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Old 03-05-2001, 09:22 AM   #1
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A question on the hypocricies of religion

This is comimng from a person who has little or basically no knowledge of the bible and the principles of organised religious institutions ok, so bear with me.

I want to know why forgiveness is the last thing sometimes applied by those who claim to live their lives as 'Christians'.

Case:
Joanne is a 19 year old raised by strict born again Christian parents. She has a boyfriend whom they don't approve of. Joanne falls pregnant. Joanne out of fear gets an abortion. She is very confused and very scared. This is common as we know. But she cannot tell her parents as they will kick her out of home. They have said this before to her, so she knows there is no other alternative for her, ot at least this is what she feels.

So if forgiveness is a tenet of the faith, why will her parents disown their own flesh and blood for being human and making a mistake?

Has she sinned in the eyes of God?
Is God the only one able to forgive? Does she need to ask Him for forgiveness not her parents or herself? If this is the case, why will she be judged by her parents so harshly when it isn't their place to do the judgement? I was under the impression that happened when you met the Maker.

Here is another hypocrisy I don't understand. Sex before marriage isn't allowed. But God made humans with full knowledge that they are prone to moments of weakness. So mistakes occur. It doesnt mean you are suddenly a bad Christian. Or a bad person.
Then the church frowns upon abortion and birth control. Sex before marriage is giving in to a human weakness that God created in us. As a test maybe of strength and faith, but we fail because He allows us failures. He made it that way, and offers redemption and forgiveness to those that ask.

I am at a loss to understand why the people who claim to be Christian, live so blatantly against the ideals they so devoutly tout. And the forgiveness bit. God made us all equal. 'He who casts the first stone' etc. (I think thats how it goes! or something like that ayway!)
Why the arrogance to be judging when you yourself aren't free from sin?

And another, I thought pride was a sin too? Why the pridfe that comes from this arrogance of judging? Who are we to judge others when they err in the eyes of God? Isn't it between ourselves and the Lord to make ammends?

Melon, if you reply, which I'm hoping you do, please use plain and simple language!


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Old 03-05-2001, 11:06 AM   #2
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Christians are hypocrites: they also idolise! which is a sin They hate pagans, but just like pagans, they idolise.

as for premarital sex, look at the context of the era the bible was written in, families wanted to preserve virgins for future husbands, the entire family's reputation was at stake.

as for contraceptives, the christian church wants to have lots of followers, what better way to get a large christian population?B an contraceptives, and tell families to multiply like crazy! that is why abortion is wrong in the eyes of christianity. remember, christianity is a patriarchal religion: women have no rights (in the eyes of the church--even though there are female ministers), no rights to control what happens to their bodies (abortion).
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Old 03-05-2001, 01:30 PM   #3
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Oh boy...you do realize that U2 is a band that does have Christian fans don't you....I mean, this is a band with a well known biblical allusion in their Grammy winning song after all. You are entitled to your beliefs, but as a Christian with some liberal ideas...i don't really appreciate being painted with such a broad stroke. But anyways, I guess I can't really change your mind about "us group of hypocritical patriarical people" can I
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Old 03-05-2001, 02:50 PM   #4
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For the purpose of this discussion, I'll use this basic definition of hypocrisy - saying one thing but doing another. I know - probably oversimplistic, but that's where I'm comming from.

Angela, you are definitely right that there are Christians who are very hypocritical. The abortion scenario you put forth probably isn't all that rare. Does Christianity teach that Joanne's parents should forgive her? With out question. Regardless of what translation of the bible you read, it is clear that Christ taught that we should ALWAYS forgive.
A lot of Christians claim to believe the bible and what Christ taught, but when it comes down to practicing it, living it out, it's asking too much of them. Does that mean that Christianity is wrong? I don't think so. I think it means that christians and those who claim to be christians are often weak.
But I don't think hypocrisy is limited to christianity, or religion for that matter. Humans in general seem to often have a hard time living what they believe. I may believe that it's important to exercise 3 times a week, but when it comes time to get up and do it, it's too hard. I may be a heroine addict, and know that what I'm doing is destroying me, but when it comes down to quitting, it's too hard. I may have a daughter who had a secret abortion, and I know that I need to forgive her, but when it comes down to forgiving her, it's too hard. To bring it back to U2, that's what I think "Bad" is all about -- knowing what's good and what's right but being unable to do it..."if I could, you know I would, if I could I would let it go." That's why that song makes me cry. It seems to be a universal tragic characteristic of humanity that we can't do we say we want to do. A guy who the christian church considers to be one of the most important christians ever struggled with this very problem. Take a look at the book of Romans (in the New Testament) chapter 7, verses 7 through 25.

