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  1. #51
    Senior Member ThinkingAboutIt's Avatar
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    To blank:

    Sorry, I am crunching with work! I should have worded that differently as it is written from mans perspective...God didn't have to, He is omniscient, so He already knows everything, but most of us relate to and want someone around that knows and understands what we have gone through or where we are coming from...?

    Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like [His] brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. Heb 2:14-18
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

  2. #52
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    One of the reasons I explained the Gospel is so that you can have a reference to the core of Christianity.



    Exclusivity is one of the biggest problems skeptics have with Christianity. Skeptics believe:
    1. It's arrogant to say your religion is superior
    2. It's dangerous
    They believe all religions are equally good and valid for meeting the needs of their particular followers and that claims to have "the truth" will only lead to strife, division, and conflict.



    I agree that religion can be one of the main barriers to world peace. Each religion informs its followers that they have "the truth" and this naturally leads them to feel superior to those with differing beliefs. Religion tells its followers that they are saved and connected to God by devotedly performing the truth and this moves them to separate from those who are less devoted and pure in life. Therefore, it is easy for one religious group to stereotype and caricature other ones and...spiral down into the marginalization of others or even to active oppression, abuse, or violence against them.



    There are 3 basic approaches civic and cultural leaders around the world use to address the divisiveness of religion:




    1. Outlawing it (control or forbid religion), which results in more opression (i.e. Soviet Russia, Communist China, Khmer Rouge, and in a different way Nazi Germany). All were determined to stop religion from dividing society or eroding the power of the state but actually resulted in more oppression. According to Alister McGrath, "...the greatest intolerance and violence (of the 20th century) were practiced by those who believed that religion caused intolerance and violence."
    Also, efforts to suppress or control it often serve only to make it stronger.

    2. Condemning it (socially discourage any religion claiming to have "the truth" by making it foolish or appear dangerous)
    It's inconsistent and/or hypocritical.*
    a. "All major religions are equally valid and basically teach the same thing."
    The assumption is incorrect. The doctrinal beliefs about the nature of God in all the major faiths are significantly different and in opposition with one another. Also, the insistence that doctrines don't matter is really a doctrine in itself.
    b. "Each religion sees part of spiritual truth, but none can see the whole truth."
    The claim itself has an appearance of humility that truth is much greater that any of us can grasp but is actually an arrogant claim. "How could you possibly know that no religion can see the whole truth unless you yourself have the superior, comprehensive knowledge of spiritual reality you just claimed that none of the religions have?"
    c. "Religious belief is too culturally and historically conditioned to be 'truth'."
    This claim may be true but must include itself. Therefore, it cannot be used to argue that all truth is completely relative or else the very argument refutes itself.
    d. "It is arrogant to insist your religion is right and to convert others to it."
    Again, the claim itself is arrogant and "exclusive".

    3. Keeping it private (keep religion out of the public sphere).
    It's impossible and unrealistic to come out into the public square and leave one's convictions about ultimate values behind. Everyone lives and operates out of some narrative identity (aka worldview, faith-assumptions, beliefs, religion) whether it is thought out and reflected upon or not. What is religion but a set of beliefs that explain what life is all about, who we are, and the most important things that human beings should spend their time doing...All who say "You ought to do this" or "You shouldn't do that" reason out of such an implicit moral and religious position.

    Christianity is different:
    Christianity has within itself remarkable power to explain and expunge the divisive tendencies within the human heart. It's an exclusive belief system that can still respect people of other faiths because:
    1. Christians believe all human beings are made in the image of God and so are capable of goodness and wisdom.
    2. Christians believe all are sinners, imperfect and fallen in every way.
    3. Christians believe "God's grace does not come to people who morally outperform others, but to those who admit their failure and who acknowledge their need for a Savior."
    4. At the very heart of what Christians believe is the reality that a man died for his enemies, praying for their forgiveness.

  3. #53
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    Athenian200,


    Christianity isn't a straitjacket.
    Some people think absolute truth is an enemy to freedom. You see it as divisive, culturally narrow, enslaving, and a "straitjacket" that doesn't allow one to expand or grow.

    Truth is unavoidable.
    Those inspired by French philosopher Foucault will say that "all truth claims are power plays". However, his statement fails in that it too must be subject and therefore becomes what it suggests...a "power play".

