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Posted by Colonel Panic (Member # 1200) on January 02, 2008, 15:31:
 
Seven years ago American Evangelicals took the US Government by storm, declaring a new age of morals and "compassionate conservatism."

But have they succeeded in doing that? Have they failed because of simple incompetence? Or have they simply revealed their true evil nature as anti-Christians?

I ask this because of two recent posts, one by Snaggy regarding Pope Benedict's comments on atheism and another by Callipygous in his "Words Fail Me" post, both seemed to pose questions about the state of the Christian faith.

But is it faith that has failed, or are those who represent faith for political purpose simply failed Christians of the very worst sort?

To answer, tie your response to one of a few fundamental rules for Christian living. Here are ten for starters:

1: Do not worship any other gods.
2: Do not make any idols
3: Do not misuse the name of God
4: Keep the Sabbath holy
5: Honor your father and mother
6: Do not murder
7: Do not commit adultery
8: Do not steal
9: Do not lie
10: Do not covet

Evangelicals are covetous greedy lizards. Like Gordon Gecko, they have firmly cast their lot with the "Greed is good" crowd.

You could also consider some other Sunday School standbys --

I'll throw in the golden rule, only because it is apparent that Evanglicals desire to have torture done unto them:

"Do unto others as you would have them do to you". Luke 6:31

I'm also partial to a quote that pertains to today's "tax cut Christians":

“Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” Matthew 22:21

This quote was made shortly before the "tax cut Pharisees" nailed Jesus to a cross. I'd imagine today's "tax cut Christians" would be just as eager to kill Christ again if he ever came back and made a similar statement.

As for evangelism itself, Jesus is quoted in the book of Matthew, chapter 23 as saying:

"You travel over land and sea to make one disciple and when you do, you make that person twice as fit for hell as you are."

In fact, if American Evangelicals have you as frustrated and stupefied over the denigration of Christ, you may enjoy reading the whole of that chapter. Here is some of the text:

Matthew, Chapter 23

“How terrible for you teachers of the Law and Pharisees you Hypocrites ! You won’t let others go into the kingdom of heaven, and you won’t go in yourselves. How terrible for you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites ! You travel over land and sea to make one disciple and when you do, you make that person twice as fit for hell as you are.

“How terrible for you blind leaders ! You say, ‘If anyone promises by the temple, it means nothing. But if they promise by the gold in the temple they must keep their promise ! You blind fools ! Which is greater, the gold or the temple which makes the gold holy ? You also say, ‘If anyone promises by the altar, it means nothing, but if anyone promises by the gift on it they must keep their promise.’ You blind men ! Which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift holy ? The person who promises by the altar is promising by it and everything on it. The person who promises by the temple promises by it and by Him who lives in it. And the person who promises by heaven promises by God’s throne and by Him who sits on it.

“How terrible for you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites ! You give a tenth of your spices - mint, dill and cumin, but you neglect the more important things in the law - justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have followed these without neglecting the others. You blind leaders ! You pick out a small fly but drink a whole camel.

“How terrible for you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites ! You clean the outside of your cups and dishes but inside you are full of greed and selfishness. You blind Pharisee ! First clean the inside of the cup and dish. Then the outside will also be clean.

“How terrible for you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites ! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of human bones and all kinds of pollution. In the same way on the outside you look good to people, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and evil.”

2000 years ago it was the Publicans, now its the Re-Publicans.

Colonel Panic
 
Posted by Callipygous (Member # 2071) on January 02, 2008, 16:35:
 
If you are a Christian the answer to the question in your subject heading is that is for God, not man to judge.

A more interesting question is to what extent should you be wary of any politician who is principally driven by his or her religious beliefs? Having had the benefit of two terms of a faith based administration headed by an ex alcoholic, born again president whose decisions are based on prayer and what his gut tells him, I would have thought that perhaps someone without such a pressing need for the crutch of religious faith might be appealing, but sadly that does not seem to be so.

Another question that interests me is how long the unholy alliance between the far right movement conservatives, and the religious right can hold together, as they each have a quite distinct set of political aims. The religious right have their obsession with abortion, but are quite willing to acknowledge the evidence of their eyes that climate change and the environment is a serious and pressing problem, whereas this poses huge problems for the even more dogmatic beliefs of the movement conservatives who cannot acknowledge the existence of any political problem that cannot be solved either by naked capitalism and the free market or brute force of arms.
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on January 02, 2008, 18:49:
 
________________________There are two kinds of people. Those who tell you what they are and those that show what they are.

Bikers: A Sits on a bar stool, has a new leather and a brand new bike, only rides to and from home to the bar.
B Sits on his bike, leathers are worn, bike shows miles of wear

Christian A Tells you he is devote, prays publicly

B Shows he is a christian, helps in soup kitchens, builds houses with habitat for humanity.

If some one has to tell you their beliefs then they don't live them, actions speak louder than words, and say much more.
 
Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on January 02, 2008, 21:44:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Colonel Panic:

<rant> <rant> <rant> <rant> <rant> <rant> <rant> <rant>

I'll throw in the golden rule, ....

Let's consider the Psychopath's Golden Rule:
quote:
Psychopath: I live by the Golden Rule. If someone steals, I won't judge them. If someone kills, I won't judge them. You're the ones that are fascists and hypocrites -- you have no right to judge me just because I carved the skin off 17 children and left them to die in cages.
You've done a lot of name-calling, but you seem to mistake "bash other Christians" as the primary teaching of Jesus.

quote:
... For He himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. And do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon and you will be pardoned.
 
    Luke 6:35-37

FYI: There is a limit to the crap that the Christian god tolerates ("forgives").
 
CP, you seem rather proud to announce "who will not go into the kingdom of heaven"
quote:
Quoted on January 02, 2008, 15:31
"How terrible for you teachers of the Law and Pharisees you Hypocrites ! You won't let others go into the kingdom of heaven...."

You sound like a hypocrite ... using the Bible for sound-bites and snippets.
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on January 03, 2008, 00:56:
 
ASM honey, I apologize.
Can we kiss and make up now? [hearts]
 
Posted by PapaSmurph (Member # 13106) on January 03, 2008, 05:03:
 
Well, I usually try to stay away from religious debates, but I had to throw in my $0.02.

I have to agree with TheMoMan. Faith for me is based on what is done. I believe God wants me to do what is right, not talk about it. I grew up being taught right from wrong, and trying to follow what Thumper says:

"If you can't say sumptin nice, don't say nutin at all"

I believe in the end we will all be judged for what we have done. But judgement isn't fair (and if you read the New Testament, you'll see what I mean). If you accept the fact that Jesus sacrificed his life for your "sins" (what ever you want to call them) then they have been removed from consideration and you're good to go. But that doesn't mean you can just go and do what ever you want to do. You have to live a good life, too.

I know, it sounds confusing, and it is because you can't apply logic to religious beliefs. That's where faith comes in.

Politics and religion don't mix, like oil and water. However, if you have enough oil on you, the water just rolls off like on a duck's back. I'll let you decide which is oil and which is water.

Happy celebration of an arbitrary point in the earth's orbit.

[Smile]
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on January 03, 2008, 05:39:
 
_______________________ If I find you at a soup kitchen I will know. Case in point where I used to pray there were individuals that did not like the fact that the paster of our church would go to the Catholic Church down the road and serve food at their Soup Kitchen, However if you checked there was a Baptist, a Methodist, a Mennenite, and a Luthern paster that routenly helped the Priest with chores at the parish.

If I find you at The Red Cross helping load up the disaster truck I will know.

Yes I asked for Salvation but my witness is helping others.

_____________ I fear that many American Evangelicals blindly follow their pasters with out actually reading the bible, Too many people fear that this country has gone godless and that they must steer it back to redemption, and yet the greatest Communist to have ever lived was Crucified.
 
Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on January 03, 2008, 22:49:
 
quote:
January 03, 2008 05:39
the greatest Communist to have ever lived was Crucified.

Thanks! Now I understand.

This is why liberals don't judge Stalin or Pol Pot -- they were just carrying on with the message of Jesus.

Jesus would forgive people for murder or stealing (probably genocide too) -- but Jesus NEVER forgave anyone for having money.

Courtrooms and judges are Anti-Christian because Jesus taught men passing judgment on men is wrong.

Cool! Jesus was an Anarchist and a Communist -- no wonder you people are disappointed by Christians.
 

quote:
January 02, 2008 15:31
This quote was made shortly before the "tax cut Pharisees" nailed Jesus to a cross. I'd imagine today's "tax cut Christians" would be just as eager to kill Christ again if he ever came back and made a similar statement.

Too bad that you lost touch with reality long, long ago.   [ohwell]

PS: I heard that when Jesus "comes back" -- there may be dead bodies everywhere, but HE won't be the one dying.

Then again, maybe you thought Jesus was coming back only to kill Christians.
 
Posted by Callipygous (Member # 2071) on January 04, 2008, 07:48:
 
 -
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on January 04, 2008, 12:16:
 
ASM honey, I apologize.
Can we kiss and make up now? [hearts]
 -  -
 
Posted by CrawGator (Member # 392) on January 04, 2008, 14:49:
 
Ok this is long but hey I want to give a thorough answer. The true definition of a christian is one who follows the teachings of Christ. I believe the measuring rod for a christian is basically found in the following passages:

quote:
Luke 10:25-37 (The Message)
Defining "Neighbor"

25 Just then a religion scholar stood up with a question to test Jesus. "Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?"

26 He answered, "What's written in God's Law? How do you interpret it?"

27 He said, "That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself."

28 "Good answer!" said Jesus. "Do it and you'll live."

29 Looking for a loophole, he asked, "And just how would you define 'neighbor'?"

30-32 Jesus answered by telling a story. "There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.

33-35 "A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man's condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I'll pay you on my way back.'

36 "What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?"

37 "The one who treated him kindly," the religion scholar responded.
Jesus said, "Go and do the same."

quote:
Luke 6:24-49 (The Message)
Give Away Your Life

24 But it's trouble ahead if you think you have it made.
What you have is all you'll ever get.

25 And it's trouble ahead if you're satisfied with yourself.
Your self will not satisfy you for long.
And it's trouble ahead if you think life's all fun and games.
There's suffering to be met, and you're going to meet it.

26 "There's trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.

27-30 "To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

31-34 "Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that's charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.

35-36 "I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You'll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we're at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.

37-38 "Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity."

39-40 He quoted a proverb: "'Can a blind man guide a blind man?' Wouldn't they both end up in the ditch? An apprentice doesn't lecture the master. The point is to be careful who you follow as your teacher.

41-42 "It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
Work the Words into Your Life

43-45 "You don't get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It's who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.

46-47 "Why are you so polite with me, always saying 'Yes, sir,' and 'That's right, sir,' but never doing a thing I tell you? These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on.

48-49 "If you work the words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on bedrock. When the river burst its banks and crashed against the house, nothing could shake it; it was built to last. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don't work them into your life, you are like a dumb carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation. When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss."

quote:
James 1:19-2:26 (The Message)
Act on What You Hear

19-21 Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God's righteousness doesn't grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.

22-24 Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don't act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

25 But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.

26-27 Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.

James 2
The Royal Rule of Love

1-4 My dear friends, don't let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith. If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, and you say to the man in the suit, "Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!" and either ignore the street person or say, "Better sit here in the back row," haven't you segregated God's children and proved that you are judges who can't be trusted?

5-7 Listen, dear friends. Isn't it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world's down-and-out as the kingdom's first citizens, with full rights and privileges. This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God. And here you are abusing these same citizens! Isn't it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind? Aren't they the ones who scorn the new name—"Christian"—used in your baptisms?

