Why do people turn away from Christianity because...

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Awesomelyglorious
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17 Jun 2010, 4:21 pm

Fuzzy wrote:
Hes agreeing with you that far, but I think what hes saying is that the average person cant tell if they are playing poker with honest players(representing true Christians) or cheaters(those that only play lip service to the creed). It is not in ones best interest to associate with dishonest types. So they stay away.

Right, and I would actually doubt the existence of the honest players in the first place. I mean, that is cynical, but the atheist position is actually that there are no honest Christians, as being "Christian" requires something spiritual, otherwise it is a conventional cultural label, and anybody who honestly calls themselves a Christian is a Christian by conventional culture. I mean, a lot of people are watching the Christian church, nobody sees anything supernatural, while a lot see a lot of crazy.



Fuzzy
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17 Jun 2010, 4:29 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Fuzzy wrote:
Hes agreeing with you that far, but I think what hes saying is that the average person cant tell if they are playing poker with honest players(representing true Christians) or cheaters(those that only play lip service to the creed). It is not in ones best interest to associate with dishonest types. So they stay away.

Right, and I would actually doubt the existence of the honest players in the first place. I mean, that is cynical, but the atheist position is actually that there are no honest Christians, as being "Christian" requires something spiritual, otherwise it is a conventional cultural label, and anybody who honestly calls themselves a Christian is a Christian by conventional culture. I mean, a lot of people are watching the Christian church, nobody sees anything supernatural, while a lot see a lot of crazy.


Correct, with the qualifier that the honesty is measured against the singular aspect of Christian membership, not against the persons character as a whole. After all, if Gandhi can be moral and honest, whilst embracing Hinduism, surely Random J. Churchgoer can as well.

Pobody is nerfect after all.


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Fuzzy
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17 Jun 2010, 4:35 pm

waltur wrote:
between AG's first response and this last one, i'd say that's the most complete answer i've ever seen a WP PPR thread get since i started lurking them.


Thanks. Brevity is the soul of well writ.


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jc6chan
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17 Jun 2010, 5:09 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Loving somebody isn't in their eyes, trying to promote your specific belief, but rather it is centered around caring about them, seeking their interests, and respecting them as individuals. Spreading the Gospel has no necessary relationship to any of that though, and many people who spread it, don't seem as concerned about building that relationship, respecting these people, promoting their interests, or anything like that. So, instead of "love" it seems like marketing.


Jesus taught Christians to love others with their deeds as well (like the story of the Sheeps and Goats). Of course, you are supposed to do those deeds not because you want your ticket to Heaven but because it is an out-pouring of love for others. So Jesus did teach his followers to meet other's PHYSICAL needs as well as SPIRITUAL needs.



Awesomelyglorious
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17 Jun 2010, 5:31 pm

jc6chan wrote:
Jesus taught Christians to love others with their deeds as well (like the story of the Sheeps and Goats). Of course, you are supposed to do those deeds not because you want your ticket to Heaven but because it is an out-pouring of love for others. So Jesus did teach his followers to meet other's PHYSICAL needs as well as SPIRITUAL needs.

Ok, but let me ask you a question: within our society, is Christianity known for this? Well, obviously not. In fact, it is known for many things that seem in opposition to this! So, y'know, given that, how is it odd that people doubt whether they will really be dealing with honest players? Or even whether honest players really exist in the first place in Christianity? I mean, you are always talking about issues that apply to the "real Christians", but many people really are uncertain whether they have ever met one. I mean, most of my close friends are Christian, and I've hung around churches, I have even been a convert, but I don't believe I have ever met a "true Christian". I believe I have met many people who *think* they are true Christians. I believe I have met many people who have a solid heart. I will admit that in many respects I fail, but they are about as bad as me, and on many levels much worse, and yet they claim to have been inspired by the truth and given a spiritual aid. What am I to think?



ruveyn
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17 Jun 2010, 8:30 pm

jc6chan wrote:
But individual people DO sin. It just happens.


Even if an individual lived a sinless life from birth to death, he would be damned without accepting the sacrifice of Jesus as expiation of his inherited sin from Adam. This is the mad philosophy of Christianity.

ruveyn



astaut
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17 Jun 2010, 11:31 pm

I've seen a lot of people get kind of disgusted by their church/people in general who identify as Christian, and they seem to either 1. stop going to church (I haven't in..actually I can't remember when I last went, lol) 2. start pulling away from their beliefs.


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CaptainTrips222
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18 Jun 2010, 3:41 am

Um... I didn't know youth was pulling away from church. I think it's more culturally acceptable now to not believe. Also, as someone has already said, church is pretty boring. I think the pendulum swings back and forth- religion waxes and wanes in power.

