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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: Talking about Christianity
Thread: Talking about Christianity This thread is 40 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 ... 10 20 30 ... 36 37 38 39 40 · «PREV / NEXT»
Homer171
Homer171


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted November 28, 2015 09:41 PM

You are right about the nature fred and we are all in this boat together. Religion is not to blame as Bible clearly states responsibility has given to us (for whole humankind not the religious people alone). It really is shame that we are killing this planet, it's nature and each others. Religion is not answer for everything as i earlier said religion is not the ideal coverment or politics, it's not ment for ruling the people rather giving hope and passion to human lives.


Even if our hopes are sometimes in the not seen afterlife, that should not still blind our eyes from the present. The fact that they are cutting the rain forest really bothers me.. lot of things, we do, bugs me but that's not religion to blame, it's on us all.
____________
Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

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Elodin
Elodin


Promising
Legendary Hero
Free Thinker
posted November 28, 2015 09:47 PM
Edited by Elodin at 21:49, 28 Nov 2015.

@fred79

You misunderstand Christianity to be only about the sweet by and by. But Christianity is also about the here and now.  About our relationship with God NOW, our relationship with other people NOW and our personal growth NOW.

The Bible does not teach that we can use and abuse the planet without consequences.  From the first book of the Bible onward we are taught to be good stewards of all that we are and of all that we possess.

Nor does the Bible teach that an insincere confession of sin will result in forgiveness.  Repentance means turning to God and away from your sin.  

The Bible teaches that we are accountable for literally every word we speak so we are held very accountable for our deeds.  Fortunately God forgives the truly repentant otherwise we would all be without hope.

You may not yet see anything beyond the material but certainly more than the material exists. Any viewpoint that sees people as merely flesh is a very incomplete understanding of humanity.

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Revelation

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Svartzorn
Svartzorn


Known Hero
Dead struggling with death.
posted November 28, 2015 11:03 PM

Homer171 said:
As a protestant aim completely unware of any catholic or orthodox traditions. To me they are puzzling because i don't find them in bible, i don't say they are all wrong, just that i don't understand them or see need for them. Like example:


1. Virgin Mary: I have never prayed at her and I don't see why should we incording to bible that is. We pray the Father tough Jesus in Holy Spirit.


2. Saints: Now i understand that we should respect them, what they stand for in life. Paul and Peter for instance what great men of God, it's good we charice those memories what they and all saints in the past have done. But what's whit the praying in their name or collecting their bones and thinking they do something? Some early bishops or i don't know the right word for them, christian leaders even wanted to their execution to be burning or something that does not leave a body that their followers, disciples would not start worshipping their bones etc.


3. No doctorines outside the Holy Bible. Of course every church has it own 'rules' i suppose. Jesus where very clear on this, why do neglet the law of God by making your own rules, it is the same today unfortunately.


These are just my opinions. This is somewhat protestant view of things but important for me here is what does the Holy Bible say of these things.


Please don't stone me


Homer, tradition came before the Bible. The Bible is a product of tradition. St. Paul in his epistles continually advices his flock to keep the traditions he has passed onto them, anathematizing those who teach different traditions. The most notable example is 2nd Thessalonians 2:15: So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.
You can't really read the Bible without taking tradition into account. The Bible is not the definite source, since Sola Scriptura is not commanded in the Bible as we can see in the Gospel of John: "Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book." (20:30), "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." (21:25).
thus, the Bible is not an exhaustive source, as we orthodox and the catholics have shown. But that's just an introduction, lemme point out some misconceptions:

1. The sanctity of the Most Holy Theotokos is biblical: "And Mary said: 'My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, (...)'" (Luke 1:46-48) and her participation in the sufferings of Christ was prophetized by St. Simeon: "And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed-- 35and a sword will pierce even your own soul" (Luke 2:34-25).
Not to mention, as Christ is the new Adam, Mary is the new Eve, there are a lot of correspondences. She has been prefigured in the Genesis, also. Read this for more info:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/veneration_mary.aspx

2. Saints serve as inspiration, as an example that a Christlike life is possible. They DO much for us, as a true christian does not die, as said by the Lord: "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die." (John 11:25-26).
So our friends are still alive and helping us through their prayers and powers that they receive from God: "When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick." (Luke 9:1)
Another proof of that is in Luke 10:17: The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”.
This one is in Acts 5:14-15: "And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, 15to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them."
It's so obvious that God gave his saints power over physical and spiritual infirmities, over demons... why do you deny that?
The need to pray for your neighbor are commanded in the Scriptures as well, here are some examples:

James 5:16: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective..

