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Meerkat wrote:

Havoc we may not agree on much but we do agree on several things here.

Yes if Jesus came back today incarnate it probably would be the Christians as a "group" who crucified him.

Whenever power becomes entwined with beliefs they get twisted. Sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose.

But people have been perverting God's message of love in every guise and giving Him a bad name for a long time. Not just though Christianity but though other organized religions as well.

Agreed. However, the problem with christian religion (and I suppose it is the same with others - I do not plan to read every holy book on earth) is the ambiguous Bible. Exegesis is better than crosswords as an intellectual sport, but when the litteral meaning of a text is quite the opposite than some interpretations, it *is* a problem (eg is god homophobic, are women property???). The nowadays interpretations are very different than the middle ages, but, as the extremists rightly outline, these are interpretations.

Quote:

It is not religion that brings out the darkness in men's souls... it is the darkness of men's souls that perverts and twists *even* good messages like ones of love and tolerance to their own uses.

I agree wholeheartedly that man does not need religion to act in evil ways.
However, justifying one's intolerance in the name of jesus feels worse to me. maybe I can blame lingers of my christianity.

I feel quite proud of my country (once, I am not a patriot); most christians here will only utter "pope" with a sneer of shame since his last hateful blunders. That's how followers of the hypothetical yet mostly fine human Jesus should act when one of their representatives distort the message of love.
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To take this out of the religious realm for a moment. Marx had a lot of good ideas, but he would have been appalled by Marxism as it was enacted.

Agreed. But "The capital" is much less ambiguous than the Bible.
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And your right the early church was very socialist in teachings and deeds. But it was that way by changing hearts and minds, not though enacting power though governments. The church changed a lot once it was adopted by a Roman emperor and then funneled through governmental power. But this conversation would should be taken to a different thread if we are going to delve into this more deeply.

Yes I am pasting this whole conversation as a new thread.
Two things here:
1. If it is evident for you as a christian that Jesus was condoning something like socialism, how it is that most of your correligionists insist on god being intermingled with law, yet in a right governement?
How it is that they advocate guns????
How it is that Jesus is teaching tolerance while its televangelist spew hate? I do not mean to compare the evils of atheist vs the evils of religious people, I am just saying that one cannot claim to be sincere about Jesus, yet be homophobic and vote against social security.

2. Christianity as a religion was so successful because it was used as a political tool by the Byzantines.
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However even so the church is not God. It is lead and filled with imperfect people. Many of whom are sincere but who make honest mistakes others of whom are charlatans who are using people and power for their own gain. Still this is true for every human organization. It is not something confined to just religious people and organizations.

I do agree with you on the universal nature of mistake. However I disagree that one can claim that his religion is love and than act the other way. Love is quite a simple message to understand.
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And Jesus did come back. In the form of the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned. (Matt 25:31-46)

Quote:
However I disagree that one can claim that his religion is love and than act the other way. Love is quite a simple message to understand.


Unfortunately untrue. By the simple fact that I have not felt love from you. And I will extrapolate to say that you have not felt love from me.
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Latria wrote:
And Jesus did come back. In the form of the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned. (Matt 25:31-46)

Quote:
However I disagree that one can claim that his religion is love and than act the other way. Love is quite a simple message to understand.


Unfortunately untrue. By the simple fact that I have not felt love from you. And I will extrapolate to say that you have not felt love from me.

Do not cite the Bible at every corner.
This is not about me. I am not a christian anymore, I do not claim to emulate Jesus.
 
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HavocIsHere wrote:
Latria wrote:
And Jesus did come back. In the form of the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned. (Matt 25:31-46)

Quote:
However I disagree that one can claim that his religion is love and than act the other way. Love is quite a simple message to understand.


Unfortunately untrue. By the simple fact that I have not felt love from you. And I will extrapolate to say that you have not felt love from me.

Do not cite the Bible at every corner.
This is not about me. I am not a christian anymore, I do not claim to emulate Jesus.


