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Explaining v preaching v prostlyzing

preaching prosstlyzing

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#16    eight bits

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:25 PM

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really all you have to go by is an old book re-written over 2000 years in which most of that time they thought thunder was god farting.

Source?

Or were just preaching?

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#17    Mr Walker

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:27 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 12 February 2013 - 03:58 PM, said:

What is the difference between explaining one's religion and preaching it?  When does it become proselytizing and when does that become trying to "shove one's religion down someone's throat?"

At what age should children be taught religion and is it fair to a child for the parents to insist the child go to their church?

There are rtwo separate issues here. I am not going to argue the first. I have been forcefully putting my own views on UM for nearly 10 years and no one has ever accused me of preaching or proselytising. And that  is not my intent. It is not my job to "convert " others or preach to them, only to provide information. Each adult must find their own way in life and their own relationship with god.

  The second issue is different. Parents have a right and a duty to teach everything to their children. How to speak, spell, write, do maths; how to think, what  ethics and moralities are good and which are bad. So every parent should teach their child, from birth through stories playing with them involving them in household or work activities, talking to them etc, what has worked for them and what has not.

it is as important to teach a child helpful and constructive spiritual truths, as it is how to cook  safely and successfully, or how to play safely and have fun,  or how to design and build something, or how to play with other children successfully.

Teaching a child spiritual dimensions and spiritual thinking, is as critical as teaching them how to think logically, and how to use their imagination for internal and external creative purposes.

A theist should teach their child to be a theist, because after all as an adult it worked for them. An atheist should teach their child to be an atheist for the same reason.

But there are many more important and basic ethics, knolwedge, teachings, understandings and moralities, than  just religion. Children must not just learn codes of behaviour but internalise certainn values and understand why those values are productive and creative. They mus tbe taught that self is not as important as society tht they are not the most important person in the world, and that happiness does not come from material possessions. (you can disagree and teach a child that self is more important than society or that happiness comes from material possesions  as long as this works and is true for yourself and for your child.)
children can be taught to  read by age 2 and to think in logical fashion by age 3 or 4 They recognise the necessary elements of human thought by about age 4 and should be aware of their stream of consciousness and thought patterns by the same age. But the more, and early, you teach a child, the more it will learn, A young child can learn several languages several musical instruments how to paint and write poetry and lots of other things before school age simply by being taught them in a fun but structured way.

A young child (pre school age)ca n be taught the elements of logical thinking, of basic philosophy and how to debate issues in their mind using different points of view. they can be taught to see anothers point of view, how to develop sympathy and empathy They can be taught different forms of justice including retributive and restorative. most important they can be taught hw to recognise and exercise internal or self discipline. We had a 2 year old visit the other day who  did not touch a single object in our house, despite being fascinated by many of them, because he had been taught not to do so without asking first. He couldn't talk properly yet, but he could understand  the requirement, and exercise the  self control necessary to do this. I spent a couple of hours talking to him, teaching him some simple games, and playing with some of the objects he wanted to touch. We both had incredible fun and learned a lot.

Edited by Mr Walker, 20 February 2013 - 12:38 PM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#18    Beany

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:53 PM

I've found that when I tell the proselytizer/preacher that I'm a witch the conversation ends immediately, usually with the person backing away from me with a terrified look making the sign of the cross. It's highly entertaining. And if you say that to the Jehovah Witnesses who knock on your door, you'll be crossed off their list. We can't change the behaviors & beliefs of others, but we can always change ours.


#19    Frank Merton

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:01 PM

I think explaining is answering questions, preaching is exhortation.  They are both good things for religious people to do so long as it is done moderately and in its proper time and place.  

Proselytizing is when one does one of the above without at least an implied invitation to do so.  The shoving part starts when the attempt to proselytize is not welcomed.


#20    J. K.

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:09 PM

Three observations:
  • For a certain group of Christians, "proselytize" has a negative connotation: trying to lure Christians from another church to one's own church.
  • Evangelism, the process of trying to bring new Christians into a church, is a response to a Biblical injunction: "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.  Matthew 28:18-20
  • The "shoving-down-your-throat" method is abhorrent to some Christians.  Those who practice such are usually people who are highly drive by success, competitive and lack basic empathy with other humans.


Edited by J. K., 20 February 2013 - 03:10 PM.

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#21    Frank Merton

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:14 PM

Jehovah's Witnesses form a dear place in my heart.  Way back at the beginning of time when I thought I was going to be able to finish school in America, a couple of them found me and offered a Bible Study.  Well I was curious about American culture, so I figured I'd like to know something about the Bible.

