Jesus, the Buddha, and the Good News

Recently, I received a series of comments and questions from a Buddhist who had been a Catholic previously. After some initial dialog, I responded more comprehensively with this comment; it is edited slightly for a wider audience.

The Buddha

Hi GB,

You shared that you are a Buddhist, which helps me place some of your earlier comments in perspective. My guess is that you are Theravada, since you say you don’t believe in a god to love. Many Pure Land Mahayana Buddhists tend to respect and adore Amitabha almost like a god or saint.

I am not a Buddhist, but I have high respect for the Buddha. I think Gautama was an incredibly wise and balanced thinker, and I have benefited greatly from his insights on the middle way, suffering, and non-injury.

About Angry God

In a general response to your questions, I do believe in Jesus and follow him. I believe Jesus brought us good news, and part of this good news is that God is not angry, violent, and vindictive as he is often described in the Old Testament. Instead, he is like a Father who loves us unconditionally; in fact I usually do not refer to him/her as God, because the term ‘God’ carries such negative baggage. Instead, I refer to him/her as the Father, as Jesus did, though it could just as easily be ‘the Mother’; I do not think of God as a patriarchal entity.

Ethical Living

Another part of the good news is Jesus’ rejection of rules and laws as the basis for ethical living. Instead, he emphasizes the importance of treating other people with good will rather than hurting and exploiting them. Jesus expressed this in many ways; some of the more well known are:

Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22)

Do to others what you would have them do to you. (Matthew 7)

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies. (Matthew 5)

Jesus was consistent in teaching and living this principle, which was in contrast to the idea of living by rules and commandments accepted as the ethical standard in Jesus’ day. However, Jesus is not unique in teaching this ethic; the Buddha taught the same thing, and it is constantly emphasized today by the Dalai Lama who represents the Vajrayana branch of Buddhism.

Life after Death

There is a third aspect to the good news of Jesus that is more unique to Jesus. I believe he tells us that there is potential for life after death, and I think his resurrection demonstrates his ability to assure our restoration to life after we have died. I anticipate that it will be a life of peace and happiness, unlike our current experience of conflict and oppression.

Many Christians see this pleasant future life as restricted to those who believe certain things about Jesus and who make specific commitments to him; they think those who do not do this will be punished. I think they are terribly mistaken. Jesus’ invitation to eternal life is open to everyone who accepts it, even if they have never heard of Jesus; perhaps everyone will be accurately informed of the invitation after death.

Response to Additional Questions

Now that I have covered, broadly, some of your general questions, I will see if I can address other specific questions.

I still have questions about the logic of Christianity; the concept of sin I see Christianity as an illogical combination of politics ( Ruler Law i.e. sin laws ) and the Purpose and belief in God. Why the need the combination of the 2 together?

I certainly understand this question! Many Christians today talk about sin in terms of rules and laws; in fact, I used to understand Christianity the same way. But I have learned that this is misguided.

I don’t use the word ‘sin’ much because of the baggage attached to the word, but it is used in the New Testament. I believe we can define sin as hurting ourselves or other people–it is as simple as that. Of course, we can never completely avoid hurting people, but we should try, conscientiously, to avoid it. This is what I understand the message of Jesus to be, and I think the Buddha gives us a similar message.

I am in a time of Roman occupation of Israel; the people are poor; the tax payers are in the temple; the Jewish people want self rule. My friend John has been beheaded; I am trying to promote peaceful revolt; the High priest are in bed with the Roman powers of the day; religion is now corrupt; the people are both unhappy with the Rulers and the head of religion. What do I have to do to get my revolt going?

I agree with you that Jesus was leading a non-violent revolt, but I don’t think it was against the Romans but rather against the legalism and haughtiness of the Jewish religious establishment that despised and burdened the common people. I think Jesus succeeded in establishing an alternate movement, but it has now lost much of the original impetus and has often become similar to the dogmatic, legalistic religious establishment of Jesus’ day.

If you reject the OT how can you believe in Jesus?

