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Author Topic: Christianity  (Read 8426 times)

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Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Christianity
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2008, 07:58:20 AM »
So, you're not debating but simply offering your opinion.  While I realize your opinion was placed here by another, your original opinion was given in this forum.  The opinion was also given on a thread, I might add, that was fairly old.  Now someone as intelligent as you sound surely read the posts in that thread, along with the multitude of others you've posted in on this same forum, and realize this is the fighting floor.  So by putting your opinion here, it becomes open to criticism.  You cannot plead self-defense when you walk on the sands yourself.

Meaning that I again ask, what is your point?  You say look at the title and it says Christianity.  Are you debating whether Christianity should exist?  Are you asking us to give or deny justification for all practioners of this faith?  Are you arguing its values, influence, power or origins?  You said its the Christian system in place at some point.  So do you want to discuss the religious basis of the United States, the influence of the Christian value system in first world politics, the structure of Protestant Churches versus the Catholic Church or what?  

As for being an authority, I've had enough priests in my education to know that isn't truth.  One that I will never forget told us the first day of class, "Anyone who says they know the Truth is either a fool or a liar."  You don't know the truth, you're down here in the dirt with the rest of us.  Don't want to shove something down our throats, then stop coating it with crap.

Offline Mia

Re: Christianity
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2008, 08:03:59 AM »
I take it that post was to me?

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Christianity
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2008, 08:52:19 AM »
Not at all.  Just kinda fell there cause I was writing it when you were putting yours up I think.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Christianity
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2008, 11:31:46 AM »
Christian doesn't mean slave to Christ, even in its original Greek form.

When applied to a noun, the -ian suffix means of, like, or belonging to.

Quote
Furthermore, the general definition of "believing on/in Christ" needs clarification of the meaning from the original source, wherein "believing on" meant an act of trust and submittance. What could a Christian submit to but either Jesus directly (as in the case of the Disciple groups) or the bible (as in the case of biblical-contradictory groups)?

Once again, the final group who generally hold the extent of their belief to "the bible is right, Jesus saves em from hell cause I say he's god" to "Jesus is a savior, there are many paths to heaven. he was a good guy." Don't fit into this group, because A) they have no idea what they're talking about, and B) how can one submit to something they know nothing of?

So, again, even Formally, the word applies to one of two groups, and of those two one is the majority, and would be the generally understood section. Again, this isn't merely my thinking, it's the thinking I've encountered in group after group of believers and non-believers.

Does anyone else see the irony in our friend declaring that something needs clarification and then proceeding to write these next paragraphs?

In my own, personal view, the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, where Scripture is exalted above Christ, actually does separate the Southern Baptists from Christianity.  This is an important distinction from say, rejecting Pauline Christianity - many follow Christ and consider Paul's teachings to be, at best, advice.  Obviously, Christian homosexuals, Christians playing RPGs, etc. etc. must reject at least some of Pauline doctrine.

Basing Christianity on the Bible is silly - it didn't exist in complete form until three centuries after Jesus' supposed crucifixion. The New Testament was not finalized until the Synod of Hippo in 393.

Quote
And honestly, it's humorous to me that those who are responding are attempting to be technically correct for the sake of "saving" those who Don't fit into the definition I'm using.

No one's saving anyone at this point, merely trying to put up with your ego.

Quote
I'm not attacking the people who don't know their own book

Whose book? What book would this be? Surely you can't mean the Bible - as I've already mentioned, such a definition is ridiculous, as it excludes the first Christians by definition. Pauline Christianity is not all of Christianity.

Quote
and claim to be a part of something they aren't,

Again a bold claim.

By your definition, no one who holds liberal Biblical views is a Christian. The only Christians, in your narrow definition, are those who hold to Literalism, Inerrancy, and possibly Infallibility. The latter two are some very large groups, yes, but they never have represented the entirety of Christendom.

Quote
I'm pointing out simple facts about the main Christian belief system.

The main Christian belief system changes, you know. The words of the specific translation you have are fact in that they have been written on a piece of paper, etc. etc.  However, that they were translated properly, were authored by the person who wrote the original work, etc. etc. are not facts, merely beliefs until the originals can somehow be uncovered.

And if the majority of Christians eventually reject some or many of Paul's teachings, such as his rants on homosexuality, then that, too, becomes a part of Christianity by even this narrow definition of yours.

