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Religion = Bad?

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by danmarino, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. invid

    invid Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    There's a lot of logic, critical thinking, etc. exercised and promoted in the book, if anything it's a much more nuanced and mapped version of his professed views that made his public debates so popular. Like @Carmen Cygni said earlier, however- when you apply those things through a religious lens, of course they're going to come across as attacks.
     
  2. invid

    invid Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    No one is arguing that those who do most of the world's charity work are probably affiliated with a religion in some respect, but the argument should be about capacity. Everyone has the capacity to do these deeds, without a god or not, and I'd argue doing it out of compassion for your fellow human beings would be a better reason to do it. You don't need a God to possess that compassion. The argument then, is how much BAD is done throughout the world, and how much of that would change without the pretense of religion?

    Would there be as much homophobia, for instance? How many people were killed throughout history in holy wars? How many people are still being killed today on the basis of religion? Marginalized? Religion is constantly trying to play catch up with the general social and moral sentiment of the world, and often impedes its progress because BELIEFS (!) as Carmen had noted earlier.

    The point is, we need to find an inspiration beyond a God to help our fellow man. Hopefully, when we do, the inspiration and religious bases that so many use to inflict pain on our fellow man will swiftly follow.

    Also your point about Christianity and science must be looked at through a historical lens. Of course, religion was involved with science, as it was involved with every facet of human life after its introduction, for a long time. It was an immensely popular guide to the meaning of life, before science had made all of its truly significant advances.
     
  3. Carmen Cygni

    Carmen Cygni Well-Known Member

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    As well as a many number of people, with no religious affiliations, are doing too. Many, in fact whom I know personally, who have dedicated their professional lives for the betterment of humanity (and convinced to do so not thru a tax-free business venture) by becoming clinicians, physicians, physicist, psychologist, psychiatrist, educationalists, and so forth. It's not beyond common understanding as if there is some higher power responsible for your good deedship, it's simply an understanding of being kind and caring to promote a better humanity.

    Been there, done that as I was the son of a former preacher man. I was practically born and raised in Christianity for about 30 years of my life. It was the true actions and behaviors of many people in multiple churches over my life that lead me, and my father, to walk away from churches, religion, and ultimately the thought of a supernatural agent; the hypocrisy is astounding.

    That's nothing more than verbal vomit surrounded by typical religious circular talk. I really really implore you to provide the case of Christianity's interest for scientific and educational advancement, along with critical thinking outside of it's fragile bubble that was/is not done so thru monetary or fame gain. It's virtually impossible. Christians would not be able to believe what they believe if such factors were driven into play; faith ensures that. And please, for authenticity sake, avoid using the fraudulent awards given by the Templeton foundation.


    As long as such ignorance persists, I will not have gone far enough . . .

     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  4. Two Tacos

    Two Tacos Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    In that context I'm not seeing much difference between religions and human societies in general, including modern ones. Perhaps, especially modern ones. Who has the highest body count over the last decade, Christianity or the U.S. government? We do so love our tribes.
     
  5. Carmen Cygni

    Carmen Cygni Well-Known Member

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    You can't be serious? Are you being sarcastic?

    First, your assumption of my affinity for America is greatly misplaced. Next, your assumption that those in the highest places of government are not connected with religion is also done with profound error. There's rarely an elected official that does not profess their religious faith to the public in some form or fashion from the president, to supreme court justices, to congressmen and women, other government representatives and officials, etc.. Your statement originally concocted for contradiction is a fallacy as both Christianity and the US government are heavily intertwined.

    The list goes on for days and days, but here's a few prominent figures to entertain for the time being. Ignoring your predetermined timeline, as I'll assume you're just to young to understand just how quickly a single decade passes, we'll hop back a few to the 60's (It was not that long ago, kids. You'll soon find out). Lyndon B Johnson, who was a member of the Christian church, was largely responsible for the Vietnam war which in retrospect was a grave mistake considering it's failure and the lives lost. Coming up to speed, both Bush Sr & Jr proclaimed Christianity and held it's most fundamental of beliefs in high regard. In the early 90's Bush Sr led the US to the Gulf war and in the 00's Bush Jr drove America into one of the largest of follies of all time with the Iraq war.

