Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 3
ali smack

how do religious people prove religion

196 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

That's a good definition, but it makes no distinction between theists and atheists. Of course, atheism is a sort of religion. It takes the assumption of Nothing and makes it a fact. Logic can't do that because it can't operate on Nothing. So atheism is reduced to the status of a religion.

Interesting distinction. It probably makes sense within certain groups. But among groups, it still leaves the outside observer unable to distinguish between them.

I have noticed that if you add up all the percentages claimed by various religious groups (including atheists), you get a total well over 300%. And do the actual percentages actually matter?

Doug

No it doesnt make atheism a religion. What i meant was; take twin sisters. One becomes religious at a very young age, one is an atheist. If they live their lives according to their beliefs there should be considerable measurable difference in the nature and outcomes of those lives including relationships, longevity and health. Thus one can observe the proof of religious life in measurable outcomes.

Yes but that wasn't the point of the comment. Some people HAVE proof of god's existence. Many have an equally strong FAITH in his existence. Both groups act similarly on their knowledge/ belief, and so outcomes for them are the same..

Finally the statistics are remarkable uniform in all official statistics. While many people are not "religious", about 90% actively profess a spiitual belief and component to their lives For 40 to 60% in most countries that also transfers to a religious affiliation. Regular results of surveys and compilation of statistics by non religious groups show world wide atheism to be about 5% or less, although in some countries it reaches about 10%

Ps atheism here is the classic definition of a professed disbelief in the existence of any gods or god.

Edited by Mr Walker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Science has to stick to the physical. Love falls into a gray area. We always thought it was an intangible, but there is more and more evidence that it is hormonally (chemically) driven. Apparently, concentrations of two chemical "messengers" control it. That would make it two-dimensional in the Euclidean sense. There are probably some other variables in there, like mental/psychological conditioning that determine the expression of love. This is really a new field, so discoveries are coming quite rapidly.

I'm basically a statistician. I deal with uncertainty every day. Uncertainty results from exceptions to the rule. Nobody's asking for perfection, just a general rule by which an independent and impartial observer could tell whether a person was a Christian or not. So far, the only one I know is the Nicene Creed and there are plenty of people who call themselves Christian and don't subscribe to all of it. That might be an interesting study, right there.

Doug

I think science has that backwards love drives the hormones.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are plenty of worthy ideas presented in the Bible. But Peter carried a sword and cut off a man's ear, if we are to believe the story. Were the Apostles Christians?

Peter's action here was a result of high tension (his master was being arrested). As soon as he did it, Jesus rebuked him and healed the man's ear. I suspect Jesus knew that Peter would react as he did. It is implied earlier in the narrative when Jesus tells his disciples to sell their cloaks and buy a sword. They answer that they already have two swords and he says "that will be enough" (I'm paraphrasing, I haven't gone to the Bible to give an exact quote). Why would two swords be enough? Certainly they couldn't hold a rebellion with two swords. Even two swords among twelve disciples isn't enough even to protect themselves. But it is enough if it was only used to cut off a soldier's ear, only for Jesus to rebuke him. So I would argue that the apostles were Christian, and in this instance, Peter went and made a mistake. Later in the narrative he also denies Jesus three times, but do we use his crisis of faith here to be the standard for Christians? Certainly not.

It would be interesting to see a list of characteristics of Christians drawn from the Bible. I'm sure this has been done, but I don't have a reference.

One example: I occasionally see groups of people "praying" on a street corner as a demonstration of some "Christian" viewpoint - sort of a "Christian" protest. But didn't Jesus say something about keeping your prayer private? Doing it in a closet? The people I'm thinking of wear the Christian uniform: suits, ties, their Sunday-school best. They think they're Christian, but there they are, making a big deal of how "sanctified" they are. I don't see sanctity; I see hypocrisy.

