What is Christianity? How can we understand it better? What don't we understand?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by ObiWan506, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. Jedi_Corin_Daan Jedi Master

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    Nov 6, 2010
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    Christianity does have solutions to the problems in the world. But men refuse to follow those solutions (sadly even Christians do this, resulting in the hypocrisy you mentioned).

    For instance, the issue of poverty and hunger is one that you gave the answer to. Those who are rich are told to be generous in giving to the poor.

    The issue of poverty being equated with Spirituality is commonly misunderstood. This is not what the Bible actually teaches. We are not to despise the "things of the world" because they themselves are evil. (I believe this is a teaching of the gnostics, but I am not 100% sure) The actual principle in the Bible is that God created the world to be enjoyed by humans. But too often humans get caught up in pursuing wealth or power or accumulating "stuff" and as a result those things become the object of their worship rather than the God who created them. This is called "Materialism". The way the Bible teaches us to behave instead is to view all our possessions as temporary, since they can be taken away or lost at any time. Rather than putting our efforts into accumulating those things we should put our efforts into following and serving God. At the same time we are allowed to enjoy the world that God has created.

    Proverbs 30:8-9 says:
    "Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
    give me neither poverty nor riches,
    but give me only my daily bread.
    Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
    and say, ?Who is the LORD??
    Or I may become poor and steal,
    and so dishonor the name of my God. "

    Women being loose and men having no morals is also addressed by Christianity. The Gospel says "Repent of your sins and believe in Christ", and "Be holy as God is holy".
  2. mjerome3 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2000
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    If Christianity has these answers to at least some of these problems, then why is there so much bad stuff going on? In every faucet of Christian society, there's a church on every single corner in every major city in America. And yet, in these Christian societies, there's murder, rape, incest, drug abuse, robbery, adultery, homosexuality(although people have a right to be what they want to be), racism, mis-education, women with no husbands jumping from man to man, men with no wives jumping from woman to woman, fighting, indecency, lewdness, theft, .....Yes, it would appear that the Christian world, when broken down to it's very last compound, is truthfully more materialistic than spiritual.

    In Islamic and Jewish societies, why are women more pure? Why are men more pious? Why isn't there all of these crimes going on in the Muslim and Jewish countries as compared to the Christian communities? Why is it that Muslim women 8 times out of ten are virgins by the time they meet their husbands and the average Christian woman from the ages of 21-35 have had multiple boyfriends and lovers by the time she finally decides to marry, if she ever does?

    Do the answers to my questions lie in the religious doctrines, or could it be that basic upbringing plays more of a part? Could it be that Islam and Judaism puts more emphasis on certain things that Christianity doesn't? Whatever the case may be, I'll give credit only where credit is due.

    There was a time when the Christian wo
  3. Darth Kruel Jedi Master

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  4. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    Point of clarification: Are you equating morality with (non/extra-marital) sexuality?
  5. Darth Kruel Jedi Master

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    Jun 3, 2000
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    No, I'm not. But even if I was, it's in relation to what MJEROME was talking about. Muslim women do guard their private parts far more than Christian women. With all of the AIDS, lovers, children born out of wedlock, boyfriends, adulterous relationships, etc. going on in Christian countries, one wonders when the President or Congress or whoever else will one day put a ban on it. There's nothing wrong with relationships, but I think women in Christianity go about getting a husband the wrong way at least 70% of the time. Not everyone has the means to marry, but everyone should want to be married at least once in their lives. I think part of the problem in Christian America is that there's no God in school. I think that was a mistake to separate religion from educational studies. There's too much going on in Christian America such as racism, feminism, the family structure being shattered etc. Jewish countries and Islamic nations don't have these kinds of things going on.
  6. Ghost Chosen One

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    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Are you serious? Talk about sweeping generalizations. Nevermind the assumptions/premises, or the theocratic leanings. I'm not even sure where to begin.

    How do you know that Muslim countries aren't just as plagued with AIDS? Or that they aren't just as bad with pre-marital or extra-marital relationships, but are a lot more secretive about it?

    Why would Congress or the President try to ban these things? It definitely wouldn't be constitutional. It isn't the government's duty to legislate and enforce morality, and it never should be.

    What makes you come up with the 70%? What is the "right" way for Christian women to go about getting a husband?

    Why should everyone get married? What do you mean everyone should be married "at least once"? Are you being serious?

    God doesn't belong in public schools, except as part of social studies, with no religion preferred by the curriculum over another.

