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Old 06-15-2003, 10:58 AM   #1
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Fundamentalist Christianity

I've heard a lot, an awful lot, in this forum about the evil fundamentalist, conservative Christianity. However, I'm not sure I've ever heard any definitions of what the people who say this think that "good, non fundamentalist, liberal Christianity" is. I call myself a fundamentalist conservative Christian because I believe that the Bible is all true and I believe in Biblical moral values.

My question for all people who identify themselves as Christianity, but who have something against "fundamentalists" .. what is your definition of true Christianity?
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Old 06-15-2003, 11:06 AM   #2
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as a catholic, i do not read the bible literally. there are too many contradictions, and i believe the humans writing the bible and interpreting the word of God were just as flawed as me.

i attempt to live as Christ would, to love ALL others as i love myself.

i'm not sure if others would see this as the true definition but it's my definition.
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Old 06-15-2003, 11:08 AM   #3
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"Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,' and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law." -- Romans 13:8-10

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Old 06-15-2003, 11:09 AM   #4
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Old 06-15-2003, 01:53 PM   #5
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Matthew 22:36-39 - "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

What is the difference between loving others as a Christian and loving others for the sake of loving others? And do we get to define what love is? Or do we look to Scripture to define love for us?
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Old 06-15-2003, 01:55 PM   #6
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What nbcrusader posted.
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Old 06-15-2003, 02:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Matthew 22:36-39 - "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

What is the difference between loving others as a Christian and loving others for the sake of loving others? And do we get to define what love is? Or do we look to Scripture to define love for us?
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Old 06-15-2003, 02:29 PM   #8
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'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
This is my definition of Christianity. I am this before I am a denomination, before I'm an American, before I am anything else.
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Old 06-15-2003, 02:54 PM   #9
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I like this quote, by Mother Teresa.

"I believe in person to person. Every person is Christ for me, and since there is only one Jesus, that person is the one person in the world at that moment."
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Old 06-15-2003, 03:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Screaming Flower
as a catholic, i do not read the bible literally. there are too many contradictions, and i believe the humans writing the bible and interpreting the word of God were just as flawed as me.

i attempt to live as Christ would, to love ALL others as i love myself.

i'm not sure if others would see this as the true definition but it's my definition.

you said exactly what I was going to say
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Old 06-15-2003, 03:43 PM   #11
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Old 06-15-2003, 04:26 PM   #12
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Originally posted by nbcrusader

What is the difference between loving others as a Christian and loving others for the sake of loving others? And do we get to define what love is? Or do we look to Scripture to define love for us?
Good questions, nb. I think this is where the definitions of what makes a "True Christian" start to blur. A fundamentalist might say "Well, to love someone as I love myself, I need to share the gospel with that person, because they can receive no greater gift than God." I'm an episcopalian. I think giving time and money to charity is more important that verbalizing my belief in God to other people. I think showing compassion to those who need it speaks volumes more about God's love than sharing the four spiritual laws with them.
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Old 06-15-2003, 04:46 PM   #13
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Aren't these things both of God. Isn't the person spreading the word part of the nature of God revealing himself to his creation, while the doing unto others and providing compassion another facet, or trait of God. They do not have to be opposite or in conflict with each other, they can both be of God.
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Old 06-15-2003, 05:17 PM   #14
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But as a non-Christian, the love and compassion thing speaks so much louder that the proselytizing thing. If you can love me as a fellow human without feeling the need to "witness" and convert, then I can respect and listen better.


Now I'll butt out of a thread where I do not belong.
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Old 06-15-2003, 05:50 PM   #15
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Aren't these things both of God. Isn't the person spreading the word part of the nature of God revealing himself to his creation, while the doing unto others and providing compassion another facet, or trait of God. They do not have to be opposite or in conflict with each other, they can both be of God.
This is a question that keeps popping up in several threads here. My only answer is this; it depends on the manner in which it's executed.

