Distribution of Fear in Christianity

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Pangloss
 
Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 03:09 pm
@Justin,
Justin;34315 wrote:
Yes, I'm in America. What I mean with that is that some of the discussions on the forum say there are Fundamentalists Christians and then there are ... other Christians. However, the general overtone that I've seen everywhere I look the fundi.

Above all, it just seems like the conversation in the original thread amongst Christians is not the idea Jesus portrayed... and Jesus is claimed to be the heart of Christianity. So is this a rational way of looking at it?


The fundamentalists that you see, "everywhere [you] look", are there, because you have not stepped outside your box to look at the whole of Christianity. There are billions of Christians around the world, most of whom are not American fundamentalist protestants.

There have been a lot of generalizations here; it is a mistake to look at one random facebook conversation between "christians", and to look at the only Christians you have known in your personal life (apparently fundamentalist protestants), and to then come up with this conclusion about a Christian mentality of fear. I just don't see it with the Christians I know, and I don't see it in the teachings of the new testament, or in most Christian writings...it doesn't exist throughout most of the Christian world.
 
William
 
Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 05:40 pm
@Justin,
Justin wrote:
The advantage is, back to the original post, the advantage being the creation of the circumstances that bring us closer to fulfilling the prophesies of Revelation. This is much of the conversation here in America among Christians and has been for several hundred years.

It's not the oil or the money or anything else that brought us into Iraq, it's the mentality of the Americans and the distribution of fear that has brought us into Iraq. Christianity is at the very heart and core of this mentality. If it weren't for the beliefs of these radical Christians and their division among men, we would not be in Iraq.

So my point is, Christians talk about the persecution and have brought about the circumstances surrounding their persecution. Their gain is actually their loss but they are too blind to see this. Their hopefulness of the second coming of Christ cannot happens until there's persecution in the world. So inadvertently, they've given these fears a voice, thus creating the havoc we are facing today.

Now we are at the point where many Christians feel they are to be separated from the rest of the world because their religious beliefs, no matter how far spread, are the law and they are willing to enforce the law of their God with force and might. Thus, there will be death, war and evil doings by mankind. A devout Christian will fight to his death protecting his beliefs just as an Iraqi would.

So question would be, to any Christian... What would Jesus have done?

Christians in my neck of the woods are praying for the second coming of Christ. In order for the prophecy to be fulfilled, Christians would have to be enslaved, murdered, persecuted and then hung to a cross. They look forward to it and live their lives for it... Instead of actually taking into consideration the way and life of Jesus Christ.

OH, BTW, it was not George Bush's advisor's that decided he should go into Iraq. The invasion of Iraq was planned long before George Bush jr. was made president.


