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In the line of fire

Discussion in 'Everything Chat' started by timtheblue, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. timtheblue Distinguished Member

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    Ok I've thought about doing this thread for a while and after seeing a bit of the chat in-game today I decided to go ahead.

    I've noticed that every once in a while the topic of the Bible and Christianity comes up, with typically negative feelings being expressed. I would like to start an intelligent discussion, not a flame war, about what we all think is good/bad about the Bible, Christianity, and other religions.

    Today's concerns were that the Bible is a book of hate, that it is impossible to perform perfect Biblical behavior, and that no good God would punish anyone eternally.

    -Book of hate - I can understand why this would be said when one is reading the Old Testament (OT). It is hard to accept that God would tell any one person to declare war on and completely eradicate another sovereign nation of people, including their women and children. It becomes apparent upon reading that many of the ancient Israelites felt similarly; on many occasions they failed to kill the women, or even entire populations, and backed down entirely from peoples who specifically surrendered or asked for mercy. They often stayed their hand if someone helped them, as in the case of Rahab. The reason given in the Bible for such a command from God was that He wanted the Israelites to control that particular land, within those particular boundaries, and wanted them to remain unaffected by the syncretism inevitable in allowing the other nations to remain nearby. Note that the command was not to conquer the entire earth through genocide, but to gain and protect that one land.
    The only reason given why they should follow His command was essentially "I am your Father, and this is what I want for you." This, as with many other points in the Bible is a 'take it or leave it' kind of thing. ie: if you can't accept it, no one can make you. It is however a Christians duty to try and convince others in a civil, intelligent manner.
    In the New Testament you see not the command to war and claim land, but one to love everyone, give to those who do not deserve relief, who cannot repay you, and to do your best to live up to Christ's teachings, not to fear every moment whether you've fully succeeded.

    Impossible to do everything said in the Bible- I like this comment because its actually Biblically accurate! The laws of the OT were given to Israel precisely to prove that (accepting that these laws are needful to be followed to please God and sustain life) no man can actually keep them all. The point of Christ's coming was to fulfill those laws through a greater sacrifice and remove the need for us to try to do things we can never accomplish. One thing we can do as humans though is to believe something and hold on to it with all our thoughts, emotions and strength, and share it with others. That's all Jesus asked for.

    Eternal Hell- this one is tough for anyone to get. If He is all powerful, why can't he make us good enough to be with him? Or why would He set us up to do things that are just going to get us killed or punished? How can a God of love sentence someone to eternal suffering?
    The theological answer is that God is pure and holy. His mere presence causes the burning destruction of anything less than holy, hence His apparent invisibility to a sinful world. The soul is an eternal component of being. Thus by His very nature any impure soul must be destroyed and cast away from His presence, or else His nature would have to become less than pure, which would violate the law of non-contradiction (ie: the Pure God is impure). If God and the soul are both eternal, then one who has made itself impure in life can never join a pure God in second life.
    The less theological answer, and perhaps no less satisfying to the skeptical mind, is that God is the author of everything, giving each being its place in the story, yet with their own free will to take that place, and as such He gets to decide where everyone ends up, just like the author of a book, whose characters cannot argue with his decisions.

    Well I hope this is interesting to someone, and I look forward to reading civil replies. Maybe we can all understand a little more! :D
  2. brandonian9 Distinguished Member

    *clap clap clap*
    Although this morning when i was on with you guys i was too busy spouting out japanese to hear all this chit-chat all i said in the middle of me saying random japanese was : Im christian but no deeply religous and continued with the japanese... Lol
  3. TheGoodDoctor373 Distinguished Member

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    We're treading on dangerous ground...
  4. PurelySatanic SOS Brigade Leader

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    I don't care what anybody believes in - as long as it promotes actions that do not harm others.

    You can't prove that any god exists, and by that, they're all equally likely to be real.

