• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

Defending a religious person...

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by Hestha, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

    +4,395
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Widowed
    Funny thing is, all the words are English, the word order is vaguely English, with perhaps a smattering of Star Trek influence, but the end result is not at all English. I see three bits attempting to be verbal phrases, but no real sense from the whole.

    Is this MetaChristian language? If so, can I have a translation, because I must have missed that class somewhere along the line.
     
  2. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

    +4,395
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Widowed
    Nice try.

    Choose a language, choose a century, and let's talk.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  3. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

    +4,395
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Widowed
    Well, let's just take a look, shall we?

    From my OED (Compact Edition of complete OED):

    There is a lot more, but that is, I think, sufficient for now.

    What reason do you have for thinking that atheists need a different definition of 'faith' from this one?
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  4. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

    +4,395
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Widowed
    I am not sure if this has been answered or not. I think I would have two answers.

    If by 'lack faith' you mean 'having insufficient faith' then we all qualify; believers and non believers alike. In this case Christians have the option of praying; 'Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief.' Then we can either wait for the faith to arrive, in which case we might have a long wait, or else we can act 'as if.'

    This might sound daft, but it isn't. People do it all the time. If we are afraid of not being adequate for a particular task we can either wait until we feel ready, or else go ahead and give it a try, in the full awareness that we might succeed, or we might fail. Either is ok, as long as we learn from it. What is not ok is to hide at home and never take any chances because we are too afraid to try. (This is my preferred behaviour, and I have to fight against it all the time. Except when I don't bother to try.)

    So, God will very often NOT give us full assurance before we do things. He will ask us to try, and sometimes even let us fail, because this helps us to grow and to learn, the same as in any other area of life. Bakers have to make a few flat cakes before they learn to make light fluffy ones. Christians have to learn to get a lot of things wrong, before they learn how to get some things right. The Christian life is a process; it is not handed to us complete from day one.

    If the question relates to those who do not have any faith in God, then I think I would return to what I said earlier. Very often people are disillusioned about religion because of the example of believers around them. It is not God who lets them down, but his followers. Sadly, they throw out the baby with the bathwater on this one.

    But as for what happens to them; nothing. God will not punish anyone for being disillusioned by other believers; why would he? Otoh, he has a rather unpleasant surprise in store for those doing the damage. We do not know what it is, but a clue is found in the words of the Lord; 'Woe unto him who causes one of my little ones to stumble. It would be better for him that a millstone be hung around his neck, and he be thrown into the sea.'

    Not really an area to venture into, therefore. Any atheist here who can think of such a person does not need to fear. If you once had faith, that is still credited to you. If you were caused to stumble by a minister or someone in authority in faith, you have nothing to fear. People might let us down and act callously. God never does.

    Those who have never had any faith, never known any version of Christianity and don't have any bad experiences to worry about; well, nothing will happen to them either. God doesn't punish people for being who they are.

    If I have missed something, please let me know.
     
  5. Verv

    Verv Senior Veteran

    +578
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    In Relationship
    US-Republican
    Thanks! I am glad you posted a link showing that white evangelicals are more knowledgable on the Bible & Christ than atheists.

    Perhaps there are some issues with what was defined as 'white mainline' (whatever that is?).

    There is also the definition of who actually is a Christian... major issues exist when many people rarely go to Church or when they do do not have in-depth preaching. Some people just are utterly indifferent to their own religion and while that is largely uninspiring I feel that is no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    But at the end of the day I base my chuckle fest at the common, arrogant perspective that atheists know more about Christianity at the very concept of how Christianity is attacked by them.

    The overwhelming majority of attacks are done so with seemingly utter disregard for the fact that these topics have been covered at length and getting worked up about such is essentially irrational.


    OK...

    Forgive me for defending the idea that Christians are not idiots. I was unaware that you enjoyed atheists claiming to be more knowledgeable about Christianity than Christians.
     