Justin,
It is admiral to see your wisdom endeavor t0 fight against the mind of the entrenched fundamental Christian who has been indoctrinated to "look forward" to the end of mankind. Because history is pretty much hearsay, knowing the truth behind such writings is impossible to know. In all honesty, no one truly knows, but it is understandable why that doctrine has held fast all these years as we witness the state of the world and the gross, and inept way we are running it.
I myself have tried to break through in another forum such as the "Jesus" one we have discussed, with no avail. How so very sad to have a multitude of people anticipating the "end of the world". Talk about a horrendous "self-fulfilling prophesy. Not directly, but indirectly, to me, it is a slap in the face of God to render one of his creation's (the Earth) with such indifference. To bury one's head in the sand and "await", to me, is as much of an offense as those who are self made stewards who relish their own egotistical deity who think they know how to be God as they recognize no authority higher than themselves. All we have to do is take a look around to see how that is turning out. See list. Ha. I know, it not very funny. Not at all.
As interpretations go, today I had one of my little epiphanies in that death itself could be the "end of the world" as it would be for any individual. When we are reborn for those "victims or those compatible" with that continuum, they return "after" what is to become, is over. Such as a hell on Earth.
It is truly sad the indifference of those fundamental "Christian's" that have such a disdain for this island Earth we call home. Of course in all honesty, I don't think it is the Christian themselves, but those who are empowered who stand behind the pulpits. Power is corrupting no matter what strata it exists in. Even religion. Every day is a new day and I have no idea of what tomorrow brings. I can only hope one day those magic words will come to mind that will help those among us who are so perplexed, develop a better understanding of God. I don't know, my friend, if this helped or hindered the frustration you are encountering or not. I just wanted to share it with you and others who might want to know.
William
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 04:07 am
@William,
William wrote:
Justin,
It is admiral to see your wisdom endeavor t0 fight against the mind of the entrenched fundamental Christian who has been indoctrinated to "look forward" to the end of mankind. Because history is pretty much hearsay, knowing the truth behind such writings is impossible to know. In all honesty, no one truly knows, but it is understandable why that doctrine has held fast all these years as we witness the state of the world and the gross, and inept way we are running it.
I myself have tried to break through in another forum such as the "Jesus" one we have discussed, with no avail. How so very sad to have a multitude of people anticipating the "end of the world". Talk about a horrendous "self-fulfilling prophesy. Not directly, but indirectly, to me, it is a slap in the face of God to render one of his creation's (the Earth) with such indifference. To bury one's head in the sand and "await", to me, is as much of an offense as those who are self made stewards who relish their own egotistical deity who think they know how to be God as they recognize no authority higher than themselves. All we have to do is take a look around to see how that is turning out. See list. Ha. I know, it not very funny. Not at all.
As interpretations go, today I had one of my little epiphanies in that death itself could be the "end of the world" as it would be for any individual. When we are reborn for those "victims or those compatible" with that continuum, they return "after" what is to become, is over. Such as a hell on Earth.
It is truly sad the indifference of those fundamental "Christian's" that have such a disdain for this island Earth we call home. Of course in all honesty, I don't think it is the Christian themselves, but those who are empowered who stand behind the pulpits. Power is corrupting no matter what strata it exists in. Even religion. Every day is a new day and I have no idea of what tomorrow brings. I can only hope one day those magic words will come to mind that will help those among us who are so perplexed, develop a better understanding of God. I don't know, my friend, if this helped or hindered the frustration you are encountering or not. I just wanted to share it with you and others who might want to know.
William

a fine post, but I must say somthing. I think that those who live in America have a skewed view of religion because of the nature of the beliefs that all too many christians in the US hold. It is like this in no other nation that I can think of off the top of my head (christian-wise and I am willing to be corrected on this one.) The concept of stewardship is a principle being forwarded by many of the reasonble christians even in America.
Though I agree about the extremists. There are milions of Americans who want israel to start a vast war with it's neigbours so the events of revelation can be played out. They are activlly trying to promote this.:eek::eek::eek:
 
William
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 08:30 am
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
There are milions of Americans who want israel to start a vast war with it's neigbours so the events of revelation can be played out. They are activlly trying to promote this.:eek::eek::eek:


I cannot agree or disagree with this, but I have a tendency to not, simply because our relationship to Israel is not one of religion, but based in financial dependability to much degree. It is the ambivalent attitude that concerns me in regard to those measures that could be taken to remedy those problems we have caused in this world. If one is entrenched in the belief that this world "has to come to an end", what part will they play in a society that finally comes to understand and begins to eliminate the inequity that has cause so much iniquity. That is what bothers me. Will they be for or against such reparations. :perplexed:

William
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 09:48 am
@Justin,
It seems that there is an obvious mentality of fear within the atheist/agnostic group...I will call it "religophobia": fear of religion!

And yes, I know this to be true, because I have read many a forum post by atheist/agnostic types that talk about "scary" religious people, and have heard this mentioned a few times in my social circles by those all-fearing atheist/agnostics! :rolleyes:
 
Justin
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 11:24 am
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
The fundamentalists that you see, "everywhere [you] look", are there, because you have not stepped outside your box to look at the whole of Christianity. There are billions of Christians around the world, most of whom are not American fundamentalist protestants.

