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'There are many paths to god.'

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by TrainingForUtopia, Mar 11, 2002.

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  1. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    That george lucas quote is one of my favorites.
  2. 1stAD Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 5
    Heh, I'd venture a bit farther than Lucas and suggest that the scale goes on indefinitely ;)
  3. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Sleazo: I think he believes all religions are corretc, he just ahs a probalem with christians who think that theirs is a superior faith.

    If i got this wrong you can correct me darth snowdog.


    No correction needed, you pretty much hit the nail on the head. By believing all religions are valid vehicles to finding truth, I'm still within the boundaries of Hindu faith... because that is, as Jedi_Cyana pointed out, one of the basic elements of Hinduism. Hinduism is henotheistic, as I've mentioned before... belief in one supreme god, but recognition of other religions as also being vehicles searching for that same truth.

    My basic feelings towards Christianity are best summed up in the words of Mahatma Gandhi:

    "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

    Don't take this to mean I hate Christians... I just find that many of them try to live by preaching, rather than by practicing... Knowledge is useless without action, and one's actions cannot be right without knowledge. Christ knew this... he seems to have practiced ten times more than he preached. Why else would anyone follow him if he were nothing more than a guy with a soapbox to stand on? He had to do tangible things to set an example by which others would follow.

    In contrast, proselytizers seek to repress knowledge and limit it to what was learned two-thousand years ago, and simultaneously believe that repetitious utterance of that knowledge somehow brings them closer to god than their actions... It is through seeking to expand one's knowledge and experience through taking action, that we gain wisdom. We're not god, we aren't born into this world knowing everything, and even if there's a scripture that claims to know everything that God does... there are science books thicker than the Bible... containing within them more knowledge... and god has the knowledge of all things in the universe... so how is it that one thin book can claim to contain the sum total of the knowledge and wisdom of the universe, when that is, clearly, a logical fallacy obvious to anyone who can count?

    If there is a god, and he has a purpose for us, isn't life an opportunity to discover that purpose? Go out and experience, do, and learn... God didn't say sit in a corner all your life, be a stodgy curmudgeon reading your little book and mumbling verses to yourself all day long until they're the only thing burned into your memory... neither did Christ, nor Krishna, nor Buddha, etc. My father told me when I was very young that in order to know right from wrong, good from bad, you have to see both for yourself...

    Consequently, why should an institution's dogma tell me things that I can damn well see with the two eyes god gave me? Why should I take the indirect word of an intermediary when I can look at the universe itself and see god's works? This is where most fundamentalists misunderstand the aim of science... which seeks not to disprove god, but to see god for ourselves, instead of taking someone else's word for it.

    If they want to believe that repeating these words to themselves makes them more righteous than their actions... I have no objection. But if they want to knock on my door and try to convince me of the same... they're better off finding someone who doesn't know any better.
  4. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
  5. Darth Fierce Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2000
    star 4
    "Don't take this to mean I hate Christians... I just find that many of them try to live by preaching, rather than by practicing"

    Understood, just make sure you don't mistake a loud minority for the majority.
  6. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Fierce: Of course not. I just think the quote itself says something very poignantly and succinctly about the difference between Christ and Christianity.

    Some think that your only responsibility is to say you accept the system... like democracy, Christianity needs action to work. You can't just say "oh, I'm a US Citizen" and expect the government to do everything for you. Active participation is required.

    While many believers understand this, many do not. I think part of the confusion arises when a religious dogma or edict claims that salvation can be achieved simply by acknowledging that you are dedicated to that faith, and by renouncing all others. This is not devotion, this is what's called "going through the motions".
  7. DarthPhelps Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2002
    star 5
    I think the problem is that the loud, obnoxious preaching is far more visible than those of us who live more quietly, showing our faith not just by our words but also by our actions. There is a teaching in the NT about performing your works in humility - not boasting about it. The whole 'left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing' thing.

