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calling all (non)believers
Mark Posted: Sat May 12 12:05:15 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Hello there my fellow GT’ers. I have a question for you. Well, especially to those who follow the Christian religion, but of course anyone may answer :) Last week I had an appointment with two Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW) to talk about religion and sorts. In Christianity there are many different subgroups (or whatever it is called) like Catholics, Protestant, etc. all claiming to be the right way to God. Now for me as someone who isn’t raised with any kind of religious believe in mind always thought the tales told by any of the subgroups where all the same minus some details and the big picture of Christianity was easy to be understood.

The meeting with the JW changed this view radically. Of course Jesus is the way, but many things differ from what I always knew as typically Christian. For as long as I can remember Christianity was, besides Jesus, about good and evil, God and Satan, when you die you go to heaven or hell, the holy trinity, all that is happening is Gods will, etc. The JW, however, claimed that many things aren’t (or shouldn’t be) in true Christianity. Why? Because those claims can’t be found in the Bible and thus are from a human source.

I must say that when searching I could not find anything in the Bible that could support some claims that have been made. Nowhere could I find anything about being God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to be exactly the same being (which the description of the trinity led me to believe) nor could I find anything about us going to heaven or hell after death. The JW indeed don’t believe in heaven and hell, which made me frown, because I thought it was a fundamental part of Christianity.

Last couple of days I’ve been thinking about this and although I’m not a Christian or a true theist for that matter, I would like to know more about this because it might mean that I need to change my views on Christianity / religions. I can’t find the answer in books though and I would like you people to give me your views on Christianity and what you think is true. If you consider yourself a part of a subgroup of Christianity please state that in your reply. And one request, please don’t turn this thread in some kind of flame war between religions and atheists. Thnx :)


 
FN Posted: Sat May 12 12:12:04 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  You're better of with Christophanity.

Cookies for all!


 
libra Posted: Sat May 12 13:19:41 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  I"m an athiest. But i'm also an anthropology major, and that kind has given me an idea of the trends of humanity.

As far as the bible. I'm sure some of the things in it have happened in some form at some point. But, like most documents produced by humans, it will always be written in a way to aid a certain group of people.

Archaeologists don't take the mythology, the writings of any past culture as pure fact. They see it as an example of the culture at the time.
Basically, I see the bible in the same way.

Of course, there are always factions within major religions...as different groups wish to gain a specific following, fit their religion to their lifestyle.

I tend to be a functionalist when it comes to religion. No matter where you look, it serves a purpose in the greater environment for people.

I remember reading something by my favorite author once, who is religious. She says that the bible is a book, a fictional book, written by human beings. She says that it contains some wonderful sentiments. But she says that her religion is beyond the bible and she's not going to pretend that book contains all the answers.


Wow. I don't know if that is at all what you wanted, but I just thought I'd type up what i was thinking.


 
kurohyou Posted: Sat May 12 23:58:13 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  I'm responding off the cuff here so anyone may feel free to correct me if I get any part of this, sure to be ranting, message out of place...

My religious background is varied.

*Raised Jehovah's Witness
*Married to a Christian, and have spent a lot of time with them.
*Thought I was Born again for a brief moment
*Currently a Buddhist and consider myself spiritual and not relgious.


Mark said:
>Hello there my fellow GT’ers. I have a question for you. Well, especially to those who follow the Christian religion, but of course anyone may answer :) Last week I had an appointment with two Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW) to talk about religion and sorts.

First off I was raised a Jehovah's Witness, though I used the term "raised" loosly. Our attendance at religious functions fluxuated from non attendance to months on end, to my mother taking a fanitical stance and having us attend all the meetings each week (4 a week)

Although our attendance and overall participation was irratic, that did not keep my mom from maintaining a strict believe, even to this day, that the brand of religion extholed by the JW's was the truth. A belief which, they themselves believe with such tenacity that they refer to their teachings as "the truth."

I'll shorten my rant on my JW background by summarizing it simply...I'm no longer a JW.

>In Christianity there are many different subgroups (or whatever it is called) like Catholics, Protestant, etc. all claiming to be the right way to God. Now for me as someone who isn’t raised with any kind of religious believe in mind always thought the tales told by any of the subgroups where all the same minus some details and the big picture of Christianity was easy to be understood.


My wife is a devout Christian and her and I, when we started dating had some pretty intense discussions about our differing views of religions. While I am not longer a JW, that upbringing did affect the way in which I saw religion, and was the basis from which I would argue about religion. That still holds true today to an extend, just proving that the things we learn in childhood take strong hold of us.

In most Christian circles JW's are classified as a cult. Some are very upset when they are considered Christian. I have seen similar Christian responses to Mormons. But for the most part the JW view of Christianity, though it has the same characters, is not nearly accepted as the other divisions of Christianity.

>The meeting with the JW changed this view radically. Of course Jesus is the way, but many things differ from what I always knew as typically Christian. For as long as I can remember Christianity was, besides Jesus, about good and evil, God and Satan, when you die you go to heaven or hell, the holy trinity, all that is happening is Gods will, etc. The JW, however, claimed that many things aren’t (or shouldn’t be) in true Christianity. Why? Because those claims can’t be found in the Bible and thus are from a human source.

The JW contention is as you described it and I think does have some validity. One of the things which I always felt did pay creedance to some of their assersions was the fact that much of christianity as it is known today was derived from the Council of Nicea (sp). If memory serves this was when the bible as we know it today was defined and some of the other things which make christanity what it is were established (the divinity of christ, virgin birth, etc. Though I may be getting historical facts confused with the Davinci Code :) )

I have fought this point with my wife and it is one of the things that is my biggest problem with christainity as it sits today. The fact that it was defined by a council and not the word of christ is disconcerting to me. But then again, who am I?


>I must say that when searching I could not find anything in the Bible that could support some claims that have been made. Nowhere could I find anything about being God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to be exactly the same being (which the description of the trinity led me to believe) nor could I find anything about us going to heaven or hell after death. The JW indeed don’t believe in heaven and hell, which made me frown, because I thought it was a fundamental part of Christianity.

Much of the contentions between mainstream christianity and JW's seems to be more semantical than anything. What I have found in my readings is that the basic beliefs and tenants are the same as you have mentioned but that at a few key places there are fundamental arguements based around semantics. These semantics tend to revolve around interpretations of particular parts of the bible.

One in particular which I recall is the Scripture at John 1:1. Most bibles will read. "In the begining was the word, and the word was with god and the word was god." The JW Bible, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, does not have the last part of "...and the word was god." This is one of the locations JW's will point to as evidence against the trinity, which as you pointed out they don't believe in.

Again, as I mentioned before, a lot of the conflict between JW's and most christianity lies in the JW intrepretation of certain things being off the beaten, and acceptable, path of most christainity.


>Last couple of days I’ve been thinking about this and although I’m not a Christian or a true theist for that matter, I would like to know more about this because it might mean that I need to change my views on Christianity / religions. I can’t find the answer in books though and I would like you people to give me your views on Christianity and what you think is true. If you consider yourself a part of a subgroup of Christianity please state that in your reply. And one request, please don’t turn this thread in some kind of flame war between religions and atheists. Thnx :)

In short, since I have ranted on here for far longer that I expected to, I hold most religions with a level of respect, if for no other reason than that I respect and individual's capacity to have faith in something.

For me a lot of what JW's said made sense and has set the framework for my spritual path as an adult. However, too much of it didn't make sense and thus I was not able to continue with it as a spritual course for my life. (That is a long story...trust me but if you want to hear it I'll share.)

For my part, as I begin yet another examination of christianity, I am reading and studying about the gnostics and the like. I have just started reading a book called "Inner Christianity" and "Misquoting Jesus" which look to be interesting reads. My goal is to find the experience of christanity outside of the church.

I've ranted too long and I'm going to stop... I'm sure I'll jump back into this fray as it goes on...

For what it's worth...


 
innocenceNonus Posted: Mon May 14 21:09:14 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Mark said:
>For as long as I can remember Christianity was, besides Jesus, about good and evil, God and Satan, when you die you go to heaven or hell, the holy trinity, all that is happening is Gods will, etc.

Hey Mark,

I just wanted to put in a quick word here. While I can understand that interpretation [and it doesn't surprise me given what many people like to reinforce], Christianity [in my opinion] isn't about that. The battle of good and evil, right and wrong, etc etc is a big part of religion, I'll admit-- but not Christianity. Most religions have similar views on morals and ethics-- that there's a right and a wrong, some sort of Heaven and Hell... a saviour figure, etc.

But what makes Christianity Christianity is the Jesus factor. And while Jesus did "save" everyone, I don't think the end result is the big deal so much as WHY He did it. Several religions have a "saviour" figure, but Jesus is the only one with a different reason WHY. And just as Christ spoke to the prostitute, the man on the cross, the countless beggars and cripples and those with leprosy-- He didn't come into the world to condemn but to save. And He never focused on the fact that He was saving (Jesus was never "Oh! Look at me! I'm cleansing you! I'm healing you! Look at me and look at what I can do! Me me me, I I I! The Big J!"), but more on why He was doing it. He constantly says, "YOUR sins are forgiven. Leave YOUR life of sin. YOUR faith has healed you."

To me, Christianity isn't about Heaven or Hell or even getting saved. It's about building a relationship with the God [the only one, I might add] that died for me out of love. Not out of duty or even necessity but to save me from my own stubbornness. [Want that explained? Leave me a note!]

>Nowhere could I find anything about being God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to be exactly the same being (which the description of the trinity led me to believe) nor could I find anything about us going to heaven or hell after death.

lol. Ok... to start of with Jesus being God and God being Christ: there are SEVERAL verses where Christ claims to be God. Most of them are where Christ claims to cleanse sins-- this is [by the Jewish faith] only a power accorded to God himself. To claim this was to claim to be God. Also, Christ consistently refers to himself as a Shepherd, which God is also known as. There are so many more, but to find them all, I'd have to read through the old testament and the Gospels in order to find them all for you. BUT, this I promise you, if you read the Gospels you will see that Christ clearly claims to be God. After all, He was crucified for blasphemy... What blasphemy would He be performing if not that?

As for the trinity, Jesus consistently refers to God as the Father. John 10 supports this, as do several other passages. The book of John also starts off with describing how the Word was with God. It's understood that the Word is Christ, sent to men by God. Secondly, in Genesis, if you are careful, you can note that when God talks to himself, he says, "Let us." Why us if it's just him? Why speak?? There's more evidence throughout the Bible, but those are the ones I could come up with off the top of my head.

>The JW indeed don�t believe in heaven and hell, which made me frown, because I thought it was a fundamental part of Christianity.
>

Go to www.biblegateway.com and type in Hell to search the Bible. You get ENDLESS hits. Type in Heaven and skip to page 15-- there are all the new testament references...

