The following is my side of a conversation (slightly edited from the original for the sake of working as a blog post) I'm having offsite via messaging. It covers semantical theology. Please feel free to comment, ask questions, etc.
I have numerous projects, but I finish my biggest project for November. I'm coming up for air and find dealing with your questions and comments conducive to my own development as well, not selfish but in the spirit of giving and sharing.
"That's interesting that you say Jesus never committed a sin in his entire life." I don't know whether or not Jesus has ever done anything to the slightest degree that offended God no matter how little. I hold that it would depend upon how one defines the terms. Ultimately, there is the absolute truth. If the disciples pointedly ever asked him, we don't have it written. He was amazed by how little they put to him and showed (sometimes) a real sense of exasperation with what they said and did.
As for Jesus never having sinned, we have the extrapolations of disciples. John inferred it and more, and I understand why. It's a long story – the whole story.
Jesus asked the Pharisees what sin he had committed, but was the context only concerning their justification for disbelieving him and the timeliness of any such infraction? One should doubt that a youthful indiscretion should preclude worthy development. What's the point of forgiveness otherwise? Just kill any child who makes a mistake, and eugenics will solve all problems. Jesus said though to leave the pruning to God.
If we do that, there won't be any pruning. There won't be anything rotten to cut away. It's circular but works! We (some humans) take God into our own hands, but it isn't truly God. We're just being stupid.
We also have to define sin as to whether or not to be sinless means to be perfect. Is any mistake a sin, or is sin reserved for mistakes that cross an emotional line? I believe the latter. I won't cut off communicating with those who may hold right now with the former though.
There are people who form the syllogism: Jesus was/is 100% God. God is perfect. Therefore, Jesus is perfect. Hence, Jesus never made a mistake in the commonly used sense. Well, in the commonly used sense, he made mistakes. However, from the divine perspective, his whole journey was truly noble. I believe that latter view.
Jesus differentiates himself from God the Father. At the same time, he said that when one looks upon him (Jesus), one sees God the Father. That's a paradox but only for those who can't understand how to reconcile the two otherwise contradictory concepts. It isn't maybe true, as with a paradox. It is true.
Many people who hold with the syllogism above, will throw up their arms when confronted with having to reconcile otherwise contradictory concepts that are clearly presented in the Gospels by Jesus.
Atheists (not agnostics) will just blow off the discussion. They won't accept the premise that Jesus is God to any degree for a whole host of reasons not least of which they don't accept the existence of God. They might debate the syllogism in the hypothetical, but that's as far as they would be willing to go without converting – which scares them (some of them) to death (even though from the Christian perspective, they're already dead). To admit to the perfection that is God opens one up to having to live up to it. It spoils all the pleasure of sin, as Paul called it. Personally, the pleasures end up becoming revolting again. I wouldn't be surprised if Paul would have conceded that if pressed concerning the semantics.
All of this falls under semantics. That's why my theology is Semantical Theology. God is The Word. I agree with John. It's why each word in the Real Liberal Christian Church means the same thing. Each word truly means the others. They each also mean love and also peace and also truth. The real peace church is the love church and also the truth church. Does this make sense to you? If it begins to make sense, then the whole scripture will begin to open up to you.
The logos (or Logos; a matter of respect) is God. The logos is the name of God. God's word and words are his name. That concept was not exclusive to the Jews. It was universal once upon a time. It's why Christianity spread so easily to Asia Minor and Greece and Italy, etc., and to the East as well.
God is perfect. I agree with that. Jesus is one with God. I agree with that. Jesus was tempted by evil (to do evil). I believe him when he says that he was. He rejected the temptation. God was not tempted. Jesus thought about God and rejected the temptation. He emulated God.
What is the ultimate difference between emulating and being? Ultimately, if one emulates enough, there is no difference. Hence, Jesus is God by virtue of doing God (noun-verb). Jesus spoke words that changed, and are still changing, the whole of existence. His words will never die.
Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. (Mark 10:18 KJVR)
One may take that as meaning, if you think I'm good, then you think I'm God. Therefore, why don't you believe me and do what I'm telling you that you ought to do. One may also take it that Jesus is saying, I'm not God because I'm not yet perfected. I take both interpretations. They both work. I reconcile them.
