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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 11: Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:44 pm
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Peace to you,

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



"No religion" does not necessarily mean non-theist.

Leaving Christianity (the religion) does not mean leaving Christ and God.

A Christian belongs to Christ.

If I took part in a survey that asked me what religion I belong to, I would choose 'no religion'.


Or maybe you'd select "Prefer not to say".



It would depend upon the wording of the question.


But I think you have overlooked the point.

No religion does not necessarily mean non-theist.

Quote:
But if you'd rather lie on an official government document, then that doesn't really say much for your integriy.


Whoa.

Who says I would be lying if I said 'no religion'? I would be lying 'on an official government document' if I said I belonged to a religion. You would not accuse me of dishonesty if I lied - but you would accuse me of dishonesty if I speak the truth.




Quote:
But it doesn't matter. Yes, like you there will be Christians out there who refuse to put their religion as Christian as they don't like being lumped in with all the other religions. But let's face it, it is kind of dishonest if they do that.


So now you are accusing many people of dishonesty?



Quote:
But there are just as many who are proud to call themselves Christian.


Being a Christian has nothing to do with being in a religion. If someone asked me if I was a Christian, I would say yes. I am not ashamed of my Lord. But if someone asked me if I belonged to a religion, I would say no. Because that is the truth.



Quote:
I always was and I didn't care whether the government labelled it a religion.


So then perhaps you are the one who would not care about lying on a government form? I care about how I respond to questions; I care about what is true. Government or no government.

Quote:
James sure as heck didn't mind (James 1:26 & 27), so why should we? If that's how they wish to categorise it, it didn't matter. Why would it? I knew I was in a relationship with God. Didn't need anyone else to recognise that.


James did not use the word 'religious'. Here is the meaning of the word that has been translated as 'religious'.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2357&t=KJV

James did not use the word in conjunction with belonging to a institutionalized religion with rites and leaders and such; and interestingly enough, "religious" is used nowhere else in the NT (Paul uses the word that has been translated as 'religion' once in reference to his time in his former religion - the only religion that had been given by God until Christ came and people were now to worship in spirit and in truth).

As for James, he used the word with regard to caring for widows and orphans as the kind of 'religion' (worship) that God approves.



Quote:
But let's also consider:

There are many who put "Christian" on their paper simply because that's the religion their family adheres too or DID adhere to. Or they put Christian on there because they believe they are one or they have those beliefs. However they don't live it.

Surely there would be more people ticking "Christian" on their census who aren't really true Christians then there are people who just don't like the fact it's included as a religion?

I'm okay with saying they'd cancel each other out.



I can agree with that.

But my point was that "no religion" does not necessarily mean non-theist. In Canada, there are many people who are theists, but who do not (or no longer) have anything to do with religion.




Quote:
tam wrote:

No doubt. Christianity (the religion) will probably continue its decline there and in other places.

But Christianity is not Christ. Some may recognize this truth, hear His call to 'come out of her, my people', and come instead to HIM. Others might simply be disillusioned with religion (who could blame them?), after recognizing the hypocrisy and/or false teachings in it (including those things that conflict with Christ and His teaching). Then, for those reasons, they leave the religion and perhaps also anything to do with faith.


Of course there's no way to really say who the true Christians are and who are not. No one seems to be able to say for sure. Even you, Tam, might just be kidding yourself.

It could be there is only ever one true Christian who ever lived and it's not anyone living on this earth right now.



Not according to Christ (He breathed holy spirit upon the apostles, and that makes eleven Christians - anointed ones - right there). But also there will be Christians on the earth still when He returns, according to Him:

"This generation will not pass away until all these things have happened." (Matt 24)

Also the parable of the foolish and wise virgins show that there are Christians on the earth when He returns (Matt 25:1-13). Paul makes it clear from the understanding given him as well, that some will be alive when Christ returns and be caught up to meet Him in the sky (1Thess 4:16-17)



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 12: Thu Oct 31, 2019 5:45 pm
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The interesting thing about that article is the information about the increase in Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims in New Zealand. People in those religions tend to have large families. I foresee the day when they outnumber Christians AND atheists/agnostics in that country simply because of the increase in numbers by birth. It's already happening in countries such as Sweden which has allowed a huge number of immigrants (especially Muslims) into the country.