I do not cite the bible as evidence, just a simplified way of saying where the idea comes from.

Neither did I say that you are a Christian. Merely to show how love is not a simple message.
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Thank you for pulling this out into a different thread.

I will try to find time to give your very politely worded questions the time they genuinely deserve tomorrow but it is late here and I am too tired to answer these properly right now.

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HavocIsHere wrote:

Two things here:
1. If it is evident for you as a Christian that Jesus was condoning something like socialism, how it is that most of your coreligionists insist on god being intermingled with law, yet in a right government?
How it is that they advocate guns????
How it is that Jesus is teaching tolerance while its televangelist spew hate? I do not mean to compare the evils of atheist vs the evils of religious people, I am just saying that one cannot claim to be sincere about Jesus, yet be homophobic and vote against social security.


If I may, I'd like to address this question as it is one that I get asked quite a bit - as I work for a Christian charity and for a libertarian political party (We might be called Classical Liberals over on that side of the pond).

I think the most important fact is that Jesus did not advocate forcing conversion or legislating behavior for all people. Only people of faith are asked to avoid "sin." "Render unto Caesar" clearly shows that Jesus was not forming a world-spanning government, but instead he was forming a religion. The only time behavior is prohibited is among the members of the church - not the world in general.

This sets up what I consider to be the crux of Christian character - the world is filled with things that we can choose to do, we are called to do what is right. We are called to be "in the world, but not of this world." Our example, not our laws, should be what people follow when looking to help others. Our beliefs should be spread through "the free market" not by fiat or decree.

The problem is that church is about money. The most hate-filled preachers are trying to fill the pews so that they can pass the collection plate. It makes people feel good to be united together, and some people don't care if they are united by a common hate.

I disagree that socialism is the best solution to solve the problem of hunger, poverty, and healthcare - but I see an equally glaring hole in the Christian calls against socialism here in America: I just want to ask: "Where are you?" There are more Christians in America than Republicans and Democrats, more Christians than are people in the Army; there are more churches than post offices. If Christians really were following the example of Jesus - there would be no need for socialism. He healed the sick and feed the hungry and not once in the Bible does he ask someone, "Are you a believer?" before he helps them. He fed 5000 with the loaves and fishes, but he didn't require proof that the hungry weren't bums - everyone was welcome. Shouldn't Christian be ashamed that the secular government is doing the work that they were called to do?

On a related note, I believe that Islam, as a religion, carries a call to the faithful to outlaw things that are "sinful." This is why Islam and government have been intertwined since the founding of that religion. In that religion, however, it is perfectly reasonable to have that arrangement, as the founder was not only founding a religion, but also the government for the first Islamic city-states. The call for religious government is built into the faith; it's not added in after the fact when the government absorbed the faith, like in the Roman world.
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GreatAtuin wrote:
HavocIsHere wrote:

Two things here:
1. If it is evident for you as a Christian that Jesus was condoning something like socialism, how it is that most of your coreligionists insist on god being intermingled with law, yet in a right government?
How it is that they advocate guns????
How it is that Jesus is teaching tolerance while its televangelist spew hate? I do not mean to compare the evils of atheist vs the evils of religious people, I am just saying that one cannot claim to be sincere about Jesus, yet be homophobic and vote against social security.


If I may, I'd like to address this question as it is one that I get asked quite a bit - as I work for a Christian charity and for a libertarian political party (We might be called Classical Liberals over on that side of the pond).

I think the most important fact is that Jesus did not advocate forcing conversion or legislating behavior for all people. Only people of faith are asked to avoid "sin." "Render unto Caesar" clearly shows that Jesus was not forming a world-spanning government, but instead he was forming a religion. The only time behavior is prohibited is among the members of the church - not the world in general.

This sets up what I consider to be the crux of Christian character - the world is filled with things that we can choose to do, we are called to do what is right. We are called to be "in the world, but not of this world." Our example, not our laws, should be what people follow when looking to help others. Our beliefs should be spread through "the free market" not by fiat or decree.

