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How far will you go to be "INCLUSIVE"?


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#1    and then

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:39 AM

A recent thread by another member raises a pertinent question in our day and I'd like to hear from as many as are interested.  The point is about being inclusive.There is a movement now, from the Pope down it seems, to be ecumenical.  To see ourselves as the children - ALL of us - of the Creator God.  With the great variation around the planet in these most closely held beliefs, how do we know which is correct?  Surely not all can reflect the same being.  I believe that Jesus of Nazareth was a man that was born of a virgin mother through an act of God himself.  I believe he lived a life as a man and was executed on a Roman cross as a payment for all the transgressions of every other human on earth from that time until today.  I believe he physically resurrected the third day and is alive in this moment.  THAT is what defines a Christian - it is called the gospel.
There are church pastors out there these days who are forming a blend of religion called "Chrislam"  in which they say that Allah and God are the same entity.  Devout Muslims AND devout Christians spurn this.  
So enough of my personal beliefs.  The question I have is how far would you go to be inclusive?  Is there any tenet of your faith you will not sacrifice to be in agreement with others?  More importantly, would you actively defend inclusivity if it meant harming those who choose NOT to be inclusive?
The Christ said "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the father except by me"  That is a direct and VERY non inclusive directive.  So if a Christian is true to the word and will not join in an ecumenical movement, would you shun or actively try to silence them?

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  for what could be, the darkest age...

#2    Beany

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:47 AM

I don't worry about being "right", I worry about being good good and being an asset to the planet. If God is all-loving and all-knowing, then he knows what's in our hearts, will forgive us when we're wrong, and loves us always despite our faults or beliefs. I can't imagine a deity that would condemn us because we were/are ignorant, lack knowledge, or question our faith. It's only humans that do that to one another. I believe the sacred loves us and welcomes us with open arms.


#3    Almagest

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 02:18 AM

I'd be inclusive towards anyone who wasn't violent or oppressive about their beliefs. I like to think that we live in societies civilised enough that we don't have to kill each other over differences of opinions. I also like to think that we live in societies where laws are determined by the democratic method of both public and governmental debate. I guess those two are among my strongest principles, and anyone from any religious or non-religious strain who wants to infringe on that doesn't get any overtures of inclusion from me.

If it's your opinion that Christ is the Son of God you absolutely should express that, so long as you're OK with me expressing my opinion that he was a fanatic with a bronze age morality. I'll discuss it with people who are willing, but I'm not going to meld my beliefs with everyone else's in the name of inclusiveness. On the contrary, I think it's the differences between us which make Humanity so interesting.

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#4    Sundew

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 02:36 AM

There will be a bit of a problem over John 14:6 where Jesus declares, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Biblical Christianity is exclusive, not inclusive. Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God, and for that matter neither do Hindus, Buddhists, etcetera. To suggest that they can "coexist" like the bumper sticker says as one all inclusive faith is nonsense.


#5    The Krimson King

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 02:38 AM

Almagest, I would very much like to hear you're thoughts of Jesus Christ the man.

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#6    Likely Guy

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 03:35 AM

As an indifferent agnostic I'm willing to go to the extremes of inclusiveness. It would be the worst place in the world where all people thought and believed the same thing.


#7    Marcus Aurelius

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 04:32 AM

View Postand then, on 28 January 2014 - 01:39 AM, said:

A recent thread by another member raises a pertinent question in our day and I'd like to hear from as many as are interested.  The point is about being inclusive.There is a movement now, from the Pope down it seems, to be ecumenical.  To see ourselves as the children - ALL of us - of the Creator God.  With the great variation around the planet in these most closely held beliefs, how do we know which is correct?  Surely not all can reflect the same being.  I believe that Jesus of Nazareth was a man that was born of a virgin mother through an act of God himself.  I believe he lived a life as a man and was executed on a Roman cross as a payment for all the transgressions of every other human on earth from that time until today.  I believe he physically resurrected the third day and is alive in this moment.  THAT is what defines a Christian - it is called the gospel.
There are church pastors out there these days who are forming a blend of religion called "Chrislam"  in which they say that Allah and God are the same entity.  Devout Muslims AND devout Christians spurn this.  
So enough of my personal beliefs.  The question I have is how far would you go to be inclusive?  Is there any tenet of your faith you will not sacrifice to be in agreement with others?  More importantly, would you actively defend inclusivity if it meant harming those who choose NOT to be inclusive?
The Christ said "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the father except by me"  That is a direct and VERY non inclusive directive.  So if a Christian is true to the word and will not join in an ecumenical movement, would you shun or actively try to silence them?

