Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 90 (8876 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 12-17-2018 3:08 AM
197 online now:
dwise1, Minnemooseus (Adminnemooseus), Phat (AdminPhat) (3 members, 194 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: Bill Holbert
Post Volume:
Total: 844,278 Year: 19,101/29,783 Month: 1,046/2,043 Week: 91/507 Day: 2/89 Hour: 0/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
1
23Next
Author Topic:   Christianity Needs to Return to Being a Good Example
Stile
Member
Posts: 3282
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 1 of 35 (843966)
11-23-2018 11:49 AM


In order to survive, Christianity needs more people like this guy:

Benjamin Sledge - Let’s Stop Pretending Christianity is Actually Relevant, Okay?

This guy gets it:

"It’s quite strange to expect people to conform to your morals because you quoted a book they don’t read."

The Bible isn't special.
Morals don't come from the Bible. The Bible simply holds a decent collection of some pretty good morals.
Large groups of populations will never be gullible enough to believe it is something they must respect just because some die-hard followers say so.

But living good is special.
And if you live good, others will notice. And they will want to know how to be more like you.
At that point, you can tell them why you're the way you are - Jesus Christ.

Then they can agree or not.
Maybe they'll live good in another way. You on your terms, and them on theirs.
Maybe they'll convert to Christianity, who knows.

But, because of the internet and the destruction of ignorance and gullibility (good things,) this is the only way for a religion to survive in the modern world.

Gone are the days of forcing your views on others and expecting to be respected simply because some words escaped your mouth:

Missionary Killed by Isolated Island Tribe

These sorts of tactics only do damage to the religion they are attached to.
They are seen as what they are - nothing more than arrogance on the part of the missionary. People's pity and remorse are held for the people who didn't want any interference in the first place. Everyone knows that "bringing God" to such a group of people in such a way does not help them - it only destroys them.

What do you think?
Should Christianity continue to try and force itself on anyone and everyone they can?
Or should Christianity go back to it's roots and try to provide a good example and gain whatever social growth is possible that way?

Suggested forum -> Faith and Belief


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Phat, posted 11-23-2018 2:01 PM Stile has responded
 Message 6 by AZPaul3, posted 11-23-2018 3:42 PM Stile has responded
 Message 7 by GDR, posted 11-23-2018 5:39 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply
 Message 8 by Faith, posted 11-23-2018 5:50 PM Stile has responded
 Message 13 by Porkncheese, posted 11-24-2018 6:00 AM Stile has responded
 Message 31 by Phat, posted 11-27-2018 4:08 PM Stile has not yet responded

    
AdminPhat
Administrator
Posts: 1897
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 2 of 35 (843968)
11-23-2018 1:40 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Christianity Needs to Return to Being a Good Example thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Phat
Member
Posts: 11642
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 3 of 35 (843969)
11-23-2018 2:01 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
11-23-2018 11:49 AM


Cant Say That I Disagree With Most Of This
stile writes:

Should Christianity continue to try and force itself on anyone and everyone they can?
Or should Christianity go back to its roots and try to provide a good example and gain whatever social growth is possible that way?

I'd go with the second statement. When I first came to EvC in 2004, I was argumentative because I was fascinated by the idea that people believed so differently than I did and had no need or desire to be "converted" in any way. Having stuck around, I now argue largely out of sport and not for any pressing need to change anyone's mind. (Although I'm tempted to argue with Faith more lately because she sees it as insulting and disrespectful even though she is our most prolific poster and does the same thing to everybody else)

Some interesting quotes are taken from Benjamin Sledges article:

quote:
...it’s too bad the name ‘Christian’ has been tainted so much that the love of God isn’t recognized in the name. Instead, people think ‘republican, homophobe, or bigot’ instead of ‘servant, loving, and gracious.'(...) My friends that aren’t Christians have never tried to force their morality on me, so this is an odd practice in Christendom. (...)What we need to face is that public perception has shifted. We live in post-Christian America where we’re no longer relevant to the culture at large. Whatever influence Christians used to have, much like a parasite trying to reconnect to its host for fear of dying, many Christians are thrashing about trying to create waves and convince people they are relevant within our culture. But sadly, instead of men and women looking like Jesus we sure have a lot of talking heads. We sure have a healthy dose of condemnation in our ranks. We love being “right” instead of the hard task of humility.

