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Author Topic:   Christianity Needs to Return to Being a Good Example
Stile
Member
Posts: 4065
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 1 of 57 (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 replied
 Message 6 by AZPaul3, posted 11-23-2018 3:42 PM Stile has replied
 Message 7 by GDR, posted 11-23-2018 5:39 PM Stile has seen this message
 Message 8 by Faith, posted 11-23-2018 5:50 PM Stile has replied
 Message 13 by Porkncheese, posted 11-24-2018 6:00 AM Stile has replied
 Message 31 by Phat, posted 11-27-2018 4:08 PM Stile has seen this message
 Message 49 by Hyroglyphx, posted 08-26-2019 1:12 PM Stile has seen this message

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4065
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 4 of 57 (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:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 11-23-2018 2:24 PM Stile has seen this message

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4065
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 21 of 57 (844162)
11-26-2018 8:43 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by AZPaul3
11-23-2018 3:42 PM


AZPaul3 writes:

Oh, god. A reasonable and enlightened Christian church?

Perhaps one day.
Or perhaps it needs to be another religion, who knows?

Hopefully it would be nothing more than just a brief respite for the religion on its way to extinction.

I believe that religion is required, in some form.
Not any specific religion... just the idea of gaining personal solace through having faith that "things will work out eventually."

Not for me, I personally don't need such a thing.

But people are all different. Just because something works fine for you and I (or even a vast majority) doesn't mean it will work fine for everyone.
Just as there are people who find it comforting to be rooted in brutally honest reality, there are also other people who find it comforting to be connected to limitless imagination.

I also happen to like that a variety of people exist.
I think that if we were all the same... things would get boring and stagnant.


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Stile
Member
Posts: 4065
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 22 of 57 (844163)
11-26-2018 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Faith
11-23-2018 5:50 PM


Good ways and bad ways - just choose the good ways
Faith writes:

Stile writes:

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.

Yes, because it was a story about a man who attempted to force his views on others by some words escaping his mouth.

But where does this idea come from of forcing anybody to convert

Missionaries, witnessing... things like that.
Any idea from anyone who insists others should believe as they do because they know they have it right... without being able to show that they have it right at all.

Missionaries have often gone to foreign countries or remote tribes and stayed quite a while before anyone showed any interest in Christianity.

This may be a way to do it in a good way. Depends on the specifics.
But yes - setting up a church and informing the curious people who stop by - sounds like a very non-forceful way of evangelizing.

Of course - bribing fishermen to break the law in order to obtain passage onto an island you are aware that contains people who want to be left alone above all else - well, that's a bad way to do it. A bad, forceful way.

But when they do succeed it's by WINNING the people to Christ by persuasion, through preaching and so on.

Sometimes forceful, sometimes not.
I'm saying there are good ways to win people over, and bad ways. Stick to the good ways.

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.

You can consider your great commission complete.
Everyone knows that Christianity exists.
Those who want to know more, can come to you.
Those who do not believe the same as you can make their own decision - just as you have made yours.

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.

Forcing your beliefs on others is not wanting the best for them - it's wanting the best for you.
If you want what's best for others what you do is listen to them, and do what they want for themselves. If you want to change what they want for themselves then set a good example and hope they see it and decide to change. Do not set a bad example and give into your arrogance and attempt to force your beliefs on anyone else because you know what's best.

I think you should preach, though - to those who want to listen.
Just don't preach to those who do not want to listen - that's being forceful, and it's wrong.

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.

Missionaries suffering through certain conditions doesn't mean they were good people. I'm sure the fellow who went to the island suffered there, as well as in many past situations. It doesn't make what he did a good thing.
It doesn't mean they were bad people either. I'm sure they've all helped someone, at some point, who actually wanted the help. But anytime they help someone who doesn't want it... it's a bad thing.

Edited by Stile, : Fixing quotes

Edited by Stile, : Adding additional part of message

Edited by Stile, : Adding additional part of message

Edited by Stile, : Adding last part of message


This message is a reply to:
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Stile
Member
Posts: 4065
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 23 of 57 (844164)
11-26-2018 9:08 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Porkncheese
11-24-2018 6:00 AM


Re: Forced?
Porkncheese writes:

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?

Any time anyone provides unsolicited information to others they are forcing themselves onto people.

In 2018 it is expected of advertising and salesman.
It should not be something associated with religion.


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Stile
Member
Posts: 4065
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 29 of 57 (844251)
11-27-2018 10:11 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Phat
11-26-2018 2:55 PM


Re: Individuality vs Authoritarian Communion
Phat writes:

But don't we all give each other information unasked for?