And for the guy who said religion and the action of its followers are separate, I'm sorry, but if the very people who argue that you should be in their belief system don't even follow the tenants, it become more and more implausible. I mean, all we have to go off of is the holy text and the people who say it's for real. If it proves impractical for the believers, it's prolly garbage. And if you were violated in the worse way in the house of God, of course you'd be mad. You think you can go through that and not have doubts about God? Get real.



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18 Jun 2010, 4:03 am

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Ok, but let me ask you a question: within our society, is Christianity known for this? Well, obviously not. In fact, it is known for many things that seem in opposition to this! So, y'know, given that, how is it odd that people doubt whether they will really be dealing with honest players? Or even whether honest players really exist in the first place in Christianity? I mean, you are always talking about issues that apply to the "real Christians", but many people really are uncertain whether they have ever met one. I mean, most of my close friends are Christian, and I've hung around churches, I have even been a convert, but I don't believe I have ever met a "true Christian". I believe I have met many people who *think* they are true Christians. I believe I have met many people who have a solid heart. I will admit that in many respects I fail, but they are about as bad as me, and on many levels much worse, and yet they claim to have been inspired by the truth and given a spiritual aid. What am I to think?


Just out of curiosity, I have a question. You have said alot that I agree with about Christians or people who call themselves "Christian" and I understand that whole thing about being dubious about their claims, but what would a "true Christian" be if ever there was such a thing and if there was a "holy spirit" to be impelled by what sort of an affect on people do you think it would have?



Last edited by musicboxforever on 18 Jun 2010, 4:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

musicboxforever
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18 Jun 2010, 4:17 am

ruveyn wrote:
jc6chan wrote:
But individual people DO sin. It just happens.


Even if an individual lived a sinless life from birth to death, he would be damned without accepting the sacrifice of Jesus as expiation of his inherited sin from Adam. This is the mad philosophy of Christianity.

ruveyn



jc6chan the term sin comes from an ancient meaning of missing the mark i.e. in target practice if an archer missed the mark, the target, he would sin. Now, to sin one must be aiming for a target. In Christianity the target is set by God who has had his standards written in the bible. If one does not believe in God or that he has set us targets to reach for, then one cannot view oneself as having sinned because one was not aiming for the target nor does one believe that there is a God who has set a target to reach for. No target, no sin.

ruveyn I don't actually think that is a Christian concept. I think it goes that no one can live a sinless life (from God's standpoint) However, if ever there was a sinless person born, they would not need the ransom sacrifice because they have no sin to cover over.

I do agree though that people don't like to be told that they are sinning and that puts people off. I think then the next question is why are people so bothered by the idea of sin. (bearing in mind I say this from a perspective of a person who doesn't believe in hell, so I don't forsee an eternal torment for the sinners. If there is a hell, I should gladly accept the punishment in protest against it.)



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18 Jun 2010, 7:46 am

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Ok, but let me ask you a question: within our society, is Christianity known for this? Well, obviously not. In fact, it is known for many things that seem in opposition to this! So, y'know, given that, how is it odd that people doubt whether they will really be dealing with honest players? Or even whether honest players really exist in the first place in Christianity? I mean, you are always talking about issues that apply to the "real Christians", but many people really are uncertain whether they have ever met one. I mean, most of my close friends are Christian, and I've hung around churches, I have even been a convert, but I don't believe I have ever met a "true Christian". I believe I have met many people who *think* they are true Christians. I believe I have met many people who have a solid heart. I will admit that in many respects I fail, but they are about as bad as me, and on many levels much worse, and yet they claim to have been inspired by the truth and given a spiritual aid. What am I to think?

I don't even know what we are arguing about here. I agree with you that Christianity is not known for this but it should be. But why does that make the faith invalid? As for "true Christian", even Christians sin and I'm sorry to hear that you haven't met Christians that seem to "stand out" from the rest of the crowd. What exactly are their behaviours that make them so "unChristian"?



jc6chan
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18 Jun 2010, 7:49 am

ruveyn wrote:

Even if an individual lived a sinless life from birth to death, he would be damned without accepting the sacrifice of Jesus as expiation of his inherited sin from Adam. This is the mad philosophy of Christianity.

ruveyn

In bold: There's the problem. You say "if" but it won't happen. Just wondering, do you believe that babies who don't accept Jesus' sacrifice will burn in Hell?



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18 Jun 2010, 10:40 am

jc6chan you seem to be a very sincere person with a strong fatih. To you it would seem that Christianity is unquestionably right and it so very obvious to you that it is true, that you wonder why others can't see it. I used to be alot like that and I wish that I still had that innocence.

