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Snowguy716
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« on: May 11, 2011, 11:30:28 pm »
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http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/11/my-take-poll-on-bin-ladens-death-reveals-a-disposable-jesus/?hpt=T1

Excellent post on the CNN religion blog.

I feel too many "Christians" today are not following their faith or allowing their faith to guide them.  They are, instead, forcing their religion to follow them and their faith only to be in their ability mold Jesus and his message to their own fears and prejudices.

He points out that white evangelical Christians are among the least likely to support the idea of "treating others as you would treat yourself."

Such thinking, I believe, is dangerous.  We have become a nation of consumerist, materialistic, and reactionary people who merely use Religion as a facade or something to proudly display on your sleeve... even completely rejecting large parts of Christ's message because it doesn't fit your political views.

I do not pretend to be a Christian, much less a good one.  And I shouldn't single out Christianity, but any faith or moral code.  The Christian right is probably right in saying that America would be a much better place if we lived by the Bible.  But they are mistaken when they think that living by the Bible in any way resembles the way they live.
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2011, 11:38:23 pm »
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Shocking.
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2011, 12:01:04 am »
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the article assumes that public policy can follow the teachings of Jesus. but can it?  the institution of government involves collective self-defence by it's very nature, which would go against teachings of nonviolence.
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2011, 08:50:03 am »
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I feel too many "Christians" today are not following their faith or allowing their faith to guide them.  They are, instead, forcing their religion to follow them and their faith only to be in their ability mold Jesus and his message to their own fears and prejudices.

So what else is new?
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2011, 09:23:06 am »
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I feel too many "Christians" today are not following their faith or allowing their faith to guide them.  They are, instead, forcing their religion to follow them and their faith only to be in their ability mold Jesus and his message to their own fears and prejudices.

So what else is new?

example?
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2011, 10:16:17 am »
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I feel too many "Christians" today are not following their faith or allowing their faith to guide them.  They are, instead, forcing their religion to follow them and their faith only to be in their ability mold Jesus and his message to their own fears and prejudices.

So what else is new?

example?

Both sides of the slavery debate back before slavery was outlawed. One side had the Bible for slavery, one side had it against - regardless of which, if either, you think was right in their interpretation they couldn't both be right. Therefore one of the sides had to be twisting the message to fit their preexisting views.
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2011, 10:39:48 am »
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This has been happening for quite a while now.
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2011, 11:47:53 am »
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example?

Both sides of the slavery debate back before slavery was outlawed. One side had the Bible for slavery, one side had it against - regardless of which, if either, you think was right in their interpretation they couldn't both be right. Therefore one of the sides had to be twisting the message to fit their preexisting views.

agreed, I was just wondering if it this discussion was going to drive itself into a logical ditch and attack those like me who hold certain sexual acts as sin, because, to me, it is christians accepting those acts who are the ones being convenient in their religion.

also, the examples used in the article are extremely weak.  but the example you just listed is legit
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2011, 11:01:42 am »
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You are largely right, Snowguy, and that's unfortunate.  We have become too 'comfortable' in our relatively persecution-free American lifestyle.  This comfort gives us the tendency to relax and let our guard down and relax our morals.  I heard a sermon about a year ago from my cousin that America's blessings have become our cursings.  We are so blessed in this nation to be able to worship the way you choose without the government cracking down on raiding your homes or places of worship that we have relaxed our morals and are rejecting large parts of the Word of God and allowing heresy and immorality to infiltrate the church.  The church should change the world, but we in America have allowed the world to change the church.  It is utterly shameful.  We, as American Christians, need to realize that there could very easily come a point that we will no longer be allowed to worship as freely as we once were.  In fact, it's already started by some groups saying that if you preach against homosexuality from the pulpit, they want you charged with a hate crime.  It is sad, really, really sad.
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My earlier comment notwithstanding, I do think that the site would be better off if Inks left his position. (The fact that the village idiot has dropped in to express his support for him only confirms this.)
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2011, 01:09:55 pm »
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In fact, it's already started by some groups saying that if you preach against homosexuality from the pulpit, they want you charged with a hate crime.  It is sad, really, really sad.

