Some thoughts on what it means to be a Christian


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Profile Bob DeWoody
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Message 1293115 - Posted: 9 Oct 2012, 7:58:40 UTC

I believe that the teachings of Jesus Christ and his life as described in the Bible are the greatest example of how we should strive to live. Even though I have tried to follow that example I haven't come close to achieving that goal. Now, does that make me a Christian? Maybe by some peoples standards and probably not by other's. Most people who claim to be a Christian do so because they go to church on Sunday and put a few dollars in the collection plate. But the rest of the week most of them forget what Christ taught and go about their business with a me first attitude. To them if you don't believe that every word of the Bible is the literal truth then you can't be a christian. But to me it's more about how you live your life than what you claim to believe is true and not true.
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Message 1293123 - Posted: 9 Oct 2012, 9:19:08 UTC - in response to Message 1293115.
Last modified: 9 Oct 2012, 9:20:30 UTC

I believe that the teachings of Jesus Christ and his life as described in the Bible are the greatest example of how we should strive to live. Even though I have tried to follow that example I haven't come close to achieving that goal. Now, does that make me a Christian? Maybe by some peoples standards and probably not by other's. Most people who claim to be a Christian do so because they go to church on Sunday and put a few dollars in the collection plate. But the rest of the week most of them forget what Christ taught and go about their business with a me first attitude. To them if you don't believe that every word of the Bible is the literal truth then you can't be a christian. But to me it's more about how you live your life than what you claim to believe is true and not true.

You surprise me Bob,
I thought you were an Atheist. But it seems to be quite the opposite. You show a very good understand of Christianity. And that is to be applauded.

I agree with you, most people do forget about the teachings of Jesus a lot of the time. But Jesus just wanted everyone to try their best, we are all human and we are all weak. Its always easier to be selfish and think of Me, Me, Me all the time. If you try your best to live like Jesus, and do the things he said, then Bob i think Jesus will be pleased with you for trying.

I have started reading parts of the Bible now on an almost daily basis. And quite frankly, even thought i know this stuff is real, i still don't get it. The Bible is the most confusing book i have ever read. But still, i try my best if i can.

John.
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Message 1293272 - Posted: 9 Oct 2012, 22:53:19 UTC - in response to Message 1293115.

Now that is something I can respect Bob. When I was a believer, I felt much the same way. Thanks for sharing!

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Message 1293332 - Posted: 10 Oct 2012, 1:34:55 UTC

some 2,000 years ago.. one dude said be kind to each other, love each other, take care of each other. And that was pretty much it.

It in no way resembles the organized religions that have stolen his name and twisted things around.


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Message 1293346 - Posted: 10 Oct 2012, 2:15:05 UTC - in response to Message 1293332.

It in no way resembles the organized religions that have stolen his name and twisted things around.


I say let's tax em . Income and property taxes same as any other business. fraud is probably no worse than what we have in the Medicare system and all of it's parasites. But put em in jail anyway.

Profile Bob DeWoody
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Message 1293714 - Posted: 11 Oct 2012, 5:20:42 UTC - in response to Message 1293123.
Last modified: 11 Oct 2012, 5:21:53 UTC

I believe that the teachings of Jesus Christ and his life as described in the Bible are the greatest example of how we should strive to live. Even though I have tried to follow that example I haven't come close to achieving that goal. Now, does that make me a Christian? Maybe by some peoples standards and probably not by other's. Most people who claim to be a Christian do so because they go to church on Sunday and put a few dollars in the collection plate. But the rest of the week most of them forget what Christ taught and go about their business with a me first attitude. To them if you don't believe that every word of the Bible is the literal truth then you can't be a christian. But to me it's more about how you live your life than what you claim to believe is true and not true.

You surprise me Bob,
I thought you were an Atheist. But it seems to be quite the opposite. You show a very good understand of Christianity. And that is to be applauded.

I agree with you, most people do forget about the teachings of Jesus a lot of the time. But Jesus just wanted everyone to try their best, we are all human and we are all weak. Its always easier to be selfish and think of Me, Me, Me all the time. If you try your best to live like Jesus, and do the things he said, then Bob i think Jesus will be pleased with you for trying.

I have started reading parts of the Bible now on an almost daily basis. And quite frankly, even thought i know this stuff is real, i still don't get it. The Bible is the most confusing book i have ever read. But still, i try my best if i can.

John.

Oh yes Johnny, I spent a good portion of my youth in the heart of the Bible belt, Greenville, South Carolina, where most people are in the same league as that congressman from Georgia who recently claimed tha evolution and any science that is at odds with the literal words of the Bible are ideas that come from hell.

I was raised, when at home, in the Presbyterian Church which is more liberal than most when it comes to science. Our minister cautioned us not to try to read the Bible as a science or history book but rather as a guide on how we should live our lives.