While you do make a good point, I've never seen a christian forum or a christian church that is anything but fundamental and judgmental. Where are these other Christians we're speaking of as I've sought out REAL Christians my entire life.

Pangloss wrote:
There have been a lot of generalizations here; it is a mistake to look at one random facebook conversation between "christians", and to look at the only Christians you have known in your personal life (apparently fundamentalist protestants), and to then come up with this conclusion about a Christian mentality of fear. I just don't see it with the Christians I know, and I don't see it in the teachings of the new testament, or in most Christian writings...it doesn't exist throughout most of the Christian world.

It's not one conversation we're discussing. This original article came from Christian News. This is considered distribution of fear no matter how you choose to slice it. The mentality of fear is present all over. I'd actually like to discover a Christian Church or a Christian community that actually followed the teachings of Christ instead of following each other.

It's not just Christians though, it's many faiths practice similar things. Distribution of fear is all over the place and much of it, the majority of it that I see comes from Christianity, probably because it's the largest religion.

Well, now it's about choosing a flavor of Christianity. Which flavor is the Christian one?

Pangloss wrote:
It seems that there is an obvious mentality of fear within the atheist/agnostic group...I will call it "religophobia": fear of religion!

And yes, I know this to be true, because I have read many a forum post by atheist/agnostic types that talk about "scary" religious people, and have heard this mentioned a few times in my social circles by those all-fearing atheist/agnostics! :rolleyes:


It's actually not the fear of the atheist that is the topic. It's the fear within religion. We are simply discussing what's going on in the world and in religion and much of what is said is true about the Christian faith. I understand there are Christians all over the world and have also met many of them. EVERY Christian I have met longs for the days of persecution... that's all they talk about. This could be a bishop from Bolivia to a preacher in America and all their followers.

It's not religiphobia coming from the atheist group, it's a matter of reason and rationale. Needless to say, I don't consider myself an atheist. Matter of fact, because of my beliefs I'll go out on a limb and if I were to fit into any one religion, it would be Christianity. So, it's a Christian who is speaking of the fear spread amongst the Christian faith. This has nothing to do with Atheism or other.
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 12:31 pm
@Justin,
Justin;34782 wrote:
While you do make a good point, I've never seen a christian forum or a christian church that is anything but fundamental and judgmental. Where are these other Christians we're speaking of as I've sought out REAL Christians my entire life.


There are 2 billion Christians in the world. Let's say that through your own personal experience of Christians via online forums and churches/people who you have personally interacted with, you might have had decent exposure to 1 million of them. Even with that incredibly liberal estimate, you will have personally interacted with 5 hundredths of a percent (.0005) of the Christian population. This incredibly small percent will also be quite homogeneous within what we call "Christianity"; most of them are western/American Christians, who of course tend more to be fundamentalist protestants, compared to the whole of Christianity.

Now if you were going to perform a study and conclude that Christianity, as a whole, has a mentality of fear, would you rely upon data with such an obviously limited (and biased) sample? Of course not.

Along the same line of thinking, I could conclude that, based upon all of my experiences with people of dark skin color, they all seem to be: (insert racist stereotype here). Do you see the problem here?


Quote:
It's not one conversation we're discussing. This original article came from Christian News. This is considered distribution of fear no matter how you choose to slice it. The mentality of fear is present all over. I'd actually like to discover a Christian Church or a Christian community that actually followed the teachings of Christ instead of following each other.


I think there are many churches and christians who are like this. I have found some of them in America. And it appears to me that this thread will work well for "distributing fear" about religious people amongst this forum.

Quote:
It's not just Christians though, it's many faiths practice similar things. Distribution of fear is all over the place and much of it, the majority of it that I see comes from Christianity, probably because it's the largest religion.


Again, the majority of fear distribution "that [you] see"...comes from Christianity. See my first response...


Quote:
It's actually not the fear of the atheist that is the topic. It's the fear within religion. We are simply discussing what's going on in the world and in religion and much of what is said is true about the Christian faith. I understand there are Christians all over the world and have also met many of them. EVERY Christian I have met longs for the days of persecution... that's all they talk about. This could be a bishop from Bolivia to a preacher in America and all their followers.


