What does it mean to be a Christian?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by JediYvette, Dec 22, 2001.

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  1. yodaboy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2001
    star 5
    gone for 24 hours and you make 2 new pages!!

    gandalf: what verses?
  2. Darkside_Spirit Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 3
    Below you will find a post of some not inconsiderable length dealing with some of Iella's points. There's no way I could include everything, nor deal with more than one person. Apologies for these ommissions as well as for the longevity of this little diatribe as it stands.

    Justice means that there must be punishment.


    Justice means proportionate and fair punishment according to the nature of the crime. Hell constitutes a massively disproportionate punishment for the first sin, with any further sins being inconsequential. Sledgehammer "justice", to say the least.

    Yes, if you open your eyes. Instead, people choose to accept evolution and random chance.


    Evolution is based upon scientific evidence, and "random chance" is a gross oversimplification.

    We were made perfect.


    Define perfect for me please.

    As in... if this is the way it had to be, it would have been better if God hadn't created us in the first place?


    YES it would! What is the point of creating us just so that we can sin and therefore deserve massive retribution? Surely since God is all powerful, he doesn't need any excuses because he answers to no-one?

    It's not about practicing love and compassion. It's the fact that you have sinned, and that sin needs to be paid for. If you don't want Jesus to pay the price, you pay it yourself.


    I'll comment on this below - please bear with me.

    I can't help but feel that your argument is based alot on the idea that God should be what we want Him to be - totally loving, and able to forgive everyone...


    Isn't that what most Christians (and indeed, most theists of any type) see God as? Aside from this, we're mainly debating morality. There's no point in having the discussion if you keep bringing in the "what humans think is irrelevant" point.

    If someone was brought up in a different religion and indoctrinated with it throughout their entire life, I believe that as long as they continually try to seek the truth, God will consider and judge them by their actions.


    You have used the theological argument of sin being paid for through Jesus to say that good works and fairness as perceived by humanity are irrelevant. Why, then, do you even bother with little caveats for people who've been indoctrinated in other faiths, haven't heard the truth, etc? If fairness is irrelevant for one aspect (conduct in life) because of a core concept in your beliefs, why do you have to worry about it for any other aspect?

    Oh, yes, please continue. Because it says it is. Before you go off ranting about how that is circular logic, let me just say this: I believe the teachings of the Bible, and I use it (the Bible) as my fundamental belief. I believe it is true because I believe the rest of it is true, therefore I can believe the statement that it is true, to be true. Does that make sense? Or am I rambling because it's late at night?


    You're rambling because it's late at night. :p

    I believe the Bible because it is historically accurate, non-contradictary (although you may not believe it), and logical. I believe that the statements that it makes are true, and the teachings are valid. Therefore, I'm more inclined to believe it when the Bible claims divine inspiration. I don't agree with the teachings of the Koran or the Book of Mormon, therefore I don't subscribe to their claims of truth... The Bible makes sense to me, and I believe it.


    Thankyou very much - next please. :) You don't need to bother restating the fact that you believe the Bible and Christianity - we've known it from the outset.

    If you're going to turn this into an attack on me instead of a debate on Christianity, then there's no point in me staying here.


    The cry of Ad Hominem should be used for those "debaters" who really deserve it, not as a stick with which to beat anyone wh
  3. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    I haven't posted much of anything on this thread... if I remember correctly. This thread is asking "What does it mean to be a Christian?"

    Darkside: Lots of good points, but you know what... It's largely pointless to come into a thread trying to establish amongst themselves what Christianity is and tell them not what it is... but why the dogma of religious institutions makes little or no sense when tested, compared against, and scrutinized by the knowledge base that the secular world has gained to present day.

    But that's an entirely different argument... :D

    As a faith, hey... faith is faith. Let a person believe what they want... as long as it makes them happy, who cares if it's fact or not. Where faith is concerned, fact is largely irrelevant.
  4. Darkside_Spirit Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 3
    Interesting, Darth_SnowDog, although I'm not as extreme anti-religion as some people are.
  5. Darkside_Spirit Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 3
    BTW, this has turned into a debate, even though it didn't start off as such.
  6. Captain Antilles Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 1998
    star 4
    Two people can both agree that Picasso painted a picture called "The Scream" without agreeing on what he was trying to say with it.

    All views of God are interpretations. Many of them differ, but they all share the same source.


    I just found this funny enough to comment on: Picasso didn't paint The Scream. Edvard Munch did. So any 2 people can agree on something and both be wrong :)
  7. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    "Picasso didn't paint The Scream. Edvard Munch did."

