A random thought.
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
14-08-2010, 06:21 PM
 
A random thought.
I see this all the time…

I see all these people saying they “live for Christ,” which is just fine, because it’s none of my business.

However, I have never, not once, seen one of these people say they live for themselves also. What’s the beauty of life if you don’t live for yourself? What’s the greatness of achieving something if you say that Christ helped you? I for one always enjoy achieving things on my own.
Quote this message in a reply
14-08-2010, 06:34 PM
RE: A random thought.
The christians I've encountered (not to stereotype....) would usually reply to your comment with something along the lines of, "my achievements are for christ, and would not happen without his help. It is selfish to live for yourself. I live ONLY for christ." Of course they don't, and probably don't even really think they do. It's a defensive reaction, that is common from people who feel that differing opinions are an attack on their beliefs. (Again, as I read this, I see that I appear to be stereotyping, but hey...I'm just calling it like I see it).

Of course all of these objections are moot, and mostly, they can be quieted by simply bringing to their attention that living for christ alone would mean not buying fashionable clothing, eating at Red Lobster, or taking in the latest installment of the Twilight movies with their screeching teenage daughter.

They do live for themselves, and are as selfish as the rest of us. They just don't SAY so.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-08-2010, 08:57 AM
RE: A random thought.
I think that living for something external to one's self can be a gratifying pursuit. Self-gratification has its obvious benefits, but it also has a number of pitfalls. It is ultimately hollow and alienating. But it feels great in the moment. So in a hierarchical society that essentially exists as a production engine that has little regard for individuals, self-gratification is a common narcotic used to dull the pain.

When Dawkins published The Selfish Gene, he introduced the idea of selfishness. This of course has nothing to do with self-gratification but with a desire to set conditions in which the chance of survival of your genes is maximised. Dawkins postulated that altruism is not born of some hoity toity need to be moral, but out of selfishness. By living altruistically, you provide support to a larger network that reciprocates by supporting you. So by living for others, you create the conditions that lead to a greater chance of survival for your own genes.

Within the context of hierarchical civilisation where the mechanism for altruism still exists but where the reciprocity is limited, being purely altruistic is not such a great investment. So many see self-gratification as the default. But I think that living for Christ creates a mechanism that encourages altruism in a large group. By living for Christ, one is essentially living for other people. If a large network of people are doing that then you create a large version of a reciprocal economy/society nested within the context of this production engine of ours. Not perfect, but not a bad patch job. That being said, if people are paying lip service to living for Christ then they're likely acting like a parasite on that system, but the idea seems reasonable to me. I wouldn't shit on the whole system because there's room for abuse.

I have two friends, one a devout Catholic and one a devout Evangelical Christian and they both live for Christ. They are two of the most giving, well adjusted and supported people that I know. So there is definitely benefit to be gained through living for Christ.

And, Stark Raving, they're living for Christ, they're not Buddhist monks who divest themselves of all worldly possessions Big Grin Christ says nothing about divesting oneself of possessions. He does talk about Jubilee, the redistribution of wealth every seven years, a process that is pretty much ignored in pretty much every sect of Christianity, but not indigence. Let a Christian get his self a slice of pizza up in this piece! Can I get a witness?!

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-08-2010, 10:09 AM
RE: A random thought.
But Matt, you are talking about what christ supposedly said. I am talking about what real people have said. You've misssed the point entirely. When a christian insists they s/he lives solely for christ, it is easy to point out that they are so full of it that their breath smells like a stale fart.

I also feel that you are looking at this a little too one sided. (Not sure if you're just playing devils advocate). I never suggested, nor did Stanly that I could see, that living a purely selfish life is what christians are doing. They do not, however live for christ. What they do is much more complex. They live for a combination of many things. Just like me with one exception: god. "By living for Christ, one is essentially living for other people." I couldn't disagree more. Not to mention, if you're going to do things for others, why not do exactly that?? Do it for others.

I have more thoughts on this, but chores await. Many chickens to kill today. Perhaps tonight I'll have more time.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-08-2010, 12:14 PM
RE: A random thought.
Hey, Stark Raving.

I was just saying that living for something external can be as worthy a life's ambition as living for one's self.

I don't discount the notion that there are many Christians who are full of shit. There's billions of Christians. That means a bunch of them are full of shit and that their oral emissions are as malodorous as you claim. But to say that none of them is living for Christ is pretty dismissive.

Helping others through living for Christ is as valid as helping others for shits and giggles. The end result is the same. The only difference is the world view that guides them.

Plus, I'm not sure what you mean when you say ONLY for Christ. Like, they don't eat food or poop cause they're too busy living for Christ? I'm not actually scholarly enough to say what living for Christ means exactly. I use my layman's understanding.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-08-2010, 01:59 PM
 
RE: A random thought.
When I say I live for myself, I don't mean that to be selfish. It may come out that way, but it's not how I roll.

Anyone can live for somebody, that's just fine. I guess it's just me knowing that Christ never existed which gets to me, which is of course bias.
Quote this message in a reply
15-08-2010, 02:00 PM
RE: A random thought.
Eating and pooping is nescessary for survival, and one must survive to live for christ. It is not, however, nescessary to eat at Red Lobster. As such, a person who claims to live ONLY for christ is comp[letely full of BS if they ever do anything that doesn't serve christ. Survival can arguably serve christ, as can maintaining ones health, etc. Indulgence can't be said to serve christ. Now I'm not saying it's wrong for a christian to enjoy an evening at the movies. My only point is that saying they serve ONLY christ is a load of crap. To say that I've never met, or even heard of a person who solely devotes all their energy to serve christ is indeed dismissive. And intentionally so. I will stop dismissing such a claim when I see evidence of even a single person who does this.

