Author Topic: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.  (Read 89295 times)

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #600 on: June 27, 2017, 08:09:40 AM »
So basically per the Christian mythos, god creates imperfect beings, says "you people aren't worth being in my presence", then kills his own son in human form so we then get to be with god.  But only if we recognize how shitty we are and how awesome god is for killing his son for us.

Sorry, but that is some messed up stuff.
Man was created good and became bad post Fall.

I don't see how that does anything but agree with at least the beginning of what Tyort1 wrote.
Tyort1 said, "god creates imperfect beings."
You said "man was created good and became bad post Fall."

I'm fairly confident we can all agree that a perfect being, by definition, cannot become bad.
Given that humans 'became bad' we know they must have not been perfect before becoming bad.
Therefore, humans were created (by God) as imperfect beings.

Put more simply:

1.  A perfect being cannot become bad.
2.  Humans became bad.
3.  Humans were not perfect beings.

Overflow

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #601 on: June 27, 2017, 09:00:54 AM »
Agreed MrDelane. The "why" is always interesting. I was hoping to bring a unifying statement to rally some of the scattered points we had been discussing.
That's a fair point, and a good effort.  Though it is a bit telling of the difficulty we have in discerning the facts about reality that your attempt to unify the believers led to a discussion of how your beliefs differ.

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Here are a few thoughts on "why" I believe.
- I find Jesus to be the most compelling and beautiful figure in history. His words and works draw me and call me to follow.

- The story of the Bible, which finds it's center in Jesus, crafts a narrative that makes the world make sense to me. On a macro level, the scriptures offer me a story a redemption that allows me to thrive and have hope in this life.

- Christianity gives me an explanation and solution for the sin/pain/brokenness inside me and surrounding me.

I would just like to point out that the first three reasons you listed speak to how it makes you feel and how it helps you makes sense of the world, neither of which say anything about whether or not it is true.

Now clearly, you are free to believe things for whatever reasons you choose, I'm not saying you're not.  But when I hear these style of responses it does make me wonder if you are more concerned with what you might find comforting than what is true.

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In the end, I believe Christianity is coherent, intellectually robust, and historically verified.

How did you verify Christianity historically?

(just taking part of your response at this point)

My feelings, emotions, or affections are not placed in priority over facts or truth. It would be inappropriate to "feel" something to be real with no basis in reality. What i was describing is the chronology of my journey toward Christianity. Analyzing the facts didn't draw me....beauty did. I can't exactly tell you why a sunset captivates me, but I know it does and I love sitting on my porch in the evenings - soaking in every minute.

Beauty drew me into my faith, but veracity helps keep me there.

Sorry if I implied that facts don't matter. I have a couple advanced degrees in religion, so I have spent a little time working through facts. Having warm fuzzys is pretty fleeting if they isn't any substantial reality behind it.

At the same time, just because something is comforting does't make it not true. But if the Christian story happens to have robust intellectual backing, AND it's a beautiful compelling story of hope...well thats something I can't ignore.

Part (Certainly not all) of Christianity is historical. The Bible claims that certain things happened in history. God became a man, walked among us, died, and rose again. That's a historical statement.

There are dozens and hundreds and thousands of different topics we could explore about the historical statements of the Bible. But that would be a bit excessive for this context. Can we at least agree that any subject we might bring up has already been substantially explore and evidence laid out (I don't want to imply that there is no more work left to do, but rather that a lot of work has already been done)? There is no objection to Christianity that we are going to come up with here, that hasn't already been brought up by skeptics and scholars over the last several centuries. And that, in spite of those objections existing, Christians continue to exist in the most respected and most academic of institutions around the world. If Christianity were truly irrational than would it make sense for academics at Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge to still adhere to the faith?

At the vary least I hope we can set aside the notion that Christianity is (as some would say) an archaic bunch of fairy tails and the idea of God is hogwash believed by the uneducated.

We at least have to agree that really smart people have done their homework and still believe this stuff. There is some academic respect for it, which means there has to be at least some evidence for its validity.

I realize I haven't presented any facts, but this line of thinking at least got me to the point where would take Christianity seriously. And that there are facts out there to be examined.

Here is a good starting point if you are interested. Here is a historical and scholarly approach to the subject "I Cannot Believe Because the Bible is Unreliable"
 https://youtu.be/P5_rTu0-XSQ








zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #602 on: June 27, 2017, 09:49:26 AM »
Jim555, what are your thoughts about the Gnostics and the Nag Hammadi texts?
It is hard to reply to these doctrines since they have no basis in  scripture. 
The Word of God has been preserved by providence and these "lost" texts are not meant to be included as scripture.
Sounds like some New Age mumbo jumbo.

Except that gnostic traditions were around before Christianity and passed down orally.

If you believe that the bible is the authentic word of god then you are worshipping the bible, making it into an idol.

Jesus was not the man he was as a result of making Jesus Christ his personal savior.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 10:23:03 AM by zoltani »
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #603 on: June 27, 2017, 09:59:29 AM »
Sorry if I implied that facts don't matter.
Not at all, I was simply asking for clarification.  I didn't feel like you implied that they don't matter, I just found it interesting that when asked why you believe that supporting evidence wasn't the first thing on the list (as one would expect it to be for just about any other belief).

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At the same time, just because something is comforting does't make it not true.
Of course.  I think we can all agree that how something makes us feel is completely separate from whether or not it is true.

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The Bible claims that certain things happened in history. God became a man, walked among us, died, and rose again. That's a historical statement.
Agreed.  These are statements made about the facts of the world and we should, hopefully, be able to verify them in some way.

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Can we at least agree that any subject we might bring up has already been substantially explore and evidence laid out (I don't want to imply that there is no more work left to do, but rather that a lot of work has already been done)?

I think we can agree that any subject we bring up has been substantially explored in the past, yes.
I'm not certain we can agree that much evidence has been laid out.

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...in spite of those objections existing, Christians continue to exist in the most respected and most academic of institutions around the world. If Christianity were truly irrational than would it make sense for academics at Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge to still adhere to the faith?

People believe things for all sorts of reasons.
The number of people who believe something and the schools they attend has no affect on the truth about reality.
Even if it did, it puts us no closer to learning the truth about reality since every Muslim, Jew and Hindu could claim the same support.
So how do we distinguish between them?

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At the vary least I hope we can set aside the notion that Christianity is (as some would say) an archaic bunch of fairy tails and the idea of God is hogwash believed by the uneducated.
I can definitely set aside that kind of language, sure. 
But if you mean we can set aside the possibility that Christianity is untrue, then we will have to disagree.

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We at least have to agree that really smart people have done their homework and still believe this stuff.

Certainly.  Much like we have to agree that really smart people have done their homework on Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and other religions and still believe them.  Are you willing to lend them an equal amount of assumption of truth?

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There is some academic respect for it, which means there has to be at least some evidence for its validity.
I'm not certain what you mean by academic respect.  Only 1/3rd of scientists seem to believe in a God, versus 85+% of the general public.
But I am not claiming that is any sort of argument.  Again, the number or type of people who believe something says nothing about the truth of the claim itself, nor about the amount or quality of evidence that may or may not exist.

We should not assume there is evidence for the validity of an idea simply because many people adhere to it.  Instead shouldn't we look at and examine the evidence itself, regardless of how many people accept or reject it?

Quote
Here is a good starting point if you are interested. Here is a historical and scholarly approach to the subject "I Cannot Believe Because the Bible is Unreliable"
 https://youtu.be/P5_rTu0-XSQ

Thanks for the link.  I'll check it out when I'm not at work (pretty sure I'd have a hard time explaining why I'm watching a 90 minute video about the veracity of the bible). 
:)

I will watch it though.  Thank you.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 10:13:47 AM by MrDelane »

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #604 on: June 27, 2017, 10:15:38 AM »
I wasn't raised Christian but my husband was and in his early twenties decided it didn't make sense to him. He also saw a lot of christians who talked a big game but didn't follow the principles of the faith.

Personally, the Bible is a flawed book. It clearly is tainted with sexism, classism and basically is designed to keep the suppressed "hopeful" for a better life in the next life so that they aren't too concerned with the suffering imposed upon them here and now. It's all about how god will provide, god will save and to be dependent on an outward force to help and save you. It makes people stagnant and no matter what they do- they can turn to god to forgive them.

The religion that I most approve of is Buddhism, I'm not Buddhist. However, the difference is that it encourages oneself to look inward and to focus on changing oneself and how they interact with the world. HOW to be a better person vs just be better. HOW to deal with suffering bc no one will save you but yourself. You control you and are responsible for your behavior and happiness. It empowers people and encourages them to make positive change and not to wait or depend on some saving grace. This is a philosophy I could follow and try to. I also appreciate how in Buddhism they believe you are born perfect and enlightened but we forget as soon as we enter world and have to relearn and find that inner enlightened Buddha within us. Mostly I appreciate how it empowers people to change themselves instead of focusing on other people and converting them. If everyone just focused on making themselves better the world would be greatly improved.

Again I'm not an expert on this philosophy and these are just my thoughts from what I've picked up. I also practice a Budo martial art that has many of these same principles on self refinement.


I tend to agree that eastern philosophies make the most sense, Taoism, Buddhism, Zen, Hinduism. The part bolded above is particularly compelling to me. We are born an empty vessel which is filled with words, ideas, thoughts, most of which are not even our own. What percentage of your thoughts could be considered your own original thoughts? That old saying "don't believe everything you think" is true, most of our thoughts are not our own. Enlightenment is just that, loss of ego, of self, and the realization that you are it, god, the universe and everything in it.
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #605 on: June 27, 2017, 11:41:35 AM »
Enlightenment is just that, loss of ego, of self, and the realization that you are it, god, the universe and everything in it.
I don't understand this concept.  How can you be the universe and God?

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #606 on: June 27, 2017, 12:48:34 PM »
Enlightenment is just that, loss of ego, of self, and the realization that you are it, god, the universe and everything in it.
I don't understand this concept.  How can you be the universe and God?

How can you not be the universe and god? You are creating your own experience all of the time. I previously posted about this, it is not some new age bullshit. There are a lot of physicists that postulate that the universe simply would not exist without an observer. Matter doesn't even exist, at the sub atomic level everything is just whirls of energy. We are the universe experiencing itself. 

I think Alan Watts said it well:

"We suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of our own existence as living organisms. Most of us have the sensation that “I myself” is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body — a center which “confronts” an “external” world of people and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange. Everyday figures of speech reflect this illusion. “I came into this world.” “You must face reality.” “The conquest of nature.”

This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences. We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated “egos” inside bags of skin."
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #607 on: June 27, 2017, 12:59:39 PM »
Maybe I'm too "inside my bag" for this to make sense.

Have you seen the Double Slit Quantum Eraser experiment?  Some people interpret the experiment that we exist in a computed simulation and nothing is physically real.

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #608 on: June 27, 2017, 01:10:53 PM »
All of the great thinkers have come to the conclusion that we are god, that it resides within us. Jesus came to this conclusion just as Lao Tzu, and Buddha. Was Jesus a Christian? Was Buddha a buddist? Was Lau Tzu a Taoist? No. They came to their conclusions through intense periods of solitude, self reflection, and meditation. They all came to the conclusion that the kingdom of heaven is within you. There are many paths to take, call it whatever religion or philosophy you want, they all teach the same thing. The bible is taken so literally that it strips this power away from its believers.

Here are some samples from the bible:

"The Kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21)

“Is it not written in your Law, “I have said ‘you are gods’”?” (John 10:34)

“He who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16)

IMO the answers are not in one book or philosophy. Again Alan Watts (who was an ordained priest, btw) is brilliant in stating this:

"Irrevocable commitment to any religion is not only intellectual suicide; it is positive unfaith because it closes the mind to any new vision of the world. Faith is, above all, open-ness — an act of trust in the unknown.

No considerate God would destroy the human mind by making it so rigid and unadaptable as to depend upon one book, the Bible, for all the answers. For the use of words, and thus of a book, is to point beyond themselves to a world of life and experience that is not mere words or even ideas. Just as money is not real, consumable wealth, books are not life. To idolize scriptures is like eating paper currency."


“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #609 on: June 27, 2017, 01:19:25 PM »
I think you are wresting scripture to try to make a point. 

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #610 on: June 27, 2017, 01:33:33 PM »
Maybe I'm too "inside my bag" for this to make sense.

Have you seen the Double Slit Quantum Eraser experiment?  Some people interpret the experiment that we exist in a computed simulation and nothing is physically real.

I don't like to buy in to the computer simulation idea. I guess it is certainly a possibility, but not a very comforting one to me.

Have you ever practiced meditation? Sitting still, doing nothing. Jesus surely did, so why would Christians not?
Oh, here is one article about the "dangers" of meditation from a Christian point of view. This is utter nonsense IMO.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/november/10.78.html


“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #611 on: June 27, 2017, 01:39:46 PM »
Meditation seems like a big waste of time to me.

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #612 on: June 27, 2017, 01:44:31 PM »
Meditation seems like a big waste of time to me.

What makes you come to that conclusion? If you have never tried how would you know that it is or isn't a waste of your time?


“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #613 on: June 27, 2017, 01:55:37 PM »
Meditation seems like a big waste of time to me.

What makes you come to that conclusion? If you have never tried how would you know that it is or isn't a waste of your time?
Might not be, but I'm not interested enough to find out.

J Boogie

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #614 on: June 27, 2017, 02:16:50 PM »
Long before I left the faith, I didn't see much value in time spent praying - except for using it to mentally prepare yourself to be a more virtuous person when the next opportunity arose.  I always found that aspect of it quite valuable and still do.

And you can call that type of prayer meditation if you want.

craiglepaige

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #615 on: June 28, 2017, 09:40:12 AM »
I really like this view on the origins of a lot of religions.

https://youtu.be/88GTUXvp-50
-The conqueror will always become a slave to his conquest.

- Eres Un Esclavo Financiero
https://youtu.be/GO1Fsp4cUTQ

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #616 on: June 28, 2017, 09:47:04 AM »
Meditation seems like a big waste of time to me.

What makes you come to that conclusion? If you have never tried how would you know that it is or isn't a waste of your time?
Might not be, but I'm not interested enough to find out.

I find this sort of thinking -- condemnation of something one has never tried, lack of interest in finding out whether one is wrong -- coupled with certainty that one's own beliefs and path are absolutely correct, fairly amusing. It certainly does not do much to give an outside observer the impression that one is standing on any sort of solid ground.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #617 on: June 28, 2017, 11:03:22 AM »
Come now Kris, meditation is dangerous to christians:

"Eastern meditation focuses on self: centering yourself, your inner self, self actualization, your breathing, physical feelings and emotions. The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. Furthermore, his ultimate deception is pride or elevation of self. Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ."

Woah now, you definitely do not want to be in connection with yourself or your body. And having a quiet mind could allow satan to fill it with evil things!

"Eastern meditation empties the mind. Biblical meditation fills the mind and spirit with God's Word. Emptying our mind is actually a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deception."


I can't even believe this nonsense.
http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/58612-6-reasons-this-popular-meditation-trend-is-dangerous-for-christians

“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #618 on: June 28, 2017, 11:31:31 AM »
Come now Kris, meditation is dangerous to christians:

"Eastern meditation focuses on self: centering yourself, your inner self, self actualization, your breathing, physical feelings and emotions. The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. Furthermore, his ultimate deception is pride or elevation of self. Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ."

Woah now, you definitely do not want to be in connection with yourself or your body. And having a quiet mind could allow satan to fill it with evil things!

"Eastern meditation empties the mind. Biblical meditation fills the mind and spirit with God's Word. Emptying our mind is actually a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deception."


I can't even believe this nonsense.
http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/58612-6-reasons-this-popular-meditation-trend-is-dangerous-for-christians

:)  Yes, my mother-in-law is a Jehovah's Witness and believes this, too. For the same reason, she won't take sleeping pills -- because The Devil will get into her head if she allows herself to get drowsy. Not sure why just falling asleep doesn't do the same thing, but hey, I guess you'd have to ask her.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #619 on: June 28, 2017, 12:42:59 PM »
Come now Kris, meditation is dangerous to christians:

"Eastern meditation focuses on self: centering yourself, your inner self, self actualization, your breathing, physical feelings and emotions. The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. Furthermore, his ultimate deception is pride or elevation of self. Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ."

Woah now, you definitely do not want to be in connection with yourself or your body. And having a quiet mind could allow satan to fill it with evil things!

"Eastern meditation empties the mind. Biblical meditation fills the mind and spirit with God's Word. Emptying our mind is actually a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deception."


I can't even believe this nonsense.
http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/58612-6-reasons-this-popular-meditation-trend-is-dangerous-for-christians
That is not my reason for not wanting to do it.  Boring waste of time is the reason for me.

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #620 on: June 28, 2017, 12:54:11 PM »
Reminds me of a conversation I had recently.

Me: DH and I were out for sushi a few nights ago...

Friend: Oh, BLECH! I HATE sushi. Ugh.

Me: Huh. Is it just the raw fish (sashimi) you hate? Because not all of it is raw.

Friend: Oh, God, I've never TRIED it. I couldn't. It's just so gross.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #621 on: June 28, 2017, 01:29:17 PM »
That is not my reason for not wanting to do it.  Boring waste of time is the reason for me.

Sitting still and doing nothing for 10-15 minutes a day is a waste of time? I am sure you waste time in some way that could be directed toward meditation. I mean, how much time do you spend on these forums, which is a complete waste of time? You think meditation is a waste of time because you do not understand how it could benefit you.

There was a study I saw that said that most people would rather give themselves and electrical shock than sit for 15 minutes alone with nothing but their thoughts. People's own minds terrify them.
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #622 on: June 28, 2017, 01:34:29 PM »
Come now Kris, meditation is dangerous to christians:

"Eastern meditation focuses on self: centering yourself, your inner self, self actualization, your breathing, physical feelings and emotions. The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. Furthermore, his ultimate deception is pride or elevation of self. Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ."

Woah now, you definitely do not want to be in connection with yourself or your body. And having a quiet mind could allow satan to fill it with evil things!

"Eastern meditation empties the mind. Biblical meditation fills the mind and spirit with God's Word. Emptying our mind is actually a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deception."


I can't even believe this nonsense.
http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/58612-6-reasons-this-popular-meditation-trend-is-dangerous-for-christians

It is nonsense so spouting if off here as something Christians believe because you found an internet link is just slightly less nonsensical.

J Boogie

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #623 on: June 28, 2017, 01:54:26 PM »
That is not my reason for not wanting to do it.  Boring waste of time is the reason for me.

Sitting still and doing nothing for 10-15 minutes a day is a waste of time? I am sure you waste time in some way that could be directed toward meditation. I mean, how much time do you spend on these forums, which is a complete waste of time? You think meditation is a waste of time because you do not understand how it could benefit you.

There was a study I saw that said that most people would rather give themselves and electrical shock than sit for 15 minutes alone with nothing but their thoughts. People's own minds terrify them.

I saw that as well. 

Though there is a certain amount of anti-new age, anti-buddhism that colors how some Christians view meditation, I was always taught that meditation could be a very powerful form of prayer for a Catholic.  Granted, the goal is usually to meditate on Christian themes, but there is actually a mindfulness style meditation warm up that's part of Jesuit app "Pray as you Go".

But Christians tend to have mixed opinions about those crazy like a fox Jesuits.

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #624 on: June 28, 2017, 02:36:42 PM »
Come now Kris, meditation is dangerous to christians:

"Eastern meditation focuses on self: centering yourself, your inner self, self actualization, your breathing, physical feelings and emotions. The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. Furthermore, his ultimate deception is pride or elevation of self. Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ."

Woah now, you definitely do not want to be in connection with yourself or your body. And having a quiet mind could allow satan to fill it with evil things!

"Eastern meditation empties the mind. Biblical meditation fills the mind and spirit with God's Word. Emptying our mind is actually a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deception."


I can't even believe this nonsense.
http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/58612-6-reasons-this-popular-meditation-trend-is-dangerous-for-christians

It is nonsense so spouting if off here as something Christians believe because you found an internet link is just slightly less nonsensical.

There are a lot of Christians who think meditation and yoga is dangerous. Generally speaking, they come from the more fundamentalist wing of Christianity.

Christianity Today has published about this:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/november/10.78.html

I find that there is a correlation between Christians who espouse this view and those who say that celebrating Halloween is satanic. And those who say that dancing isn't something Christians should do because it encourages lasciviousness.

It's not all Christians, but it's not a small number of them, either.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #625 on: June 28, 2017, 02:52:09 PM »
Come now Kris, meditation is dangerous to christians:

"Eastern meditation focuses on self: centering yourself, your inner self, self actualization, your breathing, physical feelings and emotions. The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. Furthermore, his ultimate deception is pride or elevation of self. Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ."

Woah now, you definitely do not want to be in connection with yourself or your body. And having a quiet mind could allow satan to fill it with evil things!

"Eastern meditation empties the mind. Biblical meditation fills the mind and spirit with God's Word. Emptying our mind is actually a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deception."


I can't even believe this nonsense.
http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/58612-6-reasons-this-popular-meditation-trend-is-dangerous-for-christians

It is nonsense so spouting if off here as something Christians believe because you found an internet link is just slightly less nonsensical.

There are a lot of Christians who think meditation and yoga is dangerous. Generally speaking, they come from the more fundamentalist wing of Christianity.

Christianity Today has published about this:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/november/10.78.html

I find that there is a correlation between Christians who espouse this view and those who say that celebrating Halloween is satanic. And those who say that dancing isn't something Christians should do because it encourages lasciviousness.

It's not all Christians, but it's not a small number of them, either.
There's a lot of all kinds of groups that hold viewpoints that are negative to the perception of the group.

My point was simply in a forum, where I think we would like to try to have a rationale discussion posting what clearly was meant to indicate a view that is supported as Christian is not helpful to the discourse.  There are a lot of non-Christians that think global warming is not happening.  Should I label all non-Christians as clueless because they are not a small number who hold this view?  I think we'd agree not. 

I'm with Boogie in that I think most Christians would say prayer is a form of meditation, so did not view it as indicative of anything other than nonsense.  And I have been involved in a lot of fundamentalist churches and not a single one of them viewed mediation as anything to be concerned about.  It offered time for reflection and quiet and was not harmful at all. 

ETA:  Looking at the article you linked, at best I'd say it is because the author is concerned with "higher state of conciousness" that achieves inner divinity.  Obviously a Christian would have a problem with encouraging someone to think they were a god.  In addition, I'd like a Hindu or Buddhist to prove to me that they achieve inner divinity.  It'd be the same unproveaable discussion we've been having here about Christian precepts.  At best I'll say this article marks mediation attached to unproveable "benefits" that are in opposition to basic Christian teaching as being something dangerous, but saying this labels mediation in and of itself dangerous is a bridge too far.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 02:56:49 PM by caracarn »

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #626 on: June 28, 2017, 03:04:46 PM »
Come now Kris, meditation is dangerous to christians:

"Eastern meditation focuses on self: centering yourself, your inner self, self actualization, your breathing, physical feelings and emotions. The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. Furthermore, his ultimate deception is pride or elevation of self. Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ."

Woah now, you definitely do not want to be in connection with yourself or your body. And having a quiet mind could allow satan to fill it with evil things!

"Eastern meditation empties the mind. Biblical meditation fills the mind and spirit with God's Word. Emptying our mind is actually a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deception."


I can't even believe this nonsense.
http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/58612-6-reasons-this-popular-meditation-trend-is-dangerous-for-christians

It is nonsense so spouting if off here as something Christians believe because you found an internet link is just slightly less nonsensical.

There are a lot of Christians who think meditation and yoga is dangerous. Generally speaking, they come from the more fundamentalist wing of Christianity.

Christianity Today has published about this:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/november/10.78.html

I find that there is a correlation between Christians who espouse this view and those who say that celebrating Halloween is satanic. And those who say that dancing isn't something Christians should do because it encourages lasciviousness.

It's not all Christians, but it's not a small number of them, either.
There's a lot of all kinds of groups that hold viewpoints that are negative to the perception of the group.

My point was simply in a forum, where I think we would like to try to have a rationale discussion posting what clearly was meant to indicate a view that is supported as Christian is not helpful to the discourse.  There are a lot of non-Christians that think global warming is not happening.  Should I label all non-Christians as clueless because they are not a small number who hold this view?  I think we'd agree not. 

I'm with Boogie in that I think most Christians would say prayer is a form of meditation, so did not view it as indicative of anything other than nonsense.  And I have been involved in a lot of fundamentalist churches and not a single one of them viewed mediation as anything to be concerned about.  It offered time for reflection and quiet and was not harmful at all.

There seems to be at least some disagreement in this thread already as to who the "real" Christians are, and what "real" Christians believe. I don't really see that any one person gets to determine that, do you?

The global warming argument isn't very convincing. First of all, I'd have to guess, at least in the US anyway, that climate change denialism is a view much more prominent among Christians, actually, unless you can show me otherwise. Second, it isn't an appropriate analogy unless you can show me how those populations' non-belief in global warming would be an actual aspect of their (non-Christian) faith, since the discussion here is centering on how one's faith determines what they believe. For Christians who deny global warming, for example, that denialism is actually a part of their faith, since it generally goes hand in hand with belief in creationism over evolution, and/or the belief that God is in charge and therefore there's nothing to worry about, or something like that.

Similarly, the Christians who believe meditation is actually bad, or that Halloween is actually bad, have faith-based arguments for this. I know my Jehovah's Witness mother-in-law (who considers herself a Christian) does.

Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #627 on: June 28, 2017, 03:17:33 PM »
Why do you keep trying to push this meditation issue?  Each person has their own conscience and if it offends them to meditate then leave them alone. 
As far as holidays I don't see anything in the Bible about Christmas or Easter and I don't recognize them.  But if someone wants to I don't make an issue about it.
Halloween is another one to ignore for me.

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #628 on: June 28, 2017, 03:17:57 PM »
There's a lot of all kinds of groups that hold viewpoints that are negative to the perception of the group.

My point was simply in a forum, where I think we would like to try to have a rationale discussion posting what clearly was meant to indicate a view that is supported as Christian is not helpful to the discourse.  There are a lot of non-Christians that think global warming is not happening.  Should I label all non-Christians as clueless because they are not a small number who hold this view?  I think we'd agree not. 

I'm with Boogie in that I think most Christians would say prayer is a form of meditation, so did not view it as indicative of anything other than nonsense.  And I have been involved in a lot of fundamentalist churches and not a single one of them viewed mediation as anything to be concerned about.  It offered time for reflection and quiet and was not harmful at all. 

ETA:  Looking at the article you linked, at best I'd say it is because the author is concerned with "higher state of conciousness" that achieves inner divinity.  Obviously a Christian would have a problem with encouraging someone to think they were a god.  In addition, I'd like a Hindu or Buddhist to prove to me that they achieve inner divinity.  It'd be the same unproveaable discussion we've been having here about Christian precepts.  At best I'll say this article marks mediation attached to unproveable "benefits" that are in opposition to basic Christian teaching as being something dangerous, but saying this labels mediation in and of itself dangerous is a bridge too far.

Point taken. #notallchristians


The hindus or Buddhists could not prove it because they do not say it, not in what I have read. That is an assumption by the writer of the article.

I highly recommend this talk if you want to get an idea of what meditation is "all about":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TjCZRutOKY&t=705s

“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #629 on: June 28, 2017, 03:22:30 PM »
Why do you keep trying to push this meditation issue?  Each person has their own conscience and if it offends them to meditate then leave them alone. 
As far as holidays I don't see anything in the Bible about Christmas or Easter and I don't recognize them.  But if someone wants to I don't make an issue about it.
Halloween is another one to ignore for me.

What forum rule have I broken?

I didn't know you have the authority to dictate what is posted on this forum.
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #630 on: June 28, 2017, 03:27:35 PM »
Similarly, the Christians who believe meditation is actually bad, or that Halloween is actually bad, have faith-based arguments for this. I know my Jehovah's Witness mother-in-law (who considers herself a Christian) does.
Trying to get your definition. when you say arguments do you mean stuff they made up that is not in the Bible?  The whole point of my evidences in this thread are the the religious trappings around all the Christian sects are not traceable to any Scriptural reference and meditation and Halloween are both in that category.  You can add to the Scripture and make up added understanding that make you seem like you have something faith-based, but that's only because you made it up and said "cause the Bible tells me so" when you can't actually point to anything that does.  IF that is not what you meant by arguments then please clarify so I can better respond.  Your Jehovah's Witness MIL likely will point to church bylaws (man made mumbo jumbo) for her arguments about sleeping pills (which certainly are not faith based at all) and mediation and Halloween. 

You can certainly make a point about how a practice (Halloween and meditation) can be used in a way that is bad and make it faith based (celebrating the demons, i.e. worshipping them, for Halloween for example), but the argument is not about Halloween then it is about the method of practicing that event.  Halloween is not bad anymore than pink flamingos are bad.  If I made an idol in the shape of a pink flamingo and worshiped it as God then Biblically I would be doing something bad, but that's my fault not the flamingos. 

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #631 on: June 28, 2017, 03:36:49 PM »
Why do you keep trying to push this meditation issue?  Each person has their own conscience and if it offends them to meditate then leave them alone. 
As far as holidays I don't see anything in the Bible about Christmas or Easter and I don't recognize them.  But if someone wants to I don't make an issue about it.
Halloween is another one to ignore for me.

What forum rule have I broken?

I didn't know you have the authority to dictate what is posted on this forum.
How am I dictating what is posted?  You need to calm down, maybe meditate for a while.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #632 on: June 28, 2017, 03:42:01 PM »
For Christians who deny global warming, for example, that denialism is actually a part of their faith, since it generally goes hand in hand with belief in creationism over evolution, and/or the belief that God is in charge and therefore there's nothing to worry about, or something like that.

I'll pull this from my commentary post above to describe this:  The eighth charge is that by nature fallen mankind is deceitful

I can unequivocally say they there is not one verse in the Bible that would indicate the earth cannot warm, that God will keep us from overheating etc.  This is where I would take hard line stance along with Jim (not saying he'd agree with my stance, meaning I'm just going to state a fact that I can back up with Biblical texts like the one stated above), that a Christian who denies global warming as actually part of their faith has a perverted and untrue faith and is being misled by man or Satan.  God is in charge, and if anyone reads the Bible and thinks that it tells us there is nothing to worry about they never got past Genesis 1 when God said it was all "very good".  As soon as you go beyond that it all goes and stays to hell in a handbasket. 

So my point is that no doctrine supports that belief and the person holding it is misled and wrong.

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #633 on: June 28, 2017, 03:51:24 PM »
Lots of people create stuff they then weave into the Bible, but it is not in the Bible at all.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #634 on: June 28, 2017, 03:55:07 PM »
Lots of people create stuff they then weave into the Bible, but it is not in the Bible at all.
Yes, sadly, every Christian denomination. 

That's my point in these responses.  Just because someone tells you "I'm Christian and Halloween is bad." does not mean it's a supportable Christian view.  It means that person, who may be a twice a year "Christian" who attend on Easter and Christmas and has never even touched a Bible is spouting off stuff someone made up and they cannot teach you anything about. 

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #635 on: June 28, 2017, 05:19:47 PM »
I'd like a Hindu or Buddhist to prove to me that they achieve inner divinity.  It'd be the same unproveaable discussion we've been having here about Christian precepts.

Agreed, their position would be just as unprovable and unjustified as your own.

Lots of people create stuff they then weave into the Bible, but it is not in the Bible at all.
Yes, sadly, every Christian denomination. 

That's my point in these responses.  Just because someone tells you "I'm Christian and Halloween is bad." does not mean it's a supportable Christian view.  It means that person, who may be a twice a year "Christian" who attend on Easter and Christmas and has never even touched a Bible is spouting off stuff someone made up and they cannot teach you anything about. 

The thing I find interesting is that the first people to say someone else is not a real Christian are usually other Christians (the same goes for Hindus, Muslims, etc etc).

From the outside looking in we have no choice but to take someone at their word.
If someone tells me they are a Christian, I believe them.  Who am I to say what this person sincerely believes?

But you bring up an important point, which is why this entire thread I've tried to stay away from debating the beliefs of entire religions and instead focusing on what you or Jim or Overflow (or any other individual) might believe.  Because the truth is, regardless of how much we may want there to be a unified system of belief for each major religion, there simply is not.  People are individuals, and I'm not certain I've ever met two Christians, Muslims or Jews who shared every belief in their worldview.

The key questions to me have never changed:  What do you believe as an individual, and why do you feel you are justified in believing it to be true?
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 10:57:07 AM by MrDelane »

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #636 on: June 28, 2017, 05:24:40 PM »
I'd like a Hindu or Buddhist to prove to me that they achieve inner divinity.  It'd be the same unproveaable discussion we've been having here about Christian precepts.

Agreed, their position would be just as unprovable and unjustified as your own.

Lots of people create stuff they then weave into the Bible, but it is not in the Bible at all.
Yes, sadly, every Christian denomination. 

That's my point in these responses.  Just because someone tells you "I'm Christian and Halloween is bad." does not mean it's a supportable Christian view.  It means that person, who may be a twice a year "Christian" who attend on Easter and Christmas and has never even touched a Bible is spouting off stuff someone made up and they cannot teach you anything about. 

The thing I find interesting is that the first people to say someone else is not a Christian are usually other Christians (the same goes for Hindus, Muslims, etc etc).

From the outside looking in we have no choice but to take someone at their word.
If someone tells me they are a Christian, I believe them.  Who am I to say what this person sincerely believes?


+1.

But I don't expect people who think they are right and that their (version of the ) Bible is the correct one to admit there is a possibility that's not the case.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Books_of_the_Bible
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #637 on: June 28, 2017, 08:43:57 PM »
But I don't expect people who think they are right and that their (version of the ) Bible is the correct one to admit there is a possibility that's not the case.

I feel as if anyone should be willing to entertain the possibility that they might be wrong about anything.
The illusion of absolute certainty can be dangerous.


caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #638 on: June 29, 2017, 06:16:00 AM »
I'd like a Hindu or Buddhist to prove to me that they achieve inner divinity.  It'd be the same unproveaable discussion we've been having here about Christian precepts.

Agreed, their position would be just as unprovable and unjustified as your own.

Lots of people create stuff they then weave into the Bible, but it is not in the Bible at all.
Yes, sadly, every Christian denomination. 

That's my point in these responses.  Just because someone tells you "I'm Christian and Halloween is bad." does not mean it's a supportable Christian view.  It means that person, who may be a twice a year "Christian" who attend on Easter and Christmas and has never even touched a Bible is spouting off stuff someone made up and they cannot teach you anything about. 

The thing I find interesting is that the first people to say someone else is not a real Christian are usually other Christians (the same goes for Hindus, Muslims, etc etc).

From the outside looking in we have no choice but to take someone at their word.
If someone tells me they are a Christian, I believe them.  Who am I to say what this person sincerely believes?

But you bring up an important point, which is why this entire thread I've tried to stay away from debating the beliefs of entire religions and instead focusing on what you or Jim or Overflow (or any other individual) might believe.  Because the truth is, regardless of how much we may want there to be a unified system of belief for each major religion, there simply is not.  People are individuals, and I'm not certain I've ever met two Christians, Muslims or Jews who shared every belief in their worldview.

The key questions to me have never changed:  What do you believe as an individual, and why do you feel you are justified in believing it to be true?
As always sir, a very well thought out and put set of points.

So this post will cover a few things based on the last twenty four hours that go to these points and others that are a little older in the thread.

Meditation, Halloween, dancing, many others "dangerous" a "Christian" believes

So I thought quietly on this, dare I say "meditated"?!  oh the horror.  Let the Jevovah's Witnesses and those other article inspiring Christians cast the first stone in their perfect righteousness.

This is why I say a "real Christian", which I mean one who is heavily, heavily immersed in Scriptual study and is NOT basing their views on any trappings of a segment of Christianity views the fact that any of these things above and countless other is "dangerous" as ridculous and absurd.  Here is the logic behind that.

  • God tells us that he is the one true God
  • Therefore, I understand that nothing else can be a God any worship of things or thoughts otherwise makes those things my idol, which would be wrong
  • I also therefore know that despite the words of other men who claim meditation will take me to a higher realm of consciouness (maybe) leading to an inner divinity (utterly false because there is one God and I am not him)
  • Therefore the fear of meditation is utterly absurd because I know there is no truth to the claims.  It is all magic and mealy mouthed mumbo jumbo designed to cater to natural mans weak nature
  • Therefore I come on an internet forum and boldly say these people are not properly instructed Christans

As I said earlier, any of these "faith arguments" as misled or patently wrong gleanings from the Word of God (the degree depends on what the arguers intent is, meaning are they just deluding themselves or are they setting out to wrongly lead large groups of people down this flawed path).  None of the activities mentioned in this thread like mediation, Halloween, yoga or dancing are dangerous or sinful.  Other things not mentioned specifically here but regularly by Christian groups like drinking or secular music fall into the same bucket of analysis.  A well taught Christian understands that the danger in these OR ANY activity lies in how we partake or enjoy that activity, not in the activity itself.  What has then happened, perhaps with good intent, but with sinful results because of creates false teachers, is that church groups add these guardrails and say, "no drinking" as Baptists and many other do, or "no meditation, yoga, balloon animals or non-pure bred puppies" as others do.  Let us use drinking as an example.  Many people in the Bible drank.  Jesus actually turned water to wine, with the obvious intention and foreknowledge that what He just made people were going to (don't be too shocked) DRINK!  Where this becomes sinful is in the drunkenness because this leads one to other sinful actions in many cases.  The danger is in enjoying the drink too much, not in the drinking.

To try to drive the point home further of how these ridiculous stances on things like meditation fall apart and use something that I think must Christians would agree is usually a good thing and that is church attendance, and explain why attending church is dangerous, using some personal struggles I (and many men I know) have.  In my natural man I am attracted to women.  In our church are several women I find attractive.  At times, I will look at one of these women and have thoughts that are adulterous and/or covertous, both one of the Ten Biggies.  I my friends am a sinner, and just as Paul, I believe myself chief among sinners, so I struggle and pray for deliverance from these sins daily.  I can see progress over my lifetime in this regard, but I also understand this will likely never be fully conquered until I am with the Lord in paradise.  Therefore I am eternally grateful for the undeserved grace the Lord poured on me where he washes me clean of the sinful thoughts I have of the beautiful brunette in front of me in church that week.  A pastor who taught a marriage session at our church in April explained his same struggles to the men's group about this same thing and how his wife helps him avoid this sin.  Whenever they are walking in public and his wife sees a woman approaching that she knows her husband will find attractive they have agreed she will tell him "eyes right" so that he knows to avert his gaze and therefore avoid the temptation of the covetous or adulterous thought.  Obviously his wife is less able to do this when he is preaching at the pulpit, and if his struggles with these thoughts are like mine, it's pretty likely he does not suddenly not have them pop into his head when he spies someone in the congregation as he is speaking.  So along these arguments in this thread, I think I have clearly shown that by the same standard as mediation is dangerous, church attendance is clearly a pit of danger for a man (maybe women do this too, but I have no personal experience with that).  Should I now go about preaching to other Christians that church attendance is dangerous so that unchurched people see that as the message and not be challenged by "real Christians" on how stupid this is?  Going to church is not dangerous.  The sinful way I participate in that experience when my mind has these thoughts is the issue, but it is an issue with me, not with the act of church attendance.  For this reason, our church encourages (but does not enforce or scream about as "dangerous") appropriate dress for worship.  It is stated as "you should not distract from the purpose for which we are here, to worship our Lord, by drawing attention to yourself because of your dress".  We men understand that an attractive woman in a mini-skirt and tank top would distract us from paying attention to God in that space and instead draw us to other idols and get what that message means, but it is not codified into a stupid code claiming it is part of our faith.  This is why I say there is zero basis for belief systems that take it that far.

And this is why things like TULIP and other add-ons are exactly the same.  They are false man-made misleading interpretations that add extra thoughts into Scripture that are not there.  They take the word "all" and explain how to turn it into a subset of what the word "all" is.  It's now not "all", it is "some", then translated to mean "all of the some".  And it creates needless hostility which leads folks like Jim to state we are not spiritual brothers.  By the way, I absolutely consider myself a spiritual brother with Jim, and therefore I express my view and encouragement to him to step outside the literature and writings of TULIP to study how TULIP adds on man-made confines.

Another example as I was driving was seeing the "STOP TXT" sticker on someone's car.  A car is not dangerous in itself.  It is in how I enjoy or use the car that causes possible danger.  The car does not make me text, but if I text in the car I can hurt myself or others.  This is the logic that a Christian may use, again either wrongly or rightly.  A right interpretation of how we are taught to live is to not be a temptation to other.  So as I mentioned earlier our senior pastor does not drink at all, does not listen to any music on the radio and refrains from any other things.  But he does not wrongly take that to push to teach the congregation that these things are dangerous or wrong.  He understands that 99% of Christians will never study the Bible enough to discern truth for themselves through the Holy Spirit, they will instead rely on their leaders to guide them and do the work and spoon feed them.  He very clearly states that is wrong.  It is every Christians responsibility to be in the Word on a daily basis and constantly growing in understanding.  But because it is also his responsibility to provide godly leadership he refrains from those activities because he does not want someone to think because he does something and then they do it to excess and it leads them to sin, because they have not learned enough to go to God for strength to overcome those issues.  He does not someone to get drunk because thy say the pastor having a drink and thought, "it's OK to drink" which it is, but it's not OK to drink to the point of drunkenness.

Additional thoughts on TULIP/Calvinism

So unexpectedly I found out that a consultant on a project we are working on attends a church that is Calvinist (follows TULIP) in its origins, yet is part of quite a large group in his church that disavows the TULIP adds.  What I insert here is what he shared with me about why he feels that way, and some of his views.  I share just to offer it up as additional viewpoints for people to consider.

Kevin has spent about fifteen years in this church.   He was heatedly against the whole TULIP process as patently absurd when laid against Scripture and we spend about 30 minutes of him explaining each piece and how Calvanists contort themselves into pretzels to get there.  I have not studied it nearly as much as he because I'm not in that environment (and I'd imagine have to discuss with others in my church body regularly) so it is not an area I've spent a lot of time on.  He also has done a lot more study of exactly how Calvin's writing became TULIP and that is the part I wanted to provide brief notes on.  Again, I can't back any of this up, you'd have to go dig for the facts to see if they line up, but this is what was shared.

It began with the fact that if you examine Calvin's life a more truly evil man is hard to find.  The "pretzel" argument begins with the fact that to even take what Calvin created and turn it into a doctrine that is not abhorrent to a Christian you need to discount, ignore or just pretend vast pieces of his writing do not exist.  You cherry pick, but according to Kevin is seemed like your getting about five cherries out of ten tons of excrement.  It was as if you took Mein Kampf and used it find things to build a Christian worldview out of.  Again, no idea, as I've not examined this detailed aspect of the origins of this belief system, but this is what I was told at lunch yesterday.  So once Calvin decided to use his couple cherries to explain things in the Bible his ideas got a following but you'd need to ignore all the other garbage.

Kevin then proceeded down the same points I had made here.  That all of TULIP is based on adding things to constrain interpretation to get things to fit in the flower.  And the TULIPers in his congregation seem to have no other answer than what had been provided here by Jim "that's just the way it is folks", which was the same argument that led me away from other churches, because that's not a defendable position.  I was curious why he attended this church instead of finding one he felt was more Scripturally sound and it was around the personal impacts.  He was saved there, he met his wife there and they enjoy the people there.  And while there are clearly two groups, with the TULIP and non-TULIP people, there it is not a point of division (I guess they consider each other spiritual brothers in that church).

So, now back to my thoughts.


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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #639 on: June 29, 2017, 06:53:18 AM »
But I don't expect people who think they are right and that their (version of the ) Bible is the correct one to admit there is a possibility that's not the case.

I feel as if anyone should be willing to entertain the possibility that they might be wrong about anything.
The illusion of absolute certainty can be dangerous.

This, exactly. The assumption that I could be wrong about anything is the only belief that I adhere to "religiously".
Never. Give up.

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jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #640 on: June 29, 2017, 07:57:02 AM »
But I don't expect people who think they are right and that their (version of the ) Bible is the correct one to admit there is a possibility that's not the case.

I feel as if anyone should be willing to entertain the possibility that they might be wrong about anything.
The illusion of absolute certainty can be dangerous.

This, exactly. The assumption that I could be wrong about anything is the only belief that I adhere to "religiously".
They have a name for that: agnosticism

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #641 on: June 29, 2017, 08:05:34 AM »
But I don't expect people who think they are right and that their (version of the ) Bible is the correct one to admit there is a possibility that's not the case.

I feel as if anyone should be willing to entertain the possibility that they might be wrong about anything.
The illusion of absolute certainty can be dangerous.

This, exactly. The assumption that I could be wrong about anything is the only belief that I adhere to "religiously".
They have a name for that: agnosticism

Actually, it would be skepticism (in that it is a general approach to knowledge, not specifically focused on the question of theism alone).

Zamboni

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #642 on: June 29, 2017, 08:32:10 AM »
I admire your strong sense of morals and ethics. These things are very important.

With that in mind, it can be helpful to consider the outside perspective: the primary purpose of most major religions is to control the masses. For example, most major religions have some sort of fasting or "giving up" ritual at a certain time of year. These all happen to coincide with historical times of annual food shortage. In other words, tell the peasants that they are not starving, they are pious for giving up certain foods, and then they will be less likely to attack those in power. I do believe all religions started from a place of sincerity . . . ie Jesus trying to help people and do the right thing . . . but then they all got twisted into power plays by those in power.

I know you probably don't want to read what I just wrote, as you are struggling in more detail oriented space than my over-arching view of religion as the primary mechanism for controlling the masses. Any objective person can look at the US right now and see how the extremely wealthy are manipulating the fundamentalists politically. Okay, that is enough for now. Peace be with you.

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #643 on: June 29, 2017, 09:18:20 AM »
I admire your strong sense of morals and ethics. These things are very important.

With that in mind, it can be helpful to consider the outside perspective: the primary purpose of most major religions is to control the masses. For example, most major religions have some sort of fasting or "giving up" ritual at a certain time of year. These all happen to coincide with historical times of annual food shortage. In other words, tell the peasants that they are not starving, they are pious for giving up certain foods, and then they will be less likely to attack those in power. I do believe all religions started from a place of sincerity . . . ie Jesus trying to help people and do the right thing . . . but then they all got twisted into power plays by those in power.

I know you probably don't want to read what I just wrote, as you are struggling in more detail oriented space than my over-arching view of religion as the primary mechanism for controlling the masses. Any objective person can look at the US right now and see how the extremely wealthy are manipulating the fundamentalists politically. Okay, that is enough for now. Peace be with you.
+infinity

This is the problem with Christianity or any other belief system (I'm intentionally trying to differentiate here by avoiding "religion" as I want to respond using that term as the man-made trappings added to the belief system) is this perversion by man.

Per some of the other immediate posts, I had and still do always look at the possibility that I am wrong in my understanding, and as I gather new information it can shift.  What I would ask others to consider is that some of us have gotten to where we are in our belief system be heavy examination and study of many things.  Therefore after decades of more and more validation I am very, very unlikely to be swayed in any major way because I have looked at so many facets of religion, and most specifically the Christian belief system which I believe is true.  Obviously my differing point with this particular post is that Jesus is God for me, not just a guy with good intentions and doing cool stuff like Mohammed or Gandhi, and I do not believe he was out to set up some system because God needs no system.  I am not convicted of my faith and confident in my understanding of the Word of God because I was brainwashed into thinking the way I do, I got there with a ton of hard work and skepticism.  If I was brainwashed I'd be more likely to take the route of the other believer here lately and say "I don't have time for that hogwash" when examining mediation or other faiths and reading books like I shared with you from skeptics who test the faith.  I'd have no interest in understanding if Islam is better than Christianity, or if Judaism is better than Islam, etc. but over time I've taken a look at every thing in my journey.  Some are just very easy to dismiss because of the tracing paper they are written on that blows apart with a simple breath, so I did not spend any time on that.  Not all of us are doing this without an intelligent assessment of the alternatives.

Your points you shared are exactly the issue when you wrap a belief system in a religious system.  The belief system of Christianity is not works based at all, while all other systems are.  This is because man feels they need control and can DO something to make a deity happy.  So they invent things to do, and those in power use them to make money, and that gives those who see that process for what it is, and IT IS a way to benefit some group, completely proper ammunition to call the system corrupt.  Because it is.  This is why I get exasperated at time with these types of discussions, because God's message is so simple and pure and the gift freely given, that people being kept away because they can't stomach all the fake trappings just saddens me.  One of my earliest questions to my priest (certainly in grade school) was what gives about eating fish on Fridays during Lent.  No answer that even a six year old could not call stupid.  Show me where God says to do that.  He does not.  But to help the fishing industry this dumb work was inserted into Catholic doctrine.  I get to enjoy getting berated by my parents for several weeks a year about this , and I believe in Christ and it wears on me.  How is someone who is new in the faith, questions it, is told some totally non-supportable Scriptural references that do not say or point to that at all going to deal with it?  They are not, and so people come and go like a revolving door, because they are barred from the message.  It's just like the Hindu belief that bathing in the confluence of the Ganges and another river have powers, so millions flock there, merchants take advantage and you have another stupid work that does nothing but benefit pieces of the population to the detriment of others (controlling the masses). 

I could go on for five hundred pages.  But you are totally right that the primary purpose of any religion is to exercise control with rabbinical nonsense, Catholic claims of grace or other benefits conferred through sacraments that have no saving or other power other than to get you to plunk down a few bucks in the church coffers for your healing mass, or get all fancied up for confirmation because until then, you were only partially there, or buying prayer rugs and other things to perform the ritual five times a day, or bathing in this river or letting your arm atrophy in this pose to show your love for some deity, or to have to make a pilgrimage somewhere to receive some benefit.  I get why skeptics look at all this and cry foul, because it is.  It has virtually nothing to do with belief and everything to do with manipulation. 

I would love for your message to get more widely clarified to the masses that all religious systems need to be avoided because I feel that would clear the pathway for Christianity, simply and directly taught to expand and reach those who are searching and God is calling, versus people getting turned away because they end up in a charismatic church where people claim for be speaking in tongues and have a hard time accepting that as real (because its not, that gift is no longer in effect Biblically) and they go away thinking it is all circus theatrics and never get to know God as their Savior it's really a shame.  It is honestly what I feel is one of the biggest problems of why so people who believe in God is and stays as a fraction of the population because it is all so obscured by the attempts to make it entertaining, control people, swindle people.  Anything I can do to get rid of all of that I will do.  So yes, do I have a deep disdain for denominations, absolutely I do.  They are what is most wrong with Christianity. 
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 09:19:57 AM by caracarn »

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #644 on: June 29, 2017, 09:23:23 AM »
Caracarn, I would like to know your thoughts on this lecture:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVoV3z9ZzXc
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #645 on: June 29, 2017, 09:29:46 AM »
Caracarn, I would like to know your thoughts on this lecture:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVoV3z9ZzXc
I see it's quite long, so I will try to view over the next few weeks, but will certainly give it a look and respond to you.

From the initial comments I see below it seems to be an attack based on some vacuous points (if the first couple comments are accurate, I'm referring to the hang up of Hebrews giving their child a Greek name, as an example).  I'm assuming there is something more there, but I am intrigued by the fact that this man seems to be an ex-priest so he has some theological training, albeit in a Catholic seminary more likely (most other denominations do not use the term priest), however since Catholicism and it's unbackable claims is what drove me to skepticism in the first place I'm not sure whatever he has to say will have a lot of new insight to me, but I'll let you know what I think.  Thanks!

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #646 on: June 29, 2017, 09:33:43 AM »
Caracarn, I would like to know your thoughts on this lecture:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVoV3z9ZzXc
I see it's quite long, so I will try to view over the next few weeks, but will certainly give it a look and respond to you.

From the initial comments I see below it seems to be an attack based on some vacuous points (if the first couple comments are accurate, I'm referring to the hang up of Hebrews giving their child a Greek name, as an example).  I'm assuming there is something more there, but I am intrigued by the fact that this man seems to be an ex-priest so he has some theological training, albeit in a Catholic seminary more likely (most other denominations do not use the term priest), however since Catholicism and it's unbackable claims is what drove me to skepticism in the first place I'm not sure whatever he has to say will have a lot of new insight to me, but I'll let you know what I think.  Thanks!

Yes, he was a priest and studied theology his entire life.
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #647 on: June 29, 2017, 10:23:08 AM »
Per some of the other immediate posts, I had and still do always look at the possibility that I am wrong in my understanding, and as I gather new information it can shift.  What I would ask others to consider is that some of us have gotten to where we are in our belief system be heavy examination and study of many things.  Therefore after decades of more and more validation I am very, very unlikely to be swayed in any major way because I have looked at so many facets of religion, and most specifically the Christian belief system which I believe is true.

Just to clarify - my comment was intended only as a counterpoint to Kris's comment that she does not expect believers to admit they might be wrong.  I was not trying to indirectly accuse you of being close minded or unwilling to entertain that you might be mistaken (and I'm not saying you were saying that either, just wanted to make sure my intentions were clear on that).

That said, I do have a difficult time when I hear devout believers say that they approached their beliefs with true skepticism. Because after decades of study myself I have yet to find any evidence that would convince me of the divinity of Jesus, much less the existence of a deity.  I do not rule out the possibility of it, but I simply do not see how anyone is rationally justified in holding either belief (which is why they must rely on faith). 

Then again, I know many believers who have a difficult time accepting the idea than any non-believers actually did sincerely believe at one point.  So I suppose we can all be victims of the 'no true Scotsman' approach, regardless from which side we might begin.

I should probably work harder to take believers at their word when they claim to have been skeptics, much like I take them at their word when they tell me they are believers, and much like I would expect them to accept a nonbeliever who claims to have once believed.

However, I can't help but think that if there truly were evidence for such beliefs we would have no need for the term 'faith.'  Claims that hold up to true skepticism do not need faith.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #648 on: June 29, 2017, 10:59:09 AM »
As always sir, a very well thought out and put set of points.

Thank you.

I actually just edited my original post because I realized I had accidentally attributed your words to Zoltani in that first block (which then you and Kris quoted).

Sorry about that.

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #649 on: June 29, 2017, 11:16:51 AM »
caracarn,

You stated in your post "Christianity is not works based at all", and this is true.  But you have stated that man must satisfy a condition (faith) to become saved, correct me if I'm wrong.  This is basically just a new law with easier conditions.   It is a new works scheme.  It also can't be true because scripture will not allow it.  It permits one to boast that they have made better decisions than the next guy.  If the atonement is hypothetically universal, than person's merit becomes the difference between saved and lost.  Synergism is at the core of false religion.  It is a belief that sincere religious efforts merit reward.  For a person to believe this means they have never submitted themselves to the righteousness of the gospel, gospel being the doctrines of salvation.

I am not saying salvation happens without faith.  I am saying faith is the evidence, not the cause of salvation, it is the gift of God.  Part of saving belief is the truth that man brings no merit to the table.  Jesus alone fulfilled the conditions of the law.  Alone meaning without the added merit of sinners.  You can't mix ANY works, no matter how slight, and still have it be grace.  Grace alone is the gospel.  This is not a side issue that can be agreeably disagreed with, it is essential doctrine, meaning without agreement on this point I can't greet a so called Christian as a brother, since they have another gospel.