Official Christian Thread!

Posted:
in PoliticalOutsider edited January 2014
This is the Christian thread, for discussion about Christianity...



First, definitions =>



Christianity (from the Greek word Xριστός, Khristos, "Christ", literally "anointed one") is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. Christianity comprises three major branches: Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy (which parted ways with Catholicism in 1054 A.D.) and Protestantism (which came into existence during the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century). Protestantism is further divided into smaller groups called denominations. Christians believe Jesus is the son of God, God having become man and the savior of humanity. Christians, therefore, commonly refer to Jesus as Christ or Messiah.

(courtesy of Wikipedia)







Next, our Creed =>



We Christians believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we have more than 2.2 billion followers worldwide, and Christianity represents about a quarter to a third of the world's population and is the world's largest religion. Our dogma advances belief in the Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is the essential doctrine of Christianity. The main grouping of Christianity involves various and separate groups all under a central belief; these include Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant beliefs. All believers in Christianity follow a Bible that advances our faith...



More to come...
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Comments

  • kingofsomewherehotkingofsomewherehot Posts: 3,989member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Camp David View Post


    This is the Christian thread, for discussion about Christianity...





    We Christians believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we have more than 2.2 billion followers worldwide, and Christianity represents about a quarter to a third of the world's population and is the world's largest religion. Our dogma advances belief in the Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is the essential doctrine of Christianity. The main grouping of Christianity involves various and separate groups all under a central belief; these include Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant beliefs. All believers in Christianity follow a Bible that advances our faith...



    More to come...





    Discussion... ok.



    WHY do you believe that?... what leads you to believe these things?



    I'm honestly trying not to attack here... but I'd really like to know WHY people believe these things.
  • segoviussegovius Posts: 9,872member
    Glad you decided to start this Camp David! Thanks!



    I'd like to share something I love in the Bible - in fact in all literature I am familiar with so far: the genius that is the Gospel of St John.



    This Gospel is very different from the Synoptics and many secular academics believe to to be an eyewitness account. Perhaps for this reason the Gospel seems to have a unique power.



    One thing that always struck me about John is that in addition to his record of Christ's life he is actually very likely to be the first ever 'novelist'.



    I don't mean this in the sense that he was writing creatively or writing fiction - rather that he uses stylistic approaches which are strangely modern and were unknown in writing before that time.....certainly none of the other Gospels are structured in this way. He is truly an unsung innovator and a genius on this level alone.



    As an example of what I mean look at John 13:30. Judas has just been identified as the betrayer. John deals with this like this:



    Quote:

    As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out.



    And it was night.



    Two things here - the second sentence is very short and starts with 'and' - it is almost poetry and it consciously echoes and underlines the first. This had not been done before - traditionally the information that it was night-time would have been just information in the general story which would have taken the form:



    "Jesus did this and then he did that and then this happened." This is the form of narrative from the OT and the Greeks - John is making a massive departure here.



    Secondly - and this is also new afaik - he is equating the night with Judas' soul or deeds.



    This is a sort of simile that leads scholars to suppose that John may be an eyewitness because the idea of metaphor here is more or less unknown in this form (there is much "your lips are like fruit" etc but this is different) and the assumption is that John learned this from Jesus himself as textual analysis can be read to suggest that he was a master of this practice in his parables though obviously, he did not write anything like John as far as we know.



    John's Gospel really is a beautiful book and many-layered.
  • brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by segovius View Post


    This Gospel is very different from the Synoptics and many secular academics believe to to be an eyewitness account. Perhaps for this reason the Gospel seems to have a unique power.



    I'd love to see a reference to that. Most academics see John as obviously the latest gospel, furthest from the time of jesus, let alone an eyewitness account. I don't think anyone but a literalist who believes John the apostle wrote it would say it could possibly be an eyewitness account.



    And actualy im surprised that you like John, segovius, because that's the most "theologically correct" of the gospels, and the favorite of literalists and contemporary conservative Christians. It's clear that it was written after some of the Christian theology had developed, unlike the earlier ones which tend to have some uncomfortable points in them.



    I'm a Mark person myself - widely regarded as the closest to the time of Jesus (though still decades later), very simple and without most of the theological BS of John. And the ending is great, with its creepy and abrupt original ending and then the crazy added ending with the stuff about speaking in tongues.
  • segoviussegovius Posts: 9,872member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    I'd love to see a reference to that. Most academics see John as obviously the latest gospel, furthest from the time of jesus, let alone an eyewitness account. I don't think anyone but a literalist who believes John the apostle wrote it would say it could possibly be an eyewitness account.



