It is not your job to condemn me because I disagree with you. It is not your job to hold me in disdain. It is not your job to change me, persuade me, or convert me. The heart of Christianity is being Christ-like. Christ loved everyone, including those who disagreed with him, ignored him, ridiculed him. Your job is simple. To love people, regardless of who they are, what they are, what they think or how they behave. It doesn't matter how many Bible verses you have memorized, how good you are at preaching, or how much you pray; if you do not have pure, unadulterated love for all people, then you are not Christ-like and you are not a Christian. This is what your scriptures say Jesus revealed in its purest form. Love, even for those that would kill him. So j'accuse those Christians who don't show such love. J'accuse those Christians who preach only hate. J'accuse those Christians who are not Christ-like.
I accuse you, of not being Christians at all.
100% correct (Y)
If people were bashing Christianity just because of its beliefs, then they'd also be bashing other religions at the same rate (especially some of the more incomprehensible, loonier religions like Islam and Hinduism).
The chief reason Christianity gets a lot of heat is because they're constantly trying to stick their noses into politics and public discourse, where it doesn't belong.
I wonder what my definition of love has to do with the topic of discussion as well as why it matters to you that you felt it necessary to ask.
But perhaps this is a discussion for another place
I will rephrase so as not to offend.
When I read the bible, this is how I see love defined.
That we would help the widow and the orphan.
That we would feed the hungry and minister to those in prison.
That we would tell a lost and dying world how they might be saved, as Jesus did, no matter at what cost to us.
That we would be willing to pick up our crosses and lay our lives down.
Not offended at all. Just noting that you posed a personal question focusing on another poster that had nothing to do with the topic of the forum. I expressed a willingness to discuss it further, but I will not do it on this forum as it is not related to the topic.
Edit: I apologize if my reply seemed a little brusque. Not my intent.
Deepes, I realize there is some personal history that might might invoke sensitivity, and especially considered Beth used a reply to you to pose her query. Beth would have to clarify, but considering it was on my mind as well, I suspect Beth was referring to the OP's accusation, because trying to persuade those you truly believe are on a path to destruction, is love and is what Christ wants. I chose not to jump in because there is so much misunderstanding for the OP to hold that view, and others to agree, I didn't feel it productively addressable in this venue. I am only speaking out now in response to what I believe is about to be a simple misunderstanding between you and Beth.
I don't believe he and I are in an active discussion. I asked him what his definition would be, he didn't want to share it, I'm ok with that. I shared mine and I don't believe there is any problem.
Okay, Beth. Now I feel that you are doing something that you frown upon. You are speaking for me and what I did and did not want. Let me try this one more time. Your question was about my personal definition of love. My personal definition of love has nothing to do with the OP. I have stated more than once that I am willing to discuss this with you in another setting yet you insist that I don't want to share. That is not accurate as I have expressed a willingness to discuss it four times. If you truly wish to discuss this, you know how to reach me outside of an unrelated forum. But please do not insist that I do not wish to discuss something when I have made statements to the contrary
I get that, Bb. Regardless of any history between us, I am always willing to talk to Beth because she does not always mean to offend and I am not so sensitive to take offense. Looking at the whole exchange, you will see that I was understanding of her clarification as well as expressed a willingness to discuss it with her. I didn't take any offense a all but I did want it to be clear that I did not wish to discuss it here on a forum that was not related to her desired conversation. I am trying to be fair and respectful to the op.
I do appreciate your concern
Thank you Deepes. Although I rarely participate anymore, I do enjoy and learn from reading the exchanges. I have seen several, however, go south and escalate beginning with what appears to be a simple misunderstanding, and I thought I saw an opportunity to avoid one. Looks like there was no issue. I'll try to show more restraint before popping in unnecessarily.
I wouldn't say it was unnecessary. You were trying to make sure everyone had an understanding. I respect that. I want to make sure it is understood that I am not angry or offended. Beth and I have had our issues only when there are accusations made, not when something is discussed. As long as we stay focused on the subject (in this case what love is) we're fine. I actually enjoy talking to Beth when we are discussing a topic.
Edit: Regarding our personal history, I am not willing to air that out on HP as this is not the proper place
I know I've mentioned this before, but you do realize that Jesus never preached without anyone asking for it, right? He would show up, do his thing, and be on his way--it wasn't until someone asked who he was and what his motive was that he'd sit down and tell them all about it.
In other words, if no one was curious (although raising someone from the dead would, in all fairness, stir up some curiosity), he wouldn't impose.