8-11 You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures: "Love others as you love yourself." But if you play up to these so-called important people, you go against the Rule and stand convicted by it. You can't pick and choose in these things, specializing in keeping one or two things in God's law and ignoring others. The same God who said, "Don't commit adultery," also said, "Don't murder." If you don't commit adultery but go ahead and murder, do you think your non-adultery will cancel out your murder? No, you're a murderer, period.

12-13 Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.
Faith in Action

14-17 Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

18 I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, "Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I'll handle the works department."
Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.

19-20 Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That's just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands?

21-24 Wasn't our ancestor Abraham "made right with God by works" when he placed his son Isaac on the sacrificial altar? Isn't it obvious that faith and works are yoked partners, that faith expresses itself in works? That the works are "works of faith"? The full meaning of "believe" in the Scripture sentence, "Abraham believed God and was set right with God," includes his action. It's that mesh of believing and acting that got Abraham named "God's friend." Is it not evident that a person is made right with God not by a barren faith but by faith fruitful in works?

25-26 The same with Rahab, the Jericho harlot. Wasn't her action in hiding God's spies and helping them escape—that seamless unity of believing and doing—what counted with God? The very moment you separate body and spirit, you end up with a corpse. Separate faith and works and you get the same thing: a corpse.


If their behavior reflects these passages then they are following after Christ correctly. If they are not then they are either pretenders or have lost their way. I will not judge what they are, however the passages I quoted can certainly be the judge of what they are. I will be the first to say that no christian can follow these passages perfectly because no person can be perfect. However one would expect those who so prominently profess Christ would be better at practicing what they preach than the run of the mill christian since they are the examples that the world looks at when it concerning Christianity.
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on January 04, 2008, 18:01:
 
__________________________ Well I was certainly beat to the punch.

It would be easier to pass a camel throught the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven. unsure or verse and book

Go quietly to a loney place to pray do not be open and boastful. again I do not remember verse and book.
 
Posted by motionless_SEAsaw85 (Member # 13330) on January 09, 2008, 13:38:
 
i just kinda quickly scanned over this, but.
Jesus never considered himself a religious leader, he didn't invent christians,(related) religions. humans make up religion. Jesus never stated that he was any type of religious leader, he only stated that he was King. King of something that is not of here nore there.(King:Kingdom of heaven)

So why is there all this WAR over religion and related nonsense?
In the end we're all gonna be judge the same way and it's gonna take death to get that jugdment. I say let people think what they want about what they want, it's their lives, and if it takes the end of their life to figure it out then its too late by then.
Anyway, weather your a non-believer, anti-christ, or what ever u may beleive in or about, the fact is you STILL believe. And to believe is to have FAITH and to have faith is to....
 
Posted by spungo (Member # 1089) on January 09, 2008, 15:10:
 
quote:
Originally posted by motionless_SEAsaw85:
... Anyway, weather your a non-believer, anti-christ, or what ever u may beleive in or about, the fact is you STILL believe. And to believe is to have FAITH and to have faith is to....

Not true in the least. I don't believe anything -- now, I know, someone will retort with "secularism is belief in and of itself" -- this is a fallacy. It's possible for an individual to be inclined to accept the veracity of something, but to not believe it per se. I'm inclined to accept that if I let go of an apple mid-air, then it will plummet to the ground -- why it does so, well, I put it down to this thing called gravity, but I don't know what that is really, it just seems like a likely explanation. Mind you, if a more plausible story came along, then this pesky gravity idea may vanish in the blink of a gnat's chuff.

You don't have to have belief -- and, quite frankly, I've never understood why it's such a good thing in the first place. Is belief, of itself, really a good thing? Anyone? Bueller? ...
 
Posted by Steen (Member # 170) on January 09, 2008, 15:17:
 
Anyway, weather your a non-believer, anti-christ, or what ever u may beleive in or about, the fact is you STILL believe. And to believe is to have FAITH and to have faith is to....

