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Why does Paganism scare Christians?

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by EnemyOfReason, Mar 24, 2014.

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  1. EnemyOfReason

    EnemyOfReason Well-Known Member

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    Sort of how theologians like taking credit for the abolition of slavery and the civil rights movement but deny being responsible for the contributions to the Big Bang Theory.
    Georges Lemaître would be laughing in his grave right about now
     
  2. Jane_the_Bane

    Jane_the_Bane Gaia's godchild

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    No one, except for the most deluded of fluff bunnies who also believe that Wicca is an unadulterated stone age religion inspired by the lost lore of Atlantis.

    With very few exceptions, though, their historical track record is certainly no worse than that of any established religion or world view that's still around these days.
     
  3. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

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    That's a big call, considering that liberal theology is pretty much on the way out and doesn't look like reviving either. Better, saner and more thorough propositions are in vogue now. Younger theologians and students of theology pretty much see the liberal thing as a total failure and moribund. They're not fans of modernism in general.

    I really doubt that Christians will en masse accept same-gender relationships as the work of the Church. It would be too ironic and bizarre. Such relationships fly in the face of Darwin, but they strangely make more sense in a religious world-view, but that doesn't make them kosher either.
     
  4. Zoness

    Zoness Cipherpunk Supporter

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    They probably won't en masse accept them but I imagine it will be the default to say "oh yeah church X and person Y were totally in favor of that!".
     
  5. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

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    ..and just maybe that would also be the truth.
     
  6. Jane_the_Bane

    Jane_the_Bane Gaia's godchild

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    By and large, fundamentalism is an American phenomenon. Other parts of the world are considerably saner in this regard. Yet even in the USA, the religious hardliners are losing ground as we speak, and discrimination is on the way out.

    How do they "fly in the face of Darwin"? A Darwinian model of evolution perfectly accomodates homosexuality, both in relationship to mankind and with regards to the rest of the animal kingdom.
     
  7. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    True...
     
  8. Zoness

    Zoness Cipherpunk Supporter

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    It's probably the truth, many Christians are becoming less angry towards homosexuals and more accepting but I'm talking about a retroactive moving of the goalposts "oh we were always in favor of that! always!" sort of notion.
     
  9. steve_bakr

    steve_bakr Christian

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    Yes, I think that same-gender unions or marriages are gaining ground and that homosexuality will become broadly accepted. What makes the matter inevitable is the attitude of the younger generations.

    I have already argued against anti-gay activism in the Catholic forum and I thought it was a good move for Pope Francis to curb that activity by US Bishops.

    My Church faces a serious problem on homosexuality because it cannot change its teaching about it due to infallibility. But I predict that the Catholic Church will take a more conciliatory approach and ultimately sublimate its teaching about homosexuality.

    It will have to do something like this, ultimately. The "battle," if one thinks of it that way, is over, and the Church has lost. I tried to make this case to Catholics after the Nov 2012 elections and even before.

    The Church is simply facing in the opposite direction of the tide of history on this one and the key idea must be: damage control!
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  10. steve_bakr

    steve_bakr Christian

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    Oh, you guys! :blush: ;)
     
  11. Pink Spider

    Pink Spider EUROPEAN ANGLICAN Supporter

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    True!


    Well...
    ...that's the optimistic view. I really do hope you are right.
     
  12. TG123

    TG123 Regular Member

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    I am not scared of Pagans, nor do I believe you are "a sex cult that loves to murder babies".

    To the best of my knowledge, pagans do not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and God in the flesh, who came down to earth and died for humanity on the cross. Pagans also do not believe that salvation from hell is obtained by believing in Jesus (everything that He said and did) and accepting what He did for us.

    So I see Pagans as my fellow human beings who are no worse or better than me, but their souls are in danger unless they come to know Christ. In that way, Pagans are no different from Muslims or Jews or Buddhists or others who follow belief systems that do not accept what the Bible says about Jesus.

    I hope that Pagans come to salvation.

    However, I have absolutely no fear or hatred of you whatsoever.
     
