Why Christianity is the most popular religion
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28-05-2012, 06:11 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
Hey, Buddy.

On the "lazy Christians" tip, you are aware of Catholics, right? Cool

But everyone in this thread is incorrect. King Missile answered this question in the 90s.





Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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28-05-2012, 06:21 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(28-05-2012 06:11 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Buddy.

On the "lazy Christians" tip, you are aware of Catholics, right? Cool

But everyone in this thread is incorrect. King Missile answered this question in the 90s.





Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Yes, Jesus could have done those things, just as He could have lied, stolen, committed fornication, et cetera, except for one thing: God cannot violate His Holy nature.

What He did do is this: die in your place. Die in my place. Because we are not holy.

But hey...I am a fan of humor to, and I can see how this might be amusing to some.

God bless.
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28-05-2012, 07:42 PM (This post was last modified: 28-05-2012 07:49 PM by Hafnof.)
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
The difference between a cult and a religion is not only the quantity of believers, but the time that has passed since its inception and the level of social normalisation that has been applied to it. Religions evolve through selection processes. Suicide cults tend to end early! Cults that are overly restrictive on people's lifestyles never reach widespread societal acceptance. Religions mould society, but also and perhaps to a greater degree societies mould religious practice.

If Christianity is the easiest religion to conform to in the west, isn't this because the society of the west has argued away the religious restrictions that would act as major barriers to its adoption? I think religions the world over tend to not clash with mainstream society in areas where they have been long established. Major religions tend to be "cut down" and "streamlined for export" by the time they reach truly widespread acceptance. They end up saying something along the lines of "do what you are doing in your life now, but do so with a little fulfilment of a lust for good and a little feeling of superiority to others who you can safely count as not good people".

There are always mechanisms in place by which a religion can identify the "in" and the "out" groups, and some of the styles of dress and little rituals associated with religions are a part of this. These tend to be societally innocuous actions but can easily be used to identify anyone who is faltering in their faith and to reinforce compliance to the religion's groupthink.

And oh boy I do love the "no true Scotsman" fallacy at work in this thread. Oh, if they were true Christians it would be something that would impact their lives! They would constantly be searching for spiritual growth that reinforces their lust for good and their identification and exclusion of people who are "bad". They would pray earnestly for people that they don't even know that well, and in never meeting these people again would be sure their prayers must have been answered. They would do all of the radical bold counter-cultural things that have deep internal meaning, but oh hey: No societal impact, and let them live their lives and function in society as relatively normal people.

I've been there brother, I understand.

A final thought: We know that our cognitive biases will tend to place our evaluation of ourselves above the average in most things. I suggest that the average Christian earnestly believes both that they are more spiritually aware than the average, and that anyone who is not as spiritually aware as they are is not really a "true" Christian. We are all biased to identify ourselves as part of an elite group, and exclude those who we do not consider part of that group. I think this is a foundation of the no true Scotsman fallacy, and something we should all be careful with.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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28-05-2012, 08:02 PM (This post was last modified: 28-05-2012 08:20 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(28-05-2012 06:21 PM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  Jesus could have done those things, just as He could have lied, stolen, committed fornication, et cetera, except for one thing: God cannot violate His Holy nature.

What He did do is ... die in my place.


The development of the concept that Yeshua was a divine being was a long, and complex one. Each of the gospels exhibits different concepts of "divinity", and when Yeshua assumed his divine status. "Son of god" did not mean "divine". If Yeshua had claimed divinty, (which he did not), he would have been stoned, on the spot. The "die in your place" stuff, (the salvation paradigm), was grafted later, after Paul added it, (after his fighting with James about it), and was not part of the original newly forming cult. Mark, written first, does not mention "salvation". Paul, written next, has evidence of it. Paul got it from the Greek Mystery cults. Where did you study Archaeology, and Biblical Form Criticism ?

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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28-05-2012, 08:18 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(28-05-2012 06:21 PM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  What He did do is this: die in your place.

Ain't nobody dying in my place. Tongue

That concept is asinine, wrong, and non-scriptural. So there. Tongue

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29-05-2012, 03:42 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(28-05-2012 05:55 PM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  And just in case you are asking that you might question my statement that not all that is called "christian" is actually Christian, that is based upon the teaching of scripture.
Unless you defend the point of view that everything in the Bible is meant to be taken literally, you cannot judge people based upon it's teachings. That's because you can't define the "teaching of the scripture" when it's not even clear which parts are supposed to be read literally and which parts are meant to be metaphors.

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29-05-2012, 04:46 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(28-05-2012 08:18 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(28-05-2012 06:21 PM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  What He did do is this: die in your place.

Ain't nobody dying in my place. Tongue

That concept is asinine, wrong, and non-scriptural. So there. Tongue

Wishing that someone would die in my place would make me a pussy. Wishing that someone would die for my sins would make me an irresponsible pussy. "No you can't have them. They're my sins and I worked hard to get them. Get your own. Go terrorize a temple or something."

Sounds like just another pathetic attempt to keep Girly the Barbarian out of Valhalla.

#sigh
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29-05-2012, 04:57 PM
Or, D) None of the above.
Read Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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29-05-2012, 06:00 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(29-05-2012 04:46 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(28-05-2012 08:18 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Ain't nobody dying in my place. Tongue

That concept is asinine, wrong, and non-scriptural. So there. Tongue

Wishing that someone would die in my place would make me a pussy. Wishing that someone would die for my sins would make me an irresponsible pussy. "No you can't have them. They're my sins and I worked hard to get them. Get your own. Go terrorize a temple or something."

