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Source: (consider it) Thread: Non- Christian Religions " Perverse"?
Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
"A Christian viewpoint", not 'the' Christian viewpoint

Your phrasing was very much open to the charge of claiming to represent a Christian viewpoint (as opposed to any other).

Presenting your views as yours and not representative of, dare I say it, Christendom, or indeed anybody other than yourself, might lower the temperature of debate considerably.

[forgot to "add reply"]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Steve Langton
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by Stejjie;
quote:
I'm tip-toeing around the "anti-Judaic" angle because I don't want to look like I'm accusing Steve of that - I'm genuinely not! - but I do think we have to be extremely careful when using language like this about Judaism, especially from within Christianity given, as Croesos points out, Christianty's tarnished reputation and poor history in this regard.
What exactly do you mean by 'anti-Judaic'?

Look as far as I'm concerned a person of ethnic Jewish descent is just another human being like all the others. A person holding the Jewish faith is however a person who holds definite opinions which furthermore impact others in the real world; and particularly where those opinions include the stuff about the Land of Israel, impact in a literally life and death way. Those opinions have to be open to challenge and nothing should prevent anyone from making the challenges.

Christianity is in one sense also Judaism - if Christianity is true then Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and those who follow him are fulfilling the Jewish faith, while Jews who don't follow him are basically up a cul-de-sac, an unhelpful and unprofitable dead-end. Is it love to leave them there?

I am not ethically/racially anti-Jewish - followers of Jesus definitely should not be that. I am 'anti-Judaism', disagreeing with the attempt to continue the OT faith without the blessings brought by the Messiah.

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Steve Langton
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OOPS - slightly too late for the edit window - that should have been 'ethnically' anti-Jewish....
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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
If I come up to a Muslim and say that I think their religion is depraved and perverse, I don't suppose there is anything further to talk about.

OTOH, if you were engaging in a debate where each party was as conservative as the other then talk about 'perversity' might just be par for the course. You'd give as good as you got, so why would anyone be offended?

But ISTM that most Christian/Muslim interaction in Britain is relatively tame. It's usually a matter of people who don't know each other very well trying to be polite. Interfaith work seems to involve a few relatively moderate Christians and Muslims, and few British Christians seriously try to convert Muslims, no matter how 'perverse' they may think Muslims are. So there's not really a great deal of talking going on at all, AFAICS.

Interestingly, in my city, we've started to get Muslim and Christian street proselytisers working side by side, as it were. Cacophonous, but fascinating in a way. There's an element of competition, especially from the Christian side. This is hardly surprising, since Islam is the more dynamic of the two religions here, and probably has the most active participants of all religions in the city.


quote:

I think the role of the Christian is to be a fellow traveller with others who are asking hard questions. To come alongside, to share when asked, to think and engage and expand generously with others. It is to point with anger at the hard things (including idols) within our own lives not at others.


This sounds like something that a terribly right-on vicar would say, but I'm not sure that most Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs or others are generally very interested in Christians 'coming alongside' to help them with their 'hard questions'!

Indeed, my impression is that it's Christians above all who have the most anxiety over unanswered questions, and the cynic in me would say that Muslims in particular should avoid coming to us with 'questions' unless they want to become as anxious and uncertain as we are....

[ 14. November 2017, 11:47: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Steve Langton
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by mr cheesy
quote:
Right. One shared by many people throughout history, including those who you repeatedly castigate for using the mechanisms of the state to force their beliefs onto your anabaptist forefathers.
Quite. Indeed a view shared by probably the vast majority of Christians throughout history. And of course it's perfectly possible for people who are wrong on one area to be right in another - that's why it's so important to make the rightness and wrongness the primary issue, instead of going off into these "It's only your opinion" tangents which are a dead end for any kind of productive discussion.

And BTW, I also castigate those representatives of Christendom for "using the mechanisms of the state to force their beliefs onto" those of the Jewish faith.

So what actually concrete alternative are you offering to the traditional view, going pretty much back to Jesus and Paul, that Christianity fulfils rather than rejects the Covenant with Abraham? After all, whatever your view is on that is the view you'll be taking into discussions with Jews.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
This sounds like something that a terribly right-on vicar would say, but I'm not sure that most Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs or others are generally very interested in Christians 'coming alongside' to help them with their 'hard questions'!

