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Old 08-14-2006, 09:41 AM   #151
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double post-sorry.
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Old 08-14-2006, 11:03 AM   #152
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I think yolland said it best in his post.

All these God threads in FYM end up being about Christians who come in and offer their beliefs as it if were facts.

Those who have been here a long time know that when there have been attempts to discuss other faiths or concepts, like for example karma or reincarnation, it only resulted in the same thing - Christians coming in to try and dispel them with their concept of grace. You see it in the atheist/agnostic threads too, it's always the Christians who need to come in and present their views on sin, salvation, Jesus and whatever else. You tell me how many times we've seen in here a Jew, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Muslim, etc come in and behave in the same manner? Never? Yeah, pretty much.

Therefore I no longer believe it's possible to discuss "God" here - maybe the Christian God, yes, but anything else? Good night and good luck, cuz it ain't gonna happen.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:06 PM   #153
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Quote:
Originally posted by BorderGirl

Conversation/observations/ about a "Mighty God" (unless this was supposed to be taken sarcastically) was what the original post asked.
Believers of all faiths will be inclined to post/share/teach/inspire, etc.
But if this post becomes about defending aetheism (a belief in no God), then carry on.
Believers, Aetheists or Agnostics respectfully exploring questions regarding Faith or lack of it, God, Jesus, etc. and others respectfully responding?
ok then!
Questions are opportunities for all of us to learn.
I think perhaps a couple people (not necessarily you; I'm just running with your phrasing here) misconstrued what I meant, so I'll attempt to clarify.

Your last three sentences there are in fact pretty much what I was saying, and since there had been some grumblings throughout the thread from both sides to the effect that that wasn't happening, I thought that might be a good moment to provide a couple gentle reminders that (hopefully) might spare us all a repeat of the ugliness on display in the atheism thread or the "raptured" thread. I can't agree with your first couple sentences, however--as soon as the topic turns to who's being saved and who isn't and what the one way to salvation might be, that says loud and clear to me who the intended audience basically is. I still think the initial post didn't make that sufficiently clear though, and that that's part of the problem (not that I think this thread has problems on a par with the other two--and I would've phrased what I said as a warning, not a reminder, if I thought it did). I also think the pre-emptive chiding about being "mature," "choosing to participate," etc. in the initial post--particularly since it was a newly registered person's debut FYM post, and he was up 'til then a complete unknown to everyone in here--was a bit uncalled for, and likely to raise hackles from the get-go.

I certainly wasn't suggesting though that everyone start tacking some "This is just my humble POV" disclaimer or whatever onto everything they say--when I said "humility" I meant things like not taking disagreements on matters of (non)faith too personally, thinking about how the way you frame your (non)beliefs might come across to others, etc. Basically, expect disagreement and a clash of worldviews, but keep some perspective on what that really amounts to (i.e., not much) in the context of an open-to-all message board. And again--if a clear-cut scope of discussion is spelled out from the very beginning, that makes it easier for me to be fair and consistent in determining when things are getting derailed...which I'm inclined to decide based on things like how bitter *overall* the tone has become, or whether certain individuals are hounding others to a degree not warranted by the intended scope of discussion. I never said anything about not being "sweeping" (kind of a hard criterion to evaluate fairly, anyhow) or particular articles of (non)belief being too inflammatory to mention, etc.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:10 PM   #154
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram

Therefore I no longer believe it's possible to discuss "God" here - maybe the Christian God, yes, but anything else? Good night and good luck, cuz it ain't gonna happen.
No Chrisitian typically intransigent by nature could possibly respect the view or opinion of anyone from any other faith (with reagards to their God more specifically) because they 'know' everything the non-Christians are saying about their God is completely and utterly wrong.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:23 PM   #155
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Originally posted by dazzlingamy