Quote
Those unaware of it are simply that. If they became aware of it and decided to stick with it (the mainstream, biblical-contradictory model), then they would be subject to the same insanity.

You keep on throwing out that term you've invented. Why?

Quote
This is why the only respect that I Do have is for the disciple groups, because they actually Consider what they claim to be a part of, follow it, and use their heads in doing so.

Perhaps you should look up other people's terms first, before making up your own? You are far from the only one to make these sorts of observations, and, obviously, have been making these observations for far less time than some.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2008, 11:33:16 AM by Vekseid »

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Re: Christianity
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2008, 12:03:46 PM »
Indeed Moondazed :) I figured that out very shortly which is why I haven't really bothered answering anything on this board. For the record I am not Christian either, and while his words do not offend me personally either I never have been able to back away from a good debate..unfortunatly as you have stated his wording is not conductive to a considerate debate.

Also has been watching this thread.  Likewise not Christian, nor has taken offense.   I post, only because instead of a debate and discussion.  This thread seems nothing more then a ranting lecture.  Where the author has declared himself an authority.   

So what defines this expert knowledge and authority. 

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Christianity
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2008, 12:13:09 PM »
Vekseid said most things I'd say and better than me.
The painfully intolerant people are only a faction of Christianity and definitely have no right to claim they're the 'original ones'.

Offline Cherri Tart

Re: Christianity
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2008, 12:14:50 PM »


Just live by that simple phrase: “be nice to each other” and you will do fine.

this is what it comes down to for me, as well... btw, i am Christian, and although i hardly consider myself devout, i do believe strongly in the main message which is love thy neighbor - and no, i'm not trying to be salacious here - i just think that that gets lost in all the arguments over this and that, and really, if everyone kept to that tenant, the world would be a much better place.  :)

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Christianity
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2008, 12:54:56 PM »
Well one in my opinion must seperate the acts and words of Jesus from the actions and words of His followers, and from the Old Testament.

The Jesus I read about in the Four Gospels and the Gnostic Texts speak of a teacher of Gods grace and mercy that walked and ministered to all including the poor and outcast and unloved. There is an early arguement I accept that the Bible should have been limited to the Four Gospels and other texts deemed secondary to those. Since what really matters to me is what Christ taught not His followers who may have had biases its clear in the Gospel of Mary (the Gnostic Text) they clearly might have attacked Mary of Magdela the most important of Jesus' followers outside the Apostles for not teaching the "proper" teachings. We are here talking of a woman that tended to Jesus personally, was at the Crucifixtion and was the first to see the risen Christ. Clearly by His actions she was very regarded and respected. I do consider the text since its not complete supportive but inciteful.

Its not an easy issue should Christians read the Bible as literal and unerring or assume that the book has errors but focus on the message and acting in accord with Jesus as He lived. I personally favor the latter.

Addendum: I do wish to add that I seperate my religious beliefs from public policy and actions, what is ideal and what can be done in the most practical manner must both be considered. Global Warming I'm not as heartless as people are thinking of me on the matter but what good is destroying economic strength and wasting resources when then is no strong assurances this will stop the problem? Rather put these resources after a consistant set result is most likely all can agree upon and work out where these are best used to help the most people that may not be in the end stopping Greenhouse Gas emissions drastically but some more moderate approach to other problems related to it. I don't feel this as inconsistant God gave us the faculty of reason that must be used, not just emotion.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2008, 01:02:33 PM by RubySlippers »

Offline SakujoTopic starter

Re: Christianity
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2008, 03:52:31 PM »
It's really quite amazing watching this thread, as every time I think I've made myself clear, another (in this case a few) come along and post as though they've entirely missed what I said.

Again, when I say "Christians" in my original posts, I am referring to the biblical-contradictory group, those Unlike Cherri AND unlike the original Christian groups (Whose traditions are generally unknown).

I Never made the claim that biblical-contradictory groups were the legitimate line from these original groups, nor have I been so ridiculous as to say that this group will always be the typical identification of Christianity. At present, however, it is.

Believe me, the day that Pauline doctrine, along with much of the rest of the bible, is openly admitted to be bullshit, interpolation, etc, will be a great day. I've actually made a video series in the public forum dedicated to outlining one of the forms of disciple group that I think is worthy of respect and would do far better with evangelizing. No, I won't point you to it, because it contains personal details.