    Stepping into other areas, such as lifetime appointments within the government, take wacko supreme court justice Antonin Scalia for instance, and his speech delivered to the University of Chicago Divinity School:

    " . . . government, however you want to limit that concept, derives it's moral authority from god . . . Indeed, it seems to me that the more Christian a country is the less likely it is to regard the death penalty as immoral."


    Hmm, yes, nothing says god's love like a human's judgement to death. How about his asinine assumption that some god is on his side, but for reasons unknown and nefarious, or not on others?:

    "God has been very good to us. That we won the revolution was extraordinary. The Battle of Midway was extraordinary. I think one of the reasons God has been good to us is that we have done him honor. Unlike the other countries of the world that do not even invoke his name we do him honor. In presidential addresses, in Thanksgiving proclamations and in many other ways."
    Yikes, now that's extreme delusion.

    A general survey of the military also shows the amount of religious people voluntarily engaged or willing to engage in violence and war. Only about 8,000 out of 1.4 million active duty members in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force identify themselves as atheists, and another 1,800 say they are agnostic, according to the Defense Department. At minimum, and being conservative, that's a very strong 1 million who claim in some way that they are religious, yet view death and destruction as an answer over showing their god's love and compassion.

    Again, that's hardly even the surface of religious nutjobs in the government who are directly responsible for deaths. Then take note of the some of the least religious countries in the world, like Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and other countries of Europe and contemplate their involvement in wars. It's next to nil.

    Now I'll leave you with this disturbing video, along with it's message and participants. Sadly, the US is just as guilty as other countries for brainwashing children into religion, war, and violence.





     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  6. Two Tacos

    Two Tacos Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    That's too many straw men to unpack. It doesn't seem like the context of this discussion is being kept post to post, or we are speaking slightly different languages with similar words that don't mean the same thing.

    To me the US government is not a religious society, Members are, but there are explicit prohibitions like the first amendment. The majority of it's members identify as Christian, but few say that it's actions are those of Christianity. The USCMA was not called a Christian trade agreement. You don't seem to agree with this logic.

    So, please give me an example of one of these modern societies that religion has no place in. If members having a religious affiliation disqualifies a society, then the only one I can think of was the Khmer Rouge. They forbade all religious practice.
     
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  7. Carmen Cygni

    Carmen Cygni Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps Jeff Sharlet's investigative work is right about The Family.

    “I wish I could say more about it,” President Ronald Reagan said in 1985, according to the Times, “but it’s working precisely because it is private.”
     
  8. Fin-O

    Fin-O Initiated Club Member

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    2 things shouldn't exist.

    Anyone pushing their religion on a stranger.
    Anyone who criticizes other religions while upholding theirs (as if its YOU and no one else)


    Not sure which one of yahoo's this applies too, but this is fact.
     
  9. Conka

    Conka Member

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    We are all still slaves. Paying taxes is a wage slave.
    But yes, it has always been evident that black people were pushed a step down. Racism is simply more corporate now.
     
  10. Conka

    Conka Member

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    Religion was simply another control tactic by a government /governing body.
    The Vatican ruled the world. Kings and generals asked permission from the Vatican , as to who would win battles between countries.
    If there's something out there, it has nothing to do with the silly stories in the Christian bible.
     
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  11. Carmen Cygni

    Carmen Cygni Well-Known Member

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  12. Etrius24

    Etrius24 Well-Known Member

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    Is there not a off topic section to post things like this in?
     
  13. danmarino

    danmarino Tua is H1M! Club Member

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    This thread is about Religion and was created in the Religion and Spirituality forum. Where would you like it posted? lol

    (But off topic...you should have used "an" instead of "a" and you didn't need the word "in", either.)
     
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  14. Etrius24

    Etrius24 Well-Known Member

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    No offense Dan

    I am not going to spend time checking my post for spelling and or grammar if the topic is only religion... That is a waste of time.
     
  15. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito.

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    Install Grammarly, it is free. I have it and I love it.
     
  16. Paul 13

    Paul 13 Chaotic Neutral & Unstable Genius Staff Member

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    :shifty:
     
  17. Etrius24

    Etrius24 Well-Known Member

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    Dude,

    The free version of Grammarly is crap. I can dissect sentence after sentence and find flaws if I want to take the time. ( Flaws that grammarly will not pick up on. ) Grammarly does not pick up on archaic words, or the passive voice. ( Just a couple of examples of things that it is usually best to avoid )
     
  18. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito.

