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OnceConvinced
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:24 pm  Christianity is dying in New Zealand Reply with quote

For the first time ever non-theist numbers are greater than Christian numbers in New Zealand.

Christianity is clearly dying rapidly in New Zealand.

The results of the 2018 census are just out and the trend continues for the death of Christianity here, while atheism and agnosticism skyrockets.

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/no-religion-officially-overtakes-chr...



And the percentage of, Jehovah's Witnesses has also been decreasing. From .46 to .43 percent of the population.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_New_Zealand

Australia follows a similar trend to New Zealand although not so dramatic.
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 21: Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:10 pm
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Re: Christianity is dying in New Zealand

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tam wrote:


Regardless of what you believe, OC, I know that I am not part of religion. Why is that so threatening(?) to you that you have to accuse me of lacking integrity, or of lying?


It seems to be you that is threatened by the term "religion". I'm not threatened by it, I just object to any Christian who claims to be more special than any other. These types of elititist attitudes we can do without.

tam wrote:


Not as you and others seem to define Christian.


Quote:

A Christian is a disciple of Christ who is anointed with holy spirit. Christ is the One who chooses whom He anoints with holy spirit. I am a Christian according to Christ, to the anointing that He gave me.


That is exactly how I would have defined it as a Christian.

This is pretty much a standard definition for what a Christian is. Common throughout Chrstian churches, at least where I come from. I believed I was annointed by the HS.

Standard Chrsitianity as far as I can see, which puts you on par with most of them.

tam wrote:

Quote:
tam wrote:


If the rest of the world believes that atheists are immoral and foolish, does that mean it's true? Does that mean you must accept a false label?


We still get to tick "No religion" and can do so with integrity.


You didn't answer my question. I think that is an answer in and of itself.


I did answer the question. You've cut off the rest of my response!

None of those options are in the census. If they were, you'd have a relevent argument, but you don't.


tam wrote:


Reading the bible does not mean that you belong to a religion.


Of course it does. It's religious ritual. All that stuff you do is religious ritual.
Prayer, bible study, quiet times, worship, singing praises to God. All religious ritual.

[quote="tam"]

Quote:
[quote="tam"]


But based upon your responses to me, you were in a religion. You were religious because you were a literal member of a sect or denomination. At least according to your responses to me.


I'm okay about calling it a reglion if others wish to define it as such. It was still a relationship with God as far as I was concerned.

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[quote="tam"]

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Of course now I look back and I see that the praying, studying of the bible, serving God, giving money to God, taking communion... plus many more things that seemed non-relgious to me at the time were indeed religious.


How exactly did you give money to God?


How do you think?

Matt 25:40
"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'

[quote]
Quote:
[quote="tam"]

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[quote="tam"]


A Christian follows Christ. A Christian listens to and obeys Christ. Christ is a person; not a religion; and He says that we are to worship (God), in spirit and in truth.


And you follow Christ religiously, it seems.


Once again, Christ is a person, not a religion.


Following a divine figure and living by his rules is religion.


[quote]
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[quote="tam"]

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Have you ever been baptised?


My mother had me baptized (with water) when I was three weeks old, by a priest of a religion she did not belong to (he was the only one willing to do it for her; her own religion did not practice infant baptism). But I had nothing to do with that.


Do you consider it an important ritual?

[quote]
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[quote="tam"]

Christ baptized (anointed) me with holy spirit. There was no religion or other people involved.


A religious ritual! Something you had to go through, right?

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[quote="tam"]

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Partaken in communion?


Since that is a command from Christ, then yes, of course. I belong to Christ (Jaheshua) and listen to Him. But Christ is a person, not a religion.


It's still a religious ritual.


[quote]
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[quote="tam"]

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Done a group bible study?


Yes, but that was with a religion - back when I thought I needed to join a religion. I ended that study, and that was a religion I did not join. I joined no religion.


If you're doing it on your own it's still are religious ritual.

All this stuff is the basics of what Christians do. And other religions do similar things.


[quote]
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[quote="tam"]
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Held hands while praying?


While giving thanks? Sure, and also without. But giving thanks and holding hands is not a religious practice. Giving thanks is something that comes from the heart.


Religious ritual!

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[quote="tam"]

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Prayed in public?


No.

Christ said to pray in private.


Yeah I know.

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[quote="tam"]


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Had quiet times when you go to a quiet place study the bible and pray?


That is a strange question.

How is a quiet time a religious ritual?


