This - this - is what gets my back up! I'm sorry, I'm not having a go at you, but this particular doctrine as you see it.
For all the spurious, nebulous, ill-conceived, wholly subjective ideas that for whatever reason compels someone to believe in it - the presumption is then that there is some kind of fault with others for not being prepared to settle for this...stuff.
What, exactly, is this lie which supposedly resides within me?
I'm glad to try to explain my understanding of Christianity further, but as I said before, you may get far more helpful religious insights from other people, Christian or non-.
Also, I'm not having a go at you either
but I do think that if Christianity's claims rankle you, then you're on exactly the right track, not the wrong one -- you're getting a clear picture of things. Other Christians may not see it that way.
So anyway, here's the thumbnail sketch, as concise as I can manage it. (Probably nothing you haven't heard in a million other places, but since you asked.)
Christianity claims that there is a perfect and all-powerful God who made people and everything else in the universe. People were literally made to be with him [sorry, he's male in a sense, won't go into that here though] -- but then certain people disobeyed one of his rules. From that point on, people became imperfect, so they couldn't be with God anymore -- couldn't fulfill their very purpose for being -- because the perfect God cannot be with imperfect people. (I guess you could say that's his choice, if he's all-powerful, and that seems like an unfair and unkind choice. I would sorta agree with you.)
So, to answer your question, that's the "lie" I was referring to, the whole problem with all human life: we were made for a specific purpose, but then we made a mistake and became broken and unable to fulfill that purpose. In my opinion (and the opinion of certain other Christians), that fundamental flaw within each of us causes all kinds of fucked-up problems, and in particular, it blinds us to the truth about life, about God, about our purpose in life.
We look around and see a too-often-unfair world, and the best evidence of our senses and faculties (science, logic) tells us that there is no God, and we can only trust in ourselves or in each other, and our purpose in life is whatever we choose it to be (if we're lucky enough to be able to choose).
Christianity says those are all lies. The world is fair, not unfair, despite the undeniable, overwhelming evidence of our senses that tells us otherwise. There is a God with whom we were meant to be, and that's our purpose, our only purpose, really.
Then you get to Jesus, who provided a specific way for people to get rid of their imperfection and therefore be able to fulfill their original purpose and be with the perfect God again.
I see that I've run on too long already and left out a handful of key points. I'm hesitant to keep talking about all this only because most of it is the same Christian teaching that almost everyone has heard a million times, and I really don't want to convince anyone of anything -- I'm not out to proselytize, although I do believe Christianity to be the truth, and the only one in fact.
On the other hand, I don't want to bore anyone any more than I already have (... nor is it my intention to piss people off, but on the other hand, I think the only reasonable response to certain parts of Christianity is to get pissed off. For example, saying that one religion is true and others are false ought to piss people off. It does me. It offends me, upsets me even. But I believe it anyway, because I think it's true).
Anyway ... if you want the rest of the thumbnail -- actually there isn't too much more, but there's a bit more -- if you want the rest, just ask again here, or PM me, and I can tell you what I know and believe, and you can take it for what it's worth. My apologies to anyone whom I've already angered with anything here.
Oh wait, there's other questions. (I see I've really stepped in it now! Geez. I know there are other Christians out there, so anybody who wants to take over the explanations is welcome to, because you can probably do it better than me and less offensively.)
If the believing in a thing is what makes it true, what is not a candidate for the truth?
Sorry if this answer displeases you, but it's my honest response. Believing in Christianity does not make it true. It's just true, whether you or I believe in it.
And why is Christianity any more worthy of my belief than pixies?
Hey, I got nothing against pixies! :) More seriously, though -- I will not try to tell you, as some other Christians might, that Christianity will necessarily make anyone feel good or have a successful, prosperous life. It does, however, allow anyone who believes it to fulfill their whole purpose for existing.
Also ... (Okay, I hope you actually read the stuff above before reading this, and sorry this is taking so long, but I'm a bit tired and this isn't easy stuff to talk about.) Believing in Jesus and what he did for the sake of humanity allows people to literally be with God, immediately in spirit, and eventually in the so-called, rather-poorly-named "afterlife," which goes on forever. Nobody ever really dies, Christian or not -- our bodies change, but we keep going. Sounds crazy, I know.
So we're all supposed to believe it's true because.... it's true. You gave literally no reason for believing it, you just said it's true and that's that. There's literally no reason to think any of it is true, or at least you didn't give any. Are we just supposed to throw out logic all together?
Not exactly, but you're close, in my opinion. Other Christians will defend the "logic" of their beliefs in very complicated and detailed ways, but I don't want to do that, because I don't agree with most of those arguments. I consider Christianity to be opposed to human logic, and that's really the reason I choose to believe it, however contradictory that sounds.
Are we just supposed to go live in this fantasy world since we don't live in reality anymore? This really really irks me. Sorry, I don't mean to take pot shots at you, but I've seen this attitude way to many times, and from people who are smart enough to know better. It's like talking to a brick wall. People are going to believe what they want to believe regardless of little inconveniences like evidence or logic or reality. It's why I rarely ever give anyone a chance to explain why they believe things any more because more often than not they'll just say exactly what you're saying. It's true so you have to believe it. Just cause. And that's it.
First off, I'm sorry to have irked you; that's really not my intention, but at the same time, as I said above, if some of these ideas piss you off, then I think you're actually getting the point. I'm not saying you're "supposed to" do anything or that you "have to believe" anything. People are going to believe what they believe, I suppose, and most other people's beliefs are probably less controversial than mine, maybe. However, I'm suggesting exactly the opposite of what you said there -- Christianity says that it
is reality, and our initial impression otherwise is the actual fantasy, the actual lie.
Oh poo. Should I reply more? I guess I'll try and assume that anybody who doesn't want to read all this will skip it or skim it anyway, right?
What I'm curious is about how one can accept that logic is completely unnecessary for a certain belief - or is even directly opposed to it - and then through that belief discern what is true (a logical positive) and a lie (as per a falsehood, a logical negative).
See, um, it doesn't make sense. That's what I'm saying. I agree with you, I'm afraid.
So, essentially, your argument is, "Are you going to believe me or your own eyes?"
Well, almost. First of all, I'm not doing a good job of representing Christianity, so if anybody wants to start believing anything, please look into Christianity and then believe it, not me. Secondly, perhaps the argument will sound a bit more palatable if I add that Christianity gives a person total freedom and allows them to fulfill their whole purpose in life. But if that pisses you off or anything, sorry.
I'm trying to be nice even though I'm saying some not-nice things that I believe are true.
Why Christianity? Everyone other religion in the world could make the same exact claim. If you try to prove them wrong, it is just your own flawed logicality that is clouding the truth.
Because it's the truth and they're not. Some other religions do claim to be exclusively true, but not all. I wouldn't try to prove anyone else's religion was wrong. Sorry these answers aren't nicer but I'm trying to be honest with you.
Sorry Ironwolf, I'm gonna stop here and post this in the hopes that one or two people might read the whole thing. (I respect your viewpoints as I understand them, but I do mean the things I'm saying, and I don't share some of your views.)