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    That takes effort. I am fine with free for random forum conversations
     
  19. PhinFan1968

    PhinFan1968 To 2020, and BEYOND! Club Member

    Not to drudge up an old thread, but there have been NUMEROUS scientific discoveries over recent years that prove man existing on this planet long before Genesis. In many cases, civilizations that were nearly or more technologically advanced than modern day Earth. Some instances even have 'scripture' associated with their existence that has been deemed heretical by the Catholic church and others. This is my #1 problem with established religion (raised southern baptist and to be racist...left all of that behind many years ago).

    I believe we have/had a creator. I don't believe it's 'the God' depicted in the bible. Actually, I believe the bible depicts 2 or 3 entities as god, but doesn't separate them. I've spent countless hours reading through tons of ancient writings including the bible, dead sea scrolls, nag hammadi findings, other ancient religious-wrought texts...and the number one thing it has taught me is, nobody knows. My personal belief is more related to the gnostic and includes more interpretation of the universe's impact on 'life.'

    I believe ALL of these texts have valuable information, but can't be transcribed to modern day accurately. There is no way to avoid losing a hell of a lot of meaning in the translation...we simply didn't exist back then so we don't know. Most of the meaning of these old/ancient scripture is in the abstract in my opinion. There was a lot of statements and claims that, taken on their face as translated today, were incredible or unbelievable, but when placed in the proper (current at the time) context, would carry a wholly different meaning.

    That's our biggest problem IMO. We simply don't know. Religions are established, grown, supported and revered on a sliver of the real story. That sliver may be an insignificant portion of the whole, real truth, or it could be the basis of it...there is simply NO way to know, right now.

    Regardless, society moves on, and festers into its ever-evolving state of the 'now.' Reflecting on history and using it as a teaching moment is crucial, dwelling on it is antithetical. Nobody alive today fully understands how people hundreds of years ago felt or viewed the world, themselves and others, we can only parse useful lessons from those times to improve our world going forward.

    I believe in doing the right thing, whether anybody's watching or not, and have raised my kids to be the same. I will NEVER benefit myself at the detriment of others. Whether that includes treating others as you'd want them to treat you, following the law, and being strongly dedicated to maintaining a strong family fabric...some of these beliefs, early in life, were learned and fostered from the church (even though my family I grew up in was broken as hell the entire time), so I have to give credit where it's due (to some of the good folks in the churches I attended), but I can't ascribe to any man-made established religion today. Too many tenets that aren't contextually accurate to the extent they could be proven.

    I'll keep reading and trying to enlighten myself until I die though...religion, in my opinion, gets in the way of that.
     
  20. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Wow! To reopen a 15 month old, dead thread with such a passionate, hurting post is very powerful. I wish we could sit across from each other and talk. I'm sure your story is both terrifying and heart wrenching. I would be honored to hear it.

    My family had its dark closets and dysfunctional spots. My Mom was a prescription junkie/drunk who once took me for an unnecessary surgery so she could carry on an affair with the surgeon. I get it. I know how I felt, I can only imagine how you felt/still feel.

    Yet in my life, the Christian faith made/makes sense. Perhaps I have a pre-enlightenment soul because its "facts" and "contradictions" never bothered me. I felt/still feel God through the Holy Spirit in my life as a real presence. I am certainly not a mystic but I know that presence to be real. And I feel God's love. Certainly sometimes more than others but always there.

    It tears at my soul to hear folks proclaim a Christ through their political speech that I utterly do no recognize. Racist, Sexist, hateful! I pray, "God, save me from the people on 'my side!'"

    I respect your struggle, PF68. I pray you find healing and peace.

    As to the others in the background of this thread, I am sorry there is so much anger at faith in general and the Christian faith in particular. Sadly, we have done much and are still doing much to earn that anger and contempt. Yet, there are some of us out here who are trying to present a different face. A more compassionate face. More the face of the Jesus we see, follow, and are loved by. I wish all of you peace as well.
     
