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  1. #51
    Senior Member Nonsensical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Why? Apparently, those Hindus found something they liked better, just as you have found something you like better than Christianity.

    Incidentally, the only people who believe that Hindus are converting en masse to Christianity are Hindu nationalists, who are persecuting Christians and trying to outlaw proselytization-and THAT is something that makes ME "especially mad."

    Btw, I'm an agnostic.

    Edit: Oh, and that guy who left that tip is a huge dick; I would have more tolerance for him if he had left the pamphlet in addition to money, but I think it was inappropriate in any case.
    Well, I guess I see two sides to it, even though I didn't initially say so. Apart of me understands that they probably converted because they wanted to and it was better for their spiritual practices, but the other part of me is frustrated at the missionaries over there telling them they should be Christians and the Hindus who listen. Kind of a complicated situation, but it still gets me angry.
    Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

  2. #52
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    These people damage the reputation of their faith and do more harm than good in the end.

  3. #53
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Most people do not simply decide "well, MY way is better than everyone else, and they need to see things the way I do". That is a common misconception that I held when I first observed religious folks. Some may be that way, but even then, they are most often not aware that their own hubris is coloring their faith.

    Most people are drawn to it for various reasons. sometimes it's just the tradition (family, etc), sometimes it seems to lift them out of problems they are in, or given them hope, etc.

    Now, once they have accepted the Bible, and committed to trying to be true to it, they read the "commission" to go out an "Make disciples of all nations", and be "witnesses" of Christ, with some sort of firey judgment if the people reject it. So the people have no choice but to take that stance. Many people will tell them to throw out that part of the Bible, and just keep the other teachings about "love, kindness", etc. But they can have those things without the Bible. They believe if they are going to believe the Bible, they should not pick and choose (and based on the sentimentalities of liberal or nonbelieving society).
    So to the guy with the tract, the way the logic goes is that money is not what you need the most.

    The questions I've been looking at are what the Great Commission, fiery judgment and "new world" really was about, in its original context. One interpretation says that was all really about the Temple system, and once that was removed, the curse of the Law, which was what condemned man to death, was removed. And Christ did say what He was referring to would happen soon while some of them standing there would still be living.
    So that is one possible solution. Having to tell others "this way is the right one" always bothered me as well, specially when most were just not interested, no amount of reasoning would convince them, you couldn't prove it, and some out there would rip the faith apart and be more convincing themselves. Our main defense then was that you did not need to prove it; it's just "faith", but the whole premise behind such a severe judgment was that the people were rejecting something that was as clear and undeniable as day. Today in contrast, we do not even have a united Body, as all the hundreds of sects cannot even agree on what the full 'truth' is.
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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oom View Post
    Would you?
    Yes, and then I would have said to him it is most likely Jesus never existed, and even if we accept the absurd idea he was born of a virgin mother, then he raped his own mother and impregnated her with himself, and then died on the cross for the sins of humanity, what a disgusting and filthy concept that an innocent man would appease a god for the sins of other by becoming a scapegoat.

  5. #55
    Pronounced eye-ee-dee Eiddy's Avatar
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    Wow King T that is a very interesting way of looking at.

    OP: I know quite a few religious extremists, conversion seems to be the name of the game.
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  6. #56
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    I am curious, how often something like this happens in the US as whole ?
    Rarely. Very rarely if in the cities, especially in the Northeast and West coast parts of the country. Noticeably more common, but still rare, in the rural Southern and Central parts of the country. Cultural differences vary between regions.

    I live in the Southern U.S., and though the sentiment that "Accepting Jesus will save your soul" is honestly widespread here, doing what was said in the OP would still be kind of strange.



    To Oom: How was the man acting when he did this? Did he have an angry look on his face, raising his voice? Or did he have a big cheery smile? Or was it very plain and matter-of-fact?