This forum was addressed to Christians. If being summoned were the only prerequisite, this qualifies.
Thanks Beth (and other Christians) for responding to what I realize must seem a hostile thread to Christians. To clarify, my criticism is aimed at those Christians who preach and act in a certain way. I'm fully aware not all Christians do this.
You asked about love. In my opinion showing people love is more powerful than telling them about it. I have known Christians who could not be classed as saints by any means, but in whom you can see a genuine love and compassion for all people, just by how they interact. In contrast I have known people who self identify as Christians who try to tell the world and his wife how it can be saved, but then when they don't get the response they are hoping for, become nasty and hold those people in disdain. I'm not suggesting you personally do that, but it happens. I'd like to now how those people reconcile this with the idea of being Christ like.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate that 2nd post. Thank you. I hope you meet some Christians who love you no matter what. I hope you'll always remember that Christians are sinners, it is only grace that has saved them, not their own righteousness. God bless.
I can understand where you are coming from and I also appreciate your willingness to clarify the intent of your statement. I personally didn't feel like your thread post was hostile toward me (speaking for myself) as I have not really regularly engaged you enough in these forums for us to have really gotten or gained any understanding of where each other are fully coming from. As you acknowledged this before, not all Christians behave in this manner, but sometimes we do have bad days. Being Christian does not mean we claim perfection (or at least some don't). It means that we do make mistakes, but we continue to try to get it right with God and in our dealings with others..
Hence the word testimony.
People assume it means running your mouth... but in all honesty, one cannot give testimony without being asked. That's why the word is used in law.
Same with witnessing.
Telling people they will burn in hell for an eternity isn't included in that list?
Is the implication that Christians stick their noses into the lives of strangers across the world because they love them?
'Cause that would not be any definition of "love" I could agree with either.
Zelkiiro says Christians stick their noses in other's business. You agree and Beth asks what love is.
I assume she asks that because you agree that Christians are controlling, but that she sees the control as love.
Do I have control over you, Wilderness, by sharing thoughts and opinions on this forum? I don't agree with your assessment. I only sought to share what my definition of love is according to what I see in scripture, and that is that to be like Christ, one must be fully like Christ and not just one person's opinion of Christ. For instance, when Christ saw Zacchaeus in a tree, he said to him, "Come down, Im going to your house today." Which Zacchaeus responded favorably to. The passage ends with this verse, " For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." Luke 19:10
Thanks for the visit. Be well.
If you're tryiing to be Christ like, no control.
But people that have decided they must teach my children myth as fact, must implement laws based on outdated and barbaric Christian morals - these kinds of things ARE control and can be explained through love. At least by the person wanting to control; the love makes a convenient excuse for controlling others. And it is those kinds of things that Zelkiiro referenced (I think).
Okay.. wasn't clear on it. That's why I asked for clarification
Oh gosh, Don. More mythmaking?
You said, "Christ loved everyone, including those who disagreed with him, ignored him, ridiculed him. "
Obviously, you haven't read the Bible.
Matthew 11:20 20 Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”
And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
I could go on - but it's obvious you're deep in myth-making mode and you want to control others with your myths.
Do you really need me to quote the sections of the Bible that talk about loving others, even if they condemn you. Really? I don't think you do. I think you know them. So nope sorry, not playing the Bible quotation game with you. Try someone else.
As for me controlling others. The whole point of the thread is to make some Christians aware that the way the interact with people can be counter-productive to their aims. Do you even understand what this thread is about?
You need not quote any more scripture, the passages I cited disprove your controlling attempt in your topic post. I'm quickly coming to see you as holier-than-thou, thinking your opinion is the only one.
I understand EXACTLY what this thread is about. Your attempt to strong-arm Christians into behaving as you want them to behave.
You don't realize that the way YOU interact with others can be counter-productive to your aims.
I'm an atheist, but I would never stoop so low as to tell Christians that MY personal interpretation of the scriptures is the only true one. Honestly - could you be any more full of yourself?
Isn't that what Christians do to us? Doesn't the Bible actually command them to do that to us?
Isn't that what each individual Christian does? Isn't that why there are tens of thousands of Christian denominations?
Enceph... if they're following the tenets of their religion as they understand them, why does that matter to you? Why is it so important to Don to step in and tell them what they really should be thinking and feeling?
Does Don have a holy book that tells him to do that?
Because they are demanding that I follow those tenets as well, just like they're commanding everyone else. That is the point.
Don is telling them to stop telling him what to believe, how to behave and that he isn't interested in following the tenets of their religion.
