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Thread: Religion Thread

  1. #1
    Everyday is Exactly the Same The Dude's Avatar
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    Religion Thread

    Starting this again because it was good before. A place for Christians, Muslims, Buddhists or Atheists or Agnostic to discuss things about God/Allah/Jesus/Buddha etc etc...

    I've never been very Religious but have recently started reading the bible for the sake of it. I'm quite scared of how much alcohol I drink and am thinking of AA meetings which I have attended once with my uncle years ago. Sorry, it feels like I'm blurring the lines between this and the drunk posting thread.... Will stop now.

    I'm not convinced either way. I haven't found Jesus, I'm just trying to clear my head and I do feel bad sometimes. A lot of what the bible says is common sense anyway e.g. thou shall not murder. The old Testament is very difficult for me to understand.

    I don't so much want to be a good Christian, just a good person.

  2. #2
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    My mom tried to make religion a regular part of our lives when I was a kid but it never quite stuck. We'd only go sporadically, bounce from church to church and then move away so eventually she gave up trying. I didn't go again for a good 10 years until me and my ex were living with her parents. The whole family would go on Sunday mornings and the wife would shoot me death stares the whole time for dozing off repeatedly while sitting there.

    I just never really had any interest in religion and still don't. It's one of those things where people can believe in whatever they want and I'd never try to tell them otherwise. I'm not even completely sure what I believe in but tend to fall in that 'we only get one shot at this and nothing comes after death so make the most of it' category.

  3. #3
    LOP Freebirds Buddy Roberts SirSam's Avatar
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    As you guys know I am a Christian, essentially that means I believe that God created this world and created humans in his image to look after it however we chose to disobey him and live in a way that may seem to satisfy us temporarily but ultimately screws up this world. As a result of this God is justifiably angry but instead of destroying his creation and stating again he loves us and offers us a second chance that will come when he creates a new Earth (also called heaven). To be welcomed into the new creation we just have to trust that the penalty for our disobedience has been paid by God himself when Jesus died on the cross in our place, the innocent sacrifice in place of us.

    I will be the first to agree that on paper that sounds somewhat imaginative however what it comes down to for me is the life of Jesus who came to this world, claimed to be God in human form and showed it through numerous signs that are recorded in the gospels and ultimately when he rose from the dead. Historically he is one of the most well recorded ancient figures and is actually the historical figure we have the most recorded sources for.

    Jesus puts forward a radical ideology that it is not about what you do, it is why Christianity isn't a true religion because it isn't about works, it isn't about trying to live a life where good outweighs your bad. Christianity is about realising that you will never be perfect, ultimately you will hurt people around you and you will cause harm to others, however you do not need to dwell on that, you don't need to atone for that because the payment has already been made. As that saying goes:

    "God so loved the world that he sent his one and only son so that whoever believes in him will never perish but have eternal life".

    That is not a great explanation of Christianity, I could probably find a much more slick Youtube video but I thought I'd lay it out myself to start with. There are lots of other things I think contribute it, there are lots of proofs for Jesus I would be happy to talk about, evidence for the reliability of the bible, philosophoical arguments about why Christianity makes sense too and my own personal experience that tell me why Christian love and forgiveness are what make relationships work. But this is a starting point.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I'm not going to wade too far into this because it seemed I closed down a bit more than opened up the last thread, but I did just want to add that this....

    Quote Originally Posted by SirSam View Post
    Jesus puts forward a radical ideology that it is not about what you do, it is why Christianity isn't a true religion because it isn't about works,
    .... is a far less settled point than that. There's plenty of Christians who believe "You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone", to quote James 2:24.

    There's actually plenty of debate within Christian churches when you get down to it, about pretty much all aspects of faith. Some even see Jesus more as a prophet rather than as truly divine, much more like the way Islam treats their prophets.

    And with that I'll step back, to make sure I don't shut things down again....

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  5. #5
    LOP Freebirds Buddy Roberts SirSam's Avatar
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    James is an interesting book that talks a lot about the balance of faith v works. What it concludes says is that faith without works is not true faith, as in if someone says they believe in something but it doesn't actually change how they live you have grounds to question their faith. James is bringing this up in the context of favouritism being shown in the church to rich people and he is calling them out on the emptiness of their faith given they are still acting as the rest of the world does, not as Jesus teachings say, which is to look after the poor and needy.

    That kind of dichotomy of people's true faith being shown in their actions isn't exclusive to James either, it similar to what happened in old testament books like Amos where the leaders of society would proclaim in the temple they were following God but then force the poor into slavery and Amos called them out on it.

    Or a different take on it in the Psalms (Psalm 51:16-17)
    "For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
    The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise"

    Or even Jesus himself who when asked by a rich man what it takes to follow him said that the man needs to "sell everything".

    To take it back to that specific verse, it does say a man is made righteous by works however it comes off a larger section that is talking about what it truly means to have faith in Jesus and the conclusion is that the faith is shown through works so you could say that you know someone is shown to be righteous by works.

