5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
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12-12-2013, 08:55 AM
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
(11-12-2013 06:53 PM)Yasmin Wrote:  
(11-12-2013 06:41 PM)anonymous66 Wrote:  1. telling people God will judge them and send them to hell

I always find these ones really interesting. Can you expand?
1 and 3: I wouldn't agree with the last bit of 3, but I've always wondered whether the objection is based on the idea of an unfair, malevolent God judging on a whim or 'unfair' standards or is it the idea of ultimate moral accountability?

Anonymous66 already responded, but I'll expand. The thing that really gets me about hell is that it's unending. Not only is it impossible to truly comprehend, it's just completely out of the scope of anything we can do in this world. Lets say Hitler and Stalin had a love child, and that love child developed telekinetic powers and started the bloodiest, most ruthless holocaust in the world. That's... still a far cry from what any one person would endure in hell.

I can't picture anything I could possibly do in one lifetime that would warrant infinity years of punishment. Presumably, you would be a different person after a thousand years. Or a million. Or billion. Trillion? Quadrillion? Seriously, infinity is really big!

I would have an easier time stomaching hell if it weren't permanent, and seemed to be proportional to the sin. For example, lets say Hitler dies and goes to hell. Let him sit there reflecting on what he's done, with reminders on how he hurt people. When he actually becomes contrite, have him go and issue a heartfelt apology to all the millions of people that died because of his actions. It'd take a really long time, but no where near infinity years. After he's done that, why can't he go to heaven? And lets not forget that according to most Christian doctrine, Hitler doesn't go to hell for masterminding the holocaust; he'd go for not accepting Christ as his savior. Presumably, if he hadn't committed suicide, he could have repented before death (he already was Christian), and he'd go straight to heaven!


TL;DR: The scope of hell is crazy big, and you don't even get in or avoid it for reasons that make sense outside of Christian apologetics.
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12-12-2013, 09:00 AM
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
Oh, as for one thing to add that I don't like (about certain Christians, and not necessarily the religion itself): Christians who gloat about not going to hell and seem to actually take a sick bit of glee in knowing that other people are going*. That is sick.


* You can find these people on Facebook when someone posts a picture on a public page that says something to the effect of "you don't have to be a Christian to be a good person".
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12-12-2013, 09:19 AM
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
One thing that many people in this forum (because most of us have backgrounds in pop evangelical xtianity) might not realize is that the two biggest christian groups in the planet, the RCC and Eastern Orthodox don't have the hard lines that fundies draw on hell (f.i. eternal conscious punishment). The Catholics are a bit soft on it especially after the 60's. The EO inherited the apocatastasis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocatastasis) concept from Origen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origen) and still hold to it today.

Having said that, the 1 thing I don't like about christianity is the idea of a Penal Substitutionary Atonement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penal_substitution). I find the implications immoral and contemptible.

“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.” ― Richard Pryor
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12-12-2013, 09:37 AM
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
One Thing I Don't Like About Christianity

Christians.


But I mean, duh. That book is so fucking whack, I could sit down with the Bible today and tomorrow use scripture to "prove" that Spongebob created the universe. Dodgy

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12-12-2013, 10:28 AM (This post was last modified: 12-12-2013 07:31 PM by anonymous66.)
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
(11-12-2013 11:18 PM)Yasmin Wrote:  
(11-12-2013 09:24 PM)anonymous66 Wrote:  We attend a Unitarian Universalist church from time to time. I want my son to be exposed to the basics of world religions, and to be taught that they're all equally valid (or not valid, as the case may be).

Hi, hope you didn't think my frustration was aimed at you. Atheists have the 'you can't be moral' argument to deal with, we've got the science one. Perhaps one of the few things the two sides can agree on is getting tired of defending against the same point over and over Smile

I'm not that familiar with the Unitarian Universalist Church. From what I can gather it's about a support for your own spiritual journey helped by taking what you like from different religions and humanist thoughts? What is it like for where you go?

The UU's can be described as a non-Christian religion based on Judeo-Christian traditions. I like the fact that they are humanists and speak out about social issues. About 1/3 of the members identify as atheist, as do I.
In regards to spirituality, there really is no definition that is agreed on. I mostly attend the church so I can give my son a different perspective than the one promoted by the church my wife attends. I'm a materialist... I don't believe in anything supernatural.
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12-12-2013, 02:35 PM
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
(12-12-2013 09:37 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  One Thing I Don't Like About Christianity

Christians.


But I mean, duh. That book is so fucking whack, I could sit down with the Bible today and tomorrow use scripture to "prove" that Spongebob created the universe. Dodgy

Why place all Christians in the same basket?