  13. Zoness

    Zoness Cipherpunk Supporter

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    It sounds like you really understand how its going to turn out, good comments.

    A very diplomatic approach, I admire/appreciate it. I don't agree, but I appreciate it.
     
  14. smaneck

    smaneck Baha'i

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    Except what generally is happening in Europe and elsewhere is that people are simply becoming less religious. On any given Sunday about a third of the population in the US will attend church. In Europe it is only about 5% notwithstanding the fact that all of the really good theologians are from Germany. That's why I see religious tolerance growing more out of indifference than anything else.
     
  15. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

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    Oh I know the claim....I've just never heard a convincing argument that homosexuality is beneficial to evolution etc. Heard 'em all. I'm allowed to disagree, right?
     
  16. Jane_the_Bane

    Jane_the_Bane Gaia's godchild

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    You may disagree - but claiming that evolutionary biology is incompatible with homosexuality and presenting that utterly unfounded (and, frankly, completely spurious) claim as fact is a different matter altogether.
    Even if you were a professional, peer-reviewed biologist renowned for his expertise in that field, you'd have to do better than that in order to be taken seriously.
     
  17. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

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    Actually, I just don't want to chase another rabbit trail, so like many of my posts lately, I don't want to take on endless and fruitless topics and I'd rather stick to the big issues. I'm prepared to be not taken seriously because it just doesn't matter to me that much.
     
  18. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Christians have been MORE than active on the rise of police states and food supply - I could list several websites, organizations and ministries (one of them being "Sustainable Traditions" or "Sojourners" and many others) that all deal with the ways democracy/the opportunities to make real positive options for others have changed drastically.....

    And with the food supply/police state issues, of course those things aren't limited to Christians - but on the same token, neither is LGBTQ issues and same-sex marriage. Muslims have had issue with it (even in regards to the death penalty) as well as other groups - and this really isn't something that's a new development for Christians. It has already occurred before and did before..

    In example, the unambiguous position of the Fathers--in this case St. John Chrysostom--was opposing homosexual relations. Comenting on Rom. 1, St. John Chrysostom argued that homosexuality is an attack from Satan, since it divides normal relations between men and woman. That said, there was no evidence that the Fathers sought to butress Christian teaching on sexuality with changes in public policy. The Roman Empire was highly tolerant of homosexuality and Many of the emperors in Rome come immediately to mind for their lifestyles

    Sophocles , one of the three great Greek tragic poets who transformed the world of plays, comes to mind - and Alexander the Great is another - who, as epic as he was, had some serious issues with same-sex relationships.

    Same with the Spartan Empire in Greece...and other Roman Emperors who were homosexual (Hadrian and Nero coming immediately to mind if my memory serves correct). You can't get past studying Roman Empire easily without realizing how much they celebrate same-sex relationships - and how that aided in their moral/social destruction. Homosexuality was just as widespread among the Romans as it was among the Greeks (a sign of which is that it was condoned even by the stolid Stoics) - and the Romans had adopted the pederasty of the Greeks (aimed, generally, at boys between the ages of 12 to 18). Sadly, there was nothing shameful about such sexual relations among Romans, if the boy was not freeborn. Slaves, both male and female, were considered property, and that included sexual property...but this later applied to adults. And so we hear from Tacitus (56-117 AD), the great Roman historian, of the shameful sexual exploits of a string of Roman emperors from Tiberius to Nero.

    In studying the Fathers, I've really not seen where they sought at all to support what the scriptures/tradition taught on Christian sexuality by ensuring that ALL OTHERS who are unsaved become as they approve via political power. Considering the times many of them lived in and how Rome itself was full of all kinds of mess, it seemed they were always more focused on what occurs within the Church rather than outside of it. and the Fathers seemed content to seek change within the Church, not via public policy.

