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Author Topic: Did Christ intend to start a new religion?  (Read 1306 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 19, 2011, 10:54:37 PM »

I hear this a lot from New Age beliefs, people who say that Jesus Christ did not at all intend to found a religion based on his teachings, and that his apostles distorted the true meaning of his message. What do you all think of this?
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 11:06:30 PM »

He accomplished what he intended.  The fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 11:24:45 PM »

He didn't start a new religion. He is the direct continuation and conclusion of the Jewish religion of the Old Testament. The Jews who rejected their own Messiah are the ones who started a new religion, really.
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2011, 11:35:59 PM »

He didn't start a new religion. He is the direct continuation and conclusion of the Jewish religion of the Old Testament. The Jews who rejected their own Messiah are the ones who started a new religion, really.

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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2011, 12:31:06 AM »

I'm not sure he as much as intended a new religion as getting God connected with people again.
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2011, 01:12:44 AM »

He didn't start a new religion. He is the direct continuation and conclusion of the Jewish religion of the Old Testament. The Jews who rejected their own Messiah are the ones who started a new religion, really.

As I like to say, Israel crucified their own God.
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2011, 08:28:53 AM »

He didn't start a new religion. He is the direct continuation and conclusion of the Jewish religion of the Old Testament. The Jews who rejected their own Messiah are the ones who started a new religion, really.

+1

+2

Christ ushered in the New Covenant, and established the Church, the benefactor of the new Covenant...but it's not a "new" religion. As the end of the Synodicon of Orthodoxy (which we read every First Sunday of Great Lent) says, "This is the Faith of the Orthodox. This is the Faith that has established the universe!" Orthodox Christianity isn't a new religion, it is from the foundation of all creation, and we see that in the development of God's covenant with the Israelites.

God does not magically appear with Moses. He is with Abraham, and with Noah, etc. "In the beginning, God..." is the first phrase of Genesis. Our Faith comes forth from that eternity, and has always pointed to an ultimate fulfillment in Christ. That doesn't mean it started with His incarnation. Although, since He is a person of the eternal Godhead, it did start with him.  Wink
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2011, 09:00:16 AM »

Everything that has been said above, I like.

It is a particular bugbear of mine when people say things like "two thousand years of Christian history". It's almost like admitting to the Jews that we're just a crazy spin-off of their five thousand year old real deal.

Adam, Abraham and Moses were Christians, in my opinion, though it is obviously anachronistic to refer to them as such.
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2011, 10:12:55 AM »

Adam, Abraham and Moses were Christians, in my opinion, though it is obviously anachronistic to refer to them as such.

This, in my own little opinion, is the patristic witness. The Fathers talk about the revelation of the Trinity in the OT and seem to say that, although the fullness of it is unrealized until Christ, it wasn't something completely unknown to the saints of old, either.

It is definitely my opinion, as well, that Orthodox Christianity is the religion of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not a schism from that faith, just the natural progression thereof. Rabbinic Judaism, as it is known today, is the schismatic faith. The first heretics and rejectors of Christ. That sounds harsh, but it's not anti-Semitic. The Jews were God's chosen people, and are still free and welcome to join the Church (Christ Himself, all of the 12 Apostles and many first-third century Christians were Jews!) but that they are no longer, as a people, the elect of God. That covenant is voided, and a new one established.
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2011, 11:01:32 AM »

I like to use the analogy of the catipillar and butterfly.  It's the same species but transformed to its full potential.  The OT is the catipillar and the NT is the butterfly.  The cacoon is the time of Christ's teachings and Crucifixion.

Also, the catipillar crawled on the ground which is like the law of the letter.  The butterfly has wings and flies high above the ground which is like the law of the spirit because the law of the spirit is higher than the law of the letter.

God teaches us so much by example of His creations.
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2011, 12:04:28 PM »

Adam, Abraham and Moses were Christians, in my opinion, though it is obviously anachronistic to refer to them as such.

This, in my own little opinion, is the patristic witness. The Fathers talk about the revelation of the Trinity in the OT and seem to say that, although the fullness of it is unrealized until Christ, it wasn't something completely unknown to the saints of old, either.

It is definitely my opinion, as well, that Orthodox Christianity is the religion of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not a schism from that faith, just the natural progression thereof. Rabbinic Judaism, as it is known today, is the schismatic faith. The first heretics and rejectors of Christ. That sounds harsh, but it's not anti-Semitic. The Jews were God's chosen people, and are still free and welcome to join the Church (Christ Himself, all of the 12 Apostles and many first-third century Christians were Jews!) but that they are no longer, as a people, the elect of God. That covenant is voided, and a new one established.
That covenant isn't voided: God kept His part of the bargain by sending His Son and those who reject His Anointed Messiah are not keeping theirs.
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2011, 12:33:07 PM »

Adam, Abraham and Moses were Christians, in my opinion, though it is obviously anachronistic to refer to them as such.

