What was Christ really like?

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Ilovechrist77
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What was Christ really like?

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 19 Dec 2012, 20:36

I am posting this because with the Christmas season more people are thinking about our Savior Jesus Christ. So, my question is what do you think Christ was really like in mortal life? This is what I think. I know he is perfect now, but wasn't perfect in his mortal life. I still believe he was sinless. The scriptures do say all this. I believe that all though Christ was sinless, he probably was guilty at being too harsh at times. A couple examples, Christ cleansing the temple and some of the things he said to the Pharisees. Even on the cross, he showed imperfection when he asked Heavenly Father why' he'd forsaken him. I am not posting this because I don't feel Christ is my Savior. Christ is my Savior. I'm just trying to be realistic about this topic. What are your thoughts on Christ's mortal life?

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Bruce in Montana
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Re: What was Christ really like?

Post by Bruce in Montana » 20 Dec 2012, 07:54

I guess I see "sinless" and "guilty" as polar opposites. IMO you can't be both. I could be incorrect.

I don't think asking HF why he'd forsaken him was imperfect at all. It simply appeared to him briefly that he had.

Little is known of his mortal life and what is written in the gospels was written by people many years after the facts. We probably know even less than we think we do.

Just my thoughts...
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
-William S.

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SamBee
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Re: What was Christ really like?

Post by SamBee » 20 Dec 2012, 08:58

Too socially radical for most Americans - after all, he didn't charge when he healed. And said the love of money was evil.
Too tolerant of adulterers - after all he told ne to stop sinning, but stopped her being executed.
Too anti-Sabbatarian for most Mormons, but too Sabbatarian for the world.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Bruce in Montana
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Re: What was Christ really like?

Post by Bruce in Montana » 20 Dec 2012, 11:04

Good points Sam.
That whole spreading the wealth and feeding the poor mentality, or giving away all your riches, wouldn't fly very well today...at least in the red states :)

My understanding is that a Jewish rabbi of the time would have probably been required to be married. I understand that cutting his hair would have been taboo as well.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
-William S.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: What was Christ really like?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 20 Dec 2012, 14:42

I'm going to say this carefully, with full understanding of the implications:

If we take out the theological assumptions inherent in the typical acceptance of Jesus, of Nazareth, being "The Savior and Redeemer of the World", I would say he was a radical, revolutionary itinerant preacher who was "extra-establishment" (meaning outside the establishment) at the core and anti-establishment when dealing with what he saw as abuses of power. I also believe there is a strong possibility that he intentionally played a role in facilitating his death - or, at least, the trial that ultimately led to his death.

Without the theological assumptions I mentioned above, focusing solely on the title question ("What was Christ really like?"), I see Jesus of Nazareth as very similar to Moses - and Mohammed - and Martin Luther - and Joseph Smith - and Gandhi - and any other revolutionary prophet. I thnk he would be rejected by the vast majority of Christians now, including Mormons (and, probably, me, as the "Savior and Redeemer of the World"), if we was re-born tomorrow and lived the same life he did then.

I have no problem defining "sinless" in such a way that I can believe he was sinless; I define "perfect" in such a way that I believe he was perfect only at the moment he died.

I have no problem accepting him as "The Savior and Redeemer of the World" - but that is because I can interpret those titles symbolically rather than in the strictly literal way that most believers use.

However, in the end, I agree that we really have no idea. We just don't have anything that we can accept as objective fact upon which to base our views. Every bit of it is a matter of faith - one way or the other.

I have a HUGE problem with the image of him portrayed in quotes like, "Little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes," and, "He never got vexed when the game went wrong, and he always told the truth."
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Roy
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Re: What was Christ really like?

