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What does it truly mean to be a Christian?

Arnox

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Perhaps I should have made this post a long time ago. I didn't do so though because I know people don't appreciate getting preached to, but I've also written articles in support of a lot of different causes, and it seems silly at best that I never wrote at least one article explaining my core beliefs. This is not my intention here at all to convince anyone of the truth of what I believe. This post is merely here to give an explanation of the beliefs that are firmly rooted in me and to clear the air. And I do truly think an explanation is needed because I see so much misinformation now about Christianity and the LDS religion as a whole, and I think I should at least try to set the record straight. Rather appropriate too for a Sunday thread.

A STRONG DISCLAIMER though. I am going to be explaining my Christian beliefs through the lens of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (mormons). I am not going to be defending any other Christian religion or their practices. Or at least not directly anyway. Also, this thread will not address EVERY SINGLE misconception people have about Christianity or the LDS religion, but it should cover the high points.

1. Christianity is not about being better or worse than others.

It's about always improving yourself. Being the absolute best person you can be. You're not a good person because of fear of Hell. You're a good person because you want to be. Because you want to truly progress as a human being. And not just from a temporal standpoint, but from an eternal spiritual standpoint as well. We believe it is in our very nature to progress and to gain power, and to be barred from progression is absolute torture to our being. Power is neither good nor bad. It just is. And for better and worse, we are eternally drawn to it and will always seek it in one form or another. We are beings of control and forever will be. We must learn to exercise it with discipline and absolute fairness.

2. Christianity is not about intolerance.

It is, however, about knowing what is right and what is wrong. To say that stealing is probably a bad idea is not being intolerant. We must truly love the sinner and hate the sin. Now, for my religion, we believe there are actually unforgivable sins, but they are SO extreme that most all people should never have to worry about them at all. An example of such an unforgivable sin would be cold-blooded murder.

3. Christianity is not about being naive or hiding from anything dark.

In fact, to be a true Christian, I firmly believe you should at least be acquainted with the full nastiness that humanity has to offer. To stare into that deep black abyss of hopelessness. And not just that, but to understand it. Why it's there. How it works. And then to work against it by being a beacon of hope for others. Whether someone else is Christian or not, doesn't matter too much at all. We all struggle in this world. We all have to contend with this awfulness no matter what one believes.

4. Christianity is not about spattering roman execution symbols everywhere.

Christ did rise from the grave. He did everything He set out to do during his mortal life on earth. He was triumphant So, having the cross be the universal Christian symbol is, to me, a crude travesty, and not at all what Christ stood for.

5. Christianity is not about following a bunch of arbitrary rules.

It's about striving with all your might to find actual truth and sticking to it, no matter what it may be. No matter what random people on the internet may say. No matter what your friends may say. No matter what your dearest family member that you love with all your heart may say. Actual truth never changes. Not for anything. It never will. It persists forever and ever no matter what illusion may rage against it. It is and will always be as irrevocable as the very laws of physics. And that is why Christianity requires such dedication to follow. It's hard. Sometimes, your temporal being will complain against it greatly. Why? Because it is like a child. Your body doesn't understand truth. It only understands what it wants. To discipline and make your body work for you instead of you working for it is what needs to be striven for and is deeply a part of what makes a true Christian.

6. Christianity is not about looking out for number one.

It is about self-sacrifice. It doesn't necessarily have to be extreme, but you must strive to be ready to do so for others around you. It is about trying to understand the other person even if they spit in your face. It is about being mature and strong, even if no one else around you will be.

"A juvenile becomes an adult when, and only when, he acquires a knowledge of duty and embraces it as dearer than the self-love he was born with."
- Robert A. Heinlein

-

Now these are my views, but they are what I stand for. If your Christian though and your views differ then go ahead and make a post down below.
 

Kaleion

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Interesting, for background I'm not a Christian, not at all I'm an atheist however I was brought up as both Catholic and Christian in different stages of my life, though I'll admit that I never truly believed as I started openly questioning God's existence when I was 5 and by the time I was 10 I was pretty sure it was nothing but a fairy tale, in any case my experiences neither of my experiences with the Catholic Church or the Seventh-Day Adventist Church were positive ones, so as a result I'm not keen on religion as a whole as I've seen it's bad side and I know what it does to people and it isn't good.

