Continued from another thread...
So the statement "The problem most people have with salvation, is the fact that they must change in order to be saved" was made.
I disagree with the poster. My personal opinion is that most people avoid Christianity for several reasons, not wanting to change being the least.
Personally, I avoided Christianity for most of my life because the most vocal messengers of "Gods Word" seemed to be lacking in the ability to love others. I found Wiccans, Hindus, and Buddhists seemed to be about love, peace, and understanding while Christians seemed to be about hate, self-love, and arrogance.(Not all, just the ones that were screaming the loudest)
I still have problems with the Christians that try to force their views onto others or try to push laws that limit the rights to choose.
Other reasons would include:
Strong Belief in another religion.
Disbelief in Religion
Religion is Self-Contradictory
The absence of free will
That history/science contradicts many claims in the bible/other religious text
That many religions lessons are similar to other,older mythology
That God has Given No Proof for his existence
That they don't want to worship a God that is cruel
I know it's asking too much, but I'd really like a civil conversation on why you think that people avoid Christianity (or any religion). And I know I am asking for a miracle, but it would absolutely tickle me pink if every once in a while you could acknowledge when a valid point was made. And I am asking for something more than a miracle here, but could we work on personal feelings rather than quoting bible verses.
People avoid Christianity for many reasons, but mostly - I think - because it's self professed followers insist on speaking nonsense and making irrational, nonsensical claims.
Take yourself for example - you have argued until you are blue in the face that there is no hatred in the bible, lied about having researched the validity of the existence of a person called Jesus and - lied directly to me that there is non-biblical contemporary evidence of this person, that you had personally researched.
When I questioned this and asked you to provide this "evidence," you had "researched," you immediately accused me of ignoring the "contemporary," scribblings of some one who was born after the supposed death of this Jesus person and provided no evidence whatsoever he was even a real person.
You and people like you make me want to avoid Christianity. I see you lying directly at me to defend this religion, and that behavior in Christians has always persuaded me there is no truth in your religion. Quite the opposite. You are turning from any available truths.
I want to change. I want to understand myself. I want to know where I come from and why I make the decisions I do. Your religion teaches you not to want answers to these questions.
Unless you are morally corrupt (i.e. serial killer, rapist), there is nothing to change to become "Christian"
Christianity is a stolen myth from previous religions that used exactly the same stories of virgin birth and resurrection. Those other reasons pale in consideration to that fact.
I won't quote scripture. I have read the bible and have actually sought god. As i have gotten older, it is hard for me to believe in a divine creator/being/father who can't get things right. Religion was created to oppress women, slaves, the poor, and anyone else who needed to be controlled and forced to conform to what the "creators" thought was right. You can make slaves behave if they think a better life awaits them after this crappy one. The bible is a bunch of guys writing about all the stuff they hate. They said it was from god so all the people would refrain from what they considered undesirable behavior.
Valid point. There is a whole lot wrong with the world. If there was a God, why does he let bad things happen.
I disagree. My personal deductions from what I've gotten from my reading on history/psychology leads me to believe that religion predated organized religion. I.E. that beliefs were there before religious leaders arose. Now, did rulers use religion to oppress...Absolutely. But, the belief had to be there before they twisted it.
I have also researched many religions that elevated women and many others that are very equal. Slaves have formed their own religions. Poor are oppressed in general by socio-economic conditions and would be regardless of religion. The fact that a ruler believed said he was doing it from divine mandate or not wouldn't have changed the ultimate outcome. And yes, religion has been used to encourage conformity, however, once again ruling power would have done that regardless of belief in God. I could argue that by using religion they didn't have to use force, thus less death and imprisonment.
I agree that there is plenty in the bible that has probably been twisted by numerous rewrites and translations. I do have to say that I believe it was written by believers. I don't think that the authors "made it up", they really believed. I think they twisted and added their own viewpoints and often wrote in the context of their time period.
Now, a question... Do you see no redeeming qualities at all about religion? After all nothing is utterly evil. Could you list some positive things?
Depending on what you mean by "avoid" it, I have several reasons.
Regarding the religion itself: I am no longer Christian because of a few reasons. The fact that dogma instead of action are stressed, and there is no explicit way for the religion to update to modern times and fill in the gaps, among other reasons, made it incompatible with my personal beliefs. However, I recognize that Christianity is a powerful motivator to do good things for a lot of people. Even though it doesn't work for me, I wish good Christians all the best (and I've known many of them, most of them Catholic).
Regarding Christians themselves: there are those you wouldn't know are Christians, and others that seem to force it down your throat. The latter often have enormous crosses dangling from their necks, and will not fail to remind you insistently and loudly that they're Christian. Even these things don't bother me. However, this "loudness" has, in my experience, almost always strongly correlated with exceptionally bad behavior: (sugarcoated) bigoted attitudes, hypocrisy, a focus on right-wing partisan politics, an almost criminal disregard for the poor and misfortunate, and disregard of what Jesus Christ taught (who, although I do not recognize him as a savior, prophet, or messiah, was a good role model considering the time he lived in). These are what I would call "bad Christians."
