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otseng
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:45 pm  Christians are Revolting - Sean Lauren Reply with quote

This thread will debate the book Christians are Revolting: An Infidel's Progress, by Sean Lauren.

We will go through the book one chapter at a time and discuss the contents of each chapter. I anticipate we'll spend several days on each chapter and then move on to the next one. Please avoid jumping ahead, but you're free to discuss previous chapters (for those that join late). We'll end the debate with each person giving a general overview of the book. The thread will then be closed.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 21: Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:11 pm
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Re: Ch. 1 - Are most Christians filled with hate and bloodlu

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[Replying to post 19 by amortalman]

To Amortalman,

I understand. There are indeed quite a few churches that seem to have very little or nothing to do with even traditional orthodox Christianity. I've been in some churches that were so weird I felt like I was in a "den of iniquity". Other's that seemed like nothing more than a party at a bar without alcohol. Very Happy

I agree that there are many churches that don't even remotely behave in a way that seem compatible with the teaching of Jesus and the Bible.

But we really can't condemn a "religion" based on how a few churches behave. I try to keep my focus on the Bible, and tend to ignore what any actual churches might be doing.

By the way, the church I was raised in was really nice. Very friendly. Very much in harmony with the teachings of Jesus. They never preached fire and brimstone. In fact, on the rare occasions when we had guest pastors come in who did preach fire and brimstone, our pastor would make it a point to apologize for that the following Sunday. Very Happy

I can honestly say that the church I was raised in was very "Christ-like". Unfortunately even that doesn't make the religion true.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 22: Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:00 pm
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Re: Ch. 1 - Are most Christians filled with hate and bloodlu

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[Replying to post 20 by Divine Insight]

I never have and never will claim absolute proof to my ideas of what Christianity used to be. I have a coherent understanding/potential that makes more sense than modern Christianity and it is indeed derived via the Bible and the coherent story still contains eternal life. Just because I have a coherent story and understanding that I believe is far more likely to be accurate than modern Christianity does not mean I have to subscribe to that story. I derived it as a Christian and reject what I have derived as an atheist. I believe that I have a far better understanding of what Jesus taught based upon the pure logic of what is written in the Bible without actually believing what it claims. For example, one could somehow conclude via reading the Bible that it seems to indicate a giant elephant created the world, but then still not believe that's true. What I believe it says and whether I believe what I believe it says are two different things. You are doing the exact same thing when you say you believe it is likely that Jesus simply tried to add Buddhist ideals into the religion. If you believe that, and you believe it is more likely, then you are doing exactly what I am doing except that I have a different understanding which has yet to be revealed in the story. Again, you are right, I have no more actual proof about my interpretation than you do about yours. But that doesn't mean that it's not a better and more cohesive story without any contradictions in the final conclusion. Lastly, I did not say that the contradictions you found were created in modern Christianity, I said that modern Christianity contains them. Which they do. When the contradictions were created is entirely beside the point.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 23: Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:50 pm
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ElCodeMonkey wrote:

You are doing the exact same thing when you say you believe it is likely that Jesus simply tried to add Buddhist ideals into the religion. If you believe that, and you believe it is more likely, then you are doing exactly what I am doing except that I have a different understanding which has yet to be revealed in the story.


Agreed 100%. Very Happy

However, you seem to have missed the main point.

I'm not claiming that my understanding of Jesus bringing the philosophy of Mahayana Buddhism into his home culture represents a "restoration" of what Christianity really means.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 24: Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:23 am
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Divine Insight wrote:

I'm not claiming that my understanding of Jesus bringing the philosophy of Mahayana Buddhism into his home culture represents a "restoration" of what Christianity really means.


Well why not? If you believe that's what he originally taught, and if you think it's a more benign and less harmful perspective, then why wouldn't you want to share the viewpoint? And if you believe the viewpoint is indeed correct, why would it not be a restoration of what you believe truly happened? It's all the same except I wrote a book about it in hopes to bring about what was once a religion/philosophy bent on self-improvement and love for others rather than blood sacrifice and intolerance which is the very thing Jesus tried to get away from according to the scriptures which seem to be the very cause of the sway.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 25: Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:00 pm
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ElCodeMonkey wrote:

And if you believe the viewpoint is indeed correct, why would it not be a restoration of what you believe truly happened?