I have heard that JW use a different "Bible," but I don't think it's been approved by the Bible ppl or whoever they are... similarly to the book of Mormon... either way, I don't think either texts are used by most Christians or established as Bibles by most churches.




As for my personal statement about christianity, it's simple.

It's not a religion; it's a relationship. And anyone who's got a hardcore relationship with Jesus will Amen to that, I guarantee you.

There's this huge misconception that going to church or praying a lot means you're a Christian. but what's the point if you never really know God? If you look at those Christ blesses and promises a seat in Heaven, they're not the people that blindly worship Him. They're not people that never sin or know the laws backwards and forwards. They're people who've been at serious lows in life... who've been rejected, outcasted, told to die by all except God. [I use God and Christ interchangeably]

If you read the parable of the prodigal son/ lost son, you see that God is a father that runs to you with open arms. He delights in us because He created us. But when we just do all the talking [or even just not talk to Him at all and don't bother listening], what sense does that make?

God is consistently portrayed as a Father. Now, I dunno if you're a dad, but imagine that you are. And imagine that your son, having grown up, never calls, writes, or talks to you. Or imagine that he does all that but never listen. How heartbroken would you be? Now imagine that you always try to talk to him. You always try to be there for him and love him. Even though he ignores you, you still send him money and gifts and whatever help you can. And he takes it but says NOTHING to you.

And how much joy would you feel if he did start listening? If he did start talking?

That's what God wants.

If you read the new testament, Christ consistently tells the Pharisees that they don't get it. That they can't see and arer blind. That's because they believe by blindly following laws and doing rote prayers, they're getting in with God. But Christ shows us that the people who get to know God, who follow Him and yearn to know His heart, people who trust in Him and give Him their all-- those are the people who get it.

If you honestly want to know, follow [sorta] the JW advice. Stick to what's EXACTLY in the Bible. Go to your local bookstore and buy one. Or you can search online and probably get one for free. Or borrow someone's.

Read the Gospels and see for yourself. Certain parts can be confusing, but I promise-- you'll find a TON of answers to your questions.

I myself don't believe in having denominations and such and such. They exist, I know, but I don't follow them. Factions and breaks in the church were implemented by people, not God.

If you read the new testament, you see clearly that God wanted Christians to be one group- to love one another and support each other and to really show to people the nature of Christ as He is... not as how we want Him to be.

THAT'S Christianity. Not a religion... but a relationship. corny, but true in so many ways.


 
addi Posted: Mon May 14 21:18:37 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  my god...I just read your post, innocence, and I feel like I just got through a long sunday sermon...just like the old days.

*must go wash the sin from my hands now

: )


 
innocenceNonus Posted: Mon May 14 21:37:14 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Hey libra,

No attacks... but I do want to address your points as well. In the end, I totally respect your right to believe what you want to believe, but I figured that it'd be a good exercise for myself... plus, added input might add to the fun... [or mass chaos].

But I seriously mean NO intent to offend. Hope you don't find any!

best.

libra said:
>>As far as the bible. I'm sure some of the things in it have happened in some form at some point. But, like most documents produced by humans, it will always be written in a way to aid a certain group of people.
>

i kinda agree. do i take the bible completely literally? no... but do i think most of it is legit? yes. everything you need is in context.

as for it being a religious agenda, i think some parts of the bible can be considered so... but i think for the most part the gospels aren't. when i read it [and maybe i'm a little biased, lol... but test me on this], sure you get the "JESUS IS SO COOL" deal... but it's not really forwarding the reputation of christians at all. if anything, there are strange bits in there that I never really quite understood until after being a Christian and learning... A LOT. like, for example, when Jesus says, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me," or when He tells everyone "Eat my flesh and drink my blood!" [which is funny, because I believe the MArilyn Manson thread is titled similarly.]

In my opinion, and I mean this with COMPLETE humility, the gospels are just a record [credible or uncredible is a different debate]. they don't really aid a group of people [though today they are used in such a manner]; instead, they're written as documentation of who the writers heard/ thought of Jesus as. the most biased book i can think of is the book of John, but a pretty factual one is Luke, who bothers putting in a lot of places and dates.

i mean, if you read the gospels, Jesus [aside from the things He does] seems fairly unremarkable. No glowing robe [until later], no "JESUS IS INFALLIBLE AND ALL SHOULD BOW BEFORE HIM!" It's written fairly plainly [which makes sense], and most of them are recordings or parables or things like, "And then the sky turned as night and a great wail arose from the earth."

Feel free to comment back on this, though.

[Just wanted to note: I'm completely open to questions and, if inclined, attacks. My aim is to find the TRUTH; i don't want to spend my life believing in a hokey religion. But Christianity is the one that I've been able to find the most truth in, and that I've felt the most connection with... that's not to say that I don't have doubts some days or that sometimes, I just can't feel Him there... but i'm definitely open to learning about new religions and seeing if they're true or not.]

>Archaeologists don't take the mythology, the writings of any past culture as pure fact. They see it as an example of the culture at the time.

I've heard that before too. Makes sense, but I'm guessing that we derive ancient history from a compilation of sources, like the documentations of emperors like Nero? Correct me if I'm wrong.

>Of course, there are always factions within major religions...as different groups wish to gain a specific following, fit their religion to their lifestyle.

i see this and agree. that's why i detest religion. in my opinion, christianity [as i see it] is solid. if we're allowed to change it to fit us and what we want to believe [like altering translations or leaving parts out that we don't want to consider [feel free to comment on the latter btw, since most of you undoubtedly know about how certain books were not considered as part of the Bible, despite being about Jesus]], then what's to stop us from inventing our own religion or doing whatever we want? no real reason. we just tweak Christianity so it says what we want it to say and fits out agenda.... [gross.]

>I tend to be a functionalist when it comes to religion. No matter where you look, it serves a purpose in the greater environment for people.
>

i kinda agree. i think having a religion helps some people... comforts them, perhaps. but i think the impact organized religion has made on the world in general is pretty bad. Crusades, jihads, fundamentalism, targeted hate... list goes on. : (

>I remember reading something by my favorite author once, who is religious. She says that the bible is a book, a fictional book, written by human beings. She says that it contains some wonderful sentiments. But she says that her religion is beyond the bible and she's not going to pretend that book contains all the answers.
>

I can see what she means. She's more spiritual than religious, and in a way, I agree.

But I'd love to ask her that if the Bible is fiction, what's the point in believing anything it says? Why not the Koran or Confucianism or Taoism or even Nihilism?

So many philosophies and religions are available to us, and we do indeed pick the one we wish to follow. But how can they all be right when some of them directly contradict each other?

Do we become Christian without the Christ? Muslism without the Allah? Buddhist without the Buddha/ Enlightenment? Jewish without God?

I think you can like broccoli or dislike broccoli. Or you can some days like it or some days hate it. But you can't say Broccoli is blue when it's green...

you could make the argument that what is blue to one person may be green to another, but that's the deal with semantics. in the end, it's the same color and claiming that it's a different one [regardless of name] would not be true.

so my interest is to which religion is legit... because they can't all be at one time.

>
>Wow. I don't know if that is at all what you wanted, but I just thought I'd type up what i was thinking.


 
innocenceNonus Posted: Mon May 14 21:40:07 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>my god...I just read your post, innocence, and I feel like I just got through a long sunday sermon...just like the old days.
>
>*must go wash the sin from my hands now
>
>: )


hahahaha. didn't mean to preach... more like draw out lines of what i believe Christianity is...

if i wanted to preach...

"LAZY SLOTHS! WHY ARE YOU ON GT INSTEAD OF WORKING?!?!"

oh wait... but i'm REALLY guilty on that one...

::sigh:: O Hyprocrisy, how you follow the plight of the church.


 
innocenceNonus Posted: Mon May 14 21:54:27 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  AND ANOTHER POST:

I DO respect everyone's right to choose their faith. Really.

I don't think my aim in life is to convert people... and I think that when that's a Christian's only agenda... when it's they're number one priority... they might wanna step back and talk to God for a bit.

My aim in life is to follow God's will and seek Him. And He has set it before me that [for right now] I should be showing people Christ through my actions and my words. Granted, I slip up [Christians are just as human as everyone else... personally, I'm a big blunderer and am always making mistakes], but I hope that those times, people can forgive me and look past them. I'm a fairly new Christian [gonna be two years in a few months], but I've learned a lot and am still learning.

And I just want to establish that part of being Christian is a passion for the truth. And I honestly believe in that-- so if there's a real religion out there, one that's THE truth and it's not Christianity, I wanna know.

I can't believe that it's "no religion" because when I had no religion in my life, I wasn't happy. Ok... maybe that's a lie. There were times when I was happy [being around my friends, laughing, being away from my family...], but I was never happy ALL the time. I was never at complete peace. There was always something on my back, from my relatinship with my mom to just plain and simple being bored out of my mind and hating my life.

And I'm not saying I don't have bad days anymore. It's just that... I dunno. It's like... even though bad things happen, I'm okay with that. I still feel pain; I still feel hurt. Christianity doesn't make me impervious or apathetic. But beneath all that, there's now a calm and a feeling that I can take on anything. There's assurance and solidity.

either way, God gave us freedom of choice for a reason. And for me to deny someone that right would [in my opinion] be going against the will of God.

but to find the truth and to find out what's legit- i'm down for that.

SO LET'S GOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! [i am so excited]

PS- i love talking about religion... in case you couldn't tell... and i LOVE hard questions... and debate.

but not hate [as in me being seen as hating on someone else]. i don't do that sorta deal, so if you think it's goin' down, let me know. BUT, at the same time, don't confuse debate with hate/ loss of respect... i don't think i will [but if it happens... call me out!]

okay...

i really hope i've disclaimer-ed myself out....


 
kurohyou Posted: Mon May 14 22:45:52 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  innocenceNonus said:
>I have heard that JW use a different "Bible," but I don't think it's been approved by the Bible ppl or whoever they are... similarly to the book of Mormon... either way, I don't think either texts are used by most Christians or established as Bibles by most churches.

The JW's use The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. From what I recall its based off of the translation by Tyndale, who, if I recall correctly attempted to make his translation accessible to common people, so it was easier to read than say the King James Bible, which has a lot of old english in it.

But yes, you are right when you said that "their bible" is sorta frowned upon by main stream christians who use either the King James, or as I have seen in most Churches the NIV Translations.

I personally have a hard time believing that the bible has remained untainted through all of these translations and iterations that it has gone through. I also, as I think I mentioned before have a hard time with the fact that it was decided by a council which books to include in the bible and which not to. I recently read the book of Enoch, which was one of the gnostics, and it told mostly the story of the fall of the angels which is mentioned in Genesis but not to the extent that it is discussed in Enoch.

And with that I managed to lose my train of thought so I'm going to go wander into this horrendous rain storm we are having and watch the lighting...