They say that here. Of course it's not true, and the law doesn't work that way. But they still keep saying it. Much of what they think is happening is in their head. But their own head, to them, is the only safe place to be.
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2011, 09:24:57 pm »
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You are largely right, Snowguy, and that's unfortunate.  We have become too 'comfortable' in our relatively persecution-free American lifestyle.  This comfort gives us the tendency to relax and let our guard down and relax our morals.  I heard a sermon about a year ago from my cousin that America's blessings have become our cursings.  We are so blessed in this nation to be able to worship the way you choose without the government cracking down on raiding your homes or places of worship that we have relaxed our morals and are rejecting large parts of the Word of God and allowing heresy and immorality to infiltrate the church.  The church should change the world, but we in America have allowed the world to change the church.  It is utterly shameful.  We, as American Christians, need to realize that there could very easily come a point that we will no longer be allowed to worship as freely as we once were.  In fact, it's already started by some groups saying that if you preach against homosexuality from the pulpit, they want you charged with a hate crime.  It is sad, really, really sad.
So, just so I understand you correctly: Freedom of religion is causing the nation to lose freedom of religion, so we should have less freedom of religion so that we can have more? George Orwell, meet Oklahoma.
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2011, 08:17:50 am »
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You are largely right, Snowguy, and that's unfortunate.  We have become too 'comfortable' in our relatively persecution-free American lifestyle.  This comfort gives us the tendency to relax and let our guard down and relax our morals.  I heard a sermon about a year ago from my cousin that America's blessings have become our cursings.  We are so blessed in this nation to be able to worship the way you choose without the government cracking down on raiding your homes or places of worship that we have relaxed our morals and are rejecting large parts of the Word of God and allowing heresy and immorality to infiltrate the church.  The church should change the world, but we in America have allowed the world to change the church.  It is utterly shameful.  We, as American Christians, need to realize that there could very easily come a point that we will no longer be allowed to worship as freely as we once were.  In fact, it's already started by some groups saying that if you preach against homosexuality from the pulpit, they want you charged with a hate crime.  It is sad, really, really sad.
So, just so I understand you correctly: Freedom of religion is causing the nation to lose freedom of religion, so we should have less freedom of religion so that we can have more? George Orwell, meet Oklahoma.

That's not what I'm saying at all.  What I'm saying is that we've allowed society to influence the church, when we, as the church, should be influencing society.  We've watered down the Gospel so much that it has little or none effect.  We preach what people want to hear, not what they need to hear.  We have let our blessings as a nation make us complacent and comfortable.  Freedom of religion is a great thing, don't get me wrong, and that's not what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about all of our other blessings this country enjoys, mainly the lack of real persecution.  Other countries like China where they are still trying to stamp out Christianity brag about how they were beaten for their faith.  We water everything down here in the Bible Belt.  We choose where we worship based on the style of music or the style of preaching or the ethnicity and social makeup of the congregation, whether the church lets out on time for lunch or not.  We take complete chunks out of the Bible to make it fit what we want to believe, not forcing our beliefs to fit the Bible.  It's not that way in all of America.  For example, 8 years ago I went on a mission trip to Vermont and the churches up there, of course are few and far between, but they are strong, committed, genuine and authentic Christians.  They're not watered down like the Bible Belt is.  Down here, we have a church pretty much on every corner.  Up there, they don't.  Wicca is a huge part of the culture in Vermont and Massachusetts.  Christians are really a minority in New England, as well as in the Pacific Northwest.  At the time, I believe only 10% of Vermont residents even claimed Christianity.  In Oklahoma, it's probably 10% of our residents don't claim Christianity.  The difference is Christianity is much more authentic and genuine in Vermont than it is in Oklahoma or Texas.  As much as it pains me to put my state second in a race.
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My earlier comment notwithstanding, I do think that the site would be better off if Inks left his position. (The fact that the village idiot has dropped in to express his support for him only confirms this.)
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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2011, 08:50:38 am »
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Christians are certainly not a minority in any U.S. state. And I've been to Vermont (and everywhere in New England). There's no shortage of churches Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2011, 10:48:27 pm »
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Christians are certainly not a minority in any U.S. state. And I've been to Vermont (and everywhere in New England). There's no shortage of churches Smiley