No, Don has respect for himself and others, which he is trying to explain to those Christians, that they should have some respect, too.
Were that true - Don could just tell them not to tell him how to behave or believe. That's what I do - when confronted, which is extremely rare. But, by doing the exact thing Don claims they are doing, he becomes that which he denounces. Don gives his version of WWJD and thinks he's all that. I simply pointed to some scripture that rendered Don's opinion moot.
Don tells them to respect him. They tell Don to respect god.
It's okay for one but not for the other? I wonder how anyone keeps track of these rules?
Don does not have to respect anyone's god, their god can do that directly to Don if it so wishes.
Suggesting some Christians do not behave in accordance with Christian tenets as I see them is not an attempt to "strong arm" anyone. It's an accusation (the clue is in the title of the thread) intended to provoke thoughtful discussion. Anyone is free to agree or disagree, as you just have.
I think Beth pointed out that for her, as a Christian, making people aware they are (according to her beliefs) lost and dying, is part of her definition of love. In response I said "in my opinion showing people love is more powerful than telling them about it". I don't feel that Beth and I were trying to invalidate each other's beliefs in that exchange. I think we were just exchanging views. Please point out where either of us asserted that our interpretation is "the only true one".
Deepes Mind is a Christian also I believe and posted that he understands where I'm coming from, but Christians are not perfect and have bad days too. Again where in that exchange did anyone assert their interpretation is "the only true one" and where has anyone tried to "strong arm" anyone? Other Christians have expressed views in this thread too. All welcome, as is your atheist view. In fact I think this thread has been a relatively congenial up until now.
Your interpretation does not "prove" or "disprove" anything other than the fact that you have a different interpretation. Suggesting otherwise makes you guilty of what you are accusing me of.
In case you are a unclear as to what my view is, here it is again for you. I believe that being Christ-like means not treating people with disdain because they do not respond to your beliefs the way you would like them to. I accuse some Christians (not all) of doing this. Those who do, I accuse* of not behaving according to the tenets of Christianity. That is my assertion. It is not the only view on the subject, but it is my view and the purpose of this thread was to present my view with the aim of eliciting discussion.
*I use the term J'accuse because it is a literary device used to express outrage and accusation against someone powerful. It is based on the letter written by Émile Zola in defense of an innocent Jewish man sentenced to death in France in 1898. I'll leave you to work out why I saw a parallel there, and why I thought it was an interesting juxtaposition.
You are right Don.W.
We are supposed to love our enemies and bless those who curse us.
Please forgive our Christian brothers/sisters who might have upset you or other disbelievers in any of the ways you've listed above.
Our job as Christians, is to actually pray for others, especially for disbelievers. We're not supposed to judge them whatsoever, only lord almighty is allowed to judge.
Don asks that Christians behave in such a way that they demonstrate a higher love for man than Christians believe God himself does.
Let me explain. Christians are to love unconditionally; not condemn those that sin because we are all sinners; not try to enforce beliefs upon the unbelievers; but let actions of love speak for themselves, and to believe that those actions will draw all men to share those beliefs.
However this love quickly begins to fall apart on the subject of believing the "correct" things. Straight off because a Muslim, Hindu, Australian Aborigine was unfortunate to be born into another culture, they believe something contrary to Christianity. It is merely the sin of belief in the wrong thing, not actions or deeds done in life mind you, that will condemn them to a burning hell. Where is the love here?
As a get God out of gaol free card, Christians maintain that everyone somewhere is given a chance to believe Jesus, but this statement is unsupported, an attempt to get an otherwise loving God off the hook for committing acts contrary to love.
Those who "wilfully" choose not to believe (aka those who don't believe simply because nobody presented any evidence but because of pride or satan's deception wilfully choose not to believe something blindly) are loved but that everlasting love of God comes with an expiry date.
Those who wilfully hate God (aka atheists who resist Christians interfering with politics or the spread of the "gospel") they are denied any love of God even though Jesus explicitly stated that Christians should love their enemies.
And so Don's desire can never be realised, because Christians believe that telling everyone they are going to hell, that God hates their lifestyles and life choices, is in itself an act of love.
"And so Don's desire can never be realised, because Christians believe that telling everyone they are going to hell, that God hates their lifestyles and life choices, is in itself an act of love."
Good point. It's clear not all Christians go out of their way to convert/preach to others though. My question would be, how do those Christians reconcile their belief that people will suffer spiritual death if they don't find god, with the fact they don't actively try to convert people. How do those Christians respond to the criticism that preaching is an act of love, so by not actively doing it, they are not being loving?