The reason I continue to use my distinctions on Diciple groups, biblical-contradictory, and Generalized is because they seem the most comprehensive definitions that are easiest to understand without much consideration. Perhaps I'm incorrect about that. Regardless, they serve my purposes for the moment.


Now, going post by post.

Mia: That's the problem; when it comes to the biblical-contradictory groups (and to some extent the disciple groups) the main message Isn't to treat others fairly/love them/whatever, the main message is a shared message, encompassing altruism, wrath & warnings, and slavery to god, the second of which is terribly violent and, if I may, reprobate, and the last of which is a frightening and nerve-wracking thing when one really delves into studying it. The bible is not a simple book, which is all the more reason why it should be discarded in general, and why the biblical-contradictory groups are so..well, crazy. Trying to live by that book will screw you up.


Asku: Correct, I'm offering my insights from over my many years of study and experience. They're obviously mostly negative.

Yes, I'm aware that anything I write here is up for being challenged, and I have no problem with that, but, as said, I'll defend my statements until I no longer feel liek doing so. I'm not pleading self-defense, I'm stating my reason for bothering continuing here when challenged.

Again, I didn't create the title, a mod did. I had no purpose for this topic, because I didn't intend to create it. I merely was throwing out criticism of the disgusting Christian system in place, which leads to people being as insane as the woman in the book banning thread.

If you want to turn this into an actual discussion, then yes, we could discuss whether Christianity should exist, in what form, and what ti should be doing. We could discuss whether the Christian faith is justified (or faith in god at all, for that matter), what the worth of its values, etc, are, the influence of Christianity, or the difference in structure between groups.

Your priest seems to have been making a generalized statement referring to the truth about god or life in general, in which case he would be right. However, in this case the statement doesn't stand upon firm ground, because we're arguing about a very limited system and what the followers are essentially obliged to do by their code of belief.


Vek: "When applied to a noun, the -ian suffix means of, like, or belonging to." Christ-like would make sense, but considering that, if I recall correctly, the word was created by outsiders, it's more likely that they meant "Those belonging to the group that follows 'the Christ'" I may be wrong.

Your assessment of the bible being put above Christ sounds odd, and also seems incorrect when considering the following line "All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society."

If you meant to say that the bible's entire message is taken as of more importance than Christ's alone, then you would be correct in your statement. However, this is the tradition of the Christianity we have been discussing all along (or at least that I have been).

"Obviously, Christian homosexuals, Christians playing RPGs, etc. etc. must reject at least some of Pauline doctrine."

If they are aware of Pauline doctrine, they certainly must reject it.

"Basing Christianity on the Bible is silly - it didn't exist in complete form until three centuries after Jesus' supposed crucifixion. The New Testament was not finalized until the Synod of Hippo in 393."

Exactly one of my points. I wish all people who call themselves Christian would recognize this and examine their beliefs.

"No one's saving anyone at this point, merely trying to put up with your ego."

You protested to my criticism of the Cristian system and Christians by pointing out that not all people who claim the Christian name fit into the definition I was using. That's what this whole argument has been about, and I find it odd that the beating of the dead horse continues, as I've stated over and over again that when I said Christian, I was referring to the typical identification (Even if not so typical in practice in individual lives worldwide), and not such disciple groups or "liberal Christians", as you would call them.

This is one of the reason I'm glad so many denominations have sprung up, they make it easier to clarify what you're talking about. Unfortunately the "Christian" name hasn't also split into groups to identify one's particular beliefs about 'Christ' and "god", such as something similar to the three identifications I've given. If that had been the case, we wouldn't even be arguing now.

"By your definition, no one who holds liberal Biblical views is a Christian. The only Christians, in your narrow definition, are those who hold to Literalism, Inerrancy, and possibly Infallibility. The latter two are some very large groups, yes, but they never have represented the entirety of Christendom."

I think that, at this time, that's a fair statement. They're something other than the typified system, and, as stated above, I'd love to see them call themselves something different. Mind you, I'd like to point out that I Have seen groups who do this, giving themselves another label than "Christian" for this exact sort of reason.

However, they need not hold to in errancy, infallibility, and full literalism at all to fit into what seems the modern definition of Christianity.

That merely seems to be a projection of your desire to attack what you perceive to be my arrogance and error.

"The main Christian belief system changes, you know. The words of the specific translation you have are fact in that they have been written on a piece of paper, etc. etc.  However, that they were translated properly, were authored by the person who wrote the original work, etc. etc. are not facts, merely beliefs until the originals can somehow be uncovered."