Is it any wonder we’re not relevant?


Can't say that I disagree with most of this article.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 11-23-2018 11:49 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Stile, posted 11-23-2018 2:18 PM Phat has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3282
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.4


(1)
Message 4 of 35 (843973)
11-23-2018 2:18 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Phat
11-23-2018 2:01 PM


Re: Cant Say That I Disagree With Most Of This
Absolutely.

These are the parts that resonated with me:

quote:
"Even Jesus didn’t blame pagans for acting like pagans. Yet, many Christians insist their beliefs apply to the culture at large even though most don’t share the same beliefs."

...

"People will marvel that your friend group doesn’t just consist of people the same color, sexual orientation, or nationality as you, but it spans different beliefs, races, and political views. They’ll be shocked you serve, love, laugh, and mourn with them. That’s attractive."


This sort of idea does sound very attractive to me (as an atheist.)

I've had other threads and posts about how I'm unable to identify a "special something" for Christians (or any religious group.)
However, if Christians could all be like this... if they could all allow others to be others, and push their own agenda through their own actions being an example for others to freely choose to emulate if they desire; instead of pushing an agenda by attempts to force their own ideas on others... that would be a "special something" I could identify and it would make me take a double-look and investigate what all this "being a Christian" is all about.

I may or may not convert, still... but I'd at least be drawn towards it and give it a very serious look as opposed to the obvious "just another group of people who think they know what's best" vibes from the current actions of "religious groups."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Phat, posted 11-23-2018 2:01 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 11-23-2018 2:24 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 11642
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 5 of 35 (843974)
11-23-2018 2:24 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Stile
11-23-2018 2:18 PM


Re: Cant Say That I Disagree With Most Of This
stile writes:

I may or may not convert, still... but I'd at least be drawn towards it and give it a very serious look as opposed to the obvious "just another group of people who think they know what's best" vibes from the current actions of "religious groups."

And converting isn't (or shouldn't) even be the issue. If the product being sold is Jesus, and if the product becomes attractive to others...they may "buy" the product simply by accepting that Christians are genuine. I enjoy talking to you here at EvC and value our online exchanges. I respect you for being honest as to who you are and what you believe. Accepting Jesus is not a goal in my mind. If He is real in any way, our ongoing conversations and dialogue may reflect this better than any sort of scriptures or hammering home arguments ever could.

And if it turned out that He was not real, what we have left would compensate.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Stile, posted 11-23-2018 2:18 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3536
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 5.0


(1)
Message 6 of 35 (843984)
11-23-2018 3:42 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
11-23-2018 11:49 AM


Oh, god. A reasonable and enlightened Christian church? God help us. Make majik, fantasy and falsehood respectable and attractive?

Well, I guess it is a small improvement over what we have now. Hopefully it would be nothing more than just a brief respite for the religion on its way to extinction.

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 11-23-2018 11:49 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Stile, posted 11-26-2018 8:43 AM AZPaul3 has acknowledged this reply

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4619
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


(1)
Message 7 of 35 (843992)
11-23-2018 5:39 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
11-23-2018 11:49 AM


Good article and good post Stile. Too often the church has focused on getting bums in the pews. Too often the church has focused on personal salvation and essentially trying to scare people into believing.

The point of Christianity is to take God's love into our communities and the world. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give comfort to those in distress, home the homeless etc. That is the point. Getting new church members is good because it increases your ability to do the other things I just mentioned, but that comes as a result of doing first things first. Increasing the congregation isn't the goal but it should be a consequence of getting the other part right.

As far as personal salvation goes the word of Jesus show us plainly that it is about having hearts that find their joy in loving and serving their neighbours, and even loving them sacrificially. It isn't about getting one's theology right but believing in the message of love that Jesus embodied.

