Who’s ball is it?
Posted: 31 October 2013 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I have heard both fundamentalists and liberal Christian say that that the other is corrupting the teachings of Christ. This is happens in the Muslim world and probably most religions throughout time. Recently LilySmith listed one version of the list of the 5 fundamentals and said, “Anyone who denies these fundamentals of Christian teaching should simply stop calling themselves Christians and move on.” But you can’t take your ball and go home if it wasn’t your ball in the first place. Each generation is handed these imperfect traditions. No one owns them.

My question is, who gets to decide who moves on? Martin Luther’s words started a war over it. Since then, thousands of groups have figured out different ways of dividing up their organizations. The movement from illiteracy and priests speaking in ancient languages to everyone having the right to interpret the Bible and the more scholarly movement of textual criticism was a slow one, occurring over generations. Then someone writes a pamphlet or claims to have a vision and they think they can tell all the other Christians to “move on”? That hardly seems fair.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is moving on. Those who haven’t are using terrorism or at least hate speech to keep themselves in the conversation. I welcome everyone into the conversation about how we all get along. What I ask is that when you come into that conversation, you drop the right to claim that your point of view has a special status. It can only have that power over you. If you don’t agree to that, then you are not having a conversation about getting along.

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Posted: 01 November 2013 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I couldn’t agree more. Problem is, you value “getting along” and having one big “Us”. Others don’t.  Getting along to them means giving in and losing their Us to our Them. IMHO it’s going to take several 10’s of generations to end religion. It’s going to happen, just like Astrology, but it just take generations of time, and really, old folks who are comfortable with the Us v Them worldview to die out.

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Posted: 01 November 2013 04:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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CuthbertJ - 01 November 2013 10:47 AM

I couldn’t agree more. Problem is, you value “getting along” and having one big “Us”. Others don’t.  Getting along to them means giving in and losing their Us to our Them. IMHO it’s going to take several 10’s of generations to end religion. It’s going to happen, just like Astrology, but it just take generations of time, and really, old folks who are comfortable with the Us v Them worldview to die out.

Great reply. Totally agree. I also think “Us”, meaning all human beings, but “Us vs. Them” is so deeply ingrained it will take a long time to erase that.

Some movies, I think, are trying to get this message across, like “Us vs. Aliens” and stuff, and I think that’s great. But mostly that gets lost once the movie theater is left behind and the restaurant approached. Although, philosophy works slowly.

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Posted: 04 November 2013 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’m okay if others don’t want to get along, CuthbertJ, just that they be honest about it. Don’t say you want to have a big tent, but then charge belief in a deity as admission. If a tradition has something to offer, as they often claim, then offer it and don’t attach a price of some sort of submission. Or at least, if that is the price, demonstrate that the price has a payoff.

I heard this in one of the gay marriage debates last year. A very traditional preacher was included. He had some things to offer, but kept coming back to his Biblical standards. Someone finally called him on it and asked why he kept injecting that. He responded with, “What did you expect when you invited me here?” The rest of the panel was stunned.

I would have been equally silenced by that, but after thinking about it, what I would expect from someone who is invited to a political debate in a secular society is that they consider all points of view. They are welcome to present their point, but for it to be considered, they need to back up the point with reasons for why someone who has not selected their creed should submit to their ideology. He was invited so the others could see how to respect his traditions while creating a society that respects everyone’s traditions, not so he could impose his traditions on the rest of us.

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Posted: 04 November 2013 04:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Back when I was in school in the days long before electricity and cars etc, I knew a Professor of Religion and Philisophy who gave the best description I ever heard of what makes someone a Christian.  He said, “A person who believes Jesus was the son of God and died for your sins is a Christian and anything else someone says it takes to make a Christian is without merit.”

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Posted: 21 November 2013 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Lausten wrote:

He was invited so the others could see how to respect his traditions while creating a society that respects everyone’s traditions, not so he could impose his traditions on the rest of us.

But that assumes that everyone’s traditions are equal in value, in correctness, in truth—and, quite frankly, they’re not.  This is the great lie of relativism and pluralism, that what’s right and good for one may not be right and good for another, but we have to accept it and we have no right to criticize it or suggest there’s something better to replace it.

That’s just post-modern nonsense!  Tolerance does NOT mean accepting what everybody thinks, believes and says without criticism.  Tolerance means treating people with respect and courtesy when we disagree.

And the reality is that, even people who insist that we must practise the first kind of tolerance, that is, accept what other people believe whether we agree with it or not, are themselves unable to practise it.  By denouncing this man for NOT accepting other people’s traditions as right and good, you, yourself are not respecting HIS tradition, a tradition that says there is only ONE religious and moral truth and it’s found in the Holy Bible and the person of Jesus Christ.  And why would you assume that, because he disagreed with non-Christians, that he had never considered their viewpoint?  How do you he hadn’t and that, in considering it, he had found it lacking?