Post by Roy » 20 Dec 2012, 16:58

Ray Degraw wrote:I thnk he would be rejected by the vast majority of Christians now, including Mormons (and, probably, me, as the "Savior and Redeemer of the World"), if we was re-born tomorrow and lived the same life he did then.
Interesting Ray. I remember a question as to how we would receive Jesus if we had lived in his time. The answer to the question was that if we are LDS and accept the living prophets, then by the same spirit we would accept Jesus in his day. This assumes that the spirit that directs us in these choices is the holy ghost and has the capacity to direct us to do very different things in different circumstances.
Ray Degraw wrote:I would say he was a radical, revolutionary itinerant preacher who was "extra-establishment" (meaning outside the establishment) at the core and anti-establishment when dealing with what he saw as abuses of power.
Accepting "living prophets" for someone born into the LDS faith means upholding the faith, traditions, and establishment of our fathers - while accepting Jesus in his day would seem in many contexts to be a rejection of those same things.

Even if some are directed by the holy spirit, there are surely others that are simply born with a pro-establishment personality and are lucky enough to find themselves in the true church. Surely God would not love them for their good fortune while simultaniously hating their counterparts in the Sanheedren (SP) Booster Club.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Curt Sunshine
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Re: What was Christ really like?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 20 Dec 2012, 17:38

I probably should add that if I lived when he lived, there is an incredibly small chance I would have heard him preach - so there is a huge chance I neither would have rejected nor accepted him.

Also, my reaction probably would have depended largely on my socio-economic status, since his message probably would have appealed to or angered me accordingly.

To make that applicable to our own church situation today, there is a real tension between messages that connect naturally to those in differing economic and social situations. Preaching a message that connects with multiple situations isn't easy - and people generally think it's much easier than it actually is. It's easy to say that "pure truth" should be preached, but even the exact same words are interpreted differently all the time by people who simply hear or read them from different perspectives. We at this site are a great example of that.

What am I like? What do my words mean? People who know me, even in the same time period and in the same forum, will and do answer differently.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

rebeccad
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Re: What was Christ really like?

Post by rebeccad » 20 Dec 2012, 18:14

To me Jesus was significant because he helped people. He healed people, he taught people, he gave hope that people that were humble and poor could be great. That is what is important to me.
"The very same people who are good sometimes are the very same people who are bad sometimes, it's funny but it's true" -Fred Rogers

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SamBee
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Re: What was Christ really like?

Post by SamBee » 21 Dec 2012, 06:34

Bruce in Montana wrote:Good points Sam.
That whole spreading the wealth and feeding the poor mentality, or giving away all your riches, wouldn't fly very well today...at least in the red states :)
This is why I think some of these folk bang on about Creationism. It's a nice little diversion from the social gospel.
Bruce in Montana wrote:My understanding is that a Jewish rabbi of the time would have probably been required to be married. I understand that cutting his hair would have been taboo as well.
Rabbis are currently required to be married. But it is questionable how long this tradition goes back.
I understand that cutting his hair would have been taboo as well.
Only if he'd taken certain vows, I think. But he probably was bearded and long haired. Like Shakespeare.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Cadence
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Re: What was Christ really like?

Post by Cadence » 21 Dec 2012, 07:06

First you would have to accept that the gospels and other writings written well after his death to accurately portray what Jesus was. That would be my first hurdle in trying to define what he was. At best we probably have some actual events mixed with exaggeration and outright fabrication. If you want to assume that the D&C is actual revelation given to Joseph from Christ well then you have a totally different character than you find in the gospels. Much more authoritarian, obedience driven, and a big disciplinarian, and not so much the loving Christ. If you accept that the church today is directed by Christ as claimed then he really is about collecting money and spending it on a myriad of land deals and structures of suspect importance. He is a really good investor however and should fare well during economic troubling times as long as not to many poor people to tax his reserves. Also he is boring and speaks in monotone, and a condescending manner.

So who is christ? Depends on what source material you want to accept as accurate. If you want to accept them all you will have some serious trouble reconciling who he actually was or is.

For me he is an idea or concept . A figure who wandered onto the human scene and overturned the conventional beliefs of the day. A radical who saw the hypocrisy in an organized structured religion. Someone who did not judge based on the clothes you wore or your obedience level or your heritage. That is the Jesus I choose to follow. Was he all of that? I do not know but it is what I like to believe.
Faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction--faith in fiction is a damnable false hope. Thomas A. Edison

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

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