Christmas & Atheists
Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
I've always had this question running around in my head and I figured I'd put it out here for discussion.

Seeing as how Atheists don't believe in religion, what do they do during the major religious holidays? Do they do anything at Christmas time or is it, for lack of a better term, "Just another day"?

Do they exchange gifts in absentia of religious overtones? I would suspect this to be the case but can our resident atheist clarify?
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10013) 12 years ago
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Kyle, the Subtle One wrote:
Do they exchange gifts in absentia of religious overtones? I would suspect this to be the case but can our resident atheist clarify?

While I can't speak for all non-believers, I'd imagine that what we do at my house probably isn't all that different than what you do at yours, Kyle.

We enjoy each other's company and that of our family. We feast. We put up lights and decorations (non-religious). We exchange gifts. We spoil our children and bask in their joy. We reflect on the year that's passed and look forward to the one that's to come. We watch sports and movies on TV while we play with our new "toys."

All in all, it's a very special day in the Reed/Eggum household.
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2311) 12 years ago
My parents claim they are religious, but have they been to church in the last 8 years? Newp.

Anywoooo.....

In our home my parents both work on christmas. But before work we exchange gifts.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
Josh, sitting in church doesn't make you a Christian, anymore than sitting in a garage makes you a Cadillac...
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Posted by M T Zook (+509) 12 years ago
I agree with Howdy.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11885) 12 years ago
I put up a tree and put on cheerful decorations. I collect penguins and decorate my mantel with those. I hang up lights to brighten our dark days and sing carols off-key, even the religious ones, because I know the words. And I happily wish Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to people because I love the lights and warmth and food and loot. I go to Christmas plays and help set up a creche and respect other people's rights to believe as they wish.


We are dealing with as much a cultural as religious holiday (see trees) and everyone can enjoy it.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Seasons Greetings! Happy Hanukah!
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Posted by Bob L. (+5100) 12 years ago
I wish everyone "Happy Holidays" because it makes the wingnuts VERY ANGRY. VERY ANGRY INDEED

Which is nice.
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Posted by Kelly (+2734) 12 years ago
I also can not speak for everyone, but you'd be hard pressed to tell that I'm a non-believer. We have all the presents, decorations, food, and family that Christians have. For me, the holiday isn't about Christ. It is about peace on earth, good will toward men.
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Posted by patriot (+26) 12 years ago
Strange how you disfigure a RELIGIOUS holiday.....hence the "CHRIST" in CHRISTmas! If you don't believe in Christ....you are a hipocrite to celebrate the holiday IMO
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1664) 12 years ago
http://www.repentnow.com/christmas.htm

Funny how everyone has a different perspective. The freedom to believe or not believe, or believe in something in between, is one of the many things that makes this country unique and wonderful, and just prior to Thanksgiving, one thing for which I am thankful.

[This message has been edited by Denise Selk (11/25/2009)]
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Posted by K. D. (+367) 12 years ago
My question: Do those of you who do not believe go to your family's and/or friend's church's Christmas plays? Just asking for curiousity sake.

[This message has been edited by K. D. (11/25/2009)]
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Posted by B. Hunter (+109) 12 years ago
Dare I jump into such a thread here... as I am newer to the forum and have read a lot of bickering back and forth based on such highly controversial things as politics and religion?

I've always been led to believe that many of the so-called traditions of Christmas were pagan-based... despite the name-sake and reason for the holiday being Christian... and essentially the two backgrounds combined to, in a manner of speaking, make the newly converted feel more at home in their new found Christianity. I have no references to back that up, just something I've always heard.

As per my own household...

As an athiest, I celebrate the holiday in a purely secular manner. I would never want to cause my children to lose out on such a socially participated in activity. To make them a sore thumb amidst all the other kids around them busy celebrating... just doesn't feel right. I have explained the Christian story that I grew up with concerning the holiday and let them know that others believe that way while we believe our own way... and to be honest, if they chose a Christian path later in life I am okay with it.

I don't think one has to be CHRISTian to celebrate CHRISTmas... but I do think Christians need to realize that their reasons are not the sole reasons for celebration and ritual... the world has many different peoples in it.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Well said B.Hunter!
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Posted by Christen LeBlanc Ramsey (+277) 12 years ago
first off i am not a christian, nor an athiest.

i feel dec 25 is a good day to make a large meal, hang out with my husband watching corny movies on tv, and perhaps exchange a couple of gifts- seeing as most everything is closed and no one is working what else are we to do? having grown up in miles city a very christmas celebrating place, i'd miss not doing something special to celebrate mankind.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5100) 12 years ago
The bars are open on Christmas in MC, as I recall...
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Posted by Lorin Dixson (+590) 12 years ago
Are all of you sure that you are Atheists? Agnostic/Atheist. My understanding is an Atheist knows that their is no supreme being, or creator of any kind. A Agnostic simply doesn't know. I consider myself as Agnostic although I am sure That the Christian/Judea religion has it mostly wrong, I am not absolutely sure that there isn't something or someone somewhere.
And yes I do celebrate Christmas. Also during the christmas holidays try my best not to be too confrontational to my beleiving friends and relatives, if they don't push too hard.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17660) 12 years ago
Christmas just coincincidentally happens to fall during the two week long celebration of the winter solstice, as any good son of Thor knows.
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Posted by Kelly (+2734) 12 years ago
Strange how you disfigure a RELIGIOUS holiday.....hence the "CHRIST" in CHRISTmas! If you don't believe in Christ....you are a hipocrite to celebrate the holiday IMO


How does the way I mark the day disfigure it? Now if I were to go out and shoot a guy before opening presents, that might disfigure it. Seems to me I observe the same way you do, just not for the same reason.
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Posted by B. Hunter (+109) 12 years ago
Are all of you sure that you are Atheists? Agnostic/Atheist. My understanding is an Atheist knows that their is no supreme being, or creator of any kind. A Agnostic simply doesn't know. I consider myself as Agnostic although I am sure That the Christian/Judea religion has it mostly wrong, I am not absolutely sure that there isn't something or someone somewhere.


