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Value Of The Christian, "knock Out Blow."


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Often times Christians will use the argument that Christianity is unique because religion is about working to salvation, while Christianity teaches God has reached out to man.

 

How much validity do you think this statement holds?

 

Of course all religions are unique in their own way but it is claimed Christianity is fundamentally different than all others.

 

(EDIT: Lol, i said validity twice.)

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I don't think that the "salvation" angle is unique at all. Buddhism, for example, offers freedom from suffering and cravings. Some subdivisions promote nirvana through one's own efforts, whereas some of the Mahayana groups such as Pure Land call upon an intercessory such as Amida Buddha to do the heavy lifting.

 

As for the validity... Well, first Christianity would actually have to be true before it could claim to be valid. And that remains to be seen.

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I question the idea that Christianity is a "free" gift. That is, the idea of God reaching out to man. After awhile you see that it does involve works. The Bible is not consistent on this matter and that is why the faith v. works thing is a problem.

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According to Hebrews 4, even the "trusting in God" and the "resting on faith" bit is work...

 

The other odd thing is... Christians can't even agree on what all you have to believe/have faith in for you to "qualify." They make it about believing the right things, but cannot agree on what those things are.

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Not considering the "truth" of the religion, but just the idea in general, I'd still say no, it's not valid.

 

Christians bill the religion as saving all. That it doesn't matter who you are, Jesus saves you. They don't practice this, however. It's more "It doesn't matter who you USED to be, if you become one of us NOW and do as we SAY, then Jesus will save you". They will say just believing is enough, because that gets people in the door, but then they start piling up lists of things you should and shouldn't do. It's the whole problem with tacking Christianity onto Judaism. They really aren't all that compatible.

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God reaching out to humans? Well, I don't see it. There's a story about God doing it once, but after that... nothing. So it's not a progressive thing since it's not happening right now, right here, in my particular life. God is quiet. Silent. Hence, no validity.

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Often times Christians will use the argument that Christianity is unique because religion is about working to salvation, while Christianity teaches God has reached out to man.

 

How much validity do you think this statement holds?

If you look at what most Christians do, it is exactly that, trying to find God and their salvation. So regardless of whatever theology they care to tack onto it, in practice they are doing nothing different.

 

Of course all religions are unique in their own way but it is claimed Christianity is fundamentally different than all others.

I don't see it. No.

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Often times Christians will use the argument that Christianity is unique because religion is about working to salvation, while Christianity teaches God has reached out to man.

 

How much validity do you think this statement holds?

 

Of course all religions are unique in their own way but it is claimed Christianity is fundamentally different than all others.

 

(EDIT: Lol, i said validity twice.)

I remember having this argument thrust in my face on many occasions but it doesn't wash.

Unless someone has been predestined for salvation by the Christian God, they have to perform works to be saved.

If they haven't been predestined, then they have to believe, confess, repent, be baptized, maintain belief, and do some charity.

These are all works done by the individual.

This is not fundamantally different than other religions.

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The Bible says that you're saved by faith and not by works.

 

But faith is a work.

 

Oops.

 

This is a constant debate within Christian circles... What constitutes a work? They typically conclude that only physical activities are works so to make sense of the whole "you don't save yourself" thing.

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The concept of salvation isn't as pure as it seems. Ex: Hebrews states that anyone who quits cannot be saved twice because that would be crucifying X twice. (Literally??) So we heathens are irrevocably hell-bound. Moreover, blaspheming the holy spook is unforgivable, according to X. You can insult X, repent, and be saved, but you can't say anything bad about the holy spook. I must look at that second one again, but I believe that's the case. Don't let anyone tell you Xianity is simpler than other religions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Unique in offering some sort of structure and comfort? No. This "sin" business, though, I always found very odd, as a lifelong atheist. It's extremely culturally moderated, so the "salvation" angle only works if you're talking to people who believe in sin in the first place. I find myself having to say that a LOT to the types that want to convert me.

The test: there's quite a few religions that don't have the same idea of what you're being "saved" from. The concept of karma, while similar, doesn't operate the same way. Rebirth up or down the ladder of life is just a natural consequence of karma, good or bad. Shinto, from Japan, also, doesn't quite have an analogue, as there, it's more a matter of purity vs defilement. That's why there's bathroom shoes in Japan. Traditional Maori religion? More about inherent power (mana) and boundaries or restrictions (tapu). Vodun? It's about performing connections between guardian spirits, Gods, and people.

So, to me the argument that Christianity offers the ONLY solution to the sin problem isn't anywhere near valid. Since "sin" is made up whole cloth, and not even remotely close to a cultural universal, that's creating a problem for people to have and then making up a fake cure for the fake problem. Strange.

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If you look at what most Christians do, it is exactly that, trying to find God and their salvation. So regardless of whatever theology they care to tack onto it, in practice they are doing nothing different.