This, in my own little opinion, is the patristic witness. The Fathers talk about the revelation of the Trinity in the OT and seem to say that, although the fullness of it is unrealized until Christ, it wasn't something completely unknown to the saints of old, either.

It is definitely my opinion, as well, that Orthodox Christianity is the religion of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not a schism from that faith, just the natural progression thereof. Rabbinic Judaism, as it is known today, is the schismatic faith. The first heretics and rejectors of Christ. That sounds harsh, but it's not anti-Semitic. The Jews were God's chosen people, and are still free and welcome to join the Church (Christ Himself, all of the 12 Apostles and many first-third century Christians were Jews!) but that they are no longer, as a people, the elect of God. That covenant is voided, and a new one established.
That covenant isn't voided: God kept His part of the bargain by sending His Son and those who reject His Anointed Messiah are not keeping theirs.

I don't quite mean it that way. My fault for bad wording.

Christ came to fulfill the Law and Prophets, He says so Himself. In the fulfillment, the Gentiles also become heirs if they join the Church, as do Jews. However, the Law of Moses is no longer a neccessity, for we have a higher law, that is Christ.

So, "voided" wasn't a good word. "Fulfilled" is best, probably, but there is also a new era, the Church era. This means that the Temple era has ended and Christ has come to fulfill all that to which the OT points.
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2011, 01:55:24 PM »

Adam, Abraham and Moses were Christians, in my opinion, though it is obviously anachronistic to refer to them as such.

This, in my own little opinion, is the patristic witness. The Fathers talk about the revelation of the Trinity in the OT and seem to say that, although the fullness of it is unrealized until Christ, it wasn't something completely unknown to the saints of old, either.

It is definitely my opinion, as well, that Orthodox Christianity is the religion of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not a schism from that faith, just the natural progression thereof. Rabbinic Judaism, as it is known today, is the schismatic faith. The first heretics and rejectors of Christ. That sounds harsh, but it's not anti-Semitic. The Jews were God's chosen people, and are still free and welcome to join the Church (Christ Himself, all of the 12 Apostles and many first-third century Christians were Jews!) but that they are no longer, as a people, the elect of God. That covenant is voided, and a new one established.
That covenant isn't voided: God kept His part of the bargain by sending His Son and those who reject His Anointed Messiah are not keeping theirs.

I don't quite mean it that way. My fault for bad wording.

Christ came to fulfill the Law and Prophets, He says so Himself. In the fulfillment, the Gentiles also become heirs if they join the Church, as do Jews. However, the Law of Moses is no longer a neccessity, for we have a higher law, that is Christ.

So, "voided" wasn't a good word. "Fulfilled" is best, probably, but there is also a new era, the Church era. This means that the Temple era has ended and Christ has come to fulfill all that to which the OT points.
I just read the reading of today with my sons:
Quote
BRETHREN, he is not a real Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal. His praise is not from men but from God. Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews are entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every man be false, as it is written, "That thou mayest be justified in thy words, and prevail when thou art judged."
Yes, fulfilled is the right word.  I used the analogy of admission of new states to the union of the US Constitution, Hawaii being the equal of Delaware (the 1st state to ratify, and the first state to consider secession from that union and reject it).  Just like the catepillar leaves no carcass, because it has become the butterfly, so too the OT is inseperable from the NT: What would the Confession of St. Peter (upon which the Church is built) "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God" mean, without the OT telling us what an Anointed Christ is, or the Living God Whom the OT alone knew?
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2011, 01:56:47 PM »

Adam, Abraham and Moses were Christians, in my opinion, though it is obviously anachronistic to refer to them as such.

This, in my own little opinion, is the patristic witness. The Fathers talk about the revelation of the Trinity in the OT and seem to say that, although the fullness of it is unrealized until Christ, it wasn't something completely unknown to the saints of old, either.

It is definitely my opinion, as well, that Orthodox Christianity is the religion of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not a schism from that faith, just the natural progression thereof. Rabbinic Judaism, as it is known today, is the schismatic faith. The first heretics and rejectors of Christ. That sounds harsh, but it's not anti-Semitic. The Jews were God's chosen people, and are still free and welcome to join the Church (Christ Himself, all of the 12 Apostles and many first-third century Christians were Jews!) but that they are no longer, as a people, the elect of God. That covenant is voided, and a new one established.
That covenant isn't voided: God kept His part of the bargain by sending His Son and those who reject His Anointed Messiah are not keeping theirs.

I don't quite mean it that way. My fault for bad wording.

Christ came to fulfill the Law and Prophets, He says so Himself. In the fulfillment, the Gentiles also become heirs if they join the Church, as do Jews. However, the Law of Moses is no longer a neccessity, for we have a higher law, that is Christ.

