Breaking the rules

truechristianity

Christianity is not a matter of rules and regulations. Or jumping through the right hoops to please God.

Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11)—without a liquor license or a park permit, and that wine was most likely served to people under the age of 21. Modern day politicians would have thrown Jesus into jail for making alcohol without a license, distributing alcohol without a permit, and serving to under-aged children

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41 thoughts on “Breaking the rules

  1. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. 54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory?”
    1 Corinthians 15

    Jesus said that not one “jot or tittle” would pass away until all was fulfilled. Consequently, nothing of the law was to fail until it had completely accomplished its purpose. Jesus said he had fulfilled the law. Jesus fulfilled all of the law. The law highlights sin. Sin requires punishment. In Jesus the law is fulfilled. Our punishments are on Jesus and we are free and not condemned. Our corruption is made incorruptible in Christ. Death is swallowed up and we gain life, life abundantly.

    But did Jesus abolish the law? No, for without it He cannot fulfil it and it will not highlight our sin. But we no longer are condemned by it. It does not mean we can do as we wish.

    “…Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:19)

    In fact we have the higher law of love, the royal law.

    “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
    1 John 4:7-12

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  2. How can we please God?

    “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

    From our faith comes praise.

    “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:15-16).

    God is infinitely pleased with us, not because of what we do but because of who we are. We are His children, adopted. Through His grace, I am “hidden with Christ in God”. He sees us as perfect as we are in Christ.

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  3. Imagine Jesus today after making wine from water. He would have been swamped by commercial and marketing folk trying to get him into an advertisement. Imagine the Australian cricket team with Jesus and His image on their one day top. Would Jesus do that? If He did I can imagine the proceeds going to charity, possibly Samaritans Purse.

    Imagine the drug companies trying to get a hold of Jesus. It might be possible the military would abduct Him for some sort of chemical weapons testing. Or the medical profession would want to know how He healed people. Run a bank of tests on Him. I wonder what a blood test would reveal?

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    • Not that I necessarily believe beyond doubt that the shroud of turin is genuine but The Shroud was several years ago examined by the Los Angeles coroner’s department.

      It found evidence of a 177.5cm male weighing about 77 kilos with Jewish features and with the common AB negative blood type.

      And yes, of course Jesus would have had the most common blood type.

      If the death of Jesus and his resurrection to life had happened in 2015, we would have had digital photos and news reports to assure us of their reality. Today, we have come to rely on technology to prove reality. However, the Easter events were recorded by the best technology of their day; eye-witness testimony which was written down in books of the Bible. Doubting the Bible’s ability to record history is the self-importance and egotism of a technological era.

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      • Good point Bryan.I believe that even if Jesus existed today that people still would not believe and the very technology that would “prove” His reality would still not be enough.

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      • “However, the Easter events were recorded by the best technology of their day; eye-witness testimony. ”

        There are no recorded eyewitness accounts of the Easter events. There are secondary accounts that can give us confidence that Jesus existed, was baptised and crucified by the Romans, but that’s pretty much it.

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      • Stu

        Do you have reliable research to show there were no eye witnesses for Easter accounts? What evidence do you have for your claim?

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      • Alexie:

        “Do you have reliable research to show there were no eye witnesses for Easter accounts?”

        Yes. I’ve provided this in previous discussions.

        “What evidence do you have for your claim?”

        The absence of any eyewitness accounts. If I’m wrong provide an eyewitness account.

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      • You made a claim and as such will require some proof to back it up. Why not provide evidence for it? Or is it possible you cannot as you have nil.

        “There are no recorded eyewitness accounts of the Easter events.”

        So obviously you have completed some sort of research on this? From where? What scholars or readings of the Bible can you provide?

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      • Gospel of Matthew

        According to this gospel, the various witnesses included Roman soldiers, Jewish officials, passersby who mocked Jesus, and two men crucified at the same time. The only reference to followers of Jesus is found in Matthew 27:55-56, which says that many women were “watching from a distance”, and specifically names “Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.” Unlike male followers, these women would probably have been allowed to watch without being arrested, provided that they didn’t try to interfere.

        Gospel of John

        The account in this gospel says that several women and one disciple stood “near the cross”, and that Jesus spoke to them from the cross. The women are identified as Jesus’ mother Mary, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clophas (or Cleophas), and Mary Magdalene. The disciple is identified only as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”.

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      • Witness to the resurrection
        During the 40 days Jesus lived in His resurrected body before ascending into heaven, he first appeared to Mary Magdalene. Verses in the Gospel of Matthew imply that Mary, the mother of James, also saw Him on that first Sunday morning. Jesus appeared to Peter, then to two men on the road to Emmaus, and to the Apostles, except Thomas. Eight days later, Jesus appeared again to the Apostles, this time with Thomas present. Jesus appeared to more than 500 believers on one occasion, and to His half brother James. Lastly, after the ascension of Jesus, He appeared to the man who would become the great apostle Paul.