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  21. PhinFan1968

    PhinFan1968 To 2020, and BEYOND! Club Member

    Thanks OPP, but I'm in a good place, comfortable with myself and my thoughts on the world and family. It sounds like you have many of the same types of experiences as a kid that I had, and have also moved on. I forgave everybody in my family back home for everything LONG ago, but its not forgotten nor are the lessons learned from it. I'm still cordial with the few family I have left that are decent and not deeply ingrained in that world of alcoholism, drug addiction/dealing, prostitution, crime, fraud, etc haha. Sadly, it's very few. But they chose their path...and I chose mine. Freedom after all haha.

    My story was terrifying and heart-wrenching when I was a child...but that's long done and I've moved well beyond it, and I don't hate anybody for it, it was just the hand I was dealt, so I got a new dealer. Have to give a lot of credit to many of the leaders I had in the Navy over my 22 years. That period proved far more foundational to who I am as a person, than my upbringing did. Not everybody in the military is great people, but there are plenty there, and luckily I had the privilege of working with several. My in-laws (fairly devout Catholics) too. From day one they treated me as one of their own, and held me to their same standard...worked wonders.

    I respect you for your beliefs and faith and would never 'judge' you negatively for seeing things different than I do. You seem like a great guy regardless if you're Christian or not. Judging somebody by their religious belief is as bad as judging people by their color/gender/etc. Actions matter, and I've seen nothing but very fair, thoughtful, respectful representation of yourself on these forums.

    My belief comes down to simple ignorance...ignorance to the whole picture and what I believe to be very crucial, foundational, missing pieces, in that there's a hell of a lot more to the story than any of us know. So the best I can do is do what I can to do right by myself and my family, not dump on others in the process, and keep trying to learn. Never-ending process, as you know. Like I said, I believe there is a 'creator' or architect of this universe...I just don't believe we truly grasp that entity's impact, and probably never will. I also believe we don't know so much, not because the evidence isn't there, but because we don't have the capacity to put it all together.
     
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  22. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Religion today is teaching in their schools that it is a sin to be gay..meaning you will go to hell.

    How do you think a teenager who loves and believes in god, who knows their gay from an early age feels about that ?

    Tell you how they feel… very very sad, like something is seriously wrong with them, so, they kill themselves, a lot.

    There are so many things wrong with religion and for the other side for people like our own Chap so many things right.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2022
  23. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. One reason, I remain a Lutheran Christian is our centrality of always being, both a saint and a sinner. So many folks say they believe in Grace yet do their best to earn something. In addition, sexual sins occupy a special place on so many folks pantheon of Hell. Yet, greed, avarice, selfishness, idolatry, and others are far more likely to get between a person and God than any sexual act might. I am always a sinner as is everybody else. I also know God chooses to love us all no matter what. Let's live life saying thanks for that love by serving the other folks God loves.
     
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  24. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    It's funny DJ, you and I got banned many years ago while arguing over this exact topic. I definitely don't want to repeat that experience, but I did want to share a little bit of my life's story pertaining to that conversation.

    I have a 24 year old bipolar daughter- she was maybe 17 when you/I argued last? Not long after our conversation, my daughter began "hanging out" with another girl to the point that they were inseparable. That friendship fell apart though after accusations of them being more than friends surfaced, and my kid didn't get over that for years. In some ways, she's still not over it and will talk about her friend Katherine.

    After that, my kid jumped into a relationship with a man and got married super young at 19. It was a huge mistake since she was so immature (plus the mental illness), and the marriage survived almost two years- they were horrible to each other. She left her husband for another woman and bounced from bad relationship to bad relationship, all with women but occasionally fooling around with men as well. Today, my daughter is living with a girlfriend of about 2 years and they are happy together, but my daughter wants to transition to a man.

    I am a devout Christian and my faith has not wavered over the past decade, but my understanding of the Bible and what Christians are called to do has definitely changed. Sin is sin, and I would react the same to my older daughter fooling around with a girl or a guy. Pre-marriage, it's not supposed to happen in any relationship.

    But there's a 2nd side to that coin, in that we're not supposed to judge others unless we wish to be judged. As a parent, sure, I'm expected to teach my kids right from wrong. But we're all sinners in the eyes of God and we repent to Him. So many family members have criticized my older daughter and cut her out of their life because of her lifestyle decisions, which is just as sinful as homosexuality.

