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Thread: Hitler in Heaven? Possibly says Christians.

  1. #16
    Veteran Member lumumba_s's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hitler in Heaven? Possibly says Christians.

    Firstly, I apologize for my tone and I realized how offensive it was after posting, hence my edit, which I hoped would take before you read it.

    Initially, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt and agreeing that after your defense of your actual position, Shafique, in the enthusiasm and dynamics that unfortunately color debates, had more than likely misrepresented your position. Additionally, you clearly are confusing me with some other guy that you had hostility with in the past, so any tone that came across from my post was only after your dismissal and completely irrelevant reply. I had discussion with neither you nor Backspace and was instead reinforcing and elaborating on Shaad's contention with Shafique's original characterization of the Islamic stance. I do not believe I have posted here in over a month and do not believe I have ever addressed Backspace for more than a post or two in the distant past.

    To the point, you clearly misunderstood what I had said and the fact that you are unsure of how to answer my question regarding the prostitute is symptomatic of the misunderstanding which exists between us. I did not present any text, intentionally, but only elucidated the nuance that Shaad rightfully brought into this discussion, asking you a sincere question, hoping for a sincere answer.

    In the framework of exclusively Divine vis-a-vis Divine and human rights, the story of the prostitute in the New Testament actually parallels our Prophet's (Allah bless him and give him peace) similar treatment of a woman who had actually confessed a similar sin to him. While you are quick to show examples in Afghanistan where men and women were shot in the head for adultery (and where is "death by rifle" in the Qur'an?), you fail to realize (or possibly simply ignore) that the burden of proof demanded by the Qur'an is set at a nearly impossible threshold and as is clarified in our works of legal procedure, based upon Prophetic guidance, the burden upon Muslim judges in cases of adultery is not conviction, but getting the individual to recant from their confession - as confession is indeed the only way a person can practically be convicted of adultery in the shariah - and enjoining them to repent and live fruitful lives. I.e. What Jesus did in the New Testament. In our tradition, there is a the famous story of the prostitute who was forgiven by God and entered into Paradise because she gave water to a thirsty dog - her mercy engendering His. But this facet of Islamic law and religious literature does not get represented by the media, whose sole intention is to demonstrate why Islam should not be considered an alternative source of political, religious or economic system than Western modes by means of examples who are thoroughly unrepresentative of actual Islamic law and scholarship.

    My point was that in Islamic law/theology (whatever you want to call it), due consideration is given to the circumstances of the sin and any repentance necessarily entails those considerations being addressed when relevant. The sin of the prostitute in the New Testament, if she was even guilty in the first place, was a victim-less crime and according to Divine vs. human right, all that her sin required was remorse and repentance to God. I asked you for the relevance, since your post seem to indicate that you had completely missed my point. I am not into Christian/Muslim chest thumping, particularly when it comes to our respective actual religious traditions, since my respect for our leigelord Jesus is the same as my respect for our leigelord Muhammad. My inquiry was motivated that the fact that I do not think that you realize how close your explanation is in post #6 to the Islamic viewpoint.

    As to your question, if Hitler was the thief on the cross, what would I say to his salvation? As a convert, I imagine my perspective is perhaps different than others, but in our theoretical case, if Hitler genuinely was indeed in a state of ignorance of the Divine message and accepted faith and truly repented from his past deeds, it would be a case of God's mercy simultaneously encompassing both the murdered and the murderer - the murdered for their marytrdom and the murderer for his acceptance of faith at a critical time. As Shaad was hinted at (and given our past exchanges, no one can consider me Shaad's cheerleader), I would affirm, as Shafique did that it is up to God to decide whether or not his repentance was sincere, but unlike him, I would not go so far as to say that his late repentance is insufficient and forgiveness is against justice. Though there is an emphasis on justice in Islam, that relates more to the earthly realm. As our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) clarified, the most miserable person in the earth, when bearing witness to the rapture and ridwan (immense pleasure) of Paradise, will swear that they do not face a single adversity on earth. That being so, in the face of the immanence of God's presence in Paradise, I do not believe that any of Hitler's victims who reside there will care much about the fleeting pain they experienced at his hands in this fleeting life. Although God has promised certain things, I do not believe that God is lorded over by anything and the measure of justice that He employs is much vaster than our selfish, situational human understanding.