No disagreement here at all. I don't think Jesus even existed as a person, honestly, and we don't know who actually wrote the gospels in their original forms. Again, see at the top for my views on the possibility of change.

Asherah: "This thread seems nothing more then a ranting lecture.  Where the author has declared himself an authority."

That's what it is, (at least right now) more or less. Again, that's why I offered int eh original thread to start a new section in the Ranting area, not in P&R.

"So what defines this expert knowledge and authority."

Argumentation itself defines who is right and wrong to an extent. From there it's inter-subjective reasoning. The facts back up what I've said, so it's authoritative.

Celestial Goblin: Again, please read the whole thread. I've never claimed they were in lineage with the "originals", merely that they've held to a tradition of basing beliefs on scriptures.

Cherri: If that were truly the main (and better yet, the Sole) point of Christianity, I wouldn't be ready to destroy it at every reasonable opportunity.

At the moment, however, that view is regarded as "false" and "fringe", even though a great mass hold that sort of belief.

Ruby: Your opinion is a good one, but entirely denies the system in place.

"Its not an easy issue should Christians read the Bible as literal and unerring or assume that the book has errors but focus on the message and acting in accord with Jesus as He lived. I personally favor the latter."

This is where I disagree, though I think it's just due to the wording you used. I think the only trouble in seeing the bible as FULL of errors is because of the system in place. If the system weren't locking people into closed mind-sets, I think the bible may be mostly discarded within a generation or two, because it's just so Riddled with holes.

"Addendum: I do wish to add that I seperate my religious beliefs from public policy and actions, what is ideal and what can be done in the most practical manner must both be considered."

If only those in the system and those Generalized who follow those int eh system to an extent adhered to this.

Offline Humble Scribe

Re: Christianity
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2008, 06:10:32 PM »
The difficulty is that you want a certain group of people to 'represent' your rather narrow interpretation of Christianity. But as has been pointed out, a much fairer critereon is self-selection, i.e. those people who claim themselves to be Christians. You may disagree with some of those claims (although I still can't see a good reason why, and saying "I refer you to my tl;dr posts earlier" doesn't help much), but they claim it nonetheless. You are basically asking the entire world to accept your own self-derived (and somewhat specious) taxonomy. Sorry, but we don't. Now what?

Offline Sherona

Re: Christianity
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2008, 06:25:09 PM »
Quote
biblical-contradictory group

The problem is this term right here is your own made up term Sakujo, and as such it just identifies your own narrow minded beliefs that all christians who use the bible as the word of god (which..I haven't found any christian group who does not accept that the bible is the word of god..there are some who do not hold to it as the SOLE word of god but if I am not mistaken I don't think a single christian group does not subscribe to the belief that the Bible was inspired by God..please correct me if I am wrong in this assumption because I will be the first to admit that there may be groups of christians that I do not know about) are contradicting their bibles with their faith.

However, your reasoning is made by your own interpretation of a few scriptures, that others have interpreted in a different fashion. Face it, the bible is very very old, written in a time when laws and customs of man was very different..your ultra-literal depictions of the words in those verses you provided is only one interpretation, and frankly in all of my many years of study I have never ran across a christian who took those verses as literally as you seem to.

The bible is full of parables..hmm I can't think of the english word for the next term..is talking in code kind of (not exactly but right now I can't think of the right word, if I come up with it soon I will modify). For example, in the book of Revelation it speaks of a great Beast with ten horns and ten crowns that will torment the world for a period of Tribulation...now if I still actually followed the Christian faith then I would definitely NOT think that an actual beast is going to rise up with ten horns and ten crowns..its Figurative (I think this si the right word) and in some christian apocalyptic thinkers mind this symbolizes a One World Government, perhaps even the UN..*shrugs* Its called symbolism. Its speaking in terms that the people of the time period the bible was written in, that they could understand.

*shrugs* Again, religion is tough to argue or debate because so much of it relies on Faith, and I, for one, am hardpressed to tell someone "Your faith belief is wrong...Your God does not exist" Because just like they can't prove he exists to me, I really can't prove he DOESN'T exist *shrugs*.

Offline SakujoTopic starter

Re: Christianity
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2008, 06:42:56 PM »
Scribe: Again, if you'd actually read those tl;dr posts, you should have seen the logical reasoning, and also noted that this is more than jstu my own opinion.