    And actualy im surprised that you like John, segovius, because that's the most "theologically correct" of the gospels, and the favorite of literalists and contemporary conservative Christians. It's clear that it was written after some of the Christian theology had developed, unlike the earlier ones which tend to have some uncomfortable points in them.



    I'm a Mark person myself - widely regarded as the closest to the time of Jesus (though still decades later), very simple and without most of the theological BS of John. And the ending is great, with its creepy and abrupt original ending and then the crazy added ending with the stuff about speaking in tongues.



    I am thinking mainly of Robin Lane Fox in "The Unauthorized Version" who argues that John is the disciple Jesus loved. I can try and find a reference on Google somewhere....years since I read it but pretty convincing.



    Mark is odd...yes, I'd forgotten that. I think he's Nick Cave's favourite...I have a lecture by him on it "Flesh made Word" (I think) is quite cool. I think there is some more Mark though after that abrupt end isn't there?
  • camp davidcamp david Posts: 692member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    WHY do you believe that?... what leads you to believe these things?.



    What leads me and others to believe "that" is simply this => I have a close association with God; I have spoken with Him and He has interceded with intensions and aid on my behalf. Others have spoken with Him and prayed for His assistance and He has responded. Believing in HIm is not hard but something that we find necessary; essential even. In fact, since we speak with Him, and He responds to our prayers, we find more than anything else that He is our friend.
  • kingofsomewherehotkingofsomewherehot Posts: 3,989member
    Bring him by one day... I'd like to speak to him too... probably a lot of questions he could clear up for me.
  • camp davidcamp david Posts: 692member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    Bring him by one day... I'd like to speak to him too... probably a lot of questions he could clear up for me.



    He receives long distance calls; all you have to do is ask Him. Matter of fact, I think others have said something like "ask and you will receive" or something very similar.
  • brbr Posts: 8,253member
    So...every child who has ever been raped and tortured just wasn't asking hard enough? I guess you have to ask really really hard to get the attention of an all-knowing invisible being. :/
  • camp davidcamp david Posts: 692member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BR View Post


    So...every child who has ever been raped and tortured just wasn't asking hard enough? I guess you have to ask really really hard to get the attention of an all-knowing invisible being. :/



    God did not put evil in the world; man did. Acknowledge man's failings. Using such failings to blaspheme God does a disservice to His magnificence. Evil exists. That is true. So does goodness; And God.
  • brbr Posts: 8,253member
    In your worldview, who created man? How could god who is all powerful and created everything NOT create evil? How can the final responsibility not go to god?
  • segoviussegovius Posts: 9,872member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BR View Post


    In your worldview, who created man? How could god who is all powerful and created everything NOT create evil? How can the final responsibility not go to god?



    It's a good question but remember this thread is for POSITIVE things about people's beliefs.



    The idea with these new religion threads is that we try to 'break the pattern' of the previous way we've approached these things and maybe these kind of questions perpetuate the pattern a bit...



    It's up to you guys if you want to go with that but for me - though I could give you several theological and philosophical rationales for this 'evil' issue (actually it's not hard to imagine numerous scenarios - you don't need to be a theologian) and you obviously know the traditional Christian response - I'm not going to engage in such a discussion here because it's seems to me to be veering slightly from the spirit of the thread.



    If another thread was to somehow arise about this issue though I'm sure we could do the usual dance!



  • brbr Posts: 8,253member
    It's silly to try to put the positives in a vacuum and separate it from the rest of the religion. There are some seriously disturbing things at the very foundation of Western religion and I'm trying to get a clear answer. I'm not sitting in here demanding evidence in this thread (though they can't provide any). I'm saying "even if what you believe is true, wow, there's some heinous shit that needs answering".



    If god created everything, how is he not responsible for the creation of evil? How is man somehow evil's creator?
  • segoviussegovius Posts: 9,872member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BR View Post


    It's silly to try to put the positives in a vacuum and separate it from the rest of the religion.



    I agree.



    That's why it's best in another thread though seeing as this one is for positives (and also the main aim of these is to move away from division and confrontation) - it's not that the question is invalid, it's just off-topic.



    That's the same in any thread if something goes OT isn't?



    Quote:

    There are some seriously disturbing things at the very foundation of Western religion and I'm trying to get a clear answer.



    I would dispute there are seriously disturbing things at the FOUNDATION. I can't think of anything seriously disturbing that was ever outlined by Jesus can you?



    But it's got to be worth a thread of it's own - particularly if you feel this strongly. I can even start it if you like.



    How would you like it? Problem of evil in Christianity specifically? Islam? Or all religions?
  • brbr Posts: 8,253member
    The OP explained some beliefs. I'm trying to understand the internal consistency of them. He opened the door when he responded and said man created evil.
  • segoviussegovius Posts: 9,872member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BR View Post


    The OP explained some beliefs. I'm trying to understand the internal consistency of them. He opened the door when he responded and said man created evil.



