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Old 03-13-2011, 12:40 PM  
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Originally Posted by blucher View Post
Red text is often viewed as the same as all caps.
OK, I'll have to remember that.
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:53 PM  
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I used the phrase "self-proclaimed" quite deliberately. The implication being that not all self-proclaimed Christians are "actual" Christians. The usual "test" to distinguish between the two is to read the bible, and gauge their actions against scripture.

In reading the bible cover to cover, I may come to agree with you - Leviticus clearly demonstrates that homosexuality is wrong. But that's not the end of it, because Leviticus also clearly demonstrates that eating pork and shellfish are wrong, but we apparently don't have a problem with that today. I haven't seen any effort to have Red Lobster reclassified as an adult establishment. For some reason, is generally considered amusing, not pornographic. I may come to think that Jesus's coming rendered the old testament "As right as it could have been at the time" (I would say "Obsolete"). I haven't heard Mr. Rigby's specific arguments, but I would wager that he believes Jesus's love supersedes the condemnation in Leviticus.

I may come to agree that any of your positions are correct. All of you have made arguments based on scripture, yet you've all reached differing conclusions. There are thousands of differing opinions across the entire spectrum of religious thinking, and all of these opinions lead to actions that affect mankind.

But that's not the problem. Every atheist you talk to is going to have differing opinions on homosexuality. Some are going to think it's disgusting, some aren't going to have a problem with it, some are going to engage in homosexual conduct themselves. Atheists will have differing opinions wherever we can have opinions. There's no problem inherent to a mere difference of opinion.

One problem I have with the bible is that the differing opinions derived from its teachings are believed to have a "godly" importance where no such importance actually exists. Offenses against these opinions can - and does - lead to violence and bloodshed. It's no longer a question of whether an individual thinks that homosexuality is right or wrong, appealing or revolting; it's a question of whether God considers homosexuality good or evil. Again, expand this to every other biblically-derived opinion and mankind has a real problem, one that it doesn't even realize that it created for itself.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:10 PM  
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I used the phrase "self-proclaimed" quite deliberately. The implication being that not all self-proclaimed Christians are "actual" Christians. The usual "test" to distinguish between the two is to read the bible, and gauge their actions against scripture. I understood and agree with your "self proclaimed" statement. I'll even go so far as to say that there are varying degrees of "self proclaimed" Christians. I personally know Christians that are confident of their salvation and they couldn't tell you the difference between sanctification and glorification. To some Christians there is a distinct calling to know the meaning of these terms and to some...not so much. This can be a difficult reality for non-Christians to understand....as your comments reveal in the next paragraph. The definition of Christian can and will be different (like scriptural interpretation) depending on who you ask and when (progressive understanding). It can be a simple answer such as, "I am a Christian because I have made Christ Jesus, Lord and Savior, in my life.", and others will launch into varying depths of scriptural analysis as to their personal belief facts. My point being, to "test" someone's Christian-ness by using the bible will prove challenging and ineffective. With that being said, one would and should expect to identify a Christian using the bible but not necessarily.

In reading the bible cover to cover Alarms go off when I hear this. But I'm glad you did!, I may come to agree with you - Leviticus clearly demonstrates that homosexuality is wrong. But that's not the end of it, because Leviticus also clearly demonstrates that eating pork and shellfish are wrong, but we apparently don't have a problem with that today. I haven't seen any effort to have Red Lobster reclassified as an adult establishment. For some reason, is generally considered amusing, not pornographic. I may come to think that Jesus's coming rendered the old testament "As right as it could have been at the time" (I would say "Obsolete"). I haven't heard Mr. Rigby's specific arguments, but I would wager that he believes Jesus's love supersedes the condemnation in Leviticus. I greatly appreciate your comments and have learned much from your study and experience with scripture as related to your beliefs. I have attempted to not rely on scripture during our discussions out of respect of your previous comments but since you've delved specifically into scripture I'll do so as well. Homosexuality is always a hot button in these kinds of conversations. As referenced in Leviticus it is an abomination in the eyes of God. By any standard, wrong, therefore by definition, a sin. Opinions vary as to the degree of sin but, none the less, a sin according to the Old Testament, specifically the Torah. I mention the Old Testament, the Book of the Jews, because homosexuality is never specifically mentioned in the New Testament, the Book of the Christians. "Specifically" is the key word in that sentence. There are NT passages that homosexuality can be gleaned from (depending on how one interprets it!!) but it is not specifically stated. As for the pork and shellfish you mentioned, it should be understood that Leviticus is a book of Jewish Law, all of which (the law) Christians are NOT required to follow.That was the purpose of Jesus, to do away with the following of law. He fulfilled all of the requirements of it. The law did nothing but expose sin, there was/is no salvation in it. That was and is an obstacle for Jews. There is sooo much more to understanding this but that is basically it. While the OT is the Book of the Jews and Jesus and holds great value in a Christians understanding of God, the NT is the ultimate guide for Christians. It contains the Gospels and defines the life lived by Jesus and that which should be emulated by Christians. It is a common mistake for some to apply the burdens of OT Jewish Law to Christians. In fact there are Christians who unknowingly attempt to keep Jewish Law out of attempting to do right. The most common mistake is by those that think they are to "tithe 10%". No where does the NT apply tithing to Believers. Giving in the NT is based on The Law of Liberty..that is, "giving ($, service, prayer, etc.) in relation to ones relationship w/ Christ.

