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Justin108
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:30 pm  If Christianity didn't make pretty promises... Reply with quote

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?
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 21: Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:53 pm
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Elijah John wrote:


Agnosticism as in "we don't know"? Seems to me that truth is something tangible to believe in, and agnosticticism's only "truth", by definition, is an open mind.

Despicable ideologies, if they contain ANY truth, have perverted it. What truth, for example, does Nazi-ism proclaim? IF there is a core of truth in belief systems such as these, they have distorted it beyond any sense of decency and benevolence.

Isn't this a rather bias outlook on truth? You're basically claiming that no truth is ever immoral.

Now I just want to make my view on the matter very clear. I am not advocating this claim. I am merely playing devil's advocate... but what if there was truth in the claim that some races were intellectually superior to other races (again, I am not claiming this). Would Nazi-ism be void of truth still, even though they profess this truth?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 22: Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:57 pm
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Justin108 wrote:

Elijah John wrote:

Justin108 wrote:

historia wrote:

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?


Yes. Liberal forms of Christianity don't subscribe to any of these ideas, and have existed for a good century or more.

What exactly do liberal forms of Christianity believe?


Liberal forms of Christianity take the Bible seriously, but not literally.

The believe in taking into account ancient culture and history for context, in interpreting the Bible.

Most believe in God the Father in some way or another, but do not believe that Jesus himself is God...but a man possessed in great measure by the Spirit of God, the Father. So needless to say they do not believe the Trinity is revealed, literal truth, but see it as a theological construct useful for some to understand God's transcendance as well as His immanence.

Most (but not all) TEND to be politically liberal as well as theologically liberal.

And there is more, but suffice it to say that they do not march in lock-step, but take the Protestant imperative of the "priesthood of all believers" seriously and claim for themselves the freedom to interpret the Bible according to their own lights, conscience and God-given Reason.

I understand that the Episcopal Church stands on three basic principles, a three legged stool...Tradition, Reason, and the Bible...not necessarily in that order.

MOST theologically Liberal forms of Christianity value Reason, a whole lot. As Robin Williams used to say, one of the top ten reasons to become an Episcopalian is that you can "still believe in dinosaurs".
Wink

So to be clear, they do not believe in an afterlife?


Sorry I wasn't more clear..." DO preach Heaven, at least here on earth" does not preclude the doctrine of Heaven and the afterlife...but individuals in Liberal branches are free to doubt, and focus only on THIS life if that's all the belief they can muster.
Wink Liberal branches are not dogmatic, nor do they tend to be proseltyzing. They focus on being better people for their own good, the good of their families and society at large.

Liberal Christians tend to "preach by example" rather than words.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 23: Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:24 pm
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[Replying to post 20 by Justin108]

Now wait a minute....you do not know my faith journey...It is unfair of you to speculate like that.

I was indoctrinated in the Catholic faith, and ON MY OWN I realized that some things the RCC theology just did not add up. I have been pretty clear on these boards what those things are. AND I have both defended AND have been critical of the Church.

So we make accomodations and compromise, for the sake of religous fellowship. I think God understands and doubt I am alone in this. I abstain from the parts of the Mass that I do not agree with..and quietly and politely sit out Communion, etc, or keep my peace in the parts of the Nicean Creed that just do not make sense to me.

That is not dishonest.

I do not abandon my Faith tradition because there is MUCH I agree with. And I can learn even from the parts that I disagree with.

Example.. I agree with most of the MORAL teachings of the RCC. It is just some of the theology I take issue with.

But I also believe that God judges based on "works" the DOING of the faith and TEACHUBG of Jesus, not the professing, "LORD LORD" stuff. I don't think Jesus or his early disciples left the Synagogue or Temple because they had differences. His followers were eventually expelled, however, and that is different.

It comes down to essence, that is what I mean by DEISTIC...Deism is religion boiled down to it's essence.

Rabbi Hillel was asked to summarize the Torah while standing on one foot. He replied "what is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor"

That is essence.

