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Christians: Who defines your interpretation of God?
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26 / M / Pandemonium
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Posted 3/13/14 , edited 3/13/14

Octava wrote:


Syndicaidramon
No. If god existed, then he would have prevented situations where abortion is a desirable option from happening. Sometimes, having a baby will lessen someone's life. The fair thing to do then is not to just make them not consider having an abortion -- it would be making it so that they wouldn't HAVE to neither consider an abortion OR have their life quality lessened by an unwanted child.



Octava
But this is entirely subjective. You can argue that one person's life will be lessened with the introduction of a child, but other people can argue that it will not.



Syndicaidramon
Let's say we have a girl, who is a student and who is already only bare able to financially support herself, and spends most of her time and energy devoted to school, with no devoted partner who would be a father or to provide financial support. I'm pretty sure that a child will not help her situation.
Can you think of any way where having a child in such a situation would do anything other than lessen that person's life?


The issue is that you are viewing this in your perspective. Humans have an inherent sense of reproduction; many people want to have children, because it's simply ingrained in our existence. Some women simply want to have children, even if they cannot afford the expenses for the child, or if other people think they are not capable of caring for the child. Though, many people do not have children due to the way our society has evolved. If god were to exist, he'd have to change or prevent procreation.


That's completely irrelevant. The question is: will the child have a negative impact on that person's life -- yes or no?
If the answer is yes, then they should be able to have an abortion.





Octava
It's impossible for a species to have evolved this much, physically, and mentally, while still remaining primitive in procreation. God wanted humans to reproduce for the purpose of reproduction; it's humans and society that has indulged in the pleasure of reproduction, or the social aspect of having/not having babies, resulting in many unwanted children.


No. Not if God had done his work properly and made us smarter, more adaptive, and granted us more knowledge. He's supposed to be omnipotent.
Yet instead he chose a method that does not only take way longer -- but also the method that would eventually become outdated and impractical. Which he'd KNOW that it would, considering that he's also supposed to be omniscient.





Octava
The written proof that many followers adhere to does not contradict this point. There is no contradiction. Logically, you may think that many beliefs could not possibly take place, whether that be from an understanding of modern science, or otherwise; but there is no contradiction. Christians and many other religious followers believe that god offered choice to humankind, and the fact that murder, destruction, rape, and corruption occur, is only proving that this option of choice is true.


Yeah there is. Because God could've done things way better in so many areas.
And no, murder, destruction, rape etc. does not occur BECAUSE of free will. It happened because Adam ate from the forbidden fruit, which is what introduced evil and imperfection into the world. If Adam hadn't eaten that fruit, none of this would've ever happened.
The fact that the tree of forbiddden knowledge was there in the first place is a massive contradiction to God's supposed onibenevolence and omniscience.
As is the fact that he ever let Satan not only become evil and tempt Eve, but even the fact that he created Satan in the first place -- as God would KNOW that Satan would turn evil, and would destroy the perfection that was.






Octava

Octava
My argument is: the only way for humans to not think about abortion is if they did not have the capability for conscious thought. If god prevented all situations of abortion, then shouldn't abortion not exist? Because there would be no need for abortion.



Syndicaidramon
OR if the only times women got pregnant were the times when both the mother AND the father WANTED her to get pregnant.



Octava
That doesn't mean that the child won't be aborted.




Syndicaidramon
No? How so? If both the parents wanted the child, and were happy to have it born -- why would they abort it?


In China, there is a male to female ratio of 120:100.


But then that means that the couple wanted a male baby. They aborted the female fetus because they didn't want a female baby.







Octava

Octava
If I interpreted this correctly-- god wanted humans to have personal control over their actions and thoughts. It's not a lack of power; it's him not using power. Why? Because what's the point of even "creating" the humankind to begin with, if they're only mindless robots living in a utopian world?




Syndicaidramon
Like I've said before. He doesn't have to control their minds. But he can still manipulate the world and events.
According to the bible, he already did that many, many, MANY times already. So why shouldn't he still do so?
And even so, many christians do in fact believe that god STILL intervienes in the world today. Like if he saves someone from accidents or from illness or helps them find their car-keys or whatever.