This is a good question, and you are not the first to ask it, but I don’t reject the Old Testament (OT); I reject the way some Christians understand the OT. Many Christians think the OT is an accurate collection of the very words of God, but they aren’t. The OT writers were very interested in God and felt they had a special relationship with God, but their comprehension of God was very limited. In my opinion, Jesus’ insight about God overrides anything that is written in the OT. However, it is a very useful record of how the nation of Israel thought about God; and, by-the-way, their thoughts about God are not consistent throughout the OT.

You say God loves you. How does your god show you love? And don’t tell me because his “son died for you.”

I believe God loves us because Jesus, as his representative, both taught and demonstrated love.

Many Christians today think Jesus died to pay for our sins, but this is an idea that developed only about a thousand years after the death of Jesus; I do not hold to this theory. Other Christians see Jesus’ death and resurrection as a victory over death itself, and it impacts us in that we have opportunity to live again beyond death. Of course, the immediate reason for Jesus’ death is that he was seen as a threat by both the Romans and the Jewish establishment.

I do not love a god in Buddhism; we have no god but I can love my husband and sisters and brothers and show love to my fellow man. I need not know the love of God to have the emotion of love the emotion of empathy or the emotion of sadness.

I think the comfort of learning that the Father loves us is important to many people because previously they thought God was angry, vindictive, and out to punish them. So understanding, instead, that God has good will toward us removes a great burden of fear. I realize this is not the case in Buddhist thinking.

In order to have and display an emotion (love) one must be alive; how can you respond to god’s Love (an emotion) when he is unable to display emotion.

I don’t claim to know much detail about the Father’s makeup, but I suspect that the Father does display emotion and can relate to us.

REALITY is the world or state of things as they actually exist as opposed to an Idealistic or notional idea of them.

It is true that we do not have a detailed understanding of things we cannot see. I believe in the Father and I believe in a future life after death, and those things are not demonstrable. However, these are not the things most important to my life. The most important thing is Jesus’ teaching of love for one another, reconciliation with others, and treating people with respect and good will instead of oppression or exploitation.

I think the same is true regarding the Buddhist belief in the cyclical re-birth of the atman. Have you ever seen the atman? What about the concept of karma? Are either of these real as opposed to idealistic or notional ideas?

GB. I hope these responses have been helpful in clarifying my perspective. Feel free to follow up if you wish. ~Tim

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31 Responses to Jesus, the Buddha, and the Good News

  1. gallbladder says:

    Dear Tim and others To start When I called you out on God showing emotion Your response was typical of a Christian though you were originally insistant God could show emotion and Love and then changed to that they are not demonstrationable you then Proclaim they are NOW NOT IMPORTANT to your life when you previously claimed they were. To the next issue you are confusing Hinduism and Buddhism they are not the same Buddhist unlike Hindu do not believe in an eternal soul but believe in reaching Peace as a finnality Buddhist are not God centered but personally centered Hindus held that women can not achieve a devote life and salvation alone but only through their husbands Buddhist reject this and removes Gender so all are wlcome all races color and sexual preference We are not ritual based or steeped in ceremony or building of temples or Cathedrals Living a pious life and treating others with dignity and fairness are the Key to happiness One important point is Gautama Buddhist reject deity of Braham and Atman in favour of Anicca or impermanence three marks of exsistence Human life enbodies this flux in the aging process the cycle of birth and rebirth and any experience of loss we do not believe in the eternal soul You go on to say you believe in GOD and a future life after death and what is Most important thing in your life is the teachings of Jesus of love for one another Reconceleation with others and treating people with respect and good will instead of oppression and explortation Well christianity and other organized religion certainly have a Very long history of Explortation and Oppression Your statements bring visualizations to My mind of something half way betwween an AA meeting and a Catholic Confessional Sorry but thats what it did to me Buddhism allows you to self examine so reconceleation is not our concept self examination means you have done nothing against anyone to cause them pain You can treat people with respect and dignity and Good will without GOD . Now to eternal life this is sometimes refered to or viewed by christians as a personal relationship with God to achieve this you are reguired to give him admiration to achieve this What has God done to be Admired ? Back to the Emotion of God What Has he done to show his Love ? God and natural disasters some say its God’s punishment and he allows them to happen After a Disaster who does the the clean up work People not GOD who cleans up the mess You hear people Proclaim thank GOD more People did not Die REALLY ? How about thanking Mans ability to think and built stronger buildings that saved more People not GOD Human through their work and inventiveness determines the world we live in Man himself can promote peace and kindness and good will without GOD it is done every day Your God watches down from heaven at man’s struggles and does not intervene and religion tells you its because you are not worthy of Gods intervention for your purpose is to show him admiration and worship For what ? this is Ilogical then religion says you will be rewarded for your suffering in life with ever lasting eternal life after death and then the permission to sin through the concrpt that god will grants you forgiveness if you did self evaluation and enlightenment you would have a need to “SIN” or do harm to others instead you would be devoted to ending suffering if you believe in him you will achieve eternal life What is eternal Life ? please describe what that is I could find no description of it in the Bible Is it Free from Suffering ? But your God Requires that you suffer and you are required to give him admiration for allowing you to suffer You require a after life out of fear of dying GOD is not spelled God it is spelled EGO for when you die so does the EGO but the end of the EGO is terrifying to many so you give God the responsibility to assure your Ego will never die Man can change the world only with your faith in God and only god can only give you hope you will never die But it seems to me you have to do a lot of admiration and worship ( a life time ) for a promise of a eternal life you have no description of and isn’t guaranteed til your delusion of a Judgement day All that worship time could be better used here on earth in hands on work with your fellow man every day to end suffering and poverty and war and killing and trying to understand your self and your fellow man for you say that is what is MOST IMPORTANT But for Some reason you Proclaim you need GOD to do it thats ODD Non believers and Buddhist seem to have no Problem doing it without GOD for thousands of years Please My point is not to deny your right to believe I ask only if you really want to improve the world please start with trying to change organized religion to re think how they treat and view Women Gays People of color people of different religion or Politic Make a differnce in your community while keeping your religion in your heart but stop pushing it on others so since i am very Pro planting seeds of thought I want to leave you with a Question You never really Know another man til you have Walked in his shoes so I ask you How do you think a Buddhist or a non believer feels when he goes out in public say to a Shool meeting or a graduation or some town concil meeting and they have to face Public Prayer to us its almost insulting we are Bombarded every day Jesus said he was against Public prayer he said Beware of the high priest who preaches on the corner for he is not having a real conversation with god but one for public display We (Buddhist and non believers and many other religions do not display public Prayer ) we practice action to prevent suffering lets try promoting repecting all for all People keep your religion in your heart in your church in your private schools But try respecting others we would like to share the Earth and Live with you and not have to live by your religion lets start sharing the world because its our world too and make room for others this is what I ask so all mankind can live in harmony thank you for reading

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    • Chas says:

      gallbladder, have you rejected Jesus as the Son of God, having once believed in him?

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      • gallbladder says:

        jesus was a man with a purpose

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        • Chas says:

          You haven’t answered the question>

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          • gallbladder says:

            if i said he was a man that would indicate he was human I know some people believe in a god concept but I do not in another reply you asked what i was afraid of ? nothing at all 30 years ago I clinically died now 30 years later i accept the fact I will die again I accept the fact that since birth the body will feel pain and sickness I have no medical issues and medicine can relieve pain I accept the fact i need to eat a bag of rice cost $2.59 a bag of dirt is $1.97 and a plant is $ 2.00 I have been getting my nursing pention for the last 6 years and its for life in 10 months I will get Social security ) what do I have to fear ? I have no children so i fear not for non exsistant childrens safety or wellbeing My husband is 7 years younger than I and he can care for himself so what do I need to fear I have no God concept so how could I have a fear of a after death for without a God neither does a eternal life you and others peoples lives are all based on a Fear of something that is what God concept is based on instilling fear to encourage the belief Let me kknow after you think of something of what I would have a fear of Once you accept something and live in the reality of aging you no longer fear it as a nurse I have seen at least 500 people die in 35 years all of them resulted in relaxation of the body and peace Im not hitting this site any more on a regular basis But when you decide what I should fear let me know thanks

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          • Chas says:

            You still haven’t answered the straight question: ‘have you rejected Jesus as the Son of God, having once believed in him.’ Since you are unable to answer this question, it tells me that the answer is ‘yes,’ so you have made yourself your own god, and the one whom you should fear is yourself. God is love, not fear; to cause someone to fear would cause them to suffer, which is a result of destruction. God does not cause destruction.

