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gfontaniere
08-29-2005, 02:39 PM
do you think a christian can practice aikido ?
thanks.

Gerald

Jorge Garcia
08-29-2005, 02:59 PM
Sure but it depends on the Christian. The same goes for the Buddhist, the Shintoist or anyone of any other religion. How ever you integrate or bifurcate that is up to you. I personally bifurcate. Some integrate. Most don't even think about it.
Best,

Sanshouaikikai
08-29-2005, 03:13 PM
Good answer, Jorge! I, as a born-again and very devout Christian, practice Aikido as well as a whole bunch of other styles. What attracted me to Aikido is the "non-violence" principle behind it...or a better way to descibe it would be the principle of using only the "neccessary" amount of violence...which...depending on the situation can be a small dose or a large one! lol. Now...Aikidokas in general vouch more for using less violence to control an opponent. That's what attracted me to aikido...because the Bible says that our (as in us Christians) battle is NOT with flesh and blood but with principalities of darkness. Which means...that we shouldn't concern ourselves as Christians with taking out the guy doing the bad thing....but...taking out the bad thing that's influencing the individual to make the wrong choice and do the bad thing. How we as Christians do that is through prayer and setting an example to others and showing mercy to those who try to rob us and hurt us on the streets. A good way of showing them mercy would be to not beat them to a pulp with a "ground and pound" tactic...especially when it's not neccessary...which is an Aikido principle. So...that being said....as a Christian...I don't have a problem with Aikido or any other martial art...as long as one does not compromise or undermine Biblical authority by mixing any Eastern beliefs that are not found in the Bible, you know? But yeah...pretty much what Jorge said, lol.

ChristianBoddum
08-29-2005, 03:48 PM
Hi !

I am also a born again christian and have been training Aikido for ten years.
At easter camp 2001 Nishio sensei stated that Aikido is the Budo of forgiveness ,so in effect Aikido is the physical training ground for forgiveness . :)

Chr.Boddum

Jorge Garcia
08-29-2005, 05:49 PM
Good to meet other born again Christians! I was always taught by my pastor that all truth is God's truth. In other words, if something is factually true, then it comes from God who is the source of all truth. While we may not agree with many things that O Sensei said or believed, I think any Christian can see many Biblical principles in Aikido. As we practice, we adhere to and admire those and we ignore the rest. If we as Christians are going to influence the world we live in, we will have to "be in the world but not of the world". We should have this attitude toward movies, where we buy groceries and what we do in a bookstore. We should always stand as witnesses to what and whom we believe in and never compromise our principles. I don't think practicing Aikido in a mixed group compromises us since even the non Christians disagree or plain don't know what O Sensei taught and believed. They are in the same boat as we are in. The dojo isn't a place of worship. It's a place of training and self discovery. Practicing real Aikido is no different than a Christian attending a public school and taking a secular textbook and doing real world math.
Best,

Sanshouaikikai
08-29-2005, 08:55 PM
Yet another great post, Jorge! God Bless!

Jerry Miller
08-29-2005, 11:20 PM
OT, Happy birthday Jorge

Jorge Garcia
08-30-2005, 08:51 AM
Thanks for the birthday greeting Gerard. I was surprised to see the little cake icon by my name. I was 49 yesterday and have just completed 10 years in Aikido. My son took me to dinner last night and as we shared about the last 10 years, we were amazed at how far we have come. If you would have told me then that I would be doing what I am doing now, I would have said you were crazy. I feel very blest to have been able to learn Aikido from the great people I have practiced with.
Sorry for the aside.
Best,

Kevin Leavitt
08-30-2005, 05:50 PM
Alan,

just curious..and not to start an argument please!

What eastern beliefs do you consider to be "in conflict" with the bible?

Might make for an interesting discussion, so please keep comments and opinions constructive in nature!

akiy
08-30-2005, 05:54 PM
Hi folks,

Let's try to stay on the topic of aikido and Christianity in this thread. General discussion on religion not pertaining to aikido should be discussed elsewhere.

Thanks,

-- Jun

Sanshouaikikai
08-30-2005, 08:59 PM
Well, Kevin...reincarnation, karma, the idea that there is no absolute wrong or right (in some cases)...the list can go on...and because maybe there might be SOME similarity between that and Scripture...does not necessarily make it the same thing or make it "Biblical" or right. Everyone is entitled to believe what they want...but if they choose to be a Christian...you can't compromise or undermine Biblical authority. There are many verses in the Bible that talk about such things. If you don't like somethings about Christianity...then....don't be a part of it. The same goes for any and every other belief system. Also...I have participated in Pa Qua in the past and I have channeled my chi/ki before many times. I know what it feels. For someone to compare to the Holy Spirit is rediculous. I have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit before. It's something that you cannot control (like chi/ki for instance)...instead...it controls you (if you let it of course!) and the difference is amazing! You should check it out. Go find a good Bible believing church and you'll know what I'm saying. It's an amazing experience unlike what I've felt with chi/ki...which is cool and all...but it is not divine.

Sanshouaikikai
08-30-2005, 09:26 PM
This is for you, Mr. Leavitt (what is your rank by the way...1.) i always forget you're a military man and 2.) i like to refer to people like you by rank, lol...since i'll be joining the USCG soon, you know? lol) it should explain to you the many key essential differences between Christianity and Eastern thought in a better less confrontational way that I might put it in...since at times (me being all conservative and all) I can be full of a lot of hot air and some zeal on the side, lol! Well...here you go...I hope you find it very informative. God bless! www.equip.org/free/cp0213.htm

jeff.
08-31-2005, 12:54 PM
having felt the holy spirit very intensely (while i was being raised within a christian paradigm), and having had very intense, very spiritual, experiences with intensive ki meditation (far beyond the initial control aspects usually described and used in basic martial practice), i have to disagree and say that in my experience they are essentially identical. just because you haven't felt "ki" in the way that you have felt the "holy spirit", it does not follow that they can't be the same.

further, when you investigate eastern writings on chi/ki, you find it stated that at the ultimate, pure level (according to these traditions), ki study means letting go and allowing the ki to work thru you. that is: one must become a clear channel for the divine to work thru. osensei himself was, i think, very clear in this regard. and this, of course, resembles christian writing on the subject (i.e. "let go and let god"), particularly in regards to the holy spirit.

as to the control aspects taught initially in the martial arts (and other disciplines), some writings on the matter (and my own experience) suggests that this initial control is also possible with the holy spirit in a very small and extremely limited sense. in that we can control that aspect of the holy spirit that makes up who we are. but that ultimately that control has to flip as we connect even deeper with it (i.e. was we understand and come to realize our holy spirit's connection with the holy spirit), or else we fall to, as they say, the dark side true trying to turn that connection into an extension of our ego.

but i would argue that that ability to control (on some level) extends beyond in some sense, like with christian healers who can essentially choose to heal someone by (for lack of a better word) channeling the holy spirit (which, of course, is nearly identical in concept and practice with the discipline of reiki), etc.

as hokey (tho fun!) as it might sound, obi-wan's wisdom from ep four is, i think, pertinent here:

luke: "you mean it controls your actions?"

obi-wan: "partially, but it also obeys your commands."

and it could be that the difference between light and dark side in the real world, when it comes to these matters, comes down to how much you are willing & able to allow your actions to be controled, and only command when it is necessary, and then only within generally accepted ethical standards.

just my two cents... :D

Patrick Crane
08-31-2005, 01:31 PM
"Jesus" is alleged to have said, "If a man smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other."
I suppose, from the Aikido point of view, by the time his strike reaches where my cheek used to be, he should already be tapping the mat.

Sanshouaikikai
08-31-2005, 01:45 PM
Well...Jeff...as a Christian one must also be concious of the fact that there is also the devil. The Bible tells us that "...he roams about seeking whom he may devour" and that he also "...comes as the angel of light". So...basically...that intense, divine level of chi/ki practice...is not from God and is NOT the Holy Spirit...and if it does not come from God...then it comes from our enemy Satan who will always try to decieve us and keep us from God's truth so that we can all join him in hell. You see...no one wants to drink or smoke pot or get "high" alone, do they? They always ask their friends, "Hey, you wanna get drunk (or high) today with me?" They can never be a loser all by themselves...they need to be associated with other losers so that they can justify their evil actions. Very much the exact same concept with Satan. So, Jeff...don't let him decieve you into thinking certain things are the same...'cause they're not. Think about it...the Holy Spirit guides and convicts you to do what is right before God...but for who's glory? Not ours...but God's glory. What does chi/ki do for you? If it "guides" you into doing what is right...it's not for anyone else's glory but your own...and that's what makes it wrong.

Kevin Leavitt
08-31-2005, 02:50 PM
Good conversation all. Jun, completely understand your concern about keeping the topic from straying....that is not my intent.

I think it is relevant to discuss eastern beliefs comparatively against christainity. Aikido, at least culturally is founded on eastern philosophy/beliefs so I find it relevant to the topic of reconciling religion with aikido.

Alan,

My time is Kevin on the board here...do not go by military rank here, but thanks for the offer. We are all equals in the practice of our art for sure!

I tend not to focus on looking at the differences or conflicts between eastern beliefs, but the similarities and where they can be mutually supporting or beneficial!

I believe it is possible for two people with very diverse beliefs and backgrounds to share their beliefs and grow from the adventure!