Well I'm not any kind of vicar, but have had the opportunity to drink coffee with Muslims, Sikhs, Jews and others and to listen to them talking about things that matter to them.

I've heard a prominent Muslim politician talking about the difference between a Muslim woman who chooses to wear a Burka and another Muslim woman who is forced to wear it.

I was privileged to witness a group of Muslim met wetting themselves after watching the Chris Morris film Four Lions and discussing the difficult and relevant issues for their religious community.

I've been around groups of Jews as they debate Israel and Palestine and Zionism.

In all of these situations, I could have held up a hand and raised my voice to say "Well, as a Christian, I'd just like to say that.. blahblahblah.. accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.."

It wasn't appropriate. What these groups needed at the time was the support of others as they struggled to come to terms with these things that had meaning for them - not a white, middle-aged man telling them what the "correct" thing was to think.

I don't really see why this is so controversial.

quote:
Indeed, my impression is that it's Christians above all who have the most anxiety over unanswered questions, and the cynic in me would say that Muslims in particular should avoid coming to us with 'questions' unless they want to become as anxious and uncertain as we are....
This is utter crap. There are a very small number of loud Evangelistic Muslims at places like Speakers' Corner in London. The vast majority of Muslims, including those I've encountered on several visits to several countries in the Middle East are welcoming, generous and interesting.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by mr cheesy
Quite. Indeed a view shared by probably the vast majority of Christians throughout history. And of course it's perfectly possible for people who are wrong on one area to be right in another - that's why it's so important to make the rightness and wrongness the primary issue, instead of going off into these "It's only your opinion" tangents which are a dead end for any kind of productive discussion.

Not at all. And you've just illustrated how binary your thinking is and how lacking in appreciation of other religious views.

It is only your view that other religions are depraved. Nothing to do with Christianity, everything to do with a myopic understanding of the world that thinks that because you have determined something to be true, it is true - until someone can persuade you of another position. Which just ignores the fact that other people exist and think differently to you.

[ 14. November 2017, 12:30: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I'm not any kind of vicar, but have had the opportunity to drink coffee with Muslims, Sikhs, Jews and others and to listen to them talking about things that matter to them.

I've heard a prominent Muslim politician talking about the difference between a Muslim woman who chooses to wear a Burka and another Muslim woman who is forced to wear it.

I was privileged to witness a group of Muslim met wetting themselves after watching the Chris Morris film Four Lions and discussing the difficult and relevant issues for their religious community.

I've been around groups of Jews as they debate Israel and Palestine and Zionism.

In all of these situations, I could have held up a hand and raised my voice to say "Well, as a Christian, I'd just like to say that.. blahblahblah.. accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.."

It wasn't appropriate.

I agree that this response would have been inappropriate. It would also have been pointless.

Insulting random people certainly doesn't make any sense.

quote:
Indeed, my impression is that it's Christians above all who have the most anxiety over unanswered questions, and the cynic in me would say that Muslims in particular should avoid coming to us with 'questions' unless they want to become as anxious and uncertain as we are....
quote:
This is utter crap. There are a very small number of loud Evangelistic Muslims at places like Speakers' Corner in London. The vast majority of Muslims, including those I've encountered on several visits to several countries in the Middle East are welcoming, generous and interesting.


I wasn't implying that Muslim's aren't 'welcoming, generous and interesting'. Just that they don't particularly need Christians to help them with 'hard questions'.

You make it sound as if they come to you with their problems, as if you're some kind of wise old man who can show them the way. Maybe you are! Or perhaps you're just a mate, and they can have a good old grumble with you. Does it really matter to them what religion you are?

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I wasn't implying that Muslim's aren't 'welcoming, generous and interesting'. Just that they don't particularly need Christians to help them with 'hard questions'.

I think good neighbours help when they're asked to. I think people respect people who are respectful and who are present and who are not simply "broadcasting" their views.

quote:
You make it sound as if they come to you with their problems, as if you're some kind of wise old man who can show them the way. Maybe you are! Or perhaps you're just a mate, and they can have a good old grumble with you.
Not at all. I didn't have much to contribute to the discussions I've mentioned above as none of the issues were anything I knew about or had really thought about.