I don't live in a highly Christian area of Australia, so I honestly don't see that kind of thing. Most churches even don't get too formal - T-shirt and shorts are perfectly acceptable for "Sunday Best". They could very well be praying just to look righteous, and if they are then they are guilty of the same hypocrisy as the Pharisees. However, Jesus' comments on praying at street corners is not a blanket statement saying Christians should not pray together at church. It's a matter of the heart - are they praying in order to glorify God and give thanks to him? Or are they praying so that people can look at them and praise them for being so righteous? It is this second motivation to which Jesus preaches against.

I'm also pretty sure someone compiled a list of Christ-like behaviours and characteristics, but off the top of my head I couldn't point you to any source that specifically outlines characteristics and their related references. There are lists of behaviours given for Christians throughout the Bible, but they are not complete and do not represent everything Christians do.

I suspect you're right about such a test. Somebody occasionally comes up with a test that shows that probability was soundly beaten. They may have impressed themselves, but they forget that random chance will produce "significant" results a certain percentage of the time. When these tests are repeated, the significance disappears. And that's why people who understand the math aren't impressed by these tests. A serious study would require hundreds, perhaps thousands of repetitions and nobody wants to put in that much work.

Imagine the howls of protest if some serious investigator applied for a grant to study the question.

Doug

Who'd protest?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Science has to stick to the physical. Love falls into a gray area. We always thought it was an intangible, but there is more and more evidence that it is hormonally (chemically) driven. Apparently, concentrations of two chemical "messengers" control it. That would make it two-dimensional in the Euclidean sense. There are probably some other variables in there, like mental/psychological conditioning that determine the expression of love. This is really a new field, so discoveries are coming quite rapidly.

If science ever invents wireless brain wave readers or chemical activity monitors, it would be interesting to monitor Christians and non-Christians in a worship service and see if anything shows up.

I'm basically a statistician. I deal with uncertainty every day. Uncertainty results from exceptions to the rule. Nobody's asking for perfection, just a general rule by which an independent and impartial observer could tell whether a person was a Christian or not. So far, the only one I know is the Nicene Creed and there are plenty of people who call themselves Christian and don't subscribe to all of it. That might be an interesting study, right there.

Doug

Here are some general guidelines to follow, based on my own observations and experience in thirty years of ministry. I apologize for the overuse of church terms.

Definition of a Christian: one who has trusted in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin and leadership in life. The Christian’s spirit has been regenerated (brought back to life). The Christian’s mind is in a state of growth, becoming Christ-like. The Christian’s body will be regenerated at the unknown time in the future when Jesus returns (known as the Rapture). You will find variations of these observations in different denominations.

A Christian’s goal is to become more mature spiritually and mentally. Because we still live in a world that is sinful (fallen), we are subject to sinful influences around us. It impossible to become totally without sin, but we work to lessen its influence on us. A Christian can do bad things, and a non-Christian can do good things. Hopefully, the Christian will do fewer bad things as he matures.

An assessment question could be:

• Does the person want to do good more and more as he matures? (Again, this is not a fool-proof guideline, but it can be one bit of evidence.)

These are known as “fruits of the Spirit”: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23). These are the qualities that a Christian is to strive toward.

• Does the person desire to express these qualities more often, especially as he matures?

• Does the person actually express these qualities more often as he matures?

There are some other passages that list some similar qualities. One of the ones mentioned is humility. A true Christian will desire humility over arrogance. Sadly, arrogance is a quality that seems to entrap us easily. I have known a number of pastors over the years who struggle with this.

• Does the person express humility more than arrogance over a period of time? (Again, not a fool-proof indicator, but still a question to consider.)

This is a list of behaviors to avoid, called “works of the flesh”: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like. (Galatians 5:19-21).

• Does the person avoid performing these acts, especially more and more as maturity grows?

Here are the words of Jesus concerning the function of Christians: “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." (Matthew 28:19-20)

• Does the person “make disciples of all the nations” – preach the gospel so that people may be “saved”?

• Does the person baptize new believers as a symbol of their commitment?

• Does the person express a desire to teach believers (edify, educate, build up, encourage)?

• Does the person desire to meet the physical needs of those around him? (This is based on a lengthy passage in Matthew 25:31-41).

