Does Jesus need a Magneto?
Debate Rounds (3)
Professor X has Magneto.
Both examples have peaceful vs. aggressive campaigns for tolerance.
Surely the Prince of PEACE could benefit from a complementary rival willing to be vilified. Also, the friendly rivalry aspect would be critically crucial to the relationship. An outright nemesis is out of the question and boring.
The rival would need to be Christian so trust is maintained. An outsider would simply be a skeptic. The renegade Christian would have a mind of his own, thinking outside the Bible but still loyal to Jesus, somewhat. Open to dialogue about the failures of corrupt amateurs that are currently running the circus of Jesus Freaks. Harsh on mediocre Christians who complain about boring sermons but leave it at that, lacking initiative to try anything else. Desperation being an admirable trait for change.
Why even plead for someone like this? It's preemptive within the prophetic mindset of Rapture doctrine. If the Left Behind series is to be humored, then it would be tactical and brilliantly strategic to steal the charisma and rhetoric from the ultimate bad guy. Only then would the intimidation of Christians into listening to someone other than Jesus for the direction of the Church...only that would be feasible with the power of one who has the consent of the secular public to perform a hostile takeover of the Church.
Prove Jesus does not need a friendly rival and that one would be unnecessary, irrelevant and/or implausible. Atheists need not apply unless you're willing to humor the premise.
Pop Culture- why not? I opened the door.
Offensive- depends on the intent.
I believe that a "Magneto for Jesus" would be damaging to the religion itself. The difference between this supposed rivalry and the ones that you give as examples ( magneto-Xavier, Martin Luther King-Malcolm X , etc.) is that Christianity is unlike the others an ideology.
An ideology needs of a single "celebrity" or "principal voice". If this friendly rival appears It would mean the start of another ideology, another way of thinking, different from Christianity. An example of this is one of your examples: MLK and Malcolm X. They both fought against racism but they represented different ideologies. Malcolm X was pro violence and pro getting rights with force. MLK was pro dialogue and pro pacific fight. As you see they fight for the same but they have different thoughts. The same would happen here. A new philosophy would began.
The problem is that if this happens, Christians won't be benefited. Instead some Christians would be fond of this new way and will abandon Christianity.
Yes, damage to Christianity would be done, but that is not saying much considering the self-harm it has accomplished already. Surgery with anesthesia is ideal but the message will not be as impacting. I want the Christians to be fully aware of the operation as it is explained to them that it is better this way. Otherwise, their stubborn farsighted faith shall lead to their own obsolescence and social death.
There are several examples of ideologies that are made complete through a set of contradicting choices. Public education versus private education, Christians being private. Exclusive and expensive, not everybody would benefit from a private education. Public education provides a superior environment for social skill improvement. Christianity is a snobby prep school for undertrained believers who naively think their outdated knowledge is sufficient for a career in philanthropy.
What you see as a disadvantage for the rival intending to keep it inside the Church but having it form a life of its own would be prevented by the exposure of the rival as an antichrist. Given the rise of the rival and his influence within the Church and society, any occurrence that might result in a new religion would be nullified by the reality that the rival would be stuck within the confines of the Church's philosophical parameters, deliberately and passively. The rival would not be attempting to usurp or dethrone Jesus, but rather work up the ranks on the fast track by bypassing religious promotions. This would be done with approval of the public and neutrality of governments.
As for Christians opting for the more appealing path, that speaks more to the fading effectiveness and attractiveness of the religion. Despite that, it does compensate by exposing the rival as an antichrist, vindicating Christianity anyway. Win-win.
Malcolm X said, "I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he's wrong. Than the one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil."
This is the epitome of the rival's intent. Even if he's wrong, at least he admits the possibility. Avoiding superfluous humility, the rival would be blunt, but transparent.
" Given the rise of the rival and his influence within the Church and society, any occurrence that might result in a new religion would be nullified by the reality that the rival would be stuck within the confines of the Church's philosophical parameters, deliberately and passively. The rival would not be attempting to usurp or dethrone Jesus, but rather work up the ranks on the fast track by bypassing religious promotions. This would be done with approval of the public and neutrality of governments."
The problem is that this "rival" isn't a rival at all. I feel that this "rival" is more of a secondary personality. A rival, despite it was a friendly one or not, is a competitor, someone who " is in a position to dispute another's preeminence or superiority". The person who you are talking about doesn't do that. What you want is a "partner for Jesus". A rival can't be confined within the dogmas of Christianity, but a peer could.
As well as that, I think that an entity with the same power of Jesus will produce a contradiction in Christian philosophy. Jesus is supposed to be unique, the only son of God, one of the constituents of the Holy Trinity: Sun, Father and Spirit. The appearance of a person with the same capacities as Jesus will mean that Jesus isn't unique, and the Holy Trinity would have to be the Holy Quaternary (?).
Conveniently, lacking the power to do miracles, the rival would have to rely on mimicking Jesus' unsurpassed wisdom and insight. He would have to turn the New Testament upside down. Striking the balance between renegade ally and substitute leader, superseding the pope's popularity and legitimacy.
That would resolve the discrepancy between replacing Jesus, disproving Jesus and whatever else can be used to attack Jesus' authority. The willingness to look obviously wrong would be an ironic resource of underdog biting strength, barking like crazy without the intent to go rabid.
To give some conclusion to this debate I will say that a rival as planted at the beginning can't do anything but to damage Christianity. A rival, although it may be friendly, will open up a new way of thinking, diverging of the Christianity. Christianity needs a personality which moves the ground of the church and create some polemic but not a rival of Jesus. Christianity needs fresh air, given by a new way of interpreting Jesus, maybe someone like the pope Francis could do so. A rival will only generate a greater division in the church, and perhaps the full breaking of it.
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