So what's the answer? I don't know. I wouldn't expect Christians to start living perfect lives any time soon. Looking at your scenario again, if Joanne's parents don't realize that they need to forgive their daughter, I would really question their understanding of what it means to be a Christian.

Angela, your second issue was with premarital sex. First off, I don't think madamc has an accurate understanding of the christian view of sex. I am certain the bible is not simply concerned with preserving virgins for future husbands. The bible teaches against extra-marital sex (sex outside of marriage) of any kind.

Angela Harlem wrote: "Here is another hypocrisy I don't understand. Sex before marriage isn't allowed. But God made humans with full knowledge that they are prone to moments of weakness. So mistakes occur. It doesnt mean you are suddenly a bad Christian. Or a bad person.
Then the church frowns upon abortion and birth control. Sex before marriage is giving in to a human weakness that God created in us. As a test maybe of strength and faith, but we fail because He allows us failures. He made it that way, and offers redemption and forgiveness to those that ask."

I think saying that we sin because God lets us is a cop-out. God created us with the ability to make choices for ourselves. God has shown us what's right and what's wrong, and when we choose to do what's wrong (a mistake, as you put it) then it was our decision, not God's. Now you say you don't know much about the bible, but give yourself some credit! It sounds like you've got the most important part down: God offers us redemption and forgiveness if we admit that we've done wrong and ask for his forgiveness.

Sorry this was so long. Those are some of my thoughts on the two issues you brought up. If you want to read what the Bible has to say on the topic of forgiveness and hypocrisy, try the book of Matthew (first book in the New Testament), chapters 6 and 7. Or if you just want to get a better idea of what Jesus taught, read the book of John.

-Spiral

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Old 03-05-2001, 05:36 PM   #5
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Very well said Angel!
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Old 03-05-2001, 08:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by popsadie:
You are entitled to your beliefs, but as a Christian with some liberal ideas...i don't really appreciate being painted with such a broad stroke. But anyways, I guess I can't really change your mind about "us group of hypocritical patriarical people" can I
I am roman catholic, and I was religious--once upon a time.

Quote:
Perhaps Christians are seen more because they strive for a higher ideal than the rest of society? If there are higher mores to reach, there are higher heights to fall from.
All religions strive for a higher ideal. Not just Christianity. Saying that just shows that Christians have this urge to be the martys of society--gimme a break! Jesus was a "prophet", he isn't G-d. He claimed to be the son of G-d, and people followed him, and thus Christianity was born.

Hinduism ,buddhism, taoism you name it. The higher ideal here, is enlightenment. Yes, be kind to your neighbours, but you don't have to let other people walk all over you. If someone slaps you, do not let them slap your other cheek. Defend yourself! As for Christianity, give everything to your neighbour, I don't believe in that. Honestly, selfishness is good. Hinduism teaches that, and buddhism as well. Take time for yourself, because if you are not going to take care of yourself--who will?
The key is balance. Take care of yourself first (have a nice bath, relax), and then, you will be mentally, spiritually, and physically ready to help others.

Yes U2 are Christian, but their ideas are not always based on Christian faith. "Everything you know is wrong" and "beLIEve" are teachings of Kabbalah--which Christianity and Judaism, and most religious theologies are based on.

I'm sorry if I seem to pain Christians in bold strokes--but, I said, take the bible as it was written at the time--men did have more power you know. Christianity and Judaism are patriarchal religions, not matriarchical.

I'll end this post with a quote Edge once said:
Quote:
"I do not have a problem with Christianity, it's some Christians I have a problem with."
and another quote, from karl marx:

Quote:
Religion is opium for the people.

[This message has been edited by madamc (edited 03-05-2001).]

[This message has been edited by madamc (edited 03-05-2001).]

[This message has been edited by madamc (edited 03-05-2001).]

[This message has been edited by madamc (edited 03-05-2001).]
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Old 03-05-2001, 09:58 PM   #7
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A question, madam...why do you say G-d as if its a bad word? Like one might say s--t? Just wondering.
And you say Jesus was only a prophet, but not the Son of God? He claimed to be. How can you take one thing of his as truth and another as absolute lie? Confused...help.

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Old 03-05-2001, 10:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angell:
A question, madam...why do you say G-d as if its a bad word? Like one might say s--t? Just wondering.
And you say Jesus was only a prophet, but not the Son of God? He claimed to be. How can you take one thing of his as truth and another as absolute lie? Confused...help.