Read my signature.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 11-23-2018 11:49 AM Stile has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Phat, posted 11-24-2018 5:35 AM GDR has responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 30230
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 8 of 35 (843995)
11-23-2018 5:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
11-23-2018 11:49 AM


Gone are the days of forcing your views on others and expecting to be respected simply because some words escaped your mouth:

And you go on to a story about a missionary who was killed by the tribe he supposedly intended to convert.

But where does this idea come from of "forcing" anybody to convert? Missionaries have often gone to foreign countries or remote tribes and stayed quite a while before anyone showed any interest in Christianity. They learn the language, translate the Bible into it, and talk to people about Christ. It is so far from any notion of forcing anything the idea is absurd. In some cases they have no success at all, occasionally the missionaries have been killed, (five young missionaries were killed by the Auca tribe of South America in the fifties just as they landed on their beach. A while later the wives of two of them went to the Auca and lived with them and took the place of their missionary husbands.) Sometimes missionaries were made into soup for a cannibal tribe. But when they do succeed it's by WINNING the people to Christ by persuasion, through preaching and so on.

Of course you would like the idea of leaving everybody to believe as they please but that completely ignores the fact that Christianity is the only way anyone can ever be saved to eternal life and that is the reason for the "great commission" Christ gave us, to take this good news to everyone in the world so that they would have the same opportunity we have had, to be saved from this fallen world into a happy eternity. This idea that we should just be nicey nice and never preach the gospel to anyone is actually a sentence to eternal misery for those we encounter. If we really love people we want the best for them.

abe: Read some bios of missionaries. Hudson Taylor was the main missionary to China, Adoniram Judson was the only one from America in those days. Just before the American revolution there was David Brainerd, a young missionary to a Native American tribe who befriended them, and lived in a tent through the winter praying for them, a short time before he died of tuberculosis.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 11-23-2018 11:49 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Phat, posted 11-24-2018 5:44 AM Faith has responded
 Message 18 by Capt Stormfield, posted 11-24-2018 3:27 PM Faith has not yet responded
 Message 22 by Stile, posted 11-26-2018 8:59 AM Faith has not yet responded
 Message 27 by Phat, posted 11-26-2018 3:01 PM Faith has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 6397
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 9 of 35 (844008)
11-24-2018 3:11 AM


The best thing Christianity could do for itself is what it's actually doing - throwing away its more rediculous beliefs, traditions and prejudices and moderating its rituals. No sane person has anything againt the ideals of Christianity - the 'what would Jesus do' Christians are thoroughly nice people wanting the best for humanity. They have deluded beliefs about why they should be that way but so long as they behave themselves we can all live together.

Sadly though there's still the evangellicals, the paedophiles, the missionaries, the crazies and the bigots damaging children and claiming rights over others. But the more they do that in modern society, the more they're marginalised and ignored.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Phat, posted 11-24-2018 5:24 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11642
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 10 of 35 (844009)
11-24-2018 5:24 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Tangle
11-24-2018 3:11 AM


Rituals,Bells & Smells
tangle writes:

The best thing Christianity could do for itself is what it's actually doing - throwing away its more ridiculous beliefs, traditions and prejudices and moderating its rituals.

Growing up Protestant (United Methodist) meant that we had far fewer rituals than do the Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and even Lutherans and Episcopalians. I occasionally remember partaking in Holy Communion, but we used grape juice and oyster crackers...which is itself confusing...the idea of the purpose of the ritual was never understood as necessary. Later on, when I chose to attend a Charismatic Evangelical Church, we had all sorts of bizarre rituals...prayer hankies, anointing oils, even a time or two of forced holy laughter...which I saw as amusing yet hardly laughable...it appeared that people were making themselves laugh. Nowadays, the only things that I do which could be considered remotely ritualistic include daily prayers and occasional intermittent fasting...which I do for proven health reasons rather than religious ones. I feel that a prayer is a form of introspection, and I do it to take my mind off of the daily grind and rat race and to focus on who and what I should be versus what I am. I also believe that praying for others is a healthy discipline that helps me to become more empathetic and less greedy and proud.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Tangle, posted 11-24-2018 3:11 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11642
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 11 of 35 (844010)
11-24-2018 5:35 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by GDR
11-23-2018 5:39 PM


GDRs Trademark Signature
GDR writes:

Read my signature.