Hmm. Well, this is a good topic of conversation and I appreciate you bringing it up. As an immediate point of reference, I am a Christian, and am in fact (God willing) studying to become a pastor. Here's where it gets tricky, though: I've been called a 'big liberal' by some and a 'conservative' by others. I'm sort of in the middle, I guess you could say...I suppose it really depends on the issue. If it's a 'social' issue; like whether or not I would allow homosexuals to be members in my church...I have no problem with that. As I said on another thread; I see myself as a sinner saved by grace...so who am I to judge? I'm not the judge. If someone comes to me and is earnestly seeking to know God to the best of their ability; who would I be to close the door on them? So there: 'big liberal.' But then if some supposed Christian says "I don't believe Jesus was truly raised from the dead; He is alive in our hearts" I totally and strongly disagree. I believe in a very literal resurrection and I would not compromise this at all. So there: 'conservative.' And I would defend that against anyone who challenges it. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died for me and that He also saved me from the hells of my own making before Him. My testimony is forever linked to my ministry...and I would never compromise His REALITY. For me, the Lord is no abstraction. He is real, present. So in short, I agree with all of this: "I believe that Jesus of Nazareth was a man that was born of a virgin mother through an act of God himself.  I believe he lived a life as a man and was executed on a Roman cross as a payment for all the transgressions of every other human on earth from that time until today.  I believe he physically resurrected the third day and is alive in this moment.  THAT is what defines a Christian - it is called the gospel."

But I disagree with this:  "Surely not all can reflect the same being." and this: "There are church pastors out there these days who are forming a blend of religion called "Chrislam"  in which they say that Allah and God are the same entity.  Devout Muslims AND devout Christians spurn this." How do we know they AREN'T the same "entity?" While being a Christian, I study comparative religion and have done so for a decade now. I'm actually specializing my Master of Divinity in Interreligious Contexts...so I guess I'm one of those dreaded ones of which you speak who fosters ecumenism. As I mentioned in another thread, there are various religious "systems" in the world...and who are we to be so arrogant as to proclaim that God cannot work with others within those systems? Is God the one that is placing such limitations on man; or are we the ones placing such limitations on God? Religion is imperfect because humanity is imperfect. Furthermore; those who are so quick to dismiss or attack a faith like Islam, sadly, often know very little about it. They've never gone to the source. I've read Christian books marketed as being unbiased looks at other religions...and then it says something like Allah has a wife and Muslims also worship a moon goddess. This is nonsense; little more than ultra-right wing Christian propaganda. When I began reading the Holy Koran many years ago I was amazed at some of the beauty and truth therein. It was the same as I began to read Muslim writers; and I came to love the Sufi mystics. I think we have to look at the source before we can render such judgments.

But just to play devils-advocate...if we take those words at face value; how can we also be convinced that the Jews worship the same God as the Christians? Really; I'm serious. The Talmud has verses that say Jesus is roasting in Hell and that the Virgin Mary was a prostitute. It's disgusting; but it's there...and yet no one talks about that. You always here the term Judeo-Christianity and these same people then attack Islam as a tool of the devil. Really? In the Koran Jesus is seen as a Holy Prophet, and the Virgin Mary is a saint; the only woman in the entire Koran afforded such veneration. Now again; just playing devil's advocate; which view seems CLOSER to the Christian view?? Do you see my point?? In no way am I slamming Judaism either. I also really love and respect the Jewish religion...but the point is...the three great Abrahamic faiths all have differences and similarities. Why, then, is it so difficult to accept the possibility that yes....we are dealing with the same "entity?"

Lol it is one of my vocational goals to be on the forefront of ecumenical work and dialogue. I mean think about it my friend; we need it now more than ever. People are being killed for their faith all over the world. Christians are being killed by fanatical Muslims. Muslims are killing each other for following or not following a said path of Islam. Tibetan Buddhists are lighting themselves on fire because they have no other way to speak out against the atrocities a radically secular government (a modern day Nero Caesar) has placed on them. So ti my mind; rather than fighting over our differences we should be fighting TOGETHER over things like human rights and against the winds of secularism that have swept across the world. Ecumenical work is NECESSARY.

Finally, to answer your question point blank: "That is a direct and VERY non inclusive directive.  So if a Christian is true to the word and will not join in an ecumenical movement, would you shun or actively try to silence them?" no...I would not. While I now must sound like one of those 'big liberal' Christians and you might even question my beliefs altogether etc.; no I would never persecute someone who does not follow this 'spirit.' While I disagree with some of your ideas, as noted, I agree with others; and again...I am no judge. God is the judge. Therefore I respect your opinion even if I don't share it. You should be free to express your faith in the manner you wish.

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#8    Marcus Aurelius

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 04:46 AM

View PostSundew, on 28 January 2014 - 02:36 AM, said:

There will be a bit of a problem over John 14:6 where Jesus declares, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Biblical Christianity is exclusive, not inclusive. Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God, and for that matter neither do Hindus, Buddhists, etcetera. To suggest that they can "coexist" like the bumper sticker says as one all inclusive faith is nonsense.

No, the idea is not to be one all inclusive faith; but to be inclusive of ONE ANOTHER. We can acknowledge our differences but work together to build bridges from our similarities; because ALL of these said religions have much in common. Just look at the countless parallel statements of Jesus and the Buddha as but one example. Religions can differ on "theology" but can come together in areas like ethics, human rights and social justice.

And as to prayer or whether we worship the same God; to quote the great Huston Smith: "What a strange fellowship this is, the God-seekers in every land, lifting their voices in the most disparate ways imaginable to the God of all life. How does it sound from above? Like bedlam, or do the strains blend in strange, ethereal harmony? We cannot know. All we can do is try to listen carefully and with full attention to each voice as it addresses the divine."

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#9    and then

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 05:08 AM

View PostMarcus Aurelius, on 28 January 2014 - 04:46 AM, said:

No, the idea is not to be one all inclusive faith; but to be inclusive of ONE ANOTHER. We can acknowledge our differences but work together to build bridges from our similarities; because ALL of these said religions have much in common. Just look at the countless parallel statements of Jesus and the Buddha as but one example. Religions can differ on "theology" but can come together in areas like ethics, human rights and social justice.

And as to prayer or whether we worship the same God; to quote the great Huston Smith: "What a strange fellowship this is, the God-seekers in every land, lifting their voices in the most disparate ways imaginable to the God of all life. How does it sound from above? Like bedlam, or do the strains blend in strange, ethereal harmony? We cannot know. All we can do is try to listen carefully and with full attention to each voice as it addresses the divine."
Precisely - "we cannot KNOW"- therefore our only point of contact barring a miraculous intercession or visitation is what his word says.  Christ once said a house divided could not stand.  Why would one who proclaims only truth then teach an opposite reality?  The "Jesus" of Islam is diametrically opposite in actions of the Son of God.  In fact John told us that those who deny the father and the son are anti Christ - again - his words.  Why would a God breathed text sow such confusion?

But in answer to

View PostBeany, on 28 January 2014 - 01:47 AM, said:

I don't worry about being "right", I worry about being good good and being an asset to the planet. If God is all-loving and all-knowing, then he knows what's in our hearts, will forgive us when we're wrong, and loves us always despite our faults or beliefs. I can't imagine a deity that would condemn us because we were/are ignorant, lack knowledge, or question our faith. It's only humans that do that to one another. I believe the sacred loves us and welcomes us with open arms.
Then I take it that you would not support a movement that shouts down or otherwise penalizes Christians - so long as they do no violence in their causes?  I ask because I have seen in my own lifetime a dramatic change in the way Christians and their message are received and treated.  I expect that to intensify and become violent at some point.  As an example - last night in the US was a celebration of music - the Grammy's - a mixed wedding ceremony for same sex as well as gay couples occurred.  I believe people have a freedom to live their lives as they see fit and I have no say over who marries who.  But can you imagine the audience reaction if someone stood on the stage and spoke of the gospel? Think honestly for a moment... do you imagine cheering?  Even a respectful silence?  What do you imagine would occur?

