Christians v Atheists

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jav6454, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #1
    Ok, so I have seen many threads on debating issues regarding religion, state-religion and other types of social issues.

    Here is what bothers me. Some of us here are Christian; however, I see lots of people here bashing on Christians (all of them) branding them together as if we were all thinking alike.

    Each time a Christian article comes along its either:

    - Oh look, the old fairy tale
    - Oh my, he is a believer, shame
    - Careful! He'll convert you
    - Bible quotas don't apply...

    Not that I am mad or anything, but why the hate against Christianity when many of us (yes, me included) do not support the actual nut jobs spewing hate?

    Many of us believe that everyone should be treated equally regardless who you are. Many of us know that you have to analyze the Bible and know what it means within a context before quoting it. Many of us know there is more to Christians than just trying to 'save a soul'. Many of us don't like to force our views on others.

    Am I missing something?

    For instance, Homosexuality.

    I could care less who you sleep, fall in love or live with. I just know, you are not deserving of being treated differently because of it. Also, it is not my place to judge you. After all, it is not man who gets to judge but God who judges, my task here is to get along with you.

    Is it a sin against God (not humanity)? Yes. Does it mean you are condemned? I have no freaking idea, I am not God. Do I fear it? No. Do I hate gays? No, the Bible says you shouldn't hate on others, instead "love thy neighbor". Do I look upon a gay couple lesser than a straight couple? No. Jesus treated everyone alike (see Mary Magdalen), why should I not do the same thing? Do I agree with homosexuality? No, but that does not mean the above is incorrect.

    All this goes to show true Christianity and Christians can't hate gays nor should we judge you. Furthermore, we can't deny your rights. It would be completely against what we stand and believe.

    Now, why did I post this? Well, this is more of a rant. Why? I got a nasty PM from user here pretty much bashing me, insulting my beliefs and in general telling me how pathetic I was for believing in a higher being (God). I just wonder, do you get a self satisfaction doing it? Really, do you? Because the one thing that just begs for more injustice and hatred is that attitude. Hating on Christians just creates more hate back. Oh, the PM was related to a gay thread where I supported an opinion regarding how clueless the "Christians" of the Tea Party are and how they tarnish the reputation of us real Christians.

    A dear friend in his last days once told me:
    Ok, I got it off my chest. Feel free to comment, or -1 if you please...
     
  2. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

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    #2
    People have struggled with ideology from the beginning of time. Its sad and a bit strange that so many people want only their viewpoint to be the viewpoint of others and even sadder that when they do accept the silliness of that, would like to denegrate another person's convictions.

    I'm right you're wrong, i get it and you don't. Instead of finding what is common (hey maybe the enthusiasm for Apple products) certain folk get a rush out of debate on one end or just snarky attacks on the other.

    I'm a Christ follower and a sinner. There is nothing perfect about what I do. I also see nothing in our ethos that would indicate we should ever force our viewpoints on others. With regard to other people's viewpoints, politically, socially, scientifically, or otherwise, the world is a richer place because of them. I'd better examine my self in minute detail long before i would ever judge others.

    There is evil in the world but you don't see much of it represented on an internet forum. At least this one.
     
  3. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    #3
    It's always bad Christians that make more noises. Just like how Muslim extremists put entire Muslim population in bad light. And it certainly doesn't help that many GOP politicians use Christianity to promote their candidacy.
     
  4. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

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    #4
    The problem with religion is that it encourages people to forgo personal thought and moral introspection in favor of a pre-crafted "follow me or you go to hell ideology".

    You may be a reasonable and moderate Christian but your views of "Christianity" are no more valid than the views of any other "Christian". They're all interpretations of a book written 2000+ years ago and then consequently translated and manipulated dozens of times.

    Religion is hardly the only ideology used as a substitute for thought but it is a depressingly prolific one...
     
  5. NATO macrumors 68000

    NATO

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    #5
    Just because Christianity falls under 'religion', it doesn't mean I'm going to give someone any more respect for believing in it than I would someone who believes in the tooth fairy.

    If you choose to believe in something without any actual evidence in its favour then good for you, but don't expect people like me to give you any special consideration as a result.