These people I dislike and avoid. They have nothing to teach anyone about moral behavior.
I'm not going to point/counterpoint you LL because we are largely of the same opinion and its hard to argue with something you agree with.
I do have a couple questions just for fairness sake.
1. Do you think that "incompatable with my personal beliefs" could be seen as unwillingness to change in order to be saved.
2. Do you think that those who display the bigotry and hypocritical behave are aware of it and doing it on purpose? Do you think it came from the faith or the individual?
3. Do you think that the religion backs the politics or the politics are using the religion as an excuse?
4. Do you believe that some Christians might honestly be concerned for the welfare of others souls for no other reason than loving that person and wanting them to go to heaven. If so, how could that better be communicated?
And for the sake of honesty, I'm sure I have my own bigoted attitudes, hypocrisy, and disregard f what Jesus taught every once in a while. I completely deny right-wing politics though.
I clearly don't put you in that "bad Christian" bucket, Melissa! You're a good Christian based on what I know about you...and clearly more observant than most claiming to be here.
To answer your questions:
1. Maybe to some Christians. To me, salvation is a meaningless concept, and it always has been for me. I don't believe in original sin, either. Really, these were my beliefs before I had the concept that I was gay and that being gay was against Christian doctrine.
2. Well, about the bigotry, it could be both (they could read things literally from their translation of the Bible, or they could use the Bible to support whatever bigotry they naturally culturally support). For hypocrisy: they have to know they're being a hypocrite, and are probably practicing a form of self-delusion. Dealing with these people is maddening.
3. The latter, definitely.
4. Yes, I do. I just have a hard time seeing others worried so much about other people's souls, but ignoring the same in themselves and people they don't want to offend. I'd very easily accept that type of concern if it were evenly distributed, and not focused on people they don't really mind annoying the hell out of.
I have known many good Christians who might very well be concerned about my soul, but will still "lay off" (say it once or not at all, knowing I know their position). I can respect that. I don't try to dissuade them from their beliefs, and it does not bother me that they're concerned...even if I believe they have nothing to be concerned about.
What about you? What are your thoughts on your own OP?
The dishonesty gets tiring.
One can post as much evidence as you like about the subject of the thread, and the only response from the religious is personal attacks or some inane scripture denying what they have not read.
I have never had a sensible reply to any of the opposing links I have left.
Greats minds like Lawrence Krauss, Stephen Fry........ series on NatGeo or other well researched well documented theories and alternative ideas are dismissed out of hand.
Dishonesty seems to be the standard, and it disgusts me sometimes.
I avoid Christianity because I choose not to believe in a make-believe omnipotent being that controls the fate of the world with his magical powers.
I won't even allow myself to get sucked into this thread...~laughing~
I will answer the question! I avoided the Truth because when I was young being a "Jesus freak" was uncool. I was a stoner...we were cooler in my eyes. Today the coolest people I know wear the Armor of God.
Of course religion hasn't been around since the beginning. But, all ancient civilizations wrote/made up stories to explain the things they did not understand. All ancients have a creation story, most have a flood story to eradicate evil, they have stories to explain death as well as the evil. They also contain a trickster. This is a literary bad guy who gets the blame. Cultures used animals/beasts that they hated and blamed them for the bad stuff. Hence the serpant. Others used nuisances related to their culture. Certain stories/tales were accepted generations later and were then considered to be true. Then man twisted these stories to fit the beliefs of the time. The old testament god was a true oppressor. The law of moses was so harsh that everyone was bound for hell. So, next the new testament came along to help god's image and to get people back on track. Now you could still be a turd but you at least could ask for forgiveness. It was a less primitive time so it had to meet the new beliefs. A divine father would have never devised such a scewed up plan and then have to spend the rest of the bible trying to correct his mistakes. Wouldn't he have known satan was going to turn on him and seek power? Wouldn't he know Adam and eve would give in to temptation? I mean how dumb and naive do you have to be to buy this stuff. Look at all the poor countries and all the starving/suffering children. People pray for them constantly but to no avail.
Sorry. I forgot the positives. I guess it makes people who would act foolishly act right. It gives people hope and a purpose to live. It helps people deal with their horrible lives by thinking they have a reward awaiting them. It helps governments keep their military's armed and ready. Some churches do give charity to the needy. Missionaries build schools and churches and hospitals in third world countries. Even though they push their beliefs on the inhabitants and try to make them stop practicing their cultural beliefs.
jobs are created due to religion and we get a tax break if we give money to churches.
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