    Community can't be completely inclusive.
    Critics of Christianity argue that it is socially divisive because it requires particular beliefs in order to be a member of its community. However, if any community did not hold its members accountable for specific beliefs and practices, it would have no corporate identity and would therefore not really be a community at all. One cannot consider a group exclusive simply because it has standards for its member. Every community has them.

    Christianity isn't culturally rigid.
    Critics argue that Christianity is a cultural straitjacket forcing people from diverse cultures into a single iron mold. Christianity actually has been more adaptive and less destructive of diverse cultures than secularism and many other worldviews. Though there are absolute claims to truth in Christianity, there is also freedom in how these absolutes are expressed and take form within a particular culture.

    Freedom isn't simple.
    You argue that Christianity is a limit to one's personal growth and potential because it constrains one's freedom to choose his/her own beliefs and practices. However:
    1. Freedom cannot be defined in strictly negative terms, as the absence of confinement and constraint. In many cases, it is actually a means to liberation (i.e. practicing piano, working hard in a career for better pay, etc.; all require a certain sacrifice or limit to freedom from other things)
    2. Freedom is not so much the absence of restrictions as finding the right ones. Those that fit with the reality of our nature and the world produce greater power and scope for our abilities and a deeper joy and fulfillment.

    Love, the ultimate freedom, is more constraining than we might think.
    Love is the most liberating freedom-loss of all. One of the principles of love is that you have to lose independence to attain greater intimacy. You can't enter a deep relationship and still make unilateral decisions or allow the other no say in how you live your life.

  4. #54
    . Blank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThinkingAboutIt View Post
    Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like [His] brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. Heb 2:14-18
    See? I find this verse entirely pointless. God has the power to easily disband the "devil" and chooses not to do it. If God were really all-loving, wouldn't God be compelled to save its creatures?
    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Si = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fe = 0

    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  5. #55
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blank View Post
    See? I find this verse entirely pointless. God has the power to easily disband the "devil" and chooses not to do it. If God were really all-loving, wouldn't God be compelled to save its creatures?

    Indeed, in our culture, divine judgment is one of Christianity's most offensive doctrines.

    Let me use C. S. Lewis' on his book "The Great Divorce" as an illustration. In his book Lewis describes a bus load of people from hell on the outskirts of heaven.

    "Hell begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others... but you are still distinct from it. You may even criticize it in yourself and wish you could stop it. But there may come a day when you can no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood or even to enjoy it, but just the grumble itself, going on forever like a machine. It is not a question of God "sending us" to hell. In each of us there is something growing, which will BE hell unless it is nipped in the bud."

    The people in hell are miserable, but Lewis shows us why. We see raging like unchecked flames their pride, their paranoia, their self-pity, their certainty that everyone else is wrong, that everyone else is an idiot! All their humility is gone, and thus so is their sanity. They are utterly, finally locked in a prison of their own self-centeredness, and their pride progressively expands into a bigger and bigger mushroom cloud. They continue to go to pieces forever, blaming everyone but themselves. Hell is that, writ large.

    That is why it is a travesty to picture God casting people into a pit who are crying "I'm sorry! Let me out!" The people on the bus from hell in Lewis's parable would rather have their "freedom," as they define it, than salvation. Their delusion is that, if they glorified God, they would somehow lose power and freedom, but in a supreme and tragic irony, their choice has ruined their own potential for greatness. Hell is, as Lewis says, "the greatest monument to human freedom." As Romans 1:24 says, God "gave them up to... their desires." All God does in the end with people is give them what they most want, including freedom from himself. What could he more fair than that?


    "What are you asking God to do? Wipe out all past sins? He did so on the cross. To forgive them? But they don't ask for forgiveness. To leave them alone? That's what hell is."

    There are only two kinds of people:
    1. Those who say "Thy will be done" to God
    2. those to whom God in the end says, "Thy will be done." All those in hell choose it. Without that self-choice it wouldn't be hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it.

  6. #56
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    The Father is offended by us, so in order to forgive us, He tortures His Son to death.

    At first this seems to be inexplicable; then it seems to be psychotic; and then finally, in the dying decade of the 20th Century, it is revealed for what it is - child abuse.

    This has been revealed in the Criminal Courts of the West, and now in the Ryan Report, commissioned by the Government of Ireland.

  7. #57
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    The Father is offended by us, so in order to forgive us, He tortures His Son to death.

    At first this seems to be inexplicable; then it seems to be psychotic; and then finally, in the dying decade of the 20th Century, it is revealed for what it is - child abuse.

