"Christians" Should Not Do or Say <Insert Thing Here>

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by bobber205, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. bobber205 macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #1
    Disclaimer: I consider myself an agnostic and probably not what would be defined obviously as a "Christian".

    I read, what seems alot of the net and hear in real life, phrases such as "Christians shouldn't say that" or "Christians shouldn't be doing that". Sometimes its used very reasonably, such as saying "Christians shouldn't be racist" and the like.

    But in the vast majority of cases, it offends me quite a bit. For instance: in my local paper, there was a person responding to a very racist and bigoted poster on our local newspaper's website. I read the whole post thinking to myself how reasonable this person was. But at the end they inserted "Christians should not say those words". This is what got to me.

    I know this may not always be the intention, but it often is. By saying what she said, I think interpreted it as meaning "Christians are better people than non-Christians and therefore are held to different standards". With different standards comes different rights and laws that treat those people differently, at least that's what used to happen before Democracy and all that. ;)

    Am I alone in this? Do you guys think it would have been better or less offensive is this person had said "People should not say those words". I feel like other religions and non religious people are thought of by some Christians as having a different set of morals or something. My friend, who is very much against gay marriage, says "Christians shouldn't support something so evil". So it's ok for Muslims/atheists/Jewish people to support them?

    Sorry for the long post but it's something that' been bothering me for a long time. Do you guys feel bothered by the air of superiority that comes sometimes with a person calling themself a Christian?

    :)
     
  2. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #2
    Just out of curiosity, how do you feel when people say things like "Mormons shouldn't smoke?" even though that is good advice for everyone?

    P-Worm
     
  3. bobber205 thread starter macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #3
    The exact same way. Any <this religious demonition> shouldn't do <insert thing here> would make me feel the same way.
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #4
    I can understand a bit of that feeling, but I think, to me at least, if one took it to another domain, we say things like this all the time and don't mean it that way.

    For instance... Americans believe in Free Speech... we say this because we want to continue to protect our country from people who try and curtail our freedoms. Free speech, or due process, or not torturing people, or whatever. Lots of other countries and their citizens believe in these things -- and in the past decade, for instance, many countries have practiced them more thoroughly than we have. It's not a statement that we're better than others because it isn't meant for others -- it's a rallying call, and it's meant for us.

    I think we commonly say things like, ... "College educated people don't..." or "self-respecting people don't..." or Americans, or Christians, or, what have you. Even "be a man" type statements. In most of those cases, the point is to leverage some common ground you have with someone to get them to behave sensibly. I think that's all there really is to it.

    Now people chafe, because sometimes someone co-opts a class of people and gives them some value not everyone agrees with. Or people just chafe because they're not ready to do the right thing.

    Maybe what you can do is write your own call to arms and point out that many other kinds of sensible people who aren't Christians don't use those words either....
     
  5. gilkisson macrumors 65816

    gilkisson

    #5
    Don't let it get to you. People have a lot of motivations or what they do or don't do. It depends on their background, culture, education, maybe even what they had for breakfast.

    Paraphrasing Ben Franklin, people have the right to swing their fist, a right which stop an inch from my nose. And so long as they are not swinging at my nose, I don't really care *why* they do what they do.

    it's when their <whatever> impedes me, that's when I have a problem with them. Again, I don't care what their justification is, or what club they joined, or had for breakfast.

    Using the example from P-Worm, "I'm a mormon so I don't smoke" makes a helluva lot of sense. However, something like "I'm a Baptist so you should not be allowed to buy beer on Sunday" is the opposite thing, and it's wrong.
     
  6. spillproof macrumors 68020

    spillproof

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    #6
    Things like this make me want to switch my major to sociology more and more everyday.
    I'm also agnostic but went to Catholic school for 13 years. I see where you are coming from, and sort of agree, but I don't think it is that Christians are better/think they are better, they just have different values, morals, ect.., that influence their opinions.

    What does get me though, is people using one religion to debate a issue, such as gay marriage or abortion, when different religions don't feel the same way and not all people follow/belong to a religion/believe in a god.

    Yup.
     
  7. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #7
    Christians should not do or say anything that makes them an a**hole. Non-Christians shouldn't either for that matter.
     
  8. Sehnsucht macrumors 65816

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    #8
    qft. Exactly. ;)
     
  9. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #9
    Nobody should do anything.

    Also, everybody should shut up.
     
  10. Sijmen macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    While the bible isn't a rulebook, it does have some rules and guidelines. However, Jesus made clear it's not about loving rules but loving God and each other.

    Technically you could say: “a christian should not steal”. Yet I think that's not something to say to (or about) a stranger on the internet, a newspaper, or any such place. How someone does or does not live by the guidelines is something between that person and God.

    If it's hurtful to yourself, writes the bible, then it's to be discussed in private, first together, then with a third person, and only as a last resort with the entire parish/church (not sure about the right English word there). If the person does not listen even then, says Jesus, he or she should be treated like an outsider or a sinner — with love and respect.

    So I don't think that's a particular good thing to do, telling christians and other people what they must and must not do. Doing so causes only irritation, anger and hostility. It's useful to no one. Free choice ftw :)
     
  11. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #11
    I sort of agree. If the previous postor indicates belief that their Chrisitanity makes them superior and thus justifies their theft, then it would be appropriate to state that "a Christian should not steal."