    This may create the impression that Christians as a whole are loud-mouthed Bible thumpers, when in reality you may overlook many of us.

    Just a theory. :)
  8. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    I agree. In addition, if there are people creating this false impression of Christianity, I'd like to see more effort on the part of those who want me and others like me to believe this is not representative of all Christianity... to address the issue with those who create this impression as much as you address it with those of us who see it.

    If everyone really focused on bettering themselves, no one would need to tell everyone else how to live.

    It's that whole thing about glass houses... and casting stones... you know.
  9. Darkside_Spirit Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 3
    "Christian" means follower of Christ. Therefore, to establish what "true" Christianity is and is not, we must work out what Christ really said.

    Unfortunately, we have as evidence of his life only four gospels written at any time between 40 and 150 years after his alleged death. Considering the total lack of evidence concerning his alleged life, I personally don't believe he even existed. Now, if the evidence is sparse enough for his very existence to be doubted, we're hardly in very good stead to determine what he actually said!

    Therefore, we can't pass judgement on the issues concerned. However, I do have serious problems with the morality of what Christianity has grown into, and how Jesus is depicted in the gospels. The references to eternal damnation are pretty bad in and of themselves, not to mention the "virtue" of self-sacrifice - i.e. promotion of human misery - and praise for great "faith" - i.e. unquestioning obedience. I may post an overview of my view on this later.
  10. Darth Fierce Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2000
    star 4
    Snowdog and DarkSide Agreed.
  11. Jedi_Cyana Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2002
    star 3
    I have NO idea where I'm coming from, but then again, I usually don't. And as I established before, I'm a Hindu, not Christian, therefore, if I got something wrong, then tell me please.

    "Christian" means follower of Christ. Therefore, to establish what "true" Christianity is and is not, we must work out what Christ really said.

    However, I believe that this is in some way impossible. You can't change what Christ said, but it's all about interpretation. It's the same problem the Muslins are going through lately. They know what the Quaran says, but what it MEANS is a different story. I think that's why we have so many religious conflicts today.

    Also, everyone (well...almost everyone) believes that their belief is the right one. It takes time to realize that we all worship the smae thing, the same God (or Gods) but just in different lights.

    Does that make any sense to anyone?
  12. Darkside_Spirit Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 3
    If Jesus was just another path to god, then I don't want to believe in that god, because that's a sick god if he would let Jesus go through what He did during the crucifixion process even though there were "other ways."


    This is a particularly interesting part of the first post. Christians usually deny that their belief is based on wishful thinking.

    Furthermore, I would propose that Jesus' sacrifice is better viewed as a reflection of God's love for us, rather than an act of cruelty against His Son (ie Himself for that matter).


    Better viewed? The filter of faith is perhaps what's being referred to here :D I still maintain that, if you reason the Christian salvation scheme out, God is responsible for our being destined for hell. Why should you thank him for saving you from it, when it's him that would have sent you there in the first place?

    As Thomas Paine said, when an innocent can be substituted for the guilty, "...it is no longer justice. It is indiscriminate revenge". Judges issuing fines and then paying them does not make sense, nor does it constitute justice.

    So to add to this i don't think that those who kill saying that they will inherit heaven through it, are on their way to heaven.


    It's surprising how many adherents to justification by faith will seemingly compromise on their belief when pressed about it. When I debated with a fundamentalist a few months back, he declared that actions are irrelevant and that heaven/hell is believer/unbeliever. So, I rolled out the classic point of: "Did Hitler go to heaven and his Jewish victims to hell?" After some murmuring I was told that, since Hitler committed suicide, his "faith was destroyed instantly". It doesn't take much to expose an indefensible doctrine.

    We shouldn't forget that Jesus said that no one took his life from him, but he laid it down willingly - only to take it up again. Wow!!


    If you take the sacrifice back, it's no longer a sacrifice.

    So that only those who wanted to believe in Him would go to heaven, whereas those who didn't could still go to heaven? I don't think so.