The English teacher in me is all stabby now.
 
Posted by Serenak (Member # 2950) on January 09, 2008, 16:39:
 
Personally this says it all for me...
http://andrewolmsted.com/archives/2008/01/final_post.html

If I could post something half as eloquent and meaningful now, let alone after my death I would be proud...

Maybe this is only half relevant here, maybe not, but this post (which I picked up via the excellent Daring Fireball) moved me greatly...
 
Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on January 09, 2008, 18:25:
 
Back to what I said earlier:
quote:
ASM: Thanks! Now I understand.     This is why liberals don't judge Stalin or Pol Pot.....

Courtrooms and judges are Anti-Christian because Jesus taught men passing judgment on men is wrong. </sarcasm>

So far, most of the ones talking seem to believe that Anarchy, Absence of Law, and Masochism summarize the teachings of Jesus.

quote:
Leftist Lunatic: If Jesus had been at the Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 people by the Serb army, he would have said something like "if you judge General Mladic, and say he was bad, then you will be judged EVIL by god even if you never killed or robbed anyone."

If Jesus had been in Rwanda as 800,000 people were being murdered, he would have said "everyone move along, there's nothing to see here, when the time is right god will step in, you just mind your own business."


 
Posted by ScholasticSpastic (Member # 6919) on January 09, 2008, 22:08:
 
quote:
Anyway, weather your a non-believer, anti-christ, or what ever u may beleive in or about, the fact is you STILL believe. And to believe is to have FAITH and to have faith is to.... [/QB]
Hey, I'm a resident angry atheist. I'm going to give this steaming pile a pass this time- because I'm a nice angry atheist- but next time I'm prepared to come down with a detailed and snipey explanation of why your statement is fallacious.
 
Posted by ScholasticSpastic (Member # 6919) on January 09, 2008, 22:16:
 
As far as who's qualified to be a christian:

The christian churches have a responsibility to uphold their standards. If they accept as christian persons who repeatedly violate their values as a church, the church is responsible for allowing continuing membership. The trouble is that it's a fractured and combatative complex of splinter-faiths with no real oversight by any guaranter of standards. No christian has any right to decide who is or is not a christian. Similarly, no atheist has that right- I'm prepared to take your word for it.

The christian faith(s) teach(es) that christians will be sorted out after death. There seems to be no objective standard by which we may determine which of the many splinter-faiths has a monopoly on doctrinal truth. We are unfortunate in that they all share the same source document, but they've all interpreted it in different ways. The only support for the source document of christianity is the source document's self-references- absent outside corroboration we're unable to decide objectively whether a person is christian.

Ultimately, in case I'm wrong, you should consider refraining from judgement lest you be judged. [crazy]
 
Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on January 09, 2008, 23:16:
 
quote:
You give a tenth of your spices - mint, dill and cumin, but you neglect the more important things in the law - justice, mercy and faithfulness.
    -- attributed to Jesus, "The Bible"

#include <sarcasm.h>
Did anyone else see the word "justice"? Gee, I wonder what is meant by justice being a "more important thing in law."

Maybe the font was messed up so everyone else kept seeing:
quote:
"the only important thing in law is mercy -- no matter how horrific, and violent, and filled with intent to destroy all that is good -- just let them all go so they can continue in their differently-abled-systems-of-ethics."
 

In case people lost the link, that "scientific" explanation of "gravity" is a bit iffy:   [Wink]
quote:
Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New 'Intelligent Falling' Theory
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/39512

"Let's take a look at the evidence," said ECFR senior fellow Gregory Lunsden."In Matthew 15:14, Jesus says, 'And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.' He says nothing about some gravity making them fall—just that they will fall. Then, in Job 5:7, we read, 'But mankind is born to trouble, as surely as sparks fly upwards.' If gravity is pulling everything down, why do the sparks fly upwards with great surety? This clearly indicates that a conscious intelligence governs all falling."