Here in Dallas I live in an area right outside of the downtown area where there are a few blocks of shops, bars, nightclubs, and a pretty good live music scene. So I can walk from my loft to the clubs. Every weekend you have groups of people waiting for "the heathens" to walk out of the bars so they can witness to them. They preach to them about drinking, fornicating, etc. I've talk to a few of them at length and they just don't get it. They have already judged every single individual that walks out of these establishments. They judge and then they spread(cram) their distorted message to the masses.

Yes sharing your experience is important, but you don't do like this. I see these people wear these W.W.J.D. bracelets and it's been mentioned in this thread that they try to live their life like Jesus would have. But Jesus didn't witness like this. I can't think of one story in the Bible where Jesus approached an unrequesting person and start telling them about the Kingdom.

This is why the Christian Coalition, I believe is one of the furthest organizations from Christianity. They judge and force without living by example.
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Old 06-15-2003, 08:27 PM   #16
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I try (and *try* is the operative word, I admit!) to love and respect everyone as much as possible. This seems to me to be the core of what Jesus would have me, and everyone, do. There's already enough hatred, prejudice, and disharmony in the world without me creating more.

The problem I have with "fundamentalist" Christianity, I guess, is that *some* "fundies" (not all, but unfortunately the most famous ones) seem to spend more of their time in judgment and hatred than in love and helping others. I mean, when was the last time anyone heard of someone like Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson really getting out there and getting their hands dirty with the Gospel? I'm not saying they don't, but...well, all I'm saying is that when you hear from those guys, or the Concerned Women for America or whoever, all they want to talk about is who is "disgusting" or "immoral" this week. God forbid they actually try to understand what some of those "sinners" are about.

Again, I don't want to lump all "conservative" or "liberal" Christians together. Some people I've known who call themselves "liberal" Christians can be very bitter and judgmental, and some "conservative" Christians are very kind and sincere. In particular, 80s, I've always found you (in your postings here at least!) to be respectful to the views of others. But I think that if the "conservative" or "fundamentalist" Christians want people to see them differently, they need some new spokespersons. And they need to project an image of compassion in action like Catholics have been good at doing. When I think of faith-based social-service organizations, I always think of things like the Sisters of Mercy and the Catholic Worker. That's good works, yes, but also good P.R.

And as for the Bible being literally true...well, it *was* literally true once, I'm sure. Unfortunately, I simply can't believe that a book that has been through countless rewrites and translations over a couple of thousand years--including a few at the hands of some not-so-righteous church officials--is still literally, word-for-word true today. I dare not hazard too much of a guess on what's true and what isn't, but it is dangerous to not leave any room for interpretation in any written work.
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Old 06-15-2003, 09:13 PM   #17
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I think we assume that, at one point, there was a "definitive and complete" version of the Bible. The evidence, however, points to the contrary; that each Jewish sect had their own version of the Bible with different books and a different translation (remember that there were no printing presses). Martin Luther, for instance, called certain books "apocryphal," because a non-Latin source text was not in existence. The Dead Sea Scrolls that were found over the last century, however, had a copy of all of them.

I think if you're looking for an easy answer to the Bible, it may not exist.

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Old 06-16-2003, 02:53 PM   #18
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interesting thought.

I really liked Flower's first post in this thread.

I truly dislike when I am reading political threads and I read something like "...as good Christians..." when referring to the government or anyone else people do not know to specifically be Christian.

It bothers me as I am not a Christian, and the assumption that others are is ignorant.

I do not mean to rant, I just find this too often.
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Old 06-16-2003, 05:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Screaming Flower
as a catholic, i do not read the bible literally. there are too many contradictions, and i believe the humans writing the bible and interpreting the word of God were just as flawed as me.

i attempt to live as Christ would, to love ALL others as i love myself.

i'm not sure if others would see this as the true definition but it's my definition.
My sentiments exactly.
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Old 06-16-2003, 06:38 PM   #20
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Originally posted by anitram
I like this quote, by Mother Teresa.

"I believe in person to person. Every person is Christ for me, and since there is only one Jesus, that person is the one person in the world at that moment."
I have thought about this from the day you have posted it. It is awesome. Truly Awesome.

EDIT:

You posted it yesterday? It feels like I read it eons ago.
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