The Christianity Thread (Official)

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    The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by _Hiatus_ on Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:59 am

    This is a continuation of our original Christianity thread that was lost in the great content purge of late '10. Whether you're a Christian or not, you can debate all aspects of Christianity (all sects) in this thread.

    Remember to be nice and courteous to your fellow debaters, and to post links to evidence that backs up your position whenever possible! Wink

    If you are a non-Christian, reading this article on Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity, and reading the Christian Bible, may be helpful in learning general information about Christianity.


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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by suavesavior on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:01 am

    The Wikipedia varies from language to language. As English is most commonly spoken in the USA, the English wiki describes the USA version of Christianity. It does not mention Christianity in west Europe is different or vice versa. One example is the variation upon the belief in who Jesus actually was in the various versions of Christianity.

    English wiki version:
    Christians believe Jesus is the son of God, God having become man and the savior of humanity. Christians, therefore, commonly refer to Jesus as Christ or Messiah.

    In the English version, god has become Jesus. This seems to be what most USA people believe.

    Dutch wiki version:
    De christenen geloven dat Jezus de zoon van God is en de messias die voorspeld en aangekondigd werd in het Oude Testament.

    Translated:
    Christians believe Jesus is the son of God and the messiah who was prophesied in the Old testament.

    The dutch Christians typically believe Jesus was the son of god, as was thought in my school too. He is not god in this version, but his son, a different person.

    German version:
    Jesus wird von den Christen als der Christus (der Gesalbte), also der jüdische Messias, verehrt sowie als der Mensch gewordene Sohn Gottes.

    Once again, "son of god", though this part is harder to translate correct considering my German skills. He is referred to as the "Jewish messiah". The Wikipedia is quite subjective, and vary upon language from language. To get to know Christianity the wiki is a rather subjective source.
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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by _Hiatus_ on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:04 am

    Yes, that is one flaw of reading the Wikipedia article. It's not perfect, because it does not mention European views of Christianity. However, if you do not know Christianity at all or never have heard of it before, then this article is a good place to start. You may also read the Bible as well to get some general, basic information, but you may also have to keep in mind that it is a translation or interpretation and reading multiple translations or interpretations may help you understand many views of Christianity.

    I have never been educated in religion in school or at home, so most of my knowledge of religion, especially Christianity, is from reading books (esp. the Bible) and flipping to the religious channel on TV, where a priest gives his interpretations to the audience. On TV, you can also find fascinating Biblical stories, like Noah's Ark or Adam and Eve. From my former classmates, I heard of the story of David and Goliath. Now to a person who knows so little about religion, all this stuff is so interesting, because I can now understand what people are talking about when they use religious references in language!


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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by dumbshit. on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:06 am

    "The reason science is a major theme of this thread is because Christianity - indeed religions in general - are at odds with science. They claim knowledge without evidence."

    Then maybe it should be called the 'Opposition to Christianity' thread.
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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by _Hiatus_ on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:07 am

    In the Genesis, there was a scene where a man was visited by God, and God and the man had a light conversation. The man seemed like he never saw a god before, so he kept asking God questions if God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and how many people would die, but if he could find 1 or 10 good people, then God would not destroy the towns. Eventually, the towns were destroyed. I think it was also this man who was asked by God to circumcise his children, because God thought it was right. So, the man obeyed.

    In a Christian point of view, I think the evidence is God's words.

    In a non-Christian point of view, I think there is no evidence, because a deity is not justification for morality.


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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by suavesavior on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:08 am

    The USA version of Christianity is much more extreme and not in the positive sense. It focuses a lot more on the dark sides of the religion. The western European version is much more does-not-know-Christianity friendly.

    dumbshit. wrote:"The reason science is a major theme of this thread is because Christianity - indeed religions in general - are at odds with science. They claim knowledge without evidence."

    Then maybe it should be called the 'Opposition to Christianity' thread.

    If you have a defense for claiming knowledge without evidence, then out with it.
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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by .Gunhilde. on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:11 am

    suavesavior wrote:The USA version of Christianity is much more extreme and not in the positive sense. It focuses a lot more on the dark sides of the religion. The western European version is much more does-not-know-Christianity friendly.

    A bit scary? North American Christianity in politics are about as extreme as the politics in Turkish Islam. It is quite extreme when you've seen better. Extremist religious people shouldn't be in politics at all. Evangelizing and quoting bibles in politics does not work for the majority of voters here, so the dude had to base his ideas on reason instead.