More generalizations here...maybe "much of what is said" at a KKK meeting could be true for a small group of black people. Does it hold that this should be applied to people of black skin color in general? You are judging people unilaterally when you really don't know them. Many people call themselves Christians; some are bad people, some are good people, and they all have their different interpretations of the faith. I have met a lot of fearful, nutty atheists and agnostics in my time. But it would be wrong for me to make such broad statements about all atheists and agnostics...that is prejudice.

And again, you refer to "every christian" you have met...see my first response for why this statement means nothing to me, nor should it to anyone else, in regards to the whole of Christian followers. Limited, biased sampling.

Quote:
It's not religiphobia coming from the atheist group, it's a matter of reason and rationale. Needless to say, I don't consider myself an atheist. Matter of fact, because of my beliefs I'll go out on a limb and if I were to fit into any one religion, it would be Christianity. So, it's a Christian who is speaking of the fear spread amongst the Christian faith. This has nothing to do with Atheism or other.


Calling yourself a Christian and at the same time condemning all Christians is not a great stance to have here. Prejudice is prejudice, no matter if it comes from inside or outside the group which is being judged unfairly.
 
Justin
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 01:24 pm
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
There are 2 billion Christians in the world. Let's say that through your own personal experience of Christians via online forums and churches/people who you have personally interacted with, you might have had decent exposure to 1 million of them. Even with that incredibly liberal estimate, you will have personally interacted with 5 hundredths of a percent (.0005) of the Christian population. This incredibly small percent will also be quite homogeneous within what we call "Christianity"; most of them are western/American Christians, who of course tend more to be fundamentalist protestants, compared to the whole of Christianity.

This is a good point and I understand this. I would however like to see this percent display themselves more visibly. Maybe be the light of Christ if that's what we want to call it.

Pangloss wrote:
Now if you were going to perform a study and conclude that Christianity, as a whole, has a mentality of fear, would you rely upon data with such an obviously limited (and biased) sample? Of course not.

No, I would not want to limit the data. Also, I'm not concluding that all Christianity as a whole has the mentality of fear. I'm concluding that based on what I've seen and based on what I've personally experienced, it's unarguably true. I'd like to see something different if there is otherwise. Examples are good.

Pangloss wrote:
Along the same line of thinking, I could conclude that, based upon all of my experiences with people of dark skin color, they all seem to be: (insert racist stereotype here). Do you see the problem here?

Not really. Take a look at our world today. We have a majority of Christians world wide yet look at what the majority is doing? I understand there are good and bad and do not want to stereotype but I do consider real-world examples and the fruit of Christianity is all over the place.

Pangloss wrote:
I think there are many churches and christians who are like this. I have found some of them in America. And it appears to me that this thread will work well for "distributing fear" about religious people amongst this forum.

This thread isn't about distributing fear among religious people. It's about discussing the distribution of fear in Christianity. Nobody can deny that this fear is distributed and the original post was a common occurrence in Christian forums and Christian news and Christian talk radio. It's common all over the world, with not just Christians but Christianity is the majority.

Pangloss wrote:
More generalizations here...maybe "much of what is said" at a KKK meeting could be true for a small group of black people. Does it hold that this should be applied to people of black skin color in general? You are judging people unilaterally when you really don't know them. Many people call themselves Christians; some are bad people, some are good people, and they all have their different interpretations of the faith. I have met a lot of fearful, nutty atheists and agnostics in my time. But it would be wrong for me to make such broad statements about all atheists and agnostics...that is prejudice.

Of course, that's what this discussion is, generalizing. We're not talking about the good Christians that actually follow Jesus Christ, we're talking about the cult found within the majority.

And please, I'm not saying that ALL Christians are distributing fear, I'm saying that ALL the Christians I have encountered are. I'm not lumping all Christians into this, but again, we can see the fruit of Christianity all over the place. Problem is, some of it isn't fruit at all.