    If there is a god, I doubt he is possessed by petty human insecurities enough to care about whether or not people believe in him. If he wanted to save humanity, he would save them, and wouldn't demand unconditional belief in the absence of evidence. And this comes from a person (JM201) who has condemned other faiths for following "man's idea of God".

    As C.S. Lewis points out, either Christ was exactly who he said he was, the Son of God, or he was a liar, a charlatan and a lunatic. There is no middle ground. If a person wishes to claim that there are many paths to God, then they must reject Christ and his teachings.


    We don't know what Christ actually was/said. Therefore, you cannot make this judgement.

  13. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    "If he wanted to save humanity, he would save them, and wouldn't demand unconditional belief in the absence of evidence."

    If I told you the sliding glass door was closed, and you were crippled and unable to touch it, would you doubt my words.

    It's pretty much the same way with faith. Although we can't teel for sure whether God/Jesus exists and cares for us, we can begin to figure it out. There are other ways to see if a glass door is closed or not. Is there a breeze? Can you here the birds chirping outside?

    In my view, faith is like this. Although you don't know for sure, you take evidence and draw reasonable conclusions from what you know.
  14. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    That CS Lewis quote is inaccurate, in my opinion. It's been used quite a bit here to force non believers into either insulting jesus or converting.

    Just because CS Lewis said that doesn't make it true. There are multitudes of alternatives. I'm already aware of a few.

    So i've decided to create my own quote. Now we can all use it instead of CS Lewis. Cool?

    Either Christ was exactly who he said he was, the Son of God, or he was a liar, a charlatan and a lunatic. Or perhaps he was a mythic figure, created according to mythic standards, and has been judged to be a historical person after the fact. Or perhaps he was a social revolutionary who was canonized after the fact. There is no middle ground if you want to be a fundamentalist christian in the 21st Century. If a person wishes to claim that there are many paths to God, then they must reject Christ and his teachings as handed down to them by their church and the Ancient Roman church fathers, a subject that in itself is full of deceit, treachery, forgery, and immoral acts too numerous to count.
  15. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Ok TFU, I have a question for you. In an earlier conversation we agreed that you thought there was only one way to get to God...through Christ and that was the only way.

    There are several problems with this line of thinking. For example, it causes some difficulties with the concept that God the Father=Christ=The Holy Spirit. So, if one has met God the Father, then by default they've met Christ etc. etc.

    Also, it causes some problems with John 6:45.
    John 6:45

    'It is written in the prophets, "And they shall all be taught by God." Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.'


  16. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    Interesting thought, Wylding.
  17. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    Does this mean i'm REALLY not going to hell, or just maybe not going to hell?
  18. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Has anyone bothered to take a look at The Bhagavad Gita lately? This core Hindu scripture has said, 1000 years before Christ's alleged birth, many of the things that are said about God in the Bible... and often almost identical passages and/or meanings.

    Take a look sometime, particularly in, I believe, Chapter 9... where God describes himself through Krishna, one of his earthly incarnations (imagine that)...

    I would like to know how such a stunningly similar statement could be made about God 1000 years before Christ's birth if not at least one of the following were true:

    1. Hinduism had it right first, and Christianity merely repeated what was already said.

    2. Hinduism and Christianity are both right and talking about the same God from different cultural perspectives.

    3. Christ and/or his followers were deceivers who stole the idea of God from Hinduism (and other religions).

    4. There is no Christ, someone merely made up what was already said about Mithras, Appolonius of Tyana, Brahma/Vishnu/Krishna, among others.

    Bear in mind I'm not invalidating the effect faith has on people and their purpose in life... I'm merely debating the preponderance that Christianity is somehow unique in the pantheon of religions. It is clearly not, and it is often repeating what has been said before in religion, folklore, etc.