^^^^^^^^^^^
Seriously, Bushie. Where do you get this crap? New England's pretty much all fall foliage and white steeples Tongue
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« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2011, 11:24:32 pm »
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Christians are certainly not a minority in any U.S. state. And I've been to Vermont (and everywhere in New England). There's no shortage of churches Smiley

Most of us don't believe Mormons are Christians, so Utah is majority non-christian in our eyes.
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« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2011, 02:28:43 pm »
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Christians are certainly not a minority in any U.S. state. And I've been to Vermont (and everywhere in New England). There's no shortage of churches Smiley

Most of us don't believe Mormons are Christians, so Utah is majority non-christian in our eyes.

And I'm sure Utah would be the first state to ban preaching against homosexuality and abortion in church.
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« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2012, 12:43:30 pm »
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Bumping this topic (apologies in advance).

Yes, this is all true. America collectively and generally is a nation of self-selecting, culturally biased, narrow-minded "Christians." There are some interesting aspects of America's historical development, however, that could help us understand why this is the case.

The American colonies were founded by religious charlatans, fundamentalists, outcasts, refugees, and cranks from Europe. As a nation of immigrants from the start, America has a tradition and history of people who, in hard conditions-economic, climate, and geographical-would cling to religious dogma zealously.

Furthermore, the US has never had an established Church to rebel against, and the kind of churches that America's freedom of religion allowed have historically been more often of the more emotion-based, anti-intellectual, and sometimes outright anti-philosophical variety. This has been especially true in the South, where low levels of education, an underdeveloped agrarian economy, and a long-established (and violently destroyed) slave society were all conditions that conspired to establish Protestant religious dogma as the only game in town, religiously.

It should be noted that America has been a religious "free market" for a long time. What has happened in the more recent past is a kind of right-wing religious backlash that is heavily intertwined with the far-right "movement conservative" political backlash of the 1970s to the present. Issues of race, nationalism, economic anxiety, and the abandonment of so many by the increasingly globalized economy all have played large (and overlapping) roles in these developments.
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« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2012, 12:52:58 pm »
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Furthermore, the US has never had an established Church to rebel against, and the kind of churches that America's freedom of religion allowed have historically been more often of the more emotion-based, anti-intellectual, and sometimes outright anti-philosophical variety. This has been especially true in the South…

Explain to me, once again, how a church holding to NT basics is “anti-intellectual” in comparison with liberal churches of the JSojourner/Nathan/Andrew variety?

Is it really logical at all to claim to be a Christian while openly disagreeing with the NT?
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« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2012, 11:57:51 pm »
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Furthermore, the US has never had an established Church to rebel against,

That was good for a chuckle.  While true in the literal sense, since the Federal government formed as a result of the American Revolution never had an established Church, without the rebellion during the First Great Awakening of the 1740s against the established churches of the various colonies the character of the American Revolution would most certainly have been different, assuming the Revolution happened at all.
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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2012, 01:00:49 am »
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I'm surprised this was largely overlooked considering how insane it is even by Bushie standards:

For example, 8 years ago I went on a mission trip to Vermont and the churches up there, of course are few and far between, but they are strong, committed, genuine and authentic Christians.  They're not watered down like the Bible Belt is.

While I agree with this, I have a tough time believing that you'd believe a bunch of Congregationslists/UCC and Episcopalians who support gay marriage and often even have churches that perform gay marriage ceremonies would qualify as "authentic Christians" unlike in the Bible Belt.

Wicca is a huge part of the culture in Vermont and Massachusetts.

WTF?

In a 2001 study only 2% of Vermonters identified as part of "Other Religion" which would include Wicca. In 2008 that was up to 4%, but with such small numbers MoE alone could account for that. And not all of that is Wiccan. The last such survey also had Massachusetts as 7% "Other", which I'm sure not even a majority is anywhere near Wiccan. Wicca isn't a major part of the culture ANYWHERE in the US.

Christians are really a minority in New England, as well as in the Pacific Northwest.  At the time, I believe only 10% of Vermont residents even claimed Christianity.