    The book of Romans talks about that directly- Jews that know the word of God, that pray to God, yet ignored God's commandment not to judge others (in this particular case, it was a trial over homosexuality). So which is the worse sin? Those who know nothing of God, or the devout passing judgement...when they're commanded not to judge? And its the same thing in today's world; we find more and more things to judge each other on every single day and all it does it push us further apart.

    I wrote all of that out to say this- some Christians may judge homosexuals and reference the 'abomination' verses of the Old Testament, but the Bible was not designed to be weaponized against anyone. We're not supposed to judge...it's that simple. The Lord's Prayer even references it directly- "Forgive us our tresspasses (which means 'our wrongs' or 'our sins'), as we forgive those who trespass against us." You don't receive forgiveness when you refuse to forgive others.

    In my older daughter's case, I have learned a lot of patience and humility over the past 8-10 years. While I still don't agree with her sexual orientation, we do go to church together now and I am one of her biggest defenders in the world. As a father, my job is to love my kids regardless whether they're right or wrong, gay or straight. She knows my views on being gay, but our other family members also know my views on judging my daughter and acting like she's somehow lesser.

    God loves all of us equally, we're all His children. And we're all sinners as well. It would be wonderful if the world (Christians included) could realize that instead of grabbing a random verse and using it as a sword to uphold their viewpoints.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2023
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  25. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Thanks for sharing. It is a tough story or maybe series of stories. I saw yesterday where Amy Grant allowed her niece to have a same gender wedding at Grant's estate outside Nashville. Franklin Graham is all over it. I kept wondering as I read it, "why, to what end?" Christians are called to walk with each other. That's how love of neighbor works. If you see a neighbor stumble or be about to stumble, you help. In some cases, that can be seen as judgement, but it doesn't need to be.

    I wish both your kids a life of peace and true joy. To attain that some of their behaviors may need to change (real repentance is to change one's direction). But whatever it takes, I would call upon all Christians who are able to simply walk with each girl and show them God's love.
     
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  26. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    I'm very late to this party, in fact, I just found this forum today. I was raised in the Methodist faith. When I joined the Navy I started to question/seek out other beliefs. Seek and ye shall find was my guiding light. A shipmate of mine was to marry a young woman of the Catholic faith and he invited me to go with him to these lessons given by a priest. At the start of the very first meeting this priest made a joke about another faith and at that very moment I realised that all organized religions were flawed and began my study of all faiths. Being in the Navy and visiting all the differen countries made my quest very doable. I've always believed in God and our Lord Jesus but when I had my 3 heart attacks and was on the operating table I put my life in God's hands and my last thoughts to God were that whatever God wanted to happen I was happy with, I went under with no fear in my heart. My Heart Dr had put me into an enduced coma because he had to put a steel tube into my chest, I was bleeding internaly. The last thing I remember him saying was "This is going to hurt." Boy did it ever as I can now visualize how it feels to be stabbed in the chest. I was brought out of the coma after, I believe, 3 days. I've since been told by several medical friends that I was very lucky to survive that process. However in my mind since that day 6 years ago I've been on God's dime and it's been wonderful. I've been able to live completely without fear or worry and every day is truly a blessing.
     
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  27. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    Why does God allow bad things to happen, if there is a God? How many of us have been asked that question over and over again?
    Let us not forget God has granted us Free Will, if he steps in every time to "save" us from ourselves it demeans the very essence of Love and the teaching brought about thru life's lessons. Do we, as parents, save our children from all bad things? No we don't/can't.
     
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  28. Lee2000

    Lee2000 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Do you view Jesus during his time as pushing religion?
     
  29. Lee2000

    Lee2000 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I am new to this particular forum, but not new to thephins.com forums in general. I was brought up with a Independent Fundamental Baptist background. Not really Southern Baptist, but Falwell, Bob Jones, and "King James Version Only" stuff. They refer to themselves as Independent to distinguish themselves from the world. Very dogmatic, very rigid, very tough on their views of other Christian denominations. I understand the views from both sides of faith vs atheism. I went through many congregations and many movements (including the fringes of skepticism) in reaction to the dogma I was exposed to, but it all came down to me. What did I really believe? I could prove or disprove Christianity in my mind but what did I really think about Jesus. I can say today that I believe. (I didn't say you had to but I do). And because I believe, I have faith in my mind for what is to come. And I can say I am blessed.
     
