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Sally

A Question That I Have Never Been Able To Answer

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Sally

I have never made a secret of my being a Christian but I have a huge problem with the 'Bible Thumpers' and Fundamentalists who are so Conservative and judgmental of others, where does that come from?

I do not understand how someone who followed the greatest liberal and rebel of all times - he surrounded himself with the misfits and outcasts of the time, he healed people that no one cared about and tried to teach everyone to love everyone else, those thoughts are pretty liberal today.

There is no place in my understanding of the man who healed the lepers, told stories of good people from other races and even forgave the people who crucified him - where was the hate, the judgement and the desire for everything to stay the same?

I believe that the Christ would have room in his heart for gays, transgendered and even bigots so don't hate them because that is not the way that he showed us.

I never lecture anyone on religion, I have my beliefs and I hold them very dear to me but they are my beliefs and I have no reason to force them on anyone else, I have no desire to make anyone else a transsexual either - I just think that we should live in peace with everyone else and make all of the prophets happy.

Love ya,

Sally

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Guest amanda_s

great post sally, sadly there may never be an anwser for you. my brother became a bible thumper after he married his second wife about ten years ago. some times i can't stand his bull. Christ would have had open arms for us too he loves everyone.

Amanda

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Guest Lizzie McTrucker

This is why I gave up on religion a long time ago.

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MaryEllen

I think a lot of these hate mongering, fire and brimstone Christians are going to have a lot of explaining to do when they reach the Pearly Gates. When God asks what did you do in my name for me to allow you into my heaven. I think there's going to be a lot of blustering, hemming an hawing going on.

MaryEllen

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Guest Jade T

I myself am not religious and don't believe in any of that stuff.

But if Christianity were real and the teachings were real, I definitely believe what you just stated would be what Jesus and God intended for us to live by. The idea of an all loving God and Jesus actually condoning behavior some of the things the fundamentalists and bible thumpers have said and conducted kind of seems counterproductive to what the message of Christianity is.

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Guest RainbowGoth98

"I am a Conservative who derives my morality straight from God! This is a christian nation and I don't want MY tax dollars going to help the poor and heal the sick."

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Guest Melissa~

I think a lot of these hate mongering, fire and brimstone Christians are going to have a lot of explaining to do when they reach the Pearly Gates. When God asks what did you do in my name for me to allow you into my heaven. I think there's going to be a lot of blustering, hemming an hawing going on.

MaryEllen

I'm not a religious person myself, but some how I don't think any interpretation of a god or normal theology includes hating people and ignoring the planet. So in a judgement call it seems there are a lot of problems out there.

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Guest

Hi Sally,

I'm an atheist myself, so haven't troubled myself much with the issue. But, it does affect all of us in a way that I don't appreciate. Not that there's anything fundamentally wrong with faith and religion. Churches on the other hand are quite a different matter.

I always remark at how many mortals had a hand in interpreting the Word. I mean, it's impossible for the Word to actually be understandable in human terms until our language is applied. So, we've trusted the authors of the bible, the translators of those works, the retranslators of those works, and, finally the ones who interpret the words from the pulpit to act in God's interest?

I look at many churches as corrupt institutions designed to inspire fear that anything outside the church is wrong, and with that control reap rewards on a less than godly level: greed, power and money. I could go on. It does bother me that people so willingly give themselves up to the claptrap that is handed out in the name of religion. Religion isn't wrong. Christianity isn't wrong. Churhes are, too often, dead wrong.

Love, Megan

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Guest .Christine Elizabeth.

I find it primarily comes from two sources:

A.) the people who lead the religion and it's various sects use their power to make it about hating what they hate and loving what they love.

B.) most people have never actually read the bible. The people that they put their faith in tell them that it says something and they never check it.

I'm atheist, but I enjoy reading about religion and discussing it with people who are able to debate what they believe (a rare quality). My grandfather is an avoute Christian and he has never read the bible, but my dad who is also atheist has read it completly three times. In many cases it's a lack if knowledge and people using their religion to back up their hate.