More words of Jesus: “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’”

• Does the person love God and express that love?

• Does the person love others and express that love?

All of these questions are just some of the general guidelines for consideration. A non-Christian can certainly do the good things. I’ve even known con men who can talk and act like Christians, although their behavior eventually falls apart and reveals them. I think the key would be to assess these things over a period of time; does the person appear to grow in these things? Growth would be a positive indicator. Stagnation may or may not be an indicator, as some people do lose interest in the things of God (churchy word: backslidden)

Edited by J. K.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't live in a highly Christian area of Australia, so I honestly don't see that kind of thing.

Lucky you.

Most churches even don't get too formal - T-shirt and shorts are perfectly acceptable for "Sunday Best".

I occasionally attend a Quaker meeting - same style, cutoff bluejeans and T-shirts. Even the atheists dress up more. The Quaker philosophy is: God knows what you're like; you aren't going to fool Him by putting on a suit on Sunday while misbehaving the rest of the week.

They could very well be praying just to look righteous, and if they are then they are guilty of the same hypocrisy as the Pharisees.

I think that's exactly what they're doing. Another reason I doubt that most "Christians" actually read the Bible.

However, Jesus' comments on praying at street corners is not a blanket statement saying Christians should not pray together at church. It's a matter of the heart - are they praying in order to glorify God and give thanks to him? Or are they praying so that people can look at them and praise them for being so righteous? It is this second motivation to which Jesus preaches against.

I guess it depends on why you're praying.

Who'd protest?

You ought to live in America for awhile.

Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If science ever invents wireless brain wave readers or chemical activity monitors, it would be interesting to monitor Christians and non-Christians in a worship service and see if anything shows up.

I believe that has already been done - no measureable differences. Worship is worship. No disctinctions.

Definition of a Christian: one who has trusted in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin and leadership in life. The Christian’s spirit has been regenerated (brought back to life). The Christian’s mind is in a state of growth, becoming Christ-like. The Christian’s body will be regenerated at the unknown time in the future when Jesus returns (known as the Rapture). You will find variations of these observations in different denominations.

A Christian’s goal is to become more mature spiritually and mentally. Because we still live in a world that is sinful (fallen), we are subject to sinful influences around us. It impossible to become totally without sin, but we work to lessen its influence on us. A Christian can do bad things, and a non-Christian can do good things. Hopefully, the Christian will do fewer bad things as he matures.

An assessment question could be:

• Does the person want to do good more and more as he matures? (Again, this is not a fool-proof guideline, but it can be one bit of evidence.)

These are known as “fruits of the Spirit”: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23). These are the qualities that a Christian is to strive toward.

• Does the person desire to express these qualities more often, especially as he matures?

• Does the person actually express these qualities more often as he matures?

There are some other passages that list some similar qualities. One of the ones mentioned is humility. A true Christian will desire humility over arrogance. Sadly, arrogance is a quality that seems to entrap us easily. I have known a number of pastors over the years who struggle with this.

• Does the person express humility more than arrogance over a period of time? (Again, not a fool-proof indicator, but still a question to consider.)

This is a list of behaviors to avoid, called “works of the flesh”: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like. (Galatians 5:19-21).

• Does the person avoid performing these acts, especially more and more as maturity grows?

Here are the words of Jesus concerning the function of Christians: “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." (Matthew 28:19-20)

• Does the person “make disciples of all the nations” – preach the gospel so that people may be “saved”?

• Does the person baptize new believers as a symbol of their commitment?

• Does the person express a desire to teach believers (edify, educate, build up, encourage)?

• Does the person desire to meet the physical needs of those around him? (This is based on a lengthy passage in Matthew 25:31-41).

More words of Jesus: “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’”

• Does the person love God and express that love?

• Does the person love others and express that love?

All of these questions are just some of the general guidelines for consideration. A non-Christian can certainly do the good things. I’ve even known con men who can talk and act like Christians, although their behavior eventually falls apart and reveals them. I think the key would be to assess these things over a period of time; does the person appear to grow in these things? Growth would be a positive indicator. Stagnation may or may not be an indicator, as some people do lose interest in the things of God (churchy word: backslidden)

Excellent list.