Um, no, it's 55%. Which is quite low for the US, but quite a bit higher than 10%. 69% in Massachusetts are Christian. As for the Pacific Northwest, Washington is 65% Christian by the last survey and Oregon is 67%. These are amongst the most secular states in the country, yet still have an overwhelming Christian majority.

This...goes beyond mindboggingly stupid to even claim.
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« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2012, 01:13:39 am »
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Furthermore, the US has never had an established Church to rebel against,

That was good for a chuckle.  While true in the literal sense, since the Federal government formed as a result of the American Revolution never had an established Church, without the rebellion during the First Great Awakening of the 1740s against the established churches of the various colonies the character of the American Revolution would most certainly have been different, assuming the Revolution happened at all.

That's actually what I meant. Tongue There was no "state church."
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« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2012, 03:57:29 am »
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Furthermore, the US has never had an established Church to rebel against,

That was good for a chuckle.  While true in the literal sense, since the Federal government formed as a result of the American Revolution never had an established Church, without the rebellion during the First Great Awakening of the 1740s against the established churches of the various colonies the character of the American Revolution would most certainly have been different, assuming the Revolution happened at all.

That's actually what I meant. Tongue There was no "state church."

There was no state church at that time but enormous parts of the character of the nascent nation came from the collective memory of the Great Awakening several decades previously, which in large part was 'rebellion against the state church'. And there were individual states with established churches well into the nineteenth century.

Also, despite the definitions that jmfcst uses, my church isn't 'liberal'.

The general thrust of this thread, of course, is very true, and regrettable, but I'm not sure that this culture wouldn't find a way to go down the most unpleasant byways in serious Christianity even if it was seriously Christian. Come to think of it, there aren't many cultures, if any, that I can think of that are seriously committed to their ostensible religion, from the point of view of that religion rather than that of the culture.
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A shameless agrarian collectivist with no respect for private property or individual rights.

His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

Nathan-land.  As much fun as watching paint dry... literally.
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« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2012, 10:18:19 am »
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Furthermore, the US has never had an established Church to rebel against, and the kind of churches that America's freedom of religion allowed have historically been more often of the more emotion-based, anti-intellectual, and sometimes outright anti-philosophical variety. This has been especially true in the South…

Explain to me, once again, how a church holding to NT basics is “anti-intellectual” in comparison with liberal churches of the JSojourner/Nathan/Andrew variety?

Is it really logical at all to claim to be a Christian while openly disagreeing with the NT?

I could be wrong, but I believe in terms of "anti-intellectual" he's referring to the greater tendency of American Christians (in comparison to European ones) to believe in young Earth creationism and possibly to a lesser extent those who completely reject any notion of climate change for religious reasons, both positions which require rejecting a good deal of scientific knowledge in various fields. Rather than having anything to do with holding to NT basics, it's more about those that hold to a more literal view of the OT.
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« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2012, 10:43:40 am »
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I could be wrong, but I believe in terms of "anti-intellectual" he's referring to the greater tendency of American Christians (in comparison to European ones) to believe in young Earth creationism and possibly to a lesser extent those who completely reject any notion of climate change for religious reasons, both positions which require rejecting a good deal of scientific knowledge in various fields. Rather than having anything to do with holding to NT basics, it's more about those that hold to a more literal view of the OT.

As I read it, the NT doesn't change the literism of the OT.  The NT may add a symbolic layer onto some literal accounts of the OT, but the NT still accepts the OT as literal.
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
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« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2012, 10:46:20 am »
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I could be wrong, but I believe in terms of "anti-intellectual" he's referring to the greater tendency of American Christians (in comparison to European ones) to believe in young Earth creationism and possibly to a lesser extent those who completely reject any notion of climate change for religious reasons, both positions which require rejecting a good deal of scientific knowledge in various fields. Rather than having anything to do with holding to NT basics, it's more about those that hold to a more literal view of the OT.

As I read it, the NT doesn't change the literism of the OT.  The NT may add a symbolic layer onto some literal accounts of the OT, but the NT still accepts the OT as literal.

Regardless, I'm pretty sure it's the anti-science attitude he's talking about.
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