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      • Alexie.

        “You made a claim and as such will require some proof to back it up. ”

        I didn’t make a claim, I countered a claim. The claim was the existence of eyewitness accounts. If they they exist, provide them.

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      • Bryan:

        I’m familiar with the accounts in Mattthew and John. Neither are, or even claim to be, eyewitness accounts of Jesus or the the Easter events.

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      • ” I didn’t make a claim”

        Yes you did.

        “There are no recorded eyewitness accounts of the Easter events.”

        This is a claim, counter claim, miss mash whatever.
        A claim is a claim is a claim.

        It is quite simple. Provide someone who like you, believes there are no accounts or are you just creating an ad hoc statement? Sounds like it once again.

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      • These people beg to differ with you Stu as far as eye witness accounts.

        Many lawyers have studied the evidence and concluded contrary to their predisposition as atheists that Jesus Christ did indeed rise from the dead and was seen by His disciples.

        One such famous book, Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ that was made into one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed films, is just one lawyer.

        Another individual who began as a skeptic and ended up writing a book affirming the resurrection was the British lawyer Frank Morison who wrote Who Moved the Stone?

        The famous Harvard law professor Simon Greenleaf, considered by many to be the greatest authority on legal evidences, was convinced that the resurrection of Christ is historical fact.

        Sir Lionel Luckhoo (1914-1997) is considered one of the greatest lawyers in British history. He declared:

        “I humbly add I have spent more than 42 years as a defense trial lawyer appearing in many parts of the world and am still in active practice. I have been fortunate to secure a number of successes in jury trials and I say unequivocally the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”

        Lee Strobel was a Yale-educated, award-winning journalist at the Chicago Tribune. As an atheist, he decided to compile a legal case against Jesus Christ and prove him to be a fraud by the weight of the evidence. His area of expertise was courtroom analysis. He conducted his examination with no religious bias, other than his predisposition to atheism.

        Stunned by his findings, he organized the evidence into a book entitled, The Case for Christ. He became a Christian because of the evidence.

        They must of course all be wrong and the great Stu is right in that there are NO, none, zero witnesses. Wow!

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      • Just to help you along Stu

        “There are no recorded eyewitness accounts of the Easter events”

        Are you sure????

        Primary source – a document or object that was created by an individual or group as part of their daily lives. Primary sources include birth certificates, photographs, diaries, letters, embroidered samplers, clothing, household implements, and newspapers.

        First person testimony – the account of a person who actually participated in an event. Examples are oral history interviews, diaries, letters, photographs and drawings of events, and court testimony of an eyewitness.

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      • To add to Bryans reply:

        There are over 5500 manuscripts, miniscules, unicals, papyri, parchments, and fragments that critical scholars have used to ascertain the authenticity of the Scriptures as we have them today. A corpus like the Nestle-Aland 28 brings together some of the best consensus from the history of the manuscripts to most definitively decide what the “original” text said.

        With over 5500 manuscripts, then, a complete list is too broad. Some of these are: The Dead Sea Scrolls, Codex Vaticanus, at the Vatican Library in Rome, Codex Sinaticus and the Cyrus Cylinder. (Which may be the oldest extra biblical verification of a bible text, dating from the 500s BC.)
        Interestingly, the oldest known fragment of the New Testament is located in library at the University of Manchester, England.

        But of course Stu knows better.

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      • Alexie.

        “There are no recorded eyewitness accounts of the Easter events” Are you sure????

        Yes I am sure. Provide one credible example to the contrary.

        ‘With over 5500 manuscripts, then, a complete list is too broad.”

        Provide an example of one those manuscripts which is, or claims to be, an eyewitness account of the Easter events.

        “Provide someone who like you, believes there are no accounts or are you just creating an ad hoc statement? ”

        I never said there were “no accounts” I said there were no “eyewitness accounts”. If there is such an account, provide it.

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      • Oddly enough when you go to a library the gospels aren’t in the history section.

        Wonder why that is ?

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    • Stu, Not providing evidence again while asking it of others smacks of hypocrisy. I find you do little else but flutter about trying to find holes in peoples posts yet provide very little yourself. Self protection maybe?

      Bryan has provided some of the eye witnesses already. More will simply not do for you that Jesus appeared 12 times to different group sizes ranging from just one person to 500 people, Mary Magdalene, Peter in Jerusalem and Jesus’ brother. The four Gospels written by said disciples.