Sanshouaikikai
08-31-2005, 05:25 PM
Yeah, I agree with you, Kevin. In fact...like I have mentioned before in past threads and posts...I have a couple of really, really good friends from other religions. One of them is Muslim and she lives in Uzbekistan. We're really great friends regardless of our beliefs. One thing we find in common with each other is the fact that we have a desire for peace and righteousness to be displayed in the world. However, she doesn't believe in compromising her beliefs (she's a very conservative muslim) to make me happy and I don't believe in compromising mine (I'm a very conservative Evangelical Christian) to make anyone else happy, you know? As long as no one compromises w/e beliefs they may hold, Christian or non-Christian, that's all that matters to me. But seriously though...what's your rank...I won't call you by it or anything...I'm just curious, lol! My dad was a 2nd Class Petty Officer in the USN Pacific Fleet and was a 1st P.G. War veteran. Were you there too in the 1st P.G. War? Were you in this one?

sullivanw
08-31-2005, 09:19 PM
If it "guides" you into doing what is right...it's not for anyone else's glory but your own...and that's what makes it wrong.

This makes no sense to me, and if you could explain further I would really appreciate it.

Let's say that someone has achieved the level of skill and sensitivity to feel the flow of ki and act accordingly, and they use this ability to save the life of an innocent. This would be a good thing indeed. I don't understand how this would be for one's own glory. Why couldn't it be an action taken just because it was the right thing to do? And how can taking the right action just because it is right be wrong?

I'm posing this question because I'm really big on Aikido, and was raised as a Christian, and although I do not practice the religion I have really taken a lot of the fundamentals to heart.

Thanks in advance for any input / thoughts on this matter.

Sanshouaikikai
08-31-2005, 09:42 PM
Well, William...you can do something that is right to help someone and you could feel good about it. However...what is your true motive for doing it? To make people think you're a nice guy or to truly help the person? Maybe a little bit of both? See...what I mean by saying that "...it's not for anyone's glory but your own...and that's what makes it wrong" is that in comparing it to the Holy Spirit is wrong...not the action of helping someone or doing the right thing, you know what I mean? However, when the Holy Spirit convicts you of something...you're not convicted of something that you would think is the right thing to do...or maybe something that is necessary to do. If someone is need, you may be too tired, lazy, depressed, etc. to do anything about it...however...the Holy Spirit (if you're a Christian that is) will convict you and lay it upon your heart to do something...at the time when you don't want to do it, you see what I'm saying? Now...when you let the Holy Spirit guide you...you end up obeying Its convictions and you do what is the right thing. Hopefully my explanation made some sense to you this time...if not...you can always PM me and we can have a better discussion about it there, ok? Thanks!

bryce_montgomery
09-01-2005, 09:34 AM
do you think a christian can practice aikido ?
thanks.

Gerald

Yeah. ;)

Bryce

jeff.
09-01-2005, 11:13 AM
thanks for your interesting responses alan. i'll try to do them justice with some thoughts of my own...

as a Christian one must also be concious of the fact that there is also the devil.

this is actually a highly questionable assertation. many christians, including many prominent theologians (both current and historical), deny the ultimately being of evil. one in particular, st augustine, points out that the only thing that truely exists in an ultimate way is the light of god, and that all things stem from / are a part of that light. he felt that god only created the devil (and some theologians believe he assigned the angel lucifer the task of pretending to be evil) so that we could understand his light. from this st augustine put forth that evil has no being of its own.

i personally tend to agree with this idea, and reject the dualistic notion of the opposition of "god" and "satan" in any sort of ultimate sense as having dervied from manichean (which is intensely dualistic in exactly this sense) sources, having nothing to do with the abrahamic tradition. i don't believe for a second that anyone or anything could even come close to, in a manner of speaking, "dethroning" god. that is: against the power of god, as such, there could be nothing to stand up to him/her. and so there must be another explination for the problem of evil. there must be other explinations for the biblical:

"...he roams about seeking whom he may devour" and that he also "...comes as the angel of light".

and i think st augustine's version makes the most sense.

So...basically...that intense, divine level of chi/ki practice...is not from God and is NOT the Holy Spirit...and if it does not come from God...then it comes from our enemy Satan who will always try to decieve us and keep us from God's truth so that we can all join him in hell.

this might be convincing if it wasn't for the fact that when i've had these experiences thru ki study / meditation, my primary action during and directly after was to, in christian terms, praise god. and they have further caused me to live a far less selfish life. to be more service oriented, less interested in my own glory. (i only mention this not to brag, or engage my ego, but to explicate my argument with my personal example.)

so, when i said that they were essentially like my youthful experiences of the holy spirit, i wasn't just whistling dixie, as they say. :)

You see...no one wants to drink or smoke pot or get "high" alone, do they? They always ask their friends, "Hey, you wanna get drunk (or high) today with me?" They can never be a loser all by themselves...they need to be associated with other losers so that they can justify their evil actions.

as an aside, while i don't drink or do any drugs at all by choice, i feel i must caution you against these kind of judgemental statements. while i understand (and am somewhat sympathetic to) your point behind them, to equate doing drugs with evil or assert that all people who do them are losers is quite a large leap. and a very judgemental one. which, if i understand jesus correctly, is intensely unchristian. isn't a christian supposed to react with compassion and love toward all? period. without judgement.

Think about it...the Holy Spirit guides and convicts you to do what is right before God...but for who's glory? Not ours...but God's glory. What does chi/ki do for you? If it "guides" you into doing what is right...it's not for anyone else's glory but your own...and that's what makes it wrong.

this is very interesting because you describe, using the terminology "holy spirit", my (and many many others') experiences with ki. in fact, in taoist literature (where much of the theory and practice of ki is originally derived, i think), the closer one draws to tao, the more one should lose one's ego, give up any notions of personal glory and even acheivement, and do the right thing because its the right thing by "letting go" and allowing ki to flow and work thru you (as you note in another of your posts, regardless of whether or not you want to or feel like it). so you have precisely described the taoist concept of "wu wei" in christian terminology.

that is: in my experience ki does guide you into doing what is right not for your own glory, but instead, to put it in christian terms, for the glory of god. that that is preciesely what the practice of taoism (and by extension zen), and its study of ki, is all about: learning wu wei, learning how to quiet your ego so god can work thru you. (this, of course, does not mean that all taoists have been good people trying to empty themselves, etc. some have abused their authority and power, much as some christians have.)

and personally, i've come to think that osensei's philosophy is primarily a taoist philosophy described thru a filter of shinto mythology (or better put, that esoteric shinto, particularly osensei's esoteric shinto, is the japanese form of philosophical taoism). and as he noted, the perpose of aikido is to help us come to empty ourselves (he put this is a frequently used eastern religious phrase of "touching true emptiness" [shinku], which means, on one level, to be empty of personal, selfish ego) so that we might "manifest divine love" in a "spirit of loving protection for all things". a very succinct statement of christian ethical practice, don't ya think? :)

as a final, i think interesting, aside: the first christians in china long long ago, encountered taoism and felt that they had found the teachings of jesus in a different part of the world. the taoists they encountered felt the same. and so they all lived together in one monestary as, i suppose we could say, "taoist christians" or "christian taoists". there's a book on this, and the archeological finds at one of the monestaries, who's name escapes me. if you're interested i'll try to track it down.

also: to this day, in chinese translations of the bible: the word "word" in the gosple of john and other places is translated as "tao". fun, eh?

wow... i'm verbose... sorry all. hope the content of this post justifies its length... :D

toyamabarnard
09-01-2005, 11:58 AM
Hi everyone. In my experience Aikido has been truly about peace, harmony and love. In my experience Christianity is also about peace, harmony, and love. We don't worship O'sensei or our sensei, we simply thank them for teaching us, as they thank us (hopefully :) ) for allowing them to teach. We train our bodies, minds, and spirits to become "better" than they are. I'd say yes, a Christian can definitle study Aikido.

Brian

Mark Uttech
09-01-2005, 03:16 PM
A Christian should absolutely practice aikido. That way, they could experience 'turning the other cheek' all the way around until they are standing behind the person who struck them. I believe that is the practice of kaiten ho. In gassh

Mark Uttech
09-01-2005, 03:17 PM
oops! I should check my spelling 'before' I post it. I meant to say: in gassho

Sanshouaikikai
09-01-2005, 07:44 PM
Well, Mr. Miller...in regards to what I said about the devil and your claims about so called "theologians" saying that he doesn't exist...not all theologians are Christian...in fact...not all theologians are really theologians! Look at the Jesus Seminar for instance...none of those guys have any verifiable evidence on the arguments they make and any evidence they do have are all hoaxes! LOL! So...your "what theologians have said" argument doesn't impress me. Secondly, St. Augustine wasn't Jesus. So...that means 1.) He's not God and 2.) He's not an authority on complete, orthodox Chrisitianity (though a lot of the things he said are good...but doesn't mean that they're all true) and 3.) People tend to take a lot of what Christ said out of context...imagine what they would do with someone like St. Augustine! Also...about what I said about people who do drugs...that's not judgmental or unChristian like for me to say. It's wrong and that's it. If it's against the law and unhealthy for you to do (and you know that) and you do it anyway to impress other people...you're a loser! I could say worse...but I don't...why? Well...because that would be "unChristian!" Ofcourse...I wouldn't say that to someone who's really struggling with it and wants to stop...but to some punk kid who just wants to be "cool" yeah! I'll say he/she is a loser and I've done it before! So what?? As for your definitions about chi/ki and the Holy Spirit...just because some things may be similar...does not mean they're the same thing...remember that. Taoists aren't Christians and Christians aren't Taoists and if you're trying to say that...then...I'll warn you now...you're gonna make yourself look foolish...which I know you're not!