If you look at the history of Islam and how it takes over countries, you'll see that it happens in two ways -- by force and by out-populating the original residents.

Something to think about!

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 13: Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:22 pm
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tam wrote:



But I think you have overlooked the point.


I didn't miss that point. I pointed out that those who say they are Christians who aren't really would cancel out those people. Probably more than cancel them out. There would be more saying they are Christian when they're not, than there would be people saying "no religion" or "prefer not to say" who are Christians.

tam wrote:


No religion does not necessarily mean non-theist.


I see that as an oxymoron. I'm sure you'll find these so called non religious folk practise a lot more religion than you think. Most likely they are in denial.


tam wrote:



Whoa.

Who says I would be lying if I said 'no religion'? I would be lying 'on an official government document' if I said I belonged to a religion. You would not accuse me of dishonesty if I lied - but you would accuse me of dishonesty if I speak the truth.


You surely realise that when you claim to be a follower of Christ, then that makes you religious from the point of view of anyone else outside your Christian sect. Whehter you like that term or not, the government would see you as religious and I'm sure you know that.

So yes, to say you are non religious would be lying on your paper. You and people in your sect are the only ones who don't see themselves as religious. Everybody else in the world does based on the fact you consider yourself a Christian. That puts you there along side the muslims, buddhists, hindus etc, whether you like it or not. Whether you accept that or not.

Denying it just because you don't like it would defintiely be dishonest when you know full well you're included in that boat.

tam wrote:


Quote:
But it doesn't matter. Yes, like you there will be Christians out there who refuse to put their religion as Christian as they don't like being lumped in with all the other religions. But let's face it, it is kind of dishonest if they do that.


So now you are accusing many people of dishonesty?


Of course! That's blatant dishonesty. Christianity is classed as a religion and just because some Christians don't like being branded as religious, doesn't make any difference. No matter what brand of Christianity you claim to be part of its still classed as religion. Even the bible itself states it as so even though you are trying to retranslate it.

tam wrote:

Quote:
But there are just as many who are proud to call themselves Christian.


Being a Christian has nothing to do with being in a religion.


Which is not true. Being a Christian is all about religion. The bible even says that:

You can deny it all you like and you can argue against it all you like. Those outside Christianity see it as religion and the goverment when they conduct their census's see it as religion and you surely know that.

Deny it all you like, Tam, but you're only kidding yourself, not anyone else.

tam wrote:


If someone asked me if I was a Christian, I would say yes. I am not ashamed of my Lord. But if someone asked me if I belonged to a religion, I would say no. Because that is the truth.


Whether you see yourself as belonging to a religion or not is irrelevent to what the rest of the world sees you as and what the government sees you as. THAT is the truth.

tam wrote:


Quote:
James sure as heck didn't mind (James 1:26 & 27), so why should we? If that's how they wish to categorise it, it didn't matter. Why would it? I knew I was in a relationship with God. Didn't need anyone else to recognise that.


James did not use the word 'religious'. Here is the meaning of the word that has been translated as 'religious'.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2357&t=KJV

James did not use the word in conjunction with belonging to a institutionalized religion with rites and leaders and such; and interestingly enough, "religious" is used nowhere else in the NT (Paul uses the word that has been translated as 'religion' once in reference to his time in his former religion - the only religion that had been given by God until Christ came and people were now to worship in spirit and in truth).

As for James, he used the word with regard to caring for widows and orphans as the kind of 'religion' (worship) that God approves.


I'll go by the professional translations thanks.

James 1:26 & 27 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

That last line is crucial.

tam wrote:


But my point was that "no religion" does not necessarily mean non-theist. In Canada, there are many people who are theists, but who do not (or no longer) have anything to do with religion.


What? So they don't pray? Study holy books? They don't do anything religiously like that?

If you are praying or reading your bible regularly, you are partaking in religion. If you consider baptism and communion important, you are taking part in religion. If you are following teachings from a holy book, you are partaking of religion. If you study it regularly, yes a religious activity.

tam wrote:


Not according to Christ


See how you religiously take Christ's words as truth? Following a religious leader like this is all part of religion. Following and worshipping someone as if they can do no wrong.

