Senate Understanding Christianity

Discussion in 'Community' started by Ghost, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. timmoishere Force Ghost

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    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    That is an unsound equation. In mathematics, if A=B and B=C then A=C. So all three/four of those things are all the same.
  2. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

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    Dec 26, 2000
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    Except that the nature of God doesn't really follow the rules of mathematics. It transcends our understanding and logic, that's why it's called a mystery. We can only use parables and analogies, but they all fall short at some point.

    (I really like the Czech theologian Tomas Halik's explanations of the Holy Trinity. I'll need to copy something from his books on this subject when I get home from work, I think you guys might find it interesting - if not as a definite explanation, then at least as food for thought.)
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  3. Alexrd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    You'll have to show the correlation of those reasons with that conclusion.

    And how you've reached this generalization as well, if you don't mind.

    It depends on what do you consider to be his followers. Those who follow his directions? Those who believe he exists? Can you see the difference between both?

    False. I'm a person and so are you, yet you and I aren't the same. How is it an unsound equation? And how are mathematics applied to this?
    Last edited by Alexrd, Jan 2, 2013
  4. timmoishere Force Ghost

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    Jun 2, 2007
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    It's far more likely that there are no gods at all. I suggest you go read The God Delusion. While it cannot be proven 100% that there is no god, it is the more likely solution (Occam's Razor).
  5. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

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    Dec 26, 2000
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    My personal experience says something else, but I'm not forcing this on anyone. I believe God exists, but I know I can't prove it with rational and logical arguments. Faith is a lot like love - it's hard to explain it to someone who's never been in love. ;)
  6. Alexrd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    Source for such odds?

    The Dawkins Delusion is a far more interesting read.
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  7. DarthMane2 Force Ghost

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    Sep 20, 2003
    star 4
    Which makes it even more interesting that other members of other religions have the same personal experiences with their God or Gods. Somebody has to be correct.

    You hear stories of Christians seeing Jesus. Awesome. Those who still believe in the Norse Gods speak of personal experiences with THOR or the female Norse Gods. Same with those who believe in the Hellenic or Hindu Gods.

    In other words to me your personal experience means little, because I can look to the other religions and use examples of those who follow those religions having similar experiences. Basically you cancel each other out. For example after the Christianization of the Nordic Lands, the Legends didn't stop. If fact they endured, and still do.

    The last battle where Scandinavians attributed a victory to Odin was the Battle of Lena in 1208.[15] The former Swedish king Sverker had arrived with a large Danish army, and the Swedes led by their new king Eric were outnumbered. It is said that Odin then appeared riding on Sleipnir and he positioned himself in front of the Swedish battle formation. He led the Swedish charge and gave them victory.(from wiki)

    That happened during the Christianization of Scandinava. I'm assuming you'd believe such a story false. Why is that so, and your personal experience true?

    This kinda dives right in to Pascal's Wager. The concept of believing in God just in case he does exist. Which is something I think God really likes if he does exist. I'm really sure he likes being believed in just because. Big issue with Pascals wager is that it doesn't take into account the other religions. Your throwing all your eggs win one basket hoping it's the right one, but in truth one of the other baskets has as just as much change of being the correct one. You Christians would accuse me of throwing all my eggs into the basket of atheism and the non-existence of God. Yet when I die I may not even go to Heaven or Hell, I might be standing in front of Odin. At which point I'll need to give him reason for allowing me into Valhalla, and he only allows warriors. So I'm hoping my strategic skills in Risk, Chess, Video Games, and my vast collection of Military books will cause him to give me the benefit of the doubt. :)

    I also like the concept of the Afterlife in True Blood. Every finds peace after death. Good or Bad. Astonishing concept, and one that would make Christians flip out. You people have to have punishment for crimes, if not then why have a hell. Then again seeing as many Murders, Rapist, theives, etc. will be in heaven according to the rules of repentence maybe it won't be that big of a deal.
    Last edited by DarthMane2, Jan 2, 2013
  8. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 26, 2000
    star 7
    I never said the Christian way is the only right way. I believe it is the right way for me.

    I know that. That's why I said I'm not forcing it on anyone. But it means a lot to me.

    I believe God always gives you a second (third, fourth... hundredth...) chance to regret your sins and accept His mercy. And to him, it doesn't matter whether you do that early in your life or in the last second of your life - as long as it's genuine. (This, by the way, is what Jesus' parable of the workers in the vineyard is about.) I believe only those who refuse God's mercy until their very last breath go to Hell - which is not the medieval image of fire and cauldrons, but rather a state of utter loneliness and absence of God's love. So, in a way, only those who choose Hell go there.
  9. DarthMane2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2003
    star 4
    Ah, but nobody chooses hell. And if your an atheist what then? Your concept works fine if your a Christian and deny God, but how come an Atheist who simply saw no proof or ration reason to believe in the existence of any god should go to hell?

