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Religion Benefiting Culture


SEEtheScorn
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So I've recently been confronted with an issue that is more a battle of historical evidence than of science vs. religion. The Christian's claim is that the historical evidence shows Christianity to have benefited culture in multiple ways and thus proves to be a benefit to society as a whole.

 

Christianity has had numerous positive influences on history. The early Christians, motivated by the gospel, opposed abortion, infanticide, child abandonment, suicide, and gladiatorial contests---all legal and widely practiced in the Roman era. 50 years after the legalization of Christianity in A.D. 313, the now Christianized Roman emperors outlawed these inhuman acts. In the fourth century Christianity introduced hospitals to the world. Christians, moved by Christ's words "I was sick and you looked after me" (Mt. 25:36), built hospices as early as 325 and hospitals in 369---first in the East and then in the West (the names of hospitals today still reflect their Christian origin: St. John's Hospital, Lutheran Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, etc.) Before Christianity appeared, women were practically slaves, having little or no freedom or dignity. But women were baptized alongside men by Christians and took communion alongside men.

 

It goes on. His post was actually quite lengthy and annoying. It ended with the, somewhat arrogant, decclaration that:

 

The point is that all cultures, developed and developing, fall short of biblical standards and need the gospel.

 

Discussion took part on another forum, so I won't link it here and be guilty of advertising. But I'm curious to see reactions here.

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So I've recently been confronted with an issue that is more a battle of historical evidence than of science vs. religion. The Christian's claim is that the historical evidence shows Christianity to have benefited culture in multiple ways and thus proves to be a benefit to society as a whole.

 

Christianity has had numerous positive influences on history. The early Christians, motivated by the gospel, opposed abortion, infanticide, child abandonment, suicide, and gladiatorial contests---all legal and widely practiced in the Roman era. 50 years after the legalization of Christianity in A.D. 313, the now Christianized Roman emperors outlawed these inhuman acts. In the fourth century Christianity introduced hospitals to the world. Christians, moved by Christ's words "I was sick and you looked after me" (Mt. 25:36), built hospices as early as 325 and hospitals in 369---first in the East and then in the West (the names of hospitals today still reflect their Christian origin: St. John's Hospital, Lutheran Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, etc.) Before Christianity appeared, women were practically slaves, having little or no freedom or dignity. But women were baptized alongside men by Christians and took communion alongside men.

 

It goes on. His post was actually quite lengthy and annoying. It ended with the, somewhat arrogant, decclaration that:

 

The point is that all cultures, developed and developing, fall short of biblical standards and need the gospel.

 

Discussion took part on another forum, so I won't link it here and be guilty of advertising. But I'm curious to see reactions here.

It's true. Xianity opposed lots of, if not all of, those things. Other groups did as well. I also recall them opposing the theater and other things of that nature. Things would be like we envision most fundamentalist Islamic countries had many of these xians gotten their way. But they didn't.

 

Modern hospitals ("modern" being the key word) are credited to Islam. "Modern" medicine and other forms of "hospitals" (care facilities?) go back quite some time and usually the Greeks take credit for that.

 

Back in ancient Egypt women had considerable rights as did Etruscan women (if I'm remembering correctly) even dining with the men (which upset quite a number of people). Women have had varying rights depending on what you might consider "rights" and the place/time you look. Taking a communal/ritual meal and having the ability to take part in a sacred right isn't exactly my idea of "equal" in the modern sense of the word or in the the sense of being able to lie down at the dining couch among men and eat like an equal. It's obvious that in some forms of xianity that women could become teachers of their gospel but that "right" was quickly taken away and is only now being given back after a 2000 year hiatus.

 

What this all amounts to is that if you pick and choose through your history you can make anything look pretty good. These guys are just picking through the shit to get to the nuts and calling it a win.

 

mwc

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Guest I Love Dog

Christianity also introduced homophobia(homosexuality was quite normal to the Greeks and Romans pre Constantine), allowed/encouraged slavery to continue for 1500 years, forced Christianity upon every square mile of The Roman Empire on pain of death, made all other religions and gods illegal and continued the enforcement by way of its Inquisitions and Crusades for 1500 years. endless cruelty, burnings, executions to enforce their questionable religion.

 

All scientific thought and medical and scientific research was banned. Any thought that God did not create all was declared heretical and many died for suggesting any scientific explanation. Hospitals were basically where sick people were left in God's hands, with the belief that God would cure them.

 

Any books that were not approved by the Catholic Canon were banned. There was a ban on the reading or study of Pagan literature, endless burning of non-Christian books, resulting on the loss to future generations of priceless writings.

 

Christianity created the Dark Ages for humanity.

 

Lamented Ammianus Marcellinus , Rome's last great historian (who died in 395):

 

"Those few mansions which were once celebrated for the serious cultivation of liberal studies, now are filled with ridiculous amusements of torpid indolence ... The libraries, like tombs, are closed forever."

 

Eusebius, who shamelessly declared:

 

'We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity.'

Ecclesiastical History (Vol. 8, chapter 2).

 

"For the Christian, it is enough to believe that the cause of all things, whether in heaven or on earth, whether visible or invisible, is nothing other than the goodness of the Creator."

– St. Augustine (Enchiridion 3.9).

 

"All heretics we pronounce mad and foolish ... these are to be visited first by the divine vengeance, and secondly by the stroke of our own authority, which we have received in accordance with the will of Heaven."

 

Thus spoke Theodosius in 380 (Norwich, p118).

 

Christianity introduced nonsense instead of common sense and science:

 

Irish Archbishop James Usher (1580-1656), in charge of the project to write an English Bible, free of Popish errors, proved from Scripture that the world had been created on Tuesday, October 8, 4004 BC at 9:30 am !