I don't see how you can in all seriously claim you aren't religious when you so religiously follow Jesus.

As for me, I don't see why I should take what your religious leader says seriously. And I don't see why everyone else should either.

But even if he's right, there's no way for you to prove you are one of those true Christians.

So hey, If you're not a true Christian, then ticking "no religion" is the right way to go, right?


Last edited by OnceConvinced on Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 14: Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:24 pm
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[Replying to post 12 by Overcomer]

Indeed, which is why there was that recent terrorist attack over here. It was an anti-muslim extremist targetting Muslims. They and those others you mention are increasing here due to New Zealand opening their doors to immigration to certain countries where those religions are rife.

But from what I can see of the muslims here, most of them are a lot more liberal and are maybe here to escape the oppression they get in their countries. I just hope it's not as bad as what some people think.

I'm hoping that education will win through in the end and those muslims who come here will be forced to face a few facts.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 15: Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:49 am
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Re: Christianity is dying in New Zealand

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Peace to you,


Quote:

tam wrote:


No religion does not necessarily mean non-theist.


I see that as an oxymoron. I'm sure you'll find these so called non religious folk practise a lot more religion than you think. Most likely they are in denial.


The only denial I see here is coming from you. I don't know if it is a cultural difference or if you simply refuse to see it. A person can believe in God (and so, be a theist), while also belonging to no religion. How you can deny that is beyond me. Unless New Zealand is extremely different from North America.


Quote:
tam wrote:



Whoa.

Who says I would be lying if I said 'no religion'? I would be lying 'on an official government document' if I said I belonged to a religion. You would not accuse me of dishonesty if I lied - but you would accuse me of dishonesty if I speak the truth.


You surely realise that when you claim to be a follower of Christ, then that makes you religious from the point of view of anyone else outside your Christian sect.


What Christian sect, OC?


Quote:
Whehter you like that term or not, the government would see you as religious and I'm sure you know that.


The government (the Canadian government at least) is not going to tell me that I belong to a religion if I say I do not. (At least the government has not overstepped itself in that matter just yet).

Quote:
So yes, to say you are non religious would be lying on your paper.


I'm sorry, OC, but you have no business telling me I would be lying.


I am also sorry that you seem unable to grasp the idea that a person can have faith, and also belong to no religion. I had faith in my Lord before I even knew another person with that same faith in Him. But just because you cannot grasp this does not give you the excuse to accuse me of lying when I tell you that I belong to no religion.



Quote:
You and people in your sect are the only ones who don't see themselves as religious.


Again, what sect?

Quote:
Everybody else in the world does based on the fact you consider yourself a Christian.


You don't speak for everyone else in the world, OC. I know for a fact that you are incorrect. That being said, even if the rest of the world believed something, that would not mean that it is true.

Quote:
That puts you there along side the muslims, buddhists, hindus etc, whether you like it or not. Whether you accept that or not.

Denying it just because you don't like it would defintiely be dishonest when you know full well you're included in that boat.



I mean no offense when I say this to you, OC, but you don't tell me what I know "full well". There's a bit of hypocrisy involved in you trying to tell me what I know "full well", if you have ever complained about anyone else telling you what you know "full well", or telling you what you are, what you believe, etc.


tam wrote:


Quote:
Quote:
But it doesn't matter. Yes, like you there will be Christians out there who refuse to put their religion as Christian as they don't like being lumped in with all the other religions. But let's face it, it is kind of dishonest if they do that.


So now you are accusing many people of dishonesty?


Of course! That's blatant dishonesty. Christianity is classed as a religion and just because some Christians don't like being branded as religious, doesn't make any difference. [bold]No matter what brand of Christianity you claim to be part of its still classed as religion[/bold]
.


I agree with you that every sect/denomination of Christianity (the religion) are classified as religion. But I do not claim to be part of any brand of "Christianity" (the religion). Or any sect/denomination of "Christianity" (the religion).

.
Quote:

tam wrote:


If someone asked me if I was a Christian, I would say yes. I am not ashamed of my Lord. But if someone asked me if I belonged to a religion, I would say no. Because that is the truth.