Mark Uttech
09-01-2005, 09:22 PM
this thread is getting off track

Sanshouaikikai
09-01-2005, 10:34 PM
Yeah...maybe it is, Matt. I think the Christians (including myself) on this thread already answered the question with the first 2-3 posts on this thread. Then there were a couple of honest questions and then afterwards a whole bunch of new age rubbish! I personally think they're just trying to make me mad or something or prove me wrong...but it doesn't work that way unfortunately for them.

jeff.
09-02-2005, 01:15 PM
hello. :D again: thanks for your thoughts, and i'll try to answer them well with some of my own.

Well, Mr. Miller...in regards to what I said about the devil and your claims about so called "theologians" saying that he doesn't exist...not all theologians are Christian...in fact...not all theologians are really theologians!

i'm not sure what this even means. how can a theologian not be a theologian? as to whether or not they are christians... if someone calls themselves a christian, then, frankly, we have to take their word for it, regardless of whether or not we like what they are saying. from my christian background, much of what i've observed you saying on many threads would be declared seriously un-christian. but i do not believe that you are. i think you are sincere, but that we have disagreements about what the bible and jesus really said / meant. same goes for theologians.

st augustine, like most theologians, was in the business of trying to figure out what jesus was saying. the fact that they mostly disagree should tell us that figuring out what jesus was up to is not a simple matter. particularly now that there is access to versions of the gospels in arimaic (the pashita texts -- i think i spelled that right), which totally changes the picture (esp given the nature of the ariamaic language, versus the greek). ((as an example, in arimaic the word we translate as "father" (is the "our father" prayer) is "abswoon", which is non-gender specific. meaning something more like a formal-affectionate version of "parent".))

Secondly, St. Augustine wasn't Jesus. So...that means 1.) He's not God and 2.) He's not an authority on complete, orthodox Chrisitianity (though a lot of the things he said are good...but doesn't mean that they're all true) and 3.) People tend to take a lot of what Christ said out of context...imagine what they would do with someone like St. Augustine!

i don't disagree with a word of what you said here. i merely used st augustine as an example to point out that not all christians agree with you. so the statements you made that to be a christian means believing in the devil a certain way is not true. that's all.

Also...about what I said about people who do drugs...that's not judgmental or unChristian like for me to say. It's wrong and that's it. If it's against the law and unhealthy for you to do (and you know that) and you do it anyway to impress other people...you're a loser! I could say worse...but I don't...why? Well...because that would be "unChristian!" Ofcourse...I wouldn't say that to someone who's really struggling with it and wants to stop...but to some punk kid who just wants to be "cool" yeah! I'll say he/she is a loser and I've done it before!

calling someone a loser is, by definition, judgemental, my friend. doing things to impress people does not necessarily make you a loser, but it does make you likely to be a victim of low self-esteem, etc. which may stem from a variety of sources, including, say, abuse. and my argument here is that jesus taught us to try to see this whole picture thru the practice of compassion, and to thereby act compassionately toward that person. particularly when we disagree with them ("love your enemies"), or find their actions repugnant.

of course you could say worse. by i'm saying that i think that even if you don't say "loser", but just think it, you are already in error viz. the teachings of jesus by being judgemental.

As for your definitions about chi/ki and the Holy Spirit...just because some things may be similar...does not mean they're the same thing...remember that. Taoists aren't Christians and Christians aren't Taoists and if you're trying to say that...then...I'll warn you now...you're gonna make yourself look foolish...which I know you're not!

i've come to think that as there is only one, what we could call, "god", s/he has revealed him/herself to all peoples of the world, resulting in the variety of religions due to the cultural contexts. hence, the language used is different for a good reason. and it also makes sense of the level: god knows better than anyone that different people need different things to come to him/her. in islam this is expressed in the tradition "one man's [sic] way to god is another man's satanism". meaning, what may work for you, might lead me into darkness because it is not right for me. but god is still god, whatever the context. i think this is borne out by the similarities in the essential (i.e. mystical) aspects of all faiths, underneath the necessarily different exoteric aspects.

this is coumpounded by the fact that, again, in my experience there is no difference. when you read the texts of eastern thought in regards to ki, and compare them to the text in christianity in regards to the holy sprit (particularly when it comes to the mystical experiences of both) it is also hard to avoid the essential sameness of the concepts. that is: that "ki" is / has been the eastern way of trying to come to terms, thru their cultural / religious contexts, with their experiences of what someone in the abrahamic tradition would call the holy spirit. to think that someone in china hasn't experienced the "holy spirit" just because they are not christian seems absurd to me.

what's true is true everywhere. if the holy spirit exists, it exists and inspires everywhere. and what is the record of those inspirations? i believe, in the east, the record is contained in the study of ki.

the reason i have posted this argument in this thread is that i think this discussion can have a positive effect for christians trying to understand how their study of aikido intersects with their trying to live by the teachings of jesus.

as to taoists and christians: i didn't say they are the same. i pointed out similar concepts within the two faiths. and then pointed out that, historically, in china, there were a group of christian monks who participated in taoism, and vise versa.

as a final note: i don't appreciate having my arguments marginalized thru the meaningless, insulting label "new age". most of what i have argued or writen here has come from one of two sources: 1) my academic study of religions (i'm planning on pursuing a phd in comparative religion and mythology); 2) my own spritual experiences within my christian upbringing and within my own investigations into the eastern disciplines of taoism and buddhism, and in particular how they are expressed thru the spiritual side of aikido. i don't really see these two "sources" as separate.

i'm not trying to prove you wrong, alan. i'm trying to dialog with you about our differences, which i think can help us both grow. and i've continued posting publically in hopes that these discussions could be of aid to others as well, hoping that they might join in and widen the base of the discussion. but i think we have unfortunately degenerated past that. hence, this will be the last time i post publically on this thread, at least in regards to this specific aspect of the discussion. tho i invite you or anyone who wants to to pm about these things. i'm always eager to learn!! :D

Patrick Crane
09-02-2005, 02:46 PM
do you think a christian can practice aikido ?
thanks.

Gerald


So far it seems that despite some differing perspectives, the consensus on this question has been "yes."

So I'd like to consider an answer of "no."

To be a Christian is to embrace the mindset of the Jehovah/Jesus deity. This is the mindset of vengeance, punishment, vindictive retaliation for offenses given, eye for eye, tooth for tooth.
But Jesus taught forgiveness?
No, Jesus taught that He would become the means by which we could be forgiven based on his willingness to suffer God's wrath in our place.
So the mindset has not progressed an inch, but is still mired in the old concepts of sin and punishment, guilt and redemption by blood sacrifice......ours or someone Else's.

Can a person mired in this mindset learn to effectively, even expertly mime the techniques of O-sensei?
Sure.
But can he/she actually DO Aikido?
Perhaps no.

Sanshouaikikai
09-02-2005, 06:32 PM
[QUOTE=Patrick Crane]So far it seems that despite some differing perspectives, the consensus on this question has been "yes."

So I'd like to consider an answer of "no."

To be a Christian is to embrace the mindset of the Jehovah/Jesus deity. This is the mindset of vengeance, punishment, vindictive retaliation for offenses given, eye for eye, tooth for tooth.
But Jesus taught forgiveness?
No, Jesus taught that He would become the means by which we could be forgiven based on his willingness to suffer God's wrath in our place.
So the mindset has not progressed an inch, but is still mired in the old concepts of sin and punishment, guilt and redemption by blood sacrifice......ours or someone Else's.[QUOTE/]



What the frig!?!?!? Where in the world did you get those ideas from!? Implying that Jesus did not teach forgiveness!?!?!? Seriously, the things Jeff Miller says is more believable than what you're saying! lol! You REALLLY, RREALLLY need to read the Bible and the teachings of Christ and some good Christian commentary on the matter. :freaky:

Sanshouaikikai
09-02-2005, 06:38 PM
this is coumpounded by the fact that, again, in my experience there is no difference. when you read the texts of eastern thought in regards to ki, and compare them to the text in christianity in regards to the holy sprit (particularly when it comes to the mystical experiences of both) it is also hard to avoid the essential sameness of the concepts. that is: that "ki" is / has been the eastern way of trying to come to terms, thru their cultural / religious contexts, with their experiences of what someone in the abrahamic tradition would call the holy spirit. to think that someone in china hasn't experienced the "holy spirit" just because they are not christian seems absurd to me.

So you're telling me that Steven Seagal is full of the Holy Spirit!? LOL! Before you answer, I'll answer...He's not! So...that alone is proof that the concepts of chi/ki and who the Holy Spirit is are totally different, though similar in some aspects. I believe that an individual, who is not a Christian, ]CAN [/U] experience the Holy Spirit...but once they do they become Christians. The Holy Spirit wouldn't come down on anyone who is not "ready" for it or seeking it.

Patrick Crane
09-04-2005, 01:14 PM
[QUOTE=Alan M. Rodriguez]
Implying that Jesus did not teach forgiveness!?!?!?
[QUOTE/]

I'm implying that the teachings about forgiveness that have been attributed to the legendary "Jesus" are so hopelessly mired in the old, primitive, moralistic concepts of sin, guilt, repentance and redemption by blood sacrifice as to be incompatible with or irrelevant to the attitude of an aikido student towards an attacker.

In class, obviously, the "attacker" is a trusted fellow student cooperating together with me to develop our skills and become better students.

Outside of class, an attacker can be seen as fulfilling the same role, albeit perhaps in spite of himself.

