What life should a Christian live to be Christian?

I haven’t read everything from Richard, but where do you get all this?

It is the implication I see when he tells me that Xtians have a higher calling than seeking justice and correcting oppression. NO! There is no higher calling! Absolutely not! If you sing praises to God ignoring injustice and oppression then you spit upon God with your songs!

Of course this doesn’t mean you have to do so in a stupid manner like the Zealots. I think Jesus made his disapproval of them quite clear. Liberation theology has no support from me because revolution is not a viable solution to oppression. The American revolution worked only because in reality was the opposite of a revolution – a fight to preserve a social order which already existed. But this doesn’t mean that you do nothing against injustice and oppression – you do whatever you can to oppose it.

What makes you think he doesn’t care about justice and oppression? Besides, different believers have different callings and different ministries. What are you doing about justice and oppression? What is your church doing about these things?

Which thing are you “amen” - ing to ??

Hello Mitchell

Yes, we discussed it, and I showed that you were wrong from scripture, to which you didn’t respond. Jesus bodily rose from the dead, the Christian faith is built on that fact!

“Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.’” (John 20:17a)

Jesus in a physical body.

"‘Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’” (John 20:27)

Jesus again in a physical body.

“He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.”

Ate and drank with a body, not a spirit.

Over 50 passages mention Jesus being risen from the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:35-58 is talking about saved people after they die, not Jesus’ resurrection. When Paul, or anyone, said that Jesus rose from the dead, that is referring to a bodily resurrection, that humans could see.

You did a good job of packing false doctrines, unwarranted assumptions and straw-mans into that paragraph, Mitchell. Jesus’ purpose here was to seek and save the lost.

"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)

And not to alleviate all injustice and suffering:

"The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me." (Matthew 26:11)

We are ABSOLUTELY called to a higher calling, to be disciples of Jesus Christ. In Christ, we are born-again and are new creations, though faith in the blood of Christ. We now live for him, God’s son who came here in the flesh and we don’t follow 613 rules. We don’t go out to seek justice and correct oppression. The reason that exists is due to rebellion to God. The ultimate justice is to connect people with their creator, so that no matter what happens to them in this life, they can live forever with God.

"Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me, to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:17b-9)

This part of Isaiah that Jesus read at the synagogue, obviously a prophecy about himself, is about helping people become free from their sin and connect them to their Father, no going out and, “freeing the oppressed”. That happens when someone is born-again.

Noone talked about drowning out the screams of slaves, raped women, ect. But our goal is not to alleviate the symptoms of godlessness, it’s to alleviate godlessness at the root, one by one, like Jesus taught. If a Christian can somehow make a difference with oppression and injustice, amen. But that is not our calling. This is about the life of a Christian, and you should use passages from the New Testament to back up your claims.

Richard, there is no science supporting the concept of a physical resurrection from the dead. It was God who created the physical and spiritual laws and God does not violate His own Law. There is plenty of science supporting @mitchellmckain view that Jesus rose in spirit from the dead. See mu other post.

The best explanation of the life of Jesus that I have read is from Walther Hinz.

Outsiders can fairly ask what good your religion is then. According to James pure religion is that which seeks to care for orphans and widows (the powerless among us). A little later he writes (paraphrased) So you believe all the “correct” things about God? Good! Yet even the demons believe all these things … and shudder! And James goes on to write how faith without works is barren. Only James used much more pointed language which I’ve softened here. Read James 1 and 2 if you want the full taste of his aroused ire.

I think the “Christian” neglect of justice and mercy in this world has been perhaps the largest engine for loss of belief in recent history.

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This is Monism vs Dualism, two terms recently learned by this student of Religion. I agree with Monism (only one reality, not two) but in a sense; it really is semantics. We’re incapable of understanding how God does miracles whether it be in a Monistic or a Dualistic Universe so what is the point in arguing about it?

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The Bible tells us to seek justice and champion the oppressed in both the OT and NT. Not all denominations neglect justice and mercy.

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Indeed! James (where I got the passages I just quoted) is in the Bible. And as you imply, I could have chosen many others from either testament. Those who make social justice into an enemy of faith are forced to turn a blind eye to major themes from both the prophets and the apostles.

Good! And we must celebrate, support, and join with those who champion such calls.

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yeah … you’re right about that. Which is probably a good reason to spend much more of our energy in directions that help others in need.

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I agree, Mervin. And the reason justice is mentioned so often is because it is so difficult to do consistently. We need those reminders. However, while justice and mercy is something we all are called to in our personal lives, we have different roles to play in the Kingdom, and cannot and should not all be social justice warriors. I’ve been reading Andy Walsh’s Faith Across the Multiverse, and enjoyed his description of how all the body’s cells have the same DNA, but are differentiated as to function due to the differences in expression, just as we are differentiated as part of the body of Christ.