    This has been revealed in the Criminal Courts of the West, and now in the Ryan Report, commissioned by the Government of Ireland.

    You fail to take into account that Jesus died willingly.

  8. #58
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus2968 View Post
    Athenian200,


    Christianity isn't a straitjacket.
    Some people think absolute truth is an enemy to freedom. You see it as divisive, culturally narrow, enslaving, and a "straitjacket" that doesn't allow one to expand or grow.

    Truth is unavoidable.
    Those inspired by French philosopher Foucault will say that "all truth claims are power plays". However, his statement fails in that it too must be subject and therefore becomes what it suggests...a "power play".

    Community can't be completely inclusive.
    Critics of Christianity argue that it is socially divisive because it requires particular beliefs in order to be a member of its community. However, if any community did not hold its members accountable for specific beliefs and practices, it would have no corporate identity and would therefore not really be a community at all. One cannot consider a group exclusive simply because it has standards for its member. Every community has them.

    Christianity isn't culturally rigid.
    Critics argue that Christianity is a cultural straitjacket forcing people from diverse cultures into a single iron mold. Christianity actually has been more adaptive and less destructive of diverse cultures than secularism and many other worldviews. Though there are absolute claims to truth in Christianity, there is also freedom in how these absolutes are expressed and take form within a particular culture.

    Freedom isn't simple.
    You argue that Christianity is a limit to one's personal growth and potential because it constrains one's freedom to choose his/her own beliefs and practices. However:
    1. Freedom cannot be defined in strictly negative terms, as the absence of confinement and constraint. In many cases, it is actually a means to liberation (i.e. practicing piano, working hard in a career for better pay, etc.; all require a certain sacrifice or limit to freedom from other things)
    2. Freedom is not so much the absence of restrictions as finding the right ones. Those that fit with the reality of our nature and the world produce greater power and scope for our abilities and a deeper joy and fulfillment.

    Love, the ultimate freedom, is more constraining than we might think.
    Love is the most liberating freedom-loss of all. One of the principles of love is that you have to lose independence to attain greater intimacy. You can't enter a deep relationship and still make unilateral decisions or allow the other no say in how you live your life.
    But I simply don't like the rules that Christianity imposes, because they seem arbitrary and unfair to me. I also don't agree that Christianity is "truth." I'm willing to accept rules, but not the ones laid down in Christianity.

    Take your disgusting love, and shove it. If God is love, then I want no part of it. Love sickens me. And I'll go wherever I have to in order to get away from it. If I choose hell, I choose it, and swear I won't regret my choice all of eternity afterwards. As long as I'm not the only one there, I can handle it. I'll take pleasure in the suffering of those around me. That's what I do anyway. So I don't need love. Love is boring, anyway. Suffering is exciting. Even my own suffering.

  9. #59
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    But I simply don't like the rules that Christianity imposes, because they seem arbitrary and unfair to me. I also don't agree that Christianity is "truth." I'm willing to accept rules, but not the ones laid down in Christianity.

    Take your disgusting love, and shove it. If God is love, then I want no part of it. Love sickens me. And I'll go wherever I have to in order to get away from it.

    Which part of Christianity in particular do you not consider true? Which "rules" do you not accept and why? What definition of "love" are you working off of to be so disgusted by it?

    You seem quite offended, care to explain why?

    I heard a quote from Mark Driscoll, a pastor out here in Seattle. He said "Everyone gets what they want, except for the Christian."

    Here is a video of him answering the question "If I am so utterly sinful I can't even choose Jesus what right does he have to judge me? If I can't choose good, judgment against me would be unjust."
    Videos Posted by Mark Driscoll: Can God judge me? | Facebook

  10. #60
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus2968 View Post
    Which part of Christianity in particular do you not consider true? Which "rules" do you not accept and why? What definition of "love" are you working off to be so disgusted by it?

    You seem quite offended, care to explain why?
    God defines the price of love as unquestioning obedience. I would rather have the right to question, be an individual, and live in a world without love, than give up that right.

    Well, the four main rules I don't accept are:

    The defined role of women.
    The rules condemning homosexuals and transsexuals as perverse.
    The restrictions on divorce.
    The condoning of slavery.

    I don't know what else is in there right off the bat, but there are probably more that I disagree with. To me, that's what Christianity/God/Love apparently is, and why I oppose it.

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