    Don't you see it as odd or moraly wrong for an Atheist who may have been a great person his or her entire life( better than most Christians even) goes to hell, but all a murder or rapist, etc. has to do is repent and goes to heaven?
  10. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

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    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    You are assuming that God will condemn people in ignorance. While some religions believe that, others don't.

    For example, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS for short, also called "Mormons") teaches that everyone will have the opportunity to accept or reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you don't get the chance to accept or reject it in this life, such a chance will be available to you after you die (with the caveat that if you wouldn't be willing to accept it in this life if you have the opportunity, you aren't going to be willing to accept it in the next life either). As such, everyone will have the full opportunity to receive the blessings of the Gospel, because God is just and merciful.

    If a person gains a full knowledge of the Gospel and still rejects it, then they are rejecting the blessings that come with it. In that case, it's not a matter of God condemning them, but them choosing condemnation for themselves.

    Repentance, on the other hand, isn't exactly a simple or quick thing to do. We are all sinners, and so we all need to repent (to varying degrees). All any of us have to do is repent and apply the effects of Christ's Atonement, and then we can all "[go] to heaven", no matter what your sins are.

    But repentance is more than just saying "I repent", and then you are saved. To repent literally means to turn away from sin. One who has repented has honestly and sincerely abandoned their sins, done all that they can to restore what they may have taken or damaged, and turned towards God as a changed person, losing the desire to repeat their sins.Because we can't know what is in another's heart, we are commanded to refrain from judging them (including the sincerity of their repentance), but that doesn't mean that God doesn't know whether their repentance is sincere or not. We simply need to leave the final determination of that person's soul to God's hands, and focus more on our own soul's state.
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  11. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    A reminder... this thread is for understanding Christianity in a respectful atmosphere... not attacking it. Some points raised could definitely be discussed, but not in the way it is right now by a few people.

    I don't want to speak for @Mar17swgirl, but she spoke about how God is always ready to offer forgiveness.

    Christianity is founded on the idea that everyone, including Christians, are very flawed and fall far short of the model Jesus set for us. There's a lot that Christians disagree with amongst ourselves. But if there is one central idea in Christianity, it is Forgiveness, that our God is a loving God.

    And DarthMane2, have you read my original post? And the other posts by Christians in this thread? Or are you just ignoring it, and actively trying to NOT understand what actual Christians are telling you... because...??? Do you simply want to create and attack a strawman (that doesn't represent all, or possibly any, of us here) while acting like it represents all Christians and Christianity itself?

    You know better than that.

    Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. Mitt Romney is a Republican. Does that mean Romney is Lincoln?

    Grass is green. Emeralds are green? Does that means emeralds are grass?

    Apples are fruits. Oranges are fruits. Does that mean apples are oranges?
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Jan 2, 2013
  12. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    That's a fine point to make. I think this is the point of all really great discussion. TheBoogieMan and I used to be really fast friends; he was an atheist and I was a Christian (still am, I suppose). We were able to talk extremely openly with one another about what we believed, why we believed it and how it impacted our lives. There was never any sense that we were going to be judging each other or picking apart each other's reasoning. We both just genuinely wanted to understand where the other was coming from. It sound egotistical to just flatly say it, but it seems most atheist/religious discussions are more about convincing the other party than about understanding where they're coming from.
  13. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Exactly. I liked going into the Atheism thread on the old boards, talking to @Jedi Merkurian about his Baha'i faith in great detail, talking to @aPPmaSTer about his Muslim faith in great detail, etc.

    The points that people are making in here have potential... but unfortunately many of them right now are more focused at trying to say "gotcha!" to the other side and validate their own bias/assumptions... not truly trying to understand the other side.