    Ok...I'll butt out then!
  • camp davidcamp david Posts: 692member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BR View Post


    In your worldview, who created man?



    The Book of Genesis is useful here.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BR View Post


    How could god who is all powerful and created everything NOT create evil?



    Mankind that God created was also given the gift of free will, to choose evil or reject it.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BR View Post


    How can the final responsibility not go to god?



    The creator of man cannot be held responsible for the evil that man chose.
  • segoviussegovius Posts: 9,872member
    As mentioned before, one of the purposes of these 'Official' threads is to look for the good in people's beliefs - I know, I sound like a parrot but bear with me (!) - and it seems to me that is in a way a question of perspective.



    For example, it was implied above that religion was in some way a contributor to bad things happening. Well, maybe it is. It depends how you look at it. You could look at it like that or else you could look at it as a remedy for the bad things that are in human nature anyway. In a way it doesn't matter which view is right - maybe neither are, maybe both are at different times and circumstances. I don't think it's important. What's important is the PEOPLE involved. We could argue with each other all day over that and get pissed off with each other - or we could even all agree and spend days slagging off believers and people's faith.



    But really, in all honesty, if we did that - what would it achieve?



    Would the 'bad things' go away? Even if the criticisms were true? I think it's good to look at what we're really trying to do and say and achieve when we post something.



    To me, the point of addressing any 'evil' that may or may not exist in any given religion is not to 'win' but to make things better....otherwise why point it out? Just to take a moral high ground? I used to feel like this but I'm not interested any more.



    Look at it this way - if a representative of a belief that for one reason or another you oppose does something wrong - say he beats someone up - and you see it...what do you do?



    Start shouting about how bad he is or get busy helping the victim?



    But things are never that black and white in the real world are they? That's why we need dialogue imo.
  • tontontonton Posts: 14,063member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Camp David View Post


    The creator of man cannot be held responsible for the evil that man chose.



    You see, this is where your logic falls apart. God is all powerful. He created man. Being all powerful, he COULD have created man, free will and all, in every way the same as man is now, but with the singular exception that they would CHOOSE not to do evil. That they would have the wisdom, the compassion and the mental health to use their free will to do good.



    So in not making this singular exception, God allowed evil to exist. So yes, God created evil.



    Now, in terms of Christianity, I love all of the teachings of Jesus. I think there's not one teaching of Jesus that I disagree with, including his teaching that the Old Testament is not to be taken literally and that one must only follow the spirit of what right and wrong are, without relying on what has been written to explain it to them.



    Now, that being said, I also think that some of the things written in the Bible about Jesus, and almost all of the things written in the OT were allegorical and not meant to be taken literally.
  • segoviussegovius Posts: 9,872member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    Now, that being said, I also think that some of the things written in the Bible about Jesus, and almost all of the things written in the OT were allegorical and not meant to be taken literally.



    In one sense it doesn't matter - I'm not sure it's useful to get bogged down in (unless as an academic exercise) but 'spiritually' as it were, one can look at Jesus' parables and learn something, maybe become better in some way, maybe find a way of living.



    It's not necessary to argue whether the Good Samaritan actually existed - in a way it is missing the point and no-one does it.



    I feel the same about the figure of Jesus - though I believe he existed it is not actually necessary. In a way the whole faith of Christianity is a parable or can be looked on as one.
  • tontontonton Posts: 14,063member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by segovius View Post


    In one sense it doesn't matter - I'm not sure it's useful to get bogged down in (unless as an academic exercise) but 'spiritually' as it were, one can look at Jesus' parables and learn something, maybe become better in some way, maybe find a way of living.



    Agree here, and this is the best thing about Christianity. People are born with vastly different moral sense. Christianity does help to normalize these differences. This is especially important for people who are not very morally intelligent to begin with. It does give them some rules when they can't really figure out the rules for themselves.



    Quote:

    It's not necessary to argue whether the Good Samaritan actually existed - in a way it is missing the point and no-one does it.



    If you're saying that no one argues whether the Good Samaritan actually existed, I would have to disagree with you. Plenty of well-meaning Christians argue with all their power to do so that every story and every detail in the Bible is 100% true and fact, to be taken literally. Fellowship himself believes that the Earth is less than 7000 years old because that's what the Bible tells him, and the Bible is FACT, not allegory.



    Quote:

    I feel the same about the figure of Jesus - though I believe he existed it is not actually necessary. In a way the whole faith of Christianity is a parable or can be looked on as one.



    Wholeheartedly agree.
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