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Old 06-09-2006, 09:05 AM   #76
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But isn't that the very source of religion, forging a social identity? From the first moon worshipping pagans to the monotheistic faiths. I do not think that a will to power is corrupting any religions, the mindset is part of religions.

In this very thread an argument about what defines a Christian, and both sides put an emphasis to one degree or another on a bloody sacrifice that supposedly absolves people of responsibility or concience, putting humanity down by making it indebted to a higher power in perpetuity upon pain of eternal damnation.
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Old 06-09-2006, 09:58 AM   #77
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I do not think that a will to power is corrupting any religions, the mindset is part of religions.
I think the mindset of a will to power as a corrupting force is a function of human nature, not religion.
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:03 AM   #78
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Religion seems to be a part of human nature, rooted in superstition and fetishism. It is an expression of human limitation, and incorporates a good many parts of human nature.
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:07 AM   #79
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I think maybe we are saying the same thing in different ways lol.
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:12 AM   #80
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Possible, but I am saying it with more contempt towards religion.
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:27 AM   #81
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And I'm saying it with comtempt for people who use religion (or anything else) to justify intolerance and oppression that leads to violence.

So back on topic, many of those people I would label so-called Christians.
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:22 AM   #82
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No matter how broadly or narrowly you word a definition of Christian, it is open to interpretation and claims of being to broad or too narrow.

Do you agree, nbc? Still waiting for your definition.
I already offered my definition (as being essentially in line with Lies).

The essential element is placing faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. We are told that the evidence of this is loving the Lord through our actions (obeying His commands).

I don't think that every interpretation is necessarily valid - thus some difficult decisions must be made.

I have met many people who claim to be a Christian because they go to church, go to a Christian school, were born in the US, etc. I have also met many people who used this definition before, then realized that they were only going through motions and did not have a faith in Christ.

Personally, I see my job is to point people back to Scripture so they can find the definition themselves. This means I cannot make the final decision whether some one is or is not a Christian, but I also cannot sit quietly and let they believe anything they want. Thus, I must provide the evidence before them and let them come to conclusion.
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:23 AM   #83
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Originally posted by AliEnvy




No matter how broadly or narrowly you word a definition of Christian, it is open to interpretation and claims of being to broad or too narrow.

Do you agree, nbc? Still waiting for your definition.
I know I'm not nbc here....but I'm growing steadily more uncomfortable with the term/phrase "being a Christian," esp since the term "Christian" is such a loaded one these days.

In the scriptures, Jesus invited people to "follow him," so perhaps we might consider shifting the phrase to being a follower of Christ. And then it would seem that the definition of being a follower of Jesus, is someone who simply does what Jesus did and said. After all, Jesus himself says in the book of John that if anyone wants to know whether He's real, they should follow what Jesus says -- and that person will find out whether or not it is.
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:29 AM   #84
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Originally posted by AliEnvy
And I'm saying it with comtempt for people who use religion (or anything else) to justify intolerance and oppression that leads to violence.

So back on topic, many of those people I would label so-called Christians.
Which makes sense, since we live in a post-Christian society.

For the rest of the world, this is not the case.

For a billion people on the planet, that would be Communism.

For several hundred million people on the planet, that would be Islamofascism.

It would seem that you can pick whatever vehicle you like, the end destination is the same. That's why I don't think Jesus ever meant for His teachings to become the dominant rule of thought -- because men seeking power will almost always use whatever tools are at their hand to control and dominate.
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:32 AM   #85
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Which makes sense, since we live in a post-Christian society.


this is an interesting thought.

can you explain it further?
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:45 AM   #86
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this is an interesting thought.

can you explain it further?
An author named George Barna does a lot of research for churches and religious organizations on this. If you look at the numbers of "new conversions" and baptisms over the past decade, Christianity in the West in general -- and the US in particular -- is on the decline. One of the things Barna talks about is that Christianity has supersaturated the American consciousness -- particularly since Christianity got so closely tied to conservative politics during the Cold War.
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:59 AM   #87
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An author named George Barna does a lot of research for churches and religious organizations on this. If you look at the numbers of "new conversions" and baptisms over the past decade, Christianity in the West in general -- and the US in particular -- is on the decline. One of the things Barna talks about is that Christianity has supersaturated the American consciousness -- particularly since Christianity got so closely tied to conservative politics during the Cold War.


that's interesting -- so it's saying that Christianity's numbers are on the decline while it's cultural, political, and social influence, or presence, is on the upswing? did i understand that correctly?
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Old 06-09-2006, 12:07 PM   #88
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that's interesting -- so it's saying that Christianity's numbers are on the decline while it's cultural, political, and social influence, or presence, is on the upswing? did i understand that correctly?
Perhaps it is a misnomer that the cultural, political and social influence is on an upswing.

Certainly, the influence has been trumpeted during the last election cycle, but on a day-to-day basis, in the fabric of the US culture and lifestyle, the evidence of an Christian upswing is not there.
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Old 06-09-2006, 12:10 PM   #89
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Certainly, the influence has been trumpeted during the last election cycle, but on a day-to-day basis, in the fabric of the US culture and lifestyle, the evidence of an Christian upswing is not there.


how would we go about measuring such a thing?
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Old 06-09-2006, 12:19 PM   #90
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Originally posted by Irvine511

how would we go about measuring such a thing?
I doubt there is a neat and tidy metric.

But when you hear someone refer to a crucifix as "the cross with the little man on it" - you get a sense that an upswing is not taking place.
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