The problem is that church is about money. The most hate-filled preachers are trying to fill the pews so that they can pass the collection plate. It makes people feel good to be united together, and some people don't care if they are united by a common hate.

I disagree that socialism is the best solution to solve the problem of hunger, poverty, and healthcare - but I see an equally glaring hole in the Christian calls against socialism here in America: I just want to ask: "Where are you?" There are more Christians in America than Republicans and Democrats, more Christians than are people in the Army; there are more churches than post offices. If Christians really were following the example of Jesus - there would be no need for socialism. He healed the sick and feed the hungry and not once in the Bible does he ask someone, "Are you a believer?" before he helps them. He fed 5000 with the loaves and fishes, but he didn't require proof that the hungry weren't bums - everyone was welcome. Shouldn't Christian be ashamed that the secular government is doing the work that they were called to do?

On a related note, I believe that Islam, as a religion, carries a call to the faithful to outlaw things that are "sinful." This is why Islam and government have been intertwined since the founding of that religion. In that religion, however, it is perfectly reasonable to have that arrangement, as the founder was not only founding a religion, but also the government for the first Islamic city-states. The call for religious government is built into the faith; it's not added in after the fact when the government absorbed the faith, like in the Roman world.


I admire your view of Christianity, and wish it reflected the beliefs of even 50% of Christians. Unfortunately, the truth is that most Christians do not seperate religion and government, do not distinguish the difference between the rules of the church and the rules of the world. The majority would like to form the world in their image, and spend far more time at that then at helping their neighbors.

Nice to see some people get it though. Keep up the message, it needs to be heard.
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Christian hospitals in America are quite happy to send people into bankruptcy when they can't afford payments.

The fact is that Christians don't only have the expected failings when they follow their religion on their own, but they also fail as a group even when their group mission statement is to help people.

It'd be tempting to lay most of it on the 'salvation through faith' thesis, that for many means that walking Jesus' path is secondary, but we see the exact same thing from Catholic institutions that don't share the same view of salvation.

So this lets me with quite an appalling interpretation: Most people are just hypocrites, and no matter how much they claim they think about their fellow man while they are at church, they don't give a rat's ass the moment they go out the door
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I'd welcome him with open arms, repent of what I've been doing wrong, and follow him wherever he led.

I'd like to think most Christians would do the same.
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Latria wrote:

Neither did I say that you are a Christian. Merely to show how love is not a simple message.


Pardon me...MisterLove here, the crank is vacationing in St. Tropez this week.

Latria my darling, the fact that you and HiH have not (in your estimation) exchanged love does in no way detract from the simplicity (or complexity) of the message. It doesn't really even say anything about the protocol or medium of exchange. It basically says that you just feel unloved by someone, and are reciprocating. That makes you deserving of a hug.

quozl, get in here and hug Latria!
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quozl wrote:
I'd welcome him with open arms, repent of what I've been doing wrong, and follow him wherever he led.

I'd like to think most Christians would do the same.


Most non-Christians would do so too, the moment we had a proof of identity. It's quite hard to be an agnostic or an atheist when someone performs miracles in front of you.

But proving that he was who he would say he was is a more difficult matter. We don't just follow anyone that claims divine knowledge, or a special revelation. If Cranky claimed that an angel had come to visit him, made him take a blood test, and told him that yes, the bible shouldn't be taken literally, and we should all turn gay, how many would follow? The last time someone claimed to be able to perform miracles and save us all, he barely got 52% of the popular vote!

How would you know it's really Jesus, and not just an Elvis impersonator that let his beard grow for a month?
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Wow, Jorge! Thanks for stealing chapter one of my autobiography. That was some amazing peyote I had that day, but I don't recall you being anywhere in the vicinity!! It's a MIRACLE!!!!
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Ha.. I could tell you I am Jesus returned and my way was the true path, pull a quarter out of your ear, and change your Dasani bottled water into a fine Chianti, and you'd laugh me all the way to the funny farm.