I think that the problem is that people expect Christians to behave one way and when they see them behave differently to what they expect then that knocks them. They have maybe been hurt by something someone did. ie. I met a man who told me that he did some work for a member of my church and didn't get paid the full amount. I understand why he would then view members of that church in a bad light. A christian is meant to be honest, Jesus said "let your yes mean yes and your no mean no." So if you say you're going to pay someone a certain amount, you should. I obviously don't know the full story, I don't know what the standard of work was like etc, but things like that effect a person's outlook.

That then leads them to wonder about the standards of the God whom they represent. If this God condones this behavior in his followers, what kind of God is he? We are told that God is just, but they wonder, is he really? They see humans mistreating each other and think, actually, is there really a God? Valid questions.

Also, people are told that God loves them. I really like the scripture in James 5:7 "throw all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." I showed that to a stressed out friend one day and he said, "but I don't feel that." He looked awfully woeful as he said this. That was the turning point for me. And I began to see other people's perspectives. Those who felt like they should be getting one thing and yet recieved something totally different.

I am by no means trying to dissuad you from believing, I'm just saying that I understand the other side of the coin.

I agree that sharing your faith can be an act of love because if it makes you happy, you want to make other people happy too. I think that can also make it difficult to see the perspective of one who does not believe. "If it makes me this happy, why don't you want it?"

This is a terrible comparison, but it sort of makes sense: I love my dog and she makes me happy. I tell people about her and how funny she is. I don't put her in another room when people visit because I like having her around. But not all people like dogs and some don't want to hear about her and they certainly don't want to meet her. I have to accept that.



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18 Jun 2010, 11:11 am

jc6chan wrote:
ruveyn wrote:

Even if an individual lived a sinless life from birth to death, he would be damned without accepting the sacrifice of Jesus as expiation of his inherited sin from Adam. This is the mad philosophy of Christianity.

ruveyn

In bold: There's the problem. You say "if" but it won't happen. Just wondering, do you believe that babies who don't accept Jesus' sacrifice will burn in Hell?


First, ruveyn comes from a Jewish background, and hes an atheist or at least a strong agnost. So no, he likely doesnt think that on two counts.


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Awesomelyglorious
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18 Jun 2010, 11:25 am

musicboxforever wrote:
Just out of curiosity, I have a question. You have said alot that I agree with about Christians or people who call themselves "Christian" and I understand that whole thing about being dubious about their claims, but what would a "true Christian" be if ever there was such a thing and if there was a "holy spirit" to be impelled by what sort of an affect on people do you think it would have?

Hmm... that is an interesting question. Particularly given that people can have intense emotional reactions. My response is that I don't actually know, however, if there were a significant body of them, I would think that we could easily recognize that they are a more loving community, that we could understand that they all were guided by a Holy Spirit in their reading of scripture (and whatever other theological material was relevant), and we could see that they clearly represented an ideal. That's just a guess though, and there are a lot of issues with even beginning here.

jc6chan wrote:
I don't even know what we are arguing about here. I agree with you that Christianity is not known for this but it should be. But why does that make the faith invalid? As for "true Christian", even Christians sin and I'm sorry to hear that you haven't met Christians that seem to "stand out" from the rest of the crowd. What exactly are their behaviours that make them so "unChristian"?

I am arguing that Christianity does not show signs of being inspired.

Inductive arguments don't prove a claim must be untrue, instead they show that there is little reason to believe that it is true. This works for Christianity given that Christians should have something about them that we can see showing their divinely improved character. There is nothing of the sort as far as anybody can tell. As such, it is reasonable to dismiss the claim.

A lot of things. Do you want a list? I'd rather not have to trek through my personal experiences just because you have a desire that your imaginary friend exist.



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18 Jun 2010, 11:27 am

jc6chan wrote:
I don't even know what we are arguing about here. I agree with you that Christianity is not known for this but it should be. But why does that make the faith invalid? As for "true Christian", even Christians sin and I'm sorry to hear that you haven't met Christians that seem to "stand out" from the rest of the crowd. What exactly are their behaviours that make them so "unChristian"?


Imagine if you would, that upon a table laid 20-30 good herseys chocolate kisses. And then someone sprayed the table with a nice warm poop. There is the problem of sifting through the poop to find the yummy chocolate. That was my earlier poker comparison. This is the state of Christianity. But now we have the situation that even if you can separate and clean the chocolate, nobody that knows whats going on is going to eat it.

In reality, its worse, because the little chocolate kisses can have babies with the poopy splotches. And those hybrid kisses can grow up to be leaders of the table(the church). And they tell everyone what they think delicious really is. ie: Morally poor Christians produce pastors too, who then canonize unsavory behavior.

Does that make true faith invalid? Lets just say I'll look somewhere else for a snack.


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