    The family structure isn't being shattered in America.

    There is no "Christian America," there's only the United States of America. Read the First Amendment.

    There's only one "Jewish" country, and I'm pretty sure Israel has the same kind of society as the rest of Western civilization. There really aren't any more "Christian countries," Christian theocracies no longer really exist, some European countries don't have a strict seperation of church and state (like the UK and the Church of England) but religious freedom is encouraged and your religion really isn't relevant... as it should be.
  7. Darth Kruel Jedi Master

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    Jun 3, 2000
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    The proof is in the pudding. There is more promiscuity happening in Christian nations. In Muslim nations people are usually wed when very young. In Islamic nations, people don't take the risk for being caught with someone who they are not married to. Even when or if this happens, the fornicator or the one accused is flogged or whopped in front of the entire community. Women are usually cast out of their families if not stoned to death. So even if it does occur, it's very rare. No sounding disrespectful, but you can pop in a porno DVD and see a woman having sex with two or three men simultaneously while a cross is dangling from her neck. I've actually seen this before. Just last week I saw a woman with two huge hooters resting inside a tight bikini bra walk right past me with a big cross around her neck. She was attractive, but she still should have had the dignity not to reveal herself in that way in public. It makes one wonder if some Christians really take their religion seriously.

    Oh, I forgot. In America one can do as they please. It's up to the individual.

    Actually, I was conjecturing about the percentage. But so many of these women have been tossed around from guy to guy, by the time they do meet a self respecting man, he doesn't want her since she's been with so many men. The more men a woman has been with, the more baggage she carries and that can be a deal breaker.


    It's up to whoever to want to get married. But those who say they don't want to are usually afraid to get married. What would be the reasons for not wanting to be married? But it's one of those things played by ear and should only happen i
  8. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    In Muslim nations people are usually wed when very young. In Islamic nations, people don't take the risk for being caught with someone who they are not married to. Even when or if this happens, the fornicator or the one accused is flogged or whopped in front of the entire community. Women are usually cast out of their families if not stoned to death.

    You honestly think that's a good thing?


    Oh, I forgot. In America one can do as they please. It's up to the individual.

    Exactly, ad it should be. The government should not legislate morality.

    And even from a Christian point of view, it doesn't matter if you're forced to obey someone's interpretation of what's right/wrong, it has to be your personal choice.

    Also, do you hold men to the same standards as women?



    Actually, I was conjecturing about the percentage. But so many of these women have been tossed around from guy to guy, by the time they do meet a self respecting man, he doesn't want her since she's been with so many men. The more men a woman has been with, the more baggage she carries and that can be a deal breaker.

    So you admit you made up the number, and you're going back to sweeping generalizations.



    But those who say they don't want to are usually afraid to get married. What would be the reasons for not wanting to be married?

    Not everyone has the same opinions and values as you.

    Two of my aunts have been with their boyfriends for over 20 years, I grew up calling them my uncles. They're fine with not getting married.

    My cousin got pregnant with her second child, her bofriend proposed and wanted to get married, she said no but they've still been together for like 10 years.



    There's nothing wrong with having God in public school. School would be a great setting to learn about the various religions in the world.

    Only if it's learning about all the different religions, and to be given equal treatment, in something like a Social Studies or Humanities or even English class. No religion should be given special treatment, like Christianity.



    The family has been broken in America for a very long time. There are some children who grow up with both parents in the household, and then there are others who were born bastards. So many children are being raised in single parent homes with only a mother and no father.

    Families are not broken, just diverse.

    One of my other cousins chose to be a single mother, but still had support from the father and her parents and siblings and all of us.

    One of my cousins was a single father for about 3 years.

    My next-door-neighbor and best friend as a kid was raised by his great-grandmother, and he grew up great.

    It really doesn't matter if children are born out of wedlock anymore, and it shouldn't, my grandmothers say that our society no longer picking on children born out of wedlock is one of the greatest social developments of their lifetimes.



    The United States of America is a Christian nation. It always has been.

    It's majority Christian, but it's not a Christian nation, there is no "Christian America."
  9. wannasee Force Ghost

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    Jan 24, 2007
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    Society has its expectations. If someone doesn't live up to them, then they should be punished. Why isn't that a good thing?

    Men are different than women, so nobody should hold them to the same standard.

    If you teach children all religions, then you teach them no religion.