    Allah knows best and His aid is sought...
    Last edited by lumumba_s; 26th July 2012 at 07:12.
    "Allah is the point. If it is other-than-Allah, then it is besides the point." - Nuh Ha Mim Keller

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    Default Re: Hitler in Heaven? Possibly says Christians.

    That was a very eloquent post and one I agree with.

    I chose Hitler and Gandhi as exemplars in my discussion to actually highlight the difference between an 'absolute guarantee of salvation' in Christian theology if one accepts Jesus as saviour, and the Islamic concept that it is God that decides.

    One could argue that Hitler could be forgiven by God had he repented moments before dying- but to say he would definitely be saved for accepting Jesus is a different thing. The difference is not subtle either, to my thinking.

    Ultimately though, we do have faith that God is just and does act with justice. We may not always understand the subtleties of the decisions of judges - but in the case of God we do know He is the Judge on the day of judgement and will decide. Logic also dictates that as people will be going to Hell for their actions and their beliefs, it would take something pretty extraordinary on the part of Hitler to avoid punishment for his sins and actions, IMO.

    God knows best.

    Cheers,
    Shafique

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    Veteran Member lumumba_s's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hitler in Heaven? Possibly says Christians.

    God indeed knows best and you should not be so quick to answer on His behalf. As Shaykh Adib Khallas of Damascus (Allah have mercy upon him) used to frequently say about such academic discussions in the works of theology, "Allah is not going to ask anyone's opinion on the Day of Judgment". There is not "but" in "Allahu `alim". We all deserve to go to Hell and what is more extraordinary than God's mercy? But since this is a purely theoretical discussion, I care not to get into a pointless argument over it. The existence of related "parables" in our hadith literature, from the man who murdered 100 priests, to the two whom "Allah laughs at" as are mentioned in Riyadh al-Salihin, should make this theoretical discussion a non-issue on our part.

    Wa-Llahu `alim wa musta`am
    "Allah is the point. If it is other-than-Allah, then it is besides the point." - Nuh Ha Mim Keller

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    Default Re: Hitler in Heaven? Possibly says Christians.

    It was a hypothetical lumumba - Hitler, in all probability, committed suicide after all.

    Now the other side of the argument was Gandhi. Let's say he did believe in one God in reality. Jude's view is quite clear on this one - as Gandhi did know about Christianity and did actively choose to reject it - he is definitely in Hell. I'd say Allah would judge him and there's no certainty he's in hell (he was far from a saint in all matters - but largely did good in the world, I'd say).

    ws,
    Shafique

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    Default Re: Hitler in Heaven? Possibly says Christians.

    Indeed, it is hypothetical, which is why I don't want to waste too much time or energy.
    "Allah is the point. If it is other-than-Allah, then it is besides the point." - Nuh Ha Mim Keller

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    Default Re: Hitler in Heaven? Possibly says Christians.

    Thank you for your thoughtful post, Lumumda.

    It is true I have purposed to present the bible text as the only true text. You'll have to just accept that....after all, you and I both are in the same position.

    I contend that the stories of grace as expressed in the bible are very different to any other faith. In Islam, you rightly say there is a different focus on justice.

    But justice, for the Christian, is represented by the law...the Mosaic covenant. Jesus cam to 'fulfill' the law...and said that we are all doomed/judged under the law. But, by him 'fulfilling' the law, he has 'broken through' the penalty of the old law...and ushered in a new covenant...grace.

    So, the woman was right to be judged and condemned under the law, period. As a rabi, Jesus could also have called for her stoning. But what did he do? He LOVED her. His love came before his justice. His MERCY came before the law.

    This is the single biggest difference between what Jesus taught and what other faiths teach.

    Greetings.

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    Default Re: Hitler in Heaven? Possibly says Christians.

    Indeed, it is hypothetical, which is why I don't want to waste too much time or energy.
    Then let's remove the hypothetical...and put the thief back on the cross. What did the thief do to obtain his salvation?

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    Default Re: Hitler in Heaven? Possibly says Christians.

    Quote Originally Posted by jude3 View Post
    Thank you for your thoughtful post, Lumumda.

    It is true I have purposed to present the bible text as the only true text. You'll have to just accept that....after all, you and I both are in the same position.