Look at it this way:  If you’re in a burning building and you know the ONE exit to safety, would you keep your mouth shut about it and run out of the conflagration, leaving everybody else to die?  Or would you tell everybody you met where the exit was and how they could get to it and be saved?

That’s the way it is for a Christian.  We know the one way out and we tell everybody.  People may say we’re wrong and insist there’s a different exit.  People may even say the building isn’t on fire. The reaction we get doesn’t matter.  We know the way to safety and we are compelled to share it for other people’s good, not our own, no matter how much abuse is given us in the process.  And no, I’m not trying to sound noble.  I’m just telling you that’s our motivation for sticking to our guns.

[ Edited: 21 November 2013 02:14 PM by Overcomer ]
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Posted: 21 November 2013 09:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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No such assumptions were made. You are avoiding the fact that this debate was about gay marriage. No one is asking anyone to accept anything other than two people who love each other being able to do that. That has nothing to do with post-modernism. It is not tolerant or courteous to say to someone, repeatedly, that you disagree with them and the reason you disagree is 3 or 4 sentences written thousands of years ago tell you so.

You accuse me of moral relativism, then say I am intolerant because I don’t accept someone’s ideas simply because of his tradition. I don’t think you understand moral relativism. Secular morality means basing your ideas on universal truths, like pain is worse than not pain. The pastor in my story had every chance to claim some other reason than his Bible for what his problem was with gay marriage and he never did, so I’m pretty safe in saying he did not consider other’s viewpoints.

Your analogy of the burning building only works if there is actually only one exit. That is not true of many questions of morality. You make an assumption that God exists and offers salvation, exclusively, then you impose it on others. I know what your motivation is, and as you said, it has no basis other than you believe it. There are a lot of other belief systems in the world, you really should review a couple of them before you continue in conversations like this.

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Posted: 22 November 2013 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Overcomer - 21 November 2013 02:05 PM

Lausten wrote:

He was invited so the others could see how to respect his traditions while creating a society that respects everyone’s traditions, not so he could impose his traditions on the rest of us.

But that assumes that everyone’s traditions are equal in value, in correctness, in truth—and, quite frankly, they’re not.  This is the great lie of relativism and pluralism, that what’s right and good for one may not be right and good for another, but we have to accept it and we have no right to criticize it or suggest there’s something better to replace it.

That’s just post-modern nonsense!  Tolerance does NOT mean accepting what everybody thinks, believes and says without criticism.  Tolerance means treating people with respect and courtesy when we disagree.

And the reality is that, even people who insist that we must practise the first kind of tolerance, that is, accept what other people believe whether we agree with it or not, are themselves unable to practise it.  By denouncing this man for NOT accepting other people’s traditions as right and good, you, yourself are not respecting HIS tradition, a tradition that says there is only ONE religious and moral truth and it’s found in the Holy Bible and the person of Jesus Christ.  And why would you assume that, because he disagreed with non-Christians, that he had never considered their viewpoint?  How do you he hadn’t and that, in considering it, he had found it lacking?

Look at it this way:  If you’re in a burning building and you know the ONE exit to safety, would you keep your mouth shut about it and run out of the conflagration, leaving everybody else to die?  Or would you tell everybody you met where the exit was and how they could get to it and be saved?

That’s the way it is for a Christian.  We know the one way out and we tell everybody.  People may say we’re wrong and insist there’s a different exit.  People may even say the building isn’t on fire. The reaction we get doesn’t matter.  We know the way to safety and we are compelled to share it for other people’s good, not our own, no matter how much abuse is given us in the process.  And no, I’m not trying to sound noble.  I’m just telling you that’s our motivation for sticking to our guns.

Actually any religion where two devout believers, both of whom claim to have the correct interpretation, can read the same exact book, and come to exactly opposite conclusions, is by definition morally relative.

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Posted: 22 November 2013 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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That’s the way it is for a Christian.  We know the one way out and we tell everybody.  People may say we’re wrong and insist there’s a different exit.  People may even say the building isn’t on fire. The reaction we get doesn’t matter.  We know the way to safety and we are compelled to share it for other people’s good, not our own, no matter how much abuse is given us in the process.  And no, I’m not trying to sound noble.  I’m just telling you that’s our motivation for sticking to our guns.

Xtians. have no monopoly on truth; You may have good traditions such as help your neighbor but you also have bad ones such as inquisitions and wars over the trinity and who gets to interpret the Bible such the priests and ministers or everyone for themselves..  But all religions have the same type of truths and conflicts, it’s only human.  It’s not the theology that counts but the actions taken; are you helping or hurting humanity in general.

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Gary the Human

All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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