THE DOCTRINE OF JESUS—Leo Tolstoy


#21

Do you propose to take the OT as it is written, as the perfect revelation of God, davo? I’ve been meaning to ask you that.


#22

whooo


#23

So you seem to suggest that the verse I quoted does not apply to us, but only to warn the Jews about the coming destruction in A.D. 70. Then why do you think Jesus’ sacrifice covers us people today? How do you know that wasn’t accomplished only for the sake of the people of the first century?


#24

My question is if you think it is? And if so, how does it deal with us today?


#25

I do, warts and all… BUT THAT is in no way hitched up to the simplistic, mind-numbing headspace of the fundamentalist who can’t see past their nose, as I’ve previously made clear elsewhere on the forum.


#26

That’s right… Jesus references a familiar past account from their story so they’d be fully aware of any future prospects IF they perchance ignore His account of their continuing story; of which Jesus came to further outlay in what scholars refer to ‘the mini-apocalypse’ as per Mt 24 / Mk 13 / Lk 17, 21.

So, it’s never been a case of either / or, but BOTH. Jesus’ offering of himself was DIRECTLY on behalf of all Israel… Jesus was Israel’s Messiah. and yet because he was fully obedient, even unto death, he was THEREBY appointed as the world’s LORD…

Act 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

Jesus came as Israel’s prophetic “Christ” aka “Messiah” AND as such in consequence of his total obedience was MADE the world’s LORD. It was ALWAYS in the machinations of God that humanity be wholly blessed… Israel / Jesus was THE means to the ends.

Where there came any hindrance or potential hindrance to Israel’s survival (because without them the world beyond would remain lost in darkness (ignorance) as to the Creator) God on occasion had to deal harshly — both internally or externally. In Jesus then came the end of that story.

Now it doesn’t make it any less raw IMO, i.e., warts and all, but at least knowing any who perished in the greater cause (redemption / reconciliation) ALL who did were received into His presence thereafter; at least that’s the pantelist position on this.


#27

VERY GOOD! I suggest that for the same reason, in order to personally appropriate the benefits of Christ’s sacrificial death, repentance was necessary for both the Jews as well as for the rest of the world at the time and for all time thereafter.


#28

You got it right when you said:

:in order to personally appropriate the benefits of Christ’s sacrificial death, repentance was necessary for both the Jews as well as for the rest of the world at the time:

There is no view of there after. It was all historical and great.


#29

I’ve read Tolstoy and as I’ve said, it’s a lot to take in.
But on the other hand, this makes, in my current state of mind, more sense:


#30

What do you mean by ‘historical’?
Is Jesus dead? Is the Father dead?


#31

Hi Dave, you wrote:

I’ve read Tolstoy and as I’ve said, it’s a lot to take in.
But on the other hand, this makes, in my current state of mind, more sense:

[Maverick Philosopher]maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_philosopher/2015/12/machiavelli-arendt-and-virtues-public-and-private.

But if Jesus’ instructions were followed by everyone then all would be in the same loving boat!
Jesus said, not to do good to our friends only, but to enemies who hate you and persecute you:

Mt 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Lu 6:27 "But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
Lu 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.

Notice that he even justifies this by saying that God Himself is kind even to evil people!

By the way, Tolstoi, also deals with the standard objections such as, “If someone is about to kill your child, will you stand there and let him” or “If another country attacks yours,will you just let them take over?”

I hope to be able to post his answers in this thread when I have time.


#32

I would first say that are you saying that I said God is dead… Ohhh that could be a movie : God is not dead… The creator of everything.


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Jesus fulfilled the purpose He was sent for. He did what needed to be done, thanks.


#33

Dave here is the first part of Tolstoi’s thinking concerning doing good to enemies rather than making war:

But “How are we to act now, immediately among ourselves, in Russia, at this moment, when our foes have already attacked us, are killing our people, and threatening us; what should be the action,” I shall be asked, “of a Russian soldier, officer, general, Tsar, private individual? Are we, forsooth, to allow our enemies to ruin our possessions, to seize the productions of our labors, to carry away prisoners, or kill our men? What are we to do now that this thing has begun?” But before the work of war was commenced, by whomsoever it was commenced–every awakened man must answer–before all else the work of my life was commenced. And the work of my life has nothing in common with recognition of the rights of the Chinese, Japanese, or Russians to Port Arthur. The work of my life consists in fulfilling the will of Him who sent me into this life. This will is known to me. This will is that I should love my neighbor and serve him. Then why should I, following temporary, casual, irrational, and cruel demands, deviate from the known eternal and changeless law of all my life? If there be a God, He will not ask me when I die (which may happen at any moment) whether I retained Chi-nam-po with its timber stores, or Port Arthur, or even that conglomeration which is called the Russian Empire, which He did not confide to my care; but He will ask me what I have done with that life which He put at my disposal;–did I use it for the purpose for which it was predestined [I think he meant “pre-appointed”], and under the conditions for fulfilling which it was intrusted to me? Have I fulfilled His law? So that to this question as to what is to be done now, when war is commenced, for me, a man who understands his destiny, whatever position I may occupy, there can be no other answer than this, whatever be my circumstances, whether the war be commenced or not, whether thousands of Russians or Japanese be killed, whether not only Port Arthur be taken, but St. Petersburg and Moscow–I cannot act otherwise than as God demands of me, and that therefore I as a man can neither directly nor indirectly, neither by directing, nor by helping, nor by inciting to it, participate in war; I cannot, I do not wish to, and I will not. What will happen immediately or soon, from my ceasing to do that which is contrary to the will of God, I do not and cannot know; but I believe that from the fulfilment of the will of God there can follow nothing but that which is good for me and for all men. You speak with horror about what might happen if we Russians at this moment ceased to fight, and surrendered to the Japanese what they desire from us. But if it be true that the salvation of mankind from brutalization and self-destruction lies only in the establishment amongst men of that true religion which demands that we should love our neighbor and serve him (with which it is impossible to disagree), then every war, every hour of war, and my participation in it, only renders more difficult and distant the realization of this only possible salvation. So that, even if one places oneself on the unstable point of view of defining actions according to their presumed consequences–even then the surrender to the Japanese by the Russians of all which the former desire of us, besides the unquestionable advantage of the cessation of ruin and slaughter, would be an approach to the only means of the salvation of mankind from destruction; whereas the continuance of the war, however it may end, will be a postponement of that only means of salvation. “Yet even if this be so,” it is replied, “wars can cease only when all men, or the majority, will refuse to participate in them. But the refusal of one man, whether he be Tsar or soldier, would only, unnecessarily, and without the slightest profit to any one, ruin his life. If the Russian Tsar were now to throw up the war, he would be dethroned, perhaps killed, in order to get rid of him; if an ordinary man were to refuse military service, he would be sent to a penal battalion and perhaps shot. Why, then, without the slightest use should one throw away one’s life, which may be profitable to society?” is the common question of those who do not think of the destination of their life and therefore do not understand it. But this is not what is said and felt by any man who understands the destination of his life–i.e. by any religious man. Such a man is guided in his activity not by the presumed consequences of his action, but by the consciousness of the destination of his life. A factory workman goes to his factory and in it accomplishes the work which is allotted him without considering what will be the consequences of his labor. In the same way a soldier acts, carrying out the will of his commanders. So acts a religious man in fulfilling the work prescribed to him by God, without arguing as to what precisely will come of that work. Therefore for a religious man there is no question as to whether many or few men act as he does, or of what may happen to him if he does that which he should do. He knows that besides life and death nothing can happen, and that life and death are in the hands of God whom he obeys. A religious man acts thus and not otherwise, not because he desires to act thus, nor because it is advantageous to himself or to other men, but because, believing that his life is in the hands of God, he cannot act otherwise. In this lies the distinction of the activity of religious men; and therefore it is that the salvation of men from the calamities which they inflict upon themselves can be realized only in that degree in which they are guided in their lives, not by advantage nor arguments, but by religious consciousness. (Leo Tolstoi, Bethink Yourselves, chapter IX)


#34

“A religious man acts thus and not otherwise, not because he desires to act thus, nor because it is advantageous to himself or to other men, but because, believing that his life is in the hands of God, he cannot act otherwise. In this lies the distinction of the activity of religious men; and therefore it is that the salvation of men from the calamities which they inflict upon themselves can be realized only in that degree in which they are guided in their lives, not by advantage nor arguments, but by religious consciousness.”

No offence, but WTFart?

What does that have to do with Jesus?

Don, I appreciate, your view, but hey, :open_mouth::open_mouth:


#35

If you cannot see the connection, I don’t know how I can help you.


#36

First of all, not asking for your help, but a little wonder on the verbiage from Tolstoi, as to your belief in how this coincides with what you think God is doing and what Jesus is about.


#37

Dave, here is Chapter 10 from that same writing “Bethink Yourselves” in which Tolstoi continues to demonstrate the advantages of following Christ’s instructions to love one’s enemies and do good for them, rather than to kill them:

“But how about the enemies that attack us?" “Love your enemies, and ye will have none,” is said in the teaching of the Twelve Apostles. This answer is not merely words, as those may imagine who are accustomed to think that the recommendation of love to one’s enemies is something hyperbolical, and signifies not that which expressed, but something else. This answer is the indication of a very clear and definite activity, and of its consequences. To love one’s enemies–the Japanese, the Chinese, those yellow people toward whom benighted men are now endeavoring to excite our hatred—to love them means not to kill them for the purpose of having the right of poisoning them with opium, as did the English; not to kill them in order to seize their land, as was done by the French, the Russians, and the Germans; not to bury them alive in punishment for injuring roads, not to tie them together by their hair, not to drown them in their river Amur, as did the Russians. “A disciple is not above his master… It is enough for a disciple that he be as his master.” To love the yellow people, whom we call our foes, means, not to teach them under the name of Christianity absurd superstitions about the fall of man, redemption, resurrection, etc., not to teach them the art of deceiving and killing others, but to teach them justice, unselfishness, compassion, love–and that not by words, but by the example of our own good life. And what have we been doing to them, and are still doing? If we did indeed love our enemies, if even now we began to love our enemies, the Japanese, we would have no enemy. Therefore, however strange it may appear to those occupied with military plans, preparations, diplomatic considerations, administrative, financial, economical measures, revolutionary, socialistic propaganda, and various unnecessary sciences, by which they think to save mankind from its calamities, the deliverance of man, not only from the calamities of war, but also from all the calamities which men inflict upon themselves, will take place not through emperors or kings instituting peace alliances, not through those who would dethrone emperors, kings, or restrain them by constitutions, or substitute republics for monarchies, not by peace conferences, not by the realization of socialistic programmes, not by victories or defeats on land or sea, not by libraries or universities, nor by those futile mental exercises which are now called science; but only by there being more and more of those simple men who, like the Dukhobors, Drojjin, Olkhovik, in Russia, the Nazarenes in Austria, Condatier in France, Tervey in Holland, and others, having placed as their object not external alterations of life, but the closest fulfilment in themselves of the will of Him who has sent them into life, will direct all their powers to this realization. Only such people realizing the Kingdom of God in themselves, in their souls, will establish, without directly aiming at this purpose, that external Kingdom of God which every human soul is longing for. Salvation will come to pass only in this one way and not in any other. Therefore what is now being done by those who, ruling men, inspire them with religious and patriotic superstitions, exciting in them exclusiveness, hatred, and murder, as well as by those who, for the purpose of freeing men from slavery and oppression, invoke them to violent external revolution, or think that the acquisition by men of very much incidental and for the most part unnecessary information will of itself bring them to a good life–all this, by distracting men from what alone they need, only removes them further from the possibility of salvation. The evil from which the men of the Christian world suffer is that they have temporarily lost religion. Some people, having come to see the discord between the existing religion and the degree of mental and scientific development attained by humanity at the present time, have decided that in general no religion whatever is necessary. They live without religion and preach the uselessness of any religion of whatever kind. Others, holding to that distorted form of the Christian religion which is now preached, likewise live without religion, professing empty external forms, which cannot serve as guidance for men. Yet a religion which answers to the demands of our time does exist and is known to all men, and in a latent state lives in the hearts of men of the Christian world. Therefore that this religion should become evident to and binding upon all men, it is only necessary that educated men—the leaders of the masses—should understand that religion is necessary to man, that without religion men cannot live a good life, and that what they call science cannot replace religion; and that those in power and who support the old empty forms of religion should understand that what they support and preach under the form of religion is not only not religion, but is the chief obstacle to men’s appropriating the true religion which they already know, and which can alone deliver them from their calamities. So that the only certain means of man’s salvation consists merely in ceasing to do that which hinders men from assimilating the true religion which already lives in their consciousness.


#38

Here is the quote from the Didache, to which Tolstoi refers. It’s right at the beginning of the Didache:

There are two ways, one of life and one of death, but a great difference between the two ways. The way of life, then, is this: First, you shall love God who made you; second, love your neighbor as yourself, and do not do to another what you would not want done to you. And of these sayings the teaching is this: Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you. For what reward is there for loving those who love you? Do not the Gentiles do the same? But love those who hate you, and you shall not have an enemy.


#39

The Sixteen Commandments of Jesus

  1. Do not get angry. (Matt 5:22)

  2. Do not commit adultery. (Matt 5:28)

  3. Do not separate from your spouse. (Matt 5:32)

  4. Do not take an oath (Matt 5: 34)

  5. Do not resist an evil person (Matt 5:39)

  6. Give to the one who asks you for something. (Matt 5:42)

  7. Love your enemies, pray for them, and do good to them. (Matt 5:44)

  8. Do not give alms, pray, or fast in order to receive praise from people.(Matt 6:1,5,16)

  9. Pardon people for their blunders. (Matt 6: 14)

  10. Do not hoard goods or be a slave to money. (Matt 6: 19,24)

  11. Do not be anxious about your physical needs. (Matt 6:31,34)

  12. Do not condemn people. (Matt 7:1)

  13. Do not give holy things to those who cannot appreciate them. (Matt 7:6)

  14. Ask for what you need, and you will be given it. (Matt 7:7)

  15. Whatever you want people to do for you, do for them (Matt 7:12)

  16. Beware of false prophets. (Matt7:15)