Most that aren't Agnostic or Athiestic wouldn't really see a difference... but you make a good point in bringing up them up.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
As far as my own beliefs go I think there's something out there greater than myself. Who or what that is I don't know. I don't really believe in the Judeo-Christian "God" or the Islamic "God" or any other named deity.

I do have to believe that there was somebody who was Jesus-like otherwise these last 2,000 years have been the greatest hoax known to man.

I guess all things considered I'm more agnostic than anything.
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Posted by patriot (+26) 12 years ago
Kelly, IMO you (and not just you) disfigure it by making....shaping it into something that "fits" you. Without Christ, the first Christmas would not have existed....and all the others to follow. So when people still celebrate the holiday, as it suits them, I feel as though they are being hipocrites...thats all.
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Posted by Kelly (+2734) 12 years ago
patriot,

Do you put up a tree and decorate it with lights and ornaments? Do you have a nice meal with family and friends? Do you exchange presents with loved ones? To you wish for peace on earth and good will toward men?

If you answer yes to any of those, I don't see how your holiday is different from mine, except that I don't believe in God. So I ask again, how does my celebrating in the same manner you do, disfigure this holiday?

[This message has been edited by Kelly (11/25/2009)]

[This message has been edited by Kelly (11/25/2009)]
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Posted by Bill Zook (+490) 12 years ago
Every time I hear the word "aethiest", I'm reminded of what a brother-in-law said after serving as a policeman/ambulance EMT. It amazed him how many "conversions" occurred enroute to the hospital. Doesn't hurt to enlist all the help you can think of.
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Posted by patriot (+26) 12 years ago
Kelly, this debate will never be settled on mc.com. There is SO much more that you are not open to, and I get that. The holiday did not originate to "have a nice meal with family and friends, etc." It started with CHRIST. I pray that you will find Him. God bless and may you have a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas.
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Posted by B. Hunter (+109) 12 years ago
Every time I hear the word "aethiest", I'm reminded of what a brother-in-law said after serving as a policeman/ambulance EMT. It amazed him how many "conversions" occurred enroute to the hospital. Doesn't hurt to enlist all the help you can think of

Reminds me of a so-called method of conversion a Christian friend tried on me once... basically, I should convert "just in case". That if they were wrong and I was right that I lost nothing and that if they were right and I was wrong at least I was Christian, you know, just in case... I wasn't sold. To me, that isn't a true conversion nor are the 11th hour ambulance ride ones if after they survive the ordeal go back to their same old pre-conversion life... and I truly don't think the "just in case" line of thought has anything to do with faith and is more so about saving (not saving) your own behind.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5100) 12 years ago
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, patriot
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Posted by Raven Clan (+41) 12 years ago
Golly gee patriot, do you think that it is merely coincidence that X-mas falls so close to winter solstice. Have you forgot your history lessons or just never learned them or maybe refused to pay attention.
Either way have a happy holidays.
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Posted by Kelly (+2734) 12 years ago
Nice dodge patriot.

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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
That video doesn't really address the subject.

What do Scandinavians have to do with the origins of Christmas? Christians were celebrating Christmas on Dec 25th centuries before Christendom came to Scandinavia.
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Posted by Jon Bonine (+164) 12 years ago
Kelly, did you actually watch that video until the end? It isn't arguing what you might think it is.

If a "Christian" celebration of Christmas is only about decorating a tree, eating food and enjoying time with family, then no, it isn't any different than anything else. But is that really a Christian celebration of Christmas?

The date really doesn't matter. But incarnational theology does.
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Posted by Kelly (+2734) 12 years ago
I must admit, I didn't watch it until the complete end.
Edit: Also, I posted the video because I found it interesting, not to make a particular point.

[This message has been edited by Kelly (11/25/2009)]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
Here's what I don't get about those claiming a 'pagan' origin.

People bring the things that they like to a celebration. To borrow from Amorette's post above...

if she had not believed, then converted tomorrow, chances are she'd still be putting those lovely penguins on the mantle on December 25th.

There's nothing wrong with that, but would you then describe that as a 'paganization' of Christmas?

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (11/25/2009)]
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Posted by Raven Clan (+41) 12 years ago
Most christian scholars that study the scriptures agree that Jesus was not born in the month of December.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
That's probably true, but that doesn't mean the date was adopted for the reasons you assume.

There were legitimate traditional reasons behind the date. There's little evidence it had anything to do with Winter Solstice.

http://www.touchstonemag....6-10-012-v

The ironic part is that the foundation of today's 'pagan Christmas' myth probably started because of an old-school Protestant-Catholic pissin' contest.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1664) 12 years ago
For more interesting reading:

http://www.simpletorememb...lStory.htm

As I said earlier, everyone has their own perspective.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6170) 12 years ago
I really think that it's irrelevant how the holiday started. The fact is that December 25 is considered the birth of Christ in the Christian calendar (it's a different date on the Greek Orthodox calendar). The date has only whatever meaning people give it. Even theological scholars don't believe it's the actual date Christ was born but it's the meaning behind the date that's important to Christians. I don't see any problem with non-Christians celebrating it in whatever way they so choose. I'm not a pirate but I celebrate "Talk like a pirate" day every year because it's fun. People need to have celebrations, something out of the ordinary once in awhile. It renews you, either physically, psychologically, or spiritually.

Christmas can be for everyone, atheist, pagan and Christian alike as far as I'm concerned.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11885) 12 years ago
If I were to go around blessing people and espousing religious beliefs I do not hold, THAT would be hypocritical. If I decorate trees and give presents, that is just because I am enjoying a winter seasonal festivity and would be no matter what the reason.

And all this pagan/Christian Christmas is silly. Up until very recently, Christmas was NOT celebrated by Christians. Easter was the big religious holiday and "Christmas" was a time of drunken partying that was frowned on by 'serious' Christians. "Our" Pilgrim ancestors put people in the stocks for celebrating Christmas!

I am an atheist. I used to say "agnostic" but that was hypocritical. I'm not. I don't believe in any spiritual force.

I do, however, believe in sharing pleasant cultural customs because 90% of what we call "Christmas" today is a pleasant cultural custom that is only vaguely connected to a particular religion.

If you believe it celebrates the birth (which probably took place in August, which is when the census was held) of a spiritual being, that's wonderful for you. Pray and celebrate it. I will not stop you from doing anything, even decorating a tree. All I ask is the same courtesy.
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Posted by polar bear (+515) 12 years ago
Jesus existence on this earth is historical fact.
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Posted by Jon Bonine (+164) 12 years ago
Amorette, you said "Up until very recently, Christmas was NOT celebrated by Christians."

I'm aware of the Cromwell-Puritan prohibition of celebrating Christmas. It also isn't surprising that people are given to excess in celebrations. But what about before the Puritans? Did the people before Cromwell not celebrate Christmas? There is far more time before the Puritans than since.

I guess that I'm asking for some references to substantiate this assertion. And hopefully something more scholarly than a youtube video (or some cheap website).
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3751) 12 years ago
Jesus existence on this earth is historical fact.


And your source for this claim Polar is?

I have no doubt that somebody embodying the traits of Biblical Jesus existed but where is the evidence for the statement you made?

[This message has been edited by Kyle L. Varnell (11/25/2009)]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
As I said earlier, everyone has their own perspective.

True, but there is only one truth.

But as with most of the Pagan Christmas assertions, they rely on the assumption that "Romans celebrated something that week, therefore Christians stole it" That's kind of a logical leap.

The problem is:

http://www.musesrealm.net...ivals.html

No matter where Christmas had been placed, opponents of Christianity would've claimed it stole from something else.

And as was argued in the article I linked to above, the "Pagan Christmas'ers" are likely mistaking the effect for the cause.
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Posted by life in full color (+55) 12 years ago
Regardless of religous beliefs the reason for christmas has been lost. My question is why only once a year do we acknowledge the ones we love with fancy gifts? Do you only love them once a year? Of course not...I believe christmas is a celebration of family and friend and to give respect to the lord for the birth of Jesus. Is this Jesus' real birthday I do not know, have you never celabrated you childs birthday on a different day. I have alway had a problem with the whole separation of religoun and state thing how does that work if the christmas holiday is federal holiday. For what ever reason you do or do not believe or celebrate christmas, or thanksgiving just remember to celebrate your family, friend and life itself.
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Posted by Christen LeBlanc Ramsey (+277) 12 years ago
patriot said:
It started with CHRIST. I pray that you will find Him.


i found jesus in a cabinet of our garage when we bought our house! i really did, he is a 3ft tall cement statue, weighs about 40lbs. i still don't believe he is my one true savior, but he hangs out near my fireplace and really classes up the room- i think this is preferable to the garage cabinet. it also gives my minister father-in-law some hope for my soul.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Patriot - Thank you for feeling - and acting upon - the need to ruin a perfectly good thread.

Do us all a favor and use the vacation to learn how to spell.

"Christmas" is the name of the holiday. Renaming December 25 would be silly.

April Fools' Day is April 1st. I am not a fool, but it's not hypocritical for me to observe the holiday.

Veterans' Day is November 11. I am not a veteran, but it's not hypocritical for me to observe the holiday.

Today is Thanksgiving. I was being facetious when I thanked you for your idiocy. Does this make me a hypocrite? I don't believe so.

Despite everything, I hope you have a happy holiday season. And there is no sarcasm intended when I say thank you for giving me yet another reason to be thankful that I am not a Christian.
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+589) 12 years ago
Up until very recently, Christmas was NOT celebrated by Christians.


The earliest mention of the feast Christmas, occurs in a document that mentions December 25 as natus Christus Bethlehem Iudeae (Christ born in Bethlehem of Judea). There is evidence that Christians in Africa may have observed this date prior to 312 and in Rome before 336. (From "The New Handbook of the Christian Year" by Hickman, Saliers, Stookey, and White)

As to the origin of December 25, there are numerous good sources, one I mentioned above (The New Handbook of the Christian Year). Another is The Study of Liturgy edited by Cheslyn Jones. Remember, we are talking about the DATE. The birth narratives, along with John's understanding of Jesus as the divine Logos come to earth in human form, which are the center of the Christian celebration of Christmas, are prominent in the Gospels sans date.

I quote from the above mentioned handbook, page 23.
It is entirely possible that the dates January 6 (The Epiphany) and December 25 may have originated in winter solstice celebrations according to the ancient Egyptian and Julian (Roman) calendars, respectively. As Christianity became the established religion of the Roman Empire, it may be that Christmas served as the replacement for the existing pagan festival of the unconquered sun which had previously marked the winter solstice. The theme of light conquering darkness has always been prominent in both Christmas and Epiphany. It is just as likely on the other hand, that these dates were calculated using the traditions regarding the date of Jesus' death and identifying the day of his death with that of his conception.


Even the most learned of scholars have not resolved this one. I doubt that we will.

My issue in this thread really is with the Christian understanding of Christmas. Both Brian and Amorette describe a cultural celebration of Christmas that is identical to many I have celebrated. It's pleasant and I, for one, really enjoy it.

We enjoy each other's company and that of our family. We feast. We put up lights and decorations (non-religious). We exchange gifts. We spoil our children and bask in their joy. We reflect on the year that's passed and look forward to the one that's to come. We watch sports and movies on TV while we play with our new "toys."


And

I do, however, believe in sharing pleasant cultural customs because 90% of what we call "Christmas" today is a pleasant cultural custom that is only vaguely connected to a particular religion.


But most of us Christians think if we just stop into a church a couple of times during the season and shout "Jesus is the reason for the season!" then we've "reclaimed" Christmas. So then we can go and kneel at the altar of Consumerism that is the real Christmas in America celebrating the real god of America. The high holy days begin tomorrow-Black Friday. As I said in my last newsletter, "Christmas has become a bacchanal buying fest accompanied by not even the faintest sound of angel choruses."

The question I have for Christians at this time of year is do we believe enough to say we've had enough? Can we be strong enough in our faith to say that the culture does not determine the way we celebrate the birth of Christ? Jesus is not the reason for THIS season-not the way we celebrate Christmas in North America. I'm beginning to wonder if Jesus would even recognize this celebration of Christmas and many of us who try to pin his name to the season.

[This message has been edited by Derf Bergman (11/26/2009)]
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+589) 12 years ago
Jesus existence on this earth is historical fact.


That is an accepted historical fact among ancient historians, Kyle. The Jewish Rabbi Jesus is as real as any number of historical figures such as Alexander, Julius Caesar, Darius, Socrates, etc. What is in dispute HISTORICALLY is IF the theological Jesus claimed by Christians and the Church ever really existed. I personally have no doubt, but then that's a faith question to me and not an historical one.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17660) 12 years ago
Well....there you have it.

Thanks for the excellent posts, Derf. I found them informative and fascinating.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Seconded. Thank you, Derf.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
Derf, I think we can draw more out of the evidence though that a December 25th Christmas predated the Christianization of the Roman Empire.

The 'pagan Christmas' argument as I always understood it was that some central authority (ie Rome) established a new Christian holiday over an old pagan one in order to encourage the masses to convert.

But if the date were instead set while Christians were still for the most part a persecuted minority... I don't think that line of reasoning holds up.
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+589) 12 years ago
Yes, it's not like Emperor Constantine said to his Press Secretary, "Now that we're a Christian empire let's take over a few holidays and give them Christian names. Let's get something about it in the Byzantine Ledger right away."

However I wasn't belaboring the origin of Christmas as much as I was bemoaning what it is becoming.

[This message has been edited by Derf Bergman (11/27/2009)]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
Kinda funny when you think about it.

The 'pagans' (so to speak) crying about the Christian confiscation of an ancient holiday. Meanwhile the Christians lament the pagan takeover of the same day.

Someone's winning. I'm just not sure who.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6170) 12 years ago
Good point, Rick.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11885) 12 years ago
I tried to post an absolutely perfect Jesus and Mo on this subject but neither the img tags or the html would work for me. So, if you know Jesus and Mo, the comic for 11-26-09 is the PERFECT wrap up to this thread.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6170) 12 years ago
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Posted by hat_3275 (+70) 12 years ago
Jesus is the reason for the season!!!
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Posted by Salli (Scanlan) Moore (+86) 12 years ago
I only know that God is really real. He has done so many, many miracles for me. I have personal, one on one conversations with Him daily (prayer). He protected me when burglars entered our home and shot my husband. He provided for us while my husband was out of work for the year following that, He protected me in several other circumstances (and on, and on). . He whispers to my heart, and teaches me, and reveals wonderful things. He has taught me a compassion and love for people that goes beyond what you can imagine. I can only share the truth which He has shown me, and normally (outside MC.com) I only share with those who are open and want to hear (how can I not want everyone to be so blessed). To try and convert anyone is not my purpose - only Jesus saves!
Christmas and Easter are very special to me. Christmas is the day we celebrate and give thanks (whatever the actual date) when God clothed Himself in flesh, and walked among us. I don't have room for a tree, but I do lights & shopping. Easter is the day we celebrate and give thanks (whatever the actual date) that He paid the price for our sins (our sins nailed Him to the cross).

Amazing love, how can it be
That you, my King, would die for me
It is my joy, to honor You, in all I do!


I'm not debating - everyone has the right to what they believe, I just know this to be true.
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Posted by polar bear (+515) 12 years ago
Thank you, Salli. I know exactly what you mean. I think that those who experience the relationship can truly never again deny it. Many people just don't recognize His presence or what He does for them.
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Posted by Stone (+1590) 12 years ago
Derf, I was about to enter the fray when I read your last post, well said.

Do you ever get frustrated with the polarization of politics and religion? It seems today that people have no tolerance for anyone that is not just like them.
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Posted by polar bear (+515) 12 years ago
Would it be inappropriate for non-Jewish people to celebrate their winter holidays?
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Posted by Stone (+1590) 12 years ago
Jesus was a JEW.
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Posted by Christen LeBlanc Ramsey (+277) 12 years ago
Would it be inappropriate for non-Jewish people to celebrate their winter holidays?


wtf exactly are you asking?
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Posted by polar bear (+515) 12 years ago
Is it OK for Christians to celebrate Hanukkah? I am just asking what you think, not stating an opinion.
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Posted by hat_3275 (+70) 12 years ago
I don't see anything wrong with it. Just as I don't see anything wrongs with Jewish people celebrating cristian holidays.
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Posted by Christen LeBlanc Ramsey (+277) 12 years ago
oh, i think that people should celebrate any holiday, moment, or special occasion as they wish. couldn't we all use a bit more joy? who hasn't celebrated a personal moment (dogs birthday, divorce, new job) without an 'ok' from a religious group?
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6170) 12 years ago
Sure, I know several Lutherans who celebrate the Seder every year. My brother was married to a Jew and he celebrated Hanukkah with her and she Christmas with him. Even if you are a non-believer it would be an educational experience to mark other religion's holidays. I don't see any reason Christians should not celebrate any Jewish holiday. The Jewish history is part of the Christians. The Old Testament was still part of the Christian bible last time I looked.


Salli, I understand your feelings, especially regarding the experience with the burglary. But don't you ever wonder why God chose to protect you but not your husband? I'm not trying to be sarcastic or anything derogatory. My view of God doesn't have him meddling in people's day to day affairs in that way. If He does, then I have to wonder why bad things happen to good people.
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Posted by life in full color (+55) 12 years ago
To all of you scratching your heads, and wondering who cares....
There is not a post on the web site that does not get stupid.. I for one only check things out when very very very board at work. Often laughing at the shinning education of the frequent and very opinionated posters.

Again I ask WHO CARES,,,,To each his own....
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Posted by polar bear (+515) 12 years ago
Were you board while you were getting your shinning education?
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+589) 12 years ago
Maybe life in full color means "sinning" education? As to the "board," maybe he/she grew up in the days of corporal punishment. The "board" was a consequence of the "sinning."

[This message has been edited by Derf Bergman (11/28/2009)]
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Posted by life in full color (+55) 12 years ago
To the wonderful people who corrected my spelling I applaud you
however, you still missed the point.
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1910) 12 years ago
I just wish we could get back to the days when people had molten metal poured down their throats for being nonbelievers. Done only in the spirit of Christianity, of course.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
These should be printed up for Christmas cards.



It's "only" water, so praise be to Jeebus!
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Posted by Salli (Scanlan) Moore (+86) 12 years ago
Only in a Christian Nation, do you have the freedom, to worship, celebrate, speak freely, believe or not believe, whatever is in your heart. I hope we don't ever loose that!

Wendy: The bullet that entered my husband's neck and exited though his back, did not hit a bone or any vital organ. The x-ray showed the path of the bullet took an S curve, missing his spine and heart. I would say, God saved his life also. Why do bad things happen to good people: It's called reaping and sowing? If you plant wheat, you get wheat. God allows us to learn by reaping what we sow He does not meddle. He can bring circumstances for us to grow through, some of them are hard, but between our reaction and how soon we take it to Him - it can be less difficult and of shorter duration. What ever it is, He is there, but you have to allow Him.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
This is NOT a Christian nation, Salli. It is a nation with a preponderance of Christians. It is the Constitution - and the wise and insightful men (humans, not gods) who framed it - who made it possible for you to worship as you please (and for me not to).

We won't lose our right to worship (or not) so long as we recognize where that right actually comes from. Your rights and mine stem from the hearts and minds of other men who had the intelligence and courage to use their minds to a much greater degree than those hobbled and enslaved by dogma and foolishness.

Addressing your other point - when you say that "bad things happen to good people" because of "reaping and sowing," you're effectively saying that good people aren't really good - they're actually getting what they deserve.

Codswallop.

A bullet tumbled inside your husband's body, causing it to miss any vital areas? That's wonderful - I am happy for you and your husband. But it's called "ballistics," not God. It's not a miracle. It's luck. Some things just happen - ask any hunter who's ever shot an elk and noticed that the bullet didn't take a straight path through the torso.

Why is that not a miracle? Because it didn't benefit you or at least reinforce your mind's need to make order out of chaos.

What bothers me is your segue from the story of your husband's bullet wound to your "reaping and sowing" comment. Your husband was spared because he was "good," yet a five-year old child can aspirate on a balloon during a party because he somehow wasn't good enough?

Again, codswallop.

There are a great many things in the universe that cannot be explained. For me, one of the most puzzling is why otherwise intelligent people would be so quick to ascribe the unexplained to God. Personally, I would rather have no answer at all than a ridiculous one.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?


- Epicurus
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
Brian, you cannot 'prevent' evil while maintaining man's free will.

And there are more important things in God's eternity than you or I living to a ripe old (yet insignificant) age.

Should we be given that privilege, we should count the blessing.
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Posted by Salli (Scanlan) Moore (+86) 12 years ago
Forgive me Brian; I thought that this country was originally settled by people seeking the freedom of religion without government control and that our founding father (most of whom were Christians), set up our original government on Christian principals. I keep forgetting that our monetary system says "in God we trust" but we're leaning toward eliminating that as we did the Pledge (one nation under God)and prayer in school (just before we started this downward trend with trust and values). But when I wonder about those who settled here, and compare the outcome, with other countries, maybe Mexico, where they came seeking treasures and gold.. We have been blessed, in my opinion.

As for when my husband was shot, I don't know ballistics, I know the doctors were amazed. I guess you would have had to have been there to know it was a miracle.

Reaping and sowing is a principal = if you do negative things, you're apt to get negative results. Kind of like gravity, if you jump off a tall building, you're apt to fall. Of coarse you can use a parachute or such - or you can wait till you get to the bottom and then sprout wing! (sorry, I just had to).
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
Salli, one of the hardest things to understand about God isn't the reaping and sowing.

It's the situations where it's impossible to lay blame (ie the child on the aspirator) that are difficult if not impossible to explain for anyone.

I usually think of it as part of being in a universe completely beyond my comprehension. My rat-in-the-cage's perspective on things isn't adequate to explain God's purpose. But it would be pretty arrogant for me to pretend to know what is God's judgement in any situation.

That's why I always have a hard time when I hear anyone preach claiming a bad situation as part of "God's judgement" on this or that group of people. To me, it's arrogant for anyone to pretend to know.

What I can say for sure is that if God made things as Brian said he should, the world would be a very different place.

If only bad things happened to bad people, there'd be no such thing as redemption.

If only good things happened to good people, there'd be no such thing as virtue.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11885) 12 years ago
Actually, the Pilgrims wanted to run a theocracy by their rules. They wanted religious freedoms for themselves, nobody else. If we were living by their rules, the discussion of Christmas wouldn't be happening because it would be illegal.

The folks we tend to think of as our "Founding Fathers," were paranoid about state religions and made it very clear that they did not want to be forced to worship by one religion's rules. In England, you couldn't legally be a lawyer or serve in an elected position unless you were a member of the Church of England. There were restrictions on inheritance as well. That is what concerned them. Religion as government.

As for the stuff on our money and the pledge of allegiance and all that, all those things came later. The fifties were big on sticking religious slogans everywhere as part of the anti-communist feelings of the time. We didn't even HAVE federally issued money in the days of the "Founding Fathers." And if you take into account Masonic symbols on money, then I guess our "Founding Fathers" meant us to be Masons, too.

As for proving the existence of "God." Does the word "Faith" have any meaning? Faith means to believe without proof. You can either have faith or proof, not both. If you need proof, you don't have faith.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
You can either have faith or proof, not both.


That's a logical fallacy. Faith does not necessarily require proof, but that doesn't make the two mutually exclusive.

You can have both faith and reason.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15075) 12 years ago
"Faith is a laboratory course--not a lecture course"
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Posted by Salli (Scanlan) Moore (+86) 12 years ago
RICK It's the situations where it's impossible to lay blame (ie the child on the aspirator) that are difficult if not impossible to explain for anyone.
There are mysteries we won't understand till we get there. I don't know why, I just know His way is right, even though, sometimes painful.

AMORETTE You can either have faith or proof, not both.
I only know when He touched my life, that was proof to me. Faith is the evidence of things not seen.
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Posted by JCF (+399) 12 years ago
I wrote a long diatribe on this - but on second thought, it just ain't worth it.

[This message has been edited by JCF (12/1/2009)]
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Posted by Bruce Helland (+592) 12 years ago
Oh so very,very true...
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Rick wrote:
Brian, you cannot 'prevent' evil while maintaining man's free will.

I don't recall saying that one could. But I also don't presuppose that "free will" equals "evil." I also don't presuppose that free will is some sort of gift/curse given by a a higher power.

And there are more important things in God's eternity than you or I living to a ripe old (yet insignificant) age.

I would agree with you if not for another presupposition on your part.

Should we be given that privilege, we should count the blessing.

Again, I agree with the message, if not with the attribution.

That's a logical fallacy. Faith does not necessarily require proof, but that doesn't make the two mutually exclusive.

Untrue. Once proof is obtained, faith is no longer faith. Faith is belief without proof.

You can have both faith and reason.

Here's your logical fallacy, Rick. Faith and reason are the antithesis of each other. I am not surprised that someone of faith would claim that they're not mutually exclusive, however. You've got to reconcile things somehow, right?
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10013) 12 years ago
Minor point, probably already mentioned above, but the Julian calendar and the Gregorian calendar don't mesh -- there are entire missing periods of time.

For example, and don't ask me why I know this (I've done too much genealogy research), I think it was 1750 or something where like 10 days went missing -- they don't exist.

There are also a bunch of other dates that are completely uncertain due to the inaccuracy of the calendar systems (and I know that from having done too much software development, thus my not wanting to deal with the timestamp issue on this site, so the posts are stuck displaying in Pacific Time instead of Mountain Time.)

As for the birth of Jesus or his death ... I have no opinion ... other than perhaps he existed, but not as written by man.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
I think Jesus existed but the churches probably have it all wrong...He preached that wealth was a sin and yet so many people pursue riches as much as they can on this earth...In some instances, they even pray for more wealth...you can take any words in the Bible and twist them to any meaning you wish...I am certainly not a student of the Bible, but I have always thought that Jesus wanted us to reject basic wealth and follow him...I admit I haven't done so, but then I have only met one person that did in their life...She was a nun and was a truly beautiful person...Before all you students of the Bible jump on me, let me restate that that is my very own opinion and not meant to persuade anyone else...Just my own interpretation...I am not a fan of organized religion at all either as I find it hypocritical...I guess the best way to describe my viewpoint is a combination of Buddism and Christianity as I also believe in reincarnation...the thing that bothers me the most about "born again Christians" is their judgemental nature...Clearly something that they should be avoiding like the plague, if you follow Jesus IMO...To each his own I guess...
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Posted by polar bear (+515) 12 years ago
He did not teach that wealth was sin, at all. He did teach that loving money more than God or your fellow man is a sin. You can be wealthy and be a fine Christian at the same time. It says the LOVE of money is the root of all evil. I can agree with that.
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Posted by JCF (+399) 12 years ago
Amazing, isn't it, that polar bear KNOWS what Jesus said and meant. Good job polar bear. way to continue to show just why people are turned off by religion.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
Jesus's other sayings about the poor being blessed, the meek inheriting the Earth, everybody selling their extraneous possessions, and rich men having virtually no chance of entering Heaven, I take as preaching against wealth...Again, just my interpretation, but if the fundamentalists take other things in the bible literally then they surely should take that literally as well and have a huge yard sale..
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Posted by Bridgier (+9297) 12 years ago
Everyone knows that all that stuff about caring for the poor and the widows and the prisoners needs to take a back seat to the things that are really important, such as which plug is being inserted into which socket.
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Posted by polar bear (+515) 12 years ago
On the verse about rich men getting into heaven? Go back and study the real meaning of "eye of the needle" and you will see that it is not what you think.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
As I said previously, anyone can twist the bibles words to mean anything they wish and I am no student of the bible, Polar Bear...I was merely asserting that since many Christians are biggies on taking the bible literally, they should have a yard sale...Nothing more and nothing less...Your twisting phrases to mean something else is meaningless in that context...
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
It appears that you've forgotten the (little known) Eleventh Commandment, Howdy:

Thou shalt not argue with Donna

Ironically enough, it's also the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
LOL, so very true!!!
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Posted by Smiley (+853) 12 years ago
Humans are the only animal on earth without free will IMDOFW. I mean, they go around pooing on trees, killing smaller animals, laying out all day. People are so controlled by their conscience, they have no free will. I think any organized religion impairs that further. So what if I have sex outside of marriage? If I trust and love the person, why do I have to get a ring on it? half of marriages are ending in divorce, so really does it matter? I hate some of those rules ya'll christians have. Blah.

I'm going to become a communist, no one ever likes them
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Posted by Bridgier (+9297) 12 years ago
What, being a pagan didn't put you low enough on the social hierarchy?
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Posted by Christen LeBlanc Ramsey (+277) 12 years ago
you don't have to be a christian to be a good person. as a non-christian i help others in need when i can. i don't worship money, but still like to have it- you know for paying my mortgage and eating. i try to be the best law-abiding citizen possible. to some of you i may be damned to hell, but if so, i bet i meet some very interesting people there!

i don't doubt jesus existed, or led a group of people. i just don't think he is the be all - end all.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9297) 12 years ago
You're not talking about this are you donna? http://www.debunker.com/t...dleye.html

The bible DOES seem to care more about economics than sex, but surprisingly enough, never mentions gun control or tax cuts.

[This message has been edited by Bridgier (12/3/2009)]
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
New American Standard Bible (c1995)
Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."

International Standard Version (c2008)
Jesus looked at him and loved him. Then he told him, "You're missing one thing. Go and sell everything you own, give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me."

GOD'S WORDr Translation (c1995)
Jesus looked at him and loved him. He told him, "You're still missing one thing. Sell everything you have. Give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then follow me!"



American King James Version
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said to him, One thing you lack: go your way, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

American Standard Version
And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

Bible in Basic English
And Jesus, looking on him and loving him, said, There is one thing needed: go, get money for your goods, and give it to the poor, and you will have wealth in heaven: and come with me.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Jesus looking on him, loved him, and said to him: One thing is wanting unto thee: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, One thing lackest thou: go, sell whatever thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross.

