If you could tell a Christian how to be a better Christian...
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14-12-2011, 09:21 PM
If you could tell a Christian how to be a better Christian...
What would you tell them? This is your chance. I'm collecting answers from all of my atheist friends on how each of you view people who call themselves Christians.

I know many of you have faced bigotry and adversity from supposed "Christ-like" people, and I want to know how this impacted your general opinion of them. Don't hold back. I teach Sunday School on occasion, and I would like to use your testimonies as teaching tools on how their actions towards non-believers affects others.

Keep in mind though, this isn't a place to criticize the Christian belief or the Bible; however, this is a place to confront Christians about their actions towards others.

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14-12-2011, 09:27 PM
RE: If you could tell a Christian how to be a better Christian...
I would advise that they stop with the injection of their arrogance upon others when it's uninvited. The hypocracy needs to stop as well.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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14-12-2011, 09:30 PM
RE: If you could tell a Christian how to be a better Christian...
(14-12-2011 09:27 PM)ddrew Wrote:  I would advise that they stop with the injection of their arrogance upon others when it's uninvited. The hypocracy needs to stop as well.

Keep going.

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14-12-2011, 09:56 PM (This post was last modified: 14-12-2011 10:06 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: If you could tell a Christian how to be a better Christian...
No problem, brother. This is what I do to be a better Christian while not compromising my atheism. When I read the Bible now for anything other than academic interest, I only read the Red Letter Version of the New Testament, and I read only the red letters 'cause I'm not particularly interested in what the peanut gallery has to say, and I read the red letters the way I eat fish. Gotta be ready for the bones so I can spit them out before I gag on them. Served this way, Jesus can be refreshingly delicious.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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14-12-2011, 10:01 PM
RE: If you could tell a Christian how to be a better Christian...
I would say a couple of things:
  • Religion doesn't belong in the government. Your faith is your personal faith, those that don't believe it should not be forced to obey the rules you allow to be imposed upon yourself according to your religious beliefs.
  • Don't apply some portions of the Bible's Old Testament and not others. To use a tired but true argument, If homosexuality is a sin, then so is eating shellfish and wearing mixed-fabric materials.
  • When sharing your faith-affirming messages on Facebook, keep in mind that some people don't want to read them. Facebook lets you make friend groups and share your messages with specific people. People who are opposed to your viewpoint may take your faith-affirmation as antagonism and be tempted to respond to that antagonism.

That's all I've got for now, I think.
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14-12-2011, 10:52 PM
RE: If you could tell a Christian how to be a better Christian...
This is quite similar to something I've been thinking about and for which I was planning to start a thread.
That thought was "If I could get past the faith thing, what would my beliefs be as a Christian?" So let me answer your question in that fashion.

- Belief in God as some sort of master of the universe - definition allowed to be fuzzy
- Belief in the divinity of Jesus
- Belief in trying to practice Christian values as spoken by Jesus (red letter Bible)
That's about it.

What it is not necessary to believe:
- Inerrancy of the Bible and all the fundie crap that follows therefrom, including denying evidence and reason
- Satan, hell
- The Bible as the source of morality and ethics
- All of the Roman Catholic / Anglican / Orthodox add-ons to Jesus' teachings,
e.g. Trinity, Saints, transubstantiation, Papal infallibity, demonic possession and excorcism, requirement of the Church to mediate communion with God, etc.

This allows me to:
- Believe in free will
- Believe in reason and science, including Darwinian evolution
- Remain open-minded
- Accept archaeological and textual evidence about the errors in the Bible - that it is a product of fallible humans
- Believe that our morals & ethics are self-generated, but incorporate my faith
- Believe in secular democracy, separation of church and state
- Be tolerant of other people's religions, sexual orientations, sexual practices (Judge not lest ye be judged)
- Believe in government by the consent of the governed
- Not be a judgmental prig and interfere in other people's lives

So that's a Christian I would be comfortable with, could work with, socialize with, be friends with, be intimate with.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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14-12-2011, 10:57 PM
RE: If you could tell a Christian how to be a better Christian...
All tithes and contributions should be sent in unmarked bills to:
Reverend Erxomai
PO Box 666
Seattle, WA 06660

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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14-12-2011, 11:36 PM
RE: If you could tell a Christian how to be a better Christian...
I'd suggest that they stop writing off certain parts of the old testament... either live by just the new testament or live by everything found in both testaments. I know this means following commands such as "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live", but if I were a theist I'd reply that "I would if I could, but my country won't let me do it legally".

And I'd stop telling others how to live. Sure this makes me a hypocrite - I'm actively suggesting how Christians should live while telling them not to do it to me - but it's consistent with scripture. The new testament doesn't suggest punishing your fellow man in any way, and there are examples of Jesus just letting people off the hook without so much as a reprimand (the adulteress he rescued, the whore who bathed his feet, Peter who both denied Jesus and attempted to kill the high priest right in front of him). Loving your neighbor is the second greatest of all the commandments, and forgiveness is part of Paul's definition of love. And there are multiple references on avoiding judgement of your fellow man and letting God deal with him instead.

My main pet peeve is the attempt of Christians to prevent gay marriage. Jesus taught love, forgiveness, and acceptance. Today's Christians would rather sample the old testament for a point of view on how to handle the "gay problem" and ignore everything Jesus had to say. What would Jesus do? Eat with the publicans and "sinners", not segregate himself from them.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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14-12-2011, 11:47 PM
RE: If you could tell a Christian how to be a better Christian...
Better Christian? That's a defunct operating system. Upgrade to atheism. Wink

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15-12-2011, 12:18 AM
RE: If you could tell a Christian how to be a better Christian...
(14-12-2011 11:47 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Better Christian? That's a defunct operating system. Upgrade to atheism. Wink

You refer to ChristOS ? Smile

Hmmm. Be a better Christian... Just be a better human. Jeez I don't know. Try to be nice to people. Realize that other people who believe differently to you, even who mock you, are entitled to their opinion - free speech and all that. Don't foster hatred or distrust. That article that came up about how atheists are the most distrusted guys ever - that's the result of a PR campaign. A bunch of pastors behind pulpits spreading disinformation - don't talk to atheists, don't listen to them, Satan uses them... Such PR has been and is directed at other groups too - gays and lesbians come to mind...

But the only real way to be a better person is to not be afraid to question things. Those PR campaigns would all fall flat if people would consider what the guy is saying and just think "No, he's an idiot". So my advice is, don't look to something external to yourself for morality. The bible is a flawed document, its interpreters are flawed humans. The only way to be sure of something is to cross-check it for yourself, and even if it *is* in the Bible or your pastor says so, don't just swallow it without thinking.
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