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  #71  
Old 11-30-2007, 04:33 PM
daveT daveT is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

Yes, the missing commandment is the Sabbath. I do not know the exact book, but it is in the new Testament. I think it is in one of the Letters from John.

Enrique touched on a key thought there. I am not able to bring myself to damn someone else to Hell because they do not believe what I believe. I also agree that the average Christian, especially the Born Again, does not walk the way the Bible tells you to walk. Some of the most offensive and rudest people I have ever met are Christian and some of the nicest, down to earth people I have ever met were Satanists. Religion has nothing to do with the spirit of who you are, it is ultimately up to you to make the correct decisions in life.

I do not approve of the way Jesus is advertised. It bothers me that churches will tell poor people to not worry, put your faith in Jesus, and life will be better. Just pray. In the same breath, the minister will tell you that material things are not important, and that money has not value. Ten minutes later, the plate will be passed.

It is hard for me to accept that the Bible was written by some Holy Spirit. The Bible has been rewritten several times in the past centuries. I heard that the King James Bible was rewritten 8 times in the 1900s alone.

The best way to control and manipulate people is through fear and giving false knowledge. We seen this very concept applied to the Iraq War. The fear of going to Hell must be part of the teachings, because that fear allows you to walk a straight line, pay the tithe, etc.

I have a problem with the people who represent themselves as Christians but who obviously are not. The people standing on the street corner, screaming in my ear, breaking the toleration teachings.

I do not want to be part of an organization that hides child molesters, and refuses to punish those people.

The way Christians talk, I can go out, kill your child, repent in prison, and be ensured a spot in Heaven. Now, you have to look deep inside him or herself to find forgiveness for me.

Who is being less Christian here? Would any God, who knows the emotions of humans, really believe that he would be able to keep a tame Heaven with the parents and the murderers in the same place?

I don't buy it that you can go ahead and steal, lie, kill, and be a pure demon, repent, and then call yourself a Christian, guaranteeing yourself a spot in Heaven. Take the non-believer, who has done all he can do to help the world, cared for his children, and never even stole a candy bar while he may have been penniless and starving. Between the Sinner and Non Sinner, who goes to Heaven? The Sinner goes before the Atheist?

You, as a Believer, are going to tell me this is right, or even makes sense?
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  #72  
Old 11-30-2007, 04:36 PM
MrWookie MrWookie is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

Enrique,

Questions of whether to believe in any god at all are not ones I'm going to deal with. It's an issue of faith, and I agree it's not the reasoning part of my brain that's responsible for my faith. It's the illogical portion of me that deals with the basic question of faith, but I don't think that anything illogical is necessarily bad. If you maintain that the only issues in this world are the ones that are either observable or rational, then I don't have a logical argument that can refute this.

On the subject of multiple religions, I have a few more offerings, though. Now, the following is not scripturally based at all, so bear in mind that I'm just a man speculating, but I still think I have something worth considering. One idea I've toyed with is the idea that the same God came to different people of different nations, they each called Him by a different name, and each did their best to transcribe His message. We're all only human, though, so what each got written down differs from nation to nation somewhat, but there is still a great deal of commonality between all of the major religions. After that, though, the demagogues got a hold of the teachings and attacked the other groups as a means to rise to power rather than teaching what was first taught by God. That idea's a little out-there, but it's one answer I can offer for you to think about.

The more important thing I want for people reading here to take to heart is that Christians making a big deal of condemning people of other or no religions to hell are not really doing their jobs as Christians. As I mentioned to Dave, it is not our place to determine who goes where. What I know is that I have found a clear way to a relationship with God, and that's what really matters.

I'm well aware of scripture that is somewhat problematic for my interpretation here, notably John 6:53-54 and John 14:6. The former reads, "Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." Many read this quite literally, thinking only those people who take communion can have salvation. They forget, though, that Jesus has not yet done the communion thing yet, so clearly what Jesus means by his body and blood at this point is not yet clear. My personal interpretation is that the references to His body and blood are metaphors for Jesus' teachings and love, respectively, but that's certainly up for debate. If you actually keep reading in John chapter 6, you'll see that these words actually caused many people to stop following Jesus.

