I like the term 'body of Christ' but my interpretation of its meaning doesn't line up with observed behavior patterns...which leads to the question. In your opinion, is the body suffering seizures?
I do read the arguments over interpretation, who is Christian and who is not. How diseased, in your opinion, is the body at the moment? What causes the body to fight against itself, seemingly constantly? Are attempts to cannibalize itself in the best interest of the whole? If the foot absorbs the hand, will the head be happy, sad, or concerned in the least?
I don't know. There's something sad in watching those who claim similar beliefs constantly arguing about them.
I think that the body of Christ tends to suffer from acute body dismophia.
Emile, I think a great deal of the problem is designed that way. The Christian instruction manual is written in such a way as to give many, many different views of how to apply it. One would think that there should be a unified "body". And perhaps we are being unfair in saying it is not. Because it is really the religiosity that is divided more so than the faith. However with that said each Christian would and perhaps should have a personal relationship which would preclude a fully unified "body".
So there are these mysteries of faith with the most clear being the Trinity.
We always must be weary of something that is called in discord because it is not uniform. You seem to be dealing with the notion of uniform as opposed to unity. We do not say it is not the United States because Texas and NY do not see eye to eye on gun control issues. We do not say a home is divided because the girls like to watch reality shows and the boys cop shows.
And even though you and I do not see eye to eye on matters of faith does not mean we are not united against terrorism.
In the new testament, Jesus gave encouragement, rebukes and warnings to the churches of that time. Some were tolerating sin within their "walls", some were not supporting the needs of widows and orphans, etc. etc. There has never been a time God was not trying to teach His children His ways and over time, make us more like Him.
I would align my beliefs with a very small portion of Christians on this forum, and find myself believing the opposite of others, but the fact is, we are all just humans. We all struggle with the same sins, hurts and various celebrations. It will always be this way.
Group A: a bunch of Atheists
Group B: a bunch of Christians.
Group A has this in common; they believe in evolution, they do not believe in God, many have similar tendencies due to their beliefs.
Group B has this in common; they believe in God, in Jesus, and many have similar tendencies due to their beliefs.
Group A may do as they like. No one is expecting them to agree on everything or walk the same paths. They are individuals with a common belief system.
Group B are not viewed by critics as individuals. They have claimed to believe in God and so they are now held accountable to act and believe as one unit.
The problem with that is the ppl within Group B are living different lives.
*One accepts the Bible as wholly true, one just thinks it's a good book/guideline.
*One was molested as a child and has boundary issues. His marriage is a struggle; while another was brought up with a good marriage example and very few problems.
*One was not able to go to college and can barely support his family; while another was handed life on a silver platter.
So Christ, in the Bible tries to keep us all on the same page, so to speak. He tells us to share what we have so that no one is hungry. He tells us if someone is living in sin to confront them in love. He tells us to forgive those who have wronged us. But what do you do when many Christians don't hold the Bible as an absolute?
So now within Group B, there are ppl who know better, but are spiritually immature, and there are ppl who don't even hold the Bible as an absolute and therefore are just kind of going by their own rules.
So for God, it is very much like herding cats. That's why He calls us sheep. He knows that we are *human. We struggle just like group A, but b/c we are held to a higher standard, when we fail, we are criticized.
I personally am a work in progress. I am doing so much better than I was a year ago when I joined this site, but another Christian who joined this site a year ago may be doing worse. Life is a journey. For Group B, it is a singular journey as well as a group journey. God sees us as both.
Is the body more diseased than it was? Maybe. B/c Christians suffer the same temptations as non-believers, I would assume, with porn and all the modern day traps being so accessible, that it is more difficult than it was. But in reality, I would also assume it always was hard and it always will be hard for ppl to die to self and live for Christ.
Correction, Group B have many who also understand evolution and accept it as fact. It's not a belief, it is a fact, that's why they accept it.
And, what belief system is that? Obviously, if they are atheists, they lack a belief system.
Isn't that the way it should be? Aren't they all given to one book, with one God making the very same commands and messages to all of them equally? Yet, we see tens of thousands of denominations all having their own version of the very same God, those commands and messages. Seems rather hypocritical.
Usually, the criticisms come from the blatant hypocrisy shown by those very Christians who preach one thing and do another. These forums are filled with debates and discussions surrounding that very concept.
Actually, ATM, I'd have to disagree on your points. Believers have no mandate to agree on much of anything. Your desire for them to agree, making your mission to ridicule easier, is simply wishful thinking.
Your belief system involves faulty beliefs concerning others. It is as delusional, if not more so, as the beliefs of those you continuously ensure are aware you hold in disdain.
And, paying lip service to exemplary behavior, while not living by it is preferred to the lack of a moral compass. I think it's better to try and fail then simply not bother to try, all the while sniggering at those who stumble when they do try. Surely we can agree on this?
Is this ATM's sockpuppet? I wondered where he/she went?
That's my guess and ED hasn't denied it any time i call him that. Then again, I've always assumed the far atheist left here is comprised of a couple of people with as many arms as Kali. Half with atheist sock puppets and the other half far right evangelical sock puppets. Sometimes arguing with themselves.
Why should I deny that, you can call me anything you want, it is your prerogative to believe whatever you want, Beth.
That's quite the delusion you have going on there, Beth.