There is also another reason to question the validity of my accusation. Is it fair that we (non Christians) treat Christians as a single homogeneous mass that should think and feel the same? Is it more likely that the way Christians express their beliefs is as diverse as the number of interpretations of Christian teachings, and the number of unique personalities and life experiences that make up the Christian demographic? Is this a case of double standards? Am I treating Christians differently by not objecting about other groups that try to communicate a message?
First, we must educate the preaching Christians to what a "belief" is. Once they understand they their "beliefs" are no more valid than any other they may understand the harm they are doing.
No, you should object to other groups that preach as well.
Good points raised here.
As a former church goer I continually had the burden of people's eternal prospects laid on my shoulders; that is their blood was on my hands if they went to hell because I didn't share the 'gospel' with them. The guilt and shame was horrible. I look back now and ask myself how I fell for that crock of morally perverse sh!t. What an evil God was peddled; one that said "I'm going to burn your friends in hell and it's your fault."
I caught that, too. If you don't proselytize, you are responsible for the eternal torture of others. Not them, not God (for not making Himself known), not Satan - you are the one responsible.
It doesn't paint a very pretty picture of God, does it? That he shoves His work off onto others to determine who burns and who does not?
Interesting that you and Wilderness both felt the same peer pressure to preach. I'm interested to know how some Christians stand up to the pressure from other Christians to express their belief in a certain way.
For me, it comes down to the understanding that others got their style of getting their style of spreading the gospel from the Bible just like I got my style. I also remember that I used to preach the same way as dictated by someone else. The key thing for me is in knowing that while we are all spreading the word in our own way, other's ways of preaching is not mine and I cannot conform to a way that is outside of my nature
Are you not concerned that you may be spreading the wrong word? There are roughly 4,200 religions in the world, each one just as convince as you are that they are right. For each person you convert you have a 4,199 chance in 4,200 that you are sending the person down the wrong spiritual path and this you would be responsible for.
Good question. The short answer is yes. I am always concerned that whatever answer I give may not be the correct answer. This is why I stress as often as possible that this is only my personal belief and I accept that I could be wrong. I also advise others to also search the bible for their own answers. I do not try to force people to convert to my way of thinking or belief. When a question is raised, I answer as best as I know how but also encourage people to find their answers. At the end of the day, their conversion has more to do with whatever answer they find on their own than any answer I give. Another thing I try to avoid is telling someone their answer is wrong, especially whenit comes to a belief that there is no specific universal evidence for naturally
Do you also suggest they read the Torah, Quran and the Book of Mormon? Let's not forget Sikhism or Hinduism. All these religion have a equal chance of being right or they all could be wrong.
Walked right into that one with my wording, did I? When I mentioned finding their own answers in the bible, this is in reference to those who ask me about Christianity specifically. If someone is asking me about religion in general, I let them know that I am christian and that if they need information about other religions they should speak with a follower of that religion.
You still have only a 1 in 4,200 chance that you are leading them in the right direction. The odds don't change if you stick to your version of Christianity. The odds are you are suppling false information which could result in eternity in hell for another soul (if they exist). Who wants to be responsible for that? Would you gamble the soul of another with those odds? What would happen to your soul if you successfully converted people from taking the right path to yours based on false information you provided?
You made a specific distinction that I would like to touch on. You said "your version of Christianity". That makes a difference. I am not pushing my version of Christianity as the only one or even as the right one.I am only expressing my personal belief but also telling others that they must find their own answers that resonates best within them. I do not ask nor expect anyone to follow me. Others must find God for themselves. To he honest, the best that I can hope for, pray for, and repent is that God will see that I tried my best to follow the example of Christ by not forcing anything on anyone and that my heart was in the right place. Ultimately this is why I elaborate when asked instead of trying to press it. I can still only do the best that I can do here to help others because it is good to do. Whatever happens after this life is out of my control and thus not that close to my mind. I have to get through this life. I have no knowledge of what afterlife has in store. That's in God's hands
With 1 chance in 4,200 of helping someone in the afterlife and 4,199 changes out of 4,200 of harming them in the afterlife wouldn't it be prodent to keep your personal beliefs to yourself?
Which I do unless a question about religion is asked. In the meantime, I live my belief in trying to live morally and ethically. So sometimes I still tell my faith without opening my mouth.
Edit- on the flip side of this it is also prudent that when expressing my belief that I make sure I'm directing them to the bible when searching for answers from the christian god lest I end up putting my words above God's
Okay, then to be fair, why not also direct them to the other holy books. After all in all likely hood they may be just as correct.
