Distribution of Fear in Christianity

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ariciunervos
 
Reply Sun 30 Nov, 2008 05:43 pm
@Solace,
avatar6v7 wrote:
What an amusingly linear concept of time you have.


avatar6v7 wrote:
You have a very simplistic conception of time, you really do.


xris wrote:
[...] please tell me how simplistic is my conception of time???


avatar6v7 wrote:
God trancends time.


... ... http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/7162/dielaughingfy9.gif



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Icon
 
Reply Mon 1 Dec, 2008 07:53 am
@Justin,
Wow. First of all, it is true that no one really wins a philosophical debate. Mainly because philosophy is the persuit of truth and not the aquisition of truth. It's funny to me, because philosophy and religion aren't that different. They are both the persuit of knowledge and truth, just different tactics to achieving it. Funnier still is that neither have succeeded in their original design. They have both presented some truths but even these are questionable.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Mon 1 Dec, 2008 08:51 am
@ariciunervos,
ariciunervos wrote:
... ... http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/7162/dielaughingfy9.gif



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Wow you need to get out more.
 
Lithium phil
 
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 12:33 am
@Justin,
Justin wrote:

My question is, are we fear mongering? These posts up here are from people that believe they know God and what Christianity is and these are people that surround me.

Are we fear mongering? I guess it depends on what you mean as we? We the Christians, we the people, etc. I won't try and be so analytical and I am just going to assume that you are talking about Christians. The only reason I brought this up was because I thought I read in another post that you were not Christian. It may have been another person. Therefore I am sorry if I am thinking of you as being someone else.

Anyways, I actually got in a heated "discussion" about this with my parents. The answer in my opinion is very simple. Yes, Christians (I don't consider myself a Christian by what today's standards) are fear mongering and using fear as a tool. This was never God or Jesus intent. The debate I got in with my elders was whether or not the book of Revelation should exist. I say it should have never been written and not be preached because as any Christian will admit, fear is a tool of Satan, and using the book to instill fear is simply not Christian which I come across a lot. My Mom always says, "See this is exactly what has to happen before the rapture occurs" whenever a bad thing happens. It angers me and she says it likes she is more knowledgeable (another problem with mainstream Christians, I am right, your wrong, etc) and in a tone that tries to convey fear.

I have had a rough path throughout my growing up with let's just say "unhealthy habits", and after my grandfather found out he tried to preach to me that if I didn't believe in God (which I never denounced) and didn't act a certain way I was going to hell. Having my grandfather be a preacher to people, I was appalled and did not find this very Christian. I would say it harms a person even more because they are not becoming a "Christian" for the right reasons.

Christian I use as a person who believes in both books (Old and New Testament) and is one who accepts Jesus as his lord and savior, etc.

I'm not sure if this is the answer you are looking for, but I just had to say this because it was one of those "ah-ha!" moments that I couldn't pass up.
 
Icon
 
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 08:25 am
@Lithium phil,
So I have finally finished my revisit of christianity and it was concluded with an interview of a rather popular local preacher. I have only my paper notes since I have not converted the tape to digital yet, but I will highlight some of the fun points.

Through out this next section; J=Me T= Let's just call him Tom the Preacher


J: So it has come to my attention that each generation seems to have a list of events which are leading to the immediate rapture/armageddon. My question is, God said that no one would know the time of the rapture except for him. Then you have the book of Revelations which seems to guide us to a direct, almost Nostradamian, list of events which will occur. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to say that the end times are coming. Does that really produce the love and concern that Jesus taught or is it simply a tactic of fear used to convert non-believers?

T: Ofcourse it is out of love and concern! We are doing our best to save peoples souls. I think it is only appropriate that we warn them of the torment that awaits them in hell if they don't accept Jesus Christ as their lord and savior. If they understand then they cannot claim ignorance on judgement day.

J: Wouldnt it be more effective, especially in times of trouble such as the ones we are going through, to explain the other side of Christianity?

T: What side do you mean?

J: The side which teaches about love, patience, forgiveness, turning the other cheek, modesty, living for others, and the likes.

T: Well we show that too. Each year, our church gives $50,000 to charity.

J: But I have to wonder, this church is built on a grand scale. The Hardwood flooring, event quality sound and lighting, hand carved wooden ceilings made of solid oak, satin covered pews, and you are wearing a Marchatti suit. It seems to me that $50,000 is a rather low number considering how much this church makes for an annual income. God asks for 10% from the average person, or so the catholic religion has suggested, shouldn't a church give more?