 

For almost 2000 years Christianity has forced its religion on native people everywhere, causing the loss of traditional ways and beliefs because Christians believed they had the god-given right to do so. Any "good" that Christianity may have done has been far outweighed by the evil of its originators and those practitioners that followed.

 

All quotations courtesy of http://www.jesusneverexisted.com

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Onward Christians Soldiers!

Did they forget to look up that the Christians were very much part of the holocaust? The Jews that were slaughtered in this horrendous way, were killed by Roman Catholics. Hitler was attempting to purify the world and leave only a "master race," Blond hair, blue eyes, and most importantly, Roman Catholic. The Catholics did the same thing when they slaughtered the Protestants during the Spanish Inquisition.

 

I do believe that Hitler was once a true, innocent child. I believe that scriptures, doctrines and the belief structures of the various, diverse concepts and beliefs of the world caused him to become a ‘fundamentalist’, and this is what happened to what was once, a sweet little boy named Adolf.

 

 

His most passionate goal when he was young was to become a priest. Hitler writes of his love for the church and clergy: He said:'I had excellent opportunity to intoxicate myself with the solemn splendor of the brilliant church festivals.' As a young man, he was confirmed as a 'soldier of Christ.'

 

If you read the history, it appears that Adolf’s philosophy, as detailed in Mein Kampf, came right out of the Bible, and more importantly, from the Christian Socialist Movement of early twentieth-century Europe.

 

Hitler's anti-Semitism (prejudice or hostility toward Jews) grew from his Christian education, which taught him that Jews were inferior to Christians. Jewish hatred did not spring from Hitler, it came from the preaching of Catholic priests, and Protestant ministers throughout Germany for hundreds of years.

 

 

Hitler thought he was doing a good thing to get rid of the Jewish people.

 

 

Hitler wrote: "I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” As a boy, Hitler attended to the Catholic Church and experienced the anti-Semitic attitude of his culture. In his book, Mein Kampf, Hitler reveals himself as a fanatical believer in God and country. :shrug:

 

Hitler coming out of church!

 

 

hitler_at_catholic_church.jpg

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I have to wonder if combating this argument with examples of evil in Christianity is correct? Can a battle of historical examples ever be won with examples alone? Is this a matter of weighing the scale one way or another? Can good acts ever outweigh the evil ones? Can the evil ones ever outweigh the good?

 

Perhaps there is another way to combat this claim... because surely examples of evil will simply be blindly responded to with more examples of good...

 

If there was only a way to make one realize that the Christian who did good did it out of his human nature. Just as the evil Christian did so out of his inward nature. Just as Atheists who do good or evil do so, or Buddhists... or... whatever. We do what we do because we chose to.

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Perhaps you should ask all the indigenous cultures of the world that have been dragged kicking and screaming into christianity whether they wanted it or not, whether it benefitted them?

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Guest I Love Dog

I have to wonder if combating this argument with examples of evil in Christianity is correct? Can a battle of historical examples ever be won with examples alone? Is this a matter of weighing the scale one way or another? Can good acts ever outweigh the evil ones? Can the evil ones ever outweigh the good?

 

Perhaps there is another way to combat this claim... because surely examples of evil will simply be blindly responded to with more examples of good...

 

If there was only a way to make one realize that the Christian who did good did it out of his human nature. Just as the evil Christian did so out of his inward nature. Just as Atheists who do good or evil do so, or Buddhists... or... whatever. We do what we do because we chose to.

 

I think the original post was referring to Christianity as a whole, not individual Christans, necessarily.

 

The ending statement:

"The point is that all cultures, developed and developing, fall short of biblical standards and need the gospel."

 

is particularly offensive, and is a reflection of the Christian attitude from day one of it's design, where it has set itself up as the "one and only way" for humanity, as if biblical standards are the panacea for all of the World's ills, when it basically created many of those ills.

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I think the original post was referring to Christianity as a whole, not individual Christans, necessarily.

 

This is true. And it is entirely offensive and saddening.

 

I fail to understand how people can really be so arrogant. Perhaps I see too much good in humanity.

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I have to wonder if combating this argument with examples of evil in Christianity is correct? Can a battle of historical examples ever be won with examples alone? Is this a matter of weighing the scale one way or another? Can good acts ever outweigh the evil ones? Can the evil ones ever outweigh the good?

 

Perhaps there is another way to combat this claim... because surely examples of evil will simply be blindly responded to with more examples of good...

 

If there was only a way to make one realize that the Christian who did good did it out of his human nature. Just as the evil Christian did so out of his inward nature. Just as Atheists who do good or evil do so, or Buddhists... or... whatever. We do what we do because we chose to.

 

 

Very Good point!:scratch:

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reading this as though christianity does benefit the culture.

 

my question is WHAT DID ACTUALLY BENEFIT THE CULTURE?

 

the BIBLICAL INSTRUCTIONS or

the CHURCH AS AN ORGANISATION or

the INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIANS?

 

it could just be the humanistic good nature of the people who happens to be a christian or a church leader.

 

i found it ridiculous to attribute the good things done by christians as to the glory of god and the bad things are done by individuals who happens to be a believer of god.

 

other religion, atheists and whatever have contributed and benefitted the cultures and it is definitely no monopolised by the bloody BIBLICAL STANDARDS and cultures flourished with and without the gospel

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As much as I hate religion of any stripe, I sometimes think it serves an important "brake" on culture that could prevent it's early destruction. For example, it is often said that the rise of xtianity held back scientific thought at least 1000 years and brought on the dark ages. Well, I imagine what would have happened if xtianity didn't come around and we developed the atomic bomb 1000 years earlier? I don't think we are ready for this power today, but what about back then? We all get frustrated at their anti-science attitudes, but what if they are there to slow down the march to progress so we have time to learn and absorb the consequences of our technology?

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