Whether you see yourself as belonging to a religion or not is irrelevent to what the rest of the world sees you as and what the government sees you as.



Well so what?

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?

Quote:
tam wrote:


Quote:
James sure as heck didn't mind (James 1:26 & 27), so why should we? If that's how they wish to categorise it, it didn't matter. Why would it? I knew I was in a relationship with God. Didn't need anyone else to recognise that.


James did not use the word 'religious'. Here is the meaning of the word that has been translated as 'religious'.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2357&t=KJV

James did not use the word in conjunction with belonging to a institutionalized religion with rites and leaders and such; and interestingly enough, "religious" is used nowhere else in the NT (Paul uses the word that has been translated as 'religion' once in reference to his time in his former religion - the only religion that had been given by God until Christ came and people were now to worship in spirit and in truth).

As for James, he used the word with regard to caring for widows and orphans as the kind of 'religion' (worship) that God approves.


I'll go by the professional translations thanks.

James 1:26 & 27 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

That last line is crucial.


I'm not going to quibble over the definition. Anyone can look that up for themselves. But what I said is true: James did not use the word in conjunction with belonging to a institutionalized religion with rites and leaders and such;


You can see that from the context.

Quote:
tam wrote:


But my point was that "no religion" does not necessarily mean non-theist. In Canada, there are many people who are theists, but who do not (or no longer) have anything to do with religion.


What? So they don't pray? Study holy books? They don't do anything religiously like that?



They believe in God. What they do beyond that is their business.

Quote:
If you are praying or reading your bible regularly, you are partaking in religion.


Reading the bible does not mean that you belong to a religion. Or I guess that makes you religious also. I have also read the Quran. More than once. That does not mean I belong to Islam.

Quote:
If you consider baptism and communion important, you are taking part in religion. If you are following teachings from a holy book, you are partaking of religion. If you study it regularly, yes a religious activity.


I follow the teachings of Christ. I have faith in Him. I belong to Him.


I get that you don't understand how a person can do that, and have that faith, without belonging to a religion. But you are really only revealing things about yourself and your former beliefs.

Quote:
tam wrote:


Not according to Christ


See how you religiously take Christ's words as truth? Following a religious leader like this is all part of religion. Following and worshipping someone as if they can do no wrong.


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.




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 16: Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:08 am
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OnceConvinced wrote:

Quote:
But from what I can see of the muslims here, most of them are a lot more liberal and are maybe here to escape the oppression they get in their countries. I just hope it's not as bad as what some people think.


I think you are right about that. Certainly the Muslims I know here in Canada are just like the rest of us -- they want to work at a good job and raise healthy, happy children in peace. I think that many who come here get far away from the teachings of the Koran that tell them to kill infidels.

Sadly, there are also few (a minority) who are here as jihadis. They spoil it for everyone.

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Peace to you both,

Quote:
[Replying to post 16 by Overcomer]


I think that many who come here get far away from the teachings of the Koran that tell them to kill infidels.


That would be more a teaching of the religion (some sects), rather than the Quran. People take verses in the Quran out of context ( the same way that some do with the Bible).

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/does-the-quran-really-adv_b_722114?guccounter=1&a...

https://www.alislam.org/articles/why-does-quran-say-that-infidels-should-be-kill...

Regardless of that history, I do remember the rest of the verses the author brings to mind. Muslims cannot strike first - though they are permitted to strike back. Muslims must make peace with an enemy who wants to make peace. The Quran does not order (or justify) the killing of non-Muslims, and it certainly does not permit suicide bombings (or anything similar). That is all religion. Forced conversions are not permitted in the Quran either (though the religion has done it, but then so has Christianity - despite the fact that Christ never did or taught such a thing).


Islam is a divided religion, just as Christianity is a divided religion. Christ said that a house divided will not stand. Interestingly, the Quran says to have nothing to do with those who divide their religion up in sects (though at the time I imagine Islam was not divided into sects, though Christianity might have been, and Judaism would have been as well).



Anyway, my point was that I doubt many Muslims here in Canada (*waves over at Overcomer, peace to you!) are trying to get away from the Quran and its teachings. They most likely interpret the book differently than those outside their beliefs, and differently than other sects or extremist groups that preach and enact violence.




