Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
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19-08-2011, 08:50 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Hey guys,

Very interesting thread although, as most times, it's become a little personal.
I agree it is hard to tell in what tone the other party is relaying his/her message but in my opinion it is totally unnecessary to be aggressive and condescending to each other which is how some people come across (you should leave that to the churches - lol).

I believe that the church has some small redeeming features (that have been mentioned here) but they are far and few between.

Humans should not push their opinions on others, albeit religious or otherwise. Everyone has a right to theirs even if they sound neurotic or totally f*cked up to others.

Yes Mark, it is a beautiful day today - does that mean you are in Melbourne?Smile

Joanne
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19-08-2011, 10:17 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(19-08-2011 08:50 PM)aurora2020 Wrote:  Hey guys,

Very interesting thread although, as most times, it's become a little personal.
I agree it is hard to tell in what tone the other party is relaying his/her message but in my opinion it is totally unnecessary to be aggressive and condescending to each other which is how some people come across (you should leave that to the churches - lol).

I believe that the church has some small redeeming features (that have been mentioned here) but they are far and few between.

Humans should not push their opinions on others, albeit religious or otherwise. Everyone has a right to theirs even if they sound neurotic or totally f*cked up to others.

Yes Mark, it is a beautiful day today - does that mean you are in Melbourne?Smile

Joanne

Hi Joanne, thanks for your input, I really appreciate it! It's good for us to get some gentle feminine input too LOL (hope that doesn't sound sexist). Sorry for my part in lowering the standard of the discussion.

I'm on the Sunshine Coast! (North of Brisbane). Are you an Aussie? You gotta be joking about Melbourne LOL....its probably freezing there today.Rolleyes
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20-08-2011, 01:42 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(18-08-2011 09:56 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(06-08-2011 03:45 PM)Ghost Wrote:  The issue is this. Show me one Christian doctrine that says die as quickly as possible. So you can say they should think X all you want, but they don't.

I don't think anyone's arguing that the bible says that you should die as soon as possible. I'm pretty sure there's no scripture to back up that idea. We're just arguing about how logical it would be to welcome death if it were, in every conceivable way, better than life.

Remember the Heaven's Gate cult? I say "remember" because they don't exist anymore - all of the members drank cyanide and arsenic until dead. Because there was nobody left to spread their message, the religion died. Doesn't this seem like a logical reason for a religion to argue that suicide is a bad idea? If all the Christians suddenly died today, it's unlikely that the religion would continue... not impossible, but unlikely, due to a huge lack of missionaries and preachers.

In the interest of weighing evidence, is it more likely that Christianity teaches that suicide is wrong because the bible says so (do you have a scripture reference that refers to suicide as sinful?) or because it doesn't wish to die out? I'm not as interested in what you believe about your position on this issue as why you believe it.



Interestingly, there were groups of Christians in the 4th and 5th Centuries (CE) who actively sought their own death. This from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

The Circumcellions
They frequently sought death, counting suicide as martyrdom. They were especially fond of flinging themselves from precipices; more rarely they sprang into the water or fire. Even women caught the infection, and those who had sinned would cast themselves from the cliffs, to atone for their fault. Sometimes the Circumcellions sought death at the hands of others, either by paying men to kill them, by threatening to kill a passer-by if he would not kill them, or by their violence inducing magistrates to have them executed. While paganism still flourished, they would come in vast crowds to any great sacrifice, not to destroy the idols, but to be martyred.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05121a.htm
[Scroll down to the section titled "Circumcellions"]

In a casual conversation many years ago, I heard it said that Christianity's ruling against suicide (eg, persons who suicided could not be buried in consecrated ground) was a direct result of the actions of the Circumcellions. Unfortunately I don't have any evidence for that claim - but it sounds likely.

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20-08-2011, 03:53 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(20-08-2011 01:42 AM)Joe Bloe Wrote:  
(18-08-2011 09:56 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(06-08-2011 03:45 PM)Ghost Wrote:  The issue is this. Show me one Christian doctrine that says die as quickly as possible. So you can say they should think X all you want, but they don't.

I don't think anyone's arguing that the bible says that you should die as soon as possible. I'm pretty sure there's no scripture to back up that idea. We're just arguing about how logical it would be to welcome death if it were, in every conceivable way, better than life.