If I were to view an attacker as a "sinner" on whom I need to take "pity", because he's awaiting the wrath of some cranky deity unless he "repents'; to me that's a much less evolved mentality.

mazmonsters
09-04-2005, 04:37 PM
Hello fellow Aikidoka,
I'll post a few of my thoughts on this subject.
As for you Alan:
Well done my brother, for the most part, and I do say "for the most part" because some of what you said has come across as judgemental. Remember that Jesus showed his anger to whom, the "sinners" or the "righteous"? And I put both in quotes because both groups were actually sinners, but He dispised the pharisees (who were the holiest men of the day) and told the "sinners" that thier righteousness would have to surpass that of the pharisees if they were enter into His kingdom...which was impossible, and He knew this...this is why He became The sacrifice so that we might have eternal life. I just want you to know that your beliefs are right on...just remember to take pity on those who are struggling with addictions or sinful desires. We are still living in the flesh and the flesh is constantly being warred upon by the enemy. We will be tested to our limits and pushed beyond...and we would fall if it weren't for Christ. Remember the Word says that, "In the last days, many will be decieved...even the elect if it were possible." Without the light of Jesus, which is the only True light, man will not be able to help but to be decieved by the Satan, who will come as an angel of light. The world will all come together as one, pushing all of us "Christians" out of their way and eventually putting us to death because we will be the only ones who will not join with them in their cause to "unite all mankind." Jesus never once said that He came to bring peace to the nations or to make all men get along...in fact he claimed that He brought a sword, and that families would be divided for His name's sake.
To everyone else:
Christianity is NOT about harmony, love and peace.
It is NOT about feeling good or being in harmony with nature.
It is NOT about getting "closer" to God by doing good works.
It is NOT about emptying yourself in order for the spirit of the universe to work through you...though these all can come as a result of someone being saved, Christianity is NOT about any of these, or religion even.
Christianity IS about one thing and one thing only. Faith. Believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God, that He died on a cross, carrying the sins of the world (because God removed His hand from Jesus, and thus Jesus was taking on the wrath of sin, not the wrath of God), Jesus then went to Hell and defeated death itself by raising Himself up three days after He died, and is now seated with God in the heavenly realms. And He will one day come back for His chosen sheep.
Remember Alan, men delight in darknes, though it may not even seem dim to them, it is still the darkness, and the darkness will never understand the light...it is impossible.

Kevin Leavitt
09-04-2005, 11:14 PM
Mattew,

How do you see/compare/reconcile your above statements against aikido?

If I understand you correctly, then there is no comparison or relation between aikido and christianity having mutually aligning values/principles?

mazmonsters
09-05-2005, 02:43 PM
Kevin,
glad to answer your question:
What I stated was that Christianity is about believing in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour. Believing that He paid the price for your ticket into heaven because God is a God of holiness and perfection and will not and can not tolerate sin- so there is no other way for us to get to heaven, except throught the blood of the Lamb. This is what Jesus said, this is why I believe it. Because He said it. The other "things" that come with being redeemed can very well be similar to what Aikido's lessons bring to the mat and to daily life, however they have nothing to do with each other because at their core root is two very different beliefs. Aikido teaches someone to blend with another person by loosing your own resistance and hightening your senses, leaving no opening (suki). It also teaches balance, harmony, etc.. Christianity is about believing that you are a hopeless sinner with no way of pleasing God- so you must accept Christ.
Thanks for the question,
Matt

tzebaoth
09-05-2005, 06:53 PM
Hello and Shalom

This subject interests me tremendously as I am looking at ways the Martial Arts in general can be reconciled to the underlying tenets of Apostolic Christianity. Now I use the term "Apostolic" as opposed to the current belief systems in Christianity as I think the two are diversely different things. A lot of the ideas believed and taught by the modern day Christians have their roots around and after the 3d Century AD and these were largely influenced by Greek Metaphysics rather than the Judeo-Apostolic tradition.

The teachings of the Trinity, the Immortal Soul and Original Sin are exemplary. Neither of these can be said to have their roots in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Jews today continue to vehemently reject the Orthodox Christian teachings of the Trinity and Original Sin.

These two tenets underly so much of what a vast majority of Christians believe today and they are indeed contradictory to the very meaning of Ai-Ki-Do.

Aikido assumes the underlying premise that the universe is naturally balanced by the negative forces of Yin and Yang etc., light and darkness and Light, good and evil. St Augustine who is largely attributed with formulating the doctrine of Original Sin may have been largely influenced by his earlier exposure to Manichean ism which is a religious-philosophical group that taught a duality in the universe between Chaos and Order, Light and Darkness, Good and Evil. This duality went so far as to say that all matter was evil and corrupt while the Spirit was Pure and Good. Christians believe that Adam and Eve who were the first human beings created by God were created 'very good' but when they sinned (i.e. disobeyed God's commandment by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) they brought into fruition:

(1) A negative physical change to their own bodies which has been passed to all their offspring. As human beings and descendants of Adam we have inherited their fallen and corrupt nature. Sin therefore according to some Christians is both an act and a state.
(2) All Creation was 'cursed' as a result of the 'Adamic Fall'.

These things should make it obvious that Christian theology can not accept a balanced and good universe seeing it is cursed and inharmonious. In fact Christianity teaches that there is a
natural and necessary conflict between the Spirit and the Body. The disharmony can only be repaired when the Kingdom of God is fully and materially established at the second coming of Christ.

Aikido asserts that the force common in all things (the Ki) can be managed (I think) to achieve harmony and peace. These again can not be reconciled (I think) even to the Judeo-Apostolic Christian philosophy which states the only way to "Peace" (From Shalom which means 'completeness', 'wholeness' and 'perfection') is from the undeniable and objective 'Righteousness' of God. Peace and harmony therefore can not be achieved simply by tapping into a force like 'KI' and although one might see the commonality between 'Ki' and the 'divine spirit' of Judeo-Christian tradition, both Jews and Christians acknowledge that without the belief that YHVH is the only true God and all his ways are right then there can be no peace. The Righteousness of God is something believed first and foremost from the Bible which most Christians believe is the inspired and inerrant Word (or words) of God. The idea therefore that absolute truths, regarding the divine and the universal nature of things, can be conveyed by a transcendent God and understood by imperfect humans contradicts the underlying premise in Aikido and most Eastern philosophies which states that no-one has a monopoly on truth. The Christians will verily assert from their New Testament scriptures that "Life Eternal' rests on the intellectual and experiential knowledge of the 'only true God and Yeshua haMassiach whom he hath sent" (John 17:3). if you don't have this necessary pre-requisite then you are excluded from the salvic blessings of Christ. Eastern Philosophies and indeed its secular counterpart viz. Western Post Modernism present a severe contradiction to modern day Christianity and seeing as the Martial Arts of the East have Buddhist roots it is difficult to reconcile particularly Kung Fu and Karate with the Apostolic Gospel and some Post-Apostolic Christian Gospels.

Sadly in most Post-Apostolic (That is modern day) Christianity both aggression and self defence are endorsed but I have yet to find a Christian who could prove their position from the Scriptures. The Gospel of Christ is in fact a present day pacifistic way of life which teaches and advocates the 'respect and preservation' of human life and peace as opposed to the Judeo tradition of an 'eye for an eye' and ' a tooth for tooth'. The counter assertion by Christ and his Apostles is that 'vengeance is mine saith the LORD" therefore any decent Christian would abstain from returning a 'slap' for a 'slap'. On the contrary they are admonished to do more by offering the other cheek. How this teaching can be reconciled to Aikido is something I wish to find out seeing as Aikido is all about self defence without bringing harm to the assailant. I can not think of any precedent in the New Testament (but then I can't remember all of it and maybe someone here might be able to quote an incident or two for me).

I have stated that there is a difference between the Apostolic and Post Apostolic Christians. Sometimes the two have common understandings however the doctrines of the Trinity, the Immortal Soul with Heaven and Hell going and the doctrine of Original Sin are never taught in the New Testament. They were formulations made at least 300 years after the death of Christ. There are Christian sects today that reject the Trinity, the immortality of the Soul and to some extent 'Original Sin'. I can only think of one that rejects them all. I personally reject anything that impinges on the oneness of God and the bodily nature of the resurrection however I can not readily dismiss the theory of a tainted human state in need of redemption. If I did ever endorse a Pelagasian or Semi-Pelagasian stance on the nature of humanity then I think Aikido which teaches Oneness and Harmony between body, spirit and soul would have enormous significance to Apostolic-Christianity. The Pelagian model asserts that the St Augustine Fall never existed and can not be proven from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. They assert that there is nothing inherently wrong with human beings or their FLESH but rather a natural balance exists between the Body and Spirit from birth to death if unhindered by persists acts of sin. Human beings are therefore inherently good and unimpaired and are capable of overcoming sin by the power of their own will. However sin which is only an act can be habitual and self deceiving if is allowed to continue in the Christian's life. God in Christ therefore helps in this respect. He is the Way - the perfect example of a Godly life and we can all aspire to follow his example. If the Pelagasian model is correct then Aikido particularly will have a common ground with Christianity. The Pelagasian model lends itself to the idea that the body and spirit can be controlled by a mind predisposed to the divine. Moreover where Pelagasian is coupled with a distinct form of Biblical Unitarianism (say Dynamic Monarchism) then the underlying teaching of the One Divine God who Was, Is and Shall Be All in All would have tremendous a far reaching significance. Because the Oneness and Unity between the body and spirit becomes a demonstrative reality of the Christian soul or life that outlives the underlying purpose of God which is to reconcile Flesh and Spirit, Man and God and by extension Heaven and Earth.

I suspect some things here will not be readily understood and I apologise for some heavy jargon as I have written this quickly. For a few others it may seem heretical and for this I can't apologise. I would however welcome any questions and criticisms or corrections in the hope that a continued discussion on the subject of "Aikido and Christianity" might at least make me all the wiser when or when not to decide ultimately on Aikido as a relevant
path in my life.

