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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    If one is to condemn sin, then they must always begin with themselves before they begin to try to condemn any other sin. But once one has been humbled by seeing their own sinful nature, I wonder why anyone would seek to condemn the sins of others. To judge or condemn anything takes a certain amount of pride and pride in and of itself is a sin. And to be humble, as Jesus was, is to be without pride.
    I'll repeat what I told you earlier, please actually study the Christian tradition, because quite honestly you're missing the point on so many levels.

  2. #52
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I'll repeat what I told you earlier, please actually study the Christian tradition, because quite honestly you're missing the point on so many levels.
    There's actually many Christian traditions out there... which is why so many variations and denominations have existed over 2000 years and people today still debate what the "true Christianity" is.

    You can't simply assume that just because Kiddo disagrees with your particular tradition, he doesn't know anything about Christianity.

    I agree with your assessment as of the "best purpose of judging."

    It's just that, after being immersed in the conservative faith for 40 years, and also having experiencing different ways of relating to people... I'm not sure that the approach that my peers have gleaned from the Bible is necessarily the most effective.

    The priority becomes "assessing other's and one's own behavior" (which automatically is more impersonal in nature and deconstructive/negative). It often takes on a life of its own. So while the doctrine itself might seem valuable, in real life, if you focus on it as your means of interaction with others who are doing things you disagree with, the relationship seems to be more diminished.

    An attitude of "where is this person?" and "What do they need?" and "I love them and they're hurting/struggling" as the eminent thought, rather than evaluating someone's behavior, tends to produce a more positive response and growth outcome.

    If you focus on what people do wrong, there's a natural impatience to see them improve so that they'll no longer be sinning. This doesn't seem to be the best way to approach things. The love has to be more prominent in mind, and it usually more involves listening, carrying, supporting, and struggling alongside those with issues rather than evaluating their behavior as the initial course of action.

    Litmus:
    Take two people -- one who tries to "judge lovingly" versus one who loves and sometimes offers criticism -- and see who reaps the most positive result in the end, and who is loved more, and who contributes to the deeper relationship.

    (I know which it is for ME, among the hundreds and thousands of Christians I have known in my life. There have been a handful of Christians who I still think of and miss desperately and who have had a profound impact on my life. And I know where their focus was.)

    Does that make things more clear? Perhaps it's simply the abstracted nature here, and you're not seeing the distinction I am trying to make or I'm not making it clear enough?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #53
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I'll repeat what I told you earlier, please actually study the Christian tradition, because quite honestly you're missing the point on so many levels.
    I have studied the Christian tradition. It is a very bloody and violent tradition indeed. Wars for land and between denominations, witch burnings, inquisitions with torture, and even child molestation. Preaching love and forgiveness while condemning and bringing pain and suffering to others. That is the tradition I have learned to associate with Christianity. Anyone who has ever studied history and looks to the present examples can easily come to that same conclusion. What I am trying to decipher is the truth within Christianity. Not the corruption that its so called followers have defiled it with.

    The point of Christianity is to love God, and to love and serve your fellow man. There is not greater point, and no greater commandment. It amazes me how easily Christians seem to forget that. I guess they are just too busy condemning sin to see how far they have strayed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  4. #54
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post

    Litmus:
    Take two people -- one who tries to "judge lovingly" versus one who loves and sometimes offers criticism -- and see who reaps the most positive result in the end, and who is loved more, and who contributes to the deeper relationship.
    This is very well said.


    Pay attention.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    There's actually many Christian traditions out there... which is why so many variations and denominations have existed over 2000 years and people today still debate what the "true Christianity" is.
    Im well aware of that. Nevertheless, even within the Protestant tradition there is considerable reference to the Church Fathers for example, especially St. Augustine.

    You can't simply assume that just because Kiddo disagrees with your particular tradition, he doesn't know anything about Christianity.
    I never said he doesn't know anything about Christianity. What I have said is that his post seem to protray a lack of depth of understanding of the Christian tradition.

    As you yourself just stated, there is plenty of complexity all over the spectrum within Christianity(whether it be the Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant variations of such); so making such simplistic assestments of the Christian faith seems rather foolish on any level.