We really didn't get very far.  I just would not accept quotation of a passage from the Bible as the final word on something, especially when it was illogical and unscientific and unhistorical, and I could not get my mind around their idea of a judgmental God planning to wipe everyone on Earth except Jehovah's Witnesses off the planet -- realize that would include my entire people.  Just didn't seem fair, and fairness didn't seem to bother them.

I did however read several of their books.  They are a denialist sort-of group -- that is, if the majority of Christians seem to teach something, they teach the opposite, and they do it with Bible verse after Bible verse after Bible verse.  I did learn that what Christians teach and what is in their Bible are sometimes very hard to reconcile.

The ability to quote Bible verses that contradict basic things like the Trinity, Mariolotry, Christmas, church Hierarchy, Hell, priestly celibacy, Mary's virginity, the Cross, and on and on has very much surprised a few Roman Catholics here in Vietnam.  "Where did you learn such stuff!!"  Of course I have long since forgotten most of this, although I dare say with the internet it wouldn't be hard to find it again.


#22    eight bits

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:55 PM

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  I did learn that what Christians teach and what is in their Bible are sometimes very hard to reconcile.

In fairness, if you work from a JW perspective, then you need to know, and take into account, that they have their own translation of the Bible, the "New World" version. This increases the distance between what other Christians teach and what's in the JW Bible.

Generally speaking, there is good agreement among Nicene Christians (the "others" from a JW viewpoint, and the kind of Christian of whom there are billions in the world) about the New Testament. The disagreements center on the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament.

Most Nicene Christians follow an Old Testament with a few more books than modern Jews do. The Protestant minority tends to follow the Jewish canon, although some of them give the Christian majority's "extra" books some status (as the "Apocrypha" found in Anglican Bibles). There are some glaring differences in translations of the Old Tesatment, between Christians and Jews and among Christians. (So, you can see where the JW's maybe got the idea of tweaking the translation for doctrinal advantage.)

The majority of Christians belong to churches who base their doctrines on something more than the canonical Bible, especially adding the writings of early church members. I was also caught short the other day to be forced to realize that some "Tradition" literature is frankly apocryphal, like Acts of Peter, which is nevertheless the written source for Peter ever being in Rome.

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#23    Sherapy

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:33 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 20 February 2013 - 12:27 PM, said:

There are rtwo separate issues here. I am not going to argue the first. I have been forcefully putting my own views on UM for nearly 10 years and no one has ever accused me of preaching or proselytising. And that  is not my intent. It is not my job to "convert " others or preach to them, only to provide information. Each adult must find their own way in life and their own relationship with god.

  The second issue is different. Parents have a right and a duty to teach everything to their children. How to speak, spell, write, do maths; how to think, what  ethics and moralities are good and which are bad. So every parent should teach their child, from birth through stories playing with them involving them in household or work activities, talking to them etc, what has worked for them and what has not.

it is as important to teach a child helpful and constructive spiritual truths, as it is how to cook  safely and successfully, or how to play safely and have fun,  or how to design and build something, or how to play with other children successfully.

Teaching a child spiritual dimensions and spiritual thinking, is as critical as teaching them how to think logically, and how to use their imagination for internal and external creative purposes.

A theist should teach their child to be a theist, because after all as an adult it worked for them. An atheist should teach their child to be an atheist for the same reason.

But there are many more important and basic ethics, knolwedge, teachings, understandings and moralities, than  just religion. Children must not just learn codes of behaviour but internalise certainn values and understand why those values are productive and creative. They mus tbe taught that self is not as important as society tht they are not the most important person in the world, and that happiness does not come from material possessions. (you can disagree and teach a child that self is more important than society or that happiness comes from material possesions  as long as this works and is true for yourself and for your child.)
children can be taught to  read by age 2 and to think in logical fashion by age 3 or 4 They recognise the necessary elements of human thought by about age 4 and should be aware of their stream of consciousness and thought patterns by the same age. But the more, and early, you teach a child, the more it will learn, A young child can learn several languages several musical instruments how to paint and write poetry and lots of other things before school age simply by being taught them in a fun but structured way.

A young child (pre school age)ca n be taught the elements of logical thinking, of basic philosophy and how to debate issues in their mind using different points of view. they can be taught to see anothers point of view, how to develop sympathy and empathy They can be taught different forms of justice including retributive and restorative. most important they can be taught hw to recognise and exercise internal or self discipline. We had a 2 year old visit the other day who  did not touch a single object in our house, despite being fascinated by many of them, because he had been taught not to do so without asking first. He couldn't talk properly yet, but he could understand  the requirement, and exercise the  self control necessary to do this. I spent a couple of hours talking to him, teaching him some simple games, and playing with some of the objects he wanted to touch. We both had incredible fun and learned a lot.

