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Rooster7

"Non-Believers" View of Bible-Believing Christians

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The following post is not intended to single out any particular individual. It is a general observation.

 

Why is it, whenever Bible-believing Christians share their beliefs about homosexuality or other contentious issues of the day, inevitably said Christians are portrayed as ignorant, arrogant, hateful, bigoted, or combination of the all of these? I am keenly aware that there are self-proclaimed Christians that deserve these labels. Ive seen so-called pastors lead their parishioners to protest rallies where hatred seemed to be the theme of the day. However, relatively speaking these people are few. They are not typical of the millions that fill churches each Sunday.

 

It seems to me, rather than giving any possible credence to an interpretation of Gods Word which exposes homosexuality as a sin, many folks would rather point to these poor examples and portray Bible-believing Christians as ignorant or hateful. Is it not possible, that we are simply relaying the truth of the Gospel as we know it? You know God loving people, people who would love nothing more than to see you in their church next to them, can believe that homosexuality is a sin. This belief does not force one to hate homosexuals. In short, we are messengers.

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Speaking only for myself, I believe it is because many Christians consider that non-Christians or Christians who believe differently than they are ignorant, self-willed heathens who are defying God's will. Many fundamentalist Christians cannot accept the fact that other religions may have the answer as well as they.

 

As a Buddhist, I know what the path is and I know I'm doing a lousy job of following it, but I would not presume to ask you to accept my views of Truth. Christians, on the other hand, have no hesitation about "sharing their views" with me on a variety of subjects that I see differently.

 

Everybody's view of Truth is different. I don't see Christians as ignorant or hateful, but I do see them as arrogant in the sense that they believe they have the one true path and nobody else does. This wears a little thin with those who have studied and thought a great deal about it.

 

I believe that you will find Heaven, the same as I, but (I assume) you would not be willing to say the same of me. Can you see how that might seem arrogant?

 

I mean this in the fraternal friendship of Scouting and not be offensive, but you have asked the question.

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If Christians chose their beliefs as if they were choosing vegetables in a grocery store, then I can understand why someone might view a Christian as arrogant. However, my brothers and sisters in Christ dont want anyone to be barred from the kingdom of Heaven. Its not as if weve done something which entitles us to Gods graceit is an unmerited gift. No believer sees himself as more deserving of Gods love than others.

 

So, again, while I understand some of the teachings which Christians understand and impart to others are harsh. We are simply messengers.

 

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Actually, there was a post here just yesterday that portrayed as arrogant those who would dare to question Biblical belief that has been "commonly accepted" for 2,000 years.

 

My experience is closer to Kahuna's, I'd have to say. Christian groups that I have run across seem to think that they have the only path to heaven. No one else does. I would think that there is a certain amount of arrogance there.

 

As far as Biblical interpretation, it seems to go both ways, doesn't it? There are those who try to point out that there might be different interpretations of the Bible that might be correct, but those who use the Bible to condemn gays won't admit the possibility that the Bible might not be interpreted by them. I don't know which interpretation is correct, but at least I'm willing to believe that there might be more than one way to read things. I've said repeatedly that this is a matter of belief for them and facts may not enter into the discussion. This doesn't make "believers" ignorant or arrogant or anything else other than possibly closed minded; that is their right, of course.

 

"Believers" may not want anyone barred from God's heaven, but they seem to think that they have a monopoly on the path to getting there. That's the part that I can't agree with.

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If someone claimed the sky to be a color other than blue or the world to be flat, I would not begrudge him. Would I try to convince him otherwise? Yes. Would I resent his apparent self-deception? No. I would simply try to show him why he is wrong.

 

Faith is not believing when you are not sure of what you believe. Faith is believing. Its that gift from God that allows one to believe in Him; not in the potential of Him, but in God as He truly is. I dont see my faith as a religion that will carry me through life. I see my faith as truth (i.e. the sky is blue). Faith by definition is what youre confident in your heart to be true. I dont post my opinions about God or morality to insult other posters. I post my thoughts because I think they reflect reality - truth. So, if youre confident that I am wrong, then argue your points and I will argue mine. However, the strength of ones belief should not be construed as blind ignorance or arrogance.

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P-S: thanx for the red-herring. I never said it was arrogant to question long held Biblical belief.