So if he can do all that, why can he then not prevent a situation where an unwanted child would be made?


Many people believe that fortunate events such as winning the lottery, overcoming a grave illness, surviving a fatal accident, and other likewise situations, are a product from god. These are all very positive events, typically with low chances of occurring.

The situation of unwanted children is not a miracle. It is a common thing, especially with the way our world has evolved. Children become unwanted because of fear of social pressure, lack of resources to care for the child, an inability to care for the child, and other situations. There are too many variables and factors in every situation for a definite: abort, or do not abort.

The only reason "miracles" are labelled as such is because they have low chances of occurring. The only reason why people cherish miracles is because they don't happen often. There is nothing religious that states that god always performs miracles. It's often said that he only performs miracles to those faithful and deserving.



Well that only highlights the absurdity and contradiction of this whole notion, doesn't it?

For instance -- my former best friend's father got brain cancer. He had always done as good as he could to follow God's teachings, and he was as God-fearing as they come. And yet despite that, he died. Which sent the family members, and ESPECIALLY my best friend -- all of whom were also God-fearing christians -- into depression. It also tore our families apart. We had always been their closest friends. Now, we barely speak to each other.
If God intervenes SOMETIMES -- how can they claim that he is omnibenevolent if he does it so rarely even though he has seemingly no gripes about intervening in the first place, even for those who are faithful and deserving?







Octava

Octava
That's not necessarily true. If he has the power to stop it all sin, it doesn't mean that he has to. If god chooses to trust in individuals for their sense, then that only implies that he is not corrupt. He doesn't force people to think or act a certain way. If someone sins, they will get punished, but this is still infinitely more moral than forcing someone into always doing the "correct" thing.



Syndicaidramon
Take a look at the world around us. Both as it is today, and how it was in the past.
I think it's been demonstrated perfectly well time and time again that most people do not know what's best for neither themselves, nor for the people around them.
WHY would God trust in individuals in general for their sense?

At the very least, he should at least reveal himself to the entire world and eliminate all false religion. Eliminate all doubt so that all the world can be united.
And after that, he should grant us the knowledge of nature and the universe. So that we can understand the plane of our existence more and make the most we can out of it.
And preferably also alter our brains to function better. Give us a higher ability for empathy, sympathy and logical reasoning. Take away our minds' tendancy towards irrationality.

None of that would be "forcing" anyone to do anything. It would just provide us with more knowledge, and makes us more able and better suited towards doing things that would benefit both ourselves and those around us.
There would be far less evil in the world, I can tell you that much. And yet, he doesn't do that. None of that.

How do you intend to justify that?


But all those things can only be applied in a utopian world. Even with heightened emotions or abilities, humans cannot live peacefully together. Survival, selfishness...those are innate to us-- it's innate to every being, every living organism in this world. The only way for the world to progress is for there to be disagreement, the need for improvement, the need for difference-- a difference in the gene pool. The only way for evolution is to survive, whether that means being selfish, or making rash decisions.


Only because we are so flawed. If we were all super-intelligent, with no disposition towards irrationality or selfishness, and with a much higher ability for empathy and sympathy, and with no false religion -- why would we then not be able to live peacefully together?

And that is not at all true. Science works on the basis of empirical, measurable and reproducable evidence. Things that everyone, or at least the majority can agree on.
Why do you think racism is so less common in developed, educated countries than it was in prior times? Why do you think we make progress within medicine and technology, even when our country is not at war with anyone?

Disagreement is not at all necessary for progress. It did HELP in the past, yes. But it could've gone way faster still, if God had provided us with a higher intelligence and more of his divine knowledge.
Once again -- another contradiction for God's supposed omnibenevolence and "perfect" creation.