Remember the Heaven's Gate cult? I say "remember" because they don't exist anymore - all of the members drank cyanide and arsenic until dead. Because there was nobody left to spread their message, the religion died. Doesn't this seem like a logical reason for a religion to argue that suicide is a bad idea? If all the Christians suddenly died today, it's unlikely that the religion would continue... not impossible, but unlikely, due to a huge lack of missionaries and preachers.

In the interest of weighing evidence, is it more likely that Christianity teaches that suicide is wrong because the bible says so (do you have a scripture reference that refers to suicide as sinful?) or because it doesn't wish to die out? I'm not as interested in what you believe about your position on this issue as why you believe it.



Interestingly, there were groups of Christians in the 4th and 5th Centuries (CE) who actively sought their own death. This from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

The Circumcellions
They frequently sought death, counting suicide as martyrdom. They were especially fond of flinging themselves from precipices; more rarely they sprang into the water or fire. Even women caught the infection, and those who had sinned would cast themselves from the cliffs, to atone for their fault. Sometimes the Circumcellions sought death at the hands of others, either by paying men to kill them, by threatening to kill a passer-by if he would not kill them, or by their violence inducing magistrates to have them executed. While paganism still flourished, they would come in vast crowds to any great sacrifice, not to destroy the idols, but to be martyred.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05121a.htm
[Scroll down to the section titled "Circumcellions"]

In a casual conversation many years ago, I heard it said that Christianity's ruling against suicide (eg, persons who suicided could not be buried in consecrated ground) was a direct result of the actions of the Circumcellions. Unfortunately I don't have any evidence for that claim - but it sounds likely.

Hi Joe, thanks for telling us about them!

Some of the early Christians, apart from this mob, thought death was glorious.

Ignatius had a pathological desire for his own death. He had the attitude that Christian martyrdom was a glorious privilege, something to be eagerly anticipated. His most famous quotation comes from his letter to the Romans:

“I am writing to all the Churches and state emphatically to all that I die willingly for God, provided you do not interfere. I beg you, do not show me unreasonable kindness. Suffer me to be the food of wild beasts, which are the means of my making my way to God. God's wheat I am, and by the teeth of wild beasts I am to be ground that I may prove Christ's pure bread. Better still, coax the wild beasts to become my tomb and to leave no part of my person behind: once I have fallen asleep, I do not wish to be a burden to anyone. Then only shall I be a genuine disciple of Jesus Christ when the world will not see even my body. Petition Christ in my behalf that through these instruments I may prove God's sacrifice. Not like Peter and Paul do I issue any orders to you. They were Apostles, I am a convict; they were free, I am until this moment a slave. But once I have suffered, I shall become a freedman of Jesus Christ, and, united with him, I shall rise a free man. Just now I learn, being in chains, to desire nothing.”

John's gospel states:
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." (I John 2:15—17)

I don't think too many people would argue that Paul, the creator of Christian theology, didn't think that our earthly life was nothing more than the prelude to eternal life.

I believe the Christian attitude that things are going to be so much better one day in heaven is thoroughly jaundiced, as is compromises the enjoyment of the here and now.
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20-08-2011, 04:51 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Yes, Mark, I am actually in Melbourne and it's a fantastic spring day but probably no where near how good it is there Undecided
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20-08-2011, 07:01 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(20-08-2011 04:51 AM)aurora2020 Wrote:  Yes, Mark, I am actually in Melbourne and it's a fantastic spring day but probably no where near how good it is there Undecided

Thanks for not getting offended! i love Melbourne actually. Was born and raised in Hobart.
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20-08-2011, 12:28 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
Long thread, don't have the time to go through all of it, but I haven't seen this mentioned in the first four pages...

It's not an issue about whether someone should seek death. Rather, that they should be personally happy when the end comes. It's understandable that they wouldn't want to die early, because that's not gods plan (Although how you could circumvent the plan of an all-powerful, all-knowing being, I have no idea. It's hard enough circumventing a plan of Batman.)

However, what about when you're told you have an inoperable brain tumor? That you'll die before morning? Your work here is done! You have achieved whatever plan you were sent here to do, and now you're going to be rewarded for it. Of course, you're loved ones will be sad that they won't see you for a long time. You're grandchildren may have to wait a hundred years, which to them might seem an eternity. But the adults, at least, know that it's just a long goodbye. They might be sad for a while, but they know it's not a permanent loss, and why be so selfish? They should be happy for what their loved one has gained, not what they have lost.

