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Old 09-01-2007, 01:16 PM   #16
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To be a good Christian, you have to be a good person first
Indra,

The above quote is the only thing that I would take exception to with your post, otherwise agree.

Most Christians (not Catholics) believe that the whole point of coming to Christ and following him is because you admit you are not a good person (plenty of various benchmarks, so I won't get into that), but the concept is, that's ok -- you don't have to be a 'good person' to be a good Christian.

Measuring one's self along the scale of 'not good' to 'perfection' is considered to be the plight of a follower of Christ. The concept is to reflect on where one is on that scale, relative to Christ, or other believers that mentor you, and sincerely try to change your attitude to impove along the way.

But "grace" is the key, the thing that is different from most other religions. It is freely given. Oh, how Christians forget that over and over again.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:17 PM   #17
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anitram, I will miss your avatar.

What I've seen/read of hatred against people like me, an atheist, I don't see how the Christians in the US are under so much trouble.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:18 PM   #18
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Originally posted by MadelynIris


Most Christians (not Catholics) believe
I'm going to nitpick, but MOST Christians (by a greater than 2:1 margin) are Catholics. Therefore MOST Christians don't believe as you stated.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:21 PM   #19
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Restated: Most, non-Catholic Christians... Ok, protestants.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:25 PM   #20
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Anitram,

Check out the wikipedia page on US Demographics on Religion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demogra..._United_States

Looks like Catholics only make up 26% of those who consider themselves Christian in the US. So, maybe you were thinking international? I was thinking more along the lines of the US.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:29 PM   #21
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Yeah, I was thinking internationally. Obviously in the US they make up a smaller percentage. The figure I have is ~400-450 million protestants, 1+ billion Catholics and ~150 million Orthodox (who believe as Catholics do insofar as the topic is concerned).

But it's a good point, because we are constantly on this forum inundated with what is usually an evangelical protestant US view. That is a VERY minority view worldwide. I guess it makes sense since most posters here are American, but we should bear in mind that the vast majority of Christians around the world believes differently on a number of these issues.
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Old 09-01-2007, 08:05 PM   #22
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Originally posted by MadelynIris
True believers are starting to wake up and see just how bad we've been exploited by right wing politicians (Sadducees).

We have a lot to "take back" from that group, to include helping the poor, taking care of our planet and all kinds of forms of social injustice.

Unfortunately, evangelicalism has been 'perceived' to be one with this movement, and I say it's time we take it back.

I could not agree more completely! There's a book I just read recently called "Why The Christian Right Is Wrong" It's written by a pastor named Robin Meyers. I can't say I agree with all his theology, but in his political and social policies I am with him 100 %. I would say check it out if you get a chance.
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Old 09-01-2007, 08:11 PM   #23
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But "grace" is the key, the thing that is different from most other religions. It is freely given. Oh, how Christians forget that over and over again.

Once again, I agree with you! I've been listening to a lot of Jay Bakker's podcasts lately, (son of Jim and Tammy Faye) and I'm completely finding myself just so encouraged and filled with hope. He is nothing but grace, and I just find that so refreshing and pure. I started a thread about him here. http://forum.interference.com/t178363.html

It quickly went OT, though

Anyway, he talked in one of his messages about how Christians are constantly saying "Accept Jesus, Grace is a free gift from God!" Then, once a person is saved, it becomes, "Ok, now give up alcohol, swearing, secular music, etc." Jay compared it someone saying, "Here's a brand new Ferrari! It's free!" However, when you get in the car to drive away, they say "Oh, could you please sign here for the monthly payments?" To me, that's what I've seen over and over again in the church and it just hurts me.


Btw, another reason to love Jay Bakker: He's a huge U2 fan.
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Old 09-01-2007, 08:21 PM   #24
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This piece makes no sense. If you're not a Christian, you do not truly know what it is like to live as one in the United States, so the above has no backup or support.

In response to that, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be a Christian in the United States and to live out my beliefs the way I wish, and unless you are one, you cannot say otherwise, so don't bother. It is difficult to be a Christian anywhere in the world. I'll never forget what one of my professors said last year. He said that in one country (I think in the middle east, I wish I could remember) if I was to go over there, walk down the middle of the street and say "I'm a Christian!", I would be shot on the spot. And as a formal military man and police officer, I believe him. Tell me that's not persecution. Last time I checked, we don't do that to Muslims here in the states.
I don't really understand this either. Indra's original comment was about Christians complaining their rights were being taken away here in the U.S. I'm not sure what that has to do with Saudi Arabia. I don't know what their stance on religious freedom is there, but I'm guessing it's not as lax as that of the U.S. Honestly, this whole "wounded puppy" complex that the church has about being trampled on has nothing to do us being able to worship as we please. We are allowed to have churches, we're allowed to advertise them, use them for community activities, etc. We're allowed to read our Bibles, or pray in public so long as we're not disruptive. That goes for people in the U.S. of any religious faith. I went to a public high school and I go to a public college, and I've never been told to put my Bible away if I was reading it in the library or in class during free time, of course. The incessant whining about rights being taken away has to do with us trying to legislate them for people. THAT is utterly wrong. We are a republic, not a theocracy. The founding fathers kept church/religion and state separate for a reason. If any religious tradition or lack thereof took control of government and/or legislation, we would see the theocracy stated above. That is precisely the thing the people who first came here were trying to avoid. They wanted to be free to worship, or not worship as they chose. When it comes to government, we as Christians have no precedent over anyone else. To even subtly say that, as so many Christians do, is a slap in the face to the Jesus we claim as our Savior and Lord.
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Old 09-01-2007, 09:01 PM   #25
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Originally posted by U2isthebest