 

The arrogance is when modernists believe they have all the answers and that long-held beliefs were all wrong, simply because they were held by those who unfortunate enough to live prior to these oh-so-enlightened times.

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Kahuna,

 

"Everybody's view of Truth is different. I don't see Christians as ignorant or hateful, but I do see them as arrogant in the sense that they believe they have the one true path and nobody else does. This wears a little thin with those who have studied and thought a great deal about it."

 

Your doctrine is that there are many paths. The Christian doctrine is that there is one path. You seem to expect the Christian to accept your doctrine and reject his. Is that not the same bigotry that you supposedly recoil from?

 

BTW, the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama are very clear. The Four Noble Truths state that the ONLY way to eliminate suffering consists in the Eightfold Path. According to your standards, the Buddha himself was as "arrogant" as you describe the Christians. Are you really a Buddhist, or merely an agnostic who wants everyone else to accept your beliefs and reject their own?

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"Christian groups that I have run across seem to think that they have the only path to heaven. No one else does. I would think that there is a certain amount of arrogance there."

 

Go to the nearest mosque and ask about the necessity of following the Koran in order to be rewarded by Allah.

 

Go to the nearest orthodox rabbi and ask if the Law is merely one of many paths.

 

Actually read the teachings of Buddha.

 

The problem here is that the teachings of Christ are very clear on this point. Anyone who accepts the figure portrayed in the Gospels as authentic and authoritative have no choice but to accept the exclusivity of Christ. It is the same with the historic figure of Siddhartha Gautama. To call the Christians arrogant because they accept all of the teachings of Christ presented in the Gospel is bigotry itself.

 

Are you arrogant because you "have studied and thought a great deal about [matters of highest import]" and know more than the ignorant and simple-minded Christians? Just because you believe in many paths doesn't make you any more humble than anyone else. Your words seem to indicate that you see yourself far closer to the mountain-top than the ignorant Christians. You see, Christians don't believe that they "have" the only true path. They just believe that there is only one true path and try to follow it. Is that arrogance? Is the patient who tries what they believe to be the only cure for their disease arrogant? The Christians that I know will not credit themselves with having found this path themselves; they are too humble. Those that I know who espouse many paths, however, usually indicate that they found this through their own study and efforts. Which is more arrogant?(This message has been edited by Adrianvs)

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I understand what Rooster is saying, I think.

 

Mel Gibson makes the Passion of the Christ, with his own money as Hollywood didnt think it had a big enough market and the movie is denounced as being an instrument of anti-semitism. Yet when Steven Spielberg made Schinders List or Saving Private Ryan, no one thought there would be a wave of Anti-Germanic feeling, or when Pearl Harbor was released, no one warned of anti-Jappanese sentiments. A man pauses to cross himself before eating in a New York City cafeteria may receive dozens of rolling eyes, while the cafe proudly annnounces a Kosher menu with a Rabbi on-site. And every time a terrorists bomb goes off and a muslim group claims responsibility, politicians fall over themselves to remind people most muslims are peaceful law abiding citizens. People who quote the bible are seen as weird, strange or whatever, while the Koran is somehow seen as an object the western world would do well to study and understand its message. I have heard that Christians should "just keep all that religious stuff to themselves and leave the rest of us alone", yet muslim women who wear their headgear (I dont know the correct term) are seen as just being true to their faith/culture.

 

There are a few issues that Rooster and I differ on, but on this, I think we are together.

 

Madonna "converts" to Kabbalah and the worlds press congratulates her on seeking a more spiritual life. A pro-athelete talks about Christianity and is branded a Jesus Freak.

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Are you really a Buddhist, or merely an agnostic who wants everyone else to accept your beliefs and reject their own?

Adrianus: I will not debate theology with you or anyone else on a forum. Rooster7 asked a question and I gave a response that is simply one point of view as to why Christians may be considered arrogant by non-Christians. I have no idea why you would ask the above question of me. I do not suggest you should accept my views at all. Nor have I even said what they are. I would suggest your own response demonstrates exactly why I answered as I did.

BTW, you may have READ what the Buddha said, but you don't understand his teachings. Buddhism is revealed more by meditation than by the words of Buddha. I would also point out that Buddhism is not monolithic. We tend to follow different teachings in different groups, based upon what our own teachers believe.