Don't kid yourselves Christians, if Jesus does return, you all are fucked.
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But he will almost certainly be played in the film version of the event by Kevin Spacey.
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MWChapel wrote:
Ha.. I could tell you I am Jesus returned and my way was the true path, pull a quarter out of your ear, and change your Dasani bottled water into a fine Chianti, and you'd laugh me all the way to the funny farm.

Don't kid yourselves Christians, if Jesus does return, you all are fucked.


As much as I agree with you on other issues. This is one where I believe that you are not entirely right, chap.

Certainly there will be a large portion of those who consider themselves "christians" who will be caught off guard by the return of Christ. They've done much as the pharisees and religious leaders of his day did to Christ while he walked the earth and missed his message among their own religiosity.

Still, the faith of Christ isn't about us. It's about his promise to us. That's all that matters.

Like the Jews were, and will always be the covenant people, we are the in-grafted branches into that lineage. His promise to us is what saves us.

We're all a bunch of ignorant sinners who get things mostly wrong. But the thing that those who worship in the "christian" tradition have going for them is the familiarity with repentance.

We know we are incapable of salvation. We know we're sinners, at least until we begin to think our **** doesn't stink, and then we pollute the faith with our own idiocy.

I think that the Christians will be second in line behind the Jews when Christ returns, ready to repent from our sins collectively. The Jews will see Christ as the messiah which they expected the first time--but that had to die to become their fulfillment of prophecy for his return.

At least that's my layman's take on that. It ain't gospel.

And I ain't him. That much I know for sure.
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hibikir wrote:
quozl wrote:
I'd welcome him with open arms, repent of what I've been doing wrong, and follow him wherever he led.
I'd like to think most Christians would do the same.

Most non-Christians would do so too, the moment we had a proof of identity. It's quite hard to be an agnostic or an atheist when someone performs miracles in front of you.


I suspect I'd quickly be a very modern newcomer "Christian" indeed, as it's hard not to believe, if it gets proven right in front of me. But becoming a Christian believer is not quite the same as becoming a Christian follower. Before joining (all) the cause, I'd still have to be swayed it is one that is worthy of my submission. I like a lot of what I have heard, but I am not sold on all that I have heard so far, some things that really matter to me. And some of the explanations better be a damn side better than has been proposed so far.

I might end up filing a formal letter of complaint.
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BigWoo wrote:

I might end up filing a formal letter of complaint.


... lol!!!
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hibikir wrote:
quozl wrote:
I'd [...] follow him wherever he led. I'd like to think most Christians would do the same.

Most non-Christians would do so too, the moment we had a proof of identity. It's quite hard to be an agnostic or an atheist when someone performs miracles in front of you.

I'm not convinced that most non-christians would submit and worship a christian god if there would be proof of its existence. It would be a dangerous being if the scriptures were true but I don't think that fear would be a good tool to motivate modern humans. I believe that many would revolt against it even if it could result in retribution.
 
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hibikir wrote:
If Cranky claimed that an angel had come to visit him, made him take a blood test, and told him that yes, the bible shouldn't be taken literally, and we should all turn gay, how many would follow?



If anyone needs help with the turning gay part let me know and I can help you out. Except for the sex part in which you're on your own.
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Honestly, some would call him a communist.
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diehard4life wrote:

The Jews will see Christ as the messiah which they expected the first time--but that had to die to become their fulfillment of prophecy for his return.


(spitting out drink on monitor) SURE THEY WILL! Because that's exactly what they did the first time he came back, right??
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I would like to say that I would welcome Christ with open arms and hopefully his second coming would help me to become a better person, a stronger believer, and live my life with less sin.

On the other hand, I am an avid hater of zombies, and I have pledged my life to the elimination of zombie-kind on planet earth. Anyone who returns from the grave after nearly 2000 years is one of the strongest zombies ever...

Let's just say I would have a conflict.
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