Some... Unitiarians for example, could almost be termed atheists.
They do however try to consider some of the historical teaching, and endeavour to extrapolate from there, where it seems appropriate.
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12-12-2013, 03:36 PM
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
(12-12-2013 08:55 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Lets say Hitler and Stalin had a love child, and that love child developed telekinetic powers and started the bloodiest, most ruthless holocaust in the world. .
Sounds like a bad B-grade horror movie Smile

I took some time to talk this over with my mum this morning. The one thing that frustrates me about forums is trying to get thoughts down that came so easily when talking but seem so jumbled when you try to write it. So stay with me, I think this is a really important topic.

(12-12-2013 08:55 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  I can't picture anything I could possibly do in one lifetime that would warrant infinity years of punishment. Presumably, you would be a different person after a thousand years. Or a million. Or billion. Trillion? Quadrillion? Seriously, infinity is really big!
I would have an easier time stomaching hell if it weren't permanent, and seemed to be proportional to the sin.
I think because our actions have different levels of consequences, we can fall into the trap of thinking there's a hierarchy of sin. For example, cheating on your spouse vs murdering someone have different levels of impact- people involved, short-term and long-term consequences, social acceptability and punishment. That's not to say that on an earthly level they should be considered as equal- not at all. But if sin is an intentional thought or act which we know is contrary to the laws and will of God, then it separates us from God whether the sin is counted in its temporal or eternal consequences. So if someone is spending an eternity in hell I think it's less to do with a balance sheet of their life's work and more to do with how they chose to relate to God in their lives, and how this was lived. I'll try and explain this better in regards to your Hitler analogy.

(12-12-2013 08:55 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  For example, lets say Hitler dies and goes to hell. Let him sit there reflecting on what he's done, with reminders on how he hurt people. When he actually becomes contrite, have him go and issue a heartfelt apology to all the millions of people that died because of his actions. It'd take a really long time, but no where near infinity years. After he's done that, why can't he go to heaven? And lets not forget that according to most Christian doctrine, Hitler doesn't go to hell for masterminding the holocaust; he'd go for not accepting Christ as his savior. Presumably, if he hadn't committed suicide, he could have repented before death (he already was Christian), and he'd go straight to heaven!
I really think Hitler gets more attention then he deserves in being used as an example all the time, but I'll go with it Smile
The big question is- is hell a 'naughty corner' or a place where people go who have completely rejected the presence of God in their lives? Can we get there, think 'oops this eternal punishment isn't fun: 'I repent!' This is actually a big point- the permanence of someone in hell. There is some dispute in Christianity- some say there is a time period in which you can repent, some that judgement is at the time of death.

And I know this wasn't your main point, but there's something that I really think needs to be said about the idea of God's judgement of people's lives which relates to this.
In 1 Peter it says that people will be judged before God for their deeds. How do we know what he wants? Well Paul tells us that God has revealed himself to everyone- the way we are born with a sense of morality and of higher things than just the material world is proof. And in Matthew:
Quote:35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

So just as we said atheists can be moral, they can also do the will of God even if they don't want a relationship with Him. Does this mean we get into heaven on good works? No, we also need faith. Even while saying atheists can do the will of God I can still affirm that it is Jesus who makes God approachable and gives ultimate meaning.
BUT
I've noticed a lot of hurt on this forum for how the gospel and God has often been represented: rejection, judgement and insensitivity seem to sadly be the reaction to many of you. In some circumstances it is understandable why you would reject the God who is taught and represented in such a way. But I think that God's judgement isn't unjust, and that when we stand before God he is not without compassion and understanding towards the forces that have shaped our view of Him. Therefore I cannot say 'you're going to hell you evil atheist' without being unjust myself in presuming to judge for God.

However we are taught that the sin which is entirely our own choice is the complete and total rejection of God in our lives. Now if we look at Hitler, he violated the sacredness of human life. In my opinion his life's actions showed a heart completely turned away from everything that God would wish humans to show to one another. Such a thing doesn't require an apology or accountability to the human race but to God- and only God can forgive like that. But our actions in this life is what we will be judged by in the next, where the final consequences are made. That said, and as painful as it might be to say at times, IF hitler in that bunker had felt the full force of his actions, had acknowledged how wrong they were in the sight of God and asked forgiveness, then yes I would have to accept that God would have accepted him into heaven without a stint in hell.

I don't think I've completely answered what you were saying, but when we're talking about hell it's not just a question of 'what's it for/ can be used for' but a question of how it relates to out earthly lives as well. I think if hell worked the way you suggest, it would take away the need for repentance or relationship with God at all- we'd just have the attitude of 'well, I'll do my time, feel sorry after a hundred thousand years and then jump over into heaven.'
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12-12-2013, 07:18 PM
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
(11-12-2013 08:47 PM)Yasmin Wrote:  If a person rejects God's existence or any involvement in their life, they're making a choice to separate themselves from Him. So for me I think that if God is the source of all good things and our capacity to express and enjoy them- relationship, compassion, love, mercy, hope, etc- then if I choose to permanently reject God in this life, then when the time of judgement comes my rejection of the source means I can no longer participate in its effects. In fact, another way I've heard it described as is 'hell is an eternity with yourself.'