 
Posted by Callipygous (Member # 2071) on January 10, 2008, 02:41:
 
ASM do your initials actually stand for Artie macStrawMan? If the only way you can answer serious arguments is by exaggerating them beyond caricature, inventing fictional quotes and then placing them in the mouth of your fictional leftist lunatic, I can only conclude that you have no answers to our real and reasonable points.

I also get the impression that you have little interest in religion, and a fairly sketchy knowledge of the Bible, so perhaps this thread is not really for you anyway.
 
Posted by The Explainer (Member # 5716) on January 10, 2008, 03:44:
 
The Explainer appreciates the irony of Mr 65816 introducing 'The Great Satan' into a discussion about Jesus.
 
Posted by CrawGator (Member # 392) on January 10, 2008, 11:32:
 
quote:
Originally posted by ScholasticSpastic:
As far as who's qualified to be a christian:

The christian churches have a responsibility to uphold their standards. If they accept as christian persons who repeatedly violate their values as a church, the church is responsible for allowing continuing membership. The trouble is that it's a fractured and combatative complex of splinter-faiths with no real oversight by any guaranter of standards. No christian has any right to decide who is or is not a christian.

Well the problem with turning someone away from the church is that the church really can't and still call itself a christian church because a christian should believe that people can turn their lives around. If a person wants to come to church christians believe the person wants to make the effort otherwise they would not be there. Besides that christians believe that Christ died for our sins. If God forgives us what right have we not to forgive if we call ourselves christian? While their are many variations on what christians believe, no true christian would argue the golden rule or that works are the fruit of faith. In other words your deeds speak louder than your words.

quote:
The christian faith(s) teach(es) that christians will be sorted out after death.

Almost got it right. According to all christain faiths that I know of everyone will be sorted out after death. Not just people who profess Christ.

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There seems to be no objective standard by which we may determine which of the many splinter-faiths has a monopoly on doctrinal truth. We are unfortunate in that they all share the same source document, but they've all interpreted it in different ways.

Add to that that christians do not perfectly follow the tennents of the doctrine of their religion. In any event, religion is a man made thing concerning Christianity. I personally believe that all of the christain religions interpret the Bible wrong at some point or another. The best that a christian can do is to walk in the light that God gives him. Granted that sounds like a cop out but if a person really is faithful to God they will behave like a christian ought to behave for the most part.

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The only support for the source document of christianity is the source document's self-references- absent outside corroboration we're unable to decide objectively whether a person is christian.

I agree that makes it difficult for people who don't study the Bible the way a christian is supposed to. Frankly though I have met many people who claim to be christian who study the Bible less that some non-believers I have met. I have also met many people who are not christian that behave more like a christian than some christians I know. Every person grows at their own pace but you would expect someone who has been a christian for a long time to have grown up enough to know how to behave. It's a shame that some do not because it makes all christians look like hypocrites to many non-christians.
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on January 10, 2008, 15:12:
 
Good answer, CrawGator, but I don't completely agree with your first paragraph. Matthew 18 clearly lays out how to deal with people whose sin is discovered. Although the passage specifically refers to an interpersonal conflict, the church Jonathan and I recently began attending uses it as a guide for how to deal with anyone in the congregation who exhibits sinful behavior.

I, for one, am glad of it. They clearly state how they handle church discipline in the pre-membership manual. Anyone who wants to become a member must sign a statement agreeing to go along with the discipline process. It's a refreshing change from many churches I've attended. We've already seen a few people brought before the congregation for prayer after they've been confronted and repented. This system is MUCH better than the "sweep it under the rug and ignore it because we hate confrontation and don't want to be perceived as judging others" that I've seen at way too many churches.
 
Posted by CrawGator (Member # 392) on January 10, 2008, 15:57:
 
It's all fine and good to say you are going to treat someone like a heathen or tax collector but what did Jesus do with them. Remember he ate and drank with them in the hopes that He would win them. Putting it in context how can you turn them away and still follow what Jesus did?

