Religious Readings [split]

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jefhatfield, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #1
    no, but that sounds like a fun book to read...i often wondered what happened during those "missing" years ;)

    nobody knows for sure, but a trip to asia minor, or even india is not completely impossible judging from the fact that alexander the great paved well known trade routes centuries earlier
     
  2. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

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    #2
    The trips across Asia Minor and India are mostly what the book is about. Joshua and Biff go out looking for the three wise men to came to visit Josh at his birth. It's really creative, and hilarious!

    Yay! Yeah, I recommend it constantly. I bought a copy for my professor, and actually have bought several copies over the years to give to people, as long as they pass it along. Love his other stuff, but Lamb is fantastic.
     
  3. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #3
    sounds like a good read, and very funny, and probably is more factual than many american christians' deep seated belief that he was somehow a fair skinned, western european man as depicted by many artists throughout history

    i once had a friend in high school, american citizen, born here who is jewish, and he went to visit israel for the first time and was amazed and fascinated in meeting real israelis...and america's incredible misunderstanding of israelites in general...i thought maybe mel gibson would, in his quest for truth, cast an isreali actor in the role of jesus (how novel, a jewish jesus ;) )...but he took the safe hollywood route and picked the latest american looking actor of the month for the role

    heck, mel gibson should have cast brad pitt or jude law in the role :) :)

    ...but nothing was as crude, hollywood style, as putting john wayne in the role of ghengis kahn
     
  4. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

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    #4
    I like you're style of thinking! My two basic truths that most Christians ignore:

    1) Jesus wasn't a white anglo-saxon protestant, as much as most would like to believe
    2) There were no refrigerators in Jesus' time, so they HAD to drink wine (not grape juice).

    Lamb is very funny, and I'm sure you would appreciate the far-reaching possibilities presented in the book.
     
  5. Josh macrumors 68000

    Josh

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    #5
    Lies. All of it...lies!!!

    Are you telling me Jesus did not have long, flowing blonde hair and bright blue eyes, just like my church depicts him? :p

    I kid...I kid.

    Not to derail this fine thread, but I'd also have to add this to your list:

    3) Jesus never once said he was God; the only things he said about being of God, he said was true of us also.

    *ducks for cover and watches for flying stones*
     
  6. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #6
    i am a democrat, liberal, and a christian...and my long time employee and good friend is a jehovah witness...think right wing christian and then double it

    he tells me that he, as a minister/brother/saint/fill in the blank of his denomination, is not allowed to have a beard...it's against church policy in the united states (but oddly enough, not in ireland for his denomination)

    so i guess jesus christ would not be allowed to hold a position in his church or even become just a dues paying member ;) oh, and he has this rare shaving/staph problem with ingrown hairs on his face and a severe shaving infection can actually kill him, but he holds true to his very conservative views on christianity and "basic living" and he is willing to uphold his, in his case, dangerous practice of shaving every day

    but like most of his flock, the local mormon churches, some atypical conservative mainline protestants and catholics, and the almost exclusively white evangelicals in this area, the people in the above mentioned groups where i live are white and tend to be anti-semitic (my wife is part jewish) and i am convinced if jesus came to america and do his ministry, or at least to northern cal or the OC, the basic anti-semitism and unacceptance of long hair, and often facial hair, would make jesus christ's ministry go nowhere

    i think it could make for a great comedy...jesus coming to america for a time and hanging out with all the "religious" people from various sects and demominations ;)
     
  7. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #7
    he he, :)

    but he did claim he could "work" on the sabbath and forgive people of their sins...something in jewish religious practice that only g-d can do, so jesus was basically executed for blasphemy...in other words, claiming to be g-d and the political and social unrest that can come from a divine godly visit in such a politically (jewish, arab, greek, roman) atmosphere in a cosmopolitan city like jerusalem

    but i will concede jesus never claimed to be a right wing, george w bush loving, tax cutting (for the rich) republican ;)
     
  8. floriflee macrumors 68030

    floriflee

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    #8
    As a practicing Mormon, I would like to note that anti-semetism is not a doctrine that is preached in my religion. Those truly trying to live the gospel strive to be tolerant and accepting of others regardless of race or religion. Now that doesn't mean we have to agree with what everyone else does or believes, but we are supposed to love and respect them. Unfortunately, I can't say that everyone follows that creed (I have a hard time loving or being kind to everyone sometimes), but I do not like the blanket statement that insinuates that Mormons are anti-semetics because of their religion. Those that say they are have greatly misconstrued the gospel teachings.

    Can't speak for the other denominations authoritatively, but I'd like to think that anti-semetism is not actually preached as doctrine within their religion as well.

    Edit: BTW, I'm not here to Bible bash, argue doctrine or the like. I just wanted to clarify and give my $.02 on the subject.
     
