Distribution of Fear in Christianity

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Solace
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 10:16 am
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
perhaps I need to make somthing clear. I do not have any objection to people having differing views of the bible. However what troubles me is that they feel they have the right to call themselves christians, co-opting the meaning of the word and the faith in general to their own ends.


Which is, in essence, why I don't call myself Christian. Most wouldn't consider me one if I told them my beliefs anyway. So I'll let them take the spiritual highroad and claim the Christian label, while I am content to remain in religious no-man's land. At least this way no one will second guess what I believe and mistake it to be the commonly-shared dogma of those who call themselves Christian.
 
Justin
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 12:22 pm
@Justin,
A lot of good points made in this discussion. After some thought, I agree that we cannot take Christianity and lump all the Christians into one category because there are so many many flavors of Christianity.

From my experience... which is obviously radical fundamentalist Christianity, Christianity has meant something different than it does to some others. After looking around though, I think it's apparent that many practicing Christians don't even know what Christianity is as Icon pointed out in another thread.

Icon wrote:
I was kicked out of church at the age of 12 when I pointed out to the congregation that wearing a suit or nice dress to church was the equivalent of lying to god or being guilty of vanity. God could see everything that we have done and will do so there was no point in dressing up as it meant nothing to the almighty. Unless you were dressing up to impress others which meant you were guilty of vanity. In other words, it is not a respect to God as God does not care so it must be for your own means which is a sin.

As far as Christianity goes, the definition is simple. One who believes in the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascendance of Jesus Christ as told by the bible. Anything that has stemmed from that is purely a human creation. Even church is a man made abomination of the text which seems to be the unread root of the religion. Church is defined as any time that 2 or more people gather in the name of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here is the way I see it: A good 75% of christians which I have asked (approximately 650 or so) have not even read the whole bible. Most of those have not read even one entire testiment of the bible. Still a majority of those have not finished an entire book in the bible. Yet they claim to be Christian? That is like saying that you are a Pro athlete because you saw a tv show on it once. I have read the bible cover to cover 5 times now and I am not a believer. It just has too many contradictions for me to see it is accurate.

It is especially scary to be in a church service. Stand, sit, sing, clap, be silent, listen, stand, sit, sing, clap, be silent, listen, PRAY! It is nothing more than a routine for most of these people. They think that by filling a pew, they will get some magical wealth when they die. It is quite frightening really, to think that all of these people truly do BLINDLY believe in something just because they are afraid of the consequences of NOT believeing in it.


I really do not want to be biased when discussing these types of things but it's very difficult not to be.

As far as fear, it's all around us. I do think that Christian leaders pump a lot of fear into their services, at least the services that I've been to. I have been to many churches all across the USA and have sought out a Christian church that I could settle into in which I found none.

So, much of the fear I've discussed in this thread has been due to the fact that I was a Christian looking for the right congregation to settle into. After finding not ONE Christian church that I felt comfortable in and now seeing the various discussions on the net, has made me completely biased and for obvious reasons.

It's not I who is judging and I have encountered more judgment in a Christian church than in any other. My experience is limited obviously but this is what I an others have also experienced.

As far as exaggerating... well, the fish looked like it was 3 feet long from a distance. Smile Actually, the church I was raised in was a cultist church and still is. They don't think so but standing from the outside looking in, it's definitely cult.

So if there is a Christian church or Christian organization that isn't what I've seen or experienced, I wish they would make themselves knows to the rest of us. Here is a prominent Christian leader:

YouTube - Joel Osteen on the gospel cannot make up his mind
 
Icon
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 12:29 pm
@Justin,
I think the reason that I cannot be religious is the fear factor. In the world of fight or flight, I was forgotten in the flight portion and only given fight.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 12:37 pm
@Icon,
avatar6v7 wrote:
perhaps I need to make somthing clear. I do not have any objection to people having differing views of the bible. However what troubles me is that they feel they have the right to call themselves christians, co-opting the meaning of the word and the faith in general to their own ends.


What gives you the right to say someone is not a Christian simply because their take on the tradition varies from your own?

From an historical perspective, the label Christian must have a broad use due to the wide variety of incarnations of the tradition. Bottom line.

You cannot say someone is not a Christian because their faith is different from your own. A Christian is someone who primarily turns to Christian scripture, canonical or otherwise, for spiritual guidance.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 03:18 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
What gives you the right to say someone is not a Christian simply because their take on the tradition varies from your own?

From an historical perspective, the label Christian must have a broad use due to the wide variety of incarnations of the tradition. Bottom line.

You cannot say someone is not a Christian because their faith is different from your own. A Christian is someone who primarily turns to Christian scripture, canonical or otherwise, for spiritual guidance.

To be christian is to be a follower of christ, and yet seemingly they don't even need to believe in his existance. Ridiculous.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 03:28 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
To be christian is to be a follower of christ, and yet seemingly they don't even need to believe in his existance. Ridiculous.


