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Old 08-18-2001, 12:51 PM   #11
Bede
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Quote:
Originally posted by ex-preacher:
[QB]When you meet the other party members and say you support their campaign against exterminating Gypsies, you are surprised to find that instead of warmly welcoming you and offering help in how to persuade other members of your party they instead pull out your party's rule book and insist that under section 6(2)b you are not a proper member.
So, if someone asked for help in ending the holocaust then you'd quibble with them!?! One reads about people like that but never expects to come across one. And this quite apart from comparing Christianity to Nazism.

No matter. You do really depress me.
 
Old 08-18-2001, 01:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bede:
<STRONG>
So, if someone asked for help in ending the holocaust then you'd quibble with them!?! One reads about people like that but never expects to come across one. And this quite apart from comparing Christianity to Nazism.
No matter. You do really depress me.</STRONG>
I would certainly help someone end the Christian-inspired and implemented holocaust. The point is that I wouldn't want to help them end part of the holocaust so that they could implement the rest freely. Do you at all comprehend why we don't want to help you save Christianity. Do you really think we want to help you explain away hell so that folks can still cling to the rest of their mythology? Of course, we don't believe in hell! Are you wanting to form some kind of party for liberal Xns and atheists to join?

Do you really think your death penalty analogy was any better? Do you think fundies are going around executing people? Lovely. I was using an example equivalent to yours.

Wake and smell reality, Bede! You think you are so wise and enlightened by clinging to a revised "lite" Christianity. Your "middle of the road" approach does not suggest intelligent moderation. It reflects inconsistency, indecisiveness, and cowardice.
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Old 08-19-2001, 02:43 PM   #13
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With all its many faces, christianity is certainly an enigmatic religion. In actuality, it has become many religions united only at one point in history - maybe.

Perhaps the most enigmatic feature of christianity, only because it seems to pass right under the noses of most devout christians without a whiff of attention, is its humanistic aspects. Jesus was fully divine and fully human, goes the theology of many. And Grant, for one, comments on the humanistic aspects of Jesus's supposed ministry and message quite openly.

Christianity owes it's appeal in large part to this humanistic underpinning, and the hell doctrine is now, thanks to democracy and the rise again of civil law, and humanism itself, christian and not, being made to suffer.

Of course, hell worshippers will never go away entirely, so, christianity will have to accomodate such silliness for as long as christianity survives as "christianity".

Like all religion and other forms of superstition, christianity's true evil lies in the fact that it destroys potential by substituting fear and superstition for open examination. Of course this claim can be made against many human institutions to some degree. But considering christianity's longevity and historical impact on many cultures, a good case can be made that christianity presently holds first place in this dubious infamy.

joe
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Old 08-22-2001, 02:37 PM   #14
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Bede:

I find your comments about eternal punishment completely baffling. On the Eternal Punishment thread you describe your position as “orthodox Catholicism”. But now you refer us to a source which, in support of its position, cites articles which accuse the Catholic Church of having radically departed from Jesus’ teachings by the third century (if not earlier), importing false pagan ideas and pagan rituals in order to attract (or keep) converts, etc. The same articles use these accusations to explain the church’s adherence, from a very early date, to the doctrine (supposedly contrary to Jesus’ teaching) of eternal punishment. ( I assume that I do not have to give quotations to demonstrate this, since you are presumably familiar with these articles.)

Now I have little doubt that the rejection of the early Church as thoroughly corrupt and as having less interest in what Jesus actually taught than in gaining converts is essentially correct. But I don’t understand how such arguments can be reconciled with anything that can be remotely described as “orthodox Catholicism”. Such arguments are about as heretical as anything I can imagine.

They also thoroughly undermine Christianity itself. It was this very Church that decided what books to include in the official canon. The decisions, in fact, were based in part on whether a given book was compatible with what was fast becoming the official, orthodox theology. What reason is there to believe that the books that were incorporated into the canon represent Jesus’ teachings if the Church that selected them was thoroughly corrupt and permeated by false pagan ideas? And what reason is there to believe that the orthodox theology (including the divinity of Jesus) is the right one if the authority of the early Church is rejected? Perhaps one of the many positions that the early Church declared heretical is the One True Faith.

In another thread a while back, Nomad gave the standard argument for accepting the authority of the early Church eloquently:
Quote:
Once I knew that [Christianity is true], then I had to look at what God said so far as who to believe. In this case, He tells us that we must look to the Church for sound understanding of His word. In 1 Timothy 3:15 God tells us that the Church is, in fact, the pillar and foundation of the truth... Thus, when the heretic teaches an interpretation that runs counter to everything the Church has taught in the past, we can and must reject it.
Obviously the doctrine of universal salvation runs counter to everything the Church has taught in the past. How do you answer Nomad’s argument that we can and must therefore reject it?