    This doesn't make Christ or his follower's benevolent aims and desires to do right any less valuable to the world... but it does shed some light on all the deceitful things that have been done in the name of Christianity... all on the basis of a false presumption.
  19. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    I'm reading it right now and the similarities are...striking.

    There was a reason Christ came to the people of Israel. In the OT they are referred to as God's chosen. It is my opinion that they are His chosen because at that time they needed this information the most. That is to say that in the far east the message had already come in the form of Krishna. Christ needed to come and show His people a better way.

    1. Hinduism had it right first, and Christianity merely repeated what was already said.

    2. Hinduism and Christianity are both right and talking about the same God from different cultural perspectives.


    I have often had these two very same thoughts. It's good to know that I'm not the only one out there thinking them. As for the other two, it is my belief that Christ and His followers were the real deal and the he definetly existed. There is historical evidence to suggest that he did, but much like Krishna, the world debates if he ever existed. In the end, both the fact that the world rejects and doubts both of them serve to test the followers of each faith today...overcoming this strengthens the followers will and forces a spiritual awakening. Which is a goal of both Christianity and Hinduism.

    I'm still waiting to hear from you TFU :)

    No worries if you don't want to answer me, it just seems that if the Three really are One (as I believe they are), then Christ saying no one comes to the Father but through Him isn't an exclusive statement at all. In fact I was looking at that verse again today...

    John 14:6
    Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

    Note TFU, that Christ doesn't say there is only one way to come to know the person of Christ.



    Anyway, it is my personal belief that Christ (through the Holy Spirit) comes to anyone who is truly seeking The Spiritual and rejecting the crass demands of his physical/lower nature.

    John 6:45

    'It is written in the prophets, "And they shall all be taught by God." Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.'

    There is no other way to explain the otherwise contradictory statements made by Christ in the much quoted John 14:6 and the little quoted (but no less significant) John 6:45.

    In the end you will believe what you wish (or what you are told to believe), but don't think for one second that yours is the only true way. There are those who believe that the holy spirit dwells within us and that by deep meditation we can come to know Christ/God/The Holy Spirit just as powerfully as those who walked with him long ago. And these people have just as much evidence to support their belief systems as you do for your belief system...

    1 Corinthians 6:19
    'Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?'

    Psalm 46:10
    'Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!'

    Genesis 24:63
    'And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming.'

    Psalm 4:4
    'Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.Selah'

    Psalm 119:15
    'I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.'

    David did alot of meditating and was called a man after God's own heart. So, as you can see there is precedent for this type of Christian introspection, but it has been replaced with fear and guilt. Pastors would rather have you sit in the pew, feel guilty, and then put money in the offering plate. No true spiritual growth can come until you overcome your lower base nature. Paul talks a lot about this...It's funny to me, because the Yogis of India have been telling us the same thing for ages.

    Good luck in your spiritual walk. Be Master.



  20. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    There is historical evidence to suggest that he did, but much like Krishna, the world debates if he ever existed. In the end, both the fact that the world rejects and doubts both of them serve to test the followers of each faith today...overcoming this strengthens the followers will and forces a spiritual awakening. Which is a goal of both Christianity and Hinduism.

    Wylding: Agreed.

    Check this out...

    From Prabhupada's translation of the Bhagavad Gita:

    "O Arjuna, those who worship devotedly different demigods, although faithfully; they also worship Me only; but in an unauthorized manner." - 9:23

    "I am equally disposed to all living entities; there is neither friend nor foe to Me; but those who with loving sentiments render devotional service unto Me, such persons are in Me and I am in them." - 9:29

    "O Arjuna, I am the Ultimate Consciousness situated within the heart of all living entities and I am the beginning, the middle and the end as well of all living entities." - 10:20

  21. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Darth_SnowDog, it took me a long time to come to these conclusions. It's my hope that if other people see these posts, they might realize that there is more to spirituality than "I-am-rightism."