  6. FrenchyBearpaw

    FrenchyBearpaw Take time for granite.

    +64
    Atheist
    Married
    Survey: Atheists, Agnostics Know More About Religion Than Religious : The Two-Way : NPR
     
  7. TheyCallMeDave

    TheyCallMeDave At your service....

    +145
    Protestant
    Single
    US-Republican
    We are ALL religious on something, and thats a fact. The professed 'Atheist' is religious toward his beliefs that there is no Creator for creation / the car owner is religious about changing his oil every 3000 miles / and I religiously go to Starbucks every morning for my caffiene shot to start my day. But in the divine sense... genuine Christians really arent 'religious' in the sense that all they do is practice religious acts, piety, perform traditions, etc... but they have a daily RELATIONSHIP with someone who is alive both physically in a location called Heaven and in their Souls ; it is a relationship just as you would have with a very very close loving Family Member -- no one would dare call that type of relationship 'a religious encounter' ..lol...

    To your last point, yes, Christians often take a proactive stand for others who have a different view of God or no view of God at all , based on standards of morality, ethics, and the fact that they have intrinsic worth and dignity from being made in the very image of their Creator...even if they dont yet know their Creator on a personal intimate level. If i see a person getting ridiculed to no end and watching the pain come to their face...I dont first ask : ' Hey, what is your Faith persuasion ?' or ' Hey, what is your view on a personal theistic Creator existing ?' ... instead, we should stand up for them because it is objectively correct to do so. And this is daily applied to such causes as peaceful abortion demonstrations , standing up for the rights of Others, intervening in a domestic situation where we are watching a wife get pummeled to near death , or, trying to help an atheist woman who just got her handbag snatched .

    What you will find under closer examination, is that Christians..that is the genuine type... WILL go the extra mile because their lives have been drastically changed by the love of Christ , and that love gets transferred outwardly to Others , freely and willingly .

    Thanks for asking. And, i hope you will become a Seeker/Skeptic where Christianity is concerned and examine it with an open mind, and objectively. If you do, and if you are willing to actually go where the evidence is leading...then God promises he will reveal more of himself to you. Thats what hes done already to billions upon billions of Evangelical Christians thru the ages. But the choice is yours. If you are willing, this is the best book i can highly recommend for where you are right now in your life : http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Have-Eno...rds=i+dont+have+enough+faith+to+be+an+atheist

    Regards.
     
  8. FrenchyBearpaw

    FrenchyBearpaw Take time for granite.

    +64
    Atheist
    Married
    I don't expect anything (unless of course Zeus was the man in charge) of the sort. seekingChrist/razeontherock made a positive assertion, to which I asked for clarification, as he has demonstrated that defining terms in any meaningful way is difficult for him.

    His assertion that those who reject Jesus may not burn in hell is at odds with traditional Christian doctrine, to which he feigns surprise when others make this assertion. His unwillingness to use accepted definitions and inability to provide his own definitions are contemptible. From what I can gather, his personal views on religion and faith have been so drastically changed from traditional doctrine to the point that it only makes sense to him to keep his head copasetic and his cognitive dissonance to a minimum.
     
  9. FrenchyBearpaw

    FrenchyBearpaw Take time for granite.

    +64
    Atheist
    Married
    By definition, atheism is not a religion. So I'll take your first sentence to be an uninformed opinion.
     
  10. variant

    variant Happy Cat

    +4,070
    Agnostic
    Single
    I have a pretty good grasp of English too by all accounts.

    I generally insist on usual definitions or up front explanations of how one differs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  11. variant

    variant Happy Cat

    +4,070
    Agnostic
    Single
    Thanks for that explaination of what you believe.
     
  12. Gadarene

    Gadarene -______-

    +2,447
    Atheist
    In Relationship
    UK-Labour
    'Twas never in doubt ;)

    I don't really have an issue with that. As long as any existent god isn't joining in with that kind of playground-ganglike behaviour, then that's fine. Condemning me for something that can't really be communicated but for experiences that the god can only administer if he chooses - no wish for anything to do with that, and those who agree with it have no right to claim goodness.
     