The same principle of focusing on Essence can be applied to most any religion, including the RCC. In that case, the teachings of Jesus about God, the Father...the Lord's prayer and the Golden Rule.

If one focuses on those three things, one "gets" the essence of Roman Catholicism, and Christianity in general.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 24: Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:41 am
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Elijah John wrote:

Now wait a minute....you do not know my faith journey...It is unfair of you to speculate like that.

I was indoctrinated in the Catholic faith, and ON MY OWN I realized that some things the RCC theology just did not add up. I have been pretty clear on these boards what those things are. AND I have both defended AND have been critical of the Church.

So we make accomodations and compromise, for the sake of religous fellowship. I think God understands and doubt I am alone in this. I abstain from the parts of the Mass that I do not agree with..and quietly and politely sit out Communion, etc, or keep my peace in the parts of the Nicean Creed that just do not make sense to me.

That is not dishonest.

Quote:


Deism, seems to me the truest of the bunch. But since their are no Deist churches, per se, I try to find the Deistic elements in my own Catholicism...no easy task.

And we religious types often feel the need to worship with others. And since the RCC is my family's Church, I try to "bloom where I am planted"


The bold portions is why I call your attempt intellectually dishonest. If you genuinely want to find the truth of the matter, you cannot try to make it true that the god of Deism is within Catholicism. This becomes confirmation bias. The fact that you so eagerly want to make Deism work within Catholicism attests to that. You want there to be a church. You want to worship with others. These desires taint a true pursuit of knowledge. If you want something to be true, your interpretation of the Bible will lead you to these conclusions whether they are there or not.

Elijah John wrote:

I do not abandon my Faith tradition because there is MUCH I agree with. And I can learn even from the parts that I disagree with.

Example.. I agree with most of the MORAL teachings of the RCC.

Do you believe these faith traditions are from god? Do you believe these moral teachings are from god? If so, why? Because it seems to be most likely? Or because you want these teachings to be from god in order for you to grant credence to Catholicism?




Elijah John wrote:
But I also believe that God judges based on "works" the DOING of the faith and TEACHUBG of Jesus, not the professing, "LORD LORD" stuff.

How did you conclude that God judges at all? From a rational perspective, there is nothing to suggest that God judges the wicked and rewards the just. This is one of the key issues in which Deism and Christianity differ. You claim to be a Deist on rational grounds yet your claim that we are judged by our deeds is a Christian conclusion, not a Deistic one based on reason.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 25: Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:46 am
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Justin108 wrote:

The fact that you actively try to find Deism in Catholicism is intellectually dishonest.


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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 26: Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:02 am
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Re: If Christianity didn't make pretty promises...

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[quote="Hamsaka"]
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?


Hamsaka wrote:
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."


I would donate all my tokens to you, but I would much rather send you flowers! Your words are beautiful, and touched my heart! Thanks Hamsaka! For others (especially non believers) to see the genuine love I have for God, and for His people, humbles me deeply.

Hamsaka wrote:
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.


I agree.

Hamsaka wrote:
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.


Unfortunately, there are people in every arena, who are in it for themselves. The lasting damage that is created, sorrows my heart greatly. It is sad that some churches in America, have steered away from love, and replaced it with judgement. They adhere to some sort of behavior modification program, in which resistance is met with harsh criticism. This is why people are never the standard to which Christ calls us, because we often times go off on self directed tangents.


Hamsaka wrote:
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.


I think for those who know the love of Christ, they do...making His presence known one life at a time. We stand up in our congregations and are honest about our imperfect lives. We welcome all who wish to grace our doors. Atheists, Buddists, Gay, lesbian, green hair, blue hair, those with money, and those with none, we welcome in our presence as equals, imperfect people in need of grace. None of us claim to have all the answers to life's complex nature, but we all lift each other up through our encouragement and prayer, and we become a body working together, making Christ's love known in our community and world.

