Greta wrote: ↑
July 8th, 2018, 7:53 pm
Is it just me or does modern day Christendom seem to have much more in common with the ideas of the Pharisees than of Jesus? Where is the room for concern for the poor, sick and oppressed when the main concerns seem to be fear of Muslims, and anti views regarding gun regulation, women's rights, the rights of queer people, abortion, euthanasia and - incredibly- welfare and community work.
If everyone must fend for themselves to sustain the illusion of a level playing field, where does charity, love and mercy come in? I appreciate the issues with welfare cycles, but surely those subscribing to the kind of passion attributed to Jesus would be seeking a middle ground that provides safety nets for the impoverished and encouragement for those who need a nudge?
Newme wrote: ↑
July 8th, 2018, 8:47 pm
First off, I appreciate that religion, Christianity specifically, offers a lot of good - especially a sense of community and striving to live better. Yet, 2 problems they have are financial greed and not sharing tithes with the poor, despite Deut. 14:28-29 saying that 1/3 of tithes are supposed to go to the poor. I don’t know of any church that obeys that. Jesus never specified an amount to give but suggested that the law of moses was the lower law and if we could give more to do so. Ie Jesus told a rich guy to sell all he had and give it all to the poor and follow Christ.
I could go on and on about this - just know I agree whole heartedly that many - especially Christian leaders of rich churches - are very comparable to the criticisms Jesus aimed toward Jewish leaders.
We might agree that the bible has some crazy ideas, but I see some truth in there too.
*It suggests “thou shalt not kill” - pretty good advice.
*There’s a lot of talk about the need to protect oneself. Jesus said to turn the other cheek but often you can only successfully do that without getting killed if you have a “sheathed sword.” The original word meaning for “meek” (as in Jesus’s beattitudes “blessed are the meek”) was “sheath sword” which means you have a sword if you needed to use it but you keep it covered unless for defense, not offense.
Never the twain shall meet on our disagreements regarding care about the supposed sentience of unformed blobs of living tissue (while happily chomping on the carcasses of once-sentient animals), or on the ongoing disaster of US gun laws, or the rights of people to be themselves as long as they aren't hurting anyone etc.
Fortunately they are not the subject of this thread and can be treated as a given and now left alone. Yes, we disagree on these. Nor am I interested in the supposed "good" that religions have done in history - it's obvious and well enough known and acknowledged, often to the point of being overplayed in light of religion's divisive and dysfunctional aspects.
Let's look at where we may actually agree a little.
Jesus was supposed to be about empathy, compassion and kindness and that is very obviously not the message coming from the great religions. The message, rather, is now purely political - aligned with neoconservative causes, and nothing else. This is going to cause some consternation for social conservatives who nonetheless don't believe that the "poor had it coming" or "deserve all they get", who actually care somewhat about other human beings and the kind of environment we will leave the next generations.
Does anyone think we are heading in a direction that will make for a better world for our grandchilden??
Where are the churches in speaking out for the oppressed and poor, or those who cannot speak for themselves? Or for those who are not on a level playing field but damned as if they were? Quiet. Very quiet.
But churches like talking about young non-chaste women and queers - like a pet cat, they are easy to kick without repercussions. Not so easy when dealing with mega corporations capable of making life very difficult for critics.
The churches use ordinary secular people who don't happen to fit their Abrahamic norms to demonise and galvanise the flock - but to what purpose if the church won't speak out about by far the biggest issues that Jesus spoke about? Seemingly the game is played for power itself rather than to achieve the true aims of the religion's exemplar.
If churches are that cynical about it all, why should anyone else accept their spurious so-called proofs of God's existence? It's clear from their conduct that they don't seem to believe the scriptures themselves - or they would take them seriously. Religion is increasingly looking to me like a badge to wear than what it claims to be.