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Old 03-26-2004, 11:49 AM   #121
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Originally posted by Angela Harlem
nbc, if your religion has passed judgement and you take the terms of the religion and follow it yourself, are you then accepting that judgement as well?
Absolutely. We are all sinners. We all fall short of the glory of God. The least of my sin is a great as the worst of anyone else.
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Old 03-26-2004, 11:56 AM   #122
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sorry, i meant do you take on the views that the religion does, including judgement...it judges, and you support your religion obviously, which is what i meant to say.
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Old 03-26-2004, 11:59 AM   #123
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There are still many indigenous religions in Africa. Yes, many Africans have converted to Christianity and Islam, but remote tribes have by and large preserved their views. Such is the case with most of the people in Namibia, because it is one of the most unforgiving places on earth, the Namib desert and therefore you have limited building of cities and infrastructure.

These people have their religious beliefs which they have followed for thousands of years. Interestingly enough, people like the Himba have not invaded other nations for profit, they've not colonized lands other than their own, they have not fought world wars, nor been a conquering people. They live in the desert, mostly naked, and rub themselves with red ochre as per their tradition. They have lived in peace and they impose nothing on anybody. And they're ignorant? I don't think so.

I think it's really important to realize the your truth doesn't have to be their truth. And if you cannot respect their right to follow the beliefs of their ancestors, then stay the hell out. That is how I feel, because these peaceful, loving people are not trying to cure your 'illness'. They are happy with their faith, it is a source of comfort and joy to them. They don't believe that we are all sinners. If you cannot cope with people not having the same beliefs as you, that is fine, but in this global society, let us extend each other the respect to follow our own path, to find our own truth.
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Old 03-26-2004, 12:04 PM   #124
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Originally posted by anitram

These people have their religious beliefs which they have followed for thousands of years. Interestingly enough, people like the Himba have not invaded other nations for profit, they've not colonized lands other than their own, they have not fought world wars, nor been a conquering people. They live in the desert, mostly naked, and rub themselves with red ochre as per their tradition. They have lived in peace and they impose nothing on anybody. And they're ignorant? I don't think so.

I think it's really important to realize the your truth doesn't have to be their truth. And if you cannot respect their right to follow the beliefs of their ancestors, then stay the hell out. That is how I feel, because these peaceful, loving people are not trying to cure your 'illness'. They are happy with their faith, it is a source of comfort and joy to them. They don't believe that we are all sinners. If you cannot cope with people not having the same beliefs as you, that is fine, but in this global society, let us extend each other the respect to follow our own path, to find our own truth.
very well said anitram... excellent

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Old 03-26-2004, 12:06 PM   #125
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In all fairness to crusader, I think he meant by illness not that something is wrong at all (as in sick) but a need he perceives in that person. Illness might be a bad analogy.
But I might be wrong.
Illness may be a bad analogy for those who don't see everyone as a sinner. My bad.


Quote:
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Excuse the pun but that the hell happened to this thread??
I guess this is what happens when religion is moved into the friendly cafe atmosphere of FYM. Sarcasm thrown in for free.
It did take a turn when it was tossed out of GIS.

Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
But on with what this has evolved into, I ask this in all honesty. Why do missionaries even bother with religion in places like Africa? I know the short answer is to encourage these people on what the missionaries believe is the chosen path, but why the attempts at conversion? Do these people not seem happy enough with their admirable and contented spirituality? Can it not be respected, and these people left to continue in their own method of faith?
Bear in mind that missionaries cannot convert people. Missionaries can only witness. Most of their witness is done through service - showing Christ's love through the feeding of the hungry, healing of the sick, aiding the poor. They also bring the Gospel - which means good news.

Let me ask you this. If you knew someone who had a cure to an illness (sin), but refused to tell anyone about the cure (even though they had taken the cure themselves) - what would you think about that person? To me it comes across as increadibly selfish.