Octava
Most murderers, psychopaths, rapists, cannibals, are unnatural. They should theoretically not exist. They exist because there is something different about them, whether that be their perception of the world, or a physical, or chemical difference in the brain. Most of these criminals are mentally ill. Committing atrocities involves an ability to dehumanize your victim, to do something that requires disregarding society's morals, and to receive satisfaction or pleasure from doing so.
It's impossible for all humans to have a perfect sense of everything, god or not.


God could prevent mental illness. There. Totally plausible, if God had actually existed.






Octava
Your argument lies on: if god exists, he would have made everything perfect. But that doesn't make sense. Even if god gave every one heightened abilities to empathise, care for, and love others, assuming that god does not directly control these humans, even then will there be hardship. Nothing in life is absolute, and there is always the space for the inverse to occur. Murders will occur, deformities, viruses, disease, death, discrimination... until we are all stripped of our ability to think and function, we will think thoughts that are disagreeable.


What reason do you have to believe this when these are all things that happen BECAUSE of our lack of love, empathy and sympathy towards other people?






Octava
If god took away our mind's tendency for irrationality, he would be taking the very thing that made us free-willed beings. We would be closer to the other animals, primitive, rudimentary beings without conscious thought. Being rational is not an objective thing. Being rational means you are being reasonable, agreeable and likely focused on logical facts and not emotions or opinions. This is contradictory to humans being emotional, empathetic beings. Being irrational is part of being human. We are emotional, faulty creatures.


Why so?
Just because we aren't irrational, doesn't mean we don't have conciousness. That's an utterly ridiculous claim.
Or are you saying that the people who strive towards being more intellectual and less irrational somehow have LESS of a conciousness than those who are irrational? If not, then your statement makes no sense, and is entirely unfounded, as far as I can tell.

You say being rational is not an objective thing, but then you list off the things that define being rational. That means being rational IS an objective thing.

And no, being rational does not at ALL contradict being empathetic. Why do you think most people who strive towards being rational also supports humanism and human rights?
Why so many atheists -- many of which were previously religious but has left it because they chose to be rational and follow the scientific evidence, rather than being irrational and close their eyes and ears towards the evidence just because it was more comfortable -- hate religion BECAUSE of the barbaric things it does? Like how it discriminates against homosexuals, women, apostates and those of different faith? Because of how un-empathetic it is towards those who do not conform?
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Posted 3/13/14


Octava
If god took away our mind's tendency for irrationality, he would be taking the very thing that made us free-willed beings. We would be closer to the other animals, primitive, rudimentary beings without conscious thought. Being rational is not an objective thing. Being rational means you are being reasonable, agreeable and likely focused on logical facts and not emotions or opinions. This is contradictory to humans being emotional, empathetic beings. Being irrational is part of being human. We are emotional, faulty creatures.



Syndicaidramon
Why so?
Just because we aren't irrational, doesn't mean we don't have conciousness. That's an utterly ridiculous claim.
Or are you saying that the people who strive towards being more intellectual and less irrational somehow have LESS of a conciousness than those who are irrational? If not, then your statement makes no sense, and is entirely unfounded, as far as I can tell.

You say being rational is not an objective thing, but then you list off the things that define being rational. That means being rational IS an objective thing.

And no, being rational does not at ALL contradict being empathetic. Why do you think most people who strive towards being rational also supports humanism and human rights?
Why so many atheists -- many of which were previously religious but has left it because they chose to be rational and follow the scientific evidence, rather than being irrational and close their eyes and ears towards the evidence just because it was more comfortable -- hate religion BECAUSE of the barbaric things it does? Like how it discriminates against homosexuals, women, apostates and those of different faith? Because of how un-empathetic it is towards those who do not conform?


I apologize. I failed to correctly phrase my point.

Ah, I believe Wikipedia explains this quite nicely:


Rationality is the quality or state of being reasonable, based on facts or reason rather than emotions or feelings.[1] Rationality is a normative concept that refers to the conformity of one's beliefs with one's reasons to believe, or of one's actions with one's reasons for action. "Rationality" has different specialized meanings in economics, sociology, psychology, evolutionary biology and political science. A rational decision is one that is not just reasoned, but is also optimal for achieving a goal or solving a problem.