Pangloss wrote:
And again, you refer to "every christian" you have met...see my first response for why this statement means nothing to me, nor should it to anyone else, in regards to the whole of Christian followers. Limited, biased sampling.

Biased yes. Of course I'm biased. I was raised christian, grew up Christian and quickly became disgusted with what I observed and continue to observe the in Christian communities that I've been introduced to.

Pangloss wrote:
Calling yourself a Christian and at the same time condemning all Christians is not a great stance to have here. Prejudice is prejudice, no matter if it comes from inside or outside the group which is being judged unfairly.

Maybe I said something wrong. To my knowledge I've not condemned anyone and that's not my character so if I sounded condemning, please excuse me, that's not the intention. The intention was to bring an example of fear being distributed among Christians and show how, in this example, they all just eat it up. The post was meant to discuss this.

Now, I understand where you are coming from and appreciate your insight in this discussion. You've made some very good points however, nobody is condemning anyone here. We're talking about not just one example as in the original post, we're talking about examples that bear fruit all over the world... the thread topic was just one instance.

If we wanted to open a discussion about Atheism distributing fear, then that would be a completely different discussion and I wouldn't get involved in that because I'm not an atheist. If I were, I guess I'd be a Atheistic Christian... ? Does that make sense? The fact of the matter is I'd consider myself a Christian and even label myself a Christian if I actually felt comfortable with what the Christian Religion is doing. It may be different where you come from and it may be different all over the world. However, Christianity has made it's voice very clear and does offer generalization across the religion. In general, Christianity is... The fruit it bears.

So, what I'd like to see is a Christian organization that doesn't follow Paul in the bible but follows in the foot steps of Jesus Christ... is that not what Christianity really is?
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 02:20 pm
@Justin,
Quote:
And please, I'm not saying that ALL Christians are distributing fear, I'm saying that ALL the Christians I have encountered are. I'm not lumping all Christians into this, but again, we can see the fruit of Christianity all over the place. Problem is, some of it isn't fruit at all.


Then why have you, and others, throughout this thread used the word "Christian" to refer to the American fundamentalist protestants you are supposedly talking about? This is the type of generalization/stereotyping that breeds ignorance and prejudice.

Avatar6v7 made the distinction when he said:

Quote:
I said christians not red-neck cultists


But nobody picked up on this...


Quote:
The intention was to bring an example of fear being distributed among Christians and show how, in this example, they all just eat it up. The post was meant to discuss this.


Again, one article, and a few people on facebook really tells us nothing. The example is ill-conceived, and could only be used to falsely "distribute fear" itself about the "fearing Christians".


Quote:
If we wanted to open a discussion about Atheism distributing fear, then that would be a completely different discussion and I wouldn't get involved in that because I'm not an atheist. If I were, I guess I'd be a Atheistic Christian... ? Does that make sense? The fact of the matter is I'd consider myself a Christian and even label myself a Christian if I actually felt comfortable with what the Christian Religion is doing. It may be different where you come from and it may be different all over the world. However, Christianity has made it's voice very clear and does offer generalization across the religion. In general, Christianity is... The fruit it bears.


This discussion, with all of its generalizations about Christianity and Christians, is distributing fear about Christian followers. Neither atheism nor Christianity spread fear. People with agendas spread it, regardless of their religious or philosophical affiliation; just like the "christian" from the article did, and just like it seems that yourself and others are doing here in this thread.

Grouping, labeling, and generalizing is at the root of prejudice and intolerance. I think we should avoid it if we are interested in "the philosophy of religion".
 
Justin
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 03:02 pm
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
Then why have you, and others, throughout this thread used the word "Christian" to refer to the American fundamentalist protestants you are supposedly talking about? This is the type of generalization/stereotyping that breeds ignorance and prejudice.


