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Old 07-14-2005, 10:10 PM   #46
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I'm not really interested in someone regurgitating texts or articles or theological studies or anything of that sort.

The basic tenets of the bible state a few things very clearly. Daily, Christians go against a select few and veil it under Christianity. Why? I want to know from Christians, why thy they do this. I want to hear from those who are not afraid to speak up for their religion, why someone should seek it when what others see is a stark contrast.
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Old 07-14-2005, 10:18 PM   #47
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For me christianity isnt all about texts and facts and ceremony
Its just faith and relationship.
I wont defend inconsistencies because I dont know enough. What I do know is that ive seen transformed lives (myself being one)
and Ive gone out and searched and wound up right back where I started, questions and all.
Sometimes I think I have far more questions about my faith than a lot of other christians. Im always asking "why" "when?"

I cant sit where Im at and worry and judge other christians that i have no control over.
Im saddened by the hypocrisy, but when you think about it, this is human beings we're dealing with. Flawed, selfish, you name it.
Theres not a religion in the world that doesnt have people in it distorting things, being hypocrites, tromping and judging others.

I think the more visible christians out there right now arent really what you would see if you went inside a gospel centered church, focused on dealing with your own internal shite and not others.
But, christians are called to help their brother along the way, pointing out areas of sin in their life that they might not see.
I think it is a baaaaad idea when christians use this on their non christian friends though.
Im rambling
Sorry
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Old 07-14-2005, 10:23 PM   #48
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Lol, you're not rambling, and I appreciate your answer. It's not exactly what I was thinking of, but it is still very interesting. And that is really what I want to hear. Why it happens. But every time I ask, people get all snippy and shuffle off because 'they dont want to talk now' or dont feel like getting into an argument. It's as frustrating as all buggery to me. I have so many specific questions and of all the Christians I have known over the years, not one has ever wanted to help me.
Now I'm rambling lol
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Old 07-14-2005, 10:31 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
I'm not really interested in someone regurgitating texts or articles or theological studies or anything of that sort.

The basic tenets of the bible state a few things very clearly. Daily, Christians go against a select few and veil it under Christianity. Why? I want to know from Christians, why thy they do this. I want to hear from those who are not afraid to speak up for their religion, why someone should seek it when what others see is a stark contrast.
I'll help out as much as I can, but I'm not quite sure I understand what you're asking. I don't know what the "this" is in the question "why do you this?'
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Old 07-14-2005, 10:54 PM   #50
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You're a bloody legend for trying, 80s! Thanks mate

Ok. I might be making grand generalisations, I do apologise because I know it doesn't apply to everyone and each denomination even is different and so on, but this is in general.

It's a commandment to love your neighbour. To treat each fellow man equally. To bestow the same upon others as you'd wish for yourself. All that jazz, yeah? Yet, under Christianity, we allow some groups to be denied equal treatment and love. We exclude. We say we love them, but not their sin. It doesn't just end there though, does it. See, according to Christians, we're all sinners. So why am I excluded from being treated so poorly for my sins (debating those is another paragraph, lol) when others are not? I am talkijng about gay people. I dont really want to, but it causes me neverending anguish. Seriously. So you, me, melon, pax, dave c, we're all sinners. Every single one of us in this forum. Bad arses. My sins are recognised and pointed out on request, but a gay person's has infected society to change the way we treat people. Society is ill with the mistreatment. We dont allow them the same God given rights we allow us. His and her sins (the gay person's) are worse, we can see that. They're effectively treated worse as a sole result of theirs. I'm only going to talk ariund in circles, I'm sure/hope this is clear enough, lol.

Next..One of them says Thou Shalt Not Judge.. blah blah blah something. So what is the difference between a 6 week old foetus, a thief, and a murderer? I didn't think mere man, any of us, could answer that. We can ponder and be human - like in our arrogance of assuming we might know. But it's playing games, isn't it? We dont know another's soul. We dont know the intricate and personal relationship any soul or person has with either JC himself, or God. Yet, we plant ourselves among that. Under Christianity. We decide on life, which is a gift given by something so much more powerful and knowing than us, so much more wise, we interfere and decide we can make decisions. How? Isn't judgement only to be done by God Himself? Is it not arrogance for man to assign any label to a fellow man - sinner or whatever? To judge, and then act on that judgement? To start messing with the very life which was given to us as a gift?

