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Old 01-11-2004, 12:03 PM   #16
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I have heard of people right here in my own city who think Catholicism is an evil cult.
I went to a church in high school that had a whole series of sermons on how Catholicism is a cult and a tool of Satan.
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Old 01-11-2004, 12:12 PM   #17
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I went to a church in high school that had a whole series of sermons on how Catholicism is a cult and a tool of Satan.
Annoying, to put it mildly.
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Old 01-11-2004, 12:45 PM   #18
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This is a very broad topic with many points to discuss. I would only caution that the alternative to an "organized religion" is a self-created religion. I believe our knowledge of God must come from something outside of ourselves.
Not sure if I understand that the alternative to "organized religion" is self-created religion since through organized religion I was able to find what I wasn't looking for. What I did learn from organized religion was a foundation to build my relationship with God on. I didn't create my on religion I just found what works for me and it's still an ongoing study.
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Old 01-11-2004, 02:26 PM   #19
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Originally posted by sue4u2
I didn't create my on religion I just found what works for me and it's still an ongoing study.
(sue4u2, I'm not really directing anything in this post at you or what you believe in, I'm just using what you said as a sort of starting point for what I want to say. Hope that's okay. )

I can't help but think of doing "whatever works for you" as almost the opposite of religion. To me, that is creating your own religion because you're saying that you'll accept certain elements of a religion, but you'll reject others depending on what's convenient for you. How can you know what to accept and what to reject? What do you base it on? If you're free to just ignore your religion's teachings on one subject, then how can you know that it's teachings on another subject are true? For instance, if a Christian decides they don't need to follow the Bible's teachings on a particular subject, then how can they know that what the Bible says about salvation is true? And if they can't know that is true then what foundation is left for their beliefs?

I think anyone who is a member of a particular religion is always going to struggle with and question some of its teachings, but if our solution to that is to just take what we like from a religion and ignore everything else, well...that certainly sounds like creating your own religion to me.
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Old 01-11-2004, 03:21 PM   #20
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Very well said Fizz.
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Old 01-11-2004, 05:12 PM   #21
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Old 01-11-2004, 05:42 PM   #22
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Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees

I think anyone who is a member of a particular religion is always going to struggle with and question some of its teachings, but if our solution to that is to just take what we like from a religion and ignore everything else, well...that certainly sounds like creating your own religion to me.
I don't necessarily agree with this.

For example, the Catholic Church has issued out edicts through the years which reflected their opinion regarding certain issues that a number of people disagree with. The Catholic Church still does not permit re-marriage in the church following a divorce, yet the Protestant churches do. So, what if you're a Catholic who agrees with the basic tenets of Catholicism, but not certain interpretations of scripture? I don't think at all that that's a new religion. If so, then the Protestants created something that is a wholly new religion and I'm sure most here would agree that's nonsense.

I think it has to do with whether or not you are changing something fundamental about the religion, or whether you simply do not follow certain teachings which may or may not have anything to do with scripture itself.
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Old 01-11-2004, 06:41 PM   #23
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Originally posted by anitram
For example, the Catholic Church has issued out edicts through the years which reflected their opinion regarding certain issues that a number of people disagree with.
Well, I'm not Catholic so I would see all those edicts as expressing simply what individuals or a church thought about those issues at that time. I don't think they have any kind of "authority" for want of a better word and for that reason I would think for a person to disagree with those edicts is different to a person disagreeing with what the Bible says on a certain subject. I think that for a person to disagree with the Catholic church's teachings is no different than a Christian going to, for example, a Baptist church or a Methodist church and disagreeing with what the pastor teaches.

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I think it has to do with whether or not you are changing something fundamental about the religion, or whether you simply do not follow certain teachings which may or may not have anything to do with scripture itself.
How do you decide what is fundamental about the religion? Who decides and on what basis? Is it on the basis of what's convenient and easy for a person to fit into their life? I just don't know how, if you've decided that not everything about your religion is fundamental or necessary, you can know with no doubt whatsoever that the rest of your religion is true. But in any case, if the teachings you're referring to don't have anything to do with scripture then I don't think they have any more authority than the edicts you mentioned in the first paragraph, and I don't think that ignoring teachings which aren't found in scripture would mean a person is disregarding the teachings of their religion or creating their own religion.

And finally, when I say that I don't think that edicts issued by the Catholic church have any authority, I don't say that to be disrespectful or rude to anyone here who is Catholic, I'm just explaining my own beliefs on that subject.
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Old 01-11-2004, 07:18 PM   #24
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I haven't created my own religion

I'm christian...but I just wouldn't place myself under any one denomination
unfortunately, I have not yet found a church that doesn't rub me the wrong way on some issues or whose character is less than savory.

i.e. over-judgemental, etc...

I also can't take everything in the bible and apply it to me...especially much of what is in the old testement and some in the new. A lot of it was meant for the jewish people of the time.

we justify the scriptures which place women is subservience to men by saying "times have changed"
could we not say the same for an issue like homosexuallity?
I just have a hard time coming to terms with the typical christian church who says that gay people are going straight to hell when they die whether they love Jesus or not.

that is just one example...I'm not creating my own religion, I'm doing what paul said..."working out my own christianity"

Jesus taught compassion, he taught love, and he taught us to reserve judgement. I'd like to see more of these things
why do we feel like we have to be so quick to judge? it's not our place.
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Old 01-11-2004, 07:26 PM   #25
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Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
And finally, when I say that I don't think that edicts issued by the Catholic church have any authority, I don't say that to be disrespectful or rude to anyone here who is Catholic, I'm just explaining my own beliefs on that subject.
No worries, Fizz.

