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April 26th, 2012, 2:10 pm
April 26th, 2012, 3:52 pm
Indeed, but once the intended victim of their conversion attempts has demurred, they need to cease and desist and allow him the complete freedom of conscience to which he is entitled.
That is certainly one side of the coin. I do not question that Christianity has the ability to make people better—in fact I know many examples of that—but there is no guarantee it will and it also has the ability to make people worse, to make them cruel and unkind to those of other faiths. I know many examples of that as well and I'm sure you do too. The fundamentalist versions give people an erroneous view of the world and science. Most often Christianity leaves people simply unchanged in character, unimproved in any degree. I'll be glad to give examples if you need them.
April 29th, 2012, 11:38 am
April 29th, 2012, 1:29 pm
This is exactly what led earlier Christians to subject heretics to torture—the idea that torturing them into confession would save their souls at the price of destroying their worthless bodies—in other words it was mercy that led them to do it. In addition of course the money and property of heretics was confiscated for the greater glory of God.
Nowadays of course torture is forbidden and believers must content themselves with milder means such as the discourtesy of forcing their attention on unwilling listeners. This is certainly less offensive than the rack. Most door-knockers will go away when you tell them you are not interested, but some are more persistent and stronger expressions of disinterest are required.
Of course. When people are doing something that others find disagreeable, they always tell themselves that they are doing it for the good of the victim. "I'm doing this for your own good." It doesn't matter what their motive, they are still intruding. It may be their duty to preach, it is not my duty to listen. It's a rather simple matter.
April 29th, 2012, 3:55 pm
The notorious No True Scotsman fallacy. Always on tap when a Christian does something naughty. The long history of persecution by church and state working hand in hand is too well known to be dismissed so lightly.
Sorry, but no. The notion that a person's good motives entitles him to make claims on my time, money, and attention is ridiculous. The first rule of good manners is not to impose on others. If that makes advertising and proselytizing difficult, so be it.
April 30th, 2012, 6:55 am
They were in fact at least in their own minds carrying out the two commandments precisely. First, a commitment to loving God entails a commitment to seeing that his word is carried out as the law of the land and that no heretical beliefs which might imperil the faithful are allowed to stand. Second a commitment to loving thy neighbour includes protecting him from heretical opinions which might put his soul at risk by banishing heretics or turning them over to civil authorities. In the case of the heretic himself, the only hope of saving his soul from eternal punishment was his recanting. Heretics are well known to be so blinded to the truth that they will not recant voluntarily and must be tortured.
Now the church preceded scripture and therefore has the greater authority, in particular, the authority for determining what scripture means. The Bible was not meant to be read and interpreted by everyone, it is the property of the church.
Perhaps one way out is for the next Messiah to turn up and erase all the negative verses and keep the positive verses. But I don't see the possibility of a Messiah in our modern-scientific-rational-internet world. Anyone claiming to be a prophet in our modern society is like to end up in a ward.
The ideal way out is to resolve the issue of (1) via other means other than using any immutable holy texts (Torah, Bible, Quran). As such, one effective way is to wean off the Abrahamic religions first, and substitute them with non-violent progressive and flexible (not immutable) spiritualities.
April 30th, 2012, 3:45 pm
The Inquisition is a well-studied historical phenomenon. There are extant Inquisitor's manuals which gave justifications for torture and execution. They relied on Bible verses such as those found in Deuteronomy 17:
Torture and execution were not only practiced by the church but were part and parcel of civil justice. It is hard for us to imagine that people who considered themselves Christian could engage in terrible acts like these, but it is the case. They were not monsters, but merely people of their time.
April 30th, 2012, 4:20 pm
May 1st, 2012, 9:18 am
May 1st, 2012, 3:27 pm
Prismatic wrote:Fanman wrote:Spectrum,
Personally, I don't believe that Jesus is the only way to God.
What then do you take as the meaning of these verses?John 14:5-6
Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
May 1st, 2012, 5:11 pm
May 2nd, 2012, 8:48 am
Misty wrote:John 14:5,6 The key is to understand what Jesus is telling Thomas. Jesus was saying he will soon be going to be with the father. Thomas did not understand, so asked how can we know the way? Jesus being the mediation between God and mankind, taking the sin of all mankind and making them blameless is the way, the truth, and the life. The way, the truth, and the life is the gift Jesus gave/gives mankind. A free gift. In this respect Jesus is the only way to the father. So, the 'road' to the father has already been paved for humans. 'It is finished' were the words of Jesus. It isn't about religions, how one is reared, it is about the gift of Jesus. A gift already given for all mankind whether they acknowledge it or not. The way-the truth-the life is the gift. That is what Jesus meant when he said "no one comes to the father except through me." In due time all mankind and all creation will be restored to the father, creator God, because Jesus accepted the responsibility.
May 2nd, 2012, 11:26 am
Even literal-or “natural” interpretation-hermeneutics-is nowhere found in the biblical texts. People suppose it is so based on curious and dubious reasoning like- the natural readings of prophecy fulfillments (since Jesus fulfilled the OT prophecies literally-we are supposed to interpret scripture as such). Obviously, it doesn’t take much to show that such fulfillment neither happened literally nor as clearly as believers would have us think.
May 2nd, 2012, 12:39 pm