Questions about Christianity
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19-10-2014, 07:29 PM
RE: Questions about Christianity
Just once I want to disagree with true scotsman, so I can say "No, true scotsman."
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20-10-2014, 06:21 AM
RE: Questions about Christianity
(18-10-2014 05:28 PM)Jgcarroll Wrote:  What would you say being a Christian is all about?

In the most basic sense, "following Christ". Now, what that entails varies from Christian to Christian. This is why you can have two people who self-identify with the same label ("Christian") while one believes that God has no problem with homosexuality and the other believes that they deserve to be killed by having stones thrown at them.

That being said, you asked about from my experiences. Back when I used to be Christian and I was going through that phase where I tried to figure out what I actually believed about it, I summed it up in three points:
  1. Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul (Jesus' first commandment).
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself (Jesus' second commandment).
  3. John 3:16 (accept Jesus and go to heaven).

Looking back on that, I realize I was intentionally vague so I could believe all of the parts I liked while leaving myself wiggle room on the parts I didn't like.


(18-10-2014 05:28 PM)Jgcarroll Wrote:  What would you say is different from the Christian worldview and all other worldviews?
(18-10-2014 06:26 PM)Jgcarroll Wrote:  By asking the question: "What would you say is different from the Christian worldview and all other worldviews?" I am wanting to know what you understand to be unique about Christianity. Another phrasing of the question I am trying to ask could be: What is unique about the Christian worldview? Anything? Then what? If nothing, then why is it not unique?

Well, I don't actually know. The reason for this is because I don't know a lot about other religions, which makes comparisons rather difficult. When I say this, I'm not just talking about the other three heavy-hitters (Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism), but more importantly, all of those minor religions, many of which have been lost to time.

I know that Christians will claim certain things to be unique about Christianity. A few claims I can remember off the top of my head are:
  • Only the Christian God offers salvation.
  • Only the Christian God makes promises and delivers on them.
  • Only the Christian God shows himself to his people.
  • Only the Christian God makes the claim of being all-powerful.
This may be true compared to the other big three religions (I really don't know), but once you start throwing in mystery cults (which most Christians have no idea about), I know a couple of those bullet points get invalidated. I'm sure every one of those is done by some religion somewhere.


TL;DR version: While Christianity may be unique in its particular configuration of claims and beliefs, I'm pretty sure each individual claim or belief exists in some other prior religion.
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20-10-2014, 06:41 AM
RE: Questions about Christianity
This thread reminds me of this old joke, which I think holds more truth than Christians would like to admit.

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. I immediately ran over and said "Stop! Don't do it!"

"Why shouldn't I?" he said.

I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!"

"Like what?"

"Well ... are you religious or atheist?"

"Religious."

"Me too! Are you Christian or Jewish?"

"Christian."

"Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?"

"Protestant."

"Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?"

"Baptist."

"Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?"

"Baptist Church of God."

"Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?"

"Reformed Baptist Church of God."

"Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?"

"Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!"

To which I said, "Die, heretic scum!" and pushed him off.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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20-10-2014, 06:48 AM
RE: Questions about Christianity
One more Blush

One balmy day in the South Pacific, a navy ship espied smoke coming from one of three huts on an uncharted island.

Upon arriving at the shore they were met by a shipwreck survivor. He said, "I'm so glad you're here! I've been alone on this island for more than five years!"

The captain replied, "If you're all alone on the island why do I see THREE huts."

The survivor said, "Oh. We'll, I live in one, and go to church in another."

"What about the THIRD hut?" asked the captain.

"That's where I USED to go to church."

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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20-10-2014, 06:55 AM
RE: Questions about Christianity
(19-10-2014 07:19 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  ...
ooooh I like this! Thumbsup

Agreed. Definitely worth an extra rep point.

Yes

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20-10-2014, 08:03 AM
RE: Questions about Christianity
(20-10-2014 06:21 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(18-10-2014 05:28 PM)Jgcarroll Wrote:  What would you say being a Christian is all about?