Even if you think the cure is faulty or not needed, what is the harm of telling someone about this cure?
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Old 03-26-2004, 12:10 PM   #126
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i see a connection with RELIGION, GOD and WAR here.

in the 3-4 threads that are currently active, the ones who strongly support the inclusion on GOD in pledges are the ones who strongly support missionary activities ( and JUSTIFY the subsequent conversions) are the ones who strongly support the IRAQ WAR.

there might be few exceptions but this is more or less the trend.
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Old 03-26-2004, 12:14 PM   #127
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Is it really my judgment, or my understanding of God's judgment?
It's one in the same to me.
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Old 03-26-2004, 12:37 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader

Let me ask you this. If you knew someone who had a cure to an illness (sin), but refused to tell anyone about the cure (even though they had taken the cure themselves) - what would you think about that person? To me it comes across as increadibly selfish.

Even if you think the cure is faulty or not needed, what is the harm of telling someone about this cure?
The first part of this is perfectly logical, if this is what you believe, which you coincidently do. There is a point I'd like to sidetrack on which is that a cure for this sin exists, despite the statements that we are all still sinners. So are we sinners or not, when is it a cure and when is it not? (sincerely asking) But that is probably getting into semantics. That aside though it still remains a faith issue. It is taking a belief and nothing more, and attempting to interfere and shape someone's life. It seems harmless. But is it? There is no certainty in any of this, only faith and what you believe is real. It reaches the point where the sins and faults of someone are pointed out to them and stated as a fact, when no one knows. If they dont agree with this, you dont see how it would be a bit rich? Even offensive to be called a sinner and the need for finding a saviour to save ones soul is paramount? I'm not sure I can explain this well, as you are a firm believer in all this.
Is there harm in telling someone about it? Well, is it wrong to say to someone, directly, "Buddy I hate to break it to you but you are damned. You are a sinner and you must be saved." ? Preaching and lecturing definitely. Telling someone? I dont think anyone has the right to call anyone a sinner, whether they believe in sin or not, you are telling them they are bad/faulty/sinful. Very negative, very rude, without factual basis.
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Old 03-26-2004, 01:01 PM   #129
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The Gospel message is difficult to share because it is predicated on the notion that we all need a Savior. No one likes to hear that they are a sinner. We all have a natural tendency to what to be masters of our own destiny. Even if we believe in heaven, we want to earn our way there, or control how we get in.

If my message is Sola Fide - we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone - I will get the "intolerant" label. Fortunately, this is God's message - not something I made up. I am at peace with whatever response I get to the message.
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Old 03-26-2004, 03:39 PM   #130
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Originally posted by nbcrusader

Bear in mind that missionaries cannot convert people. Missionaries can only witness. Most of their witness is done through service - showing Christ's love through the feeding of the hungry, healing of the sick, aiding the poor. They also bring the Gospel - which means good news.
But the issue is that they are going into highly vulnerable places on earth. It is not the same as you explaining your faith to me and I am able to make a conscious decision that I disagree because you are of no use to me.

When people are hungry and ridden with disease and you come bearing rice, penicillin and a Bible, it seems to me that you are taking advantage of them in a vulnerable state. Why is it that missionaries aren't here in the West attempting to witness through service with the Gospel? Because those of us here may not be receptive, and we may not be dependent on them.

Africa in specific leaves a bad taste in my mouth. As I said, I have family there, I'm more familiar with the situation than your average person. The West came in and raped this continent. Some estimates say 50 million people either died while being taken into slavery or became slaves. That is an unreal number. How many Western European nations colonized the lands, took the diamonds, raped the resources and forced the indigenous populations to live in some form of apartheid on their own land? And now when we've made them dependent on us for survival, we show up bearing gifts and Bibles and the whole thing truly stinks to me, but maybe that is just my feeling.
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Old 03-26-2004, 03:50 PM   #131
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
The Gospel message is difficult to share because it is predicated on the notion that we all need a Savior. No one likes to hear that they are a sinner. We all have a natural tendency to what to be masters of our own destiny. Even if we believe in heaven, we want to earn our way there, or control how we get in.

