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  1. #81
    Member sophiedoph's Avatar
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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."

    I remember when political correctness began to take hold in popular culture and at that time I was still a practicing Christian. Tangled in the mess of p.c. I made an attempt to convince myself that this was a truism.

    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.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    I appreciate respectful discussion of all views.
    Because not all Christians think that's a tenant of the Christian faith. Only the literalists do. (*Jen is a liberal Christian*)
    Hugs,

    Jen
    ~~~~~~~~
    "We must apply our humble efforts to build a more just and humane world. I want to affirm emphatically: such a world is possible. To create this new society we must reach out our hands, without hatred and rancour, for reconciliation and peace, with unfaltering determination in the defense of truth and justice. We know we cannot plant seeds with closed fists. To sow we must open our hands."

    ~Adolfo Esquivel

  2. #82
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I think the differences between the OT and NT are God adjusting for environment. Plus, Christianity was created to be a religion alone, not a religion and a form of government like Judaism was. Stuff like that.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  3. #83
    Senor Membrane
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I think the differences between the OT and NT are God adjusting for environment.
    I don't think god would make such a drastic change in his principles. (how arrogant of me to think what god would think, isn't it )

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Plus, Christianity was created to be a religion alone, not a religion and a form of government like Judaism was. Stuff like that.
    This is a lot more understandable explanation.

  4. #84
    Member sophiedoph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    I hope that is true nolla.

    I think every religion needs by definition to be exclusive. And when an attempt is made to make it all-inclusive it gets watered down.
    I am not sure, but I don't necessarily agree. I think one of the most important elements of a religion is spirituality--a connection to some Divine, some something, bigger than oneself. And generally that connection is *supposed* to lead you to be a better person, inspire you, give strength and encouragement when needed, etc.

    Unfortunately there will always be those who feel the need to add rules.

    I think a religion doesn't need to be exclusive--it can cater to "preferences." I am a liberal Christian. Do I think that Christianity is the only way? I don't really think so. I think CS Lewis articulated the idea in the Chronicles of Narnia series that anyone who "worships" (for lack of a better term) Love (a Divine being of brotherly Love) worships God.
    Hugs,

    Jen
    ~~~~~~~~
    "We must apply our humble efforts to build a more just and humane world. I want to affirm emphatically: such a world is possible. To create this new society we must reach out our hands, without hatred and rancour, for reconciliation and peace, with unfaltering determination in the defense of truth and justice. We know we cannot plant seeds with closed fists. To sow we must open our hands."

    ~Adolfo Esquivel

  5. #85
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Hey. You guys are tres kewl! So many things struck me here since I last read. Too much to take in.

    We've had a shift in weather and I've had a shift in energy level to go with it. So I'm at a disadvantage at the moment. And the afternoon's tasks beckon.

    With what's been posted in mind, the first thought that came as I read was something a friend quoted to me to the effect that if one isn't a liberal in youth one has no heart; and if one is not a conservative in later life one has no brain. Hee. As so many aphorism do, it seems to play true. You can translate that into, "The older Anja gets, the more she sounds like an old phart!"

    Yeah, throw the dang cripples out of church. That's why I had to leave - I got tired of sitting in the back row with my sexually tempting tresses covered and my very busy mouth shut!

    I'm off to hear an old and wise man speak words of wisdom about living well to a large group of seekers.

    Later.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  6. #86
    Member sophiedoph's Avatar
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    I hear you Anja. Unfortunately I was told I was going to hell because after much research I rejected the notion of Creationism. I was disowned by my parents and my church because at 22 I moved in with my now-husband (OMG before marriage!).

    I was raised as a fundamentalist Christian. I rejected such a stance when my own research and experience led me away from that perspective. I became atheist for a number of years, but have now decided on a more liberal view of Christianity as the expression of my spirituality and my faith.

    Unfortunately, to get me to admit I am a Christian is very difficult. I have experienced, and I know so many others have too, such rejection and hurt from "the fundamentalist right." I would never, ever want to be associated with them, in any sense of the word.
    Hugs,

    Jen
    ~~~~~~~~
    "We must apply our humble efforts to build a more just and humane world. I want to affirm emphatically: such a world is possible. To create this new society we must reach out our hands, without hatred and rancour, for reconciliation and peace, with unfaltering determination in the defense of truth and justice. We know we cannot plant seeds with closed fists. To sow we must open our hands."

    ~Adolfo Esquivel

  7. #87
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    The new church has become more focussed on the positive aspects of Christianity but the "believe and be baptised or else the loving God who created you will burn you in hell forever" element is undeniably there and no amount of focus on positives or trying to put it into historical perspective can erase it to my thought.
    I don't have time to comment on everything in this thread, but I want to make one point here. I've said I'm a "Bible-believing" Christian, but I don't think the idea of burning in hell forever is supported by the Bible. I think that idea is somewhat influenced by the Pagan ideas that got infused into Christianity during the Middle Ages. (Ever ask yourself what eggs and bunnies have to do with the resurrection of Jesus? It's the same sort of thing.)
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
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  8. #88
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Two people here who have escaped the snares of Fundamentalism. I'm impressed. It was difficult enough to pull out of Lutheranism and took me years of processing. Fear. Guilt.

    Some day I'd like to hear about how one accomplishes that with an eventual clean break.

    __________________________________________________ ___________

    The wise man gave an excellent talk. The one thing I heard well was him saying that he needs to keep his conscience clean in order to live well.

    Then he made the comment, "Imagine me finding a conscience!" I've known him for years and suspect that he is an XSTP.

    He explained how he kept his conscience clean. He said, "I don't violate MY values system." (Emphasis mine.)

    Of course I had to give him some grief about that afterwards, but I left feeling very much in tune with his sense of a path of spiritual growth.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  9. #89
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I don't have time to comment on everything in this thread, but I want to make one point here. I've said I'm a "Bible-believing" Christian, but I don't think the idea of burning in hell forever is supported by the Bible. I think that idea is somewhat influenced by the Pagan ideas that got infused into Christianity during the Middle Ages. (Ever ask yourself what eggs and bunnies have to do with the resurrection of Jesus? It's the same sort of thing.)
    I don't see that. There's no where in the Bible that I can remember it referencing bunnies and eggs. But I do recall casting sinners down into a lake of fire. And something about perpetual gnashing of teeth. Wherever it came from it's in there.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  10. #90
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    but I don't think the idea of burning in hell forever is supported by the Bible.
    Jesus makes references to Hell in the Gospels, although the original Greek uses the term Hades.

    I think that idea is somewhat influenced by the Pagan ideas that got infused into Christianity during the Middle Ages.
    Highly unlikely since the Church Fathers made references to Hell before the Medieval period.

    (Ever ask yourself what eggs and bunnies have to do with the resurrection of Jesus? It's the same sort of thing.)
    It goes under the concept of inculturation, where certain cultural traditions and customs are incorporated into the faith. This dates back to the days of the Apostles. Pope Gregory the Great even decreed that any custom that didn't contradict Christian teachings could be incorporated. Another part of the logic was the commonalities between such customs and many of the folk customs of the Israelites in the OT.

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