Peace again to you both,
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 18: Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:53 pm
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tam wrote:



I am also sorry that you seem unable to grasp the idea that a person can have faith, and also belong to no religion. I had faith in my Lord before I even knew another person with that same faith in Him. But just because you cannot grasp this does not give you the excuse to accuse me of lying when I tell you that I belong to no religion.


The fact that you have faith in a higher power is a religious thing. Faith is a religious term. It's applying religious principles. You are getting these ideas from a religious book, a book you religiously adhere to and consider divine.

Clearly what you see as religion is not what I see as religion.

I see anyone worshipping a god and following his rules. Praying to him and worshipping him and studying his teachings as practising religion. I would also say that is the same for most other people too.


tam wrote:

Quote:
You and people in your sect are the only ones who don't see themselves as religious.


Again, what sect?


Your personal brand of Christianity. Tamism if you wish to call it that. The specific brand of Christianity that you try to make out is something special and higher than any other version of Christianity.

tam wrote:


You don't speak for everyone else in the world, OC. I know for a fact that you are incorrect. That being said, even if the rest of the world believed something, that would not mean that it is true.


The fact is as soon as you identify yourself as a Christian that puts you up there along side all the other versions of Christianity. All the other different religions:

Muslim
Jew
Buddhist
Hindu
Christian


tam wrote:


I agree with you that every sect/denomination of Christianity (the religion) are classified as religion. But I do not claim to be part of any brand of "Christianity" (the religion). Or any sect/denomination of "Christianity" (the religion).


So are you saying you're not a Christian?

Quote:
If someone asked me if I was a Christian, I would say yes. I am not ashamed of my Lord.


Apparently not!

You claim to be a christian. That puts you alongside other Christians. You may try to make out you're in some kind of elite/exclusive group of Christians, but why should anyone take you seriously?

tam wrote:


But if someone asked me if I belonged to a religion, I would say no. Because that is the truth.


Then why do you practise religious acts like praying and reading the bible? Worshipping Jesus? Putting him up on a pedistal. Don't you see that as religious activity? Ritual?

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.

Perhaps if there were other options in the poll:
Foolish
Wise
Immoral

Then you might have a valid argument.


Quote:
[quote="tam"]
I'm not going to quibble over the definition. Anyone can look that up for themselves.


If the professional versions are incorrect, then take it to the professional publishers and have them change the wording to suit your spin on it. In the mean time I'll trust that it means what it says in plain English.

tam wrote:



Quote:
If you are praying or reading your bible regularly, you are partaking in religion.


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


Studying the bible and taking it as the word of some god is definitely religion.

tam wrote:


Or I guess that makes you religious also. I have also read the Quran. More than once. That does not mean I belong to Islam.


Do you take the quran as being divine? As the word of God? Do you live your life based on its principles? If you do then you are practising religion.


tam wrote:


Quote:
If you consider baptism and communion important, you are taking part in religion. If you are following teachings from a holy book, you are partaking of religion. If you study it regularly, yes a religious activity.


I follow the teachings of Christ. I have faith in Him. I belong to Him.


That sounds very religious to me.

tam wrote:


I get that you don't understand how a person can do that, and have that faith, without belonging to a religion.


I never saw myself as "religious" either as a Christian. I used to say I had a "relationship" with God. When it came to filling in the census I was proud to tick "Christian" on the paper. I wasn't ashamed just because it was listed under religion. I wanted people to know I wa a Christian. So it was classed as "religion" by the government? Who cares? I still wanted my tick to count. Shouldn't anyone who loves Jesus want to include themselves under that? Unity is important isn't it?

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.

Even evangelising and going into missionary work is religion. I see that now.

Are you perhaps picking and choosing what you think is religious or not?


tam wrote:


But you are really only revealing things about yourself and your former beliefs.


That's where your wrong. My feelings now are completely different to what I believed as a Christian. See my previous comments. Hopefully you will be able to see that.

Best ask me what my feelings were as a Christian rather than judging me based on what I say now.


Quote:
[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.

Have you ever been baptised? Partaken in communion? Attended a prayer meeting? Done a group bible study? Held hands while praying? Prayed in public? Had quiet times when you go to a quiet place study the bible and pray?