    It's just that, after being immersed in the conservative faith for 40 years, and also having experiencing different ways of relating to people... I'm not sure that the approach that my peers have gleaned from the Bible is necessarily the most effective.
    What exact "conservative" faith are we talking about? I'll assume you mean some form of Protestantism, since "conservative" is not a term used much when concerning Catholic and especially not Orthodox traditions. And of course there are various different means of dealing with sin and sinners in each respective tradition.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I have studied the Christian tradition.
    Judging from your posts(including this one), I'd say rather superficially.

    It is a very bloody and violent tradition indeed.
    Well that can be said of almost anyother religion(including Buddhism, with the warrior monks of Japan, not to mention that the Ninjas were a secret Buddhist sect fighting against the Shoguns). Atheism probably has the bloodiest record, with nearly 100 million dead from the Communists.

    Wars for land and between denominations
    Wars occur for various reasons, why is religion singled out?

    Although we could put another twist to this and say that religious wars introduced the concept that it's good to fight for one's deeply held ideals, rather than mere material gain.

    The 18th century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau(certainly no friend to Christianity) had this to say on the issue:
    "Fanaticism, though sanguinary and cruel, is nevertheless a great and powerful passion, which exalts the heart of man, which inspires him with a contempt of death, which gives him prodigious energy, and which only requires to judiciously directed in order to produce the most sublime virtues. On the other hand, irreligion, and a reasoning and philosophic spirit in general, strengthens the attachment to life, debases the soul and renders it effeminate, concentrates all the passions in the meanness of private interest, in the abject motive of self, and thus silently saps the real foundations of society; for so trifling are the points in which private interests are united, that they will never counterbalance those in which they oppose one another."
    Moving on.

    witch burnings
    You maybe happy to know that recent historical research has shown that the number of witches burned and the frequency of such has been blown out of proportion. The infamous Spanish Inquisition itself has a grand total of burning 6 witches over a 300 year period.

    But again, let's put another twist to the issue. Here's a chronology of several protests given against the burning of witches, and they reveal some interesting facts. Let's take a look, shall we?

    • 672-754: Boniface of Mainz consistently denied the existence of witches, saying that to believe in them was unChristian
    • 775-790: The First Synod of Saint Patrick declared that those who believed in witches are to be anathematized
    • 785: Canon 6 of the Christian Council of Paderborn in Germany outlawed the belief in witches
    • 9th century: French abbot Agobard of Lyons denied that any person could obtain or wield the power to fly, change shape, or cause bad weather, and argued that such claims were imagination and myth
    • 906: In his work ‘A Warning To Bishops’, Abbot Regino of Prüm dismisses the popular beliefs in witches and witchcraft as complete fiction
    • 936: Pope Leo VII wrote to Archbishop Gerhard of Lorch requiring him to instruct local authorities not to execute those accused of witchcraft
    • The Canon Episcopi (10th century), denied the existence of witches, and considered the belief in witches to be heresy (it did not require any punishment of witches)
    • 1020: Burchard, Bishop of Worms argued that witches had no power to fly, change people’s dispositions, control the weather, or transform themselves or anyone else, and denied the existence of incubi and succubi. He ruled that a belief in such things was a sin, and required priests to impose a strict penance on those who confessed to believing them
    • 1080: Gregory VII wrote to King Harold of Denmark advising that those accused of supernaturally causing bad weather or epidemics should not be sentenced to death.
    • Coloman, the Christian king of Hungary (11th century), passed a law declaring ‘Concerning witches, no such things exist, therefore no more investigations are to be held’ (’De strigis vero quae non sunt, nulla amplius quaestio fiat’)
    • Late 15th century: Antonino, Archbishop of Florence condemned the popular belief in witches, insisting that the powers attributed to them were impossible, and such beliefs were foolish.
    • 1540: Antonio Venegas de Figueroa, Bishop of Pamplona, sent a circular to the priests in his diocese, explaining that witchcraft was a false belief. He recommended medical treatment for those accused of witchcraft, and blamed the ignorance of the people for their confusion of witchcraft with medical conditions
    • 1583: Protestant Johann Matthaus Meyfart condemns the inhuman treatment of those accused or convicted of witchcraft
    • 1599: English Archbishop Samuel Harsnett condemned not only those who practiced fraudulent exorcisms, but also the very belief in witches and demons
    • 1610-1614: Alonso de Salazar y Frías, inquisitor reviewing the Logroño trials. His reports (1610-1614) led to the practical suppression of witch burnings in the Spanish empire one century before the rest of Europe[43].
    • 1691: The Dutch theologian Balthasar Bekker published ‘Die Betooverde Wereld’, reprinted in English as ‘The World Bewitch’d’ (1695), an attack on the witch hunts and belief in witches
    Witch trials in Early Modern Europe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    So it seems that quite a few religious figures, including those in the highest ranks of the Churches(including Pope), railed against the belief in witches and condemned witch-hunts.

