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  1. #21
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    Liquid, Jesus' message was pretty darn clear if you ask me... I worry that giving too much significance to the Bible very often leads to people spending far too much time trying to decode what it's on about and reconciling the inconsistencies, at the expense of actually living the Gospel ... when you think that people like St Francis, who wasn't educated and didn't study theology or even read the Bible that much, became completely at one with God, I just can't imagine why someone would prefer to take such a circuitous route, one which so often leads people right up the garden path :/
    I tend to think that people should spend as much time pondering the Bible as they like. If some want to read a little that is fine, and if some want to study a lot then that is good too. Although they've shown that a person's behavior is more likely to be affected if the person accepts the Bible as an authority. It's not really the amount of time that matters as much as the impact one allows the scripture to have on their life.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Well, I heard a minister once talk about the "spirit of the law" as opposed to the "letter of the law." That helps put things into some perspective. The inclusivity would indicate the recognition of Christian assertion that we are all "children of God."

    Then there's the polite idea of putting the most "charitable construction" on what other's do. That seems to be supportive of others' spirituality.

    I don't see any conclusive answers, as in all things spiritual for me. But it has been interesting to read the varied ideas.

    There remains an observable hang-up for me between politically correct ideas and Christian teachings.
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  3. #23
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    ...There remains an observable hang-up for me between politically correct ideas and Christian teachings.
    Could you explain that better? I am not quite following exactly what your hang-up is, or what you found yourself doing that now you don't like... or what specifically you are describing.

    Thanks.
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    The other day I was talking to a man who declares himself to be a devoted Christian and he said something which shocked me. It was something to the effect that it doesn't matter what religion one professes "because it's all the same God anyway."

    The reason his statement shocked me was because I just realized for the first time that a Bible-believing Christian cannot make that statement without violating a tenet of their faith.

    I do understand the concept of an Ultimate Spirit which drives the universe but, unless one picks and chooses what to subscribe to and what to reinterpret in the Bible, according to scripture that would have to be the Triune God and none other.
    I do see your dilemma here and I would like to know more about your way of thinking, but I must say that I am fighting with myself to not be offended by the implications of your posts. I'll explain.

    I was raised a Lutheran, but my parents weren't the most Christian Christians out there. I was taught about religions in school, I went to confirmation camp and so on. At some point I thought about religions a lot, and took notice of the religious people I encountered.

    Anyways, the reason why I am a bit offended about your post is this. If god is a being of superior understanding and love, how could he be so narrow-minded and egoistical to leave all the good people who don't believe in him to suffer in hell? After all, there are many people (including myself) who do not believe in bible, but attempt to live their lives loving their neighbor, that is, living their lives by the most important principles described in the bible while not believing in god. Faith is something you either have or you don't. You can't make yourself a believer, but you can make yourself live by benevolent principles. In your way of thinking that isn't worth anything? If the Christian God in fact exist, he surely isn't as cruel as you imply.

    The religious people who think that their religion surely has to be "the right one" are as a group disgustingly prejudiced. I cannot stand them because of this. The nerve they have for saying that I go to hell for not having chosen the right book... This kind of attitude also contradicts Jesus' teaching.

  5. #25
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Good points nolla.

    The reason I find it (mildly) offensive is because I am a passionate opponent of political correctness exactly BECAUSE of the liberal theology and philosophy that influences me. I don't like the dismissive language used to describe what are basically non-fundamentalists, as if the deep thought, prayer and centuries long traditions and precedents of spirituality that support an idea of Biblical authority that's different to the average American Protestant's idea of it, didn't exist and it was all just about silly politicians trying to make everyone happy so they look good or militant yet removed from reality intellectuals thinking they can bring an end to prejudice and hate by telling people which words they're allowed to use.

    Perhaps it's because the word 'liberal' has such different meanings in the USA to those used for it in Europe, together with the close ahem, "working relationship" between the fundamentalist and Protestant churches and conservative politicians, that's causing Anja to associate non-fundamentalism with political correctness.

    It's because of PC-ness that I've given up my career to home educate my kids. So I do resent the automatic association here between it and liberal theology.
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  6. #26
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    Yeah, I don't like PC-ness any more than you. I just see that the main point in bible is that you should be a good person. The "you must believe exactly like me or you will suffer" viewpoint seems like they are justifying their prejudice by twisting the meaning of the book. And while doing this, they certainly do not love their neighbor. Have a nice trip downstairs, I say...


  7. #27
    Senior Member sciski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    For instance, consider the following quote:

    "Nobody comes to the father, except through me" (John 18:12)

    You're probably used to that being interpreted as "only Christians go to heaven and all other religions are wrong" or something along that line. But you might not have heard an alternative interpretation: "whichever route you take to God, you will come across Jesus in some guise or another along the way".
    Argh! Yes, I never could understand why nobody else picked up on the alternative interpretation of this particular verse (btw, it's John 14:6).

    However, it might read as the first interpretation in the Greek. I'd like to know what the Greek phrase actually was.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sciski View Post
    However, it might read as the first interpretation in the Greek. I'd like to know what the Greek phrase actually was.
    This is actually a very important point. If one is dead serious about religion, he should learn the original language in order to catch the subtleties. It's kinda waist of time to be holding to every word of a translation.

  9. #29
    Senior Member sciski's Avatar
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    The pastor at my church is extremely fond of pointing out inaccuracies in the translation.

    Heh, I looked up John 14:6 in Greek (http://scripturetext.com/john/14-6.htm):
    ????? ???? ?????? ??? ???? ? ???? ??? ? ??????? ??? ? ??? ?????? ??????? ???? ??? ?????? ?? ?? ?? ????
    Plugged it into Google translate, and got:
    says these iisous I am the street and the truth and the life no one comes to his father if not by emou

  10. #30
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sciski View Post
    The pastor at my church is extremely fond of pointing out inaccuracies in the translation.

    Heh, I looked up John 14:6 in Greek (http://scripturetext.com/john/14-6.htm):


    Plugged it into Google translate, and got:
    I don't really know Greek, but based on what you put there it sounds like the passage could easily be interpreted either way even from reading the original language.
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