That being said I think I do somewhat understand the appeal of religion, and I do acknowledge that some aspects of it are positive, however I don't think I should be discussing anything further being that you wished to discuss this with other Christians and I'm most definitely not that and I don't really wish to disrespect you or your beliefs even if accidentally, since that wasn't really my intention.

So basically I'm just going to acknowledge that I read this.
 

Arnox

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Interesting, for background I'm not a Christian, not at all I'm an atheist however I was brought up as both Catholic and Christian in different stages of my life, though I'll admit that I never truly believed as I started openly questioning God's existence when I was 5 and by the time I was 10 I was pretty sure it was nothing but a fairy tale, in any case my experiences neither of my experiences with the Catholic Church or the Seventh-Day Adventist Church were positive ones, so as a result I'm not keen on religion as a whole as I've seen it's bad side and I know what it does to people and it isn't good.

That being said I think I do somewhat understand the appeal of religion, and I do acknowledge that some aspects of it are positive, however I don't think I should be discussing anything further being that you wished to discuss this with other Christians and I'm most definitely not that and I don't really wish to disrespect you or your beliefs even if accidentally, since that wasn't really my intention.

So basically I'm just going to acknowledge that I read this.
Kale, this is Sanctuary. You can say whatever the hell you want. lol But yes, I deeply appreciate your courtesy. It's depressingly missing from so many atheists.

But yes, keep in mind, religion doesn't turn people into assholes. It just gives existing assholes an excuse. If it wasn't religion, they'd just find another excuse. Most selfish actions have their roots in pride. The thinking that one is better than another. This is something that actual Christianity is directly against. While some people do distinguish themselves from others by their actions, I do want to quote the New Testament for this.

"He that is greatest among you shall be your servant."
- Matthew 23:11

"Whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all."
- Mark 10:44

The message is pretty clear. The actually great people are those who sacrifice and serve others as they can. Power should be rightfully earned.
 
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Kaleion

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Very well then, I don't think it's worth arguing the content of the scriptures, as we would have to get into the old and tired argument of it's source which I'm pretty sure we're all aware of by this point and perfectly explains the reason for a lot of inconsistencies in the bible, also I think we can all agree that there are some genuinely good lessons that the scriptures do teach and which you won't find me arguing against, like ever.

That being said there's also the issue that the last time I read it I was like 15 and doing so for a test and since I dislike religion so much I don't really have one at hand I can't really investigate it, that being said I do admit that I've been considering getting one to give it a read, as while I'm not really interested in the faith nor am I in poking holes in it I feel like now that I'm more mature I would probably be able to learn both some history and Philosphy of worth from it, since while I don't believe for a second that Jesus was the son of God, from what I recall now that I'm no longer an edgy teen it seems like a lot of his Philosophy actually strikes close to the one I ended up arriving to now that I'm some form of "New age hippie" according to my co-workers.

In any case, while I don't doubt for a second that you truly believe that and that it's likely that many, if not most Christians truly believe that they are being kind and doing the right thing to better themselves that doesn't necessarily make that Christianity, after all whether you like it or not even protestant cells of Christianity such as Mormons and the aforementioned 7th-Day Adventist church have a hierarchy, and it's that people on the upper levels of the hierarchy (Agnostics excluded I guess) that get to dictate the Christian behaviour, and whether you consider it a corruption of Christian values or not true Christian Dogma it doesn't change the fact that those people in the upper levels of the hierarchy are using their platform to promote messages of intolerance and hate, whether we talk about the subtly implied anti-homosexual stance of the Pope (He's gotten really good at saying it without directly saying it), the openly hostility against the whole LGBTQ community that I got to witness in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church or open hate and call for cleansing in more extreme groups like the Westboro Baptist Church or the KKK (Extra ironic considering Jesus was most definitely not white), the fact of the matter is that modern day Christianity is unfortunately a pretext to exclude groups of people and encourage violence against those same groups, quite ironic since if I do remember one thing about the Bible is that Jesus didn't really stand for that but unfortunately hypocrisy seems to be a major component of modern day Christianity, though admittedly it's been there for a really long time.