 

At least, I believe Christianity poses an explanation for the search....within ourselves, outward, and to others. As I am ignorant of many other religions, do they state a pupose for the searching?

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If you look at what most Christians do, it is exactly that, trying to find God and their salvation. So regardless of whatever theology they care to tack onto it, in practice they are doing nothing different.

 

At least, I believe Christianity poses an explanation for the search....within ourselves, outward, and to others. As I am ignorant of many other religions, do they state a pupose for the searching?

Yes they do. To find Oneness with the Divine; to experience Enlightenment; to be free from suffering; to find salvation, etc., which all amount to the same thing. Of course they have a goal, just like Christianity does. They are one religion amongst many, each unique in their own ways, and the same in the core of what they seek.

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If you look at what most Christians do, it is exactly that, trying to find God and their salvation. So regardless of whatever theology they care to tack onto it, in practice they are doing nothing different.

 

At least, I believe Christianity poses an explanation for the search....within ourselves, outward, and to others. As I am ignorant of many other religions, do they state a pupose for the searching?

 

–Islam: the problem is pride / the solution is submission

–Christianity: the problem is sin / the solution is salvation

–Confucianism: the problem is chaos / the solution is social order

–Buddhism: the problem is suffering / the solution is awakening

–Judaism: the problem is exile / the solution is to return to God

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If you look at what most Christians do, it is exactly that, trying to find God and their salvation. So regardless of whatever theology they care to tack onto it, in practice they are doing nothing different.

 

At least, I believe Christianity poses an explanation for the search....within ourselves, outward, and to others. As I am ignorant of many other religions, do they state a pupose for the searching?

 

–Islam: the problem is pride / the solution is submission

–Christianity: the problem is sin / the solution is salvation

–Confucianism: the problem is chaos / the solution is social order

–Buddhism: the problem is suffering / the solution is awakening

–Judaism: the problem is exile / the solution is to return to God

 

Not to derail, but I was thinking more in the lines of knowing. I think most behaviors can be rationalized through lack thereof. Pride gets in the way of knowing. Sin, chaos, exile. I don't guess I understand the suffering aspect of Buddhism. Still we seek to know and be known. Our motivations are IMO, pretty much tied to this endeavor....that I can see. John 17:3.

 

Test it.

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Just to be clear, when you suggest that I “test” John 17:3, you mean that I should prayerfully ponder the following:

 

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

 

Of course, the only way to “know” God is through supernatural means, right? It’s basically a supernatural process, right? I never had much luck with the supernatural…

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Not to derail, but I was thinking more in the lines of knowing. I think most behaviors can be rationalized through lack thereof. Pride gets in the way of knowing. Sin, chaos, exile. I don't guess I understand the suffering aspect of Buddhism. Still we seek to know and be known. Our motivations are IMO, pretty much tied to this endeavor....that I can see. John 17:3.

 

Test it.

But if you understand that these forms of God in the Christian context are in fact "fingers pointing at the moon", then you understand that call it what you will, it's the same thing in all religions. In reality however, the thing that I see traditional Christianity lagging behind in is that they don't have any real practical means to realize what you say they should be in quoting John 17:3. For most 'believers' it's nothing more than a mental acknowledgment, an external thing to 'believe in'.

 

I'm going to link you to a post I just made a moment ago in the Spirituality forum (post #20). Read through that and then tell me how you see Christianity as not fitting this as well: http://www.ex-christ...fe/#entry804977

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Just to be clear, when you suggest that I “test” John 17:3, you mean that I should prayerfully ponder the following:

 

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

 

Of course, the only way to “know” God is through supernatural means, right? It’s basically a supernatural process, right? I never had much luck with the supernatural…

 

By "test" I am meaning this MJ.....that you look at anyone's actions in their lives and you can basically rationalize that to knowing God or being known by others....IMO of couse.

 

Just an example.....look at your statement...."I never had much luck with the supernatural".....which rationalizes to me, I am deconverting because I couldn't be known or know God in this particular practice, Christianity. That may not be your case, just using it as an example.

 

Edit: to the supernatural comment.......I would think that is why Jesus was manifested.....God knows Jesus, Jesus did His job in making Himself known to those God gave Him, and He says to those, you go out and do this to others. So no, I don't see it as supernatural.

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But if you understand that these forms of God in the Christian context are in fact "fingers pointing at the moon", then you understand that call it what you will, it's the same thing in all religions. In reality however, the thing that I see traditional Christianity lagging behind in is that they don't have any real practical means to realize what you say they should be in quoting John 17:3. For most 'believers' it's nothing more than a mental acknowledgment, an external thing to 'believe in'.