    D'oh! ...I mean: Yeah, that's exactly the point I was trying to make. *shifts eyes*
  8. IellaWessiriNRI Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2001
    star 4
    This post is probably going to end up being even longer than yours, D_S :)

    Justice means proportionate and fair punishment according to the nature of the crime. Hell constitutes a massively disproportionate punishment for the first sin, with any further sins being inconsequential. Sledgehammer "justice", to say the least.

    Death was God?s promised punishment for disobedience, because disobedience to God is that serious. Adam knew that when he ate the fruit. God punished him according to what he had promised. That?s justice.

    Evolution is based upon scientific evidence, and "random chance" is a gross oversimplification.

    Evolution is based on scientific evidence with a lot of holes that are filled with assumptions. And would you rather I say "survival of the fittest"?

    Define perfect for me please.

    Without flaw.

    There's no point in having the discussion if you keep bringing in the "what humans think is irrelevant" point.

    It?s not that what humans think is irrelevant, it?s that you can?t put human feelings above the truth. I may not like something, but that doesn?t necessarily mean it?s false.

    You have used the theological argument of sin being paid for through Jesus to say that good works and fairness as perceived by humanity are irrelevant. Why, then, do you even bother with little caveats for people who've been indoctrinated in other faiths, haven't heard the truth, etc? If fairness is irrelevant for one aspect (conduct in life) because of a core concept in your beliefs, why do you have to worry about it for any other aspect?

    Fairness isn?t irrelevant. If you?ve heard the truth, then you?re responsible for it. That?s fair. If you?re held responsible for a truth you haven?t heard, or hasn?t been revealed to you, that?s not fair. Therefore, you are judged on another basis. Let me say again that this is just my personal belief, I can?t think of anything in the Bible that deals with people who have never heard the truth.


    You don't need to bother restating the fact that you believe the Bible and Christianity - we've known it from the outset.

    Just out of curiosity... are you just reading my posts, or are you reading everything? My statement was in response to Darth Geist?s question about why I believe what I believe.

    The cry of Ad Hominem should be used for those "debaters" who really deserve it, not as a stick with which to beat anyone who makes any remote reference to your character.

    Right. Calling me brainwashed is just a ?remote reference? to my character.

    cydonia's comment that ?many people don't want to belong to a religion that says their friends of other faiths are going to hell, no matter how kind and decent they are? was very worthwhile, and I will keep repeating it until you come up with a satisfactory response.

    When people hear the truth, and they believe it is the truth, it won?t matter whether or not they like it. If they believe it is the truth, one of the first things they would probably do is tell their friends and family about the truth ? so that their kind and decent friends can avoid the falsehood.


    Thankyou for completing my conclusive impression of your version of Christianity as based upon hatred. Not just hatred of other faiths, but self-hatred: hatred of everyone. It's a bitter person who would wish hell on anyone at all - and a truly bizarre one who would wish it on themselves.

    Wording. I deserve hell. I don?t want hell. I?m not wishing hell on anyone, either. I?m saying that hell is the punishment for sin, and that price needs to be paid. Again, are you reading the entire thread? I?ve responded to comments like yours already.

    If someone robs you, beats you, rapes you and dumps you in a ditch full of stinging nettles, do you gratefully accept it as what you richly deserve? Or do you have a less complimentary opinion of them for causing great harm to a good, innocent person?

    If someone robs me, beats me, rapes me, and dumps me in a ditch full
  9. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    Cydonia wants to play the cut and paste game again! Woo-hoo! :)

    "Death was God?s promised punishment for disobedience, because disobedience to God is that serious. Adam knew that when he ate the fruit. God punished him according to what he had promised. That?s justice."

    Ok, but when your kid discovers playboy, what do you do? Kick him out of your home forever? Also remember that adam was a child, even if he was a man child. Children like to get their hands in everything. Especially when you tell them not to. That's God-created human nature.

    "If they believe it is the truth, one of the first things they would probably do is tell their friends and family about the truth ? so that their kind and decent friends can avoid the falsehood."

    Not necessarily. Here's some neat Tao quotes:

    (2)..."Therefore, the sage manages his affairs without ado,
    and spreads his teaching without talking.
    (56) "He who knows does not speak.
    He who speaks does not know."
    (65) "In the old days, those who were well versed in the practice of the Tao did not try
    to enlighten the people, but rather to keep them in the state of simplicity...
    (73) " The virtuous way is a way to act
    without contriving effort,
    yet, without contriving it overcomes.
    It seldom speaks, and never asks,
    but is answered without a question.
    It is supplied with all its needs
    and is constantly at ease
    because it follows its own plan
    which cannot be understood by man.
    It casts its net both deep and wide,
    and 'though coarse meshed, it misses nothing in the tide. "

    ?Just some food for thought.


