level of realization for these two though, they are not the same in Buddhism.

Still, the Ultimate or Supreme, that which all return to, is nothingness... we encounter our greatest fear, for it is the most total death possible.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 08:49 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Peace be with you brother Lunitik, that's all I'll say to that.

One thing religion teaches people is always to use respectful language when addressing another human being created in the Image of God. Your words are not gracious. The Buddha taught as a fundamental principle of the Noble Eightfold Path, 'right speech'. Its common courtesy even in secular belief systems.

Rudeness is not enlightened, compassionate or in anyway commendable in an individual. It demonstrates to me that the 'ego' you claim to have done away with is very much alive in you.

Even a child would be capable of sustaining a far more respectful dialogue and civil discussion than that.
Your God has destroyed the world, and later two cities, because he viewed them as disgusting. Please do not put a prison around your expectations of enlightenment. Enlightenment means liberation from all prisons, it means to come back to yourself, to freely express your true nature.

Morality and ethics are only to impress those around you.

Last edited by Lunitik; 12-10-2012 at 08:55 AM.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 08:51 AM   #79
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It is utterly disgusting to condone ownership of a living being.

I love all beings too much to condone that.

By staying quiet, I condone your words.
 
Old 12-10-2012, 08:51 AM   #80
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Joined: Oct 2010
From: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,893
If you know yourself to be love itself acting in the world, you do not need rules about how to express it.
 
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