So, "voided" wasn't a good word. "Fulfilled" is best, probably, but there is also a new era, the Church era. This means that the Temple era has ended and Christ has come to fulfill all that to which the OT points.
I just read the reading of today with my sons:
Quote
BRETHREN, he is not a real Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal. His praise is not from men but from God. Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews are entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every man be false, as it is written, "That thou mayest be justified in thy words, and prevail when thou art judged."
Yes, fulfilled is the right word.  I used the analogy of admission of new states to the union of the US Constitution, Hawaii being the equal of Delaware (the 1st state to ratify, and the first state to consider secession from that union and reject it).  Just like the catepillar leaves no carcass, because it has become the butterfly, so too the OT is inseperable from the NT: What would the Confession of St. Peter (upon which the Church is built) "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God" mean, without the OT telling us what an Anointed Christ is, or the Living God Whom the OT alone knew?

Absolutely! No argument here. Grin
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2011, 07:25:12 PM »

He didn't start a new religion. He is the direct continuation and conclusion of the Jewish religion of the Old Testament. The Jews who rejected their own Messiah are the ones who started a new religion, really.

I heard this from some comedian, whose name escapes me:

"Christians... are really just Reform Jews."  Wink
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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2011, 08:08:40 PM »

Christ didn't start a religion, He founded a Church.
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2011, 11:20:24 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I hear this a lot from New Age beliefs, people who say that Jesus Christ did not at all intend to found a religion based on his teachings, and that his apostles distorted the true meaning of his message. What do you all think of this?

I think that it is silly to listen to any new age or even just new interpretations or lost interpretations or even just contrary interpretations of what the Church which founded by Jesus Christ through the holy Apostles and has been continuous and unbroken since that very time.  We then hardly need to speculate on these matters of history, because the information is quite readily available and is probably more scrutinized and therefore assured of accuracy than about any other history in the world.  The Church and the Bible are the most analyzed histories in the world, and they have largely  been confirmed all around.  So we in Orthodox chose to trust the Holy Tradition and what the Orthodox Church teaches.  Really, we have between three and seven Canons which practically define our church fully.  Each jurisdiction has its own particularly local history as well, which is generally equally verifiable and continuous, and also in unison.  For example the Oriental Orthodox and the Eastern Orthodox disagree with certain particular theological terms and concepts, but they ontologically do not affect our Christianity in such a way to make a day to day difference, our Churches are largely the same in practice, form, and function.  So realistically then, why would a person consult anywhere else but their own local Orthodox parish and Orthodox priests about what exactly Christianity is? Where is there a more accurate and continuous source to consult but the Church itself? 

True, I would accept that it is a healthy exercise of our Faith to have deep and profound discussions, and in the Patristics and the Canons and the Ecumenical Councils and the theologians and mystics we find plenty of these, to a deeper and more precise sophistry than any New Age pundit or Protestant critic.  So really, elaborate then something more particular.  What for instance, is one of these New Age criticisms of distortion?



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« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2011, 11:50:07 PM »

The idea that Christians are some break away group and the Jews of today practice the same faith they originally did is quite fantastic, and expressed by those who don't actually know what Jews believed (or possibly believe), and is based on the simplification that both groups call themselves Jews.

The Jewish faith of today bears significant differences from the old faith. Meanwhile Christianity (or rather Orthodox Christianity) sees itself as the fullfillment of this faith, a direct continuation.

The split between the two Jewish groups didn't happen overnight, and both of the groups that became dominent (Christians and Pharasitic Judaism) had a completely different power structure, and source of authority than the Jews which came before.
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« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2011, 10:52:34 AM »

He didn't start a new religion. He is the direct continuation and conclusion of the Jewish religion of the Old Testament. The Jews who rejected their own Messiah are the ones who started a new religion, really.

As I like to say, Israel crucified their own God.
...where "Israel" = "humanity".
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« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2011, 10:53:50 AM »

He didn't start a new religion. He is the direct continuation and conclusion of the Jewish religion of the Old Testament. The Jews who rejected their own Messiah are the ones who started a new religion, really.

I heard this from some comedian, whose name escapes me:

"Christians... are really just Reform Jews."  Wink
I've always thought that Christians were more Hasidic. Cool
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« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2011, 12:41:11 PM »

The Orthodox Christians are the Hasidic Jews.  SSPX are the Ultra-Orthodox Jews.  Roman Catholics are a cross between Chabad and Modern Orthodox, with just a touch of Reform thrown in.  Evangelicals are Karaites (oddly enough, Nehemiah Gordon has - at least in the past - appeared on evangelical television programs).  Anglo-Catholics are Conservative Jews.  And lastly, the liberal "Christians" who half the time deny the divinity of Christ (AKA Episcopalians) are the Reform.
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« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2011, 01:40:58 PM »

Christ did not start of religion but brought an end to religion.
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