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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
    Some Christians are idiots, although that is not the kind of language I would normally use of anyone. Not all, but some are. And some atheists do know more than some Christians.

    We are told not to bear false witness, and that includes not engaging in stereotyping of any kind. People are individuals, not categories.
     
  2. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

    +4,395
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Widowed
    True enough. :)

    Certainly there are Scriptures to warn against falling away from the faith. What these actually mean in relation to an eternal fate is not clear. Anglicans tend not to believe in a literal hellfire, for example, so we would not notionally ascribe that to anyone. Romans would accept the existence of a literal hellfire, I think, but Anglicans not so much.

    Orthodoxy regards fire far more as a metaphor for the purification of believers than the punishment of non believers, and I would go along with that one. The fire is that of the fiery furnace or the burning bush; a fire that burns and purifies but does not consume. Believers often go through trials in this life, and this is all part of this process of refinement.

    I see no reason for God to be less reasonable than I would be (terrible example of creating God in one's own image, but what can you do?). I would not blame anyone for believing or not believing because generally those kinds of things are not volitional. What I would pay far more attention to is what a person does with their belief or unbelief; that would say more about the kind of person they are.
     
  3. seeking Christ

    seeking Christ Guest

    +0
    If by that you mean several widely different branches that consider themselves "Orthodox," all independently agreeing; and me searching out truth independent from all of them and winding up right smack in the middle of what they've said from the beginning -

    then yes, guilty as charged. And I will GLADLY take comfort in those findings, which were surprising and shocking to me to discover. There is One Church, one Faith, one Hope -- and one Lord.
     
  4. seeking Christ

    seeking Christ Guest

    +0
    This is a loaded question Sister, and therefore not at all fair. Faith is common; not as in the usual usage of that word either, but shared amongst the many members of the Church with no one being excluded from it. I'm quite sure you know this very well yourself, so you'll understand I'm confused by your approach here. You can see people have done their best to vex me lately, so I'll be making no attempt to address something like this anytime soon.

    If you care to take a different approach? You're normally a lovely person.
     
  5. Lee M

    Lee M Well-Known Member

    +7
    Deist
    Single
    Verv

    That you would say so little about the content in the link is interesting!

    Can you rephrase the underlined portion? Or forgive me... I don't understand. I wouldn't say an atheist feels that way only because they feel it neccesary to attack (if that is what you were saying). That's a very simplistic review of the situation.

    Well that isn't a very fair idea... it says I'm not allowed to be upset about something unless I make sure the issue has NEVER been covered before by anyone... that's not reasonable. It is also not reasonable to conclude that an attempt to address the same complaint must have been done efficiently, removing any legitimate reason for the complaint to be sustained. There have been ad nausem stupid explanations for the problems some religions pose and plenty of argumentum ad populum to support that stupidity.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  6. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

    +4,395
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Widowed
    Indeed I am. :)

    The question was not loaded, it reflected what you said yourself. You said the OED was dry and insufficient for you. So what else would you add to it? You have claimed that standard definitions are not sufficient for believers, but you have not provided any evidence to substantiate that claim.

    It is not a difficult question; if you can identify something lacking, then you must know what that something is.
     
  7. seeking Christ

    seeking Christ Guest

    +0
    Holy thread drift Batman! No one expects the Spanish Inquisition ^_^

    What possible bearing does any of this have on real life? Keep your religion, I don't want it. Someone (probably Frenchy Bearpaw) tried to malign my answer, which agrees with yours, by saying I am so far away from standard positions of the Church as to be irrelevant. I told him that's not so, and I'm right. So you follow up with an attack like this?

    Where is Catherineanne, and what have you done with her?

    None of these things you raise are relevant to the thread. There are things in Christianity that actually impact real life you know, but arguing how many Angels fit on the head of a pin like this simply isn't my cup of tea.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2013
  8. Lee M

    Lee M Well-Known Member

    +7
    Deist
    Single
    And this is one of the reasons I am losing interest in Christianity very quickly. These never ending muddles that really don't ever come to any resolution. If when this silly debate ever ends one of you says "thank you, I really appreciate you showing me that I misunderstood" please let me know...
     
  9. seeking Christ

    seeking Christ Guest

    +0
    This reads as quite a different question from my side of the screen. We cannot, or rather I cannot come away from Scripture without the understanding that Faith is never independent of action. Your cited dictionary definition makes no account of this that I can see. I also feel no inadequacy due to my inability to plumb the depths of this mystery in a nice concise catchy phrase. I see the story of Abraham being the Father of faith as quite lengthy and involved, and a good many devout Christians never fully comprehending even that much. They manage to follow Jesus anyway, and some in this category do so amazingly well! It serves as a (necessary) reminder to me that our own understanding does NOT save us, and such people are a very important part of our Body.

    Hebrews 11 comes along and maybe sorta tries to paraphrase and condense the "definition" provided in the story of Abraham, but it surely does not exclude action, and while it is a wonderful highlight does not yield the richness of said story.