1st Thessalonians 5:25: "Brothers and sisters, pray for us."

Acts 12:5: "So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him."

So what's the deal? If the saints are still alive, why can't we ask their prayers for us? why can't we ask their spiritual guidance, since they are more experienced people? I really don't get protestants in this point.
There's not such thing as "bone worship". What normally happened is that those people would be martyrized and their relics would operate miracles. In the place where Saint Demetrius' relics were buried, there sprung a fountain of myron that would heal people. That happened to a lot of saints.
If the SHADOW of Saint Peter was enough to heal the sick, why not a saint's relic?

3. What do you mean Christ was very clear about that? The Bible, as I said, is not exhaustive and Christ himself never wrote a word.
Not to mention, all Church tradition is also connected with the Scriptures, so I really don't know what are you trying to say.
If you don't want to cultivate doctrines that do not come from the Bible, might as well knock it off with all these protestant teaching, since they are entirely detached from christian tradition.

Neraus said:
Well, we had a revelation, she herself stated to us that she was the Immaculate Conception.
She is called co-redemptrix because she by herself cannot bring redemption to men, but rather because, as you said yourself, she is one of the most powerful figures, so her prayers have a special place in God's eyes, and her being the advocate of mankind to God gives her this role, in fact, there is a huge number of revelations attributed to her that talk about our state and what should we do to avoid utter destruction.

There is this misconception that we Catholics worship The Saint Holy Mother of God as a goddess herself, I don't know of an appropriate analogy, but she is both extremely important, but still a mortal graced by God, so not a goddess, but rather the being with most grace unto God.

The whole point of praying to either her or any saint is sorely in virtue of them being in the highest graces to God, so they should be able to "put a good word about us".

But I'm happy nonetheless that you still attribute to her an important role, unlike certain folk which believe she was simply a woman...

This is, by the way, one of the reasons why I believe the Orthodox to be almost in the right, and are the ones I tolerate the most, but still, you should return to Rome, with your help we may restore tradition and finally banish those boyscouts that invaded our Churches...


Yeah... funny thing she took like 2000 years to come up with that stuff, defying all previous christian tradition.
Our advocate is Christ, what I see is you catholics mixing things up.
You come back to the Tradition you've abandoned and we'll be just fine
Now seriously, I do respect the Catholic Church, I just think you guys have deviated from tradition, that's all.
Still a better love story than protestantism, lol.

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Death to the world.

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Drakon-Deus
Drakon-Deus


Legendary Hero
posted November 28, 2015 11:35 PM

Homer171 said:
Sorry Neraus i misunderstand. I tough rejecting notion of Solo Scriptura means rejecting part of Scriptures (The Holy Bible). This is my native language so errors happen


Jehovah witnesses is not part of christianity.


Sola Scriptura means "by Scripture alone". However as it was pointed out, Scripture was put together also as tradition... but that does not change the fact that it is the most important to me.


Jehowah's witnesses think they are the "real" Christians and would say the rest have it wrong and their interpretation is correct.

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Neraus
Neraus


Promising
Legendary Hero
Pizza Nazi
posted November 29, 2015 12:00 AM

Svartzorn said:

Neraus said:
Well, we had a revelation, she herself stated to us that she was the Immaculate Conception.
She is called co-redemptrix because she by herself cannot bring redemption to men, but rather because, as you said yourself, she is one of the most powerful figures, so her prayers have a special place in God's eyes, and her being the advocate of mankind to God gives her this role, in fact, there is a huge number of revelations attributed to her that talk about our state and what should we do to avoid utter destruction.

There is this misconception that we Catholics worship The Saint Holy Mother of God as a goddess herself, I don't know of an appropriate analogy, but she is both extremely important, but still a mortal graced by God, so not a goddess, but rather the being with most grace unto God.

The whole point of praying to either her or any saint is sorely in virtue of them being in the highest graces to God, so they should be able to "put a good word about us".

But I'm happy nonetheless that you still attribute to her an important role, unlike certain folk which believe she was simply a woman...