I thought I addressed this earlier. I do advise others to find their own Answers and wish them well in their search because At the end of the day, God (if...) has the final say as to who is going where. It is not up to me to put people anywhere
If it's not up to you then why would you share your views?
Because I enjoy discussions like this one. Besides that, the Bible does tell Christians to share the gospel with others. But it also tells us once we tell it to let others make their own decisions. It tells us once the message is rejected and no further questions are asked that we shake the sand from our feet. If you were to ever tell me that you do not wish to discuss my religious beliefs with me anymore, I will stop discussing my beliefs with you. We can still talk hockey or something like that...lol
From a message of love and peace to professional hockey. Are you sure you are capable of that much change?
Of course. Talking about hockey doesn't affect my beliefs. And having respect for another's wish not to discuss religion doesn't affect my faith either.
But...*shudder*...hockey! Can there be anything worse, anything more removed from Christ's teachings?
How could you?
Deepes was just being nice, catering to Rad, (being a Canadian and all).
Ah yes. I had forgotten the poor man was a Canuck.
Still, we can pity him and all that, but that seems insufficient reason to discuss hockey. One of my co-workers followed the local hockey team, going to games all the time. A strange character - one we all tended to avoid.
What the h@!(!
I think we should drop the gloves and have a go eh!
I like hockey. Just too violent to play it...lol
I rest my case
Poor Jainism, always neglected in these conversations.
It's a very noble religion... demmit. It needs more press.
Yes, I have always suggested to folk that they read all other religious works they may be interested in, IMO there is danger in and too folk who have not been able to compare what Christ states against what else is on offer..
But in effect preaching for conversion is redundant anyway,
Our job is to bring the power of God through Christ and the Holy Spirit into peoples lives, once they have experienced that, their desire to know more should settle their concerns about which course they should follow.
All you can manage to do is repeat what's written in the Bible, you can't bring "the power of God through Christ and the Holy Spirit" and more than you can flap your arms and fly off a tall building.
Anyone can read the Bible, they don't need someone who believes they have a job.
Actually believers are commanded to bring the power of God into the world and defeat the power of the enemy, and as God provides all our needs, I think you can say 'we' have a 'job' (task/declared objective) set by our 'boss'... who told us:
12-13 “In solemn truth I tell you, anyone believing in me shall do the same miracles I have done, and even greater ones, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask him for anything, using my name, and I will do it, for this will bring praise to the Father because of what I, the Son, will do for you. 14 Yes, ask anything, using my name, and I will do it!
Would disagree with your statement "All you can manage to do is repeat what's written in the Bible, you can't bring "the power of God through Christ and the Holy Spirit" and more than you can flap your arms and fly off a tall building."
Interestingly the enemy tried the same tactic on Christ...
Matthew 4:5-6 Then Satan took him to Jerusalem to the roof of the Temple. “Jump off,” he said, “and prove you are the Son of God; for the Scriptures declare, ‘God will send his angels to keep you from harm,’ . . . they will prevent you from smashing on the rocks below.”
I give you the same reply as Christ gave our enemy "“It also says not to put the Lord your God to a foolish test!”
But you are right, nobody needs anything other than a simple bible and a broken spirit with a contrite heart to be blessed with salvation by God.
And looking at your later post (just a few minutes later) you need to realise that I have a life, and rarely waste time on the forums, I just saw this post and thought it warranted a reply, now it is 1.30am where I am, so buenos noches!
I don't see anything in that verse that supports your claim you have a job. All it says is that you are supposed to do the same miracles, which would be to walk on water and heal the sick.
It must be referring to ice skating and being a doctor.
What that has to do with anything is puzzling, I never put you to any tasks or tried any tactics. Seems you're reading into things that aren't there and going off on some weird interpretation of the Bible.
Good, I'm with you so far...
I'm right behind you,
What? The Muslims and Jews and all of the other religions don't agree with the Christ part. So your job has a one chance in 4,200 of being right, You have 4,199 chances out of 4,200 of helping the very people you claim to care about. Isn't that irresponsible?
Not at all, I just returned from three years in SE Asia, where many religions mingle together and where anyone who is interested (EXCEPT MUSLIMS whose authorities forbid (ban) them from converting or believers speaking about Christ) can hear the gospel and experience the power of God.
All the world will have had the opportunity to hear about Christ BEFORE He returns to close the age, so nobody will have any excuse for rejecting His invitation.
What's not fair about that?
Now I really must get to bed!
"Our job is to bring the power of God through Christ and the Holy Spirit into peoples lives . . . "
What approach do you use to achieve that aguasilver?
