Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 108 (8806 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 12-17-2017 2:24 PM
267 online now:
caffeine, DrJones*, Faith, PaulK, Percy (Admin), Phat (AdminPhat), ringo, Tangle, xongsmith (9 members, 258 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: jaufre
Post Volume:
Total: 824,477 Year: 29,083/21,208 Month: 1,149/1,847 Week: 72/452 Day: 72/115 Hour: 10/23

Announcements: Reporting debate problems OR discussing moderation actions/inactions


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
1
23456
...
21NextFF
Author Topic:   jar - On Christianity
AdminAsgara
Administrator
Posts: 2073
From: The Universe
Joined: 10-11-2003


Message 1 of 307 (337059)
07-31-2006 9:06 PM


An addition to our "Belief Statements" column. The latest article appears below.

*****************************************
On Christianity, By jar

Recently the question was asked whether or not I consider Christianity to be evil and if I think Fundamentalists and Evangelical Christians are evil. For the record, I do not think Christianity is evil, nor do I think Fundamentalists and Evangelicals are evil.

So now that that part is out of the way, how do I really feel about it?

As a Christian I think one of the first things needed is some personal honesty. That is, it seems to me, a basic tenet and requirement of the faith, the religion called Christianity. It is inherent in the confession. We are expected to honestly look at ourselves, our lives and our behavior and see where we have done wrong, where we have failed to do right, to acknowledge those failings and try to do better in the future.

When I was little, (probably about three or four because this strange new man had joined the family; my dad who had been overseas when I was born), Dad would take me for walks. I remember that one key part of every walk was that I herd the baby ducks and keep them together. This was hard and demanded full concentration. Often one of the baby ducks would dart off on its own and only because my dad saw it and called out to me was I able to catch it and direct it back to the others.

Other grown ups passing by would often ask what I was doing. “Herding baby Ducks”, my father would proudly say. While he talked with them, it was my job to make sure the big folk didn’t accidentally step on one of the baby ducks. Most big folk, you know, can’t see invisible baby ducks. Only I and my dad could see them and we had to keep them safe.

Were the baby ducks real? At the time, absolutely. They lived in a special place under the front porch and only came out when I called them. They were MY responsibility, and I kept them safe.

Would I teach a three year old today to herd baby ducks? Absolutely.

Would I expect the three year old to eventually grow up and realize that invisible baby ducks are only possible when in the presence of a Daddy and his new son, that they are a wonder and creation of the age and time? Certainly.

When I was little I also believed, believed very strongly that Christians were good and everybody else was wrong. Then we moved into a Jewish neighborhood. Ours was the only goyim family. I knew that Goya had been a great painter so being called a little artist didn’t bother me much. Then I learned exactly what goyim meant.

One day one of the big kids was picking on my little brother, knocked him down and called him a dirty goyim. I totally lost my temper and headed straight towards the bigger kid. He must have seen the look in my eyes that said “retreat is the better part of valor” because even though he was bigger than me by a good bit, he took off running for home with me right behind. He reached his door just as my hand reached out to grab him and he slammed it shut.

Were the big folk that stepped on baby ducks evil because they simply couldn’t see them? Was the big kid, who later became a good friend by the way, evil?

As we grow and learn more we hopefully gain from the mistakes we made in the past. Today, when I talk with a dad whose three year old son is diligently herding invisible baby ducks I am careful to make sure I don’t step on any, and when (as always happens) I do almost step on one I am careful to thank the lad for warning me and to always ask before I put my foot down if there is a duck beneath. Today I try to remember what it felt like to be goyim, and the rage and fury I felt when my little brother was knocked down and called dirty goyim.

We are the sum of our experiences.

I am also a Christian. As I see Christianity is both a set of teachings and also the body, the communion of Christians down through the ages. Some Christians were great, some evil, most simply forgotten. All though were Christian.

Later I learned more of the history of this thing, this communion called Christianity. What I learned was not always pleasant, much in fact was horrific. Very little was as simple or serene as what I had been taught.

What I learned was that down through the ages many horrific things were done in the name of Christianity and by Christians. Protestants oppressed Catholics, Catholics oppressed Protestants, and both oppressed every other religion. Down through the ages the Jew came in for special attention, being expelled from nearly every country and their property seized. Time after time it happened.

I learned about how the Native Americans were taken from their homes, given new names, had their hair cut, forbidden to speak their own language, sent to Christian Schools where they had to learn a new religion, how their old religion was mocked and forbidden.