T: Well it costs a great deal to maintain the property and keep us in a lease. It is also very important that our chuch looks nice and that I look nice in order to bring people in to an environment that they feel comfortable.

J: But sir, God can see into your soul and knows everything that you do, is it truly important that you wear a suit? It seems to me like vanity.

T: There is nothing wrong with wearing nice clothes to show respect to God.

J: You seem to be frustrated, let's move on.

T: Let's

J: So if I were to tell you that not only did I disbelieve god as a concept but had proof that he did not exist, what would you say in return?

T: That you are an obvious fool and that I hope your eternity in hell will remind you everyday of this. Look, I'm done with this interview. This has been a complete waste of my time. You can find the door.



Now, mind you, there was a great deal more before this which I am quite sure frustrated and infuriated him. I don't have time to post it all though. But this should be a decent glimpse into the current state of Christianity. It has nothing to do with the teachings of the bible any longer. It is all based around fear. Atleast where I am located. God is used as a control, not a loving diety.
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 08:51 am
@Icon,
Well im just glad that we dont see too much of this attitude or its churches in my neck of the woods....
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 09:35 am
@xris,
Been out of town for a few days, holidays and all that.

avatar6v7 wrote:

True. But I think it important to establish that those who disbelieve in Christ are probably wrong.


Careful with those terms. You can disbelieve in the historical Jesus while also believing in the mythological Jesus. Those who are skeptical or disbelieve in the historical Jesus may be wrong, but you and I might also be wrong. It just so happens that scholars tend to think Jesus, historically, did exist. There is absolutely no spiritual importance in the question of Jesus' historical existence.

avatar6v7 wrote:
But how many christians have ever held the belief? Nobody in the early church- though some denyed his divinity(i.e. the aryan heresy) and it was not until the late nineteenth century that any debate on the matter really occured. And it was mostly concluded that those who posited Christs non-existance were wrong and were not recognised by the church.


Many Christians have held the view. It's been a minute, but from what I recall there was a gnostic sect which denied that Jesus was a man.

The scholarly debate did not occur until much later because such a debate was impossible - impossible due to the Church's authority and due to the sheer lack of information. Higher criticism was an infant.

As for church recognition - this is completely irrelevant. The church is not an authority on who is and who is not a Christian.

avatar6v7 wrote:
You are entirely right that people can read the scripture and gain vast moral and spirtual benefit from it and not believe in Christ. These people are very moral people who are not christians. If you read the bible in this way then you can read eastern texts, the qua'ran, indeed texts from any spirtual background in this way. But you are not entering into the faith, just gaining benefit from it's writings. I have read Norse myhtology and I love it, it has a lot of valuable lessons and it's very compelling. But I am not a scandanavian pagan. Also you still haven't explained your view on the matter of redemption and the ressurection.


Wow, let's just ignore everything I type, huh?

avatar6v7 wrote:
I think that the words were truely recorded as were christs words because I believe that the diciples would not have allowed his words to go forgotten and unrecorded. I believe the events are reported honestly. I believ this because I do not think that faced with God incarnate that they could have failed to record his life honestly. That is a belief of course, but that is my view of the matter.


You would benefit from some history. This, the paragraph above, is pure belief and contradicts what most scholars (since we mentioned them earlier) think about the matter.

avatar6v7 wrote:
This is the part I really object to. I will admit that you can argue that you can read the bible unhistorically and still be a christian, I would diagree but that is simply my view. However to say that there is no difference spirtually between the two is ridiculous. It is utterly not the case.


Except that isn't what I argued...

Nor did I suggest that there is no difference between reading the Bible literally and reading it figuratively.

avatar6v7 wrote:
still nobody has answered the question of how the concept of redemption is meangiful without the event of the ressurection.


Without the historical event? I did answer that.
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 06:27 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Just thought this article might pertain to discussion here...it is interesting:

Bush Says He Doubts Bible Literally True

What is notable is two of the polls:

When I looked at the results, there were ~90,000 respondents for each of the two on religious beliefs.

Question 1 asks, "Do you believe the bible to be literally true?", and the responses for yes and no were split about 50/50...

Question 2 asks about the explanation for life's origins. Creationism - 47%, Evolution - 35%, "Intelligent Design" - 13%. :sarcastic: Since creationism and "intelligent design" are fundamentally the same, it is basically 60% for creationism...nice that AOL and 13% of the respondents distinguish between those two.