    One of the Fathers who has been coming to mind a lot for me is Tertullian - for he had a very strong example when it came to the level of involvement believers were to have and how to go about it - being active in the world's systems/governments and yet knowing that this world is NOT our ultimate home nor is it to be the ultimate focus. Tertullian was an apologist who was of the opinion that Roman politics and popular life was completely/utterly sinful and the enemy of the Church...thus leading to Tertullian choosing to approach popular culture and politics in a manner that focused on the Church resisting popular culture and the wider society at every turn (the extreme example of this being Amish communities today) - and yet he still advocated prayer/intercession be done for the leaders of his time...as seen when he discussed Christian loyalty to the Emperor, whoever he may be

    And of course, Tertullian's opinion must be taken in context since he lived and wrote during a time of heavy persecution. The following section from Tertullian’s Apology has been illuminating some of my thinking about Christian social engagement lately:
    So we sojourn with you in the world, abjuring neither forum, nor shambles, nor bath, nor booth, nor workshop, nor inn, nor weekly market, nor any other places of commerce. We sail with you, and fight with you, and till the ground with you; and in like manner we unite with you in your traffickings—even in the various arts we make public property of our works for your benefit.


    What Tertullian wrote in the Apology is worth investigating when seeing concepts that help others to think about the prospects for how devotion to the Kingdom of God/loyalty to Christ defense of the Christian faith and life in the contemporary world. And of course, there are many who have had differences of thought on the matter:

    That said, you'll always have Christians standing against saying homosexuality or same-sex relationships are wrong - even though they will be respectful in saying it is the right of others to practice such and still be treated with dignity rather than demeaned.....and if others assume that disagreeing with the lifestyle means one is saying that they hate someone, then those Christians will pay the consequences. Of course, others will end up with
     
  19. EnemyOfReason

    EnemyOfReason Well-Known Member

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    Holding strong Luciferian/Illuminationist tendencies I find that you are lost and deceived for believing in Jesus and that you suffering from the deceit of others. I find many religions to be counter productive to progress and this includes Christianity although Buddhists are exempt from this.
    I love all people equally and the same and especially Christians as they are lost and unable to have free thought.

    I hope that Christians and Muslims do the same.

    I have no fear of Christians although I cannot say the same for Muslims sadly. I have experienced way to many horrible things to lie to myself about particular issues.
    Respect and love for your fellow man is something of great importance.
    I just hope that you and others like you will abandon false religions because your one life is all that you have.
     
  20. Zoness

    Zoness Cipherpunk Supporter

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    Well of course issues like homosexuality are not limited to Christianity but my political context is the United States which has only a small minority of Muslims. That said, the way Muslims in other countries treat minorities including homosexuals is appalling.

    I've never heard of Sustainable Traditions until you linked it here, it's kind of refreshing to read about something like that. Also apparently is Christian Libertarianism is a thing, that's also pretty exciting though that sounds like a .01% kind of minority.

    I think this the idea of homosexuality bringing down Rome is a popular political trope in the United States as well. If the United States is anything like Rome, its probably going to collapse for loads of other reasons before homosexuality. I'm not homosexual myself but I tend towards libertarianism, 'do what you will' and what not.

    I've heard of Tertullian but never read him. I know pretty little about the Early Church Fathers. I'd like to read them sometime but I don't really have the time given my large backlog of reading material. If I could find a decent summary of what various ECFs wrote about and their positions, that would be grand, then I could investigate further in depth.

    I'm not sure I agree with the bolded part simply on principle. A quick pursuing of Christian Forums as well as other Christian message boards online seems to indicate a lot of subtle distrust maybe bordering on hatred. We could probably spend some time arguing about what "disagreeing with a lifestyle" constitutes. While I think most Christians say 'well I don't like that but you can do what you want', I do think that certain groups are automatically looked down upon on principle because it seems certain things are more offensive than other things.

    Young people are even worse about this generally, once you find you don't agree with someone on a big issue like homosexuality, you tend not to hang out with that person again. At least, that's basically what Youth Group was always like for me. Christians are at a marked disadvantage here because the political shenanigans of the Republicans augment the perception that Christians hate everyone that isn't them. There's a lot of damage control to be done, young Christians are also good at this and in my opinion represent a great willingness to engage with people "of the world" (a generally derogatory term) in order to build bridges and make things better for everyone.
     
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