      It does not matter that others far more trained than yourself with eyewitness testimony agree it is bona fide and that lawyers experts in their field agree.

      Then you make a claim and provide not one bit of research to support it. It almost makes you a troll.

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      • Alexie:

        “The four Gospels written by said disciples.”

        None of the gospels were written by witnesses to the events of the Easter, nor do they claim to be. I cite Stephen Harris ”Understanding the Bible” and Bart Ehrman –“The History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon” as examples of mainstream biblical scholars who share this uncontentious view.

        “Not providing evidence again while asking it of others smacks of hypocrisy.”

        I keep providing the evidence and you keep ignoring it.

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      • You keeping providing the evidence??

        seriously. The “quote” you provided is the first on this thread on this topic.

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      • “You keeping providing the evidence??”

        Yes – in this case Harris and Ehrman, and as I suggested you would, you ignored it.

        “seriously. The “quote” you provided is the first on this thread on this topic.”

        I quoted you verbatim from your post of January 18, 2016 at 10:02

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      • Stu, you have not researched these guys or their writings. You have simply plucked them out of the internet. You have for real just cut and paste. So by your own standards you have judged yourself.

        Many of the Jesus Seminar are relatively unknown or undistinguished in the field of biblical studies. One of the few is Harris.

        These self-selected members of the Jesus Seminar do not represent the consensus of New Testament scholars.

        More than half are basically unknowns, who have published only two or three articles. Eighteen of the fellows have published nothing at all in New Testament studies.

        They all to be considered to favor “liberal” interpretations of the New Testament.

        The Jesus Seminar represents an extremely small number of radical-fringe scholars who are on the far, far left wing of New Testament thinking. It does not represent mainstream scholarship.

        As for Bartman, He states, “The New Testament stands unchallenged, in the words of Professor Bart D. Ehrman, not only as the “‘bestseller’ of all time,” but also as the most important “book—or collection of books—in the history of Western civilisation.”

        But as far as the resurrection, his main “evidence” against the resurrection is that the philosophical argument against the identification of miracles. That is it. He even mentions hallucinations were the real reason. He cannot cite evidence for his claims.

        This is who you use as your evidence Stu?
        Two very dubious men as far as Biblical scholarship?

        Come on Stu, get a grip.

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      • “Stu, you have not researched these guys or their writings. You have simply plucked them out of the internet.”

        I own works by Ehrman and I have references for Harris. Your accusation is false.

        “The Jesus Seminar represents an extremely small number of radical-fringe scholars…”

        I never said anything about the “Jesus Seminar”, I’ve never even heard of it before. Here’s what you said: “The four Gospels written by said disciples.” You’ve provided no evidence to support the claim and rejected evidence that this claim goes against the current consensus of scholars. I could provide you with an extensive list of said scholars, but clearly I’d be wasting my time.

        “Two very dubious men as far as Biblical scholarship?”

        One of which, at least, has been cited by others on this website to support claims for the existence of the historical Jesus. It didn’t bother you then.

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      • You never heard of the Jesus Seminar. Harris is one of them!!!!

        “I quoted you verbatim from your post of January 18, 2016 at 10:02”

        Is Stu really Rian? Rain used to quote dates times and would also use very liberal theologians too.

        The history of Jesus is not in question so any source is not an issue. But you are using these sources for claiming “no eyewitness accounts”. The liberals are very liberal in their evidence or lack thereof.

        “but clearly I’d be wasting my time.”

        You have been doing that already for all of us. The good thing is at least you cited someone and added to the discussion. Been awhile STu/Rian.

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      • For Stu

        Bart man says this in his blog

        “Here is the key question that is almost never asked: why would someone who had a vision of a deceased loved one think that the person had been raised from the dead?”

        This shows that he can believe in a “vision” with no evidence for aid vision.

        He also states, “As I have argued repeatedly, Jesus himself believed that the end of the age was coming within his own generation..”

        It is interesting he would quibble over this because if Jesus was dead than he could not return.

        But a Christian with only basic knowledge of the Bible would know the verse following:

        “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”

        When’s the end of the world? Jesus doesn’t know. If there was ever a saying the apostles would not possibly invent, it’s that one, because it looks bad having your God not know things. But that’s what Jesus said. So what is Jesus getting at? He is describing the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

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      • Alexie.

        “You never heard of the Jesus Seminar. Harris is one of them!!!!”

        I presume by the number of exclamation points used that there is an actual point you are trying to make.

        “Rain (sic) used to quote dates times and would also use very liberal theologians too.”

        So? Labelling someone “liberal” makes no difference to the validity or otherwise of their work.

        “But you are using these sources for claiming “no eyewitness accounts”.”

