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Why Christianity?

28 May 2016 17:07 #242557 by Codama
Replied by Codama on topic Why Christianity?
Ok, Just to be clear...I wasn't "Coming for you"/atttacking you with my original post. For the most part, I'm very happy to be in communication with people that don't mind discussing things. We all know that the majority of us are very intellectual people.

I'm an advocate of you getting your answer. So, I wanted to be clear on what you want answered and apparently, how do you want it to be answered.

Alethea Thompson wrote: The Bible cannot be used to argue for Christianity when talking to someone that is not Christian. So how do you find a way to answer why you're Christian without using it (the Bible)?

The bible can be used to argue any point about Christianity because that's the purpose of it's documentation (That's the purpose of it being written). If a "Non Christian" doesn't want evidence to come from the Bible to be convinced, then that's a personal preference. A way to answer why a person is Christian without using The Bible is going to be creative and will be again be rooted in Scripture.

I have never met Jesus. The only way I know about Jesus is from stories that were written down from people who knew him. As I read those stories I came to a conclusion that Jesus was a person I wouldn't mind being like. So in order for me to be like Jesus. I woud have to find out what Jesus did. What did Jesus say. How did Jesus Talk. Sure I could ask someone and get the Their point of view, And that's assuing that their point of view is coming from the written account of Jesus that was written in a letter by one of the persons that studied under Jesus, which is found and preserved in the Bible. So just to be sure that I'm getting the correct information that I need about the lifestyle of Jesus. I found it beneficial to just read the scriptures in the Bible.

Once, I followed what Jesus was saying. It would lead me to research information on What/who did Jesus follow. What did Jesus study? Who/What made Jesus, Jesus. Then that would possibly bring me to study those thigs that Jesus Studied. That would be (Some of) the earlier books that are found in the Old Testament, Which I can find in the Bible.

2. I wasn't asking you for reasons about being a Jedi. The TOTJO community is largly found online. You're going to have a challenging time getting "A non Jedi" to be active in the TOTJO fellowship without online access. (Yes, maybe it was a bad example) But, i can't explain being a Jedi without using a refrence that was rooted in the Star Wars series. I can def tell someone information and not tell them that it came from Star Wars. but it still doesn't change the fact that if it wasn't for Star Wars there would def be a similair belief system and mindset...But, it' wouldn't be Jedi.

3. I feel you. But, If a person doesn't have a need to find or research anything else they won't. "If it aint broke why fix it?" The reason I started looking into other "things" wasn't because i was looking for other things...it was because i was lead by a string of realization into other things. I don't know what or who I will discover next. but as long as i keep trying to better myself an expand and grow i'm def going to come across a thought or idea that is common in another field that i am not in yet.

When I talk to other Christians I don't assume that we are going to agree or have the same ideas about Christianity and God. But, I try to let them know that I'm in agreement and do have an applicable understanding of what Jesus taught.

And BTW... we don't know each other and i don't have any reason or motive to be anything other than fellow Jedi that has an interest in bettering himself. I'm Just following the path of inspiration that is being revealed thread by thread, book by book and person to person as I move along. I know the way I thought and reasoned 3 years ago is way different than the way i do now. I trust i'm heading in the right direction.

Nothing but love to ya.
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28 May 2016 18:06 #242562 by Adi
Replied by Adi on topic Why Christianity?

Codama wrote: The bible can be used to argue any point about Christianity because that's the purpose of it's documentation (That's the purpose of it being written).

I think this is debatable and depends on the denomination one belongs to. I'm not too familiar with what other denominations believe the "purpose" of the Bible is (as if it was a singular, monolithic work - it's not, hence why they're called *books* of the Bible), but I can at least speak for my own denomination:

The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion (1571) wrote: Article VI
Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation
Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.

And that's it. The Bible is not an instruction manual on how to organize a society, or a church, or a meeting at work. It doesn't detail the entire Christian faith (unless your inclinations are fundamentalist.) It doesn't back up every argument one could make about Christianity even though there's that common trope that one could argue anything based on scripture if one tried hard enough. But I think that is more to do with the fact that the books of the Bible deal with so many different and diverse subjects, and any one of those taken out of context could be used to make a point.