Thanks for your efforts. I really appreciate talking with someone to actually knows what he's about.

Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I believe that has already been done - no measureable differences. Worship is worship. No disctinctions.

Hmm, I would have thought there was at least an endorphin release, although it's possible that's just the standard reaction some people have when hearing music that moves them. I am aware of four different physiological responses that I have to certain spiritual stimuli.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lucky you.

I do feel lucky to live in Australia.

I occasionally attend a Quaker meeting - same style, cutoff bluejeans and T-shirts. Even the atheists dress up more. The Quaker philosophy is: God knows what you're like; you aren't going to fool Him by putting on a suit on Sunday while misbehaving the rest of the week.

The church here is just a random run-of-the-mill protestant organisations. It's technically an "Anglican" service, but I've seen similar in pretty much every organisation (except the Mormons, they dress up, I've noticed). It's funny, if you go to church on Christmas or Easter, you can tell the regulars from those who attend church only twice a year. The regulars are wearing shorts, sandals and t-shirts, the ones that only go once a year are dressed in suits.

I think that's exactly what they're doing. Another reason I doubt that most "Christians" actually read the Bible.

I guess it depends on why you're praying.

I think that's exactly what it comes down to - why are they praying? You may very well be right, I'm not doubting you.

You ought to live in America for awhile.

Doug

No, I really don't think I ought to do any such thing. I like Australia. Maybe I'll go to America for a holiday one day, but I'll still call Australia home. Who in America would protest, if you don't mind my asking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[/size]

Hmm, I would have thought there was at least an endorphin release, although it's possible that's just the standard reaction some people have when hearing music that moves them. I am aware of four different physiological responses that I have to certain spiritual stimuli.

What I meant was no measureable distinctions between different kinds of worship. Not the same as worship vs. no worship.

Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I really don't think I ought to do any such thing. I like Australia. Maybe I'll go to America for a holiday one day, but I'll still call Australia home. Who in America would protest, if you don't mind my asking?

I've heard lots of good things about Australia. I colleague went there on sabbatical a few years ago. He liked it and was ready to move if he could find a job.

In America the religious right says it's the largest religious group and at the same time claims to be a persecuted minority. They are very much afraid that somebody will prove there's no god and that will be the end for them. They are bent on promoting a fundamental, right-wing form of Christianity to the exclusion of all others. Some are even talking of amending or over-throwing the Constitution to set up their version of Christianity as the official religion.

The First Amendment protects the right to be a religious nut-job if you want to, so in America, we produce them wholesale. Mostly, they just cancel each other out, but in the last few years some big-money interests have started backing right-wing politicians.

The demographics are changing. We'll see where all this ends up.

Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how do religious people offer proof of there religions?

i'm just interested to hear and see proof?

BTW i'm not insulting anyone's beliefs!

I think that this is a decent proof:

"You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. For, as it is written, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you." (Romans 2:23, 24 ESV)

A majority of opponents to Christianity would observe that Christians are just as blessed as they are hated. I would argue that this is evidence of the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promises, pointing toward the One who first initiated it and to the One that confirmed it with all people.

Countries blessed by God have international influence that neither China nor Russia can match. (Notice that the Soviet Union only lasted 70 years.) Those that bless us are in turn blessed. Those that curse us face sanctions. We even have the power to defy the entire international community and get away with it. Sounds like the Abrahamic prophecies are alive and well among nations that bless Christians.

That's my opinion anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Countries blessed by God have international influence that neither China nor Russia can match. (Notice that the Soviet Union only lasted 70 years.) Those that bless us are in turn blessed. Those that curse us face sanctions. We even have the power to defy the entire international community and get away with it. Sounds like the Abrahamic prophecies are alive and well among nations that bless Christians.

That's my opinion anyway.