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Guest Groove_Ghost

This is definitely why I left the church, I was raised in this kind of a hypocritical environment and was supposed to become a Vicar. Still have my black suit and collar actually, I still think I looked great in that suit, the only thing I miss really, that and the stained glass windows :D

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Guest Jaques

Im not a christian but i remember the bit about "judge not less ye be judged" - and the one where a woman was being stoned for adultery and Jesus was reputed to have said something like "let he who has never sinned cast the lst stone" - he preached love and forgiveness for everyone - so all those fire and brimstone bible bashers arent representative of that guys message, which was just about compassion. You cant thump belief into people, better to set the kind of example which makes a person think "i want to be like that"

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Bulldog1948

Im not a christian but i remember the bit about "judge not less ye be judged" - and the one where a woman was being stoned for adultery and Jesus was reputed to have said something like "let he who has never sinned cast the lst stone" - he preached love and forgiveness for everyone - so all those fire and brimstone bible bashers arent representative of that guys message, which was just about compassion. You cant thump belief into people, better to set the kind of example which makes a person think "i want to be like that"

I like what you said,brother. Too bad some so-called Christians don't live up to what Jesus and His teachings are all about. Being a Christian, I know for a fact that you can not beat someone to death with the Bible and its teachings. First you have to show them some love and compassion in whatever problems they may be dealing with. But, unfortunately some folks just want to say that you're going to Hell. But, they don't offer any type of real help to prevent someone from going to Hell.

Anyway-take care bro

Mike

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VickySGV

There is indeed a history of how this came to be, and it is fascinating and highly complex. I first asked Sally's question back when I was a teen and became involved in my first religious war (at age 13) in the Sunday School parking lot and was told I might be happier in another church at age 24. I have never held back on my own investigation of my religious faith, nor had any fear of damaging it by learning. I have been fortunate to have time and resources, and even some times of healthy agnosticism this is my short shot on what's happened.

I love history, and I love the study of sociology, and political sciences, as well as some just good plain story telling which goes into this. In fact the stories of the Christian Bible were around as verbal legends long before they were set to writing surfaces, even ths so called Gospels. The sheer number of Gospels we know about historically that never made it into the OFFICIAL Bible only gives an iceberg top clue to the ones who never survived the first reading. The same for other books of epistle and actae that may only be known from letters denouncing them.

Throw in an early century CE general (Constantine) who had a dream that he would get the job of emperor because a group of religions (Christianity was not a single religion when this dream happened) and their diety would help him out. The Bible and a unique theological doctrine came about because old Connie needed to keep his own army troops from killing each other off before they had him fully established as emperor.

Fast forward many years, and a quick look at literacy levels over the years and we see a large part of the problem. People who could not read, but who idolized and revered men who could and placed them in their positions of power. Many of these were good men and women, but control of the illterate and untrained, but fearful people who they lead became paramount, and where intellect was not present, fear and superstitiion were. Very useful tools to control others and thus governments were created. Not on what was written, but on how it could control illiterate people who would have had no time to read even if they could. The blind will rely on the effective man who can read with one eye.

Lets look at the people who are our bigots today, by and large, they go to high school at the top end of the scale, they do not have the time in their lives to read and contemplate what they have read, nor do they have the background of the history and social interplay that has given them a religious guidebook that has some darn good and useful stuff in it. The are still under the control of people who will use this book as a command manual for military troops in a narrow war. We who are here at least cannot be ruled and commanded by the other leaders, and so we are cannon fodder for them. We are different and not controlable. "Kill them all and let God pick out the believers. Sigh.

I hope this $0.05 quick history of a book that could be so helpful does not offend anyone, but Jesus cried himself "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often I have called to you and you would not hear me?'.

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Guest Jaques

It would be ok if the bible bashers (evangelists) were actually about helping others/saving souls but i feel people will ask and find out truth for themselves if and when they are ready to, they are responsible for their own salvation and no one else can do it for them. I feel evangelism is more about condemnation and that its better to let people go their own way, but unless they ask - be silent, which is said to be golden....................