I do the wrong things all the time, but i dont think they are "sins" or that I'm doing them beause some divine being made me not perfect so i can be humble or something. So when you call it 'sins' i feel like you are taking MY mistakes out of my hands and putting them into the 'this is how you're made, jesus died for your sins yada yada' and that makes me feel uncomfortable.
Has anyone here said that God made you imperfect so that you would be humble? I don't recall seeing that. I don't know of anyone who has put the blame for sin on anyone else besides the person doing the sinning. So, we've put it squarely where you wanted it: "in your hands". The solution to sin that we believe in, however, is not "in your hands" but rather in teh cross of Christ.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:25 PM   #156
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
They are not, perhaps you miscontrue intent since I am not making claim to victimhood - I am more than capable of defending my position and I revel in doing so.
Then I have no idea what you were talking about. Could you please clear it up?
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:30 PM   #157
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Quote:
Originally posted by AussieU2fanman


No Chrisitian typically intransigent by nature could possibly respect the view or opinion of anyone from any other faith (with reagards to their God more specifically) because they 'know' everything the non-Christians are saying about their God is completely and utterly wrong.


i think this gets to what i, and many others, find so frustrating -- certainly not all, but there are several posters on this board who are fundamentally convinced that their faith is not faith but fact, and since their understanding of faith leads them to the conclusion that there can only be a single path to God/salvation/eternal life/etc., it's virtually impossible to have dialogue with such posters because, as yolland said in another post, if you're coming from the position that your viewpoint is non-negotiable, then there's really not much point in having a discussion anyway. if you are going to present various articles of faith as fact, and simply dismiss the rest of the non-Christian planet (and even a sizeable portion of Christians who do not hold such views about there only being a single path to salvation) as wrong, then i'm not sure what potential for dialogue there is.

after the "rapture" thread where a poster demanded to know whether or not i had accepted Jesus as my savior, and then followed up by saying that he knew that i hadn't because "you can tell" when someone has accepted Jesus because they tend to change, i've lost a great deal of patience for this particular stripe of intolerance.

to me, the dismissal of all other religions, and then using your own religion to justify and make virtuous this dismissal, is quite simply bigotry. you are bigoted against other religions, and i don't care what commandment or dictate from Jesus you think you're living out.

and you're free to do so. if you think Jesus wants you to be a bigot, to condemn homosexuality, to think Hillary Clinton is the antichrist, you're perfectly free to hold those beliefs.

just don't think their status as a religious belief protects you from vigorous disagreement and debate and, yes, even mockery as that's often the best way to combat the inanity of bigotry.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:33 PM   #158
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
I think yolland said it best in his post.

All these God threads in FYM end up being about Christians who come in and offer their beliefs as it if were facts.

Those who have been here a long time know that when there have been attempts to discuss other faiths or concepts, like for example karma or reincarnation, it only resulted in the same thing - Christians coming in to try and dispel them with their concept of grace. You see it in the atheist/agnostic threads too, it's always the Christians who need to come in and present their views on sin, salvation, Jesus and whatever else. You tell me how many times we've seen in here a Jew, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Muslim, etc come in and behave in the same manner? Never? Yeah, pretty much.

Therefore I no longer believe it's possible to discuss "God" here - maybe the Christian God, yes, but anything else? Good night and good luck, cuz it ain't gonna happen.
If it feels like I'm forcing my beliefs on you anitram, I appoligize. However, I don't see Christ as a "belief," I know him as fact. Therefore, I'm going to speak like that. I would expect everyone else to do the same with what they know to be facts. Just because it doesn't jive with what you believe or see as fact, doesn't mean I can't speak about it and respond from with that perspective. That's why were all here in FYM — for the debate and the discussion.

At the same time, I want to make it clear that I respect other people's points of view and I don't expect everyone to share mine.

