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Subject: [Rant] They will know we are Christians by our love. rss

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Ben Foy
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This is one of my favorite songs. Not because of the music but because it communicates the essense of what it means to be a Christian.

I hear militant atheists (who call themselves agnostic) talk about what it means to be a Christian, Love never seems to be mentioned. The less biased atheists/agnostics will admit that some Christians are true to our faith and the song. But even Christians will admit its a high bar. The Love, that is mentioned, is all encompassing. Loving your wife, children, friends or neighbors is easy. Loving strangers and even enemies is very hard. But thats what the Christian Love is all about.

But I get tired of the constant distortions of our faith by non-Christians. The people mouthing the 'Faith is all important' meme for example. I doubt there are many Christians who believe that since it directly contradicts the Bible. And there is the 'All non-Christians are going to Hell' meme. shake

If people truely wanted to know about our beliefs, that would be one thing. But correcting these misconceptions seems to an exercise in futility, since the person posting the lies will ignore the correction, then go to the next thread and post the same lies. I am getting tired of constantly replying to this garbage. But I don't want to yield RSP to these liars. So I am going to bookmark this thread and use it to generate canned responses to the constant fallicies being tossed around.

Note: I'm not feeling much Love right now.
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BFoy wrote:
Loving strangers and even enemies is very hard. But thats what the Christian Love is all about.
I like this part. I wish more Christians could give the world some real love. I wish they were more generous with building a government that takes care of all people, more keen on not spoiling others' environment, less keen on invading other countries for their own purposes and less concerned with limiting others' happiness by telling them whom they can love and whom they can't. I just can't see a straight line from Jesus and the love message to the 'Christian Right'. Get rid of their influence and you get rid of the misconceptions.
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Wray Cason
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BFoy wrote:
This is one of my favorite songs. Not because of the music but because it communicates the essense of what it means to be a Christian.

I hear militant atheists (who call themselves agnostic) talk about what it means to be a Christian, Love never seems to be mentioned. The less biased atheists/agnostics will admit that some Christians are true to our faith and the song. But even Christians will admit its a high bar. The Love, that is mentioned, is all encompassing. Loving your wife, children, friends or neighbors is easy. Loving strangers and even enemies is very hard. But thats what the Christian Love is all about.

But I get tired of the constant distortions of our faith by non-Christians. The people mouthing the 'Faith is all important' meme for example. I doubt there are many Christians who believe that since it directly contradicts the Bible. And there is the 'All non-Christians are going to Hell' meme. shake

If people truely wanted to know about our beliefs, that would be one thing. But correcting these misconceptions seems to an exercise in futility, since the person posting the lies will ignore the correction, then go to the next thread and post the same lies. I am getting tired of constantly replying to this garbage. But I don't want to yield RSP to these liars. So I am going to bookmark this thread and use it to generate canned responses to the constant fallicies being tossed around.

Note: I'm not feeling much Love right now.
I hear ya. Try to relax and enjoy the ride. We can't convince people but we can continue to extend invitations. If inviting is your focus, there is always opportunity for success. If convincing is your focus, there is always opportunity for frustration. Either way, people will exercise their own free will as they see fit.

The Love you are missing is attainable. Keep up the good fight. Just don't worry so much when people do otherwise than you think they should.
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Wray Cason
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Koldfoot wrote:
Relax. We love you, man.

You should understand that in this forum you are engaging people who just like to argue, not to understand.
I think there is a modest amount of effort to understand here. I have faith that that is the case and I act accordingly.
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True Blue Jon
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There's a song? Is it on YouTube?
 
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Gregory Amstutz
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BFoy wrote:
This is one of my favorite songs. Not because of the music but because it communicates the essense of what it means to be a Christian.

I hear militant atheists (who call themselves agnostic) talk about what it means to be a Christian, Love never seems to be mentioned. The less biased atheists/agnostics will admit that some Christians are true to our faith and the song. But even Christians will admit its a high bar. The Love, that is mentioned, is all encompassing. Loving your wife, children, friends or neighbors is easy. Loving strangers and even enemies is very hard. But thats what the Christian Love is all about.

