Is Christianity a religion any more?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by tigerbob, May 6, 2009.

  1. tigerbob
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    tigerbob Increasingly jaded.

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    It's been interesting to read all that threads about Christianity that have sprung up over the last few weeks. With the exception of a few dweebs who have added very little to the debate, some of the posts from both believers and non believers have been very interesting.

    A lot of non Christians have come to threads with a view of what Christians will feel about certain topics, only to be pleasantly surprised that it's not quite as cut and dried as all that, or to be infuriated when they can't pigeonhole as easily as they'd imagined.

    One of the most prominent assumptions is that all Christians are opposed to certain things, such as gay marriage, abortion, stem cell research, etc. It would be nice I suppose for the purposes of discussion if that were true as it would make debating Christians a lot easier. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Some Christians believe that other Christians are damned to hell because what they believe does not follow the specific words of Christ as revealed in the Bible. Others feel that those who dogmatically follow the Bible are often guilty of ignoring the true message of Jesus - that of "do unto others".

    How can members of one global religion be so at odds with each other? Indeed, is Christianity a religion at all, or is it just a euphemism for several different sects who all believe in the same God but come at it from different directions?

    I'll give you 3 examples that are personal to me, on the basis of my brand of Christianity (Anglican) and my wife's (Roman Catholic). I'm sure others will have different experiences.

    1. As an Anglican, I am not supposed to take communion in a Catholic church. Anglicans believe that the host is symbolic, whereas Catholics believe it is literal.

    2. My wife was married before. She is divorced, but her marriage has not been annulled by the Catholic church. We were married by a non denominational priest. According to Catholicism, we are living in a state of sin.

    3. About 20 years ago, I joined a masonic lodge. I'm still a mason, though I don't attend any more. Pope Benedict ruled a few years ago (when still a Cardinal) in a declaration called "Quaesitum Est" that "... the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion." So, uh-oh I'm damned again.

    I've sometimes had difficulty explaining to posters why I don't believe something that they thought was a key tenet of Christianity. It's rather like being called both a left wingnut and a right wingnut in the same thread (which has happened more than once).

    It seems to me that some posters are incapable of appreciating that one belief doesn't always necessitate another. I'm probably closer spiritually to some Muslims and Jews than I am to some branches of Christianity. This dichotomy is highly inconvenient on a message board, but there you go.
     
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  2. RodISHI
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    RodISHI Gold Member

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    It does appear to be a major problem when you see so many different opinions. Then the debates get really nasty. It still all boils down to being a Christian is "personal faith". It can mean a group in a religious setting but that surely does not make anyone group any better than the other when they all live by the precepts of the flesh when they gather together to bite at one another.

    By all appearance when looking at what is transpiring it could give the impression that something is dying but with death comes new life. The old passes away to give way to the new. When he old flower dies it leaves behind the seeds that will spout with new and fresh blossoms.
    Jesus stated;
    Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.


    He also told His followers to not worry about those others over yonder. And He repeatedly told them, "follow me".

    When He speaking to the scribes and pharisees of Jerusalem He told them, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me."
     
  3. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    The core of Christianity is that it takes only one t hing to attain heaven, and that is faith in Jesus CHrist as savior.

    Non-believers think that we personally believe we can look at people and determine whether or not they are damned, and while that is true in some cases, it's just a part of the religion. Non-believers take it personally, as if we MADE it that way, and it's because of our own arrogance that it is so.

    But it's not. It's simply what God tells us. We love and fear God, it is a good Christian's most fervent desire that everyone be saved. But the Bible tells us that we are a lost people without Christ. It isn't personal, it isn't directed by man. But most non-believers take that very personally and think somehow that we are to blame for that simple fact, and resent us because of it.
     
  4. RodISHI
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    RodISHI Gold Member

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    It would be kind of hard for someone to hear the message Jesus gave if someone has already cut off their ear though, don't you think?
     
  5. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    I have no idea what you're talking about.
     
  6. RodISHI
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    RodISHI Gold Member

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  7. tigerbob
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    tigerbob Increasingly jaded.

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    The fact that, in their religious zeal, some Christians think it is important to attack those who do not share their beliefs?
     
  8. Newby
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    Newby Does it get any better? Supporting Member

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    'Some' being the key word there, and I think that they aren't anywhere near the majority, at least not as far as what I've personally seen in my own experiences. I think Christians are attacked for their beliefs much more than they attack those that don't believe as they do.

    I also think that Christianity has been as you have described ever since it's inception, I really don't think it's all that different today than it was 100's of years ago. Your description was the very reason this country was founded to begin with. Christians not agreeing on what the 'true faith' was and wanting to practice it freely as they saw fit to practice it is what sent the Puritans here in the first place to colonize.
     
  9. tigerbob
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    tigerbob Increasingly jaded.

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    Yes, my use of the word "some" was quite deliberate.
     
  10. Newby
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    Newby Does it get any better? Supporting Member

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    And what percentage of Christians would you think 'attack those that don't agree with their faith'?
     

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