Anyway I guess my point is, that when people talk about this kind off thing, defending their stance on Christianity all their doing is justifying to themselves why it is OK to still support the Church that they believe in, but nothing more, an empty gesture to say "Not all Christians are bad" without really doing anything about it, it's not like the people that say these things like you for example have any intention to form a new protestant sect that actively endorses these core-beliefs of Christianity.

That being said there are Congregations of Christianity that do openly oppose this hate, unfortunately for the most part these congregations are part of a larger church that still promotes those same hateful hypocritical messages, so even supporting a lot of these ends up supporting monetarily the same cause that they oppose, and from the admittedly little research I did there doesn't seem to be any large Church that as a whole opposes these values.

In any case sorry if I was too judgemental, I kinda feel like I was, but I must state I seriously hate the Church while I was there I did meet some nice people but the vast majority of my experiences with it were miserable, so I do have a huge bias against the Church, to the point that I will admit it's probably impossible for me to be convinced it's a good thing.

This was originally part of the previous paragraph but I decided to cut it, but after that I decided that I must have typed it for a reason and decided to leave it in, it's not necessarily relevant to the discussion though.

Especially since though I wasn't gay, I am very much asexual (Admittedly I didn't accept it until very recently) so I never really showed interest in girls on top of being a very girly looking boy, so I didn't have the best of time with them since they were often trying to wash my brain to stop being gay, that rock was satanic and to stop doubting the bible so much, seriously since it was a religious school I wasn't allowed to do the tests until I listened to 30 minute personalised lecture as to why I was was the absolute worst and everything I thought was wrong, and on top of that required to agree with them so they'd let me go which left me like 15 minutes to actually do tests, fortunately I tended to ace tests despite all that bullshit, but you know it was absolutely miserable, not to mention confusing since I didn't like boys at all but since they convinced me I did I ended up in some pretty bad situations that I don't really want to talk about, not to mention that since they labelled me the satanic gay kid everyone at school hated me, so I didn't really have any friends since even "nice" people would turn on me whenever the crowd called for a punching bag, and since even before then I was already a very socially awkward kid it fucked me up so bad that even after dropping out of school and leaving home it took me a very long time before I could even talk with people again, seriously on my first job they thought I was retarded because I communicated mostly through gestures despite being obviously able to talk, but they were fine with it because I got the job done, I did get better though and nowadays I'm mostly functional even if I'm still depressed all the time.
 

Houseman

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Very well then, I don't think it's worth arguing the content of the scriptures, as we would have to get into the old and tired argument of it's source which I'm pretty sure we're all aware of by this point and perfectly explains the reason for a lot of inconsistencies in the bible, also I think we can all agree that there are some genuinely good lessons that the scriptures do teach and which you won't find me arguing against, like ever.
Arguing the content of the scriptures is one of my favorite things to do, second only to arguing the capabilities of God.

Regarding the subject of Homosexuality, my religion teaches that homosexual conduct is prohibited. So a homosexual Christian would just have to remain celibate.
 
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Kaleion

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Arguing the content of the scriptures is one of my favorite things to do, second only to arguing the capabilities of God.
I do admit it can be interesting but I'm not much of an authority in the subject, and it's likely that all my arguments on the subject would be lacking in substance and therefore not really worth the time of day, not to mention the version I read was in Spanish so there probably are differences.

Regarding the subject of Homosexuality, my religion teaches that homosexual conduct is prohibited. So a homosexual Christian would just have to remain celibate.
So? There's plenty of things that were prohibited that have changed, if you're a Christian from a protestant sect it means that there was a disagreement with the old dogma at some point and that caused it to offshoot and become it's own independent religion, so why is it necessary to be so adamant in enforcing that particular belief about homosexuality?

Why is it important? It's not like God said it, and why take the Scripture at it's word all of it was written by people not God, so even if some of it happened to be true, what makes you think all of it would be?
 

Arnox

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I do admit it can be interesting but I'm not much of an authority in the subject, and it's likely that all my arguments on the subject would be lacking in substance and therefore not really worth the time of day, not to mention the version I read was in Spanish so there probably are differences.


So? There's plenty of things that were prohibited that have changed, if you're a Christian from a protestant sect it means that there was a disagreement with the old dogma at some point and that caused it to offshoot and become it's own independent religion, so why is it necessary to be so adamant in enforcing that particular belief about homosexuality?