But I get tired of the constant distortions of our faith by non-Christians. The people mouthing the 'Faith is all important' meme for example. I doubt there are many Christians who believe that since it directly contradicts the Bible. And there is the 'All non-Christians are going to Hell' meme. shake

If people truely wanted to know about our beliefs, that would be one thing. But correcting these misconceptions seems to an exercise in futility, since the person posting the lies will ignore the correction, then go to the next thread and post the same lies. I am getting tired of constantly replying to this garbage. But I don't want to yield RSP to these liars. So I am going to bookmark this thread and use it to generate canned responses to the constant fallicies being tossed around.

Note: I'm not feeling much Love right now.


Yes, it's true that many people have a distorted idea of what being a follower of Christ is all about. Unfortunately, most of the time, it is us "Christians" who make the worst examples for them to base their opinions on. From people walking around with signs saying "God hates fags" to those who protest against abortion, but won't lift a finger to help a single mother, televangelists who love money more than God, and all sorts of other bad examples in between, we are our worst enemy. Yes, it's a great song, and yes, there are people that do live up to that. Unfortunately, human nature is to single out and focus on the negatives, rather than the positive, so our worst examples are all folks see. We are, for the most part, the source and cause of their misconceptions. The way to go about "correcting" their misconceptions is not to "rant" or argue the point, but to live the example.

BTW, here's a version of the song from YouTube




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BFoy wrote:


And there is the 'All non-Christians are going to Hell' meme. shake



The only way to salvation is through him. Unless I was lied to in church on a regular basis? If true there is no heaven for non christian exemption clause. (I was a christian, fairly devout, for 15 years. I know what side of the bread has butter on it.)
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True Blue Jon
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rcbevco wrote:
The only way to salvation is through him. Unless I was lied to in church on a regular basis? If true there is no heaven for non christian exemption clause. (I was a christian, fairly devout, for 15 years. I know what side of the bread has butter on it.)


The only way to salvation is through him does not mean all non-Christians go to Hell.
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Koldfoot wrote:
The only way to England is by boat is (or: was) a true statement. It is also true to say there are (or: were) many people in England who have (or: had) never been on a boat.
So, it's enough if your ancestors were Christian? Heaven, here I come!

ps. sorry for derailment, couldn't hold it
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Gregory Amstutz
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quozl wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
The only way to salvation is through him. Unless I was lied to in church on a regular basis? If true there is no heaven for non christian exemption clause. (I was a christian, fairly devout, for 15 years. I know what side of the bread has butter on it.)


The only way to salvation is through him does not mean all non-Christians go to Hell.


with all respect, what then does it mean?
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Mac Mcleod
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BFoy wrote:
This is one of my favorite songs. Not because of the music but because it communicates the essense of what it means to be a Christian.

...
Loving strangers and even enemies is very hard. But that's what the Christian Love is all about.
...
But I get tired of the constant distortions of our faith by non-Christians. ... And there is the 'All non-Christians are going to Hell' meme. shake


Bfoy, I completely agree that the basic message of christianity is love, being nice and honest to strangers and so on.

OTH, it's not a distortion to say non-christians go to hell. I am embedded in the bible belt. I know the view of most christians in my area match that belief. I have a friend who donates thousands of dollar a year to spread bibles to get the word out to save people from going to hell.

There are three options. Hell, Banishment, and Extinction depending on how you interpret the bible.


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Ben Foy
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rcbevco wrote:
BFoy wrote:


And there is the 'All non-Christians are going to Hell' meme. shake



The only way to salvation is through him. Unless I was lied to in church on a regular basis? If true there is no heaven for non christian exemption clause. (I was a christian, fairly devout, for 15 years. I know what side of the bread has butter on it.)


The only path to salvation is through Jesus. You can't turn on 'Love'. The process to become a loving person was laid out by Jesus and salvation is for loving people. But people who don't believe in Jesus aren't automatically sent to Hell. Thats not true and conflicts with my Faith (i.e. I believe Jesus is perfectly fair).
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Ben Foy
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maxo-texas wrote:
OTH, it's not a distortion to say non-christians go to hell. I am embedded in the bible belt. I know the view of most christians in my area match that belief. I have a friend who donates thousands of dollar a year to spread bibles to get the word out to save people from going to hell.

There are three options. Hell, Banishment, and Extinction depending on how you interpret the bible.