When you take time out each day to do it. Much like a Muslim might kneel on their mat and face Mecca.

Yep, you Tam conduct much the same religious rituals as every other Christian. You just don't want to admit they're religious rituals. Clearly, your brand of Christianity is not anythng more special than any other brand of Christianity and not any less religious.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 22: Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:44 pm
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Re: Christianity is dying in New Zealand

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Peace to you OC

I am content to let my previous post(s) stand on the difference between faith and religion (most of what was explained about that in the previous post was given in the top 1/4 of that post, and not responded to in your post here. I have nothing more to add to it at this time).

I will address a couple of things in your current post just for the sake of clarity:

Quote:
[quote="OnceConvinced"]
tam wrote:


Regardless of what you believe, OC, I know that I am not part of religion. Why is that so threatening(?) to you that you have to accuse me of lacking integrity, or of lying?


It seems to be you that is threatened by the term "religion". I'm not threatened by it, I just object to any Christian who claims to be more special than any other. These types of elititist attitudes we can do without.


But I never said I was more special than any other.

That is where you went with this; not me.


Quote:
[quote="tam"]

Quote:
[quote="tam"]


But based upon your responses to me, you were in a religion. You were religious because you were a literal member of a sect or denomination. At least according to your responses to me.


I'm okay about calling it a reglion if others wish to define it as such. It was still a relationship with God as far as I was concerned.


Were you not at least also a member of a sect or denomination?

Quote:
Quote:
[quote="tam"]

Quote:
Of course now I look back and I see that the praying, studying of the bible, serving God, giving money to God, taking communion... plus many more things that seemed non-relgious to me at the time were indeed religious.


How exactly did you give money to God?


How do you think?

Matt 25:40
"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'


Meaning what exactly? Did you give money to your sect/denomination/group (like a donation box or a collection plate)? Or just to people in need? Or both?



Quote:
Quote:
[quote="tam"]

Quote:
Have you ever been baptised?


My mother had me baptized (with water) when I was three weeks old, by a priest of a religion she did not belong to (he was the only one willing to do it for her; her own religion did not practice infant baptism). But I had nothing to do with that.


Do you consider it an important ritual?


No. Not for anyone who was not physical Israel (under the law covenant). The baptism of water was for forgiveness of sins as committed under the law (of the old covenant).

Water baptism does not make a person a Christian; it is definitely not the same as being baptized with holy spirit (which DOES make a person Christian).



Quote:
Quote:
[quote="tam"]

Christ baptized (anointed) me with holy spirit. There was no religion or other people involved.


A religious ritual! Something you had to go through, right?


How can something be a religious ritual if no religion is involved?



Peace again to you,
your servant and a slave of Christ,
tammy

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 23: Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:23 pm
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Re: Christianity is dying in New Zealand

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tam wrote:



Were you not at least also a member of a sect or denomination?


I've attended many churches in my years. As an adult I chose which ones I went to.
As a child my parents took me to: Baptist, Open Brethren, AOG, Pentecostal, Methodist, Anglican
As an adult, where I chose where I went: Three baptist churces, an Elim, an Apostolic.

But those denominations did not define what I was. They were just churches I attended for fellowhip, ministries, teaching, praise and worship.

I would never have called myself a baptist or a penticostal or an apostolic.

They were simply just churches I attended. Many different preachers all with different opinions and viewpoints. Some of which I disagreed with.

My relationship with Christ was independent of what church I went to.

I picked my churches on these things:
Plenty of people my age.
Feeling welcome and accepted
Lively and exciting praise and worship
Plenty of activities and small groups to be involved in.
Good leadership
Feeling the presence of the holy spirit there.


Quote:
Meaning what exactly? Did you give money to your sect/denomination/group (like a donation box or a collection plate)? Or just to people in need? Or both?


Sometimes I gave via the collection plate. Sometimes I gave money to missions via automatic payment. Other times to the church as part of tithing through automatic payments.

I also donated money to World Vision. I also gave money directly to a ministry I was involved in which catered to street kids. A drop in centre on a Friday night where they could come and play games, have a coffee and have fun.

So many different ways.

These days I tend to give money straight to those that need it.



[quote]
Quote:
[quote="tam"]

Water baptism does not make a person a Christian; it is definitely not the same as being baptized with holy spirit (which DOES make a person Christian).


Oh I know. But Baptism is certainly a religious ritual that Christianity deems important. It's as religious as baptism of the holy spirit or praying the sinner's prayer.