  9. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #9
    as with many, right wing leaning denominations, anti-semitism and racism in general are not teached, but it still comes out that way

    i am a japanese american and i have a friend who is also japanese american, but also a mormon, and he was not allowed membership into some mormon churches in the 60s and 70s...due to his race...but i know, as he admits, things have become more embracing for his denomination, as has with many christian denominations

    the history of american christianity and racism is as deep and shameful as the nazis with germany, and believe it or not, many who "lynched" others, did so in the name of christianity
     
  10. floriflee macrumors 68030

    floriflee

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    #10
    I don't deny that horrible atrocities have occurred in the name of christianity (or of religion in general), but as far as I can tell, there are a lot of things done in the name of something that have nothing to rightly do with that "something."

    In my opinion, when these atrocities occur, that's when man misinterprets the religious doctrine (or whatever doctrine) to justify it for some form of gain--whether it's conscious or subconscious, for self or for a collective). If people understood the doctrines of their religions better (Mormons, included), and aligned their beliefs accordingly, we'd have a lot less problems in this world.

    As for your friend, I can't say that I fully understand the reason for the prevention of joining the church before the late 1970's. I can only say, that as a believer in my faith, I have come to know that there are things that happen at a certain time for a reason. Sometimes we understand that reason right away. Sometimes it comes after a long time of study, pondering and reflection (yes, we are taught and encouraged to do such things). Sometimes we don't ever fully understand, but believe there is a good reason because we believe that gospel to be true so we have to live on faith. All in all, we believe that if we live true to our religion that we will come to know it all in the end. I'm sorry if that sounds preachy, misguided, or overly hopeful, but it's what I believe.
     
  11. emmawu macrumors 6502

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    #11
    "Lamb" is a great book. Once I read it, I passed it on to my friends. It's been passed six times in six months.
     
  12. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

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    #12
    It's the most 'passed around' book I've ever heard of, and passed around myself!

    Wow, our threadjacking was worthy of a thread split!
     
  13. fistful macrumors 6502a

    fistful

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    #13
    Even though I haven't read Lamb yet I just wanted to chime in and say Christopher Moore is one of my favorite authors. So far I've read "Bloodsucking Fiends" and "The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove". Waiting on my sister to lend me "Fluke" and Lamb.
     
  14. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #14
    i guess i have seen christianity broken into three areas...conservative political belief, moderate, and liberal

    the great politician and worthy adversary to democrats like me is conservative orrin hatch and he has rode a wave of power on his combination of christ and republicanism...he is one of the fathers of the christian right and politically mobilizing religious people toward the gop

    it was no small secret that conservative christians were largely democrats before the mid-80s, and while they had a liberal political point of view, they were very fundamental in their beliefs of scripture being literal

    i think the advent of conservative christians voting as conservative republicans, which in my mind are nearly opposites, is one of the greatest political swindles of all time...yet brilliant and well thought out strategically, but in an infamous way similar to the attack on pearl harbor

    if i were a congressman or senator representing myself as a democrat, i would never make the mistake of underestimating gop religionists/lobbyists like orrin hatch or newt gingrich...they saw a potentially fertile field in pious, church going americans and stole them away from the democrats 20 years ago
     
  15. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #15
    C. S. Lewis once remarked, "The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them."
     
  16. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #16
    That statement is absurd. I'm a conservative Christian and I categorically admit that racism in the name of religion was completely wrong and indefensible. Its a shame on religions and denominations where such things happen. I'm a Southern Baptist and my denomination was one of the worst about it in many ways. There was (and is) no excuse. It was utterly wrong and contrary to the Gospel.

    HOWEVER, to equate American racism (as bad as it was, and still is in some circles) with Nazi Germany is ludicrous. Neither one is defensible, but they are in completely different categories.
     
  17. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #17
    Most consider the conservative Christians turning to the Republican party as be a direct result of Roe vs. Wade. You bring up a few good points in this post, I would recommend a NYTimes op-ed by David Brooks called "Who Is John Stott?" on the issue. link

     
  18. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #18
    it is in degrees, hatred and religious violence, but you are right in that america is nowhere near nazi germany

    i would like voices like billy graham, a democrat btw, to be more representative of christianity than that of the reverend fred phelps, who has gained in popularity in his extreme right wing stances and hated for homosexuals

    extreme leftist stances are also not a good thing either (and have their long history of violence and atrocities) and i realize most american christians who happen to be republicans do not like, or relate, the kkk or nazis, but i detect a movement of christianity in america to the right, and one day so far right that it may not resemble christ and the early disciples

    my studies in bible college have made me see the parallel of christianity more to values of freedom and tolerance, and to the more liberal federalists (vs the conservative tories loyal to the crown and the church of england) and though the democratic party is not exactly like the bible, word for word, it's far closer than what president bush has been doing, alienating many christians in america and abroad, like me and millions of others

    but to be a christian or member of any other religion i have heard or, membership to one political party or another is not a prerequisite
     
  19. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #19
    I would as well, which is exactly what the David Brooks article talks about. Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, etc... may make for good news talk shows but they are not (I would argue) representative of most conservative Christians.

    And you are right that being a Christian does not require one to adhere to any political ideology. In fact, it requires that any political affiliation be subservient to Christian belief and doctrine.
     