Some Christians (and Churches) over emphasize 'Faith'. Thats why:

A prophet can have enough Faith to move mountains but without Love, he is nothing.

I can't repeat that enough!

A prophet can have enough Faith to move mountains but without Love, he is nothing.

Faith is not the goal but the means to obtain the goal!
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Ben Foy
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And thats what I continuously find, the great majority of Christians agree on these subjects.
 
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Koldfoot wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:


Bfoy, I completely agree that the basic message of christianity is love, being nice and honest to strangers and so on.

That is not a basic message of Christianity. Religion by definition concerns your relationship with God, not your relationship with people.

If your relationship with God is good and foremost in your heart, your attitude toward your fellow man will follow.


That's a bit circular but fine. My point is, I've dealt with people of other faiths and they were not as pleasant. There is a lot of niceness in the christian religion- especially the jesus freak era and god is love message.

The christians of the last 10-20 years have been increasingly less pleasant as their power base was threatened.
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Chad Ellis
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BFoy wrote:
I hear militant atheists (who call themselves agnostic)


You just about lost me here. There are few things more hypocritical and obnoxious than someone complaining about how other people distort their worldview or aren't interested in understanding it while going out of their way to denigrate and distort the very people being complained about.

As it happens, I do want to understand people's beliefs and I understand that sharing can be frustrating, so I'm going to reply and hopefully shed some light on the other side of the equation.

Quote:
talk about what it means to be a Christian, Love never seems to be mentioned. The less biased atheists/agnostics will admit that some Christians are true to our faith and the song. But even Christians will admit its a high bar. The Love, that is mentioned, is all encompassing. Loving your wife, children, friends or neighbors is easy. Loving strangers and even enemies is very hard. But thats what the Christian Love is all about.


I think it's pretty common that people within a group see the group in terms of what it aspires to while people outside the group see it in terms of its actions and statements.

Voltaire famously said, "If Christians want us to believe in a Redeemer, let them act redeemed." If people aren't mentioning "love" when they talk about Christianity, perhaps the fault doesn't lie with them. Christianity may be about love, but I don't think you could tell it from Christian behavior, which doesn't tend to be very different from non-Christian behavior.

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But I get tired of the constant distortions of our faith by non-Christians. The people mouthing the 'Faith is all important' meme for example. I doubt there are many Christians who believe that since it directly contradicts the Bible. And there is the 'All non-Christians are going to Hell' meme. shake


I learned those directly from Christians -- specifically from the Christians who frequented the discussion boards of the evangelical site, CARM.org, although I've heard them from many others as well. "I am saved by faith alone, through the Grace of Jesus Christ" is a statement many Christians would agree with. As for the "meme" that all non-Christians are going to Hell, once again this isn't something non-Christians made up. While it's certainly true that many Christians don't hold this belief, it is a central tenet of doctrine for many large branches of Christianity.

Quote:
If people truely wanted to know about our beliefs, that would be one thing. But correcting these misconceptions seems to an exercise in futility, since the person posting the lies will ignore the correction, then go to the next thread and post the same lies.


You speak of corrections and lies, and assume that when you tell someone what Christianity "is" they either adopt your viewpoint or else aren't interested in learning, want to lie, etc. The reality is that you are one Christian among many. When you tell me that "Christianity" doesn't say that non-Christians are damned, I believe you -- but I also know that that's your version of Christianity. Other, equally-devout Christians have their versions and some of those say precisely that all non-Christians will go to Hell, and that Hell is literally a place of eternal torment of our conscious selves:

CARM.org wrote:
Hell is a real place. It is not mere unconsciousness. It is not temporal. It is eternal torment. Perhaps that is why Jesus spoke more of hell than heaven and spent so much time warning people not to go there. After all, if people just stopped existing, why warn them? If it was temporal, they'd get out in a while. But if it were eternal and conscious, then the warning is strong.


CARM.org wrote:
The only way to escape the righteous judgment of God is to trust in the provision He has made. This provision is found in Jesus. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life," (John 3:16). Jesus is the only way to salvation (John 14:6). Jesus is also God in flesh (John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9). Therefore, Jesus' life is of infinite value. This means that His sacrifice is sufficient to cleanse you of your sins. It is capable of satisfying the infinitely righteous standard of God that is required to match His infinite holiness.

Jesus' sacrifice is the only provision acceptable to God the Father. If you want to escape the eternal judgment of God, you must put your trust in Jesus and what He did on the cross and in nothing else. Without Him, there is no hope of escape on the Day of Judgment.


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Ben Foy
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
BFoy wrote:
I hear militant atheists (who call themselves agnostic)


You just about lost me here. There are few things more hypocritical and obnoxious than someone complaining about how other people distort their worldview or aren't interested in understanding it while going out of their way to denigrate and distort the very people being complained about.

As it happens, I do want to understand people's beliefs and I understand that sharing can be frustrating, so I'm going to reply and hopefully shed some light on the other side of the equation.


I know you do and I like discussing these things with you. You are always honest and have an interesting point of view. I'd like to address your comments but I have to go, sorry.
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God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit are not fair.

Fair is a human concept. Unfortunately, what's fair always changes depending on who's point of view you're choosing to agree with. God is "just". If Jesus said "Believe in me, and you shall be saved" and "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me." (and He did), then He means just that.

A crude analogy is if a parent tells a child, "You have to get your chores done, or you don't get to go to the movies." If the child works, and almost gets them done, and the parent lets him go anyway, that, to the child (and maybe the parent) is fair, but it isn't just. If the child does not finish, and the parent does not let him go, as promised, that is just.
God is perfectly just. Any interpretation of "wiggle room" is by us humans trying to make God "fair."

BFoy wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
BFoy wrote:


And there is the 'All non-Christians are going to Hell' meme. shake



The only way to salvation is through him. Unless I was lied to in church on a regular basis? If true there is no heaven for non christian exemption clause. (I was a christian, fairly devout, for 15 years. I know what side of the bread has butter on it.)


The only path to salvation is through Jesus. You can't turn on 'Love'. The process to become a loving person was laid out by Jesus and salvation is for loving people. But people who don't believe in Jesus aren't automatically sent to Hell. Thats not true and conflicts with my Faith (i.e. I believe Jesus is perfectly fair).
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
BFoy wrote:
I hear militant atheists (who call themselves agnostic)


In my area, it's the religious types who sneak christian prayers into groups of many faiths (like high school football games).

Carm.org wrote:
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life," (John 3:16).




Interesting that john 3:16 says "perish" as in die (no mention of hell). I suppose it depends on the hebrew root word and also other verses say other things.
I don't mind if i stop existing. That's the expected result when the chemicals in my brain run down.


 
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Here's a side thought.

I don't think "love" when I hear the word Christian, but it is one of the first things I think of when I hear the word Mormon. Every single Mormon I've met in my entire life has been a decent, generous and loving person. They're almost creepy in a Stepford Wives kind of way, but the experience is so universal that it strongly affects my initial impression/expectations of a new acquaintance if I know they are a Mormon.

There are some negatives as well, but why ruin a nice post?
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Daniel Eig
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Quote:
And there is the 'All non-Christians are going to Hell' meme. shake


That one would probably die out quicker if Christians didn't go around telling strangers they were going to hell. I've been told by multiple people over the course of my life that I will be going to Hell because I have rejected Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Still trying to decide if that sounds more appealing than oblivion.
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
Here's a side thought.

I don't think "love" when I hear the word Christian, but it is one of the first things I think of when I hear the word Mormon. Every single Mormon I've met in my entire life has been a decent, generous and loving person. They're almost creepy in a Stepford Wives kind of way, but the experience is so universal that it strongly affects my initial impression/expectations of a new acquaintance if I know they are a Mormon.

There are some negatives as well, but why ruin a nice post?
You've got me all kinds of curious now!
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You know me, I'm always happy to share -- here, in a new thread, or by geekmail if you prefer.
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dogzard wrote:
quozl wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
The only way to salvation is through him. Unless I was lied to in church on a regular basis? If true there is no heaven for non christian exemption clause. (I was a christian, fairly devout, for 15 years. I know what side of the bread has butter on it.)


The only way to salvation is through him does not mean all non-Christians go to Hell.


with all respect, what then does it mean?


It means that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. To save your life, you must walk Jesus' way, live by his truth, and lay down your life. He is a perfect example of a righteous life yet many before him were called righteous by God (Noah, Moses, David, etc.) and even some after (Cornelius in Acts).
 
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