Determining optimality for rational behavior requires a quantifiable formulation of the problem, and making several key assumptions. When the goal or problem involves making a decision, rationality factors in how much information is available (e.g. complete or incomplete knowledge).

Collectively, the formulation and background assumptions are the model within which rationality applies. Illustrating the relativity of rationality: if one accepts a model in which benefiting oneself is optimal, then rationality is equated with behavior that is self-interested to the point of being selfish; whereas if one accepts a model in which benefiting the group is optimal, then purely selfish behavior is deemed irrational. It is thus meaningless to assert rationality without also specifying the background model assumptions describing how the problem is framed and formulated.


Syndicaidramon
Well that only highlights the absurdity and contradiction of this whole notion, doesn't it?

For instance -- my former best friend's father got brain cancer. He had always done as good as he could to follow God's teachings, and he was as God-fearing as they come. And yet despite that, he died. Which sent the family members, and ESPECIALLY my best friend -- all of whom were also God-fearing christians -- into depression. It also tore our families apart. We had always been their closest friends. Now, we barely speak to each other.
If God intervenes SOMETIMES -- how can they claim that he is omnibenevolent if he does it so rarely even though he has seemingly no gripes about intervening in the first place, even for those who are faithful and deserving?


I'm sorry to hear this. You have a very personal experience involving religion and god. It's unlikely that anything I say will make you change your mind. Also, you point out the contradictions in my conjecture, and this debate will likely continue in a circular fashion unless it stops here. Perhaps you should converse with a Christian? This is as far as my religious knowledge goes.

To clear up any confusion on where I stand (bringing up evolution when supporting god's existence...it may have been a bit odd)-- I had played devil's advocate to see the basis of your argument against god. You raise many good points. I do question parts of the bible, more so after engaging in this debate. Be careful, though. You have a very strong emotional bias. It may cloud your perceptions, as your brain has tied and related this trauma to god and religion.

I hope you have a nice day.

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Posted 4/5/14
Being a Bible-thumping, church attending, born again Christian, I think I have something that may be of some help:


I. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable;[1] yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of His will, which is necessary unto salvation.[2] Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His Church;[3] and afterwards for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing;[4] which makes the Holy Scripture to be most necessary;[5] those former ways of God's revealing His will unto His people being now ceased.[6]

II. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testament, which are these: Of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. Of the New Testament: The Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, The Acts of the Apostles, Paul's Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians I, Corinthians II, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians I , Thessalonians II , To Timothy I , To Timothy II, To Titus, To Philemon, The Epistle to the Hebrews, The Epistle of James, The first and second Epistles of Peter, The first, second, and third Epistles of John, The Epistle of Jude, The Revelation of John. All which are given by inspiration of God to be the rule of faith and life.[7]

III. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.[8]

IV. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.[9]

V. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture.[10] And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.[11]

VI. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.[12] Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word:[13] and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.[14]

VII. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all:[15] yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.[16]

VIII. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical;[17] so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them.[18] But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them,[19] therefore they are to be translated in to the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come,[20] that, the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner;[21] and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.[22]

IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.[23]

X. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.[24]

Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 1, Of the Holy Scripture
SOURCE: http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/

Aaaaaaaand if that was too long to read, the gist of it is that, in the Christian faith, with special regard to reformed theology, the Bible is the authoritative source for inferring the nature, character, and attributes of God, infallibly. Ergo, the Christian can know and know about God through study of Scripture. It's that simple.
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Posted 4/12/14
The creeds, Nicene, Constantinople, Ephesus, Chalcedon, Constantinople II, Constantinople III and Nicaea II.

In these creeds, most expressions of Christianity can be found but particularly for my own church the orthodox church, these are the most authoritative and dogmatic. The principle people who helped the fathers of these councils define their beliefs, were men like Basil the Great, Gregory Naziansus, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, Athanasius and many more than I can bare to recall.
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Posted 4/21/14 , edited 4/21/14
Question: Who defines your interpretation of God?