How do you deal with Scripture? Do you think it is set in stone? Do you think that everything Jesus believed or said was written down and written down WITHOUT human judgment or interpretation? Or are the teachings select? What do you do about historical inaccuracies of the Bible? We know for sure that trumpets didn't bring down the town of Jericho and we know that David was a minor leader at best, not the great king he is portrayed as.

You can believe, as Muslims do, that the Scripture (in their case the Qu'ran) was recited by the Prophet, but came straight from God. Do we believe that as Christians? Especially when we know that bits of Scripture were deleted? The Apocryphal books are not found in Protestant Bibles - how about those? How about the gnostic books, like the Book of St. Thomas? How about the fact Catholic dogma teaches that while the Bible may be the inspired word of God, it is NOT the final authority?

I'm just saying that if you want to follow Scripture as the determinant of what religion is, there are a lot of problems there. Nevermind the fact many religions in the world only have loosely based scriptures, but even the ones that are heavily influenced by Scripture, like Christianity and Judaism are based on books which in the end, may be inaccurate, incomplete, full of human influence, etc, etc.

IMO, the matter of faith is something between God and a human heart and soul.
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Old 01-11-2004, 07:34 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Basstrap

I also can't take everything in the bible and apply it to me...especially much of what is in the old testement and some in the new. A lot of it was meant for the jewish people of the time.

we justify the scriptures which place women is subservience to men by saying "times have changed"
could we not say the same for an issue like homosexuallity?
I just have a hard time coming to terms with the typical christian church who says that gay people are going straight to hell when they die whether they love Jesus or not.

that is just one example...I'm not creating my own religion, I'm doing what paul said..."working out my own christianity"

Jesus taught compassion, he taught love, and he taught us to reserve judgement. I'd like to see more of these things
why do we feel like we have to be so quick to judge? it's not our place.
Exactly! If you truly seek love and peace, then nothing will ever shock or offend you.

Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
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Old 01-11-2004, 07:52 PM   #27
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Originally posted by Basstrap
I haven't created my own religion
Okay, firstly I'm absolutely not accusing *anyone* of creating their own religion! All I said was that in my opinion to pick and choose which teachings of a religion you will follow sounds like creating your own religion. That's just my opinion, I'm sure lots of other people here feel differently.

Quote:
I'm christian...but I just wouldn't place myself under any one denomination
unfortunately, I have not yet found a church that doesn't rub me the wrong way on some issues or whose character is less than savory.
Neither would I! I don't associate myself with any particular denomination and I don't believe that any one denomination is the "right" one. Of course there are some denominations whose teachings are closer to what I believe than others, but I still don't describe myself as a member of any denomination.


Quote:
I also can't take everything in the bible and apply it to me...especially much of what is in the old testement and some in the new. A lot of it was meant for the jewish people of the time.


So which parts of the Bible can you apply to yourself? And how do you know which teachings you should still follow literally and which were only meant to apply at the time the books were written? I'm absolutely not saying I believe you should follow every word of the Old Testament law, but I wonder how you know which teachings you should still follow today and which were only "meant for the Jewish people of the time." (I have my own answer to this, but I'm just curious to hear other people's. )

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I just have a hard time coming to terms with the typical christian church who says that gay people are going straight to hell when they die whether they love Jesus or not.
I really hope this isn't the typical Christian church and fortunately my own experience tells me that it's not. While I admit that a majority of Christians I know believe that homosexuality is a sin, I don't know anyone who's said that gay people are "going straight to hell." We can't know what will happen to anyone other than ourselves when they die and it disgusts me to hear people make comments like the one above.

Quote:
Jesus taught compassion, he taught love, and he taught us to reserve judgement. I'd like to see more of these things
why do we feel like we have to be so quick to judge? it's not our place.
Me too! Only I wasn't judging anyone. I was giving my own beliefs and explaining why I believe those things.
Anyhow, it's nearly 1am here and I doubt I'm making much sense anymore so I'm going to get some sleep and see if I make anymore sense tomorrow.
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Old 01-11-2004, 09:42 PM   #28
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i struggle with religion on a daily basis. my dad is a minister, my sister is a minister, and my brother in law is a minister. i have been raised around ministers my whole life. i love politics, but when it gets nasty, i mean REALLY nasty i get truly angry. the nastiest politics is within churches. i totally love my denomination, we are very liberal believing in evolution and such, but once you get down to individual churches i get EXTREMELY frustrated. i don't want to give up organized religion...but its a constant struggle.
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Old 01-11-2004, 09:42 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by Basstrap
Jesus taught compassion, he taught love, and he taught us to reserve judgement. I'd like to see more of these things
why do we feel like we have to be so quick to judge? it's not our place.
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Old 01-11-2004, 09:55 PM   #30
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I think for many things concerning the bible I just have to feel what God is trying to tell me, and follow the example of Jesus. 95% of the book is great teaching full of guidance. We can even look at those in the old testement to see how they handled a situation and how that worked out for them. The psalms are very inspirational.

On specific matters concerning custom of the time and other vague references....those things I have to come to my own understanding of.

There are several reasons why I'm a little skeptical. i.e. all the books that weren't canonized, interpretation, translation...it just seems likely that the bible may have been molded on matter of doctrine to suit the early church.

of course, it is only opinion and speculation.
but if I'm wrong and somehow the bible is miraculously 100% accurate and straight from the lips of God himself, then I'm sure he won't hold it against me as long as I love him and follow the undeniable truths of the bible
(i.e. "love the lord your god...", follow Jesus, respect your neighbors...etc...)

I'm not throwing it away, I'm just not necessarily going to swallow everything the church tells me it says
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