I used the term Christian because it describes exactly the instance that took place in the original post. If we say, American fundamentalist protestants, aren't we talking about American Christianity? Sure there are small sects of different flavors of Christianity but considering I'm living in the US and much of the population calls themselves Christians and likewise their leaders call themselves Christians, it's hard not to use the term Christianity when referring to stuff like this.

Pangloss wrote:
But nobody picked up on this...

Absolutely I picked up on this. It's a very definitive description of what I've seen in America and Christianity. If I were to generalize about anything it would be somewhere along those lines when referring to what I've experienced. That doesn't mean there are others, that just means I'm still in the box... obviously. Smile

Pangloss wrote:
Again, one article, and a few people on facebook really tells us nothing. The example is ill-conceived, and could only be used to falsely "distribute fear" itself about the "fearing Christians".

Is it? If you take a few moments to investigate the chatter in the Christian communities, the one article reflects a general consensus among Christians.. doesn't it?... or does it? Based again on where I live and who I encounter and how I was raised, this is an example of what I've seen displayed in Christianity since childhood and beyond. Am I falsely doing anything other than discussing something that is real and is of real concern?

Pangloss wrote:
This discussion, with all of its generalizations about Christianity and Christians, is distributing fear about Christian followers. Neither atheism nor Christianity spread fear. People with agendas spread it, regardless of their religious or philosophical affiliation; just like the "christian" from the article did, and just like it seems that yourself and others are doing here in this thread.

I disagree here to an extent. I agree that it's people that spread fear however, much of this fear is spread amongst people who call themselves Christians. I and others aren't spreading fear we're discussing why the Christian religion is in predominance spreading fear amongst each other.

Further, their desperate anticipation of the prophesies written in Revelation. Could the fears of people like this be creating these things?

Pangloss wrote:
Grouping, labeling, and generalizing is at the root of prejudice and intolerance. I think we should avoid it if we are interested in "the philosophy of religion".

I agree here about group labeling. Also agree that we should avoid it... I just hope you understand how difficult that is to do when as an American, Religion of the majority is that of Christianity and myself being raised a Christian and could very well be considered a Christian, should I not be able to discuss characteristics of a certain religion of which I'm surrounded by? Should I not be able to discuss the religion that was embraced by our President to bring us into war? Should I not be able to discuss the religion that is both confusing and the cause of much destruction all over the world?

It's not Christianity, it's the face that Christianity has taken on. Again, I'm not trying to bash Christianity I'm trying to discover in conversation why Christianity is and why it uses so much fear. And again, it's far from one instance, all you have to do is search the internet or listen to the Christian news channel.

"red-neck cultists" - seems to describe a lot of Christians who are influential as well as their followers so that doesn't really help to narrow the field. :perplexed:
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 03:45 pm
@Justin,
Justin;34817 wrote:
Is it? If you take a few moments to investigate the chatter in the Christian communities, the one article reflects a general consensus among Christians.. doesn't it?... or does it? Based again on where I live and who I encounter and how I was raised, this is an example of what I've seen displayed in Christianity since childhood and beyond. Am I falsely doing anything other than discussing something that is real and is of real concern?


Well, based on how I might have been raised and the people I may have encountered, I might have the mindset that black people are intellectually inferior to white people. With a little work, I could probably dig up some article to support my false conclusion. While it may be "real" and of "real concern" to me, it wouldn't be to most other people.


Quote:
I disagree here to an extent. I agree that it's people that spread fear however, much of this fear is spread amongst people who call themselves Christians. I and others aren't spreading fear we're discussing why the Christian religion is in predominance spreading fear amongst each other.


Certainly you know that correlation does not prove causation...even if you do, which came first, Christianity, or mass fear?

Quote:
Further, their desperate anticipation of the prophesies written in Revelation. Could the fears of people like this be creating these things?


You are just showing your obvious lack of interaction with mainstream Christians with this idea. While we're going on personal experiences here, My extended family is mostly Christian, and many people I know well are Christian. I grew up going to a Christian church, and I have studied Christianity, along with other religions. I have never personally encountered anyone who is "desperately anticipating" revelation prophecies. Yea, I've seen some of those views online, or on television...have never met them myself, and many people I know who are Christians dismiss revelations altogether. Once again, you get into trouble here due to generalizing.