Every religion including Christianity has its little rituals that are important. As soon as you start putting in all these little things that a god or holy book tells you to do, you get a big heaping pile of religion.


[quote]
Quote:
[quote="tam"]
How can something be a religious ritual if no religion is involved?


But religion IS involved!

If it's a ritual ordered by some god or a holy book and especially if it's done on a regular basis to serve or please some god, then it's a religious ritual. Just like saying grace before meals. I'm betting you do that one too. Your life is filled with all these little relgious rituals so it makes you religious.

Tell me, Tam, what about your version of Christianity makes it any less religious than any other version of Christianity?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 24: Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:32 pm
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Re: Christianity is dying in New Zealand

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Peace again to you OC!

Quote:
[quote="OnceConvinced"]
tam wrote:



Were you not at least also a member of a sect or denomination?


I've attended many churches in my years. As an adult I chose which ones I went to.
As a child my parents took me to: Baptist, Open Brethren, AOG, Pentecostal, Methodist, Anglican
As an adult, where I chose where I went: Three baptist churces, an Elim, an Apostolic.



I do not attend these or any other denomination.

Quote:

But those denominations did not define what I was.


Okay.

Quote:
They were just churches I attended for fellowhip, ministries, teaching, praise and worship.


I do not do this.

I would also point out a difference in the way you are using the word 'church'.

The Church is the Body of Christ, made of people, over whom He is the Head. The church is not a building; it is not a sect or a denomination; it is not a religion. The Church are the people who are the members of the Body of Christ. We do not 'attend' church; for we are the church. (And there is only one church, just as there is only one Body. Yes, the members of the Church can be in different places - the church that is in Corinth; the church that is in Ephesus, etc - but they are all the same church.)



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I would never have called myself a baptist or a penticostal or an apostolic.


Okay.

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They were simply just churches I attended.


Okay (see above about 'church').

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Many different preachers all with different opinions and viewpoints. Some of which I disagreed with.


No doubt.


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My relationship with Christ was independent of what church I went to.


Okay... though I wonder how much of 'their' teachings you absorbed; as opposed to His word?


We are told to 'stop touching the unclean thing you in and I will take you in.' (2 Corinth 6:17)



Quote:
I picked my churches on these things:
Plenty of people my age.
Feeling welcome and accepted
Lively and exciting praise and worship
Plenty of activities and small groups to be involved in.
Good leadership
Feeling the presence of the holy spirit there.


I sought none of these things. I sought truth.

I hope you realize that I am not judging you. I am just pointing out to you that I did not do, and am not doing, what you did. And there is no 'picking' involved. Christ is the One who chooses and who places us in His Body as He sees fit.


"Many are called, few are chosen." Matt 22:14

"They will make war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will triumph over them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and He will be accompanied by His called and chosen and faithful ones." Rev 17:14



Quote:
Quote:
Meaning what exactly? Did you give money to your sect/denomination/group (like a donation box or a collection plate)? Or just to people in need? Or both?


Sometimes I gave via the collection plate. Sometimes I gave money to missions via automatic payment. Other times to the church as part of tithing through automatic payments.


The only reason I asked is because those are things that one does in a religion and you keep suggesting there is no difference between the faith I have described and religion (such as what you describe). I cannot give to a collection plate because I have no place that passes one; I have nothing to tithe because I have no religion to tithe TO.


Quote:
I also donated money to World Vision. I also gave money directly to a ministry I was involved in which catered to street kids. A drop in centre on a Friday night where they could come and play games, have a coffee and have fun.

So many different ways.

These days I tend to give money straight to those that need it.


I would not consider any of the above to be religious. No one must be in a religion to do these things. One can just give from one's heart, as it seems you may have done here.

Quote:
Quote:
[quote="tam"]

Water baptism does not make a person a Christian; it is definitely not the same as being baptized with holy spirit (which DOES make a person Christian).


Oh I know. But Baptism is certainly a religious ritual that Christianity deems important.


Then you should not have so much trouble accepting that I am not part of "Christianity" (the religion), from my earlier response.


Quote:
Quote:
[quote="tam"]
How can something be a religious ritual if no religion is involved?


But religion IS involved!



On the contrary, the Spirit (Christ Jaheshua) was involved (as well as holy spirit, which is what Christ anoints us with). This was a spiritual matter.


Quote:
Tell me, Tam, what about your version of Christianity makes it any less religious than any other version of Christianity?