For what it's worth...


 
innocenceNonus Posted: Mon May 14 22:59:23 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  kurohyou said:
>The JW's use The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. From what I recall its based off of the translation by Tyndale, who, if I recall correctly attempted to make his translation accessible to common people, so it was easier to read than say the King James Bible, which has a lot of old english in it.
>

i just wanted to say thanks for the clarification. : )

>I personally have a hard time believing that the bible has remained untainted through all of these translations and iterations that it has gone through.

understandable. i've heard that monks would fall asleep at a line and then begin with the next one... or some copies lack chunks altogether. but i've also heard that the copies of the Bible/ biblical texts are directly translated [few versions are actually paraphrased... one that is, i think, is The Message] and i think the translated texts are approved by the Bible ppl [hahahahaha] to be accurate translations... compilation of all texts and copies and weeded out, i think. also, despite undoubtedly being copied incorrectly at points, it IS the most copied document since its inception [and even before] so there are lots of records to translate from.

as a side note, i believe the NIV has that little blurb in John or Luke or Mark where it's not found in most texts... i think they found it with the dead sea scrolls and a few others or something like that. THAT always interested me.

>I also, as I think I mentioned before have a hard time with the fact that it was decided by a council which books to include in the bible and which not to. I recently read the book of Enoch, which was one of the gnostics, and it told mostly the story of the fall of the angels which is mentioned in Genesis but not to the extent that it is discussed in Enoch.
>

i've always wanted to read the ones that didn't make it. maybe i should just be a religious studies major... i think that'd be cool.

i believe the reason certain books didn't make the cut was because of a lack of common voice with the rest of the books, and even still, apparently the decision was hard to make. i forget the length of time devoted to debating and arguing which books should be included in TEH BIBLE, but it was long. as for the "gospels" that didn't make it, i believe that another reason was because they contained LOTS of stories the others didn't... to the extent that it seemed very different.

fact: when compiling witness stories for a crime or scene or anything, a certain percentage of the stories always matches while a percentage differs. i forget the percentage [about 70 or a little more... 73?? that coincides], but it's the same exact percentage of coincidence in the gospels in the Bible. chuck it out to coincidence, but i still thought that was a cool factoid.

>For what it's worth...

it's worth a lot. thanks. :)

PS-- i don't want this to become a flame war, either... i just want to have an open religions forum.


 
libra Posted: Tue May 15 04:23:49 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  innocenceNonus said:

>
>i kinda agree. do i take the bible completely literally? no... but do i think most of it is legit? yes. everything you need is in context.
>
>as for it being a religious agenda, i think some parts of the bible can be considered so... but i think for the most part the gospels aren't. when i read it [and maybe i'm a little biased, lol... but test me on this], sure you get the "JESUS IS SO COOL" deal... but it's not really forwarding the reputation of christians at all. if anything, there are strange bits in there that I never really quite understood until after being a Christian and learning... A LOT. like, for example, when Jesus says, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me," or when He tells everyone "Eat my flesh and drink my blood!" [which is funny, because I believe the MArilyn Manson thread is titled similarly.]
>
>In my opinion, and I mean this with COMPLETE humility, the gospels are just a record [credible or uncredible is a different debate]. they don't really aid a group of people [though today they are used in such a manner]; instead, they're written as documentation of who the writers heard/ thought of Jesus as. the most biased book i can think of is the book of John, but a pretty factual one is Luke, who bothers putting in a lot of places and dates.
>

But, as we see today, a record of anything is up for debate. But as you said, that's a different debate. The thing I want to point out is those gospes that were chosen and those left out was a conscious decision of groups of people (Council of Nicea)

>
>
>[Just wanted to note: I'm completely open to questions and, if inclined, attacks. My aim is to find the TRUTH; i don't want to spend my life believing in a hokey religion. But Christianity is the one that I've been able to find the most truth in, and that I've felt the most connection with... that's not to say that I don't have doubts some days or that sometimes, I just can't feel Him there... but i'm definitely open to learning about new religions and seeing if they're true or not.]
>

I honestly don't think that you can speak of truth when speaking about religion.
There are no facts.
There are things that apply to your perspective on life, and things that don't.
In my opinion, accepting one religion as truth is accepting all of them as truth, as they all arise from the same place of human questioning.
If one is true, then they all are, if one is not, then none of them are.

>
>I've heard that before too. Makes sense, but I'm guessing that we derive ancient history from a compilation of sources, like the documentations of emperors like Nero? Correct me if I'm wrong.
>
People put together pictures, for sure. But an archaeologist would be careful in using the bible to find things. They may use descriptions to locate something, or may look to it as a sign of certain cultural struggles or values. But never would they assume that it includes the entire fact of the time, just as they would never assume that mayan writing depicted the exact stories of rulers and their accomplishments. Rather, you would view them as speaking to how people felt about their rulers, how the rulers manipulated the public opinion, important value systems for the times, etc.


>>Of course, there are always factions within major religions...as different groups wish to gain a specific following, fit their religion to their lifestyle.
>
>i see this and agree. that's why i detest religion. in my opinion, christianity [as i see it] is solid. if we're allowed to change it to fit us and what we want to believe [like altering translations or leaving parts out that we don't want to consider [feel free to comment on the latter btw, since most of you undoubtedly know about how certain books were not considered as part of the Bible, despite being about Jesus]], then what's to stop us from inventing our own religion or doing whatever we want? no real reason. we just tweak Christianity so it says what we want it to say and fits out agenda.... [gross.]
>

I agree with you on this, and I think its definitely something to take into account when thinking about the validity of the bible.


>
>i kinda agree. i think having a religion helps some people... comforts them, perhaps. but i think the impact organized religion has made on the world in general is pretty bad. Crusades, jihads, fundamentalism, targeted hate... list goes on. : (

I totally agree on this point too, and I think that religion has given really bad events legitimacy they never would have garnered without religion.

>
>
>I can see what she means. She's more spiritual than religious, and in a way, I agree.
>
>But I'd love to ask her that if the Bible is fiction, what's the point in believing anything it says? Why not the Koran or Confucianism or Taoism or even Nihilism?
>

I think that this is it though, we have so many systems, does that not automatically point to the fact that none may be the absolute truth? If every culture in documentable history ever since Mesopotamia has a religious/belief system, should we not see that as a cultural element, and therefore, just like all other cultural elements, not to be taken as pure fact?


>So many philosophies and religions are available to us, and we do indeed pick the one we wish to follow. But how can they all be right when some of them directly contradict each other?
>
>Do we become Christian without the Christ? Muslism without the Allah? Buddhist without the Buddha/ Enlightenment? Jewish without God?
>
>I think you can like broccoli or dislike broccoli. Or you can some days like it or some days hate it. But you can't say Broccoli is blue when it's green...
>
>you could make the argument that what is blue to one person may be green to another, but that's the deal with semantics. in the end, it's the same color and claiming that it's a different one [regardless of name] would not be true.
>
>so my interest is to which religion is legit... because they can't all be at one time.
>

I don't think any of them are 'legitimate,' but at the same time, they all have to be--just because of the influence they have over people. I think if there is some sort of divine creator, he/she/sexless being is not at all predictable by us. The stories we create, the doctrine we follow. It is a nice way of arranging life.
I don't honestly think you can ask which religion is most legitimate. You will never find that answer. Because, unlike science, there is absolutely no way to test any part of it.

I don't think there are any truths in life, outside of scientific discovery. We know gravity is true. We know hydrogen and oxygen make water. We know evolution is true.
But people are people. They do good things, bad things, and a range of things in between.
Searching for truth seems to be futile to me. For all we know, this is the only life we have. Spending it finding things we enjoy, things that challenge us, things we find beautiful or interesting..that's important. If religion fits into that spectrum, then so be it. But I don't think you will ever find a way to say that any specific religion is true.


 
innocenceNonus Posted: Tue May 15 06:08:38 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  libra said:
>But, as we see today, a record of anything is up for debate. But as you said, that's a different debate. The thing I want to point out is those gospes that were chosen and those left out was a conscious decision of groups of people (Council of Nicea)
>

Right. That I totally acknowledge, but if you read the books left out and those kept in, you can see fairly stark differences [though i've heard that some of them come close to maintaining the same voice/ mood in the rest of the Bible... apparently, a few books were very difficult to cut]. And many of them contain notes and ideas not found anywhere else within the books accepted as The Bible. Besides, unless I'm mistaken [and I might be], I think the Bible is meant to rep the general knowledge given by God to people... kinda like a God canon, whereas the other books are extra. So even if people wanted to, they could still pick up the extra books for study and reading, but their validity [as with the Bible itself] would be under question.

>I honestly don't think that you can speak of truth when speaking about religion.
>There are no facts.
>There are things that apply to your perspective on life, and things that don't.
>In my opinion, accepting one religion as truth is accepting all of them as truth, as they all arise from the same place of human questioning.
>If one is true, then they all are, if one is not, then none of them are.

so, I'm assuming that you mean that people have created religion as a mean to fill that "need" or inclination that man has-- a cultural thing, right? so by believing in one religion, any religion will do since it's all filling the same void, right?

i like that. let's run with it a minute. if humanity in general has a need for some form of religion, why? and why would some people need it and others not?

and if religion is just manifestations of our own need for some sort of divine accountability, what do we make of religious phenomenon? do we chalk it up to coincidence or subconscious coincidences that span over continents? i dunno...

i actually would prefer your explanation of things, but i can't find answers to some of the phenomena i myself have seen and heard about. your explanation is certainly far more favorable to man, and it certainly does sound much better... but it's all these little things that beg for proof or for a different explanation.

>I agree with you on this, and I think its definitely something to take into account when thinking about the validity of the bible.

but if we were allowed to tweak the Bible to fit our wishes and desires, would we not get rid of Heaven and Hell? Heck, wouldn't we just cut out the parts of the old testament that portray a vengeful God? if anything, wouldn't we change it to present a more solid and less questionable picture of Christ, not as a a deity but as a prophet of one?

i mean, the way i see the council of Nicea is, i think, comparable to the way you see a historian's job... to weed out the untrue stories or the stories that may not fit and try and find the complete picture. but if these texts were written within the time that people alive during the life of Christ could testify against them and write their own texts, what happened to those? are there any?

i'll try and find some.

>I think that this is it though, we have so many systems, does that not automatically point to the fact that none may be the absolute truth? If every culture in documentable history ever since Mesopotamia has a religious/belief system, should we not see that as a cultural element, and therefore, just like all other cultural elements, not to be taken as pure fact?
>

we could. the religious "problem" i guess is whether we should see it as a cultural part, something we created, or something that was created within us?? and therein likes the religious "problem"-- that you can't really disprove religion itself. i suppose ppl could always pull some explanation or another about how God could be real and fit within the confines of society.

about how parts of evolution are missing and some of it is kinda if-fy [though most of it fairly solid] or how everyone who seems to "experience" Christ feels the same way whereas the experience of other religions is altogether different as well... which I suppose is why ppl have to find a fit for themselves.

i dunno. it all sounds so lovely and perfect and so right. that i'll admit. but those little idiosyncrasies that don't fit... tongues, exorcism, strange coincidences of prayer coinciding with outcome... granted outcome doesn't mean cause but... some of those coincidences have been REALLY weird... prophecies come true that no one would ever foresee... i dunno.