The sola scriptura view, I feel, almost leads one to "miss out" on much of the power of Christianity. The ancient church fathers had inspiring lessons. The wisdom of theologians throughout our history resonates forever, even from those who did not always come to the "right" conclusions. The Christian tradition is full of the so-called "cloud of witnesses," past and present, whether saints or otherwise, who inspire and move Christians in every corner of the world. And many Christians use the same liturgy that was being used centuries ago, connecting them in a very real way to people who lived in a different time and place. Some of the hymns we sing at my church contain music that is over a thousand years old.

From any of those, or none of the above, one could answer why they are a Christian. The Bible is certainly where most people in the 21st century go to first. But for my part, the three pillars (scripture, tradition and reason) all stand equally with the foundation of experience beneath them, though I admit that of the three, reason is the one that speaks to me most. I think the answers to this question are as numerous as individual Christians themselves.

Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing. - Thérèse of Lisieux ✞
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28 May 2016 20:15 - 28 May 2016 20:49 #242570 by OB1Shinobi
Replied by OB1Shinobi on topic Why Christianity?
thank you for this thread

my post will be kind of long. i dont blame you if you dont read it lol

Most of the Christians that I have known would not consider me a real Christian

honestly i dont consider myself a real anything, except person

that being said, i was brought up in a Christian household and the Bible was my first introduction to spiritual and cultural wisdom

i was taught that it was literal and perfect, and as i aged i became convinced that this wasnt true - more than anything, it was the hypocrisy and bigotry of the allegedly "loving and compassionate" Christians themselves who convinced me that Christianity couldn't be right

so i wandered off to find new "truths" and new ways to understand truth, and i wont bore you with the details of that

but the result is that, eventually, i found a way to understand Christianity and Jesus so that it is really beautiful to my mind, and i would like to share that here, even though im not a "real" Christian in the sense of literal belief

some of this is "my own" thinking (in as much as any cultural idea or conclusion can be anyone's "own") and some of it is directly and wholly from -- well i dont even recall all of the sources which have helped shape my perspective - I will just say "Culture" i suppose and hope that it suffices) *edit i will say that the most recent, and one of the most significant, has been prof jordan peterson from university of toronto, whose lectures i have been linking to all over the temple for some time now

in Christianity, i see an expression of humanity's potential for Transformation, and Transcendence

thats it lol
simple to say, but it means a lot

i dont believe in the idea of Salvation as being a reward in the afterlife, (i dont believe in an afterlife) but instead i see it as being a declaration that we can really and truly change ourselves for the better

that even if we descend to the worst parts of our own characters, that there is a way out of that, and that we can, with work and with sacrifice, we can engage the "better" parts of our own being and in doing so we can grow and leave behind the person we used to be

which doesnt mean much to someone who is young and hasnt made any mistakes, or to someone who is blind to themself and doesnt think they make any mistakes, or to those very rare few who really do seem to do everything right

but it means a lot to me

even if we dont fully plunge into the deepest of our own mental muck, we all have a selfish side, a petty, mean little person in there who lashes out and hurts others in big or small ways, just because it can

or we COULD have this person with just a little bit of nudging, and thats how i understand the road to hell

for me, hell is when we have accrued so much bitterness and resentment against the world, that nearly every act that we perform has got if not some fully conscious and totally deliberate, then at least some half conscious and barely acknowledged tinge of malice within it

there are people who take revenge against the world, and everyone in it, in virtually everything that they do, or at least in every way that they can

ive come to realize there is a lot of malice in some of the people who think they are "making the world a better place" or "fighting for what is right" and i see that on all sides of every issue, because its not a matter of which cause you support, but of why and how you do it

the venom within any particular individual is where you find the "hell" not so much the narratives being espoused by the groups - in this way, every group has devils and angels in it, because devils and angels care less about the overt ideas or issues and more about what they bring out of themselves and the people around them during the process

and that state of being, where everything is an act of revenge against the world, thats hell, to me, and its definitely real, because people really live there

so one of the truths that Jesus represents to me, is that its possible to get out of that if youre there, and its OK to get out of that if youre there, thats where the forgiveness aide of ti comes in