    inquisitions with torture
    I strongly advise you to read the works of historians like Henry Kamen and scholars who, after investigating through the actual documents of the Inquisition in the Vatican archives, have come to the conclusion that torture was rarely employed by the Inquisition. Even when it was employed, strict rules were in forced that NO blood had to be shed. Once blood was shed, the torture had to immediately stop.

    Another interesting fact is that the Inquisition had the lowest execution rate of anyother court in Europe at the time; with an average of 3 executions per year over a 300 year period. Compare with the 3000 nuns that were executed by the atheist Communists in 1924 alone!

    Also it may interest you in knowing that the Inquisition was also the first court in history to declare that a defendent had a right to a lawyer. If he couldn't afford one, then the court would provide him with one.

    , and even child molestation.
    By the latest estimates, at most 2% of all priests have ever molested children. Child molestation is far more common public school teachers than priests.

    Preaching love and forgiveness while condemning and bringing pain and suffering to others.
    You do know that it was Christians who created the first hospitals right, among many many many other things?

    Even a staunch anti-religious thinker like Voltaire admitted that Christians have been greatly generous to other people:
    "Perhaps there is nothing greater on earth than the sacrifice of youth and beauty, often of high birth, made by the gentle sex in order to work in hospitals for the relief of human misery, the sight of which is so revolting to our delicacy. Peoples separated from the Roman religion have imitated but imperfectly so generous a charity."
    Christianity has contributed greatly to the world. So much so, one can't even hope to list them all at one time.

    That is the tradition I have learned to associate with Christianity. Anyone who has ever studied history and looks to the present examples can easily come to that same conclusion.
    There's no doubt that Christians have done serious shit in the past. Nobody denies that. However, to claim, as you do, this as the be-all sum-all of the Christian tradition, not to mention its history, is grossly inaccurate.

    You claim to want to discover the truth behind Christianity. Fine, I have nothing against that. Heck I'm still working on that myself. But believe me, you're going along the wrong path.

    Im more than willing to help anybody try to understand the faith more.

  7. #57
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post

    What exact "conservative" faith are we talking about? I'll assume you mean some form of Protestantism, since "conservative" is not a term used much when concerning Catholic and especially not Orthodox traditions. And of course there are various different means of dealing with sin and sinners in each respective tradition.
    By "conservative", I think we can presume that Jennifer is pointing to the Moral Majority; Christian Coalition; Jerry Falwell - any constituent part within Evangelicalism would likely be a good guess.

    More importantly, I think she was referencing the political ideology that typically characterizes these systems. "Conservative" in this case suggests a belief in the sanctity of traditional values concerning abortion; homosexuality; marriage; trade; etc.

    To that end, how might you reconcile the disparities between religious theory and human practice? (That is to say, how can Christianity expect to be taken seriously as an ideology that values life when it offers absolute intolerance towards, say...homosexuality?

    While I don't presume to know your personal religious beliefs, you seem to pride yourself on a diversity of knowledge about Christianity and seem therefore a good choice to illuminate from shadow.

  8. #58
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    There's no doubt that Christians have done serious shit in the past. Nobody denies that. However, to claim, as you do, this as the be-all sum-all of the Christian tradition, not to mention its history, is grossly inaccurate.

    You claim to want to discover the truth behind Christianity. Fine, I have nothing against that. Heck I'm still working on that myself. But believe me, you're going along the wrong path.
    Who are you to decide whether I am going down the wrong path? What makes you think you even have the right to judge me? Just because your particular denomination was able to wipe out all the other competing denominations and establish itself as the "one true church"? Don't make me laugh.

    I'll find my answers through prayer and reason, not by becoming the lackey of an organized hypocrisy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    By "conservative", I think we can presume that Jennifer is pointing to the Moral Majority; Christian Coalition; Jerry Falwell - any constituent part within Evangelicalism would likely be a good guess.
    That's probably the case. I certainly know of many criticisms of such forms of Christianity within "conservative" Catholic and Orthodox circles(although the preferred term is Traditional, not conservative).