If we all believed the same thing, FYM wouldn't exist. . . or be nearly as much fun to visit.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:57 PM   #159
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Quote:
Originally posted by coemgen


If it feels like I'm forcing my beliefs on you anitram, I appoligize. However, I don't see Christ as a "belief," I know him as fact. Therefore, I'm going to speak like that. I would expect everyone else to do the same with what they know to be facts. Just because it doesn't jive with what you believe or see as fact, doesn't mean I can't speak about it and respond from with that perspective. That's why were all here in FYM — for the debate and the discussion.


but can't we agree that what we know as fact -- your heart beats, my eyes are blue, it is hot today -- is much different than "i know Jesus," which must be understood as a belief? you believe you know Jesus, and we can all respect the belief, but it stands to reason that your belief is not fact.

and you're free to present yourself in any manner you want, but it's going to be difficult for people to engage in dialogue if your beliefs are non-negotiable.
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Old 08-14-2006, 01:18 PM   #160
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Listen, and I'm saying this with as much respect for everyone as I can. I truly enjoy talking with everyone here, no matter what you're views are. I even enjoy talking with people who are hostile to my beliefs. It's fun, and it's made me a better person. No doubt. I'd love to hang out with all of you and go do some teambuilding stuff like catching each other as we take turns falling backwards off a ledge or something. (However, I have a feeling I might be dropped. )

I think the real problem is Christianity, and even more specific, Christ himself. He's offensive. He's been offensive since he came down here. He always will be offensive. (That's my belief.) 1. He's telling us we must change. 2. He's telling us, ultimately, we can't do it, but he can. 3. He's claimed to be the only way to God the Father.
This is offensive stuff.

I was once offended by it myself. I expect all non Christians to be, too. I understand that.

If I, coemgen, have done anything to offend any of you through my own actions, attitudes or words, I sincerely appoligize. I can see how I would get full of myself, become self-centered or appear to be a know-it-all. My wife hates it too. For that, I'm sorry.

However, if it's Christ or the Bible that offends you, I can't appoligize for that. Do I expect everyone to believe it? Nope. But I'm going to use it as my source of my beliefs because that is exactly what it is.

May we all continue to coexist in FYM, like the disfunctional family we are.

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Old 08-14-2006, 01:19 PM   #161
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What bothers me is that I have many friend who are not Christians, and in fact probably most of them aren't. I've spent more of my time with those of Jewish faith than anything lately, at my job. One of my best friends is Hindu, and another is Sikh. Many are agnostics.

And on occasion when I've spoken about religion with them, nobody and I mean nobody is adamant or pushy or staunchly evangelical or condescending. Nobody. This is a phenomenon I've come to associate with Christians exclusively, for better or worse and truth be told, I want no part of it. If Christians are to espouse the teachings of Christ and spread the good word, I don't understand how many of them don't see that they are turning away more people than they can imagine. And I guess that's easy too, chalk it up to somebody not accepting Christ as a saviour (as Irvine was accused of) instead of looking inward and asking themselves what it is about them and the way they are spreading their faith that has people screaming and running in the opposite direction.

The respect afforded to me in discussions with Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs has astounded me. I only wish Christians by and large would be this way. Instead, I find most of them condescending and creepy, and that's a sad statement, but it has become my experience like it or not.

ETA:

coemgen, I can't disagree with you more.

It's not Jesus who offends me at all. I still believe his teachings are incredible and even for a non-Christian, I'd recommend them reading the New Testament because there are things in there that are valuable for every person, regardless of circumstances. I did not run away from the Church because I questioned my faith or God's resolve or anything like that. I don't believe the Bible is the final authority, and I do find a lot of it symbolic, but I was raised Catholic so this isn't out of the ordinary to begin with.

What offends me are Christians who I feel have perverted and politicized the faith to further their own ends. The ones who would like to push their beliefs and create a theocracy. Jesus said to the disciples to prepare their hearts for the arrival of the kingdom of heaven, not to go around legislating rules about homosexual rights, women's uteruses, cussing on TV, Janet Jackson's breasts, rap music, Harry Potter's witchcraft, pharmacists refusing to issue out medications and so on.

I said once that Gandhi said it best and I stand by that: "I like your Christ. I don't like your Christians, they are nothing like your Christ."
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Old 08-14-2006, 01:22 PM   #162
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Originally posted by anitram
What bothers me is that I have many friend who are not Christians, and in fact probably most of them aren't. I've spent more of my time with those of Jewish faith than anything lately, at my job. One of my best friends is Hindu, and another is Sikh. Many are agnostics.