I try to live my life as I feel a Christian should but when it comes down to whether I believe in God or heaven and hell I feel somewhat like Ellie in the movie "Contact" and could not swear my belief in those things. At best I am an agnostic and still request the right to change my position. But I definitly do not believe that God exerts any control in any way over our lives.
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Message 1293740 - Posted: 11 Oct 2012, 7:50:08 UTC - in response to Message 1293714.
Last modified: 11 Oct 2012, 7:56:47 UTC

Oh yes Johnny, I spent a good portion of my youth in the heart of the Bible belt, Greenville, South Carolina, where most people are in the same league as that congressman from Georgia who recently claimed tha evolution and any science that is at odds with the literal words of the Bible are ideas that come from hell.

I was raised, when at home, in the Presbyterian Church which is more liberal than most when it comes to science. Our minister cautioned us not to try to read the Bible as a science or history book but rather as a guide on how we should live our lives.

I try to live my life as I feel a Christian should but when it comes down to whether I believe in God or heaven and hell I feel somewhat like Ellie in the movie "Contact" and could not swear my belief in those things. At best I am an agnostic and still request the right to change my position. But I definitly do not believe that God exerts any control in any way over our lives.

I agree with you Bob,
Its probably best not to try to "extract" science from the Bible. Your right, the book is meant to help people to live in harmony with each other, and the planet we live on. If everyone followed the commandment "Thou shalt not kill", we would all live in a peaceful world.

You mention believing God does not exert an outside influence on us! Yes, in a way you are correct. If God, or advanced people from other planets, influenced humanity in ancient human history, they are not doing it directly today. But they did leave us what we in the western world call the Bible and that book does influence all Christians today. The Bible influences every part of society, human history has always been heavily influenced by that book. And it still influences the majority of people today whether they know it or not.

Yes, today the Bible has less influence on western world society. But its past influence can be seen everywhere. In every town and city in the western world, there are churches. We still teach religion, right and wrong to our children from the base set of rules in the Bible. Many of our hospitals are named after Biblical Saints and Prophets. Even peoples names come from the Bible, we still use them today, like John, David, Mary, Joseph, Adam, etc, etc, all Biblical names. Even our systems of Law started with the ten commandments of Moses. These commandments are still the bases of Law in every country in the world, even if we have skewed them a bit, and added a few extra laws. The laws God gave to Moses are still roughly intact in most countries.

The influence of the Christian Bible is so intertwined with western society that you couldn't remove it if you tried. Regardless of whether thats right or wrong. The Bible IS our history!

John.
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Message 1293807 - Posted: 11 Oct 2012, 15:05:02 UTC - in response to Message 1293740.

We still teach religion, right and wrong to our children from the base set of rules in the Bible.

Not every child receives a religious education as the basis of a moral code.

Many of our hospitals are named after Biblical Saints and Prophets.

True, though here in NYC it may not be a majority.

Even peoples names come from the Bible, we still use them today, like John, David, Mary, Joseph, Adam, etc, etc, all Biblical names.

There's a reason that first names in the UK were until very recently referred to as "Christian names". Given that history it's noteworthy that some non-Biblical names survived, for instance, the following are non-Biblical names in use by one family frequently in the news in the UK: Arthur, Charles, Philip, Margaret, George, Diana, Camilla, Henry, Edward, William.

Even our systems of Law started with the ten commandments of Moses.

Or, perhaps, the older Code of Hammurabi. Though, if you mean legal system, rather than body of law, that's somewhat more complicated.

These commandments are still the bases of Law in every country in the world, even if we have skewed them a bit, and added a few extra laws.

I'm sure the Chinese and Japanese (amongst many others) will be interested by this comment.

The laws God gave to Moses are still roughly intact in most countries.

The originals are not intact even in the story. Has anybody else wondered why it is that on returning from the encounter with God, carrying stone tablets which God had written on, Moses' first action is to smash them, and then rewrite them himself? Nobody else got to see "God's writing". Does this pattern of behavior sound familiar?

The influence of the Christian Bible is so intertwined with western society that you couldn't remove it if you tried. Regardless of whether thats right or wrong. The Bible IS our history!

John.

Many of the peoples of Europe had an identity prior to the influence of Christianity, at best the Bible is part of their history, not the totality.
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I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1293844 - Posted: 11 Oct 2012, 16:39:53 UTC - in response to Message 1293807.

We still teach religion, right and wrong to our children from the base set of rules in the Bible.

Not every child receives a religious education as the basis of a moral code.

Many of our hospitals are named after Biblical Saints and Prophets.

True, though here in NYC it may not be a majority.

Even peoples names come from the Bible, we still use them today, like John, David, Mary, Joseph, Adam, etc, etc, all Biblical names.

There's a reason that first names in the UK were until very recently referred to as "Christian names". Given that history it's noteworthy that some non-Biblical names survived, for instance, the following are non-Biblical names in use by one family frequently in the news in the UK: Arthur, Charles, Philip, Margaret, George, Diana, Camilla, Henry, Edward, William.

Even our systems of Law started with the ten commandments of Moses.

Or, perhaps, the older Code of Hammurabi. Though, if you mean legal system, rather than body of law, that's somewhat more complicated.

These commandments are still the bases of Law in every country in the world, even if we have skewed them a bit, and added a few extra laws.