Quote:
I agree here about group labeling. Also agree that we should avoid it... I just hope you understand how difficult that is to do when as an American, Religion of the majority is that of Christianity and myself being raised a Christian and could very well be considered a Christian, should I not be able to discuss characteristics of a certain religion of which I'm surrounded by? Should I not be able to discuss the religion that was embraced by our President to bring us into war? Should I not be able to discuss the religion that is both confusing and the cause of much destruction all over the world?


Sure, you can discuss it...what I have seen here though is not really discussion, but really just railing about Christians based on your experience with but a handful of them. Right here you have another issue of correlation apparently proving causation...so Christianity is "the cause of much destruction over the world?" So, something about the Christian faith causes destruction, it is not the actions of various people who call themselves Christians who cause this destruction? You are jumping to conclusions.

Quote:
It's not Christianity, it's the face that Christianity has taken on. Again, I'm not trying to bash Christianity I'm trying to discover in conversation why Christianity is and why it uses so much fear. And again, it's far from one instance, all you have to do is search the internet or listen to the Christian news channel.


Searching the internet and watching Christian news channels is not a great way to do your research. Meeting some Christians in the community who do great service work might be one way to see the positive impact that many Christians do have on the world around us. Mainstream media never mentions all of the Church or Christian-associated groups that build homes, cook meals, or give sustenance/shelter to those in need. But when one nut job who happens to be a fundamentalist Christian (or fundamentalist Islamist) says or does something ridiculous, you can bet it will make the headlines, with some misleading title like "southern fundamentalist christian commits atrocity!"

Quote:
"red-neck cultists" - seems to describe a lot of Christians who are influential as well as their followers so that doesn't really help to narrow the field. :perplexed:


Another jab that doesn't help your argument...

I really am not trying to start a feud or challenge anyone here, but some of these responses (and in fact the premise of this thread) compel me to do so. If you can admit that your experience of the Christian faith is probably much different than that of many others, then you should realize that your generalizing is not helpful for an intelligent discussion of religious philosophy.

You start off the thread with a poor example of some type of proof that Christians are prone to a type of group fear mentality. Well, sociologists have studied group panics/riots/fear for years, and this occurrence holds across all people, not just Christians. You have no evidence that this fear is rooted in Christianity; it is a false association. It seems that the real evidence has shown that this way of thinking is just rooted in the existence of human societies. Read the Greeks or pre-Christian Romans and notice fear mongering on various topics in their societies, before Christianity showed up. It is everywhere, and not confined to Christians by any means. Christians might exhibit this mindset, but it is not their being Christian that causes it.
 
NeitherExtreme
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 05:27 pm
@Justin,
Hi Justin.
Justin wrote:
EVERY Christian I have met longs for the days of persecution... that's all they talk about.

I can only assume you're exagerating here... I grew up in "christian" surroundings, went to a "christian" bible school for two years, worked and volunteered with christians of many different denominations and backgrounds, in various states and countries, and met countless more. And I can honestly say that your statement above doesn't fit anyone I've ever met. The closest person to that description that I've ever personally met was a homeless man in NYC... And even he didn't look forward to persecution, he just wouldn't stop talking about the end times. So I'm sorry, but I think you are generalizing here.

Edit: Also, just to add something maybe more on the topic you're trying to get at... No, I don't think that Christian's fears or predictions about the end-times will be self-fullfililing. I don't think that christians fearing a one-world secular government (or whatever) will bring about a one-world secular government (or whatever)... that wouldn't make much sense. Maybe, though, such beliefs could be self-fullfilling in bringing about their own persectution, if such a thing did happen.
 