However, I don't ask that you accept my views, the Buddha's views or anyone else's. I just ask you not try to impose your views upon me or to accuse me of agnosticism because you don't agree with me. As to OGE's comment, I could not agree more. The media is reprehensible in it's treatment of the Christian religion. The Passion of the Christ was a great example of media prejudice. I personally think it has to do with the elements of the left (read ACLU) and media who want to do away with any standards of decency whatever. It's the same reason the BSA is singled out for punishment for upholding decency.(This message has been edited by Kahuna)

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Kahuna writes:

I personally think it has to do with the elements of the left (read ACLU) and media who want to do away with any standards of decency whatever. It's the same reason the BSA is singled out for punishment for upholding decency.

 

The BSA is singled out because it's a supposedly private, discriminatory organization that gets a lot of government support, even though the government itself can't practice such discrimination.

 

You have a really strange worldview if you think the ACLU wants to "do away with any standards of decency whatever"; why would e.g. Bob Barr work with them? Why would they defend Oliver North and Rush Limbaugh? Why would they fight removal of religious symbols from a Florida cemetery? Why would they fight for a student's right to include a bible quote in the school yearbook?

 

Your view of what motivates the ACLU simply doesn't make sense when compared to how they act in real life and how real people act. To take into account the ACLU actions I've listed above (plus thousands more), you'll have to make up even more bizarre motivations, such as claiming all THOSE are instances of some kind of "smokescreen" to hide their REAL intentions. And somehow explain how an organization that SAYS its purpose is to defend civil liberties, and presumably attracts members who are interested in defending civil liberties, somehow manages to have a completely different internal agenda.

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I would agree the media love to bash Christians. They feel they can get away with it. If they tried to bash other religious organizations, those organizations would yell & scream & get the ACLU to sue the media!

 

BTW, the ACLU only has it's money hungry self centered interests at heart. They don't give a hoot about the American people if it doesn't benefit them.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Ed,

I'm confused on your comment that the ACLU is a money motivated institution.

What court rulings resulted in the ACLU benefiting financially? What big cash settlements have they litigated? Most of the attornys who work for the ACLU do it pro-bono. They take cases for clients that force a decision not a settlement.

Am I wrong here?

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Ed,

I don't think that Christians have a monopoly on being beat up by the media. These days, the media will attack anything that will garner readers or ratings points. Islam is a popular target these days, and they get the same sort of "viewing in a negative light" that some others do. I'd also say that I don't think it's Christians in general that are the target of the media. The "attacks", if you want to call them that, have pretty much been specifically targeted on the more conservative groups that have become more visible by their actions in the context of the present Administration. These aren't folks that are quietly going along their way living their beliefs; these are folks who have made targets of themselves, and the media is happy to oblige.

 

Well, fgoodwin, here's what you said.....

"Hunt, what galls me is the post-modern arrogance that says the commonly accepted interpretation of the Bible for the last 2,000-3,000 years is all wrong and only we "moderns" really know what it means."

 

Sounds to me like you're saying it's arrogant to question long held interpretations of the Bible, which is what I commented on. Maybe you can explain how I misread this.

 

Kahuna,

I generally agree with a lot of what you have to say here; common sense kind of stuff, I think. But, I can't see how you think the ACLU is out to get rid of all standards of decency. I don't see that in them. They do some things I'd consider wacky, to be sure, but I don't think that they're out to get rid of decency standards. I'd say that they definitely do try to make sure that all forms of "art" (whether you consider some things art or not) or media expression have a place in society as guaranteed by the Constitution. There are limits on this, of course, and I suppose the question is, where do you draw that line?

 

Anyway, back OT...

I don't begrudge anyone their ability to believe whatever they want, or view the Bible, or any text providing religious foundations, in the way that they want. My point has nothing to do with arrogance, only in questioning. People will say, "well, the Bible says this, and that's what I believe". And that's fine. I think, tho, that there is enough evidence out there on the subject of these texts that reasonable questions can be asked about them. Who wrote the Bible? Why were some books left out of it? Can we be absolutely sure that the translations are correct, and correctly interpreted in the context of the time that they were written? Are these interpretations open to review in the context of our times. For me, the answer is "I don't know".

 

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