Not so ridiculous as you may think. A Christian does not necessarily (though most do) believe that the Jesus of scripture historically existed because even if a Christian takes Jesus to be a purely mythological figure the teachings attributed to said figure are still just as valid as if Jesus was a true, historical figure.

You don't have to look for very long before you find highly esteemed Buddhist teachers say quite clearly that whether or not the historic Buddha actually lived and walked this Earth is irrelevant - it's the teachings that matter. Is that so ridiculous?

Taoist scholars are pretty well in agreement that an historical Lao Tzu never lived, yet the teachings attributed to Lao Tzu do not lose their value. Is that so ridiculous?

If the Gospels are diminished because Jesus is a mythological as opposed to an historic figure, then the Gospels are worthless. Best used for kindling. However, if the question of whether or not Jesus is an historic figure is irrelevant to the value of the Gospels then your scripture is worth something.

As a Christian, the question of Jesus' historical existence is a question of historic, not spiritual, importance. Now, the only records that indicate Jesus did exist are scripture and the account of Josephus. Scholars have long recognized that Josephus' accounts are wildly inaccurate. Even more recently, scholars have begun to adopt the view that the mention of Jesus in Josephus' account is a latter addition to the text - ie, included in order to forge historic evidence of Jesus' existence.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 03:42 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Not so ridiculous as you may think. A Christian does not necessarily (though most do) believe that the Jesus of scripture historically existed because even if a Christian takes Jesus to be a purely mythological figure the teachings attributed to said figure are still just as valid as if Jesus was a true, historical figure.

You don't have to look for very long before you find highly esteemed Buddhist teachers say quite clearly that whether or not the historic Buddha actually lived and walked this Earth is irrelevant - it's the teachings that matter. Is that so ridiculous?

Taoist scholars are pretty well in agreement that an historical Lao Tzu never lived, yet the teachings attributed to Lao Tzu do not lose their value. Is that so ridiculous?

If the Gospels are diminished because Jesus is a mythological as opposed to an historic figure, then the Gospels are worthless. Best used for kindling. However, if the question of whether or not Jesus is an historic figure is irrelevant to the value of the Gospels then your scripture is worth something.

As a Christian, the question of Jesus' historical existence is a question of historic, not spiritual, importance. Now, the only records that indicate Jesus did exist are scripture and the account of Josephus. Scholars have long recognized that Josephus' accounts are wildly inaccurate. Even more recently, scholars have begun to adopt the view that the mention of Jesus in Josephus' account is a latter addition to the text - ie, included in order to forge historic evidence of Jesus' existence.

Perhaps you could provide me with an example of some of these 'christians' who do not believe in christ.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 04:00 pm
@avatar6v7,
I didn't say they did not believe in Christ, I said a Christian does not necessarily have to believe that Jesus was an historical figure.

Here is one Christian scholar who denies that Jesus was an historical figure.
Robert M. Price - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
ariciunervos
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 04:10 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
I didn't say they did not believe in Christ, I said a Christian does not necessarily have to believe that Jesus was an historical figure.

Here is one Christian scholar who denies that Jesus was an historical figure.
Robert M. Price - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Price rocks.

Dr. Price discusses the similarities between the New Testament Jesus and other divine mythic and literary figures.

YouTube - Dr. Robert M. Price - Dying and Rising Gods
 
William
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 04:17 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
Perhaps you could provide me with an example of some of these 'christians' who do not believe in christ.


IMHO, the belief in Christ the man, and Christ the trinity, is the cause of so many very different interpretations. The words, regardless who said them are the common denominator and are such it can be understood, especially in that day, to be of "divine inspiration". The trinity dictates Jesus was God incarnate and that also could be defined in different ways. One such definition is that He was as close to God as any human being has ever been. This is my particular belief. IMHO.Here : ihttp://unity.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=IdentityStatement&category=About+Uss but one "religion" that, IMO, comes the nearest to my own personal understanding. Though it is non-denominational I particularly like it's overall structure for the most part.

William
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 04:20 pm
@William,
William wrote:
IMHO, the belief in Christ the man, and Christ the trinity, is the cause of so many very different interpretations. The words, regardless who said them are the common denominator and are such it can be understood, especially in that day, to be of "divine inspiration". The trinity dictates Jesus was God incarnate and that also could be defined in different ways. One such definition is that He was as close to God as any human being has ever been. This is my particular belief. IMHO. Here is but one "religion" that, IMO, comes the nearest to my own personal understanding. Though it is non-denominational I particularly like it's overall structure for the most part.

William

broken link:rolleyes:
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 04:21 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
I didn't say they did not believe in Christ, I said a Christian does not necessarily have to believe that Jesus was an historical figure.

Here is one Christian scholar who denies that Jesus was an historical figure.
Robert M. Price - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

'a self described humanist' not a self-described christian. Try again.
 