If my message is Sola Fide - we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone - I will get the "intolerant" label. Fortunately, this is God's message - not something I made up. I am at peace with whatever response I get to the message.
My issue with Sola Fide is that is has a tendency to focus on right belief. As a result, in evangelical Christianity (my experience of it at least) there is an intense focus on personal sin(drinking, smoking, fornication, swearing, etc.) versus sin that is inherently part of a society, shall we say social sin (ie. economic disparity, racism, other social injustices which Christ preached against).

Therefore there is an obsession with "clean living," while participation in an inherently oppressive and destructive way of life is hardly ever questioned. How many of your children's toys and clothes made in sweatshops? How much of your food is grown by poor farmers in Mexico and other developing countries who have no choice but to grow tomatoes so you can eat them year round? How's the mileage on your SUV? Is the Lord "blessing" you with prosperity for your faith? These are only a few examples, but this is where I parted with evangelical Christianity (and the whole thing in general). I sat at a bible study surrounded by a group of people who completely lacked perspective. The gospel was nothing more than a self help book, they might as well have been reading Tony Robins. This pretty much brings me back to the beginning of this thread and the "little problems that God solves" that irked me so much.

I do not want to paint all evangelical Christians with the same brush, and certainly not those here in FYM. This is my experience. The ones I have met who have a broader perspective than "clean living" are far and few between.
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Old 03-26-2004, 03:54 PM   #132
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Africa in specific leaves a bad taste in my mouth. As I said, I have family there, I'm more familiar with the situation than your average person. The West came in and raped this continent. Some estimates say 50 million people either died while being taken into slavery or became slaves. That is an unreal number. How many Western European nations colonized the lands, took the diamonds, raped the resources and forced the indigenous populations to live in some form of apartheid on their own land? And now when we've made them dependent on us for survival, we show up bearing gifts and Bibles and the whole thing truly stinks to me, but maybe that is just my feeling.
Absolutely. There is a historical dynamic between the oppressed (blacks) and oppressor (whites) that I believe is not acknowledged or taken into account. There is a broader context that is ignored, we should be begging these people's forgiveness, not peddling it.
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Old 03-26-2004, 07:26 PM   #133
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What the Western nations did and have done to Africa is shameful indeed. However, let us not forget that much of the slave trade was an extension of tribal wars going on in the continent at the time. When the Portugese made contact with African tribes in their voyages around the continent in the 15th and 16th centuries (on their way to the Indies) they were sold slaves by other tribes. Powerful tribes would often be the middleman between the Portugese and the weaker surrounding tribes. Also, the majority of African slaves came from Western Africa and were not taken from the whole continent. Muslims would also take part in the slave trade. Therefore, the responsibility for this horror should be spread to more shoulders than just the West.
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Old 03-26-2004, 08:15 PM   #134
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But the issue is that they are going into highly vulnerable places on earth. It is not the same as you explaining your faith to me and I am able to make a conscious decision that I disagree because you are of no use to me.
interesting point
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Old 03-28-2004, 08:26 AM   #135
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What the Western nations did and have done to Africa is shameful indeed. However, let us not forget that much of the slave trade was an extension of tribal wars going on in the continent at the time. When the Portugese made contact with African tribes in their voyages around the continent in the 15th and 16th centuries (on their way to the Indies) they were sold slaves by other tribes. Powerful tribes would often be the middleman between the Portugese and the weaker surrounding tribes. Also, the majority of African slaves came from Western Africa and were not taken from the whole continent. Muslims would also take part in the slave trade. Therefore, the responsibility for this horror should be spread to more shoulders than just the West.
While I don't know much about the history of the African slave trade, I would ask the question: what choice did the "middlemen" have?

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