>I don't think any of them are 'legitimate,' but at the same time, they all have to be--just because of the influence they have over people.

i disagree. people react to different religions in different ways, just as people react to different conversations in different ways. so even if we all are influenced by religion, those influences are all different. some ppl are even completely NOT influenced at all.

so we can say that some ppl are cut out for different religions, i guess. but that doesn't mean every religion leads to the same place... because they don't. and how they affect ppl is different too.

so while all religions can claim to support spirituality, they certainly aren't supporting the same thing. Buddhist spirituality is far different from Christian spirituality is far different from Muslim spirituality. And yet, ppl of different races, backgrounds, and cultures experience the same religion in the same way...

I dunno. Maybe I just don't understand what you were trying to say??

>The stories we create, the doctrine we follow. It is a nice way of arranging life.

But if the stories were created, especially those in the Bible, wouldn't there be counter evidence? I mean, if Christ didn't really feed 5000 or even if He didn't really get baptized with a dove flying down, where's all the counter evidence? I mean, Jesus is a historical figure-- He existed and He died... I suppose the question is whether He came back to life. But, and correct me if I'm wrong, there's little counter-evidence from that time period. and Christianity wasn't a large enough force [certainly far less than ppl trying to kill them] to quash the counter evidence.

>I don't honestly think you can ask which religion is most legitimate. You will never find that answer. Because, unlike science, there is absolutely no way to test any part of it.
>

true... sort of. i suppose religious testimonies, conversions, and revelations don't count? or the fulfillment of "prophecies" or other religious phenomena...

>Searching for truth seems to be futile to me. For all we know, this is the only life we have. Spending it finding things we enjoy, things that challenge us, things we find beautiful or interesting..that's important. If religion fits into that spectrum, then so be it. But I don't think you will ever find a way to say that any specific religion is true.

Again, very well said.

I suppose this is the point where we agree to disagree. Granted, Christianity can't be scientifically proven or disproven, though the Bible by geographic testimony and historical testimony is fairly right on. [I'm excluding the miracles of Jesus] And religious phenomena could someday be written away by science. And the fulfillment of prophecies might all turn out to be some sort of ridiculous coincidence that will end in some sort of failed plop...

I suppose in the end we'll all see.


 
addi Posted: Tue May 15 07:29:54 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Interesting thread to read...one of the reasons I come here every day.

innocence, i have to smile reading your posts. you're so where I was once at earlier in my life. I'm no longer at that place, we just look at god and religion from different perspectives now. I don't mean to come off as snooty or condescending either...each of us believes at this moment in time that we hold the "truth" on matters of religious belief, otherwise we're morons. A mormon wouldn't say, "The book of mormon is a bunch of hogwash, but I'm going to follow all it's tenets anyway"..likewise for any devout muslim, hindu, buddhist, etc...

I'm also not convinced that being closer to the reality or "truth" on this subject necessarily makes a person better off. For example, when I did have faith in the absolute literal truth of the bible I could take comfort in a personal loving Jesus that cared about my life and guided me through tough decisions. I can't go back to that way of thinking anymore (I couldn't even if I wanted to), but there's a price to pay for living in my agnostic uncertainty, that makes daily life and the future less structured and more fuzzy. Let's face it, life can be a real bitch sometimes. Having a personal belief system that offers some amount of peace and comfort to the shit thrown our way shouldn't be easily dismissed.

What I do know is true regarding your relationship to Christianity is that you are not a judgmental person. I think you let genuine love towards others rule your life. You also allow for questioning and some degree of doubt regarding doctrine and I think that's essential and extremely important in matters of faith (althought it can sometimes lead you away from the flock).

So keep the faith, Baby. If it helps you live a more fulfilling life right now, and you let love and not intolerance rule your relationships with others, then no one has any justification to say you're on the wrong path.

peace


 
kurohyou Posted: Tue May 15 11:37:26 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  innocenceNonus said:

>understandable. i've heard that monks would fall asleep at a line and then begin with the next one... or some copies lack chunks altogether. but i've also heard that the copies of the Bible/ biblical texts are directly translated [few versions are actually paraphrased... one that is, i think, is The Message] and i think the translated texts are approved by the Bible ppl [hahahahaha] to be accurate translations... compilation of all texts and copies and weeded out, i think. also, despite undoubtedly being copied incorrectly at points, it IS the most copied document since its inception [and even before] so there are lots of records to translate from.

The mere fact that the bible has remained as consistent as it has I think does speak to something. Now whether that is due to the reverence with which it is treated, or whether it is divine intervention I can't speak to. But it has remained fairly consistent through the centuries of translating. It would be relatively safe to say that if a translation came out that was way off the beaten trail it would not be around long. Event the JW bible is fairly consistent with other translations, save for the differences already mentioned.

One of the other things that I have always kept in mind was the fact that the bible was written after all the events and teachings of Christ had come and gone. It was written mostly from the memories of the men who were there because Christainity, as with Buddhism, and I'm guessing many other religions, was transmitted orally before anything was written down.

Differences in the way that the teachings of the Buddha were remembered is what lead to some of the different branches of Buddhism coming into existence 100's of years after his death. Christanity is very similar in that regard.

So I guess I have always read the bible with the understanding that it was written by men and that there could be mistakes. For me, that has not taken away from any of the messages that are contained within it, its just something I keep in the back of my head.

>i believe the reason certain books didn't make the cut was because of a lack of common voice with the rest of the books, and even still, apparently the decision was hard to make. i forget the length of time devoted to debating and arguing which books should be included in TEH BIBLE, but it was long. as for the "gospels" that didn't make it, i believe that another reason was because they contained LOTS of stories the others didn't... to the extent that it seemed very different.

That was one of the explinations I got from a pastor I had this discussion with. And in that context it makes sense. Its like editing a film. You shoot a lot of footage, and while all of that footage is part of that same film, some of it is edited because it doesn't maintain the story as you are seeking to tell it.

I guess the question in my mind as it comes to that is, were the men in the council of Nicia telling the story god intended, or was the story edited to fit their own agenda? And I don't say that to impune the character of those long dead men. I simply bring it up as a question to ponder. Some of the way christainty has been presented does not work well with my personal moral code. For instance...and without getting too far off the path here...

I have always had a problem with the way that the bible has addressed the treatment of women. The standard "wives be in submission to your husbands" and the like. Even some of the statments in the new testament relating to women and divorce just never set well with me. It has always seemed to me that women have been in a subjugated role in the bible, and as a result, a subjugated role in christainity. For me, and its taken me a while to get there, a marriage is a partnership where both parties have equal say. I tend to be leary of a religious book which preaches equality, telling wives to be in submission to their husbands. it doesn't seem to fit.

Now where am I going with this... I promise it has a point. The question in my mind is, was the way in which that particular aspect of the bible, the treatment of women, the way God wanted the story told? Or was it the way in which the council of Nicea wanted the story told? I don't know. I have horribly simplified the way that all that plays in my head so if it doesn't make sense I'm sorry and I'll try again...

>fact: when compiling witness stories for a crime or scene or anything, a certain percentage of the stories always matches while a percentage differs. i forget the percentage [about 70 or a little more... 73?? that coincides], but it's the same exact percentage of coincidence in the gospels in the Bible. chuck it out to coincidence, but i still thought that was a cool factoid.

This is true and we went over it in our interveiw course in the academy. Basic moral is that no two eye witnesses see the same event in the same way, and, the longer the gap between the event and the interview, the less accurate they tend to be...

>PS-- i don't want this to become a flame war, either... i just want to have an open religions forum.

I think everyone is behaving thus far, and, though I'm not easily offended, I don't think anything that you have said could be construed as aggressive or confrontational... Hopefully the same could be said for my little rants.

For what it's worth...


 
kurohyou Posted: Tue May 15 12:04:43 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  libra said:

>I honestly don't think that you can speak of truth when speaking about religion.
>There are no facts.
>There are things that apply to your perspective on life, and things that don't.

I think you can speak of truth when you speak of religion, it all depends on what you are speaking of.

There is truth in the tangible aspects of religion. History has proven that there was a man during the time of Jesus, named Jesus, who was indeed cruxified. That seems pretty solid.

I think where "truth" gets sketchy in religion is when you get into the intangibles. Yes there was a man named Jesus who was indeed cruxified, but was he the son of God? That is not something that history has been able to tell us.

I think that in the coming years one of the great convergences of our time will be that of science and religion. His Holiness the Dali Lama wrote a book on this last year called "The Universe in a Single Atom" though I have not had a chance to read it yet.

But I think that this convergence will be a good thing, and I'm not meaning in the sense that science will once and for all dispell this myth of religion. I think that some look at this convergence as cheapening the religious experience, and I think I can understand that. But I think overall it will be a good thing, and its a necessary thing.

Our world has changed greatly since the time of Buddha and Christ. In their time, fantastic stories of gods and spirits were used to explain the world. From which faith was built and maintained. In a sense it was a simpler time.

Our world today science is what we use to explain things. Mythbusters has ruined so many of the things I used to hold true, and while that is a bad thing for ego and attachment to ideas, its a good thing in our move towards truth.

I think that Science will prove a lot of what religion has spoke of for centuries, and there in solidify the way some of us practice. I think it will also dispel an equal number of things and again, while difficult on the ego and attachment, I think that ultimately we are all looking for the "truth."

And while religion and science cannot fully integrate with each other, I think a lot can be gained from their overlap. One example I can think of is all the excitement over whether Jesus was married or not. Right now its speculation. Perhaps years from now it will be proven. From where I stand whether he was married or not is irrevelant. Does Jesus having a wife change his message? If Jesus had a wife does that mean that I no longer need to do unto others as I would have them do unto me? does that mean that all his teachings are invalid? I don't think so. But that's me.

Ah... Again I have gone off on a tangent...

But one last thing... I like what Albert Einstein said:

"There are two ways to live your life - one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle."



For what it's worth...


 
libra Posted: Tue May 15 13:40:04 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Unfortunately I have to get back to writing my final papers (I graduate in three days!). So I can't say much.

But, innocence,

i think you really should keep all of your questions in mind.
I think that anyone who is religious has to understand that anyone else of any other religion has the same legitimacy to their beliefs as they do. Without that, you see some of the awful things that have happened as a result of religious conviction.

Take comparative religion classes. Take an anthropology class (physical or cultural).


Oh, and one thing:
You have to keep in mind that the people of biblical times were experiencing a far different world than we are. The difference in technology creates a huge difference in the way things are understood. Not just that religious phenomenon may be something we understand perfectly today through science but they would never understand without it. But the literacy rate, the ability to write and document what one sees. These things were INCREDIBLY rare back then. So while the religion spread by word of mouth, it shifts...and when it is written down, it is by select people.