MW, as a parent I teach my kids to think for themselves(of course this is  a long process of maturity.) It never means I do not parent or teach the things that  will aid them and society in being productive contributing members. There are a few major points in development, that as a parent, I encourage one is individuality. It is in this that my kids have a strong sense of self and can establish boundaries and have a good sense/grasp of realtiy.

I think if a parent wants to filter things through religion and is informed/evolved/fair and has a growth mindset themselves, this can serve as a good model for the child. I know people as this and I know people who do not put much thought into why they are teaching anything; regardless, of what it is. I do not think just because someone is a parent this automatically makes them an authority on all matters  as your quote suggests to me," Parents have a right and a duty to teach everything to their children."

I think I would say a parent has the obligation to make sure that they themselves are up to par and informed/growth minded and  take the steps needed to do so for the sake of the child and society. I think  encouraging curiousity, topicality, and an interest in many things can lead to more options for growth as opposed to just teaching ideas because they serve to affirm ones beleifs. In the big picture it is curiousity that drives one to seek new solutions to old ways of doing things. And well meaning parents can literally limit their childs options by how they teach them things.


If a parent themselves doesn't question, doesn't challenge ideas, isn't curious about other positons and outlooks nor cultivates sympathy to other doctrines how would they go about teaching this?  I do not agree with parenting that seeks to teach by limiting a child to certain commitments or conclusions.(I would use great care in this area.)

Edited by Sherapy, 20 February 2013 - 05:37 PM.




#24    Jor-el

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:36 PM

View PostDarkwind, on 20 February 2013 - 12:34 AM, said:

The only religions that die after the 1st generation are the ones who force everyone to be celibate. Pagans don't proselytize, we have no need, people come to us. You will never find a Pagan at your door at full moon asking if you have found Cernunno as your horned lord and savior. We are growing just fine as a religion we have no need to bother people with it.  

When y'all  come to my door you're not telling me anything I don't already know.  Christianity is all over the place and touted as the only true religion. There is no need for y'all to be on my porch waking me up from my nap after a long night of frolicking under the full moon. The TV stations provide a service, commercials pay for it.  The Baptist proselytizing on my porch are just being annoying and wasting my time and theirs.

Pagans do proselytize... They just use different methods in doing so, instead of the 'ol door to door.

When I buy a book explaining pagan worship in one form or another or hear an interview, or come across a newspaper article, I 'm coming into contact with their ideas, their opinions, their beliefs, the fact that I do so willingly does not make it any less an act of proselytizing.

A religion that does not proselytize is a religion that will die, irrespective of the number of babies they may produce over a generation.

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#25    Jor-el

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:52 PM

View Posteight bits, on 20 February 2013 - 10:11 AM, said:

Euclidean geometry neither preaches nor proselytizes, and it has been around longer than most of the world religions, except possibly Buddhism, which also neither preaches nor proselytizes.

Geometry and Buddhism have something in common, which is an invitation to potential believers that they should determine for themselves whether the teachings of the discipline are true and useful. In both cases, we're into our third millennium of people trying it out and finding it so.


Not to be a hard case or anything, but Euclidean geometry is not a religion, nor was it ever brought forth as one by the gentleman himself.

Buddhism does proselytize, if it didn't it wouldn't have a problem co-existing with Hinduism. The very fact that it does, demonstrates that it is not pacifist except as a window dressing to attract people, which immediately demonstrates the most important feauture of a proselytizing religion.

One does not need to preach in the streets or go door to door to proselytize. The fact that it admits new believers into its midst and encourages people in doing so says it all.

Quote

So, it is simply not the case that evangelization is required for survival. Since Jor-el brought up commercials, ...

I would like to counterpropose. It seems to me that Christian preaching and proselytizing are not  primarily directed at bringing never-Christians into the churches for the first time. That is a specialized activity, often called "missionary work." No Westerner would see much of that, unless they traveled to mission territory, which these days would be very isolated places indeed.

No, most of the recruiting messages appear to be directed at people who are already familiar with the contents of Christianity, and to some extent, with the varieties available. The main object of the activity is to recruit people into one brand of Jesus-worship rather than another.

The object is, then, like MacDonald's goal. No doubt, their ads do persuade some people that eating meat is a good idea, or remind people who are already familiar with meat that it's been a while since they chowed down on a dead cow. But mostly, the point of the ads is to persuade economy-minded carnivores to fill up under the Golden Arches, rather than at Wendy's.

I agree with the above for the most part, but I do disagree in one aspect, mission territory are not isolated places as you propose, most of the Asian continent as well as much of the African continent does not know or has never heard of Jesus Christ.

They may know about christianity in a vague way, but they have never heard the message of Christ. That said, the same can be said for many places in the USA or Britain, or even Portugal for that matter.

Edited by Jor-el, 20 February 2013 - 07:33 PM.