  13. seeking Christ

    seeking Christ Guest

    +0
    Because that stale dictionary definition has been 100% thoroughly inadequate to do me one ounce of good, over a period of 30+ years of following the Lord. I can't speak from what YOU know, only what I know. Obviously those are 2 different things, albeit with significant overlap.
     
  14. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

    +4,395
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Widowed
    Well, here we can call on the wisdom of St Anselm. The blessed saint said that God is that, greater than which we cannot conceive. Therefore, if anyone presents you with a version of God which you can see to be lacking in any way, then that version must necessarily be insufficient.

    This is useful in overcoming all sorts of problems in relation to other people's concepts of God. Take any prejudice you like; perhaps one against black people. One person might say, God does not like black people. This one is easy to see; as long as there is one single person on the face of the earth who is able to say, hang on, that looks like racism to me; surely it cannot be right to judge people on the colour of their skin? God will also say so. According to Anselm's words, the existence of this one man is evidence that God is himself not racist; man cannot outdo God in virtue.

    Therefore, any bigoted views that may be held, no matter how many thousands of people hold them, cannot be held by God as long as even one single person on earth can see them for what they are; bigotry.

    So we can conclude lots of things about God; he is not bigoted, he is not racist, he is not vengeful, he is not murderous, he does not condone abuse of any kind, he does not hate anyone, he does not call anyone an abomination, he does not anathematise anyone. All of these are human behaviours which we have projected onto God so that he gets the blame, not us. But they actually belong to us, not him.

    God is that, greater than which cannot be conceived. Any other God at all - any bigoted or angry version - is simply not big enough. If it is those versions that atheists reject, then so do I. But I don't swap an inadequate God for no God. The only difference is that I swap him for a bigger one; the God revealed most perfectly in Christ. After all, if you are going to have an Omnipotent Deity, why settle for second best?

    :wave:
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  15. seeking Christ

    seeking Christ Guest

    +0
    And yet you are 100% wrong: my independently arrived at conclusions of doctrinal matters match up with Orthodoxy. Of all flavors. Sorry to dissappoint you.
     
  16. seeking Christ

    seeking Christ Guest

    +0
    This is not always possible. Some things need to be developed, and that can require interaction. The subject matter under discussion here is inherently NOT concrete.
     
  17. seeking Christ

    seeking Christ Guest

    +0
    All this you have been discussing is simply false as you have both been trying to assign it to me. I'll take responsibility for that error, due to not being able to communicate such abstract things clearly enough that you couldn't possibly miss it.

    Specifically, there is none of this "exclusionary mindset" you both yearn to tack onto me. You may have both experienced it at some time and I think we all have, but that has no place in me. That's one important distinction. Far more important is this false picture you paint of God here: I know of nothing in God that can be described as "experiences that the god can only administer if he chooses." Life simply doesn't work that way. There is an expression I hope you are familiar with, that it "takes two?"
     
  18. FrenchyBearpaw

    FrenchyBearpaw Take time for granite.

    +64
    Atheist
    Married
    Yes, it's called confirmation bias.
     
  19. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

    +4,395
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Widowed
    Very well. Start from the OED, and expand on it. What do you have that others do not have? My faith is older than yours, and yet the word is adequate for me. What is missing in your version?
     
  20. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

    +4,395
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Widowed
    It is not possible to match all doctrines of orthodoxy of all faiths, for the simple reason that not all faiths agree with one another. Here are just a few examples to start with:

    What is your view on the filioque, for example?

    Leavened altar breads? Yes or no?

    The date of Easter; Julian or Gregorian?

    Transubstantiation? Yes or no?

    Infant baptism?

    Modern charismatic manifestations?
     
Loading...