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Subject: Claiming to be Christian without striving to act like one rss

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Xuzu Horror
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First, I know this is the RSP forum so this is obviously not about what one can and cannot say.

I hear some people who claim to be Christians of various faiths, but also show little to no empathy for others. If someone is on the other side (whether a poster on forum or a person involved in some incident in the news), that person seems to be exempt from being treated in a way most Christians would treat others.

Is it because as long as we are online and don't actually know the people involved, maybe we don't have to be good to others and can advocate treating others without empathy to help propagate such wonderfully un-Christian attitudes?

For a religious faith (not already one's own) to truly be accepted by others, those people need to see the good it does and the good in as many of its members as possible. If someone's main exposure is those who criticize and belittle others with little empathy, why would they think well of the religion those people belong to?

I always think of this quote:
Quote:
Auntie Em Gale: Almira Gulch, just because you own half the county doesn't mean that you have the power to run the rest of us. For twenty-three years, I've been dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now... well, being a Christian woman, I can't say it!
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Xuzu Horror
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Took this out of first post so as not to make it so long - my posts tend to drag on too long.

I completely understand that some of the banter between each other is just friendly arguments, but it doesn't really describe the lack of Christian attitudes towards people involved in incidents not here.

I am not posting any examples because I don't want to point anyone out or attack anyone. It is a strong desire to see why such a huge disparity exists between how the pope acts or how Christians had strive to act towards others had acted, and how some Christians today act towards others they feel are on the wrong side of issues.

It's really a way to truly understand why some people no longer feel it is important to treat others as a Christian once had.

It isn't really that most do this; I think the vast majority of Christians do not, but it is more so that so few Christians express that it is an issue that I find odd.
 
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Moshe Callen
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I'm not a Christian but realize that people will have markedly different ideas about what acting like a christian means. That's even if we put aside the history of the terrible things done in the name of Christianity throughout its history.
 
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Andy Beaton
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Andrew Sullivan liked to draw the comparison between Christians and Christianists - people who use the trappings of Christianity as a political tool to get the power they desired.
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Chad Ellis
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I'll just say that I find one of the posters who is most often accused of not having empathy to have an abundance of it.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
I'll just say that I find one of the posters who is most often accused of not having empathy to have an abundance of it.

Good point.
 
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Xuzu Horror
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whac3 wrote:
I'm not a Christian but realize that people will have markedly different ideas about what acting like a christian means. That's even if we put aside the history of the terrible things done in the name of Christianity throughout its history.


Thanks for the opinion.

I know acting like a Christian is different to different people, but many do agree on what it has meant. Perhaps it is different today. That is what I'm trying to find out.

And, I'm not looking at the historical meaning or such, really just the past hundred years or so. I'm not looking to pile on all the mistakes that were made. There are plenty of posts about that; this isn't supposed to be a pile on the Christians thread. This is about a small subset a Christians. In my area (urban midwest USA), I do not see many Christians who exhibit this, but that's perhaps even more so why I'm trying to understand why some people do.

I'm mostly talking about people today claiming to be Christians, but feel ok being selective about who they treat in a Christian-like way.

What is the rationale?
 
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Moshe Callen
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Forgive me. I was not intending to pile on Christians but to ask you to clarify your post.
 
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Xuzu Horror
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bjlillo wrote:
If Christians were perfect, they wouldn't need to be Christians.


Agreed, but shouldn't we strive to be better Christians every day?

I so often see the same thing repeated over and over. Where is the desire to change?

And, I often and know I see empathy too, but sometimes that empathy is selective and that's the issue even if it's the hardest.

Empathy can be really hard; I'd love to see even caring in some instances.
 
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This is a forum pretty much dominated by US and Canadian citizens and they have a tendency to conflate "Christian" with "gentile" or "not a practicing member of some other faith".
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Xuzu Horror
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whac3 wrote:
Forgive me. I was not intending to pile on Christians but to ask you to clarify your post.


Oh no worries, not at all how I took it. I just wanted to make my opening post clear. I didn't mean to make it sound like the two were connected!
 
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Also acting like a Christian often means not calling out other believers in public, but privately, or in a small group setting, to avoid embarrassment. I'm not saying that happens a lot on here, but it IS the conflict resolution guideline provided for when someone is acting in a manner that doesn't resemble what we'd want to see from a Christian.

But, around here, there's friendly banter that is really, really harsh if you're not used to it and in it.

As far as outside of here, I don't know. I have a hard time without an example. I think one of the main reasons is pretty obvious - it's HARD to do it.
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Agent J
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bjlillo wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
I'll just say that I find one of the posters who is most often accused of not having empathy to have an abundance of it.


Thanks, Chad.


I was thinking it might be you, too.
 