In the most basic sense, "following Christ". Now, what that entails varies from Christian to Christian. This is why you can have two people who self-identify with the same label ("Christian") while one believes that God has no problem with homosexuality and the other believes that they deserve to be killed by having stones thrown at them.

That being said, you asked about from my experiences. Back when I used to be Christian and I was going through that phase where I tried to figure out what I actually believed about it, I summed it up in three points:
  1. Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul (Jesus' first commandment).
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself (Jesus' second commandment).
  3. John 3:16 (accept Jesus and go to heaven).

Looking back on that, I realize I was intentionally vague so I could believe all of the parts I liked while leaving myself wiggle room on the parts I didn't like.


(18-10-2014 05:28 PM)Jgcarroll Wrote:  What would you say is different from the Christian worldview and all other worldviews?
(18-10-2014 06:26 PM)Jgcarroll Wrote:  By asking the question: "What would you say is different from the Christian worldview and all other worldviews?" I am wanting to know what you understand to be unique about Christianity. Another phrasing of the question I am trying to ask could be: What is unique about the Christian worldview? Anything? Then what? If nothing, then why is it not unique?

Well, I don't actually know. The reason for this is because I don't know a lot about other religions, which makes comparisons rather difficult. When I say this, I'm not just talking about the other three heavy-hitters (Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism), but more importantly, all of those minor religions, many of which have been lost to time.

I know that Christians will claim certain things to be unique about Christianity. A few claims I can remember off the top of my head are:
  • Only the Christian God offers salvation.
  • Only the Christian God makes promises and delivers on them.
  • Only the Christian God shows himself to his people.
  • Only the Christian God makes the claim of being all-powerful.
This may be true compared to the other big three religions (I really don't know), but once you start throwing in mystery cults (which most Christians have no idea about), I know a couple of those bullet points get invalidated. I'm sure every one of those is done by some religion somewhere.


TL;DR version: While Christianity may be unique in its particular configuration of claims and beliefs, I'm pretty sure each individual claim or belief exists in some other prior religion.

Let me fill in a few of those gaps for you.

Aes worship (Norse mythology) offered salvation in the form of getting into Valhalla rather than being sent to Hel. Greco-Roman paganism offered it in the form of the Elysian Fields rather than more unattractive alternatives. Egyptian beliefs offered salvation in terms of not having your soul eaten by a dog. Most religions offer some sort of bad thing waiting for you in the afterlife, but a way to escape that bad thing if you follow the right rules.

Pretty much every religion with a god, has that god making promises and delivering on them.

Quite a few of those gods were interventionist. Zeus, for example, showed himself to MANY people. Most of them women. Usually in disguise, but this one chick demanded to see his true face and was... struck blind, I think? Maybe killed outright? ... or are we talking about appearances in the modern time? In which case, they're all tied at 0, unless you count toast-based Rorschach tests.

While the Hindu godhead (the philosophical fusion of all its gods as different aspects or facets of a single Divinity) doesn't make as big of a deal about omnipotence as the Christian God, as described its claim to it is greater. IT can deal with iron chariots.
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20-10-2014, 08:15 AM
RE: Questions about Christianity
(20-10-2014 08:03 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Quite a few of those gods were interventionist. Zeus, for example, showed himself to MANY people. Most of them women. Usually in disguise, but this one chick demanded to see his true face and was... struck blind, I think? Maybe killed outright?

IIRC it was Dionysus' mother. She said quote Lemme see your face ya heroic godly bastard Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! unquote. Zeus's true form is lightning, so he showed her and killed her. She tricked him somehow - made him make some kinda unbreakable promise - so that even though he didn't wanna he had to off her to preserve his godly honour. He then cut a slit in his thigh, stuffed Dionysus-the-fetus into it, and was pregnant until el kiddo was born. No wonder the kid turned out to be such a fuck-up with parents like that, tho' some would say he was the only sane one of alla them.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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20-10-2014, 08:34 AM
RE: Questions about Christianity
(20-10-2014 08:03 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(20-10-2014 06:21 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  In the most basic sense, "following Christ". Now, what that entails varies from Christian to Christian. This is why you can have two people who self-identify with the same label ("Christian") while one believes that God has no problem with homosexuality and the other believes that they deserve to be killed by having stones thrown at them.