I still think you're ATM. But, then again I think you are also Mark Knowles and that guy Beelzebub who disappeared a day or two before ATM showed up. Don't take offense. I'm impressed. If I tried to have a sock puppet I'd get so confused as to who I was supposed to be at any given time.
I'm really happy for you, Beth. Does any of that help you sleep at night or something? Are you a detective trying to solve some mystery? Does that somehow help you divert the attention away from your sock puppet?
No. My point is, basically, I do believe there is a concerted attempt to create an illusion of numbers...which don't, realistically, exist.
You know there is a certain ATM-ness in the tone of EDs posts. He can't be Mark Knowles as he always signed off his posts with "that's the reason your religion causes so many fights".
Sure, and the speculations of those kind of conspiracy theories run rampant through all types of mediums and venues. So what? We can create all kinds of theories of who is who is who is who.
Does that help you in any way to respond to points being made in this thread that show your logic to be faulty?
I mean, I could really care less if you and Beth were the same person, I would still just respond to the points you make, no matter how much logic and reasoning they lack.
ATM is on vacation. He and I were having an in depth conversation and he told me he had to go for a while
I'm sure you do, Beth.
Except, what they are supposed to agree on when it pertains to their gods and religions.
LOL. That's a good one, Beth.
Sorry, I don't have a belief system, Beth.
Of course, you have never been able to validate such a claim, so your statement is meaningless.
As usual, Beth, you have said nothing of value here.
I don't see a lot of differences between group A and group B. But, I've always believed that the line (somewhere in the Bible) that God puts knowledge of himself into each of us means that we all know we can't do what we want all of the time. There are consequences we pay when we deviate from what we consider best for the whole.
But, we each have our own 'straight and narrow' path. What's right and wrong for me varies subtly from you, but only where only I am affected. I have to be aware of how my actions affect others and accept that right and wrong changes, determined by the number of people affected. Because their needs are as important as mine.
I think, maybe, that is my primary problem with it all. Religion begins with an individual need and it remains within that mode. What the 'I' needs becomes fulfilled, and then the 'I' proceeds to believe that this fulfillment would fill every other cup. Arguing (I assume) because if they be wrong, that cup can't remain full. And, it is selfish. Since every cup is different.
Group A appears no different. They've got full cups, too. From an observational position they live their lives in a similar manner. No better, or worse, than group B. They've fulfilled their needs and also appear to believe that should suffice for everyone else.
I don't think Christians are held to a higher standard. I think Christians are criticized from outside of that faith because many pay lip service to a higher standard. So does everyone else, but no one else claims to be able to circumvent the things Christians claim to be rules.
Either way. That wasn't really the point of the thread. I didn't intend to tick off a litany of complaints. I'm simply confused by behavior patterns.
Im not sure I understand the "behavior patterns" issue/question.
That was my point, that Group A and B are indeed *not different from one another, in that they are all human. If you think about it... the people in Group B come from Group A., because there is a time when we were all non believers or non followers. For some of us, there is hardly a time we can remember being non believers, but there was a time we were all on the same path.
Instead of viewing believers as this group of elitists, which we are not, I wish Atheists could see us simply as humans, exactly like them, who have headed down a different path. We are not made instantly mature in the faith, and we are certainly not made sinless. We are simply seeking after something that we view as the perfect goal... to be like Christ... to love him well and surrender ourselves to him, but this is a lifelong process. It is the weeding of a garden. No one weeds a garden once and expects it to remain so.
As far as the cup remaining full... I heard a preacher describe it well once. He said, "Christians leak." We are filled with the Holy Spirit, but as we go about life, we must refill every day or we will begin operating on our own efforts; with good intention, but on our own, not holy.
We come to Christ, first and foremost, because we realize we are unsaved and we recognize the urgent need. We come to him because of a personal need, but as we begin to have the mind of Christ, a shared set of goals, we begin to recognize the need of others... saved and unsaved. We begin to love others and so become "group minded."
From your response, I am afraid I am missing your point, though I'm trying to answer accordingly. Sorry if I'm off base.
You aren't off base, at all. But, if this is indicative of the mind set of most Christians I don't see it in the words of those doing the most preaching here. Which isn't meant as an insult to you. I wouldn't necessarily consider your posts preaching (except maybe when you get on the occasional bent to post only scripture). For the most part you simply converse, voicing a lone opinion. And not attacking other believers for theirs.
Well... Im not a preacher and this isn't a church. It's a forum, so I view it as a conversation. On one thread we laugh about someone's anecdote, on another, we learn about seo (or not, in my case) and on these threads, we talk about God.
As far as posting the bible verses, it was my response to feeling that I was not free to share my thoughts/opinions on spiritual matters, so I thought, "Why argue with me when you can argue with the source of what I believe?"
If I could choose one of us to represent the group, it would be bBerean. I do not know him in real life, but from what I do know of him, he is "on track." Meaning to say that he is godly, mature, and wise. He is still human, none the less, and capable of falling, or making mistakes, but in his personal walk/speech, he represents the group well.
Aside from the fact that Emile is an Agnostic, I would not mind being mistaken for her as I have always been very impressed by her practicality. However, considering I am seldom found on the side of popular opinion, I highly doubt she feels complimented by the comparison.
Good morning ED.
Well then, it looks like you missed the point entirely, Emile.
I'm not insulted by the comparison. Popular is for dweebs.
See? I can't help but to like myself... I mean you.
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