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Author Topic:   Is Christianity Evil?
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 61 of 120 (769377)
09-20-2015 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by Tangle
09-18-2015 11:52 PM


Tangle writes:

Where the Christian message - and most other religious messages - go wrong is claiming to be the one true religion and the only way to various afterlife existences. Some of them believe this to be so true that they go about killing people for it.

I don't agree that is entirely true about Christianity. Yes the Christian message is that God will ultimately bring about the recreation of this world in and through what He has done in Jesus Christ. He does also say that those that follow Jesus Christ, which is not just about believing in Him but actually following Him, even imperfectly will be part of and in some way play a role in this new creation. Following Him means that one finds joy in acts of sacrificial service to others and for that matter to all of His creation.

As to what happens those of other beliefs is best put by CS Lewis, (I know I've quoted this numerous times previously), when he says:

quote:
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.

In other words there will always be in the end those that miss out as they will not give up the world view that it is all about looking after number one. I'd suggest that there will be many, from atheist to Muslim, who find themselves existing in this new creation that will be very surprised that they are there because of how God acted through Jesus Christ.

Here is another CS Lewis quote from his book "The Last Battle". It is a spoken by a soldier of the evil character Tash.

quote:
So I went over much grass and many flowers and among all kinds of wholesome and delectable tree till lo! In a narrow place between two rocks there came to meet me a great Lion. The speed of him was like an ostrich, and his size was an elephants; his hair was like pure gold that is liquid in the furnace. He was more terrible than the Flaming Mountain of Langour, and in beauty he surpassed all that is in the world even as the rose in bloom surpasses the dust of the desert.

Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him.

But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me.

Then by reason of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oaths sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted.

Dost thou understand , Child? I said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.



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 59 by Tangle, posted 09-18-2015 11:52 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by Omnivorous, posted 09-20-2015 4:02 PM GDR has responded
 Message 63 by Tangle, posted 09-20-2015 4:30 PM GDR has responded

    
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 411 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 62 of 120 (769395)
09-20-2015 4:02 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by GDR
09-20-2015 12:04 PM


I'm both cheering your post for its eloquent good intentions...

GDR writes:

I'd suggest that there will be many, from atheist to Muslim, who find themselves existing in this new creation that will be very surprised that they are there because of how God acted through Jesus Christ.

...and objecting to it because this notion:

quote:
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.

...is a pernicious doctrine in the hands of zealots, who use it to justify a God who practices eternal torment as well as accusing non-believers of turning their backs on a divine call they never received.

AbE: Plus, I despise false dilemmas.

Edited by Omnivorous, : No reason given.


"If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you can collect a lot of heads."

Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.
-Terence


This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by GDR, posted 09-20-2015 12:04 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by GDR, posted 09-20-2015 4:32 PM Omnivorous has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4770
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 63 of 120 (769399)
09-20-2015 4:30 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by GDR
09-20-2015 12:04 PM


GDR writes:

don't agree that is entirely true about Christianity.

So you have a different opinion. Just like Lewis had a different opinion. The problem with both your views are that they're just opinion. Neither you nor Lewis has any more knowledge of God's intentions than I or anyone else has.

1.2 billion Catholics also have a different opinion. And of course Faith and her ilk. And also 1.6 billion Muslims. And 1bn atheists/deists/secularists etc etc. Tricky to simply assume that you're right just because it suits the way you - and Lewis - prefer it to be.

The trouble with your beliefs is that they can be anything you want them to be and you can find a suitably errudite writer to elucidate them for you - these people exist in every belief system.

It's nice to know that in the West at least, Christianity is being tamed and civilised but it's not universal and Christianity is not the only religion and it's not all terribly nice.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by GDR, posted 09-20-2015 12:04 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by GDR, posted 09-20-2015 5:23 PM Tangle has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 64 of 120 (769401)
09-20-2015 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by Omnivorous
09-20-2015 4:02 PM


Omnivorous writes:

...is a pernicious doctrine in the hands of zealots, who use it to justify a God who practices eternal torment as well as accusing non-believers of turning their backs on a divine call they never received.

I think that is the whole point though. It isn't a case of being a non-believer. It is a case of those who turn their back on an existence in which the fundamental underpinnings of that is existence is based on unselfish love. There will always be those who are unable to turn away from selfish love.

Everyone one of us is able to hear that still small voice that calls us to respond to the call that is Micah 6:8 which is my signature. If you read Matthew 25 and the sheep and the goats it isn't those that got their theology right that are right with God, but those who without thought of reward in this life or the next, visited those in prison, fed the hungry etc.