Today, we have tools for backing up/checking our stories. We cannot understand a world in which things are so incredibly uncertain.

And as an aside: I'd just like to say...the bible was created during a time period whose cultural system I would not like to duplicate. The situation for women, the systems of punishment, the treatment of the poor, all of that...it is so distant from those things we experience. If for only that, I'd rather not believe that we should follow the bible.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Tue May 15 13:45:30 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>Interesting thread to read...one of the reasons I come here every day.
>
>innocence, i have to smile reading your posts. you're so where I was once at earlier in my life. I'm no longer at that place, we just look at god and religion from different perspectives now. I don't mean to come off as snooty or condescending either...each of us believes at this moment in time that we hold the "truth" on matters of religious belief, otherwise we're morons. A mormon wouldn't say, "The book of mormon is a bunch of hogwash, but I'm going to follow all it's tenets anyway"..likewise for any devout muslim, hindu, buddhist, etc...
>
>I'm also not convinced that being closer to the reality or "truth" on this subject necessarily makes a person better off. For example, when I did have faith in the absolute literal truth of the bible I could take comfort in a personal loving Jesus that cared about my life and guided me through tough decisions. I can't go back to that way of thinking anymore (I couldn't even if I wanted to), but there's a price to pay for living in my agnostic uncertainty, that makes daily life and the future less structured and more fuzzy. Let's face it, life can be a real bitch sometimes. Having a personal belief system that offers some amount of peace and comfort to the shit thrown our way shouldn't be easily dismissed.
>
>What I do know is true regarding your relationship to Christianity is that you are not a judgmental person. I think you let genuine love towards others rule your life. You also allow for questioning and some degree of doubt regarding doctrine and I think that's essential and extremely important in matters of faith (althought it can sometimes lead you away from the flock).
>
>So keep the faith, Baby. If it helps you live a more fulfilling life right now, and you let love and not intolerance rule your relationships with others, then no one has any justification to say you're on the wrong path.
>
>peace
>
Well said Addi, I couldn't have said it nearly as well.
There have been times that I longed for the comfort that Christians take in their god, but I cannot because I cannot force myself to believe anymore than I could force Innocence not to believe. I can only live with the decisions I make based on my own personal moral code of what is right and wrong and then live with it.
And based on her writings here, Innocence is a good Christian not in the vein of those who would judge you and raise themselves above you because of said judgement, like so many televangelists or Al Sharpton and his ilk.


 
innocenceNonus Posted: Tue May 15 17:57:30 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>peace

that was possibly one of the sweetest messages i've EVER read regarding myself. thanks. : )

lotsa LOOOOOOOVVEEEEEE


 
innocenceNonus Posted: Tue May 15 18:29:27 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  kurohyou said:
>One of the other things that I have always kept in mind was the fact that the bible was written after all the events and teachings of Christ had come and gone. It was written mostly from the memories of the men who were there because Christainity, as with Buddhism, and I'm guessing many other religions, was transmitted orally before anything was written down.
>

not trying to come off antagonistic or rude, but i just wanted to point out that the earliest found texts are within Jesus' generation... just saying...

sometimes, i feel like i'm being such a poop. : (

>So I guess I have always read the bible with the understanding that it was written by men and that there could be mistakes. For me, that has not taken away from any of the messages that are contained within it, its just something I keep in the back of my head.

i kinda agree. i think that as we approach religion, it's important to be open-minded and thoughtful of everything that goes into building/ constructing a "religion." but i dunno... i just don't think that i personally could take the Bible if parts of it were wrong... there are other books and things we can learn ourselves that offer similar if not more understandable advice than certain parts of the Bible. far more believable too.

but i think that if we take the religious aspect away from the Bible, I'd agree with anyone who says it's a decent book of moral teachings.

>I guess the question in my mind as it comes to that is, were the men in the council of Nicia telling the story god intended, or was the story edited to fit their own agenda? And I don't say that to impune the character of those long dead men. I simply bring it up as a question to ponder. Some of the way christainty has been presented does not work well with my personal moral code. For instance...and without getting too far off the path here...

totally understand that. that was one of my problems with the Council of Nicia deal too.

>I have always had a problem with the way that the bible has addressed the treatment of women. The standard "wives be in submission to your husbands" and the like. Even some of the statments in the new testament relating to women and divorce just never set well with me. It has always seemed to me that women have been in a subjugated role in the bible, and as a result, a subjugated role in christainity. For me, and its taken me a while to get there, a marriage is a partnership where both parties have equal say. I tend to be leary of a religious book which preaches equality, telling wives to be in submission to their husbands. it doesn't seem to fit.
>

the way i've read those passages and within the whole, WIVES are supposed to submit to the HUSBANDS. i never really got the impression women had to submit to the authority of men [except within the churhc as said by the apostle Paul [which, on a side note, is not Jesus... lol... just saying... though i think the idea has its own weight and debatibility on its own]

BUT [and it's a big but],

Husbands are supposed to love wives as God loved the church, right? Meaning selflessly, with complete abandon and passion and purity... in that context. And while I supposed to "right" [Biblically speaking] thing to do would that if you were a women being abused by your husband, you would put up with it and just trust in God... perhaps. Though I believe in the instance of cheating, divorces are allowed.

Before anyone says it, I know the actually law says that men can divorce women. And that women may be stoned for cheating on their husbands. But I just wanted to add that it NEVER says that the responsibility is supposed to go the same way back.

And I think this is where the culture shows. The Bible is written from a pro-male stance because it was written by males; but at the same time [especially considering the time period the Bible was written in], the Bible demands a lot of respect for women. Deborah, Esther, Ruth, Mary, even the woman who bled for 12 years and the prostitute and the woman with five ex-husbands and was currently living with a man. So I guess what I'm saying is that the Bible was not written to oppress women or demean them, but i don't think the woman question was ever truly addressed in the way our culture today needs it.

I also want to point out Psalms... 139?? I'm not sure that's the one, but one of the psalms talking about the ideal woman has her taking part in business... lol. like, legit business [what would be respectable for a woman of the time to be undertaking.]

>Now where am I going with this... I promise it has a point. The question in my mind is, was the way in which that particular aspect of the bible, the treatment of women, the way God wanted the story told? Or was it the way in which the council of Nicea wanted the story told? I don't know. I have horribly simplified the way that all that plays in my head so if it doesn't make sense I'm sorry and I'll try again...

i think it's the way that the society of the time could understand and obey it. if you read the bible [not YOU you], you can see this time progession. does the Bible change through time?? in a way, yes. but does God? no. more like, the Bible changes as to fit the understanding of the people.

Example: slavery. in biblical times, slavery was considered okay and a part of society [granted, they treated their slaves NOTHING those in the US pre- Civil War]. but even in the old testament, we have God saying that the ppl are to treat the aliens among them as they would treat themselves. Masters are supposed to love their slaves. If anything, Christ considered Himself a slave to humanity, and i believe he even says that he came not to be served but to serve as a servant.

i dunno. it's a tough concept as is, especially if i'm trying to describe it to people [not you in particular] who would be willing to grasp at anything to disprove the Bible's validity.

But I guess what I'm saying can best be described like this: throughout time, we see different writing patterns emerge thanks to society. different topics are addressed, and issues change. I'm not saying everyone held the same views on all subjects; i'm saying that the SUBJECTS changed. humanity as a whole is changing. and i think the Bible reflects that. in the old testament, especially the beginning, we have much more FAR OUT tales. do I think some of those can be taken within folkloric context? yes, though i think that within every tall tale there's a grain of truth. it's not a lie, but it's how the ppl of the time saw it.

but by the time of the new testament, we can see ppl with similar thought processes to ours... far more so than those of the old testament. and do i think that God changes? no. but do i think that we [humanity] have changed? yes. and do i think that God accomodates our changes? yes.

because, as i'm sure most people will agree, the beginnings of history [ancient history] are far more gruesome and primitive than they are today. but as we've progressed, i think God has shown us more about where we're supposed to be. just as Christ said- He didn't come here to refute the law, but to fulfill it.

i totally welcome questions on this, btw. this is a fairly new idea i've come upon myself and thought true, so i'd love to have more questions as to learn more about it.

who knows? perhaps i'm wrong.

>I think everyone is behaving thus far, and, though I'm not easily offended, I don't think anything that you have said could be construed as aggressive or confrontational... Hopefully the same could be said for my little rants.
>

it can. : )


PS-- can i just say AGAIN that i LOVE religious discussions?


 
innocenceNonus Posted: Tue May 15 19:22:33 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  libra said:
>Unfortunately I have to get back to writing my final papers (I graduate in three days!).

congrats. : ) correct me if i'm wrong, but i coulda sworn you started college the same time as me... are you graduating two years early or am i just crazy??

>I think that anyone who is religious has to understand that anyone else of any other religion has the same legitimacy to their beliefs as they do. Without that, you see some of the awful things that have happened as a result of religious conviction.

if you mean "legitimacy" in the way i think you do, i agree. i'm completely aware that others have the same conviction for their religion as i do mine. that's why i want to find out which religion is true.

i know you've already said that while they're all true, at the same time, none of them can be true [depending on the individual, right?]. but if all of us can have the same conviction that religions that completely contradict each other are true, which one's actually... true? they both can't be...

kinda like this- i understand from what you were saying earlier that some people are inclined to be religious and others not, right? therein, that makes religions legit for one person and not for another person. but for those who are religious, what makes it so that a certain religion can appeal to a vast audience but not to another? it can't be culture or how people were raised-- i've met too many people who've been through different walks of life who've put their faith in different religions.

i'm not trying to challenge you or your views at all- seriously. i'm just trying to understand the concept you're putting forward.

after all, if that concept does indeed beat out Christianity, what's to stop me from renouncing my religion?

>These things were INCREDIBLY rare back then. So while the religion spread by word of mouth, it shifts...and when it is written down, it is by select people.
>Today, we have tools for backing up/checking our stories. We cannot understand a world in which things are so incredibly uncertain.

i agree. but as i said before, the earliest written documents that we've found TODAY are those within Jesus' generation. And the people who wrote the books we have today were friends/ relatives of John and Peter [since they couldn't write themselves...]. The other new testament books are actually letters from people. I'd have to take what kurohyou said into account in that these people wouldn't change what was dictated or use it serve themselves [because... after all.. wouldn't they make themselves the heroes rather than some random son of a carpenter? plus... for being proponents of "truth"... they'd be doing a rather crappy job at it...]. I could see it being changed later to fit certain people's purposes [council at nicea is thus an understandable example]. but for it to be written within Jesus' generation and for the Bible actually to say, "this and this happened as you well know." It wasn't just a relation of events, but a recording of them. the people writing this were even saying, "all those who read this-- testify that what we have said is true."