This question is far too easy to answer. History is full of people who teach us about God and his works. The history, the wonder, the glory that is God. But each lesson, each story is interpreted by the teacher or story teller. They add their own spin on events from long ago. They do this to keep the traditions of religion alive.

But each one did something, they answered your question from the start for themselves. Who defines your interpretation of God?

I do.
Posted 4/24/14
I guess I define my interpretation of God...
I've been raised a Catholic, and I do practice. Does this mean I believe that the Bible is solid and should be taken word for word? No. I go to Church because even though I have no possible way to define what I believe in, I know that seeing isn't always believing. To the religious out there who discriminate against their own kind because of race or sexual orientation should not be grouped with the rest of us, who are open to everybody. The church I go to allows all people to enter, and many gay couples join in and are graciously welcomed by everybody. This is my interpretation of the ideal church of God, and this is the God I believe in.
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Posted 4/25/14
As a Christian, the Bible defines my interpretation of God. I think that's pretty clear answer most Christians would give.
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Posted 4/25/14

mdmrn wrote:

As a Christian, the Bible defines my interpretation of God. I think that's pretty clear answer most Christians would give.


Not really. The bible is the scripture, yes, but how you interprate the bible is vital to how your god turns out.
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Posted 4/25/14

Syndicaidramon wrote:


mdmrn wrote:

As a Christian, the Bible defines my interpretation of God. I think that's pretty clear answer most Christians would give.


Not really. The bible is the scripture, yes, but how you interprate the bible is vital to how your god turns out.


The Bible is the lens through which a Christian would view God and the world. I know there are various people who interpret scripture to mean various things, but most Christians tend to agree on the fundamentals of as found in the Bible. Again, there are those who go out of their way to extrapolate the Bible into extreme incorrect fashions (ex. the late Fred Phelp's Westboro Cult). That said, when read cover to cover in the Spirit (here's my Christianity showing), one gets a clear picture of the Almighty.
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Posted 4/25/14 , edited 4/25/14

mdmrn wrote:


Syndicaidramon wrote:


mdmrn wrote:

As a Christian, the Bible defines my interpretation of God. I think that's pretty clear answer most Christians would give.


Not really. The bible is the scripture, yes, but how you interprate the bible is vital to how your god turns out.


The Bible is the lens through which a Christian would view God and the world. I know there are various people who interpret scripture to mean various things, but most Christians tend to agree on the fundamentals of as found in the Bible. Again, there are those who go out of their way to extrapolate the Bible into extreme incorrect fashions (ex. the late Fred Phelp's Westboro Cult). That said, when read cover to cover in the Spirit (here's my Christianity showing), one gets a clear picture of the Almighty.


Most christians belong to some sort of christian denomination. Be it catholic, protestant, baptist, jehova's witnesses, etc.
All of them have their own ways of interpreting the bible. Just because they're not extreme, doesn't mean they don't see god differently.
For instance -- catholics believe in hell, the immortal soul that lives on after death and the holy trinity, where as jehova's witnesses do not.

Some christians believe the stories in genesis, and sometimes also many of the stories in the old testament in general are not to be taken literally, where as others do.
The implications of which you choose are massive in terms of what picture that paints of your god.
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Posted 4/25/14

Syndicaidramon wrote:Most christians belong to some sort of christian denomination. Be it catholic, protestant, baptist, jehova's witnesses, etc.
All of them have their own ways of interpreting the bible. Just because they're not extreme, doesn't mean they don't see god differently.
For instance -- catholics believe in hell, the immortal soul that lives on after death and the holy trinity, where as jehova's witnesses do not.

Some christians believe the stories in genesis, and sometimes also many of the stories in the old testament in general are not to be taken literally, where as others do.
The implications of which you choose are massive in terms of what picture that paints of your god.