    Whether you believe in 'God', the tooth fairy, Santa Claus or any other invisible friend, you can expect the same incredulous response. I wouldn't actively attack someone (verbally) over their beliefs but if they bring them up for discussion then it's fair game and I'll pull no punches.
     
  6. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    #6
    My issue is the warped morality. If you take a look at some of the teachings of religion, even the apparently nice ones, there is often an uncomfortable message.

    For instance, I'm pleased you don't attack gays like some, but you state it is a sin against God. That still bothers me- God views homosexual acts as wrong. I can think of no objective reason for this. Why aren't Christians standing up to Him and saying "God, you are wrong on this"?

    If you belive in Heaven and Hell there is a problem- either God sends people to Hell to be tortured for all time or He fails to save them. Both of these are immoral on the part of God. In some jurisdictions in the world failure to assist is a crime. Nobody deserves a fate like that, do even if you hold the view that God fails to save some people I still think He has a moral duty to step in.

    More fundamentally, what gives Him the right to judge me? Just because you create something doesn't mean you should have the right to exercise absolute control. I live in a democracy where laws are clearly written down and if I break them I'm given a fair trial and a proportionate punishment. Whereas God gives us ambiguous rules, no fair trial or legal representation and a horrific punishment. It's literally a breach if my human rights under the European Convention!

    Even some of the less frequently attacked stories in the Bible cause me issues (yes they are only stories but still convey a message). The Garden of Eden where the minor crime of stealing some fruit (in the UK I'd get 50 hours cimmunity service) is dealt with by expulsion to lead a hard life and passing that "sin" on to following generations. We stopped punishing whole families for one person's crime years ago! The binding of Issac is basically psychological torture of a father and son to prove a point.

    Overall, the basic morality of religion bothers me. Being judged without leave to appeal, Heaven and Hell, gay=sin etc. I just feel that in many countries on Earth we have exceeded the morality found in much of religion. Democracy, fair trial, human rights, discrimination laws... quite simply, we are better and He could learn from us.
     
  7. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    #7
    Not every Christians hold literal interpretation of the bible. Many certainly do, but some recognize contradictions, inaccuracies, historical and translation biases, and so on. To these latter Christians, the bible is more of a poetry that inspire. Just as poetry is something only lovers of poem can truly appreciate, the bible is also something that only Christians can truly appreciate.

    At the very core of Christianity is love and you can't prove love with physical evidence. You just feel it. Einstein once said of historical existence of Jesus Christ, "No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life." Non-believers may have hard time agreeing, but this is the main reason why Christians cherish the bible.
     
  8. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

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    #8
    Jav, thank you for posting this. Many of my friends are gay. Maybe I am in fairy tale land but I wish I could just say many of my friends... play baseball...or hockey... or know a **** load about wine.

    It is what it is. I am a Christian. Not because I necessarily believe what other Christians believe but because I believe in Christ so the technical term is Christian.

    Are my gay friends any worse of a person than me? Maybe. Maybe not. But it has nothing to do with who they love or sleep with or want to kiss.

    You're gay? You're straight? Cool. I don't care. What I do care about is that you're a person and how can we help each other have a better place on this rock we call Earth.
     
  9. Steve121178 macrumors 68040

    Steve121178

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    #9
    There's always going to be hate.

    Regarding religion in general, many of us realise religion is just an ancient way of controlling people. I'm still amazed that people follow this stuff in this day and age but it is their right too. From my own point of view, I think it's a load of out of date nonsense.
     
  10. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    #10
    Your statements serve to demonstrate why so many Christians misinterpret and deviate from the core values of Christianity. Although many Christians like to believe that the bible is the truth written by God, it is most certainly written by people many years after the fact (50 to 150 years later, in fact). Even in modern time, facts can distort greatly in few dozen years. And many biases and factors further serve to distort the original message and fact. For these reasons and more, the bible is very difficult to grasp and often controversial.

    You may then argue, why read something that is so distorted? To this I would reply because there is still so much good in it.

    Regarding gays, Jesus actually welcomed and forgave social misfits and criticized those that condemned and judged. In fact, many original Christian churches are created by these outsiders. So Christians that condemn or judge gays should study the bible some more.