Thanks again Hamsaka, I appreciate the sheer beauty of your heart, believer or not!

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 27: Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:15 am
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[Replying to post 24 by Justin108]

I am NOT a pure Deist, I am a CHRISTIAN Deist...there's a difference.

A Christian Deist believes in God and the moral teachings of Jesus. ALL Christian Churches espose the belief in God and the moral teachings of Jesus...that is their Deistic BASELINE.

The various Christian Churches have ADDED to that baseline, some more than others. Accretions of Dogma, Doctrine and Creeds...Elaborations.

Jesus himself taught fundamentals, and sought to simplify, and purify his native Judaism of accretions (purity laws, etc.) and emphsize the basics.

"Love God with your whole heart, mind and strengh, and love your neigbor as yourself"

Jesus characterized this as the "Law and the Prophets" Seems pretty basic, don't you think? Christian Deists embrace those laws as well.

All the rest is commentary, as Hillel said.

Thomas Paine is probably the most revered writer by modern Deists, says this from his essay :

"Of The Religion of Deism Compared With
the Christian Religion

by Thomas Paine

Every person, of whatever religious denomination he may be, is a DEIST in the first article of his Creed. Deism, from the Latin word Deus, God, is the belief of a God, and this belief is the first article of every man's creed."

----

The first article of his Creed sounds like a baseline of Deism to me, wouldn't you agree?

And compare that to the Nicene Creed: "We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth"...THAT is the Deistic element of the RCC and other Christian churches as well.

Also, my latching onto the Deistic elements of my inherited religion has a mighty fine prescedent. Thomas Jefferson, a Christian Deist, did pretty much the same thing with HIS native Anglicanism. He wrote the "Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth" (The Jefferson Bible) and still attended his Anglican church.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 28: Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:30 am
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Elijah John wrote:

A Christian Deist believes in God and the moral teachings of Jesus. ALL Christian Churches espose the belief in God and the moral teachings of Jesus...that is their Deistic BASELINE.


No this is a theistic baseline. What does Jesus' teachings have to do with deism? Take away Jesus' moral teachings and I would agree on a deistic baseline. Do you believe in heaven? Then you are not a deist. Do you believe God communicates with man? Then you are not a deist. Do you believe God rewards good and punishes evil? Then you are not a deist.

A deist separates God from organized religion. A deistic baseline is simply "there is a god". That is where deism stops. The moment you add characteristics to this god, claim an afterlife or claim that this god has anything to do with a specific religion, it stops being deistic. Deism is god minus religion.


Elijah John wrote:
The various Christian Churches have ADDED to that baseline, some more than others. Accretions of Dogma, Doctrine and Creeds...Elaborations.

And the moment they did this, it stopped being deism and becomes theism



deism
ˈdeɪɪz(ə)m,ˈdiːɪ-/Submit
noun
belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe.

theism
ˈθiːɪz(ə)m/Submit
noun
belief in the existence of a god or gods, specifically of a creator who intervenes in the universe.


Last edited by Justin108 on Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:47 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 29: Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:38 am
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As I have said before, Dictionary definitions don't always work.

I am a Deist but claim God does intervene in the world if and when he wants to BUT I don't support or follow any organised religion. That is not to say that certain individuals who call themselves theists or do call themselves eg Christian, have to support and agree to ALL the tenants of that faith. Indeed most probably don't.

So I'm a Deist PLUS and the dictionary therefore needs updating...Wink

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 30: Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:47 am
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beeswax wrote:

As I have said before, Dictionary definitions don't always work.

I am a Deist but claim God does intervene in the world if and when he wants to BUT I don't support or follow any organised religion. That is not to say that certain individuals who call themselves theists or do call themselves eg Christian, have to support and agree to ALL the tenants of that faith. Indeed most probably don't.

So I'm a Deist PLUS and the dictionary therefore needs updating...Wink


Also, the dictionary does not include Thomas Paine's definition that Deism is the belief in God based on nature and reason as opposed to "revelation".

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