Why is it important? It's not like God said it, and why take the Scripture at it's word all of it was written by people not God, so even if some of it happened to be true, what makes you think all of it would be?
Sorry, don't mean to double-team here. Just want to say, if you go by the "till death do us part" kind of marriage, you would be right. Homosexual relations should be a non-issue. But as to my religion, gender is of important spiritual significance. Only a man and a woman can be eternally married. Why this is exactly though, no one in our religion really knows. Not even the general presidency.
 

Houseman

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So? There's plenty of things that were prohibited that have changed, if you're a Christian from a protestant sect it means that there was a disagreement with the old dogma at some point and that caused it to offshoot and become it's own independent religion, so why is it necessary to be so adamant in enforcing that particular belief about homosexuality?
Nobody said that change is, or even should be, impossible. It's all in the reasons WHY something should or shouldn't be changed.
So why should a religion's stance on homosexuality be changed? If a religion believes that its teachings should derive from the bible, then you'd need to give a bible-based reason.

So that's why. No valid bible-based reason has been offered.

Why is it important? It's not like God said it, and why take the Scripture at it's word all of it was written by people not God, so even if some of it happened to be true, what makes you think all of it would be?
Some religions do believe that the bible is authoritative, and that all of it is true, even though it was written by men. "All scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness" - 2 Timothy 3:16
 

Kaleion

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Sorry, don't mean to double-team here. Just want to say, if you go by the "till death do us part" kind of marriage, you would be right. Homosexual relations should be a non-issue. But as to my religion, gender is of important spiritual significance. Only a man and a woman can be eternally married. Why this is exactly though, no one in our religion really knows. Not even the general presidency.
I don't want to be mean, but that's exactly why I can't deal with religion, there are no good answers just circular logic that expects me to take a bunch of ancient men and the people who translated and edited their text at their word, which isn't enough for me, I can't base my Philosophy on because "Matthew"(Not really though, it was some anonymous scholar which was later decided was Matthew to give more authority to the Gospel) said that Jesus said that God said so, it's absurd.
I had questions but no pastor or priest ever had answers, not real ones at least.
Nobody said that change is, or even should be, impossible. It's all in the reasons WHY something should or shouldn't be changed.
So why should a religion's stance on homosexuality be changed? If a religion believes that its teachings should derive from the bible, then you'd need to give a bible-based reason.

So that's why. No valid bible-based reason has been offered.
I would need to read the bible again to provide one, but I don't remember any outright condemnation in the version I read when I was a kid, sounds like awfully convenient cherry-picking to me, nothing but hypocrisy, as the Bible also states that one shouldn't judge others yet that's exactly what this thing against homosexuality does.

Some religions do believe that the bible is authoritative, and that all of it is true, even though it was written by men. "All scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness" - 2 Timothy 3:16
To address both the points about "Needing" a bible based reason to establish a protestant religion seems awfully hypocritical and absurd to me, after all isn't the Bible based on the same texts as the more ancient Torah but dismissing the parts of it with which it doesn't agree?

Being able to cherry pick the Torah but not the Bible just reads as yet more hypocrisy and dishonesty to me, like Christians just choose whatever they think is convenient, forgetting that their Bible is based on an edition of another book with several additions made by the Catholic church in part to make the religion more palatable to the Romans, to me it's nothing but excuses to justify their appalling behaviour, if they claim that their bigotry is based on faith after all they can argue for free speech, which is quite frankly disgusting.

Finally I would like to apologise, I think I'm being a huge asshole but I'll admit it's not a topic I'm particularly rational about and I think it shows.
 

Houseman

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would need to read the bible again to provide one, but I don't remember any outright condemnation in the version I read when I was a kid
1 Corinthians 6:9,10
Romans 1:26,27
Jude 6,7 (which references Genesis 19:4,5)

as the Bible also states that one shouldn't judge others yet that's exactly what this thing against homosexuality does.
We do not need to judge. The bible does all the judging for us. There are hard rules that cannot be broken, and consequences that happen when you break those rules, all prescribed by the bible. We do not take it upon ourselves to invent rules or punishments.