    I would guess that a mother and a father have the best chance, percentage-wise, of raising a happy family.
  10. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    To abstain from a certain behavior under pain of death doesn?t strike me as being more moral, but more fearful.
    Guess what? Just because you can, doesn?t mean you have to. You can always?y?know?not watch that sort of thing.
    First off, LOL. If she had something other than two huge hooters, then something is seriously wrong. Secondly, Islamic traditions must have a very poor opinion of men?s powers of self-control if women can?t show any part of themselves without men going into a frenzy. Third, maybe?just maybe?she was wearing a cross to honor the Creator who blessed her with such a beautiful creation, namely her body.

    One of the things that puzzles me about many religious folk is that they venerate the Creator while denigrating His creation (the human body) as this shameful thing that should be hidden. Cognitive dissonance at work.

    Also, you?re spot-on. It is up to the individual. We all have the right (and responsibility) to choose how we respond to those around us. You may be right; it?s possible that she doesn?t take her Christianity seriously. However, I choose not to make that judgment one way or the other. Her relationship with God is between her and God, not her and Merkurian, nor between her and Darth Kruel.

    I also choose not to become unhinged at the sight of a woman?s bewbz. Maybe I?m over-exposed and thus numbed to the sight of sweater meat, or maybe the only dairy cannons that make my pants tight are my wife?s.
    Or?

    Maybe a real self-respecting man would base his opinions of a woman on who she is, rather than who she was. Not to mention this who thing is skewed against how women act. Nothing about men? o_O
    It?s been my observation that those who say this about themselves?don?t [face_peace]
  11. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Society has its expectations. If someone doesn't live up to them, then they should be punished. Why isn't that a good thing?

    Because a society doing and accepting things like forcing marriage on young girls and stoning women to death is WRONG.


    Men are different than women, so nobody should hold them to the same standard.

    Nice to know you're sexist. I like how so many religious conservatives insist that women dress decently, because men aren't expected to have self-control or dress and behave decently themselves.


    If you teach children all religions, then you teach them no religion.

    I disagree with that, but either option is betting than teaching only one religion in a public school.


    I would guess that a mother and a father have the best chance, percentage-wise, of raising a happy family.

    All that matters in a family is love, families come in all shapes and sizes and that's a good thing.
  12. Darth Kruel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2000
    star 4


    It's not about watching porn. It's about what I saw. Even porn actresses shouldn't be wearing religious symbols like that especially on camera. It not only shows immorality, but it shows hypocrisy as well.


    I'm glad you got a good laugh out of that. I partially agree with you that in Islam, it seems that the only way for man to control his carnality is to have the women covered up completely. They say it's shows the woman's modesty but a woman can be modest without all of that covering up with garments. As far as the woman with the huge 44 double D's are concerned that I saw, I feel that she doesn't need to show herself to the whole world. She should dress more appropriately where men will desire her in a more reverential way instead of a lustful way.

    In regards to being with a woman who may change, very rarely do people completely change. Personally, I don't want a woman who has been with
  13. Jedi_Corin_Daan Jedi Master

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    Nov 6, 2010
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    Wow,...Ok.

    There is a huge difference between what Christianity actually teaches and what happens within so-called "Christian" nations and societies. The biggest mistake that people can make is to assume that American society in general follows Christian principles. This is far from true. The differences that have been cited between "Christian" nations and Islamic nations can be explained very easily. Islamic governments enforce religious legalisms, whereas "Christian" nations today do not. American society as a whole is not a workable example of Christianity because there is no national religion (as there is in Islamic countries).

    Even the American church is not always a good example of Christianity because post-modern ideologies and other influences have distorted how Christianity is practiced.
  14. mjerome3 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2000
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    I somewhat agree with you. However, one thing that is missing from your explanation is Muslims live their lives with a sense of religious duty whereas most Christians do not. When it comes down to it that is the defining causes between the followers of one faith and the followers of the other one.
  15. Obi-Zahn Kenobi Chosen One

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    Aug 23, 1999
    star 7
    The American ecclesial communities is an awful example because most American Christian religions are homegrown (the Baptists, Mormons, Evangelicals, Methodists, "Non-Denominationals", Pentecostals). They're all native American religions imbued with the Americanist philosophy.

    Nothing to do with actual, historic Christianity except that they stole part of the Holy Book and ran with it.

    You want to see an actual Christian religion?