Alecheim Shalom (Unto you all - PEACE!).
Afa :)

jamara
10-03-2005, 02:41 PM
By "christianism" I take it that you mean Christianity cos there ain't no such word as "christianism".

Mike Fugate
10-03-2005, 03:49 PM
Thank You Jamara!
I was going to correct that, but you beat me to it. lol...Yea just like buddhianity, shintoanity, and of course the realiens...Sorry but the alien people really wig me out :confused: :confused: :ki:

Erick Mead
10-03-2005, 10:11 PM
Hello and Shalom

Shalom Aleichem, Afa. Please take this in the spirit of clarification intended.

A lot of the ideas believed and taught by the modern day Christians have their roots around and after the 3d Century AD and these were largely influenced by Greek Metaphysics rather than the Judeo-Apostolic tradition.

Apostolic tradition is the principle that the witness to truth is best maintained in a primarily oral tradition by a direct lineage of trust and confidence in granting authority to further transmit the message. The same is true of Christianity, Buddhism and many martial arts traditions, among others. Nothing more is implied by the apostolic principle in and of itself. The apostolic churches (while differing amongst themselves on numerous important points), include the Roman rite, the Greek and Russian rites, the Eastern rite, and a few of the Protestant sects.


The teachings of the Trinity, the Immortal Soul and Original Sin are exemplary. Neither of these can be said to have their roots in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Jews today continue to vehemently reject the Orthodox Christian teachings of the Trinity and Original Sin.

As I am not schooled in either Torah or Talmud, I will leave that to my good Jewish Brethren. However, the concept of the Trinitarian nature of the Absolute, Godhead, call it what you will is found not only in Christian teaching but in Greek paganism, in the Buddhist trikaya doctrine, Taoist teaching, as well as the Shinto trinitarian theology of Ame no Minakanushi no kami, Kami Musubi no kami, and Takami Musubi no kami, as held by O-Sensei himself. A similar and basic sense of the elements of reality is expressed in all of these teachings and fits within the world views of the diverse culttural traditons they all represent. Why they so closely correspond in this way I leave to your own consideration.

[Orthodox Christian teachings of the Trinity and Original Sin. ]
These two tenets underly so much of what a vast majority of Christians believe today and they are indeed contradictory to the very meaning of Ai-Ki-Do.


Trinity -- Since O-Sensei spoke a good deal about the significance of Ame no MInakanushi no Kami, (kami of creation), Kami Musubi no Kami ( kami of the invisible world) and Takami Musubi no Kami (kami of the visible world), and because they map onto both Christian (God the Creator, Christ Incarnate God, and the Holy Spirit) and the closely configured Buddist trinitarian observations , the question is begged. How can triniatarian doctrine (of what ever stripe) be antithetical to Aikido?

Original sin -- Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of GOOD and EVIL, so the story goes. In so doing they knew the distinction between Good and Evil, themselves and God, and between male and female and human and non-human. The sin lay not in knowledge of the distinction but in assuming an unreal separation between them.

As a coin is both heads and tails regardless which side is visible, the other side is there, even if not seen. Heads is not tails but neither is one ever apart from the other. God is one, maker of all, Christ the ruler of what is seen and the Holy Spirit, ruler of the unseen. We are not apart from God, man is not apart from woman, human is not apart from non-human, whatever the reality of the distinction, there is no separation except in our imagination. That is our sin, original because it is an error that flows from the fundamental human faculty of rational distinction The error occurs as part of our natural growth of intellect. It is this error that is the acknowledged cause of suffering in Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, and many other tradition of faith.

As there is a cause so there is and end to the cause. That is redemption, forgiveness of sin, abandoning distinction, accepting the evil with the good, loving our enemies as ourselves, until all illusion of separation ceases within us. It is nothing that we can do or accomplish, hence the error of Pelagius, because it is precisely stopping, ceasing, non-striving, NOT doing something we wish to do almost more than anything, distinguish, this/that -- you/me -- attacker/attacked...

Faith is the answer, not belief, which is but further exercise in distinction and the risk of illusory separation. Faith -- the nameless trust -- the irimi leap under the descending sword, preferably with a big fat grin on your face.

Cordially,

Erick Mead

mathewjgano
10-03-2005, 11:16 PM
Faith is the answer, not belief, which is but further exercise in distinction and the risk of illusory separation. Faith -- the nameless trust -- the irimi leap under the descending sword, preferably with a big fat grin on your face.

Cordially,

Erick Mead

What is the distinction between faith and belief? I've always thought having faith in something required a belief. By the way...i rather liked this part of your message...a very nice image popped into mind and one which felt (for lack of a better word) true.
Take care,
Matt

Kevin Leavitt
10-04-2005, 04:29 AM
I finally got around to getting caught up on this post. Great c\discussion from Erick in post #39 and Afa in post #36.

I think you guys did a great job here.

A few comments. both of you discuss the concept of dualism. I think this is the key to everything. The perspective you have on it is what is key. Many believe that Good/Evil are separate and distinct and others believe that while the concepts are separate and distinct in the mind of a human, that there is no separatation, only within our perceptions or delusions.

Could it be that why mankind still fights and uses violence as a mean for conflict stems from the conflict we create through the concept/perception of duality?

Not to attack anyone, but If you truely believe that all man is evil or bad in nature, and the only way we can resolve this is through God or Jesus as the pathway to God, then what incentive do we have to be compassionate to others...doesn't it become irrelevant? I am curious to how you resolve this.

Does it make a so-called eastern philosopical unifying art like aikido kinda pointless doesn't it? Does it dimission the art to simply feeling good about yourself or serve as a form of entertainment until you die and go to heaven? . Or does aikido serve another purpose for those with this view point?

Or do you tend not to really think about it at all and just drive on with life?

ChristianBoddum
10-04-2005, 07:11 AM
[
Does it make a so-called eastern philosophical unifying art like aikido kinda pointless doesn't it? Does it dimission the art to simply feeling good about yourself or serve as a form of entertainment until you die and go to heaven? . Or does aikido serve another purpose for those with this view point?

Or do you tend not to really think about it at all and just drive on with life?[/QUOTE]

After being born again I tend to reflect on this a lot,
but the study of Budo is really for life if you truly do it.
I will leave in the hands of Jesus to guide me and tell me if
I am no longer supposed to do Aikido,his will be done !

"The snail made it to the arc by perseverance"

Train well !

Erick Mead
10-04-2005, 10:50 AM
Not to attack anyone, but If you truely believe that all man is evil or bad in nature, and the only way we can resolve this is through God or Jesus as the pathway to God, then what incentive do we have to be compassionate to others...doesn't it become irrelevant? I am curious to how you resolve this.

I cannot say it better than it has been said ~2,500 years ago, and ~2,000 years ago, respectively:

"He was angry with me, he attacked me, he defeated me, he robbed me"—those who dwell on such thoughts will never be free from hatred.
"He was angry with me, he attacked me, he defeated me, he robbed me"—those who do not dwell on such thoughts will surely be free from hatred.
For hatred can never put an end to hatred. Love alone can. This is an unalterable law.
—Dhammapada 1:3-5

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly. . . . If you love those who love you, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them. . . . Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return. . . . You will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
—Luke 6:27-28, 32, 35

We cannot be at peace with others unless we are at peace with ourselves. And being at peace with others is the road to peace within ourselves. A recursive and unending spiral ... Whether we spiral toward anger or spiral toward peace is our choice. The world will spin on regardless, one way or the other.

[Due credit belongs to Jon Zuck who placed these two exemplary statements in parallel. An excellent site BTW, at http://www.frimmin.com/faith/index.html. He has some excellent film reviews from a spiritual standpoint.]

Cordially,
Erick Mead

Erick Mead
10-04-2005, 12:11 PM
{Quoting Erick Mead]
Faith is the answer, not belief, which is but further exercise in distinction and the risk of illusory separation. Faith -- the nameless trust -- the irimi leap under the descending sword, preferably with a big fat grin on your face.
[End Quote]
Matt

What is the distinction between faith and belief? I've always thought having faith in something required a belief. By the way...i rather liked this part of your message...a very nice image popped into mind and one which felt (for lack of a better word) true.
Take care,
Matt
Since faith is without distinction, there can be no distinction between faith and any particular belief, but neither are they equivalent. :D

Belief is assertive; it requires an object. Belief seeks distinction.(Omote)

Faith is undistinguished; it is without object. Thus, faith is humble, trust without expectation.
(Ura)

For the biblically inclined:
"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? -- Matthew 6:25-30 (see also Luke 12 22-28.)

And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." --Matthew 18:3-4

And lastly:
Good men, at all times, surrender in truth all attachments. The holy spend not idle words on things of desire. When pleasure or pain comes to them, the wise feel above pleasure or pain. ... Leaving behind the path of darkness and following the path of light, let the wise man leave his home life and go into a life of freedom. In solitude that few enjoy, let him find joy supreme: free from possessions, free from desires, and free from whatever may darken his mind. -- Dhammapada, 6:83, 88.

These all speak of asceticism, misogi, resolute acceptance and detachment from desire or hate -- lightness of being.

The misogi of Aikido practice develops this same acceptance of conflict AS IT IS, not what we fear it to be, or desire to avoid. Acceptance, is the predicate to ending the cause of it, rather than just perpetually fleeing or fighting the consequences of it.

Cordially,
Erick Mead

Kevin Leavitt
10-04-2005, 01:32 PM
Thanks for the comments Erick!

Esaemann
10-04-2005, 04:07 PM
Jeff,
Can you tell me the name of the book on Taoism and Christianity? I'm studying Taoist meditation and am a Christian, so would like to check it out. Right now I'm keeping them separate.