I also use my laymans understanding of what it means to "live for christ". That is someone who does everything possible to serve christ, and no other, including themselves. It's a simple way to put it, but if you are going to tell me you live for christ, and then reiterate your position by emphasizing that you live ONLY for christ, then you're going to have to be pretty simple about it. (Of course I don't mean you Matt, but "you" as in the many people I have heard make this claim)

Again, let me clarify....I don't think there's anything wrong with doing good in the name of whatever fantasy a person chooses to believe. I just tire of the bullshit christians sling about being better people because they serve a higher power. Doing good for god is ok, but it's misguided. If you do good because of god, then it stands to reason that if you later cease to believe, you will also lose your reason for doing good. I can't admire a person that does good deeds just to avoid hell and get into heaven. The guy who mows his elderly nieghbors lawn and never tells anyone, because he simply did it for the sake of doing a kindness is the guy I take my hat off to. If you're trying to score points with god, well, I'm glad you're doing good things, but I just can't respect that.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-08-2010, 08:37 PM
 
RE: A random thought.
(15-08-2010 02:00 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Eating and pooping is nescessary for survival, and one must survive to live for christ. It is not, however, nescessary to eat at Red Lobster. As such, a person who claims to live ONLY for christ is completely full of BS if they ever do anything that doesn't serve christ. Survival can arguably serve christ, as can maintaining ones health, etc. Indulgence can't be said to serve christ. Now I'm not saying it's wrong for a christian to enjoy an evening at the movies. My only point is that saying they serve ONLY christ is a load of crap. To say that I've never met, or even heard of a person who solely devotes all their energy to serve christ is indeed dismissive. And intentionally so. I will stop dismissing such a claim when I see evidence of even a single person who does this.

I also use my laymans understanding of what it means to "live for christ". That is someone who does everything possible to serve christ, and no other, including themselves. It's a simple way to put it, but if you are going to tell me you live for christ, and then reiterate your position by emphasizing that you live ONLY for christ, then you're going to have to be pretty simple about it. (Of course I don't mean you Matt, but "you" as in the many people I have heard make this claim)

Again, let me clarify....I don't think there's anything wrong with doing good in the name of whatever fantasy a person chooses to believe. I just tire of the bullshit christians sling about being better people because they serve a higher power. Doing good for god is ok, but it's misguided. If you do good because of god, then it stands to reason that if you later cease to believe, you will also lose your reason for doing good. I can't admire a person that does good deeds just to avoid hell and get into heaven. The guy who mows his elderly nieghbors lawn and never tells anyone, because he simply did it for the sake of doing a kindness is the guy I take my hat off to. If you're trying to score points with god, well, I'm glad you're doing good things, but I just can't respect that.

Took the words right out of my mouth. Appreciate it.
Quote this message in a reply
16-08-2010, 07:50 AM
 
RE: A random thought.
i can honestly say i've never heard anyone say they live for christ. or no one has said it me directly because they know i'd just laugh at them. really, i would. but i had a conversation with a friend from high school that i reconnected with on facebook who said something just as asinine. she was telling me about her 6 kids. yes, 6 kids. after her second or third divorce, she's on her fifth marriage i think, she hit such a low point in her life that she told me she had to choose, either god or drugs. Huh so she chose god for her kids. it kind of pisses me off a bit when people short change themselves of their achievements and give god the credit. god didn't stop her from turning to drugs, she stopped herself. god also didn't give her any strength to do the right thing. i guess some people just need to give their courage a name.
Quote this message in a reply
16-08-2010, 03:00 PM
RE: A random thought.
Hey, Stark Raving.

Again, I don't think your definition of serving Christ is what Christians believe. Like I said, I don't think there's any Christian rule that says you can't have anything nice. Like, I've never heard of that. Can you think of any popular Christian doctrine that says anything like that? I mean if there is a Christian doctrine that says, if you go to Red Lobster you are not serving Christ, then you have a tidy point. But if that just isn't a part of living for Christ then you're attacking them for something you are imposing on them. All of that being said, I think that nuns and monks do a pretty handy job of serving Christ without engaging in indulgence. So I think your not one single person argument is flawed.

If you can't respect them, then that's a valid statement. But your lack of respect isn't evidence of them doing one thing or another. And while you're perfectly entitled to feel sick when people lord their superiority over you, if you're going to base your opinions on Christians who lord things over you, then of course an outsider can look at your statement and say it's standing on quicksand. It's like saying Islam is a religion on terrorism because of a few terrorists.

You have a point. If someone does good for God and then looses their faith, it might mean they stop doing good. Not necessarily but it's certainly a possibility. But I can think of a few people who did good, renounced their faith and continued to do good. That being said, if they're doing good, what's the problem? Doing good to other people comes from thinking that it's right. So who cares how someone came to the understanding that it's right? I don't think the person being helped cares.

Hey, thegirl.

Quote:it kind of pisses me off a bit when people short change themselves of their achievements and give god the credit. god didn't stop her from turning to drugs, she stopped herself. god also didn't give her any strength to do the right thing. i guess some people just need to give their courage a name.

I gotta admit, my personal belief is that there was not a dude with a beard living in the sky who handed her that ability. But it could be the case that God gave her the strength not in the literal sense but in the metaphorical sense; ie, without that option there, faith, would she have found the strength? I often find that superstition is dismissed because it doesn't live up to literal interpretations. For example, if someone says I can read minds, they're countered with, you're not reading a mind, you're doing tricks and asking leading questions and whatnot. But if they figure out what you're thinking, is that not reading your mind? Anyhoo.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: