Helpful Christian history: 3-16-09
How not to pick a faith: 3-18-09

Online interfaith talk: 3-17-09

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day all you like today. (For an article about the "real" St. Patrick by Raymond J. Boland, bishop emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, click here.)

Clover

I'm pretty much going to ignore St. Pat here today and, instead, talk about an interesting new interfaith development.

The Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue is expanding its work by launching a new Web site. Like the print version of the Journal itself, the Web site promises to be a serious and useful forum for discussion among leaders of many different faiths.

In a time of growing need for understanding across lines of faith, this question often is asked: What opportunities are there for systematic sharing of ideas and for learning?

The Journal and its new Web site provide one answer to precisely that question.

World-religions

As the press release about this new venture said, the Web site will offer "a novel way to establish long-term dialogue and collaboration between religious communities."

The key here is "long-term." Interfaith discussion and understanding requires a commitment of time. Nothing of substance in this field gets accomplished with an afternoon seminar and an annual dinner. Rather, it requires on-going contact and a willingness to know and to be known -- in detail.

I feel as if I've said this here and in print elsewhere a million times but I still find people who don't get it: Interfaith dialogue does not require anyone to abandon or soften any belief. Rather, it requires an ability to articulate those beliefs in a way that others can understand them. The goal is not some mushy syncretistic religion to which everyone can belong. Not at all. The goal is to understand one another well enough that we don't feel threatened and that we ourselves are not moved to resort to oppression or violence.

The Journal says that a goal of its online site is "to increase both the quality and frequency of interchanges between religious groups and their leaders and scholars."

That is an important calling of our time. And, by the way, while you're at the Journal's new Web site, surf around a bit. You'll already find some good resources.

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EXPLAINING JEWS IN IRAN

Columnist Roger Cohen offers this intriguing piece that seeks to account for the Jewish presence in Iran. The pragmatism of Iran's leaders and people, he suggests, may be a good sign for everyone, though he acknowledges that many people, especially Jewish refugees from Iran, disagree with him. To me, the lesson is that almost nothing is as simple as it seems at first glance.

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P.S.: Speaking of good interfaith work, check out this column about a college that seems to be doing it right.

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ANOTHER P.S.: To make sure you have a spot in the class I'll be teaching July 13-19 at Ghost Ranch in northern New Mexico, "Your Prophetic Voice: Writing to Repair the World," click here and follow the directions for registration.

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AND A FINAL P.S.: If you want to sponsor me in the AIDSWalk KC 2009 edition to raise funds for the AIDS Service Foundation, click here. I do this as part of the AIDS Ministry at my church. And thanks.

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TODAY'S RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY: St. Patrick's Day (Christianity)

Comments

Just Thinking

Beliefs are a funny thing. For example, take a look at Susan's beliefs. She complains that those who taught fundamentals were to blame for the hateful beliefs that those fundamentals induced in her. Hmmm... It is far more likely that it was the ground upon which the teaching fell. As Susan's heart changes, so does her understanding of the fundamentals. But many have lived for whom the fundamentals have brought out the love in their hearts. But at least she's changing. It's not the teaching that was at fault, Susan. Your newer revelations are not new, but rather reveal that your heart is now properly discerning the fundamentals.

Look at Dolores. She used to be a Christian, and now she believes in spaceships and a science that has never existed and never will exist. Dolores is proof that just because your beliefs have changed doesn't mean that the new beliefs are better. Her beliefs now include a science that never was or will be. You can see the stubborn nature of Dolores that has brought her to this egocentric system in which she is the high grant master wizard of a new Science. Facts are not going to get in the way of what she thinks. No sir. It probably all started with a big battle with her Pastor over who was right, and stubborn arrogance won out, leaving Dolores to make up whatever crazy system she wanted. Any takers yet, Dolores? I didn't think so ... especially among Scientists.

Just Thinking

How about Iggy. His god is science. But not really, because what he knows of science would fit in a thimble. Iggy's only real knowledge of science comes from watered-down essays on the subject. And he basks in a philosophy arising from deterministic science of 400 years ago, a philosophy that was made obsolete by the science of 100 years ago! He'd be shocked by the science of the last 50 years, but that's beyond his comprehension. Iggy is simply in angry rebellion to authority. Nobody's going to tell that little monster what to do. :) So he adopts whatever position is convenient for him in order to escape any civilized morality that he doesn't happen to like. He's for abortion on demand, without any good reason, even though science tells us what causes pregnancy. We know what causes pregnancy now, Iggy. That's *simple* science. But Iggy grew up in the amoral Russian system that does not value human life, where abortion is the *primary* means of birth control: indeed, there are 13 abortions for every 10 births. We know what causes pregnancy now, Iggy. Cause and effect. Science. Even people of 6000 years ago knew that much science. :)

Cole is still living in the immature high school system where you define "cool" however you like, and others need to adhere to your notion of "cool." Cole believes he can define "goodness" by what is inside himself. Hitler made that mistake, too. Egocentric notions of goodness rarely lead to anything to tyranny. I'm sure that Marxists started off believing in idealism, too, and they had strong notions of "goodness." But it was borne out of selfishness, and it ended in tyranny and disaster, just as all systems where you are god and others must adhere to your notions of goodness. The immaturity will wear off once Cole has children and those children also want to define "goodness" and/or "cool." Or maybe he'll just become tyrant dad. Old King Cole.

Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

RE: ST. PATRICK'S DAY...

I am not Catholic or Irish but do enjoy watching the parades highlights every now and then, great secularizing of a religoius celbration (just like X-mas). Perhaps in the future, local KCFreeThinkers can have a float in the parade?

As for facts about St. Patrick, here is from WikiPedia on him driving snakes out of Ireland. This is how facts can become fiction.

Pious legend credits Patrick with banishing snakes from the island, though all evidence suggests that post-glacial Ireland never had snakes; one suggestion is that snakes referred to the serpent symbolism of the Druids of that time and place, as shown for instance on coins minted in Gaul (see Carnutes), or that it could have referred to beliefs such as Pelagianism, symbolized as “serpents.”

Patricia

The backstory, or running debate, regarding Cohen's writings, seems terribly important to comprehension of his most recent piece. Click on the name "Charles Freeman" in the current piece or go here to read the roots: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/09/freeman/

There is clearly a battle brewing right now to break the Middle East policy strangle-hold that the neo-cons have developed and retained.

Dolores Lear

Happy St. Pats Day All.

This week's Daily promise, 3/17/09: Christ is our Redeemer
Partake of Me
"I live by the power of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, those who partake of me will live because of me." John 6:57 NLT
A Communion hymn
Reginald Heber wrote this hymn specifically for use in the service before the Eucharist. Its simple lines focus first on Christ and then on the attitude of the singer. Christ has spoken words of life and has taken our sins to the cross with Him. We are sorry for our sins and take this "feast" of bread and wine as a "token" of the forgiveness that Christ offers."

Me:
How is John 6:57 translated today? With High Tech Science, will it have a different meaning? Bread and Wine was an Ancient Rite, also used by Jews. That was why Jesus used it.

Genesis 14:18,19. About Abram. "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, God, possessor of heaven and earth:"

When did Christians start teaching it was the Literal eating of Jesus' Flesh and Blood?

That was a teaching of Pagan Religions, possibly the Trinity Teachings of Rome and Egypt, at the Time of Jesus.

Jesus is Alive. All these Religious Rites, Creeds, and Hymns, Rituals, are helps for Humans to make it, through the Generation Birth, Death, and Rebirth Lifestyle on Planet Earth.

None of this Worship in temples made by Human Hands, is about the Lord God, our High Tech Ancestors.

So What is Religion, but Man-made?

Dolores Lear

Susan.

Thanks for your kind words yesterday, but I do not look for Eternity with my Earth husband and family After Death, like Religion teaches. I accept our Bodies return to Elements.

I look for Eternity, Alive, with Peace, NO Killing, or War, Greed, Inequality, Inhumanity, Starving or Homeless Brothers/Sisters, etc, with my Male Twin Clone Helpmeet.

The Two Halves of Clones make One Soul, or our Other Half, Fallen Humans are Searching for in Body Birth.

It will be Great to get to a New Planet Paradise, that is as Clean as Man-made Spaceships. Earth is a Spaceship, and the Human Species are the Astronaut/Caretakers.

Jesus is 'Alive', on a Planet or in a Spaceship, with the 'Father/Mother Clones' of Life on Earth.

Celibate Jesus said:
Luke 17:27. KJV. "They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all." Also in Matthew 24:38.

Today, Humans are in a Sexual Revolution, of fornication sex, marriage and divorce, and pornography, like in the Days of Noah, when most Human Life was destroyed. Nothing is impossible in the Minds of Humans.

Especially, as we see today our Pollution, the Destruction of Each Other, All Life Species, our Ozone Canopy and our Eco System.

Today Fallen Humans again, with marriage/sex, and giving in marriage, are setting up the Planetary Judgement Day Fire Catastrophe. Then Life as we Know it, cannot continue on our Earth Home.

Literal Human Clone Helpmeet Clones, with a Peace and Agape Selfless Love Equal Lifestyle, is Eternal, on a High Tech Equal Clone Planet, and in their Spaceships.

memberofKCFreeThinkers.org

Susan, they can quack all they want about who is a citizen. I find their opinions rude and not based on any kind of educated reality. They can puff out their chest and strut around their bigoted, countrified, barn yard all they want, but the one who crows the loudest usually is the one who gets a shoe thrown at him, or two. Sound familiar?

Susan’s post about internet learning. There is something to learn from everything. It’s all there and you have to choose what to research further and follow your own way. I agree, it is great laypeople can be heard across blogs. I understand what has been said about peer-reviewed writings, but there are other good sources. It’s trial and error, just like life. I believe that is how we formed our morals and learning abilities.

Also Susan, The man who spoke to us about his journey to atheism Sunday night had something interesting to add at last. He said he felt lied to, duped, and he wasn’t angry at any X but was angry at the organized religion. Basically he feels it’s all big fat lie.

Also he wife remains a X and still goes to church, without him for the past year and a half, yet she still loves and supports him as she has done for forty-five years. I find that is where Christianity will have to move if it is to remain in any kind of future acceptance.

Delores, I hear you. Whatever keeps you going I am for it. You seem to be a fair person and I believe in fairness. I’m not sure what you are talking about sometimes, yet you say some good stuff about humanity and organized religions. Continued

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

memberofKCFreeThinkers.org

Continued, It seems to me in my experience with christianity and the nonreligious, people are people and we “all” will have our beliefs. So I think it is difficult for humans to organize when it comes to personal beliefs. How can you possibly organize almost 7 billion beliefs?

Which brings me to organizing. To many times an organization’s goal is to control. Control what you personally believe into a lump wholeness. This obviously is not working. We should work on the world’s problems and leave the personal stuff to each individual.

If there is a god, then that god will know the true followers. Surely that god wants us to live longer and better…and help one another. And if not, it is nobody’s business whether I follow that god’s rules or not. Not by order of the followers or that so-called god, real or not- that is my choice.

Sorry Delores I forgot about your question two days ago: What is your definition of Goodness, Cole?
Goodness to Take Care of our Home Planet, with Balanced Elements, instead of Toxic Pollution and Nuclear Weapons?
Peace on Earth, and Good Will to our Brothers/Sisters of Life?

I will have to agree with the above. And if you have a personal belief, in all fairness, it should be tolerant of people’s civil liberties. I would hope to promote education and science.

I have to close for now. I am cooking chicken noodle soup for my family. It’s for tomorrow evening. Soups are better if they season for a day. Xs and atheists enjoying food and conversation together, imagine that. And yes, I will say an atheistic amen. LIFE! Praise be me.

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

Michael

"There is clearly a battle brewing right now to break the Middle East policy strangle-hold that the neo-cons have developed and retained."

Yeah, lets examine this supposed break!

Obama is going to begin the 19 month "withdraw" from Iraq and leave 50,000 troops there after the "withdraw!" This, after claiming all troops would be out in 16 months during the campaign! There is actually a word for this in English - LIAR!

Hmmmm, the Bush Administration was organizing a phased withdraw of Iraq as he left office and had a plan to leave a certain number of troops in Iraq. A break from neo-con Middle East policy? Change you can believe in? I guess our President is banking on our stupidity and that we have the attention span of a gnat. Oh wait, he could probably make money on an investment like that even in this market.

Obama is continuing the surge in Afghanistan that the Bush Administration began - killing more innocent villagers, raping women, killing children, injuring small dogs and cats. Great job Mr. President! Change we can believe in? A break from neo-con Middle East policy?

memberofKCFreeThinkers.org

Happy St Patrick’s Day. It’s a fun celebration no matter where it came from. Enjoy it and be safe.

All this effort directed toward uniting religions I feel is a waste of time. At what point do people realize something is not working. The personal god within organized religion is obviously a wrong direction. It is such a networking mess.

Where do you think we would be if we placed all this time, energy, and money into education and science? I believe we would live longer and have a better life.

Just thinking. I find your opinions on the four of us funny. Must be great to be such a mental wizard, knowing where we came from, where we are going and what we are thinking. Damn, you sound like a god. What is it like to hear almost 7 billion people talking to you all day? Oh, and can you tell us our purpose?

I don’t think I will give you much time, but I do have to comment on something I find “so” primitive. I hear this day in and day out with Xs, X videos and radio: she has a heart of gold, follow your heart, you have to listen with heart, your heart changes (that’s not good), love in your hearts, reveal that your heart realizes something?. you have to open your heart to receive jesus/god.

I’m sorry, if I do that last one I will bleed to death. I live in the real world. You know, that natural world zooming through space.

Egyptians believed this way, saving the heart and tossing the brain. It’s time to move on and promote education and science.

“Old King Cole”, now that is original. How did you ever come up with that one?

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

Susan

Just Thinking wrote, "But many have lived for whom the fundamentals have brought out the love in their hearts." Are your posts today examples of the love that fundamentalist Christianity has engendered in your heart? If you're an example of "good ground," -- well, I'd hate to see what you'd be like if you abandoned "love" and turned insulting and sarcastic. :)

I guess I should take heart that, now that I no longer believe God will cast non-believers into hell, you see this as an indication that my heart is "now properly discerning the fundamentals." So, it was the "ground the teaching fell on" that was messed up, when I heard teachings about hell, and felt compelled to share the gospel, lest my friends perish without knowing Christ?

Funny, I thought the intent of those teaching was to get us worried about people's souls, and when they loaded us up with gospel-tracts and sent us out into the mall, I thought their intent was that we do what they said, and try to lead people to Christ.

If only I'd known, back then, that they were just waiting to see if our hearts were "good ground," and if we'd finally wise up and say, "No, God doesn't want us to preach, He just wants us to enjoy hanging out with the other teens at the mall." Boy, weren't WE slow? :)

But, as you've said, at least I'm changing. Cole, I agree with what the doctor said about feeling lied to and duped, but not feeling angry at any individual Christian -- just at the organized religion itself.

As far as "blaming" others for whatever choices I've made or attitudes I've had, I still believe there IS such a thing as choice, and obviously there were some raised in the same fundamentalist Christianity I was, yet had good enough ground in themselves to NOT accept it, whereas it took me 44 years to get here.

So, I agree with Just Thinking that it probably does have something to do with the ground the teaching fell on. The teachings in themselves aren't harmful -- it's only when they're FOLLOWED that they can cause harm.

Red Biddy

I'm sure the intentions of people trying to have some kind of interfaith dialogue to promote peace and respect between the multi different faiths are good. But in view of the history of so much conflict between the different faiths and even worse, the differences within the faiths themselves, (like Shia vs Sunni, Catholic vs Protestant, Orthodox vs Reform Judaism etc...) I can't see it ever working. Unless we can find common ground in the secular world, which would be a lot easier to achieve, I don't see much point in trying to have "dialogue" with people who think they have the only "way." Dialogue isn't going to change any minds on the fundamentals of ANY religion.
Can't we just "get along" ? (plea from that poor guy in L.A. after being beaten up by the LAPD, remember?) Be nice wouldn't it?

Just Thinking

Susan, I agree just about everything you have to say. It certainly seems to me that God is speaking to you, and through you to others. What good is a set of rules that you can't bear? What would it say if you were doing things in a rote fashion, without understanding and, far worse yet, without *wanting* to? That would be nothing more than a dishonest means of manipulating others to adhere to a system which you actually hated. What hypocrisy. But many people do that, and I'm glad you've broken free of it.

It's not about rules, but about the heart. And one size does not fit all. Not everyone is called to be "preaching" or, in most cases, talking *at* people. But everyone is called to love their neighbor, and to love doing the righteous things they are called to do, which is what it means to love God.

Jesus dealt with the legalists. They thought they were great. They actually hated what they were doing, and they lived in a hell of their own making. Worse yet, they worked hard to recruit for their kingdom of hell, too! But, hey, they did what they were told. :) Wow, who wants an eternity of that?
Matthew 23:13,15
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to."

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are."
----------
The teaching was not wrong, only the ground on which it fell.

Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

RE: Yesterday's post on the Pope and Condoms in Africa

I hope that god strikes the Pope dead for this!

He claims that wide spread condom usage in Africa will make AIDS epidemic worse! Only in delusional minds of a religious person who plainly rejects all evidence to the contrary something like this can be concocted.

My god! How can someone who doesn't practice sex (or not have had it for a long long time) give advice about sex?

Is the Pope out of his Catholic mind? Millions of people will die in Africa all for the glory of Jebus as interpreted by the Pope!

DOGMA VS. REALITY IS AT ITS WORST.

Lisa Power, corporate head of policy at the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: "We deeply regret the continued misinformation around condoms, which remain the most effective way of preventing the spread of HIV.

"Both abstinence and condoms are valid weapons in the fight against HIV, but unfortunately abstinence has a far higher failure rate."

The World Health Organisation believes that a "consistent and correct" condom use reduces the risk of HIV infection by 90 per cent.

Some priests and nuns working with people who have contracted HIV in Africa have also questioned the logic of the Church's strict no condom policy.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/cameroon/5007124/Anger-as-Pope-Benedict-XVI-says-condoms-make-Aids-worse.html

Hodes, the director of policy, communication and research for the campaign group, added: "Instead, his opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important to him than the lives of Africans."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/17/pope-africa-condoms-aids

Susan

Just Thinking, I think (but am not sure) that I understand what you are getting at. You think I was just "doing what I was told" when I felt a sense of urgency about getting others saved. That I was just rotely following a bunch of rules without wanting to.

Not exactly -- I was BELIEVING the teaching, the teaching which according to you was right (whereas I guess you're saying the ground it fell on -- my heart -- was wrong?).

It's not that I thought God wanted me to "talk at" people, not at all. I just sincerely believed that if people died without accepting Christ, my loving God would cast them into hell. Forever.

When someone believes that, I don't see how they can "love their (non-Christian) neighbor" without desiring that person's conversion.

And I mean, regardless of whether they feel called to "preach" or "talk at" the other person about Christ, I assert that there is NO WAY they can believe their neighbor is headed for hell, and not have some underlying desire for that neighbor to convert to Christianity.

This is why I find fundamentalist Christianity limiting -- it interferes with the believers' ability to fully love and receive non-believers just as they are, free from any compulsion to change them.

Maybe you will argue that you accept fundamentalism and still love and accept others as they are. If so, I urge you to go back and re-read your two opening posts for today. You may argue that you DO love and accept Dolores, Iggy, and Cole -- but do you honestly think they felt loved and acceptance coming through your posts?

Seriously?

Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

Just Thinking wrote>>>>>>>It's not about rules, but about the heart. "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are." The teaching was not wrong, only the ground on which it fell.

Christian Looney Alert & Reality Check for Just Thinking!

It's not about the heart, it's about the brain where all your thinking takes place. Cole said quite eloquently that you'll die if you open up your heart and especially if Jesus ends up in your heart, you'll no doubt will die - he will actually have to stand inside your chest cavity for that.

Perhpas, it's time to stop using metaphors for something you cannot see - Jesus in your heart?

What happens if you get a heart transplant of a convicted rapist or murderer as a donor? Is there anything in the Bible about that? - how is that heart treated then? Or some magic dust/spell/spirit comes over again? What if the person who died was a devil worshipper and you personally have been already saved? How is that for a change?

If your teaching tells you it's about the heart and kidneys that Jesus will search and will know you (yes it is in the Bible) and BRAIN NEVER registers in the Good Book, one has to begin questioning the rationality of the teaching. RATIONALITY VS. FABLES.

Christianity must die and morph into a more "spiritual" and not "physcial space daddy/Jebus" fables. It will still be fables, but religious crazies will be less numerous and I'll settle for that.

Christianity is dying out in America and in the rest of the civilized and educated world. The recent studies after studies show that and the % of non believers in 10-20 years has doubled to 15-16% plus 12% are what you'd consider "spiritual" or "new age/deistic" Only in uneducated parts of the world Christianity is growing and if history has something to teach us, the moment a woman.

I believe once the fundies are all killed off softly by reality, fun will be hard to come by. Then we'll need to be looking for niches of fundies - e.g. fundies with blond hair and blue eyes like Middle Eastern Jesus :o), or fundies who are scientists only. Fun never ends.

We as atheists really don't need to do anything about Christianity. Christians (e.g. Pope and condoms in Africa) are doing a darn good job of showing off mythology vs. reality.

Just Thinking

Susan, how could really you believe that God would send people to hell just because they have not heard the right words, or have not been involved in just the right incantation? Could someone really think that a person could find Jesus without their introduction? Who could believe that God would sentence someone to hell because stictly because of something someone else did or did not do? If someone could believe that, then they should seriously ponder why they would worship such a god, let alone actually *want* to spend *eternity* with such a god. I'd choose hell.

If someone wants to believe any of those things, then it is not because they believe in a just and worthy god. Because "just and worthy" would clearly contradict such beliefs. Why would someone want to believe such things? It doesn't make sense, and it's not what the Gospel says. And it certainly doesn't say much for anyone would *want* to believe that way.

Romans 2:13-16
For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

Christians should question Christianity. And those who worship science should know something about *real* science, and not just concoct their own. Challenge each according to their own. That's interfaith.

Susan

Iggy, there is kind of a weird connection between what you are saying about Christianity only growing in uneducated parts of the world, such as parts of Africa -- and then there's the Pope preaching that condom-use will increase the spread of AIDS, so the Catholic Africans may be more likely to get AIDS and die.

I agree with Hodes that the Pope seems to be putting dogma ahead of lives. But I don't suppose he sees it that way.

Just Thinking, I just thought of an analogy that may make it more clear, why I feel that fundamentalist Christianity hinders people from truly loving and accepting their neighbors, free from all agendas to change them.

On another discussion-board, there was a discussion about homosexuality, where some fundamentalists seemed to think they were being very tolerant by saying that they "loved the sinner but hated the sin" amd that they saw homosexuality as a sin, but not as a "sin apart from all other sins," and some were talking about having gay friends ...