I learned how the Codices and tablets were burned by the Padres that accompanied the Conquistadores, what happened in Hawaii, what happened throughout South and Central America.

I saw the white church members standing at the curbs shouting “Let the dogs loose” or “Turn on the hoses”, and saw the Christian Schools popping up like toadstools as the white Christian parents pulled their kids out of public school so they would not have to sit next to a monkey. I saw churches that had been bombed or burned out, bodies of people working for equal rights after they had been shot, sometimes mutilated.

I look around today and see other Christians shouting “God hates Fags” and voting time after time to ban same-sex marriages and claiming that Islam is barbaric.

Christianity must, IMHO, accept responsibility for the evil as well as the good done in its name.

In discussions at EvC and at other places, when the more horrific acts are brought up, one response I often hear is “They were not real Christians” or “That is not what Christ taught.” I disagree with the former, and agree with the later. I also think that using either as an excuse or as a way to shirk responsibility is dishonest. Granted it is not what Christ taught but it IS what Christians did, and in every case I examined, the people were honest, sincere and believed strongly that what they were doing was right and that it was the Christian thing to do. They were all sure that they were morally right.

The Missionary teacher that helped bring the poor savages to the Missionary School, who clothed the kids, cut their hair, gave them good Christian Names, taught them to read and maybe even write, taught them about GOD did so to save the kids souls.

The Padre that accompanied the Conquistadores and that burned the Codices did it for what they saw as the best of reasons, saving souls. This refrain has been repeated time after time and over issue after issue. It is only later, when we look back on the sermons written on how to civilize the savage, what the place of the Blackman in society is, on the terrible wrong we did in destroying cultures and beliefs that we realize how wrong we were.

If we are to avoid make such errors in the future, I believe we must honestly acknowledge what we have done in the past, that “but by the grace of GOD” those people could be us and that we too are capable of committing such horrific acts. If we try to claim that they were somehow different than us, that they were not real Christians, then I fear we are bound to continue down that path.

Looking at things today, seeing the Christian support for denying civil rights to homosexuals, the growth of Biblical Creationism and the ID movement I have little hope.

Edited by AdminAsgara, : fixed name

Edited by AdminAsgara, : took out frames, added in text only

Edited by AdminAsgara, : added member id for author


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by robinrohan, posted 08-01-2006 3:54 PM AdminAsgara has not yet responded
 Message 3 by NosyNed, posted 08-01-2006 9:21 PM AdminAsgara has not yet responded
 Message 5 by RickJB, posted 08-02-2006 4:38 AM AdminAsgara has not yet responded
 Message 13 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 08-26-2006 3:42 PM AdminAsgara has not yet responded
 Message 304 by tesla, posted 06-05-2011 4:27 PM AdminAsgara has not yet responded

  
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 307 (337261)
08-01-2006 3:54 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by AdminAsgara
07-31-2006 9:06 PM


Looking at things today, seeing the Christian support for denying civil rights to homosexuals, the growth of Biblical Creationism and the ID movement I have little hope.

I also have little hope.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by AdminAsgara, posted 07-31-2006 9:06 PM AdminAsgara has not yet responded

NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8802
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 3 of 307 (337306)
08-01-2006 9:21 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by AdminAsgara
07-31-2006 9:06 PM


True Christians
There is hope, there is at least one true Christian.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by AdminAsgara, posted 07-31-2006 9:06 PM AdminAsgara has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by iano, posted 08-01-2006 9:27 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

iano
Member (Idle past 799 days)
Posts: 6164
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 4 of 307 (337307)
08-01-2006 9:27 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by NosyNed
08-01-2006 9:21 PM


Re: True Christians
This puppy has already viewed the Robin Williams clip tonight. True Christian? Enough already!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by NosyNed, posted 08-01-2006 9:21 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

RickJB
Member (Idle past 2607 days)
Posts: 917
From: London, UK
Joined: 04-14-2006


Message 5 of 307 (337344)
08-02-2006 4:38 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by AdminAsgara
07-31-2006 9:06 PM


Interesting. You seem to have a Dharmic take on Christianity, much like the some members of the Church of England and other moderate branches. Jesus is less God incarnate and more of a spiritual teacher.