Are you Catholic? Sounds like a Catholic opinion. It's never about us. It's about God. To glorify Jesus Christ is to obey His commandments. While He was on earth, was he big on material glory and power? Ask yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that this is a decent proof:

"You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. For, as it is written, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you." (Romans 2:23, 24 ESV)

A majority of opponents to Christianity would observe that Christians are just as blessed as they are hated. I would argue that this is evidence of the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promises, pointing toward the One who first initiated it and to the One that confirmed it with all people.

Countries blessed by God have international influence that neither China nor Russia can match. (Notice that the Soviet Union only lasted 70 years.) Those that bless us are in turn blessed. Those that curse us face sanctions. We even have the power to defy the entire international community and get away with it. Sounds like the Abrahamic prophecies are alive and well among nations that bless Christians.

That's my opinion anyway.

Yep because there's never been a successful civilization that wasn't Christian. Except the Egyptians. And the Chinese. And the Ayyubids. And the Mongols. And the Greeks. This could take a while...

But good job you with your 200 year old country :tu: You don't get away with offending the rest of the world because god blesses you. You get away with it because you're rich and would blow up anyone who went against you. Very Christian.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[/size]

Hmm, I would have thought there was at least an endorphin release, although it's possible that's just the standard reaction some people have when hearing music that moves them. I am aware of four different physiological responses that I have to certain spiritual stimuli.

Faith and prayer show measurable effects in a number of areas. The most significant one is pain relief A believer who uses faith can reduce pain significantly to the point where medication can be dropped from morphine derivatives to normal strong painkillers. This is because the sensation/perception of pain is affected by psychological states; and calmness reduces pain significantly. Other studies show that those who attend church regularly over a period of time have much longer lives (up to a decade longer) and more healthy lives in old age. To go to church regularly over decades it might be assumed that most people would be believers, with faith.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

What I meant was no measureable distinctions between different kinds of worship. Not the same as worship vs. no worship.

Doug

I'd agree with this. The studies I mentioned include japanese (okinawans) americans and sw asians, thus involving at least 3 different religions. The differnces lie between those who believe (and worship) and those who do not. Edited by Mr Walker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Are you Catholic? Sounds like a Catholic opinion. It's never about us. It's about God. To glorify Jesus Christ is to obey His commandments. While He was on earth, was he big on material glory and power? Ask yourself.

Not Catholic.

And by blessings, I believe that we were blessed to bless the world. Not so we can lavish in material things.

Edited by Bluefinger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep because there's never been a successful civilization that wasn't Christian. Except the Egyptians. And the Chinese. And the Ayyubids. And the Mongols. And the Greeks. This could take a while...

But good job you with your 200 year old country :tu: You don't get away with offending the rest of the world because god blesses you. You get away with it because you're rich and would blow up anyone who went against you. Very Christian.

Touched a nerve?

"These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire. And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth." (Revelation 11:4-10 ESV)

These, according to the context of the chapter and its place in the book (Rev. 10:11), are Gentile kingdoms blessed by God. They can do whatever they want and punish whoever they want. And as can be seen by your reaction, many people don't take to kindly to that fact. They are so happy, in fact, that they celebrate the deaths of these Christians.

So, as I said, we are blessed just as much as we are hated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Touched a nerve?

Not really. I just don't think decent Christians need a bad name because of your arrogance based on a book written by a man who was either insane, writing about a destroyed temple or just had a fondness for funny mushrooms.

These, according to the context of the chapter and its place in the book (Rev. 10:11), are Gentile kingdoms blessed by God. They can do whatever they want and punish whoever they want. And as can be seen by your reaction, many people don't take to kindly to that fact. They are so happy, in fact, that they celebrate the deaths of these Christians.

So, as I said, we are blessed just as much as we are hated.

'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.'

Those are supposed to be the words of Christ and, as such, are beyond contestation. By you, John or any other so-called Christian. Authority is not given to you to judge others with immunity.

Do I take kindly to a dictator? No. Would I celebrate their death? No. But I would celebrate people's freedom from their tyranny. Just a final point, if you claim to be a Christian, do you not think it more suitable to follow Christ than the author of Revelations?