Sherona: Continuing from what I said above, there are a number of groups who don't subscribe to the bible as the word of god, and rather view it as the writings of men reflecting on the past or somewhat inspired with personal opinion, and there are others who only view certain aspects of the NT as true and inspired, sometimes also considering it part inspiration and part opinion.

Your study is apparently very limited, Sherona, as nearly every high-level biblical scholar and pastor I have ever met take them literally. Furthermore, the content being literal or not has nothing to do with the bible being written in a time of now discarded customs and social realities. To say the bible was written only for its time, and then to say that it's the only revelation from god (as many do), is essentially to say that god doesn't really care about informing his people anymore. I hope you can see the point there.

Yes, Sherona, the bible is full of parables, but you seem to be taking that fact beyond its limits, as a number of Christians do, and are blanketing much of it as parabolic, when it was usually only a prophet who spoke in parables, and these parables were then followed with explanations that illuminated their meaning. People who wish to deny the more harsh aspects of the bible tend to claim that because parables were used, anything similarly harsh in the same vein must also be parabolic, which is simply not the case. It's like claiming that Revelation is merely metaphor and has no physical applicability. To say such a thing would be a ridiculous misunderstanding of the traditional chain of wording from the earlier NT books, unless one were to divorce Revelation from the NT and call it heretical or useless, as has been done before. This, however, is not the modern practice, as Much of current Christian doctrine rests upon Revelation and its ties to earlier scriptures.

Using the particular example you listed, yes, the elements are figurative in the poetic lining that is Revelation, but the book is implying that there will be a literal time of terror in which people will die, carried out in a form or by a being somehow related to the figurative beast. Of course, this is Revelation, whereas before you were talking about Jesus's own words, and those of his apostles and god's Prophets, which is an entirely different story and not so figurative. (That is, unless you take the entire bible as a a book of false stories for moral guidance, which would mean that Jesus is a myth, and then, Again, could you really call yourself Christian? You could also take the OT as merely figurative, but then you'd have to explain a lot of traditional teachings, why the NT has so many references to the OT as reality, many references to old prophecy, etc.)

"*shrugs* Again, religion is tough to argue or debate because so much of it relies on Faith, and I, for one, am hardpressed to tell someone "Your faith belief is wrong...Your God does not exist" Because just like they can't prove he exists to me, I really can't prove he DOESN'T exist *shrugs*."

Faith and being illusioned are two different things that are often confused, and that's part of where the real difficulty lies, due to people too stubborn to thoughtfully consider their beliefs.

As for the whole prove/disprove god, I find it pathetic to wimp out of a debate because I can't factually prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that god doesn't exist. I do quite well with my persuasive arguments to show that it doesn't.

Offline Humble Scribe

Re: Christianity
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2008, 06:51:48 PM »
I don't know who these Bible scholars were, Sakujo, but I studied Revelation as part of a Classics degree, and on this side of the Pond it is most certainly regarded as a well-thought out attack on the Roman Empire, the Imperial Cult, the Goddess Roma (the Personification of Rome, usually referred to as the Whore of Babylon in Revelation) all dressed up in the language of Jewish Apocalyptic literature from the 1st and 2nd centuries BC.
Revelation even specifically states so in the text in some places. "Here is wisdom, for the seven horns are seven hills" etc. And how many cities at the heart of major 1st century AD Empires were legendarily built on seven hills?
It's late and I have to go to bed, but if you want me to start dragging out Chapter and Verse I can do so.

Offline Sherona

Re: Christianity
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2008, 07:01:40 PM »
Quote
every high-level biblical scholar and pastor I have ever met take them literally.

Perhaps, but in the Catholic, Missionary baptist, Pentecost, Southern Baptist, Freewill, Non-denominational, and just your run of the mill Baptist..I have yet to hear of any Pastor or Scholar ever claim that Jesus was saying to set up a government and kill anyone who did not believe in him..*shrugs* The Oral Roberts University, a christian ran college, is where I took my Theology courses...*shrugs* Again...like I said I have yet to have heard of anyone of the above denominations claim that jesus was all for killing of non-christians..exact opposite actually.. that Jesus preached to turn the other cheek..that to douse your enemies iwth kindness and that it would eat at their souls..*shrugs*

But anyways I am not here to tout my knowledge, or to say I know more then anyone else...frankly I will admit that I do not know everything (shock I know!) and I will probably hence forth not respond to this thread again when the only rebuttal I seem to get is "Your wrong because Abstract Pastors, and Nameless scholars say otherwise"...Without any evidence to the contrary provided by you, I must conclude that your 'side of the debate' is flawed.