This is, by the way, one of the reasons why I believe the Orthodox to be almost in the right, and are the ones I tolerate the most, but still, you should return to Rome, with your help we may restore tradition and finally banish those boyscouts that invaded our Churches...


Yeah... funny thing she took like 2000 years to come up with that stuff, defying all previous christian tradition.
Our advocate is Christ, what I see is you catholics mixing things up.
You come back to the Tradition you've abandoned and we'll be just fine
Now seriously, I do respect the Catholic Church, I just think you guys have deviated from tradition, that's all.
Still a better love story than protestantism, lol.



That's reciprocal. Lol

To be fair, the debate on the Immaculate Conception dates back to the origins AFAIK, the vision I was referring to (Which by the way were two in the timespan of some years) were when The Holy Virgin declared herself as the Immaculate Conception, true, they were recent, but one of them happened before that doctrine was codified.

And I don't think we're mixing things up, I rather think we're arguing semantics here...

____________
PLVTOCRATIC AND REACTIONARY DEMOCRACIES OF THE WEST
POTERE, LO SFORZO, LA PASTA

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Drakon-Deus
Drakon-Deus


Legendary Hero
posted November 29, 2015 12:09 AM

Do you know why I dislike this kind of debate?


Because my Orthodox teachers have been quick to dismiss Catholic only teachings. And some believers here say that Catholics are signing themselves the wrong way and casting off the Holy Spirit.

Give me a break...

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted November 29, 2015 01:20 AM
Edited by artu at 01:23, 29 Nov 2015.

How unusual, the guy from Italy says Catholicism is the correct way, while another guy from the Balkans think Orthodoxy is the only true path, and the guy from the States, who's ancestors were Protestant pilgrims is a member of some American Church.

Religious texts were not written in a fashion of consistency like some constitution or philosophical essay. They are a collection of different texts involving ancient law, myths, moral teachings, biography, legend, social tradition, usually blended in metaphysical symbolism or allegory which is very open to interpretation, especially if you already have a conclusion you are very eager to jump to. Most of the time, any communion can pick a verse which may seem to support their case against some other communion. However, and this really will be stating the obvious, in the end, when you skip all the theological bubble, almost all of the time, it is your culture/region/family that determines if you are a Catholic or an Orthodox or a Baptist etc., not your critical thinking. And that's why, you can have maps showing you, in which area people believe which religion's which communion is the "one true religion." Because, it has nothing to do with logic or rational preference.

At the bottom of this, your debate is not much different than a Chinese person claiming normal people look slant-eyed, while the European argues, no, of course a normal person's eyes would be wider.        
____________
I admit it, I like it when they are bombastic - Neraus

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Drakon-Deus
Drakon-Deus


Legendary Hero
posted November 29, 2015 01:40 AM
Edited by Drakon-Deus at 01:44, 29 Nov 2015.

artu said:
How unusual, the guy from Italy says Catholicism is the correct way, while another guy from the Balkans think Orthodoxy is the only true path, and the guy from the States, who's ancestors were Protestant pilgrims is a member of some American Church.


I do not understand the problem, Artu. Aren't we allowed to discuss what we want to about Christianity, same as you are allowed to be critical of Turkey's politics, or America's, or France's, or Russia's ?


And FYI Svartzorn isn't from the Balkans.

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Svartzorn
Svartzorn


Known Hero
Dead struggling with death.
posted November 29, 2015 01:48 AM

artu said:
How unusual, the guy from Italy says Catholicism is the correct way, while another guy from the Balkans think Orthodoxy is the only true path, and the guy from the States, who's ancestors were Protestant pilgrims is a member of some American Church.

Religious texts were not written in a fashion of consistency like some constitution or philosophical essay. They are a collection of different texts involving ancient law, myths, moral teachings, biography, legend, social tradition, usually blended in metaphysical symbolism or allegory which is very open to interpretation, especially if you already have a conclusion you are very eager to jump to. Most of the time, any communion can pick a verse which may seem to support their case against some other communion. However, and this really will be stating the obvious, in the end, when you skip all the theological bubble, almost all of the time, it is your culture/region/family that determines if you are a Catholic or an Orthodox or a Baptist etc., not your critical thinking. And that's why, you can have maps showing you, in which area people believe which religion's which communion is the "one true religion." Because, it has nothing to do with logic or rational preference.

At the bottom of this, your debate is not much different than a Chinese person claiming normal people look slant-eyed, while the European argues, no, of course a normal person's eyes would be wider.        