    Roman Catholicism
    Oriental Orthodoxy
    Eastern Orthodoxy
    Assyrian Church of the East

    Anyone outside of those four communions has no real historical standing. They all have liturgies, priests, bishops, deacons, use the whole Bible, venerate saints, etc.

    The American Christian religions believe in random stuff that evolved from the novel beliefs of dissident Anglicans.
  16. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    Soooo...are you saying that Baptists, Methodists, etc., aren't real Christians? o_O

    [image=http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z232/Merkurian/michael-jackson-thriller-eating-pop.gif]

    This will be interesting...
  17. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

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    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    That's not exactly true.

    There are three major branches of Christianity: Orthodox, Protestant, and Restorationist.

    Orthodox churches are those that claim to trace their authority directly back to Christ through the Apostles, and include the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Coptic churches, etc.

    Protestant churches are those that developed out of the Protestant Reformation (which started in the 16th Century, before the first English colony in the New World). The first recorded Baptist congregation, for example, was established in Amsterdam in 1609, while the first one in the New World wasn't established until 1639. Protestants include Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans, and most other Christian denominations.

    Restorationist churches are those that claim that Christ's church suffered an apostasy and was lost from the Earth, and therefore needs to be restored by Christ himself. Some believe (as with the LDS and its offshoots) that it has already been restored to the Earth, while others (such as the Jehovah's Witnesses) believe that it still needs to be restored. Still more (such as the Church of Christ) believe that it is currently being restored.

    Of the churches that you claimed are "homegrown", most came from Europe. As I mentioned, Baptists started in 1609 in Amsterdam. The Methodists were started by John Wesley in England in the 18th century. Evangelicalism grew largely out of the writings of both John Wesley in England and John Edwards in America. Non-denominational churches grew out of the attempts to reconcile religious differences between the Presbyterians in Scotland and Anglicans in England. Of your list, only the LDS (Mormon) and Pentecostal churches trace their origins to the US (the former in 1830, the latter in 1901).

    It's not as simple as being able to claim that only the Orthodox branch are "true" Christianity. They might trace their history back to the first century, but their current forms are quite different from the Church that was formed then.

    Kimball Kinnison
  18. Obi-Zahn Kenobi Chosen One

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    Sort of. I'm saying they have very little in common with historical Christianity that existed before AD 1500.

    Baptists, as we know them, in the United States, are rather different from Baptists in Europe, which are a very small minority. The religion has seen its greatest growth here. Hence, homegrown - not necessarily homespawned.

    Restorationist Churches are entirely homegrown (except for Iglesia Ni Cristo and other new, random, small sects - and the founder of Iglesia Ni Cristo was a Mormon first anyway).

    Methodists? Well, Methodism had its growth and expansion primarily in the US rather than in Europe. It was started over there, but grew over here. Pentecostalism, which came from it, is completely homegrown too.

    Well, let's see, there are four churches that are that ancient. All of them have liturgies that are very similar, have vestments, believe in bishops, priests, deacons, transubstantiation, veneration of saints, confession, sacraments, etc. The first one split from the Catholic Church in AD 431. Some in AD 451. Another between AD 867 and AD 1453 (not AD 1054 - that is just one of the many things that happened between us).

    Basically, the apostles would go into a Catholic or Orthodox Church in Kerala and understand what was happening. Or a Catholic Church in Spain. Or an Orthodox Church in Cairo or Ethiopia or Jerusalem or Greece.

    But they'd walk in on a Methodist service kind of confused. A Mormon service? Confused out of their minds.

    How do we know? Because none of the churches they actually started were Mormon or Methodist or Pentecostal. They're all orthodox.
  19. WormieSaber Force Ghost

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    Oct 22, 2000
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    Obi, just because something is historical doesn't mean it is true to the source. The protestant Christian faiths, and the entire protestant movement was based on the fact that the oranized religious parties in Europe were no longer staying true to the source, but most of their practice was based on things that made up by mankind themselves. You can liken this to the Pharisees of Jesus' time. State and religion were connected, and, according to the Protestants, this was not Christ's intention; people had to go through Clergy in order to rely on their personal, spiritual relationship with Christ. Jesus stated in the Gospels that you will be able to go here, or there, and where three are gathered in my name, that's where I will be. Clergy and practice. this was not the focus of Christ's intention - on religious practice but on genuine faith without the stumbling block of religous rituals and practice. That is why when America was formed, one of the major goals was separate Christianity and State (or religion and State) so that you could read the Bible yourself and seek God on a personal level.


    Obi-Zahn writes:You want to see an actual Christian religion?

    Roman Catholicism
    Oriental Orthodoxy
    Eastern Orthodoxy
    Assyrian Church of the East


    Err, all of this would be matter of opinion. I doubt anybody could ever say there is only one true Christian faith. You can establish a strong argument on your case for certain doctrines as why you believe something is the way you say it is in the Bible, however, Roman Catholicism entails many religious practices that aren't even supported in the Bible itself. So I could easily debunk many things, for example, that you must confess your sins to a Clergy member rather than do it straight to God in prayer. Also, why they also believe that unless you are a part of Catholic Church you cannot partake in communion. I know, because I went to a Catholic Church and they denied me communion because I wasn't catholic. I'm sorry, but anybody who believes in Christ can partake in the Holy communion. Even in your own kitchen. This is a rule that the Catholic Church invented outside of the Bible.




    Anyone outside of those four communions has no real historical standing. They all have liturgies, priests, bishops, deacons, use the whole Bible, venerate saints, etc.


    The Bible of the Protestant faiths contain at least 95% of the same books from the above faiths that you mention. There were many reasons why not to include the other percentage, being one, they contradicted the other 95%, or two, it's authenticity was in question. If the authenticity is at all questionable, or contradictory, then out it goes. Also, the study of historical texts have proven that those extra books do not go as far back in terms of carbon dating or other evidential factors like the grounded texts of Protestant Bible.

    The American Christian religions believe in random stuff that evolved from the novel beliefs of dissident Anglicans.

    This sentence is very broad in nature. Random stuff? err, like what? I was raised Baptists, baptized as a Baptist (twice) so I could tell you a lot about being a Baptist in America.
  20. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

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    Nov 7, 2007
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    ^^^

    What difference does it make what book an entire belief system is based on? Whenever anyone tears Christianity to shreds with its own book, the natural fallback position for such people is to proclaim there is more to their religion than just a book. Why then, if a religion is supposedly more than just a book, does most of the content I've ever heard during services come directly from the bible?

    My question here is this: why is so much of Christianity based on a book where god endorses slavery and proclaims that diseases were caused by demons? Why would anyone have reason to believe a loving and all knowing god would actively destroy humanity instead of helping them? How is it that so many who've never read it could put so much faith in such a contradictory document?

    I'd also say that Roman Catholics have learned the important lessons of Christianity better than anyone else, partly because a person must confess her sins to another human being... rather than just talking to themselves. It's very different for one to approach a human being made of flesh and blood, knowing that he is listening... rather than just spouting off and hearing nothing in return. You may think I'm being disrespectful to your god, but I ask you to stop and think about it for a moment. Would you be more hesitant to speak your darkest sins to another human being than to a supernatural being whom does not directly (or maybe even indirectly) respond to your confessions?

    When you speak to another human, you know that you've spoken to truth to someone other than yourself. Sharing something with only your god is pretty much the same as keeping something to yourself.
  21. Ghost Chosen One

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    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    That's pretty much what I was going to post in response to Obi-Zahn Kenobi. Just because a church and its traditions can be traced throughout history to the roots doesn't make it more "Christian," if anything it means it was more likely influenced by non-Christian teachings and cultures (which doesn't make it necessarily less Christian either, just further removed from the roots of Christianity).
  22. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    May 4, 2003
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    Since you asked.

    1. Not really a sustainable comment. While the word used in translation is "slavery" the relationship described in the Old Testament is not comparable to the chattel slavery we find objectionable. That was a rather unique historical occurrence. Besdies, though, there's not really anything to sustain that the practice was "endorsed." God allowed any number of things he clearly did not approve of. Jesus makes this point regarding divorce. In an example more pertinent for our present discussion, when setting up the Israeli monarchy at the people's request, God issues quite a lengthy critique of that form of government ("And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, [even] the best [of them], and give [them] to his servants."). Obviously, although he allows such a thing, that's not an indication that he likes it. You could also see this point in modern life. The First Amendment states people should be allowed to practice a religion if they so chose. But the fact that you would allow people that right doesn't mean that you think it's a great idea. It would be foolish to say someone "endorses" religion simply because they believe in the First Amendment.