Perhaps if you go and study history, you'll see how hollow your claims to a blessed, long lasting country are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are dictators and there are tyrants, and in spite of local myths there really isn't any other kind of government. Don't confuse the two (a good clue is that you will recognize the name of one of the latter but probably not one of the former, unless its a major country).

Reading some of the above, claiming that the US somehow has a special divine status deriving, I suppose, from its Christianity, is nauseatingly chauvinistic, considering some of the evils that the US has been responsible for. Now don't misunderstand; all nations have things in their history that they would rather forget, but they don't make for an effective claim to being special.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Not really. I just don't think decent Christians need a bad name because of your arrogance based on a book written by a man who was either insane, writing about a destroyed temple or just had a fondness for funny mushrooms.

I'm not arrogant. And I would appreciate it if you ask me why I said what I said (as outrageous as it was) than accuse me off of your emotions. This is an intellectual conversation that is supposed to be between two people trying to learn more, not by one person telling the other how disgusting he is with the other. Let's push the restart button then.

Ask me why I said what I said and I will respond. But let's not be mistaken: I'm not here to stroke your ego.

'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.'

Those are supposed to be the words of Christ and, as such, are beyond contestation. By you, John or any other so-called Christian. Authority is not given to you to judge others with immunity.

I didn't claim it was. But let me ask you this: How would you deal with a dictator that was killing his own people or a regime that was enslaving its nation's poor? Would you withhold both judgment and action?

If so, then you are contracting yourself anytime you speak of what is 'right.'

Do I take kindly to a dictator? No. Would I celebrate their death? No. But I would celebrate people's freedom from their tyranny. Just a final point, if you claim to be a Christian, do you not think it more suitable to follow Christ than the author of Revelations?

I certainly won't follow my imagination. Let history testify: The books of the New Testament were canonized based on how they reflected the traditional teachings that Christ passed down to the apostles. So, if I accept what Revelation says, its because I am going by an authority higher than myself.

And you are calling me arrogant?

Perhaps if you go and study history, you'll see how hollow your claims to a blessed, long lasting country are.

I'm not talking about my country alone.

Or do you still not understand what the kingdom of God is?

Edited by Bluefinger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are dictators and there are tyrants, and in spite of local myths there really isn't any other kind of government. Don't confuse the two (a good clue is that you will recognize the name of one of the latter but probably not one of the former, unless its a major country).

Reading some of the above, claiming that the US somehow has a special divine status deriving, I suppose, from its Christianity, is nauseatingly chauvinistic, considering some of the evils that the US has been responsible for. Now don't misunderstand; all nations have things in their history that they would rather forget, but they don't make for an effective claim to being special.

I wasn't making the claim that the US was righteous as much as I was making the claim that it was blesses.

I say this because of the Church, not because of the government. Jesus called his saints 'the salt of the earth.' If we were to leave the country altogether, the US would definitely fall.

History proves that. Noah got in the ark and the world was flooded. Lot left Sodom and it was burned to the ground. Jeremiah fled Jerusalem and it was demolished. The Christians fled Jerusalem and the nation of Judea was scattered for about 2,000 years. The Huegenots were banished from France by King Louis XIV and France's economy collapsed, leading to nearly a hundred and fiftt years of war and revolution.

Where God's people are, there also are his blessings. When they are killed or forced out, so also are his blessings.

So my argument is not that the US is divinely destined. It's that the US is blessed because of the saints and sevenfold because of its kindness toward the saints. I know its a bold claim, but history has a proven track record. God will not destroy a place so long as His people are there.

So, as controversial and annoying as us Christians can be, you are actually blessed to live among us. Or do you think America would be better without us?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not arrogant. And I would appreciate it if you ask me why I said what I said (as outrageous as it was) than accuse me off of your emotions. This is an intellectual conversation that is supposed to be between two people trying to learn more, not by one person telling the other how disgusting he is with the other. Let's push the restart button then.

