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  #41  
Old 11-24-2009, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ayani View Post
Smoke and Auto ~yet this passage is directly related to Ezekiel 34:11-31, where God is described as gathering His people from the nations, those same "sheep and goats" of Matthew 25:31-46. the connection here is that God the Father speaks in Ezekiel 34, and Jesus the Son reveals in Matthew 25 that it is He who will seperate the sheep and the goats. this is an interesting passage, and relates back to Ezekiel, giving more creedance to the idea that Jesus is God in flesh.when compared to Ezekiel it is clear that the sheep and goats are peoples who have already known God, and belong to Him (as the sheep of John 10). thus this judgement of the nations by Jesus is not a judgement for everyone, Christian and non-Christian. it is a judgement for those from the nations (all of them) who have been called by Jesus' Name, and believed in Him. this is further supported by Jesus' being called "Lord" by those peoples He judges in Matthew 25, and by the familiarity with which those peoples address Jesus (meaning they are already familiar with Him and ask when they saw Him naked or lonely).this is my interpretation of the text, but it is supported by passages in Ezekiel as well as John and Matthew, that this judgement of the nations is one for the diverse nations of believers, professing and genuine. see also Matthew 7:21-23 for evidence that this judgement is for those who have already known of and professed to follow Jesus ("Lord, Lord....did we not do so many things in Your Name?"), not for all peoples.
That passage doesn't seem to have anything to do with heaven, from my reading.
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  #42  
Old 11-24-2009, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraViolet View Post
I certainly did for the last three years I was a christian.
Now, honeslty, I really don't care enough to have much of an opinion about it.
I mean... it doesn't concern me. I'm not a christian.
You know? It's not my business.
Well, I can see your point. I personally think that community and worship are important parts of the Christian religion so it practically makes sense to have a place to come together to worship. But, I also agree that the building and other trappings can become more of an obstacle than a help, and I would agree that while a beautiful building that evokes the glory of God is wonderful, it should not be the primary focus. In fact, I would say that it can become something that gets between us and God.

My church also opens its doors to many groups in the community without charge, and acts as a community center in other ways. I think this is a good thing.


Quote:
How much of christianity is not ultimately tied up in a "Judgement" scenerio?
Quote:
If not, what is hell all about?
How many christians do not concern themselves at all with the "Judgement" teachings
of their religion?
It's a general mind'set of the christian religion itself.
Judgement is part of the Christian perspective, but we are also instructed to not judge others. Hell is about separation from God, and judgement is discernment of those things that come between us and God (including those church buildings when they become more important than our relationship with God and each other). So, we rightly should be concerned with judgement. We strive to judge so we can align our will with God's, so we judge the actions of others as part of the choices we make for ourselves. But, as Booko would say, its above our pay grade to judge other people. Our job with each other is to love each other as we love ourselves.

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What I really dislike as a non-christian, of course, is when christians try and
Quote:
en'force their own standards on me, in my own personal life.
(and most especially by means of civil law)
GLBTP issues would be an obvious one.
True, I don't like that either. But even without Christianity in the picture we always are going to face the questions about how we live together peacefully in community when we don't agree with each other.

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Issues that don't affect me/other non-christians
Quote:
I figure, are not my business.
I don't go around looking for specks & logs in people's eyes.
I'm not the "hypocracy" police.
(christian or otherwise)
I have better things to do.

But this is a religious forum,
and these topics come up. so, I share my thoughts.
I am glad you do. You responded to the Bible passages I posted with some challenging comments, so I wanted to find out where you are coming from. I wanted to make sure I understood your view and give you my perspective on the topic.

The problem with Christianity seems to be that it is populated by fallible people with a wide diversity of views, many of which you disagree with. I'll address your point on the scripture passages below.

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Also, I am an individualist.
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Individuals have their own reasons for doing what they do.
I respect that right, and I never pretend to know
"why" a person does what they do.
Not all christians "go to church" for the same reasons. Obviously.
If they get something out of it they need, I'm all for that.
Why wouldn't I be?
OK. Sounds good!


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On the flip side there is the harsh punishment of the rich.
Quote:

Who ARE the rich?

How much rich, makes someone rich?
I don't read this as harsh punishment of the rich. As ayani said, it is not about being rich, but about how you use your wealth (or whatever other gifts you have).


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I'm the one always saying the little people REALLY need to take care of one another,
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before we ALL get so depleted no one has anything at all.
People do not pool their talents and resources.
So everyone goes down, in their little nuclear family boat,
and all the good they have to offer goes down with them,
because they did not WISELY combine their talents and resources.
(reminds me of a parable...)

It would behove us all to love and take care of one another.
But this does not mean charity to me.
This means expanded family. The family of humanity.
For me this is not a christian issue, but a human one.
That all sounds very Godly to me.