Being a restoration of what truly happened, is nowhere near the same as being a restoration of Christianity.

Besides, even though it appears to be a valid explanation of things to me, there's no way to prove that this is what happened.

You claim to be able to "prove" your ideas.

Well, we're just starting in on your book. I'll let you know at the end whether you have convinced me that you have any "proof" of anything. I'll be absolutely shocked and amazed if that were the case. Very Happy

At best, I might agree that your scenario sounds plausible. But that's a far cry from having proven it to be true.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 26: Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:28 pm
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[Replying to post 25 by Divine Insight]

I think I made it quite clear two posts prior that I do not have "proof" any more than Christians have "proof" for the current conception. I cannot and will not ever claim to have proof. It's simply more plausible and coherent. As for Christianity, it seems you're simply unwilling to call anything Christianity if it is not what we understand to be Christianity today. That's fine, but note that I am going to continue to call the original followers of Jesus "Christians" and thus the "original Christianity". Knowing that as my definition will help with conversation.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 27: Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:45 pm
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Re: Ch. 1 - An Infidel's Progress

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otseng wrote:

Not too many Christians will read a book from a "heretic" and one who denies the faith. However, atheists would enjoy reading a book to affirm their negative opinions of Christianity.

I'd like to jump back to this statement. While I agree that Christians likely won't be terribly willing to hear the opinions of a heretic, is this a justified decision? I mean, God used an "ass" in the old testament, so surely, he can use an atheist, no? I also derived all this as a full-fledged seeker of God so that should be worth something then, no? As for the negative opinions toward Christians, the book tries to separate Christians into two categories: The Sheep and The Goats. The book is very pro-Sheep and anti-Goat but it is not anti-Jesus. While the goats will certainly hate it, the sheep should probably quite like it and agree on many points or at the very least be willing to take it seriously and consider. Only a goat, in my opinion, would shut someone out without listening. Granted, time is limited and books are nearly infinite, so why give me the time of day? My hope is that sheep will notice the goats, notice Jesus' warnings, and look for something unique which is what I provide. I simply need to make it more... nice... to draw them in initially. I was personally fueled by my noticing a problem within Christianity so a book like this, as a Christian, would have drawn me in. If one notices a problem within Christianity, I'd think they'd likewise want to see my book. But maybe I need to first convince the sheep that goats even exist among them? That might require me, once again, to spout negativities, but what else can I do? If I purport that goats are many and sheep are few and I wish to reveal this fact to the sheep, how can I do it without slinging what looks like insult?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 28: Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:47 pm
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ElCodeMonkey wrote:

It's simply more plausible and coherent.


Christians aren't interested in what's plausible and coherent. Are you kidding me?

They believe in a God who curses a serpent to crawl on his belly and eat dirt for the rest of his days.

They believe in a God who at one moment is sorry he ever created mankind and drowns out the whole planet, only to turn around later and offer undeserving sinners unwarranted amnesty.

They believe in a Jesus who had cast evil demons out of humans and into pigs.

They believe in a Jesus who cursed a fig tree because it wasn't bearing fruit out of season.

They believe a God spoke from the clouds proclaiming Jesus to be his Son.

They believe God caused an earthquake that meticulously opened the graves of saints so they could physically crawl out of those graves and go into the holy city to show themselves to the people there.

They believe Jesus was raised from the dead and was lifted up to heaven on a cloud to sit at the right-hand of God in a monotheistic religion.

Does it sound to you like Christians are interested in anything that is coherent or plausible?

ElCodeMonkey wrote:

As for Christianity, it seems you're simply unwilling to call anything Christianity if it is not what we understand to be Christianity today. That's fine, but note that I am going to continue to call the original followers of Jesus "Christians" and thus the "original Christianity". Knowing that as my definition will help with conversation.


If I believed that simply agreeing with the moral teachings of Jesus qualifies as "Chrsitianity" then I'd be a "Christian" right now too.

By the way it would be hard to "follow" someone who actually agrees with my moral values. The best I can do is agree with Jesus and give him my seal of approval in the deportment of moral values. It would make no sense to say that I'm "following" him when he already agrees with me.