Jesus was and is and was becoming. The fundamentalists will stumble over that due to hardened hearts. They want the absolute of "Jesus never made a mistake." I love it that my brother returned to the place from where he and I originate that is Heaven. He came from there to this fallen place, was tempted, rejected the temptation, and returned.
In the days of the Inquisition, I would have been burned at the stake for this. Of course, you would have been burned at the stake too. We would have been burned at the stake by those who fell woefully short: The crucifiers.
There is a place where we each and all can be perfect. We must be perfected to get there. Jesus went all the way through with it. His faith was such. This is such a huge proposition though that Fundamentalists of the Calvinists persuasion in particular insist that Jesus stand apart from the rest of us forever. They do that to conveniently avoid completely changing their behavior in the here and now to Christlikeness. They don't want to give up all their worldly possessions to give and to share them with each other.
The Roman Catholics cling to worldly power. Their Pope at one point was Caesar for all intents and purposes, still is on a certain level. They ruled by the sword not of truth but of the kind that Jesus forswears because that violence is not perfect or perfecting.
All of this is so esoteric even while it is not intended to be. It isn't secret knowledge in the way the mystery religionists have projected. There's a huge difference between Jesus's teaching right in the temple and the secret societies whose members hide their membership.
Oh sure, he taught in parables in public and then interpreted in private. Look at the result though. His parables have taught and taught and taught. They've lasted. If he had said the interpretations openly, it just wouldn't have had the same impact. He caused people to think and to search for truth. His words have been twisted and abused on purpose by unscrupulous people (greedy, violent, depraved), but they haven't won yet and never will. It's just difficult to comprehend. It gives people headaches. Others love it.
The Bible says that God repented. Imagine that. Now that was the Old Testament God. Is the Old Testament God not the God of Jesus of the New Testament? They are the same but the New Testament clarifies. The spirit is one. The spirit is dark. The spirit is light. God is light and not darkness. Satan is darkness and has no light in him. The spirit is a spectrum with and without continuity at the same time. This presents impossibility for lack of greater comprehension. It's not double talk any more than quantum physics.
When you read history and the news, I recommend that you always bear in mind propaganda. That goes for religious text as well. Propaganda runs from overt to covert and from conscious to subconscious even in the minds of the propagandists. There is good propaganda and evil propaganda. Jesus said to just look at the results. So, we look at Iraq before and after each stage in the history of Mesopotamia right up to the present. We look at Afghanistan and hear the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, saying quite recently that after seven years of U.S. occupation, things are worse there than they were under the Taliban. He means on-balance and not to say that everything the Taliban had been doing was good. I agree with him about the on-balance thing. I don't agree with either the Taliban or the U.S. neocons. They are both wrong.
So, when you evaluate the Russians, bear in mind the pressures that were exerted on them from the West and why. The West was far from benign. The Russians though were far from perfect also. Bear in mind the U.S. propaganda has been the most extensive in the history of humanity. It is suffering now though as a direct result of bad aims wrapped in sheep's clothing.
"...wasn't it the Russians who came up with the AK-47?" Yes it was the Russians. It shows technological and manufacturing prowess of the mundane kind. However, what an evil tool that thing is. It is an evil tool designed to defeat those with evil tools. A pox upon both their houses? Well, no, we aren't to curse them. We are to tell the truth that peace and only peace is the right path leading to peace.
As for Putin, Bush and he are ruthless. (So to is Obama.) Putin is better educated than is Bush. He's more serious. He will do the Russians dirty work for the sake of his vision of the nation of Russia. He's very nationalistic. He's very patriotic. He thinks he's doing the right thing. He doesn't think he's in the extreme mold of Stalin at all. Putin did though engage in false-flag operations sacrificing some of his own people for the sake of the whole in his view. It's rationalizing just as 9/11 is rationalized and just as the coup against John Kennedy was rationalized.
Putin did clamp down on the press and on other parties, but he thinks he reined in the worse oligarchs. He did to a degree.
He thinks he's being the lesser of evils. He's being Machiavellian right along with all the other world leaders. It's a shame on humanity that we have all these liars as leaders.
If you read the Medvedev speech though, you will get the sense that Russia wants to ease up. The Western Europeans in the main are listening and no longer taking marching orders from Washington. That's a mixed blessing.
"It's a good thing I plan on being a librarian, then I'll get paid to research." You know, it has been the librarians who did the most on the frontlines to stop the FBI from being completely subverted under Bush. Many librarians said no to the National Security Letters. Of course, librarians can be led astray too.