because after youve inflicted suffering on others there is a very real sense that you are cast out and cannot be redeemed

and we all have our point when looking at others who have done terrible things where we say "we cant forgive you for that" and i agree with this

but the salvation and redemption that Christ points to is a state of being just like hell, and its available for all of us if we are willing to -- basically to "pick up our cross" and walk to our own crucifixion basically, which would be different for each of us but it amounts to taking responsibility for whatever weve done, accepting the wrongness, really genuinely repenting and working to better ourselves and atone IN ACTION TOWARDS THE WORLD

there will be real suffering in that: its a hard thing to do, and the further down youve gone, the harder it is

but that path of transcendence is real and IS redemptive and it does transform a person's psyche

you really are "reborn" and "saved" - you can become a new person

but its not a matter of saying the words, its a matter of doing the work, thats what i believe

so thats the first part

the next is that Christ represents thepart of our psyche that can transcend suffering

the part of us that can suffer terribly, but can face that suffering with courage and dignity, because even though we suffer we find a meaning for ourselves and a way of relating with the world so that being here is worth the suffering that comes with it

which will probably involve GIVING of oneself to the world in some way, because that seems to be one of the few things that really does make suffering bearable for many people, the idea that they, even though they suffer, can do something that beautifies life for others somehow

None of us can breath, now.
Last edit: 28 May 2016 20:49 by OB1Shinobi.
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28 May 2016 20:40 #242575 by Alethea Thompson
Replied by Alethea Thompson on topic Why Christianity?

Codama wrote: Ok, Just to be clear...I wasn't "Coming for you"/atttacking you with my original post.

I didn't think you were. But you sought clarity, so I gave you such. :) My apologies if it came off strong.

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28 May 2016 22:37 - 28 May 2016 23:11 #242581 by OB1Shinobi
Replied by OB1Shinobi on topic Why Christianity?
the last and the part that i find most difficult is that Christ represents the part of the human psyche that is able to genuinely accept and love others exactly as they are, all defects included

i think that christians get it backwards when they say "jesus vindicates me" or "jesus redeems me" which always comes after "jesus forgives me"

i personally believe that if i am (or anyone is) vindicated or redeemed - that my vindication or redemption comes as a result of my actual change - that it is the transformative process itself which is redemptive

to me its not "i was "saved" and that changed me" but rather "i changed and that saved me"

although i do understand that in some cases the scriptural assurance of redemption as a gift really necessary and does actually initiate real psychological change

which i basically say is one of those genuine miracles of what might as well be called "the holy spirit" because thats as good of a name as anything else and its a real experience

either way, i see jesus as basically a way of articulating that this process is possible

and going through that experience really makes the act of deeply resenting and begrudging others pretty well untenable

i think its more like that we are following jesus when we look at someone who is beneath us or someone who we could resent and really despise and see them as forgiven and vindicated and redeemed already, not because they ARE but because THEY COULD BE, even if/though we can see all the defects and flaws of their character

and that doesnt mean that you let them hurt you or that you dont hold them accoutable to social standards, it just means that youve recognized your own inner devils so honestly that you really understand that youve no business snubbing your nose at anyone elses

so with all of that being said, "why christianity?"

because it is a way of orienting myself that makes sense to me and seems plausible

i will never be ENLIGHTENED in the eastern sense of being free from desire and suffering

but i can be REDEEMED in the western sense of facing my suffering with dignity and of using my suffering as a catalyst for growth and personal transformation