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    • Dear Gallbladder,
      Why gallbladder ?
      Why are you so angry ?
      I doubt Tim can change the american school system.
      His response was not even an attack on you but a general explanation of his beliefs and more of an “attack” on traditional christian values.

      I am currently staying at a close friends house who is Buddhist, from a Chinese buddhist family, the happy buddha is everywhere. She does not believe in God yet she is the most respectful person to me and my faith ! Even when I myself am being pushy and unreasonable. I believe God (the God i believe in, the creator of the universe) LOVES her just as much as He does me, despite our differing faiths.

      Dear Tim,
      Maybe life is just a play with no rehearsal ? I heard this line in a song once. Honestly if there is a God, He does not seem to know what he is doing. Because there seems to be so much confusion in the world about who or what He/She/It is. But I agree with your beliefs and I came to them before reading this blog. in fact my view of the old testament has always been that it was Church that told me different.

      I loved this post, keep it up

      Me
      The Hopeful African
      xoxo

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      • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

        Life is a play with no rehearsal. I like that Hopeful! You asked GB some good questions; I hope she is able to answer them.

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      • gallbladder says:

        Gallbladder because it was available and I am a retired Nurse I am not angry I an insulted by the lack of respect that Southern “Christian ” religions have for others They have for years Especially here in the south have dominated society and encroached their religion into every aspect of life here they exibit a superior attitude and if you express or believe anything other than they do you are looked down upon they have taken over our Public schools and rent the buildings for church services on sundays The school belongs to All people my state has a bill to Have prayer in school and and those who are not christian would be asked to leaves the room (singled out in front of their peers a terrible thing to do to a child ) that is not Respecting others I believe religion in goverment should be separate It was different when I lived in the North I had jewish friends Muslim Catholic Christians Hindu and Buddhist we embraced one another celerated each others religion and Culture then we had People of different nationalities Italian Irish German Polish Spanish Asian we also embraced those culutes But her e in the south iits all about the southeners History and I Hear every day because I dont have a southern accent ” YOU AIN”T FROM AROUND HERE ARE YA” well I have been here 18 years now , Not to mention the non ending door bell ringing of please Join OUR church So when I say No thank you I am Buddhist its like GOD stuck a Dagger in their eye balls so Here at least they are not respectful they don’t ebrace others or other cultures or People who aren’t from around here and many are racist and to me that says you do not practice your religion down here its a “SOCIAL STATUS” Sunday Morning if I am mowing the Lawn I am shouted at as a HEATHEN so maybe a touch of anger is here a normal human response But when I came Here I came with a open heart and respected the people as fellow human beings and was willing to embrace them and share My mixed heritage my customs I volunteered did free medical care for people donated my garden to the food bank What did I get Snubbed So I do work for those who are happy to accept it who don’t care what religion you are for people who treat you as an egual Human being and respect you for your uniqueness so that is my story

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        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          GB, I don’t want to interrupt you conversation with Hopeful, but I would like to say that I have always lived in the South and I recognize exactly what you are talking about. And I am opposed to it; I do not represent this ‘Southern Christian’ attitude at all.

          Can you share what major southern city you live near?

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          • gallbladder says:

            upstate SC

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          • gallbladder says:

            then I am sorry Can you help Me understand this thought Process I will give you an example and help me to understand peoples reasoning a group of non believers went to the food bank we wanted to help we brought our Produce we had grown in our gardens and wanted to share with those in need We Have No GOD so our Motive was Pure in heart since we have no Prayer or God to spread We just wanted to help people who needed food Simple Pure just a Giving Heart What Happened as soon as one of the people at the food bank asked one of Us What church we belonged to that was the end , ALL of a Sudden We were EVIL the Devil a threat the Scum of the Earth How dear we Want to feed People if we did not intend to add the Word of GOD with each Crumb of food a group of Poor a Captured group of People Hungry would get . But to get Nourishment it is required they are force fed the message of God to be Fed It made Me SICk they threw out our Produce as if it was not worthy of consumption it was poison without Gods name Branded on it as well as degrading us as to be lesser than Human beings and that we had desercrated the food bank like it was the Temple of God Explain the Reasoning for that Behaviour and so some very Hungry People were denied food Based on Religion WHY ? it goes back to Respect why is what I believe or dont believe Matter what mattered was Giving food But they Can only give With Motive of spreading god ? explain please what is this drive in them to want to Convert all ManKind When I see a person I never ask thier religion But here the 2nd sentence is always what church do you belong to I stand before you as a fellow human Being if your religion ( not you personally) teaches anything does it not say accept Me as a person first Look at what make me part of the Human Race not search for things to make me different or Evil in your eyes Help me understand ? Where did this concept start It had to have been taught ?

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          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            GB, I am not sure who you are addressing with your comment that begins ‘Then I am sorry’ or to which previous comment it refers. So I will respond.

            You asked someone to explain the behavior of a group you encountered that harshly rejected your assistance in feeding the hungry. I am sorry, I cannot explain that behavior; I think it is mean, hateful, and ignorant. But I want you to know that not all followers of Jesus think and act that way.

            I know that for some Christians every new stranger is first and foremost a target for conversion, and that reduces meaningful relationships and interaction to near nothing. I am embarrassed by the hurtful beliefs and practices of some Christians; I cannot control them but I can provide a better way to follow Jesus to those who are interested, and that is what I try to do on this blog.

            If you still think this blog and its readers are like those Christians, you might wish to read the ‘About’ page to get an overview of our way of thinking. Then if you want to complain about us, you can at least accuse us for what we actually think.

            https://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/

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        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          Thanks GB; I live in different southern state.

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          • gallbladder says:

            I will take a guess and say you live in Texas

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          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            GB, I was born in Alabama and raised in Florida, but in the 1950s and 60s my area of Florida was as deep South as anywhere else in the South. Things are somewhat different now, with people from all over the United Sates (and the world) living in my area. But there is still a lot of Old South here.

            I attended college in Tennessee and lived in that state for 15 years before returning to Florida.

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      • gallbladder says:

        Dear Hopeful the reason I came to this site was to try and understand How “Christians ” think How they Reason Most People have given me very little to understand them but a lot of scripture They tend to Claim this superiority that their way is the ONLY WAY But I have found several Major Common themes and I will be as Kind as I can be …… “Christians” have a drive to insist on Projecting “THEIR” God on to others for example your statement ” I believe God Loves Her Just as much as He Loves ME’ as if to Imply she is a Lost Soul and even if she is not a follower Your God will take her in only because she is misguided You may think that is a simple statement and You wrote it thinking you are Projecting Love and your Friend I am sure is a Kind and Loving Person and as your Host she would restrain from telling you Just Insulted Her .( if you said it to her aloud ) But she is Respecting you and your Religion Your friend does not believe in a Creator or that he exsist Buddhist Value Human Beings abilities Think of it as Driving a Car Christians Put “GOD” in the Drivers Seat to control things Buddhist Put People . Christian s in my understanding so far have this thing this Concept that Non believers are Lost are Lacking We don’t Know what we are Missing and if the Rest of Us would “open our eyes ” We could some How be Cured of Our Blindness Buddhism started 600 years Before Christianity so before your concept of a creator God was even planted we have been following principles to live By I know you do not desire to be unkind But thats like telling us for 600 years we have been Confused or lost or Jews are Misguided and your God will save us I can tell you I have never Met a Buddhist or a Jew that has ever tried to Convert a Christian out of respect Ghandi once said ” I like your Jesus Christ but I do not Care Much for Your Christians ” and that is why he said it your Idea that Yours is the only TRUE one and ONLY Concept to follow and the Rest of Humanity is in Great Error that Concept is very Disrespectful and yes People Can change My situation in the South and How Southern Christians have tried to Force and Push their beliefs on others Just as in gay rights and Womens Rights ( and many non christians and Buddhist have supported ) They can write letters get active Vote Peaceful protest to say We respect all People and their right to practice Their religion But it is wrong to Put it into Law and Force others to Live By it I would not tell you what to do in your Bedroom or where to Go to church Yes the People on this site Many of the who have been a product of prejudice Can make a difference and say “FORMAL CHRISTIAN LEADERS YOU ARE GOING TO FAR and are not respecting others thank you for reading