Ask me why I said what I said and I will respond. But let's not be mistaken: I'm not here to stroke your ego.

Oh obviously I misunderstood your quoting scripture as the reason for what you said. So that whole passage from Revelations was just random preaching was it?

I didn't claim it was.

So what was this:

They can do whatever they want and punish whoever they want.

But let me ask you this: How would you deal with a dictator that was killing his own people or a regime that was enslaving its nation's poor? Would you withhold both judgment and action?

If so, then you are contracting yourself anytime you speak of what is 'right.'

It is not a contradiction (assuming that is what you were fumbling for). I said, you are no given authority to judge with immunity. If I was dealing with a dictator, yes, I would judge and take action. But I would expect to be held accountable for that judgement. That's where we differ.

The only contradiction here is your claim to follow Christ, yet your adherence to scripture that directly contradicts him.

I certainly won't follow my imagination. Let history testify: The books of the New Testament were canonized based on how they reflected the traditional teachings that Christ passed down to the apostles. So, if I accept what Revelation says, its because I am going by an authority higher than myself.

The New Testament was canonised based on how well they matched the aims of the people making the decisions. This authority higher than yourself? It's just a man. Ever since it became an organised body, the Church has been a political body. Maybe these people are a higher authority to you. But that's only because you put them there yourself.

And you are calling me arrogant?

Yes, but I'm not sure you know what it means.

I'm not talking about my country alone.

Or do you still not understand what the kingdom of God is?

It is plain you are talking about America. Don't backtrack now. Your original claim was that countries blessed by god wield more power than those not. Here are all the holes in that statement:

1. There is no correlation between Christianity and world power

The country with the highest concentration of Christians (100%) is the Pitcairn Islands. They don't seem to have that much influence to me.

2. You claim those blessed by God have more power than Russia

Russia has ~10% more Christians than USA. Unless God is blessing countries according to how many are leaving Christianity, your argument carries no weight. And that would seem rather counter-productive.

What exactly are your criteria for a country to be blessed? Or is it just that the most powerful country is always the one blessed by God? In which case, God's a fickle friend and has a long time habit of blessing people who don't follow him.

I know one thing the Kingdom of my God would never be: A place where people are given authority to judge others with no thought of repercussions.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I say this because of the Church, not because of the government. Jesus called his saints 'the salt of the earth.' If we were to leave the country altogether, the US would definitely fall.

The US would not 'definitely fall' if Christians were to leave, I have no idea where you get this idea.

History proves that. Noah got in the ark and the world was flooded. Lot left Sodom and it was burned to the ground. Jeremiah fled Jerusalem and it was demolished.

I don't think either of those are properly called 'history'.

So, as controversial and annoying as us Christians can be, you are actually blessed to live among us. Or do you think America would be better without us?

We are no more or less blessed to have Christians around than having any other non-Christian American. And since you were asking about it, the statement, 'you are actually blessed to live among us', may be interpreted by some as 'arrogant'.

Edited by Liquid Gardens
3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh obviously I misunderstood your quoting scripture as the reason for what you said. So that whole passage from Revelations was just random preaching was it?

No. If you don't even think about the Abrahamic Covenant, then Revelation doesn't make half the sense it actually could. What did God promise Abraham?

- Countless seed, land sovereignty, blessings to all that bless his seed and curses to those that curse them, and that all the families of the earth would be blessed through them.

Now, God didn't do that just for the heck of it. Abraham was blessed because he had faith and loved righteousness, even to the point that he was willing to give up all he had been given before he ever took any blessing by force. This is the kind of character that God wantes to build His kingdom on.

So God blessed Abraham's seed exceedingly, even taking lan away from the wicked and giving it to Israel. Israel had no concern for righteousness, justice, an steadfast love like Abraham did. Instead of blessing the nations with righteousness, they sought to assimilate to the cultures of those nations. So injustice and wickedness continued unhindered. So the blessings were removed by God and the people exiled to Babylon.