As far as hell being a place of eternal torment I think that by serving oneself, without thought to the well being of others, one creates their own hell. If hell is a place that is characterized with that as a fundamental then I can see it being a place of eternal torment, but if that is what one chooses then they should be free to make that choice.

I recommend Lewis' "The Great Divorce" so that you can understand that quote in the context of the entire book.

In the end, it isn't about our theology, it is about our hearts, and frankly in spite of what Christian fundamentalists will tell you, that position is Biblical.


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 62 by Omnivorous, posted 09-20-2015 4:02 PM Omnivorous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Omnivorous, posted 09-20-2015 4:55 PM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 66 by Faith, posted 09-20-2015 5:07 PM GDR has responded

    
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 411 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


(1)
Message 65 of 120 (769406)
09-20-2015 4:55 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by GDR
09-20-2015 4:32 PM


I understand your position, GDR, and that's why you got a cheer.

"If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you can collect a lot of heads."

Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.
-Terence


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by GDR, posted 09-20-2015 4:32 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 25319
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 66 of 120 (769407)
09-20-2015 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by GDR
09-20-2015 4:32 PM


In the end, it isn't about our theology, it is about our hearts, and frankly in spite of what Christian fundamentalists will tell you, that position is Biblical.

Not according to Jeremiah, who said "the heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it?"

The love we are to have does not come from our own deceitful hearts, it comes from the Holy Spirit and that takes a lot of growing into for some of us.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by GDR, posted 09-20-2015 4:32 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by GDR, posted 09-20-2015 5:26 PM Faith has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 67 of 120 (769409)
09-20-2015 5:23 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Tangle
09-20-2015 4:30 PM


Tangle writes:

So you have a different opinion. Just like Lewis had a different opinion. The problem with both your views are that they're just opinion. Neither you nor Lewis has any more knowledge of God's intentions than I or anyone else has.

1.2 billion Catholics also have a different opinion. And of course Faith and her ilk. And also 1.6 billion Muslims. And 1bn atheists/deists/secularists etc etc. Tricky to simply assume that you're right just because it suits the way you - and Lewis - prefer it to be.

The trouble with your beliefs is that they can be anything you want them to be and you can find a suitably errudite writer to elucidate them for you - these people exist in every belief system.

Fine, but what I had responded to in your previous post was this:

Tangle writes:

Where the Christian message - and most other religious messages - go wrong is claiming to be the one true religion and the only way to various afterlife existences.

You made a claim that characterized the Christian message in a way that I as a Christian believe is false. My post was a response to your representation of Christianity which is presumably your opinion as to what the Christian message is.


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 63 by Tangle, posted 09-20-2015 4:30 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by Tangle, posted 09-20-2015 6:23 PM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 68 of 120 (769410)
09-20-2015 5:26 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by Faith
09-20-2015 5:07 PM


Faith writes:

The love we are to have does not come from our own deceitful hearts, it comes from the Holy Spirit and that takes a lot of growing into for some of us.

Sure, and the Holy Spirit is that still small voice of God reaching out to all of us, regardless of our personal theology, so that hearts can be changed.


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 66 by Faith, posted 09-20-2015 5:07 PM Faith has not yet responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4770
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 69 of 120 (769420)
09-20-2015 6:23 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by GDR
09-20-2015 5:23 PM


GDR writes:

My post was a response to your representation of Christianity which is presumably your opinion as to what the Christian message is.

I don't have an opinion of what the Christian message is, I'm just reporting what most of them say it is. You have an opinion, they have different ones. As do all the others. There's no way of knowing whether any of them are correct - people just seem to either accept the one they're born into, or, if they're lucky enough to live in a liberal democracy, pick the one that suits their personality best.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by GDR, posted 09-20-2015 5:23 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by GDR, posted 09-20-2015 9:05 PM Tangle has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 70 of 120 (769441)
09-20-2015 9:05 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by Tangle
09-20-2015 6:23 PM


Tangle writes:

I don't have an opinion of what the Christian message is, I'm just reporting what most of them say it is. You have an opinion, they have different ones. As do all the others. There's no way of knowing whether any of them are correct - people just seem to either accept the one they're born into, or, if they're lucky enough to live in a liberal democracy, pick the one that suits their personality best.

To a large extent I agree. In the end our religious beliefs are a faith. They are what we believe about the nature of God and how that is to impact our lives. I have no doubt that I can find a point of disagreement with virtually any other Christian.

That however is the point. If we had certainty then we lose our objectivity and to a large extent our free will. Again, it is about the heart and it cannot be about choosing good over evil with the idea that I well be rewarded in the end one way or another. We are called to choose the good thing simply because it is the right thing and that is where our heart is.