Honestly, this whole "wounded puppy" complex that the church has about being trampled on has nothing to do us being able to worship as we please. We are allowed to have churches, we're allowed to advertise them, use them for community activities, etc. We're allowed to read our Bibles, or pray in public so long as we're not disruptive. That goes for people in the U.S. of any religious faith. I went to a public high school and I go to a public college, and I've never been told to put my Bible away if I was reading it in the library or in class during free time, of course. The incessant whining about rights being taken away has to do with us trying to legislate them for people. THAT is utterly wrong. We are a republic, not a theocracy. The founding fathers kept church/religion and state separate for a reason. If any religious tradition or lack thereof took control of government and/or legislation, we would see the theocracy stated above. That is precisely the thing the people who first came here were trying to avoid. They wanted to be free to worship, or not worship as they chose. When it comes to government, we as Christians have no precedent over anyone else. To even subtly say that, as so many Christians do, is a slap in the face to the Jesus we claim as our Savior and Lord.

I knew there were some sensible Christians who understand there is room for everyone in our society regardless of faith or lack thereof. And there isn't a witchhunt to erase Jesus from the western world.
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Old 09-01-2007, 09:07 PM   #26
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I knew there were some sensible Christians who understand there is room for everyone in our society regardless of faith or lack thereof. And there isn't a witchhunt to erase Jesus from the western world.
Thanks! The God I believe in and serve says that all people are equal in His sight regardless of religion, race, gender, socioeconomic standing, sexuality etc. I don't see why I should believe any differently!
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Old 09-01-2007, 10:55 PM   #27
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Originally posted by 2861U2




This piece makes no sense. If you're not a Christian, you do not truly know what it is like to live as one in the United States, so the above has no backup or support.

In response to that, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be a Christian in the United States and to live out my beliefs the way I wish, and unless you are one, you cannot say otherwise, so don't bother. It is difficult to be a Christian anywhere in the world. I'll never forget what one of my professors said last year. He said that in one country (I think in the middle east, I wish I could remember) if I was to go over there, walk down the middle of the street and say "I'm a Christian!", I would be shot on the spot. And as a formal military man and police officer, I believe him. Tell me that's not persecution. Last time I checked, we don't do that to Muslims here in the states.
Bollocks, you are not a Chaldean Christian in Iraq you are living in a secular nation where freedom of religion is a guaranteed right with no persecution from the state. The instances that are run off ad infinitum as examples or persecution usually involve Christian groups being denied promotion from government or taxpayers funds, and no government promotion of religion is the flipside of no persecution within the confines of a secular state.

Your right to be a Christian and to live out your beliefs does not extend to legislation of marriage equality, euthenasia and abortion rights of other individuals that do not adhere to the same belief sytem or suffer the same hangups towards those issues. Neither issue is settled under law because your particular brand of masturbatory theobabblery declares it to be wrong; when that expectation that a Biblical perspective is a legitimate argument gets dashed in the courts it is parroted off as an example of anti-Christian bias despite the fact that your nation supports some of the most observant Christians in the western world today and that by virtue of numbers faith is a precondition for holding elected office.

When Christians are getting whole families executed for holding that faith and we start seeing Churches getting firebombed then you have an argument, because at the moment all that bleating is even more pathetic than Islamic PR groups.
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Old 09-02-2007, 12:24 AM   #28
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In response to that, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be a Christian in the United States and to live out my beliefs the way I wish, and unless you are one, you cannot say otherwise, so don't bother.
Why waste my time typing out a lengthy reply about how ludicrous your statement is when I can just use a handy image?

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Old 09-02-2007, 12:40 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by MadelynIris
True believers are starting to wake up and see just how bad we've been exploited by right wing politicians (Sadducees).

We have a lot to "take back" from that group, to include helping the poor, taking care of our planet and all kinds of forms of social injustice.

Unfortunately, evangelicalism has been 'perceived' to be one with this movement, and I say it's time we take it back.
Great post.
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Old 09-02-2007, 12:56 AM   #30
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I should make clear that my third point -- prosyletising -- has not been an issue for me here on this board, or by anyone on this board. I appreciate that. It has been all too common in "real" life though. The other two points I have had come up in both online and offline situations.

2861U2 -- Your reply is textbook example of what I meant!

And although it is beside the point, if I walked down the middle of that same street in that same unnamed middle eastern nation saying "I'm an atheist or agnostic!" I might very well be shot on sight too. I, however, wouldn't be foolish enough to do that, and I suggest that if you ever find yourself in the middle of the street in that unnamed middle eastern nation that you also avoid drawing attention to yourself in such a manner. It's just common sense.

MadelynIris -- I probably should have phrased that a little differently, because I think we essentially agree on this point. I do believe someone can be a good Christian (or any other religion, or even no religion) and have flaws -- even serious flaws. The key is in the desire and the attempt to correct those flaws, not the complete absence of them (which I believe is impossible for any human anyway). But if someone is a truly vile human being and has no desire to change and become a better person, I can't see that person as a good Christian.
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