    And regarding heaven and hell, they serve to symbolize eternal nature of human soul. Hell isn't certainly going to deter and scare most criminals (or would be criminals). It serves to bring sense of justice in this imperfect world. Many churches exploited this device to extort lots of money, just as some controversial religious organizations (e.g., scientology) do today. But far more important to Christians (than heaven and hell) is that Jesus asked for forgiveness of mankind and willingness to die instead for our sins.
     
  11. NATO macrumors 68000

    NATO

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    #11

    I'm sorry, but I totally disagree with this, 'dumbed-down' interpretation of what Christianity is. Christianity bases itself on the Christian Bible (literal interpretation or not), the core elements at the heart of it (apart from the existence of the Christian god) is a belief in Jesus Christ and a literal belief in the resurrection.

    I hear this an awful lot these days, people say 'Oh Christianity is about Love'. Not it's not. If you do not literally believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God and that he was crucified and rose from the dead then you do not believe in Christianity. Full stop. It's the cornerstone of the religion. You can't just pick and choose the bits that suit you and call yourself a Christian.

    Besides, the belief that Christianity is about love is a nonsense. You just have the read the Bible properly to see it's full of terrible moral teachings and hate to a large extent (having actually read it cover to cover, rather than in little selective snippets like most believers do, picking and choosing the bits they like)
     
  12. (marc) macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

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    #12
    What you really mean when you say that you "recognize contradictions, inaccuracies, historical and translation biases, etc." and that you "know what it means within a context" is that you cherry-pick quotes you like and dismiss others as out-of-context, twisting the bible to fit your own agenda.
     
  13. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    #13
    I was using homosexuality as the OP mentioned it. But it works for any issue- how does it logically follow the God is always correct and gets to decide what is right and wrong? We decide as individuals and as a society. I don't think it should matter what God/Jesus say- we can decide for ourselves.

    That doesn't seem like justice to me. It seems hugely unfair and cruel. Again, what gives God the right to judge us?

    I don't think I need to be forgiven. I don't care if I don't meet the arbitrary standard dictated by God- He doesn't have the right to judge us. I do what I think is right and what society thinks is right. God should respect that and leave us alone to decide for ourselves, without fear of judgement by Him later.
    (I also find the idea of sending your son to die to allow us to be forgiven disgusting on so many levels).

    This is the moral issue for me- God gets to decide what is right and wrong, decide what happens to us when we die, and exercise total control if He wishes. He has no right to do so.
     
  14. eljanitor macrumors 6502

    eljanitor

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    #14
    There are reasons why people do not like Christians. The Bible itself explains many of the questions you asked.

    It's understandable to be upset when people tease you about your beliefs in God. There are even times where someone wants to make you upset because you are a believer, and perhaps it makes them feel better to take their anger out on you.

    If some people do not want to believe in God, and that's a choice that they have decided on for whatever reason(s) that really only God and themselves may know.

    Also there are organizations, and people out there that do not represent the teachings in the Bible properly. Sadly this gives Christians a bad name, because they may be spreading hatred, and improper teachings. This also makes Christians look bad, and it lets some feel justified to make hateful and angry statements about Christians. (which is a form of prejudice)

    You have stated that you believe in Christ, and that you are a Christian. If someone feels that your beliefs are silly, or a fantasy, or whatever because they don't agree with you that's really kind of their loss in some ways. I know that I also believe in God, and I am a Christian. I also know that I just shouldn't let someones online posts bother me too much.
     
  15. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #15
    A good start to main-streaming religion again, would be relaxing the definition of what a Christian is.

    Many of us are Christian in deed, where it counts.
     
  16. boss.king macrumors 68040

    boss.king

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    #16
    Until you pour oil on your hair and tie money to your hand you aren't a Christian :p (don't know where these rules are from, read book about a dude who lived a year following the Bible to the letter)
     
  17. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #17
    I buzz my head. Do pubes count??
     
  18. boss.king macrumors 68040

    boss.king

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    #18
    Tsk tsk tsk, cutting your hair will get you an express ticket to Hell...
     
  19. jav6454 thread starter macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #19
    Have you seen me doing that? Furthermore, cherry picking is the opposite if what I mean. Every passage has an context, miss it and you are just using the bible to your advantage.
     
