I don't believe in following blindly. I need answers, even though I am a Christian, I have a strong distaste for zealots. I wonder whether I should admire their commitment but I don't as I do not believe in hard sell and anybody who incorporates it. I also have strong distaste for the ethics of Church wealth such as the excess of property that the Vatican owns but yet they stand empty when they could be used to house the needy.
So that's my rant. My wife is a far better Christian than me.
Cynical about what people do, yes.
Cynical about God Himself, no.
A Christian is really a "knower" more than a believer. So if you are cynical you probably aren't a Christian at all. Once you meet God, there is no going back really...you might fall into sin but you will always come back because you KNOW the truth. I hope that helps.
I believe a Christian can approach their religion with a healthy dose of skepticism without betraying it. I am a practicing Catholic, but I don't believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible or dogma by any means. I don't believe that my religion's interpretation of God is the only one. I believe very much in learning from other religions and other points of view about the divine. And I believe it is absolutely necessary to admit one's doubts and work through them if one is to have a healthy faith.
One either approaches the subject matter with skepticism or not, there are no levels, grades, magnitudes, vectors or doses of skepticism.
You can't betray the subject matter if it doesn't meet the requirements of skepticism, you only betray yourself.
Hope that helps.
Hmm, I was under the impression ALL Christian types ARE cynics.
Believing/disbelieving is/are a necessity. And where ever there is necessity, there is a genuine lack of faith (applied/experienced understanding). Necessity is the Pool of Bethesda. And most are still sitting there, waiting for someone else to put them in the pool and heal this necessity.
I don't think you're ranting at all and from what you have written it would seem that your point of view follows the Christian teachings more than many.
I think most fundamental, Bible thumping and/or Pentecostals would qualify as cynical Christians; by the definition of the word.
suspicious of the motives of others 2. showing contempt, through one's actions, for accepted moral standards 3. bitterly or sneeringly contemptuous, or pessimistic; scornful
They are apparently suspicious of the motives of the gospels because they search the rest of the Bible for reasons not to follow it.
They show contempt for the words of the gospels by being judgmental and, at times, bigoted.
And they are bitterly or sneeringly contemptuous, or pessimistic and scornful when other Christians point out that Christianity is supposed to be a message of love.
So, in America today, I would say all of the cultural Christians are cynical.
Good points, Emile. Perhaps most of the Christians in America are the modern equivalent of the Pharisees. They follow their interpretation of the law, but not the spirit of it. They follow it for the elevation of self in the eyes of their peers, but not in the eyes of God. They follow ego (selfishness) rather than the Father.
"All" cultural Christians? I'm not certain what you mean by "cultural," but "all" is an awfully strong word. Could it merely be "most?" Even 99.99999% is not "all."
You are probably right. Claiming 100% of anything will always be a stretch.
But, the cultural Christian comment came from reading the posts here. I got to thinking about it. The people who shout out that America is a 'Christian' nation and everyone that doesn't agree with their views are anti God and anti America. This arrogant bias is what I see as cultural Christians. Those voices usually fall into the Bible believing and fundamentalist category.
People who call themselves Christians are often cynical. This, however, applies equally to Jews, Muslims and yes people who subscribe to new age ideals without giving a lick of thought to what theyre subscribing to. Anyone who says, 'well, I'm a Christian so I dont have to listen to you bcos youre a heathen anyway', I immediately disregard the person. But I'm the same way with people who are like, 'well, youre not a Muslim so you wouldnt understand' or 'youve obviously never been in a synagogue so dont judge me for judging you' or, my personal favorite, 'yes, I am psychic. Youre welcome.' Its all bulls*** anyway. People believe what they want to believe and its all a disfunction or coping mechanism for living in a confining physical world. I consider myself a Gnosticist, so I am very interested in what other people think. But most of the time I just get the 'ur a heathen' response or I hear crap from people who are too high on themselves. And I fall into that trap too sometimes and I hate myself for it each time. I like not knowing. Because if I did know, and knowing no one else really knows, I would never get over myself.
What a delightful illumination, Jonathan. I always knew I was a heathen who couldn't get over himself, but now I feel warm and fuzzy about it.
But seriously, I agree with you wholeheartedly,... except the part about liking not knowing. I understand the danger there. Ego wants every bit of that puffery. It's hard to gain the knowledge and not have ego get all rowdy. It's hard to accomplish anything toward enlightenment without pride swelling the head. We are so well-practiced on wallowing in the dichotomies of physicality (good-evil, right-wrong, generous-selfish, compassion-indifference, wisdom-stupidity, victim-perpetrator and many others) that it seems hard not to follow ego. We merely have to keep practicing humility until it is more natural than ego.
That said, I'll now shut up and let that sink into my brain for awhile.
Cynical about what? Do you know what cynical means?
I just love stereotyping too
I can call myself a doctor, but that doesn't make me one.
Someone who calls themself a Christian may think they are following the Christian law, but it may only be their interpretation of that law. One of the key laws was one of love, but so many so-called Christians are full of judgement and hate. Such cynicism is incompatible with love.
I think I'm a Christian, but I'm also a Buddhist, Kabbalist, Jew, Taoist and Scientologist. Anything to open the portal to the other side -- what the Buddhists call the "paramita," where good, right, generosity, compassion and wisdom exist without their opposites (evil, wrong, selfishness, indifference and stupidity, respectively).
And Blagsmith, I understand. My wife is a better Christian than I, also. I keep learning humility, compassion and love from her.
You'd think I could simply learn and be done with it. I wish it were that simple. But now I get to learn patience, too.
Hmm some very good points here. I live in the UK and though we follow many Christian traditions especially those related to birth and death, I feel most of us are soulless, even those who consider themselves Christians.
I also feel it is very dangerous to follow blindly for another reason and that is those who do not become zealots may become too dependent; expecting manna to fall from heaven every time they ask. I think it is very dangerous to follow the church blindly and I remember when David Thewliss playing a Crusader in Kingdom of Heaven said that true belief comes from the heart (so not in coppers and commitment to the church as they would have us believe).
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