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.