This is going to get too long, so I'll shut up for now. If you can answer any of these, I'd love to hear it. From any of our Christians.
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Old 07-15-2005, 12:25 AM   #51
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Why is it when a young white female is kidnapped or killed it makes national headlines. Yet if a minority is missing, a small blurb in the local newspaper.

Elizabeth Smart, Jon Benet Ramsey, Laci Petersen, Natalee Holloway, etc. etc...
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Old 07-15-2005, 07:32 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
You're a bloody legend for trying, 80s! Thanks mate

Ok. I might be making grand generalisations, I do apologise because I know it doesn't apply to everyone and each denomination even is different and so on, but this is in general.
Yes, each denomination is different, but I think the real difference is in individuals. Individuals have different responses to different situations. Individuals also have different strengths and weaknesses. I may be strong in one area of the "Christian walk" and yet weak in an area that my friend has down pat.

Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem

Yet, under Christianity, we allow some groups to be denied equal treatment and love. We exclude. We say we love them, but not their sin. It doesn't just end there though, does it. See, according to Christians, we're all sinners. So why am I excluded from being treated so poorly for my sins (debating those is another paragraph, lol) when others are not? I am talkijng about gay people. I dont really want to, but it causes me neverending anguish. Seriously. So you, me, melon, pax, dave c, we're all sinners. Every single one of us in this forum. Bad arses. My sins are recognised and pointed out on request, but a gay person's has infected society to change the way we treat people. Society is ill with the mistreatment. We dont allow them the same God given rights we allow us. His and her sins (the gay person's) are worse, we can see that. They're effectively treated worse as a sole result of theirs. I'm only going to talk ariund in circles, I'm sure/hope this is clear enough, lol..
Good questions. The honest truth, and some people may not believe it, but it is true, is that the people around me whom I consider the strongest Christians do not hate gays, and do not treat them as if we hated them. Yes, we do consider homosexual relations a sin. But we don't go on the warpath. In fact, I have gone on record in these forums as saying that among the "sexual" sins, I consider adultery a much worse sin than homosexual relations - seriously; hearing about someone committing adultery makes me want to beat that person up - that's how much it infuriates me.

Having said that, yes there are many people who wear the label "Christian" who are quite mean and degrading toward gays. But that's wrong. I'd like you to consider something, please. The Bible says that Christians will be known by their "fruit". The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, kindness, and self-control. If a person lives a hateful life, like those who abuse and are mean to gays, I have to wonder if that person really is a Christian. Christians aren't perfect, and we will not always show all of those fruits. But if someone never shows theh fruit, I have real doubts about his/her Christianity.

All of this is really to implore you to judge Christianity not by those who wear the label like a nice accessory, but by:

1) Christ himself
2) His teachings
3) The Christians who DO live the Christian life, like Billy Graham and all the misisonaries who lay their lives on the line for God and man. Or even like my brother Rick, who, even though he has been jailed (in the US, no less) for sharing the Gospel continues to tell people about Christ because he loves them.

Now, to address the issue of why we deny the rights we let ourselves have. I'll address gay adoption first. Most Christians who oppose gay adoption feel the way that I do - that children should be raised by a mom and a dad who love them. People are different genders for a reason - part of that reason is so that they can make babies together. I feel that children need the parental influence of a loving male and a loving female. That's why I don't even support letting single people adopt, unless they are relatives of the father/mother, or unless requested by the parents.

And gay marriage? Well, I can only answer for myself here. On a non-religious, secular basis, I see nothing wrong with gay marriage. But you see, as everyone who knows me will attest, I don't usually deal with things on a "secular" basis. My Christian beliefs are so interwoven into the very fabric of who I am, I cannot separate my Christian beliefs from any other type of belief. It is all rolled in together into one package, a package called "Michael". Because of that, I honestly cannot throw my support behind anything that I feel God would not condone. However, because i realize that our society is largely a secular society, I do not make this a crusade of mine. Look around this forum, at the topics about gay marriage; you'll see a general absence of the presence of 80sU2isBest. I usually don't voice my opinion on gay marriage unless I am specifically asked.

Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
So what is the difference between a 6 week old foetus, a thief, and a murderer? I didn't think mere man, any of us, could answer that. We can ponder and be human - like in our arrogance of assuming we might know. But it's playing games, isn't it? We dont know another's soul. We dont know the intricate and personal relationship any soul or person has with either JC himself, or God. Yet, we plant ourselves among that. Under Christianity. We decide on life, which is a gift given by something so much more powerful and knowing than us, so much more wise, we interfere and decide we can make decisions. How? Isn't judgement only to be done by God Himself? Is it not arrogance for man to assign any label to a fellow man - sinner or whatever? To judge, and then act on that judgement? To start messing with the very life which was given to us as a gift?
I am pro-life and anti-death penalty, but I can tell you why some Christians are pro-life and yet support the death penalty. First, I'll say that I know of no one who believes that a thief should get the death penalty. But as for murderers and rapists, there is a huge difference between them and unborn babies. Unborn babies are defenseless - they can't help themselves. People who are in jail for murder and rape have been convicted of the crime. Whether they did it or not, sometimes only they and God know. That is why I am against the death penalty - because I never want an innocent person to be put to death. I think that if everyone would really take that into consideration - the execution of an innocent person - we'd have a lot of changed minds about the death penalty. I'm not advocating letting them go, either. Lock `em up for life.

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Isn't judgement only to be done by God Himself? Is it not arrogance for man to assign any label to a fellow man - sinner or whatever? To judge, and then act on that judgement?
Some judgment is only for God, such as judgment of a person's worth. I may think that a murderer is a low down dirty piece of filth who's not worth a dime, but God evidently disagrees; Christ died for that man every bit as much as he died for me.

However, there is some judgment that man is definitely called upon to make, such as the judgment between right and wrong, good and evil. Without that, how do we make laws? The laws that prohibit murder and rapists are based on the judgment that murder and rape are wrong, evil.

There's also a biblical difference between a Christian judging another Christian's behaviors and that of the world. In Corinthians, Paul tells Christians that we are to judge other Christians, we are to let them know if they are sinning. For instance, if my Christian friend is cheating on his wife, I have the responsibility to God, to my friend and to my friend's wife, to tell him that he is sinning against God and to stop. However, in that same passage, Paul tells Christians to leave the judgment of the non-Christian world to God. To me, this means that I'm not supposed to rag on a nonChristian for a specific sin - I am not to judge him for that. Notice I used the word "specific". Every one in the world sins, and it is sin that keeps people from communion with God. I believe that Iam supposed to tell the world to turn from its sin (again, not specific judgment of sin) and turn to Christ for redemption/salvation/cleansing.

To illustrate this dictinction between judgment types, read the following scenarios:

Christian A, talking to NonChristian: You dirty sinner, get down on your knees and pray for forgiveness. That adultery you've been engaging in has made you a marked man, buddy, straight to the fires of hell is where you're bound!

Christian B, talking to NonChristian: Everyone in the world sins. It is sin that separates people from God. Since God cannot abide in the presence of sin, The only way to be accepted by God is by having that sin forgiven and cast away by believing upon the Lord Jesus Christ who, motivated by pure love, died upon the cross as a sacrifice for our sins.

Of course, some people will be offended even by approach #2. But the Bible tells us that the Gospel will be offensive to some people.

Anyway, I hope my long-windedness has helped in some way. I'm always happy to talk about issues of faith.
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Old 07-18-2005, 05:07 AM   #53
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Sorry it's taken me so long to get back (though it was only a couple of days, lol) I dropped in before but didn't have time to respond until now.
Also, apologies if this is rather jumbled. I never mastered the art of multi quote replies, lol, so I will have to keep scrolling and hope I make sense by the end.


On the first section you answered, I think my main target there was precisely the nice, gentle, mild mannered folk like yourself who I was wondering about. See, I reckon anyone who has outright hatred for gay people, is bigotted regardless of religion. They're hateful and cruel people. People who can hate someone because of any factor like gender or sexuality are cold and I reckon there is something wrong with those people, upstairs, if you follow. But you aren't that type at all. I dont mean to make this into you personally, but "you" are the ones I wonder about. These quiet, polite people who dont seem to hate, but who have this belief which allows things which go completely beyond my understanding. Christianity comes into it because it is as you said, an intricately woven part of who you are. And what it is about, is love and compassion and so on. Christianity doesn't want ego to assume to know what it doesn't, which is the will or desire of God, so the concept of what God Himself wants for men marrying men and women marrying women, seems to fly against that. On compassion, we see sections of society excluded and we know it causes those members hurt. We know that our gay friends are hurt and angry that we've allowed our society to ban them a right we ourselves enjoy. It is solely because of their sexuality. And we continue to happily follow the church on this. This church who ordered they never know the joy of a religious and (sometimes) civil union. What draws people who seek the compassion and love of Christianity to an organisation which pushes this seclusion of a group? The desire for love and compassion in life and for those around us seems again, to fly against that.