    I contend that the stories of grace as expressed in the bible are very different to any other faith. In Islam, you rightly say there is a different focus on justice.

    But justice, for the Christian, is represented by the law...the Mosaic covenant. Jesus cam to 'fulfill' the law...and said that we are all doomed/judged under the law. But, by him 'fulfilling' the law, he has 'broken through' the penalty of the old law...and ushered in a new covenant...grace.

    So, the woman was right to be judged and condemned under the law, period. As a rabi, Jesus could also have called for her stoning. But what did he do? He LOVED her. His love came before his justice. His MERCY came before the law.

    This is the single biggest difference between what Jesus taught and what other faiths teach.

    Greetings.
    Seems like it went over your head what lumumba said.

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    Veteran Member lumumba_s's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hitler in Heaven? Possibly says Christians.

    Fascinating how you completely ignored the parallel traditions in your "comparison"...

    As you still refuse to acknowledge that the "Law of Moses" is actually the law that God, whom you believe is Jesus, gave to Moses to give to Israel, as such you are still left with the self-contradictory stance of God "mercifully" freeing mankind from laws that He Himself imposed upon them, which He refused to do for several centuries until He tried to live the law Himself and only then realized how oppressive it was. That being said, if Jesus' fulfillment of the law meant breaking it, why does all the evidence point to his disciplines continued adherence to the Law and demand that others follow it (e.g., food and circumcision)? Furthermore, you and I, being non-Jews, were not obliged to follow the Law in the first place, by your own admission, but yet you still declare that Jesus' sacrifice is the only thing that saved us from it, though we were never obliged to abide by it in the first place. Being that God is the source of the very laws you condemn, an undeniable fact that you simply ignore (laws which non-Jews who were never obligated to follow and were subsequently freed by Jesus from having to follow them), the "mercy" of Jesus "fulfilling" the law by "breaking" it, necessarily came after the generations upon generations of oppression characterized by that very same God's demand that His law be fulfilled. What is so merciful about an All-knowing God changing His mind only after millions of people were dead and gone? (The words "fickle" and "capricious" come to mind.)

    If I physically abuse my child, breaking her leg in the process, and then after she has healed, I take her for ice cream, I doubt she will appreciate my "mercy" and the joy of the ice cream won't take away the sting of the crutches. When that is the philosophical underpinning of your theology is complete and utter irrationality and logical contradiction, can we really blame you for your seeming inability to hold a sane, rational conversation in any substantial subject or even understand (or care to understand) what is really being said?

    Indeed, Islam does focus on justice, which is why God gave mankind guidance in the organization and administration of religious, civic and secular life - in which justice is a necessary element. Islam focuses on justice because unlike early Christians, we did not expect the world to end in a few weeks and understood that life must go on until it does not. But in early Christanity, the emphasis on Jesus' imminent return and the withdrawl from society which necessarily ensued left condemned, sinful, "fallen" men to their own devices, being given absolutely no guidance of running the affairs of communities and societies outside of temple administration when Jesus did not return in a timely manner and they realized life had to continue; inevitably leading to papacy (which I assume you deem to be heretical) and then secularism, as laws must necessarily exist to maintain order and ensure people can live in peace and security. So while you chest thump your religious anarchism, Christian members of Congress are debating whether or not two men can get married, Christian employees in the Pentagon are developing weapons that can kill more effectively and Christian bankers are devising interest-bearing schemes to get around government regulations to make people who have more than enough money even richer. This is where being delivered from "from sin and death" has left us: an entirely civilization is which sin and death is forcibly exported around the globe.

    What did the thief do to obtain his salvation? He believed and repented (ignoring the version where this is not the case). I do not accept that God demands blood and a faux sacrifice in order to free men of His own oppression of shackling them to laws that He knew they could never adequately fulfill. As SweetP asked you in the past, what kind of god condemns men for continually losing a game rigged against them?

    As I answered your question and you have answered mine, I guess we are done here. Have a nice day.
    Last edited by lumumba_s; 26th July 2012 at 12:25.
    "Allah is the point. If it is other-than-Allah, then it is besides the point." - Nuh Ha Mim Keller

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    Default Re: Hitler in Heaven? Possibly says Christians.

    would jesus' "sacrfice" on the cross really REPLACE torah laws?




    Tom Stark wrote

    Yahweh’s Moral Compromises

    Chapter 6:

    God’s Timeless Wisdom?