    For me, I like Shinto because it promotes the idea that every object has a spirit and it should be treated with respect. Albeit, that doesn't mean I believe in Shinto itself.
  5. DoctorNewburg Distinguished Member

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    I bet that's thiiiiiis close to turning into religion-racism..
  6. ECMBlacklite Redstone Engineer

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    Good things about religion:
    -It creates a loving community among people who might never have meet each other
    -It gives people hope
    -Teaches good morals

    Bad things:
    -It might make people do things just because that is what their religion says to do (not because they actually want to do it)
    -It creates arguements over real/not real and which one is right
    -And, if you're me, it doesn't exist. But it definitely has a lot of good things about it.
  7. SakabaShogun ಥ_ಥ

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    I feel the Book of Eli made a pretty good point of it. In a corrupted man's hands, religion is not a belief, but a weapon. One of the most powerful weapons man has ever created. And that honestly scares me. The fact that a book can cause nations to rise or fall.
  8. TheGoodDoctor373 Distinguished Member

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    religion isn't a race
  9. ECMBlacklite Redstone Engineer

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    Yea, the problem starts when people use 'that is what my religion says to do' as a reasonto do things.
  10. SakabaShogun ಥ_ಥ

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    I prefer the "This is actually what is morally right, and not what a 2000 year old book told me to do" approach to life.
  11. waffle027 Distinguished Member

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    i find that more and more people are using religion as a fall back for their misdeeds.(ie: i drank and did naughty things with this "christian" girl at my school, it was fine until one her friends said something and immediately she blamed it on, and i qoute, "the devils influence". she then proceeded to make me into the bad guy when it was actually her idea, even though everyone already knew it was(thank you facebook) and i was promptly called in to talk to her youth pastor, and i then promptly told said youth pastor exactly what she had done AND the facebook messages to accompany it. i then told him to shove that religious crap up his ass and proceeded out the door while the look of shock was still fresh on their faces. the end.
  12. McChickenEX Distinguished Member

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    Ahhhhhhhh I have something to say, but it will just start a HUGH crapshack of fights so ill save my thoughts for a better time. [OMG
    NO CAPS RO GRAMER ERORS] awww crap
  13. andman1 Distinguished Member

    What gets me is when your looking at the world in geoligic and biblical terms. Its 6000 in the bible, but hundreds of millions in geolegy?
  14. SakabaShogun ಥ_ಥ

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    I hate you so much.
    This is why:
    You asked for it.

    And then you take a look at who has more evidence for their claims, and shit gets crazy. Oh wait, no it doesn't.
  15. Dan_the_man85 Exalted Member

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    Everything I say in the rest of this post is not meant to insult or emotional harm people becuase of their beliefs, I'm just explaining my side of the story from the Christian-Lutheran religious viewpoint.

    About the book of hate part, no. It's not. The Bible is a book about what the Christian religion believes. I'd agree it isn't a happy book, but from a Christian viewpoint the world is quite crapped up.

    About the impossible to be perfect part, yes. No one in the world is perfect, not even newborns. "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." (Psalm 51:5). Once the first sin was committed by Adam and Eve by eating from the tree they weren't supposed to, sin was in everyone.

    About God eternally punishing people, yes, I believe he does. I kind of have a connection with this. Say you are extremely rich, like 100x Bill Gates rich, and fair in everything you do. Now, you have a group of 10 people that are supposed to do something for you, and if they do it, they will receive $10 million. 5 of the people work diligently to get it done, which they do, and they receive their money. The other five have a different philosophy. They think because you are so rich that you'll give them money anyway. And when the time comes, and it's not finished, they don't receive their pay.
    This is the same as what God does, if you believe in what he says and are sorry for your sins, you be brought to heaven. And if you don't believe and do whatever the hell you want in your life, and still get in to heaven, you're wrong.
    This goes for anything. If you ask people to do something, and one does and one doesn't, who will you reward?

    What the old testament about is mainly the world preparing for the coming of Jesus Christ. And about the land, God's people lived there, but then they strayed away from God, and he wanted them to come back to them, so he punished them. With them being taken over, plagues, and other things. Then they came back to God, and they fought their way out and got that land back. They attacked other nations as God directed them, mainly because the nation being attacked was strongly against God.
    Well said. I agree with everything you said. And to add to that, you don't go to a "Purgatory" and have to wait to get out. You either go to heaven or hell. Simple as that.
    VERY well said. I'm not sure how to word that better.
    I think people just get too caught up in the "OMG WE"RE TALKING ABOUT RELIGiON!! [Insert random rage and flaming]." But what Tim said is good, that he wants a civil discussion.
    I do care what people believe in, but it's all about respect. Because you believe in what Shinto says, I'm not going to go all "You're so dumb. That's totally wrong." rage on you. I respect that you chose that to believe. And I think that's how it should be.

    And yeah, no existence of any god can be proven, which is why religious battles will continue until one religion goes complete genocide and kills everyone not in that religion. Which will never happen.
    No, just no.