G-d is a word, that people made up. In the Jewish faith, Jews spell it that way, because
there is no "word" to describe it. I took religion classes at college, and was fascinated by writing G-d that way, it looks more respectful, because G-d is very powerful.

Remember...the ten commandments, thy shall not idolise? Well, letters are symbols, and writing out the full word, is a sacriledge.

I said that Jesus claimed to be the son of G-d, I didn't say that he wasn't. After Jesus the prophet, Muhammed claimed to be the next prophet...and thus came the Muslims... so why should I treat Jesus any differently? The Jews disregarded Jesus--saying that he was blasphemous, as Christians disregarded Muhammed--saying that he was blasphemous.

"Son of G-d"...G-d is not human, G-d is not a living thing. So how can a person claim to be a son of G-d? I don't like the way the bible has worded that...

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Old 03-05-2001, 10:41 PM   #9
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I'm curious, madam - if you don't believe God is a living thing - what exactly do you believe God is? A rulebook?

God is definitely a sentient being, and while he is not living in the mortal 'born-aged-died' sense that we are, he is definitely alive.

And according to the Bible, Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, but Mary was made pregnant by God, so in that light it makes perfect sense to call Jesus the Son of God.

I hesitate to get any deeper into this...cause if there's one thing that can be argued to death without any progress (as we've seen too often in Free Your Mind), it's religion.

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Old 03-05-2001, 10:48 PM   #10
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Wow guys, thankyou for all the replies.


Popsadie I wasn't meaning to imply that there is issues with U2 fans and their religion. Nothing like that at all, In fact I wasn't even considering the band and the fan's faiths when I asked the questions I did. I am very sorry if you were offended by the way in which I asked those things. I don't understand a great deal of the business side of religion, and it was my best efforts at not offending anyone.

Anyhow, thankyou Spiral for the very down to earth response. It is exactly what I was asking. Thankyou also for clearing up the hypocrisy bit, I meant the hypocrisy as in living life one way, and preaching another. Put simply, why do so many of the individuals I know or know of, preach forgiveness yet cannot follow through with it? I gueess there is no black and white answer, but you certainly made some issues quite clear.

Anyhow, thanks everyone, sorry to touch raw nerves with some!

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Old 03-05-2001, 10:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Diemen:
I'm curious, madam - if you don't believe God is a living thing - what exactly do you believe God is? A rulebook?
lmao@rulebook, hehe...no G-d is everywhere, it is the driving force. G-d cannot impregnate, sorry, but the Virgin Mary story, is a Myth...a story...not the real thing.

Quote:
God is definitely a sentient being, and while he is not living in the mortal 'born-aged-died' sense that we are, he is definitely alive.
Yes G-d is everywhere, all around us, but notice I use "it" instead of "he"...G-d is neither male of female. Yes G-d is the highest "energy"...it is the life force..

Quote:
And according to the Bible, Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, but Mary was made pregnant by God, so in that light it makes perfect sense to call Jesus the Son of God.
for a myth, yes, it makes perfect sense...but in my eyes, it only stays as a myth...and it is not humanly possible...



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Old 03-05-2001, 11:39 PM   #12
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That's why the incarnation is an act of God.
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Old 03-06-2001, 12:28 AM   #13
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ok...from that last post I'm assuming that you have either turned atheist or agnostic, madam, because you are putting human limitations on God, who you just said previously is quite far from human. Btw, do you still consider yourself Christian (you said you are no longer religious, but not whether you still believe in God)?

Quote:
G-d cannot impregnate, sorry,
My question is this: how would you know? I don't mean that to be antagonizing,but seriously - how do you know exactly what God is capable and incapable of doing? By saying that God cannot impregnate, you are putting limits on what God can and cannot do, which goes against the very nature of God, not to mention making you look pretty arrogant for claiming to know God's limitations.

Quote:
for a myth, yes, it makes perfect sense...but in my eyes, it only stays as a myth...and it is not humanly possible...
You are quite correct, it is not humanly possible - in that a human cannot become pregnant from another human and still remain a virgin (well at the time when artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization etc. wasn't an option, anyway). BUT, with intervention from God, it is. Just because something cannot be explained within the realm of science as we know it now, doesn't mean it isn't possible (remember, science in it's current state does not completely explain everything, and there are many phenomena and areas of nature that science either cannot explain sufficiently or is just scratching the surface of).

And simply because you say it is myth doesn't make it one. How do you know it's a myth? were you there at the time? Obviously, no. True, according to the rules of biology and nature as we know them, it shouldn't happen and is highly unlikely, but that doesn't mean it can't happen.

There are many things that science simply cannot explain sufficiently. Here is one case in point that is very close to me.