To address both the points about "Needing" a bible based reason to establish a protestant religion
I wasn't referring to establishing a religion, I was referring to the concept of change in general, within a religion.

As for how my religion was established, a group of people in the late 1800s had a bible book club, where they would read the bible and try to figure out what it means. This was long after the protestant-catholic split, but they began with the KJV, a "catholic" bible, if that's any consolation.

isn't the Bible based on the same texts as the more ancient Torah but dismissing the parts of it with which it doesn't agree?
The bible and the Torah aren't both based on the same texts, they contain the same texts in their entirety. Nothing has been dismissed, unless you're referring to the status of the Mosaic Law.

Being able to cherry pick the Torah but not the Bible just reads as yet more hypocrisy and dishonesty to me
I think you're referring to the Mosaic Law?
Christians do not "cherry pick" what rules to follow from the Mosaic Law. The bible itself says that the Mosaic Law was meant to be temporary and limited (Psalms 147:19, Exodus 31:12,13). The purpose of the Law was to prepare the way for the Messiah ( Galatians 3:19). The Law existed to guide the nation of Israel and keep God alive in their minds and hearts until conditions were ready for the Messiah to be born. After he arrived, there was no need for the Law. The bible makes it clear that "Christ is the end of the Law" (Romans 10:4)

What do you see as "cherry picking"?

Finally I would like to apologise, I think I'm being a huge asshole but I'll admit it's not a topic I'm particularly rational about and I think it shows.
Not at all.

But it seems to me like you aren't trying to make an effort to understand. You're not asking questions as if you were trying to learn anything. It's as if you think you know it all, already, and you're just making accusations.

In my opinion, I think it's always better to understand why a person believes what they do, even if you disagree with what they believe in.
 
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Kaleion

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1 Corinthians 6:9,10
Romans 1:26,27
Jude 6,7 (which references Genesis 19:4,5)
I suppose it does then, but by that same token it also condemns not only adulterers but even people like Donald Trump, greedy CEO types and I don't see neither of those groups as being criticised by Christians, in fact they seem to be very much OK with greedy people.



We do not need to judge. The bible does all the judging for us. There are hard rules that cannot be broken, and consequences that happen when you break those rules, all prescribed by the bible. We do not take it upon ourselves to invent rules or punishments.
You just said you make judgements based on what the text says, it doesn't matter what you call it you're still judging people, this is just a bullshit way of saying "It's OK because the book says it's OK", which brings me back to the issue of people taking the book at it's word, rather than questioning the agenda of the people who wrote it, or translated it the first or second time, seems like people who are too lazy to think for themselves if you ask me.


I wasn't referring to establishing a religion, I was referring to the concept of change in general, within a religion.
I was though I specifically ask why Christians who claim to disagree with the bigoted practices of the church don't just separate and form their own protestant religions, it wouldn't be the first or last time this happens, but it doesn't seem like they truly have enough conviction in their morals to do it, or you know they don't have the spine to actually voice that opinion IRL and just mention it online, or perhaps they are making up excuses to convince themselves that the Church is just when it really isn't.

As for how my religion was established, a group of people in the late 1800s had a bible book club, where they would read the bible and try to figure out what it means. This was long after the protestant-catholic split, but they began with the KJV, a "catholic" bible, if that's any consolation.

The bible and the Torah aren't both based on the same texts, they contain the same texts in their entirety. Nothing has been dismissed, unless you're referring to the status of the Mosaic Law.
Upon investigating that does seem to be the case as far as included books, however there are apparently a few changes with some books containing more verses or whatever, I'm not really in the mood to investigate further right now.


I think you're referring to the Mosaic Law?
Christians do not "cherry pick" what rules to follow from the Mosaic Law. The bible itself says that the Mosaic Law was meant to be temporary and limited (Psalms 147:19, Exodus 31:12,13). The purpose of the Law was to prepare the way for the Messiah ( Galatians 3:19). The Law existed to guide the nation of Israel and keep God alive in their minds and hearts until conditions were ready for the Messiah to be born. After he arrived, there was no need for the Law. The bible makes it clear that "Christ is the end of the Law" (Romans 10:4)

What do you see as "cherry picking"?
Likely, it's been too long since I've attempted to take any of it seriously so it's entirely possible I'm not fully aware of what I'm talking about, more research would need to be done on my side and if I'm honest I don't think I'll bother as I'm not invested enough in trying to prove wrong to do it, because I don't think I really care.