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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by _Hiatus_ on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:13 am

    That would cause a firestorm of controversy, since we're a pretty diverse country and one group or another would be up in arms about their rights being violated. The religious influence is more subtle.

    Unfortunately, it seems that a large number of the people who actually get out and vote hold similar beliefs to the governing party. That doesn't mean they represent the views of all Canadians. They just represent the views of the Canadians who vote.

    Sometimes apathy is far more dangerous than actually doing something.


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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by .Gunhilde. on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:17 am

    _Hiatus_ wrote:That would cause a firestorm of controversy, since we're a pretty diverse country and one group or another would be up in arms about their rights being violated. The religious influence is more subtle.

    Unfortunately, it seems that a large number of the people who actually get out and vote hold similar beliefs to the governing party. That doesn't mean they represent the views of all Canadians. They just represent the views of the Canadians who vote.

    Sometimes apathy is far more dangerous than actually doing something.

    I guess I would be one of those apathetic people. I don't think I will ever vote, simply because you never know what type of a person you are voting into power under all the slander and formalities (I mean, look at how Stephen Harper came out). I wouldn't be absolutely sure that my choice was the right one, and so I would not be able to live with it. Neutral I wouldn't take anything a politician says (religious or otherwise) on a word-to-word basis.

    But we're getting off-topic here.


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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by _Hiatus_ on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:19 am

    So I had this really nice 4th of July BBQ, and some friends who were invited had friends coming in from out of town - so of course I welcomed them to include their friends.

    These friends were super-Christian - little references to Jesus and Baptism and stuff like that - but they were nice and one was a blimp pilot, so it was fun to talk to them. I never said ONE word about my personal beliefs - nor did my younger sister to their kids. We've learned to keep a low profile.

    So today, I got a thank-you note from them in the mail. Here is the text, verbatim;

    "Thank you so much for including us on your Independence Day - we had such a good time meeting you and your family. I hope you will soon be as blessed as we are - remember that with Him all things are possible! Blessed in Christ."

    So what do you think of that? A comment on my one-bedroom house? My 12-year-old car? My lack of constant prayer?


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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by .Gunhilde. on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:20 am

    This is a great example of why some Christians bug me. They've made an assumption that your life is crap, that you're not "blessed", and that you couldn't possibly be happy without accepting Jesus. While I'm sure they probably mean well, that sort of condescending attitude drives me insane.


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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by Thrice on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:21 am

    I really hate when some religious people blame other people's suffering on lack of belief in their god.

    "The earthquake hit because you pissed Him off!"

    "...No, the earthquake hit because there is a thing called continental plates."
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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by dumbshit. on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:23 am

    dumbshit. wrote:"The reason science is a major theme of this thread is because Christianity - indeed religions in general - are at odds with science. They claim knowledge without evidence."

    Then maybe it should be called the 'Opposition to Christianity' thread.

    Or the Self-Righteous Atheist thread.
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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by .Gunhilde. on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:25 am

    Where has an atheist claimed in this or the last thread that they have a right to claim knowledge without evidence? Who is being self-righteous here? I don't think it's the atheists and agnostics.

    Please drop the insults and make a case, if you've an interest in debating the topic.


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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by blackice. on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:27 am

    ...on-topic, i would like to say, christianity made no sense to me whatsoever when i really looked into it.

    the angels, for example.
    as ive come to understand ( and correct me if im wrong? ), lucifer was, not the devil at first. he was an angel. the favorite, even. but when commanded by Gawd he refused to bow to humans.

    NOW, ive also heard it flung around that humans > angels because of free will. free will pretty much dictates we choose whatever we please, right?

    but if angels didnt have free will, lucifer wouldnt have questioned it. he wouldve bowed.
    so does that mean MOST angels dont and some actually DO, or just that they do, but choose to kiss Gawd's ass anyway? because there really is a difference.

    because, lets face it.
    if you are created a certain way, thats all you have the power to be. thats all you know. thats all you will ever be able to know.
    so if angels were created to be perfectly obedient to Gawd, how could lucy-fer say "no" at all?

    and beyond that, because lucifer said "no", god...pretty much told him to go bone himself. he went to hell. actually, he Founded hell.
    is that something a loving parent would really do?
    if your child said "no" when you told them to do something, would you make them live in the basement and shun them forever?
    especially if we are agreeing that this is your FAVORITE kid, you love other kids but not the way you adore this little bugger.

    and as its been said before, either god is absolutely benevolent and forgiving (and thus there is no "hell"), or hes kind of a mean tyrant loophole specialist.
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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by _Hiatus_ on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:29 am

    blackice. wrote:NOW, ive also heard it flung around that humans > angels because of free will. free will pretty much dictates we choose whatever we please, right?

    but if angels didnt have free will, lucifer wouldnt have questioned it. he wouldve bowed.
    so does that mean MOST angels dont and some actually DO, or just that they do, but choose to kiss Gawd's ass anyway? because there really is a difference.

