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Behold The Man - Thanks

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  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    I think I mentioned that our local Oxfordshire church was the first church where John Wesley preached. Inside it's absolutely covered with what I'd call 14th/15th c murals depicting the meek being weighed (souls that is) and being led to heaven by angels while the mighty (many still mitred...) go plunging down to the waiting pitchforks, so these sentiments have always been with us. I heard a great sermon in Mississippi to similar effect. In following months, the deacons got together to ruin the minister in question and drive him out of the church, sans his meagre pension. But that's been the fate of many who've tried to follow Christ rather than the politicians who claim to follow him.

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  • johneffay
    replied
    Nietzsche makes a similar point:
    In reality there has been only one Christian, and he died on the Cross (The Anti-Christ, section 39).

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  • J-Sun
    replied
    I have heard a similar quote attributed to Ghandi. Something along the lines of "If I were to chose a religion based upon the founder, I would choose Christianity, but if I were to choose a religion based upon the followers, it would not be Christianity."

    Sigh...

    Yep. Needless to say, it makes me sad largely because the statement is completely understandable and warranted. I heard many such statements in my own ministry. And how can you argue with that? The biggest enemy of the church is itself.

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  • Nathaniel
    replied
    A friend of mine has a quote that he attributes to Ghandi, but I have never checked its veracity so I will not say for sure, it seems appropriate here. " I like your Christ, but I do not like your christians. Your christians are nothing like your Christ"

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  • SERPNTA1267
    replied
    I think you hit the nail on the head, J-SUN. Sometimes people worship the myth and miss the point.
    As Karl realized in the book, the teachings were revolutionary for the time.

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  • J-Sun
    replied
    It's an interesting point these guys bring up.

    A year or two ago I read a book called Velvet Elvis by a guy named Rob Bell, a preacher at one of these megachurches called Mars Hill up in Michigan. In Velvet Elvis, Bell compares the faith to a... yeah we all saw it coming... a velvet Elvis picture. The picture is clear, he says, but the details have room for fuzziness. What raised the ire of many was this:

    What if, he postulated, knowing that the Hebrew word for virgin can simply mean young maiden, as it does in the book of Isaiah, Mary the mother of Jesus was not a virgin, but simply a young maiden. Would that destroy our faith, he asked.

    This comment has brought him under a lot of attack. There are those who think it was a brilliant statement, and those who question if the guy is a heretic for questioning one of the core tenants of Christianity.

    These guys bring up a similar point in their commentary on Behold the Man.

    For my part... I totally dig that cover for Behold the Man. That's a great cover!

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  • Marca
    replied
    This arrived via Google alerts today:

    http://rethinkingyouth.blogspot.com/...ing-jesus.html



    All it needs now is a few comments...

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  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    America is awash with religiosity and seriously short on spirituality -- almost in inverse ratio.
    Those calling themselves Christians in the UK are now 2% of the UK population, making Britain the most secular country of the G8, possibly in 'Christendom', but according to a senior churchman I was listening to yesterday an engagement with spirituality is on the increase. I also wonder if the US being the most poorly educated nation of the advanced industrial countries as well as being the only one where religiosity is on the increase have something in common.

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  • Swedeheart
    replied
    Mike, I completely agree with your last post. My beliefs are simple and have their basis in biblical Christianity. However, it makes me sad to see what I think of as "corporate Christianity" or organized religion in the USA today. As you said, much of what we see today has nothing to do with "true" Christianity (though I realize "true" Christianity has a different reality for each of us).

    How does it happen that many of those who have supposedly received the gifts of grace and forgiveness and unconditional love... how does it happen that many of them become so judgemental and unforgiving?

    Anyway, as for BTM, it was an unexpected twist on the theme for me. The book encouraged me to re-think some of my ideas, not only on Christianity but on the creation of charismatic leaders in general. Not that the book changed my basic beliefs but it certainly opened up new perspectives.

    On a side note, I find it interesting that in spite of all of our technical advances and a so-called more "enlightened" society, the existence of demagogues is very much alive and well today, in both religious and political circles. Some things never change :).

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  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    In my experience those shock inventions usually come from people who are already involved with religion and get some kind of buzz or release from doing something shocking with Jesus (or nuns or whatever). Since BTM is essentially about an imitation of Christ (rather more literal, of course, than some) many Christians have seen the book as essentially pro-Christian. It certainly wasn't produced as an anti-Christian text.
    I DO have problems with some of the more superstitious bits of ritual and so on but I also have considerable respect for those who practice what most of us regard as 'real' Christianity. I don't believe that the religiosity of America is actually 'Christian' in any real sense. As I said a while ago, I always thought Christ was supposed to be an example, not a weapon to attack others with.

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  • Suilebhain
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
    As I've said elsewhere, I grew up in an almost wholly secular environment. It scarcely occurred to me, when I wrote BTM, that there still WERE people who took all that stuff literally. I was writing about
    demagogues, not Christianity as such. I had no intention to offend. I didn't know there was anyone left TO offend... :)
    I wasn't offended by the writing, really. A creative work that forces one to think should not be considered offensive, because if so then we are offended by our own thoughts. One that is just intended to shock, however, falls into another category, like the photo of a crucifix in a basin filled with urine, for example.

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  • Mikey_C
    replied
    What happened to the "guilty pleasures" thread? :lol:

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  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    As I've said elsewhere, I grew up in an almost wholly secular environment. It scarcely occurred to me, when I wrote BTM, that there still WERE people who took all that stuff literally. I was writing about
    demagogues, not Christianity as such. I had no intention to offend. I didn't know there was anyone left TO offend... :)

    Leave a comment:


  • Suilebhain
    replied
    Well, this particular work especially because it put what I held sacred at the time in a most unflattering light. Actually, though, I found Jerry Cornelius to be a bit risque as well to the point where I would only recommend reading it to people I knew were not so conservative.

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  • Swedeheart
    replied
    Suilebhain,

    I had to smile when I read the bit in your post saying "I felt a little dirty in the enjoyment I experienced in reading the book". So... reading Moorcock is kinda like "Dirty Dancing", but in a literary sense? In that case, I'm looking forward to reading more of Mike's work even more than I was before. 8)

    Leave a comment:

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