In 25 years of Pentecostal churches (that's the particular denomination that likes to think they are particularly in tune with the Holy Spirit and proclaim belief in miracles and healing), I never once saw one miracle or healing. They speak continually about the power of God moving here there, through, in, up, down,,,, but I never saw it or knew anyone who saw it. No pillars of smoke or fire, no water becoming wine, no legs growing, no Jesus style miracles, nothing. The nearest thing I saw to the 'power of God' was people falling over and laughing like a drain......
I can't help but think that all three methods are completely useless based on what you say at the end of the day.
And I can respect that. Especially given that you see religion as useless in general
Given it's track record and the horrific damages it's caused and keeps on causing, there's not much usefulness to show, if any.
Another respected answer even in disagreement. Now of course I do see a use for it, but we will certainly be on opposite sides in this discussion so I will leave of there
Indeed some need it to help become a better person while they are alive.
Interesting how each time we get to a certain point and you leave the discussion, usually the point where you're expected to substantiate something you said.
I look at it like this. With the point I would use to substantiate my statement, I already know your counterpoint as it is the same each time we have this specific (or close to it) discussion. At the end of it we are still right where we left off: I expressed my point, you express your counterpoint and we walk away still thinking what we think and that's okay. Your answers led you in one direction and mine to another. We stay on opposite ends. Insanity is doing the same way but expecting different results. Wisdom says no need to revisit a discussion you know the outcome will not be different
The big difference is that I can substantiate what I say, but you don't. It means you aren't willing to listen to reason. That isn't wisdom on your part by any stretch, it's denial.
Actually, that's not true. We have had this conversation before and I did substantiate my statement. Rad Man also made my point for me earlier. You have also made your point on the other side and we remained where we are. Last time we had this discussion, you said religion is useless. I stated it does have use for those who use it to stay in line. You said "This could be done without religion". I said "Agreed, but that still doesn't negate the fact that people do use it for that purpose". So I didn't and do not deny anything as far as this conversation is concerned. Just like some atheists know the majority of the Christian argument, I also have anda learning a majority of Atheist arguments. When I was a kid, I hated merry go rounds because you just went around and around without going anywhere. Considering that I know both sides of this discussion, I consider it wisdom to not go around it again. I do not disagree with some points made on these forums, however, that does not diminish the usefulness of religion I'm some cases. I'm sure you disagree with this point, and I understand your disagreement as I understand others here.
I don't think you do know both sides, there's been plenty of times people have explained things contrary to your claims and what you believe. Not only that, there is no wisdom in faith based ideals, wise men don't believe in fairy tales.
It's unlike to to involve my self in this way, but there is perhaps some wisdom in faith based ideals. Wise men certainly understand how faith can persuade people to behave a certain way (bad or good). Joseph Smith wanting multiple wives, Mohammad wanted land back, Slave owners wanting slaves. the Pope telling aids stricken African that they can't wear condoms, the Pope telling aids stricken african they can wear condoms, some priests wanting an easy way to have access to children. I'm not really good at good reasons, I think there was one in there.
If you say so. But the wisdom isn't in the belief or the knowledge. Its in the application of said beliefs or knowledge. But I digress. Getting off this merry go round
The application of belief? If a belief is false, it can't be applied with any wisdom.
If you can't substantiate what you say, don't blame it on being on a merry go round, blame on your lack of critical thinking skills.
And of course as predicted the conversation of a topic ends and you want to close it with a statement (insulting my critical thinking skills) that is personal rather than accepting that the conversation was ended and someone is not willing to keep going around with you. Yep this conversation went exactly as predicted. Yeah I'm done discussing this one with you and won't respond after this statement. You're welcome to the last word if ya want. I can only control what I do and I'm done with this conversation. Take it easy
YOU were the one who said it was a merry go round, YOU were the one who wanted to end the discussion with that statement. Yes, it went as predicted, another round of unsubstantiated claims ending with YOU not willing to discuss something any further because you can't substantiate what you say and then calling it wisdom. How disingenuous of you.
Saying you lack critical thinking skills is not an insult, it is an observation of your unsubstantiated claims.
I've found a good "bugger off" generally works well.
I'm not sure what the problem is. It seems unbelievably simple to me.
Don, I can't speak for others, but when I experience that pressure, I remind myself and my Christian brothers and sisters that I cannot provide salvation to anyone, and neither can they. I can answer their questions about what I believe God has done in my life, and I can show them how I live my life as Christ did to the best of my ability, but I can't change their minds or hearts. And there is no reason for me to think that someone unique will be moved or changed by any of my experiences. If they ask, I'll answer, but my answers may not be the ones that will bring them to faith-their questions may be entirely different to begin with.