All these things are religious rituals.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 19: Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:10 pm
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tam wrote:



Regardless of that history, I do remember the rest of the verses the author brings to mind. Muslims cannot strike first - though they are permitted to strike back.


Mmmmm. This is probably where issues arise. What is considered worthy of striking back? And to what extent? Drawing a picture of Mohammed? I wonder where the line should be drawn. I'm guessing with some muslims it doesn't take much to step over that line. Which is why we get these extremists.

tam wrote:

Muslims must make peace with an enemy who wants to make peace.


This is probably why our prime minister here in NZ is trying so hard to be supportive of Muslims.

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Re: Christianity is dying in New Zealand

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Peace to you,

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



I am also sorry that you seem unable to grasp the idea that a person can have faith, and also belong to no religion. I had faith in my Lord before I even knew another person with that same faith in Him. But just because you cannot grasp this does not give you the excuse to accuse me of lying when I tell you that I belong to no religion.


The fact that you have faith in a higher power is a religious thing. Faith is a religious term.


Faith is a term that religion uses, sure. But so is belief. And truth. Just because religion uses a term does not mean that term is exclusive (or even appropriate) to them.

You don't have to be religious to have beliefs; just as you don't have to be religious to have faith. In fact, no faith is even required to be in a religion, to be religious. Shouldn't that tell you something about the difference between faith and religion?


Quote:
You are getting these ideas from a religious book, a book you religiously adhere to and consider divine.


I am not and I do not.

Faith is not required to read the bible or even adhere to it. Faith is based upon what one hears (in the spirit, from God and His Son). The bible is a sight tool.

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Clearly what you see as religion is not what I see as religion.


Agreed.


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tam wrote:

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You and people in your sect are the only ones who don't see themselves as religious.


Again, what sect?


Your personal brand of Christianity. Tamism if you wish to call it that.



There is no such thing as "Tamism" and do not have a 'brand' or 'sect' of Christianity.

I went searching for a sect to join, once, thinking that I had to join a sect, or that there had to be a true religion out there somewhere. I was wrong. My Lord (Jaheshua) is the one who taught me otherwise and who called me to come to HIM, and to listen to HIM. He is the Truth, and the One to whom God drew me, and He is the One to whom God has said to listen.


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?



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tam wrote:


I agree with you that every sect/denomination of Christianity (the religion) are classified as religion. But I do not claim to be part of any brand of "Christianity" (the religion). Or any sect/denomination of "Christianity" (the religion).


So are you saying you're not a Christian?


Not as you and others seem to define Christian.



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.



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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'm not sure why you broke up the order of our exchange (which I deleted), but the context here was you telling me how the rest of the world (and the government) sees me. That is incorrect in and of itself as well, because there are plenty of people in the world who understand that a person can believe in God, even have faith in God and His Son, without being part of a religion.



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tam wrote:



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If you are praying or reading your bible regularly, you are partaking in religion.


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


Studying the bible and taking it as the word of some god is definitely religion.


I do not take the bible as the Word of God.

Christ is the Word of God.



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tam wrote:


Or I guess that makes you religious also. I have also read the Quran. More than once. That does not mean I belong to Islam.


Do you take the quran as being divine? As the word of God? Do you live your life based on its principles? If you do then you are practising religion.


See above.



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tam wrote:


I get that you don't understand how a person can do that, and have that faith, without belonging to a religion.


I never saw myself as "religious" either as a Christian.



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.


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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?


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tam wrote:


But you are really only revealing things about yourself and your former beliefs.


That's where your wrong. My feelings now are completely different to what I believed as a Christian. See my previous comments. Hopefully you will be able to see that.


Oh, I get that your feelings are different. That doesn't mean your comments don't reflect whether or not you belonged to a religion (even if you thought you were not religious back then).


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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.

You now seem to be using the term "religiously" as a synonym for consistently; and that is kinda meaningless for this exchange isn't it?



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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.

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

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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.

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Attended a prayer meeting?



No (not even sure what that entails).

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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.

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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.

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Prayed in public?


No.

Christ said to pray in private.

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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?




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

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