Many tens of millions have died believing that by performing this little ritual, they have saved their souls from damnation. A very large percentage of those who did so will find themselves burning in Hell for all eternity, and completely baffled as to why. Why? Because they were lied to.
In the course of one of the sessions, Weyrich tried to make a point to his Religious Right brethren (no women attended the conference, as I recall). Let's remember, he said animatedly, that the Religious Right did not come together in response to the Roe decision. No, Weyrich insisted, what got us going as a political movement was the attempt on the part of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to rescind the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University because of its racially discriminatory policies.
On the other hand, Youth Ministers across the country are bridging that gap. They know how to turn teen's sexual anxiety into holy fear. They know how to turn the need for identity into the need for a mantra. They know how to use feelings of isolation to bring kids into groups. And they honestly believe they are doing God's work.
In my lifetime, I have seen the fundamentalist upbringing shift from the purview of a few, unfortunate, and bullied kids (think Carrie) to that of the bullies. That might be anecdotal, but I doubt it.
They know how to turn teen's sexual anxiety into holy fear. They know how to turn the need for identity into the need for a mantra. They know how to use feelings of isolation to bring kids into groups. And they honestly believe they are doing God's work.
All of these things are possible because our society isn't providing them, the ministers in question are filling a need. Lack of sex education allows the first, and lack of alternatives that aren't school or directly commercial (malls) allows the second and third. These things are important, the fact that our society has abdicated responsibility in these areas has allowed churches to fill the gap, and they carry with them that agenda.
Why are churches able to use soup kitchens as outreach? Because no one else is feeding these people! That principle extends out and across the world.
To limit the pernicious influence of religion, it's less important to provide an alternative to it than it is to simply fill its niches of alleviating suffering and isolation.
Referring to the biblical text in any sort of "proof-texting" way is a precarious, dare I say, misguided business. The Bible is not coherent in any "I've got proof!" kind of way. It's a kind of cultural anthology. It's an amazing artifact.
Er, you phrase this in terms like you're disagreeing with me, but I agree with what you're saying? Am I missing something? Did I misstate something above? Whether the state or some private, non-religious concern helps the poor is immaterial to me, but there should be someone helping them that is not the church, or at least the horrible, fundamentalist concerns being primarily discussed here. I'm fine with the church helping them too, but only if it's not being used as a tool towards proselytism, which smacks of taking advantage of misery.
i think the real motivation is that these people are more than happy to take care of "their own" under circumstances of their control - when they want to help the poor in their community, they mean THEIR community - and the poor in some other community can be helped by THAT community
the thought that those other communities might not have the resources that they do - or that our country isn't going to thrive as a set of balkanized communities, doesn't occur to them
which is where the welfare state comes in, to take care of those they don't have any contact with and aren't willing to have contact with
Any restriction on religion in the public square looks a lot like how the Soviet Union started out, and as the Left has consistently ignored the persecution of Christians across the globe, the connection is really hard not to make.
I assume that I'm just not participating in the sort of social situations that you are, and that accounts for my never having been told that. Seriously, what sort of situations are you in where someone is telling you that you're going to "burn in Hell?" Are you trolling Evangelical Christian internet forums or something?
Jesus tortured, killed, and imprisoned people for their religious beliefs?
In the opinion of the apostles, and of nearly every Christian scholar from that time until the Republican party takeover of the Church starting in the 1960s, the vast majority of the holiness code, all of the weird little nitpicky details, was not a set of universal laws for all people for all time but a very specific set of laws for a very specific group of people (Jews) in a very specific place (Palestine) during a very specific time (the transition from nomadic tribes to agricultural kingdom).
I must be missing something. I don't understand what you're linking to there.
Are you talking to me, or to some other "you?"
Asserting that, for example, "the Democratic Party is no more Socialist than Jesus was" (though inaccurate given that the Democratic party is a political movement while Jesus was, for the most part, unconcerned with governmental structure) is a very different statement than "Jesus was a Communist." If you are the one making the assertion, it is preposterous to defend it as accurate by saying that it's just as accurate as the completely-inaccurate statements of your opponent.