  20. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #20
    Until Christians like you start standing up and resisting the efforts of the whackadoodle extreme Christians to take over the government and promote patently un-Christian values like hatred and bigotry and resistance to science, then you are going to get lumped into the same group as them. They have taken over, and until you mutiny and start coming out and saying that what they are saying and doing is not Christian, those are not your values and they do not represent your religion, then you are accepting them. When your church stands silently or worse, agrees with them, then you are going to get lumped in with them.

    Don't be upset at those who brand you together when there hasn't yet been a movement within the Christian faith to take back your morals, your values and your faith from crazy people.

    It's exactly the same thing that is happening with the Republican party. The so-called Tea Party consists of these exact same whackadoodles and their extreme views and absolute intolerance for anyone that doesn't agree with them. Again, until regular people stand up to them, they are going to bully the party and represent you.
     
  21. decafjava macrumors 68000

    decafjava

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    #21
    Those rules are from the old testament-and are more properly considered Jewish rather than Christian. Though Christians came up with many new rules of their own. Actually of you insist on following them to the letter it can lead to ahem "interesting" results.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1235809
     
  22. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #22
    They might be "Jewish" rules, but you're not going to find too many Jews using Leviticus as an excuse to attack gay people and deny them equal rights, it's always Christians quoting from it.

    And yes, I realize that the letter you linked to was written to Dr. Laura, who is indeed Jewish, but she's just a ****. For the most part, Jews tend to be much more liberal and supportive of gay rights.
     
  23. jav6454 thread starter macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #23
    I believe Jesus made those ancient rules invalid when he was around. Why? Many examples on how he acted in his life. He didn't stone Mary Magdalen which was a required by law, nor he did condemned people for violating those laws.

    In fact, if you look well in the gospels he mentions only 10 commandments. He further goes on when he was talking to the rich guy who wanted to follow him. Jesus told him to be able to save himself just follow he commandments, don't lie, don't kill, honor your parents. He never stated or implied the ancient rules.

    Goes to show to me that those rules have long passed their expiration date. even Jesus ruled those out and threw them to the gutter.
     
  24. iBlue, Sep 29, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011

    iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #24
    Christians and Atheists are comprised of individuals so I don't think it's fair for anyone to be pigeonholed at extremes. However these titles signify two very different belief systems and it is difficult to reconcile that when the topic arises. It almost always means conflict or needing to ignore it for the sake of peace.

    I don't understand how people living today can believe what the bible says but I rarely care enough to really argue over it. Others just won't let that slide. I suppose I'm more content with that peace than with arguing over who is right and who is wrong.

    I draw the line at religion being pushed into legislature. No one's beliefs should be dictating another's rights. For that I won't sit quietly and religious people shouldn't either because you never know when it's going to be another sect dictating your rights.
     
  25. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    #25
    Perhaps my view is dumbed down to some, but I have to be realistic. There are numerous sections of the bible that contradicts one another, such as how many times Peter denied knowing Jesus. And some important details are curiously missing even (e.g., identities of 12 disciples).

    Look, the bible was written by many people much later than facts actually occurred, so it is naturally full of inconsistencies. But the core messages and teachings are consistent, and that's what I choose to "cherry pick". And paradoxically, it's these inconsistencies and flaws that actually validate my belief. Whoever compiled the bible could've easily reconciled and editorialized these inconsistencies, but they are left exposed.

    The very core of Christianity is, yes, Jesus is a son of God and he died for our sins. It's not about how whether the world is literally created in 6 days.

    You are referring to the old testament though. Look, I've studied the bible from theologian's point of view. If you can read it from cover to cover and reconcile all the information without issues, then you didn't read the bible. Studying the bible is a continuous, iterative process that reshape's one's beliefs.

    On the other hand, things that are important are generally reinforced by other books and it's these core things that matter to me. Not these nonsense about marrying many wives, killing women and children of your enemies, and so on. Many Christians tend to refer to these nonsense to support their hatred (e.g., gays), including many politicians, and that is very unfortunate.

    You probably think why I bother with all these. And how I am lesser of a Christian. You can judge me all you want, but to me, despite all these, I consider myself a Christian because I accept Jesus. I admit to still being in a process of leaning and imperfect in my belief.
     

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