Guess Brazil is all of a sudden an orthodox country now.
The orthodox here also have to go through a lot of reasoning to adopt this faith.
Being a christian is not picking up and discussing Bible verses. As I pointed out, they are merely there to give support, not as some kind of irresistible truth.
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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted November 29, 2015 03:37 AM
Edited by artu at 03:39, 29 Nov 2015.

Sorry Svatzorn, I mistook you for another member from a previous Catholic/Orthodox debate. Ok, so you're an exception to the rule and you are a minority in your country in terms of religion. That hardly changes the fact that almost everyone who is religious end up in their particular religion because of social circumstances though. You're from Brazil, why do you think "Latin" America is mostly Catholic and Northern America is mostly not? Because, it was the Spanish who invaded the South and they were Catholics. And how many of you would be Christians today if historically Rome (the Empire) didn't convert to it by a very coincidental decision by Konstantin, resulting in Christianity to be the major religion in Medieval Europe? You don't reach 20, study hundreds of various religions from all over the world and go "hmm, this one's it." It's mostly about how you're brought up and what is presented to you.

And when it comes to what Christianity is about, it may not be about discussing Bible verses to you, it can be about spirituality or family tradition or psychological comfort, people become religious out of many reasons. Yet, when one member of a communion says to the other one "our interpretation is more accurate than yours," the number one source to justify that claim would be the Bible, obviously. And what I said was, in most cases both parties can find verses that seem to support their understanding of what Christianity truly is. It's not like you're reading a contract with clear-cut directions.
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I admit it, I like it when they are bombastic - Neraus

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Drakon-Deus
Drakon-Deus


Legendary Hero
posted November 29, 2015 04:00 AM

I do not challenge that opinion, artu. If the Romans never adopted Christianity, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation today. Europe could've been pagan and with many separate communities still, and not as advanced. Or maybe not, I don't know.

And I don't know if Islam would exist as it does today either.


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Elodin
Elodin


Promising
Legendary Hero
Free Thinker
posted November 29, 2015 04:02 AM
Edited by Elodin at 04:03, 29 Nov 2015.

@artu

My parents were Baptists.  The first Christians all converted from Judaism. Dismissing religion as merely something passed down from parent to child ignores reality.

God is less interested in theological purity than in purity of heart. Throughout our lives we should grow in knowledge, wisdom, and character. However we will not achieve perfection in those areas until we see Christ face to face.

Differencing opinions in the family of Christianity is not worrysome to me. The differences are only temporary. They are worth discussing but not worth arguing over.

Quote:
1 John 3:2(KJV)

2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

1 Corinthians 13:12(KJV)

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

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Revelation

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Homer171
Homer171


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted November 29, 2015 04:43 AM

Svartzorn i know all that what you replied from my post. I have read the bible many times. Of course there have been churches before the letters in New Testament because they are letters for the churches themself. When i said i don't know your traditions i meant i don't know how you practise your religion today as my source is only the Bible.

Yes, Bible says Jesus is the new Adam, nothing of Mary being new Eve. She is blessed, glory be to God.

Yes, saints got the power to heal, deliver and all that but they did it in the name of Jesus. I have prayed whit people also myself. The point was, when praying we ask God to heal in Jesus name and not Mary because she is not God, nor are the saints. We should pray on others behalf but whom we ask responce, only God.

Third point was the main thing. My source comes from the Bible alone and all traditions, teachings what Jesus and Apostoles gave. Everything what came later than 1st century, i don't take in count. I have read church history but only for knowlage. So the traditions, the way we should practice our religion is the same as in New Testament, alone. That's my view.


Almost every single word i said misunderstanded. Is it really that hard to grasp what i try to say

____________
Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

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Drakon-Deus
Drakon-Deus


Legendary Hero
posted November 29, 2015 04:54 AM

Homer171 said:
Svartzorn i know all that what you replied from my post. I have read the bible many times. Of course there have been churches before the letters in New Testament because they are letters for the churches themself. When i said i don't know your traditions i meant i don't know how you practise your religion today as my source is only the Bible.

Yes, Bible says Jesus is the new Adam, nothing of Mary being new Eve. She is blessed, glory be to God.

Yes, saints got the power to heal, deliver and all that but they did it in the name of Jesus. I have prayed whit people also myself. The point was, when praying we ask God to heal in Jesus name and not Mary because she is not God, nor are the saints. We should pray on others behalf but whom we ask responce, only God.