And on occasion when I've spoken about religion with them, nobody and I mean nobody is adamant or pushy or staunchly evangelical or condescending. Nobody. This is a phenomenon I've come to associate with Christians exclusively, for better or worse and truth be told, I want no part of it. If Christians are to espouse the teachings of Christ and spread the good word, I don't understand how many of them don't see that they are turning away more people than they can imagine. And I guess that's easy too, chalk it up to somebody not accepting Christ as a saviour (as Irvine was accused of) instead of looking inward and asking themselves what it is about them and the way they are spreading their faith that has people screaming and running in the opposite direction.

The respect afforded to me in discussions with Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs has astounded me. I only wish Christians by and large would be this way. Instead, I find most of them condescending and creepy, and that's a sad statement, but it has become my experience like it or not.
anitram, I respect that. If I've been a part of this, as a Christian, I'm sorry. Truly.

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Old 08-14-2006, 01:44 PM   #163
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Originally posted by anitram


The respect afforded to me in discussions with Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs has astounded me. I only wish Christians by and large would be this way. Instead, I find most of them condescending and creepy, and that's a sad statement, but it has become my experience like it or not.
Anitram, it goes both ways. There are many times my beliefs have been treated condescendingly or without respect by athiests and others.
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:30 PM   #164
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Anitram, it goes both ways. There are many times my beliefs have been treated condescendingly or without respect by athiests and others.


but do you see a difference between "i think your belief is wrong/silly/stupid/whatever" versus "this is how it is."

my objection (in the grand scheme) is never to beliefs themselves, but to the one thing that stymies dialogue -- the idea that certain things are non-negotiable. i would say that you do not fall into this category; you've said yourself how you've had beliefs change (though those were more political than religious) and i think that's healthy and positive and a world apart from statements that assert one thing to be true, and exclusively true, and all disagreements are evidence of a lack of proper faith.

i can give a distinct example. i remember being in CCD, and our deceptively fundamentalist teachers (they were a husband/wife) told us that part of our mission as Christians was to convert the non-believers. this drove me crazy. i asked them, point blank, if it was my job the next time my family had dinner with The Newmans (family friends) that i was to try to convert them to Christianity. they said, yes, absolutely. i must try to convert all the Jews i know. i said that there was no way i would ever do that, and they told me that i clearly needed to, "re-examine my faith."

oh, okay. the problem must be me.

i wholeheartedly agree with most of anitram's thoughts in her last post. there's something extremely confrontational about a particular stripe of Christianity that has surfaced recently on FYM, and to my mind, this is evidence of a weak, insecure faith. it shuts down dialogue precisely because it cannot entertain dialogue, so fragile is the position and so weak is the argument that it cannot sustain itself under any sort of scrutiny.

thank goodness there are articulate spokespeople for Christianity on this board. i value you more and more.
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Old 08-14-2006, 04:27 PM   #165
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram

What offends me are Christians who I feel have perverted and politicized the faith to further their own ends......
Jesus said to the disciples to prepare their hearts for the arrival of the kingdom of heaven, not to go around legislating rules about homosexual rights, women's uteruses, cussing on TV, Janet Jackson's breasts, rap music, Harry Potter's witchcraft, pharmacists refusing to issue out medications and so on.
I would like to know how "further their own ends" compares with doing the work asked of us as Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc.
I might remind you that most religions object to some of the behavior stated above.
To live a moral life is a struggle, but we are called to do so. With prayer, instruction and above all a willing heart, it is possible.
Unlike eastern forms of religion that demand levels of perfection, Christianity is a concept of grace, not karma.
Christians are asked to die to self clearing the way for God's spirit to have dominion in you, producing peace, joy, and hope, wherever this life finds you.
His authority is perfect even though the "humanity" of the Church is not.
If religion were as perfect as we all wanted it to be, none of us would be allowed in.
Patience with ourselves and with one another is what's called for.
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