While most Christians belong to some sort of denomination, all Christians agree on the fundamentals of faith including the trinity. Groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses and Latter Day Saints are outside of orthodox Christianity and, frankly, are different religions. Their beliefs come from different books (the Jehovah's Witness Bible is not the same a the Christian Bible, Mormons include the Book of Mormon, Doctrines & Covenants as scripture). I would say this makes them a different religion altogether.

I will cede that some Christians do view certain Old Testament stories are more metaphorical while others more literal, but those generally do not change the fundamental basis of their view of God. God is eternal, God is three-in-one, God is the Creator of the Universe, God is perfect. These are all facts Christians of all stripes (Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Anglican, Orthodox, Presbyterian, Lutheran, etc) can attest to.
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Posted 4/25/14 , edited 4/25/14

mdmrn wrote:


Syndicaidramon wrote:Most christians belong to some sort of christian denomination. Be it catholic, protestant, baptist, jehova's witnesses, etc.
All of them have their own ways of interpreting the bible. Just because they're not extreme, doesn't mean they don't see god differently.
For instance -- catholics believe in hell, the immortal soul that lives on after death and the holy trinity, where as jehova's witnesses do not.

Some christians believe the stories in genesis, and sometimes also many of the stories in the old testament in general are not to be taken literally, where as others do.
The implications of which you choose are massive in terms of what picture that paints of your god.


While most Christians belong to some sort of denomination, all Christians agree on the fundamentals of faith including the trinity. Groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses and Latter Day Saints are outside of orthodox Christianity and, frankly, are different religions. Their beliefs come from different books (the Jehovah's Witness Bible is not the same a the Christian Bible, Mormons include the Book of Mormon, Doctrines & Covenants as scripture). I would say this makes them a different religion altogether.


While JWs aren't orthodox, they DO use the same bible. They use the exact same verses of the exact same books.
Same with the rastafari movement, as far as I'm aware. And as such, they are indeed proper denominations of christianity. Even if they aren't orthodox.
Mormonism, I see as being kinda quasi-christian. It IS christian in a way, in that they believe in the same god and jesus and have a religion based on the bible...

Though then there's that whole Book of Mormon part of it, which isn't necessarily UN-christian, as much as it is really un-orthodox. But being that they are still based in christianity, I'd say they can be counted as a christian denomination. At least halfway.


mdmrn
I will cede that some Christians do view certain Old Testament stories are more metaphorical while others more literal, but those generally do not change the fundamental basis of their view of God. God is eternal, God is three-in-one, God is the Creator of the Universe, God is perfect. These are all facts Christians of all stripes (Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Anglican, Orthodox, Presbyterian, Lutheran, etc) can attest to.


The face of God changes radicly depending on how you view the old testament. If you view them as literal stories, then you believe in a God that is vengeful, jealous, insecure, malevolent, genocidal, hypocritical, and basicly inhabits every single negative personality trait that any human can inhabit (which certainly makes him NOT perfect, the way we define the word. Unless we're talking perfect evil that is...). Where as if you believe that they are metaphors, you have more grounds to claim that he is the omnibenevolent god that christianity likes to present him as...
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Posted 4/25/14

Syndicaidramon wrote:


mdmrn wrote:


Syndicaidramon wrote:Most christians belong to some sort of christian denomination. Be it catholic, protestant, baptist, jehova's witnesses, etc.
All of them have their own ways of interpreting the bible. Just because they're not extreme, doesn't mean they don't see god differently.
For instance -- catholics believe in hell, the immortal soul that lives on after death and the holy trinity, where as jehova's witnesses do not.

Some christians believe the stories in genesis, and sometimes also many of the stories in the old testament in general are not to be taken literally, where as others do.
The implications of which you choose are massive in terms of what picture that paints of your god.


While most Christians belong to some sort of denomination, all Christians agree on the fundamentals of faith including the trinity. Groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses and Latter Day Saints are outside of orthodox Christianity and, frankly, are different religions. Their beliefs come from different books (the Jehovah's Witness Bible is not the same a the Christian Bible, Mormons include the Book of Mormon, Doctrines & Covenants as scripture). I would say this makes them a different religion altogether.