    "O Arjuna, those who worship devotedly different demigods, although faithfully; they also worship Me only; but in an unauthorized manner." - 9:23

    Paul says something very similar...the verse escapes me at the moment, but as I recall he was looking at the statues of different gods the Romans had erected and he comes to the one for the unknown god. The interesting thing is that Paul doesn't condemn them all...


    "I am equally disposed to all living entities; there is neither friend nor foe to Me; but those who with loving sentiments render devotional service unto Me, such persons are in Me and I am in them." - 9:29

    Wow, you see, that statement right there some 1000 years before Christ seems very Christ like or Christ was very Krishna like.


    "O Arjuna, I am the Ultimate Consciousness situated within the heart of all living entities and I am the beginning, the middle and the end as well of all living entities." - 10:20

    Ditto for this statement!

    I should have been a comparative religions major! :D

  22. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Heheeh... the first passage I quoted demonstrates Hinduism is not polytheistic as is commonly thought, but henotheistic... acknowledging there is only one supreme creator, but at the same time not claiming exclusivity with that creator, nor implying that other religions are false in their intentions. Since there is but one god, and that one god is omnipotent/omniscient and omnipresent, it is fairly logical to assume that god already knows what you're thinking and what, when you worship however you worship, your intentions really are. Given that, an omniscient god would not take offense (or any other anthropomorphic emotion, for that matter).

    The second and third passages are not only like Christ... it practically is Christ. In the Gospel of Thomas, one sees a Christ who expresses his intention of a much more direct relationship with God, without intermediaries between God and the believer... including himself. This is Christ... this is humility. Unfortunately, for some odd reason... Gospel of Thomas was not accepted as Canon by the Vatican.

    I would imagine it has something to do with just how much the revelations of Christ's own words in Thomas challenge the status quo and power structure of the Church... which is wholly dependent on the legitimacy of their interpretation of the Canonical gospels. If Christ himself didn't endorse the absolute power and exclusivity with God that the church has claimed for nearly 2000 years... well, you do the math.

    :D
  23. Neon_Ninja Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2002
    star 1
    Wylding, Darth Snowdog

    You are both so so wrong.
  24. Neon_Ninja Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2002
    star 1
    Just kidding. It's so rare that people here agree. I didn't want to disrupt the the trendy flow of bickering we've all worked so hard to establish.

    Really though. Very insightful posts. For once, we are left with nothing to argue.
  25. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 3
    Wylding

    'It is written in the prophets, "And they shall all be taught by God." Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.'

    I agree that this verse isn't quoted as much as it ought to be. I really like it. If you look at the whole of John 6, it should make more sense. After feeding over 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish, they still didn't get it. The next day, they asked Jesus for a sign to show them why they should believe him. Imagine that! If it was me I'd have said "You dumb-asses! I fed you all yesterday out of nothing! What do you want from me??"

    The crowd then refered to the manna (bread) that God rained down from heaven for the Israelites. This bread was what they needed to give them sustenance in the desert. Jesus says that he is the Bread of Life. He quotes Isaiah's word, and says that everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to Jesus. They's listened to the Father, but not learnt from him. If they'd learnt anything they wouldn't dare ask Jesus for a sign after the miracle he performed for them the previous day.

    Many people listen to God, but sadly not many learn from him. It's like when we're at school - we sometimes listen to the teacher, but we don't learn from him or put it into practise.


    'Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?'

    It's very important not to ignore the context of this verse. Paul was writing to the church at Corinth. To the believers. It is the believers in Christ who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them.


    'Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.

    With regards to verses on meditation, yes - meditation is important. But what is meditation, biblically speaking? Meditation simply means "to mutter". In Joshua Chapter 1, Joshua is told to meditate on God's word. Think about it, study it, mutter it again and again under your breath. The more you think about it, the more it becomes real to you. It's not about emptying your mind or focussing on one spot. On the contrary, it's about focussing on God's word and his promises.

    You quoted Psalm 119:15, and that's exactly what it says: 'I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.'

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