    "How have I conceded in any way that the Bible is not literal truth?"

    You acknowledged the bible uses symbolism. But it would seem you only mean the ugly things are symbols, everything else is literal.

    "As in, send people to hell? You think God wants to send people to hell?"

    I don't know the answer to that, but he created the possiblity to go to hell, so obviously he thought there was good reason?

    "God didn?t create man with the nature to sin. He created him with the choice between right and wrong. When Adam chose to sin, then sin became the nature of man. God knew this, and so He provided a way out."

    He created man to choose between two things god created, right and wrong. "wrong" didn't just come out of nowhere, God must have said, "Let there be wrong." or something similar. Also, if it wasn't our nature to sin, why is it necessary to for everyone, good and bad, to accept a saviour to pay for their sins?
  10. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    Cydonia- It is our nature to sin now that Adam and Eve opened our eyes to evil.


    God created man as a perfect being, not with a sinful nature. He created Him in His image. When Adam chose the wrong "tree", he opened the door and let evil walk right in. And he passes down that nature to all of us. But that doesn't take away from the fact that we are all responsible for our own sins. Adam gave us the nature to sin, but not the sin itself. God knew this, and out of His great love, He came down and paid our debts. But if you don't accept that payment from Him, then it's your fault, not God's, that you will go out into eternity completely seperated from Him.


    Nice post, Iella. :)
  11. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    Argh.

    Ok, i'll simplify what i believe. I believe god created everything. If God didn't want something, he wouldn't have created it. A good example is hobbits. God did not want real hobbits, so he didn't create them. Otherwise we'd have real life hobbits.

    But everything that is was created by God. What his reasons were or weren't is not the issue right now, just the fact that God did not prevent evil and sin from coming into the world. Maybe this is just too metaphysical, but i see your point, but i disagree. Do you at least see MY point? I mean is my view, (though wrong to you) being expressed properly?
  12. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    Yes it is. :) I've known what you're saying all along.


  13. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    Ok, that's good. I wasn't sure if i was expressing myself well enough.
  14. IellaWessiriNRI Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2001
    star 4
    LOL cydonia... the cut and paste game makes for some pretty long posts ;)

    You acknowledged the bible uses symbolism. But it would seem you only mean the ugly things are symbols, everything else is literal.

    No. I've said at least twice that I acknowledge there's some ugly stuff in the Bible. But like I said, God doesn't kill without reason, and the fact that I don't like it doesn't mean it's not there.


    You acknowledged the bible uses symbolism. But it would seem you only mean the ugly things are symbols, everything else is literal.

    Like I said to D_S, people in the Bible use symbolism, but the facts as recorded by the narrator are literal truth.

    I don't know the answer to that, but he created the possiblity to go to hell, so obviously he thought there was good reason?

    Yes, that reason was giving man free will.


    He created man to choose between two things god created, right and wrong. "wrong" didn't just come out of nowhere, God must have said, "Let there be wrong." or something similar.

    For some reason, this reminds me of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, near the end when someone (It might have been Jen or Shu Lien) says "There is an antithesis to everything." (Or something to that effect) I guess logically, if there's right, there must be wrong.


    Also, if it wasn't our nature to sin, why is it necessary to for everyone, good and bad, to accept a saviour to pay for their sins?

    Pretty much what J_M201 said. It is our nature to sin, but it wasn't Adam's. And even if it wasn't our nature to sin, everyone has sinned at some point.



    I believe god created everything. If God didn't want something, he wouldn't have created it. A good example is hobbits. God did not want real hobbits, so he didn't create them. Otherwise we'd have real life hobbits.

    Right. Hobbits are attributed to J.R.R. Tolkien, who attributes his own existence to God. ;) He's actually the one that led C.S. Lewis to Christ. Interesting, yes?


    What his reasons were or weren't is not the issue right now, just the fact that God did not prevent evil and sin from coming into the world.

    Right, He didn't. He allows Satan do do a lot of things, as is clearly illustrated in Job.

    You express yourself very well, cydonia. Even though we disagree ;)
  15. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    Whoops, something came up. So anyway...


    You say that by God creating the ability to choose evil, He therefore created evil, Cydonia? Because I don't see how that could be.