  20. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #20
    i think i went to a sermon of stott's at all souls in london when i was a student and missionary there...an amazing church...one anglican priest i met there became my mentor before i went to belfast

    i later got married to a woman who also visited belfast, ironically before i knew her, and we almost went there helping children/teens involved in drugs/gangs/violence but a huge outcry from our families prevented me, and her, from returning to belfast

    i did have a cousin go on a missionary trip to bosnia right after the war and at the time i didn't like the idea but she went there, did her work with her mission, and got back safely...she was willing to die for christ the same way i was

    today, being married and with two businesses, i seem less willing to go into the line of fire in a place like belfast, or "fill in the blank" and do religious social work...i don't know if i have become a coward or changed with age, but i am thankful that there are people everyday willing to do good work in the name of christianity in some of the most dangerous areas of the world, of which some american inner-cities are being them (east la, south bronx, phoenix, dc, new haven, etc)

    actually, i am grateful of people who do social work in general, religious or not, especially in dangerous areas of this country and abroad
     
  21. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

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    #21
    That's wonderful that you and your wife have taken steps to do missionary work. Perhaps there's the possibility of doing some work inner city where you live now.
     
  22. floriflee macrumors 68030

    floriflee

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    #22
    Here! Here! I am of the strong belief that, if prioritzed, you are a member of your religion first and political party second. You do not join a party to shape your beliefs, but rather your beliefs should shape the direction of your party.

    Not surprisingly, I am a republican, but I am a moderate who does not blindly side with all things related to my party. In fact, there have been occasions I have voted democrat because they were more in-tune with my beliefs. In all honesty, it would be better if we would strip party from a lot of the issues and just focus on the issue itself and go from there.

    Edit: As a side note, it may be surprising to you to know that there are democrats in the top levels of the Mormon church (perhaps a little known fact because we are really not supposed to define ourselves by our party). Every time around elections, a letter from the Presidency of the Church is sent to all the bishops, which is then read across the pulpit at our meetings. It's purpose is to remind us that the Church does not endorse any political candidate or party, but that we are encouraged to study out the issues and vote for the best candidate/issue based on our personal beliefs. The hard part is actually getting everyone--regardless of religion or party--to take heed to that kind of counsel. :)
     
  23. Josh macrumors 68000

    Josh

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    #23
    Coming from one who writes children's books? Credible. Really.

    If you disagree, show me once where Jesus said undeniably that he IS God.

    No where does such a claim exist in the Bible. The only way one can arrive at such a conclusion is when words are bent, twisted, and aligned to the readers own interpretation.

    Taking things to your own interpretation, as YOU understand them, is exactly what the Bible tells you not to do ("Lean not to your own understanding").

    The majority of such Christians are those who live their lives casually, and spend their obligated 45 minutes in church on Sunday, then claim to be warriors of the Christian faith, knowing all there is to know about it.

    But talk to any Biblical scholar who has dedicated their entire life to studying what the Bible says (not giving meaning to what it does not) and studying who Jesus was, and they will all tell you the same thing:

    Jesus did not, even once, claim to be God, say that he was God, or any such thing. Infact, all that he said is evidence to the contrary. When asked about the ressurection, Jesus said "I can do nothing on my own authority” (John 5: 30).

    Unless you mean to say that God has some other authority he calls on for permission....?
     
  24. floriflee macrumors 68030

    floriflee

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    #24
    Not just a children's book writer, but also a writer of other works, including "Mere Christianity", "The Great Divorce", and "The Abolition of Man." I believe he also had a radio show. A lot of his works are allegorical, which may seem childish, but they provide a lot of good insight. It's interesting to note that Lewis was an atheist who converted to christianity later in life (it's outlined a bit in "Mere Christianity").

    He was a very scholarly man, who did his research, so I would say he is a credible source.
     
  25. floriflee macrumors 68030

    floriflee

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    #25
    This is the extent of my Bible-bashing... as I've never found it to be of much good when both parties are set in their beliefs:

    If you take the whole verse of John 5:30 it reads (King James Version): "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me"

    If you also take into account the story of Mary being told by an angel that she is going conceive the Son of God by the power of the Holy Ghost, then you can deduce in the above verse that Jesus is saying that his Father is God. Thus making him the Son of God, and thus making him a god. His purpose in life is to do the will of the Father (God the Father), which is to bring about the Atonement so that we can be forgiven of our sins. While he was on this earth he must fulfill His Father's will.

    John the Baptist bore testimony of the Christ's divinity in John 1:34 after he baptized Him: "And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."

    Anyway, we could throw scriptures back and forth at each other all day long arguing our points. Scholars are STILL arguing the point. However, the real point is that, with religion and any beliefs that cannot be physically and definitively proven by any source, you have to study it out to the extent that you can, pray about it, and then obtain a testimony of that point through the application of your faith. If that point is true then your testimony of it will grow. You can't rely on JUST the words and research of others here on this earth because those of us on this earth are fallible. We make mistakes, we misinterpret--look at how many times scientific theories have had to be adjusted over time because we misinterpreted the data, or didn't have the whole picture. In issues of faith and religion we have to seek also for inspiration and personal revelation in addition to our study. In a word, it comes down to faith.
     

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