Thanks,
Eric

deepsoup
10-04-2005, 04:34 PM
cos there ain't no such word as "christianism"I was going to correct that, but you beat me to it. lol.
Guys, just for your information.. This is a pretty international forum, and its generally considered a little rude to be too picky about someone's english when it clearly isn't their first language.
Just so's you know.

Erick Mead
10-04-2005, 04:47 PM
Jeff,
Can you tell me the name of the book on Taoism and Christianity? I'm studying Taoist meditation and am a Christian, so would like to check it out. Right now I'm keeping them separate.

Thanks,
Eric
I am not Jeff -- but I play one on TV...

He may be referring to "The Jesus Sutras" by Martin Palmer and an international team of translators. Part travelogue, scholarly translation of primary source documents and in-depth cultural and historical context all wrapped up in one book.

Highly recommended. The last and most mature of the primary documents translated is a stunning and hauntingly evocative expression of the Spirit.

If Jeff was referring to something else, apologies in advance, and please tell us about that one, too ...

Cordially,
Erick Mead

Sanshouaikikai
10-04-2005, 09:45 PM
Great posts, Mr. Mazzeratti!

mazmonsters
10-23-2005, 01:42 PM
Hello to all who will read this.
Thanks, Alan, my brother. I think Erick Mead wrote this:
"Original sin -- Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of GOOD and EVIL, so the story goes. In so doing they knew the distinction between Good and Evil, themselves and God, and between male and female and human and non-human. The sin lay not in knowledge of the distinction but in assuming an unreal separation between them."
Just to clarify one point that to me is very obvious. The original sin was not from Adam or Eve, but from Satan, when he was known by the name of Lucifer, and he decided that he would become like God. (Isaiah 14:12-15) "How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High." But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit." This verse speaks of the first sin- pride. The first sin committed on earth was, of course, Adam and Eve's sin of Disobediance. They disobeyed the Lord God and for their disobediance, they were punished. But did you know that sin was not taken into account until God gave the law to Moses? Romans 5:12-14 "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come." So the law came, holding man accountable for his sins, but still people fell. So what was the purpose of the law then? verse 20: "The law was added so that the trespass might increase." Well why would God do that? Why would He stack the deck against mankind? Then when Jesus came, he addressed the self-righteous problem of Israel. Most people could control their outward acts of sin, such as not committing murder or adultary, but Jesus said that this wasn't enough. He addressed the internal problem as well. Matthew 5:27-29 "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." It's no wonder then...Mark 10:26 "The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?" The answer is simple: Jesus is the only way. He kept the laws, fulfilled prophecy, then willingly took up the cross, took the sins of the world, and died, becoming the perfect sacrifice once and for all. People decieve themselves when they believe that there are ways for them to become "better" in the sight of God. This lie can be traced back to the original sin that we can do something on our part to earn a place in the Kingdom. Jesus said it very clearly on several occasions. John 14:6-7 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."[/I] John 3:15-17 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. This is the answer to eternal life, abundant life, and freedom in life. Nothing that we do could possibly add to what was done for us.
In Him,
Matthew

Sanshouaikikai
10-23-2005, 11:46 PM
Good post again, Bro. Matt!

Erick Mead
10-24-2005, 09:57 AM
Matt elaborated the teachings of Satan, the Fall and the triumph of Christ over sin.

The problem with Satan is the temptation to Manicheism, a belief that evil is self-creating, rather than simply the shadow of God's own creation. The problem with triumphalism is that it tends to the exclusion of those who have nothing yet to feel very triumphant about.

The problem with sin, in an evangelical mode, is that it does not translate very well into the cultural commonplaces of East Asia, and increasingly does not translate well into modern materialist idiom. Japan has been rapidly secularizing for this very reason. O-Sensei was an aberration in so many ways within the modern development of his own culture. He speaks to the world therefore as a dissenter even among his own.

Just as St. Paul found the image of the "unknown god" to preach to Athenians, so we must find the illusory images and fears that trouble the hearts of men in this age. We must show where the answer lies, and why, on their own terms.

Christ was preached in China in the seventh century, and very successfully in these very terms. He was taught as the answer to the chief spiritual problem upon which they focussed, which is karma, the end to the cycles of rebirth. Christ, the ultimate King of Dharma. There is cause to believe that this legacy informed the development of Jodo, Tendai, and Shingon Buddhism in both China and Japan.

If Christ is the answer to sin, in the cultural language of disobedience, debt and repayment, he is equally the answer in the language of karma, the balancing of good an evil acts, or to whatever metaphorical device we attach to the root spiritual problem of mankind. It is too vast, too incomprehensible, too fearful to our hearts to address directly without fashioning up such handles to grasp it as may be made from anything we happen to find lying around.

St. Paul understood this and spoke to the needs of the people as they saw them, not as he told them they ought to see them. We live in a materialist culture, a post-mythological age, in which all our myths have become material explanations of physicality. Spirituality is too often portrayed as a mere festering swamp, neglecting to mention the sterile horror that materialism presents in its place.

Materialism thereby becomes simply a different form of myth, albeit a minimalist myth. This was deeply understood by one of the preeminent modern mythmakers, himself. (THX-1138, anyone?) We must address ourselves with sympathy and understanding to those who suffer in this age, and in the terms in which they perceive their own suffering.

Aikido is a timely gift to mankind in this respect. It is so physical, so material, so tangible and yet at the same time ineffable and pointing beyond itself. It takes us beyond those perceived troubles to the center, the heart of aggression and wrath.

This anger flows from violent frustration. The frustration is born of impotence in the face of the seemingly irresistible, and purposeless physical causation that is the myth of our day. Materialism simultaneously and pointedly denies the very premises of free will. The truth of our age is thus correctly sensed and feared as a double trap. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. There are observations within materialism itself that point beyond these traps however, (Goedel's incompleteness theorem, and the uncertainty principle, being good examples). But they are incapable of saying where, exactly, they point to.

It does no good to tell someone who is spiritually troubled by something, even if the cause is illusory, that he is not really spiritually troubled because we define his trouble as non-existent in our theology. This is especially so, when his own cultural metaphor defines our solution itself as illusory. This is the unfortunate approach of much of present day evangelization.

Illusions are powerful. Illusions kill people and destroy human spirits as much or more so than physical processes, and cannot be so lightly dimissed. This very fact is a denial of the root myth of materialism. It is a damning demonstration of its lack of spiritual utility.

Find the "unknown god" of this age. Preach His salvation. Bring His peace. Speak His truth. Dispel all illusion. Requeiscat in pacem Dei.

Kokyu tanden ho.

Cordially,
Erick Mead

ian
10-24-2005, 10:10 AM
Just started reading a book on the gnostic Gospels. These were Gospels which were known to exist, but were not included in the new testatament by the 'church' since they didn't fit in with church belief, even though some are thought to predate the gospels in the New Testament. e.g. Gospel of Thomas is written by Jesus's brother (yes he had a brother) and neglects to discuss the ressurection. I think also, the Gospel of Philip is supposed to be influenced by Eastern (particularly Indian) thought. Now, more complete versions of the gnostic gospels were discovered in the 20th Century, and have been translated, although thorough linguistic analysis is still on-going.

Many historians now believe that Christianity was orignally a cult of Jesus, with something similar to the book of Q as guidance (Book of Q is undiscovered, but it is supposed to be the orginal source for all the New Testament Gospels, and which the book of Thomas is supposed to be closest to). Included within this thought was a belief in enlightenment (finding heaven) through understanding - however it is believed by some that following Jesus' death there was a power struggle. Christianity diversified and a church established which reduced the power of women (inc. the importance of Mary Magdelene i.e. they referred to her in the New Testament as a prostitute) and enabled authority only to be held by a certain few. Thus Jesus was bodily resurrected and appeared to the disciples, conferring authority on them utlimately, on the leaders of the church. Even though Jesus appeared to Mary Magdelene first, (I think) this is not mentioned in one of the New Testament Gospels, and the order is reveresed in another (although I think in Matthew it is correct). Since Jesus appeared in bodily form to the disciples, no-one else can see this. The gnostic gospels generally state that Jesus' ressurection was a vision of his spirit and appeared in different forms to different people - but was NOT a body.

Many of the strange inconsistencies and paradoxes in Christianity can be explained simply once it is seen in light of the power struggle between the original follows of Jesus (cult of Jesus) and the rapidly establishing church. And through to this day, many people distrust the church and don't believe in the ressurection, yet believe in the sayings of Jesus. In my mind these are the true Christians, not those who have followed the 'church', and this belief alligns much more closely with some aspects of Eastern thought. (Some people believe Jesus was exposed to eastern philosophy during his twenties - the mysterious period missing from the new testament, but not from the gnostic gospels)

ian
10-24-2005, 10:21 AM
P.S. thus I think arguments on what christianity is and is not to some extent are pointless. The New Testament is NOT a good guide to who Jesus was or what Christianity was originally intended to be, although Jesus' teachings (in all the gospels) agree extremely well.

If you look at teachings like i. how the poppies are clothed so no need for humans to worry, ii. not to store food away etc it is very reminiscent of the need to live in the present (though not in a hedonistic way) typical of Taosim. I cannot find any discrepancy between Jesus' TEACHINGS and Taosim. Orignal sin etc is a product of Judaism, and as such Jesus was preaching to a particular ethnic mix, to which he had to explain his philosophy.

Good books on history of Christianity:

The Lost Gospel
The gnostic gospels
Testament (history of the creation of old & new testament)

Finally - religious people often have an objective in the information (or miss-information) they transfer - if you want facts don't look in the modern bible, look to linguistics scholars and religious historians. All the above texts are written by professors of religious studies.