English Revised Version
And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said to him, One thing thou lackest: go, sell whatever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Weymouth New Testament
Then Jesus looked at him and loved him, and said, "One thing is lacking in you: go, sell all you possess and give the proceeds to the poor, and you shall have riches in Heaven; and come and be a follower of mine."

World English Bible
Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross."

Young's Literal Translation
And Jesus having looked upon him, did love him, and said to him, 'One thing thou dost lack; go away, whatever thou hast -- sell, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, be following me, having taken up the cross.'


King James Bible
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

[This message has been edited by howdy (12/3/2009)]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
I don't recall saying that one could. But I also don't presuppose that "free will" equals "evil."


I didn't call them equals. They are cause and effect. Free will guarantees evil.

That's a logical fallacy. Faith does not necessarily require proof, but that doesn't make the two mutually exclusive.

Untrue. Once proof is obtained, faith is no longer faith. Faith is belief without proof.


My kids have faith that they will get fed tomorrow. But they have little proof. Does that make them misguided?

Real proof is a very rare commodity. What most people consider 'proof' is really just repeated observation. The problem with that is people have the ability to pick what they choose to observe.

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (12/3/2009)]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4457) 12 years ago
Wow, reading back, I'm really having a tough time reconciling

Humans are the only animal on earth without free will IMDOFW. I mean, they go around pooing on trees, killing smaller animals, laying out all day. People are so controlled by their conscience, they have no free will.

with

If I trust and love the person, why do I have to get a ring on it?


Trust? Love? Whaaa?

Out on the Savannah, when you want cattle, you take the cattle!
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2737) 12 years ago
After reading thru (nearly) all 100 posts on this thread, I cannot understand how anyone could think that Milescity.com is an evil presence or a black eye on the community. What a great community conversation this website has allowed to take place. THANK YOU LARRY!

The postings in this thread offer the reader compelling arguments and intriguing insights on both sides of the issue. The only things that turn my stomach are the claims that God smiles on the worthy and smites those who are not. How can anyone who has lived on this earth with open eyes believe something as shallow as that?

I'll never forget watching a holy roller religious program ("$end in your prayer offering$") several years ago. That woman with waaay too much makeup and huge PINK hair (no, it was not Tammy Faye - it was the other one!) tearfully told a story about how when she was a little girl, her baby chicken's neck was accidentally broken and it died. She cried and cried and prayed to Geezuz to please, please let her little chicken live. And because she was a GOOD Christian who believed in Geezuz with all her heart - and because Geezuz said when you ask and believe, I shall grant your prayers, well by golly, a miracle happened and her little dead chicken suddenly sprang back to life just like Lazarus. Praise the Lord!

Now, it just so happened that my mother was in the hospital with terminal cancer at the time, but this isn't about her. It's about the 5 year old girl with leukemia who was in the room directly across the hall. Well, actually it is about that little girl's parents and grandparents. They were at her side constantly, and when they weren't at her side they were in the hospital chapal praying like crazy for their little girl to get well. She didn't. She died before my mother did.

I said my own prayer thanking God that those people were so busy being great parents and good Christians that they didn't see that stupid woman with her big pink hair and big phoney tears telling her idiotic story. Because if they had, how could they have ever reconciled the injustice of the life of one little girl's CHICKEN being spared, while the life of their beautiful little GIRL was not. The only answer, given what the pink-haired bimbo preached was true, was that they hadn't believed in Geezuz with a pure enough heart. It was THEIR fault their daughter died because they didn't pray right.

If people want to believe such tripe, fine. It's a free country. I just wish they'd keep such foolishness to themselves. I believe those kind of beliefs are more akin to withcraft and voodoo than Christianity. They have the potential to harm more souls than they heal. And what is Christian about that?

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (12/3/2009)]
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Rick wrote:
I didn't call them equals. They are cause and effect. Free will guarantees evil.

Only if you loathe humanity and assume the worst in all things. You find what you look for, Rick.

My kids have faith that they will get fed tomorrow. But they have little proof. Does that make them misguided?

No, Rick - YOU make them misguided.

Okay, that was too easy.

Seriously, though - I wouldn't call what they have "faith." They have every expectation to be fed tomorrow, being as they have been fed every day of their lives. You've (not the FSM) fed them. They have proof that you've fed them. They have no reason that you won't feed them - or at least make sure they will have been fed - tomorrow.

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (12/4/2009)]
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+589) 12 years ago
I said my own prayer thanking God that those people were so busy being great parents and good Christians that they didn't see that stupid woman with her big pink hair and big phoney tears telling her idiotic story. Because if they had, how could they have ever reconciled the injustice of the life of one little girl's CHICKEN being spared, while the life of their beautiful little GIRL was not.


Probably the same way most all of us do. Realize their task is to be supported by the God who weeps with them and be faithful rather than buy into the idiotic stories and theology.
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Posted by Salli (Scanlan) Moore (+86) 12 years ago
The Eye of the Needle: In ancient days, the gates into the city were huge, to allow caravans to enter with ease. There was a smaller door within that gate, to allow a man to enter after dark when the larger gate was closed. That smaller door was called "the eye of the needle". If a man, leading his camel (loaded with stuff) needed to enter the city after hours, he had to unload all of his stuff, get the camel down on it's knees to work his way through the door, then haul his stuff in by hand and reload the camel. Architecture varied based on topography, wealth and importance. Some cities had a series of such gates before you could gain entrance to the city. (maybe from "Manners & Customs in the Bible" by Victor Mattews - I don't remember)

Luke 18:25-27 "For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." And those who heard it said, "Who then can be saved?" But He said, "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God."

This could be where the saying came "you can't take it with you."
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Posted by Bridgier (+9297) 12 years ago
Sali, this is a myth. There's never been a gate like this in Jerusalem.
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Posted by Lorin Dixson (+590) 12 years ago
This a little out of date, but I just got this in a email so I will share it.

FLORIDA COURT SETS ATHEIST HOLY DAY

In Florida, an atheist created a case against the upcoming Easter and Passover Holy days..