Many times, yes. Sometimes, usually between friends, if the person decides they find the information useful anyway it's okay.
Most of the time, though, we call it "being rude."

Either way, it's not something a religion should be associated with.

In a forum such as this, we post primarily to solicit responses from others, right?

Posting on a forum wishes for a response.
It doesn't really solicit one, though.
You're not forcing someone to give you attention, you're just hoping to get attention.

It's the difference between posting a public message vs spam email.
Posting a public message - anyone can choose to read or ignore - this is how religions should be getting their information out.
Spam email - forcing an intrusion into someone else's life without giving them the choice to request or deny it - this is not how religions should be getting their information out.


This message is a reply to:
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Stile
Member
Posts: 4065
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 35 of 57 (844341)
11-28-2018 12:24 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Faith
11-27-2018 7:02 PM


Re: Missionary: FAIL??
Something being logical because it's based on previous assumptions definitely does not make it good or right.

If you believe bringing God to strangers is a life or death issue, then it's logical to force your ideas of God on strangers.
If you believe waving hello to strangers is a life or death issue, then it's logical to wave to all strangers.
If you believe insulting strangers is a life a life or death issue, then it's logical to force your insults on strangers.

Whether the action was logical according to his beliefs is not being questioned.

I'm simply condemning his actions on a higher level.
Being rude and forcing your views on others is bad and wrong, regardless of how logical it may or may not be.

There are many ways to set a good example and allow others to choose to investigate your motives if they desire.

Spread the word using good methods.
Do not spread the word using rude, bad methods.
Regardless of low 'logical' either one may or may not be based on personal assumptions.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by Phat, posted 08-24-2019 1:57 PM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4065
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 47 of 57 (861743)
08-26-2019 8:24 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by Phat
08-24-2019 1:57 PM


Re: Missionary: FAIL??
Thugpreacha writes:

Stile writes:

Being rude and forcing your views on others is bad and wrong, regardless of how logical it may or may not be.
There are many ways to set a good example and allow others to choose to investigate your motives if they desire.

Spread the word using good methods.
I agree. Critics would say, however, that the end justifies the means. If we suffered an economic collapse or another major 9-11 type attack, forcing us into war, the streets would run thick with preachers and society likely would have them arrested. Whether that would further add fuel to the fire in a war of ideologies is uncertain as of yet.

Let me get this straight...

Are you suggesting that since there's a slim chance some bad stuff might happen in the future... that this is a valid excuse to do bad things today?

Are you sure you're on Christ's side of this?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Phat, posted 08-24-2019 1:57 PM Phat has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by Phat, posted 08-26-2019 12:49 PM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4065
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 55 of 57 (861827)
08-27-2019 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Phat
08-26-2019 12:49 PM


Re: Missionary: FAIL??
Thugpreacha writes:

First off, lets be specific. What bad things are we discussing? Forcing ones views?

Well, if we follow the thread connections back, you can see that the things I was discussing with Faith were along the lines of those that were "logically justified." My examples given were:

quote:
If you believe bringing God to strangers is a life or death issue, then it's logical to force your ideas of God on strangers.
If you believe waving hello to strangers is a life or death issue, then it's logical to wave to all strangers.
If you believe insulting strangers is a life a life or death issue, then it's logical to force your insults on strangers.

Message 35


So - maybe those?
I don't know - you're the one who wanted to be specific and then didn't mention any specifics.

"Forcing one's views" can cover a rather large range:

1. Look at my views on the internet as long as you do a similar search and click around a bit.
2. Look at my views as I stop you on the street and take up your time for my own personal judgement of what's important.
3. Do as I say or else I will be upset and walk the other way.
4. Do as I say or else I will fight you.
5. Do as I say or else I will kill you.
6. Do as I say or else I will burn you in hot fires for all eternity even after you die.

Where do you think the scale stops from being "acceptable" to being "too much?"
I'm not even a big fan of #2. Therefore, #2 and beyond I consider to be "bad stuff we're doing in the present."

Do I come across as forcing anyone to believe?

You come across somewhere between #3 and #4.

At worst, I feel as if I try and get people (like you) to consider my positions and that their conclusions may be premature.

Perhaps that's what you intend, but what you actually do is mis-characterize others a lot in an attempt to shame them into agreeing with you.
Which is "somewhere between #3 and #4."

Forcing them to try it would be too extreme of course.

Now it's your turn to be specific.
Do you agree with my scale? (If not - feel free to create another.)
Where do you find yourself on it?
Where do you see me?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Phat, posted 08-26-2019 12:49 PM Phat has replied

Replies to this message:
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