I may come to agree that any of your positions are correct. All of you have made arguments based on scripture, yet you've all Far reaching word unfairly applied. reached differing conclusions. There are thousands of differing opinions across the entire spectrum of religious thinking, and all of these opinions lead to actions that affect mankind. Those 1000's of opinions or interpretations, while on the surface may appear as abstract or even wrong, could and should be observed as the process of sanctification. It may appear as a "cop out" by some but it should be recognized that all Christians develop their faith over a life time. In that lifetime a progressive understanding manifest itself...much like one learns to add and subtract before moving on to trigonometry. Even then some interpretations are just plain off base. As for the "affect on mankind", absolutely. Evangelism 101!!

But that's not the problem. Every atheist you talk to is going to have differing opinions on homosexuality. Some are going to think it's disgusting, some aren't going to have a problem with it, some are going to engage in homosexual conduct themselves. Atheists will have differing opinions wherever we can have opinions. There's no problem inherent to a mere difference of opinion.

One problem I have with the bible is that the differing opinions derived from its teachings are believed to have a "godly" importance where no such importance actually exists An opinion I respect but no not agree with. . Offenses against these opinions can - and does - lead to violence and bloodshed. It's no longer a question of whether an individual thinks that homosexuality is right or wrong, appealing or revolting; it's a question of whether God considers homosexuality good or evil. Again, expand this to every other biblically-derived opinion and mankind has a real problem, one that it doesn't even realize that it created for itself.
Good read...interesting opinions! Thanks for your time. I have probably stepped on some theological toes of some great Christians and for that I apologize. Clarifications accepted and appreciated.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:24 AM  
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One problem I have with the bible is that the differing opinions derived from its teachings are believed to have a "godly" importance where no such importance actually exists. Offenses against these opinions can - and does - lead to violence and bloodshed. It's no longer a question of whether an individual thinks that homosexuality is right or wrong, appealing or revolting; it's a question of whether God considers homosexuality good or evil. Again, expand this to every other biblically-derived opinion and mankind has a real problem, one that it doesn't even realize that it created for itself.
I got through many years of life thinking only people in backward countries attacked others over religion. Clinic shootings altered that but jihadist nutjobs cranked it up to complete insanity.

People need to lose this concept that their God wants them killing those who don't share the same Sky Fairy.
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:30 PM  
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Originally Posted by Hillman View Post
Far reaching word unfairly applied.
I was referring to a the specific group of people previously mentioned - Fred Phelps, James Rigby, and yourself, and referring to your stances on one particular issue. I was not referring to "all christians", just all three of the people I had referred to previously.

Quote:
Those 1000's of opinions or interpretations, while on the surface may appear as abstract or even wrong, could and should be observed as the process of sanctification. It may appear as a "cop out" by some but it should be recognized that all Christians develop their faith over a life time. In that lifetime a progressive understanding manifest itself...much like one learns to add and subtract before moving on to trigonometry. Even then some interpretations are just plain off base. As for the "affect on mankind", absolutely. Evangelism 101!!
In the meantime, people are fighting for each of their own interpretations, oppressing people who don't agree with their own understanding. Opinions based on scripture are being turned into law, where people who don't share those opinions are then forced to comply with them nonetheless.

We've jointly demonstrated that the church and scripture can lead to a variety of conclusions. We've acknowledged the schisms throughout the history of Christianity. We've demonstrated that the variety of conclusions can be contradictory. There is a scientific term for a theory that leads to contradictory conclusions. That term is "Paradox".

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Originally Posted by Niels Bohr
How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.



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Originally Posted by blucher View Post
I got through many years of life thinking only people in backward countries attacked others over religion. Clinic shootings altered that but jihadist nutjobs cranked it up to complete insanity.

People need to lose this concept that their God wants them killing those who don't share the same Sky Fairy.
The sentiment of this statement would have been considered blasphemy in the west relatively recently in our history. There are many areas of the world where it could still be considered a criminal offense.