Third point was the main thing. My source comes from the Bible alone and all traditions, teachings what Jesus and Apostoles gave. Everything what came later than 1st century, i don't take in count. I have read church history but only for knowlage. So the traditions, the way we should practice our religion is the same as in New Testament, alone. That's my view.


Almost every single word i said misunderstanded. Is it really that hard to grasp what i try to say




The problem is that not everyone agrees with you and they try to say what they think is right. Sometimes that can come off like they're not paying attention to you. I am.  

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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted November 29, 2015 07:29 AM
Edited by markkur at 07:55, 29 Nov 2015.

artu said:
It's not like you're reading a contract with clear-cut directions.




That's very true in one way, but there is also something else that you do not see; the Testaments have been called the "Living Word of God". I have read the same book and had important ideas or concepts jump right out at me that never did before. After 35 years this has happened on several occasions and I believe now it is "often" based on Spiritual-maturity. That maturity is often age-related but that is by no means absolute because the lessons of life are not by necessity dealt out by a persons age and are always determined by their experiences. Also, very often, progress is determined by effort or obedience. So since all people are differently "sowing & reaping", etc are often quite alike on some points and (when considering a timeline) looking very different until certain points along the narrow-path. I am amazed how many times the same lesson that I thought I had mastered came back to me by a more severe test. "God  the Silversmith" getting dross out of folks is a very accurate analogy. And here is why;

I worked with lead for 22 years and at 800 degrees some crap comes out, at 900 more. As the temp rises, more shows on the surface that needs to be "Drossed" to remove it from the surface of the furnace-pot and when this is done it looks like a mirror.  The comparison is there because if we are maturing we are working all the way and more of more of our <ahem> inherited dirt is cleaned from us. Decide to nab some pride about this and forget His Grace behind all? Well, non-believers know this sort of person very well. Edit= Btw, I'm not saying that this last person has arrived anywhere special, they just think they have, after having some success or are deluded by their fortune which may or may not have anything to do with current circumstance.

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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted November 29, 2015 08:34 AM
Edited by markkur at 08:41, 29 Nov 2015.

Homer171 said:
Almost every single word i said misunderstanded. Is it really that hard to grasp what i try to say


No it is not.

Let me share something about me on this subject. Some of it will be readily accepted, some will not. But God will judge me in the end and that's perfect by me since I do not have his...hmm...eyes.

When I first became a Christian, like you, I had read about Christ and knew only what he taught. So, when I started noticing this "Father" term being applied to Priests I was quite disturbed. Wow, here Christ says "call no man Father" and yet these folks do it by rote. Another aspect is Confession and here again I'm sure I agree with you; sincerity, regret and one inside closet is all that is needed to accomplish the task but once again there has been a ritual introduced involving more go-betweens.

Here's the deal for me. I know a very pious Catholic lady that loves others like an angel. One day, the Spirit moved in me so that I could see that there is nothing wrong if a human-being "needs" human interaction in this process to really believe or feel they are cleansed. In my own way I went this route by being lead to believe one of the greatest gifts we can give the Church is honest disclosure. (how effective this is with a single priest I have no idea)Because Family needs interaction and people need to know they are not alone in whatever sin has gripped them and also that whatever the problem is it can be defeated. And like anything else it's quite handy to know how.

The "Father" bit I see as the "Daddy" bit and I lose zero sleep over it.

I think now, that Tradition's can be good tools or aids but where I differ is when they become absolute forced Dogma and are the center of Faith. Because then it super-cedes Christ's teachings. And, the more things are added the worse things get. But, this Dogma happens in Protestant churches too and that's why I say anyone calling themselves a Christian needs to be in tune with Christ...first, for there is Truth & Freedom from error and tyranny. But again, this can rise is any denomination. This is why I belong to and serve Christ's church and only visit others.

Later on life I've began to see a real and more difficult need for people that "truly follow The Way" to not flee their current church and share Jesus right there. I think it has become too trendy and easy for folks to flee from difficulty and conflict. I did long ago and now I often, not always, wish I would have stayed-put and kept the focus entirely on Christ. But after all, I am only half-human.