    Incremental Steps for Hardened Hearts



    In this chapter, Copan concedes that the laws God gave to Moses
    weren’t “ideal,” but argues that it’s the best God could do with a
    stiff-necked people who were conditioned by a barbaric ancient
    Near Eastern culture. He likens it to an attempt to transport de-
    mocracy to Saudi Arabia (58). It just wouldn’t have worked, Co-
    pan argues, if God tried to change everything overnight. God had
    to make moral compromises. God adjusted his high ideals to con-
    form to the lower standards of a people who were shaped by ex-
    tremely flawed societal structures (59).

    Copan argues that slavery (which he euphemizes as “servi-
    tude”) as well as punishments, etc., were subject to a raft of regu-
    lations and provisos that indicate that God was an accommoda-
    tionist. Such laws were in place only until the covenant could be
    replaced with a new and permanent covenant (here he cites Jer-
    emiah 31 and Ezekiel 36). He claims that the Old Testament itself
    admits that the Law of Moses was substandard and incomplete.
    He is quick to point out, of course, that the law was not bad, per se,
    according to Romans 7:12; rather, it was an imperfect stop-gap
    measure that needed to be fulfilled and replaced (59). In short,
    Copan argues that in the Law of Moses, God was giving “incre-
    mental steps” toward the ideal law. This is the heart of Copan’s
    argument in this chapter. I’ll stop here to offer a few critiques be-
    fore going on to examine the particulars of his argument.

    First, Copan claims that the Law of Moses was not meant to be
    enduring. Later he flat out declares that Israel’s laws were cer-
    tainly not perfect (122). The problem with Copan’s argument here
    is that it goes against the Bible’s own teaching about the law. For
    instance, Psalm 19:7 proclaims, “The Law of Yahweh is perfect.”
    Copan says the laws of the covenant were not meant to endure
    (59). But Isaiah says otherwise (24:5):



    The earth is defiled by its people;

    they have disobeyed the laws,


    violated the statutes

    and broken the everlasting covenant.



    As does the Law of Moses itself: “The Israelites are to observe the
    Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as an enduring
    covenant” (Exod 31:16);
    “The secret things belong to Yahweh our
    God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forev-
    er, that we may follow all the words of this law (Deut 29:29).
    In
    this latter passage, the “things revealed” are “all the words of this
    law,” which belong to Israel “forever.” See also Zech 14:16-19.

    Copan says that certain texts tell us that the law wasn’t meant
    to be permanent, and this, he thinks, explains why it is sub-
    standard. Let’s look at the texts he cites. First, Ezekiel 36. The con-
    text of this passage is the Babylonian exile. The people of Judah
    have been taken into captivity into Babylon, and the prophet Eze-
    kiel is speaking to their eventual restoration to their own land.
    “Restoration” is the key word here. Does this text really speak of a
    new set of laws to be given to Israel? Let’s look:



    I will take you from the nations, and gather you
    from all the countries, and bring you into your own
    land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you
    shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and
    from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I
    will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you;
    and I will remove from your body the heart of
    stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my
    spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes
    and be careful to observe my ordinances. Then you
    shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors;
    and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
    (Ezek 36:24-28)



    Copan claims this text speaks of a new and a lasting covenant
    that will replace the Law of Moses. Does it? Patently it does not. It
    merely speaks of giving the people of Israel new hearts, replacing
    their sinful hearts. And why? Precisely so that they will be able to
    obey the laws God has already given to them. There is no new law


    here; no new covenant. Let’s look at Jeremiah 31 (same context of
    Babylonian exile, although this was written just before Israel was
    taken into exile):



    The days are surely coming, says Yahweh, when I
    will make a new covenant with the house of Israel
    and the house of Judah. It will not be like the cove-
    nant that I made with their ancestors when I took
    them by the hand to bring them out of the land of
    Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was
    their husband, says Yahweh. But this is the cove-
    nant that I will make with the house of Israel after
    those days, says Yahweh: I will put my law within
    them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will
    be their God, and they shall be my people. No long-
    er shall they teach one another, or say to each oth-
    er, ‘Know Yahweh,’ for they shall all know me, from
    the least of them to the greatest, says Yahweh; for I
    will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin
    no more. (Jer 31:31-34)



    Now we’re getting somewhere. Clearly this text makes Co-
    pan’s case for him, yes? Not exactly. The text does speak of a new
    covenant, and it is clearly distinguished from the covenant given
    to Israel at Sinai—the laws of Moses. But if the Law is perfect
    (remember Psalm 19:7), why is a new covenant necessary? What
    was the problem with the original covenant? Copan is arguing
    that it was provisional, and imperfect—that it was a concession to
    sub-par moral standards and the hardness of Israel’s hearts, a
    pedagogical transition to a more perfect law. Is this what Jeremi-
    ah is saying?