On adoption, I dont think it is Christianity exclusively, or with the weighted majority, who feel that 2 parents are best for a child. Science easily shows us how one of each is required to actually make the baby, no one is going to argue that. What we have left is the social debate and that is a debate I feel has changed and evolved immensely over the last 30-50 or so years. We both live in societies where 50% of children are from broken homes. No one is happy about that. Christians, athiests, Mormons, no one. Maybe it is the sheer number, I dont know, but society doesn't so much have the stigma that individuals have in regard to single parent or non nuclear family units anymore. We personally cringe if our own marriages fail (we of course do more than that) and we hang our heads in shame and think 'what will people think of me?'. In truth, people dont do much at all. We smile sadly and wish that person strength and courage to get through it. We put the stigma on ourselves. Single parents are common, too common, but very present. In our changing times, so have other family units increased with our shift toward freedom of choice. Society now isn't looking to point out where people are different, because difference is now the normal. I dont think there is any going back on restoring the nuclear stronghold on the family unit. It's a nice ideal, but it's not going to happen and to aim for it I dont think, is terrible practical, or really addresses what society specifically and actually has - which is a great range of family types. Perhaps the easiest and most compassionate thing to do is to teach our children to love and accept everyone for what they are, to not judge or tease. Half our population is growing up sans the mother and father scenario. We have a small percentage of capable and loving people who happen to prefer their own gender, who wish to adopt a child to give stability to one who has no one else. Is society really unable to grant everyone the opportunity to expand, lose it's?

I'm rambling, lol, and have to go feed the cats. I did want to talk more, but I reckon I'll be doing well if this has made half the sense I'm hoping for
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Old 07-18-2005, 06:42 PM   #54
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Angela Harlem, you ramble coherently, thought-provokingly and beautifully.
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Old 07-19-2005, 04:47 PM   #55
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80's, have a question for you. A serious one. Do you question anything in the Bible? That's not meant to be condescending. One of the reasons I left church (and religion and spirituality and faith) was that there were so many things I could not psychologically fathom. I'm not talking about creation, etc. My intellectual, scientific questions would have driven me crazy but not out. I could not fathom Job. What was the whole purpose of that sadistic little game? I was curious about Judas. He was the treasurer, right? And Jesus had a lot of rich friends. Since it doesn't seem there was an auditing firm, he could have easily embezzled his 30 pieces of silver. I think that betrayel is key and one of the most fascinating questions I had, but it is glossed over so easily. Was Judas a pawn? Jesus was reluctant to do miracles, but so much of the church (maybe not yours) is based on miracles that it can drive a wedge between the people who have had their miracles and the people who have been denied theirs? (I've even heard more than one minister tell someone they were denied a miracle because their faith was not sufficient--Bullshit!) Seems to me when Jesus taught the Lord's Prayer, there wasn't much in it about praying for miracles. Although later (or before--my chronology sucks) he does say that faith can move mountains and that what two people or more people pray for in his name will be granted. But while that may often happen (I don't know, I'm just giving the benefit of the doubt), it does not always happen. The church's answer is often that you are given an answer, that it was not God's will. Isn't it possible that many things are just luck of the draw? I have a million questions, but I won't ask all of them. Well, not now anyway.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:05 PM   #56
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80's, have a question for you. A serious one. Do you question anything in the Bible?
Yes, I have questioned things before. I once really wondered whether the book of James should have been in the Bible, because on the surface, it appears to contradict much of Paul's writing. But a deeper study of the book, and asking for God's wisdom led me to some conclusions I hadn't thought of before. There are many things in the Bible I don't understand. But, I really believe in my heart that the Bible is 100% true, so at those times, the best I can do is say "I want to understand, but in the meantime, give me peace and the conviction that you are in control". At that point, it becomes a matter of not knowing what's going on, but having faith that God does, and that his widom is much more advanced than mine, so it's not surprising that there will be things I don't understand that he does. Some would accuse me of "blindly" following, but that's not true. I am forever seeking new wisdom from God, and am understanding more and more certain issues that used to bog me down. As you may have deduced, I do not put much faith in the wisdom of man. I've looked around at the world, it's many beliefs and in cases, its lack therof, and I see nothing in the world's system that appeals to me. I've been a Christian for 25 years now. Christianity makes more sense to me than anything else.