    Making basically this argument in Sunday school when I was younger got me tossed out. The Priest told my mom that I could not come back until I "learned my place". That pretty much ended it for me.


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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by blackice. on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:31 am

    _Hiatus_ wrote:Making basically this argument in Sunday school when I was younger got me tossed out. The Priest told my mom that I could not come back until I "learned my place". That pretty much ended it for me.

    i think its really just intended as a lesson of "dont question your superiors, be obedient"...much the way that priest reacted.
    lucifer questioned/disobeyed. he was punished. pretty simple lesson, too bad it doesnt make any damned sense the way these people have twisted things up...

    and last i checked,
    obedience has nothing to do with a higher power. it has to do with controlling others.

    question: why is god a "he" if it has no actual sexual organs?
    im not trying to say that it would be better as a "her", but...really? gender assignment to a "supreme being"??
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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by .Gunhilde. on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:36 am

    Here is my view of things...

    The bible was written by human beings. It had to of been. The point has been raised before - we never hear from Jesus first hand. When I was younger (about thirteen or fourteen) I attempted to get into the religious feeling, and found that it was quite hard to believe, and for me, unsatisfying. I find it hard to justify the existence of a being or creature that has a following of so called "lesser" beings, yet never contacts them, and almost seems to leave them to follow rules set by a single book - a book that was written not by God himself, but those so called "lesser" beings. I have a hard time believing that we should bow down to a "greater" being that preaches of kindness, yet time and time again strikes his followers down, causes plagues, causes floods, ect., as well as turning a blind eye to "followers" that are very unlike Jesus, who they are supposed to strive to be like.

    For example, one of my relatives was a devout Christian (her family stemming from the Ukraine) and she had very rigid beliefs, and her point of view sometimes stemmed on the hypocritical. She believed that angels were constantly loving of the human race, pure and uncorruptable. But we have Lucifer. She believed that Jesus died for all of our sins, and because he did so, he earned the right to "rescue" or "save" individuals. He was sinless. It was his choice to die, so he can forgive the sins of anyone who wants his/her sins forgiven. She believed that he left the choice whether or not to be forgiven to each of us. But yet, at the same time, if a Christian commits a sin, they are pressed (or guilty enough) to go to confessional, and in extreme cases, to ration, ect. ect.. If they do not, then they are not worthy enough of God's love.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that in my experience, Christians are very unlike God/Jesus (whatever is believed) in a lot of cases (Not all!). We are offered forgiveness for our sins, and instead met with guilt. The belief is that we are "lesser" beings than God, because Adam and Eve chose to eat from a tree, and therefor chose evil. If a parent let their child choose not to obey, the child would eventually have done something of the same.

    How is that our fault? The entire thing seems like a follower/leader type reaction to having to make our own choices in the world. And of all the different minor religions, it seems like every person is taking their own conclusions from a piece of work that preaches in absolutes. I have a issue with always believing that I am a "lesser" being because of choices not made by me, sins that were supposedly absolved. I had issues with following a God that did not lead his children, and then supposedly shook his finger at us when we ran astray without his guidance.

    That's just my opinion. I mean no disrespect towards Christians in any way. Everyone has to believe in something. I just find such contradictions, and the blessing (or threat) of heaven after death a bit hard to swallow. I mean, what worse horror can you wish on a sentient being than eternal consciousness?


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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by Thrice on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:37 am

    .Gunhilde. wrote:I mean, what worse horror can you wish on a sentient being than eternal consciousness?

    Eternal consciousness, but only if you're willing to hang out with fundamentalists?
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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by .Gunhilde. on Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:37 am

    Exactly.