Sanshouaikikai
10-24-2005, 09:47 PM
Hey, Ian...interesting posts...but...I've heard it all before and I've studied in depth many times over and over and it is the biggest thing that I, personally, am an expert at arguing against and quite easily at that, and that is against the so called, "Gnostic Gospels." First off, they do not pre-date the Gospels that are in the N.T. Anyone book or "historian" that says otherwise is an idiot. Simple as that. There is more evidence that proves that this Gnostic crap is simply that...crap. What's even more interesting is that we only have copies of the both O.T. and the N.T. What's interesting about the N.T. copies is that the earliest date they have is in and only in the first century A.D. Which is the time frame in which the stories in the N.T. take place...weird, huh? What's interesting about the Gnostic Gospels is that we have both the copies and the originals and both are dated as early as and only as early as the second century A.D. and later on! People who try to defend the Gnostic Gospels as truth or as legitimate Christian literature that was discriminated against by "mean" Christians make up lies about the dates and what not...it's actually quite sad. This...all that I'm writing here...is truth. What you wrote and what you are reading, Ian...is biased, Anti-Christian boloney made to make us Christians (and Jews) look stupid. However, all their so called "scholarly studies" are all EASILY...and VERY EASILY refuted BY ALL scholars of the Bible and Christian History. Even those that aren't Christian refute such garbage as the Gnostic Gospels and anything that goes against true history. So...the books that you referred people to, Ian...are crappy books that make no sense and are all biased and make no irrefutable arguments.

Sanshouaikikai
10-24-2005, 09:55 PM
One question I want to ask is this...Why do people want to redicule Christians and Jews and our beliefs but not do the same to Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc? Is it because those other people from those other religions would get offended and very angry and probably violent where as with Christians and Jews won't? So...because Christians and Jews are not violent people we could just try to insult them with unverifiable claims that are made to discredit their faith? Something to think about.

Kevin Leavitt
10-25-2005, 10:46 AM
Please read this interview on Elaine Pagels.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week706/profile.html

I don't get out of this what you are arguing at all.

Kevin Leavitt
10-25-2005, 03:13 PM
Sorry got tied up earlier and didn't get to finish my post.

What I find interesting about the Gnostic Gospels is that they seem to support many of the ideals that arose out of the evangelical movements of Martin Luther and Calvin, which were that you didn't need a priest or a "high church" acting as a intermediary.

That and they were all about the "good news" which was that everyone can have a path to god and the "church" is not the "gatekeeper".

I think with many evangelicals where things seem to go awry is with the book of Thomas and John. John and Thomas seem to be at Odds over the whole "divinity" issue. John wrote that Jesus was the only way to get to heaven, through his divinity, Thomas, believed that Jesus was devine, but also that spark resided in everyone of us. Certainly a very crucial point for most Christian Churches.

I can see where this might be a percieved as threat because it would simply destroy many of the foundations.

However, you can argue all day long about the legitimacy and interpretation and in the end, what would be the point? Would we be any better off for provening one was right over the other? Probably not.

As far as Christans and Jews being collectively and categorical labeled as "non-violent" people, well that certainly is not true, no amount of revisionistic license can re-write of refute the shear amount of evidence and examples.

Not even Tibetan Buddhist, who by many are offered up as the most "modern" non-violent religious society can claim that title, as they had one of the strongest armies and some of the most fierest warriors to have ever roamed the planet in their past.

Also, where in the post on this thread is anyone ridiculing or being disrespectful of anybody, Christian, Jew or other?

Once again, I'd like to point out that you alone Alan are the one who uses such negatively emotionally driven words such as idiot, crap, stupid, and garbage to refer to people that offer opinions that are counter to your beliefs.

I'd say that most of the post I have read are not meant to discredit or invalidate your particular beliefs, but only to offer an alternative perspective, and constructive discussion and to say simply "here is something to think about.

I am also curious about your references concerning the Gnostic Gospels. I have found no where that said the "pre-date" the other gospels.

Also, I would add that while the gospels may have been written by Thomas and other disciples, they did not end up as a core part of Modern Christianity, and that much is fact. So I'd agree it is not a part of contemporary/modern Christian literature.


I certainly think it is possible for other disciples to disagree with their interpretation of Jesus' teachings and the events that took place and their significance.

Heck, it happens all the time in aikido.

I think the point is, that it is up to each of us to find what is best for ourselves, become happy and at peace with our choices and live our lives. Once we start forcing those beliefs on others or becoming insensitive, self important, justifiying negative actions with an external authoritiy such as God or Jesus, we have crossed the line.

It certainly is more than okay to share our joy and happiness in our chosen religion with others, that is a good thing! However we must be careful our attitude does not become "toxic" and "I'm right, your wrong".

I'd offer that our time would be bettter spent celebrating our commonalities and beliefs in compassion and peace. I think this is what makes Aikido such a wonderful thing. People from all religions can co-exisit on the same playing field and agree that harmony, peace, understanding, humanity, and hope our all wonderful ideas that are good for us, our inner being, and society.

DaRa
11-12-2005, 07:18 PM
The question is whether a Christian can practice aikido. I believe the real question here is whether aikido will compromise a Christian. It certainly has the capability. Where the two meet is at "love thy enemy". Where they differ is in how. One instructs to "turn the other cheek" while the other seeks to preserve it. Violence does beget violence. Pick your path.

The beloved.

Kevin Leavitt
11-13-2005, 08:08 AM
David, welcome.

I am not following your post. One instructs "turn the other cheek" "other seeks to perserve it". Can you explain what you mean a little more. I think you are making some assumptions that we are following your thought process, and it is not clear to me, at least.

Are you implying that Christianity instructs "turn the other cheek" and Aikido is about "defending your cheek"?

True violence does beget violence...ultimately. I believe that is why we study aikido, not to beget violence, but so we can better understand the true underlying causes of conflict and violence and develop ways to better respond to violence with options other than violence.

"Pick your path" are you implying that aikido and christianity are diametrically opposed and cannot be on the same path?

I might say that individually some christians may have a problem dogmatically with aikido, but in general, overall, the aikido community has not demonstrated to me anything that is not inline with christianity. I think it comes down to an individual spiritual/value assessment.

What are your thoughts on all this?

mazmonsters
11-15-2005, 01:22 PM
Alan, well said, my brother.
It is interesting to see that there are finally some major truths coming about in what Christianity is. I wonder how good it would go over to start a thread entitled "Aikido vs. Christianity," and show how they differ so very much, instead of the other way around, as it is portrayed so often. The facts of the matter should be noted:
The Bible cannot be contradictory within itself. The so-called gnostic gospels are not in the Bible for a reason, and that is because of their historical accuracy. The gospel of Thomas was found, as Alan stated, sometime late in the thrid century and dated back to the second century. This "gospel" goes against most of all the rest of the Gospels. Therefore, it was disregarded as being a hoax. And as for hoaxes, and people who claim to think the Resurrection was a hoax; Why would men die for something they knew wasn't true? And not only die, but be tortured to death? The disciples, Peter, James, John, etc...were not trying to start a new religion. They were afraid. Don't you think that the Romans or the Jews would have produced the body of Jesus if they could? Do you think, if the disciples hid the body, they would have gone out and preached about Jesus as the Resurrected Christ, knowing very well how many people wanted to stop those preachings of Jesus, and were commanded to stone anyone who spoke of Jesus? Do you think that if the Gospels (the real ones) were made up, the men in the stories would have been made out to be more heroic? They were hiding! Peter denied Jesus 3 times when the "rubber met the road." Jesus appeared to women when He was risen! That would have been changed to something along the lines of the disciples looking like faithful heroes at all times to protect their dignity, if it were not true. The Gospels hold information within their writings that prove they were written before the destruction of Jeruselem in 70 AD. Inside information that only a person who was living at that time would have known. Also, the gospels were found to be written after the Epistles, which were written by Paul after Jesus had already ascended...so how did Paul know what was going on, confirming the Faith, if he didn't have the "documents" to go off of? Jesus came to Paul Himself, and gave him the message...then Paul hooked up with Peter, wanted to learn more about Jesus' life here on earth, and went to the Greek and Romans and brought the Truth with him.
What is the stumbling block to mankind and to all the religions of men is the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Without those significant events, our faith holds no substance, and all paths can lead to God. This is why the resurrection needs to be recognized and historically debated...because it is true.
-Matt

tzebaoth
11-24-2005, 05:54 PM
"By "christianism" I take it that you mean Christianity cos there ain't no such word as "christianism".

Yes and thank you Jamie. I guess the 'ism' was intended to reinforce the idea that modern day Christianity is a system of doctrines formulated by human philosophers.

The Trinity being a perfect example :-)

Tzebaoth

Mark Uttech
11-25-2005, 10:58 AM
kevin, aikido is about turning your cheek all the way around. When you do that, you will be standing in a safe place beside and behind the person who slapped you.
In gassho

Trish Greene
11-25-2005, 04:11 PM
A little skewed post from the already skewed topic...

Matt, thank you for your words.

I do need to include an opinion here concerning some statements that have been bothering me as a Christian woman throughout this whole thread. This whole idea of the Bible demeaning women so that the male figures in the bible are put into a better light is based on peoples opinions who have not truly understood what the whole message of what christianity is.

Matt reminds us above that Jesus first appeared to women when He had risen. If what is being said is true, that women were being "downcast" or "demeaned" in the bible, then why would this be included? The resurrection is one of the most important parts of Christianity, if there was some "sinister plot" to demean women why wouldn't they have "twisted" the plot around so that a male figure would have been the first to see Jesus?

There are so many important female figures in the bible that I can't see how anyone would say that it was written to "keep women in their place".