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As long as Christians don’t run with “in our personal lives” as a reason to dismiss themselves from all responsibility towards wider - even global concerns. It’s been noted and observed that we more easily support philanthropy so that our consciences are salved, and (we then hope) we will be spared having to address any systemic injustices that make philanthropy so desperately needed in the first place.

Cynical definition of a philanthropist: “Someone who gives money away when people are looking, and takes it when they aren’t.” - my paraphrase from “the devil’s dictionary.”

While I hate the thought of offending many kind-hearted philanthropists whose generosity benefit so many of us - there is, unfortunately, good reason that these cynical definitions have so much traction. Christians would do well to not throw fuel on that fire, and better yet if we make it a personal mission to put such fires [injustices] out, or at least lessen them. If we are called by scriptures to have open hands towards our neighbors, I think we can safely see the corollary: we are also called to not help perpetuate systems that exploit our neighbors in the first place. It’s dangerous for any of us or any denomination to excuse themselves from all such concerns.

But we can’t all be effectively concerned about everything all the time, and I think your words really shine through in that regard. We also can’t be paralyzed from life by finding all the evil complicities present in everything we do. Thankfully the body of Christ is diverse!

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See how many echoes of Jesus you can find in these passages from Isaiah and Zechariah:

“Cry aloud, spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
Tell My people their transgression,
And the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they seek Me daily,
And delight to know My ways,
As a nation that did righteousness,
And did not forsake the ordinance of their God.
They ask of Me the ordinances of justice;
They take delight in approaching God.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen?
Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’

“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,
And exploit all your laborers.
Indeed you fast for strife and debate,
And to strike with the fist of wickedness.
You will not fast as you do this day,
To make your voice heard on high.
Is it a fast that I have chosen,
A day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush,
And to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Would you call this a fast,
And an acceptable day to the Lord?

Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.

“If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.”

– Isaiah 58:1-10

Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts:

‘Execute true justice,
Show mercy and compassion
Everyone to his brother.
Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless,
The alien or the poor.
Let none of you plan evil in his heart
Against his brother.’

“But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets.

– Zechariah 7:8-12

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Thanks for reintroducing me to the minor prophets lately. I enjoy them; I think I’ll start using them for devotions. I remember learning the books of the Bible as a child, and we rushed through the “Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi!”–but it’s good to get back into them.

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I’m very excited because tomorrow, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, our Theology class will be studying MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” (Unless the storm prevents me from getting into the city)

According to our teacher,

"This theological and justice-oriented missive from 1963 was addressed to various church leaders in Birmingham when Dr. King was arrested for non-violent protests against segregation.

Though initially begun for a specific purpose, the letter that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote while incarcerated in Birmingham ultimately addressed universal questions of freedom and inequality. It is because of its ambitious reach that “Letter from Birmingham Jail” has remained such an enduring document, arguably one of the most important American works of theology and philosophy."

And then in February, Jeremy Waldron, professor of legal and political philosophy at NYU School of Law, will be teaching a series on the biblical perspective of justice and judgement in the light of the prophetic tradition of the Hebrew Scripture.

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Spiritual body maybe…but He also was able to eat food … it was a body of some sort, ;probably physical yet different from ours…

Absolutely! This tells me that a living spirit with a resurrected spiritual body is everything we have right now and more – not less in any way at all. But to leave you with a thought… to be sure we can eat, but do we have to? Would we die without food? Are we only imperishable if we get our nutritional requirements?

Personally, I think the only nutritional requirement for a healthy eternal spiritual life is a relationship with God.

I often wonder if Jesus’s and our eventual “spiritual” bodies aren’t simply our physical ones reconstructed with perfected DNA. Henrietta Lax’s cells are immortal. Cancerous but immortal. DNA is a marvelous creation, if perfected so that it would not mutate; we could live forever. Assuming that God can, and why couldn’t He? Why wouldn’t God use what He has already has created? As far as walking through walls and stuff. I imagine that technology could just as well be responsible for that as any characteristic of our bodies.

It’s an interesting question, one that we won’t know for sure about in this life; I don’t imagine.

Could be, Mitchell… And I also like Beagle Lady’s thoughts here. But another post-er – a few readings up – posted more biblical examples. Jesus is God and He can do anything, of course. But His actual physical body walked out of that tomb – don’t know what it looked like after all the ravages of crucifixion – so there is some reason to insist on the resurrection being physical (ancient Judaism would not have objected to a spiritual resurrection anyway — it is the physical one that was upsetting) …So He did make an effort to demonstrate to His disciples, at the time, that His body was a legitimately physical entity.

But then He also walked through walls and also just appeared…and they had trouble recognizing Him, which may mean they simply did not expect to see Him or that something was changed?

Good for speculation…As for eating in the future or not — well, could be. Food was not meant to be fattening, give you heart disease, etc…Yes, man does not live by bread alone but by —you fill it in…but we might occasionally still like chocolate!! We just will not be overeating it.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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