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      • gallbladder says:

        Good morning Hopeful I am adding this to My reply below to give yo another example This morning I Got an Email from a Southern Baptist I have Known for 18 years his email stated that the problem in america is We need to Put GOD back in America (PROJECTION ) as he puts it ” One Nation Under GOD ” he pointed out its on our Monuments and our Money WOW !! I sent him information regarding the origin of those things that they were put into practice By Religious People and Politicians and not in the Constitution that Our country was founded on FREEDOMS He said This Country Was founded on GOD Wrong This Country was Founded on giving People Freedom to Chose He in a way is told Me Because I do not Believe in “GOD” I am not an AMERICA I do not belong in this Country I should Be forced out or be made to believe in GOD against my will to be able to live in the country i was born Wow thats why we separated from England the Crown wanted to tell us what to believe in and how to live They say they are mandated as rulers and are endowed by GOD to Rule over the People That is the same thing as Religious leaders telling Gays You have No RIGHT to be a Christian or believe in Jesus and Practice Christianity because you are Gay That is wrong Same as women’s rights Women because they are female they are lesser Human being than Men and should take a submmissive role they denied women a say the right to vote for 165 years They used religion to Justify Slavery I think it is time to send a message to Religious leaders STOP You have Made GODS and JESUS’s teachings UGLY You Have Created a Climate of division You Have PROJECTED Your Motives In to what was once a Pure and Loving IDEA of Faith and Made it Ugly Cruel full of prejudice and HATE You have Brainwashed the Believers with your Agenda to Create a world as you want it Not as God or Jesus wanted it as God is your strength I think We as Human beings even those who dont believe in God himself Have an Obligation to say Give God back his Purity Give the Believers Back the Pure GOD they once Knew people can stand By and allow some people to deny God His true glory or they change it for those who believe in Him I am Sorry GOD can not fix this one on his OWN HE is THE VICTIM Some PEOPLE did this to His word and Other need To stand up and FIX it Sorry this is where your God has no Control But His True Believers DO those who believe the True intent of God can stand up and SAVE GOD this time its up to People I think You need to Save GOD From those who are destroying His Message You have a right to your GOD No man should have a right to Distort Him and what he stand for you can all sit Back and let it Be or start pushing the Pen and Casting the Vote Write to Churchs Religious Leaders Politicians I write Emails and letters Daily I keep tract of Bills in Congress I don’t Believe in your God But I am Willing to Fight For His Exsistance in his TRUE FORM The Question today is Are YOU

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  2. jesuswithoutbaggage says:

    Hi GB,

    I am glad that you commented here, but I think much of what you say is based on your assumptions of what I believe rather than what I say I believe. Throughout our conversation, it seems that your mind is made up and no matter what I say you either repeat your objections or find another way to say I am wrong. So I am not going to respond to every accusation.

    If you think I am wrong, it doesn’t bother me; but I don’t see the point of your continuing to drive it home. We are not in competition, and I am not tying to ‘win’ the argument.

    I will say that I do understand the difference between Hinduism and Buddhism; I do not confuse the two. I am aware that Hindus often see the atman as a personal, identifiable ‘soul’ that returns in cycles to new bodies, while Buddhists do not believe this. But I think I do recall the Buddha’s speculation that the atman is nothing more than an impersonal accumulation of karma. I recognize that you do not subscribe to either Hindu or Christian beliefs.

    I don’t think my belief in the importance of Jesus’ message on love and reconciliation is negated just because that message has been distorted or ignored throughout much of Christian history.

    Apparently you are unaware that I have fought racism, at my risk, in the most racist part of America for the past 40 years. For almost as long, I have stood for women’s rights, and more recently I have advocated for LGBT rights. I have opposed forced prayer in public places, like schools, since the 1970s.