[ August 23, 2001: Message edited by: bd-from-kg ]
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Old 08-23-2001, 06:26 AM   #15
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Bede:

Many have tried and none have succeeded in explaining away clear scriptural references to eternal torment in hell. Few Christians have seen a need to run away from these teachings until now when they can't threaten dissenters and critics into silence. Today, in a free society, Christianity must once again compete in the marketplace, and a god whose fragile ego requires the eternal torment of those who have displeased him creates an insurmountable image problem for a large number of people.

What is frustrating you, I believe, is the number of us who are unwilling to allow you to repackage the vengeful and petulant Christian deity for greater user friendliness. The god of the scriptures, the one most Christians appear to accept without comment or examination, is not a Cosmic Care Bear. No matter how much liberals may try to filter out the "difficulties" it is the same blood-eating god. You can put him in penny loafers and a Mister Rogers Sweater, and he is still the same deity that once wiped out the planet by flood, made genocidal war against children and pregnant women, and is supposedly returning in wrath and fury to consign the bulk of us to eternal torment.

In the end, once you convince yourself all the nastiness is misinterpreted and metaphorical, why is it so hard to accept that the pleasant sounding parts are bullshit as well? We don't need an invisible bogeyman creator. We never did. We don't have to continue in the unenlightened path carved out by squatting savages and priest-king despots. Adults should put such childishness behind them instead of desparately trying to convince the rest of the world to share in their dangerous delusions. Freedom from gods and engagement with the real world can be a beautiful thing. You should try it.

P.S. You gotta love the standby screen for this thread: "We will soon be taking you back to Hell."

[ August 23, 2001: Message edited by: Ron Garrett ]
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Old 08-23-2001, 07:31 AM   #16
Mac
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ron Garrett:
<STRONG>P.S. You gotta love the standby screen for this thread: "We will soon be taking you back to Hell."</STRONG>
Yeah, but we heathen scum are pretty used to that.

Mac
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Old 08-23-2001, 07:40 AM   #17
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I think Bedes point about the early church not including Hell is correct. After all it was another sect of Judisum and there is no concept of hell in the Torah. The idea was probably tacked on from pagan (non-christain) sources and for the reasons stated.
However this seems a good time point out that the greek and roman references on the the Hell website he recommended seemed to be aimed squarely at belief in god(s) in general and not at the existance of hell.
In addition, I don't see how this helps the church's case today. If it's true that part of the bible is a purposeful pack of lies, then why not take the next step and reject the whole nonsense?

I don't know which bothers me more; fundies or salad bar christains.
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Old 08-23-2001, 08:04 AM   #18
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As I read this thread I'm reminded of a particular range of comments some Christian make about atheists: how atheists don't like what the church teaches, don't want to follow the teachings, or how atheists want to be their own god, or some such. Such comments always seem inappropriate to me as atheists typically reject all revealed religions, faith and the supernatural. It's not that we reject some aspect of Christianity we disagree with; we reject the very basis of every revealed religion. But what Bede is doing--picking and choosing, creating god in the image he desires--seems to fall squarely to those typical "atheist criticisms."

I wonder if Bede is going to start a Christianity spin-off religion. Just imagine, he could be a Joseph Smith of the millennium. He better be extra careful if he tries bringing back Old Testament polygamy though--history shows that was Joe's downfall.
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Old 08-23-2001, 08:30 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bede:
<STRONG>When you meet the other party members and say you support their campaign against capital punishment, you are surprised to find that instead of warmly welcoming you and offering help in how to persuade other members of your party they instead pull out your party's rule book and insist that under section 6(2)b you are not a proper member.</STRONG>
Bede, I think you're not grasping the situation accurately, as witness your analogy.

The situation is not that party A and party B are in conflict over something which is demonstrably real and has observable consequences, but rather that party A is attempting to nominate an invisible, intangible, unprovable entity for President. Further, they are trying to do this on the basis of conflicting descriptions of his attributes and motives, and all are claiming their own particulars to be the real, true party line. The "nicer" descriptions may be more palatable, but the bottom line is, nobody in party A has been able to produce this problematical candidate for direct questioning, and party B objects. Party B also objects to individual factions of party A changing the guidelines everytime the subject comes up for debate on the floor. The kinder, gentler candidate is still nowhere to be found (unless it's in the back room of party A's campaign headquarters).

Can you see where this might be a little annoying?

Mac

(edited for clarity)

[ August 23, 2001: Message edited by: Mac ]
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Old 08-23-2001, 03:34 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ron Garrett:

Many have tried and none have succeeded in explaining away clear scriptural references to eternal torment in hell.
Just for the record, this statement is simply not true. If one reads Scripture alone, it is not possible to determine that Hell involves the eternal torment of the damned (with the notable exception of Satan and his angels). In the case of human beings, any objective reading of Scripture could be shown to involve only the destruction of the damned in Hell. Belief that these individuals will be sentient or conscious of their suffering is an interpretation based on Church teachings found in "Tradition" outside of written Scripture.

I will state for the record that bd is correct: I accept the existence and nature of Hell as taught by the Church, but do not kid yourself into believing that our understanding of Hell can be derived by Scripture alone. It cannot.

Nomad

[ August 23, 2001: Message edited by: Nomad ]
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