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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 1: Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:30 pm
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If Christianity didn't make pretty promises...

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If Christianity didn't promise heaven, threaten hell, and claim the creator of the Universe had your back, would Christianity have any followers at all?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 2: Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:01 pm
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Re: If Christianity didn't make pretty promises...

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Justin108 wrote:

If Christianity didn't promise heaven, threaten hell, and claim the creator of the Universe had your back, would Christianity have any followers at all?


Perhaps...Judaism does not promise Heaven per se, nor does it threaten hell. Judaism still has devoted followers.

Islam and Christianity both do these things, and have many followers. So it could be the promises and threats, or it could be their ease of joining (compared to Judaism) that gives them both so many followers. Or perhaps a combination of both.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 3: Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:31 am
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Re: If Christianity didn't make pretty promises...

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Elijah John wrote:

Perhaps...Judaism does not promise Heaven per se, nor does it threaten hell. Judaism still has devoted followers.

The Jews still believe God has their back and that they are God's chosen people. They believe that being devoted to God will bring their people a good life

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 4: Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:47 am
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Re: If Christianity didn't make pretty promises...

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Justin108 wrote:

Elijah John wrote:

Perhaps...Judaism does not promise Heaven per se, nor does it threaten hell. Judaism still has devoted followers.

The Jews still believe God has their back and that they are God's chosen people. They believe that being devoted to God will bring their people a good life


So everything (clubs, orginazations, societies, etc.) including religions must have something positive to offer, else why would anyone follow. True, but what is your point?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 5: Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:54 pm
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Re: If Christianity didn't make pretty promises...

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Justin108 wrote:

If Christianity didn't promise heaven, threaten hell, and claim the creator of the Universe had your back, would Christianity have any followers at all?


Do you include this promise also?

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you. Don't let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.
John 14:27

If you remove all the promises, there wouldn’t be much left. However, I hope I would still live as God has commanded, because I think it is good.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 6: Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:11 pm
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I really don't know what religion offers anyone other than myths and lies. It was all invented to have power and control over others and its leaders and preachers, including Jesus who used the Creator/God for their very own purpose.

Very few non religious people decide to join that bandwagon and its only indoctrination that is responsible for it. As anyone that is born on a desert island would just walk on by. Their inbuilt moral compass is greater than anything found in religious text.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 7: Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:26 pm
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Re: If Christianity didn't make pretty promises...

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Elijah John wrote:

Justin108 wrote:

Elijah John wrote:

Perhaps...Judaism does not promise Heaven per se, nor does it threaten hell. Judaism still has devoted followers.

The Jews still believe God has their back and that they are God's chosen people. They believe that being devoted to God will bring their people a good life


So everything (clubs, orginazations, societies, etc.) including religions must have something positive to offer, else why would anyone follow. True, but what is your point?


Agreed. There isn't much point to dedicating yourself to a group or cause that, in turn, provides no benefit. That's probably just simple economics of intent. If you are going to spend (time, energy, undergo significant personal change in lifestyle), in the very least such an arrangement replaces what is spent, but hopefully has much greater return.

I can't speak to Justin's particular point cuz I'm not in his head to know it, but I genuinely relate to his question. Not that I am critical of a person expecting certain benefits from becoming a Christian, that's not it. The 'point' as I see it is that some Christians bluntly DENY their motivation to be a Christian is for personal benefit.

I know most Christians don't do this, I'm thinking of fundamentalists and literalists, who out of one side of their mouth DENY converting for the hopes of Heaven or avoidance of Hell, when these are the Top Two prime movers (explanations, reasons) to be a Christian in the first place. At least at first. I know many Christians speak of deep satisfaction in 'walking with God', but I'll bet that is too abstract for the new convert, until their God concept and personal unpacking of the Christian message can happen.

I've seen this claim multiple times on this forum, and elsewhere. I don't believe it when I hear it because it defies the simple 'economics' of give and take. It might sound really advanced or 'mature' to deny promises of Heaven and threats of Hell figure in to one's faith. I'm saying it's just not possible, it's not how humans tick, and that claiming this is more in line with shoving things under the rug. Things like ego, 'lookin out for Number 1', and direct personal gain (sense of security and even moral superiority). No one undergoes conversion to such a demanding religion without buying the promises and/or threats. The more abstract or refined benefits can only come later to the 'experienced' believer. Otherwise, like the OP wonders, why bother?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 8: Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:29 pm
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Re: If Christianity didn't make pretty promises...

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Hamsaka wrote:
I can't speak to Justin's particular point cuz I'm not in his head to know it, but I genuinely relate to his question. Not that I am critical of a person expecting certain benefits from becoming a Christian, that's not it. The 'point' as I see it is that some Christians bluntly DENY their motivation to be a Christian is for personal benefit.


What does personal benefit mean? If it means that I merely get fire insurance, then no, that is not the case for becoming a Christian (personally speaking). If it is to have a relationship with the Son of God, and to center my life around Him, accepting His love, and sharing that with the world, then yes. I cannot know Christ and follow Him, without it benefiting me, and others (I hope).

Hamsaka wrote:
I know most Christians don't do this, I'm thinking of fundamentalists and literalists, who out of one side of their mouth DENY converting for the hopes of Heaven or avoidance of Hell, when these are the Top Two prime movers (explanations, reasons) to be a Christian in the first place. At least at first. I know many Christians speak of deep satisfaction in 'walking with God', but I'll bet that is too abstract for the new convert, until their God concept and personal unpacking of the Christian message can happen.