    2. I'm not sure what you're on about here. The Bible describes less than a half dozen cases were a particular individual's behavior was due to demonic possession. That's not the same thing as saying the sole or even primary cause of that behavior is possession. It's not saying that people shouldn't seek medical care, or that they are at fault when they are sick. It's saying that a handful of cases in human history of something that looked like history actually weren't. In much the same way, psychology describes things like "conversion disorder" and "somatization disorder" which are cases were things that look very much like physical diseases actually have a psychological cause. That's not saying that all people who are sick are actually crazy; it's just pointing out that sometimes a special cause can produce something that looks like physical illness. Do you disagree that this is possible? Is modern medicine and psychiatry wrong? Or is it merely the case that you disagree that possession could ever be a cause? You're welcome to. But I'd point out that it's unsurprising that religion that believes in spirits that interact in the real world might also have a theory of a historical instance where a spirit once interacted in the real world. It would be sort of strange if there wasn't something like this, really.

    3. What are you talking about? The Bible, as a book, is pretty packed full of instances of God trying to help humanity. That would probably be the central theme of the whole thing. After all, recall that the central claim of the Bible is that it is an actual collection of messages from God to mankind. Given that, how can you simultaneously claim he is not trying to help?
  23. Obi-Zahn Kenobi Chosen One

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    Aug 23, 1999
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    The Bible of the Protestant faith (which says there is ONE baptism for the remission of sins . . . ) is stolen and edited from the library of books, memoirs, and letters that the Catholic Church declares to be their sacred scriptures.

    Where in the Bible does it declare the 66 books you deem sacred to be sacred? Well, there goes your "we can't do anything that's not in the Bible".

    Also, the Bible doesn't say to admit heretics to communion, does it? Where does it say that? So that's why we can't allow you to receive the Body of Christ. In fact, in the first century, you wouldn't have been allowed in the door.

    Read Justin Martyr, for example:

    "?But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty pr
  24. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    May 4, 2003
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    This argument is silly, as I'm sure you are well aware. In the first place, because many of the books of the Bible do nod at each other's sacredness, and sometimes their own. Really, though, that's a non-issue. The principle that one should only teach, practice, and live by what is actually in holy texts is a completely separate task from determining which texts are holy. In the same way, the concept of originalist interpretation of the Constitution is not defeated because two people disagree over a particular Founder's original intent. Or, again, objecting to evidence-based medicine as a concept is wholly different than disagreeing with a particular body of evidence. Having a particular standard is not the same thing as perfectly agreeing on the meaning of said standard, and debate about one issue doesn't really impact the other.

    The rub between Catholics and Protestants on sola scriptura has always been about whether you can elevate things that are admittedly outside the Bible to equal status with things found inside it.

    And?

    I don't understand why you valorize historical continuity so much. By the same logic, are the Assyrian rites more legitimate than the Catholic Church, because they do their services in a language descended from Aramaiac, whereas Latin is not. After all, if you listened to the phonemes used by the first century believers, it would sound more like Syriac than the Church Latin. Et cetera. The Protestant churches have never challenged the notion that, where not explicitly prescribed, particular orders of service or worship might mutate over time. It's almost expected. The question, as above, is whether either organizational or procedural continuity on issues can confer legitimacy. Protestant churches take the position that, lacking any recognizable commandment should be taken as expected cultural variation among believers of no significance (much in the way that the Israelites and Jews developed new songs, and in all likelihood changed the exact procedure of circumcision). The Catholic Church has taken what is, to my thinking, the odd position of giving these issues great weight.

    thus, your second issue is just a permutation of the first. What is the ultimate authority for determining Christian doctrine? "Scripture" alone, or something more? Why?
  25. Obi-Zahn Kenobi Chosen One

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    Aug 23, 1999
    star 7
    Because Pentecostalism isn't the Apostolic Religion. Jesus didn't appear on Azusa Street and say, "Hello everyone! Here is my authority and my scriptures and my Holy Spirit! (which is me too!)" No, you're two different people with a consubstantial essence cried some, and thus the Assemblies of God was born . . .

    No, Jesus Christ laid hands on his apostles, he breathed on them and gave them the Holy Spirit. They transmitted that gift via their hands through their successors the bishops.

    And from AD 33 to the nineteenth century, Pentecostalism didn't exist. But the bishops still held their authority from Christ and transferred it down.

    Whence cometh the authority of thy bishops? The bishops before them? Whence came their authority? From Azusa Street?

    As for your comments on the liturgy, you know there is a vast difference between a traditional Catholic service and a pentecostal service. It's not nothing. It's a substantial, not merely a visible difference.

    I also serve in a Syriac language liturgy monthly, as an interesting side note.