    This is a very simple example, but I'm gonna give it anyway. Let's say you made a drinking glass. You meant for that glass to hold pure water, the sustainer of life. Instead, someone took that glass cup and filled it with poisen. You didn't create the glass to hold poisen, nor did you actually fill the cup itself with poisen. Well, in the same way, God created us to live holy, perfect lives. But we filled our lives with poisen, and therefore, condemned ourselves to eternal seperation from God. It wasn't God's fault, because He warned us that "poisen" would kill us.
  16. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    Thanks iella. :)

    Yes, but where did that poison come from? If poison was not of God, how could it come to be?
  17. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    Well, without the poisen, would we appreciate the antidote? Without death, would we appreciate life? Without evil, would we appreciate good? By appreciate, I mean need. If not for the evil in the world, we wouldn't need Good(God). Without death, we wouldn't need life(God). God created us so that He could have something to love. He also created us so that we would love Him. If we don't need Him, we won't appreciate Him. This is evident in the lives of people who have everything they need. Their lives are going so well, and they start to get too big for their pants. In our society, we have so much given to us that we even go so far as to deny God's existence. But this won't last forever. Because as we stop loving and following God, we start loving and following evil, which in the end, leads only to death.
  18. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    It's just funny to me. Jesus wants us to love him, so we get to go to heaven. If not, we go to hell. "Love me of your own free will...or else."
  19. IellaWessiriNRI Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2001
    star 4
    Let's put it this way. You don't need to love Jesus, but you need forgiveness for your sins in order to go to heaven. Jesus provided that way for you. When you acknowledge and accept that gift, love for Him just kind of... happens. :)
  20. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    God didn't create death(hell, seperation, ect.). Sin created it. God didn't create sin, but the ability to do so, so that we would love Him out of our own heart. We don't go to hell because we don't love God, but because we chose not to follow His path(life). We chose death. And like Iella said, we don't need to love Him to be saved, but to accept His gift.


    It may be "funny" to you, but what do you want me to say? "Cydonia, everything you've said to me is right, I don't know God the right way, Jesus was just a man, a good teacher, but not the saviour of the world."? Because no matter what the answer is that I give, you always bring up another question. Either that, or say that it seems funny to you.


    I don't mind giving you an asnwer to any question you ask me, whether it's to make me realize that what I believe is wrong or any other reason. So as long as you have a question, I'll give you the best answer I can. No matter what though, I won't change my beliefs. If I did that just because I didn't understand a minor thing in the Bible, I wouldn't have much faith.
  21. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    I'm not asking anyone to change their beliefs.

    This is a discussion, and that's what i feel about it. When we think about love on earth, most people would probably say love is loving someone else without any expectations of them. They don't have to return that love. Maybe that is the way it works in heaven, but i have a thick noggin, you know ;)
  22. IellaWessiriNRI Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2001
    star 4
    cydonia, that is actually essentially correct. God loves everyone, although many reject Him. However, like I said, He is also just. He will not allow sin to go unpunished.

    EDIT: Spelling
  23. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    I also want to add i didn't mean funny like i'm laughing, just funny like odd.

    I guess i also disagree with what consitutes a sin that leads to death. In your view, stealing a car, murdering a child, committing genocide, and being of a different faith are all equally vile in the eyes of God. To sin is death, but i can't make the link between atrocity and simple theological disagreement.
  24. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

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    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    Well, I have a pretty thick noggin myself. :)


    And God doesn't love us with expectations of us. That's why he took our punishment on Himself. If He loved us, expecting something of us, He would have let man perish without giving us a second thought. Instead, He came and took our place. That's love. To want the best for someone even if it costs you is the definition of love in my opinion.


    Edit: "To sin is death, but i can't make the link between atrocity and simple theological disagreement."

    Okay, think of it in a different way Cydonia. God is life. anything else is death. If you don't follow life, what else can you be following but death? When you sin, your spirit dies. When your body dies, you will have no connection to God as your spirit will be eternally dead. Jesus provides the only spiritual resurrection. That was what Christs mission was, in my oopinion. When He was resurrected, He made the way for us all to be resurrected, and in turn, dwell with God for eternity.


    2nd edit: Although I said we die spiritually, that doesn't mean we cease to exist. We were all created with an eternal soul. Now, If you don't follow Christ, I'm not sure if that part of you actually is tormented by litteral fire and brimstone raining down on you for eternity. But that's not what I choose to focus on. Anything less than God is bad. He provides the only life, and if you don't choose Him, you don't choose life.
  25. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    I just have a different view on spiritual ressurection i suppose. I think it's possible for people of other faiths to be in touch with God just like Christians are.
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