That being said, you asked about from my experiences. Back when I used to be Christian and I was going through that phase where I tried to figure out what I actually believed about it, I summed it up in three points:
  1. Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul (Jesus' first commandment).
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself (Jesus' second commandment).
  3. John 3:16 (accept Jesus and go to heaven).

Looking back on that, I realize I was intentionally vague so I could believe all of the parts I liked while leaving myself wiggle room on the parts I didn't like.



Well, I don't actually know. The reason for this is because I don't know a lot about other religions, which makes comparisons rather difficult. When I say this, I'm not just talking about the other three heavy-hitters (Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism), but more importantly, all of those minor religions, many of which have been lost to time.

I know that Christians will claim certain things to be unique about Christianity. A few claims I can remember off the top of my head are:
  • Only the Christian God offers salvation.
  • Only the Christian God makes promises and delivers on them.
  • Only the Christian God shows himself to his people.
  • Only the Christian God makes the claim of being all-powerful.
This may be true compared to the other big three religions (I really don't know), but once you start throwing in mystery cults (which most Christians have no idea about), I know a couple of those bullet points get invalidated. I'm sure every one of those is done by some religion somewhere.


TL;DR version: While Christianity may be unique in its particular configuration of claims and beliefs, I'm pretty sure each individual claim or belief exists in some other prior religion.

Let me fill in a few of those gaps for you.

Aes worship (Norse mythology) offered salvation in the form of getting into Valhalla rather than being sent to Hel. Greco-Roman paganism offered it in the form of the Elysian Fields rather than more unattractive alternatives. Egyptian beliefs offered salvation in terms of not having your soul eaten by a dog. Most religions offer some sort of bad thing waiting for you in the afterlife, but a way to escape that bad thing if you follow the right rules.

Pretty much every religion with a god, has that god making promises and delivering on them.

Quite a few of those gods were interventionist. Zeus, for example, showed himself to MANY people. Most of them women. Usually in disguise, but this one chick demanded to see his true face and was... struck blind, I think? Maybe killed outright? ... or are we talking about appearances in the modern time? In which case, they're all tied at 0, unless you count toast-based Rorschach tests.

While the Hindu godhead (the philosophical fusion of all its gods as different aspects or facets of a single Divinity) doesn't make as big of a deal about omnipotence as the Christian God, as described its claim to it is greater. IT can deal with iron chariots.

I am unfamiliar with precise details of Norse belief, but it is important to recall that our only sources for Norse mythology come from a post-Christian era and set of writings.

In Greek myth the very great were destined for Elysion and the very evil for Tartaros, but the large majority of people ended up as shades in the Fields of Asphodel, where nothing much of anything ever happened. Contrary to Christianity, this was assigned by deeds alone, with no role for faith; so it is not at all salvific in any Abrahamic sense. Although originally so far as we can tell the former two were not open to mortals at all.

Actually Egyptian myth worked like that too; in the Old Kingdom days it was only the Pharaohs and others of "divine" descent who had immortal souls, and one's life didn't particularly matter. Later this broadened and pretty much everyone had a chance at admission if they passed under divine judgement. Although obviously glossing over three thousand years in two sentences leaves out a lot of nuance!

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20-10-2014, 08:39 AM
RE: Questions about Christianity
(20-10-2014 08:34 AM)cjlr Wrote:  ...
but the large majority of people ended up as shades in the Fields of Asphodel, where nothing much of anything ever happened.
...

... now known as Belguim.

Drinking Beverage

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20-10-2014, 08:42 AM
RE: Questions about Christianity
(20-10-2014 08:39 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(20-10-2014 08:34 AM)cjlr Wrote:  ...
but the large majority of people ended up as shades in the Fields of Asphodel, where nothing much of anything ever happened.
...

... now known as Belguim.

Drinking Beverage

Well, Brussels sprouts in Belgium, so not absolutely nothing happens...

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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