    Ultimately the only valid definition for faith I can give credence to is the lives of individual believers. We are all different and you and I certainly attest to that fact! While we have the same faith, each is unique. All are precious to God, of that much I am convinced.

    Now you're asking me to boil that down? ^_^ Not my role in the Body, I'd rather see it expand.

    And I do think this fits perfectly with the unbeliever. How can they know Christian Faith until they begin experiencing it for themselves? And when they do, it starts out small, and will only grow if cultivated. Therefore anyone else's definition will necessarily be foreign to them, and very likely misleading to them. And yet discussing specific elements within the faith is thoroughly possible, and some of them can even be readily defined. Perhaps a few of them even by me?

    I have done no such thing. I tend to speak for myself. Anyone who wants to
    take a modern dictionary definition for a highly complex Christian concept like "faith" for example, and reduce their conception of it to what is stated on the paper has that right. I merely point out that no aspect of my own conception of faith is modern in any sense, but can be found attested to throughout the ages, right back to Father Abraham. Who's Son I am, and who's inheritance I share :)

    Recently you posted about God Himself, whether in this thread or not I'm not sure. Your own statement there contradicts your assertion here, and is rather more in line with what I am driving at. Some things are so large that they defy our ability to describe. We can know of more than has been explained, w/o necessarily being able to verbalize it. This is pretty basic to Spiritual life.
     
  10. seeking Christ

    seeking Christ Guest

    +0
    Oh be honest, you completely lost interest in Christianity some time ago. Why make pretense about that? Clearly God is working in your life, and clearly you feel some connection to Him apart from Scripture. Good luck to you in that.
     
  11. Lee M

    Lee M Well-Known Member

    +7
    Deist
    Single
    and this is me not getting involved in the muddle...
     
  12. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

    +4,395
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Widowed
    So you are neither for nor against filioque? Which means you are NOT 100% in line with either the West or the East.

    Good to know.

    Again, you choose to stay on the fence, which means you agree neither with the West nor the East. So far your 100% orthodox claim is not going very well.

    Again, no decision. And no 100% orthodoxy.

    Eucharist as mystery is Orthodox or Anglican, but not Roman. Rome asserts transubstantiation. So at least we have one decision.

    And that decision is not 100% orthodox agreeing with everyone because the Romans disagree. :)

    Another actual decision. Child baptism is valid, according to you. That is perfectly fine with me, but that means you are not in line with many modern evangelical and Baptist churches on this matter.

    That does not make you 100% in agreement with everyone, does it?

    So that is a yes on miracles, a no on modern charisms? Fair enough. But again, by making a choice, you cannot agree with everyone. It can't be done.

    Erm, which matter ... ?

    :)
     
  13. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

    +4,395
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Widowed
    Well, that is the clearest post you have made so far. :)

    The problem is that you are conflating several different things. Faith is what the dictionary says it is; a belief in something.

    You want to add onto that definition what we do as a result of faith, but that is not faith; it is what we do as a result of faith. Certainly as Christians simply having faith is not all that there is to say, but it is where we begin, very often. (Not always, though.)

    It does not matter that your faith is not exactly the same as mine, or mine the same as the next person's. What matters is that when using language I mean something by the term that other people can understand of themselves when they use it. We cannot say to those who are not Christians that faith is a different thing for us than it is for them. It isn't. the difference is only who or what we have faith in.

    The tree is known by its fruit. They know what Christian faith means by watching you or me, and seeing how we behave; how we talk to non believers, how we respect them and their beliefs, how we accept them as they are, and where they are.

    In this way they do indeed experience our faith for themselves. And we can either behave in such a way that they want to find out more, or we can convince them that they are perfectly right in having nothing to do with us or our Lord.

    Faith is not a highly complex Christian concept. That is just silly. Everyone has faith in something, and therefore anyone can understand what the term means, both for themselves and for others.

    If we cannot explain something we can at least explain that we cannot explain it. We do not have to pretend to have a language that is above and beyond human language. :)
     
  14. seeking Christ

    seeking Christ Guest

    +0
    It means it is a matter of no or little import. Most in the East will say the same, and that Unity would have been preferable to schism over this. Also, neither the East nor the West is 100% in line with itself, as I'm sure you can know, by a perusing of this website if nothing else.

    So you may pick at nits, but that's all you're doing with these items. I independently arrived at the same theological positions they did, and God is certainly more than large enough to house them all, to be represented by them all. Earthly language is imperfect to address the substance of it anyway.

    I don't see how any of those can be considered orthodox, and yet none of those ranks object to my stance on the matter. You seem to be fabricating distinctions where there are none.

    Again, I have no idea what you might be referring to with your "modern charisms." (Neither has anyone else attempting to discuss it with me, but I digress)
     
  15. seeking Christ

    seeking Christ Guest

    +0
    You are an English major, in England. That you might choose to express things in this fashion really isn't surprising. ;) I have NEVER seen anything productive come out of this approach - but go ahead and surprise me.