We must be careful that our interpretations are not colored by our own agenda's, what we wanted to understand versus what the truth is. Yes, I also realise that this whole post could be seen by others as a "colored viewpoint".

Matthew 26:6-13
Mattew 28:1-9

Mary, Martha, Naomi, Ruth, Esther... just to name a few....

Leon Aman
11-25-2005, 11:03 PM
do you think a christian can practice aikido ?
thanks.

Gerald


Why not Gerald, I see no point of suppressing anyone to practice that art because I see no contradicting teaching on the part of aikido practices. Part of the christian teaching is about love, peace, humility and harmony so as in aikido.

JAMJTX
12-17-2005, 12:56 AM
I have a copy of a "Bible Study" of sorts for Christians who train in martial arts. It's essentially scriptures that talk about fighting/"preparing for war" and even the value of physical fitness. It's copyrighted so I can't post it on the internet. But if you would like to see it, I can send you a copy.

If you were to start to delve deeply into the spritual teachings of O-Sensei and go down the Bhudist road, then you are surely getting into areas that will be un-Christian. But speaking as a Born Again, Sacred Name, Messianic, Pentecostal, I can say with out a doubt that you can train in Aikido and be a Christian.

SMART2o
02-13-2006, 06:26 PM
One question I want to ask is this...Why do people want to redicule Christians and Jews and our beliefs but not do the same to Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc? Is it because those other people from those other religions would get offended and very angry and probably violent where as with Christians and Jews won't? So...because Christians and Jews are not violent people we could just try to insult them with unverifiable claims that are made to discredit their faith? Something to think about.


Think of it as New Testament prophecy coming true before your eyes. I see this as well and agree with you that it is pretty much open season on Christians these days.

aikigirl10
02-13-2006, 06:38 PM
One question I want to ask is this...Why do people want to redicule Christians and Jews and our beliefs but not do the same to Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc? Is it because those other people from those other religions would get offended and very angry and probably violent where as with Christians and Jews won't? So...because Christians and Jews are not violent people we could just try to insult them with unverifiable claims that are made to discredit their faith? Something to think about.

I think it has to do with how widespread (popular maybe, can't think of the right word), the religion is. I think people pick on Christians and Jews because they are 2 major religions of the world. If Hinduism or Islam or Buddhism were as "big" as Christianity or Judaism then i would say that those religions would take just as much crap.

Of course the violence may be a factor as well, but you have to remember that there are extremists in all religions, and i personally don't think that those "critics" are scared of terrorists.

Just my thoughts,
*Paige*

SMART2o
02-13-2006, 06:38 PM
The question is whether a Christian can practice aikido. I believe the real question here is whether aikido will compromise a Christian. It certainly has the capability. Where the two meet is at "love thy enemy". Where they differ is in how. One instructs to "turn the other cheek" while the other seeks to preserve it. Violence does beget violence. Pick your path.

The beloved.


Let's explore the context in which Jesus said to turn the other cheek. The purpose of him saying this was not to make a bunch of pacifists who let evil people ravage them at will. Remember the sin of omission? If you see evil and do nothing, it is a sin. He was saying this so that when a Roman soldier(s) ordered you to give him your clothes or decided to strike you just for the fun of it, that you not only comply, but you offer him more than what was demanded. The reason for this was so that they would not meet a certain and cruel death for defying the Roman authority. So in essence, Jesus instructed his listeners to turn the other cheek precisely to preserve it.

Edwin Neal
02-13-2006, 07:03 PM
yeah but Jesus the kick ass martial artist tore up the temple that one time... remember? and isn't he often pictured walking with a jo?

Mark Freeman
02-13-2006, 07:24 PM
I think it has to do with how widespread (popular maybe, can't think of the right word), the religion is. I think people pick on Christians and Jews because they are 2 major religions of the world. If Hinduism or Islam or Buddhism were as "big" as Christianity or Judaism then i would say that those religions would take just as much crap.

Of course the violence may be a factor as well, but you have to remember that there are extremists in all religions, and i personally don't think that those "critics" are scared of terrorists.

Just my thoughts,
*Paige*

I'm not a religious person, so have no party axe to grind, but as far as I am aware Paige, the 2 largest ( in numbers of people ) religions in the world are Christianity and Islam, Judaism is small beer in comparison. ( someone correct me if I am wrong )
Christians and Jews seem to be alot more tolerant of critisism, and rarely get violent if their faith is called into question.
Buddhism is not strictly a religion, so hard to blaspheme against.
The current violent and fatal demonstrations happening around the world due to the cartoons depicting the prophet show that Islam has the 'thinnest skin'.

I agree that there are extremists in all religions, but some extremists are more dangerous than others.
Each religion has to take responsibility for their own 'nutters' (my term for religious extremist)
Extreme Buddhists are probably too busy in deep meditation to cause any trouble :)

I listened to a devout Muslim on TV a day or two ago, say that it was his desire (duty) to see every one in the UK in Islam, living under Sharia law. Now, freedom of speech allows him to say this, and I defend his right to do so, however, if he had his way, and we were all as he wanted us to be - Islamic, then we would no longer be able to speak freely. In my view this man is quite 'wrong' as he wants me to conform to his own narrow beliefs and he is not happy for me to worship the No God of my choice! ( apart from that I would have to grow a beard and it just doesn't suit me :D )
I am not poking fun at him or his beliefs. However, the road to Secularism has been a long and hard one, and not one that many millions of us are going to give up any time soon.
Everyone should be free to worship whatever they choose, but that does not give anyone immunity from critisism.
Often the biggest culprits are the religious themselves as they all seem to think that theirs is the 'right' one.

I've probably upset a few people, we'll soon see :p

regards,
Mark

Mark Uttech
02-13-2006, 07:28 PM
Jesus was a jew.

Mark Freeman
02-13-2006, 07:33 PM
Jesus was a jew.

Do Jew's believe in Jesus?

aikigirl10
02-13-2006, 08:17 PM
I'm not a religious person, so have no party axe to grind, but as far as I am aware Paige, the 2 largest ( in numbers of people ) religions in the world are Christianity and Islam, Judaism is small beer in comparison. ( someone correct me if I am wrong )

Yes, worldwide Islam is larger in numbers than Judaism, but here in America, i think Muslims are a minority (i could be wrong) And typically we are hearing criticism from Americans and not people of other natonalities (obviously, we're in america) So, i guess i should have been speaking in terms of our own country and not worldwide, my bad.

Do Jew's believe in Jesus?

Jews, as a whole, believe that Jesus existed, they just don't believe that he was the Messiah. At least this is how it was explained to me by my best friend, who happens to be Jewish.

*Paige*

Mark Freeman
02-14-2006, 07:06 AM
Yes, worldwide Islam is larger in numbers than Judaism, but here in America, i think Muslims are a minority (i could be wrong) And typically we are hearing criticism from Americans and not people of other natonalities (obviously, we're in america) So, i guess i should have been speaking in terms of our own country and not worldwide, my bad.



Jews, as a whole, believe that Jesus existed, they just don't believe that he was the Messiah. At least this is how it was explained to me by my best friend, who happens to be Jewish.

*Paige*

Thanks Paige, I was aware of the Jewish belief about Jesus, it was a pretty lame/flippant response of mine to Mark's increadibly short post

regards,
Mark

Lorien Lowe
02-15-2006, 11:33 AM
Christians and Jews seem to be alot more tolerant of critisism, and rarely get violent if their faith is called into question.
<cough, cough> Crusades
<cough> clinic bombings
<cough> doctors shot
<cough> palestinians evicted, etc. because (and I quote one settler) "This land was given to us by God."
<cough> Catholics vs. Protestants in Ireland
<cough> slavery justified with the bible
<cough> homosexuals assaulted

Maybe what you said was technically true - it's not questions of faith that are associated with violence, it's the forced spread of that faith. It never ceases to amaze me that christians, in a country where they are by far the dominant majority, can complain about how picked on they are.

-LK
(catholic)

Mark Freeman
02-16-2006, 06:53 PM
<cough, cough> Crusades
<cough> clinic bombings
<cough> doctors shot
<cough> palestinians evicted, etc. because (and I quote one settler) "This land was given to us by God."
<cough> Catholics vs. Protestants in Ireland
<cough> slavery justified with the bible
<cough> homosexuals assaulted

Maybe what you said was technically true - it's not questions of faith that are associated with violence, it's the forced spread of that faith. It never ceases to amaze me that christians, in a country where they are by far the dominant majority, can complain about how picked on they are.

-LK
(catholic)

Lorien

I'm sure your list could have been longer and even more damning. ;)

last week it was reported that the Church of England issued an 'apology' for their keeping hundreds of slaves on their plantations in the West Indies. It may be hundreds of years too late, and no reparations are going to be forthcoming, but at least they have finally recognised that slavery was not the most 'christian' thing to be involved in.

http://education.guardian.co.uk/egweekly/story/0,,1708647,00.html

There is a bit of a hoo ha going on at the moment because the Archbishop of Canterbury is wanting to disinvest from an American company that makes the heavy bulldozers used by the Israelis to demolish homes in palestinian areas.
They hold $$4million of shares ( surely this would be better employed being spent on doing some good? )
Other Anglicans and conservative americans are throwing around accusations of anti semitism.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1708497,00.html

World Peace? probably not in my lifetime :(

Mark Uttech
02-16-2006, 07:00 PM
World Peace is another one of those things to simply believe in. World peace begins with gassho. World peace is in front of you and in your own backyard. The more people believe in it, the better its chance to happen. And, because nothing lasts, it needs to happen again and again. The bell needs to be invited to sound, there's an initial bow, and practice begins again.