Also, I understand their world was uncertain... I might not seem like it, but I have spent a bit of time looking up arguments and a fair amount of counterarguments/ evidence against Christianity. Plus, growing up in a church and listening countless sermons and pretending like I was a christian for around 15 years has given me SOME useless extra knowledge. And for people to write down a text that they KNEW would get them killed- they must have completely believed it [not addressing text credibility here]. To write down a text that says not to fight with violence [for Jesus himself told his disciples not to fight with the sword] and to follow that and knowingly get killed- takes complete and utter conviction.

so even while texts were rarely written [despite the Bible having the most documented copies of any ancient document-- especially in contrast to many historical works], many chances existed for people to refute the claims made by the Bible. And the writers even ASKED others to prove them wrong-- they recounted events others had witnessed too- believers and nonbelievers alike.

i guess what i'm saying is that yes, they did live in an uncertain world... uncertain in that they didn't have scientific explanations as we do now to explain "miracles" and thus might have recorded them as such. After all, Jesus having blood come out of his skin is known today as a medical thing where people under extreme nervousness and stress actually sweat with enough blood as to appear to be sweating blood. But either way, it doesn't mean that those things didn't happen. It just means that they happened in a way that we today believe that we could explain.

And I totally get that. But when I was citing miracles, I wasn't citing those I've read about... I'm citing those I've seen [which I admit can be written off as coincidences... strange, bizzare, consistently recurring coincidences] and I've heard from credible sources [which I'm sure would put the credible sources into doubt under logical scrutiny].

>And as an aside: I'd just like to say...the bible was created during a time period whose cultural system I would not like to duplicate. The situation for women, the systems of punishment, the treatment of the poor, all of that...it is so distant from those things we experience. If for only that, I'd rather not believe that we should follow the bible.

in a way, i agree. [as a quick side note, Christ spoke against the bad qualities in many of those things... just saying] but despite it being a different society, we can still apply the Bible to our lives today. if anything, I see mirror images CONSTANTLY within the Bible and modern life. and it's not even stupid things like "oh, ppl back then drank wine and we do too." more like how people deal with matters of faith or even treat each other/ ppl. do we live in a different world?

heck yes. i'm not so foolish as to believe we don't. and thank God we do.

BUT, i do think that through some strange way the Bible does apply and the new testament especially can mirror many parts of our life today.

and like i said before with the "progressive bible" theory [which i admit is a way to interpret/ view the Bible that is only mildly supported by those in the Bible through testment [though fairly supported through the text itself]], i think [from a Christian perspective] that God knew and anticipated this. That's why the New Testament can apply, but the Old Testament seems so esoteric to us.

Also, as a side note, the New Testament has basically changed the world, starting with ideas within our political systems to those values which are held in our every day lives. Even if you read the Bible culturally [and other texts at the time...], the world as Christ envisioned it was NOT the same as the world He was living in. And while it's still not, we definitely see how much it has changed history and politics and [to be lame] life.



I'm honestly not trying to convert anyone here. Really. But my aim through this thread is to find out what's true and what isn't. Even if "religion" might be an answer to me, what makes Christianity that religion? And after not really being Christian for about 15 years of my life, what makes it so that i suddenly need religion? Why can't I be NOT religious? i think that option is open to me.

Personally, i think my life would be a lot easier without it... Christianity, anyway. And there are other faiths to follow... or none at all. i could just be a "spiritual" Christian without investing in the Bible or who Christ was/is and who God is.


i dunno. lots of questions. i can understand that you're busy, libra, so I don't expect you to answer, especially not in-depth.

but the questions are also posed to the community for answering. anyone else know anything about this??


 
libra Posted: Tue May 15 20:13:08 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  innocenceNonus said:
>
>congrats. : ) correct me if i'm wrong, but i coulda sworn you started college the same time as me... are you graduating two years early or am i just crazy??
>

I think I transferred to Berkeley at the same time you started college. But I went to a Junior College before Berkeley. So yah, four years, just in different places.

>
>if you mean "legitimacy" in the way i think you do, i agree. i'm completely aware that others have the same conviction for their religion as i do mine. that's why i want to find out which religion is true.
>
>i know you've already said that while they're all true, at the same time, none of them can be true [depending on the individual, right?]. but if all of us can have the same conviction that religions that completely contradict each other are true, which one's actually... true? they both can't be...
>
I understand that yes, they both can’t be. But I think the thing we have to take into account is that because they are creations of culture, they are equally true for those who take them up, and equally untrue in a universal picture of humanity.

>kinda like this- i understand from what you were saying earlier that some people are inclined to be religious and others not, right? therein, that makes religions legit for one person and not for another person. but for those who are religious, what makes it so that a certain religion can appeal to a vast audience but not to another? it can't be culture or how people were raised-- i've met too many people who've been through different walks of life who've put their faith in different religions.

I think it does have to do with how people are raised and their culture. Most people stick with the religion they were raised in. Others rebel against parents and chose other ways. Still, other people find another religion fits their viewpoints better and switch.

>after all, if that concept does indeed beat out Christianity, what's to stop me from renouncing my religion?

Nothing. You’re allowed to not be religious. You’re allowed to be religious without any religion that has a ‘name’ in our current society. You can be spiritual without the workings of one tangent of religion or another.
I never had to go through your questioning because I never have believed in god. My dad did though. And he decided in middle school that it just did not make sense to him. The whole thing. He went against his Catholic parents and basically lost a close relationship with his whole family because of his decision. Its hard to question those basic structures we know growing up. It’s really hard. It takes a huge amount of confidence.
I think that those people that questioned though, they’re the ones that do big things. People who question their parents racism and join the civil rights movement, people who question the ways their parents lived and tried new things.

>i agree. but as i said before, the earliest written documents that we've found TODAY are those within Jesus' generation. And the people who wrote the books we have today were friends/ relatives of John and Peter [since they couldn't write themselves...]. The other new testament books are actually letters from people. I'd have to take what kurohyou said into account in that these people wouldn't change what was dictated or use it serve themselves [because... after all.. wouldn't they make themselves the heroes rather than some random son of a carpenter? plus... for being proponents of "truth"... they'd be doing a rather crappy job at it...]. I could see it being changed later to fit certain people's purposes [council at nicea is thus an understandable example]. but for it to be written within Jesus' generation and for the Bible actually to say, "this and this happened as you well know." It wasn't just a relation of events, but a recording of them. the people writing this were even saying, "all those who read this-- testify that what we have said is true."
>
>Also, I understand their world was uncertain... I might not seem like it, but I have spent a bit of time looking up arguments and a fair amount of counterarguments/ evidence against Christianity. Plus, growing up in a church and listening countless sermons and pretending like I was a christian for around 15 years has given me SOME useless extra knowledge. And for people to write down a text that they KNEW would get them killed- they must have completely believed it [not addressing text credibility here]. To write down a text that says not to fight with violence [for Jesus himself told his disciples not to fight with the sword] and to follow that and knowingly get killed- takes complete and utter conviction.
>
>so even while texts were rarely written [despite the Bible having the most documented copies of any ancient document-- especially in contrast to many historical works], many chances existed for people to refute the claims made by the Bible. And the writers even ASKED others to prove them wrong-- they recounted events others had witnessed too- believers and nonbelievers alike.
>
>i guess what i'm saying is that yes, they did live in an uncertain world... uncertain in that they didn't have scientific explanations as we do now to explain "miracles" and thus might have recorded them as such. After all, Jesus having blood come out of his skin is known today as a medical thing where people under extreme nervousness and stress actually sweat with enough blood as to appear to be sweating blood. But either way, it doesn't mean that those things didn't happen. It just means that they happened in a way that we today believe that we could explain.
>
>And I totally get that. But when I was citing miracles, I wasn't citing those I've read about... I'm citing those I've seen [which I admit can be written off as coincidences... strange, bizzare, consistently recurring coincidences] and I've heard from credible sources [which I'm sure would put the credible sources into doubt under logical scrutiny].
>

At this point, this is when science comes in. And that’s an entirely different HUGE topic.
I really do think that you cannot take anything written in the past to be accurate to the point where you should devote a belief system to it. Even in newspapers from the beginning of this century, we see what were put forth as ‘accurate’ descriptions. However, after a compilation of the various documents we have we see that they can be biased by racist, ethnocentric views and other things.

>in a way, i agree. [as a quick side note, Christ spoke against the bad qualities in many of those things... just saying] but despite it being a different society, we can still apply the Bible to our lives today. if anything, I see mirror images CONSTANTLY within the Bible and modern life. and it's not even stupid things like "oh, ppl back then drank wine and we do too." more like how people deal with matters of faith or even treat each other/ ppl. do we live in a different world?
>
>heck yes. i'm not so foolish as to believe we don't. and thank God we do.
>
>BUT, i do think that through some strange way the Bible does apply and the new testament especially can mirror many parts of our life today.
>
>and like i said before with the "progressive bible" theory [which i admit is a way to interpret/ view the Bible that is only mildly supported by those in the Bible through testment [though fairly supported through the text itself]], i think [from a Christian perspective] that God knew and anticipated this. That's why the New Testament can apply, but the Old Testament seems so esoteric to us.
>
>Also, as a side note, the New Testament has basically changed the world, starting with ideas within our political systems to those values which are held in our every day lives. Even if you read the Bible culturally [and other texts at the time...], the world as Christ envisioned it was NOT the same as the world He was living in. And while it's still not, we definitely see how much it has changed history and politics and [to be lame] life.
>
>I'm honestly not trying to convert anyone here. Really. But my aim through this thread is to find out what's true and what isn't. Even if "religion" might be an answer to me, what makes Christianity that religion? And after not really being Christian for about 15 years of my life, what makes it so that i suddenly need religion? Why can't I be NOT religious? i think that option is open to me.
>
>Personally, i think my life would be a lot easier without it... Christianity, anyway. And there are other faiths to follow... or none at all. i could just be a "spiritual" Christian without investing in the Bible or who Christ was/is and who God is.
>

Once again, I think you can choose anything you want. You don’t have to choose one of the categories we impose upon ourselves. And you’re lucky enough to live in a country/world where you’re allowed to have religious freedom.



 
addi Posted: Tue May 15 20:44:34 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  since this is a thread on religion...

Jerry Falwell passed away today.

My mother taught me that if I didn't have anything good to say about a person (president excluded) then don't say anything at all.