    Absolutely not!
    According to Jeremiah, the problem with the
    original covenant had nothing to do with the laws themselves; the
    problem was with the people’s inability to obey the laws. The
    original covenant was “a covenant that they broke” (Jer 31:32).
    That was the problem. So what is the new covenant? Is it a new
    set of laws? No. It is still God’s law. Same law. The difference be-
    tween the original covenant and the new covenant is not the par-


    ticulars of the law; the difference is that in the new covenant, the
    law will be internalized.

    This is a vision of utopia. Jeremiah is describing what modern-
    day Christians would think of as a “heaven-like” state. Copan
    wants to believe Jeremiah is referring to the indwelling of the
    Spirit in the Christian life. But think about it for a second. What
    does Jeremiah say? “No longer shall they teach one another, or
    say to each other, ‘Know Yahweh.’
    ” Does this describe your Chris-
    tian existence? If so, why did early Christians establish the office
    of teachers in the church? If we all know Yahweh perfectly, and
    have no need to be taught how to live, and who Yahweh is, then
    what are all those epistles for? The kind of existence Jeremiah is
    describing is a utopian one. He believed that when Israel was re-
    stored from exile in Babylon, that would be the final restoration,
    ushering in an era of everlasting peace. I’ll quote John Collins at
    length here:



    The most striking aspect of the new covenant is
    that it will be written on the people’s hearts. It will,
    in effect, be an unbreakable covenant. We find here
    a significant shift in expectations about the future.
    It was of the essence of the Sinai covenant that it
    demanded free choice, and therefore entailed the
    possibility of a negative response. But this cove-
    nant is judged to have failed [i.e., not because of a
    deficiency within it, but because of the deficiency
    within the people of God]. The new internalized
    covenant will be foolproof, but at a price. A situa-
    tion where people are programmed, so to speak, to
    behave in a certain way would no longer corre-
    spond to human history as we know it. There is al-
    ways some tension between utopian thinking, the
    dream of a perfect society, and free will, which in-
    evitably leads to imperfection.5

    5 John J. Collins, Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, 345.



    But, Copan will no doubt object that clearly this means many
    of the laws of Moses will be rendered irrelevant. For instance, the


    law in Deut 25:11-12 about cutting off the hand of a woman who
    grabs a man’s testicles in a brawl (which we’ll discuss with Copan
    later) will be rendered obsolete. Precisely. But why? Is it because
    the law is considered “imperfect”? No. It’s because under the new
    covenant envisioned by Jeremiah, a woman with the law written
    on her heart is not going to grab a man’s testicles in a brawl. In
    fact, under the new covenant envisioned by Jeremiah, there won’t
    be a brawl in the first place. Jeremiah is not envisioning a more
    perfect law for a world in which sin still exists. He’s envisioning a
    world without sin
    . Therefore, “concessionary laws” will obviously
    be rendered obsolete. But nowhere in Jeremiah 31, or anywhere
    else, are we ever told that these laws are imperfect. It’s the people
    that are imperfect. We must resist the urge to read Hebrew Bible
    texts anachronistically through the (different) lenses of the New
    Testament.

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    Default Re: Hitler in Heaven? Possibly says Christians.

    But justice, for the Christian, is represented by the law...the Mosaic covenant. Jesus cam to 'fulfill' the law...and said that we are all doomed/judged under the law. But, by him 'fulfilling' the law, he has 'broken through' the penalty of the old law...and ushered in a new covenant...grace.