And yes, I totally reject the idea of calling "Chrsitianity" simply the act of following the teachings of Jesus. That would be a gross misrepresentation of what the religion has ALWAYS been about.

Christianity is about God having supposedly given his only begotten Son as the ultimate sacrificial lamb of God who can offer undeserved amnesty (salvation) to anyone who asks for it.

Any attempt to redefine Chrsitianity from this religious theology is, IMHO, utterly absurd and a misuse of the term "Christianity".

But yes, I understand that there do exist people who will accept such an utterly absurd notion.

But surely you can see where it would be grossly confusing to have two "Christianities". One where God gives his only begotten Son as the sacrificial lamb for human salvation. And the other one that simply says that if you agree with the moral values of Jesus then you're a "Christian".

I mean, you are free to define things however you like. But from a theological perspective you'd then have two distinctly different religions laying claim to the same label of "Christianity".

I just don't understand why you would want to create such an incoherent theological situation.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 29: Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:12 pm
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Re: Ch. 1 - An Infidel's Progress

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otseng wrote:

The book is an autobiography detailing the author's journey to Christianty and to atheism. He notes the primary audience of the book is for Christians.

"I write this mostly for Christians since it is their faith which has been corrupted and which I wish to see restored."

I suspect though more atheists would read the book than Christians.


And Theistic skeptics of conventional orthodox (small "o") Christianity.


otseng wrote:

Not too many Christians will read a book from a "heretic" and one who denies the faith. However, atheists would enjoy reading a book to affirm their negative opinions of Christianity.


Except for other "heretics" like myself. And those of us who smell something fishy in the conventional Pauline Christianity that we have inherited from our Church, our parents and our culture. There are more of us than you may imagine. Wink

Many of Sean's theological and practical objections to Christianity as we have it today, are shared by historical Jesus scholars as well. Even some clerics, like Bishop John Shelby Spong.

otseng wrote:

It seems the primary thesis of the book is this:

"I believed it then and I believe it now that Christianity has lost what made it most beautiful and has traded it in for a disunified mess of opinions and the blind followings of Molech, Baal, and Mammon."

I would not disagree with this, even as a Christian. Like many religions, Christianity has become more a cultural religion and is far from its original intent.


I am wondering if what you see as "original intent" and what the author sees as the original intent of Christianty are one in the same. I have my doubts that you mean the same thing.


otseng wrote:

This is an interesting situation: "I became an outcast via the pure intention of being a devoted follower of Christ." The first part of the book will detail his devotion.


I can relate to that. Sean took it a decisive step futher than I did though by virture of his becoming an atheist, wheras I retain my belief in the Father and God of Jesus (YHVH), but not in the Divinity of Jesus himself. All us "heretics" are outcasts in one way or another.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 30: Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:27 pm
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Divine Insight wrote:

ElCodeMonkey wrote:

It's simply more plausible and coherent.


Christians aren't interested in what's plausible and coherent. Are you kidding me?

They believe in a God who curses a serpent to crawl on his belly and eat dirt for the rest of his days.

They believe in a God who at one moment is sorry he ever created mankind and drowns out the whole planet, only to turn around later and offer undeserving sinners unwarranted amnesty.

They believe in a Jesus who had cast evil demons out of humans and into pigs.

They believe in a Jesus who cursed a fig tree because it wasn't bearing fruit out of season.

They believe a God spoke from the clouds proclaiming Jesus to be his Son.

They believe God caused an earthquake that meticulously opened the graves of saints so they could physically crawl out of those graves and go into the holy city to show themselves to the people there.

They believe Jesus was raised from the dead and was lifted up to heaven on a cloud to sit at the right-hand of God in a monotheistic religion.

Does it sound to you like Christians are interested in anything that is coherent or plausible?


There you go again. "Christians". A blanket statement.

I'm going to stop right there and call "foul". Once again you conflate Fundamentalist, literalistic Christianity with mainline Christianity. You seem to define Christianity in the same manner as Evangelicals do. But they are a loud but distinct minority when compared to the world's majority. Most Christians in the world are Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and mainline Protestant. Combined, they still vastly outnumber Fundamentalist and Evangelicals. And they do not literally believe in "talking snakes" in the like, nor do their Churches teach that.

Evangelicals and Fundamentalist, Bible Literalists, do not speak for the majority of Christians worldwide.

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