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#26    Sherapy

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:11 PM

View PostJor-el, on 20 February 2013 - 06:52 PM, said:


Not to be a hard case or anything, but Euclidean geometry is not a religion, noe was it ever brought forth as one by the gentleman himself.

Buddhism does proselytize, if it didn't it wouldn't have a problem co-existing with Hinduism. The very fact that it does, demonstrates that it is not pacifist except as a window dressing to attract people, which immediately demonstrates the most important feauture of a proselytizing religion.

One does not need to preach in the streets or go door to door to proselytize. The fact that it admits new believers into its midst and encourages people in doing so says it all.



I agree with the above for the most part, but I do diagree in one aspect, mission territory are not isolated places as you propose, most of the Asian continent as well as much of the African continent does not know or has never heard of Jesus Christ.

They may know about christianity in a vague way, but they have never heard the message of Christ. That said, the same can be said for many places in the USA or Britain, or even Portugal for that matter.

Jor el, I think the point I'd glean from  8ty is that Euclid does have something common with religion, in that Euclidian Geometry completely replaced (all previous works on greek geometry) and became the historical role model for scientific reasoning, Just  as religion became a role model for morality. I think what he is pointing out is that even though something can be a role model it can be so with out proselytizing. For me it is a point well taken.




#27    Jor-el

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:31 PM

View PostSherapy, on 20 February 2013 - 07:11 PM, said:

Jor el, I think the point I'd glean from  8ty is that Euclid does have something common with religion, in that Euclidian Geometry completely replaced (all previous works on greek geometry) and became the historical role model for scientific reasoning, Just  as religion became a role model for morality. I think what he is pointing out is that even though something can be a role model it can be so with out proselytizing. For me it is a point well taken.

Religion is not a role model for morality, it never was it will never be so, no matter how much people assume it to be the case. It is this misalignment in thought, that was, is and will be detrimental to religion. By allowing religion to be the role model and determining what morality is and ought to be has allowed all kinds of atrocities in the name of religion.

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#28    eight bits

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:52 PM

Jor-el

I liked Sheri's answer about the geometry better than the one I would have composed. I'll just go with hers.

You and I seem to disagree on the facts about Buddhist recruiting practices, and I don't see the relevance of their pacificism or lack of it to how they restore their membership. That won't be resolved here. Judaism, then, will stand as a counterexample.

We simply disagree that "proselytizing" occurs whenever a religion allows new members to join. Obviously, if that's what the word meant, then it is logically necessary that any religion which didn't proselytize would cease to exist when the first generation died.

I'll settle for our agreement on the general idea that much proselytizing is aimed at folks who've  already been exposed to the message. I disagree that the more accessible parts of Asia or Africa "have never heard the message of Christ," but I think that won't be resolved here, either,  because I suspect we disagree about which "messages of Christ" count.

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#29    Jor-el

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:01 PM

View Posteight bits, on 20 February 2013 - 07:52 PM, said:

Jor-el

I liked Sheri's answer about the geometry better than the one I would have composed. I'll just go with hers.

You and I seem to disagree on the facts about Buddhist recruiting practices, and I don't see the relevance of their pacificism or lack of it to how they restore their membership. That won't be resolved here. Judaism, then, will stand as a counterexample.

We simply disagree that "proselytizing" occurs whenever a religion allows new members to join. Obviously, if that's what the word meant, then it is logically necessary that any religion which didn't proselytize would cease to exist when the first generation died.

I'll settle for our agreement on the general idea that much proselytizing is aimed at folks who've  already been exposed to the message. I disagree that the more accessible parts of Asia or Africa "have never heard the message of Christ," but I think that won't be resolved here, either,  because I suspect we disagree about which "messages of Christ" count.

Can't add to that either unless we want to go off on a tangent to the thread.

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#30    Sherapy

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:03 PM

View PostJor-el, on 20 February 2013 - 07:31 PM, said:

Religion is not a role model for morality, it never was it will never be so, no matter how much people assume it to be the case. It is this misalignment in thought, that was, is and will be detrimental to religion. By allowing religion to be the role model and determining what morality is and ought to be has allowed all kinds of atrocities in the name of religion.
Jor el quotes:
"Proselytizing, means that you are willing to entertain the ideas that someone is "preaching" to you."

"Historically, proselytizing is the most effective method ALL religions had of ensuring their religion lived on after they died away."

Based on both your ideas/positions 8ty offered 2 examples to counter. You defined the perimeter of both his arguments with both of your quotes. One addresses Euclidian and one addresses Religion.

How you would counter to 8ty's argument? He clearly shows 2 examples where your arguments show bias. Can you address this. Thank you. I am actually interested in your counter.

Edited by Sherapy, 20 February 2013 - 09:54 PM.







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