    Tom Stark

    True, Paul believed that when Christ came, the “new cove-
    nant” that Jeremiah spoke of had finally arrived. The law was now
    obsolete, in that sense. But let’s be careful not to conflate Paul
    with Jeremiah. As an inerrantist, Copan must read the text this
    way of course. We must read Jeremiah in light of Paul. But the re-
    ality is, Jeremiah envisioned a new covenant arriving upon Isra-
    el’s return from exile in Babylon. Paul, on the other hand, reap-
    propriates this concept and applies it to his experience of Christ.
    (Many fairly conservative Christian scholars readily acknowledge
    that the New Testament’s use of the Hebrew Bible did not adhere
    to historical-grammatical exegetical rules; rather, like all second
    temple Jews, early Christians read their scriptures and reconfig-
    ured their meaning in order to use the scriptures as a narrative to
    describe their own present-day experiences.) But does that settle
    it? Paul was right? No, not exactly. As I’ve argued extensively in
    chapter eight of The Human Faces of God, and as is the broad con-
    sensus of scholarship, both Jesus and Paul expected the final
    judgment and new creation to come within a short time after Je-
    sus. Paul expected it to come within his own lifetime. Both Jesus
    and Paul were wrong on that score, but this relates to Paul’s ideas
    about the obsolescence of the law. Paul believed that the utopian
    vision of Jeremiah was about to become a reality, and that is why


    the era of the law had now given way to the era of the Spirit. The
    battle between flesh and spirit was about to be over, and the
    Christian community was that community which was empowered
    to live in that short interim period “between the times.”

    But bear in mind also that there remains an important discon-
    tinuity between Jeremiah’s vision and Paul’s thought—a disconti-
    nuity which reveals an inconsistency in Paul’s own thought, at
    least insomuch as he sought to appropriate Jeremiah’s vision,
    which may be debatable. For Jeremiah, the era of the new cove-
    nant was an era in which teachers were no longer necessary, be-
    cause everyone was made fully conscious and was fully trans-
    formed by the inscription of the law upon their hearts. But for
    Paul, teaching and correction were obviously still necessary, oth-
    erwise (again), what gives with all those epistles he wrote? Paul
    wanted to appropriate Jeremiah’s idea of the new covenant to his
    own time (as was the case, hermeneutically, with all apocalyptic
    Jewish thinkers—everything in the scriptures was really about
    them, about their time). But he wasn’t able to do it consistently,
    because Christians were still sinners, and they still needed to be
    taught how to “know Yahweh.” Paul’s idea was very controversial
    among Jewish Christians, and among them, he represented a mi-
    nority position.

    Matthew (and I think Matthew accurately represents the his-
    torical Jesus here) disagreed with Paul about this:



    Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or
    the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to ful-
    fill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass
    away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will
    pass from the law until all is accomplished. There-
    fore, whoever 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 does them and teaches them will be
    called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell
    you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the
    scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the
    kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:17-20)




    When Jesus said that he came to “fulfill” the law, he meant that
    he came to be perfectly obedient to it, and not just in spirit (as
    Christians are wont to argue), but, expressly, to the very letter, to
    the least “jot and tittle.” Moreover, his disciples are to do the
    same, and teach others to do the same. This will be the case “until
    everything is accomplished.” What does this mean? Ever since
    Jesus did not come back after the temple was destroyed in 70 CE,
    Christians have argued that “until everything is accomplished”
    refers to the death of and resurrection of Jesus. It is at that point,
    Christians claim, that the law passes into obsolescence. But that is
    not what this phrase means. “Until everything is accomplished”
    refers to the coming of the Son of Man to vindicate Israel after the
    temple’s destruction, and to usher in the new age of everlasting
    peace and justice—the utopia Jeremiah envisioned. This is clear
    enough already in verse 18: “until heaven and earth pass away.”
    The Law of Moses is to be obeyed to the letter, until the end of the
    world. That’s when “everything is accomplished.” Matthew makes
    this clear in the Olivet Discourse in chapter 24, and also in 16:27-
    28, where Jesus predicts that some of his disciples would still be
    alive when he returns with his angels to judge Israel and the na-
    tions.6

    6 I’ve argued extensively against apologetic attempts to help Jesus save face
    here in chapter eight of The Human Faces of God.