You sure are proud of that trademark that you adopted! I was reading it and thinking about how it applies to me. I ended up with several questions that I ask myself.

quote:
He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

So I am commanded to do justice. This seems simple enough...do unto others what you would ask that they do unto you.(me) But it exposes my greed. I expect help from others...more than I feel an unction to help them. I'm not sure why this is...but it is troubling.

Love Kindness--This seems easy enough. I dislike mean people. Oddly enough, I also hate the traits that I myself have...namely greed, envy, and jealousy. Its almost as if I see the world through a microscope yet see myself through a dim telescope.

And to walk humbly with your God.---I certainly like to pray and feel that I need it. I really need God...its just that I'm unsure how I can change...in a way I feel that old age and fighting for my health has humbled me somewhat...but to be honest, it is all rather depressing at times. I feel cheated...as if I should have more...of something. What that is I don't yet know.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by GDR, posted 11-23-2018 5:39 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by GDR, posted 11-24-2018 12:31 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11642
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 12 of 35 (844011)
11-24-2018 5:44 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Faith
11-23-2018 5:50 PM


Conversion Factor
If I recall your story about your conversion, you converted on your own after reading many numerous works of literature. There was nobody that converted you was there? And the whole point of Stiles article is that you can draw people closer through loving them and helping them rather than preaching to them.

What is the duty of a Christian, in your opinion and belief?


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Faith, posted 11-23-2018 5:50 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Faith, posted 11-24-2018 1:09 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Porkncheese
Member
Posts: 116
Joined: 08-25-2017


Message 13 of 35 (844012)
11-24-2018 6:00 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
11-23-2018 11:49 AM


Forced?
Stile writes:

Should Christianity continue to try and force itself on anyone and everyone they can?

How exactly do they force themselves onto people in 2018?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 11-23-2018 11:49 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by 14174dm, posted 11-24-2018 2:25 PM Porkncheese has not yet responded
 Message 23 by Stile, posted 11-26-2018 9:08 AM Porkncheese has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4619
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


(1)
Message 14 of 35 (844021)
11-24-2018 12:31 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Phat
11-24-2018 5:35 AM


Re: GDRs Trademark Signature
Phat writes:

You sure are proud of that trademark that you adopted!


I'm not sure that proud is the right word. It is hardly original to me.

There is a line in a piece of music that we do in church sometimes. It goes like this: "so complex so simple, so clear so mysterious".

On this forum we argue about the complex and mysterious all the time. It is nice to sometimes focus on the clear and simple parts. My signature in Micah 6:8 does that well.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Phat, posted 11-24-2018 5:35 AM Phat has not yet responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 30230
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.3


(1)
Message 15 of 35 (844022)
11-24-2018 1:09 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Phat
11-24-2018 5:44 AM


Re: Conversion Factor
If I recall your story about your conversion, you converted on your own after reading many numerous works of literature. There was nobody that converted you was there?

Many of the books I read presented the gospel so that they acted as the evangelists in my case. My first attraction to Christianity though, was through the Catholic "mystics" Theresa of Avila and John of the Cross, whose passionate love of God -- not His love of me or anybody's love of me -- was the winning influence.

And the whole point of Stiles article is that you can draw people closer through loving them and helping them rather than preaching to them.

Being a Christian example is described in scripture as loving one another as Christians are commanded to, rather than loving nonChristians, though of course that is also required, otherwise as a woman loving her husband no matter how he treats her. And dying happily for your faith is another Christian example that won many converts in the days of persecution. Of course we are to love our neighbors and that may make some converts, but you can love and befriend people and never get around to telling them about salvation too.

Sure, how we behave matters, but nobody is saved without being told about salvation:

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Phat, posted 11-24-2018 5:44 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

    
1
23Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2015 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2018