But I genuinely think we have better communities when people who are different are comfortable talking about things that matter to them in a supportive atmosphere.

I've been to a mosque and heard a little bit from a Muslim community about some of their struggles with the building regulations. I've visited other religious communities who have told me of their worries about being scapegoated by society at large.

Again, I don't have any answers to this - but I do know that if I'd blundered into these situations with an attitude that my faith was truth and that all these other people are just wrong then those conversations wouldn't have happened.

As it is now, I have some appreciation for how different communities feel that things like the building regulations don't really seem to be fit-for-purpose and how some communities see them as unfair. I have some appreciation that there are religious communities who are keeping their heads down because they're worried about the impacts of publicity.

I don't agree with them on various points of theology. But I no longer feel that I'm blind to the reality of a building regulation system which is comfortable with new churches but struggles with new mosques.

quote:
Does it really matter to them what religion you are?
It matters to me. I'm supposed to be being a good neighbour and being light in the world. That's what (in a pretty crappy and imperfect way) I'm trying to be with my neighbours who are different to me.

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arse

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by Croesos;
quote:
the Jews break down in grateful tears, rejecting the faith of their ancestors and the Covenant of Abraham.
Of course from [my own] viewpoint Jews who become Christians are not asked to reject the Covenant of Abraham, but to participate in what amounts to a massive enlargement of the Covenant with added blessings.
I seem to recall that there was some kerfuffle or other about male circumcision (i.e. the symbolic sealing of the Covenant of Abraham) within the early church. Abandoning the outward token of Abraham's covenant with the Almighty sure seems like abandoning that covenant.

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
I agree that Christianity is not completely self-evident. I know we have to convince people of it - but emphatically not coerce.

Logically if Jesus truly is the promised Jewish Messiah, then a continued Judaism rejecting Jesus is problematic.

The question is not whether or not you have a "problem" with the continued existence of Judaism, but whether Jews are maintaining their three thousand year old faith out of sheer perversity. If "Christianity is not completely self-evident", then it would seem to be the case that Jews continue to practice their faith for reasons other than simply to spite you.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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SvitlanaV2
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mr cheesy

I understand what you're saying, and it's very reasonable. I certainly respect neighbourliness, and have experienced that quality from Muslim neighbours.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

Logically if Jesus truly is the promised Jewish Messiah, then a continued Judaism rejecting Jesus is problematic.

Logically, thinking the all powerful, all knowing, loving God most Christians describe gives a flying fuck who believes in him is problematic.
Rejecting is a loaded word. But if want to go there, from a Jewish perspective, Christians rejecting that Jesus isn’t the messiah is problematic.
Anyhoo, perversity would require that non-Christians believe that Jesus is what Christians claim, but choose to ignore it.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Logically, thinking the all powerful, all knowing, loving God most Christians describe gives a flying fuck who believes in him is problematic.

And yet, if God doesn't care who believes in him, then why all the fuss about Jesus? Wasn't that whole episode more or less a waste of everyone's time?

ISTM that the Christian religion exists in a state of deep tension. There's a God who requires nothing of us, yet also requires effort and sacrifice. He doesn't need our love, but because he loved us first, our fulfillment comes in loving him back. And he's a God who both gives and takes away. He's a judge, but he also has mercy. Etc.

Also, on a practical level, Christianity is a religion that seems to require a mixture of revivalism, evangelism, tolerance and strictness, nominalism and engagement, in different times, places and circumstances. Too much cuddly latitude and nothing gets done. Too many demands and most ordinary people won't be able to get involved.

Perhaps Western Christianity will gradually become a philosophy rather than a religion. It's adherents will be a very small, sophisticated group. People who need the hope and guidance of a religion may have to look elsewhere, especially if they have energy and passion to give.

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quetzalcoatl
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Svitlana:

quote:
Perhaps Western Christianity will gradually become a philosophy rather than a religion. It's adherents will be a very small, sophisticated group. People who need the hope and guidance of a religion may have to look elsewhere, especially if they have energy and passion to give.
I thought that began a long time ago, at least since the French Revolution, and then onto Marxism, where you get a kind of secular idealism and apocalypticism, the sense of new beginnings and new worlds. I guess that there are some things missing here, for example, an individual sense of the numinous.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Barnabas62
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I think all faiths involve paradoxes. In that way they mirror the universe in which we find ourselves. Mystery is not escapist, it seems unavoidable as we try somehow to engage with our world.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Logically, thinking the all powerful, all knowing, loving God most Christians describe gives a flying fuck who believes in him is problematic.