While JWs aren't orthodox, they DO use the same bible. They use the exact same verses of the exact same books.
Same with the rastafari movement, as far as I'm aware. And as such, they are indeed proper denominations of christianity. Even if they aren't orthodox.
Mormonism, I see as being kinda quasi-christian. It IS christian in a way, in that they believe in the same god and jesus and have a religion based on the bible...

Though then there's that whole Book of Mormon part of it, which isn't necessarily UN-christian, as much as it is really un-orthodox. But being that they are still based in christianity, I'd say they can be counted as a christian denomination. At least halfway.


mdmrn
I will cede that some Christians do view certain Old Testament stories are more metaphorical while others more literal, but those generally do not change the fundamental basis of their view of God. God is eternal, God is three-in-one, God is the Creator of the Universe, God is perfect. These are all facts Christians of all stripes (Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Anglican, Orthodox, Presbyterian, Lutheran, etc) can attest to.


The face of God changes radicly depending on how you view the old testament. If you view them as literal stories, then you believe in a God that is vengeful, jealous, insecure, malevolent, genocidal, hypocritical, and basicly inhabits every single negative personality trait that any human can inhabit (which certainly makes him NOT perfect, the way we define the word. Unless we're talking perfect evil that is...). Where as if you believe that they are metaphors, you have more grounds to claim that he is the omnibenevolent god that christianity likes to present him as...

Jehovah's Witnesses do not use the same Bible as Christians. They use the New World Translation which is very different from the Bible of any Christian denomination. Their Bible makes different claims about the life, death, and divinity of Jesus (for example He died on a stake in JW faith). Their concept of God contradicts basic Christian principles. Which is why they call themselves a "restorationist" group, reclaiming the truth which they believe to be incorrect in traditional Christianity.

Much the same way, Mormonism makes claims in the Book of Mormon as well as Doctrines & Covenants which are contradictory to Christian faith. Their views of Heaven, theosis, and Jesus are different from the Christian faith and contradict what is typically believed by Christians. They also view themselves as a "restorationist" church which is restoring Christianity from the false version which already exists. Again, i would call this a separate religion.

While each religion references Jesus, so does Islam and the Baha'i. Just as I would not call Islam or Baha'i Christian denominations based on their references to Jesus, I would not call Mormonism or the Jehovah's Witness faith Christian denominations. That said, I am a devout Christian with a fairly strict definition of what is or is not a Christian denomination.

Now, on to one's view of God. One can believe the Old Testament has literal stories and still believe in a perfect God who loves mankind completely. Believing in the Old Testament does not make one hate their neighbor, as that is explicitly prohibited in both OT/NT. There are many reasons why I can make this claim (not the least of which is that I believe in a very literal interpretation of much of the OT and I don't hate anyone).
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Posted 4/26/14 , edited 4/26/14

mdmrn
Jehovah's Witnesses do not use the same Bible as Christians. They use the New World Translation which is very different from the Bible of any Christian denomination. Their Bible makes different claims about the life, death, and divinity of Jesus (for example He died on a stake in JW faith). Their concept of God contradicts basic Christian principles. Which is why they call themselves a "restorationist" group, reclaiming the truth which they believe to be incorrect in traditional Christianity.


The NWT is not at all as radicly different as you're claiming it to be. It changes a few words, yes, but it's largely the same. There are no truly major differences. The only changes are on detail level. None more.
Their beliefs do not contradict basic Christian principles. God is still the creator of the universe, still omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, still going to raise the dead after Armageddon, still sent his son to die for our sins, etc.
To claim that such minor changes as believing that Jesus died on a stake rather than a cross makes them "not christians" is ignorant and fallacious.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

All denominations of religion believe that they are right and that everyone else is wrong. May I point out the degree to which catholics and protestands have despised each other throughout the centuries? The JWs are not at all a special case in that regard.




mdmrn
Much the same way, Mormonism makes claims in the Book of Mormon as well as Doctrines & Covenants which are contradictory to Christian faith. Their views of Heaven, theosis, and Jesus are different from the Christian faith and contradict what is typically believed by Christians. They also view themselves as a "restorationist" church which is restoring Christianity from the false version which already exists. Again, i would call this a separate religion.
While each religion references Jesus, so does Islam and the Baha'i. Just as I would not call Islam or Baha'i Christian denominations based on their references to Jesus


Alright, fair enough.




mdmrn
I would not call Mormonism or the Jehovah's Witness faith Christian denominations. That said, I am a devout Christian with a fairly strict definition of what is or is not a Christian denomination.