He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians and Jews and observances of
their holy days.

The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days.

The case was brought before a judge.
After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer,

the judge banged his gavel declaring,"Case dismissed!"

The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, "Your honor, How can you possibly dismiss
this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays.."

The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, "But you do ... Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant."

The lawyer said, "Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists."

The judge said, "The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day. Psalm 14:1 states, 'The fool says in his
heart, there is no God.'

Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that, if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool.

Therefore, April 1st is his day.



Court is adjourned."

You gotta love a Judge that knows his scripture!
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1910) 12 years ago
Brian is REALLY going to appreciate this.
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Posted by Kelly (+2734) 12 years ago
First, no atheist would bring such a frivolous lawsuit. Second, any judge that uses scripture instead of the law in rendering his judgement, should be removed from the bench.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
That isn't a very respectful opinion of other beliefs...While I am not personally an atheist, I totally respect Brians right to be an atheist...Not very Christian of anyone that laughs at that post...it is totally judgemental and meant to make fun of atheists...I don't believe a judge said that and think someone probably made it up...
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11885) 12 years ago
That is an old joke. Very old. Medieval, even. No one really believed it was anything but an old joke, surely.

And don't call me surely!!!!
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
Snopes says it is false and never happened...

http://www.snopes.com/pol...theist.asp
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Bob - if I hadn't seen the joke so many times before, I might think enough of it to be peeved. As it is, my reaction is somewhere south of "meh."

Howdy - thank you.
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Posted by Lorin Dixson (+590) 12 years ago
I never thought it was a true story. Just thought it was mildly humorous. It wasn't meant to offend all of you righteous ones.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
I am not a righteous person for sure, but I cannot stand to see anyone make a mockery out of other beliefs...To me it is all about respect both ways...



Brian...anytime kiddo.... :tipshat:

[This message has been edited by howdy (12/18/2009)]
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
No worries, Howdy. But truth be told, I mock religion mercilessly (no, duh?), so be careful when you defend me. Someone might find it hypocritical.

But not me.

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (12/18/2009)]
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
good point Brian...LOL...
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15075) 12 years ago
I am not a righteous person for sure, but I cannot stand to see anyone make a mockery out of other beliefs...To me it is all about respect both ways...


I feel SOOO much better knowing you will be there to defend my way of thinking when others mock my system of belief.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (12/19/2009)]
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Posted by Jeremy Orthman (+439) 12 years ago
Got to say I'm proud of the website for this post. I tend to be discouraged to post at times on here, but this was an interesting read.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
I, too, am hesitant to post on here.

Don't be scared, Jeremy. Post away!

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (12/19/2009)]
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Richard, shell-shocked cannon fodder in the War on Christmas wrote:
I feel SOOO much better knowing you will be there to defend my way of thinking when others mock my system of belief.

You should welcome the offer of help, Richard. I mean, who else would even dream of defending poor, persecuted Christians such as yourself, Richard? You must find it difficult to find anyone else who shares your embattled system of belief.

Won't somebody PLEEEEEEEASE think about the Christians!
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Posted by Jeremy Orthman (+439) 12 years ago
Not hesitant or scared, just discouraged. However, this thread gives me hope.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
LOL, Richard, if I thought you needed defending, I would certainly leap to your defense...However, since I don't share your belief system for the most part, other than the fact that I consider myself a Christian (but also believe in reincarnation), I am not well versed enough in your belief system to defend it...Lutheran doctrine isn't something I know a great deal about...The only time I argue with you is when you (in my opinion) violate a teaching of Christ such as not being judgmental, etc...(which again would be my own interpretation of Christ's teachings)...

[This message has been edited by howdy (12/20/2009)]
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Posted by polar bear (+515) 12 years ago
That judging thing? The Bible doesn't say not to judge, in fact, it encourages it. It DOES say not to judge in a way you yourself could not hold up to.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
Says the woman who called the webmaster a stalker!!! Whatever, Donna aka Polar Bear...
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Posted by Dorothy (+54) 12 years ago
Here is something I found about judging.

"Question: "What does the Bible mean that we are not to judge others?"

Answer: This is an issue that has confused many people. On one hand, we are commanded by the Lord Jesus, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged" (Matthew 7:1). On the other hand, the Bible also exhorts us to beware of evildoers and false prophets and to avoid those who practice all kinds of evil. How are we to discern who these people are if we do not make some kind of judgment about them?

Christians are often accused of "judging" whenever they speak out against a sinful activity. However, that is not the meaning of the Scripture verses that state, "Do not judge." There is a righteous kind of judgment we are supposed to exercise-with careful discernment (John 7:24). When Jesus told us not to judge (Matthew 7:1), He was telling us not to judge hypocritically. Matthew 7:2-5 declares, "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." What Jesus was condemning here was hypocritical, self-righteous judgments of others.

In Matthew 7:2-5, Jesus warns against judging someone else for his sin when you yourself are sinning even worse. That is the kind of judging Jesus commanded us not to do. If a believer sees another believer sinning, it is his Christian duty to lovingly and respectfully confront the person with his sin (Matthew 18:15-17). This is not judging, but rather pointing out the truth in hope-and with the ultimate goal-of bringing repentance in the other person (James 5:20) and restoration to the fellowship. We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). We are to proclaim what God's Word says about sin. 2 Timothy 4:2 instructs us, "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction." We are to "judge" sin, but always with the goal of presenting the solution for sin and its consequences-the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6)."
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Posted by B. Hunter (+109) 12 years ago
What Jesus was condemning here was hypocritical, self-righteous judgments of others.


I don't know about others but when I react to "Christians" judging, but that is exactly what I'm reacting to... hypocritical, self-righteous judgment of others.

If one is without any sin, including the one they are condemning and other sin...

And if they are not using their faith as a hammer and a ladder...

Then they are worthy of judging the sinful.

Do ANY of us really fit into such standard... highly unlikely.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 12 years ago
agree totally B. Hunter...well said!!
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6113) 12 years ago
Howdy wrote:
Says the woman who called the webmaster a stalker!!! Whatever, Donna aka Polar Bear...

Oh, snap! Donna done got served!
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