I'm sure the Chinese and Japanese (amongst many others) will be interested by this comment.

The laws God gave to Moses are still roughly intact in most countries.

The originals are not intact even in the story. Has anybody else wondered why it is that on returning from the encounter with God, carrying stone tablets which God had written on, Moses' first action is to smash them, and then rewrite them himself? Nobody else got to see "God's writing". Does this pattern of behavior sound familiar?

The influence of the Christian Bible is so intertwined with western society that you couldn't remove it if you tried. Regardless of whether thats right or wrong. The Bible IS our history!

John.

Many of the peoples of Europe had an identity prior to the influence of Christianity, at best the Bible is part of their history, not the totality.

Christianity was an import to the UK that was interwoven with the original polytheist religion that was already there. Hence why we celebrate Easter (named for the goddess Oestre). Worshippers of Cercunnos (AKA, Herne the Hunter, Cerna etc) the horned god believed in a human sacrifice of the 1 year king at Easter time(or Beltane) to ensure that the crops would grow. Now we commemorate the sacrifice of Jesus at that time. Cernunnos is still remembered in pub and old English place names. The green man is still to found carved in churches.

Every Brit knows the tale of King Arthur and although Christianity has embedded itself in British culture, the old legends and myths are still very much part of us.
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Message 1293855 - Posted: 11 Oct 2012, 17:01:32 UTC - in response to Message 1293844.
Last modified: 11 Oct 2012, 17:02:51 UTC

st the Bible is part of their history, not the totality.

Christianity was an import to the UK that was interwoven with the original polytheist religion that was already there. Hence why we celebrate Easter (named for the goddess Oestre). Worshippers of Cercunnos (AKA, Herne the Hunter, Cerna etc) the horned god believed in a human sacrifice of the 1 year king at Easter time(or Beltane) to ensure that the crops would grow. Now we commemorate the sacrifice of Jesus at that time. Cernunnos is still remembered in pub and old English place names. The green man is still to found carved in churches.

Every Brit knows the tale of King Arthur and although Christianity has embedded itself in British culture, the old legends and myths are still very much part of us.


Nah, it was Ishtar, not Oestre.

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Message 1293861 - Posted: 11 Oct 2012, 17:14:32 UTC - in response to Message 1293855.

st the Bible is part of their history, not the totality.

Christianity was an import to the UK that was interwoven with the original polytheist religion that was already there. Hence why we celebrate Easter (named for the goddess Oestre). Worshippers of Cercunnos (AKA, Herne the Hunter, Cerna etc) the horned god believed in a human sacrifice of the 1 year king at Easter time(or Beltane) to ensure that the crops would grow. Now we commemorate the sacrifice of Jesus at that time. Cernunnos is still remembered in pub and old English place names. The green man is still to found carved in churches.

Every Brit knows the tale of King Arthur and although Christianity has embedded itself in British culture, the old legends and myths are still very much part of us.


Nah, it was Ishtar, not Oestre.


I think it may be a matter of the geography as to which rite was bound into the Easter, for the Brits Ä’ostre seems a more likely candidate than Ishtar.
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I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1293919 - Posted: 11 Oct 2012, 20:44:56 UTC - in response to Message 1293861.

As the Jews and the Christians sprung from the middle east, if in fact Easter is some amalgamam of previous celebrations with the, at the time, new Christianity, it makes more sense for it to be fused with other middle eastern celebrations and customs.

And, I am willing to bet the whole Ishtar thing had a few 100-1000 years head start, and could have made it to the isle, in some form, with Ishtar become Eostre.

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Message 1293927 - Posted: 11 Oct 2012, 20:59:46 UTC - in response to Message 1293919.
Last modified: 11 Oct 2012, 21:00:42 UTC

As the Jews and the Christians sprung from the middle east, if in fact Easter is some amalgamam of previous celebrations with the, at the time, new Christianity, it makes more sense for it to be fused with other middle eastern celebrations and customs.

And, I am willing to bet the whole Ishtar thing had a few 100-1000 years head start, and could have made it to the isle, in some form, with Ishtar become Eostre.


Perhaps, though the middle-eastern origin of monotheism don't help explain christmas trees, for example.

It seems to me quite plausible, given the reliance of older religions on the the sun, that there are patterns of rites in common around the solstices and equinoxes, without a need for import from one location to another. The newer religions then co-opted some of these ...
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I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1293942 - Posted: 11 Oct 2012, 21:22:27 UTC
Last modified: 11 Oct 2012, 21:22:43 UTC

Possibly a Paradise Tree.

Christmas tree

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Message 1294012 - Posted: 12 Oct 2012, 2:30:55 UTC - in response to Message 1293927.

Perhaps, though the middle-eastern origin of monotheism don't help explain christmas trees, for example.


That assumes that turning to monotheism occurred in a short time span in the middle east, assumes Christianity is the only middle eastern religion to have an impact on "western" cultures and that earlier forms of belief from the middle east (cradle of civilization?) did not spread out much earlier, does it not?

http://discovermagazine.com/2005/aug/desert-people

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