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Guest lairlane

I never lecture anyone on religion, I have my beliefs and I hold them very dear to me but they are my beliefs and I have no reason to force them on anyone else, I have no desire to make anyone else a transsexual either - I just think that we should live in peace with everyone else and make all of the prophets happy.

Very useful tools to control others and thus governments were created. Not on what was written, but on how it could control illiterate people who would have had no time to read even if they could. The blind will rely on the effective man who can read with one eye.

Lets look at the people who are our bigots today, by and large, they go to high school at the top end of the scale, they do not have the time in their lives to read and contemplate what they have read, nor do they have the background of the history and social interplay that has given them a religious guidebook that has some darn good and useful stuff in it. The are still under the control of people who will use this book as a command manual for military troops in a narrow war. We who are here at least cannot be ruled and commanded by the other leaders, and so we are cannon fodder for them. We are different and not controlable. "Kill them all and let God pick out the believers. Sigh.

I hope this $0.05 quick history of a book that could be so helpful does not offend anyone, but Jesus cried himself "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often I have called to you and you would not hear me?'.

Thanks to all contributors on this post.

Sally dear girl, you've done it again. You answered your own question with individual interpretation and belief that others should be allowed to do the same. You have also created another post with legs as we say in this business.

And as always I am grateful to VIcky who took the time to share the history and stories of the Book. BTW, I believe the discount of your contribution to $.05 is too great.

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Guest heatherf

Good question and good answers.

I'm a conservative Christian myself and our congregation is mostly white collar (engineers and managers). As a whole, we are college educated and know the Bible quite well. We've been working to fight against a lot of the bad stereotypes of Christians (racially divided, never leave the church, act the same as everyone else), and we're just starting a recovery program.

The program is for any kind of addiction (drug, alcohol, sex,work) or mental health issue (depression, anger, bipolar, etc). The bad part is that they would consider the LGBT community as belonging to one or both of the categories.

Another positive is that there is another ministry trying to remove LGBT as a "pedestal" sin and make it equal to other sins (envy, gossip, gluttony) that the larger population can more easily relate to. The negative is obviously that it's still considered a sin.

For a church that insists on that particular reading of homosexual versions, this approach seems like the best case. It would be nice if TG got treated separately instead of "oh, that's just another flavor of gay". That nuance seems unlikely.

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Guest Sarinah

I was born into a conservative Christian family. My family struggled with their faith as I was growing up and my father taught me to read the Bible for myself and to seek the truth. I respect my father for his beliefs because I have seen his diligence in looking at the Bible and translating the original greek and hebrew. My father is still very conservative. When I came out to him he handed me the Bible and pointed to a verse about sexual deviance. I read it. I responded with more scripture. We have had many of these type of conversations since then. Although my father still believes that what I am doing is a sin he cannot deny my faith and that Gods grace is sufficient even for me.

If we are to be true followers of Christ we must forgive even those who would condemn us in his name. I see many who call themselves Christians today as the same thing that Christ faced in his time. Pharisees who are so obsessed with the law that they can not even see God in it. So i try to treat them the way Christ would treat them. I reach to them with Christs message of salvation and when they scold and condemn me I forgive them and move on.

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Guest Heather C E

I have my own, simpler, some would say 'weaker' kind of christianity that I follow. I just try to be as much like Jesus as I can. Be nice, be loving and all that... I fail sometimes, but I try to be better than before. I don't read the bible, because most of it is just people listing rules and there is no direct link to God I can see. I believe Jesus is the son of God and that his disciples documented his endeavours for our sake; they did it so we could be like him in being nice and loving everyone. Ever since my horrid, embarrassing 13-year old homophobic, transphobic, aggressive, atheist phase, I've believed this to be the case and now I doubt I'll ever think any different.

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Guest Lizzie McTrucker

I still have to figure out what to say when He asks me why I only asked for His help during final exams in school.

..oh and right before report cards came out. I know He's going to ask right before He opens the gates.