    I have not citations, nor do I think that the topic would merit them, but I believe that it comes down to codified beliefs. When someone says Christians shouldn't say those things or Hindus shouldn't do these things or whatever else, if the statement is addressing a fundamental codified belief that is applicable through self-proclamation or other indicators of belief, it is appropriate. If the statement is being made through projections of personal belief to another who does not share that belief, error has arisen.

    What this boils down to is that if I declare myself to abide by a belief (in the sense of adopting a group's standards as my own) of some sort, it is right to call me out when I don't follow codifications. Using P-Worm's example, if I say I am Mormon, it would be appropriate for for anybody to call me out for supporting slots in Maryland by stating "Mormons shouldn't gamble." At the same time, it would be inappropriate for someone to attack me for my Pepsi reserves at work by stating "Mormons shouldn't drink caffiene." The former accurately reflects codified belief and demands that I adhere to what I claim to adhere to. The former does not.

    Apply the same to any other group. The Democratic Party in the United States holds a woman's right to choose as an absolute (as of the 2008 Platform). It would be appropriate for a member of the party - or anybody really - to call out a Dem who supports any limitations on such by stating that "Democrats should support a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion."

    Make sense?
     
  12. Sijmen macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Yes, completely!

    I'd like to add that with christians, calling out a fellow christian may not even be appropriate, like I explained before.
     
  13. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

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    #13
    Well thats certainly out of the question for Chrisitians before marriage. ;)
     
  14. gilkisson macrumors 65816

    gilkisson

    #14
    Great. More coffee on my keyboard. Thanks.

    BTW, did you know laughing coffee out your left nostril kinda burns?
     
  15. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

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    #15
    There clearly should be a label warning afixed to your coffee explaining as such the dangers of left nostril coffee projectiles.

    Lawsuit.
     
  16. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #16
    I don't want to come off as sarcastic or mean-spirited, but my thought is that you need to figure out a way to not be offended, especially by stuff like this. I agree with (what I believe is) your premise - that by saying a group should act above reproach in a certain respect implies that group is inherently better than the rest of us. Is that annoying? Sure. Is it boorish? Perhaps. Is it cause to feel that your own character has been questioned and you are found lacking? Not at all. Take the comments that you describe made by the people you describe for what they are - inane - and walk away with a slight grin.
     
  17. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Christians should not judge others. Every time I see Christians judging others I feel it is my duty to point out their flaws and make sure they are aware of the bible chapter and verse that completely forbids their behavior. It makes me sad that some Christians are so short-sighted and petty that they must make judgements over other people. I hope those judgers can get right with god and change their behavior before it is too late. :eek:
     
  18. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #18
    Could you quote that verse please?
     
  19. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #19
    But, that's where I disagree. I understand the whole judge not idea, but that isn't were Christ was headed. The point to the full statement was that you need to uphold the standards to which you hold others. Failing to do so doesn't make the judgement less valid, but condemns you to the same judgement.

    Is this a lesson that a lot of the family values folks need to learn? Yes. Is this a lesson a lot of the folks that condem the system for the failure in leadership need to learn? Yes.

    A couple of points:
    1) The idea behind your corrections needs to be that of leading someone back to where they should be, not condeming them for their actions. Taking someone to task for an error isn't the same as pointing out that there is an area in which they can improve (and the corrector should be as ammenable to correction as he expects the correctee to be).

    2) This doesn't eliminate the need to place or cast judgement for those that flout their principles for personal gain. If someone joins the Dems or GOP only because it the local electorate favors a particular party, but espouses principles that are core to the party itself, they should be judged harshly. Yes, I'm looking at you small town Utah politicians.
     
  20. Sijmen macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    I think that's beautifully stated and I'll have to agree with you if I understood you correctly. To be honest my biblical knowledge hasn't been up to standards lately, could you give me some reading directions on this? Verses where this issue is discussed?
     
  21. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #21
    I looked it up quickly and found the verses in question located at the beginning of Matt 7.

    It's from the Sermon on the Mount, so it may be reiterated differently elsewhere. The best way to gain contextual understanding is read the rest of the Bible. It may not give you the philisophical insight or full historical context, but it does give a strong foundation on other events in the time period that would need to be taken into account.

    But the most important thing you can do is think for yourself. Regardless of belief, religious canon from all walks is usually chock full of positive advice on societal interactions - just be careful of those who would misapply or misconstrue that advice for their own ends.
     
  22. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Matthew 7.1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “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? 4 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? 5 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
     
  23. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000

    NoSmokingBandit

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    #23
    +1

    There are a few incredibly judgmental people at my church. Not a lot, just enough to be a major pain. Every time they say "jesus said not to <insert whatever>" i just respond with a quick "jesus said not to judge your brother." Those people dont talk to me much any more. I dont pretend to be perfect, and im not going to judge people for not being perfect. The problem is that the most judgmental christians tend to be the loudest.
     
  24. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I was actually trying to make a joke about judging those who judge others.
     
  25. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000

    NoSmokingBandit

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    #25
    Yeah, but i ignored your joke just so i could have an excuse to post my own story. ;)
     

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