    Edit: One time I played in a local church orchestra for charity, organized partially by my friend's family. My friend's father walked over afterwards to thank me for participating. He said, "God bless you," meant more literally than it usually is meant. It was kind of odd, because I didn't feel as if I were expending a lot of energy or effort doing it. Now, I've heard "God bless you" said before as a thank-you phrase, usually by elderly women around here. But it's not very common, and especially the way he said it so seriously.
    Last edited by Cimarron; 07-25-2009 at 09:11 AM. Reason: Relevant story
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  7. #57
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    Most people do not simply decide "well, MY way is better than everyone else, and they need to see things the way I do". That is a common misconception that I held when I first observed religious folks. Some may be that way, but even then, they are most often not aware that their own hubris is coloring their faith.
    Right.

    They are often naturally people who just see life in one way, taking things at face value, and once they have established a solid framework for perceiving reality, alternatives are fleeting. I think it was the look of incredulity on some people's faces when I would suggest a range of possibilities in a given situation that shocked me into realizing that it's not really a conscious thing, it's really a matter of how some people's minds operate.

    Most people are drawn to it for various reasons. sometimes it's just the tradition (family, etc), sometimes it seems to lift them out of problems they are in, or given them hope, etc.
    For many people, religion has provided then with the structure they needed to keep on track (morally and otherwise) as well a kick in the seat of the pants out of a self-centered mindset. As per above, they then figure everyone is like they were, and the faith is what everyone needs.

    Of course, then we also get doctrinal imperative, as per below:

    Now, once they have accepted the Bible, and committed to trying to be true to it, they read the "commission" to go out an "Make disciples of all nations", and be "witnesses" of Christ, with some sort of firey judgment if the people reject it. So the people have no choice but to take that stance. Many people will tell them to throw out that part of the Bible, and just keep the other teachings about "love, kindness", etc. But they can have those things without the Bible. They believe if they are going to believe the Bible, they should not pick and choose (and based on the sentimentalities of liberal or nonbelieving society). So to the guy with the tract, the way the logic goes is that money is not what you need the most.
    I have often felt when experiencing conflict in my religious family that, if they just went with their best gut instincts, the conflict would not exist. The conflict occurs because they feel the doctrine is telling them they have to behave in ways that they really don't want to but feel they have no choice if they're to be a believer.

    Our main defense then was that you did not need to prove it; it's just "faith", but the whole premise behind such a severe judgment was that the people were rejecting something that was as clear and undeniable as day.
    Yes. And you get typical quotes from Romans 1, for example, to "prove" that a particular flavor of Christianity is intuitive (because this verse says so)... although obviously if you examine real data, it's anything but intuitive simply by the nature of reality. Good people with open minds who actually seek God end up being labeled as God haters because they question what other people claim should be clear because a particular verse says so.

    Today in contrast, we do not even have a united Body, as all the hundreds of sects cannot even agree on what the full 'truth' is.
    That's a big issue. If they're all claiming "full truth" but none can agree and they all claim to follow the same Way... how do I know any of them are true?
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  8. #58
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    They will say "if you just pray and ask God to open your mind to what His Word means, then He will show you". Of course, they believe they have done that, and every other group that has come to different doctrines just used their own "sinful" subjective reasoning or emotions. Of course, each of those other groups will turn it around and claim God revealed it to them, and the others are using reason and emotion.

    They really put the seeker in a bind, but the one thing they all agree on is that you are "held accountable" for finding "the one Truth", and must "choose" something. Some will try to divert around the schism by speaking of "the essentials" held "in common" by "the orthodox, historic church", with certain doctrines such as the Trinity, Virgin Birth, "salvation by faith" listed. This was the tactic I used. But even some of those are fuzzy and not really clear or agreed upon (Like three "Persons" versus "three manifestations" as taught by Oneness groups. What I found is that in the early church it was sort of inbetween those positions, but none of the groups today hold that view. And salvation by faith is bent every which way by the different groups arguing on which "commands" are being "forgotten" by everyone else and "works" are "necessary" to "make manifest" a "living faith" instead of "dead faith").
    And even those groups outside "the pale of orthodoxy" will have convincing arguments using the same exegetical tactics that the "historic" Church was wrong all long on some of those "essentials".