William
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 04:27 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
broken link:rolleyes:


Try this one.
Association of Unity Churches

William
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 04:35 pm
@William,
William wrote:
Try this one.
Association of Unity Churches

William

where does that say what you're claiming? I can't find it on the sight. Some vauge stuff about Jesus, sounding preety standard, nothing about his existance as a historical figure.
 
William
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 04:55 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
where does that say what you're claiming? I can't find it on the sight. Some vauge stuff about Jesus, sounding preety standard, nothing about his existance as a historical figure.


Sorry, if it is not appropriate to the thread. I thought it might be of use as it was more definitive as to those various interpretations that compose Christianity. If not, then please just ignore it.
Thanks,

william
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 05:01 pm
@William,
William wrote:
Sorry, if it is not appropriate to the thread. I thought it might be of use as it was more definitive as to those various interpretations that compose Christianity. If not, then please just ignore it.
Thanks,

william

not a problem.
btw- all the smiling american families with perfect teeth seriously creeped me out:perplexed:
 
William
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 05:11 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
not a problem.
btw- all the smiling american families with perfect teeth seriously creeped me out:perplexed:


I understand what you are saying, but when you really think about it, a smile is a smile and the teeth behind it don't really matter that much. Right? Very Happy

William
 
Justin
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 05:30 pm
@Justin,
I found an interesting article to add to this thread. Here it is:

Quote:
Is Obama the Antichrist?Editor's Note: The colum above, written for Newsweek, has received much criticism from Newsweek readers and in the blogosphere. Newsweek blogger Kurt Soller asked Lisa to respond to the critics. This is her response in full:

On Nov. 5, I was on the phone with a source, a conservative Christian who was disappointed in the result of the election. But something else disappointed him more. Too many of his colleagues on the right, he said, were unable to focus on moving ahead. Too many of them, he told me, saw the result as a catastrophe, a sign of the end; some of them were talking about the president-elect as if he were the anti-Christ. I was intrigued for two reasons. The Barack Obama campaign had faced much criticism for the Messiah-like aura that surrounded it. Now, a certain constituency of far-right Christians were looking at the president-elect as the devil--or at least, as devilish. This seemed to me to be newsworthy. As I looked into it, I saw that the Antichrist idea had been "out there," in various ways, in local papers and on sites like Politico and USNews.com. Second, I felt that all the stories about the "new evangelicals" during this election season had obscured a very important reality in the Christian landscape: a third of white evangelicals believe that the world will end in their lifetimes, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public life. In other words, Americans with an apocalyptic worldview, who believe that the Bible contains prophesy predicting the end of time, are far from extinct.

Apocalypticism, the idea that God will bring about the end of history soon (in a series of events whose exact order has been debated for centuries) and reward the righteous with heaven, has been around since before the birth of Jesus. Many reputable scholars now believe that Jesus himself was an apocalyptic prophet and preached something like this warning, from the Gospel of Mark: "The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe in the Gospel." The controversy over the sanity of this perspective began on the first Easter, when Jesus rose from the dead, according to the gospels, and the world stayed right where it was. The sun rose and set and rose again. The history of Christianity has, in some sense, been a story about reconciling these foreboding teachings of Jesus--and of the apostle Paul--with history as it goes on and on. Today, most mainstream Christians think about Jesus's apocalpyticism in more metaphorical terms, not as real-time warnings. But through the centuries, there have been many who continued to mine the Bible for exact information about where, when and how the world would end. Millennialists have thrived in America; Todd Strandberg, the lead character in our story, is one of them.

I do not endorse millennialist theology, but I do not dismiss it either. I am a journalist, not a rabbi; I do not aim to condone one truth claim above another, for that way madness lies. (Did God really part the Red Sea? Did Jesus, sentenced to death for political crimes, really rise from the dead after three days in a cave? Did Mohammed really travel to heaven to talk to God? Did an angel named Moroni descend from heaven to show a young American boy named Joseph Smith the location of secret tablets upon which scripture was written?) Christians with an apocalyptic worldview are important to the story of Christianity and in America, their values have to a great degree shaped what we call the culture wars. Many of them believe that what they see as the creep of secular progressivism is a prelude to the end of the world. They are an important part of the American fabric, and in my view, worth 600 words in a national magazine. As I do with most controversial subjects, I let these end-times believers speak for themselves, hoping that readers would draw their own conclusions about the soundness of their beliefs. I never imagined that readers would think that they spoke for NEWSWEEK or for me. - full article here.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 05:32 pm
@William,
William wrote:
I understand what you are saying, but when you really think about it, a smile is a smile and the teeth behind it don't really matter that much. Right? Very Happy

William

They obviously disagreed. And those smiles were bloody creepy.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 05:35 pm
@Justin,
Justin wrote:
I found an interesting article to add to this thread. Here is a portion of it:

Scary stuff.
I just realised the irony of what I just typed:lol:
Anyway I agree that the US is full of crazy gun toting cultists. Happy?:Not-Impressed:
 
 

 
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