I would change the word "Killing" to "legislating against" and "Sky Fairy" to "beliefs".

Quote:
People need to lose this concept that their God wants them legislating against those who don't share the same beliefs.
The original is more evocative, but I think the latter better describes what we're trying to accomplish.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:38 AM  
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In the meantime, people Are you lumping all people with "religious" beliefs together here or you specifically targeting Christians? are fighting Pugilistic? for each of their own interpretations, oppressing people who don't agree with their own understanding. Opinions based on scripture (..or based on race, or based on socialistic values, or based on fear of religion, or based on left leaning elitist values, or based on right-wing wacko mandates, or based on.....puhleeeez! Specific words have meaning and implications in an intellectual exchange...or they should.) are being turned into law, where people who don't share those opinions are then forced to comply with them nonetheless. EVERY law ever passed has crossed the door step of someone who disagrees or feels oppressed by it.

We've jointly demonstrated that the church and scripture can lead to a variety of conclusions. No we haven't! If I have implied in my written word such a thought please allow me to correct it here and now. Scripture does not contradict itself. We the Church make eternal mistakes concerning the interpretation of scripture but that has nothing to do with what scripture reveals through the Work of the Holy Spirit. Man's inability to fully understand, regardless of reason, diminishes not the truth of scripture. We've acknowledged the schisms throughout the history of Christianity. Agreed We've demonstrated that the variety of conclusions can be contradictory. I'm more comfortable with "different", but yes.There is a scientific term for a theory that leads to contradictory conclusions. That term is "Paradox". I appreciate your point but no, a "paradox" does not exist in regards to scriptural interpretation. Scientific theory applied paradoxically is not synonymous with differing theological faith statements.
Interesting! I'm wondering if this thread has run it's course? It seems we're down to "Word Smithing" words and phrases that I'm sure you're know the correct usage of. A reasonably salient discussion has appeared to have turned askew.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:04 PM  
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People need to lose this concept that their God wants them legislating against those who don't share the same beliefs.
The original is more evocative, but I think the latter better describes what we're trying to accomplish.
I don't believe religions should have anything to do with legislation. We are all equal under the law and legislation representing the beliefs of one religion is rarely mirrored by all the others.
The deity worshiped by a Cargo Cultist falls a bit short of my pantheon of possible Gods.
Atheist?-cargo-cult.jpg 

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Old 03-15-2011, 01:46 PM  
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Pugilistic? - In many cases, yes. Actual fighting, whether it be with fists, guns, or airplanes.

(..or based on race, or based on socialistic values, or based on fear of religion, or based on left leaning elitist values, or based on right-wing wacko mandates, or based on.....puhleeeez! - The difference between each and every one of those and opinions based on religion is the "divine authority" attached. Scriptural-based ideas aren't just individual opinions anymore, they're now considered marching orders from the highest ranking authority imaginable, with ultimate rewards and punishments offered as incentives.

EVERY law ever passed has crossed the door step of someone who disagrees or feels oppressed by it. - Irrelevant. Oppression itself isn't the problem. There are a lot of people (Or more politically correct, a lot of people's actions) who should be oppressed: Rapists, thieves, murderers, etc. The problem is the divine authority attached to an individual's opinion, based only on the fact that he justified it with scripture.

No we haven't! If I have implied in my written word such a thought please allow me to correct it here and now. Scripture does not contradict itself. We the Church make eternal mistakes concerning the interpretation of scripture but that has nothing to do with what scripture reveals through the Work of the Holy Spirit. Man's inability to fully understand, regardless of reason, diminishes not the truth of scripture.
Note that I didn't specifically refer to YOUR church or YOUR understanding of scripture. You repeatedly acknowledged the variety of conclusions I'm referring to:
Quote:
Those 1000's of opinions or interpretations, while on the surface may appear as abstract or even wrong, could and should be observed as the process of sanctification. It may appear as a "cop out" by some but it should be recognized that all Christians develop their faith over a life time. In that lifetime a progressive understanding manifest itself...much like one learns to add and subtract before moving on to trigonometry. Even then some interpretations are just plain off base. As for the "affect on mankind", absolutely. Evangelism 101!!
Quote:
In reference to you question concerning the flesh interpreting scripture differently throughout the ages? Yes, for various reasons...The Roman Catholic Church, The split of the Eastern and Western churches (The Great Schism), The Reformation, Lutherns, Methodist, Baptist, etc.
Quote:
I'm not so aligned with your applying "biblical theism" to or with "religion". The schism you reference is the result of man, throughout the ages, applying his fleshly desire (eisegesis) to what he wants scripture to say.
Not only did YOU demonstrate that the church and scripture can lead to those conclusions, you explicitly pointed several of those differing conclusions. With this in mind, my statement is accurate. I said:
Quote:
We've jointly demonstrated that the church and scripture can lead to a variety of conclusions.
Obviously, I can't disprove your own interpretation, your own church.I can't disprove any particular person's interpretations and church. What I can do (and have done) is demonstrate that self-proclaimed Christians hold certain beliefs that directly contradict those of other self-proclaimed Christians. I don't know who among you is correct. I don't know that any of you are correct. I can't know. I have to assume that my own interpretation would be subject to my fleshly desires, and I can't assume that I'll be able to distinguish the difference.