But I can feed someone who's hungry. I can shelter someone without a home. I can comfort someone in their grief...like Jesus often did. Seems to me that's what he'd rather see from me. Flowery words and inspiring sermons have never kept anyone from starving.
I appreciate that you can recognize this. Thank you
Well, in my opinion and case, it boils down to a difference (IMO again) between preaching, evangelizing, and ministry. All three of them have the same goal in mind (to see people saved and coming to Christ), but they are different in approach to others, belief in, and application of some biblical principles as well as their response to rejection, Preaching involves actively and only pointing out the wrongs that others do and how sinful and terrible they are and berating them about Hellfire and Brimstone. Conversion by fear tactics. When their message is rejected, they then cast more condemnation and basically send people to hell and they basically reject those people off as unable to be saved. Evangelizing is similar in nature to preaching, but their approach is one of expressing an urgency to see people saved out of a sense of love for everyone and a desire for all to share in the love they feel from God. They try to help others as much as they can with charity work. They do things for others and are philanthropic in nature. When they are rejected, they still press the urgency of getting salvation but express hurt at the rejection which affects future dealings with the person that rejected them. Ministry is something of a mixture of the two with a little more extra. Ministry involves not only telling people about their wrongs, they also try to get to the root of the hurt, disbelief, etc. and try to heal (with the use of the bible) the source of the matter. They try to find where others may have strayed from the path then try to coax them back. They do speak about hell, but their primary focus is in showing others the love of Christ in trying to help them (as long as they wish it and ask for it). They still show and express love for others as they are (as do Evangelists) even as they work to help them change (again if requested). When their efforts are rejected, They continue to express their love, but do not try to force the issue. They reply with understanding and respect of the requests of the person doing the rejecting, but they leave the door open and are still ready to stand by with a response if there is a question.
I respond by initially trying to clarify how my approach is an act of love as though I love them enough to try to help them find God, I also love them enough to respect their wishes if they Do not want God. I also remind those (especially Christians that accuse me of various things) that they are in no position to condemn my approach as according to Matthew 7:1-5. Sometimes, My attitude gets the best of me (No I'm not perfect). I miss the mark myself daily, but that doesn't stop me from continuing to try.
It is understandable why you may think this way (if you do), But it is somewhat unfair to lump all of us together. As the different denominations would attest, more often than not the only thing Christians share is a belief in God Just like the the only thing atheists share is a lack of a belief. Once you get past that, you have varying beliefs as well as varying reasons for the belief as well as varying ways of applying the Bible
Short answer... Yes
It depends on how those other groups communicate their message. If those groups are presenting their message in the same way that Christians do, then yes it is a double standard. If you meet a Muslim that approaches you with dignity and respect, then meet a Preacher (as I outlined above) That approaches you with anger and attacks you, then no double standard (Still IMO) as you are gravitating towards the approach that resonates best with your needs and your expected standard of behavior of believers
Not sure what specific answer you are looking for, but I hope I gave you something of what you wanted.
Thanks Deepes Mind, this was exactly the kind of response I was hoping for. Very enlightening.
What do you think determined your approach? Is it related to the denomination you are with, your upbringing, or is it more of a personal choice based on what you feel comfortable with? Have you always followed the same approach?
My approach was determined by my reading the bible for myself, mainly focusing on Christ's words and actions during his lifetime. My current approach is not one that I picked up in any church or from my upbringing. In order for me to give you a clear picture of what brought me up to this point, I would have to give you my background of my religious journey. This is something that I'd rather not share on HP (but AM willing to explain to you outside of the forums) for personal reasons. As far as it being what I am comfortable with, I guess you can say that. I cannot use an approach that goes outside of my nature. I also think my choice is based on scripture again. I look at Christ and see that even though he rebuked people when they needed to be rebuked, he also showed love and tolerance for all regardless of if they accepted his message or not. Two main scriptures I also look at in my treatment of others is "Love thy neighbor as thyself" and of course "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Of course I love myself a lot and treat myself with respect (even when I am hard on myself). SO I treat others (or try to, as I don't always) with the same love I have for myself. I also would want someone to approach me with respect to my beliefs and respect me enough to not try to force their beliefs on me, so I try to show people that same approach.
Short answer, no I haven't. I tried both of the other styles I mentioned (again will speak on that away from HP). Didn't work for me.