Quote:
Also, god is not 'with' the rich /or the poor IMO.
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But my idea of gOd is significantly different than yours,
and is not really on topic for this thread.
OK.
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  #43  
Old 11-25-2009, 02:25 PM
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Never mind...
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  #44  
Old 11-25-2009, 02:34 PM
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What if you shop at Walmart and other establisments
that take advantage of poor people for low wage (pittance) labor,
so you can have cheap stuff.
(and extra change to stick in the poor box at your church
once you've helped pay the mortgage on the church building.)
I think she has a perfectly valid point. I think that each time you purchase something from an establishment like walmart, where the primary sales pitch is low price, there's very high probability you're committing a grave sin for exactly the reason UV points out. We can't claim innocence by ignorance either, because we know that labour laws are weak or ignored in many places, and we have tools for researching brands and their suppliers. I think UV is right. Shopping at walmart and similar places, or anywhere for that matter without researching the source of the products, is in clear violation of Jesus' command.

In short, shopping at walmart makes you as fat as a camel and they don't fit through needle eyes.
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  #45  
Old 11-25-2009, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by lunamoth View Post
17As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 18"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. 19You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'[d]"
20"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."
21Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"
24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is[e] to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
26The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?"
27Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."
28Peter said to him, "We have left everything to follow you!"
29"I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last first." (Mark 10)
Lives there a Christian on earth with the sincerity to follow this passage?
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  #46  
Old 11-25-2009, 03:28 PM
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I don't know if this is just Christianity, or all religions (not knowing as much about other religions) but there is this weird thing where Christian preachers teach the exact opposite of what Jesus said. It's bizarre. Like this "prosperity gospel," "Jesus wants you to be prosperous," thing. That's odd, I wonder why Jesus took the trouble to say the exact opposite?

I mean, if you gather all the "Jesus said" in the gospels, you get a very slim volume. He didn't say much. And He did say: give your money to the poor, take care of the poor, being rich is not good. He didn't say a word about gay sex, only about divorce and adultery, but you have all these rich, divorced Christians out persecuting gay people, basically practicing anti-Christianity, but just sure they're saved. They better hope we atheists are right, because if Christianity turns out to be true, they're in deep trouble come judgment day.
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  #47  
Old 11-25-2009, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraViolet View Post
no one answered my walmart question.
Personally, I think Wallmart is hell, but to answer your question V;

The Widow's mite;

Mark 12:41-44 (King James Version)

" 41And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
43And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
44For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living."
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  #48  
Old 11-25-2009, 04:10 PM
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Lives there a Christian on earth with the sincerity to follow this passage?
There are some, but I don't think we are all called to give up everything and become street preachers. That would be kind of silly, wouldn't it? But, we are called to give a lot more than most of us do.

The rich young man went to Jesus looking for the simple answer, "What are the rules? What are ABC and D that I can do to be saved?" And, probably, he already felt pretty good about where he was, because he knew he was following the commandments. But Jesus threw him a curve ball. It's not about the rules, but about our whole life. You can't just check off a list of boxes and think you're done...but that is what we always ask for. Make it simple for me, make it so I can control it and know I'm OK.

Really, Jesus gave him the only answer we can give when people ask "what can I do to be saved?" Give up what distracts you, turn toward God, and follow Jesus. It's a way of life and it is about our relationships with God and each other. Choose every day to put God at the center of your life. Choose every day to help and love others. It's not checking off a list of boxes.

It's as challenging as any relationship we enter into that requires sacrifice, and it tends to be a bit 'messier' than following rules.
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  #49  
Old 11-25-2009, 05:28 PM
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Game set match Auto.

Whatever the man meant - Christianity as currently practiced ain't it.
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  #50  
Old 11-25-2009, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by lunamoth View Post
There are some, but I don't think we are all called to give up everything and become street preachers. That would be kind of silly, wouldn't it? But, we are called to give a lot more than most of us do.

The rich young man went to Jesus looking for the simple answer, "What are the rules? What are ABC and D that I can do to be saved?" And, probably, he already felt pretty good about where he was, because he knew he was following the commandments. But Jesus threw him a curve ball. It's not about the rules, but about our whole life. You can't just check off a list of boxes and think you're done...but that is what we always ask for. Make it simple for me, make it so I can control it and know I'm OK.

Really, Jesus gave him the only answer we can give when people ask "what can I do to be saved?" Give up what distracts you, turn toward God, and follow Jesus. It's a way of life and it is about our relationships with God and each other. Choose every day to put God at the center of your life. Choose every day to help and love others. It's not checking off a list of boxes.

It's as challenging as any relationship we enter into that requires sacrifice, and it tends to be a bit 'messier' than following rules.
It's kind of like literature--not exactly clear, and you have to decipher what you think it means. The fact that it's silly is no help--it's all silly, as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, who are we to tell God He's silly?

Anyway, looking at it from the outside, it's not clear whether Jesus expects everyone to sell all they have and give it to the poor, or just this guy. At one point He tells His followers to give up their families for Him. It has a koan kind of flavor, like Jesus is just trying to blow his mind. Matthew 25 makes it clear, though, that the ticket to heaven is serving the poor and needy. Then again there's that passage about the camel and the needle. Overall Jesus does seem to be anti-wealth and pro Tzedakah (as we say in Judaism) or charity, as Christians say.

So where the heck do these bogus preachers come up with "Jesus wants you to be prosperous?" What do they base that on?
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