 

On a very simple note, my kneejerk reaction to meditation is one form of knowing, somewhat synonomous to prayer. I might even go as far as to say it's an alternative or means to an end in our need to know. I can see if one can identify with "eternal life", whatever that is, "starstuff", etc. that this may Move as you posted in the spirituality section......laterally for example, for Movements' sake.

 

The biggest thing for me is the statement itself and the truth that I can rationalize near all behavior to that one verse was/is an eyeopener. Intellectualism equals "I abandoned Spiritual knowing for factual knowing". Various vices. Young girls giving their bodies too early in an effort to be known.

 

My opinion K, and don't take this the wrong way, is that meditation is only one of the prongs of knowing. That's just intuitive for me at this point.

 

Edit: And Jesus was resurrected to eternal in the story.....as opposed to being buried and forevermore dead......whatever that is worth.

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But if you understand that these forms of God in the Christian context are in fact "fingers pointing at the moon", then you understand that call it what you will, it's the same thing in all religions. In reality however, the thing that I see traditional Christianity lagging behind in is that they don't have any real practical means to realize what you say they should be in quoting John 17:3. For most 'believers' it's nothing more than a mental acknowledgment, an external thing to 'believe in'.

 

On a very simple note, my kneejerk reaction to meditation is one form of knowing, somewhat synonomous to prayer. I might even go as far as to say it's an alternative or means to an end in our need to know.

I'll confidently say it is in fact the only way to know it directly. There is no alternative for that sort of knowledge. Intuition is the scent of the fruit, meditation is to eat it, experience it, and to absorb it into your body.

 

Is it synonymous to prayer? No. It is not. Though prayer is in itself a form of mediation, a part of the practice, but meditation itself is a state of conscious awareness. Prayer may help you move into that state, but it is not synonymous with the state of meditation itself. It is within that state that there is an understanding that no amount of theorizing, models, theologies, doctrines, beliefs, reasoning, rationalities, logic, or any other mental activity can penetrate.

 

I can see if one can identify with "eternal life", whatever that is, "starstuff", etc. that this may Move as you posted in the spirituality section......laterally for example, for Movements' sake.

I guarantee it's not a lateral move. It's a vertical move, above where you are presently, not just changing religions or beliefs laterally.

 

My opinion K, and don't take this the wrong way, is that meditation is only one of the prongs of knowing. That's just intuitive for me at this point.

I agree it is one prong of knowing itself. But when it comes to understanding spiritual truth directly, it is in fact the only way. Let's say you want to examine distant galaxies. The only way to do it is to use a type of telescope, something that allows you to peer into the distant space. You don't use a microscope. But to try to understand it with the mind, then you come up with various ways to talk about it, like your religion does. Don't mistake the ways to talk about the galaxies, with the galaxies themselves.

 

Fingers pointing at the moon, is not the moon itself.

 

Edit: And Jesus was resurrected to eternal in the story.....as opposed to being buried and forevermore dead......whatever that is worth.

I've already experienced resurrection. It has nothing to do with resuscitating human corpses from biological rot. Death and resurrection are common themes in religion. They are about spiritual awakening, not miracle zombies.

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Is it synonymous to prayer? No. It is not. Though prayer is in itself a form of mediation, a part of the practice, but meditation itself is a state of conscious awareness. Prayer may help you move into that state, but it is not synonymous with the state of meditation itself. It is within that state that there is an understanding that no amount of theorizing, models, theologies, doctrines, beliefs, reasoning, rationalities, logic, or any other mental activity can penetrate.

Yes, but one does not achieve that state solely through meditation.

 

I guarantee it's not a lateral move. It's a vertical move, above where you are presently, not just changing religions or beliefs laterally.

What I meant is what purpose would singularly achieving some higher conscousness be unless it was laterally meaningful as well.

 

 

 

I agree it is one prong of knowing itself. But when it comes to understanding spiritual truth directly, it is in fact the only way. Let's say you want to examine distant galaxies. The only way to do it is to use a type of telescope, something that allows you to peer into the distant space. You don't use a microscope. But to try to understand it with the mind, then you come up with various ways to talk about it, like your religion does. Don't mistake the ways to talk about the galaxies, with the galaxies themselves.

 

Fingers pointing at the moon, is not the moon itself.

It's the faith without works argument. And your point I believe with standard issue religion. (Don't know if you are discussing meditation here, but if you say that is the only way, then I disagree)

 

I've already experienced resurrection. It has nothing to do with resuscitating human corpses from biological rot. Death and resurrection are common themes in religion. They are about spiritual awakening, not miracle zombies.

 

A nuance not many people are willing to accept. They don't want to consider that through practice they are now a part of the tree rather than outside the tree. But, with that said, doctrine says the uniting happens later. But I see your poiint as well. Some folks just can't go there. We ask ourselves, what is the Kingdom of God,.......pretty sure it's that joy I get listening to my children laugh.....I could elaborate, but am sure you understand.

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