William
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 07:24 pm
@Justin,
I can agree that perhaps Justin was a bit exaggerating, but that does not exempt the doctrine and what it "is interpreted" to say. The tribulation, armageddonrt, the rapture as it is defined in the New Testament and what those interpretations have in the mind of those who live by the letter of those interpretations. What is so important here is the role those who "believe" in these interpretations of what use will they be if, by divine intervention, the Earth and those who rule it, come to their "senses". When one is resolute in the assumed fact that the "world has to come to an end", no matter how much we endeavor to "mend our ways", what then? Will they be "assets" or "liabilities"?

I personally have not met many who are that dedicated to that mind set, and I can only hope there are not that many who are that fundamentally "addicted". But still those who are not of that faith are "doomed" which necessitates a steadfastedness that when push comes to shove how beneficial will the fundamentalist Christian be, as I mentioned, in those reparations as they deem all others are condemned to hell, yet no where does it say that. I think Dante should have been banned, Ha. Perhaps this has been the prevailing environment in Justin's life and I am not speaking for hin in any context, but I can see the reasoning behind his concern. For what it's worth.
William
 
NeitherExtreme
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 07:45 pm
@William,
Hi William. I tend to agree with most of your post... Personally though, from my experience, I do not think that most christians' eschatology is a primary (or even significant) factor in how they live. I think it's also worth noting that people having a steadfast belief that goodness, love, and peace will eventually triumph might actually be a good thing. And, while there will be a few who are addicted to doomsday scenerios, I don't think that's solely a "christian" penomenon...

Also, there have been more than one way of interperating biblical prophecy, and not all of them look like the "Left Behind" series.
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 07:56 pm
@Justin,
I have never met any Christian who takes the revelation seriously, or is planning his/her life around it.

These people make up a very small percentage of Christian believers.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 05:41 am
@Justin,
William wrote:
I think Dante should have been banned,

My mother has written a book on Dante's divine comedy, of which you seem to be concentrating on the part describing hell. Even if you think it's a load of bunk, it is a magnificent text.

Justin wrote:
I used the term Christian because it describes exactly the instance that took place in the original post. If we say, American fundamentalist protestants, aren't we talking about American Christianity? Sure there are small sects of different flavors of Christianity but considering I'm living in the US and much of the population calls themselves Christians and likewise their leaders call themselves Christians, it's hard not to use the term Christianity when referring to stuff like this.

'small sects'- what like the 44.3% of christians in the US who are catholic. Or the non-evangelical protestants -11.9%. More than half the christians in America don't even fit into the broadest interpretation of 'crazy protestants'
 
Solace
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 09:32 am
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
I have never met any Christian who takes the revelation seriously, or is planning his/her life around it.

These people make up a very small percentage of Christian believers.


I have met some who do take it seriously and literally, actually, but not many, and they were, well, odd...

I think that most believers don't fully, truly believe in a lot of what religion tells them actually. Which is exactly why so many of them are longing for some sort of proof. Yes, they fear those awful apocalyptic images, but at the same time they desperately want their belief to become visibly validated to themselves and to the world, no matter the means. So this mentality becomes simultaneously their great fear and sincere desire.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 03:50 pm
@Solace,
Pangloss wrote:
I have never met any Christian who takes the revelation seriously, or is planning his/her life around it.

These people make up a very small percentage of Christian believers.


It's one thing to take Revelations seriously, it's another to take the book literally. I would argue that most Christians take the book seriously, but a minority read the text literally.

Revelations is a serious allegory; Dante's Comedy is a serious allegory. Both should be taken seriously, but neither should be read literally.
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 04:11 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;35048 wrote:
It's one thing to take Revelations seriously, it's another to take the book literally. I would argue that most Christians take the book seriously, but a minority read the text literally.

Revelations is a serious allegory; Dante's Comedy is a serious allegory. Both should be taken seriously, but neither should be read literally.


Right, that is what I meant...taking the stories of the bible literally, or as historic fact. Most Christians know better...
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 04:17 pm
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
Right, that is what I meant...taking the stories of the bible literally, or as historic fact. Most Christians know better...

though the Bible has value as a historic document. And the events of the new testament are taken litreally.
 
 

 
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