Edit: I am not saying I am a scholar or hold a degree in Theology..I dont, I just took classes :) Didn't want it to look as if I am claiming something I don't have.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2008, 07:07:31 PM by Sherona »

Offline SakujoTopic starter

Re: Christianity
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2008, 08:12:52 PM »
Sherona, that's because A) It's not the nicest part of the bible, B) few people really seem tot hink much about the Judgment Era, and C) interpretations differ on the exact way the non-believers will be killed.

Scribe's post shows something similar to what is probably the most "family-friendly", if it can be called that, version of interpretation, which does have strong backing. Basically, in this case Revelation is largely a condemnation of the world, and is speaking about the fact that god will take revenge, using themes from all over the other scriptures in its language. In this system, the ultimate verdict seems (And I say seems, because I have not studied all of the doctrines on this type of interpretation. I'm especially familiar with the Seventh Day Adventist renditions) to be that all non-believers will die in some catastrophic series of events (which various factions disagree about, regarding which events take place literally), after which the unfaithful are revived with the faithful in body form, at which point god will judge all and burn them up in an instant, this being the second death. In this interpretation, there is no "Hell", as it is normally thought of.

The killing of the non-believers is still there, it's just covered in many shades of gray.

Of course, the main flaw in this is the fact that these interpretations also heavily focus on Rome, in specific, while Rome doesn't quite fit all of the descriptions in place.

The best outcomes would be to have revelation thought of as not divinely inspired, and thus not a true part of the NT, or to see Revelation merely as a criticism.

Of course, one must then still answer other passages, like those I posted before.



And on that note, I've decided that I'm going to back off from posting here, as we're not getting anywhere. If Scribe wants to post some more about this interpretation of Revelation, however, I'd be interested in hearing it if it's any different from the general theme I was just elaborating that the SDAs of old are most noted for taking. A "fully critique" view of Revelation that actually seems to work and is backed up by a historical study is something I have yet to really see.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Christianity
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2008, 08:35:42 PM »
It's really quite amazing watching this thread, as every time I think I've made myself clear, another (in this case a few) come along and post as though they've entirely missed what I said.

1: You invent your own terms when older, more accepted terms exist. This is confusing and annoying. Use the commonly accepted terms, please. I have made several references to possibilities but, if they are not there, look it up yourself, or use the appropriate combination of groups that make up what you are referring to. As it is, near as I can tell you are calling conservatives by a derogatory term.

2: You don't use the quote tag. This is the epitome of being unclear, as your text blends in with the people's around you and it makes it very difficult to sort through your points.

3: Sometimes you claim to have addressed a point but ... take this example:

Quote
If you meant to say that the bible's entire message is taken as of more importance than Christ's alone, then you would be correct in your statement. However, this is the tradition of the Christianity we have been discussing all along (or at least that I have been).

You initially simply said Christian. Then made some confusing references to two specific groups, calling biblical conservatives the 'mainstream' and appeared to suggest that biblical liberals 'did not know their own book', on top of inventing your own terms for these groups. If you are speaking from another point of view, you need to make that clear, otherwise it is quite insulting.

You said you were talking about these sorts of Christians, then make such statements, then you are talking about Christians whom you claim not to be unless you exclude them from Christianity. At least one element is false in your statements relating to this matter.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Christianity
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2008, 11:01:03 PM »
"Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves.  Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child."

Robert A. Heinlein

Offline Humble Scribe

Re: Christianity
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2008, 03:51:58 AM »
I think I probably misread you, Sakujo (I was a bit tired), and what you meant by 'Bible Scholars'. I was thinking of historians, you may have been thinking of theologians. I had a quick flip through this morning, and because my course was about "outsiders' views on the Roman Empire" we concentrated on Chapters 10-18, which are the main political allegory section. I agree that the trials and tribulations of 6-9 and the defeat of the devil and building of the New Jerusalem in 19-22 are full of God being unpleasant to the wicked. And I assume that was your basic point - that Christian scripture says that non-Christians will, at the Day of Judgement, ultimately be condemned to various unpleasant deaths and torments. So my argument was probably a bit moot.