I have alot of sympathy with this view. In my opinion the gospels portray Jesus as a man who would have seen himself in a similar light - certainly not the vengeful figure that Paul imagined.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by AdminAsgara, posted 07-31-2006 9:06 PM AdminAsgara has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by jar, posted 08-02-2006 11:22 AM RickJB has not yet responded

jar
Member
Posts: 29815
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 6 of 307 (337372)
08-02-2006 11:22 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by RickJB
08-02-2006 4:38 AM


Well, I am an Episcopalian which is part of the Anglican Communion as is the CoE.

Jesus is less God incarnate and more of a spiritual teacher.

I would likely put that into two parts, one Jesus and the other Jesus while alive and among us.

I do believe that Jesus is GOD but while he was here on earth He was fully man, human, just like you, just like me.

I think lots of folk misunderstand the term incarnate. They have, if they even really think about it at all, some idea of incarnate means "God in Human Form" as though it was some costume GOD put on so he could sneak around and spy on the humans.

That makes as little sense theologically IMHO as the idea that Jesus let himself be killed as some blood sacrifice.

Jesus was a teacher. The information we have all says that everything he did during his life was to teach people. If the message was as some have said, that his followers are saved and the bad guys are gonna get it, Jesus lives the wrong story. In that story when it came time to lay hands on Him He would have swung around, flapped open his oilskin slicker, drawn his trusty Ivory handled six-guns, mowed down the Clancy Brothers and rid out of town leaving behind one silver bullet and on the ears of the wind, a hearty "Hi-Ho Silver, Away".

But Jesus is not some Masked Man. The power of the Jesus saga is that He is human.

A God cannot be tempted, Jesus was. And Jesus resisted. And the message is "humans can resist evil".

A God cannot be threated, Jesus was. And Jesus did not respond with more violence. And the message is "humans can try to find ways other than violence".

A God cannot die, Jesus did. And Jesus rose from the dead. And the message is "all humans will rise from the dead".

Just as I believe that we must be honest about the great Evil that Christians have done in the past and that Christians are doing now, I believe we must also be honest about what the message was.

It is not that Christians are saved and everyone else is damned.

It is that GOD gave us in the life of Jesus a clear lesson of what a human should do, and more importantly, can do.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by RickJB, posted 08-02-2006 4:38 AM RickJB has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-02-2006 1:41 PM jar has responded
 Message 306 by Phat, posted 07-05-2015 7:53 PM jar has not yet responded

New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11858
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 7 of 307 (337402)
08-02-2006 1:41 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by jar
08-02-2006 11:22 AM


A God cannot die, Jesus did. And Jesus rose from the dead. And the message is "all humans will rise from the dead".

Yeah but Jesus was walking around like a ghost after he died, talking to people n'stuff. We aren't all gonna do that!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by jar, posted 08-02-2006 11:22 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by jar, posted 08-02-2006 3:29 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

jar
Member
Posts: 29815
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 8 of 307 (337415)
08-02-2006 3:29 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by New Cat's Eye
08-02-2006 1:41 PM


Like a Ghost?
Catholic Scientist writes:

Yeah but Jesus was walking around like a ghost after he died, talking to people n'stuff. We aren't all gonna do that!

I wouldn't have described it as a ghost, and in fact, quite the opposite of that. He was very, very real, they could touch him, feel him, not just his presence but his physical body. He ate with them and walked with them and drank with them and continued teaching.

Why?

When I was in school, we often debated that very question, sitting on the little porch that was painted as so many porches were in those days with surplus battleship grey paint. Why did Jesus come back in the flesh, to walk and talk and eat and drink and laugh and share rememberances and plan the future.

I think it is part of the lesson.

There were several possible endings for Jesus story, it was, afterall, a story mostly told to a few individuals. For them to spread the word, they had to be convinced, convinced beyond a shadow of doubt.

The story could have ended with a body in the tomb.

The story could have ended with a body in the tomb and voices or visions appearing to the disciples.

The story could have ended with a body in the tomb and an apparition, visible but unsubstancial, appearing to the disciples.

The story could have ended with the tomb empty and either vioces, visions or an apparition appearing to the disciples.

I didn't though. It ends with an empty tomb and Jesus, in the flesh, returned from the grave, to walk, to talk, to laugh, to plan, to reminisce with the disciples. It is almost the final lesson that Jesus taught.

None of the other endings would have sufficed.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-02-2006 1:41 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-02-2006 5:07 PM jar has responded

New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11858
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 9 of 307 (337447)
08-02-2006 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by jar
08-02-2006 3:29 PM


Re: Like a Ghost?
None of the other endings would have sufficed.