And then a woman came on who said that she knew lots of fundamentalists who "said" they had gay friends, and that they loved the sinner, hated the sin -- but among her gay friends, NONE of them counted people like this as true friends, because they were categorizing, as SIN, an important part of their gay friends' core identities. The gay friends wondered, "How can you say you love me, if you hate who I am?"

I realize we weren't discussing homosexuality -- but I thought this made a good analogy, in my attempts to get across the idea that what fundamentalist Christians perceive as "loving their neighbor," isn't always perceived that way by their neighbor. If love isn't experienced as love by the recipient, in what way can we really call it love?

Susan

You know, Just Thinking, I'm still not sure what to make of what you are saying. You made a couple of posts where you seemed to be saying that the fundamentalist teachings (about non-believers being headed for hell) were right, but that the "ground the teaching fell on" (my heart) was wrong.

Then, in your last post, you seemed to be putting me down for EVER believing in this "right" teaching in the first place. As far as whether God would condemn people to hell for never hearing the gospel, or for not being involved in the right "incantation" -- I don't think even fundamentalists are unified on that one. So I feel like you were kind of putting words in my mouth, to make it that extreme.

But as far as the teaching that people who have an OPPORTUNITY to accept Christ, and don't, being headed for hell -- I'd say that belief is pretty universal among fundamentalist Christians. And that's more what I was worried about. Because, you know, most of the people "I" knew had grown up right here in the US of A, and had heard SOME version of the gospel.

So, at this point, the only conclusion I can come to is that you seem determined to put me down -- whether for being "wrong ground" that the "right teaching" fell on, or for being gullible enough to receive the "right teaching" in the first place.

Michael

Susan, I guess it all depends how love means.

Michael

what love means ... I mean.

Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

Your daily god....

Iksvaku Creator god. Hindu (Vedic). One of the ancestral dynasty of sun gods or Aditi.

Bible Quote for March 17 God is the Source of Evil Spirits.

Then an evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul as he was sitting in his house with spear in hand and David was playing the harp nearby. Saul tried to nail David to the wall with the spear , but David eluded Saul, so that the spear struck only the wall, and David got away safe. (1 Samuel 19:9-10 NAB)

Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

People who were baptised as young children are being given the chance to fill in a "certificate of debaptism" if they do not regard themselves as Christian.

The Church of England will not make changes to the official record, so the form is essential for those who wish to have their non-belief officially recognised.

VIDEO>>> (THERE WILL BE A SHORT COMMERCIAL BEFORE IT)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7943426.stm

Just Thinking

Susan, I'm not sure what to make of your confusion. First, you yourself have claimed that your former beliefs were wrong. So why did you have them? Isn't that a fair question? You now believe something different than what you used to believe. Children are not capable of full comprehension. That's part of it.

The idea that someone will go to hell because of something you failed to do is an *obvious* error to thinking adults. The most feeble sense of justice should correct that misconception. You can help someone in their walk, and you should. But the idea that God would so superficially and eternally judge another defames God's character. God judges rightly and deeply. We can only judge superficially, and we're not morally qualified to judge more deeply, even if we could see beyond simple earthly observations. There's a judgment day for a reason. Very few Christian theologians disagree with those last 3 statements, Susan. So, I agree with your concerns on this issue. There are valid reasons for your concerns. Thinking that someone will go to hell because of something you fail to do is an *obvious* error to thinking adults.

Superficial judgments are often rooted in meaningless use of catch-phrases such as "accept Christ." I'm not saying that you use such a phrase without thinking about it. I'm saying that I cannot tell. It's too often used as a meaningless utterance by non-thinking Christians for me to rule that out. First, who do *you* say that Christ is? Second, what do *you* mean by "accept Christ." Third, what do *you* mean by an opportunity to "accept Christ?" Who does *not* have such an opportunity. I have no idea what those things mean to you.

Adults must strive to grow beyond childhood understanding.

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