    To that end, how might you reconcile the disparities between religious theory and human practice? (That is to say, how can Christianity expect to be taken seriously as an ideology that values life when it offers absolute intolerance towards, say...homosexuality?
    Well first off, Christianity is not an ideology. There are certain elements of Christian teachings that deal with socio-political issues; the Protestants have the Social Gospel, and Catholics have Social Doctrine.

    Homosexuality is a sin. Within the Catholic perspective, I believe the notion commonly is that homosexual acts are the sin but not necessarily homosexual inclinations per se. You just can't act on those inclinations.

    If Homosexuality is indeed genetic(Im not debating the issue whether it is or not), that still doesn't change the fact that it's a sin. Of course this will put plenty of internal pressure upon people with such inclinations. We know it, and we understand.

    The life of the true Christian is one of constant struggle with ones flaws and sinfulness, and of course laspes will occur. We understand, and we wish to show compassion when that happens. It should probably be noted that God does acknowledge honest efforts to stay on the right path, even when we ultimately fail in doing so.

    Within Catholicism, we have the sacrament of reconciliation(confession), where we come before God and asked forgiveness for our wrong-doing. In doing so, we are forgiven and brought back in God's good graces.

    God does not want us to hate ourselves, he wants us to love ourselves in proper form(geniune self-love is not the same as pride mind you). As even my own confessor once said, Satan is interested in undermining ones faith, and certainly one sneaky way he does it is by convincing you you're worthless before God. One must constantly resist such thoughts. Sin does not make you worthless before God.

    As St. Padre Pio once said:
    "God can reject everything in a creature conceived in sin and of which it bears the indelible impression inherited from Adam. But He can absolutely not reject the sincere desire to love Him."
    The great irony I find is when people criticise Christianity for claiming that man is sinful, claiming that means man is worthless before God. That's not all so. If God thought so, he wouldn't have sent his son to die for our salvation. It should also be noted that the Bible claims that man was created in God's image. That happens before original sin.

    And the incarnation of Christ also shows the close relationship between the human and the divine, as Nikolai Berdyaev explains:
    "Christianity is not only belief in God; it is also belief in man, and in the possibility of a revealation of the divine in man. There exists a commensurability between God and man and on that account only is revealation of God to man possible. Pure abstract transcendentalism makes revealation impossible; it cannot open out pathways to God, and excludes the possibility of communion between man and God."
    Martin Buber also further elaborated upon this, claiming that according to the Biblical tradition, the relationship between man and God is based upon the I-Thou relationship. We connect with God on such an intimate level, which is not readily seen in many other traditions.

    I think I've drifted from the original topic here. Applying to homosexuals, we can also address this from the basic Existential argument of Existence preceding Essence.

    Long story short: Homosexuals are not somehow sub-human for being homosexuals. They're still people, and sinners like anybody else. In this case, they have their own particular demon to face; just like we have our own particular demons to face.

    And I'm beginning to loose my train of thought, so I'll end it here.

    While I don't presume to know your personal religious beliefs, you seem to pride yourself on a diversity of knowledge about Christianity and seem therefore a good choice to illuminate from shadow.
    Well pride is one of the deadly sins; and I try to present myself with as much modesty and humility as possible. Nevertheless, I understand the point you're trying to make.

  10. #60
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Who are you to decide whether I am going down the wrong path? What makes you think you even have the right to judge me?
    Oh I'm just a voice crying in the wilderness. You're more than free to disregard my words.

    Just because your particular denomination was able to wipe out all the other competing denominations and establish itself as the "one true church"?
    Protestantism was never wiped out by Catholicism. It's still around today. And the Orthodox to my knowledge have not yet reconciled with the Bishop of Rome.


    Don't make me laugh.
    The only thing laughable here are your responses in this thread.

    I'll find my answers through prayer and reason, not by becoming the lackey of an organized hypocrisy.

    I find it highly ironic you talk about prayer and reason, and yet the next minute knee-jerk the Church. Especially since it was the Catholic Church that long taught the compatibility between faith and reason, especially through the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas.

    Perhaps when you develop the maturity to stop knee-jerking the Christian tradition will you finally develop the ability to actually understand it.

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