This is not how it worked for me. It wasn't at all that I got to go to Heaven, that set my feet dancing when I first became a Christian. It was the fact that I didn't have to hold my life together by some moral standard that I created in my head. It was freedom to be who I was, because I knew for certain that there was NOTHING that I could do on my own to earn the grace of God...it was just given!

Hamsaka wrote:
I've seen this claim multiple times on this forum, and elsewhere. I don't believe it when I hear it because it defies the simple 'economics' of give and take. It might sound really advanced or 'mature' to deny promises of Heaven and threats of Hell figure in to one's faith. I'm saying it's just not possible, it's not how humans tick, and that claiming this is more in line with shoving things under the rug. Things like ego, 'lookin out for Number 1', and direct personal gain (sense of security and even moral superiority). No one undergoes conversion to such a demanding religion without buying the promises and/or threats. The more abstract or refined benefits can only come later to the 'experienced' believer. Otherwise, like the OP wonders, why bother?


There is a benefit of being a believer, and one of those benefits is life eternal with God. In order for that to even begin to be totally appealing, wouldn't one have to buy in to believing that they even wanted to spend eternity with Him? In essence, how would you know you wanted to commit yourself to a marriage, without first knowing the Character of your spouse?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 9: Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:40 pm
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I believe firmly in an eternal God but denounce all organised religion who have all made God into their plaything.

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MPG Recipient Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 10: Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:22 pm
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Re: If Christianity didn't make pretty promises...

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Peds nurse wrote:

Hamsaka wrote:
I can't speak to Justin's particular point cuz I'm not in his head to know it, but I genuinely relate to his question. Not that I am critical of a person expecting certain benefits from becoming a Christian, that's not it. The 'point' as I see it is that some Christians bluntly DENY their motivation to be a Christian is for personal benefit.


What does personal benefit mean? If it means that I merely get fire insurance, then no, that is not the case for becoming a Christian (personally speaking). If it is to have a relationship with the Son of God, and to center my life around Him, accepting His love, and sharing that with the world, then yes. I cannot know Christ and follow Him, without it benefiting me, and others (I hope).

Hamsaka wrote:
I know most Christians don't do this, I'm thinking of fundamentalists and literalists, who out of one side of their mouth DENY converting for the hopes of Heaven or avoidance of Hell, when these are the Top Two prime movers (explanations, reasons) to be a Christian in the first place. At least at first. I know many Christians speak of deep satisfaction in 'walking with God', but I'll bet that is too abstract for the new convert, until their God concept and personal unpacking of the Christian message can happen.


This is not how it worked for me. It wasn't at all that I got to go to Heaven, that set my feet dancing when I first became a Christian. It was the fact that I didn't have to hold my life together by some moral standard that I created in my head. It was freedom to be who I was, because I knew for certain that there was NOTHING that I could do on my own to earn the grace of God...it was just given!

Hamsaka wrote:
I've seen this claim multiple times on this forum, and elsewhere. I don't believe it when I hear it because it defies the simple 'economics' of give and take. It might sound really advanced or 'mature' to deny promises of Heaven and threats of Hell figure in to one's faith. I'm saying it's just not possible, it's not how humans tick, and that claiming this is more in line with shoving things under the rug. Things like ego, 'lookin out for Number 1', and direct personal gain (sense of security and even moral superiority). No one undergoes conversion to such a demanding religion without buying the promises and/or threats. The more abstract or refined benefits can only come later to the 'experienced' believer. Otherwise, like the OP wonders, why bother?


There is a benefit of being a believer, and one of those benefits is life eternal with God. In order for that to even begin to be totally appealing, wouldn't one have to buy in to believing that they even wanted to spend eternity with Him? In essence, how would you know you wanted to commit yourself to a marriage, without first knowing the Character of your spouse?


You, my friend, are the LAST person I could ever think of and write the above post. Although I have never had any of the religious experiences you've had, I can still recognize a sincere believer when I see one Wink You would fall into the category of 'We need more of her type if the Christian religion is to make it in the modern world."

You must be aware of Christianity in the US having a wide variety of expressions. There are those who really do appear to hold themselves to an ideal of love and compassion and honesty, and I (personally) respect and appreciate them, even though I've never had the personal experiences they've had.

It's the Christians who run around condemning the 'unsaved' and telling deliberate untruths to further whatever agenda (usually political), be it anti-LGBT, anti-climate change, and draw up aggressive strategies to insert Creationism into public school science curriculums. They are dealing dishonestly for power and influence over people who don't share their beliefs. They don't set examples that non-believers want to follow. They are enforcers, and use the Hell threats to intimidate, undermine and scare the dickens out of people who don't know any better. They are the ones that make the Christian God look like an abusive spouse, who punishes you 'because I love you'. Because they are on the news so often spouting religio-political rhetoric, a person could conclude they ARE the Christians, and they give the whole group a bad name.

And then, they claim being rewarded in Heaven or punished in Hell is the LEAST reason they are Christians, right after giving a sermon about why a loving God must put you in Hell for not believing in Him. I think that is what Justin is talking about, too.

I wish the 'rest' of Christendom would take these people seriously, like you would a wayward family member giving the whole family a bad name.

It's no manipulation of statistics that shows the Millenial generation is rejecting Christianity more than any previous generation. They're getting a bad taste in their mouths before they can possibly understand what it means to devote themselves to a religious or spiritual path. And it's the fire and brimstone Hell threateners, the morally 'superior' religious right that is causing the rejection.

Your response above lines up with what Elijah John said, and he's another theist I respect, however poorly I relate to religion. Of course there being a benefit to being a Christian is understandable. It doesn't work any other way. But since I was talking about a very different kind of Christian than you appear to be, what I said probably looks confusing and overly cynical.

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