"Oh, Liz, one last question.." (oh boy, here it comes)

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Sally

I have my own, simpler, some would say 'weaker' kind of christianity that I follow. I just try to be as much like Jesus as I can. Be nice, be loving and all that... I fail sometimes, but I try to be better than before. I don't read the bible, because most of it is just people listing rules and there is no direct link to God I can see. I believe Jesus is the son of God and that his disciples documented his endeavours for our sake; they did it so we could be like him in being nice and loving everyone. Ever since my horrid, embarrassing 13-year old homophobic, transphobic, aggressive, atheist phase, I've believed this to be the case and now I doubt I'll ever think any different.

That is the same message that I got and I live the way that you do - following what Jesus would want me to do.

It is not a 'weaker form of Christianity' it is the TRUE form of Christianity.

Love ya,

Sally

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Guest Angelica Alice

I believe in God, and I think God has really helped me. I don't care what books written by men say.

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Guest DanD

Jesus hated hypocrits just as much as i do. thats all those nasty bible thumpers are. well even the so-called atheists in here caught on to that already. thats cool.

But, as some of you know, the Bible is not the "word of God". It was never meant to be thought of as such.

it is merely a collection of books that a group of people decided were important, inspirational, (inspired by God), and should be preserved. Its a lot of books, look at the titles sometime.

Most of Genesis is a family tree book, but some is based on earlier writings about things in the past.

Exodus tells the story of the Hebrews, and their departure from Egypt.

Leviticus is rules for the new nation of people. teaches about hygeine, codes of behavior, law suits and claims, punishments.

Deuteronomy is almost the same thing as Leviticus, but was written in Greek.

Kings 1, Kings 2. the first Kings of the Nation of Israel. more history book stuff.

more history, more proverbs, some more family tree info..etc

Different topics, different messages, different themes...

Proverbs is short poems, thoughts for the day; you have a collection of these short things.

Songs of Solomon was a nice musical play,

written 200 years after solomon died, but it was written as if solomon wrote it. (point of view) this was just the manner in which it was written; people that dont know this fact say that he wrote it, because, it says, I solomon, will tell you my story.. kind of thing.

But Hamlet starts the same way, and Hamlet didnt write Hamlet, Shakespeare did.

The New Testament is about Jesus' family, (some aunts uncles, cousins, his parents) and Jesus, and after Jesus for a while.

but its not one book either. there were four versions of books about Jesus,

these 4 books were not written by any of his 12 Apostles, contrary to popular belief.

then there were other books put in after that.

some were trivial, like collections of letters written from his apostles.

There were other books they could have put in there, but they didnt feel the need to include the book of Noah, for example, because it aready tells about Noah in Genesis.

there's alot of learn about the bible, and the books, but thumpers only like it for thumping purposes.

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Guest Jaques

Sally said..............

"That is the same message that I got and I live the way that you do - following what Jesus would want me to do."

........ive already said im not christian, rather more buddhist minded, but i do try to follow the teachings of christ also, i think he and the Buddha would have got on like a house on fire - because they make sense - when i was a kid in sunday school, i was so obnoxious and hated being there, yet ive always remembered what that long suffering lady sundayschool teacher said - if youre ever in doubt, ask yourself "what would Jesus do" - i still do that and it works, except when i go the opposite way, when the karmic results are usually pretty swift, lol! Im just human!

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Guest Jaques

I believe in God, and I think God has really helped me. I don't care what books written by men say.

............how wise :thumbsup:

I have my own, simpler, some would say 'weaker' kind of christianity that I follow. I just try to be as much like Jesus as I can. Be nice, be loving and all that... I fail sometimes, but I try to be better than before. I don't read the bible, because most of it is just people listing rules and there is no direct link to God I can see. I believe Jesus is the son of God and that his disciples documented his endeavours for our sake; they did it so we could be like him in being nice and loving everyone. Ever since my horrid, embarrassing 13-year old homophobic, transphobic, aggressive, atheist phase, I've believed this to be the case and now I doubt I'll ever think any different.

......................following jesus's example of love and compassion, there is no weakness in that, only strength

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Guest Meri

Sally,

Please don't take this the wrong way, but you say you don't understand, you have no tolerance for these people. Yet, if you look inward, the source of your "rant" stems from the same place... Jesus would have understood...

-Meri

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