And yet, if God doesn't care who believes in him, then why all the fuss about Jesus? Wasn't that whole episode more or less a waste of everyone's time?

ISTM that the Christian religion exists in a state of deep tension. There's a God who requires nothing of us, yet also requires effort and sacrifice. He doesn't need our love, but because he loved us first, our fulfillment comes in loving him back. And he's a God who both gives and takes away. He's a judge, but he also has mercy. Etc.

Also, on a practical level, Christianity is a religion that seems to require a mixture of revivalism, evangelism, tolerance and strictness, nominalism and engagement, in different times, places and circumstances. Too much cuddly latitude and nothing gets done. Too many demands and most ordinary people won't be able to get involved.

Perhaps Western Christianity will gradually become a philosophy rather than a religion. It's adherents will be a very small, sophisticated group. People who need the hope and guidance of a religion may have to look elsewhere, especially if they have energy and passion to give.

Without Jesus I have nothing but the Kalam Cosmological Argument: God is the ground of being, the exister, because there are beings, things that exist. In Jesus I have the ultimate claim, of, by God. Therefore all will be, is well.

[ 17. November 2017, 13:38: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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quetzalcoatl
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Ah, blessed kalam. Time was, when throngs would crowd around local churches, uttering the strange and plangent cry, 'kalam, kalam, kalam', and then the local vicar would pop out his head and acknowledge the thunderous applause. But those days have gone, now we only hear, 'Chelsea, Chelsea' and the like.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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SvitlanaV2
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quetzalcoatl

I was thinking of a philosophy that would identify itself specifically with Christianity. I don't know if Marxism ever did that. The connection doesn't seem to have lasted very long if so - but I could be wrong.

As for the numinous, to what extent are Europeans in general into that? There may be something there, but it's getting ever 'fuzzier'. Organised religion and New Age spirituality seem to have an input, but by themselves they don't seem to provide exactly what people want, if they want anything at all.

Christian sociologists sometimes insist that spirituality remains a strong force in the personal lives of Europeans. I suppose this is an example of what I was talking about: unaffiliated (or nominal/private/postmodern, etc.) spirituality as 'belonging' to and being necessary for Christianity under the current circumstances of extreme secularisation.

Similarly, good relationships between Christians and people of other religions are going to depend considerably on circumstances. Some Christians talk about how they get on better with Buddhists/Jews/Muslims, etc., than with other Christians.

Conversely, I find it hard to imagine that the average American evangelical con-evo congregation has much interaction with Muslims, etc. They don't actually have to deal socially with the people whose beliefs they may think of as perverse because the Muslim population is so much smaller in the USA than in, say, the UK.

British churches whose members routinely have Muslim grocers, dentists, doctors, restauranteurs, colleagues, neighbours, etc. are likely to be less insistent on the 'perversity' of Islam.

IOW, local conditions play a large part in creating our theology, I think.

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beatmenace
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
The refusal of Jews to play their "proper" roles in Christians' heroic self-narratives seems to be the source of a lot of anti-Judaic resentment.

As I understand it , thats pretty much what turned Martin Luther into a raging Anti-Semite.

Thats about where we came in.

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"I'm the village idiot , aspiring to great things." (The Icicle Works)

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Logically, thinking the all powerful, all knowing, loving God most Christians describe gives a flying fuck who believes in him is problematic.

And yet, if God doesn't care who believes in him, then why all the fuss about Jesus? Wasn't that whole episode more or less a waste of everyone's time?
Perhaps I should have said more problematic. Teaching is worth the fuss, I suppose. One needn't understand Newton's laws of motion for a seat belt to save their lives. But it can help to understand the benefit of using them. Not a perfect analogy, of course.
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I think all faiths involve paradoxes. In that way they mirror the universe in which we find ourselves. Mystery is not escapist, it seems unavoidable as we try somehow to engage with our world.

I would agree with this, but add inherently before escapist. I would also add that Mystery is not an excuse to not try to make most reasonable assessment of one's faith.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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