Saying that Jesus is a communist (small C) seems as accurate as claiming that Republicans are a bunch of satanists (small S - the Church of Satan actually has little to do with Satan - CoS doctrine is generally anti-secular-humanist atheism).
Exactly - in fact, it's the glee that's wrong about it, I think. And this is an important point – one that people seem to miss all the time. A lot of people nowadays seem to resent religion because it speaks of punishments on a grand scale like hell – they resent it that Christians tell them that they might be going to hell, because they think that that's judgmental and condescending. And it can be – in fact, the precise phrase "you're going to hell" is almost always said with condescension.
Here's another way to tell that much of modern Christianity has nothing to do with Christ, and everything to do with money: I have yet to meet a Christian, in person, who knows of the only time Christ displayed his anger.
Yeah, but you can say the same about the Bible.
But to me, Hicks is fighting ignorance with ignorance. To the extent that his critiques have merits, they are borrowed from faithful Christians who have spent their lives in submission and dialogue with the Bible and in community with others who are doing the same.
This is true of any community or tradition of inquiry. Try to read modern physics without real physicists giving you context and you get Time Cube Guy. Try to read the Bible without the tradition of people who have been wrestling with it for 2000 years and some of what you get is the worst parts of fundamentalism that Hicks rails against, and some of what you get is the stuff Hicks is saying.
I could point to references to the practice in Paul's letters (written decades before the gospels) as well as in Acts. But I'm not going to say, "Here's my Bible verse that proves I'm right." I'm not going to pretend that the details of Christian practice make sense to someone who has rejected their premises.
I reject the fundamentalist claim that anyone can understand the meaning and application of scripture by taking a paragraph and saying, "It seems clear to me from this paragraph that Jesus wants me in the 21st century to do X." Fundamentalists (and other Christians) don't actually use the Bible that way. In practice, their reading and application of the Bible is heavily filtered by Christian tradition. Dogma, as you call it.
I could give you a small window into the two-thousand-year discussion which supports the Christian practice of praying in public. I could point to references to the practice in Paul's letters (written decades before the gospels) as well as in Acts. But I'm not going to say, "Here's my Bible verse that proves I'm right." I'm not going to pretend that the details of Christian practice make sense to someone who has rejected their premises.
If traditions trump the Word of God, of what use is the Word of God? What man or group of men are entrusted with telling the others what traditions are true or false? Is that person a Catholic? Mormon? Lutheran? Baptist? Gnostic?
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. -Colossians 2:8
And here is what I say that it says: The gospel that is being taught in almost every evangelical and fundamentalist church in America is a false gospel, and it has condemned tens of millions of people to eternal damnation in the fires of Hell.
There is no really meaningful distinction to be made between the Scriptures and the Tradition. They are the same thing.
"Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
'These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.'"
You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men. And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!" -Mark 7
So the tradition of pedophile priests getting away with rape without punishment under the Tradition of the Catholic church is the same as the Scriptures?
In that same vein, if you're trying to tell me that you are a follower of YHVH, but the things you believe can only be known to people who also believe exactly like you, I. Call. Shenanigans.
verb, that's fantastic. Now I can ignore all criticisms of any morality I have because of the other person's "inexperience." This Christianity thing is easier than I thought.
But it's an approximation of what I hear when someone says that you can't understand something because of inexperience, when what they mean is they don't want to be subject to outside criticism.
What do you mean by your reference to "the early Church belief in diabolical mimicry?"
So, when someone tells me I've got no experience, it tends to ruffle my feathers. I've been in the moment, when my best friend at the time saved me over the phone, sure as I was breathing that I felt Jesus in my heart. I've also felt the raw hatred for authority when my uncle was murdered and the JWs didn't want to associate with him, so they broke my grandmother's heart in ways I can't describe. And I've read arguments from Gnostics to Greek and Russian Orthodox to Unitarians, Quakers, Mormons, and even strains of Judaism. I suppose I'm open to criticism for lacking depth in that respect, but again, if you appeal to the authority of yourself or to your church's authority, that's not enough for me. It carries no weight unless there's some rational path you can show me about how it was arrived at.
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