    7 See ibid for a much fuller argument.

    Let’s not conflate John’s theology with Matthew’s. It is in the
    Gospel of John that Jesus says from the cross, “It is finished.”
    John’s Gospel was written very late, and was a move away from
    the apocalypticism of the Synoptic gospels. In Matthew’s gospel,
    the crucifixion is not presented as the “fulfillment.” Matthew ends
    with a promise of Jesus to his disciples that they had a task to
    complete (the evangelization of the world), and that he would be
    with them “until the end of the age.” When would that be? Mat-
    thew 16:28 and 24:34 make it clear that the end of the age would
    come within the lifetime of his disciples.7

    So Matthew’s Jesus has the same view as Jeremiah: the origi-
    nal covenant would pass away when history as we know it comes
    to an end; the laws of Moses would no longer be necessary once


    the utopian situation had arrived. It’s just that Jeremiah and Jesus
    made different predictions (both wrong) about when that utopia
    would arrive.

    But Paul had a different view. Paul argued that the law was no
    longer applicable, even now in that interim before the end. (Paul
    did, however, have the same expectations as Jesus about the
    timeframe of the end.) And the interesting thing is that Luke (a
    companion of Paul) took Paul’s view, over against Matthew. Luke
    in fact takes that same logion of Jesus about the law, tweaks it
    ever so slightly, to give it Paul’s meaning:



    The law and the prophets were in effect until John
    came; since then the good news of the kingdom of
    God is proclaimed, and everyone tries to enter it by
    force. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass
    away, than for one stroke of a letter in the law to be
    dropped. (Luke 16:16-17)



    Note the distinction between Luke’s version of the saying and
    Matthew’s. For Matthew, the law of Moses is in effect “until heav-
    en and earth pass away.” For Luke, it was only in effect “until John
    [the Baptist] came.” Luke still has the phrase, “heaven and earth
    pass away,” but he changes it. It is not that the law is in effect until
    heaven and earth pass away, but that “it is easier for heaven and
    earth to pass away, than for the law to be dropped.” But for Luke,
    it already has been dropped! It was dropped when John the Bap-
    tist starting his preaching ministry!

    Luke and Matthew use the same logion of Jesus in order to
    support polar opposite positions. Matthew takes the traditional
    Jewish view, championed first by Jeremiah, that the law would be
    in effect until the end of history; conversely, Luke (a Gentile)
    takes his mentor Paul’s controversial, Gentile-inclusive view,
    namely, that the law is already obsolete.

    So, Paul the Apostle sort of agrees with Paul the Apologist
    (Copan), except that both Pauls fail to recognize that Jeremiah’s
    vision was that of a utopian world without sin. Jesus (most prob-
    ably) and Matthew (most definitely), on the other hand, disagree
    with the Pauls, and side with Jeremiah, contending that the laws


    of Moses would be in effect to the very tiniest letter, until the end
    of the world as we know it. But, emphatically, neither Jesus nor
    Paul supports Copan’s contention that the Law of Moses was “in-
    ferior” or “imperfect.”
    Last edited by theman09; 26th July 2012 at 12:19.

  12. #27
    Veteran Member lumumba_s's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hitler in Heaven? Possibly says Christians.

    I would normally remind you that massive quoting does very little good in a discussion forum, but since Jude does not really care what we have to say, I guess it really doesn't matter.
    "Allah is the point. If it is other-than-Allah, then it is besides the point." - Nuh Ha Mim Keller

  13. #28
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    Default Re: Hitler in Heaven? Possibly says Christians.

    i've provided excellent evidence written by a scholar that the laws in the torah are eternal and perfect FOR A SINFUL people. only when the society becomes UTOPIAN than the laws would no longer be applicable because everyone would KNOW yhwh without even being TAUGHT about him. i recommend everyone read the cnp i have posted here.

    the dietry laws, punishment laws and moral laws in the torah were not HARSH or imperfect or OUTof date , they were PERFECT for the hebrew people for all time.

    christianity doesn't understand it like this , but the ot does.
    Last edited by theman09; 26th July 2012 at 12:48.

  14. #29
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    Default Re: Hitler in Heaven? Possibly says Christians.

    jude, admit to everyone, after reading the two quotes, that yhwh 's punishment laws are PERFECT AND there is nothing wrong when he says that adulterers/sabbath breakers should be STONED TO DEATH.

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    Default Re: Hitler in Heaven? Possibly says Christians.

    Quote Originally Posted by hyd View Post
    Seems like it went over your head what lumumba said.
    Yes.

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