None of us can breath, now.
Last edit: 28 May 2016 23:11 by OB1Shinobi.
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29 May 2016 00:24 #242587 by Rex
Replied by Rex on topic Why Christianity?
Quick Background: My parents became Christian when I was very young, and the rest of my family are a grab bag of agnostic, eastern orthodox, zen buddhist, etc.
I believe in Christianity for multiple reasons (excluding ones involved in the bible): it's historically based (the vast majority of the figures in both testaments have been proven extant by third parties, often Greek and Roman Historians), it continues to evolve and meet the needs of adherents both from its origin and now (detractors often point towards Westboro Baptist or Seventh Day Adventists, to which I agree at a certain level. Then again aren't they just "following their bliss"?), and finally it functioned in antiquity as a simple rulebook that ended up having many important contributions that have been vindicated by science (i.e. sanitation stuff from the OT).
I have heard quite a few different views on the Wiccan spectrum of religion, but they've confused me more than anything, so I would appreciate it if anyone knowledgeable on that messaged me to explain your thoughts. With Norse (and a couple other mythologies) beliefs, I actually wrote a decent thesis on the euhemerization of their beliefs by Christianity, so I feel comfortable explaining the comparison and contrast there.
Anyway, in the NT book of Acts (17:22-31), Paul visits Athens (which I fancy as the ye olde timey version of TOTJO) and when they all are debating the existence and benefits of different cults, religions, and specific deities, gives a speech which goes over the mythos of belief. This really pairs well with another thing paul wrote in Romans(1:20) saying that the divine has imbued creation with his attributes (particularly man s/o imago dei) so that all people if they search will find him. In Athens, Paul (in the Rex Condensed VersionTM) says "you are incredibly spiritual, you even made an altar to the unknown god, just so you wouldn't offend anybody. I think I know what you worship in ignorance. God created everything, we all agree on that, so why would he need your worship? We are all his children, and even though we put a different label on it, have all come to worship him. Don't think that the likenesses you have made of gods define them." Anyways, I know you asked for it from outside the bible, but I felt that was by far one of the most enlightening things I've heard about the subject.
Back to other religions, in mythologies, the original character that the deities are based off of are often real people (albeit just a tribal chieftan, etc.). And as their stories are retold, they are embellished, and have other feats attributed, and eventually rise to godhood (Arthur is a post-Christianity example of this). This human nature of the gods is evident in the overtly capricious nature seen, as opposed to the Abrahamic God (excluding his tactical decisions in the OT which is a whole separate discussion). Christian (*Catholic*) missionaries took a Pauline approach and compared the pantheon to Christian saints. Eventually, I would argue that original Norse paganism died. The new strain of Norse mythos is crammed with general pagan ideologies not necessarily from Germanic culture with a sprinkle of nationalism (this is from my experience; if you disagree, I'm willing to be corrected). Everyone who is a self-proclaimed Nordic Pagan (again as far as I know from research and personal experience), doesn't believe in the literal nature of the Eddas et. al. rather enjoying the symbolism. Christianity (although interpreted many ways) has prophetic passages that can be interpreted literally (again, I'm a lil skeptical of Fenrir biting everyone to death and Jormungandr letting the oceans loose. Other note, not all Chrsitians believe in the literal nature of prophecy.).

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ὁ δὲ ἀμυχηδόν νεξέταστος βίος γίγνομαι βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ
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29 May 2016 00:56 #242589 by Alethea Thompson
Replied by Alethea Thompson on topic Why Christianity?
Would you mind sending me the paper you wrote? :) I'd love to read it.

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29 May 2016 05:16 #242605 by steamboat28
Replied by steamboat28 on topic Why Christianity?

Alethea Thompson wrote: This is for those of you that are Christian. The challenge is to come up with a non-Biblical reason that Christianity is a better belief system for you than any other religion.

The question is faulty.

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29 May 2016 05:47 #242606 by Alethea Thompson
Replied by Alethea Thompson on topic Why Christianity?
Question is only for Christians.
Seeks a creative answer that does not involve the Bible on why they didn't choose another religion.

It's a challenge, not an inference that you have a reason outside of the Bible, but a challenge to find one outside of the Bible.

I fail to see how that is faulty. Sure if I had asked everyone, that would assume that I inherently believed everyone in the Abrahamic discussion area is Christian (not that it quite works that way, I imagine some people do not even pay attention to what board the topic is posted in). If you are Christian, you choose to be Christian, even if you believe that other belief systems are equally valid, you decided Christianity was the most valid for you. So, why?

So, how exactly is it a faulty question? Because you're going to need to clarify.

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29 May 2016 07:28 #242607 by User22414
Replied by User22414 on topic Why Christianity?

steamboat28 wrote:

Alethea Thompson wrote: This is for those of you that are Christian. The challenge is to come up with a non-Biblical reason that Christianity is a better belief system for you than any other religion.

The question is faulty.

Your comment is invalid due to lack of argumentation :lol:


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