I'm more comfortable with "different", but yes. - Fred Phelps hates homosexuals (his words, not mine); James Rigby loves homosexuals. These are contradictory positions. There were scripture-supported contradictory positions on every civil rights issue I can think of. The media is filled with clergymen declaring opposite positions on every political issue I can think of.

Quote:
I appreciate your point but no, a "paradox" does not exist in regards to scriptural interpretation. Scientific theory applied paradoxically is not synonymous with differing theological faith statements.
Strictly speaking, you are correct. It is theoretically possible that one particular interpretation of scripture is correct. It's theoretically possible that the variety of contradictory interpretations are by design, that god has an interest in lending divine authority to both sides of a contradictory position.

In practice, there is no definitive way to state that any religious group is more correct than any other, and a god that pits us against eachother isn't worthy of the title.

Quote:
Interesting! I'm wondering if this thread has run it's course? It seems we're down to "Word Smithing" words and phrases that I'm sure you're know the correct usage of. A reasonably salient discussion has appeared to have turned askew.
Everything we've discussed is equally applicable to other theistic religions. Would your opinions on our discussions change if we retroactively swapped out the Christian Bible for the Muslim Koran or the Hindu Vedas? The discussion relied on Christian principles only to make it relevant to the participants present. Discussing ideas you don't believe in would be like discussing Doctor Seuss - you have nothing vested in any brand of theism beyond your own.

We've been discussing an ancient idea, one deeply ingrained into our society, one that has served us well for millenia. Theism. The idea that there is an all powerful god looking out for our best interests. The idea itself is demonstrably non-falsifiable. Read "The Dragon in my Garage" by Carl Sagan. It's just a few paragraphs; probably shorter than some posts in this thread. It demonstrates the principle of falsifiability, why it is important for any theory, and why non-falsifiable theories should be considered false.

Should that alone stop us from following this idea? Of course not. We use abstraction as a tool to convey information. Aesop's Fables are obviously works of fiction, but they are useful tools for conveying certain moral principles. The problem isn't theism itself; it's that we're not distinguishing the moral lessons from the abstractions. Quite the contrary - the fundamental principle of theism is that it is considered factually true and not an abstraction. The lesson of Sour Grapes isn't that there are talking foxes roaming the countryside.

Whether your specific church and beliefs are valid or false is irrelevant. We're talking about other people, other churches, other faiths. You've demonstrated that theism alone provides only tenuous ties to morality in that others will develop moral codes through their own fleshly desires.

That the morality developed by these fleshly desires develops and subscribes to law gives me hope. This tells me that morality isn't a burden. It's not something we would do away with if it weren't forced on us through threat of heaven or hell. Rather, it's something we would have regardless of religion, regardless of theism. It's not fickle, fleeting ideas. It's human nature.
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:33 PM  
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[QUOTE][In practice, there is no definitive way to state that any religious group is more correct than any other, and a god that pits us against eachother isn't worthy of the title./QUOTE]

That is completely obvious and it once reflected American values in that we tolerated all forms of worship and kept our government secular to prove it. Now Intolerance is everywhere including the US.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:30 PM  
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That's good, I don't believe the faithed should be treated as stupid.

It makes them hate Atheism that much more.
You don't think someone is at least a little bit foolish if they have convinced themselves that a 2000 year old story about virgin birth, walking on water, turning water into fine wine, feeding 6000-8000 hungry folks with two fish and five loaves then gathering twelve baskets of leftovers, healing leprosy by touching, raising from the dead, hanging a man on a tree, bleeding him like a hog for half a day only to see him fit as a fiddle two days later, etc. etc. etc. is the only path to salvation in an eternal life which occurs after they're dead?

The Jews wrote all that stuff and they don't even believe it.

Anyone who willingly gives part of their money to ensure a promise of something which is supposed to happen to them after they are dead should do some really detailed soul searching. Instead of reading the new testament they should try doing a thorough research project on all religions. The first son-of-god, savior born of a virgin, crucifiction story was scrolled in ancient Egypt 3000 years before the Jewish version.
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