    Religion is a choice, race is not. If you diss religion, it's a opinion vs. Opinion. Where as if you diss someone's race, you are dissing something that they are. They have no control over their race, religion you can control what you believe. Disagreeing with religion is not wrong in anyway. It's your opinion of someone else's belief. You believe what you want, I'll believe what you want. Also, this is not saying that if you believe/don't believe in a certain religion you're an idiot, dumb, etc. This is a civil discussion on religious beliefs.
    I have only one thing to disagree with in this post. Which is what's colored in red. People still have personal rules for themselves. So, if their religion tells them to do something that goes against what they think is right, they won't do it. And their choice influences how they are seen by their God/leader possibly.
    For example, if you believed in a religion, and then a new law was added that you needed to kill people. Would you? Odds are no, because you think that killing is wrong. Kind of a far-fetched example but it's relatable.
    I have this thinking, "Religion is an amazing gift, but when you use it wrongly, it's a terrible curse." I would say that religion is more of a belief than a weapon. Because if it's not a belief, then what's there to believe? But I would agree that it is the most powerful weapon ever. I'd like to have a count. What percent of wars started because of something with religion?
    I think that it's not so much what ECM said, but rather "I'm right, you're wrong, and I'll show you I'm right by killing you."
    And normally Saka, a person's morals are normally what their religion teaches.
    Yeah, that's the completely wrong use of religion, or in her case "religion."
    That's because science is wrong, in my opinion. The thing about the Big Bang Theory is:
    1. Where did the thing that exploded come from?
    2. I think that there is no way in HELL that our extremely complex world and universe could spring from a simple "bang." Just look up things about atoms. Enough amazing stuff is there that you wonder how it was made by chance and it all works.
    I'm going to say this. And I don't mean it to be rude or mean, but rather for your benefit. PLEASE, use at least some spelling and grammar. I'm glad you didn't post your thoughts because, well, I think you would've made it look very dumb and untrustable explaining your beliefs with no spelling and grammar.

    So I ask, and I think almost everyone here will agree, please, check over your post before you submit and use at least some grammar and spelling you we don't think a monkey wrote this post. If you really need to, copy you post and put it into Word and use spell check, something. Please, it's for you own good.
  16. adurlene Banned

    "Respect others views, yet have them respect you"
  17. TheGoodDoctor373 Distinguished Member

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    How about we talk about abortion next! Or whether gays can get married!
  18. andman1 Distinguished Member

    good call
  19. ECMBlacklite Redstone Engineer

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    This is a real story:
    I was doing some volunteer work through a church. I'm atheist, but it was the only way I could do it. So, after me and some others finished making some lunches for a soup kitchen we were going to work at the next day, the person in charge brought us together and said, "We are not doing this because we are nice people. We're doing it because Jesus said that in order to go to heaven we have to do stuff like this."
    This honestly surprised me. If you are just doing it because you think you have to, it really doesn't prove that you are a good person and deserve to go to 'heaven'.
  20. SakabaShogun ಥ_ಥ

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    I'm pro-choice, and pro-gay-marriage.
    If we outlaw abortions, it'd only get worse. Would you rather the woman get an abortion from a real, licensed medical professional, or a "real," "licensed" back alley dealer.
    As for marriage, who are we to say who gets married?
    I read a nice little thing before. I'll do my best to quote it:
    "I had to suffer through the traumatic even of teaching my 7 year old son about gay marriage because his uncle his gay. It went something like this:
    'Mom, why does Uncle Pete always go everywhere with Paul?'
    'Because they love each other the same way mommy and daddy do.'
    'Oh. Ok. Can I have another biscuit?'
    As you can see, we are scarred by this event, and would like that it not have to happen again."

    @ECM (Because you posted while I was typing this) I agree. If you do something for someone so you can gain something, it's selfish. If their purpose for helping people is so they can be accepted to an eternal "paradise," then they're bad people in my eyes.
    If you do good because you like doing good, or you feel it's the right thing to do, great! that's good!

    Little anecdote:
    I was on my way to Target one day to buy a new pair of headphones (my current ones worked, but were getting old, so I felt like upgrading)
    On my way in a man asked me for some spare change. Now, all I had on me was some twenties which were just enough to buy the headphones.
    I stopped and thought to myself: "This man, out here, clearly needs this money. I don't need these headphones. Mine work fine, this was just going to be a treat for myself." I told the man I didn't have any spare change to give him. But I took out a twenty and handed him that instead.
    I know there is the stereotype of homeless people just blowing it on drugs or alcohol, but so what. That man needed the money more than me.

    Oh, I told my mom about it when I got home. She just yelled at me. I was very upset with her that day.

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