"Religion may become extinct in nine nations"

From Protestants to Pastafarians, from Mormons to Muslims, spirituality is as old as man, and so is discussing religion.

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Re: "Religion may become extinct in nine nations"

Postby Tempo Gain » Mon Aug 01, 2016 15:12

Toad wrote:Apparently he figured people were stupid. Another astute observation :lol:


I'm not sure about that. There are several instances of the language of the parable itself being hard to understand, and Jesus needing to revert to plainer language in order to be understood. There's also this somewhat cryptic passage, which seems like an answer, but escapes me:

Matthew 13:10-17New International Version (NIV)

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]
16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.



Anyway he didn't always speak in parables. He was pretty direct most of the time.


True! "Always" wasn't a well chosen word.
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Re: "Religion may become extinct in nine nations"

Postby Big Vern » Mon Aug 01, 2016 16:35

"Blessed are the cheese makers" seems pretty clear to me.
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Re: "Religion may become extinct in nine nations"

Postby Just Jennifer » Mon Aug 01, 2016 18:09

Kal El wrote:
Toad wrote:Atheists find it inexplicable that the first and second Commandments should be: you shall have no other Gods but me. They see this as some sort of petulant possessiveness.

In my opinion, that's a problem with Judaism. Although I'll concede, the first (of two) commandment of Christianity is awfully similar, if not identical.

Matthew wrote:22:37-40 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”


In Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

The first fulfills commandments 1-4 which have to do with honoring God, and the second, loving others as yourself, fulfills the other six commandments which have to do with how we treat others.

Romans 13:8-10 (Paul?) echoes this: 8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”[a] and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

These are the Ten Commandments for Kids :-)

1. Love God more than you love anything else.
2. Don't make anything in your life more important than God.
3. Always say God's name with love and respect.
4. Honor the Lord's Day.
5. Love and respect your mom and dad.
6. Never hurt anyone.
7. Always be faithful to your husband or wife.
8. Don't take anything that isn't yours.
9. Always tell the truth.
10. Be happy with what you have. Don't wish for others' things.
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Re: "Religion may become extinct in nine nations"

Postby Just Jennifer » Mon Aug 01, 2016 19:51

Tempo Gain wrote:That's all well and good, but I'm not sure any of it is relevant to what I'm saying. I'm asking if it's fair to call them Christians given that they openly worship Christ and accept the divinity of related scripture. It seems to me that it is. I am interested in how "Christian" would be more precisely defined, why any sub-group should get that privilege, and how it would be determined who is and who isn't.

FWIW I stumbled into a related Catholic viewpoint.

http://www.catholic.com/tracts/scripture-and-tradition


Interesting read. I went to Catholic Church growing up, Baptism, Confession, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation. Today I happen to attend a Pentecostal church but I prefer to identify only as a Follower of Jesus. I hate the divisive nonsense that we see so much of between Catholic Christians and Protestant Christians.

For the record, I loved church growing up. I only started attending regularly at the age of about seven when I had to go back to living with my biological mother who was very religious. As I got more involved at church (choir, youth, leadership, etc) it became a sanctuary for me. As I got older and more distracted by boys and life, I drifted away and only started attending church again in Taiwan and fully committed myself. In church-speak you could say I "came to Christ." Whereas in the past I had loved being part of a church, committing (for me) meant reading my bible and getting to know the God of the bible and seeing what it meant for my life.

I read that article you linked to as objectively as I found this paragraph interesting, TG:

Further, it is clear that the oral teaching of Christ would last until the end of time. "’But the word of the Lord abides for ever.’ That word is the good news which was preached to you" (1 Pet. 1:25). Note that the word has been "preached"—that is, communicated orally. This would endure. It would not be supplanted by a written record like the Bible (supplemented, yes, but not supplanted), and would continue to have its own authority.


and

Sacred or apostolic tradition consists of the teachings that the apostles passed on orally through their preaching. These teachings largely (perhaps entirely) overlap with those contained in Scripture, but the mode of their transmission is different.