  We've cast the world, we've set the stage,
  for what could be, the darkest age...

#10    Beany

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 05:36 AM

View PostSundew, on 28 January 2014 - 02:36 AM, said:

There will be a bit of a problem over John 14:6 where Jesus declares, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Biblical Christianity is exclusive, not inclusive. Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God, and for that matter neither do Hindus, Buddhists, etcetera. To suggest that they can "coexist" like the bumper sticker says as one all inclusive faith is nonsense.

Co-existence with others whose beliefs or faiths are different is not nonsense, and in fact, it is being done and has been done throughout history. The continued existence of our species depends on collaboration and cooperation, which is hard to accomplish in an environment tainted by exclusivity.


#11    Marcus Aurelius

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 05:41 AM

View Postand then, on 28 January 2014 - 05:08 AM, said:

Precisely - "we cannot KNOW"- therefore our only point of contact barring a miraculous intercession or visitation is what his word says.  Christ once said a house divided could not stand.  Why would one who proclaims only truth then teach an opposite reality?  The "Jesus" of Islam is diametrically opposite in actions of the Son of God.  In fact John told us that those who deny the father and the son are anti Christ - again - his words.  Why would a God breathed text sow such confusion?

But in answer to Then I take it that you would not support a movement that shouts down or otherwise penalizes Christians - so long as they do no violence in their causes?  I ask because I have seen in my own lifetime a dramatic change in the way Christians and their message are received and treated.  I expect that to intensify and become violent at some point.  As an example - last night in the US was a celebration of music - the Grammy's - a mixed wedding ceremony for same sex as well as gay couples occurred.  I believe people have a freedom to live their lives as they see fit and I have no say over who marries who.  But can you imagine the audience reaction if someone stood on the stage and spoke of the gospel? Think honestly for a moment... do you imagine cheering?  Even a respectful silence?  What do you imagine would occur?

Did you read my previous post, though? #7? I know it's longer but I responded to you in considerable detail. My point is...the Jesus of the Talmud is ALSO diametrically opposed to the Jesus of the Gospels. How could the fact that He is 'roasting in hellfire' be interpreted any other way? AND YET we refer to them as People of the Book and we even call ourselves Judeo-Christians. So if on the one hand you acknowledge that Jews are praying to the same God (as most conservative evangelicals do) why, on the other hand, are you so quick to dismiss the Muslims who ALSO quote the Old Testament etc. By your same view the Jews would also be 'anti-christs' then. It's hypocritical IMO.

Edited by Marcus Aurelius, 28 January 2014 - 05:44 AM.

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#12    Beany

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 05:44 AM

View Postand then, on 28 January 2014 - 05:08 AM, said:

Precisely - "we cannot KNOW"- therefore our only point of contact barring a miraculous intercession or visitation is what his word says.  Christ once said a house divided could not stand.  Why would one who proclaims only truth then teach an opposite reality?  The "Jesus" of Islam is diametrically opposite in actions of the Son of God.  In fact John told us that those who deny the father and the son are anti Christ - again - his words.  Why would a God breathed text sow such confusion?

But in answer to Then I take it that you would not support a movement that shouts down or otherwise penalizes Christians - so long as they do no violence in their causes?  I ask because I have seen in my own lifetime a dramatic change in the way Christians and their message are received and treated.  I expect that to intensify and become violent at some point.  As an example - last night in the US was a celebration of music - the Grammy's - a mixed wedding ceremony for same sex as well as gay couples occurred.  I believe people have a freedom to live their lives as they see fit and I have no say over who marries who.  But can you imagine the audience reaction if someone stood on the stage and spoke of the gospel? Think honestly for a moment... do you imagine cheering?  Even a respectful silence?  What do you imagine would occur?

I've never based my actions on fear of what might occur. When I say I'm inclusive, I mean it, with exceptions made for those who cause harm. In no way do I expect the rest of the world to align with my beliefs, likes, dislikes, or faith. And I think there were plenty of people in the audience who would respectfully listen to an acknowledgement of one's faith. But Grammies are not an appropriate venue for preaching the gospel. Some people are private about their faith, because they don't advertise it doesn't mean it's not there. And is there not a category for faith-based music? Gospel, I know, is there one for Christian music? Contemporary Christian, maybe?

