Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
26-08-2011, 10:51 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Interesting. Bible literalists are the ones who perpetuate the idea of personally interpreting the scriptures as you read them, right? They've made up a lot of interesting stuff over the last few hundred years that haven't been part of the larger tradition of Christianity as it began centuries ago.

Coming from a sola scriptura tradition (I take this to be literal translation...but I am probably not accurate) to the Eastern Orthodox tradition that teaches that the Scriptures are still infallible, but not the only source of Christian doctrine, I came to realize how unreliable personal interpretation is without years of training in ancient history, language, and theology. Most Christians don't have this.

Since I was curious about what else was said about Sola Scriptura, Wikipedia seemed to have a good explaination for the contrasting Orthodox teachings. "These churches [Catholic and Orthodox] also believe that the Church has authority to establish or restrict interpretation of Scriptures because, in part, it implicitly selected which books were to be in the biblical canon through its traditions, whereas Protestants believe the Church passively recognized and received the books that were already widely considered canonical.[1]"

In my mind, it stands to reason from that those traditions not upholding the sola scriptura ideal have more flexibility to...move away from those teachings which may not have any relevance to the modern day. Like killing people in God's name. (Although, I think that changes as you move away from American Orthodoxy and to Orthodox peoples around the world where war is a larger part of their life) My particular Orthodox parish was one that enthusiastically supported the idea that not everything in the Bible is literally relevant to today. That maybe there are things to be learned, but not all of it applies to us. As I got to know other Orthodox Christians in America were a) converts from Protestant sects (as opposed to ethnic Orthodox...whose faith is manifested slightly differently) and b) were more likely to bring that sola scriptura/literal nonsense with them. I met several young male convert zealots (yes...specifically young, male, and converts) who would unblinkingly uphold killing in the name of God (i.e. civilian deaths in Iraq, war against abortion, etc). It was chilling.

What I found as an Orthodox Christian having converted from evangelical Christianity was that our faith was defined by the Bible but, to a larger extent, defined by Tradition "handed down to us from the Desert Fathers." Orthodoxy really hasn't changed all that much over the centuries. At least not in comparison to how much the Protestants have changed and splintered and morphed in only...what...400-500 years? While the Orthodox parish I went to did support a personal relationship with Jesus and obeying God's word, they were highly suspicious of people who claimed to talk to and hear God. Speaking in tounges and personal translations of the Bible were seen as something easily influenced by Satan...since Satan was believed to be able to come to us in the guise of even an angel, etc. They tended to behave by the words and traditions of the faith already established, and if they came up against a wall...they took it to be a clear sign that God didn't want them to do this or that.

Anyway, To me, this is a really interesting view of the Bible not widely held in American Christianity. Although I wouldn't have admitted to being atheist at the time, hearing about the historical reality of the Bible really brought the station of the Bible as divinely inspired a few notches to...probably not divinely inspired. Too many possibilities to err in this situation...therefore...Bible isn't so reliable. Big leap...but yeah.

Anyway. Just a thought that popped into my head reading this thread. Smile

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

- Carl Sagan
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-08-2011, 11:56 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, Zaika.

Thank you for that. That was excellent.

Biblical literalists are the ones that think every word of the Bible is a literal truth. God literally created the world in six days. Christ literally rose from the dead. The Rapture is an event that will happen as described. If the book of X tells you to kill people for doing Y, then that's what you're supposed to do. That kind of thing.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-08-2011, 12:48 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(26-08-2011 11:56 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Zaika.

Thank you for that. That was excellent.

Biblical literalists are the ones that think every word of the Bible is a literal truth. God literally created the world in six days. Christ literally rose from the dead. The Rapture is an event that will happen as described. If the book of X tells you to kill people for doing Y, then that's what you're supposed to do. That kind of thing.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Thank you for clarifying. Smile You'd think I'd get that right away. lol

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

- Carl Sagan
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-08-2011, 12:58 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Ghost Wrote:The Rapture is an event that will happen as described.
It's described? Wink pretty sure they pulled that out their a** in the 17oo's. Enlighten me if otherwise.

“We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.” Orson Welles
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-08-2011, 03:11 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(26-08-2011 10:02 AM)Ghost Wrote:  On Templar... Ok. I dig. But again, just because we can't identify them now, doesn't mean they're impossible. Also, it's fine to point at a passage in the Bible and say, "see! It commands you to kill other people!" But if we're looking at the actual theology of individual denominations or organisations, we have to be honest and say, "when was the last time the United Church of Canada went on a killing spree?"

Which is why I don't have a problem with most christians. At least not to the degree I would if they did follow the bible. But when a literalist tries to defend brutal genocide... shouldn't I be at least a little concerned about that? If for no other reason than I feel sad that these people are twisting themselves in knots to defend evil.

Quote:On unicorns... So for clarity, if someone who didn't believe in unicorns killed people who did, because they did, they would not be killing in the name of Aunicornity?