Here's the thing; if everyone is important and has a gift and a body of believers is Christ's body, then some effort needs to be made to understand the different gifts and parts present within the Church. Otherwise, there are folks giving the wrong service, even if in the right spirit and other needed places in the Body that might not be filled at all. So, if a person has a gift, before ever leaving that body, it needs to be known if others there have the same calling because if not, the Church could be losing the only person truly blessed in that work or service. i.e. A body of "Greeters" if a fine thing; people that make strangers feel welcome is important. However, there better be more going on than that. "Welcome, come in, have a seat and leave when finished sitting".

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Homer171
Homer171


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted November 29, 2015 09:41 AM

Thank you all, it's been good reading your all opinions and views. I think it's great that in this day and age we can share our beliaves and understand the wider picture of the christianity and life in general.

To not knowing everything is the way for wisdom. I have bible verse:

Quote:
He taught me, and said to me: "Let your heart retain my words. Keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom. Get understanding. Don't forget, neither swerve from the words of my mouth. Don't forsake her, and she will preserve you. Love her, and she will keep you. Wisdom is supreme. Get wisdom. Yes, though it costs all your possessions, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you. She will bring you to honor, when you embrace her. She will give to your head a garland of grace. She will deliver a crown of splendor to you.
Proverbs 4:4-9 World English Bible
____________
Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted November 29, 2015 10:44 AM
Edited by artu at 11:04, 29 Nov 2015.

@elodin

I haven't singled out family tradition as the only reason, and your parents converting from Judaism, living in a Christian-dominant culture is not conflicting with what I broadly refer to as social circumstances. They didn't convert to the religion of some African tribe, did they. Of course, although they are an extreme minority, there are also people who convert to religions which are totally alien to their cultural background, some can present very interesting life stories, some are plainly assimilated, some again convert because of social circumstances, but this time reactionary ones, some people are eccentric or they are constantly searching for something different. (Like that singer Cat Stevens who was a Christian, then a Muslim, then a Buddhist, then a Muslim again, I can't literally keep track of his faith, it's like he's picking fruit to try it out in a grocery store.)

But the bigger picture is, the division between the Orthodox and Catholic church was a result of the division of Rome, east and west. And Rome didn't divide because of a theological debate, it got divided because of political reasons, it got divided because the empire got too big to govern from a singular center and at some point mainly the West fell weak because of invasions. And when a Catholic and an Orthodox defend their doctrine against one another today, it is usually because of where they were born, had they been born in each other's shoes, they would most likely be defending the opposite. I know you say that "you don't believe in Christianity, you believe in Christ" but Christ as you know him exists today because Christianity survived history as an institutional, major religion. Which brings me to:

markkur said:
That's very true in one way, but there is also something else that you do not see; the Testaments have been called the "Living Word of God".

I have a little trouble contemplating that. Don't get me wrong, it's not because I'm an atheist. As an atheist, I can easily understand for example, when a Muslim says that "Quran is the word of God." Because Muslims believe, that God directly sent his verses to Muhammed and after he died, his followers collected those verses he had written down and put them together in a book, now known as Quran. In their theology, the prophet was most of all, like a stenographer. He carried an unaltered message, took down notes. That is why, traditionally, Islam is a religion that focuses on the book rather than the prophet himself and if one of his hadith (anecdotes in a way, his oral teachings) contradicts with a verse from the book, the book always weighs heavier. Yet, Christians are not like that, to them, the prophet is God personified, he is the Lord himself. Yet, their holy book is not written or told by him. Part of the New Testament is a collection of texts about him, yes, but the whole Bible is much more, it has the Old Testament which itself is, again a collection of many texts from different periods and different (unknown) writers and then you have the other stuff in the NT, apart from books of John, Matthew, Lucas and John. Now, the Bible as we know it, had become canon many centuries after Jesus died, and the concept of a unified Christendom with a central theology was originally worked out in the First Council of Nicaea (under the rule of Konstantin I) in the 4th century, many many years after the prophet or anybody who knew him died. There had been many bibles through out history, naturally most of their content overlap but given the fact that theologians sometimes debate on and on about how to interpret only a single sentence from the "holy" scriptures with extremely different outcomes, and since everything they refer to as holy is actually selected out (or in, if you will) by self-declared mortal men just like themselves, what does a Christian exactly mean when he says that the Bible is the word of God? What if you had lived in times before the testaments were available, say a decade after Jesus, or what if things went historically a little differently and the scriptures were written by someone else with a different perspective or style, or what if the bishops had come up with a slightly different pick of books to canonize. Was that still going to be the word of God?
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Drakon-Deus
Drakon-Deus


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posted November 29, 2015 12:35 PM

All those what-if questions are good if you are atheist or agnostic.