And finally, on the subject of doing good versus having a relationship with God being more important, I know I'm not going to convince you, but Christians will (or should) disagree. It is written, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." We can do good sometimes, and it's important, but under our own power, we continually fall short. Thankfully, God fills in the gaps.
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  #73  
Old 11-30-2007, 04:43 PM
MrWookie MrWookie is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

Brad, all,

Yes, the Gospels have many images and stories about both Heaven and Hell, although I'm not sure of the tally of stories of each. Revelation, though, was written by a guy named John who almost certainly wasn't the same John who wrote the Gospel. It shouldn't really be counted in Jesus' words about Heaven and Hell.
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  #74  
Old 11-30-2007, 05:07 PM
Brad1970 Brad1970 is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

[ QUOTE ]
Brad, all,

Yes, the Gospels have many images and stories about both Heaven and Hell, although I'm not sure of the tally of stories of each. Revelation, though, was written by a guy named John who almost certainly wasn't the same John who wrote the Gospel. It shouldn't really be counted in Jesus' words about Heaven and Hell.

[/ QUOTE ]

Technically maybe not but it has alot about hell in it which reinforces my point. I added it as an afterthought.
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  #75  
Old 11-30-2007, 05:16 PM
Enrique Enrique is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

Wookie,
Your idea of how different people interpreted the truth in a different way is something I've heard before. I see a glimpse of understanding of other points of view as long as they are theistic. What about Buddhists or atheism? I guess the question means more with respect to Buddhism, I am ignorant on the subject, but Buddhism doesn't sound like a religion with a God. I can see Judaism, Islam and Christianity jumped together as similar and with different interpretations of the truth, but what about the others? Anyway, even if you consider that they are different interpretations of the truth, how is Christianity the "true" interpretation of the Truth? Why can only Western societies see it as the truth (and many of these societies see it as the truth after years of being tortured and killed to believe it).

With respect to doing good versus the relationship with God, you are correct that you are not going to convince me. I find doing good to be much more important than belief in God. I actually don't understand thinking otherwise. I don't like the phrase you quote and it doesn't seem like a good argument. It seems that the phrase tries to convince people to be humble and not boast about their actions, which is a poor reason to stop doing good.

The thing I agree with you, is not judging. I think it is a very important thing to stop conflicts. Not judging others for believing in different things.
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  #76  
Old 11-30-2007, 05:18 PM
JMP300z JMP300z is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

[ QUOTE ]
God can do all the threatening, enforcing, judging, and punishing He wants to. We, however, are taught to "judge not, lest ye may be judged." God is the true judge, and He is the only true source of both justification and condemnation. People claiming to speak on His behalf about who He justifies and who He condemns are just clanging cymbals, causing a lot of racket, but not really amounting to much.

[/ QUOTE ]

So I should keep my mouth shut and my thoughts closed in thinking the god you describe is a despot who rules by fear and punishment of those who question his excessively harsh punishment (I consider eternal hell pretty excessive compared to most any crime committed in the blink of a lifetime).

-JP
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  #77  
Old 11-30-2007, 05:24 PM
JMP300z JMP300z is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

Just realized how far off topic my posts have helped to derail this thread, sorry op and sorry all talk involving religion seems to be funneled directly into the same discussions.

-JP
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  #78  
Old 11-30-2007, 05:33 PM
daveT daveT is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

[ QUOTE ]
God can do all the threatening, enforcing, judging, and punishing He wants to.

[/ QUOTE ]

Welcome to the Animal Farm.
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  #79  
Old 11-30-2007, 05:34 PM
Brad1970 Brad1970 is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

You know there is an SMP forum. Some of you would really like the "atheist sandbox" over there.
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  #80  
Old 11-30-2007, 05:44 PM
MrWookie MrWookie is offline
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Default Re: The rise of the fundamentalist right in America

All,

It looks like we're starting to get onto some subjects where debate on an internet message board is completely unproductive and too often leads to unpleasant arguments. I've been pleasantly surprised with the tone of this thread so far, but by and large, I don't care to deal with questions of the existence of God. I am respectful and tolerant of atheists, and I didn't come into this thread trying to convert anyone, but I consider asking me questions to try and back me into a logical trap not being particularly respectful or tolerant of my beliefs. I'm not going to deal with those questions, but if you want to continue along those lines, there are probably people in SMP who'd enjoy sparring with you. I'll deal with a few more of these questions later, though.
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