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 69 by Tangle, posted 09-20-2015 6:23 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by Tangle, posted 09-21-2015 3:59 AM GDR has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4770
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 71 of 120 (769450)
09-21-2015 3:59 AM
Reply to: Message 70 by GDR
09-20-2015 9:05 PM


GDR writes:

We are called to choose the good thing simply because it is the right thing and that is where our heart is.

And that is true for all people whether believers or not. The only people who do not have that instinct are those that are mentally ill.

Religious belief is therefore redundant - an unnecessary and often dangerous addition to something that is normal human behaviour.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by GDR, posted 09-20-2015 9:05 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by Phat, posted 09-21-2015 12:07 PM Tangle has responded
 Message 75 by GDR, posted 09-21-2015 2:06 PM Tangle has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9433
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 72 of 120 (769465)
09-21-2015 12:07 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Tangle
09-21-2015 3:59 AM


Untangling the mystery
And that is true for all people whether believers or not.
Truth is reality, whether one believes in it or not. IF God exists, God exists whether or not anyone believed it to be so.

Religious belief is therefore redundant - an unnecessary and often dangerous addition to something that is normal human behaviour.

Religious belief can be dangerous...I will agree. It can also be helpful. There is only one God. No redundancy...unless you insist on elevating yourself up to such a humanistic standard.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Tangle, posted 09-21-2015 3:59 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by ringo, posted 09-21-2015 12:14 PM Phat has responded
 Message 74 by Tangle, posted 09-21-2015 1:21 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 13197
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 73 of 120 (769466)
09-21-2015 12:14 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by Phat
09-21-2015 12:07 PM


Re: Untangling the mystery
Phat writes:

IF God exists, God exists whether or not anyone believed it to be so.


Phat writes:

There is only one God.


Why would there be only one?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Phat, posted 09-21-2015 12:07 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 78 by Phat, posted 09-21-2015 9:03 PM ringo has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4770
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 74 of 120 (769471)
09-21-2015 1:21 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by Phat
09-21-2015 12:07 PM


Re: Untangling the mystery
GDR writes:

There is only one God.

No there isn't. (Do you see the problem with bald assertions?)

No redundancy...unless you insist on elevating yourself up to such a humanistic standard.

GDR said that anyone who leads a good life would get to heaven (i paraphrase). Therefore a belief in God is redundant.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Phat, posted 09-21-2015 12:07 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 75 of 120 (769473)
09-21-2015 2:06 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Tangle
09-21-2015 3:59 AM


Tangle writes:

And that is true for all people whether believers or not. The only people who do not have that instinct are those that are mentally ill.

Religious belief is therefore redundant - an unnecessary and often dangerous addition to something that is normal human behaviour.

I don't think I'd call it an instinct. We have an instinct for survival but I don't agree that we have an instinct for unselfish love. I think that humans are basically more drawn to look after one's own interest even if it is at the expense of another.

However, as I said, we do all have a sense that when we have personal gain at the expense of others we have crossed the line between what would have been the right thing to do and what we actually did.

However, that isn't really the point. I'm a Christian. My Christian faith is based on the Gospel writers contention that God resurrected (not resuscitated) Jesus. If I didn't believe that I then I would agree with your position.

The entire New Testament really evolves around the first Christians working out what this meant to them, and to the world, and we are still called to do that today. The basic message that they gleaned is that Jesus came to establish a kingdom of followers who are called to bring His truth, justice, love and peace to the world. However, people are still people with their desire for personal power and as a result there have been terrible things done in the name of Christianity. People are still people.

I'm in a relatively small Anglican church. There is nobody there for reasons of personal gain. The amount of work that gets done by people in that church to serve the local community is amazing. On top of that 3 African missions are being supported and there are numerous other needs being met as well. That has been my experience of church life when I lived in Montreal, Toronto and now here. We are now organizing again to do what we have done before in sponsoring refugees into Canada.

There are those that want to make Christianity all about being looked after in the next life. That entirely misses the point. If you want to talk about being saved then OK, but the point is to be saved for a purpose and that purpose is to infect the world with the love of God as embodied by Jesus Christ.

The other thing that we get from Christianity is the belief that the good we do in this life has ultimate meaning. We all know that our world as we know it is finite but Christianity teaches that all this will be renewed as Jesus was renewed. If we believe that there is nothing but oblivion at the end of time, as opposed to the idea that we are building for something new and something better, then that can hardly help but have an impact own our world view.


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 71 by Tangle, posted 09-21-2015 3:59 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by Tangle, posted 09-21-2015 6:37 PM GDR has responded

    
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