Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Bigggg Question. & no doubt I will want to add a lot -- or perhaps you'll all be able to tell me so much of what this means that I won't feel like anything should be added?
But seriously, we need to talk! This one matters.
Did it matter when a series of church councils laid out an abstract blueprint of precisely what, whom, & how it all related? Was this just a pointless bit of Greek-style metaphysics. Well: Yes, no, didn't touch the Reality of it all but carried a Message whether or not we find that speaking to us.
What are we given to say?
Could you be a little more specific in your question? Maybe I am being dense, but I am not quite sure what you are asking.
It depends on the context.
Look, there's this term/name people use -- and if that usage is different in different contexts, okay.
But there's something you mean by it, as well as the various ways other people might use it. Not necessarily "Messiah" although we've got some overlap there via Jesus. Not necessarily a certain flavor of 'energy' although that could readily be how someone experiences it. Not necessarily a lit-up figure in robes, but something a person might see in that. What's a Patrice or a James? Well, I see these little pictures and I read words from you, but you? -- I assume there's a place where you are, various things that you and other people mean by 'you', as well as 'you' experiencing all this.
I left this open-ended because I'd like to see somebody jump in & run with it!
Well it's a reference associated with this guy Jesus (that aspect of the Divine), but doesn't Christ itself mean a designation or spirit, and one that is ultimately the whole spirit of God / the Holy Spirit? Or even a big "We" of God, such as the "body of Christ" or the "community of Christ" -- meaning us?
I hope you know something because this is indeed a big bite you just bit off! ha
Okay, I'm going to have to wing it myself one of these times, because as James Schultz said there are many possible contexts:
1) What the Jews meant by "Messiah" (and that's a hard one, especially since it's developed in many strange directions since BCE 4 and 70 CE.)
2) Our man himself.
3) The Greek word "Christ" meaning "anointed" (except without the meaning this had for the Hebrews.)
4) What the Church did with the term.
5) What early Friends meant by it.
6) As you say, a synonym for 'the Spirit' in human beings. William Stringfellow's 'definition' -- God at work in us.
7) The healing energy manifested (for one thing) in Jesus' presence when he was bodily with us.
8) God's incarnation in the world, not necessarily applying to Jesus alone.
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And how does this fit with other takes on God's role in the world? On our role in God's creation, at present and in future?
And while I've been trying to know all my life, "In theology, it isn't what you know but Who you know."
We all know something of this... Can we bring that out?
The crux of the matter is how Jesus describes himself, that is, as the Son of Man. And the answer that sent him to the cross was: "Are you the Messiah, the Son of God?" "I am and you shall see the Son of Man seated in heaven..."
I think we can start with "Christ" being that of God that dwells with man and at least in some cases in man.
Jesus is a noun. Christ is a being verb.
"Jesus is a noun. Christ is a being verb."
Can you share some of what I think you know (better than I) about how "Son of Man" was used at that time, in that culture? I was thinking that I've heard you say something before about this.
I mention because it seems that God (as Jesus) didn't mean to introduce himself as God but as a Man. And am exploring to what extent that is really the point for us.
Hmm, let's have some cross-reference to something I wasn't expecting, from Steven Davison, but synchroniciDaddy is at it again:
'Christ' and 'Messiah', though they apply to the same person, are significantly different as concepts, with 'Messiah' and 'Son of the Blessed One' both referring to 'King of Israel.'
Though different gospels differ on exactly how Jesus replied to the High Priest's question, probably they're based on well-known gossip, ie in this case, common knowledge as to what Jesus said and/or implied in this irregular hearing, repeated in a liturgical context fairly often before it was written down. He may have said "Yes" or just implied ~That's what you say.
One response would have been treason against Rome, cause for a collaborator with the Roman occupation to send him straight to Pilate. The other, also possible, the reaction of an honorable man wrongly accused.
What I think the synoptics agree on is that the crucial words are about 'the Son of Man' coming on the clouds of Heaven. "Christ" or "Messiah"? No -- we may have a popular idiom for "me", ie "this son of Adam" but I'm pretty sure he's referring to the book of Daniel, where a succession of vicious beasts represent the empires which have dominated the world through the time that book was written, and are followed by "one like a Son of Man", ie a human being to govern in a way worthy of humane beings.
That is the only possible source I can find for Jesus' [according to gospels] insistence that "the Scriptures" say he will need to die to fulfill his role. Where we read "coming on the clouds of Heaven," the figure in Daniel is coming to "the Ancient of Days," God, to be given authority. To "Sit at the right hand of power" while God makes his enemies his footstool, in one psalm Jesus quotes earlier at the Temple.
Does 'being killed' equal 'going to God'? I don't know if Jesus would have thought that he'd be any nearer to God without a body than he was embodied -- but he was certainly a poet, quick to find metaphoric meanings.
[more re 'Christ' when I have time to do that better!]