And the departing might be sad that they can't take their loved ones with them, that they must continue to live on this imperfect Earth, and that heaven won't be quite as good until they get there... but still, heaven is a step up on the whole.

That's the thing. It's not a matter of rushing to death, but rather being happy and contented when being told by your boss that your shift is over, and you can go home now, and here's your paycheck. Why don't we see incurable christians smiling and saying "I guess God is done with me." At best they say it as a small comfort, the way you might tell a woman "Your husband died a hero." Gods plan was carried out through them. They should be happy. For themselves, they are about to be reward, they should be happy.

Sure, all humans act emotional distraught around death, but why do we even have those emotions if they are the exact opposite of how we should feel? Why would God design us to feel grief at something that should make us feel happy?
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20-08-2011, 07:26 PM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(20-08-2011 12:28 PM)Sines Wrote:  That's the thing. It's not a matter of rushing to death, but rather being happy and contented when being told by your boss that your shift is over, and you can go home now, and here's your paycheck.

What a beautiful analogy. It's what I had in mind but couldn't express. Well thought out, Sines.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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20-08-2011, 08:05 PM (This post was last modified: 20-08-2011 08:36 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(20-08-2011 12:28 PM)Sines Wrote:  Long thread, don't have the time to go through all of it, but I haven't seen this mentioned in the first four pages...

It's not an issue about whether someone should seek death. Rather, that they should be personally happy when the end comes. It's understandable that they wouldn't want to die early, because that's not gods plan (Although how you could circumvent the plan of an all-powerful, all-knowing being, I have no idea. It's hard enough circumventing a plan of Batman.)

However, what about when you're told you have an inoperable brain tumor? That you'll die before morning? Your work here is done! You have achieved whatever plan you were sent here to do, and now you're going to be rewarded for it. Of course, you're loved ones will be sad that they won't see you for a long time. You're grandchildren may have to wait a hundred years, which to them might seem an eternity. But the adults, at least, know that it's just a long goodbye. They might be sad for a while, but they know it's not a permanent loss, and why be so selfish? They should be happy for what their loved one has gained, not what they have lost.

And the departing might be sad that they can't take their loved ones with them, that they must continue to live on this imperfect Earth, and that heaven won't be quite as good until they get there... but still, heaven is a step up on the whole.

That's the thing. It's not a matter of rushing to death, but rather being happy and contented when being told by your boss that your shift is over, and you can go home now, and here's your paycheck. Why don't we see incurable christians smiling and saying "I guess God is done with me." At best they say it as a small comfort, the way you might tell a woman "Your husband died a hero." Gods plan was carried out through them. They should be happy. For themselves, they are about to be reward, they should be happy.

Sure, all humans act emotional distraught around death, but why do we even have those emotions if they are the exact opposite of how we should feel? Why would God design us to feel grief at something that should make us feel happy?

Hallo Sines, welcome to the forum. I agree, your comments are well thought out, and I happen to agree with them. Please don't hesitate to keep contributing.


I'll throw my 2c worth in re this. As a GP, I have looked after about a hundred or maybe more people who know they are dying. I keep them as pain free as possible, I reduce their anxiety (with their permission), I keep their bowels moving, treat their infections etc etc. I try to be as empathetic as I can with them, and particularly be "real" with them. I sometimes ask them whether they believe they are going to an afterlife. Not one of them has ever said "yes". By far the commonest answer is "I don't know". Second most common is "no". Nearly all of them then want to know how much longer i think they've got.

It seems to me all the talk about a wonderful heaven that evangelical types come up with dissolves away when the reality of their own impending death hits them. When you are dying, only reality matters. What people think of you and your beliefs and what you're expected to say becomes unimportant.

Most die "at peace with themselves" but some don't. Exactly why, I don't think it is easy to generalise about. In my experience, however, it has nothing to do do with a belief in God and an afterlife.
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21-08-2011, 06:59 AM
RE: Do Christians REALLY believe what they say?
(20-08-2011 07:01 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(20-08-2011 04:51 AM)aurora2020 Wrote:  Yes, Mark, I am actually in Melbourne and it's a fantastic spring day but probably no where near how good it is there Undecided

Thanks for not getting offended! i love Melbourne actually. Was born and raised in Hobart.

Hobart, Tasmania? I have never been but I am studying some fossils collected from there and from a couple of locations in the North and South Sydney Basin.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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