    There are of course debates particularly between Protestant and Catholic doctrine over the role of works or faith in salvation however a large part of that comes out of the Catholic doctrine that the Papalcy has authority over the scriptures whereas Protestant doctrine says that scripture is the ultimate authority.

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    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Well, again.... some protestants think that. Though Anglicans and Methodists are more likely to accept other evidences as well as the faith in a way that some other churches won't.

    That's the only point I was making, really. It's not that I think you're wrong, so much as when you say 'Christianity is about' I just felt the need to say that there's a lot of contention about just what Christianity is about even amongst believers, let alone non-believers. Even just in Protestantism, it's endlessly complex. And Christianity isn't alone in that either - I don't know a lot about every religion, but every religion I do know something about has the same kind of wrangling.

    It's a huge part of the reason why I have an interest, even a conception of the divine when I look at the Universe, but why I struggle with organised religion and their texts.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  7. #7
    Everyday is Exactly the Same The Dude's Avatar
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    What do people feel about mother Nature? or just looking after earth?

    A lot of that hippie crap is common sense. The world won't last forever, and we need to look after it. It's well known by lots of people that there definitely is climate change. Maybe it was God?? Maybe that Noah's ark stuff will become a reality because we've fucked up so bad.

  8. #8
    What is the distance between god and man? god always has had to have a mediator. Moses and Jesus are two...isn't he out of touch just a bit?....You say god created a tree of knowledge of good and evil...he put a trap there and then mankind ate of it, and then to say he was "justifiably angry" is wrong on it's face....

    If you love someone, you don't allow temptation period...You don't create it, being all-knowing.


    Imagine this....I know the future...I have a wife who doesn't know right from wrong...so then, knowing the future and knowing she will choose wrong, am so egotistical that I create a Val Venis to tempt her with forbidden fruit...I do this because I'm so appalled something infinitely smaller than me would ever choose something that would hurt my fragile ego.

    She eats of his fruit which happens to also be THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL....which means she didn't have knowledge of good and evil BEFORE she did it..

    Then I get so pissed that she fell in my trap that I send my Son who is me to go and die because she fell in my trap..


    This myth is illogical....

    Now, I write that to the literalist who expects everyone to believe their personal experience...those are the type of religious ppl I've met. However, I don't think that represents the Christians here...I think Christianity can be a tool to search for life after death, meaning, other things.


    It's the people who think those who disagree with them about things that can't be proven will burn forever who bring out a passion in me for disagreance. Being from the south, I've met a lot of ppl like that. From my understanding though, that's only a minority of Christians.
    .

    Myself...I love the Bible if it's a shovel to dig for something more....but never as the something more

    One thing I do for my job is finding a "root cause" for human error...if there's something in the environment that causes a human to make a mistake, I remove it from the environment...
    Last edited by Prime Time; 1 Week Ago at 06:24 AM.

  9. #9
    LOP Freebirds Buddy Roberts SirSam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Button View Post
    It's the people who think those who disagree with them about things that can't be proven will burn forever who bring out a passion in me for disagreance. Being from the south, I've met a lot of ppl like that. From my understanding though, that's only a minority of Christians.
    I'd love to talk more about what you said in the first half but I really should be writing something else right now so I will come back to it however this struck me because it is something that has been banging around my mind for a while.

    One of the interesting things is how certain a lot of people seem to be about hell being fire and brimstone however that image comes mostly from the book of Revelation which is the psychedelic vision of a dehydrated and malnourished man, isolated on an island and standing on death's door. To me that book, aside from the letters at the start directly addressing specific churches, is almost entirely symbolic and the attempt of this guy trying to communicate this cosmic vision he can barely even comprehend himself. It is far more like a blockbuster movie than a documentary if that analogy makes sense.

    The most clear thing I can garner from the bible's very varying passages about hell is that it primarily is a place without God and without his influence. When I try to imagine that to me it is a place that feels completely cold and devoid of warmth and community, quite the opposite to the fire and pitchforks that many paint it as.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Sam, I do love the thinking there about the way to interpret Revelations, genuinely I do. But I have the feeling that's just opening up so many cans of worms at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Button View Post
    If you love someone, you don't allow temptation period...You don't create it, being all-knowing.
    I don't know if I'd phrase it all the way Button has but this is pretty close to what I'm thinking. It's very difficult to square God being omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent all at the same time, because all the arguments about free will and other beings calling evil in the world can always be rebutted with... yes, but it didn't have to be that way. With the omni-God, you've got a situation not only where God allows all the bad stuff to happen but one in which the conditions for evil were brought into the world with a full knowledge of the consequences by God in the first place, when it was implicitly always possible to produce something completely different.

    The answer I usually hear to this is something like 'God works in mysterious ways' or 'don't presume to know God's plan' which might satisfy someone who already believes, but if you're coming to it looking for answers is pretty unsatisfying.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 1 Week Ago at 08:28 AM.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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