On the issue of economics, let me say that based upon what you've written to me, you are for a decidedly mixed economy. The terms left and right are muddled and moving targets. I understand why you might think you're a leftist. The political terminology is as the theological terminology. A full-blown leftist doesn't hold with capitalism at all. Of course, most leftists define capitalism in Marxist terms. The Libertarian capitalists take great umbrage at that.
The most important place to start is at the beginning. We must define terms. The problem is that terms are defined via terms ad infinitum. That's why the nature of God is defined by so many different groups. The fact is that no two individuals hold exactly the same definition of God until they are 100% God. God is one, yet God is the whole Heavenly Host in the real, New Heaven. We're back to quantum physics here. Is it a wave or a particle or both always even when showing only one state? It will show either state, but is so far refusing to yield exposing the moment of conversion. If watched, right now it won't convert.
"I guess I do think humans are naturally selfish. They care about themselves and their own 'group' and what benefits them more than they care about anyone else." Okay. Now, this is where semantics comes in. What is truly beneficial? If everyone were to care about everyone, would everyone benefit more than otherwise? The answer is yes. Now comes the question of whether or not people are capable of changing to that – changing their natures – their characters, dispositions, temperaments and hence what they bring forth from their hearts. I know people can change. It's a fact. Our natural state is in fact not distinguishable from the state of grace. This is in spite of the Protestant view. Our natural state is with God in Heaven. No one returns to where he or she has never been.
There was a Roman Catholic nun who said that she asked God about the ultimate fate of souls and that she was informed that ultimately all are finally freed from the bondage of even Hell. That doesn't work for the Fundamentalists. However, what is freedom? What is holding those souls? There is the essence of evil that is dead. That essence can remain behind while the souls are freed or released. That essence then is purged. Having no place to go, it is annihilated – no longer.
Jesus said there is forgiveness in this age and the next for all but those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit. They can blaspheme Jesus and be forgiven, but not God, per Jesus. Where are the lines drawn? How many ages are there to come? The Dispensationalists (the ones who argue over the so-called "Rapture" so much and over the Second Coming) will argue and split nonexistent hairs while leaving the people starving in body and soul in direct rejection of the clear and plain commandment of Jesus to feed his lambs and sheep (the fold; the people; the children of God – who actually includes all of us except so many of us fall away into ignorance of the ultimate relationship). They want certitude in the sense that they want the prophecy reduced such that they are assured salvation regardless of whether or not they are warmongers for instance. It doesn't work that way though. The selfish never get it right. That's a hard and fast rule. That's a divine law.
"I'm not quite sure what you mean by watching anything radical?" Did you watch the video?
[The site is a mishmash of leftist and Libertarian stuff. It incorrectly ignores militant radical Islam. Most leftists don't believe Islamic theocracies would have stood a chance if the U.S. hadn't overthrown leftist democracies such as in Iran three days after I was born. I agree with that.]
It's considered too radical to be shown on even public broadcasting. It wasn't always so. I remember during the Vietnam War for instance when anti-war radicals would be allowed time on-air just as the warmongers were allowed time. I remember the jamming of TV signals though too. It was so transparent.
There would be someone on air saying something really revealing about U.S. reactionary propaganda when suddenly the screen would turn to snow and the audio would be a hissing until the person was finished speaking. We had reception problems just often enough that the jammers could claim plausible deniability, but it became so obvious as to be comical if it weren't so sad.
"I try to be honest about not knowing things." You are very good about that.
"I'm very young :P" What does the emoticon stand for? It is an emoticon isn't it? I never got into them.
"...it takes a back bone of some sort to survive." Absolutely it does. That's why rectitude means what it does.
You're doing fine. That's because you haven't concluded that you know it all. I don't know it all either in the sense that I've just used it concerning you. The "All" is God. I know God, but I'm learning. There's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be perfected. How could there be? Perfection is the absence of anything wrong. It isn't nonexistence. It is the real real. There is a fake real. Let's be really real.
You know, I was thinking first thing this morning about the most profound question in the Bible to me and the answer that is also the most profound answer to me. "What is truth?" "I am." That's God and that's Jesus speaking God's words – being Godlike to the point of being God. I love it!
It drives the Muslim clerics crazy. The common Muslims haven't been allowed to think about it all much. It's opening up though. It has to.