Edit: This is not to say that someone should not receive consequences for their actions but you should not bar someone if they want to come and are not a danger.
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on January 10, 2008, 16:49:
 
I agree with your edit, CG. It's when they don't change - even after numerous interventions - that stricter measures need to be taken.
 
Posted by ScholasticSpastic (Member # 6919) on January 10, 2008, 22:36:
 
I'm going to respond with the understanding that my ideal society strictly enforces separation of church and 'Spastic. [Wink]
quote:
Originally posted by CrawGator:
Well the problem with turning someone away from the church is that the church really can't and still call itself a christian church because a christian should believe that people can turn their lives around. If a person wants to come to church christians believe the person wants to make the effort otherwise they would not be there. Besides that christians believe that Christ died for our sins. If God forgives us what right have we not to forgive if we call ourselves christian? While their are many variations on what christians believe, no true christian would argue the golden rule or that works are the fruit of faith. In other words your deeds speak louder than your words.

I can only agree with your points because I am an outside observer. However, I must point out that, unless a church enforces its definition of who is or is not a member, they cannot say what we should expect to observe a member's behavior to be. Excommunication need not be permanent and I would very much like to see churches excommunicating those who consistently fail to meet the behavioral expectations of the church. Sure, take 'em back when they've repented and demonstrated the good acts that are valued by theists and atheists alike. Failing to speak strongly against the negative behavior of members is, however, a tacit admission of acceptance from anyone who believes in an absolute ethical framework.

quote:

Almost got it right. According to all christain faiths that I know of everyone will be sorted out after death. Not just people who profess Christ.

I would agree with this more, but I accept that there are a great many people (including myself)who do not believe in post-mortem judgement. I agree completely that christians all seem to concur that judgement after death is universal and that judgement prior to death is a bad idea. Except that I have failed to find a christian faith that doesn't engage in some kind of pre-mortem judgement. I also have a difficult time understanding how we might refrain from judgement as it's a powerful survival tool.

quote:
Add to that that christians do not perfectly follow the tennents of the doctrine of their religion. In any event, religion is a man made thing concerning Christianity. I personally believe that all of the christain religions interpret the Bible wrong at some point or another. The best that a christian can do is to walk in the light that God gives him. Granted that sounds like a cop out but if a person really is faithful to God they will behave like a christian ought to behave for the most part.
This is the core of my problem- as long as a person can be counted as christian by christian churches they must be called a true christian (to whatever extent a particular person accepts the doctrine of the christian in question to be true doctrine). That is to say that statements about "true christians" ring disingenuous for me. Christians don't have a monopoly on ethics- they seem to suffer from the same character flaws as everyone else. I'm not comfortable with the way christianity-gradients seem to comply with the desirability of associating with a given person. It's been my experience that religious affiliation is the least reliable determinant of behavior.

quote:
I agree that makes it difficult for people who don't study the Bible the way a christian is supposed to. Frankly though I have met many people who claim to be christian who study the Bible less that some non-believers I have met. I have also met many people who are not christian that behave more like a christian than some christians I know. Every person grows at their own pace but you would expect someone who has been a christian for a long time to have grown up enough to know how to behave. It's a shame that some do not because it makes all christians look like hypocrites to many non-christians.
This statement would ring truer for me if not for the fact that every christian sect is essentially based upon a different opinion about what is the correct way to study the bible. I'm not here to make claims about what is or is not the correct way to study the bible- I've decided that the best way, for me, is to leave that particular book alone. I say don't worry about apparent christian hypocricy- we are all hypocrites to some extent. We can only live our lives and try to stay away from those who live in ways that imperile our lives.

I refrain from judging the christianity of others- I am not qualified to do so. I suspect that christians are similarly unqualified, but for different reasons. I guess that's my point: Nobody gets to say who is the better christian or who will be saved or damned after death. Those who do so are truly hypocrites.
 


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