    Obviously I am called upon to express more than your dictionary definition. I've never seen you so argumentative!

    Faith is a living thing, and grows. It cannot be static because if it is it dies. Scripture makes this rather plain, and no dictionary definition I have ever seen accounts for this. Do you think just maybe that's why I don't use the word that way?

    And here you just did what you accused me of doing above, which is confusing faith with something else. In this case, witnessing. Maybe this isn't so cut and dried as you presented it? (Although I'll agree it was pat, and neat)

    I'll call your bluff: find me an atheist that can explain the role of faith as it pertains to Father Abraham. Not one of them has been able to do that, and I'll include the many among our ranks here that claim to have been Christians for 20 years or more. Although please if anyone engages this, let's do so in a different thread for that purpose?

    Speaking of muddling things up, you have here 2 entirely distinct concepts. Explanation is a two way street: the speaker and the hearer. Some people may understand the explanation just fine, while others don't, and still others don't but think they do. Most here fall in that latter camp and insist on concocting strawmen, and usually do so maliciously.

    None of this equates to your nice simple little "can't explain it." There is difficulty, which is part of life. Surely you are familiar?

    (The other item in this last snip deals with language above earthly language, which surely you know I do possess)
     
  16. Catherineanne

    Catherineanne Well-Known Member

    +4,395
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Widowed
    No, the East would NOT say any of that. Orthodoxy is very clear on this one; it says that the filioque is a theological error, and ought never to have been added to the Nicene Creed.

    Rome on the other hand is clear that the filioque belongs.

    Neither Rome nor Orthodoxy would see this as nitpicking. This is a substantive issue, and they disagree on it.

    How can you be at the same theological position, when you agree with neither of them? Earthly language is perfectly capable of saying yes or no to this one proposition. You claimed to agree 100% with everyone, but you can't do that when there are very clear divisions between denominations.

    I am not fabricating anything. I am using actual distinctions between denominations to illustrate the patent impossibility of anyone on earth agreeing 100% with every denomination. It simply cannot be done, because there are a series of mutually incompatible beliefs to choose between.

    I think you are either unaware of these incompatible elements or else are choosing to ignore them.
     
  17. seeking Christ

    seeking Christ Guest

    +0
    This entire inquisition of yours is ENTIRELY out of line in this thread, in this sub-forum, and as far as the context of what was said. What happened was somebody said my position (which happens to agree with yours on the point, btw) is SO unorthodox as to be irrelevant. I said that's not so, and I am correct.

    Not an item you have raised has one iota to do with real life. It might as well be arguing about how many angels fit on the head of a pin. This is exactly what I referred to when I said I have no "religion," which you took offense to. You may care about these things and i don't condemn you for it, and obviously I have explored the depths of theology in great detail and know quite well what place they have but at the end of the day it JUST DOESN'T MATTER. When I made reference to agreeing with orthodoxy, it was referring to things that actually matter rather than divisive tripe.

    And there are quite a few EO's who will tell you the filioque wasn't worth schisming over, where do you think I got that from?

    A strawman; I never said it, you have no reason to attack it and you have no reason to attack me. Normally you're above that stuff.

    Exactly how much attention do you think our Lord pays to these things? Clearly He ignores them. That puts me in some mighty good company.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2013
  18. Lee M

    Lee M Well-Known Member

    +7
    Deist
    Single
    ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  19. Verv

    Verv Senior Veteran

    +574
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    In Relationship
    US-Republican
    You posted a link to the same study but it was now on a blog that aimed at cherry picking parts.

    This is like taking a full new story that I already commented on and said that evangelical Christians know more about the Bible/Christianity than atheists/agnostics then turning it into a propaganda piece and reposting it.

    :thumbsup:
     
  20. Lee M

    Lee M Well-Known Member

    +7
    Deist
    Single
    Ahem...

    What I posted was a link directly to the pew forum itself, not any blog and I posted it first...

    I posted this
    U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey - Executive Summary - Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

    The other person later (6 posts later) posted this
    Survey: Atheists, Agnostics Know More About Religion Than Religious : The Two-Way : NPR

    and what you said didn't address the entire poll and what you said in your latest post to me didn't make any sense.

    The Poll concluded that atheists and agnostics know more about religion in general which does not contradict your own statement seen here

    and that is exactly what the poll concluded to be true. The poll also concluded that out of seven different types of Christians, only 2 of those 7 types even know their own set of beliefs better than atheists and agnostics. It said that out of 12 bible specific questions the the best at answering were Mormons with 7.9 questions correct, the next were white evangelical protestants with 7.3 questions correct and the next were atheists and agnostics 6.9 (less than a single question difference) none of the other 5 types of Christians got above 5.9 correct and concerning religion in general Atheists and Agnostics easily won compared to the evangelicals.

    I remember when this poll came out, it was quite the buzz. I don't agree with all the propaganda it was used for but the information this Poll gathered does imply that atheists and agnostics know more about Christianity and Religion in general than most believers do. That is exactly what it said.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
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