    Not all of them though. There are many great posts in here, which I hope to get around to, sooner or later. Just don't want some posts to poison the entire atmosphere.
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Jan 2, 2013
  14. Jedi Merkurian ST Thread Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    This. Now with Mod-lyBacking(tm). To ask questions in such a way as to understand, is OK; "gotcha" questions, not so much. [face_peace]
    Last edited by Jedi Merkurian, Jan 3, 2013
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  15. Jedi Merkurian ST Thread Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    This is actually in keeping with Baha'i Writings on the topic. But this is the Christianity thread, sooooo...[face_whistling]
  16. darthhelinith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 10, 2009
    star 5
    So I just found this as part of a comment on a news article:

    "Yes, there are more atheists today than ever before (even percentage wise). Reasons: One is that atheism is the direct result of misinformation being taught to our kids by the Communist Teachers in our schools (Commies admitted that they do/did send Communist Teacher specifically to rot our kids)"

    [IMG]

    When will some Christians grow up and accept responsibility for their own failings? It is not the job of schools to teach kids about the Christian faith, that is your responsibility as parents.
  17. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    Granted, I'm not a theist, but I heard an explanation for the trinity once that I thought made more sense than the "cloverleaf" model I had been taught as a child. So here goes:

    The Father is water vapor
    The Son is liquid water
    The Holy Spirit is ice

    God is H2O

    Now H2O is water vapor, liquid water, and ice. And water vapor, liquid water, and ice are all H2O.

    But ice is not liquid water which is not vapor.

    The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all different forms that God takes just as water vapor, liquid water, and ice are all different forms that H2O takes. Not a perfect analogy, of course, but I found it helped me understand the theistic perspective a bit better.

    Science FTW.
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  18. Asterix_of_Gaul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 5
    That is Modalism--otherwise known as Sabellianism. It poses a number of theological challenges.

    For one thing--Jesus Christ prays to the Father. If the Father is H20, then can H20 be both water and vapor at the same time? Similarly, who suffers on the cross? Is it the Father in the form of the Son, or the Holy Spirit?

    EDIT: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1 NKJV
    Last edited by Asterix_of_Gaul, Jan 22, 2013
  19. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 26, 2000
    star 7
    I once had an idea for using the quantum duality of light (it's both a wave and a particle) as an analogy of Christ's nature as being both a true God and a true human. Maybe something similar could be used for the Holy Trinity?

    But in any case, that's why these things are called "mysteries" - we can use whatever fancy scientific analogy to approximate it, but we'll never be able to describe (or even understand) it completely and exactly as it is. Not on this Earth, anyway. So that's why whenever we're using an analogy, it's very important to remember that it is only an imperfect analogy.

    Ironically, the people who claim this have never actually experienced the systematic Communist brainwashing.
    Last edited by Mar17swgirl, Jan 22, 2013
  20. Narutakikun Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    Hey, any chance we could combine all the "Atheists talk smack about Christianity" threads into one? I mean, is there really any need for about a half-dozen different threads that are all basically exactly the same thing?
    Last edited by Narutakikun, Jan 22, 2013
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  21. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    Yes, the two states can coexist at the same time. That's the beauty of the analogy of course. When it's winter at my house, for example, there's lots of snow on the ground, sure, but there's also streams full of liquid running water and some water vapor does remain in the air.

    Like I said, though, it's not a perfect analogy. I still think that the analogy doesn't quite fit Sabellianism, however. Liquid, solid, and vapor aren't really different aspects of water (as is the case in the Sabellianist description). Instead, they are merely different forms of God in much the same way water can be in different states of matter.

    But I'm not too familiar with the Bible, so I'll leave it at that.
  22. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Here's your answer:

    This is supposed to be your thread; I'm not speaking for the other atheists/agnostics but I made one post and have otherwise tried to stay the hell out of here for the most part. You can always use the "report" button.
  23. EHT New Films Manager

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    star 6
    Yeah, comments sections on news sites are just horrible.
  24. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    I can't speak for Christianity in general, but for Catholics, anyway, the short doctrinal answer to the first question is God's grace: catechism more or less teaches that whilst Catholicism is the "most open" path to God, it is not beyond God's power or ability to admit someone who has not come by that door, as it were. But that does not necessarily mean that God must exercise that discretion or will do so.

    As to the second question, Mar17swgirl I think answered it: the key is genuine repentance, out of a desire to realign your existence and not simply out of fear of consequences. It must be a decision made from love, not fear. The misconception is that all you have to do is say the words "I believe and accept Jesus as my Lord and saviour" and boom, you're off to Cloud City to party with St. Peter and friends is a caricature of the teaching, IMHO: God can see your heart, see your intentions and if they don't match your words it's not going to help you out.

    On the overall issue of "which religion is the correct one", I like Richard Rohr's verse on the subject: "To borrow an Eastern saying, religion is like a finger pointing at the moon. Focus on the finger and you risk missing all that heavenly glory. We argue a lot about who has the correct finger. Does your finger save, or does mine? The answer is: none. God alone saves." I do not think at heart that any religion can genuinely assert, without arrogance, that it has received the entire truth of existence or knows entirely the nature of existence or God. Those sorts of issues are unknowable because we're only flesh and blood.
  25. PRENNTACULAR VIP

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2005
    star 6