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Featured Evangelism as a means of authentication: An atheistic view of the psychology behind faith

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by athoughtfulatheist, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. athoughtfulatheist

    athoughtfulatheist New Member

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    Humanity has been plagued by an inescapable lack of meaning since its inception. When faced with such overwhelming lack of direction, we have sought to construct understandings of reality to explain and provide purpose to our lives, and as an extension, human existence.

    Everything we hold important in society is given meaning purely because humans choose to give it meaning. Sports, arts, beauty, wealth, popularity, accomplishment, philosophy, morality ... the list is endless. And we, as humans, flock to these constructs and make new ones, creating an endless cycle of constructed meaning that ultimately defines our existence. Now, I am as guilty as anyone in this, and I don’t necessarily think it’s a detrimental behaviour. For civilization is built upon such constructs, and without them, life would be utterly empty. But an understanding of humanity’s proclivity to create meaning as a resolution to pervading meaningless can give us an insight into the psychology behind religion – perhaps the greatest meaning-providing construct of all time.

    Indeed, religion directly provides an explanation for existence, with a clear path to follow through it and a neat resolution to tie off the bow. As such, religion is the perfect answer to humanity’s universal struggle to find direction and meaning. By answering questions of existence with an intangible and unreachable divine power, religion provides a world of unending rules, purpose and comfort.

    For the sake of this discussion, let’s use Anglican Christianity as an example (Although this reasoning can be applied in various forms to most religions). By following the teachings of the Bible and devoting oneself to the worship of the omnipotent God, Christians are able to transcend our lowly reality and ascend to a perfect afterlife for eternity. An individual who fails to do so will ultimately descend to hell, to undergo eternal suffering instead.

    Lets assume that this actually happens and will happen to all of us upon the day of reckoning. If Christians alone hold the secret to eternal life and evading eternal suffering, would it not be the life goal of each and every Christian to convert non-Christians to their faith and thus grant them salvation? If Christians truly believe that their non-Christian friends and family are heading directly for the eternal gates of hell, would they not do everything in their power to reach out their divine hand and pluck them from the fiery depths, thereby elevating them to a life of never ending perfection?

    Because if Christianity is correct, then Christians are sitting in their holy life raft while non-Christians are unknowingly drowning in undying misery. Because if Christianity is correct, then Christians are going through life watching their fellow humans slowly succumb to eternal suffering

    Now, if a Christian truly believed in their faith, they undeniably should do everything in their power to evangelise all those they care about and as much of humanity as they can. In fact, worldly pursuits such as education, wealth and family all pale in the face of the great eternal dichotomy and equaliser – nirvana or despair. Because 80 years on a flawed earth is less than a blink of an eye in comparison to eternity. Should truly faithful Christians not then devote themselves to this higher humanitarian cause at the cost of all else? This cause that outweighs everything in significance, value and practicality? And if they do not, are they merely selfish? Or evil? Or, more likely, do they not truly believe the teachings they devote themselves to?

    Within all this, the only logical answer is for an authentic Christian to fervently pursue a life of evangelism. And for those who do, I have the utmost respect. For they are practicing their beliefs with full conviction and authenticity.

    For the majority of Christians who don’t, I can only conclude that deep down, they have doubt about the veracity of their faith. That they cannot holistically believe the words of the bible they so vehemently recite and follow. That when it comes down to it, they know there is no afterlife, no divine salvation. That, like everyone else, they merely use their respective construct as a neat resolution to the inescapable meaningless that has plagued humanity since its inception. An expedient source of comfort, direction and purpose.

    As such, if you’re a Christian who is dedicated to a life of evangelism, I applaud you.

    If you’re a Christian who doesn’t, like most, then are you really a Christian at all?

    Thoughts?
     
    #1 athoughtfulatheist, Oct 11, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  2. sunrise123

    sunrise123 Darkness will pass. Dawn is almost here.
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  3. athoughtfulatheist

    athoughtfulatheist New Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    My post (as cited) was concerning Anglican Christianity rather than Catholicism. My understanding is that in the Anglican faith, ascent to Heaven is purely dependant on your faith in Christianity, and all non-believers will go to hell. My post addresses those who subscribe to this belief. (rather than the pope of Catholicism which says that non-believers can be given access to heaven through good deeds)
     
  4. Deeje

    Deeje Deeje

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    You just described Jehovah's Witnesses. :)

    I was once a member of the Anglican Church and left because it failed to follow the teachings of Christ. One of the main ones was evangelism, which I now know is a command, not an option or a recommendation.
     
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  5. Kemosloby

    Kemosloby Well-Known Member
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  6. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    @athoughtfulatheist - given this was directed at Christians I'm not sure I have much to add to the ongoing discussion, but I just wanted to say this is a fantastic post from a new member to the forums. Welcome, and I hope to see more thoughtful content from you in the future! :D
     
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  7. DavidFirth

    DavidFirth Well-Known Member

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    I think he's a good guy trying to do the right things the way he sees it. Of course he isn't perfect, no one is. But his track record speaks for itself. The man really cares about and for the poor.
     
  8. Kemosloby

    Kemosloby Well-Known Member
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    The most powerful form of evangalism is doing good. So if a Christian lives a Godly life he is a walking evangelist. Good friend, faithful husband etc.
     
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  9. Kemosloby

    Kemosloby Well-Known Member
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    Cares as a hypocrite does, to be seen by men. Matt 6:3-4 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
     
  10. DavidFirth

    DavidFirth Well-Known Member

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    I suggest you read up on him before he became pope. He wasn't caring for the poor just "to be seen by men." His ministry went much deeper than that.
     
  11. Kemosloby

    Kemosloby Well-Known Member
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    How do you know? because they wrote all about in a book to be seen by men?
     
  12. DavidFirth

    DavidFirth Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I guess you're just set in your opinion and will not be swayed. Good luck and God bless. Believe what you will about him.
     
  13. Kemosloby

    Kemosloby Well-Known Member
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    I guess it's all the gold and money spent on the churches that cause suspicion.
     
  14. DavidFirth

    DavidFirth Well-Known Member

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    I never said he was perfect. As far as the pope being Christ's viceroy on Earth, well, that's probably not the case, either. A few I could believe that about but it is very few.
     
  15. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    You concept of Christianity, even Anglican Christianity, too narrow. The goal of evangelization is not concerned solely with the after life, but with life today. Neither do all Christians live within the mentality of 1st cent Christians. Jesus interpreted the Mosaic law, the apostles interpreted Jesus teachings, the evangelists interpreted the apostles, the church interprets the evangelists as to how it is applied to life in the present 21st cent.
    It is not the belief of all Christianity that only Christians will be 'saved'.
     
  16. DavidFirth

    DavidFirth Well-Known Member

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    Really? Who else will be saved then?
     
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  17. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    The "heart" of Christian faith is not scriptures or traditions, not dogmas or doctrines, not Church or sacraments, not creeds or codes but the person of Jesus. Those in the sincere practice of what is good in their own religious traditions and by following the dictates of their own conscience that the members of other religions respond positively to God’s invitation and receive salvation in Jesus Christ, even while they do not recognize or acknowledge him as their Savior.
     
  18. DavidFirth

    DavidFirth Well-Known Member

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    Who taught you this? This isn't what the Catholic Church teaches.

    Refer to John 3:16-18. It's pretty specific.
     
  19. Akivah

    Akivah Well-Known Member

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    Aren't works considered as rags?
     
  20. DavidFirth

    DavidFirth Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Compared to Jesus' righteousness, yes.
     
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