As for cherrypicking, look at your own example above, if the Bible condemns so many groups of people why persecute only a few rather than all of them?



Not at all.

But it seems to me like you aren't trying to make an effort to understand. You're not asking questions as if you were trying to learn anything. It's as if you think you know it all, already, and you're just making accusations.

In my opinion, I think it's always better to understand why a person believes what they do, even if you disagree with what they believe in.
That is true, I'm outright making accusations because I know my questions won't truly be answered, the exact same canned non-answers that people have been telling me since I was 5 is all you're going to say, because in reality you're not trying to explain why you believe you're just giving excuses as to why the book justifies x or y, for example you haven't bothered to answer why you think a bunch of ancient people were definitely not lying when they wrote some text which include some stories that sound an awful lot like fairy tales of the world being created in 5 days, magic that can part seas or whatever, instead you decided to change the topic I mean if I were to claim that an invisible man in the sky told me stories about talking snakes and the first people would assume I'm insane, what makes them more credible?

I personally don't buy any of it, I've been questioning it since I can remember and no one ever has given me a satisfying answer, I mean I think it's pretty obvious that it's not possible for me to have faith if I was unable to have it even when I was a child, so what interests why someone would take these texts seriously, rather than in the same context that the Illiad or the Arthurian legends, which is to say stories that have some basis in reality but are in their majority fiction, that's what perplexes me, the actual content of the books isn't important to me, I read it even if it was a long time and I know what I think it is, so all I want to know is why believe this?

I don't think I'm mentally wired in a way in which it's possible for me to understand the concept of faith, it just seems absurd to me, I don't meant that I think people that have faith are dumb or anything of the sort, but it's just something that my brain seems to be unable to process.
 

Houseman

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because in reality you're not trying to explain why you believe
You haven't been asking me why I believe. Part of the reason why you're not getting the answers you seek, is because you're not asking the questions you want answered.

for example you haven't bothered to answer why you think a bunch of ancient people were definitely not lying when they wrote some text which include some stories that sound an awful lot like fairy tales of the world being created in 5 days, magic that can part seas or whatever
Did you ever ask me that before? I don't recall you ever doing so. So that's probably the reason why I've never answered this question.
Please double-check that you've actually asked me the question before you accuse me of ignoring it or changing the topic. I'm not your enemy. I'm not trying to "win" an argument or anything. I have no reason to give you the runaround.

But I can answer it now: Because the other parts of the bible that can be verified, have been verified as true. This gives credence to the whole.
Example 1, if there's 9 points out of 10 that point to a certain suspect being guilty, where the 10th could point to either this suspect or another, say, a gun with an ambiguous partial fingerprint, then it's likely that the 10th points to same suspect as well.

Example 2, if a witness gives an account of a crime, revealing previously unknown things like "he threw the knife on the roof" that were later found to be true, that makes it more likely that the rest of his account, things that didn't leave behind physical evidence (like the facial features of the suspect), are also true.

I'm not saying that "if someone says a true thing, then everything else they say is automatically 100% true". I'm just saying that it makes the other things easier to believe.

So when I hear of things like archaeologists discovering some city that was previously unknown and only ever mentioned in the Bible, or uncovering tablets that mention kings that were only ever mentioned in the bible, all that gives strength to my belief that the bible really is an accurate account of history.

I can remember and no one ever has given me a satisfying answer
The reasons why people are convinced that the bible is true are varied and personal. If you randomly select 5 different Christians and ask them why they believe, you'll likely get five different answers. None of them might convince you. And that's to be expected. There's no proof or reason that I or anyone else can give you that will instantly win you over. There's no definite proof of God. It doesn't exist. One has to find their own reason.

You'd need to find your own satisfying answer, if you want one.

I suppose it does then, but by that same token it also condemns not only adulterers but even people like Donald Trump, greedy CEO types and I don't see neither of those groups as being criticised by Christians, in fact they seem to be very much OK with greedy people.
That's a fair criticism to level against Christianity in general.