    I am opposed to oppression wherever it occurs; and this is because of the influence of Jesus in my life. If you read my blog regularly, you are aware that I NEVER push my beliefs on other people. You make so many assumptions about me that I wonder if your hostility is directed toward me personally, or whether you see me as a representative of some form of Christianity you reject.

    I respect others, I want to share the world, and I am all for living in harmony.

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    • Chas says:

      Tim. You have already dealt at length, in previous subjects on your blog, with most of the points on which gallbladder thinks she is condemning you. It would be well worthwhile her reading some of them; maybe you could suggest those that would be the most appropriate for her to read.

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      • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

        Chas, I think you are right that I have addressed many of her issues on previous posts. But I am not sure it would make any difference to her if I were to give her links to them.

        As far as I can understand, she seems to have a strong reaction against a certain sort of Christian behavior and is chastising us on this blog as though we represent the form of Christian behavior that has hurt her. Whenever I try to identify with her protests and agree with her position, her tone doesn’t seem to change at all.

        Gallbladder will probably read your suggestion and my response to it here. If she requests links to address her questions, I will provide them. Thanks for the suggestion.

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        • gallbladder says:

          Thank you all for your reply I have found the answer to My questions The answer was always in my thoughts But I did not want to believe it was true and because of your site you have Confirmed them I wish you all well and Hope all find Peace and happiness the Answer is the Concept of an all Powerful all Knowing “GOD” gives People a feeling they are one with a “Superior Being ” and therfore that Relationship gives them the sense that they themselves are Superior to other Human Beings who do not Believe in God just as I had thought those who believe in God concept is directly related to EGO and therefore my eguation is Correct to a point GOD = EGO I do not feel Superior nor inferior I am a Human Being with no Super Natural Characteristics Just Human ones All this explains your God Concept and the Behavior I have witnessed by some people of faith Not all are so EGO Inflated some are able to Keep the God ego in check and live on Jesus Principles and do not display a I am special and GOD will give me all my answers for he is all knowing and Having God in My Corner Makes Me superior to you I am still hopeful for the Human race may you all find what you are looking for Good bye

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          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            GB, I wish you well also and hope you find peace and happiness. We disagree on some things, but I wish you no ill will, nor do I wish to convert you.

            I must also say that I do not believe I am superior as a follower of Jesus. Quite the contrary, because of Jesus I feel that I am part of the brotherhood of humanity. Everyone is my brother and my sister.

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  3. sheila0405 says:

    Tim, I appreciate your review of what Christianity is to you. I’m kind of in the desert right now. I think for the rest of the summer my presence will remain sporadic. I try very hard to make sure to read your blog. I check for new posts frequently. How is it that atonement for sins seems to be written into the NT, especially in Colossians, yet it was not really entrenched until a thousand years after the Resurrection? I am speaking of Paul’s description of our offenses being nailed to the cross with Christ, which “took them away”. What is it about us that makes us “sin”? I believe sin is an offense against love. I don’t get why some people are murderers, thieves, rapists, frauds, etc.. Is there a previous blog post in which you discuss the nature of man’s tendency to “sin”?

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    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Sheila, I am so sorry you are in the desert. I assume this is not a good thing. Let me know if I can be helpful and I look forward to your presence whenever you feel like being here.

      Your question about atonement for sins is a very good one. I think Paul was using it as an illustration (not a doctrinal description) based on the Temple sacrifices, just as he used other illustrations in talking about the work of Jesus in us. But it seems that Christian writers did not pick up on this as a doctrine for a long time. I am not sure why.

      Sheila, I need to address sin more thoroughly at some point, but in the meantime I have a short series on sin from almost a year ago. I was somewhat new at that point, and I think I would do a better job with it now. You can see one of the posts at the following link and it connects to the others if you want to read them https://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/what-is-sin/

      I am serious about being helpful. You can read me privately if you wish at my email on the contact page.

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  4. michaeleeast says:

    Thank you Tim for an enlightening post about your personal beliefs.
    We have to remember that the seen is not all of the real.
    There are realities that we cannot see.
    And some Christians give testimony to this.

    Liked by 1 person

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