  30. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    To Georgia and to Lee specifically but to all readers more generally let me say a couple of things, then I will try and answer the questions posted to keep the discussion moving, if folks wish.

    A concern I have about where Christianity has gone generally but especially in American Protestantism, is the focus on self. Augustine back in the 4th Century really started the question. While I am sure folks thought about it before that, Augustine moved questions of individual "salvation" to the forefront. OK, but the negative corollary to that is the sometimes obsession on "what have I done or left undone"? In an earlier post someone even claimed there were no truly charitable acts because Christians were just trying to earn their salvation by good deeds and thus even acts of charity and love were inherently selfish. I let that whole stream of posts pass without comment because no discussion was being sought only the general condemnation of anyone of faith. That anger comes from somewhere and likely has a story behind it which almost assuredly needs a face to face to discuss properly. Stephen Hawkings famously decided that religion and expressions of faith were unneeded because, to him, science explained everything. Yet, he did not condemn people of faith. He proclaimed his "faith" with his life and allowed for others to do the same.

    Christians don't do good things "IN ORDER TO BE" made right with God but do them "BECAUSE THEY ARE RIGHT" with God. Not perfect, certainly not without sin, but hopefully out of a sense of gratitude for being loved not simply obligation or a desire to be loved. Much of what American Evangelicals bring to the Christian mix is valuable. A strong desire to become more fluent with the Bible. A strong desire that everyone at least hear of God's love for each and every person. Those are attitudes which sadly often go lacking in other, older expressions of the Christian tradition. But too often, a side effect of that is the intense "need" to do it yourself. Repentance, as spoken of in scripture, is never a "what must I do" story but always a "what can God do within me" story. Not an "I CAN" but always, always "HELP ME BECAUSE I CAN NOT!"

    So much for my manifesto...:smile:..., since I am the honorary chaplain on the site and principal moderator for this forum, I guess I have set myself up to answer many of the questions posed.
     
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  31. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    That's a tough way to come to peace with God but I am glad you found it. May it give you joy!

    You have answered that question yourself with your comment on "free will" but I would like to push it a little further. The Abrahamic faiths all teach that God made humanity so that we might freely love Him as he loved us, His creation. In order to be free to do that, we must have the capacity to not love God. That in its essence is free will. God loves us without reservation and desires the same in return so the possibility of not loving must exist.

    I have learned a couple of absolute truths in my many years of ministry and high among them is that evil is real. I don't find images of Satan to be all that helpful in my journey but whatever you call it, evil is there always trying to turn us towards self and away from the love of God and each other. God allowed the evil in human hearts to seize and murder His Son. Why would he intervene in any of our lives? It should be enough that our love of neighbor step in and prevent or at least ease the sufferings of others, but we are yet sinners.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2023
  32. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I am not sure we can answer that question. The whole situation in which Jesus walked was radically different than today. Then, your religion was tied up in your ethnicity. He was a Jew, who spoke mostly to Jews. But Jesus's face to face encounters with people outside that community caused His earliest disciples to see that something new was happening. Religion, that is how you interacted with your "god" was an integral part of everyone's' life. The idea you could be non-religious would have made no sense to anyone in Jesus' day, Jew or Gentile. Jesus was teaching everyone what God's Kingdom looked like and how it was open to all.

    In the book of Acts, there is the pivotal meeting between Peter and Cornelius, the Roman Centurion. In a vision Peter relates, he begins to see that the Jesus event was to be on behalf of the whole world just like the God of creation was to be for all. Where Christians see the Jews not being the "Nation of Priests" we believe they were called to be, so now ALL Christians share that call/mandate.

    Thak you for sharing your story and your struggle. In my life that struggle has never ended though at times I feel more at peace than others. I wish you peace and joy!
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2023
  33. Lee2000

    Lee2000 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Grace is what I have. It is all I have; I accept what is offered.
     