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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by blackice. on Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:14 pm

    .Gunhilde. wrote:She believed that Jesus died for all of our sins, and because he did so, he earned the right to "rescue" or "save" individuals. He was sinless. It was his choice to die, so he can forgive the sins of anyone who wants his/her sins forgiven. She believed that he left the choice whether or not to be forgiven to each of us. But yet, at the same time, if a Christian commits a sin, they are pressed (or guilty enough) to go to confessional, and in extreme cases, to ration, ect. ect.. If they do not, then they are not worthy enough of God's love.

    that reminds me - if death can be seen as atonement (and where the magic was in that one, im still lost on), why are murder and suicide still seen as bad choices within the christian community? jesus DIED - thats all he did to "atone" for the "sins", so under the "lets all be like jesus" banner, shouldnt people who sin badly enough, kill themselves to repent for it? or have someone else murder them?
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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by suavesavior on Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:15 pm

    blackice. wrote:that reminds me - if death can be seen as atonement (and where the magic was in that one, im still lost on), why are murder and suicide still seen as bad choices within the christian community? jesus DIED - thats all he did to "atone" for the "sins", so under the "lets all be like jesus" banner, shouldnt people who sin badly enough, kill themselves to repent for it? or have someone else murder them?

    Well...no.

    In essence, in Christian thought, Jesus's death was a sacrifice in the "spirit," so to speak, of the necessary (prior to Jesus, that is) sacrifices outlined in the Pentateuch, especially in Leviticus. Without getting into too much unnecessary detail, one of Jesus's ultimate purposes on Earth was to fulfill the Mosaic Law. He said so Himself. (Matthew 5:17-19: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished".) In this case, fulfill is used in the sense of fulfilling (meaning, "paying off") a debt, so that nothing is owed any longer. Until Jesus died as a sacrifice, the law could not be altered, but when Jesus died, as the ultimate sacrifice, the sin-debt, so to speak, was paid off. Everything that Jesus had set out to do was accomplished, as He said. The debt, the obligation to follow the Mosaic Law as a means of redemption, was gone. For everyone, eternally. This is why the Mosaic Law is no longer in effect, in its entirety, for anyone who believes in Jesus as savior/messiah. No matter what the WBC people or any "fundamentalist" says.

    So no, sin can't be redeemed by killing yourself or by having someone kill you. Jesus didn't die to redeem His own sin (for He had none), but to redeem everyone else's, in perpetuity. So, in Christian thought (with doctrinal/denominational additions and complications set aside, as IMO they should be), sin -- all sin, no matter how "bad" -- is redeemed and completely forgiven simply by believing in Jesus, per John 3:16. It really is very simple. So simple that an idiot can understand it, really. It's just that people (especially Christians, unfortunately) insist on making it complicated, often in a sneaky, hypocritical, hierarchical, and, to me, utterly infuriating effort to exclude people that they don't like. Like, say, gay people.
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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by _Hiatus_ on Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:16 pm

    What is this Mosaic Law? I have never heard of it. Also, how does belief in Jesus as the savior actually play into the scheme of it all? Early Christianity could be explained. It was necessary to gain members. It was likely an incentive for people to convert. "Come join us, and you will have eternal happiness!" Otherwise, why should people convert if they can stay their native religion? But that seems to rather fall apart with modern Christianity, as, well... expansion of Christianity really isn't necessary (aside from the loonies who believe it is).


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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by suavesavior on Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:23 pm

    The Mosaic Law is the covenant between God and Moses, which is defined in the Pentateuch, the first five books of what is now the Bible. Mostly, it's in Leviticus. It's all that "Thou shalt not..." stuff, y'know? Including the so-called "Ten Commandments." Until Jesus, following the Law, honoring that covenant, was the means by which people could be "saved," meaning that they could be allowed into the presence of God.

    A huge part of the Mosaic Law involved performing many different types of sacrifices and rituals, done at appointed times and for appointed reasons. Jesus's death was a substitutional sacrifice for all of them; His death meant that those who believed in him as savior/messiah (essentially meaning, those who believe in that substitutional nature of His sacrifice) were no longer obligated to perform sacrifices/rituals or, indeed, to honor the Mosaic covenant; the New Testament defines a new covenant between God and those who believe in Him, through Jesus.

    Now, this doesn't mean that it's necessarily "OK" to do the things which the Law denounced. It only means that following the Law was, with Jesus's death, no longer the means by which one is saved. Meaning, "allowed into the presence of God." This is, of course, the "disconnect" between Judaism and Christianity.
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    Re: The Christianity Thread (Official)

    Post by _Hiatus_ on Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:23 pm

    Oh.


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