You just said you make judgements based on what the text says
No I didn't.
it doesn't matter what you call it you're still judging people
Well it seems like you've made up your mind.

I specifically ask why Christians who claim to disagree with the bigoted practices of the church don't just separate and form their own protestant religions, it wouldn't be the first or last time this happens, but it doesn't seem like they truly have enough conviction in their morals to do it, or you know they don't have the spine to actually voice that opinion IRL and just mention it online, or perhaps they are making up excuses to convince themselves that the Church is just when it really isn't.
I wouldn't know. You'd have to ask those Christians who disagree with the "bigoted practices of the church".

As for cherrypicking, look at your own example above, if the Bible condemns so many groups of people why persecute only a few rather than all of them?
If you're speaking about Christianity in general, I cannot speak on behalf of billions of people, nor am I interested in defending Christianity in general.
 
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Kaleion

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You haven't been asking me why I believe. Part of the reason why you're not getting the answers you seek, is because you're not asking the questions you want answered.



Did you ever ask me that before? I don't recall you ever doing so. So that's probably the reason why I've never answered this question.
Please double-check that you've actually asked me the question before you accuse me of ignoring it or changing the topic. I'm not your enemy. I'm not trying to "win" an argument or anything. I have no reason to give you the runaround.
Huh... It does seem to be that way, though it is somewhat implicit in my earlier responses it is not actually asked directly, I guess I was being a lot less confrontational than I imagined, in any case sorry for the incorrect statement, I'd make excuses but there's little point to them, a mistake was made.

But I can answer it now: Because the other parts of the bible that can be verified, have been verified as true. This gives credence to the whole.
Example 1, if there's 9 points out of 10 that point to a certain suspect being guilty, where the 10th could point to either this suspect or another, say, a gun with an ambiguous partial fingerprint, then it's likely that the 10th points to same suspect as well.

Example 2, if a witness gives an account of a crime, revealing previously unknown things like "he threw the knife on the roof" that were later found to be true, that makes it more likely that the rest of his account, things that didn't leave behind physical evidence (like the facial features of the suspect), are also true.

I'm not saying that "if someone says a true thing, then everything else they say is automatically 100% true". I'm just saying that it makes the other things easier to believe.

So when I hear of things like archaeologists discovering some city that was previously unknown and only ever mentioned in the Bible, or uncovering tablets that mention kings that were only ever mentioned in the bible, all that gives strength to my belief that the bible really is an accurate account of history.
But like mentioned before going by that line of logic, wouldn't you also believe in Greek Myths due to the discovery of Troy?
I mean the Illiad was equally right about the existence of that city.

So why the Bible specifically and not Zeus for example?



The reasons why people are convinced that the bible is true are varied and personal. If you randomly select 5 different Christians and ask them why they believe, you'll likely get five different answers. None of them might convince you. And that's to be expected. There's no proof or reason that I or anyone else can give you that will instantly win you over. There's no definite proof of God. It doesn't exist. One has to find their own reason.

You'd need to find your own satisfying answer, if you want one.
I guess so, I've asked many Christians, so it's obvious that whatever compels them to believe doesn't work for me, and if I'm honest when I look for my own answers t it's just not something that resonates with, like I mentioned before I don't find the text to be despicable or all lies, but to me it doesn't seem to be any different from Homer's works.



No I didn't.


Well it seems like you've made up your mind.
I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, but I fail to see the difference, it sounds more like an excuse than actual difference in the action.



I wouldn't know. You'd have to ask those Christians who disagree with the "bigoted practices of the church".
I see that's fair, however putting it in air quotes doesn't really change what it is.



If you're speaking about Christianity in general, I cannot speak on behalf of billions of people, nor am I interested in defending Christianity in general.
That's fair, after all some of my questions were more thrown out in general than aimed at anyone in particular.
 

Houseman

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But like mentioned before going by that line of logic, wouldn't you also believe in Greek Myths due to the discovery of Troy?
I mean the Illiad was equally right about the existence of that city.

So why the Bible specifically and not Zeus for example?
The equation isn't as simple as "X mentions Y, Y is found just as X said, therefore, all of X is true".
It's just that X being right about Y makes it easier to believe that X is true.

The discovery of just one thing - Troy, for example - is likely not enough to cause someone to start believing.
The Bible, in contrast, contains many things that were later discovered.