*But if there is a god in heaven I'd love to be a cherub on the wall and hear the a__ chewing he's gonna get.




 
libra Posted: Tue May 15 21:03:24 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>since this is a thread on religion...
>
>Jerry Falwell passed away today.
>
>My mother taught me that if I didn't have anything good to say about a person (president excluded) then don't say anything at all.
>
>*But if there is a god in heaven I'd love to be a cherub on the wall and hear the a__ chewing he's gonna get.
>

I definitely agree...


 
ifihadahif Posted: Tue May 15 21:18:30 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>since this is a thread on religion...
>
>Jerry Falwell passed away today.
>
>My mother taught me that if I didn't have anything good to say about a person (president excluded) then don't say anything at all.
>
>*But if there is a god in heaven I'd love to be a cherub on the wall and hear the a__ chewing he's gonna get.
>
haha That's a good way to put it. I'm very much in agreement. I've never been a fan of Falwell or any televangelist for that matter, but I don't gleefully celebrate his death either.
I find it particularly disgusting to see some of the far left bloggers showing their hatred in their celebration of his death, something they would never do for Osama Bin Laden and never did for Saddam Hussein.


 
addi Posted: Tue May 15 21:42:52 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:

>haha That's a good way to put it. I'm very much in agreement. I've never been a fan of Falwell or any televangelist for that matter, but I don't gleefully celebrate his death either.

I hope you don't think I was "gleefully celebrating" it either. It's obvious that I was not a fan of the man, and thought his life stood for everything I dislike in christianity, but rejoicing over his death is just not my bag, man.

and I don't think celebrating anyone's death out of hatred is cool ever...whether it's Falwell, Osama, or Saddam. You can be relieved that a certain person is gone and what they stood for or did in their life, but joyously celebrating someone's death just hits me the wrong way...that goes for lefties and righties.
The images of some muslims celebrating in the streets over the 9/11 attacks still sticks in my craw.


 
innocenceNonus Posted: Tue May 15 22:29:34 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>since this is a thread on religion...
>
>Jerry Falwell passed away today.
>
>My mother taught me that if I didn't have anything good to say about a person (president excluded) then don't say anything at all.
>
>*But if there is a god in heaven I'd love to be a cherub on the wall and hear the a__ chewing he's gonna get.
>
>

hahahahaha.... me too.


 
innocenceNonus Posted: Tue May 15 23:26:36 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  libra said:
>I think it does have to do with how people are raised and their culture. Most people stick with the religion they were raised in. Others rebel against parents and chose other ways. Still, other people find another religion fits their viewpoints better and switch.
>

But what about ppl who grew up with no religion? Or those who at one point are staunch atheists and convert or those who were staunch [insert appropriate religious noun here] and then decide on no faith? And what about those that COULD believe in a religion but don't wish to change their lifestyles?

My friend, a Christian, has been talking to her father about Christianity for a long time. Most of the time, he listens and consistently he tries to disprove Christianity or discredit it [which is fine, since it's his prerogative in that sense]. But one time, crying, he told her he couldn't believe because it meant that he would have to change his life and account for everything he had done.

So what about that sort of situation?

Also, if it IS cultural and upbringing, how can different cultures amass to different religions? As in, how can my mother, her mother, and I [all raised differently] as well as my friends of completely different races/ backgrounds all know the same God and experience Him the same way, yet some of my friends [who were raised similarly to me] do not experience the same God that I do?

I suppose we could attribute it to the question of the individual and say that personality is what also determines religion... but then, what about people who share NOTHING in common yet believe in the same religion?

>Nothing. You�re allowed to not be religious. You�re allowed to be religious without any religion that has a �name� in our current society. You can be spiritual without the workings of one tangent of religion or another.

lol. exactly. all this i know. and i know how to defy a belief in God, especially in myself, and I know that even if I renounce my religion, my parents would still love me.

actually, if anything, I was a closet atheist for many years... maybe a closet agnostic.

>I never had to go through your questioning because I never have believed in god. My dad did though. And he decided in middle school that it just did not make sense to him. The whole thing. He went against his Catholic parents and basically lost a close relationship with his whole family because of his decision. Its hard to question those basic structures we know growing up. It�s really hard. It takes a huge amount of confidence.

again, i realize. i know i said that a disbelief in God would make my life easier-- in many senses, it would. but i won't deny that it would estrange me from my family and a few friends. and i don't deny that i do question the existence of God, sometimes even now.

in fact, correct me if I'm wrong, but most Christians do. there's always that glimmer of "what if?" everyone i've met has faced that challenge in faith... some experience it more than others.

>I think that those people that questioned though, they�re the ones that do big things. People who question their parents racism and join the civil rights movement, people who question the ways their parents lived and tried new things.

i agree. i think similarly, people who have faith where they're not allowed and where it means death-- i think that also is a thing of beauty. in my opinion, any quest for some tangible reality is...

and i know some of you might not agree, but i definitely think God is tangible. And one of the miracles of faith, in my opinion, is the ability of people across the country to feel and know the same God.

>I really do think that you cannot take anything written in the past to be accurate to the point where you should devote a belief system to it. Even in newspapers from the beginning of this century, we see what were put forth as �accurate� descriptions. However, after a compilation of the various documents we have we see that they can be biased by racist, ethnocentric views and other things.

i agree. and i think earlier, i mentioned how the bible is similarly favorable to men [which is reflected/ manifested in society today in the sense that [in my opinion] race transcends gender/ sexuality on the social scale... as in Barack Obama has a better chance than Hilary of winning [I've already seen the Facebook group "If Hilary wins, I'm moving the Canada"... no such group for Obama]... but even in this example of bias, it's not saying that Hilary isn't running... it's just saying that everyone hates her and doesn't want her to win. [new thread of sexism, anyone?] but again, the descriptions of the news today mention things that actually happened. and i think THAT'S the big thing. we just have to analyze it to see where the bias is from.

and if you read the Bible, there's a lot less bias and a lot more recording of occurrences. i know that the Bible would appear to be biased, but, save for certain parts that talk from the writer's perspective in a less narrative and more personal way, there's very little bias. is there bias in the sense of who these books were written by? yeah- ppl framed by their culture and experiences and knowledge. but reading the Bible myself and knowing others who have, i'd have to say it's not that biased in the sense that it's always like "Jesus is good! Jesus is awesome! We all love Jesus!" if anything, it's more likely to be used to discredit God when taken without a historical context.


 
Ahriman Posted: Wed May 16 00:58:42 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Here's how I see the bible:

It was created. Priests were put forth to interpret its text. Just like all other religious texts. I can give you a copy of Escoffier and you might be able to figure out the recipe but the true flavor and value can only be brought out by a chef.

Secondly, I am an atheist also but only because I can't accept a god. I think there is no such thing as a true atheist because anyone that can actually stop to think for one second in a scientific perspective would realize the complexity of life goes so incredibly deep and beyond that there is no answer for anything. While many people consider the religious way the easy direction, I consider the atheist even more so. There is no god because we can't prove its existence and there is a god because we can't prove its nonexistence. I came to the conclusion that I can live happy just accepting what is in front of me. The apple, the bird, the pillow, the river, the snake, the wind, the light, the sky, everything. That's why the pagans were so great. They worshipped that which gave them life and is that not what a god is?

So in closing: Jesus was peace. Spread jesus. Spread shalom. Spread salam. Stop putting so much emphasis on the religion. Just help out your fellow human. Just be happy.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Wed May 16 06:34:09 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>ifihadahif said:
>
>>haha That's a good way to put it. I'm very much in agreement. I've never been a fan of Falwell or any televangelist for that matter, but I don't gleefully celebrate his death either.
>
>I hope you don't think I was "gleefully celebrating" it either. It's obvious that I was not a fan of the man, and thought his life stood for everything I dislike in christianity, but rejoicing over his death is just not my bag, man.
>
>and I don't think celebrating anyone's death out of hatred is cool ever...whether it's Falwell, Osama, or Saddam. You can be relieved that a certain person is gone and what they stood for or did in their life, but joyously celebrating someone's death just hits me the wrong way...that goes for lefties and righties.
>The images of some muslims celebrating in the streets over the 9/11 attacks still sticks in my craw.
>
No, I knew better than to think that you would be that way.
Notice I said "far left" and not just liberals in general. Big difference.
While I did not celebrate Saddam's death, I understood why some did. He was directly responsible for quite a lot of misery and tragedy for millions of his own people. Even still I was sad
to see the way he left us.


 
kurohyou Posted: Wed May 16 12:08:20 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>ifihadahif said:
>
>>haha That's a good way to put it. I'm very much in agreement. I've never been a fan of Falwell or any televangelist for that matter, but I don't gleefully celebrate his death either.
>
>I hope you don't think I was "gleefully celebrating" it either. It's obvious that I was not a fan of the man, and thought his life stood for everything I dislike in christianity, but rejoicing over his death is just not my bag, man.
>

Perhaps Tinky-Winky is doing a happy dance though... Poor purple teletubbie got a bum rap...

Not that it matters...


 
kurohyou Posted: Wed May 16 12:34:30 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  innocenceNonus said:

>the way i've read those passages and within the whole, WIVES are supposed to submit to the HUSBANDS. i never really got the impression women had to submit to the authority of men [except within the churhc as said by the apostle Paul [which, on a side note, is not Jesus... lol... just saying... though i think the idea has its own weight and debatibility on its own]
>
>BUT [and it's a big but],
>
>Husbands are supposed to love wives as God loved the church, right? Meaning selflessly, with complete abandon and passion and purity... in that context. And while I supposed to "right" [Biblically speaking] thing to do would that if you were a women being abused by your husband, you would put up with it and just trust in God... perhaps. Though I believe in the instance of cheating, divorces are allowed.
>
>Before anyone says it, I know the actually law says that men can divorce women. And that women may be stoned for cheating on their husbands. But I just wanted to add that it NEVER says that the responsibility is supposed to go the same way back.
>
>And I think this is where the culture shows. The Bible is written from a pro-male stance because it was written by males; but at the same time [especially considering the time period the Bible was written in], the Bible demands a lot of respect for women. Deborah, Esther, Ruth, Mary, even the woman who bled for 12 years and the prostitute and the woman with five ex-husbands and was currently living with a man. So I guess what I'm saying is that the Bible was not written to oppress women or demean them, but i don't think the woman question was ever truly addressed in the way our culture today needs it.
>
>I also want to point out Psalms... 139?? I'm not sure that's the one, but one of the psalms talking about the ideal woman has her taking part in business... lol. like, legit business [what would be respectable for a woman of the time to be undertaking.]
>

>i think it's the way that the society of the time could understand and obey it. if you read the bible [not YOU you], you can see this time progession. does the Bible change through time?? in a way, yes. but does God? no. more like, the Bible changes as to fit the understanding of the people.

See this is where I have a problem, and perhaps it was due to a bad discussion with a pastor. But I have heard that the bible is as applicable for our lives today as it was back when it was written. But when questioned about some of the statements and ideas it puts forth pertaining to women, he told me that I have to look at it in the context in which it was written. I guess where I come from, and what makes sense to me is that if this book is from an omnipotent, omnipresence greater being, the societal norms of the time should not have come into play in the writing.

If this book was aimed at the human race as a whole, then the dynamic aspects of what was right and what was wrong per the society within in which it was written, should not have come into play. Rather it should have simply addressed the universal aspects of right and wrong. Which overall it does. Its just that handful of items which jump out at me and seem out of place.