When Jesus came, He opened the Abrahamic covenant to all people who had faith, not just the physical descendants of Abraham. (Gal. 3:13-14, Rom. 11.)

God wanted this so righteousness could fill the earth and bless all nations. The point of salvation was not for us to leave the body and go to heaven after we die, as has been purported by my brothers of the last 1900 years. It was rather for righteousness and justice to flow on earth like a mighty river. Sadly to say, the same Greek philosophy that many use to refute Christianity became the dominant sphere of developing Christian thought beinginning in the second century.

Anyway, the point of the two witnesses is not avoid judgment, as you say I'm asserting. It is to spread the Gospel of God's kingdom and His righteousness. Israel had abandoned their commission and paid for it. No nation is exempt from that consequence either.

So what was this:

[/background][/size][/font][/color]

It is not a contradiction (assuming that is what you were fumbling for). I said, you are no given authority to judge with immunity. If I was dealing with a dictator, yes, I would judge and take action. But I would expect to be held accountable for that judgement. That's where we differ.

Seems like you were just itching to make a villain out of me. I didn't say they wouldn't be judged (especially in a spiritual context.) I said they could do whatever they wanted and not yield to others. And hasn't that been true from the days of Constantine unto today?

But as I said, it wasn't for the sake of power, but for the sake of righteousness. I think you are anxious to make your own point, so the floor is yours.

The only contradiction here is your claim to follow Christ, yet your adherence to scripture that directly contradicts him.

Wow. I would like to have an analytic an critical discussion about this. If you have no interest in that and just want to shame me in public for your own gratification then let me know and I'll stop discussing this with you. Word?

The New Testament was canonised based on how well they matched the aims of the people making the decisions. This authority higher than yourself? It's just a man. Ever since it became an organised body, the Church has been a political body. Maybe these people are a higher authority to you. But that's only because you put them there yourself.

The canonization of the Bible wasn't very political, unless you are talking about the division of citizens between Trinitarianism an Arianism. The emperors swtiched occassionally, based on which party gave a more compelling argument. But the State's main aim was to avoid what we have between Democrats and Republicans by unifying all citizens under one brand of Christianity. It was necessary for peace, which was traditionally held as of utmost importance in their culture and values.

So you make up your own teachings and then criticize me for the ones I hold. Doesn't that seem a bit hypocritical?

Yes, but I'm not sure you know what it means.

What, according to you then, is the kingdom of God?

It is plain you are talking about America. Don't backtrack now. Your original claim was that countries blessed by god wield more power than those not.

Right, countries, not country. And only as long as the Church is spreading righteousness in faith. That is not a copout either. That is what happened with Israel.

Here are all the holes in that statement:

1. There is no correlation between Christianity and world power

The country with the highest concentration of Christians (100%) is the Pitcairn Islands. They don't seem to have that much influence to me.

Going to extremes to make your point. I wasn't aware that logic was being thrown out.

2. You claim those blessed by God have more power than Russia

Russia has ~10% more Christians than USA. Unless God is blessing countries according to how many are leaving Christianity, your argument carries no weight. And that would seem rather counter-productive.

Russia also killed hundreds of thousands of Christians over their 70 years as an empire.

What exactly are your criteria for a country to be blessed? Or is it just that the most powerful country is always the one blessed by God? In which case, God's a fickle friend and has a long time habit of blessing people who don't follow him.

Perhaps the one that blesses the saints, as was stated in the Abrahamic Promises: "Those that bless you will be blessed."

I know one thing the Kingdom of my God would never be: A place where people are given authority to judge others with no thought of repercussions.

That's not the point. Christianity didn't form out of a democracy. So we should stop assuming that the kingdom of God was based on the any state's constitution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The US would not 'definitely fall' if Christians were to leave, I have no idea where you get this idea.

I don't think either of those are properly called 'history'.

We are no more or less blessed to have Christians around than having any other non-Christian American. And since you were asking about it, the statement, 'you are actually blessed to live among us', may be interpreted by some as 'arrogant'.

Oh dear.. where does the church find these arrogant nutters....?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 3

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.