When a person reject's rational thought or any critical thinking in their life, they're making a choice to separate themselves from a realistic view of reality. So for me I think that if reality is the source of all good things and our capacity to express and enjoy them; relationship, compassion, love, mercy, hope, etc- then if I choose to permanently reject a realistic view of reality, then I'm really missing out on everything this life has to offer, in favor of a fantasy. In fact, another way I've heard it described as is "hell is living within the delusions of your own mind".

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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12-12-2013, 07:42 PM
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
(12-12-2013 07:18 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  When a person reject's rational thought or any critical thinking in their life, they're making a choice to separate themselves from a realistic view of reality. So for me I think that if reality is the source of all good things and our capacity to express and enjoy them; relationship, compassion, love, mercy, hope, etc- then if I choose to permanently reject a realistic view of reality, then I'm really missing out on everything this life has to offer, in favor of a fantasy.

So would you be suggesting (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that those who participate in favour of what you would call a 'fantasy' are missing out on a full enjoyment of these things ?

Speaking from my own experience, I find the opposite is true. Because God calls me to rationally engage with the good things we've mentioned, not only do I appreciate them more, but find I express them more than I might if I didn't believe there was a moral authority behind them. For example I may find it easy to show compassion, relationship and mercy to those that I love, but being called to express them towards people that I may not like or find difficult to deal with means I'm always having to think about what these things are, not just how they make me feel.
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12-12-2013, 08:00 PM
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
(12-12-2013 03:36 PM)Yasmin Wrote:  I think because our actions have different levels of consequences, we can fall into the trap of thinking there's a hierarchy of sin. For example, cheating on your spouse vs murdering someone have different levels of impact- people involved, short-term and long-term consequences, social acceptability and punishment. That's not to say that on an earthly level they should be considered as equal- not at all. But if sin is an intentional thought or act which we know is contrary to the laws and will of God, then it separates us from God whether the sin is counted in its temporal or eternal consequences. So if someone is spending an eternity in hell I think it's less to do with a balance sheet of their life's work and more to do with how they chose to relate to God in their lives, and how this was lived. I'll try and explain this better in regards to your Hitler analogy.

I understand why you believe that, but from someone who doesn't make the assumption that YHWH is real, we deal with what we can actually observe in the world. And from where I stand, stabbing someone in the face is a lot worse than lying to them about when your birthday is. I understand why you see both of those as a sin, but I don't.

Remember the context of the thread: things that bug me about Christianity.


(12-12-2013 03:36 PM)Yasmin Wrote:  I really think Hitler gets more attention then he deserves in being used as an example all the time, but I'll go with it Smile
The big question is- is hell a 'naughty corner' or a place where people go who have completely rejected the presence of God in their lives? Can we get there, think 'oops this eternal punishment isn't fun: 'I repent!' This is actually a big point- the permanence of someone in hell. There is some dispute in Christianity- some say there is a time period in which you can repent, some that judgement is at the time of death.

Yeah, but the scope of that is still totally crazy. It makes God come off as someone who can't deal with rejection, and lashes out in the least appropriate way possible... and then people start talking about how merciful and all-loving he is.

Really, for all the forgiveness and love Jesus talked about, he really shot his own brand in the foot when he came up with hell. I'm sure that's why Rob Bell and a bunch of his followers retconned hell out of Christianity.


(12-12-2013 03:36 PM)Yasmin Wrote:  I've noticed a lot of hurt on this forum for how the gospel and God has often been represented: rejection, judgement and insensitivity seem to sadly be the reaction to many of you. In some circumstances it is understandable why you would reject the God who is taught and represented in such a way.

Well, I can only speak of my own experiences. I believe in God for nearly 30 years, and eventually just... stopped. I didn't try to stop. I just realized after a while that it had happened, yet I didn't want it to happen. I tried really hard to get it to make sense. I read the Bible more. I thought about it more. I prayed a lot just to have God let me believe again (not even for him to have it make sense), and... he didn't. Now, being raised Lutheran, I was taught that you find God through the Holy Spirit, and that's it. So, when I ask repeatedly to get my belief back and I get nothing, yeah, I kinda see that as rejection.

Of course, once I came to terms with that, I actually started looking into stuff more, and given that the world makes a lot more sense to me if I consider this a bunch of Hebrew mythology, I stopped viewing it as rejection and more of me as being self deluded.



(12-12-2013 03:36 PM)Yasmin Wrote:  But I think that God's judgement isn't unjust, and that when we stand before God he is not without compassion and understanding towards the forces that have shaped our view of Him. Therefore I cannot say 'you're going to hell you evil atheist' without being unjust myself in presuming to judge for God.

Don't take this wrong, but you think it's not unjust because you don't want to think it's unjust. I used to be Christian too, and I was totally in the same boat for a while. Those types of apologetics work because you want them to work. When you stop wanting it, it stops working.
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