I've spent a lifetime trying to avoid the trap of judging other, and that's really what exclusivity is about. I'm not always successful, but I have learned that it is not my place to do so. I am always taken aback by the number of people who not only judge, but also feel it is their right and duty to do so. I just stick with the love they neighbor stuff. As far as I know, when it was delivered to Moses there were no exceptions and no exclusions.

Edited by Beany, 28 January 2014 - 05:57 AM.


#13    DieChecker

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 05:56 AM

View Postand then, on 28 January 2014 - 01:39 AM, said:

There are church pastors out there these days who are forming a blend of religion called "Chrislam"  in which they say that Allah and God are the same entity.  Devout Muslims AND devout Christians spurn this.

I don't know. I believe that Islam came directly from the success of Christianity. They "stole" our God and ascribed different words to Him. So, I think it is clear that the Muslim Allah is the Christian God. But the practices of each religion is different to the point where one has to be wrong for the other to be right.

Quote

The question I have is how far would you go to be inclusive?  Is there any tenet of your faith you will not sacrifice to be in agreement with others?  More importantly, would you actively defend inclusivity if it meant harming those who choose NOT to be inclusive?
The Christ said "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the father except by me"  That is a direct and VERY non inclusive directive.  So if a Christian is true to the word and will not join in an ecumenical movement, would you shun or actively try to silence them?

I'd have to say that I'd not be willing to throw out any major tenets of Christianity. I'd not in any way agree that Muhammad is a Prophet of God, any more then I believe Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. I do agree with large parts of the Koran, but then it is lifted much from the Old Testiment of the Bible. I'd also agree that the only way to Salvation is through acknowleging Jesus as the Savior. But, I'm not against letting others worship as they want. I just agree that they aren't going to the Christian Heaven.

If there was a uniting movement, I'd not speak against it, or act against it. I'd simply let them go to wherever they're going.

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#14    DieChecker

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 06:06 AM

View PostSundew, on 28 January 2014 - 02:36 AM, said:

There will be a bit of a problem over John 14:6 where Jesus declares, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Biblical Christianity is exclusive, not inclusive. Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God, and for that matter neither do Hindus, Buddhists, etcetera. To suggest that they can "coexist" like the bumper sticker says as one all inclusive faith is nonsense.
Christianity is exclusive. That is one of the reasons the Romans wanted to wipe it out, I believe. I do believe all the Abrahamic Relgions follow the same God, but I do also believe only One can be completely right. The practices of the 3 main Faiths is such that there is little overlap as far as what is required to succeed to the afterlife.

View PostMarcus Aurelius, on 28 January 2014 - 04:46 AM, said:

No, the idea is not to be one all inclusive faith; but to be inclusive of ONE ANOTHER. We can acknowledge our differences but work together to build bridges from our similarities; because ALL of these said religions have much in common. Just look at the countless parallel statements of Jesus and the Buddha as but one example. Religions can differ on "theology" but can come together in areas like ethics, human rights and social justice.

I work with Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Christians and Atheists every day, and I've yet to see religous intolerance from any of the hundreds of people I work with. We have engineers and other employees from India, China, Vietnam, Israel, Pakistan and Japan all working together seemlessly every day. True... These are all highly educated people who came to America to work and not to Preach, but I do believe that religion is not the boogy man that some always want to make it out to be. It is only when the ignorant are led by the ambitious that religion becomes a point of negative emotion. At least IMHO.

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#15    SpiritWriter

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 06:06 AM

I will respond more to this later but it is really quite silly to say that the God of Christianity and that of Islam are different. Anyone calling on "The One True God" is calling on the same God. Even the bible says both offsprings will make a great nation, and both come from Abraham...

bible scholars, this is old news but please freshen up:

http://www.bibleinfo...ut-muslimsislam


The opinion that we have separate Gods and that one is real and one is fake (or that one is demonic) is the epitome of the bigotry portrayed in each of the faiths.

Edited by SpiritWriter, 28 January 2014 - 06:19 AM.

The letter kills but The Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6

Non-ambiguity and non-contradiction are one sided and thus unsuited to express the incomprehensible. -Jung




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