Sounds like just another pathetic attempt to keep Girly the Barbarian out of Valhalla.

No wishing needed there, big guy...lol.
Did you wish that the men that fought in wars that have kept in place the liberty to speak our minds would die for you?
But, as I said, no wishing needed...it is a done deal. That you reject the notion that there is the possibility of Someone taking the penalty for your sin (and I know you reject that too, this is simply hypothetical in your case) does not alter what has already taken place.
God bless.
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29-05-2012, 06:40 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
Hello hafnof, enjoyed the post. Thought it was well spoken. There are a few things we are in agreement about , and a few things we are not, but, thanks for the opportunity for discussion.

(28-05-2012 07:42 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  The difference between a cult and a religion is not only the quantity of believers, but the time that has passed since its inception and the level of social normalisation that has been applied to it.

When we try to fit things in a box, or a stereotype, we will usually be making a big mistake. The definition of a cult given above does this. Take Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. They have been around a long time, and accepted more and more by the world as Christian groups.

I have more simple definition for a cult: they can be identified by one major doctrine, and that is the conclusion they come to concerning Christ.

It is vital that Christianity have the Christ of scripture. The aforementioned groups...do not. They do not fit the criteria you set.


(28-05-2012 07:42 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  Religions evolve through selection processes. Suicide cults tend to end early! Cults that are overly restrictive on people's lifestyles never reach widespread societal acceptance. Religions mould society, but also and perhaps to a greater degree societies mould religious practice.

Again, with the aforementioned groups, we can see that their doctrine teaches a works-based religion, the term "works-based" actually qualifies the group as religion. Take Islam, also, as an example. Would you consider this religion to be "overly-restrictive?"

I'm told this is the fastest growing religion in the world, and I personally see Islam as the greatest threat this world has ever seen concerning not only religious groups...but in general.

(28-05-2012 07:42 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  If Christianity is the easiest religion to conform to in the west, isn't this because the society of the west has argued away the religious restrictions that would act as major barriers to its adoption?


Again, I have to point out that the thought that Christianity is easy is laighable to those that an understanding of that which scripture teaches.

As the believer progresses, he is constantly made aware of his own actions, or, to put it in biblical terms, he becomes more aware of sin in his life. As he learns the will of God for his life, and seeks to push toward that goal, the difficulty of that pursuit increases, simply because he is constantly made aware of things that before he would not have given a second thought to.

(28-05-2012 07:42 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  And oh boy I do love the "no true Scotsman" fallacy at work in this thread. Oh, if they were true Christians it would be something that would impact their lives! They would constantly be searching for spiritual growth that reinforces their lust for good and their identification and exclusion of people who are "bad". They would pray earnestly for people that they don't even know that well, and in never meeting these people again would be sure their prayers must have been answered. They would do all of the radical bold counter-cultural things that have deep internal meaning, but oh hey: No societal impact, and let them live their lives and function in society as relatively normal people.

This really doesn't describe Christianity. First, again Chrsitians are tried to be placed in a box, as if all Christians are the same. Christians are people, believe it or not...lol. And just as parents that have multiple children do not make the mistake of overlooking the individuality of each child, neither should it be thought that Christians also can be held as identical. For instance, one Christian may have a great sense of humor, while another is nothing but business, no matter what he is involved in.

"lust for good..." lol

Most Christians do live as "normal people" in society. As far as the wish-list above, what Christians do will vary, just as what "normal people" do varies, as in, ten year olds behave differently than older teenagers, for example.


(28-05-2012 07:42 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  I've been there brother, I understand.

Been where? You were a born again believer?

Good. Love to talk to you in more detail. If this is what is meant, can I ask what denomination you were a part of? I ask because I am a believer in the "impact" doctrine has upon those that believe they are saved (no pun intended).

(28-05-2012 07:42 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  A final thought: We know that our cognitive biases will tend to place our evaluation of ourselves above the average in most things.

And this I agree whole-heartedly. Even when we try not to, lol, it is an age-old problem.

(28-05-2012 07:42 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  I suggest that the average Christian earnestly believes both that they are more spiritually aware than the average,

First I would have to ask, "The average what?" I assume you meant "The super spiritual Christians," those that think they are better than other Christians.

But can I suggest that this is actually commanded...against, in scripture. Those that do this, elevate themselves above their brothers and sisters, are sinning against God. If you are an athist this will mean little to you, but for the believer, this is a serious issue. Christ is to be our example, and while the process of being conformed to the image of Christ can be a very lengthy (and in fact a lifetime work) process, this is the work that God seeks to do in the individuals life. Learning to yield to His guidance is a difficult process.


(28-05-2012 07:42 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  and that anyone who is not as spiritually aware as they are is not really a "true" Christian.

This is pride.

However, I will still say that as the parable of the soils teaches, it is more likely that those that fall away were never born again to begin with. Those that are born again and fal into sin will face being chastized and even physical death.

God take's His name seriously, and those that say they are representatives of His...better be.

(28-05-2012 07:42 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  We are all biased to identify ourselves as part of an elite group, and exclude those who we do not consider part of that group.

This also I agree with. There are exceptions but as a general rule, this is a box that we can leave open...lol.

(28-05-2012 07:42 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  I think this is a foundation of the no true Scotsman fallacy, and something we should all be careful with.

Not sure about this fallacy, never heard of it. Perhaps it is mentioned in a post I haven't gotten to yet?

Again, thanks for the opportunity for discussion.

God bless.
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