My father had polio when he was a small child (before the vaccine was discovered) and still bears numerous scars and a severe limp as a result of the treatments and the weakening effect of the virus. As a result of this polio he was hospitalized for long periods of time as a child, and as the polio progressed he lost all feeling in one of his legs. Doctors would stick metal rods into his leg - without any anesthesia - and he would feel absolutely nothing. After a period of several weeks without any progress, seeing that leg could not be saved, the doctors advised that it be amputated the next day.

My grandparents upon hearing the news, went to a town square (my dad's family lived in Poland at the time) where a vision of the Virgin Mary was said to have been seen above the fountain, and was therefore a very holy place in the inhabitants eyes. Anyway, my grandparents collected some water from the fountain, came back to the hospital and sprinkled my dad with holy water and prayed all through the night basically for a miracle, as the doctors were set on amputating the leg the next morning.

The next morning, doctors came in to run the same kind of tests, and upon testing for feeling by prodding with metal rods, my dad screamed in pain. He had somehow - and overnight - regained full feeling in his leg. Of course, the doctors could conceive of no possible scientific explanation for this as they had tested for days without any slight glimmer of feeling in the leg, and they hadn't performed any kind of nerve repair surgery, so in effect, the leg that was so beyond help that the doctors felt it best to amputate, somehow healed itself overnight, even though it had been without feeling for weeks. Since the polio had progressed so much, that leg (and the other) would never regain their full strength, but my dad can walk without the aid of braces and crutches today - although he can't run and definitely is not as mobile as he'd like to be.

Here is a real-life example of something that science cannot explain, and yet, lo and behold, it really did happen. If a story similar to this was in the Bible, I'm sure you'd have no trouble dismissing it as myth, but the simple fact is that everything doesn't have to be explainable by science in order to be possible. And needless to say, I don't think it's mere coincidence that my dad's leg healed the night after my grandparent's reached into the depths of their faith for help - and received it.

-----

I don't think we as humans can put limits on what God can or cannot do, because none of us truly know who/what God is and the full grasp of His/it's power.


[This message has been edited by Diemen (edited 03-05-2001).]
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Old 03-06-2001, 02:03 AM   #14
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Thats a fantastic story Diemen! There are countless stories like that every day all the world over. No science can explain them away, and no God can either (to be fair). It remains up to us to decide what was the cause. I your case, it seems a miracle of sorts. We all need to decide what we concieve to be our own little miracles. Regardless of nature, science or religion.

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Old 03-06-2001, 03:58 AM   #15
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Hey girlie--my 2 cents:

Joanne scenario--I think her parents may very well have been scared too. Proverbs sez: "Train up your child in the way they should go, so when they are grown they will not depart from it". I think the anger comes from the fact that they blame themselves because their daughter has made a mistake ("What did we do wrong?" kinda thing) They also may not see themselves as judging, but rather holding her accountable. They set forth rules that they thought she accepted, and she messed up. The larger problem I think, is that the relationship was not such that she could come to her parents and trust that they would support her in her crisis with love, although they disapprove of her action. The bigger sin perhaps, is not forgiveness, but lack of love. ("If I speak with the tongue of angels, but have not love, I have nothing"). She sinned against God mainly through the abortion, and sinned against her parents through disobedience.
I have always been taught that sex is God's gift to the joined (married) couple, and that the reason why sex is mainly forbidden before marriage is to assure that children (the whole purpose for procreation by sex)will be brought into a stable home with two parents. Abortion is wrong because it is the taking of a human life--no other reason.
Large families were things to strive for in the church, not to enlarge the base of followers, but because children were looked on as blessings from God, not the infringement on a woman's sex life that they are so often considered today. Therefore, the larger the family, the more blessed (supposedly).
Christians can be hypocritical, but so can (is) everybody. Perhaps Christians are seen more because they strive for a higher ideal than the rest of society? If there are higher mores to reach, there are higher heights to fall from.
I think the judging and forgiveness thing (and actually the pride thing, too) are the result of taking our eyes off of God. When we do that, we put our eyes on each other, and bicker over who's better, who's worse, how/why so-and-so could be better, and how we are superior, etc. If we keep our eyes on Him, and remember that we have done (and could do) nothing to gain the favor He has bestowed on us, we might be able to keep our raging egos in check and find that our neighbor is no more or less worthy than we are.
God does forgive us if we repent, which is so much more than saying "sorry, I messed up". I do think as humans we are incapable of unconditional love ourselves, therefore we will all fail each other sooner or later. But endless pursuit of such a noble thing is what its all about!

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