I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, but I fail to see the difference, it sounds more like an excuse than actual difference in the action.
It might be helpful to define what we mean by "Judging". What do you think it means? I think it means how we judge other people before we meet thing on things based on what they wear, where they live, how they look, how they talk, things like that. I don't think Jesus was referring to rules and punishments. But what do you think?
 

Kaleion

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The equation isn't as simple as "X mentions Y, Y is found just as X said, therefore, all of X is true".
It's just that X being right about Y makes it easier to believe that X is true.

The discovery of just one thing - Troy, for example - is likely not enough to cause someone to start believing.
The Bible, in contrast, contains many things that were later discovered.
Well in reality, considering that most of the Bible books were written by different people in different time and much, much later compiled into that book, individually any of those works isn't in average much more accurate than the Illiad, the main reason it gives the illusion that there is a higher volume of proven history is because they have been compiled together.

That being said I do understand that the main reason is because people don't raise their kids to believe in Greek Myths anymore and the Illiad is taught in school as a primary example of a Legend, therefore leaving it very clear to kids that despite it presenting itself as a historical document it very much is a work of fiction that melds fantasy with reality.

Statistically speaking, you're much more likely to believe the religion that you were raised into over any other one, of course exceptions exist, though I guess that tells us a bit about how faith is originated in the human mind, but obviously not all as if that was the most important factor I would be a believer and there would be no people switching religions at later stage of their lives.



It might be helpful to define what we mean by "Judging". What do you think it means? I think it means how we judge other people before we meet thing on things based on what they wear, where they live, how they look, how they talk, things like that. I don't think Jesus was referring to rules and punishments. But what do you think?
The act of judging is simply to form a conclusion about something or someone, so if one judges homosexuals to be evil, degenerates or whatever, for any reason, including because the Bible says so that is technically a judgement, though I guess I meant more when they not only force those conclusion but try to enforce, like for example how gay marriage is judged to be immoral despite the fact that it's more of a legal issue than it is one of faith, but people keep shoving their faith into the law and so on.
You basically the whole "God hates Fags" that's very popular among some Christian communities (Because it really isn't all of them, I just call them out because most of the ones that oppose this behaviour are still part of of the ones that encourage it and therefore provide funding to them, in my eyes making them hypocrites), but basically my interpretation of it is that a Christian really enforced the commandment of "Thou shalt not Judge" rather than openly voicing their objection to this "inappropriate" behaviour that doesn't really hurt anyone they should let both the law and God take care of it without putting in their two cents, of course this isn't to say that all acts of judging people are negative, it is a necessary part of society otherwise would have even more murderers that we have now operating with impunity, but I guess it's an easy target when looking for inconsistencies in Christian behaviour, which is probably why I chose it.
 

Houseman

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Well in reality, considering that most of the Bible books were written by different people in different time and much, much later compiled into that book, individually any of those works isn't in average much more accurate than the Illiad, the main reason it gives the illusion that there is a higher volume of proven history is because they have been compiled together.
That's part of the reason why I believe in the bible. Despite all these different authors from different generations, they all speak about the same God, and it all forms a consistent narrative. Assuming an omnipotent God exists, it would be easy for such a being to arrange such a book to be compiled.

Do you think that a human effort to compile 66 books by 40 authors spanning 1500 years could produce a consistent narrative? That would be like if I took 66 novels from modern day and tried to stitch them together to form a single story. That wouldn't really work, would it? (This is a rhetorical question that attempts to explain my reasoning, it's not meant to argue with you or convince you)

The act of judging is simply to form a conclusion about something or someone, so if one judges homosexuals to be evil, degenerates or whatever, for any reason, including because the Bible says so that is technically a judgement, though I guess I meant more when they not only force those conclusion but try to enforce, like for example how gay marriage is judged to be immoral despite the fact that it's more of a legal issue than it is one of faith, but people keep shoving their faith into the law and so on.
I can't speak for Christianity in general, but as far as our religion goes, we don't judge homosexuals "to be evil, degenerates or whatever". The bible simply does not allow for homosexual conduct, like I said at first.

I cannot comment on those who "shove their faith into the law", because nobody in my religion votes.
 
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