Now I must admit that I am participating in this debate very ill prepared in that I cannot point to specific scriptures where I have specific issues, so I realize I'm tossing out this blanket idea that I feel that the bible has some issues with it, next time I post I'll try to get some specifics.

I do agree with your statement of reading it in context, and yes that is important and my previous statement about the wives did not take into the statement to husbands.

>i dunno. it's a tough concept as is, especially if i'm trying to describe it to people [not you in particular] who would be willing to grasp at anything to disprove the Bible's validity.
>
For me personally I don't question its validity. I own more bibles that I can count, and have read them, though not with the tenacity as some who I have met. For me the bible is a book of good guidelines, and stories. I do not accept it as a concrete way to live one's life. But that's me.

That's all for this installment...

For what it's worth...


 
addi Posted: Wed May 16 13:39:50 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  kurohyou said:

>Perhaps Tinky-Winky is doing a happy dance though...


...with "YMCA" playing in the background


 
kurohyou Posted: Wed May 16 14:15:01 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>kurohyou said:
>
>>Perhaps Tinky-Winky is doing a happy dance though...
>
>
>...with "YMCA" playing in the background

Indeed...

Though one of my kids just corrected me. The Teletubbie dance is the boom boom dance...

shows what I know...

Not that it matters...


 
innocenceNonus Posted: Wed May 16 16:31:10 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  kurohyou said:
>But I have heard that the bible is as applicable for our lives today as it was back when it was written.

i would agree with that statement... sort of. it's applicable in the same way we can apply teachings from Aristotle or Socrates or whoever. In a way, the Bible was written as a record of teachings from many different men, among them [from the Christian perspective] God himself in the form of Jesus.

But the kicker about the Bible isn't so much that it's written completely by God-- most people have a good point in that it was recorded by Men. And men... as we all know, are faulty. So I think the idea that while the Bible is inspired by God and that He does govern what goes in and out of it, I think we also have to take into account that men, who are fallible, were recording it.

Pastors make mistakes. Monks make mistakes. Preachers make mistakes.

Do I think there are contradictions in the Bible? No, when it's taken holistically. But do I think some of it is presented framed by Man? Yes. because when ppl wrote it, they wrote it for the time period.

if you look at the Bible within a time context, you can see that it's a fairly revolutionary text. Jesus himself was pretty WAAAAAAYYYYY ahead of his time [in a way... though i think, if anything, He's influenced our times today]. And I'll admit-- are there parts of the Bible that talk about treating your slaves well? Yeah. But does it necessarily approve slavery? I don't think so. Jesus' teachings certainly wouldn't approve it as it was enforced within the US.

But the main idea I'm driving at is that while I believe the Bible is God-inspired and is, in a way, controlled by God, I also think that when people wrote it down, they were writing within the context of the times they were living in.

Personally, I doubt if most of the writers knew their words would last for long. And even if they did and God showed them what the future would be like, it'd be hard for them to write it for their own time and ours as well.

>I guess where I come from, and what makes sense to me is that if this book is from an omnipotent, omnipresence greater being, the societal norms of the time should not have come into play in the writing.
>

in a way, i see what you're saying. and do i think the Bible is as applicable today as it was back then? yes... even parts that we think wouldn't pertain somehow do.

and do i doubt God's power to have changed the Bible and made it say what He wants? Nope. But at the same time, I think that He understands how completely small minded we are.

If God inspired you to write a text and showed you the future to which it would reach, how would you reach your audience now? And also, if somehow you were able to reconcile the two, how could you do it without seeming vague or even crazy??

I think the best solution to both of these is the way that Jesus spoke. Time and time again, all the prophets in the Bible seem constrained by their time, but Jesus, aside from using historical contexts like Samaritans or farmers, speaks timelessly.

>If this book was aimed at the human race as a whole, then the dynamic aspects of what was right and what was wrong per the society within in which it was written, should not have come into play. Rather it should have simply addressed the universal aspects of right and wrong. Which overall it does. Its just that handful of items which jump out at me and seem out of place.
>

Agreed. I think the things that jump out are the ones influenced by society. And I myself have questions about certain things that I don't know how to interpret or where Christ stood. But for those passages, until I learn how wrong/ right they are, I can't make a conscious decision on the matter... for the simple fact that I don't know what the Bible/ God means. Many questions where I've had the answers "given" to me by people, I'm not comfortable with since they don't make sense. They just don't seem to fit the character of God. And it's typically those values that seem askew to me.

And it's not better explained in the Bible either. Nowhere does it truly support the given answer, but nowhere does it support much else otherwise.

So until I KNOW, I don't. And I just have to keep looking.

>Now I must admit that I am participating in this debate very ill prepared in that I cannot point to specific scriptures where I have specific issues, so I realize I'm tossing out this blanket idea that I feel that the bible has some issues with it, next time I post I'll try to get some specifics.

i'd LOVE it.


 
DanSRose Posted: Thu May 17 10:25:32 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Libra said:
>People put together pictures, for sure. But an archaeologist would be careful in using the bible to find things. They may use descriptions to locate something, or may look to it as a sign of certain cultural struggles or values. But never would they assume that it includes the entire fact of the time, just as they would never assume that mayan writing depicted the exact stories of rulers and their accomplishments. Rather, you would view them as speaking to how people felt about their rulers, how the rulers manipulated the public opinion, important value systems for the times, etc.


That's how we do it.
The site I worked at last year (and again this year too! w00t!) is referenced specifically several times and inferred to as well in books of the Old Testament (Joshua, I Samuel, I and II Kings, I and II Chronicles, as well Isiah and Jerimiah). We don't use the Bible as text. It is looked at as the
Iliad is used now; something that is interesting but not related with the artifacts or what actually happened. As a reference, once in a while, it looked at for what happened. Ironically the wars and the Old Testament are more factually correct.


On the Council of Nicea: The purpose of the Council was, by Constantine's hands, was to organize and ritualize Christianity, in order to streamline it and give it a central power base. It was an ugly ugly thing. It was to give the Roman Empire control of the newly popular religion among the lower classes, and not to feed this lower class to lions anymore, as well as organize it. There were dozens of Christ cults before Christianity became the CHURCH. Also it dealt with what was Christ: was he God or a leader of men or a holy leader men? Here was a huge splintering device between early followers. Many of the Christian Apocrypha has Christ being a man, a teacher (the Aramaic and Hebrew word for it was rebbe), and then some of them have him being supernatural (think comic book supernatural- Doctor Strange Christ). The earliest of these found are between from the first and second centuries CE.
And this was all in 4th century CE.
I think my point was a lot of what religion, especially Christianity as modern and organized concept, is to a political and an occasional uniting body. A person such as Christophe would be able to explain the Marxist and power implications of it.


On a personal note, I believe in God just as I believe in the scientific processes. It's a personal relationship with God, the exact opposite of my "relationship" with science. Science there for outward exploration, a "Hey! What does that do?" relationship. God is here for inward growth, a uniting connection between Here (the physical here), There (the over-there throughout the world), and possiblity of an Out-There (a beyond, whether it be holy, supernatural, or something else.


 
mat_j Posted: Thu May 17 15:26:20 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Daniel Daniel Daniel, this is why i love you so much, as this very polite flame war rages on above i thought wait a minute nobody answered Marks questions and there you are with some answers.

Also have you been watching the new Doc? The thatre in Daleks in manhatten (very dodgy accents BTW) is the cinema in my home town where i grew up, a tiny little shit hole in the back of beyond. right back life on the rift.


 
DanSRose Posted: Thu May 17 18:39:43 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Even though this is off the main page (for me at least), I _Need_ to answer this:
The 2-part Daleks in Manhattan episodes were not only the worst Doctor Who I've ever seen (including some of the old ones I've been watching), but some of the worst TV. Ever. EV. AR. I'm not able to talk about the accents. I am not able to talk about the accents without angry, nauseous or angry. All, actually.
The theatre was very cool. The only good things about the episodes were the sets, per usual.
The last episode, The Lazarus Experiment, easily made up for the suckage that were those Dalek crap. That was a very cool episode. No one was made "the innocent monster". Everything went awesome. And! John Simm from Life on Mars as Mr. Saxon.


As per getting something right for a change, I swear it was totally accidental.


 
mat_j Posted: Sat May 19 21:16:53 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  DanSRose said:
>The 2-part Daleks in Manhattan episodes were not only the worst Doctor Who I've ever seen (including some of the old ones I've been watching), but some of the worst TV. Ever. EV. AR. I'm not able to talk about the accents. I am not able to talk about the accents without angry, nauseous or angry. All, actually.
>The theatre was very cool. The only good things about the episodes were the sets, per usual.

yes that little old theatre is where i walked out of pearl habour, had crunching noises over the truman show and saw my first 18 movie, which i think was a terrible stallone vehicle

>The last episode, The Lazarus Experiment, easily made up for the suckage that were those Dalek crap. That was a very cool episode. No one was made "the innocent monster". Everything went awesome. And! John Simm from Life on Mars as Mr. Saxon.
>

I'm sooo pleased you like life on mars too what a fecking show!!! DC Gene hunt is the best written british person in anything ever!!

>As per getting something right for a change, I swear it was totally accidental.

you old liar you!

peace amigo


 
innocenceNonus Posted: Sat May 19 23:41:09 2007 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Ahriman said:
>the true flavor and value can only be brought out by a chef.

i get what you're saying, but i also wanted to point out that people with no vocational training are able to learn/ know more about christianity than necessarily a vocational priest... not trying to start anything... just saying.

>There is no god because we can't prove its existence and there is a god because we can't prove its nonexistence.

hahaha. well said. one of the deep conundrums of religion.

>I came to the conclusion that I can live happy just accepting what is in front of me. The apple, the bird, the pillow, the river, the snake, the wind, the light, the sky, everything. That's why the pagans were so great. They worshipped that which gave them life and is that not what a god is?
>
>So in closing: Jesus was peace. Spread jesus. Spread shalom. Spread salam. Stop putting so much emphasis on the religion. Just help out your fellow human. Just be happy.

well said. in a way, i agree. so many times, i see Christ in others, and whenever I hear myself thinking/ saying that, i always think, "What a pig-headed Christian you're turning out to be." But it's true- the way that God is defined within the Bible and how He's reflected in life is a lot of what you said. And I think that if that were just it, then religion wouldn't be very necessary and many people wouldn't be hurt/ dead over it.

The problem with religion is that it adds more into the equation. With Christianity, it's the necessity of believing Christ as the son of God or not.

I have nothing against seeking peace; if anything, i encourage it full-heartedly. it is, to me, an important part of even the Christian faith. But I wouldn't say that most faiths have the same exact message, which is to help out your fellow man. i think that THAT message is an important part of all of them, but i think it's their distinctions that define them.

just saying... not trying to start the flame throwing or anything.

if i sound stand-offish, i apologize. i'm not trying to be.

long day at work might not help. and to think i only worked for a few hours.


 



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