I agree.

Maybe ghost wasn't the best word, but wasn't he walking through walls or appearing out of nowhere? <--- ghost-like

Also there's that part in John where he tells Mary Magdeline not to touch him yet...

It is almost the final lesson that Jesus taught.

So how do you get that:

quote:
And the message is "all humans will rise from the dead".

from the story. I mean, we aren't all gonna do that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by jar, posted 08-02-2006 3:29 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by jar, posted 08-02-2006 5:15 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

jar
Member
Posts: 29815
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 10 of 307 (337452)
08-02-2006 5:15 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by New Cat's Eye
08-02-2006 5:07 PM


Re: Like a Ghost?
We will all rise from the dead, and IMHO there really is some form of afterlife. No, we will not be here, He said we would be with Him, but I imagine that will seem as real to us as what we experience today.

The point of the story, IMHO, is not that we would return here but home, that the life after death will be one of substance, one of reality.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-02-2006 5:07 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-02-2006 5:17 PM jar has responded
 Message 15 by GDR, posted 08-26-2006 6:24 PM jar has responded

New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11858
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 11 of 307 (337454)
08-02-2006 5:17 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by jar
08-02-2006 5:15 PM


Re: Like a Ghost?
The point of the story, IMHO, is not that we would return here but home, that the life after death will be one of substance, one of reality.

Cool, thanks for sharing.

I haven't gotten around to reading the Bible and comming up with a better "customs" anology yet but Ihaven't forgotten about it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by jar, posted 08-02-2006 5:15 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by jar, posted 08-04-2006 5:06 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

jar
Member
Posts: 29815
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 12 of 307 (337955)
08-04-2006 5:06 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by New Cat's Eye
08-02-2006 5:17 PM


Re: Like a Ghost?
Actually, the more I think about it the more like customs I believe it will be, and even then, far more like the pre-1991 Canadian Border than Ellis Island.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-02-2006 5:17 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 664 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 13 of 307 (343673)
08-26-2006 3:42 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by AdminAsgara
07-31-2006 9:06 PM


With beliefs like these I am glad Jar is a Darwinist. You can have this freak.

Ray


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by AdminAsgara, posted 07-31-2006 9:06 PM AdminAsgara has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by GDR, posted 08-26-2006 6:06 PM Cold Foreign Object has responded
 Message 30 by nator, posted 08-27-2006 9:36 PM Cold Foreign Object has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4365
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 14 of 307 (343727)
08-26-2006 6:06 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Cold Foreign Object
08-26-2006 3:42 PM


Herepton writes:

With beliefs like these I am glad Jar is a Darwinist. You can have this freak.

Maybe Ray you should start wearing a WWJS bracelet. (What Would Jesus Say?) That type of statement is what I suggest happens to those who get caught up in legalism to the detriment of the great commandment of our Lord which is to love God and love our neighbour.

Not much love there is there. :(


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 08-26-2006 3:42 PM Cold Foreign Object has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 08-26-2006 7:54 PM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4365
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 15 of 307 (343733)
08-26-2006 6:24 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by jar
08-02-2006 5:15 PM


Which world is real?
Hi jar

jar writes:

We will all rise from the dead, and IMHO there really is some form of afterlife. No, we will not be here, He said we would be with Him, but I imagine that will seem as real to us as what we experience today.
The point of the story, IMHO, is not that we would return here but home, that the life after death will be one of substance, one of reality.

Well put. When you look at the world of QM I have to believe that the next life will be a lot more real than this one.

Incidently. There are two writers that you might want to take a look at. The first one I've had reccomended to me but I haven't read yet.

He is a retired U of Oxford professor named Keith Ward.

http://www.oup.co.uk/academic/humanities/religion/viewpoint/keith_ward/

The second is the current Bishop of Durham named N.T. Wright.

I'm half way through his book "Simply Christian" and am finding it an excellent read and in my view is a great book to read after reading "Mere Christianity"

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060507152

http://www.ntwrightpage.com/

Thanks for your posts. Even the ones I don't agree with. :)

Greg

Edited by GDR, : No reason given.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by jar, posted 08-02-2006 5:15 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by jar, posted 08-26-2006 6:35 PM GDR has responded

  
1
23456
...
21NextFF
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2015 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2017