Just a thought. Accusing others is not what God did when he sent his son. A simple act of love. We, in our imperfection, can see that but fail to understand it. We display our failure to understand by pointing out how others misunderstand.
I'm not implying that I don't agree with the OP, or anyone who has commented. I simply ponder the hypocrisy of attempts to point out how others fail on their journey. We all do when we focus on the actions of others over our own. I'm doing it now.
Perfection will help us understand how a father sends his son to be willingly beaten to death and then nailed to a cross to die? Human sacrifice is perfection? Blood, violence and agonizing death are what is required for people to believe in something, that is perfection? That is an act of love?
It's no wonder Christians lament at non-believers with the same acts of "love", however much perfection they try to attain.
Of course, I'll be told I just don't understand that kind of love.
Well, yep. We are a violent species. No doubt about that.
There is a lot of doubt about that. Are you violent? Are your family and friends violent? How about your acquaintances or people you work with, are they violent?
Seriously, when you actually look around, you don't actually find a whole lot of violent people.
Luckily, society has evolved. Ain't life grand? I doubt those from ancient times could have seen it the way we do. But, you don't appear to be a student of history so you might not grasp that.
Even more insults. It's funny how you jump to the defence of other who you feel are being insulted.
Someone not being a student of history is an insult? You do realize there aren't that many history majors in the world?
Or are you, too, not aware of how violent the world was in those times?
One doesn't have to be a history major to be a student of history.
You can tell us all about how violent the world was back then, please do. Tell us all about how neighbors pitted each other against one another, how wars raged from one house to other, how easily it was to be killed just walking out the door, how everyone beat the pulp out of anyone on the street they saw.
History major, indeed.
I didn't claim to be a history major. I said you didn't appear to be a student of history. Your post confirms my suspicions.
But you did.
This one implies that you are student of history because you can grasp what he can not.
Here you ignorantly equate that a student of history has to be a history major. Which translates to you being a history major.
Then, you followed it up with the insult. Why you do that is puzzling.
I'm more puzzled that you see an insult.
Either way. It doesn't matter to me. The conversation is over. Please feel free to imagine anything you want from that statement.
Since you had nothing of value to say other than false claims and insults, I wouldn't consider that a conversation in the first place.
It seems all of your posts, the ones in which actually have no argument, are littered with insults. Is that your way of compensation for nothing valid to say?
I have no idea how you find insult where none exists. I also don't see public executions via people being gutted or drawn and quartered. I don't see crucifixion as a standard form of punishment. I don't see slaves being whipped or citizens being thrown into arenas to be executed to pleasure the crowd. I don't know why, but that comes off as a lack of violence. As I said, society evolved, yet they were no less human than we are. We are still a violent species, imo. You are welcome to disagree ATM.
Wow are you honestly saying you can't see your own insults?
I am honestly saying I am not responsible for someone purposely attempting to feel insulted. Just as I don't hold others responsible for me feeling insulted. If you want to be insulted there is nothing I can do to stop you.
Then why are you worried about me insulting anyone else? You seem to think you have immunity to insult because it's the responsibility of the insulted to take it as such. But then you try to stop others from insulting. Very confusing.
They're littered in your posts, but it seems you're blissfully unaware of that.
It's easy to disagree with someone who is so wrong about so many things.
Did they kill everything in sight? Did neighbors crucify each other and whipped each other back then every time they saw one another, that would be the trademark of a violent species.
Accusing others is what God did when he flooded the entire earth and when he had his chosen people commit genocide and when he destroyed entire cities. In my imperfection I can see that and understand it.
It's sometimes necessary to help those who are being being treated unjustly.
Well, i agree we should speak out against injustice. I'd elaborate, however you have always exhibited a bit of close mindedness which prohibits a pleasant exchange of ideas. I will say that i don't perceive bashing others for not agreeing on cosmic mysteries as falling into the category of speaking out against injustice. It's just yakking.
Because I don't agree with you I'm closed minded? It's interesting that believers aren't open to the idea of a universe without a God yet I'm closed minded because I've not seen the evidence for said God.
BTW, there you go again. Telling others what there problem is, well at least you admit to being hypocritical.
Life is hypocrisy. And, yes. The last conversation i finally rolled my eyes and walked away from included you insisting i lie in order to make you feel better simply because you refused to accept that people actually think differently.
We are all human and therefore have the same emotions and the same thinking process. With the exception of those with deficiencies as was explained in the link you refused to educate yourself with. We do however use our brains and thoughts to come to different conclusions. We don't think differently, we do come to different conclusions.
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