But for Christians, blessed are those who have not seen but believed. And I do not mean that sarcastically.

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Neraus
Neraus


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posted November 29, 2015 04:25 PM

Since I'm in the mood...

artu said:
How unusual, the guy from Italy says Catholicism is the correct way, while another guy from the Balkans think Orthodoxy is the only true path, and the guy from the States, who's ancestors were Protestant pilgrims is a member of some American Church.

...

in the end, when you skip all the theological bubble, almost all of the time, it is your culture/region/family that determines if you are a Catholic or an Orthodox or a Baptist etc., not your critical thinking. And that's why, you can have maps showing you, in which area people believe which religion's which communion is the "one true religion." Because, it has nothing to do with logic or rational preference.


First of all, you're seeing this in absolutes, Catholics and Orthodox are extremely more similar in nature than Protestants, and you'll see there are far more similarities between the first two than with the last.

Who are you to say that I didn't follow a rational path to decide? Just because I was born in Italy doesn't mean I'm automatically a Catholic, here in Sicily we have a significant Orthodox portion, some scattered Protestant communities, and a Muslim population.
By chance my family was Catholic, but in my younger years I was a Catholic just by name, but I believed in fallacious doctrines and I was even ready to deny certain truths.
Then I discovered the Middle Ages, I started digging up on that culture, saw the predominance of Catholicism in Europe and studied more what being a Catholic meant.
Long story short, from a young boy who thought that sin is relative I now believe is something absolute with possible attenuants that will always be decided by God and not by us, from liking the music in Church to despising it for its lack of depth etc...
Ask anyone from my home town, they don't believe these same things, yet they are called Catholic too.

By the way, during this journey I dabbled in Atheist theories, so I wasn't completely estranged from that, I chose accordingly to what my reason told me was more ideal.

As all have said, apart from announcing who has the truth we are also confronting ourselves with our differences, which is essential to bring people to the truth that we say, otherwise we'll stay divided which is something completely against the design of Christianity, in fact that is the reason there is such a concept such as Christendom, as all adherents should be united under one faith.

artu said:
And when it comes to what Christianity is about, it may not be about discussing Bible verses to you, it can be about spirituality or family tradition or psychological comfort, people become religious out of many reasons. Yet, when one member of a communion says to the other one "our interpretation is more accurate than yours," the number one source to justify that claim would be the Bible, obviously. And what I said was, in most cases both parties can find verses that seem to support their understanding of what Christianity truly is. It's not like you're reading a contract with clear-cut directions.


True, people adhere for various reasons, and true, some are more strict on the Bible than others.
As I've said earlier the language of God is an obscure one, to maintain the possibility of choice, if God valued so much your freedom of choice would He go down and appear to everybody with the truth of all things clear and understandable, that would force everybody to worship Him since at that point we're absolutely certain of His existence and we know for certain that He said so and so.
As such, interpretations are necessary in this work, unfortunately, but that isn't a reason to be unfaithful.

artu said:
what does a Christian exactly mean when he says that the Bible is the word of God? What if you had lived in times before the testaments were available, say a decade after Jesus, or what if things went historically a little differently and the scriptures were written by someone else with a different perspective or style, or what if the bishops had come up with a slightly different pick of books to canonize. Was that still going to be the word of God?


The whole point of making the canon was to exclude books that were either incorrect or contradictory, the very reason the 4 sinoptic gospels were included in the canon was because they were written in a time close to that of the life of Christ, so that they were coeval and correct (or in the case of St.John's gospel, written through divine revelation) and at the same time were coherent with one another, unlike some unaccepted gospels or books.
If things went differently, it's true, the story itself would change, but Christ is always Himself, and as such He would have said other things accordingly to the situation and so the message wouldn't change anyway, but the story would.
There is also the fact that bishops were appointed by the Apostles, so they should be extremely knowledgeable about the Bible, due to tradition, so they should have at least known a good part of the story, since we are now including the oral transmission of the Gospel.
So, this canon has the highest probability of being correct, but, like I said, there is no clear cut, and that's part of faith, unless you believe that God forces you to worship him.
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