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  34. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    My wife is a Southern Baptist, while I am non-religious. We've always made it work because we have the same foundational beliefs about what's important in life and in the world. When we got married, I was luke warm on the pastor at her church. He was always a good guy, but the message would too often go towards "if you aren't doing it exactly like we say you should, you're going to Hell". That really, really pushes me away.

    About six or seven years ago, he left the church, and the story was that he was moving to another state to care for his elderly mother. While that was true, it turned out that he was actually forced out by a group within the church who wanted a much different, harder edge message. And so he was replaced by a guy who speaks at the top of his voice, yells about everything, and gradually turned the church into a MAGA rally every week. I'm very grateful that my wife has stopped going and taking our kids, because it was truly an enviornment that I'd become very uncomfortable with.

    On the flip side, despite being non-religious, I follow her former pastor on social media, and love the message that he now spreads. One of peace and love for everyone, no matter who they are and where they're from. Non-violence, taking care of the Earth, giving health care and treatment to all who need it, and most important to regards to this conversation, separating religion from faith, belief and spirituality, and reminding people that you can have one without the other.
     
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  35. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    The Kingdom of God and the United States of America are both important....they are never interchangeable!!!

    No worship service which purports to worship God should ever be turned into a political rally. It is wrong, it is heretical, and it is blasphemous!
     
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  36. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    Your "push it further" of free will is spot on I totally agree.

    As to evil my experence with evil came thru a dream, which quite frankly scared me to death. As i said before I evaluated other faiths, one of which was the Jehovah's Witnesses. This was when I was married and before my chrildren were born. One night, while asleep, evil paid me a visit. The Devil, for lack of a better, word came into me and the fear I felt was over whelming and causing me to understand Jesus fear of what sweating blood might be like and I called on God to let this pass from me and then woke up yet the fear I had felt kept me up for the rest of that night. So I to know that it's real.

    As to my joy I now see God thru all things thus the peace and joy it brings is wonderful.
     
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  37. Lee2000

    Lee2000 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    When I lived in Atlanta years ago I took courses at the Psychological Studies Institute, or PSI for short. It was connected to Georgia State and provided integrated courses in theology and counseling/psychology. I took hermeneutics there and learned through taking the course what it meant to read things in context. It was a very important course in my education, more so than many of my social work and psychology courses at Georgia and Southern Miss. Occam's Razor and the scientific principal of parsimony (ruling out simple explanations before getting into more complex explanations) were a foundation of my education. But I can honestly say my faith is so counter to that. It is rather simple to me. Oh, I understand apologetics (defense of Christianity or anything for that matter), but faith (in the unseen)is what I had to come to. Ironically, I have learned faith can be seen in the little day to day activities of living. I see God in the little and the big. That is so difficult for me to explain. The principal of parsimony really does apply. Faith is meant to be understood even by a child. Over my life I kept making it complex. This is not to say God is not complex. Oh my. So many things I do not understand. But the simplicity of faith has been there the whole time while I got caught up in the complexity. I can simply say I believe, and I am at peace with that.
     
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  38. Lee2000

    Lee2000 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    This has been a sore point for me for some time. Os Guiness has had much to say about the notion of separation of church and state. National religion brings back memories of what brought motivation for some to leave England. People forget this important piece of history. Our country moved toward independence to avoid having the state dictate religion.
     
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  39. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Think about the ramifications of what state mandated prayer could mean? If states were to decide; beyond offending the atheists/agnostics among us what would happen in Catholic majority areas? What would the local Baptists feel like if their kids were "required" to pray to the Virgin Mary? Or in Buddhist majority areas of Hawaii, how would any Christian or Jew feel? How about Utah? What happens to non-Mormons?
    I grew up in a town in NJ that was 80% Jewish, 15% Catholic, and 5% nervous. We were prohibited by town ordinance from mentioning Jesus in our mandated school prayer. When the Supreme Court made its famous ruling, my family celebrated in our own private prayers!
     
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  40. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Raheem Club Member

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    Well, its important to note that a lot of those early settlers weren't fleeing a hostile, overbearing state religion that limited their rights or oppressed them. They themselves were the far right-wing religious extremists of the day, who were way more conservative than most of the people in England and Europe back then.
     
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