        No I’m not. I’m using these sources to demonstrate scholarly consensus that the gospel authors were (a) not contemporary disciples of the historical Jesus and (b) that we can only guess at who those authors were. I would use the gospel themselves as evidence that they were not written by eyewitnesses to the historical Jesus.

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      • Well Rian/Stu

        “So? Labelling someone “liberal” makes no difference to the validity or otherwise of their work.”

        It very much does and especially if they belong to the Jesus Seminar, of which you knew nothing. They are not scholars and 100% not a consensus of scholars. Harris will often use terms such as “most scholars say”. In one book, “understanding the Bible”, the phrase is used on nearly every page. This is just not true that most scholars support his views. Having completed theological studies I have not once seen Harris on the list of reading or even referred to.

        “I’m using these sources to demonstrate scholarly consensus”

        The Jesus Seminar is not consensus at all. You are using dubious authors so any arguments crash about take off.

        So Stu/Rian, please at least try to use scholars of note.

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      • Alexie.

        “The Jesus Seminar is not consensus at all.”

        You were the one that brought this group up and I have no interest in it. Regardless of who they are, there is a consensus among biblical scholars as I have stated before.

        “They are not scholars.”

        Some of them, like John Crossan, clearly are.

        “Having completed theological studies I have not once seen Harris on the list of reading or even referred to.”

        So what? You can discuss issues on their merits and cite evidence or you can resort to labelling and childish ad hominems. I’m happy that I’ve done my research and that my position sits better with (a) the scholarly consensus (b) the evidence at hand, and (c) what the gospels say themselves. And if you are going to resort to addressing me by somebody else’s name maybe you at least spell that name correctly.

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      • “You were the one that brought this group up and I have no interest in it. Regardless of who they are, there is a consensus among biblical scholars as I have stated before.”

        Strange reply as Harris, who you cited, is one of them.

        There is indeed no consensus and you still have not produced evidence when using Harris and Bart man.

        “Some of them, like John Crossan, clearly are.”

        He might be but if he belongs to the Jesus Groups as you say then he is not reliable.

        I think you have hit a dead end here. Luff said.

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      • “Strange reply as Harris, who you cited, is one of them.”

        I don’t know how him being a member a particular group of which I have zero interest has a bearing on him being representative of scholarly consensus.

        “…if he belongs to the Jesus Groups as you say then he is not reliable.”

        Why? The basis of all your posts today seem to be “ if an idea doesn’t fit in to my preconceived conclusions, it does not have merit.”.

        “I think you have hit a dead end here.”

        I think you are right. When someone resorts to personal attacks and refuses to discuss ideas on their merits, you do get a sense of a dead end.

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      • I think Alexie you got caught out on this one. You went down the track of trying to discredit the source Stu used, assuming Stu randomly grabbed them off the internet. The rest of the threads looks like you trying to recover from this poor tactic.

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  4. The rules that Jesus broke were those instituted by tradition, not rules laid down by God.
    Supposedly.

    How difficult it is to differentiate between them sometimes.

    If we look at other traditions and see how God is deemed to have spoken there, we may get a hint how to separate tradition from the Holy Spirit.

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  5. Yet there are plenty of commentators who will have you believe that Christianity is the rules – or is the source of the rules.

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  6. Found this online make interesting reading about Craig.

    “As William Lane Craig argued years ago, the passage reflects a polemical exchange between Jewish Christians and Jewish opponents of Christianity that can be schematized along the following lines (my paraphrase from memory of Craig’s presentation):

    Christians: The tomb is empty; Jesus rose from the dead!
    Non-Christians: The disciples stole the body from the tomb.
    Christians: They couldn’t, the tomb was guarded.
    Non-Christians: The disciples were able to steal the body because the guards fell asleep.
    Christians (Matthew): The chief priests bribed the guards to say that.

    Many are skeptical of Matthew’s claim, and that’s fine. As the above schema shows, Matthew would have no reason to make the claim unless the non-Christian Jews in his community were asserting that the disciples were able to steal the body from the tomb because the guards had fallen asleep. Hence we must conclude that non-Christian Jews in Matthew’s time and place were acknowledging that (a) Jesus had died, (b) his body had been buried in a tomb, (c) the tomb had been guarded, and (d) the tomb turned up empty. Keeping in mind that these Jewish opponents of the Christian message lived in Galilee or Syria, their concessions of these facts would seem to be pretty significant evidence.”

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    • The whole idea of him being in a tomb in the first place was a little odd wasn’t it ?

      I thought that one of the points to crucifixion was that the body of the miscreant would remain on the cross for some time and thus act as a deterrent to other would be transgressors.

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