So let's look at it another way. There are various ways of viewing the Bible;
A: It is a work of God, acting directly through human agents, and therefore perfect.
B: It is a work of God, acting through human agents, but because the agents were only human it may not be completely perfect, but nevertheless largely true.
C: It is a work of men who were inspired by God, and therefore the central truths of God's message are in there, but you may have to read between the lines on occasion.
D: It is a work of lots of different men who believed in God, but who probably all had different conceptions of Him, and bits have been added, changed and deleted over the centuries, and therefore if there is any kind of consistent message it is one produced by later editors and not the original authors.

Now I happen to believe in D. You are arguing that the 'true' Christian position is A. I am arguing that it is perfectly possible to believe in B or C and yet still regard yourself as a Christian. In fact C describes the position of most Anglican clergy I have ever met, one of whom is a good friend of mine who I went to University with.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 03:53:21 AM by Humble Scribe »

Offline Sabby

Re: Christianity
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2008, 04:15:12 AM »
D: It is a work of lots of different men who believed in God, but who probably all had different conceptions of Him, and bits have been added, changed and deleted over the centuries, and therefore if there is any kind of consistent message it is one produced by later editors and not the original authors

Ok, why ain't you the Pope? :P because that one sentence is about the most sense I've heard in a long time.

Offline SakujoTopic starter

Re: Christianity
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2008, 07:39:55 PM »
Just out of curiosity, what's your opinion on the lineage of gospels, Scribe? For example, would you agree that Mark was probably the first, and the rest were based upon it, adding extra mythologies?

Offline Humble Scribe

Re: Christianity
« Reply #45 on: January 13, 2008, 05:32:36 AM »
Just out of curiosity, what's your opinion on the lineage of gospels, Scribe? For example, would you agree that Mark was probably the first, and the rest were based upon it, adding extra mythologies?

Heh, you actually inspired me to go into the attic and dig out my old degree course notes. It was interesting reading back on it.

The suggested timeline is that Mark's gospel comes first, with Luke (probably also the author of most of Acts) and Matthew following later and both also drawing on other written/oral sources/traditions about Jesus' life which are collectively referred to as the hypothetical source 'Q'. John's Gospel appears to be later (around 100AD) and draws on a completely different tradition altogether. Luke's Gospel and Acts we dated to 60-70AD, with Mark maybe 10 years earlier.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2008, 05:33:47 AM by Humble Scribe »

Offline SakujoTopic starter

Re: Christianity
« Reply #46 on: January 25, 2008, 08:38:17 PM »
After further consideration of what was discussed here, I've realized that even though I think the various groups should attempt to classify themselves better to help distinguish between them, the "Christian" label doesn't really belong to one specific camp. Since I have even stated before that there's no reason a person should be forced to hold themselves to what the current incarnation of the bible states, why should I think it's right to bind the label to only one, specific group in normal conversation? While Christian does originally mean a disciple of Christ from the biblical perspective, and perhaps belonging to or slave to Christ in the historical perspective, association with belief in Jesus is the modern connotation, and why shouldn't that be sufficient?

So I am here apologizing to all for my unnecessary insistence on designating one group the current "Main" Christian group. As well, I should probably ask more people what they see Christian meaning before I attempt to say what it seems the modern Christian "mainstay" group would be in the public mind, as simply because one group is most often represented int eh media (TV, print, and online), does not mean that said group is the majority concept.

Thanks for providing the debate that inspired me to continue to consider my thoughts and approach.

Offline Hunter

Re: Christianity
« Reply #47 on: January 29, 2008, 02:05:58 PM »
Vekseid said most things I'd say and better than me.
The painfully intolerant people are only a faction of Christianity and definitely have no right to claim they're the 'original ones'.

And the painfully intolerant aren't exclusively Christian either.

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Christianity
« Reply #48 on: January 29, 2008, 02:52:45 PM »
Oh, about the time I responded to this, my internet was down for long.

You shouldn't worry Sakujo and it's no problem. I was once in the same place as you, but I realized I was being unfair to many people.

And Hunter is right too. It's possible to be intolerant, prude and fanatical without any religious element to it. Purely secular, really.
(and you can find fanatical groups in almost every religion in existence...)

Offline Hunter

Re: Christianity
« Reply #49 on: January 29, 2008, 02:54:35 PM »
And Hunter is right too.

*scribbles that down*