    Romans 1 "God has shown [the truth] to them" was describing a particular situation, but we then applied that to every single person ever born; tying it in with John 1:9 (which is also not saying that). But that is how many of these doctrines are argued. It's called "proof-texting".
    Again, if that interpretation of Romans 1 is true, then why are there hundreds of sects, and nobody can see this "clear truth"? Everyone of course will claim they have, and everyone else got it wrong, but are still "held accountable" as per this chapter.
    The New Testament, you had dissensions and moral problems, but you still had a Church leadership (apostles) whom God was behind. After they were gone, God does not seem to be behind any of them, but only their desire for money, power and other forms of ego, and with some, sincere but misguided attempt to follow what they think is the truth. (And many trying to feign the power with what they call "spiritual gifts").

    Quote Originally Posted by King T View Post
    Yes, and then I would have said to him it is most likely Jesus never existed, and even if we accept the absurd idea he was born of a virgin mother, then he raped his own mother and impregnated her with himself, and then died on the cross for the sins of humanity, what a disgusting and filthy concept that an innocent man would appease a god for the sins of other by becoming a scapegoat.
    Jesus did not impregnate his mother. Jesus was the one born from the impregnation, and while Jesus is said to be "God", there is still a difference between Jesus, the Father and the Spirit.
    Inasmuch as ancient religion universally had sacrifices to appease God or the gods, the whole purpose of Jesus was to fulfill the whole appeasement system, in order to remove it. And sure enough, it almost completely came to an end.
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  9. #59
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    The New Testament, you had dissensions and moral problems, but you still had a Church leadership (apostles) whom God was behind.
    There was that. It's a shame that Paul is not typically put in the context of his actions -- trying to basically establish a budding faith movement / collection of churches, and his letters were attempts to give each practical advice and admonishments about the situations relevant to each. Later these letters were compiled (slowly) into a single unit. They weren't even written at the same time, they also could be showing an evolving spiritual understanding by Paul rather than an encapsulation of his entire thinking at one consistent point in time, so between that and the contextual elements we are not reassured of any literal consistency that all the letters could be used as one frame.

    Jesus did not impregnate his mother. Jesus was the one born from the impregnation, and while Jesus is said to be "God", there is still a difference between Jesus, the Father and the Spirit.
    Yeah, Jesus is the "son," not the impregnater. Mary also submitted to the Conception, according to scripture... although I guess one could make a case of unequal power (e.g., a teenage girl is hit on by the President and she succumbs, was it totally a free choice or was there exploitation occurring due to the power difference?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cimarron View Post
    Rarely. Very rarely if in the cities, especially in the Northeast and West coast parts of the country. Noticeably more common, but still rare, in the rural Southern and Central parts of the country. Cultural differences vary between regions.

    I live in the Southern U.S., and though the sentiment that "Accepting Jesus will save your soul" is honestly widespread here, doing what was said in the OP would still be kind of strange.
    I think it would be rude in many places. There might be the Bible believing element, but going along with it is usually a sense of "Southern hospitality" and how one should behave socially. That occurs even up here in our mini Bible Belt. People can accept that you leave a tract, everything's about God and apple pie; but they still expect the tip.
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  10. #60
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I remember feeling the pressure to "witness" to other people when I was in a religion. When the premise is that you have the truth that will give you eternal life and those without it will have eternal death, then not witnessing is considered the ultimate selfishness. It always made me uncomfortable to do it and then the guilt would set in for not striking up conversations with random people. Every week in church various people will report how they witnessed to others and those who could do it randomly are respected for it by the other church members. The ones with common sense typically realize some type of material benefit should be offered with the pamphlet, but there is way people really can't see the world from the other person's perspective. If they see someone else as lost, it is hard for them to imagine that the other person doesn't also see themselves as lost.

    The guy who left the pamphlet might have seen it similar to saving a drowning person, although the not leaving money part seems a little suspect to me. If in the context of his pressure to witness he wanted to leave a pamphlet, then he should have left a big money tip as well.
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