You liked my use of specific labels. So, to be specific, he would be killing in the name of anti-unicornity. Not a-unicornity. To make things clear... Christians and Anti-theists can kill because of that belief. Theists and Atheists can't.

Quote:On deviation from Biblical literalism... I don't think a single Christian theologist on the planet would pick Biblical literalism as the keystone trait of all Christianity. I'm reasonably certain however that they would pick, oh, I don't know, Christ.

I'll agree, christianity comes from christ. However... where do you get what christ says or wants without the bible? Serious question here. I don't think the bible is the keystone of christianity... Yahweh and Jesus are. But without the bible, there's no objective source of information on Yahweh and Jesus.

Quote:More to the point, the denominations are not the result of random invention. They're the result of schism after schism after schism splitting groups. It's akin to cladogenesis. The denominations are the result of an evolutionary process and are not arbitrary.

Right... schism after schism... without any real justification. If there's no basis for the schism in either real world evidence, or because of scripture, it's random. And because there is no real world evidence, then either it's based on scripture, or a persons personal feelings.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-08-2011, 09:23 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, Myst.

Biblical scholar I am not. If it aint in there, I'll take your word for it.

Hey, Sines.

On Theists and Atheists can't kill... Ok. I can agree with that. My only issue is that, like I said, in my experience, you are in the minority. I've long advocated investigating the categories within Atheism, but I've always encountered resistance. You give me hope though.

On the Bible... I find your use of the word objective curious. Anyhoo, the Bible is important. But it is the basis of theology, not theology itself.

On schisms.... I don't know what you mean about no real justification and random.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-08-2011, 09:59 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Really, I don't think I'm unique. Either you're talking to the wrong people, or the way they respond is, for whatever reason, something that gives you the wrong idea.

And what I mean by saying the bible is objective... what the bible says (And has said in the past, based on scholarly research) is objective. That there is a passage with chapter x, verse y, that says 'z'. That's what I mean. It's a source of information on christianity that is almost universally accepted by christians. Although christians who reject it get dangerously close to the "How are you a christian, again?" thing.

By the way, you never seem to come out and state what you believe. Best I can tell you seem to be a pretty dedicated agnostic, although that, of course, doesn't say whether you believe in god or not. So far, you've said he's plausible, but it's plausible that I'm George Bush. Just not very likely. So I'm pretty curious. If you've stated somewhere else that I haven't seen, a link will do nicely.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-08-2011, 12:36 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, Sines.

I'm glad you don't think you're unique. I'm just saying that you are unique in my experience. You can't categorise Atheists, is a pretty clear rebuttal. To be perfectly honest, I'm just glad that you share my position.

I see what you mean by objective. I just feel that your criteria for being a Christian don't line up with reality.

I neither believe in God nor disbelieve in God. All I know is that God is plausible but indemonstrable. So I have no reason to hold a position one way or the other. Likely doesn't enter into it for me, because the determination of likelihood requires scientific data, of which there is, was and forever shall be sum zero on God. I should be clear that when I speak of God, I'm not speaking about any specific God. Here's your link.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-09-2011, 12:19 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(28-08-2011 12:36 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Sines.

I'm glad you don't think you're unique. I'm just saying that you are unique in my experience. You can't categorise Atheists, is a pretty clear rebuttal. To be perfectly honest, I'm just glad that you share my position.

I see what you mean by objective. I just feel that your criteria for being a Christian don't line up with reality.

I neither believe in God nor disbelieve in God. All I know is that God is plausible but indemonstrable. So I have no reason to hold a position one way or the other. Likely doesn't enter into it for me, because the determination of likelihood requires scientific data, of which there is, was and forever shall be sum zero on God. I should be clear that when I speak of God, I'm not speaking about any specific God. Here's your link.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Re the plausibility of God.[/u]

If we consider the very best of morality for all, the highest possible degree of knowledge within the universe, the sweetest fairest nature, then we are roughly looking at how God is percieved by many Christians and this view is usually anthropomorphic.
While this definition may accord with shallow human WANTS, it does not accord with the possibilities inherent within the Cosmos.
A God NOT[u] defined to meet human values may be far superior, within its domain to earthly configurations such as Jehovah, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed etc.
Hence, the only "God" I could see as potentially feasible would be an ever evolving spiritual force as a part of a system never to be fully determined.
This idea may be utter crap to both atheists and conventional believers and is aligned, as far as I know ,to much Buddhist thought. Wink
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
02-09-2011, 09:52 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey, Mr. Woof.

I need to be clear about something. When I say that God is plausible, I'm not talking about Zeus, or Allah, or Yaweh or Crow Spirit.

The truthines of individual religions is irrelevant to me. Maybe only one is right. Maybe they're all wrong. Maybe they're all right. Who knows?

A God simply needs to have dominion over the universe. They need to be supernatural. Is a supernatural God plausible? Yes. That's all I'm saying.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

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