90,000 respondents is a pretty decent sample size; of course, this sample would be biased, because it would be a group of people who frequent AOL news, and are probably younger, wealthier (in a "developed" nation, probably America), more-tech savvy, and therefore probably less "fundamentalist" in their religious views compared to the overall population. Still, 50% think the bible is literal truth, and 60% buy the creationist story (of course it's a problem to just say "evolution vs. creationism" as the two might well overlap, or might exist within two different categories where it is like comparing apples to oranges).

If 50% of AOL news-readers believe the bible to be literal true, then I would quite confidently guess that in America, that percentage is significantly higher than 50%. So, if the majority of Americans do believe in the bible's literal truth, then how does this belief influence the distribution of fear within American Christians? Certainly if you believe the bible to be literally true, and have read much of it, there are some stories in there that would inspire quite a bit of fear...
 
Justin
 
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 08:17 pm
@Pangloss,
Lithium wrote:
Are we fear mongering? I guess it depends on what you mean as we? We the Christians, we the people, etc. I won't try and be so analytical and I am just going to assume that you are talking about Christians. The only reason I brought this up was because I thought I read in another post that you were not Christian. It may have been another person. Therefore I am sorry if I am thinking of you as being someone else.


You are correct. I have stated elsewhere that I would not call myself a Christian because of my overall experience with Christianity. However, since I believe in the meaning and message of Jesus Christ I'm technically a Christian. Besides, I was raised Christian as well. So that's really what it is... a basic confusion of the scope and mission of Christianity.

Lithium wrote:
Anyways, I actually got in a heated "discussion" about this with my parents. The answer in my opinion is very simple. Yes, Christians (I don't consider myself a Christian by what today's standards) are fear mongering and using fear as a tool. This was never God or Jesus intent. The debate I got in with my elders was whether or not the book of Revelation should exist. I say it should have never been written and not be preached because as any Christian will admit, fear is a tool of Satan, and using the book to instill fear is simply not Christian which I come across a lot. My Mom always says, "See this is exactly what has to happen before the rapture occurs" whenever a bad thing happens. It angers me and she says it likes she is more knowledgeable (another problem with mainstream Christians, I am right, your wrong, etc) and in a tone that tries to convey fear.


This sounds very familiar. I meet many of these types of Christians as well and I agree with you. On the other hand people in general do the same thing whether they be Christian or another religion. Either way the fear being promoted changes the outcomes of nations expanding generations.

The rapture cannot produce itself, we must produce it. If we continue with the mindset we have we will create a rapture eventually. Fear is counter productive.

Lithium wrote:
Christian I use as a person who believes in both books (Old and New Testament) and is one who accepts Jesus as his lord and savior, etc.


K. I'm not exactly that flavor of Christian. There are hundreds of flavors, this is just one. Surprised
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Sat 13 Dec, 2008 11:25 am
@Justin,
creationWiki.org - The "Encyclopedia of Creation Science".

Quote:
"The CreationWiki is a free internet encyclopedia of creation science that was inaugurated during the summer of 2004 by the Northwest Creation Network, and is the product of an international team of creationists."


This is an interesting site to peruse, having close to 600 member contributors and nearly 4,000 articles. Here are some bits of "wisdom" that I found on the site:

  • Intelligent Design is a "scientific theory", while the general theory of evolution is "an explanation". The article on evolution is complete with references from TalkOrigins, and external links to "top evidences against the theory of evolution".


  • Atheism is a Marxist philosophy that is common within the scientific community, communist countries, and Nazi Germany. Being an atheist increases your risk of suicide.



- On the Bible:

Quote:

"No other book in history is as popular, or as revered, nor as diverse in context as the lives of those who wrote it...creationists agree that the Bible is history, not mythology or allegory, because the text itself is so obviously historical in style and content unless otherwise implied within the text through a historical-grammatical exegesis...Due to its being prized as the coveted word of God, the Bible has been better preserved, and translated into more languages, than any other book in history...There is simply no other book in existence that offers a better chronological record of the early history of the Earth."


- On Agnosticism:

Quote:
To be an agnostic is to acknowledge one's ignorance and surrender to it. To be a Christian is to acknowledge one's ignorance but then say, as did Paul that, "Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known." 1Corinthians 13:12



:sarcastic:
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 12:34 pm
@Pangloss,
Intrestingly a number of Nazis actually practiced a form of revived paganism.
 
xris
 
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 01:31 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
Intrestingly a number of Nazis actually practiced a form of revived paganism.
Dont denigrate us pagans we have served mankind for thousands of years...
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 01:58 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7;37952 wrote:
Intrestingly a number of Nazis actually practiced a form of revived paganism.
True, but this was a small minority and it was not the position of the Nazi leadership. Hitler and Goebbles (both actively practicing Catholics, though critical in some ways of the Church) despised the pagans within the Nazi party. Heinrich Himmler (himself Christian) was the only major Nazi leader who leaned towards paganism, but he alienated himself somewhat because he was so taken by the Nazi mysticism and was just, well, freakish and bizarre. Himmler was sort of what the Columbine shooters would have grown up to be -- an angry geeky boy with no conscience, no political smarts, and bottomless cruelty.

Also, don't forget that the ideology of Naziism was not enough to create the disaster that befell Europe under Hitler's rule. What he needed was a great deal of complicity. And you don't need to search very hard to find that everyone from the einsatzgruppen (SS death squads) to the camp commandants to the Polish and Russian and Hungarian and French and Romanian (etc) people who handed over their Jews to the SS, not to mention the papacy itself, were Christians who had little to do with the Nazi ideology other than their willingness to participate in the Nazi crimes.

That's not an indictment of Christianity, though. It's only a statement of the obvious, i.e. being a self-identified Christian did not seem to stop people from being sadistic monsters and callous opportunists. It didn't stop people in the Rwandan and Bosnian genocides either (both perpetrated by Christians), and all of the ethnic violence in latin America in the 1980s and 1990s was Christian on Christian.

All it takes to be a butcher is to be human. Beyond that, it's a personal judgement how one regards the responsibilities dictated by one's religion (or other sources of moral imperatives).
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 04:28 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
Dont denigrate us pagans we have served mankind for thousands of years...

merely an obsevation. There have been hideous Pagan societies such as the Carthaginians, and magnificent ones such as Greek and Roman societys. Paganism has ever been by it's very nature, a mixed bag.
 
xris
 
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 04:44 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
merely an obsevation. There have been hideous Pagan societies such as the Carthaginians, and magnificent ones such as Greek and Roman societys. Paganism has ever been by it's very nature, a mixed bag.
If christianity survives as long in its purity as paganism did it will need another six thousand years...
 
Icon
 
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 07:16 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
If christianity survives as long in its purity as paganism did it will need another six thousand years...

It couldn't have been around that long. Don't you know that the earth is only 6000 years old according to some Christians? HAHAHAHA. Sorry. Just pointing out another fear based belief of the Christian faith.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 05:15 pm
@Icon,
The resilience of this thread is utterly amazing.

... just had to toss that out, carry on!
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2008 09:28 am
@Khethil,
I would like to point out that one of the most fear driven societys in the world- The communist USSR- was atheist. I do not suggest that this makes atheism a view inherently fearful and fear causeing, but in the same way, just becasue some christians and christian groups use fear as a tool, this does not make Christianity a faith based on dolling out fear.
 
Joe
 
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2008 10:02 am
@avatar6v7,
So lets break this down as simple as possible, because i feel, that many posting on this thread cannot grasp that religion standouts in fear, merely because it is widespread and is one of the oldest methods of support.

But religion is just one compartment if you will that is scared based on the undeniable fact, that there is a separation of knowledge and information in this country. Fact.

Not based on opinions or commitments to certain parties or ideas. Because of the people who control the country. Most have there reasons for the divide of information and knowledge. That doesnt matter. It still causes fear and worry in people. As it should.

When you separate these things within a country, it is easy as hell to control it without any authoritative challenge what so ever. Thats what people are always on the watch for. More obvious in those who worry.

So simply saying that Christians do it more then anyone, doesn't mean they are wrong in worrying more, just that it is more evident when they do nothing to address their fears. (whether right or wrong)
 
Icon
 
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2008 10:02 am
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
I would like to point out that one of the most fear driven societys in the world- The communist USSR- was atheist. I do not suggest that this makes atheism a view inherently fearful and fear causeing, but in the same way, just becasue some christians and christian groups use fear as a tool, this does not make Christianity a faith based on dolling out fear.

Why is it important to believe in Christ and what he did for you?
 
 

 
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