Comparing the JWs to Mormonism is just... dumb. The Mormons have an entirely new book aside from the bile. The JWs still use only the bible and nothing else. A bible that is not anywhere near as radicly different as you're making it out to be.
I don't care if you're a devout christian, you're still wrong. Your entire argument is built upon nothing more than a fallacy.
It would be like someone else saying that only painters are artists. It's ridiculous.
Your preference holds no authority from an objective point of view.




mdmrn
Now, on to one's view of God. One can believe the Old Testament has literal stories and still believe in a perfect God who loves mankind completely. Believing in the Old Testament does not make one hate their neighbor, as that is explicitly prohibited in both OT/NT. There are many reasons why I can make this claim (not the least of which is that I believe in a very literal interpretation of much of the OT and I don't hate anyone).


Sure you can. But you're deluding yourself if you do. The god in the OT is an awful, despicable god.
Which is not surprising, seeing as he was originally Yahweh, or, Yahweh Sabaoth -- and was only the israelites' war god, and nothing else, and didn't become the "one true god" until about 600 B.C.

And I never said that anyone became less christian because of it. I said that the picture it paints of God is quite different. And it is.
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Posted 4/27/14

Syndicaidramon wrote:

The NWT is not at all as radicly different as you're claiming it to be. It changes a few words, yes, but it's largely the same. There are no truly major differences. The only changes are on detail level. None more.
Their beliefs do not contradict basic Christian principles. God is still the creator of the universe, still omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, still going to raise the dead after Armageddon, still sent his son to die for our sins, etc.
To claim that such minor changes as believing that Jesus died on a stake rather than a cross makes them "not christians" is ignorant and fallacious.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

All denominations of religion believe that they are right and that everyone else is wrong. May I point out the degree to which catholics and protestands have despised each other throughout the centuries? The JWs are not at all a special case in that regard...Comparing the JWs to Mormonism is just... dumb. The Mormons have an entirely new book aside from the bile. The JWs still use only the bible and nothing else. A bible that is not anywhere near as radicly different as you're making it out to be.
I don't care if you're a devout christian, you're still wrong. Your entire argument is built upon nothing more than a fallacy.
It would be like someone else saying that only painters are artists. It's ridiculous.
Your preference holds no authority from an objective point of view.


mdmrn
Now, on to one's view of God. One can believe the Old Testament has literal stories and still believe in a perfect God who loves mankind completely. Believing in the Old Testament does not make one hate their neighbor, as that is explicitly prohibited in both OT/NT. There are many reasons why I can make this claim (not the least of which is that I believe in a very literal interpretation of much of the OT and I don't hate anyone).


Sure you can. But you're deluding yourself if you do. The god in the OT is an awful, despicable god.
Which is not surprising, seeing as he was originally Yahweh, or, Yahweh Sabaoth -- and was only the israelites' war god, and nothing else, and didn't become the "one true god" until about 600 B.C.

And I never said that anyone became less christian because of it. I said that the picture it paints of God is quite different. And it is.

Jehovah's Witness' believe that Jesus is not God & that He and the Archangel Michael are the same being. For this reason alone, I would say they are not a Christian denomination. I know a few former Jehovah's Witness' who would attest to the same that their beliefs are not compatible with what is commonly known as Christian beliefs, but I digress.

Back to the basis of this original post - my views of God are based on a) my belief in Christ / the Trinity and b) the Bible. Both go hand in hand.
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