I believe I have spent many posts now answering this question and giving you examples to help you see the difference.




Peace again to you,
your servant and a slave of Christ,
tammy

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 25: Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:52 pm
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Re: Christianity is dying in New Zealand

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tam wrote:



I would also point out a difference in the way you are using the word 'church'.

The Church is the Body of Christ, made of people, over whom He is the Head. The church is not a building; it is not a sect or a denomination; it is not a religion. The Church are the people who are the members of the Body of Christ.


I am well aware of this. This is what the bible teaches and the way I saw it too. It is not necessary to attend formal church services or be involved in any specific denomination.

tam wrote:

We do not 'attend' church; for we are the church. (And there is only one church, just as there is only one Body. Yes, the members of the Church can be in different places - the church that is in Corinth; the church that is in Ephesus, etc - but they are all the same church.)


This is where a lot of modern churches have home groups/cell groups so that you have smaller groups meeting privately, as they did in those places.



tam wrote:

Quote:
My relationship with Christ was independent of what church I went to.


Okay... though I wonder how much of 'their' teachings you absorbed; as opposed to His word?


And I wonder how many teachings you have absorbed from other people outside of churches as opposed to his word? And how much do you get from Jesus that is really from your own mind and not from him at all?

We are all influenced in some way by the people around us and the teachings we recieved when we were young Christians. As a mature christian you attempt to filter through the rubbish to see if you can find gems.

tam wrote:


We are told to 'stop touching the unclean thing you in and I will take you in.' (2 Corinth 6:17)


One should also be aware of how easy their own mind can fool them and make them think they are hearing from something divine when it's simply their own mind working overtime.


tam wrote:

Quote:
I picked my churches on these things:
Plenty of people my age.
Feeling welcome and accepted
Lively and exciting praise and worship
Plenty of activities and small groups to be involved in.
Good leadership
Feeling the presence of the holy spirit there.


I sought none of these things. I sought truth.


Which was also what I did and do. However that didn't stop me from wanting to associate with other Christians and attend church. Nor does it mean I stop and refuse to look at anything outside the bible or my own sacredly held beliefs.

tam wrote:
The only reason I asked is because those are things that one does in a religion and you keep suggesting there is no difference between the faith I have described and religion (such as what you describe). I cannot give to a collection plate because I have no place that passes one; I have nothing to tithe because I have no religion to tithe TO.


I take it you must give to the needy though, right? If you're following Christ's instructions.

tam wrote:

I would not consider any of the above to be religious. No one must be in a religion to do these things. One can just give from one's heart, as it seems you may have done here.


I agree that giving money to the poor is not religion however Peter disagrees with us.

tam wrote:


Then you should not have so much trouble accepting that I am not part of "Christianity" (the religion), from my earlier response.



Are you saying you don't believe in water baptism? Are you saying you've never done it yourself or been involved in the baptisms of others?

If you say you are a Christian then yes you are part of Christianity. You may do some things differnently. You may not attend church for instance, but I bet you do most of the things that are done inside churches. eg pray, worship, teaching, fellowship, etc. What difference does it make whether it's done inside a church building or wherever it is you do it?

Here on this webside alone you preach/evangelise/teach/witness.... whatever you call it.

So do people in churches. Especially those who stand up at the pulpit.

You might say this website is a little like your church, right Tam? Where you get to stand up in that pulpit.



tam wrote:

On the contrary, the Spirit (Christ Jaheshua) was involved (as well as holy spirit, which is what Christ anoints us with). This was a spiritual matter


As soon as you bring up the holy spirit, Christ's annointing and things like that you're talking about religious concepts. Annointing in itself is a religious activity done in many different religions. It makes no difference whether its oil, holy water, or something spiritual.


tam wrote:



Quote:
Tell me, Tam, what about your version of Christianity makes it any less religious than any other version of Christianity?


I believe I have spent many posts now answering this question and giving you examples to help you see the difference.


From what you have told me so far you are no different to any other Christian apart from the fact you don't attend church. But yet you do all these other religious activities like praying, preaching, studying the bible etc. You just don't do them in a church building.

And when it comes down to it, it's only one or two times a week that your average Christian attends church. The rest of the time, they're doing it exactly like you.

I really am seeing no difference. You just don't attend church. And like you pointed out being part of a church doesn't mean it has to be in a church building. Most Christians know that. It's a common teaching.

What really is the diffence between you and them, Tam if you take away the attending of church in an official church building?

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