Quote:
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I could not fathom Job. What was the whole purpose of that sadistic little game?
I don't quite understand Job, either. And yes, I've wrestled with that. But ultimately, it comes down to the question "will I possibly every understand everything?" If God is so much gretaer than I am, how could I understand him completely? I just have faith that even if I never get all the answers, I'm content putting my faith in the one who does have all the answers. Some would say that I am foolish for that, but my answer to that would be that I don't really care if man thinks I'm foolish, because it's not man's judgment or wisdom that I trust, anyway.

Quote:
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I was curious about Judas. He was the treasurer, right? And Jesus had a lot of rich friends. Since it doesn't seem there was an auditing firm, he could have easily embezzled his 30 pieces of silver.
I think the Son of God would have known what he was doing.

Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
I think that betrayel is key and one of the most fascinating questions I had, but it is glossed over so easily. Was Judas a pawn?

I don't think so. The Bible says that Satan entered unto him, but what I think made that possible was Judas' greed in the first place. I believe that with his greedy heart, he left himself open to doing the devil's work.


Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
(I've even heard more than one minister tell someone they were denied a miracle because their faith was not sufficient

I've heard that, also, but I don't believe that way.

Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
Seems to me when Jesus taught the Lord's Prayer, there wasn't much in it about praying for miracles. Although later (or before--my chronology sucks) he does say that faith can move mountains and that what two people or more people pray for in his name will be granted. But while that may often happen (I don't know, I'm just giving the benefit of the doubt), it does not always happen. The church's answer is often that you are given an answer, that it was not God's will. Isn't it possible that many things are just luck of the draw? I have a million questions, but I won't ask all of them. Well, not now anyway.
Some of my Christian friends might not agree with me, but I believe that sometimes God chooses not to be a micromanager. What I mean by that is that he lets nature takes its course most of the time, and gives man free will. What often results from those two is tragedy. My brother died in 1989 at the age of 31, in a horrible car accident. If someone would have come up to me and said "It was God's will", I might have punched that person in the mouth. I don't believe it was God's will. I believe that God's will doesn't always happen - simply because man has free will, and because he often lets nature take its course.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:50 PM   #57
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Thank you. I don't have all my questions answered, but your answers were better than many I have heard and I appreciate your taking the time to answer them and the thoughtfulness in your responses. I think there has always been such a difference in what I was taught and read and how I perceived the world. I doubt that I'll ever be able to regain my faith, but I've always maintained my curiosity. The basic unfairnesses of life and the unnecessary suffering inflicted on people by people, by other influences and much of the powerlessness to solve it or the inability to look to God to solve it tested, then bested my faith.

I've always been a person of this world and not the next.

Thank you again. I value your opinion. It appears to have been hardwon.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:59 PM   #58
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Thank you. I don't have all my questions answered, but your answers were better than many I have heard and I appreciate your taking the time to answer them and the thoughtfulness in your responses. I think there has always been such a difference in what I was taught and read and how I perceived the world. I doubt that I'll ever be able to regain my faith, but I've always maintained my curiosity. The basic unfairnesses of life and the unnecessary suffering inflicted on people by people, by other influences and much of the powerlessness to solve it or the inability to look to God to solve it tested, then bested my faith.

I've always been a person of this world and not the next.

Thank you again. I value your opinion. It appears to have been hardwon.
Thank you for your kindness. I want you to regain your faith (if you have indeed lost it), and I'll pray that God will become real to you in a way that quite simply, you'll be pleasantly shocked about.
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:08 PM   #59
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A pleasant shock would be nice. It may not be a prayer that is answered, but I appreciate your concern.
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Old 07-20-2005, 04:02 AM   #60
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Thank you BonosSaint!
This has been pretty interesting
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