They have been handed down and entrusted to the Church. It is necessary that Christians believe in and follow this tradition as well as the Bible (Luke 10:16). The truth of the faith has been given primarily to the leaders of the Church (Eph. 3:5), who, with Christ, form the foundation of the Church (Eph. 2:20). The Church has been guided by the Holy Spirit, who protects this teaching from corruption (John 14:25-26, 16:13).


Human beings are weak. If one believes God is All-knowing, then it's not so hard to imagine that He knew human beings would corrupt His Church (happened again and again throughout the Old Testament) and that He is the one who inspired Christian leaders to convene the First Council of Nicea and then led them as they chose which writings would be considered canon. That He also knew there would come a time, a little more than a millennium later, when those writings would be made available to anyone who wanted them. Skeptics argue about translation from the original text, and mistakes the scribes could have made when these were done by hand, but read up about how these writings were reproduced. There wasn't much, if any, room for error.

I have a few problems with the second quote. Anyone else?
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Re: "Religion may become extinct in nine nations"

Postby Tempo Gain » Tue Aug 02, 2016 02:25

Just Jennifer wrote:Human beings are weak. If one believes God is All-knowing, then it's not so hard to imagine that He knew human beings would corrupt His Church (happened again and again throughout the Old Testament) and that He is the one who inspired Christian leaders to convene the First Council of Nicea and then led them as they chose which writings would be considered canon. That He also knew there would come a time, a little more than a millennium later, when those writings would be made available to anyone who wanted them. Skeptics argue about translation from the original text, and mistakes the scribes could have made when these were done by hand, but read up about how these writings were reproduced. There wasn't much, if any, room for error.


I've heard a lot of discussion that there have been many errors over the years, as seems logical, though there is difference of opinion on how significant the errors are and how well they can be worked around. This debate covers a lot of that ground



In one sense it doesn't matter--as you basically state above, if you believe what we have now is what a divinity wanted us to have, then it might have utilized practically any process in order to get there. On the other hand, the process seems consistent with something that a large group of people disseminating an idea with varying amounts of social and political support over a long period of time could have accomplished on their own without any sort of divine guidance.
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Re: "Religion may become extinct in nine nations"

Postby Toad » Tue Aug 02, 2016 09:28

There's also this somewhat cryptic passage, which seems like an answer, but escapes me:

I must admit, I never got that one either. It implies that some people are just doomed and even Jesus can't help them. I was being flippant when I said people are stupid, but this:

Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.


actually is a thing. Most people's lives are a self-fulfilling prophecy. They believe that they can't do X so they don't even try. They believe that they are Y so they remain so. Psychologists have done quite a lot of research on 'free will' and found that we have precious little of it ... it any. Or at least that's what the observations imply. A lot of what we do is apparently done first and then justified later (milliseconds later). Or is it? Is there something we're missing here? Is there something we don't understand about neuroscience, or time, or metaphysics, that might place a different interpretation on those results? I'm just hand-waving here; I don't know. But presumably God/Jesus knew exactly how free will works (or doesn't work) and perhaps was making a statement about it. Maybe he was right. Maybe that's why "Rich Dad Poor Dad" became a best-seller but you can't tell poor people directly to stop thinking like poor people.

Human beings are weak. If one believes God is All-knowing, then it's not so hard to imagine that He knew human beings would corrupt His Church (happened again and again throughout the Old Testament) and that He is the one who inspired Christian leaders to convene the First Council of Nicea and then led them as they chose which writings would be considered canon. That He also knew there would come a time, a little more than a millennium later, when those writings would be made available to anyone who wanted them.

This is a very interesting idea. Makes a lot of sense. OTOH it doesn't really explain the existence of the (historical) Catholic church, which was one of the most violent, corrupt and feared organisations of its time. Of course, they did threaten to murder anyone who actually tried to read the Bible, so I suppose in that sense they abdicated any claim to actually being a Church.
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