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Dave G
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Some Christians are assholes. Many are not. I'd say more or less in the same distribution as the rest of the population. Being an asshole is not the same as not trying to act like a Christian, though. It could just as easily be trying and failing, or simply your own misunderstanding of what "act like a Christian" ought to mean. I know even the various Christians I'm friends with don't seem to agree about that one.
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
Some Christians are assholes. Many are not. I'd say more or less in the same distribution as the rest of the population. Being an asshole is not the same as not trying to act like a Christian, though. It could just as easily be trying and failing, or simply your own misunderstanding of what "act like a Christian" ought to mean. I know even the various Christians I'm friends with don't seem to agree about that one.


And/or enemies with.
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xuzuthor wrote:
Took this out of first post so as not to make it so long - my posts tend to drag on too long.

I completely understand that some of the banter between each other is just friendly arguments, but it doesn't really describe the lack of Christian attitudes towards people involved in incidents not here.

I am not posting any examples because I don't want to point anyone out or attack anyone. It is a strong desire to see why such a huge disparity exists between how the pope acts or how Christians had strive to act towards others had acted, and how some Christians today act towards others they feel are on the wrong side of issues.

It's really a way to truly understand why some people no longer feel it is important to treat others as a Christian once had.

It isn't really that most do this; I think the vast majority of Christians do not, but it is more so that so few Christians express that it is an issue that I find odd.
.

The situation reminds me of a quote from film Ivanhoe where the fool Wamba ridicules the religious prejudice of a knight saying

"For every Jew who is not a Christian, I'll show you a Christian who is not a Christian."



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Dave G
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Jythier wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
Some Christians are assholes. Many are not. I'd say more or less in the same distribution as the rest of the population. Being an asshole is not the same as not trying to act like a Christian, though. It could just as easily be trying and failing, or simply your own misunderstanding of what "act like a Christian" ought to mean. I know even the various Christians I'm friends with don't seem to agree about that one.


And/or enemies with.


Jay's a perfect example. He sucks, but I'm not sure it's because he fails to be a good Christian. I think he's just a jerk.
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Xuzu Horror
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Jythier wrote:
Also acting like a Christian often means not calling out other believers in public, but privately, or in a small group setting, to avoid embarrassment. I'm not saying that happens a lot on here, but it IS the conflict resolution guideline provided for when someone is acting in a manner that doesn't resemble what we'd want to see from a Christian.

But, around here, there's friendly banter that is really, really harsh if you're not used to it and in it.

As far as outside of here, I don't know. I have a hard time without an example. I think one of the main reasons is pretty obvious - it's HARD to do it.


Oh, I completely understand how that works.

You don't have to call out a specific instance, but you can call out a certain negative behavior without being specific and without judging people.

It seems that in the past it was made common knowledge that such actions in public were not very Christian-like. I am just wondering if that message today is changes.

Basically, it would be sad if what had been the fringe of religions grows more mainstream. Or, if conflict on various issues between religious and non-religious people destroys some of the most respected qualities of Christianity.

Rhetoric is being heard now more than the message by those who are not already in the faith, and it's sad.
 
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bjlillo wrote:
xuzuthor wrote:
I'm mostly talking about people today claiming to be Christians, but feel ok being selective about who they treat in a Christian-like way.

What is the rationale?


Most of the questions we get along these lines come from people who have a very shallow doctrinal understanding. They are equating acceptance of sin with empathy. Is that what you're doing here?


Not at all. Not accepting an action or sin is not at all what I am talking about.

I completely understand and expect that on a great many issues. Religion is not always going to agree with either law or the populous, but that should not change how we interact with people.
 
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How can it not influence how we interact with people?
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Jythier wrote:
How can it not influence how we interact with people?


I meant in respect to acting like a Christian.

Even if you feel someone is acting sinfully, you can do so without insulting them, ignoring their feelings, or assuming they will go to hell. If you can't think of how to do so easily, treat them like a family member - a brother, sister, mother, or father - not a child.
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Well, sure. But is that Biblical?
 
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Chad Ellis
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bjlillo wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
I'll just say that I find one of the posters who is most often accused of not having empathy to have an abundance of it.


Thanks, Chad.


I meant Cap'n'Classic.

You're a heartless douche.
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Get a room.
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And, thanks for all the input. As I said, I only have lived in a pretty small subset so my experience is so limited.

I don't mean to preach or criticize anyone. I just wanted to explore the situation - see if perhaps my view on what is Christian-like was only in my small area and had long since gone elsewhere or if it is still there for most places.

I'd always assumed that those who openly criticized specific people (not just their actions) or showed lack of caring and/or empathy were a small subset of Christians.

If it is false, I'd like to know that too.

Note - I know we all make mistakes, sometimes often, but it is striving not to do so every day that is important.
 
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